Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Change is Gunna Come
2006-01-22 08:55
by Alex Belth

The noted baseball economist Andrew Zimbalist addresses the Yankee Stadium issue today in The New York Times:

Plans to build a new Yankee Stadium in the South Bronx have kicked up a small storm of local protest. Many people who live near Mullaly and Macombs Dam Parks, where the new stadium will be built, are concerned about what it will mean for their neighborhood, and rightfully so. But the crucial public policy question here is whether there will be a net benefit for residents of the Bronx and the other boroughs. The answer is yes.

Meanwhile, The Boston Herald reports that the Sox are close to finalizing a deal that would send Andy Marte (the guy they got from Atlanta in the Edgar Renteria deal) and Guillermo Moto to the Indians for center fielder Coco Crisp. The Phillies are also involved in the works and they'd send cf Jason Michaels to Cleveland. The Herald also reports that Boston is close to signing Alex Gonzalez to play short stop.

Crisp would be a much cheaper option than Damon for the Sox (Crisp isn't elligible for free agency for another four years). He doesn't walk all that much, but he had a good offensive season last year, and he does have some pop. With the acuisition of Julian Tavarez--who looks almost comically evil, like the villian who ties the girl to the tracks and twirls his mustache--Mota is expendable. Gonzalez isn't a great hitter but a fine defensive player. The Sox had to do something to fill in the gaps.

What do you think? If this goes down, how much does this improve, or hurt, Boston?

Comments (78)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-01-22 09:28:10
1.   sam2175
This trade, if it goes on, perhaps makes the Red Sox better for this year than they are currently constituted (but NOT better than last year). However, if Marte is the prospect that he is said to be, then this makes Indians sick for the next 5-6 years. Hafner, Peralta, Sizemore, Marte, Martinez, Broussard, well, now that is a core.

Although I welcome the sight of Alex Gonzalez, unless Torre finds a Jeff Weaver moment.

2006-01-22 09:37:30
2.   Cliff Corcoran
First of all, if the Red Sox tab Alex Gonzalez (either one of them) as the solution to their SS problems, that's good news for the Yankees.

Secondly, I don't know why the Indians would want to part with Crisp. They must be convinced that Marte's the real deal. It's true that the Tribe has a few OF prospects on the way and will need a real 3B to replace Boone as soon as 2007, if not before, but, as you say, Crisp is young, cheap, and really came into his own on both sides of the ball last year.

The question for me regarding Crisp as the Sox CF is his defense. Crisp has a career 93 Rate in CF. He made a leap to above average last year, but only after switching to left.

Gonzalez meanwhile (the ex-Marlin according to the Herald), is also terrible defensively (94 career rate) and a miserable offensive performer (career 2.45/.292/.391 - .238 EQA).

If the Phillies deal comes off, however, the final tally for Cleveland would be:

Jason Michaels replaces Coco Crisp
Guillermo Mota replaces Arthur Rhodes (or Rafael Betancourt)
Ande Marte is added to their impressive group of prospects.

Damn. Mark Shapiro is a shark.

2006-01-22 09:37:40
3.   Nick from Washington Heights
the biggest winner is this deal is Mark Shapiro who in my view is on the level of Beane at this point. He trades away Betancourt for Michaels? How does that happen? So he fills the left-field hole opened up by Crisp's departure with a player possibly better than him, and also nets one of the best prospects in the game. Sam, you're right, the Indians' line-up is going to be sick for a while.
2006-01-22 09:39:36
4.   Cliff Corcoran
Sam, I agree with you re: CF, but Alex Cora would actually be better than Gonzalez for as SS (which says a lot about Gonzalez).

Meanwhile, I also agree with you about the Indian's future, but Ben Broussard won't be a part of it, because he's not any good.

2006-01-22 09:47:21
5.   debris

True enough about the Tribe. Dream on about the Sox.

Crisp, although not a very good player at the time, was a major league regular at the age of 23. Guys who are regulars in the majors at that age almost always become very good players. At 24, he was a good player; at 25, he was a very good player, better than the guy he replaces. Crisp's road OPS was over 100 points higher than Damon's last year. When you consider the cost of Crisp: likely $20 M over the next four years plus the $12 M of Rentaria's contract in the cost of Marte, the age 26-29 years of Crisp's career will cost the Sox $20 M less than the 32-35 years of Damon's would have, had they matched the Yanks offer. The Sox have just made their very best move of the off-season.

As for Gonzalez, this is not an error of Womackian proportions in that, I assume, it's a one year deal and, unlike Womack, the guy can at least field.

The 2006 Sox should be a better team than the one that won 95 games last year, although winning that many games will be difficult in a tougher division with the improved Jays and improving Devil Rays.

The Sox lineup has improved from top to bottom, to wit:

Crisp for Damon
Loretta for Renteria
Varitek, who like Posada, is a year older and will likely see some drop in production.
Nixon, who pretty much lost the second half of last season to injury
Lowell for Millar. Whatever Lowell is, he can't be worse
Youkilis for Mueller, the only possible downgrade, though like others, I'm high on the Jewish Greek God who Shandler projects at .850. If Shandler is right, Youk is an upgrade from Mueller
Gonzalez/Pedroia for Bellhorn.

The defense is improved significantly at every infield position.

Beckett has been added to the rotation, probably replacing Wells.
Schilling, whatever he is, can only be better
Papelbon likely replaces Arroyo
Foulke, whatever he is, can only be better

Matt Mantei, Alan Embree, 37 good innings of Mike Myers and a cast of thousands have been replaced by Seanez, Taveras, Di Nardo, DelCarmen, and possibly Hansen and even Lester by midseason.

Not only is this team better than last year, they are better IN EACH AND EVERY POSITION where they have made a change. The only possible downgrade is in the age and decline of Jason Varitek.

This is not a great team, but it is better than the one that won 95 games last year, mostly on the huge bats of two guys.

2006-01-22 09:49:06
6.   Bob Timmermann
How is Papelbon replacing Arroyo? As a starter? Arroyo re-signed for 3 years.
2006-01-22 10:01:49
7.   sam2175
Debris, here goes:

Crisp ~= Damon offensively and defensively.
Loretta > Bellhorn/Graff (but it could go wither way, and may not be much of an upgrade)
Varitek/Flaherty Millar (assuming 1B)
Lowell Manny = Manny.
Ortiz <= Ortiz (career year 2005).
Alex Gonzalez (84 OPS+) < Renteria (91 OPS+)
Nixon < Nixon (declining SLG, OPS+, OBP everything).

The pitching can only improve, so can the bullpen. But offense is most likely worse.

Cliff, sorry Broussard was a bad inclusion. Shapiro will spend no time in getting rid of him for a better replacement.

2006-01-22 10:05:55
8.   sam2175

Should read:

Crisp ~= Damon offensively and defensively.

Loretta > Bellhorn/Graff (but it could go either way, and may not be much of an upgrade)

Lowell Millar (assuming 1B).

Varitek/Flaherty < Varitek/Mirabelli.

Manny = Manny.

Ortiz <= Ortiz (career year 2005).

Alex Gonzalez (84 OPS+) < Renteria (91 OPS+)

Nixon < Nixon (declining SLG, OPS+, OBP everything).

2006-01-22 10:07:08
9.   sam2175
I officially suck.

Lowell < Buell.

2006-01-22 10:07:16
10.   Nick from Washington Heights
"The pitching can only improve, so can the bullpen. But offense is most likely worse."

I remember us Yankee fans saying that last off-season, only to find out that as pitchers get older they tend to decline, and relievers can underperform even our lowest expectations. Needless to say, I'm not optimistic (for Sox fans) about that Wake, Wells and Schilling, or Foulke, or Julian Psycho Killer.

2006-01-22 10:12:36
11.   sam2175
8 should read

Crisp ~= Damon offensively and defensively.

Youkilis > Millar (assuming 1B).

Loretta > Bellhorn/Graff (but it could go either way, and may not be much of an upgrade)

Lowell < Buell (Mueller, I mean).

Varitek/Flaherty < Varitek/Mirabelli.

Manny = Manny.

Ortiz <= Ortiz (career year 2005).

Alex Gonzalez (84 OPS+) < Renteria (91 OPS+)

Nixon < Nixon (declining SLG, OPS+, OBP everything).

2006-01-22 10:14:44
12.   debris

Don't know your formula for Damon - Crisp, but assume you're pointing to a serious upgrade.

You don't state any formula for Lowell - Millar, but this is lateral at worst.

I would agree with you behind the dish if the back up is Flaherty. This is an upgrade if Shoppach.

Manny actually hit in bad luck last year.

I would agree about Ortiz, though the same holds true for A-rod. While he's had similar seasons in the past, he never had Yankee Stadium punishing him in the past.

I don't love Gonzalez, but his slight offensive downgrade is more than compensated by the facts that he'll be hitting ninth to Renteria's second and the huge defensive upgrade.

You would be right about Nixon except that his decline last year was due not do age but to an oblique injury that destroyed the second half of last year. Nixon should be better in 06 than in 05 assuming he can stay healthy. I wouldn't bet the ranch on that. Right field is the most likely spot that the Sox will be looking for help come June.

2006-01-22 10:15:10
13.   Simone
I agree with Andrew Zimbalist's Op-Ed about the new stadium. I don't think that any city will ever get a better deal on a stadium that what the Yankees are giving the Bronx and NYC. If they don't take this deal, the Yankees would be more than justified in moving to another city. It must have killed the NY Times editors to publish Zimbalist's Op-Ed. Ha.

Crisp is a nice aquisition for the Red Sox. They will now be able to compete with the Blue Jays for second place in the division.

2006-01-22 10:17:54
14.   debris

Wells is likely gone.
Schilling can only be better.
Wakefield is just coming into his prime. Knuckleballers mature at 40.
Papelbon, Clement, Beckett, and Arroyo are not exactly old.

You want old:

You want infirm:

2006-01-22 10:18:23
15.   Dingus
Well, if this does happen Youkilis is likely to be playing 3B in 2007, and Lowell will hopefully be traded. This would mean the Red Sox would have room for Derrek Lee and the payroll flexibility to overpay him.

Foulke only has about a 50/50 chance of getting his option vested, Lowell's $8 million will be gone if he performs (half of that $8 million will be gone if he doesn't perform). Crisp would cost about $9 million less than Damon, Hansen $7 million less than Foulke. Papelbon 9$ million less than Clement, Lester 8$ million less than Wells and Pedroia only about a million less than Loretta.

John Henry has stated many times he has no interest in keeping payroll lower than neccessary.

2006-01-22 10:24:49
16.   Nick from Washington Heights
"Wakefield is just coming into his prime. Knuckleballers mature at 40."

LOL (is there a better way of saying that was funny. I hate LOL. Should I just say "That was funny"?)

But, Debris, you're missing my point. It's hard ever to be optimistic about an old creaky pitching staff (and for now, 3 of 5 slots are filled by forty year olds). As a Yanks fan, I was merely offering a word of caution to my Sox fan friends out there. You guys seem to always get your expectations up. And usually, they're crushed. Plus, Wang, Chacon and Pavano are not exactly old either. Reliable? Well, that's another thing.

2006-01-22 10:25:02
17.   sam2175

Damon and Crisp are roughly equal, but offensively, I will be inclined to give the edge to Crisp because of his better pop, and if he is not leading off. If Crisp is leading off, Damon is the better hitter with his higher OBP.

Hopefully my post 11 is somewhat better.

Rodriguez equalled his best offensive year. I expect some downgrade, of course. But the loss of Bernie Williams (just sign a damn DH/OFer, ummm, Hidalgo?), John Flaherty, Tony Womack, Ruben Sierra can only make Yankees better. Remember, the Yankees sucked last year, still won that many games because A-Rod, Jeter, Sheffield and later Giambi carried the team offensively. Matsui was more lucky than good, perhaps, and I expect more consistent seasons from him and Giambi.

2006-01-22 10:34:36
18.   wsporter
I don't think Cleveland is getting enough back for Crisp. Marte maybe the real deal but he flunked out his first run through on Hank Aaron Drive. Mota's a nice piece but come on is he worth a good and rising young talent like Coco Puff?

Because Coco's CF defensive metrics are below average could this be a precursor to a Manny trade that might bring back a CF? Is Boston looking at Crisp as a LF replacement rather than as a CF?

I think its interesting that neither Cleveland paper has picked this story up on its web site, not even to say that the Globe or the Herald is reporting it. Problems?

2006-01-22 10:50:05
19.   sam2175
If the deal was Crisp for Marte straight up, Cleveland is a winner. This one ranks closely with Boston-Atlanta deal of Renteria/Marte.

If Manny is traded for a CF, I will be ecstatic. No one, not even Carlos Beltran or Jim Edmonds can equal Manny's value.

Manny + Damon >> Any CF + Coco Crisp.

2006-01-22 11:22:47
20.   Zack
Two things I have taken to eagerly looking forward to, are 1) Rob Gee's man crush on Milton Bradley, and the magical ways he can dream of his acquisition, dream on my friend! and 2) debris' endless, total optimism about every move the Sox make this off-season. I seriously think they could trade David Wells for a bag of balls and all of a sudden Wells is the aging, cranky pitcher we know he is rather than the guaranteed 15 game winner he sometimes seems to be in debris' mouth. That's not to say I don't like this trade for the Sox, more that I know I can count on long, point by point rebuttals from debris, while we throw random comments out just to see if s/he will respond. Keep it up debris, I really do enjoy it, wouldn't be the same without you!

From rotoworld via dirtdogs:
"It's a sequence of events that may placate the media, but that doesn't make it any less disturbing. Marte alone is worth more than Crisp, in our opinion, just as he was worth quite a bit more than Edgar Renteria. The Red Sox are giving up Guillermo Mota, too, and it's unclear what they'll be getting back along with Crisp. Gonzalez is an even bigger problem, especially if it's a multiyear deal. He's not much of an upgrade over Alex Cora, and Dustin Pedroia might be Boston's best option at shortstop by June 1." -- 1.22.06, Rotoworld

2006-01-22 11:23:57
21.   Dingus
wsporter, the Boston Herlald, ESPN, and MLB are reporting that the Indians and Red Sox have already reached agreement on the deal. If the red sox were interested in Coco Crisp as a left fielder instead of cf if they`re trading Manny (which I doubt), they`d be better off putting Marte in left next year.
2006-01-22 11:27:58
22.   nycfan
The sox should be worried about their outfield defense, especially considering the flyball tendencies of their staff. Manny is absolutely horrible in left, Crisp has not shown he can be even an average centerfielder, and Nixon isn't any better than average.
2006-01-22 11:36:12
23.   debris

Looking at the Sox message boards, none seem to be in agreement with you. I appear to be the only Sox fan happy with this deal. I agree that the Sox are overpaying for Crisp, but they're in a situation in CF where they have to and their farm system is deep enough where they can afford to.


Would you rather have a healthy dependable 43 year old or young guys like Wang and his shoulder, Pavano and his shoulder, Wright and his shoulder?


My expectation is that the combination of age and the Fenway bump will give Crisp a better OBP than Damon. That said, I would still lead off Youkilis and hit Crisp seventh or eighth. Crisp, though speedy, is not a good baserunner.

Also, Sam, yes Marte is more valuable than Crisp, but Crisp is more valuable than Renteria. The Sox make out in the long run. You're Manny + Damon equation is dead on, but not because of Damon. The Sox can't trade Manny and compete. We Sox fans just hope the FO knows that.


I don't automatically like everything the Sox do, although I'm quite pleased with the way this winter has progressed. There are two moves this winter that don't please me. The Taveras signing and the Gonzalez signing. The other thing I don't like is the idea of Crisp leading off, as I expect he will.

2006-01-22 11:41:59
24.   wsporter

"If the red sox were interested in Coco Crisp as a left fielder instead of cf if they`re trading Manny (which I doubt), they`d be better off putting Marte in left next year." How and why would Marte be better than Crisp in left? If the Sawx have Crisp they don't have Marte so how is that relevant?
"The Boston Herlald, ESPN, and MLB are reporting that the Indians and Red Sox have already reached agreement on the deal." Those sites are all reporting that the deal is close but not consummated.


I guess a billion Sawx fans can't be wrong.

2006-01-22 11:42:21
25.   debris

According to Baseball Prospectus, Nixon is still a strong outfielder, despite his physical woes. His instincts are superb and he plays hard. Crisp has been a strong left-fielder, a less than average centerfielder. He should be adequate in center with more experience as he does have youth, good speed, and a decent arm. Manny? Manny. No, overall, the outfield defense is not going to get this team deep into October.

2006-01-22 12:07:44
26.   das411
What do you guys think would happen if Tampa Bay offered Baldelli to the Bosox for Marte? Would they take him over Crisp?
2006-01-22 13:16:05
27.   Dingus
I meant they`d be better off not trading for Crisp if he was their option for LF, despite his ungodly UZR.
2006-01-22 13:20:24
28.   Paul in Boston
Hate to change the subject ... but is this the FIRST TIME EVER that Zimbalist has supported a new stadium proposal? Certainly I've never heard such before.

Very interesting indeed.

2006-01-22 14:55:37
29.   wsporter

Sorry about that, I was kind of rushed. Didn't mean to make it seem like I was in attack mode. UZR is a grate stat, I agree. It shows Crisp to be a terrific LF. The reason I think Crisp may not be the guy you want in CF is set forth here:

I think he has the pop from both sides to give you guys what you need in left. Also, I see him holding a lot of guys to singles off the wall so his range wouldn't necessarily be wasted. He can play CF so he gives you a whole bunch of flexibility. Perspective is a weird thing I guess. From where I sit and given who I root for, I see this as a great deal for you guys. I don't see Crisp as the same plus defender as a CF as he is in LF so maybe the deal, if it happens, is closer in value than I thought from the Sawx POV. I really think Mota was going to get lit up at Fenway on a regular basis. My sense is he's a creation of Chavez Ravine. I may be wrong on that one. Marte is projectable but is still an unknown. How much better than Boone can he be this year? Who will replace Crisp? How close to Crisp in production can that replacement come offensively and defensively? From Cleveland's POV I just don't see this deal as described making sense. So that was part of my thinking.

2006-01-22 16:44:11
30.   joejoejoe
Andrew Zimbalist makes no mention of the fragmentation of an old and beloved Macombs Dam park. Ten small parks is not a substitute for one great park. Zimbalist argues that the Yankees are making the greatest private contribution to a stadium in history aproximately ($800 million vs. $300 million for the SF Giants). He then cites the relatively smaller percentage of infrastructure improvements (most directly related to the baseball stadium itself) as a merit of the project. That's fuzzy political math.

$210 M (NYC and NY state funds)
$800 M Yankee funds

Look Ma! The people are only picking up 20% of the costs! Compare that SF owner Peter Macgowen (figures from Wikipedia):

$10 M (SF tax abatement)
$300 M SF Giant funds

Look Ma! The people of SF picked up 3.3% of the totla costs BUT they picked up 200 MILLION LESS than the good people of NY.

The Yankees are counting on a provision to the collective bargaining agreement that allows them to deduct construction costs from funds they are paying in the luxury tax - something that is precisely opposed to the spirit of the tax. Would the Yankees really spend $800 million dollars if that clause was closed? Of course they would not.

Finally this bit from Zimbalist is just bizarre - "Together with the development of surrounding commercial space and the prospect for a new Metro-North platform, the project will be a major facelift for the area and help gentrify the South Bronx."

Help "gentrify" the South Bronx? Poor people have to live someplace. Many live in the Bronx. It's not helping to sweep poor people out of neighborhoods without improving the job conditions.

Renovation of Fenway produced nearly twice the jobs (renovation is more difficult) than new construction would have produced. If you want to 'help' the South Bronx - renovate the world's most highly attended ballpark. Ugh.

More articulate points at Field of Schemes.

2006-01-22 17:10:31
31.   Adam B
wsporter, the deal is pending. It depends on the Indians being able to trade for a LF to replace Crisp, like Jason Michaels, who they are rumored to be getting for Arthur Rhodes or Rafael Betancourt.

joejoejoe, while I don't necessarily disagree with your points, the one thing you have to realize is that 1) the cost of land and living is higher in New York City than San Francisco. and 2) inflation needs to be factored in for the change in value of the money spent on San Fran's stadium since it was built to compare it to the proposed stadium deal.

And to everyone, Marte had 57 at bats and 64 plate appearances. That sample size is very far from a meaningful one.

2006-01-22 18:27:59
32.   JohnnyC
"The Yankees are counting on a provision to the collective bargaining agreement that allows them to deduct construction costs from funds they are paying in the luxury tax - something that is precisely opposed to the spirit of the tax." Say what? THAT is the exact reason it's in the CBA (and was in the previous CBA as well), courtesy of Uncle Bud. So, now that the Yankees are the, what, 9th or 10th franchise to take advantage of it, you're all put out? Sheesh. It's the one thing Selig WOULD WANT the Yankees to do, for chrissake.
2006-01-22 18:29:14
33.   joejoejoe
Adam B -

The NY Times salary calculator places a construction worker in SF at only 0.2% less pay than in NYC (both 43K and change). The cost of commercial real estate IS much higher in NY as you mention above (NY $46.42 vs. SF $27.14). But neither inflation nor real estate costs explain the ratio of public to private costs in comparing the SFGiants and NYYankees.

Ratio of private to public investments in SF and NY
30 to 1 in San Francisco
4 to 1 in New York

That is the apples to apples comparison. Why should NY residents pay more than 700% more infrastructure costs for a so-called privately funded stadium? And all of the above is based on Zimbalest's numbers from the NYT editorial, numbers which Neil deMause at Field of Schemes has shown to be highly dubious.

2006-01-22 18:41:48
34.   joejoejoe
JohnnyC -

I misread the passage I was referecing from Baseball Prospectus. It's not the luxury tax that is at issue but the operating revenues. I'll just post an excerpt and let everyone read it for themselves. From Baseball Prospectus:

"The Yankees would foot the bill for the stadium itself, though, a remarkable turnaround from earlier plans to have the city kick in at least half of the cost. How will they do it? The explanation is buried in a tiny clause hidden deep within MLB's Basic Agreement. According to Article XXIV, Section a(5) of the 2002 collective bargaining agreement, teams must make revenue-sharing payments on all baseball revenue, but can deduct "the 'Stadium Operations Expenses' of each Club, as reported on an annual basis in the Club's FIQ [Financial Information Questionnaire]. That's all it says. But according to baseball sources, teams have been quietly allowed to count stadium construction debt as "stadium operations expenses," thus claiming it as a deduction against revenue sharing.

A few moments with a calculator--and a copy of Andrew Zimbalist's May the Best Team Win, which lays out the details of the new revenue-sharing plan starting on page 99--reveals the impact of this clause on George Steinbrenner's stadium plans. The Yankees currently pay a marginal revenue-sharing rate of about 39% of local revenue. (Low-revenue teams, interestingly, pay an even higher marginal rate, which may help explain why teams like the Twins are seemingly so disinterested in such aspects of the business as, oh, selling tickets.) Taking a deduction for $40 million a year in stadium bond payments would thus earn the Yankees a $15.6 million-a-year write-off on their annual revenue-sharing obligations. Over time, about $300 million of the House That George Built would be paid for by the other 29 teams. - Neil DeMause."

So it's not the Luxury Tax dollars that are shifted but the revenue sharing obligations.

2006-01-23 00:12:22
35.   Zack
While I am not realyl in favor of a new stadium at all, I can't really fathom any renovations that could be completed in the offseason that would make the dramatic changes George is looking for, and to be perfectly honest, would beenfit the Yanks a lot in terms of revenue. Sure, Fenway can take green monster seats, a renovation of the .400 club (or whatever it was called) and relatively minor changes, but in the long run, we are talking about ADDING 2,000 seats or so, minor in the long run and no real structural changes or anything. In comparison, what the Yanks are gunning for with the new stadium, and what Georgie has long craved, are those luxery boxes. You can't just completely restructure the stadium overnight. And the Yanks would have nowhere to play in the meantime.

The basic choice they have is to either continue making minor changes to the stadium but leaving it largely the same, or do what they are doing now and go for broke, with the bonus of icnreased revenue and an all star game.

And as for the South Bronx being gentrified, i'll believe that when i see it. I somehow doubt that all of a sudden people are going to be rushing to move there, new stadium or no. I don't really forsee the area changing that much, besides the actual proposed changes.

2006-01-23 05:14:47
36.   murphy

i don't think you are running with the right crowd. the artists are already there. my friend, just out of some NYU masters program i have yet to even understand, is moving there from the east village in a few months. the gotham girl roller derby league [how indie-hipster-retro! :)] has monthly bouts at skate key, and there are a lot more empty buildings waiting to be loft-renovated. i don't think the times real estate section has gotten its grubby little paws on the scene yet, but there are already plenty of "risk-oblivious youth" (best. real estate term. ever.) that have already taken a chance in the shadows of the the 3rd ave bridge. believe what you like, but it's coming, zack.

2006-01-23 05:22:04
37.   sabernar
Back to Crisp...

Crisp is a very good LF, but his 180+ games in CF show him to be a HORRIBLE CF. If I remember correctly, his Rate2 hovers in the low 90's in CF. That's pretty horrible.

2006-01-23 07:19:28
38.   JohnnyC
Yeah, but his name is Coco. Ain't that cool? Was he named after the legendary fashion designer, Coco Chanel? Betcha he speaks French too. Oooh. Pinch me, I must be dreaming.
2006-01-23 07:51:21
39.   pistolpete
In response to:

"Wells is likely gone." - if Wells actually wanted to be there, you wouldn't be happy he's leaving. Wells settled for Boston because Cashman wouldn't return his phone calls. Now he's regretting it, and 'phoning' it in himself.

"Schilling can only be better." - personally, I think he traded his career (ankle) for that '04 title. His delivery will never be the same because he's always going to be gun-shy about pushing off on it. If the man was 34 or 35, I'd say he's got a few years to get things back on track.

"Wakefield is just coming into his prime. Knuckleballers mature at 40." - uh huh. Never mind that a lot of teams have figured him out.

"Papelbon, Clement, Beckett, and Arroyo are not exactly old." - No, but one guy was getting shelled in several relief appearances last season, one apparently only likes to perform in the 1st half, one has a history of nagging injuries, and one will soon revert to his Pittsburgh Pirate form soon enough. Why else is this guy only making $4 mil a year?

2006-01-23 08:04:23
40.   standuptriple
I don't understand why the Sox wouldn't just pocket Mota and deal Marte for Michaels. Have you seen David Bell in Philly? But hey, I'm no GM. Hell, toss in Mota too. At least they'd be getting an actual CF.
You are all forgetting that there is a fountain of youth in Boston, apparently. Age/injuries do not apply there. Nothing but happy days. The flip side is that even in a Yankee player has had a hang-nail it will hamper their performance considerably.
Call me crazy, but I think Mussina might actaully have a decent season. He wants that paycheck via the team option or FA. These guys know when it's time to bring the A-game. The same can be said for Wright. Those arm problems last year gave the Yanks an out on the last year of his 3 year deal.
2006-01-23 08:20:41
41.   debris

Regarding Wells, of course, we'd rather see him stay and who knows, if the options are retiring or coming back, we just might see him back.

Regarding Schilling, obviously, we'll find out. He had two problems last year. The ankle was the most obvious. The second was that he was forced by the ankle to blow off his rigorous winter conditioning regimen. He's been at it this winter, says he feels great, and we'll find out soon enough. As far as his being gun shy, not bloody likely.

Regarding Wakefield, I'll just ignore your silly comment. He's an above league average pitcher, eating plenty of innings, working for relative peanuts.

Regarding Papelbon. Absolutey. Shelled in a number of relief outings. Shelled to the tune of a 2.65 ERA.

Regarding Clement. Obviously, we don't know how his beaning will affect him in 2006, but I'll take a good half, a bad half, and 13 wins.

Regarding Beckett. I'll take his 15 wins, 3.38 ERA, 180 innings given the choice between his nagging injuries and the shoulders of Wang, Wright, and Pavano and the elbow of Mussina.

Regarding Arroyo. So what your saying is that after two decent years, he's going to suddenly revert to what he was in 2001? Please explain.

Also remember, all of these pitchers, except Beckett, were punished by a horrid infield defense, now vastly improved.

2006-01-23 08:33:53
42.   Start Spreading the News
For more on the Stadium funding, this Village Voice article goes into details about where the money comes from:,demause,70002,5.html

All in all, NY taxpayers will be shelling out at least $374 million for the Yanks.

2006-01-23 08:49:31
43.   jkay
Here are two good sources on recent trends in South Bronx a/k/a SoBro Real Estate.

1. NY Times article

Outsiders Tiptoe Into the South Bronx

2. on "SoBro"

Anyone brave enough to buy a home in this area should be well rewarded over the next 5-10 years.

2006-01-23 09:10:51
44.   Start Spreading the News
Another more recent article in the Village Voice about the Stadium deal:,demause,71747,5.html
2006-01-23 09:12:20
45.   Nick from Washington Heights
//Regarding Beckett. I'll take his 15 wins, 3.38 ERA, 180 innings given the choice between his nagging injuries and the shoulders of Wang, Wright, and Pavano and the elbow of Mussina.

Regarding Arroyo. So what your saying is that after two decent years, he's going to suddenly revert to what he was in 2001? Please explain.//

Glass always half full in your house, debris? Beckett's road numbers, away from the pitcher friendly Dolphins Stadium (you know the one that so hurt your new 3rd baseman's #s last year) has been trending in a bad direction the last three years. To the tune of a 4.20-4.30 ERA. Do you really think his ERA is going to be low 3's? Honestly. He's leaving the National League East and going to a division with the Yanks. He has to face DH's now. I imagine his ERA is more likely to be in the low 4's. Also, let's not forget that he's been on the DL 10 times since 2001. 10 times! 180 innings? Good luck.

Bronson Arroyo took a step back last year, and, while still a serviceable pitcher, is trending away from his nice 2004. His k-rate declined markedly. He made up for getting hit a lot more by pitching out of a lot of jams, something that usually does not occur from year to year. He's a nice 5th starter I guess. BUt he's definetely a 5th starter.

2006-01-23 09:37:25
46.   Simone
standuptriple, Mussina is rapidly declining due to age and Wright is a walking injury waiting to happen and not even the promise of a big contract can change those unfortunate facts. I think the Yankees' pitching for next season is simply a huge question mark.

About the new stadium and the South Bronx, I despise gentrification which simply pushes out low income hard working people, primarily minorities, further away from their jobs and affordable housing in order to cater to the middle class. If this starts to happen in the area around the new stadium, it is up to the city to makes sure that it gives the necessary tax incentives to encourage mixed income housing.

However, the reality is that the Yankees need a new stadium before bits start to fall off like Wrigley. Steinbrenner has come up with a scheme to use the revenue sharing money to pay for much of the stadium so the city needs to take this deal.

2006-01-23 09:43:11
47.   Zack
I stand corrected on the South Bronx issue, though I suppose its inevitable that EVEY part of NYC becomes gentrified at some point, there is only so much land, and those starving artists need some place to slink off to when their current place becomes too mainstream. Isn't it funny that its those NYU-artist types, which I, admittidly, am one, are the first to signal a gentirfication, and then are the first to get really cranky about it when the area begins to change and get more expensive? Oh well..

I still have trouble believing that it is the Yankees that will change the south bronx. It is either already happening and the new stadium will speed things up, or it is just a blip.

2006-01-23 09:51:49
48.   Zack
As for the Sox, the Yanks and Sox are in very similar positions, but with the edge, i think, in the Yanks direction. For every "great move" or "clear upgrade" on each team lies a question mark, which I suppose is true everywhere save St. Louis at first base.
-Schilling, Wake, Wells all have their age issues
-Moose, Johnson do as well

-Beckett has his heath issues
-So does Pavano

_Papelbon has age issues on the young side
-Wang does as well

-The bullpens off both teams have major question marks, whether it be age, effectivness, or being unproven. The lone stability being Mariano (and perhaps Timlin, though not so sure)

-The Sox lineup changes Damon, Renteria, Mueller, Millar/Olerud, Bellhorn/Graff, and Mirrabelli for Crisp, Loretta, Lowell, Gonzalez, Youk, Flaherty. Of that, Crisp, Lowell, Loretta, and Youk are question marks as for how they will perform, and we know how old John and Alex will do.
-The Yanks lineup has question marks at Cano, Giambi (how much does he produce this year), and Bernie

So as much as we want to predict and throw past performances out there, we know that the Sox have more question marks when it boils down to it, but have the advantage for the hitters of Fenway park, but the disadvantage of a heck of a lot more players coming from the National league: Loretta, Lowell, Gonzalez, Beckett, Tavarez...We know that that has been shown to make a major difference in performance...

That may have been totally pointless, but it was fun...

2006-01-23 09:53:02
49.   Zack
Oh damn I forgot about Wright (wishful thinking?) Throw him in there with Pavano, though I expect better things from Meat than Chaw...
2006-01-23 09:59:37
50.   debris

I can dream, can't I. No, I certainly don't expect a 3.38 from Beckett, though I do think he'll wind up slightly on the good side of 4.00.


And you can dream, too. To wit: Wakefield does not have age issues. He is a knuckleballer. Wells is not being counted on to even be on the roster. Mussina has age issues; he also has elbow issues.

Papelbon and Wang both have age issues. Wang has shoulder issues, Papelbon dos not.

I don't consider Crisp, off two good years, to be a question mark. I do consider both Lowell and Loretta questions marks. I also, quite frankly, don't consider Giambi or Cano to be question marks. Cano maybe, if you consider the sophomore slump. He's a terrific young player. I don't consider Bernie a question mark. He's toast.

How Damon will react to being out of Fenway makes him a question mark, to some degree.

Overall, both teams have question marks galore, but none so serious as the health issues surrounding each and every Yankee starter save Chacon.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-01-23 10:07:04
51.   Zack
The Crisp stuff is getting funny: For example, the globe as this as the deal:
January 23, 2006

"The Red Sox, according to a source with knowledge of the deal, have reached agreement in principle with the Indians on a complex six-player deal centered upon 26-year-old Coco Crisp that also will bring to town a quality setup man in 28-year-old David Riske and young catcher Josh Bard."

Well that would be a strange deal wouldn't it? The sox trade a reliever and get another one, and trade their backup catcher of the future to a team with a stud catcher. Not sure how the heck it makes any sense for the Indians, unless Marte is really that prized in their eyes...

And debris, you can dream/spin any way you like, but the rotation of Schilling, Beckett, Clement, Wakefield, Arroyo/Papelbon doesn't do anymore than the rotation of Johnson, Wang, Mussina, Chacon, Pavano/Wright/Small does for me. We shall see...

2006-01-23 10:12:17
52.   pistolpete
>>"Regarding Wakefield, I'll just ignore your silly comment."

Silly to the tune of 35 HRs given up last year? I stand by my argument - more and more teams have figured this guy out. Look at his stats against the Orioles, ChiSox and Texas Rangers - not to mention a 1-4 record against the Yankees.

Sure he eats up innings, but quality innings? That's highly debatable.

>>"Regarding Clement. Obviously, we don't know how his beaning will affect him in 2006, but I'll take a good half, a bad half, and 13 wins."

Oh that's definitely what you want on a pennant contender- a guy who tanks in the 2nd half.

>>"Regarding Beckett. I'll take his 15 wins, 3.38 ERA, 180 innings given the choice between his nagging injuries and the shoulders of Wang, Wright, and Pavano and the elbow of Mussina."

National league numbers for Beckett. Verdict is still out until he starts facing complete AL lineups. Besides, 2005 was the first season he cracked into double-digit victories.

Mussina has given his team (on average) 30 starts every year since 1995. You can forgive the guy for having an elbow problem once in a while, considering he's put up 224 career wins.

Verdict is also still out on Wang and Pavano, since there's no real history of injury with either until last season. Wright might have pitched well had he not been struck by ball after ball hit back from the box upon his return. What was it, 18 times in a row IIRC? ;-)

2006-01-23 10:22:34
53.   pistolpete
"How Damon will react to being out of Fenway makes him a question mark, to some degree"

So Damon never went on the road with the team? ;-)

2006-01-23 10:52:02
54.   Dimelo
ROBINSON CANO wins Rookie of the Year.
DAVID ORTIZ wins the MVP. voted by the Spanish Sportswriters.

Cano received 49 of 51 votes. Cano can still be referred to as the unanimous winner of the Spanish Rookie of the Year for the American League.

2006-01-23 11:09:10
55.   rilkefan
Re Wakefield - a lot of bad stuff happens with age, and not just to body parts that have been overused. He still has to stretch, and see, and field his position. And he still has to mix in 10% or whatever it is fastballs.
2006-01-23 11:44:05
56.   sabernar
I'm not fan of Wakefield, but his ERA+ from '03-'05 have been 115, 100, 106 - all average or above. Now, of course, he's a year older, so anything goes, but I wouldn't expect him to be much more then an average pitcher for '06. Oh yeah, his IP have been 202, 118, 225 those three years, too.
2006-01-23 11:46:02
57.   Murray
In his Baseball Prospectus article about the new Shea, Neil de Mause estimated that the implied subsidy the city and state are giving the Yankees is not Zimbalist's 21%, but more like 58%. Beware implied cost and net present values!
2006-01-23 13:59:13
58.   debris
True, Damon is not a question mark. He is just a slightly above average player whose abilities were masked by his home park.

As for Wakefield, his ERA is 2005 was 4.15. The league average was 4.29. His numbers were similar in 2003, not nearly as good in 2004. For a guy who works cheap, well, relatively, and eats over 200 innings every year, he's as valuable a pitcher as there is in the league.

In addition, Wakefield's numbers are artificially high. He will, 4-5 times a year, be left out to eat innings in a lost cause, and see his overall season numbers kicked up a quarter point or better.

If you look at knuckleballers in the past, the Niekros, Charley Hough, etc., you'll find that they were successful well into their 40s.

2006-01-23 14:12:35
59.   Dimelo
Ken Rosenthal doesn't have the rose colored glasses that Debris has, but that's what great about all this....

...everyone has the same record come opening day.

2006-01-23 14:24:52
60.   debris
Rosenthal sure misses an awful lot, but being a reporter rather than an analyst, that makes a lot of sense.

No, he doesn't have rose colored glasses. He has blinders.

Just for starters, he is apparently unaware that Johnny Damon loses 40 ops points when he leaves Fenway. What, then, is so foolproof about an offense that leads off with a .342 obp?

He talks about the possible holes in the Sox lineup, utterly forgetting that, except for 3b, they had the same holes last year. Hell, he doesn't even know who the first baseman is. He spells Youkilis S-N-O-W.

2006-01-23 15:10:52
61.   jdsarduy
Ken Rosenthal as been around for a long time and he is a senior writer.
He's not pro Yankee or Sox. He's looking at this from knowledgeable baseball point of view not from a fans point of view. He could be wrong but he does his homework and he's right more then he's wrong.
He's not talking about Damon; heck everybody loses 40 ops points when they leave Fenway. He's going on numbers and stats that don't lie. If Damon hits 285 with 12Hrs, that does improve the Yanks offense from last yr. Where Bernie and Wolmack just didn't hit much. Doesn't matter how games you win last yr it's how you look going into next yr.

The Yanks, Red Sox and Blue Jays have all made some good moves for next yr, it should be another fun dog fight

2006-01-23 15:19:06
62.   Zack
Wow, the Sox lineup is slow. Crisp is fast, though not exactly a basestealer, at about 15 or so a season. , Ortiz, Snow, and Lowell are slower than death, and Manny, Loretta, Nixon, and Varitek, and Gonzalez are not slow, but nor are they fast. The Sox haven't been a speed team in eons, and I know that SB's don't really mean anything, but speed does, in terms of scoring runs. The Yanks seem to be very split: on the other hand they have Damon, Jeter, A-Rod, Sheff, and Bernie who are fairly fast, and on the other, they have Matsui, Giambi, Cano, and Posada who are lumbering. Looks like the Sox will fill much more of a sabermetrics base to base type of offense, while the Yanks can look to get a lot more guys in scoring position early.
2006-01-23 15:19:49
63.   brockdc

Talk about blinders - you spin faster than Brian Boitano on crack. How is Damon a slightly above average player? You fail to put him in the context of other centerfielders. If you do that, he is top 10 in all of baseball (offensively).

2006-01-23 16:17:52
64.   debris
"Ken Rosenthal as been around for a long time and he is a senior writer."

There are a lot of senior baseball writers and a lot of them have been around for a long time. And Bert Blyleven is still not in the Hall of Fame, primarily because senior baseball writers are journalists, not students of the game. Ken Rosenthal, like Gammons, like Ringolsby, is much, much better at digging up dirt, spreading rumors, and the like than he is at analyzing the game.

There are much, much better places to get good in depth analysis than from journalists. Personally, I like Rob Neyer and the whole gang at Prospectus.

2006-01-23 16:25:10
65.   debris

Crisp is fast, but he apparently is not a good base-stealer, judging from his low percentages. Just read a good article on him from a Lowell, Mass. paper. Quite a pedigree. Both of his parents are Olympians, mother a sprinter, father a boxer. His sister is a competitive figure skater. He also has a fabulous work ethic.

Also found an article on Damon in We've always known that his bulb isn't particularly bright, but he's really showing this winter, his signing notwithstanding, what an ass he is. Here's hoping the NY press doesn't eat him alive. He'd better get off to a good start. I'm willing to bet the idiot routine doesn't play as well in NYC as it did in Beantown.

2006-01-23 16:35:04
66.   Nick from Washington Heights
Kind of grasping at straws there, Debris. Do you really think the Boston media is somehow more forgiving of idiocy?

I wonder how well Beckett's blister routine will play with the Fenway faithful. When he's sitting out 5 straight starts during the pennant race, I wonder if his cocky demeanor will go over well with CHB and Tony Mazz and co. Here's hoping the Boston press doesn't eat him alive.

2006-01-23 16:35:15
67.   sabernar
I know Win Shares aren't perfect, but Damon is 12th in OF as far as Win Share are concerned (he had 25 WS), and I think there is only one CF ahead of him (Edmonds). Crisp is tied for 25th with 21 Win Shares. Sizemore, Clark (MIL), Beltran, A Jones, Wilkerson, Griffey Jr are all between Damon and Crisp.
2006-01-23 16:37:15
68.   Simone
Rosenthal is right about the Red Sox have major questions on offense. Other than Ortiz and Manny, their offense is nothing special and they have the same question marks about their pitching as do the Yankees.

"you spin faster than Brian Boitano on crack."

LOL! So true, brockdc.

2006-01-23 16:44:57
69.   jdsarduy
Don't know how Ken Rosenthal votes on the hall of fame and I don't care.
I also haven't ask why he votes the way he does, maybe he has solid reasons for it.
Don't even know what that has to do with the article.
The senior baseball writers that have been around for a long time know probably more baseball then your average fan. When you look at his article he makes it make sense.
Whether he's right or wrong only time will tell.
When you look at the article Ken give us solid reasons what are the Yanks and Sox weakness and what will hurt them in 06. And if you know you're baseball then it makes sense.
Dismiss it means you're not looking at your team objectively.
2006-01-23 17:34:42
70.   yankz
Come on, debris. First you babble about the Red Sox, and then you post an enitre long URL? (See: 65)
2006-01-23 18:12:25
71.   Marcus
You gotta hand it to debris, whenever he starts posting, the comment count goes way up. I'm starting to think debris is really Alex's or Cliff's pseudonym to get us all riled up for entertainment.

Debris, seriously, half the things you say must be just to get us riled up. At least half. The other half the time you make a (perhaps) valid, yet completely unrelated point in an attempt to distract from the original point. It's entertaining, I'll hand you that, and you seem to be having fun, so cheers to that.

2006-01-24 01:52:06
72.   debris

You are absolutely right. Other than Ortiz and Manny, the Red Sox offense is nothing special. Last year, other than Manny it was nothing special either. And they led the league in runs scored.

And while it is nothing special this year, it is better than last year when they got nothing whatsoever from the right side of the diamond offensively, between the corpse of Kevin Millar, the corpse of Mark Bellhorn, and the bruised body of Trot Nixon. Hell, the got very little from the bruised body of Johnny Damon or the worn out body of Jason Varitek after August 1. Edgar Renteria underperformed and Buell Mueller was just fine for what he was.

Top to bottom, the lineup this year is better than it was last year, as long as they have the best 1-2 punch in the game at the heart. Ken Rosenthal points to the holes but doesn't take note of the fact that these holes were even bigger last year.

2006-01-24 01:54:38
73.   debris
And, again, if Rosenthal doesn't even know who is playing first base for this team, how can you expect an intelligent analysis of it from him?
2006-01-24 02:02:14
74.   debris

I'm not going to argue that the Sox don't have a thousand question marks. My point is that their roster looks stronger now than it did last year, particularly with the hoped for return to health of Foulke and Schilling, who can't possibly contribute less than they did last year. And the other additions to the pitching staff as well as the likely help from the farm.

What is a mystery to me is how the Sox led the league in runs scored last year with Manny and Ortiz in the middle surrounded by a collection of stiffs. Was this a mirage? My point here is that, while they may not have a bunch of studs throughout the rest of the order, it is a better collection than the one that scored 910 runs last year.

Is Loretta a stud? No, but he's better than Renteria.
Is Youkilis a stud? No, but he should be as good as Mueller.
Is Gonzalez a stud? No, but he's no Bellhorn.
Is Lowell a stud? No, and we have no idea what to expect from him, except that he can't possibly be worse than Millar.

2006-01-24 03:00:05
75.   jdsarduy

And if you read the article, again, which you haven't he mentions Snow and Youkillis.
From what the Red Sox have stated they'll both see time at 1st base.
As for his analysis goes if you know you're baseball then it makes sense.
And I know what comment 71. Marcus is saying has to be true

2006-01-24 03:00:12
76.   jdsarduy

And if you read the article, again, which you haven't he mentions Snow and Youkillis.
From what the Red Sox have stated they'll both see time at 1st base.
As for his analysis goes if you know you're baseball then it makes sense.
And I know what comment 71. Marcus is saying has to be true

2006-01-24 08:02:04
77.   sam2175
Actually debris, you will quickly find out that Gonzalez is worse than Bellhorn. He hit 23 HRs in 2004, and had an OPS+ of 79, because his OBP was .270. That is Womackian. Scratch that, his OBP (.290 career) is worse than Womack (.316 career OBP). Bellhorn was underappreciated, and although he has outlived his utility, good luck with the offensive black hole that is Alex I-will-swing-at-anything Gonzalez. Add to that the every fifth day appearance of John Flaherty. And Red Sox will be well advised to try and trade Trot Nixon.

Last year, Boston scored the most runs because they led the league in OBP and SLG. Much of the x-factor there came from Jason Varitek. And he is primed for a decline. The Red Sox this year will comfortably have a lower OBP than last year. For all the grief Kevin Millar gets (for a reason, I add), he was league average offensive player with an OBP of .355. Between the declines from Nixon, Varitek, complete inefficiency of Gonzalez, and the question mark of Lowell, Youkilis and whoever plays CF needs to have close to a 900 OPS to compensate for that. Not very likely.

2006-01-25 08:37:53
78.   pistolpete
"He is just a slightly above average player whose abilities were masked by his home park."

Ok, so I'm on Damon's player page on, looking at the 3-year splits for Damon between home and away, and I'm not seeing a huge difference in ANY category, save for batting average (40 point difference).

He's actually got more triples, HR's, RBI and more stolen bases on the road...

What exactly is being 'masked' by his home park? Just curious...

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