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Tuesday's Game
2006-03-07 22:50
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yankees evened their spring record yesterday by shutting out the grieving Twins 5-0.

Lineup:

Kevin Thompson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Hideki Matsui DH
Jorge Posada C
Andy Phillips 1B
Melky Cabrera RF
Russ Johnson 3B
Felix Escalona SS
Chris Prieto LF

Subs: Eric Duncan 1B, Ramiro Pena SS, Kevin Howard 3B, Omir Santos C, Mitch Jones DH

Pitchers: Shawn Chacon, Sean Henn, Mariano Rivera, Kyle Farnsworth, Ron Villone, Matt Smith

Big Hits: A two-run, two-out, first-inning homer by Jorge Posada (2 for 3) off Brad Radke, doubles by Matsui (2 for 3, his third two-bagger of the spring, Matsui made his first out of the spring today) and Kevin Howard (1 for 2).

Who Pitched Well: Everybody. Aggregate line: 9 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K. Chacon went three innings giving up a triple to Torii Hunter, a single and striking out two. Mariano Rivera needed just six pitches to get three outs in his spring debut and still managed to ring up a strikeout.

Ouchies: As expected Giambi (calf) and Sheffield (hamstring) did not play. Sheffield took batting practice and said he could have played. Giambi didn't take BP, but stretched with the team and worked out in the weight room. Both are day-to-day. Bubba Crosby (finger) will take BP today and is hoping to return to action by Friday. Russ Johnson left the game early due to a back problem.

WBC: Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez--batting first, second and fourth respectively--all went 1 for 3 for the US. Damon's hit was a triple. Jeter made a throwing error. Bernie Williams went 2 for 3 from the leadoff spot for Puerto Rico by doubling then driving in the winning run with a single.

Comments (53)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-03-07 23:45:15
1.   tom yf
Go Bernie!
2006-03-08 05:07:14
2.   murphy
everyone needs to go read olney's bit on the new bonds book today. freakin hi-LARious.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=olney_buster&id=2358746

2006-03-08 05:14:40
3.   Simone
Yay, Bernie. Did ESPN even show that game?
2006-03-08 05:19:15
4.   Knuckles
Quantrill almost let Canada lose to South Africa last night, turning a 3-0 lead into a 4-3 deficit rather quickly...
2006-03-08 05:43:07
5.   The Mick 536
Bernie looked thin and young. I don't have HD-TV. Wishful thinking, eh.

Rooting for Cuba. Fidel could accept the trophy.

Happy to hear about the Jank pitching. Quite a worry.

2006-03-08 06:18:06
6.   rbj
I saw part of the game. When Damon was legging out the triple two thoughts crossed my mind:
1) save that for the regular season.
2) don't pull a hammy. don't pull a hammy.

It was a good game. The Latin fans are very much into these games.

2006-03-08 07:16:33
7.   Felix Heredia
How is it that today's post does not have to do with Bonds? And yesterday's glossed over it for Cliff's books?

Talk about 'the elephant in the room' . . . .

2006-03-08 07:46:24
8.   Murray
Bonds isn't a Yankee. Why can't people who want to talk about that go to the Griddle or something.

ESPN did show the game, but it was at 4pm.

2006-03-08 08:55:24
9.   Rob Gee
Anyone think Thompson and Duncan could make the team in place of Bubba and Andy?

Their numbers have been better but I don't see it happening. Maybe the first call-ups in May if Bubba and Andy struggle with the little playing they'll get?

The problem for Duncan is that he'll see much more PT in AAA than the Bronx...but if given the chance the breakthrough could come at any time and warrant serious PT.

What about Matt Smith over Villone or Myers? Again, I don't see it, but maybe in May?

2006-03-08 08:59:48
10.   Rob Gee
BTW: Robby's got 3 walks in 6 games versus 1 SO.

It's the little signs of life that make Spring so much fun!

2006-03-08 09:26:12
11.   Cliff Corcoran
Rob 9, take a deep breath on Duncan. He's 21 and hit .235/.326/.408 in double-A last year. Not only is he not ready yet, he's not even on the 40-man roster.

As for Thompson and Smith, they should have legitimate shots at cracking the roster, but probably won't. Bubba, despite his lack of playing time, appears to be one of Torre's guys and will likely get a Mulligan for his finger injury. Smith, meanwhile, is squeezed out by the fact that Myers and Villone have million-dollar contracts. I doubt Torre would add a third lefty if Pavano or Sturtze lands on the DL. More likely he'll take Scott Erickson, who has struck out five men in three innings and hasn't allowed an earned run. Awful.

If I were the Yankee manager, Crosby would have to beat out Thompson and Reese for his job and Smith would have a legitimate shot of bumping Villone (Smith started four games in Trenton last year, so he can be the long lefty, while Myers is a more reliable LOOGY, which is actually important in 19 games aganist David Ortiz). I've liked what I've seen of Smith in his two ninth innings. I'd like to see him pitch earlier in a game so he could face some actual major leaguers.

Duncan, however, is here just for the experience.

2006-03-08 09:58:56
12.   Marcus
The LoHud Yankee blog says that someone was messing with Duncan's swing at Trenton last year, and that was partially the reason for his low numbers. Hopefully that's true, and his AFL numbers were closer to what he can actually produce (more likely the high end of his potential).

I'd love to see Thompson on the roster to allow Sheffield more time at DH. I have a feeling Sheff's not going to look pretty out in RF this year. But I think you're right Cliff, Torre and the rest probably have different ideas on roster construction. It seemed last year everyone kept making the comparison to the 1966 (I think?) Yanks team that "all got old at once". HOpefully that doesn't happen this year...

2006-03-08 10:08:04
13.   Cliff Corcoran
Using anyone (Thompson, Reese, Crosby) to get Sheff more DH at-bats is a bad idea. None of them can produce the way Andy Phillips can if given the chance. Of course, if Bernie is Torre's everyday DH, it wouldn't hurt nearly as much, as Sheffield's production (based on past splits) would likely spike at DH and Bernie doesn't have much more to offer than Reese at this point.
2006-03-08 10:38:14
14.   Rob Gee
Cliffy 11-

I wasn't trying to say Duncan, Thompson, or Smith should make the team. I was just asking if they could. But of course the former was latent in there.

I'm not sure how I feel. I do agree with your assessment of Thompson and Smith. They should be given every opportunity, but history says Bubba and Villone (and indeed Erickson) more likely have the slots locked down. Hopefully we see them before we see any mid-season trades.

As for Duncan, I'm not really sure there either. On the one hand, I agree, why rush things (esp. given the AA numbers)? On the other, what does it really mean to be ready (and what do those AFL numbers mean)? Could Jeter have stepped in for Fernandez at the beginning of 1995 (his age 21)? Could he have been ruined? Could he have made the difference against Seattle if he had the whole season to adjust?

In answering those questions, I think I lean to saying: If he's going to be better than Phillips THIS year, then he should get a legitimate shot at making the team. Last year, few of us would have thought that Cano would stick given his half year at AAA in 2004 (.259 .316 .403 .719) and even his 2005 Spring. But he did. I'm not sure if the same could work for Duncan, but I'm also not one for saving a dollar when you have something good to spend it on.

2006-03-08 10:52:38
15.   Cliff Corcoran
14 You're right to point out that I wiffed completely on Cano. That said, your Jeter example doesn't fly. At age 20, Jeter did this in triple-A Columbus: .349/.441/.492. Granted that was in half a season, but he then hit .317/.396/.422 at Columbus at age 21. That's ready. Duncan is not that. Phillips is more than ready (don't make me quote his AAA stats again).

Also, while I had to eat crow over Cano, he at least had a half-season at Columbus under his belt coming into 2005. Duncan has never seen triple-A. And as for the AFL, it's a competitive league for top prospects, but it's also very hitter-friendly. His AFL stats are a great sign, but they should also be taken with a large grain of salt.

As for could vs. should. Should? Maybe. Could? No.

2006-03-08 11:11:38
16.   Rob Gee
15 Okay, fair enough. I wasn't calling you out on Cano though (I wasn't aware of BB then) - more just an observation of general perception and reading the numbers, and how they relate to our judgements.

You didn't answer this though: Could Jeter have been the starter in 95? What was the risk of ruining him? What was the benefit of having him starting at SS in the ALDS? That's what I was trying to get at - what does it mean for a prospect to be ready? The numbers suggest that he was there in 1995 and maybe 1994. Given how close the ALDS was in 1995, the few extra hits from Jeter relative to Fernandez (he had 5 in 21 AB's) could be a difference maker. Maybe Duncan isn't there yet, but after a half-season at AAA this year (.300, .375, .450) would you want to see him in June?

At least we can agree that the team damn well should be testing these things before making any trades for bullpen or bench help. But you know me and my view of Cashman's NEW and IMPROVED regime - the same old OPP is what I expect (hello Scott Ercikson! You're the next contestant...)

2006-03-08 11:45:18
17.   Marcus
Cliff, I agree that having Phillips at DH and Sheff in RF (along with the assumed rest of the lineup) is more productive than Thompson/Reese/especially Crosby in RF and Sheff at DH. However, we can speculate (with good reason) that Phillips isn't going to be the regular DH. Bernie is. Not only that, Torre has already said Bernie will be spelling Sheff in RF fairly often this season. Now that's a bad idea.

Of course, there's a snow ball's chance in hell that Thompson or Reese will get a chance to spell Sheff anyway (a better chance for Crosby), so this is just pointless speculation by me, and I realize that. I just think Sheff is so utterly suited for DH at this point, that it would be great to have a more suitable RF.

All in all, I think the most realistic best case scenario is that Phillips is the regular DH over Bernie, and the best overall talent of Thompson/Reese/Crosby gets the 5th outfield spot. I'm too susceptible to small sample size to make the decision about who is best out of those three, so I'll leave that out there.

Not to open another can of worms, but what about Kevin Howard over Miguel Cairo? Yeah right, I know. Just throwing that out there...

2006-03-08 11:49:42
18.   Cliff Corcoran
I do know your view of Cashman, Rob, you wanted him to trade Duncan less than a month ago. Now, after 12 spring plate appearances, you have him on the 25-man roster by June.

Rob, the questions you raise in 16 are based on speculation. I try not to speculate. I prefer to make judgements based on facts. Ducan could hit .300/.375/.450 in Columbus, but what if Andy Phillips hits .260/.340/.480 in the majors like I predict he will if given a starting job? I wouldn't swap Duncan out for Phillips based on those two lines, but that's all speculation. It's meaningless. What if Duncan hits .450/.700/1.123 in Columbus but Andy Phillips develops the ability to blind opposing pitchers by shooting lazers out of his eyes? It's pointless. As would be anything I might have to say about Jeter in '95, a year in which the Yankees lost in the playoffs because their pitching couldn't hold a lead in Game 5.

2006-03-08 11:54:45
19.   Cliff Corcoran
Marcus 17, Howard is another guy who hasn't seen AAA, but should be a legitimate back-up infield candidate as soon as next spring. Meanwhile, assuming his back is okay, I'll take Russ Johnson over Miguel Cairo every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Escalona should be allowed to challenge Cairo for the FIF (futility infielder) job this spring.
2006-03-08 12:09:27
20.   joejoejoe
Nice piece in the NYDN by John Harper with Mattingly commenting on Kirby Puckett:

"I just know how much fun he was to be around. He was the one who started calling me Donnie Baseball. Then it was just Baseball. He'd yell across the batting cage, 'How you doing, Baseball?'"

'How you doing, Baseball?' - Is there anything cooler than that?

2006-03-08 12:29:51
21.   wsporter
Rob, this is just a thought but it seems to me that there are two aspects that encompass the concept of "being ready". One aspect is physical and the other is mental and emotional. There is probably a consensus among the Yankee brass that Jeter may indeed have been physically ready in 1995 and that consensus may have existed in 1995. However at the time nobody really understood the kind of personality and mental acumen that Jeter brought with him. I get the sense he was probably mentally and emotionally able to handle the Bigs at the age of 8. He was probably physically ready at the age of 18 (other than a serious glove problem at the time). Remember the Yankees are a conservative organization. They just don't do 18 year olds at the big league level anymore. If you asked them about it now however and got an honest answer the smart money would probably say that their answer would reveal that Jeter could have handled it.

Duncan is another story. He hasn't hit with enough consistency at any level yet and he's learning a new position. (he wasn't exactly engendering Nettles comparisons at third base anyway). So I don't think he is ready from a physical stand point. They could bring him up and he would probably not succeed. They shouldn't force him to fail that way. Let him learn and get lots of ab's at Columbus. Why rush him? I know you're not advocating they do that but what would the point be?

Give Phillips a chance; you are really going to like this kid (sorry Cliff). Thompson has been very impressive. I think he may be earning first call up status among position players. He made a really sweet play yesterday, diving full out for a ball in the gap. He showed a nice jump on the ball and great body control. I don't think that guy is going to embarrass anyone he plays for and I hope he plays for us

2006-03-08 12:35:41
22.   Rob Gee
Whoa, Cliffman. I didn't want CASH-man to trade Duncan. I thought he would, esp. if the need arises for a catcher at some point this season. And there the argument was: Better to have a decent apprentice C (and spelling Jorge) now than a Kelly (or OPP alternative) then. My mind hasn't changed one bit on that front. Duncan for Salty I do in a heartbeat cause a legit C is so much more valuable than a starting 1B in 2008. The other possibles (McCann, Martin, Shoppach) could work but it's unclear if you'd get or lose value. Such is the risk you take when you have no other options in your farm.

Now speculation is what you shovel all the time. So don't go knocking it or you may be out of a job. Fact is, Jeter could have been the starting SS in 1995. The numbers were coming along and Fernanadez was the starter. But that was a chance the Yanks don't take - EVER. Now hindsight is a biatch but here I was asking for foresight. Duncan is clearly better in the long run than your stiffy named Andy. If he has a better Spring, I don't see why he shouldn't make the club. Fact is, he won't esp. since he's more likely to hurt his trade value.

Most of us would have traded Cano for Pierre in a heartbeat last off-season. This off-season - no way.

See, the stats are helpful and all but sometimes you just have to let the kids play. For all of Jeter's and Mo's and Jorge's minor league numbers, little said that two would wind up as HOF's and the other would have if they played him earlier. Who's to say what we've got with Duncan, but if he plays better than Andy, the job should be his. Unless there's a apprentice cather out there...

2006-03-08 12:48:07
23.   Rob Gee
wsport -

You know I'm agreeing with you more and more these days. I have no illusion about Duncan making the club - he won't. But Andy should have to prove his mettle - there should be a competition for his spot (Bubba too). Every MLB (not minors) opportunity he's gotten he's failed miserably. And if he doesn't mash this Spring - how long do you give him? Let's see him earn the position (again with more than minor numbers).

Now, if Andy fails, what's the back-up for his spot. Right now, in the organization, there's only one - Eric Duncan. Could, should, or would, that's the only option after Andy (unless you like OPP - hello Ruben as 1B? Yup the Twins are trying it.)

2006-03-08 13:52:49
24.   Cliff Corcoran
Rob 22 I wouldn't trade Cotton Eye Joe for Juan Pierre last year or any time, he's headed for a Womackian downfall, mark my words. And that, as well as a great deal else of what I do here, is not speculation, nor is it second-guessing, it's first guessing and prediction. That often takes the form of open advice to the team, but it's never "what if." I do, however, reserve the right to say "I told you so" if my first-guess/prediction pans out as I said it would have.

As is evidenced by wsporter's apology to me in 21, I'm not only aware of Andy Phillips' age, I make a point of making all of you aware of it as well. I'm keenly aware that his future is limited, while Duncan's could very well be spectacular. But you're not talking about the next decade of Yankee baseball, you're talking about 2006, and in 2006 Andy Phillips is a masher shy of his 30th birthday (you're as bad as Torre if you think he's had a fair shot at the major league level and are willing to disregard two full seasons of crushing triple-A pitching because of 48 extremely scattered major league at-bats . . . do you remember how bad Cano was last May? And he didn't have half Phillips' track record) and Eric Duncan is a 21-year-old kid who hasn't proven he can hit double-A pitching, much less anything above that, regardless of how good you may think he looks this spring. Making him prove himself in Columbus this year is hardly holding him back.

Most of all, and I kick myself for not thinking of this myself, wsporter seals the deal by pointing out that Duncan is learning a new position. He played third for most of last year. The Indians, a progressive organization with a good track record of establishing home grown talent, have crap at first base and a guy named Ryan Garko who crushed triple-A pitching over a full season last year, but he's a converted catcher still learning first base, so he's probably going to start the year back in Buffalo because of the position switch. Duncan is not Garko yet and he's blocked by the defending AL OBP champ, not Ben Broussard.

That the Yankees have Duncan in camp and are moving him to a less valuable position according to what they have with the major league club proves that he's a player they hope to keep and establish as a Yankee. But then is not now.

2006-03-08 14:49:54
25.   Rob Gee
Cliff -

I don't think there's all that much to disagree with. The Yanks should give Andy a shot, no doubt. But when does that experiment end? 100 AB's? 300?

Let's play the prediction game: If history is a guide, Andy won't get those AB's until May/June (i.e., Bernie DH's till he fails and Andy won't get PT until then). Then the Yanks are going to be very quick to pull the plug. That was the difference maker with Cano - he started strong (count June too - May was only 83 AB's), then the league adjusted and he slumped (August). And the difference there was RC was the only option for starting 2B. Andy's a back-up though he shouldn't be. But that, and Torre needing to play, means there's no chance Andy gets more than 3 or 4 starts in a week when his turn comes, even after the GOB reappears. He'll need to make a very quick impression or it's over. Question is: After that, what's next?

See I think Andy could be a solid ML'er - just not for us. I think he needs consistent PT to get going. With us he won't get it. Sure, I hope he sticks - I'm just not going to hold my breath. That's not because of his ability - it will be the Yanks inability to give him a decent chance. Shoot, they've had three years - what's changed? The NEW and IMPROVED Cash-man administration? Torre sure hasn't.

I'll ask again, what comes after the Andy option. For you, that may be speculation and for me it's prediction - let us see what June brings.

2006-03-08 14:50:32
26.   tocho
guys, I know nobody cares in this site about the WBC but Canada is beating the US by the score of 8-0 in the 5th inning.

this is both shocking and embarassing for the US, even if it is the WBC, it is an international event.

I am Mexican and this score would screw a little bit our chances. We would have to beat South Africa and then Canada. If the US beats South Africa, there would be a three-way tie, I don't know who would win then.

the croud is booing the US very hard....

2006-03-08 15:05:23
27.   murphy
i just got back from my local diner for a bite to eat. they had the ball game on. it's funny, even though i sat there and bitched out the entire WBC and selig to all the other guys in the place, i couldn't keep my eyes off the game. as a non-cable-haver, i will take every chance i can get to see "professional" baseball on TV. as much as i didn't want to enjoy myself, i was pleased as punch just to watch ANY ballgame - let alone a game tied up a by a HBP with the bases loaded on a full count with two outs at the bottom of the ninth.
2006-03-08 15:11:41
28.   Rob Gee
What's shocking is D. Willis got shelled. After that, I'm surprised they let Leiter go out to the mound with all the prong marks.
2006-03-08 15:29:35
29.   tocho
its 8-6 now after a GS by Varitek.

these games have been very good. the venezulea-DR yesterday was great and then the PR-Panama was a very good pitching duel.

today Cuba put on quite a show and now this game is very exciting.

why are people against it?

2006-03-08 15:37:14
30.   tocho
watching these games you can tell that the players are playing with heart, its not like an exhibition game. they do care. After the Varitek GS everybody on the dogout came out jumping up and down.

BTW, the US flag on the uniform is not placed correctly.

2006-03-08 16:00:58
31.   tocho
still 8-6, top of the 9th. the US was very close to turning it around with a 3-run HR by Utley, but fell short and Adam Stern made a great catch (move over Coco).
2006-03-08 16:07:07
32.   tocho
bottom of the 9th. coming up. a-rod is the 3rd. to bat
2006-03-08 16:09:34
33.   Rob Gee
tocho -

It's interesting but I don't care cause... it's not real baseball!

Evidence:
a) Removing your starting pitcher after three shutout innings
b) Worrying about guys getting too MANY at-bats
c) Guys playing out of position just so you can field a team
d) bringing in closers in the 6th inning

And the list goes on. If this was in November, right after the World Series, I'd be really into it. I'd even fly to the Dominican Republic or Panama or Japan to watch it - that would be sweet. But this nonsense if any thing makes me more mad about what could have been than what is.

Just imagine: 6 games over 7 days. Location changes every three years (Latin American, East Asia, US, Europe). More players play. Better competition. No restrictions on playing time. I just can't see how this wouldn't work.

2006-03-08 16:17:46
34.   tocho
it is done.

Canada beat the US at baseball. what happens next?

2006-03-08 16:24:59
35.   Rob Gee
Correction:

Canada beat the US in exhibition baseball.

A game in which:
a) Al Leiter pitched
b) Chipper Jones started ahead of A-Rod
c) Varitek was lifted after a grand slam (for Brian Schneider)
d) Matt Holiday started over Johnny Damon
e) etc.

You're telling me, that if Venezuela beats the Domincans in the final the fact that Vlad and Manny didn't play is not important?

The whole damn thing is ridiculous. The US team losing in the Olympics with mostly NBA All-stars is significant. This is anything but.

2006-03-08 16:27:20
36.   Rob Gee
My god, tocho, if you're representative of the average international fan, this thing will stick exactly as it is - ugh.

Typical Selig too - Why make it great when it can be just good enough (to turn a profit)?

2006-03-08 16:31:26
37.   tocho
you have good evidence Rob and I agree that this would be better if they were playing in November, BUT, there is no denying that these games have been very exciting.

the dominicans and the venezuelans were at it. so were the cubans and the puerto ricans, and i can tell you the players from the US were not happy at all today, and the canadians were ecstatic.

2006-03-08 16:35:08
38.   rbj
Shame U.S.
We damn well better not see Leiter in pinstripes anymore.
2006-03-08 16:44:11
39.   Rob Gee
You know, I don't doubt that the games are exciting (at least better than other pre-season stuff). These guys live for competition and they're playing with guys they would only see in an All-star game.

That said, it sucks cause it could have been so much better. Imagine even still the Sox get beat in the playoffs but Ortiz and Manny lead the Domincans to a win against the US in a November WBC at a stadium in Santo Domingo. For them, that's consolation and the lasting memory of the season. You want to create more international fans - that's the way to do it. This other thing pales in comparison.

I can only hope that this first time through will be improved upon. However, with Selig my expectations are oh so much lower. I mean to call it an international competition and have all the major games played in the US? What is that? Send the teams to one locale and call it a vacation - get the kids in Panama to see Jeter flip to Lee up close and in person or Vlad hitting against Willis or Mo coming in to save a 6-5 game to go to the finals. Now those are moments. Hudson Street pitching in the 6th (and Mo not playing) ruins it for me.

2006-03-08 16:48:49
40.   tocho
OK, Leiter didn't even pitch a complete inning, he sucks as he normally does but the US lineup was very good.

Rob, I know that this is not "real" baseball and that there are very strange rules in this tournament, but it is still the US v. Canada, I mean even a AAA US team should beat the best in Canada. This is a shocker, I was rooting for the US (Jeter, A-rod) but they were beaten by good Canadian pitching (I didn't know that such a thing existed).

I don't think I am an average international fan. I watch almost every game the Yankees play, I read sites like this one every day and try to learn about the new tendencies and analysis of this sport (which I also played like most of you guys in little league in Mexico) and I attended many many games at the Stadium while living in NYC during some of the golden days ('99 to '02).

I know the difference btw "real" baseball and this tournament, but I also know that athletes go at a different level when representing their country (even at bogus a tournament like the WBC), I mean you should have seen the atmosphere during ALL the game yesterday when the DR played Venezuela, it was like game 7 of the WS and today you could see the fire in the eyes of the canadians and the americans.

nevertheless, I can't wait for opening day...

2006-03-08 17:13:10
41.   Cliff Corcoran
I have to agree with the bulk of the commenters here. The WBC has exceeded my expectations, it's far more interesting than I ever would have thought, even despite Rob Gee's valid criticisms (Panama would have won today if they had Mo).

As for the Phillips/Duncan conversation. Rob, your assessment in 25 about the opportunity that will be likely be afforded to Phillips is nothing different from what I've said before. I just continue to be perplexed as to how Phillips not getting at-bats leads to a desire to promote Duncan. If there are no ABs to be had, why get excited about who won't get them. Better to have Phillips, who's past his due date anyway, continue to languish than screw up Duncan's development. If your point is that Phillips will never become a productive hitter if he's jerked around by Torre, you may be right, but how would putting Duncan in that situation be any better? It just seems you're trying to force Duncan into a conversation in which he doesn't belong based on 12 PAs in spring training. If Duncan tears up the International League we can talk, but until then, let's drop it.

2006-03-08 17:19:03
42.   Simone
The WBC simple rocks! The Venezuela/DR game had the best fans I have ever seen outside of the World Series. Todays' Cuba/Panama game was crazy and absolutely thrilling. That Cuban kid is a joy to watch. Let's hope he defects. Yeah, Panama needed Mo today. I felt a bit bad about that, but hey, they still can make it out of the bracket if they win their next game.

As for the U.S./Canada game, what the hell was that? The line up didn't help either. Screw exhibition. I want to win.

2006-03-08 17:21:16
43.   Simone
More outrage: Buck Martinez better start managing better. I don't ever want to be embarassed like that again.
2006-03-08 17:29:48
44.   Rob Gee
Whoa again Clifford. I'm not trying to force Duncan any where, my good man.

All I'm saying is:

a) There should be a competition for Andy's spot (Bubba too).
b) Andy won't be given a real shot (which I think we agree on).
c) What comes next?

Duncan only enters the discussion if:

a) You agree that with (a) above.
b) You find yourself asking the same question as (c) above.

Why should the name 'Duncan' now enter into it?

BECAUSE there's no other 1B in the organization that can play on the ML level (besides of course Mr. HGHiambi). Unless you want to put Cairo there, esp. when Giambi tweaks his hammy?

That said, I can easily see Duncan making a big splash in 50 AB's in June (he's much more capable of it than Andy) and sticking as a DH for the rest of the season.

But this truly is a discussion for June and not now. I'm sorry for even asking the question 9.

2006-03-08 17:31:28
45.   Rob Gee
My god, Simone, you too!? We really will be seeing this WBC in exactly this form twenty years from now. I bet Leiter will be the LOOGY then too.
2006-03-08 17:35:55
46.   Rob Gee
And Simone - Buck has no choice. He can't play the guys for full games and definitely not 18 innings over two days. He can't send his pitchers out after 60 pitches. He can't play his starting catcher after he hits a grnad slam. He can't prevent a 'tie' if it goes 15 innings. My god, I need to play in traffic...
2006-03-08 17:39:32
47.   Simone
Rob Gee, I confess to being sucked in completely by the WBC. LOL! I want desperately to win.
2006-03-08 17:48:55
48.   tocho
Rob, what the big deal, would you prefer watching spring training games (tonight's for example, the Yanks v. a ss pirates, the starters have already been pulled and we have AAA pitching going on, Michael Kay calling Duncan, Phillips all game). is the WBC disrespectful of the game, probably, but do i care, not really.

like I said, I would have preferred another format, timing and rules, but as long as they are playing professional baseball and the players are going at it like it counts, I'm watching.

Rob, just watch a game and let us know your feelings.

2006-03-08 18:04:42
49.   Cliff Corcoran
Rob 44, I disagree with a) and do not ask c), I also cannot emphasize enough how much I disagree with your comparison of Duncan and Phillips' current capabilities.
2006-03-08 21:13:15
50.   wsporter
Rob, you might be right that "Duncan" is one of the few in the organization who can play 1b at the ML level. However I think you have the wrong Duncan. Shelly's your man right now.

Phillips can and will play 1b and (do I sound like a broken record yet) you'll like the way he does it.

You're right we're agreeing a lot lately. Where's the fun in that. I'll try harder.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-03-08 21:44:23
51.   wsporter
Rob BTW re:23, Phillips will be 29 in April, he's had exactly 48 ML ab's. That hardly constitutes an "opportunity" as far as I'm concerned. The only "miserable" failure that I have been able to discern in connection with Phillips is the Yankees' organizational failure to cultivate and exploit his talent at the major league level. How many go rounds with a tiresome list of lead footed demi-sluggers and not so nimble infield lightweights have we gone through at the expense of this guys career? While that was going on all he did was beat the crap out of the ball and catch everything that was hit anywhere near him in the minor leagues.

As I see it there is a certain attractive equity in the notion of his having already earned a spot that is his to lose. I suppose it comports with my odd sense of justice. You know, a guy soldiers on quietly for years, keeps his trap shut and then gets a break at a time when he really is to old to be called a kid. If that kid (um, sorry Cliff) is given a little extra consideration you're not going to hear me squawk about it. Besides my own kid thinks he's cool, so I have to root for him.

2006-03-09 05:25:43
52.   Rob Gee
wsport -

I agree with everything you say. I really do. I'm pulling for him but I really do worry about what happens if...

a) He doesn't get a shot
b) He doesn't produce in said shot

The Spring is the time to evaluate what you have and haven't. If there's no competition at that roster spot, we really don't have a back-up plan, do we?

I'm just hoping he smacks the ball good in his next 50 AB's or he won't be seing many more. I guess the good sign is there's no Tino. The bad sign is there's no fall back either. A CASH-man risk to be sure and hopefully one to combat Torretrusteditis. But this year Andy really can't have four SO in a game...hopefully he causes me to shut my trap.

2006-03-09 07:17:46
53.   wsporter
Rob, He had another good day yesterday so here's hoping. You're right about the back up plan. I guess $190 million or what ever it is just doesn't buy what it used to.

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