Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Los Angeles de Los Angeles de Anaheim
2006-04-07 10:05
by Cliff Corcoran

In my preview of last year's ALDS I wrote about how, for all the praise he receives as a manager, Mike Scioscia does a terrible job of filling out his lineup card. That didn't change during the offseason. Adam Kennedy has a .349 on-base percentage over the past four seasons but remains buried in the ninth spot while Orlando Cabrera, who has never had an on-base percentage that high in any of his major league seasons and carries a .315 career mark, bats second yet again. Darin Erstad, who hasn't had an OPS over .746 since 2000 continues to not only play every day, but bat in the middle of the line-up.

At least Scioscia has shifted Erstad back to centerfield, opening first base for Casey Kotchman, a huge upgrade that should have been made last year. Scioscia could similarly improve his lineup by starting Robb Quinlan at third and using the multi-talented Chone Figgins to force Erstad or Cabrera out of the lineup. Unfortunately misplaced loyalty in the case of Erstad and misplaced cash in the case of Cabrera have kept Figgins boxed in at third and Quinlan riding pine. Most startlingly, Scioscia has abandoned the complex platoon he employed last year that pulled the lefty Finley in favor of Quinlan against southpaws. The Angels have faced lefty starters in two of their three games thus far this season and Quinlan has yet to start, while the left-handed Erstad has started all three games.

The good news for Angels fans is that there offense is on the verge of a major rebirth. To the 30-year-old Vladimir Guerrero, the 28-year-old Figgins and the 23-year-old Kotchman, the Angels will soon add a full infield of prospects in 22-year-old first baseman/DH Kendry Moralis, 22-year-old second baseman Howie Kendrick, 21-year-old shortstop Brandon Wood, 25-year-old third baseman Dallas McPherson, and 23-year-old catcher Jeff Mathis, the last of whom is already on the 25-man roster and should be starting ahead of Jose Molina (yet another misallocation of resources by Scioscia).

The question is, should those eight men indeed coalesce into a dominating offense, will the Angels be able to maintain the pitching required to complete another Championship ballclub. If not, it will be a bitter irony as, for now, it's the Angels' pitching that makes them contenders. John Lackey experienced a breakout last year and could be even better this year. Twenty-three-year-old Ervin Santana will spend his first full season as a member of the rotation and could establish himself as a front-of-the-rotation future star. Kelvim Escobar salvaged an injury-shortened 2005 by returning from the DL as a dominating middle reliever. This year he returns to the rotation, where he was the Angels ace in 2004. Then there's that guy who erroneously won the AL Cy Young last year.

Meanwhile, the Big Three in the Angels' bullpen may just be the best in baseball, but Brendan Donnelly's pixie dust appears to be wearing off and there's considerable concern that Francisco Rodriguez could be headed for a big fall unless he agrees to correct his ugly mechanics. His increased wildness last year (4.28 BB/9 up from 3.54 the year before) is a warning sign that the 24-year-old closer would be wise to heed his coaches. As his comment in this year's Baseball Prospectus annual says, "Rodriguez's mechanics have eroded to the point that it's now a matter of when he will suffer a catastrophic arm injury, not if." Yikes.

Roster below the fold along with a note on Koyie Hill.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

2005 Record: 95-67 (.586)
2005 Pythagorean Record: 93-69 (.574)

Manager: Mike Scioscia
General Manager: Bill Stoneman

Home Ballpark (2005 Park Factors): Angel Stadium (96/96)

Who's Replacing Whom?

  • Casey Kotchman replaces Steve Finely in the lineup and Darin Erstad at first base, Erstad replaces Finley in center field, and Edgardo Alfonzo replaces Kotchman on the bench
  • Jeff Mathis replaces Bengie Molina
  • Tim Salmon replaces Jeff DaVanon
  • Jeff Weaver replaces Paul Byrd
  • Kelvim Escobar and to a lesser degree Ervin Santana take over Jarrod Washburn's starts, while J.C. Romero takes over Escobar's relief innings
  • Hector Carrasco replaces Kevin Gregg (minors)

Current Roster

1B – Casey Kotchman (L)
2B – Adam Kennedy (L)
SS – Orlando Cabrera (R)
3B – Chone Figgins (S)
C – Jose Molina (R)
RF – Vladimir Guerrero (R)
CF – Darin Erstad (L)
LF – Garret Anderson (L)
DH – Juan Rivera (R)


R – Tim Salmon (OF)
R – Edgardo Alfonzo (IF)
R – Robb Quinlan (IF)
S – Maicer Izturis (IF)
R – Jeff Mathis (C)


R – Bartolo Colon
R – John Lackey
R – Jeff Weaver
R – Kelvim Escobar
R – Ervin Santana


R – Francisco Rodriguez
R – Scot Shields
R - Brendan Donnelly
L – J.C. Romero
R – Hector Carrasco
R – Esteban Yan

Typical Lineup

S – Chone Figgins (3B)
R – Orlando Cabrera (SS)
R – Vladimir Guerrero (RF)
L – Garret Anderson (LF)
R – Juan Rivera (DH)
L – Darin Erstad (CF)
L – Casey Kotchman (1B)
R – Jose Molina (C)
L – Adam Kennedy (2B)


The Yankees have claimed failed catching prospect Koyie Hill off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Hill will replace Wil Nieves on the 25-man roster, though exactly what will happen to Nieves reamains to be seen. In the meantime, to clear room on the 40-man roster (which implies that Nieves is sticking around), Jorge DePaula has been outrighted to Columbus (which is curious because I saw him listed on a preliminary Trenton Thunder roster just a couple of days ago).

Removing DePaula from the roster is a no-brainer, but replacing Nieves with Hill barely seems worth the effort. Hill is a year and a half younger than Nieves, but doesn't represent much of an upgrade at the plate, if any. Hill's career minor league line, a large part of which was assembled in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, is .281/.348/.399 while Nieves's, which also includes several season in the PCL, is .294/.322/.420. Nieves has been more consistant, hitting for averages in the .290 to .300 range year in and year out, but refusing to take ball four under any circumstances. Hill has shown more variance, with averages occassionally dipping down below .250 and walk rates that are all over the map. The only thing consistant about Hill's batting record is an almost complete lack of power, though even that failed to hold true when he slugged .471 with Las Vegas in 2004 (note that Las Vegas is also where Bubba Crosby had his one good season at the plate in 2003).

Ultimately, I see little difference between these two players. Hill is a hair younger and can switch hit. That combined with his former prospect status could mean that his ceiling is a bit higher, but he, like Nieves, has yet to even get off the floor (Hill failed to beat out Chris Snyder for the D-back's starting catcher job in spring training 2005 and was DFAed barely a year later--speaking of which, with Hill and Stinnett, the Yankees now have the same second and third-string catchers as last year's Diamondbacks, this doesn't feel like a good thing).

All of that said, we'll find out if all of this third catcher nonensense has any purpose tomorrow when Joe Torre start's Stinnett behind the plate in anticipation of starting Posada in Sunday's day-game-after-night-game. If Posada isn't the DH tomorrow night, then either man is just a wasted roster spot and the Yankees should quit this charade and promote a player who has a Phillipsian chance of getting into a game. Wait . . . never mind.

Comments (197)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-04-07 14:06:51
1.   Simone
I'm tortured and I mean, tortured by these late games so early in the season. I resent the hell out of MLB for this schedule.
2006-04-07 15:24:45
2.   fgasparini
Cliff, or anyone, the Koyie Hill/WIl Nieves thing made me wonder about minor league roster size and management--if say Jaret Wright blows up and Sean Henn is promoted to replace him, does Columbus then call up someone from Trenton, Trenton from Tampa, etc? Is it possible for teams at the lowest levels to end up short of players due to promotions, or do they carry large rosters to guard against this?

Similarly, if the Yankees traded Miguel Cairo for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, and Bubba Crosby got sent down to make room on the big-league club, does Columbus send somebody down, etc etc?

2006-04-07 18:45:06
3.   BklynBomber
Anyone having trouble with GameDay Audio at
2006-04-07 18:47:04
4.   Levy2020
1 I forget where, but Cashman said he preferred to start the season with a West Coast swing. They start by finishing the preseason in Arizona then hit California. That way they don't get jetlagged going west.

If it's good for the team (which it. . . mostly has been? I guess? I mean it's a Joe Torre bullpen move and a Derek Jeter error from a sweep, no? Counterfactuals. . . :=:) then it's fine by me.

2006-04-07 19:11:09
5.   wsporter
3 What I'm having trouble with is having to watch the Angels Feed on MLB. ARGH. Audio is fine there I just keep the volume down.
2006-04-07 19:20:35
6.   randym77
Agree, Simone. At least it's Friday. But it was a lousy beginning to the season for Yanks fans. And next week, there's three 1pm games. Jeez, doesn't anyone in Kansas City go to work?

NBC's Mike Celizac wrote a column called about opening day called "Great day, unless you wanted to see the Yankees":

Though I suppose we should count our blessings. At least it's not at 5 Japan.

2006-04-07 19:29:29
7.   scareduck
3 - Gameday Audio got rid of RealAudio this year; all they support is MS.
2006-04-07 19:32:32
8.   BklynBomber
5 At least you have that ;-) My Extra Innings package on Comcast has the Yanks-Halos "joined in progress" after ChiSox vs KC — which, of course is a slow-paced slugfest (10-7 KC bottom 7)... and Game Day Audio seems to be down.
2006-04-07 19:32:36
9.   Stormer Sports
Hello 2005!
2006-04-07 19:34:12
10.   Marcus
Chacon 2006 BABIP = 1.000
2006-04-07 19:34:24
11.   Zack
Well so much for Chacon getting off to a good start...ugh...

The Angels feed is rediculous. Not only are the announcers awful, but they are missing things left and right by keeping graphics up too long. I think it is really a thing, but still...

2006-04-07 19:34:58
12.   BklynBomber
7 duck, are you serious? They just re-newed my subscription (without asking, by the way). I'm on a Mac, and I thought something looked funny about the player. Nice. Thanks for the heads up, I appreciate it...
2006-04-07 19:37:14
13.   Zack
that was a nice, easy but yet long ass toss by Jetes there
2006-04-07 19:38:04
14.   Stormer Sports

Nope, they are that bad. I'm watching in LA. Rex Hudler makes Kaye look like Jack Buck.

2006-04-07 19:39:07
15.   wsporter
10 Very funny Marcus, very funny.
2006-04-07 19:40:31
16.   atc
I realize we never get Cabrera out but do the hits really need to be homers?
2006-04-07 19:53:21
17.   randym77
Well, that was a sweet DP. Chacon's brilliant pitching, obviously. ;)
2006-04-07 19:57:48
18.   Stormer Sports
Chacon is fine. Wang was fine. Mooose was great.

If we can scrape more than 4 runs out on the days we don't score 10+, play some defense, we might win some games this year.

These Yankees have a way of making every pitcher look like Sandy Koufax.

2006-04-07 19:58:51
19.   Rob Gee
12 BB -

How do you know they renewed it? My Gameday Audio is working and I was wondering if they did that.

Nothing to do even if they did - gotta love monopolies.

2006-04-07 20:00:14
20.   Stormer Sports
Hitting and running, bunting and stealing wouldn't hurt either. However I suppose Joe just wants to bash the ball again this yearand hand the ball to Myers ans Proctor so when we do face solid pitching, we blow.

Holy God!!!!!! Joe had nothing to do witrh that, I'm sure.

2006-04-07 20:04:02
21.   singledd
Who is the (MLB) announcer that was a SS, and a Yankee for 7 years? Anyone know?
2006-04-07 20:05:10
22.   Stormer Sports
I don't like the corners in here.
2006-04-07 20:05:34
23.   randym77
Torre said he told the team to play smallball. They did in the first game. And won.
2006-04-07 20:06:13
24.   BklynBomber
19 They informed me by email. I don't recall ever opting for an auto-renew with them, not that I wouldn't do it anyway, but still...

scareduck 7 is correct. They dropped Real Player and switched to Windows Media Player this year — which does not work on the latest versions of Mac OS X. I don't who I'm more pissed at.

KC held on to beat Chicago, Extra Innings just now switched over the Yanks, bottom 3rd...

I'm not having too much fun so far this season ;-(

2006-04-07 20:08:28
25.   wsporter
19 I got an Email from those clowns telling me they were going to renew mlb tv. I'm interested to see if they did it for the entire season or on a month to month basis.
2006-04-07 20:10:06
26.   Stormer Sports

They will do it all year. They even renewed me last year for the post-season without informing me. You have to actually call them to cancel.

2006-04-07 20:11:08
27.   Stormer Sports
Is Mike Socsia going to get all pissy and threaten some more 75 year olds. Sit down you fat bastard.
2006-04-07 20:11:17
28.   Zack
Bklyn, Seamus let me know of this two days ago, so I will pass on his good word. Download flip4mac, it converts wmv to quicktime, works great...
2006-04-07 20:11:32
29.   wsporter
This is maddening they won't show a replay or the argument on the Angel's MLB feed.
2006-04-07 20:11:49
30.   Stormer Sports
Now steal the damn bag!
2006-04-07 20:12:49
31.   Zack
yeah, the angels feed is all sorts of messed up. For some reason this stupid "new" media player is way worse than last year. Rather than just giving us the feed, they are trying to get more involved and it has only screwed things up more...
2006-04-07 20:14:55
32.   Zack
ugh our offense has been so lame the last three games. More of the same from last year. Not moving runners along by at least hitting balls in the right place, lame pop ups etc...
2006-04-07 20:15:25
33.   Stormer Sports
At least Jorge swung.
2006-04-07 20:16:22
34.   Stormer Sports

Look at the bright side. No errors yet.

2006-04-07 20:24:54
35.   BklynBomber
28 Thanks, Zack. I actually have that installed and it works wonders, but has no effect on Game Day's live feed. I just emailed support, we'll see what happens. Thanks again!
2006-04-07 20:27:10
36.   Rob Gee
Just caught Goldman and Kahrl on TV. Is Christina a he? Or somewhere in between?

These are the things I need to know.

2006-04-07 20:28:47
37.   BklynBomber
Sweet pitch!
2006-04-07 20:30:44
38.   Stormer Sports
Now we just need some runs. Come on guys! I refuse to watch this crap all year like I did last year. I'll tune the Dodgers in. At least they have an excuse to suck.
2006-04-07 20:31:12
39.   weeping for brunnhilde
First pitch.

Three runs down, swing at the first pitch, why don't you?

2006-04-07 20:32:11
40.   wsporter
Great Pitch. Just froze his ass. He clearly doesn't have his best stuff but he's keeping them in it. Can't give up any more. Everything I read said Escobar was looking really good this year. He is.
2006-04-07 20:32:13
41.   Stormer Sports

When I had issues I just called them. It took less time than waiting for the convoluted email you're likely to get.

2006-04-07 20:32:50
42.   Rob Gee
Answered my own question:

Short answer: Yup.
Unanswered question: Is she a pitcher or catcher?

2006-04-07 20:33:23
43.   Stormer Sports
They are certainly trying to give us a chance to score. Run Bernie Run.
2006-04-07 20:34:27
44.   Stormer Sports
Jiohnny D!
2006-04-07 20:34:39
45.   weeping for brunnhilde
That was sweet.
2006-04-07 20:35:00
46.   wsporter
That's the MF'n sauce.
2006-04-07 20:35:11
47.   Stormer Sports
That's what I'm Talking about!


2006-04-07 20:36:19
48.   Stormer Sports
It is nice to see DJ off to a good start though. I'm very happy about that.
2006-04-07 20:37:08
49.   wsporter
You just knew Jeter would hit it behind the runner.
2006-04-07 20:37:18
50.   BklynBomber
41 Storm — I was on hold for over an hour earlier tonight (left the cordless phone on speaker until the battery died). Last year, they were great. You could get someone within minutes and stuff got solved. I dunno...
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-04-07 20:37:36
51.   Stormer Sports

MLB.TV . . . you cannot just choose Windows Media or Real like last year?

Sheff oh Sheff, we need that bat.

2006-04-07 20:37:45
52.   Zack
and we strand another runner...
2006-04-07 20:38:12
53.   Stormer Sports

Maybe they outsourced it. I would not be surprised.

2006-04-07 20:39:14
54.   Stormer Sports

I would just get the TV package. When you look at the difference in cost, it's not that bad.

2006-04-07 20:39:17
55.   Zack
I bet its because of all of their stupid offseason moves: the windows media and new player. Hopefully they will get the hint

Also, is it just me or does Damon's swing look so weird and that it shouldn't generate any power?

2006-04-07 20:40:22
56.   BklynBomber
51 Storm — not sure about, but for Game Day Audio (according to their tech support page) Windows Media Player is the only game in town...
2006-04-07 20:42:27
57.   BklynBomber
54 I have the 'Extra Innings' package on Comcast Digital, which is cool. I just subscribe to Game Day Audio for the handful of games not aired on the package, or if I'm on the road, etc.
2006-04-07 20:43:13
58.   wsporter
56 Yeah MLB.TV gave a choice last year. This year no.
2006-04-07 20:44:16
59.   Stormer Sports

Ok you're more serious than I am. I hate that I miss those few games.

I know Sirius and XM have MLB games. I wonder if that works well, but it must I suppose.

Christ! Why does 4 runs seem like 14 this early in the season?

2006-04-07 20:44:54
60.   Stormer Sports

That sucks. It really worked well last year and the tech support was more than adequate.

2006-04-07 20:45:13
61.   randym77
Dang Figgins. He always does it to us.
2006-04-07 20:45:49
62.   Stormer Sports
Joe Torre,

Do you see the pressure the threat to hit and run, steal and bunt have on the opposing team? Do you really?

2006-04-07 20:46:52
63.   Stormer Sports
Proctor! Oh man, this is alomost too good to be true for Torre haters.
2006-04-07 20:49:55
64.   Stormer Sports
That was sweet. Thank you Chacon! That's how you pitch M F'er.
2006-04-07 20:51:16
65.   BklynBomber
59 For me, it's a sin to miss an inning of Yankee baseball! ;-)

And you're right, this seems like a mountain to climb already. If Juan R. cleans the bases, we're in deep sh*t!

2006-04-07 20:52:40
66.   Stormer Sports
God Damn IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jete!
2006-04-07 20:53:37
67.   wsporter
Hell of a play by Jeter, saved us a run.
2006-04-07 20:53:56
68.   Stormer Sports
Even with that play. It looks like Jete is the only guy who started this season wanting to play and ready to win.
2006-04-07 20:54:04
69.   BklynBomber
Damn. While that could have been worse, worse just seems to delayed for one more at bat.
2006-04-07 20:55:14
70.   randym77
He did well to get that ball, even if he didn't get the out. Could have been a lot worse.

Well, that's it for Chacon.

Oh, great. Now they're wondering if Jeter's injured.

2006-04-07 20:55:21
71.   Stormer Sports

Tell me about. I looked forward to this for so long and was hoping against all hope that we would come out like gangbusters.

2006-04-07 20:56:40
72.   Stormer Sports
Proctor! Joe please, I mean seriously, come on. There has absolutely got to be someone at Columbus or AA that could be given a shot over this clown show.
2006-04-07 20:56:52
73.   randym77
Damon is making himself useful tonight.
2006-04-07 20:58:14
74.   wsporter
Yeah, He was talking to himself and grimacing. Couldn't tell if he thought he got the out or was hurt. These Angels boys don't seem to have anything.
2006-04-07 20:58:19
75.   Stormer Sports
Useful Indeed.
2006-04-07 20:58:47
76.   marc
well, at least that pitching change worked out so far. That may have turned into disaster last year.
2006-04-07 20:59:49
77.   Stormer Sports
Incredible. Come o! One day ok, two ugg, but three . . . ridiculous!

Do they want to get booed at home to open the year?

2006-04-07 21:02:54
78.   BklynBomber
Same here, Storm 71 — I was looking for this team to start with 'bad intensions' ala vintage Iron Mike Tyson. One night of that, then snap! back to reality. Everyone's is talkin' the talk, but you can count the guys on one hand who seem halfway interested so far. The f'n Mutts are off to the start I thought we'd have. They're playing with intensity and there's a vibe on that club we just don't have.
2006-04-07 21:02:59
79.   Stormer Sports
Why not use Giambi as the lead off man and move everyone else up one spot?
2006-04-07 21:04:34
80.   Stormer Sports

I mean I hate to say it, but if this continues into May, Joe will have to go. It could get worse as a result, but how much worse?

2006-04-07 21:05:44
81.   randym77
Giambi is slow as molasses in winter.
2006-04-07 21:06:19
82.   wsporter
79 Didn't those lineup optimizing programs point to Giambi batting leadoff. Any word on Jeter?
2006-04-07 21:08:03
83.   rilkefan
82 - think that was good in the simulation, yes - but they don't I think address 81's point.
2006-04-07 21:08:44
84.   randym77
Jeter appeared to walk it off. He was stretching and walking around for awhile, but he stayed in the game.

Of course, he'd stay in even if he were hurt.

2006-04-07 21:09:56
85.   wsporter
Why insult molasses that way?
2006-04-07 21:13:00
86.   BklynBomber
Baserunners. Can I have a few baserunners, please?
2006-04-07 21:15:45
87.   randym77
LOL! Nah, Giambi's not an insult to molasses. That would be Posada. ;)

But yes, baserunners, please! Even if they're slow, I'll take 'em!

2006-04-07 21:15:51
88.   BklynBomber
Nice. Robbie fouled off balls 2 and 3, then whiffed on ball 4.
2006-04-07 21:16:09
89.   Stormer Sports
Hell guys. I'd take molasses with a .440 OBP. Nothing else seems to be working.
2006-04-07 21:17:09
90.   Stormer Sports
8 runs in three days. Then we score 15 tomorrow and in September can say we scored the most runs in the division.
2006-04-07 21:17:27
91.   BklynBomber
So how 'bout them Deeetroit Tigers? 15 HRs already!

Hey! A baserunner!

2006-04-07 21:17:44
92.   randym77
Well, we have a base-walker. Good enough!
2006-04-07 21:19:03
93.   BklynBomber
92 I stand corrected. A base-walker. My bad ;-)
2006-04-07 21:20:24
94.   Stormer Sports

So is Detroit this year's Chicago? I love the Yankees don't get me wrong! However I spent all of last summer in Chicago and I'll tell you, that was a fun team to watch. They played baseball, it was a trip. I had the Yankees on and the Sox on the tube.

2006-04-07 21:20:52
95.   randym77
We have two! C'mon, Jete. I'll take anything. Just keep it going!
2006-04-07 21:22:12
96.   Stormer Sports

Obviously neither one of us is married. Well, if you are, then hold on to that woman and don't let go, if you aren't missing any games. Sweet Jesus!

2006-04-07 21:22:21
97.   marc
If they can pull this sucker out now it would be a great win
2006-04-07 21:23:12
98.   Stormer Sports
Come on Jete!
2006-04-07 21:24:13
99.   Stormer Sports
Thanks Ump.
2006-04-07 21:25:12
100.   Knuckles
' vibe' doesn't mean shit if you can't score runs. and you will never convince me the angel pen isn't on roids.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-04-07 21:25:13
101.   Stormer Sports
Yikes! Please please please Sheff Sheff Sheff!!!!
2006-04-07 21:25:13
102.   randym77
Three walks. And Sheff at the plate.
2006-04-07 21:26:48
103.   unpopster
Shef really looks over-anxious so far in the early goings of the season!
2006-04-07 21:26:53
104.   Stormer Sports

They are not on roids, they cheat in other ways. Donnelly for sure. The vaseline man.

You don't think Scocia knows every cheat in the book. The man threatened Frank Robinson. He's a rolly polly piece of garbage.

2006-04-07 21:27:15
105.   Stormer Sports
Sheff is going to work a strikeout from a walk. Way to go.
2006-04-07 21:27:39
106.   yankz
I just keep reminding myself...they started off slowly in '98...
2006-04-07 21:27:49
107.   Stormer Sports
Fuck you Sheffield!
2006-04-07 21:28:10
108.   Stormer Sports
Kiss that option good bye!
2006-04-07 21:28:12
109.   unpopster
2006-04-07 21:28:27
110.   Stormer Sports
Shields threw not one strike in that AB!
2006-04-07 21:28:31
111.   yankz
Of course.
2006-04-07 21:29:14
112.   Stormer Sports
Junk him. No option! No No No! I'd rather see a minor leaguer out there next year!
2006-04-07 21:29:51
113.   Stormer Sports
That was unforgiveable following two straight losses.
2006-04-07 21:29:55
114.   BklynBomber
I'm speachless...
2006-04-07 21:30:17
115.   yankz
And to think I benched Escobar (fantasy) expecting him to have a tough time against the Yankee lineup.
2006-04-07 21:31:21
116.   Stormer Sports

What made you think any pitcher would have a tough time against the Yankees all but 1 in 4 days?

2006-04-07 21:32:06
117.   Stormer Sports
Dotel and Small cannot make this offense any better.
2006-04-07 21:32:15
118.   unpopster
If Shef burns it down the line, he maybe makes the play close. If called safe, then a run score with Arod coming up as the tying run!
2006-04-07 21:32:42
119.   Stormer Sports
2006-04-07 21:33:02
120.   mikeplugh
This sucks. The Yankees look like the same spotty, streaky, mess they were last year.

Plus they suck to watch.

2006-04-07 21:33:02
121.   wsporter
2006-04-07 21:33:20
122.   BklynBomber
If it's not already, one or two runs here and this one is over...
2006-04-07 21:33:41
123.   Stormer Sports

I watched him in LA when I moved here. This is exactly the crap he pulled when he wanted more money or a trade when he was here.

2006-04-07 21:33:42
124.   yankz
116 Too true. I've learned my lesson.
2006-04-07 21:34:02
125.   Stormer Sports

It's already over.

2006-04-07 21:34:44
126.   Daniel Zappala
You guys are hilarious. Angel pitchers are on steroids or cheating. This is what a good bullpen looks like, and is the result of a great system and a fantastic pitching coach.

Relax, it's one game and the Angels are a good team. You can still beat up on the Orioles and Devil Rays.

2006-04-07 21:36:10
127.   chris in c-bus
it's loogy time..
2006-04-07 21:36:20
128.   yankz
I know it's early in the season, and last year it took the Yanks a while to find that groove or whatever Torre calls it, but 120 sounds exactly right. They make dumb mistakes against a good team (A's) and the billion run offense goes cold against a team they should beat (Angels).
2006-04-07 21:36:46
129.   mikeplugh

Relax? It's only one game? In a vaccuum you're right, but it's not one game. The Yankees have looked like shit for 3 straight games.

2006-04-07 21:37:42
130.   Stormer Sports

The way we beat up on them last year?

2006-04-07 21:37:46
131.   wsporter
2 outs LOOGY to face Anderson. Yes.
2006-04-07 21:38:50
132.   Stormer Sports

120 is right on. I notice no difference. Well other that starting with no pitching, instead of waiting for the injuries.

2006-04-07 21:39:18
133.   tqmalachi
I'll say this: they're already in post-season form.
2006-04-07 21:39:37
134.   marc
wow he's only 2/18 against Myers. This might actually work
2006-04-07 21:39:47
135.   mikeplugh
Let's get something going NOW!!!
2006-04-07 21:41:42
136.   marc
relief looks like a definite upgrade over last year so far.
2006-04-07 21:42:00
137.   chris in c-bus
Anderson hit .330 against lefties last year...shows you the power of the loogy
2006-04-07 21:42:04
138.   Knuckles
actually daniel. when an entire bullpen explodes out of nowhere in one season without any history to back it up and continues to have the most appearances in the league for years on end except for the guys who 'mysteriously' lose their stuf, people will be suspicious.
2006-04-07 21:43:30
139.   BklynBomber
125 I'm not bailing yet, but my 'chute is right here. Sorry, knuckles 100 but that 'vibe' is an energized bench where every last man is pumped up, and is the polar opposite of what I'm looking at right now. Everyone is waiting for someone else to make something happen, like a 5-run homer or something. This squad is spiritless. What kind of kick in the ass do you think we need?
2006-04-07 21:43:30
140.   Daniel Zappala
129 Any three games any team can look bad. And they're playing two of the best teams in the AL, on the road.

128 It's time to accept the fact the Angels are not necessarily a team the Yankees should beat. They have great pitching, and a decent offense. The Yankees should have a great offense, and decent pitching. I give the edge to the Angels. They also have great young talent nearly ready to fill in should anyone go down.

2006-04-07 21:46:13
141.   mikeplugh
Hello 1-3.
2006-04-07 21:47:33
142.   wsporter
That was way too easy.
2006-04-07 21:48:44
143.   mikeplugh

You can pussyfoot around the fact that the "Yankees aren't necessarily supposed to beat" good teams like the A's and Angels, but you have to compete. You have to be in the game.

If we were in 1-1 pitching duels or a couple of see saw affairs with these clubs, you'd say the Yankees were in it but came up a little short. These games show the Yankees play in spurts and then fizzle out. They are competetive one inning at a time and then they go flat.

2006-04-07 21:50:17
144.   Stormer Sports

No youth = No exuberance

No exuberance = No spirit

Hell I'd take one Karim Garcia and one Chad Curtis right now.

2006-04-07 21:51:10
145.   randym77
Nice play by Jeter, but they still think he's injured.
2006-04-07 21:51:44
146.   Stormer Sports

By May it will be time to work some trades, eat some salary and bring in some guys who give a fuck.

2006-04-07 21:52:37
147.   marc
the game result looks like it's going to suck but to take the half-full outlook I like the non-Mo bullpen this year. If it's a pattern this could be a big year despite this poor beginning.
2006-04-07 21:52:51
148.   wsporter
Mike it's 3 games, not even 2% of the season. Yeah we've looked like crap. I'm sure we'll be able to point to another couple of three game periods when we'll look like crap again. Personally I'd like something of a broader sample before I'm ready to bury the season as a whole.
2006-04-07 21:53:07
149.   Daniel Zappala
OK, so how bad are the Yankees? You think they will win the division but lose in the first round? Or finish in third? How far from the ledge are you?
2006-04-07 21:53:11
150.   yankz
What was that crap we heard in the offseason? Something about a team that was more relaxed and motivated this year?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-04-07 21:55:14
151.   Stormer Sports

148. I agree with you completely. However, I'm not writing off the season, just waiting to see something I haven't seen the last 170 games!

It isn't obvious to you that the guys on the bench couldn't care less?

2006-04-07 21:55:25
152.   randym77
Pitching was okay. Defense was decent. No dopey errors, anyway. They just can't score, despite all the big bats in the lineup.
2006-04-07 21:56:08
153.   Stormer Sports

To be exact, we are the third best team in the division.

2006-04-07 21:57:21
154.   Stormer Sports
And this will show it. We have a fastball lineup, but won't hit F-Rod's now will we?
2006-04-07 21:58:45
155.   Daniel Zappala
Well, the Angels lost 2 of 3 to Seattle of all teams, and I still expect them to win their division.
2006-04-07 21:58:46
156.   marc
calm down people. It's friggen April when these old men don't usually do well and they're stuck on the West Coast against 2 solid teams with good pitching.
2006-04-07 21:58:48
157.   Mattpat11
I do take a certain amount of satisfaction in predicting the exact ammount of runs that we would score in the 2, 3 and 4th games Monday Night.
2006-04-07 21:59:17
158.   wsporter
151 I can't see the guys on the bench, I'm watching the f'n Angels feed where I'm treated to a constant parade of pictures of that fat, donut eating slob Scocia faking signals and picking his ample nose.
2006-04-07 21:59:28
159.   mikeplugh
That was horseshit.
2006-04-07 22:00:51
160.   Mattpat11
It just baffles me that they could start a season so unmotivated. I can almost understand lapses in May, June, and July, but how can they flat on April fucking 7th?
2006-04-07 22:01:13
161.   Stormer Sports
Ok Daniel. I'm sure you think we are overracting and admittedly we will probably compete for a playoff spot. But with this team, the good pitching and complete lack of "get em on get em over get em in" will prevent us from advancing again. It's really very simple, good pitching beats good hitting, playoff pitching tends to be pretty good, and when you hit .250 WRISP, cannot steal or bunt and play shotty defense, you will lose.
2006-04-07 22:02:13
162.   Simone
This is the 4th game of the season and some of you are already conceding the division? Who the hell panics after the 4th game of the season. What are you mini-George Steinbrennerss? Seriously, get a grip.
2006-04-07 22:04:19
163.   mikeplugh
wsporter and Daniel...

I think we'll win the division and I think we have as good a chance as anyone to win the whole thing. Don't try to paint me as having written anything off.

I simply think that watching this brand of baseball sucks. The streaky crap that the Yankees put us through last season is not fun to follow. I hated last season. I was satisfied with the result in the regular season obviously, but you knew all along that the Yankees were not the best team out there and yet they pay $200 million for this team.

For $200 million dollars you don't expect you club to open the year 1-3 and look non-competetive in doing so.

This team will score 15 runs in one game and total 8 over the next 3. That's how it was last year and that's how it is so far. It's not writing off the whole season and the sample is not 4 games. It's about 180 games including last year, the playoffs, and this season to date. Same team, same results, same flat product on the field at $200 mill.

2006-04-07 22:04:26
164.   wsporter
158 Which is apparently what passes for genius now days. God that sucked. I know it won't last but when your in it, it seems like forever.
2006-04-07 22:04:45
165.   Stormer Sports

Did you watch the game? They suck right now, plain and simple. 4th game or 144th game, they still blow.

2006-04-07 22:05:29
166.   Mattpat11
162 This team has the exact same problems that last year's team has. Nothing has changed. That's extremely discouraging.

And can someone explain how a team can possibly be flat on April 7?

2006-04-07 22:07:29
167.   mikeplugh

That's how I feel too. Not that the season is a disaster or whatever, but that it's really discouraging to see this kind of baseball.

2006-04-07 22:07:30
168.   Stormer Sports
I agree with you guys for the most part. The worst aspect of this is that the games aren't even fun to watch, and I'm sure that will rub off on YES viewers and Ticket sales during the year if these games continue 2 years in a row. That will raise George's eybrows, and Joe will be back on the golf course.

Why do you think Mazzilli came back?

2006-04-07 22:07:47
169.   Stormer Sports
I agree with you guys for the most part. The worst aspect of this is that the games aren't even fun to watch, and I'm sure that will rub off on YES viewers and Ticket sales during the year if these games continue 2 years in a row. That will raise George's eybrows, and Joe will be back on the golf course.

Why do you think Mazzilli came back?

2006-04-07 22:09:27
170.   wsporter
163 I'm sorry Mike I don't see a 180 game trend here. I guess you missed a team that got hot last June and played pretty good ball down the strtch to comeback on the Sawx and take the division. Relax man it's April 7/8.
2006-04-07 22:10:15
171.   marc
I suspect Torre will mention the good bullpen work on the postgame and if so he'll be right. To make a lot more out of this loss would be wrong. This wasn't the World Series. I know, at this rate we might not see the WS.
2006-04-07 22:10:31
172.   Stormer Sports
And to be even more clear Daniel. This team should lose three games in row no more than once or twice the entire year, much less the first week. That's a big deal no matter how you slice it.
2006-04-07 22:12:08
173.   Mattpat11
I think the most frustrating thing is that, much like 2005, no one seems to have any plan. Everyone just goes up there and does whatever. Either in the quickest manner possible or the most furstrating (taking fat pitches to take a pitch)
2006-04-07 22:14:01
174.   randym77
YES describes what happened tonight as a "power outage." The heart of the order really struggled tonight.
2006-04-07 22:18:09
175.   Mattpat11
Live by the homer, die by it, I suppose. Is it that fucking hard for someone to hit a double?
2006-04-07 22:20:21
176.   randym77
Joe admits the team is flat.

He thinks they're trying too hard.

2006-04-07 22:21:39
177.   Mattpat11
2006-04-07 22:21:42
178.   mikeplugh

There is a 180 game trend. I don't have the stats, but I believe the Yankees have a split of some kind that shows their record in games where they score 5 or more runs, versus 4 or less. It doesn't work in their favor.

When they get multiple home runs they look great and everyone pats them on the back. When they don't it's a crapshoot.

2006-04-07 22:23:54
179.   randym77
177 They want it too badly. Or so Joe says.

And yup, he praised the amazing job the bullpen did.

2006-04-07 22:29:29
180.   Mattpat11
What does that even mean? Just hit the GD ball.
2006-04-07 22:37:12
181.   mikeplugh
Here's the trend over 171 games including the Division Series last year. (Note: I'm missing one regular season game from last year, and I don't feel like counting again.)

Games where the Yanks score 5 or more (76-17)

Games where the Yanks score 4 or less (21-57)

There's your trend.

2006-04-07 22:38:31
182.   Stormer Sports

and the trend continues!

2006-04-07 22:39:28
183.   mikeplugh
This year the trend is in best evidence.

All 4 games fit the mold.

15-2 = Yanks win
Score less than 5, 3 losses.

Those numbers are included in the above post.

2006-04-07 22:40:15
184.   Stormer Sports

I'll tell you what I want badly.

Mazzilli as the manager, or Girardi, or some or any slug who will bunt, and hit and run, and squeeze, and baseball for christ's sake.

2006-04-07 23:30:19
185.   Zack
Joe already seems to have an alarming propensity for pitching Myers...
2006-04-08 00:06:11
186.   brockdc
Why is the current product on the field so surprising to some of you guys? In what ways, specifically, is this team markedly different from last year's (other than the fact that they're all slightly older)? There's still the same exact questions with this team as there was with the 2005 squad (questionable starting pitching, poor defense, inconsistent hitting WRISP). There's no magic pill here, boys.

And that this team COSTS 200 mil doesn't make it WORTH 200 mil. This roster, top-to-bottom pales in comparison to Cleaveland's, Oakland's, or even Anaheim's - all of which have been assembled at half the cost.

So, yeah, we'll have a fairly successful regular season; but I wouldn't bank on a radically different result come October.

2006-04-08 00:11:22
187.   brockdc
By the way, all players go through slumps; but Cano really needs to learn how to take some pitches.
2006-04-08 00:22:21
188.   weeping for brunnhilde
186 brock, couldn't agree more. Exactly, to the letter.

It's exasperating, really.

2006-04-08 00:38:31
189.   mikeplugh
Listen people.

The Yankees can still win the World Series. The team can still win more than 100 games. The team can achieve everything it's set out to do this season.

I don't want to lose perspective on 4 games early in the year, on the road, against good teams.

I also don't want to wear blinders and chalk it up to those simple things either. I want to take a balanced look at how this team plays baseball over the last 171 games. It's the same team with the exception of a couple of bullpen guys. The trends and analysis can be extended over 171 games for that reason.

We're good enough to be one of the Major's top 3 or 4 teams, but when it comes down to it, we have a terrible record in games where we don't score at least 5 runs. That HAS to alarm you. That HAS to raise red flags about the way the current roster goes about it's business.

It doesn't prevent us from winning the World Series, but does it give us the BEST chance to win the title? I tend to think not, but there may be some people out there that believe we are approaching the personnel and system from the right direction and that we should just let the magic happen as it surely will. For my part, I'm not sold.

Better luck tomorrow.

2006-04-08 06:01:23
190.   mikeplugh
Check out my post at Canyon of Heroes with some numbers to think about.....
2006-04-08 06:52:26
191.   Daniel Zappala
186 That sounds about right. What I am understanding better is that Yankee fans (at least the ones here) expect a dominating team in all aspects, being the clear #1 team in the AL, at least, and a consensus that they are the favorites for the World Series. After all, the team cost $200 million (163).

Well, that's not where they are right now. They're still very good, due to their offense, but they're not going to dominate the AL any more. The numbers above show the reason -- pitching.

So how do the Yankees get better pitching? From my understanding, they don't have a lot of young talent they can trade. They would have to get rid of some of their hitters to get pitching, but they all have big contracts.

This is the consequence of building through free agency without having a strong farm system -- eventually those stars get old and their contracts are overvalued, so there is not a clear way to improve.

2006-04-08 07:44:24
192.   singledd
Yes... Our boys suck...
... and Detroit will win their division
... the Brewers will win their division
... no team in the NL West will finish over .500

Our guys are not kids.
They don't start with 'Oh Boy, I made the team' energy.
They know they must win the WS(not an easy mentality).

We WILL score 5 runs or better a LOT!
Not all our games will be on the West Coast.
Not all our games will be against 2 of the best 5 teams in the AL.

I'm disappointed too... but really..
Let's wait until we have played 30 games to give up on these 'losers'.

2006-04-08 07:50:58
193.   wsporter
Mike 181 How does that trend compare against the rest of the league? Is the rest of the league under .500 when it scores 4 or fewer?

Besides that is not the trend you seemed to imply in your posts. You led me do infer at least that you believe it has been a solid 180 game trend of desultory baseball without interruption; the same sort of baseball that we witnessed for at least the last 2 games. That is the "trend" observation that I take issue with.

2006-04-08 08:19:22
194.   sam2175
I don't think there is any way to draw any definitive conclusions from these four games in terms of where the team will end up being at the end of the season.

BUT, what has been exposed is the team's inadequacies, and that pretty much nothing was done to address them during off-season.

Joe Torre was going to be with the Yankees, there was no way one could change anything about that. Yankee management, however, could have shown better judgement in identifying marginal players who have gained Torre's trust and dumped them.

Bernie Williams is NOT capable of being a full time DH, but getting Damon tied Torre's hands in his own mind in terms of giving Bernie the DH spot. Yankees made the mistake of bringing him back, and are now going to pay the price for the first 40 odd games.

Ditto bullpen, there is no other team that will employ Tanyon Sturtze for the money that he is being paid. Relievers like that should be part of every team's farm system. In Yankees' case, they are not. Farnsworth, Myers and Villone are newcomers, and should be given the minimum time to settle into their respective roles. But Sturtze is more likely to hurt Yankees given his own suckiness and the mysterious trust he gained from Torre.

The starting pitching is largely the product of that disastrous Jaret Wright signing, along with Carl Pavano. While Wright will probably not get much chances to do harm, Pavano will probably not take the mound enough to make any positive difference (if he does).

Add to that the fact that Yankees have a porous infield defense with three GB pitchers in their rotation.

The only MO that works for this team is to jump to an early lead, build on that lead, and survive the inevitable 4-6 innings collapse by the pitcher somehow, and get the ball to Rivera in the ninth WITH A LEAD (otherwise Torre factor kicks in). That has been the case for the last 3 years, and is likely to be the case this year (maybe that explains Mike's splits when scoring less than 4 runs vs. more).

We will have to see if that gets the Yankees to the post-season. I believe TB and Toronto are more competitive this year, and certainly the entire AL Central is better. Certainly, this is going to be a tough year, and perhaps tougher than 2005. If the Yankees again dig the 11-19 hole for themselves, it is even less likely that they can survive that this year. But it is baseball, and the important thing is, it is still early. Go Yankees!

2006-04-08 08:22:55
195.   mikeplugh
I'm in the middle of examining my hypothesis a bit. I think I may have hit on the fact that the Yanks always do this.

It's worth comparing this 10 year run to the league average to see where the numbers fall.

I went into depth at Canyon of Heroes and the trend is solid over 10 years....I just don't know if it means anything or not. Trends are fine as long as they mean something. The Yanks remarkable consistency in 5 and 4 run games extends to the beginning of the Torre era, but we've seen mixed results so the 5 and 4 run thing isn't the deciding factor....

2006-04-08 09:01:31
196.   wsporter

195 Mike here is something you may be interested in and find rather illuminating. An article from THT that I think is on point and should make you feel somewhat better about the Yankee "trend" you're struggling with. It's also further proof that James's "Pythagorean" work was incredibly inspired. Good luck.

Link was the same length as MASL so I left as is.

2006-04-08 21:28:31
197.   tom yf
Our defense is truly horrific. Watching the Angels make nice play after nice play is gut wrenching.

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