Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Slaughterhouse Five (Let the Good Times Roll)
2006-08-21 16:03
by Alex Belth

You just don't expect these kinds of things to happen. Yes, even if you are a Yankee fan, spoiled by winning and success, you don't necessarily plan for your wildest dreams to come true. But that is what happened late Monday afternoon as the Bombers' B-Squad, featuring a starting line-up which included the likes of Nick Green at short, Bernie Williams in center, and Sal Fasano behind the mask, edged by a flat Red Sox team, 2-1. It was the only briskly played game of the turgid, five-game sweep, which will go down as the sequel to the famous 1978 Boston Massacre. David Wells pitched well for Boston but his teammates were lifeless with the bats and were shut-down by Corey Lidle, Octavio Dotel, Mike Myers, Scott Proctor and Kyle Farnsworth. With a runner on second, Alex Rodriguez made two fine defensive plays in the fifth inning; a wild-pitch Keith Foulke (or a passed ball by Javey Lopez--but does it really matter?) in the eighth inning allowed the go-ahead run to score.

The Yankees have to be downright giddy about the win, which puts them six-and-a-half games in front of the Sox. New York beat Boston every which way over the weekend--blowing them out on Friday and then again against Beckett and company on Saturday, before coming-from-behind against Schilling and Paplebon Sundaya night, then finally finally winning a low-scoring affair yesterday. It may not exactly have been a massacre--other than Lidle, the Yankees' starting pitching was not sharp, while their bullpen was taxed considerably--but it was a thorough beat down.

Right on time like the IRT, Joe Sheehan has fine analysis of the series over at Baseball Prospectus. To Sheehan, it comes down to this:

The Red Sox used seven pitchers over the weekend who they'd planned to have reasonably significant roles for the 2006 team: Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, David Wells, Jonathan Papelbon, Keith Foulke, Mike Timlin and Julian Tavarez. Those pitchers threw 28 2/3 innings, allowed 20 runs, all earned (6.28 ERA), struck out 23 men, walked 16 and allowed just two home runs. It's not a good series by any means, but when you consider how much of that is Beckett's man-with-blindfold act Saturday (nine walks in 5 2/3 innings), it's passable.

The Red Sox also used seven other pitchers, including both starters last Friday. Those pitchers threw 17 1/3 innings, allowed 29 runs, 28 earned (14.54 ERA), walked 15, struck out 17 and allowed five homers.

Let me boil that down for you: The Red Sox are the 2005 Yankees, but without Shawn Chacon and Aaron Small. At the time they were acquired, there was basically no difference between Chacon and Jason Johnson, between Small and Kyle Snyder. The Yankees hit the lottery last year, and the Sox didn't this year. Where the Yankees got 160 or so innings of above-average pitching from two guys who were useless before that and useless after, the Red Sox got…well, you can read the numbers.

Add that to the fact that the Yankees are a ridiculously patient and opportunistic offensive team, and there's your story.

I've written a lot about how Yankee fans have adopted a sense of entitlement when it comes to winning over the past decade. Of course, it is a sentiment that has been reinforced by the team's owner for a generation now, so it's only natural for the fans to pick it up too. (It fits so well with our instant gratification culture.) The most distubring part of this attitude is that often prevented fans from appreciating just how difficult it is to win, no matter what kind of wild competetive advantages the Yankees have. One of the most memorable qualities of the 1996-01 Yanks was that from Joe Torre on down to the players, this was a team that understood and appreciated how just hard it is to play the game well, and just how difficult it is to win. How hard it was to stay healthy, and play well enough to create your own luck, your own good fortune. To miss out on that basic fact is to miss what made that team truly great. (Do you think Joe Torre appreciates how hard his team played this weekend? He was virtually reduced to tears by the end of it, bless his heart.)

But while I always felt grateful for all of the winning during the late nineties, I too found myself caught up in the greediness of "win or else." When Derek Jeter made that improbable flip to Jorge Posada in Game Three of the ALDS in 2001, I didn't allow myself to really enjoy the moment. It won't mean dick if they don't come back and win the game, if they don't come back and win the series, I said, arms-folded, reduced to the ultimate kind of baseball snobbery. Yo, I sat there, rattled, okay, but not able to truly savor those two crazy World Series wins that year because what would they mean if the Yanks didn't win it all? (To this day, I have a hard time watching them when they are on TV.) When your team has won three straight titles, all you can live for is four-in-a-row. What else is there?

But if the 2001 post season taught us anything it is that you can't always have everything you want, but, as the song goes, you can get what you need. The city--yes, even non-baseball fans followed the Yankees in the months following 9.11--needed a distraction, some theatrics and entertainment and the Yanks delivered just that. They gave the city everything it could have asked for save another victory parade down the canyon of heroes. Though it ended badly for the Yanks, the 2001 team will likely be remembered as fondly as any of the championship editions. We were reminded that baseball is just entertainment--and at times we desperately need that entertainment--and pales in comparison with the larger troubles of the world. The 2001 World Series also made for a kind of beautiful baseball justice. In the end, the Yankees, with all the karma and mystique and all that, were simply out-Yankee'd.

All of which I bring up because over the past several seasons, I've tried to appreciate things moment-by-moment, game-by-game, even more. I don't want to say that any given season is been horrible simply because the Yanks don't win a title. That's just too limiting, the easy way out. This five-game sweep does not guarentee a playoff spot for the Yanks, it does not necessarily spell curtains for the Sox. It doesn't look good for Boston, but stranger things have happened and there is plenty of time left. It might not portend to anything at all, and for the moment, that's just fine. It doesn't have to be anything more than it is--a rare, perfectly-contained success. Forget about Boston's misfortunes, think about what the Bombers have done. Still no Matsui or Sheff and for the time being, they aren't being missed. The Yankees really proved something to themselves, and I'm sure the rest of the leagaue is taking notice. This is the best that Yankee fans have felt about themselves vis a vis the rivalry with the Sox since Boston's historic playoff run in 2004. Lots more to come, but for today, there is a lot to be thankful for. Don't let it give you a swell head, but don't discount it entirely and let it pass you by, either.

And that's word, to Big Bird.

Comments (144)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-08-22 07:16:54
1.   Chyll Will
Today I feel like following Alex's awesome commentary by saying I'm da shizzle.
2006-08-22 07:18:23
2.   Dimelo
Torre is the f'en man. I've always had his back and anyone who thinks this man isn't the right man for the job then they have no idea what they are talking about. Where are the Pinnella supporters???? Please stand up...

But look what he does to Proctor, look what he does with Bernie, look what he does when he plays Fasano, blah, blah, blah. WHATEVA!!!!

The Yanks put it to them....I'm in a N.Y. State of Mind.

Long live Torre, Long Live Torre, Long Live Torre!!!!!

2006-08-22 07:19:05
3.   pistolpete
This past weekend makes you want a 'do-over' of 2004, with the current lineup of course.

A Sox fan in my office was certainly humbled, but he also had an interesting perception of the Yanks that maybe some of us take for granted: the much improved speed on the bases, and the defense (see: throwing arms) in the outfield. Then again, I don't think anyone here takes those things for granted - just fans/media in general.

However I, for one am still not taking the deadline deals for granted. Abreu & Lidle, dare I say, the best pitcher/hitter acquisition since Tino Martinez and Jeff Nelson in regards to contributions to a club in a pennant race.

Will be ordering that custom Cashman t-shirt soon enough.. Did we all ever agree on a number for the back?

BTW I completely missed Dotel's appearance yesterday - how did he look?

2006-08-22 07:19:52
4.   Sliced Bread
Excellent perspective, Alex, and very well put.

I love this team in a way that I haven''t loved the Yanks in years. Don't get me wrong, I've been rooting for the club passionately in recent years, but there's something special about this group. Maybe it's thanks to Melky and Cano and some of the other fresh faces, but these Yanks are as lovable as I can remember.

Today they are tied with the Mets for the 2nd best record in baseball. In NY, we don't celebrate 2nd best very much, but this city is currently the baseball capital of the world, and it is not arrogant or obnoxious to ponder about and wish for another "Subway Series."

The thing is, I really want these Yanks to win not for me, but for themselves. I'm rooting for Joe to win another one. I want to see Bernie, Mo, Jeter, and Posada celebrating again. I think they deserve to be champions again. I want to see veterans Giambi and Mussina get the rings they came here for.

This season, more than others, it's not about the fans like it seemed it was back in the late 90's when they were trying to keep the streak going, or in 2001 when they seemed to be trying to win it for the city. This year, it's for old time's sake. It's for redemption in a way. It's for restoring that championship pride the franchise is famous for.

Let's Go Yankees!

2006-08-22 07:19:53
5.   Jim Dean
Just wonderful thoughts all around - thanks. I especially liked:

"But if the 2001 post season taught us anything it is that you can't always have everything you want, but you'll get what you need."

First time I realized how shallow a championship in 2001 would have been. We certainly got just what we needed then.

2006-08-22 07:20:15
6.   Chyll Will
Second, I have to say that the Diamondnbacks, apparently not used to winning, were not so gracious in winning when they sipped off a quick dis on the ol' Yankee standard "New York, New York" by scratching it off midway through and throwing on their own celebration song. I might have been more respectful of the fact that they won a hell of a series that year, but that action alone burned bridges. Ingrates.
2006-08-22 07:21:22
7.   pistolpete
2 To further appreciate Torre, just look at the situation in Toronto - does the hard line approach really work with today's overly-sensitive, millionaire ball players anymore?

I think in a lot of ways, Torre has revolutionized the position of the modern-day manager. He realizes that personal problems & feelings can interfere with on-field play, and he tries to quell those situations before they get out of hand.

2006-08-22 07:26:42
8.   Dimelo
7 That Toronto situation was hilarious. I can't believe Lilly got it into like that with Gibbons. The Jays are going to be w/o a GM and manager.

Another thing to keep in mind is that after the Yanks swept the Sawx in 2004 (the Jeter catch) they went on and lost 3 straight to the Mutts. They play the Mariners now...but they need to stay sharp for the simple reason they got some ass whipping to deliver to the Angels.

BTW, Alex...great job up there. These games are what we need.

2006-08-22 07:32:35
9.   Chyll Will
4 It's so real to watch this team identify itself once again.

7 It worked for Chicago last year. Guillen is insane. It just doesn't last as much as respect does.

That and being on the same page up and down the organization, from the front office to the back fields. If the Yankees wipe everyone out from hereon out to the World Series, both Torre and Cashman should be heralded for bringing common sense back into the fold. Maybe they can do that for the mayor's office in a couple of years?

2006-08-22 07:34:57
10.   Ken Arneson
Funny, I just finished rereading Slaughterhouse Five yesterday.
2006-08-22 07:37:41
11.   Alex Belth
Yanks rip Sox. And so it goes...

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

2006-08-22 07:40:31
12.   Peter
Very well said, Alex. I remember during the 2001 postseason, I was already looking ahead at 2002 and whether or not the Yankees could get five in a row again. These past two seasons, especially with the obstacles and lowered expectations, forced me to take a more game-by-game approach to the team and, in turn, I've found it more exciting than ever and developed a greater appreciation to what those 96-01 guys did.
2006-08-22 07:40:54
13.   YankeeInMichigan
8 The Yankees also swept the Sox in Fenway in September 2000, and then fell into a frightening tailspin, almost blowing their insurmountable lead. The biggest difference this time is that, as Joe Sheehan describes, the Red Sox are a fundamentally flawed team. Even prime-form returns by Varitek, Nixon and Wakefield will not be enough to make pull them back into contention.
2006-08-22 07:42:02
14.   Alex Belth
Steve Goldman on the Yankees upcoming schedule (Mariners, Angels...then finally an off-day next Monday before hosting the Tigers and Twins, after that--relatively smooth sailing):

"Perhaps the most intimidating thing about the schedule is their next stop. After this exhausting series, the Yankees will fly cross-country and immediately commence a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners just completed an 11-game road trip. They lost all 11 games. The M's are a better club at home and they're due, while the Yankees are overdue to exhale. It will be tough for them to avoid a letdown in Seattle after the extraordinary effort in Boston."

2006-08-22 07:42:23
15.   YankeeInMichigan
11 And with their patchwork pitching staff, they've now become the Argyle Sox.
2006-08-22 07:43:55
16.   Alex Belth
Course the Sox are headed out west too, first to face the Angels (they get Jered Weaver, Yanks don't) and then the M's.

More from Sheehan:

"I will make one prediction: neither of these teams will do better than 2-4 through Sunday. The five-game series, which included a 14-hour day at the park Friday and a 5 1/4-hour night (with rain delay) Sunday night, followed by a day game Monday, was as arduous a schedule as two teams will see all year. Now, with both teams flying to California with depleted bullpens and exhausted players, a letdown is likely."

2006-08-22 07:45:17
17.   Alex Belth
My wish if for Alex Rodriguez to come alive back in his old park, for the Yanks to take 2 of 3 in Seattle and then do the same in California, depleted pitching be damned.
2006-08-22 07:45:51
18.   Sliced Bread
By no means are the Red Sox out of it, but if I was a Sox fan I'd be very worried right now.

Toronto could soon be breathing down their necks.

Yesterday's ugly incident could fire up the Jays. Watch out. Toronto might start making noise.

2006-08-22 07:55:51
19.   Alex Belth
Oh, and for anyone that's already read this, go back to the first sentence and click on the link "these kind of things." Cookie Monster did a woody commercial in Spanish. Pretty funny.
2006-08-22 07:56:05
20.   Yankee Fan In Boston
first, a great look back at the series. you need to enjoy these moments.

second, in comment 4 sliced bread comments on the way he loves this team. in today's boston globe, bob ryan says that this is a very likeable, rootable yankee squad.

...this after trashing everything theo epstein has done since'04, metaphorically taking a dump on coco crisp, mentioning that it is quite possible that josh beckett is "stupid" and/or "stubborn", and writing the sox's chances of even a wild card off completely.

this in the globe... which owns a piece of the sox.

times are good.

but i would offer that melky and cano (and even damon to an extent) give the team a less "corporate" feel. they're genuinely having a ball out there.

i've heard from a few staunch sox supporters that they find it difficult not to like these yankees. (but they must not have been in the bleachers chanting to johhnny yesterday in the 9th.)

2006-08-22 07:58:42
21.   YankeeInMichigan
16 I know that the team can't look past the West Coast trip, but we can. The home stand against Detroit and Minnesota will really tell a lot about where the Yanks stand.
2006-08-22 08:01:44
22.   Alex Belth
I think Damon has been a HUGE part of what has been likable and appealing about this year's Yankee team. He is one of those rare guys who actually have an effect on his teammates, on moral, on the locker room. It's not always the best players that possess these qualitys--as we've seen with Rodriguez and Jeter, of course.

Have you not seen Damon smile during one game yet this year? Ditto for Cano? And even little Melky too? You know Jeter's always having a good time. And now that he's raking again so is G'Bombee. And what has Bernie Williams NOT had to be grateful about this year? There have been some good times this year, but more importantly, easy smiles to go along with the stiff, professional nature of a Yankee clubhouse.

How much do the Sox miss him (--not to mention Trot and especially Tek--) and how fortunate are the Yankees to have Damon?

This weekend spoke volumes.

2006-08-22 08:02:28
23.   Alex Belth
Nice spelling...sorry, guys.
2006-08-22 08:06:12
24.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
I'd really love to put some hurt on the Angels, if only to knock them further off the pace in the AL west. Even tho they've been a hot 7-3 in the last 10, they've actually lost ground to the redhot A's who are now 5 up.

I know we could still blow it -- esp as Moose and Wang aren't looking as dominant as they were several weeks ago -- but BP has us listed as something like 98% chance of reaching the playoffs (knock on wood).

I do not want to face the Angels in the playoffs another time after the 2 smackdowns they've delivered.

The other team that terrifies me is the Twins. We're not a good turf/dome team, and the Twins lineup this year, with the kids like Mauer producing, seems vastly superior to the teams we've faced in the playoffs in the past. And then there's that little matter of the two fellows at the front of their rotation. It was bad enough to play them when they had one flat out great pitcher, now they've got two.

As strange as it is to say, I'd much rather see the defending world champs get the wild card, and us have to face a pitching staff suffering from some serious Ozzie fatigue.

But of course discussing the playoffs with 40 games to go would be getting ahead of ourselves!

2006-08-22 08:07:58
25.   Sliced Bread
To me, part of Damon's appeal is how he was undervalued, and cast away by the Red Sox. In a way, he became a $13 million dollar a year underdog if there's such a thing.

The geniuses that run the Sox deserve what they got this weekend. Damon is a difference maker. If I had been running the Sox last season, not only would I have re-signed Damon, I would have taken the "C" off of Varitek's jersey and put it on Damon's.

To say the Yanks are extremely fortunate to have him is an understatement. I didn't want him on the team, and now I couldn't be happier that he's our center fielder and lead off hitter.

By the way, after yesterday's unlikely win, (which was a HUGE win) I'm officially done predicting the outcome of games, or questioning Joe's decisions. I'm just a content passenger for the rest of the ride, and right now, it looks like it's going to be a thrill.

2006-08-22 08:08:03
26.   Yankee Fan In Boston
when i think of damon and the kids (melky & cano) i can't help but remember his reaction when melky caught that drive at the wall off of manny ramirez's bat.

johnny was jumping up and down, pumping his fist...

they looked like little leaguers.

it was beautiful.

2006-08-22 08:12:50
27.   JL25and3
Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.

I hope people are really able to maintain this attitude even if the Yankees don't win the World Series, because this still doesn't look like a championship team to me. Their starting pitching is certainly no great shakes, especially now that Wang appears to have hit a wall (good call, Cliff). And the success of the offense last weekend was built largely on the inability of Sox pitchers to get the ball over the plate; they had trouble with Schilling and Wells, both of whom throw strikes. Come playoff time, they won't be facing Beckett or Lester, much less Manny DelCarmen or Jermaine Fillmore...Polk...whatever.

That's not intended to put the Yankees down. They're tough and resilient, easy to love and lots of fun to watch. I just hope people are able to continue appreciating that regardless of the outcome.

2006-08-22 08:17:05
28.   Sliced Bread
27 Great point about the pitching. It's going to be a wild ride. But right now, this looks like a very hard lineup to contain. Damon, Jeter, A-Rod, Giambi, Abreu, Posada, Cano, Cabrera etc. looks like a lineup that could be an exception to the October rule that good pitching beats good hitting. What Yankee fan can't appreciate the talent that's here now?
2006-08-22 08:17:25
29.   Yankee Fan In Boston
while i can't easily recall a world series championship team the relied on a monster lineup and a closer, i wouldn't mind if this was the first.

i'm just rolling around in these wins like they were a kiddie pool filled with pudding...

i'm not expecting them to win it all. (i find that this makes winning it all even more gratifying.)

2006-08-22 08:17:44
30.   Chyll Will
23 F'ghedabouddit, Letter Man.

Do you think that the pressure RSN, BoSox and to a lesser extent MLB placed on the troika of Papelbon, Lester and Hansen this season would have a long-term damaging effect on their careers, a la Wilson, Pulsipher and Isringhausen? To date, only Izzy has had a decent, if not up-to-billing career as a reliever, and if I'm not wrong he was not considered the strongest of that three.

2006-08-22 08:19:25
31.   Murray
I speak only for myself, but for me there would have been nothing shallow about a 2001 World Championship at all. In fact, I'm more bitter about that Game 7 loss than any other experience in my life as a baseball fan.

Let's list some factors to consider:

1. The 2001 Yankees were going for a fourth consecutive championship. Three straight championships is excellent, but only Yankee teams have won four in a row. So it would have meant a great deal to be able to say that my favorite team added a feat to its resume accomplished previously by only the 1936-39 teams and the 1949-53 teams.

2. Despite the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, there was still much less sympathy nationally for the Yankees than I expected. I cannot even begin to tell you how offended I was when the moron running the PA at Your Name Here Park in Phoenix started to play "New York, New York" after Game 6, only to interrupt it with the sound of an explosion. I'm sure they thought it was funny. Colangelo said he was tired of hearing the song at the end of games in New York, but as any guest at Yankee Stadium knows, "New York, New York" is played after every single game.

3. Curt Schilling was annoying long before he moved to the Red Sox. Remember his sanctimonious letter to the world about the attacks on the World Trade Center in the immediate aftermath, as if it were somehow about Curt Schilling? Remember his "Aura and Mystique" comments? Soriano's homer off the Big Mouth in support of a Roger Clemens victory would have been the perfect auto da fe.

4. I like happy endings. You might recall that there weren't many happy endings in New York at the time.

So, in short, considering the state of affairs in New York at the time and what those Yankees were striving to accomplish, I think that a championship in 2001 would have been exactly what I needed.

2006-08-22 08:20:39
32.   cliffy6745
4 Something I noticed in a few of the posts was this Yankees team seems like more of a "team" than in the past few years. Living in Philly all I ever hear is you can't win with a bunch of egos. But this year it seems different. It seems like they are playing for each other more and having a better time on the field. In the past few years it looked like it was all business but this year it just seems a little different to me.

What do you guys think?

Outstanding commentary Alex! I'm new around here. Whats up with Cashman shirts?

2006-08-22 08:23:10
33.   wsporter
When was the last time there was this much unrestrained joy and good feeling in the Banter during the regular season? From Slice at 25 "I'm just a content passenger for the rest of the ride, and right now, it looks like it's going to be a thrill" and all the rest. Wow!
2006-08-22 08:33:33
34.   yanklifer
32 - Its called heart - we've got it again
2006-08-22 08:33:38
35.   Alex Belth
Yeah, the good vibes have even had an impact on Sheffield. Look, I'm not saying whether or not he'll be back next year, that the Yanks won't cut-bait, or that he'll balk at their offer, complain about being dissed and then move on. I'm just saying for this year, since he's been hurt, he HASN'T only riffed to the media, sulked and gone home. He's in the dugout for a lot of these games. He's got a first baseman's glove and is taking grounder's out there now.

I'm not saying it means anything for the future, but for now it does suggest a kind of harmony that nobody, not even Sheff wants to disrupt, because of their own needs. Rodriguez is the closest thing to an outsider and that's just cause he's such a mental case, not really harmful to those around him.

My feeling is that Matsui is probably cooked for the year but I wouldn't be surprised to see Sheff enter the 36th Chamber come mid-September and just be stupid good.

2006-08-22 08:38:31
36.   Chyll Will
32 Youth (+) overcoming adversity (+) cool under fire (-) sticks from butts (-) factionalism (/) sticking it to the sactimonious pricks in various four-letter media outlets = comraderie, (*) free spirit = fun for all!

I think the math is right, but feel free to correct me, y'all.

2006-08-22 08:41:32
37.   Chyll Will
34, 35 Very good words: heart and harmony. I think Rodriguez will feel it before the year's over.
2006-08-22 08:42:27
38.   Sliced Bread
36 Chyll demonstrates his "Beautiful Mind" at the chalk board!
2006-08-22 08:43:21
39.   unpopster
I know that the experience of the 2004 ALCS forces us all to be cautious and not take things for granted, but I have to say that this Red Sox team is cooked, done, finished, ovah.

There is no guarantee that the bubble that the Yanks are now riding in won't burst and that the Yanks won't go into a slide, especially with a hurting Mussina, but the Red Sox team, as currently constructed, is flawed beyond repair. Even if Varitek returns in 4 weeks and Wakefield makes his way back soon, the Red Sox are a team built to finish 3rd in the league and out of the playoff hunt.

What we saw this weekend was no fluke. The Sawx bullpen is in shambles. They've DFA'd Seanez and must now rely on a mediocre Tavarez, young and unproven Van Burens, Snyders, DelCarmens, etc. an obviously gassed Timlin, and have no real lefty to speak of. Make no mistake, Papelbon is the real deal but even he is coming back to earth a bit.

Then they have an offense that is essentially being powered by two monster players (Papi and Manny) and a collection of mediocre-to-just-slightly-above-average hitters (Loretta, Lowell, Hinske, Willy Mo). Coco Crisp has been underperforming and is showing signs of actually slipping offensively as the season carries on. Even a return of the dissapointing Varitek and Nixons won't cut it.

So they must now pray that Schilling is lights out every single time he pitches, that Beckett somehow learns in the next couple of weeks how to keep the ball in the park and gather his composure, and that Wells' back stays healthy for the rest of the season.

Friends, the Sawx will NOT be a threat to the Yanks in the AL East. It's a foregone conclusion.

So, even if the Yanks stumble against the M's, the Halos, Tigers and Twins in the next 2 weeks, I still don't think we'll be seeing any semblance of a race in the AL East.

2006-08-22 08:45:28
40.   Travis
More Manny being Manny. Threatening to sit out a crucial game over a scorer's decision?!

2006-08-22 08:46:04
41.   Bama Yankee
23 Hay Alex: Yew should dew you're righting inn a spell checker. Eye tri two yews a spell checker win eye can, that weigh yew make les miss steaks then yew norm a lee wood.
2006-08-22 08:52:15
42.   pistolpete
27 Maybe the after effects of this past weekend will be that we can give some starters a few days off here & there to prepare for a potential playoff run.

If & when Pavano comes back, have a 6-man rotation straight through the rest of the regular season...

2006-08-22 08:52:18
43.   Cliff Corcoran
41 Of course a spell checker wouldn't catch half of what you wrote there because you used homonyms, not misspellings.
2006-08-22 08:54:52
44.   Max
I know that some part of this was linked to in a previous thread, but I still found these excerpts from ESPN's Page 2 (and DJ Gallo) funny. They proposed answers from Yankees and Red Sox to standard questions asked of Little Leaguers:

When I grow up, I want to:
Sal Fasano: "Own and operate a leather bar."
Carl Pavano: "Have a surgical procedure named after me like Tommy John."
Keith Foulke: "Be Jonathan Papelbon."

Favorite TV Show:

David Ortiz: "'SportsCenter.' They show every home run I hit."


Josh Beckett: "Signing undeserved contract extensions."

Person I would like to meet:

Theo Epstein: "The Josh Beckett who pitched for the Marlins."
Coco Crisp: "Johnny Damon. Everyone who boos me says I need to be more like him."
Curt Schilling: "I wish it was possible to meet myself because I bet it's totally awesome to meet me."

2006-08-22 08:55:07
45.   Start Spreading the News
26 Thanks for posting that clip. It wasn't just Damon's reaction. I loved Farnsworth's and A-Rod's reaction as well.

31 I totally agree with you. While the games of 2001 were exciting enough to be a brief respite from the brutal events of that year, a win would have been much much better, especially against Curt, especially with Mo (the anti-Curt) on the mound.

2006-08-22 08:59:51
46.   C2Coke
Thanks, Alex. Your summary helps to put the sweep into perspective.

This year has not been a smooth ride, but with the way the Yankees have been and how they played the game, I don't think I could ask for more. This team has a weird magic that just draws me to care for them quite personally. This past four days kind of just summed up how hard they have tried this year thus far.

2006-08-22 09:06:18
47.   JL25and3
39 I agree, I'd be surprised if the Red Sox are able to turn it around. Their starting pitching is at least a little better than we saw last weekend - we saw Beckett and Lester at their very worst. But other than Papelbon, the bullpen is just stupefyingly awful; as far as I can tell, there's not a single major leaguer in there. There just won't be any way to hide that bullpen.

On top of that, every day their lineup includes some bad shortstop named Alex (sorry, Alex), and either Javy's glove or MIrabelli's bat.

30 the problem with Wilson, Pulsipher and Isringhausen wasn't about the pressure put on them, it was about arm injuries. The last two were pitching 200 innings at age 20-21, and blew out their arms. Lester's only pitched about 120 innings this year, Hansen and Jonathan Goodpaper much less.

2006-08-22 09:08:31
48.   Chyll Will
38 A card-carrying idiot savant >;)

I don't think we have to carry 2004 with us for the rest of our lives. We let ourselves down, they took advantage, we take our medication and start the season over. Gladly we have 26 championships to refer to in terms of what to do next. If the Yanks do go all the way this year, it won't erase 2004, but it may atone for letting it get away from us that year. As for now, let the montage to the playoffs begin!

42 You are, without a doubt, the happiest man on this board today >;)

43 He should try it with spoonerisms he should.

2006-08-22 09:10:56
49.   Bama Yankee
43 That was my point, someone in an earlier thread mentioned that Alex should use a spell checker. They don't always help.

Alex, hope you got my joke. You are a great writer and I really enjoy reading your stuff.

2006-08-22 09:13:54
50.   weeping for brunnhilde
Very apt and eloquent as usual, Alex, thank you.

I especially like your point about the old teams appreciating the rigours of winning.

And I wonder if the new-look, superstar Yankees (Giambi, Arod, Sheff, and to a lesser extent, Matsui) really did disturb that kind of ethos you're talking about.

Call it chemistry, call it what you like, but it's very hard for me to think that the relative absence of first-tier superstars on the old teams was incidental to their success.

A good team is greater than the sum of its parts, like the Beatles. The teams after 2001 were about equal to the sum of their parts, perhaps, which just wasn't enough.

I don't know if this team now will win, but I do know that I haven't felt so emotionally invested in a Yankee team since 2001. Sure, I've rooted, and been devestated and demoralized by their failures, but this team stands a cut above, in my mind.

It just seems so balanced right now, so likeable, so special.

And who knows, maybe the fact that Arod is struggling is a good thing, for the team. Perhaps it's sent a message that he's not to be counted on, so everyone better play to their maximal abilities, if not above.

Don't know, just a stray thought.

Ok, I've gushed enough about this.

31 Murray, could not agree more. Well said.

Fuck Curt Schilling, for so many reasons. And fuck them for that Sinatra routine; that was profoundly mean-spirited and insensitive.

32 and 34, yes.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-08-22 09:24:15
51.   Chyll Will
47 Well yes and no. Those guys were being touted as the next coming of Gooden and Co., and a smarter manager would likely have brought them along slowly, perhaps in the range of Lester and company or less. Excluding accidents, injuries often don't occur without a provacating factor, i.e. wear and tear beyond normal capacity. You can add Kerry Wood and Mark Prior to that idea. I happen to believe that without the pressure to carry a team with those types of expectations would ordinarily raise the likelihood (sp?) of injury, then effect them mentally. Couple that with short-term decision making and you have the makings of a phenomenal bust.
2006-08-22 09:30:31
52.   pistolpete
48 I am?
2006-08-22 09:37:21
53.   Schteeve
41 Dood, U r in idiot! WFT?
2006-08-22 09:40:28
54.   Chyll Will
52? Naw, I was re-furring to mee-self.
2006-08-22 09:43:08
55.   Chyll Will
52 But yur welcome to join the club, brudda!
2006-08-22 09:45:41
56.   Chyll Will
52 See what I mean, card-carrying member I am! Sorry, I thought you meant the idiot thing. No, just about your hopes for a six with Pavano. I wouldn't get THAT happy just yet >;)
2006-08-22 09:46:03
57.   Bama Yankee
48 Just for you Chyll, here's the spoonerism version:
You should wo your driting in a chell specker. I try to use a chell specker cen I whan, that way you lake mess tismakes than you wormally nould.
2006-08-22 09:47:06
58.   Dimelo
Everything just feels like it's getting right in the world. The Yanks sweep. Pavano seems to be on the verge of coming back. We would like to have Sheff and Matsui, but we don't really need them. Dotel is back and he's helping out the bullpen. Proctor has been great. Farnswacker got a save w/o any problems. Damon, Abreu, Melky and Cano are playing great. ARod played excellent defense. The only bad thing was a f'ing Knight and he was DFA'ed.

Can anyone point any other negative I may be forgetting? Even RJ impressed after he allowed 5 runs.

2006-08-22 09:49:53
59.   Chyll Will
49 I wouldn't worry about it, Bama. According to Humbug, Alex has an ERA north of six, so I'm sure he knew you weren't referring to him at short...
2006-08-22 09:57:15
60.   Chyll Will
58 Steinbrenner hasn't blamed anyone for anything in particular lately...
2006-08-22 10:03:00
61.   Sliced Bread
Like cold water in the face, Alex's mention of citizens Sheffield and Matsui 35 jolted my post-Boston-bashing-buzz.

We may learn more about Matsui's chances of returning after he visits the doctor today, and unless the doc says otherwise I wouldn't count Hideki out of the '06 festivities.

Nor would I discount Sheff's chances of coming back.

These are proud, $13 million dollar per year ballplayers. Sheff's fighting for his baseball future with a chip the size of Bobby Abreu on his shoulder, and Matsui is an Ironman. They've got to be burning to get back into the batter's box, the main question is will their bodies let them?

I have no idea how their potential returns would impact the current harmony, and chemistry on the team, but I know enough math to calculate there ain't enough positions, and at-bats to fully accomodate them and their beloved replacements, Melky and Abreu.

It's not worth worrying about yet, but I shudder to think about how it would play out if Joe has to choose between these players. No doubt, Melky, who is the best defender in the bunch, and one of the best stories of the baseball season, would end up with the short end of the stick.

I love Matsui and Sheff for their past contributions, but this is a new team, and it has a very different feel, and look without them. I wouldn't be as bold as Dimelo 58 and say we don't need Sheff and Matsui, but to be honest, my October '06 dreams and visions don't include them.

2006-08-22 10:04:21
62.   Chyll Will
57 Pell Wut! Cowzers, I knidn't dow you wared! >;)
2006-08-22 10:14:11
63.   weeping for brunnhilde
61 Indeed, SB. I sincerely hope we won't have to see them until the Spring. If anything, it would be nice to have one of those two as a bench player from here on out, but really, I don't want to fool with success.

And honestly, I have such affection for this team as it is that I feel content to cast my lot in with them. If they don't go all the way, so be it, I'll still be awfully proud of them, especially Melky and Cano and have a good, good feeling about the future of this team.

It would break my heart to have Melky be demoted after all this, that guy's fast become the heart-and-soul of this team.

Ah, dear Melky. I knew he was something from day one. Was it day one?

When he drew that clutch, late-inning walk against Schilling? That at-bat set the tone for me and he has in me a loyal fan.

Matsui's great, don't get me wrong, I'd love to see him stick around, but Sheff, I could take or leave. So long and thanks for all the fish, I say.

2006-08-22 10:15:51
64.   Schteeve
Can I get a "what? what?" for my boy Scott Proctor??
2006-08-22 10:17:57
65.   pistolpete
No one answered my Dotel question? I was wondering how he looked on Monday, because I had stepped out for a few innings and missed it.
2006-08-22 10:21:18
66.   Schteeve
65 Shaky.
2006-08-22 10:22:18
67.   Schteeve
The Yankees need to win the W.S. this year for one simple reason: Bernie Williams Retirement.
2006-08-22 10:30:00
68.   Sliced Bread
63 See, the more I think about Sheff and Matsui, the more I remember what great hitters they are. Still, I share your affection for this team, especially Melky.

I love Sheffield, but Abreu is a more complete player, and I like everything I've seen and heard from him so far.

I love Matsui, but Melky is the Can-Do Kid, and a far superior fielder.

Decisions, decisions... but as I said earlier, I'm just a content passenger for the rest of the '06 ride. Whatever happens, and wherever we land is cool with me -- providing we don't crash and burn in a stupid way!

2006-08-22 10:31:20
69.   Magoo1000
Still weary about the yanks lead. 6.5 up but Moose is injured (said three rosaries this morning for no DL), RJ is Mr. Inconsistent, and Wanger is in uncharted territory with regards to innings.

Nevermind Johnny Damaged!!!

Wow, I feel like a red sox fan. Constant doubting. Damn 2004...will never be the same!!!

2006-08-22 10:32:05
70.   Schteeve
68 I think Sheff is definitely not a Yankee next year.
2006-08-22 10:32:21
71.   joe in boston
Alex -

What a great, well written, from-the-heart and right-on-the-money intro. Well done.

Man, what a great sweep. It feels so good. I agree with the thoughts on the 2001 team. That team meant alot to me, a native NYer stuck here north of Boston, and still means alot to me. Those were tough days for us with an attachment to the city and the people, even if I'm 220 miles north.

Again, great to see the Sox put down hard. They have (in my opinion) been exposed as a heartless, soul-less, ill-prepared and poorly assembled team. Yes, they have had injuries....they have not addressed them well.

Enough with all the Red Sox Nation crap - enough with "Feeding the Monster", Theo and his Gorilla suit...enough with the camera shots of the Limo carrying Doug Freakin' Mirabelli (for crying out loud)...enough with Paperbum thinking his Mariano and all the great Young Arms......etc etc. I think I typed the same thing yesterday - sorry !

2006-08-22 10:33:38
72.   Schteeve
69 I hate to be the grammar police, I really do, but it's "Wary" not "weary." Weary means tired, wary means fearfully dubious of. Again, I'm sorry to be a jerk, but that error drives me up the wall.
2006-08-22 10:35:36
73.   C2Coke
65,66 And on a very short leash. Dotel still has some work to do before Torre can completely trust him. That said, Dotel seems to be working on finding his groove after the long DL stay. Torre probably can't wait for the day when he can hand the ball to Dotel the way he does to EDSP and Villon (close to EDRV).
2006-08-22 10:38:50
74.   Magoo1000
Sorry, Professor Schteeve.

Do I get zero for the day???

2006-08-22 10:44:11
75.   Schteeve
74 No but on the bright side you learned something. I try to learn something new every day, so you get an A+!
2006-08-22 10:48:08
76.   C2Coke
75 Besides, here on the friendly BB, there would never be any zeroes.
2006-08-22 10:51:38
77.   rbj
76 All the zeroes belong to the Red Sox hitters, next time they visit the Bronx.
2006-08-22 10:53:18
78.   pistolpete
76 My former haunt - which I recently just gave up on - was the YES message boards: very negative, filled with obnoxious Sox trolls, and just beyond what I want to tolerate from so-called Yankees 'fans'.

This place is more my cup of tea now.

2006-08-22 10:55:29
79.   Sliced Bread
64 re: your boy Proctor's 4 hits, and 1 run in 6 innings v the Sox, the Daily News quotes Mike Myers (who shut down Ortiz 4X in the series):

"The MVP is Proctor and everybody else gets an honorable mention in a supporting role."

2006-08-22 10:57:16
80.   Jim Dean
Hopefully one of MatShef is back for September but only as a DH. That would legitimately shift Giambi back to 1B, where he's still better offensively, and Bernie back to the bench, where he belongs but only for those final PH spots in the NL park.

For Melky, I worry more for next year with Matsui back. Hopefully Joe follows up and makes him into a uber-OF but even then, the playing time he deserves just won't be there is they sign another DH (Shef).

2006-08-22 11:01:41
81.   Chyll Will
78 with Gensing!
2006-08-22 11:03:30
82.   JCP22
I doubt Sheff and Matsui will be back in healthy form this year, but if so it seems to me there is no way a healthy Sheff isn't sitting in the four hole in batting order waving that menacing bat. That leaves Melky vs Matsui, and I think the wise thing there is to go with the added speed and defense that Melky brings, however undeserving Matsui is in the short term demotion. Melky will strike out less and ground into fewer DP's also.

If Yanks make playoffs and just get 6 solid innings from starters consistently, they are going to be a very tough out with this lineup. If Pavano comes back and is actually good (hope springs eternal after a five game sweep), that would give us four solid if unspectacular starters with a very deep pen. I will take my chances vs the field this year.

PS...If Yanks make the Series, please let the Mets be the NL representative. Ka-ching...time to load up the bets with Met fans.

2006-08-22 11:10:59
83.   Schteeve
Is there any scenario in which the Yankees trade Matsui in the offeseason? Methinks they could get a ton of value for him and Melky seems pretty damn viable as our everyday LF. We'll need pitching pitching and more pitching this offseason, and Matsui could bring us some of that.


2006-08-22 11:12:13
84.   unpopster
not trying to hijack the discussion here but I'd love to get some of your thoughts on this...Let's play Rival GM for a moment:

ESPN is reporting that Fat Wells has passed through waivers and can now be traded. If you're Gorilla-Suit Man, what do you do?

1. Do you keep Wells and hope that he pitches well for the remainder of the season AND doesn't have aniother knee or back injury? or

2. do you send him packing to a contender for some young players to replenish what position players they gave away recently and/or relief help

I think if Theo trades Wells he'd be run out of town tomorrow (given that it would essentially be the equivalent of giving up on the season) but if he keeps Wells then he might actually waste the one available chip he has to strengthen the other more glaring weakness (e.g. bullpen, young position players).

Boy, are we lucky we have the Ca$hMan!

2006-08-22 11:14:16
85.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i apologize for not giving credit, but someone mentioned (either yesterday or this morning) that the national media on hand for the boston series had added to the jeter for MVP buzz.

let the tsunami of media praise for jeter begin.

i'd love to see him win it. he was robbed a few years back. (was it '97? i'm a little fuzzy.)

2006-08-22 11:17:16
86.   Yankee Fan In Boston

now the argument could be made to trade both matsui and sheffield (if they do the sign & swap).

i doubt that they'd trade matsui, if only because of the added revenue he brings to the team via the japanese fanbase.

we've got to pay pavano somehow...

2006-08-22 11:19:25
87.   weeping for brunnhilde
83 I was wondering the same thing. Much as I would hate to see Matsui go, I would entertain the idea of a good trade for some good starting pitching. It's tough, though, I tend to have a soft spot for the ones that had mythical moments and Matsui's double in 2003 game 7 was perhaps the clutchest hit of all these past years.

Yet still, if we could get a solid starter...

But I have no affection for Sheff, sure, he's a great hitter, but I sure don't miss him in any way.

What to do, what to do...

2006-08-22 11:26:45
88.   C2Coke
85 In 99.

79 That's a awesome quote. Proctor deserves to have the next series off, win or lose, Torre should figure it out without Proctor. But seriously, how many here thinks that's gonna happen?

78 BB has got it all. News links, friendly atmosphere, timely optimism, rational debates, occasional fans' craziness, and most wonderful game summaries/write-ups by Alex and Cliff. Any others pale in comparison.

2006-08-22 11:27:04
89.   pistolpete
87 The more likely scenario has us trading Melky in a package for someone like Dontrelle. Which I would hate.

Keep Melky & Matsui, let Sheff walk, and use a rotating DH position between Damon, Matsui and Abreu. Everyone should learn all the OF positions to give us some flexibility.

2006-08-22 11:29:31
90.   Sliced Bread
If he comes back looking like the hitter he was I'd keep Sheffield, but if they trade him it better be to an NL team, and definitely not an AL East team where he would get about 80 chances a season to make the Yanks regret it.
2006-08-22 11:30:22
91.   Jim Dean
Anyone doubt that if his option isn't picked up, he'll have a big angry man Yankee-hating reaction?

Last I looked there's also a huge RF hole in Boston (Chicago too - Dye is a FA, and also the Mets).


2006-08-22 11:31:36
92.   rbj
I blieve this lineup has been proposed here before, for 2007

Damon CF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
A-Rod 3B
Giambi 1B
Matsui LF
Posada C
Melky DH
Cano 2b

With the "Melky DH" really being him rotating throught the OF positions, spelling them with DH duties on a regular basis. Or Shef DH with Melky again being the 4th OF.
An utterly sick lineup.

2006-08-22 11:34:38
93.   Yankee Fan In Boston
sheffield in the boston lineup would also be frightening.

no more passes for manny.

2006-08-22 11:35:03
94.   Magoo1000
Who goes to the bullpen if or when Pavano comes back? Wright or Lidle?

At this point, I like what Lidle brings. Professional pitcher who doesn't make many mistakes. Plus there is always a chance that Lidle gets past the 5th...unlike our boy, Jaret.

Although, not sure where I saw, heard, and/or read it, but someone suggested a 6-man rotation when Pavano returns to give the elder starters a rest.

Either way, it is a nice problem for Joe to have.

2006-08-22 11:38:13
95.   pistolpete
93 That's our worst nightmare as Yankees fans, so what does Cashman do? Sign n' trade? Not for that money...
2006-08-22 11:39:29
96.   dwight45
92 I agree, and not to forget the possibility of Sheff at 1B once in a while. This year we lost 2 key players to injuries. It can happen again. Never can have too much offensive firepower and/or flexibility and/or quality backups.
2006-08-22 11:40:08
97.   bp1
In response to Alex saying this weekend "will go down as the sequel to the famous 1978 Boston Massacre"

True, only if the 2006 Yankees finished like the 1978 Yankees, with World Series rings. If the Detroit Tigers win the world series, this past weekend will just be another sweep of one team by another.

I'm hoping, dearly hoping, that we get the full 1978 treatment this year. But maybe it's the jinx fear in me that prevents me from comparing it to the 1978 series just yet.

Win first, then look back. I loved the player's post game interviews after Monday's game. They were already looking forward. Their heads are screwed on right, for sure.

2006-08-22 11:47:52
98.   JL25and3
50 I don't know if the issue is team chemistry so much as fan chemistry. I don't know if the succession of high-priced mercenary free agents has affected the way the players get along with each other - I really don't have any way to judge that, especially with the close-mouthed corporate Yankees.

What's really changed is that I'm more able to see these players as My Team, My Boys. Never mind how much they love each other, they're a lot easier for me to love. And that makes it lots more fun even if they don't go all the way.

2006-08-22 11:47:53
99.   JL25and3
50 I don't know if the issue is team chemistry so much as fan chemistry. I don't know if the succession of high-priced mercenary free agents has affected the way the players get along with each other - I really don't have any way to judge that, especially with the close-mouthed corporate Yankees.

What's really changed is that I'm more able to see these players as My Team, My Boys. Never mind how much they love each other, they're a lot easier for me to love. And that makes it lots more fun even if they don't go all the way.

2006-08-22 11:48:09
100.   JL25and3
Oh, crap. Sorry about that.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-08-22 11:58:49
101.   pistolpete
100 I thought your 2nd version was better worded.
2006-08-22 12:08:46
102.   bp1
97 And no, I am not saying at all that this season would be a "failure" if the Yankees did not with the WS. Far from it. This has been an amazing season in every way. The downs, the ups, the fun. You've all said it better than I can. There is no way a fan watching on TV can feel the same fatigue as the players after such a weekend, but I gotta say - I'm whooped. I don't know how those guys do it. I was up early on Saturday and I was pooped all day long. How do those guys get ready to play another ballgame?

How can they possibly regroup and play a strong game tonight? Wow.

Yes - everyone can sense this is a special team - but the "massacre" comparison smells of a jinx to me, so I'm not gonna say it. Sort of like the no hitter thing, I guess. Just gonna stay mum and, like Sliced Bread, sit back and let the wind blow through my hair as I go along for the ride.

2006-08-22 12:10:41
103.   JL25and3
Next year Sheffield will be 38, coming off a wrist injury, with a violent swing. The Yankees have 5 players for 4 spots, which means Sheffield loses 20% of his at-bats, and who knows how he'll react to that. ("If I"m not happy, you don't want me on your team.") And Torre really isn't very good with flexible, time-sharing arrangements; he's much more comfortable if he can put players in fixed roles and leave them there.

Paying him $13 million to play first base doesn't make much sense to me, because we have no idea if he can actually play the position.

Picking up his option in order to trade him makes even less sense, because you don't know if you can trade him or not. Last time they even explored the idea, Sheffield made it clear that no other team would want to trade for him. (Most arrogant players would say that Team A would regret trading them away; Sheffield's the only one I know of who said that Team B would regret trading for him.)

Finally, signing a 38-year-old wrist-injured player you have no place for just to keep him away from another team is terrible business. I don't want to be the team that has to deal with an aging Sheffield that has to tell him he's a part-time player. Let that be Boston's headache if they really want it.

Besides, he can't pitch.

2006-08-22 12:11:49
104.   JL25and3
101 Thanks. It's a wonder what some good editing will do.
2006-08-22 12:32:05
105.   Ron Burgundy
Some people need to get hit by a truck:
Basically, the Little League coach demands money from A-Rod, as if he is obligated to give it to him. And before the A-Rod haters come in, A-Rod already donates millions to YMCAs and Boys and Girls clubs in Miami and NYC and also to the University of Miami. This little league coach was either drunk or is trying to force money from A-Rod using his position as a coach of a Little League team and the perception that A-Rod is a bad, mean, selfish, greedy person. Basically, this coach needs to DIAF.
2006-08-22 12:38:39
106.   Schteeve
I don't think you let Sheffield walk. You've paid him to sit around and work out for a season, we should try to get something of value for him. A sign and trade could be the ticket.

As for Matsui, I'd hate to see him go too. But I would wager that he'd bring back more in the way of pitching value than Melky in part because of the Japanese audience that other teams would LOVE to capitalize on. We aren't hurting for revenue streams last I checked.

I just haven't thought through what I would consider an equitable trade.

2006-08-22 12:43:34
107.   Schteeve
105 That guy is probably in the mafia. That's the only way I can rationalize that type of extortion. If I were A-Rod I would show up at all of their games and boo the shit out of those little bastards.
2006-08-22 12:46:35
108.   Sliced Bread
107 Good idea, except A-Rod's probably too busy causing wars and poverty around the globe to attend a little league game, and boo the kids.
2006-08-22 12:52:39
109.   JL25and3
106 The money they paid him last year is gone, and really shouldn't enter the equation. If you don't want him, don't sign him. Sign and trade doesn't make sense unless you've already got a trade worked out.
2006-08-22 12:52:56
110.   LI yankee
85 I really hope Jeter does get it this year. I think he had the biggest hit of the entire series, that 2 out, 3 run double in game 2 which gave the Yanks the lead. Without that hit we split the double header, and who knows what happens afterwards. That loss was completely demoralizing for Boston, which was obvious afterwards.
2006-08-22 12:53:07
111.   Ron Burgundy
108 And killing puppies. And eating babies. And screwing everybody's wives and girlfriends. And of course, stealing tax-payers' money.
2006-08-22 12:56:42
112.   Yankee Fan In Boston
as stated earlier (103) sheffield is 38 years ancient. i know that i just typed that i would fear him in the sox's lineup, but if forced between a 38 year old primadonna and a 32 year old man who apologizes for missing time after snapping his wrist like it was pencil(and then turning around to chase after the live ball), i'd choose the guy that wants to play so badly he can't stand NOT to play. not the guy who moans when things don't go his way.

matsui could play any OF position. he was a RF in japan i believe and has played a bit of CF for the yankees... (he'd be a defensive upgrade over bernie in those spots, with all well deserved respect to mr. williams.) that would work well with the rotating DH/OF scenario proposed above.

while sheffield has been on his best behavior with the yankees, his attitude history would make my mind up. plus you could use that money towards a zito or whomever else can be hired to throw for the yanks.

i am in the keep melky camp, even though i love having matsui on the team.

2006-08-22 12:56:51
113.   Bama Yankee
105 When I was a kid we raised money by washing cars or selling donuts... We never thought about extorting money from major leaguers.

Also off topic, but speaking of Little League coaches: Did anyone read the Rick Reilly column a few weeks ago in SI about the coach who walked the opposing team's best hitter to pitch to the worst hitter? The problem is the second kid is a cancer survivor. As Reilly said, "what would you do?"
Here's the whole story:

2006-08-22 13:00:41
114.   JL25and3
105 He's the league president, not the coach. If you want to know about the coach, check this:

All in all, the Staten Island Little League seems to be a real classy organization.

2006-08-22 13:01:29
115.   Schteeve
112 I'm in the keep Melky camp too. I just think if we can get value (read young good pitching) for both Sheff and Matsui we should do it.

Lock up Abreu, keep Melky and let Sheffsui pay pitching dividends. I know it wouldn't be easy, but Cashman has already shown us he is a creative thinker and a DWMTH.

2006-08-22 13:09:09
116.   Travis
The original NY Post article:

"Johnson claims during the nine-day regionals in Bristol, Conn., some families paid nearly $3,000 in hotels, gas, tolls and food. Johnson said a similar tab could occur in Williamsport."

Where are these families staying and eating that it costs them $350/day? Staten Island isn't that far from Haverstraw (60 miles), Bristol (130), or Williamsport (200); the families could have driven back and forth while the players (who have free food, transportation, and lodging) could have stayed.

2006-08-22 13:11:42
117.   Andre
What I would do (if I were Cash) is see if I could sign Sheff to a Papi-like contract (maybe $5-6mil per year?) as a full time DH. Give him a 3 year contract for all I care (if he's going to be full time DH). I don't know what his current contract status is so I don't know if that's even a possibility, but that's what I would try to do. I also think he might be open to it (prospect of winning a WS, especially if we get there this year).

Melky would rotate through the outfield as a super sub with one or two days off per week. Would help extend the lives of Damon and Mats, since they're both under contract for a few more years. We can expect that one or more of them will break down from time to time throughout the season, so we'd have a nice insurance policy, ready to take over full time when one of them is finished.

Giambi goes back to first full time (he could also swap occasionally with Sheff or some other defensive replacement - I'm sure the consistent days off would benefit him as well). His defense isn't great, but I could live with it.

That would leave our bench as a strength instead of the consistent weakness it's been. In every game we'd have someone the caliber of Giambi, Sheff or Melky (not that Melky is as good as Sheff or Giambi, but he's better than Nick Green!) to come off the bench.

It really is an embarrassment of riches, but as we've seen in the past few years, a stacked lineup does not really guarantee anything. It just seems like this group of all-stars has finally gelled and I'd hate to see any of them go. It will probably take a few more years before any more of our minor leaguers are ready to come up (although it would be nice to see some pitchers next year). We will have pretty much the same staff next year, so we'll need the bats again.

I'm not the kind of fan that really cares about the money. If the Big Stein is willing to spend it, I'm happy to watch the on-field fire works. A $300million payroll, while obscene, really wouldn't have any impact on my enjoyment of watching the games, unless every game became no contest. I just think there's enough uncertainty in baseball to ensure that won't be the case.

2006-08-22 13:12:19
118.   JL25and3
113 I've thought a lot about that story.

On the one hand, I find the pity-the-poor-cancer-survivor attitude to be condescending. If he wants to play competitive sports he should expect to do it on the same terms as everyone else.

On the other hand, intentionally walking someone in Little League is humiliating. Not just to the cancer survivor, but to the fat kid who catches because no one else will, or the uncoordinated kid who's stuck out in right field, or whoever. These aren't professional athletes, these are kids who are playing their hearts out. Winning is good, but sportsmanship should come first. No intentional walks, period.

2006-08-22 13:13:02
119.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i'd dish matsui for the right young arm as well, but if forced to choose between the two, i'd stick with hideki.

signing to trade seems a bit dangerous to me. but cashman has proven brilliance. if anyone could make it work, it is that man.

2006-08-22 13:18:11
120.   pistolpete
116 Excuse me for my ignorance, but what does Haverstraw have to do with the LLWS?

I only ask because I lived the first 24 years of my life in Haverstraw, NY... :)

2006-08-22 13:19:49
121.   Suffering Bruin
Alex, just read your post. It's writing like this that makes it hard to hate the Yankees.
2006-08-22 13:26:43
122.   rbj
I caught part of one of the LLWS games last night. Apparently they had one kid out there pinch running for two consecutive guys. And he was called a "special runner" Huh?
2006-08-22 13:27:57
123.   Shaun P
117 I'm with you, Andre. There is nothing wrong with keeping both Matsui and Sheffield for next year, and coming up with a reasonable OF/DH/1B rotation. As we've seen this year, depth is a great thing for the Yanks to have. I can already see Sheff in a Strawberry-like role on this team - sometime OF, sometime DH, sometime PH. Damn.

As for trading either Matsui or Sheffield for young arms - it raises so many questions that no one has answered. What team is going to trade for (1) a soon-to-be 33 year old OF coming off a bad wrist injury with 3 years, $39 mil on his contract, or (2) a soon to be 38 year old corner OF, also coming off a bad wrist injury, due $13 mil in '07 and looking for a guaranteed 2 or 3 year deal on top of that, probably starting at $12 mil/per? AND give up young pitching in return?

The only teams dumb enough to make those moves either don't have young pitching to spare or wouldn't take on the money, or both.

Cashman worked a miracle with Abreu/Lidle, but I think you guys are expecting a bit too much here.

2006-08-22 13:44:22
124.   Bama Yankee
122 League presidents trying to extort money, $300 per night hotels, players cussing, coaches slapping players, 6'-8" 256 pound 13-year-olds, special runners... I guess little league is not what it used to be.
2006-08-22 13:51:51
125.   Travis
120 The New York Little League playoffs were in Haverstraw.
2006-08-22 13:52:10
126.   yanklifer
I don't really want Sheff back. I know what a great hitter he is, but I think his attitude is the opposite of what we want. The "me first" kind of player just does not conrtribute to the team atmoshpere that wins championships consistently. I think a big reason that we all love the character of this team so much is the enthusiasm of the kids and will to win of the team in general, the mercenaries don't bring championships. The dynasty of the nineties proved that heart, work, fundamental play and spirit go a long way. Melky deserves a job.
2006-08-22 14:17:27
127.   smingers
Does anyone know how it works with draft picks if we let Sheff walk and he signs somewhere else?
2006-08-22 14:32:05
128.   nick
64 79 Your search - "Scott Proctor replica jersey" - did not match any documents.

oh, now that just ain't right!

2006-08-22 14:33:47
129.   Simone
I'm still walking on air. I'm giving Joe major props for making some solid moves.

About Toronto, Gibbons needs to be fired and if I was the ownership, I would also fire J.P. who criticized his players in public.

2006-08-22 14:53:16
130.   murphy
i have been away for a week (vacay in seattle) and i am glad to come back to this conversation. i have been dying to impart the wisdom of a seattle grocery store employee to the bronx banter faithful.

upon seeing my out-of-state driver's license and yankee hat, he asked me, "you a yankee fan?"
"tried and true", i replied.
"we're [the mariners] gonna give you guys hell next week. and it's gonna be tough after a weekend in boston."
"you just worry about the west, buddy", i replied playfully, "we've got the east all wrapped-up.
"i dunno about that with A-rod over there. he might get ya through the season, but he'll stink it up in october."
assuming he wouldn't care for my thoughts on sabermetric stats and the "clutch" factor, i simply chuckled. but still, he felt the need to do torre's job.
"ya know what i think they're gonna do - and i bet you didn't even think of this - i bet THEY haven't even thought of this: sheffield's gonna come back and play third and they're gonna move ARod over to first with the way he's been playing - he came up as a third baseman. i bet you didn't know that."
i tried to hold back - really i did. but the absurdity of his assertation coupled with his assumption about the smallness of my baseball knowledge penis broke that camel's back.
"well that would be a shitty idea", i said, turning up the volume and the brooklyn/newark accent i sport every now and again. "let's see, the guy is 38 years old and coming off the disabled list. he's been lazy in right for the last year and a half and you suddenly expect the yankees to give him a job at third base?!??! - a position he hasn't played in two year. before you start giving shit to a tourist about his favourite team's third basemen...."

i think you get the drift.

point is: we can all read the papers from across the country and see what the local sportswriters are saying about Arod, but when joe public has bought into the same schpiel, it's a sad sad day in yankeeland. here's to making the mariners look silly.

2006-08-22 15:13:17
131.   Kered Retej
40 Anyone pondering what I'm pondering?

I'm just very thankful that Manny is Manny. I mean if as a total headcase he manges to go 8 for 11 with 9 walks, 2 HR, reaching base in 19 of 20 plate appearances, just think what he could do if he actually put his mind to it (and had a little protection behind him in the lineup). The man clearly has talent. If he had focused just a little more on baseball (and I don't think it would take much), he probably could have made a good case for best right-handed hitter of all time, and no one would be talking about Bonds or A-Rod or Papi.

Anyway, thanks Manny!

2006-08-22 16:20:43
132.   alterity
Just wanted to chime in that the sign-and-trade idea with Sheff is nothing but pure fantasy. Why the hell would anyone take on his $13 mil option if the Yanks pick it up? Alternatively, if the Yanks decline th eoption, why wouldn't someone just sign Sheff if they wanted him? If the Yanks tried to sign him for a lot and then eat the money tomake him more attractive to a small market team, then MLB would nix the deal. And a larger market team won't need the Yanks money to get him. And no one is going to give the Yanks anything useful for Sheff even if he were still under contract for a reasonable amount because, let's face it, he's getting old, he's not a superstar who puts asses in the seats like a Pujols will, and at this point he's the sort of guy who teams add in July to put them over the top. If there's any value to signing him (actually picking up his option) it's in the hopes that he comes back well and could be a chip at the trade deadline next year.
2006-08-22 16:21:41
133.   alterity
131 Bonds is a lefty.
2006-08-22 16:31:53
134.   Kered Retej
133 Sorry, that sentence structre was less than ideal, and probably should have just been 2 separate sentences. What I meant to say is that there is all kinds of press ink spilled about Bonds and the others, and not much about Ramirez (and not that the others I mentioned, other than A-Rod, would be candidates for best RH hitter of all time).
2006-08-22 16:39:29
135.   Sliced Bread
117 123 I'm so in step with Andre and Shaun P. re: Sheff and Matsui we could be a marching band. Let's keep Sheff and 'Sui, and heck, let's give ourselves raises while we're at it. Checks are on George. Three cheers for George!

130 Good one, Murph. Seattle's a beautiful town, and Pearl Jam's still great and all, but I've disliked the the Mariners since precisely October '95.
I imagine Mariners fans despise the Yanks for having A-Rod, Randy, and Tino before that. They're probably even pissed that we have Villone. Hell with the Mariners. Let's get 'em, boys!

2006-08-22 16:54:03
136.   markp
agreed. If Sheff weren't a top ten stick I wouldn't mind seeing him go, but he is. Add to that his willingness to play 1B and his ability to play OF.
2006-08-22 17:24:36
137.   smingers
135 As a Yankee fan living in Seattle, I can tell you that Mariners fans are about the most laid back sports fans you'll ever encounter. Arod may face some boos, but it's not like Fenway. A night at Safeco Field is a family affair.
2006-08-22 17:24:49
138.   randym77
Robby's being rested today, so once again, it's Nick the Stick! ;-)

Johnny Damon CF
Derek Jeter SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Jason Giambi 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jorge Posada C
Bernie Williams DH
Melky Cabrera LF
Nick Green 2B

Jeff Karstens RHP

Karstens will be pitching against another fresh-from-Triple-A pitcher, Cha Seung Baek. Meche has been scratched. Rumor is that he's being traded. Maybe to the Red Sox?

2006-08-22 17:30:57
139.   David
True Manny story: My cousin, a school teacher in New York City, had Manny as a student in high school. One day, she pulled him aside and urged him to work harder, so he could make something of himself. He told her he didn't need to do school work, because baseball would support him. Of course, he proved to be right, but the attitude he displayed in high school was an early case of Manny being Manny.
2006-08-22 17:44:27
140.   randym77
And here's Seattle, URP and all...

Ichiro Suzuki CF
Chris Snelling RF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Richie Sexson 1B
Raul Ibanez LF
Jose Lopez 2B
Ben Broussard DH
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Rene Rivera C

Cha Seung Baek P

2006-08-22 17:46:48
141.   Strike4
Congrats to the Yanks on their sweep. Kevin Brown's departure is a big reason this year's team performs better. As a Dodger fan, I'm optimistic about watching a cool NYY/LAD World Series this year. It would even have a legitimate sub-plot... The Redemption of Grady. He left Lowe in too long awhile back, so we hope that issue has been removed from his brain for at least another three years.
2006-08-22 18:01:21
142.   singledd
83 Matsui is a career .850 OPS guy and very clutch. Melky is a blazing hot .780 OPS. While I love the energy the youth he has given the Yankees, 70 pts is nothing to sneeze at. Furthermore, I'd be wary to trade him in the event that one of our OF'ers gets weary (thanks).

We need a 4th OF'er. Melky can spell each of Matsui, Damon and Abreu 1 day a week each (as they DH and Giambi plays first), and can DH twice a week, leaving Giambi to DH twice a week.

We have room on this team for Melky and Matsui, but the odd man out must be Bernie.

2006-08-22 18:14:01
143.   randym77
Chaos in Columbus tonight. The manager, the catcher, and the third baseman have all been ejected.

And Aaron Small really sucks... :-P

2006-08-22 18:18:22
144.   alterity
Wow, I just made the mistake of looking at the message boards over at Goldman's Pinstriped Blog. The biggest bunch of morons I ever read. If they're Yankees fans, I don't know what that makes the very well educated and thoughtful posters here.

On another note: Melky will almost certainly be traded. His value will be high and I can't see Cashman wasting that much value (which will probably never be higher, although I certainly have no evidence to back taht up other than instinct), on a bench player without much pop when he might be able to get some pitching for it.

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