Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Good News/Bad News
2006-09-30 07:09
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Okay, the bad news first. Randy Johnson has a herniated disk in his back and it is not certain whether or not he'll be able to start Game 3 of the ALDS or any other game in the playoffs. The Yankees won't have any real answers for a few days, but, naturally, losing Johnson would be a blow.

Johnson received an epidural yesterday at Beth Israel Hospital in hopes that the treatment would relieve the discomfort in his back to the point where he would be able to pitch next Friday. An epidural is an injection in the back that is usually a combination of a cortisone-type medication and a local anesthetic that reduces inflammation.

Johnson, 43, was expected to play catch at Yankee Stadium today and was scheduled to throw a bullpen session tomorrow. [Yankee General Manager, Brian] Cashman said no decision would be made concerning Johnson's postseason status until after he threw tomorrow.

"He'll tell us," Cashman said. "It's not something we can see. He'll tell us how much more comfortable he is."
(Kepner, Times)

Hold your breath everybody and hope that the bats and bullpen can carry the team.

Now, for the good news. The Yanks beat the Jays 7-2 last night. Combined with the Tigers stunning loss to the Royals, the Bombers have secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Gary Sheffield hit a three-run bomb, Jorge Posada added a two-run shot of his own, and Alex Rodriguez had three hits as Mike Mussina pitched a nice game and notched his 15th victory of the year.

4:05 start today. It's sunny but brisk and chilly in the Bronx. Gametime temp: 64 degrees. We'll see some terrific shadows on the field this evening.

Let's Go Yan-kees.

UPDATE Actually, the sun isn't anywhere to be found. It is cold and breezy at the Stadium. There is a lot buzzing around the park today with the playoffs just a few days away. Pete Abraham has the latest. Also, the Twins lost this afternoon. Unless the Tigers lose today and tomorrow and the Twinkies can pull out a win in the final game of the season, the Yanks will face Minnie in the ALCS. Scary match-up as the Twins have Santana, a great bullpen, the Metrodome, and some unfinished business with the Yanks in the playoffs. They'd love some payback. We already know that Twins' owner wants to face the Yankees. Look like his wish is going to come true.

Comments (155)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-09-30 08:08:28
1.   markp
How many expected Johnson to be dominant in the post-season? Going by the comments here and elsewhere, not very many. His season as a whole isn't that much different than the guy who'll be replacing him.
I look at this as good news: if the back problem was making him pitch less effectively, not having nearly as much pain might allow him to pitch effectively. If he can't go at all, the previous paragraph applies. If he can go, it's possible he'll be more effective.
2006-09-30 08:39:27
2.   wsporter
Johnson's news has the potential to be bad I think because it puts the rotation and roster in flux. Mr. Torre had some time to set things up the way he wanted. Now that planning seems to have gone a little amiss. Substantively though is Johnson that much better now even with a sound back than the alternatives available to take his place? I'm not sure that Liddle or Wright won't give us at least what Johnson would have. Sure I guess Unit has the potential to throw a vintage game but it's been a while.

On a bright note, and excuse me if this has already been mentioned, Don Mattingly has started a blog. How cool is that?

2006-09-30 08:43:54
3.   C2Coke
Terrific shadows for us to see, not so fun for the players.

To me, it's a toss between RJ and Wright. As unpredictable as RJ has been all season, he has 10+ seasons with very strong PS resume. And Wright seems to be ok lately.
1 markp, you are definitely right about healthy RJ being more effective. On the other hand, I'd take a hurting RJ over Lidle.

Rasner seems like a good long man option for possible not-so-pretty situations. He's had a few quality starts but he is no "Wang-of-last-year".

All in all, I can't express how grateful I am to see both Sheff and Giambi back in time. Well, obviouse, and Mo.

2006-09-30 08:46:42
4.   C2Coke
Wow...I couldn't spell obviously ...
2006-09-30 08:53:19
5.   yankz
2 Do you think the "Milky" was a typo?
2006-09-30 09:06:05
6.   kylepetterson
5 "Since this is my first blog post I wanted you all to know that Shannon, my website guy, is typing all this, but it is coming straight from me."

I'm guessing that means the typos, also.

2006-09-30 09:20:00
7.   Peter
"George has had the best year since I have been back as well."

At first I wondered why he was talking about Steinbrenner. It took a minute before realizing it's actually Jorge.

2006-09-30 09:38:56
8.   Murray
They gave Johnson an epidural? Funny, he didn't look pregnant to me.
2006-09-30 09:43:11
9.   seamus
Johnson will be missed. He has been inconsistent but when he has been on he has been as dominant as anyone. Of course, that is only 50% of the time. He also can go deep ingames. So I'd rather have him there, but I think we can survive without him - assuming Moose and Wang stay healthy throughout the playoffs.
2006-09-30 10:16:43
10.   wsporter
5 No I don't. Clearly Mr. Mattingly is a Linguistic Scholar and he's just having a little fun with some creative word play. Melky, Leche, Milky. Oh what a clever scamp that Donnie B is.

Either that or it is the Web Guy. Damn pitch hitters ;-)

2006-09-30 10:25:41
11.   kylepetterson
Johnson is really good, half of the time.
Wright is half as good, most of the time.
2006-09-30 11:00:33
12.   JeremyM
Twins are down 5-0 in the 7th--it's looking certain that the Yanks will get them in the first round.
2006-09-30 11:06:48
13.   randym77
Jaret Wright's recent starts:

AUG 30: 6.1 IP - 6 H - 2 ER - 1 BB
SEP 10: 6.1 IP - 3 H - 3 ER - 2 BB
SEP 17: 6.0 IP - 4 H - 2 ER - 3 BB
SEP 25: 6.0 IP - 5 H - 1 ER - 4 BB

Randy Johnson's recent starts:

SEP 06: 7.0 IP - 1 H - 0 ER - 2 BB
SEP 11: 6.0 IP - 9 H - 5 ER - 0 BB
SEP 16: 5.2 IP - 8 H - 5 ER - 3 BB
SEP 23: 6.0 IP - 7 H - 5 ER - 1 BB

2006-09-30 11:12:18
14.   rbj
If the Yankees can win the first two against the Twins - probably low scoring contests - then the bats should bust out against Minnesota's #3 starter. That'll keep the rotation intact for the ALCS. But if it goes to 5 games, that means Wang's been burned up in game 5 and the ALCS rotation is Moose and ? and ? and then Wang.

Anyone think Unit would accept a trade back to AZ to finish his career?

2006-09-30 11:21:18
15.   kylepetterson
13 There's just something about Wright that makes him easy to root for.
2006-09-30 11:23:55
16.   randym77
Melky Cabrera CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Derek Jeter SS
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Gary Sheffield 1B
Bobby Abreu RF
Hideki Matsui LF
Bernie Williams DH
Sal Fasano C

Jeff Karstens P

2006-09-30 11:33:20
17.   Eirias
15 Agreed, despite the fact that he looks like a squirrel with the amount of junk he keeps in his cheek, I don't mind Wright. Perhaps it is the fact that he is NOT PAVANO.
2006-09-30 12:04:30
18.   Ravenscar
Chilly? Today?

Alex, I pity you when February gets here. ;-)

2006-09-30 12:05:30
19.   kylepetterson
17 It seems like they got lumped together a lot last year, "Wright and Pavano", "Pavano and Wright". Comparitivly, Jaret Wright is the next Nolan Ryan.
2006-09-30 12:06:45
20.   mehmattski
15 It must be the three pound wad of chaw in his cheek.
2006-09-30 12:24:24
21.   Eirias
rjb, vis-a-vis your question last night, the ditty goes:

First we'll use Spahn, then we'll use Sain,

Then an off day, followed by rain.

Back will come Spahn, followed by Sain,

And followed, we hope, by two days of rain.

2006-09-30 12:24:50
22.   Eirias
21 Just insert Wang and Mussina in there.
2006-09-30 12:35:32
23.   mehmattski
Fun with numbers:

Joe Mauer: 179 for 517 (.34623)
Robinson Cano: 162 for 474 (.34177)
Derek Jeter: 210 for 615 (.34146)

Given that Mauer did not play in today's loss to the White Sox, I'd imagine that he only has, at most, 3 or 4 at bats left, assuming he plays at all tomorrow. If that's the case, then the worst Mauer can do is 179 for 521 (.34357)

I'm assuming that Cano and the Cap will get around 7 at bats between today and tomorrow. If that's the case, Cano will need four hits to eclipse Mauer in this scenario (three hits is .34305, four hits is .34511). If Mauer goes 1 for 4 rather than 0 for 4, he will be at .34549.

Jeter, meanwhile, also needs between four and five hits (in seven at bats) to eclipse Mauer at .34405.

My calculator stands ready if anyone else wants me to examine a specific situation...

2006-09-30 12:38:21
24.   JeremyM
Boy, I'm watching the Cardinals, and they really do stink. So far they've had their starting pitcher get thrown out trying to steal a base (to be fair I missed what exactly happened there), Larussa flashing his "genius" by pitching around the 8th hitter to get a pinch-hitter to bat for the pitcher and remove Sheets from the game; of course the pinch-hitter singles home two runs, and the Cardinals getting 7 hits and one walk but no runs in 7 innings. The Dodgers and Padres should kill themselves to win the division to play this team.
2006-09-30 12:43:27
25.   rbj
24 Yeah. Most telling stat: they are 3-9 lately, and the guy with two of those wins is Jeff Weaver.
When Jeff Weaver is your best pitcher, you're hurting big time.
2006-09-30 12:46:14
26.   randym77
Speaking of numbers...anyone think today's lineup is designed for stats? Robby upfront where he'll get a lot of at-bats, to give him a chance to catch Mauer. Jeter in the three-hole, to give him a chance to get more RBIs.
2006-09-30 12:52:51
27.   JeremyM
26 Makes sense to me. I think Peter Abraham said that Torre really wants Jeter to get 100 RBIs.
2006-09-30 12:54:39
28.   JeremyM
Speaking of Abraham, he has a good report up now. Mussina and Mo are duking it out for pitching coach duties tomorrow--that's a tough choice in my opinion. Guiel didn't make the playoff roster:(
2006-09-30 12:59:05
29.   weeping for brunnhilde
Speaking of Mo, I've been out of it for awhile. I saw his first game back, which was decent (a few crazy high pitches, a hit batsman) but I've not seen anything since.

How's he doing?

2006-09-30 13:00:02
30.   randym77
Andy Phillips made it. Man, I just don't understand why Torre and Cashman are so in love with him. Goldman predicted he'd be DFA'd weeks ago.
2006-09-30 13:00:05
31.   mehmattski
28 I know this has been discussed before, but I have to ask: If Torre had been intending for Phillips to be on the roster all along, why has he had just 11 bats in September? I mean, I understand the reasoning for including him on the PS roster, but the guy has been Gatorade and Sunflower Seed Guy since he got off the DL. What gives?
2006-09-30 13:00:19
32.   Alex Belth
On the low, I'm at the Stadium today working and there is lots of news. RJ played catch with Kerrigan today and it wasn't just merely casual or perfunctory. Apparently, Kerrigan squated down and wore a mask by the end of it. The feeling is that RJ will pitch even if he is in pain. Too proud. Told reporters something to the effect of he could have gone anywhere to win 16, 17 games, he came to the Bronx to win a title.

Torre announced that Sheff will play 1b in the playoffs, Giambi will DH, and Matsui will play left.

Cairo and Phillips will round out the roster.

Busy here today. Lots of activity. You can feel everyone getting prepped for the playoffs, now just days away.

The only ones who seemed relaxed, like they are having fun are the players. Watched them take BP from the field today. Whole team seems really loose. Lots of easy smiles. One reporter said even Alex has been noticably looser the past few weeks. Was talking about just how different this clubhouse is from the 04 version, with dour, "bad guys" like Kevin Brown and Kenny Lofton.

2006-09-30 13:05:59
33.   randym77
31 I assume because they aren't keeping him on the roster for his bat.

Kind of like last year, when Tony Womack made the post-season roster, solely as a pinch-runner...

2006-09-30 13:07:12
34.   weeping for brunnhilde
Memory plays tricks on you, you know.

I just visited Mattingly's site and submitted a question.

He'll forever be a legend to me because I was 12 in 1984 and thus highly susceptible to legendary figures. (Mattingly was succeeded by John Lennon as I turned into a hippie and drifted away from sports, but that's neither here nor there.)

But the point is, whenever I remember Mattingly, I remember a guy who always seemed to come through with the big hit. And yet, even in his best year, he made an out 648 times out of a thousand, so I guess I must be misremembering.


And poor Arod, in my imagination, never seems to come through in the big spot, and yet he does, occasionally.


Big spot, game on the line, though, romanticized as my image may be, I'd take Mattingly over Arod in a heartbeat.

Maybe if I were twelve now, watching Arod, I'd have a totally different impression of his career?

2006-09-30 13:10:46
35.   weeping for brunnhilde
Is it too alarmist of me to quake at the notion of Sheffield starting at first during the playoffs?

Part of me just has the general anxiety about fooling with success, upsetting the alchemy that's gotten us this far.

The other part is a more specific concern about regularly placing an inexperienced fielder at a position where the ball is bound to find him on strange plays like bunts or dribblers or whatever.

I don't know, all I can say is, "I have a bad, bad feeling about this."

Am I overreacting?

2006-09-30 13:13:30
36.   rbj
32 Thanks Alex.
And I just want to give a big shout out to Fox, for keeping the next to the last game of the season off of EI.
F U Fox!
St. Louis comes back and wins.
2006-09-30 13:17:56
37.   yankz
OK Captain, home run time...
2006-09-30 13:18:06
38.   JeremyM
I thought Cano was batting second today?
2006-09-30 13:18:42
39.   yankz
Tied at .343.
2006-09-30 13:19:01
40.   seamus
our batting title contenders off to a good start!
2006-09-30 13:20:31
41.   randym77
38 He is. Melky flied out, Cano hit a single, Jeter hit a single. A-Rod at bat.
2006-09-30 13:22:56
42.   3rd gen yankee fan
Ya know, I just hate Arod batting fourth.
2006-09-30 13:23:06
43.   mehmattski
35 Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: We've had this argument before. I'm a believer in that "chemistry" comes from an atmosphere of winning, and not vice versa. For all we know, the kids on the Devil Rays are the best friends in the world, but it doesn't win them many baseball games. Alchemy, you mentioned... never succeded in making gold out of brass.

Having Gary Sheffield at first base instead of Jason Giambi is another example of known quantity versus unknown quantity, much like the Kevin Thompson vs Bernie Williams argument after Sheff got hurt. The basis of many of the new, more comprehensive statistics, is the principle of "replacement level," that is, if you picked up your run of the mill AAA player, how would he perform. Giambi is an awful defensive first baseman. Sheffield, we hope, can provide that replacement level defense. It is unlikely he will be as bad as Giambi. That's also why I'm fine with Andy Phillips being on the postseason roster: he is clearly the best defensive first baseman on the roster (see the discussion from the other day), so in a worst case scenario (Giambi/Sheff/Matsui gets hurt or Sheff is absolutely awful at first), Phillips can play first. By contrast, I have a very good feeling about our offense in the playoffs.

2006-09-30 13:24:20
44.   randym77
42 So do the fans in the stands, apparently. A-Rod was roundly booed for grounding into the double play.
2006-09-30 13:24:33
45.   JeremyM
Stupid gamecenter has Cairo playing today.
2006-09-30 13:25:42
46.   randym77
Holy crap. Nice play, Melky!
2006-09-30 13:27:02
47.   yankz
46 Can you describe it?
2006-09-30 13:27:53
48.   wsporter
15 pitches 6 outs for Karstens. Nice! I get the sense one group has golf plans.
2006-09-30 13:29:47
49.   randym77
46 It was downright Bubba-like. Ball at the wall in the left-center gap. Ran a long way to get it, jumped up, reached out, caught the ball, and crashed into the wall. You could hardly believe he got to it.
2006-09-30 13:30:21
50.   mehmattski
39 Not quite tied:
Mauer .34623
Cano .34316
Jeter .34253

The Phillies-Marlins game on FOX is preventing me from watching the Yanks on They're only in the seventh inning. I'm glad I paid $15 to watch the last few weeks of games...

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-09-30 13:37:59
51.   yankz
49 Thanks
2006-09-30 13:38:33
52.   yankz
Karstens on cruise control, only 22 pitches.
2006-09-30 13:43:39
53.   randym77
And the crowd goes wild as Bernie hits an easy groundout. Bernabe can do no wrong.
2006-09-30 13:44:19
54.   wsporter
50 It's very frustrating isn't it? MLB.TV is a great value but these little insults are hard to take.
2006-09-30 13:47:56
55.   mehmattski
Mauer .34623
Jeter .34253
Cano .34243
2006-09-30 13:52:34
56.   randym77
Wow, Jeet's passed Cano. C'mon, Captain!
2006-09-30 13:54:42
57.   yankz
What, are you Mauer's best friend or something, Marcum?!
2006-09-30 13:56:45
58.   Eirias
How dare Sterling bring up the perfect game?
2006-09-30 13:56:53
59.   yankz
Oh HELL yes Arod
2006-09-30 13:57:10
60.   yankz
58 You repeated it.
2006-09-30 13:57:21
61.   randym77
A-Rod with a monster shot.

Thank heaven. If only because it shuts Kay up. He was blathering on about how Mauer winning the batting title will be tarnished if he sits out the last two games.

2006-09-30 13:58:06
62.   yankz
Wow, I love this O.
2006-09-30 13:58:14
63.   Eirias
60 Michael Kay will have my head.
2006-09-30 13:58:30
64.   randym77
Well, I guess Sheff is ready...
2006-09-30 13:58:41
65.   3rd gen yankee fan
54 When is MLB gonna realize they can make MORE money by allowing fans to watch ALL games on the internet???
2006-09-30 13:59:53
66.   wsporter
boo that clowns!
2006-09-30 14:00:02
67.   3rd gen yankee fan
Ok I'm not pissed at Arod anymore.
2006-09-30 14:01:41
68.   mehmattski
I Really wish I could be watching this...
2006-09-30 14:02:02
69.   randym77
He's scarfing down sunflower seeds like there's no tomorrow. Don't they feed that boy?
2006-09-30 14:06:24
70.   LI yankee
68 email me at and I'll help you out
2006-09-30 14:09:35
71.   Eirias
68 The key, I've found, is to have a friend who doesn't live in an area that gets YES. We trade subscriptions.
2006-09-30 14:12:01
72.   randym77
The Kay jinx strikes again. As soon as he says Karstens has a perfect game...
2006-09-30 14:12:11
73.   yankz
It never fails...
2006-09-30 14:12:20
74.   Eirias
Karstens, I'm sorry. I blame myself.
2006-09-30 14:13:25
75.   Eirias
74 Anyone have a wakizashi?
2006-09-30 14:14:24
76.   yankz
Any reason Matsui left the game?
2006-09-30 14:15:13
77.   wsporter
65 I'd be willing to bet this has a lot to do with their business partners at Fox and the 4 letter nightmare. It's a pretty short sighted policy no matter how you cut it though. I'm with mehmattski "I Really wish I could be watching this..."
2006-09-30 14:16:19
78.   randym77
76 Joe's just putting all the scrubs in. Game doesn't matter, so why not?
2006-09-30 14:17:21
79.   wsporter
As I said before I'm really glad Cliff is othewise occupied; jinxing is just .....
2006-09-30 14:22:10
80.   randym77
Looks like Bernie jammed his knee or something sliding home.

I don't know why they even sent him. He's not very fast any more.

2006-09-30 14:24:30
81.   yankz
Holy sh1t, this isn't over! Although enough infield singles, captain, hit some bombs!
2006-09-30 14:24:42
82.   mehmattski
Mauer .34623
Jeter .3436
Cano .34172
2006-09-30 14:25:07
83.   yankz
78 Thanks, just curious

80 How bad is it?

2006-09-30 14:26:40
84.   randym77
83 They don't know. They just showed Bernie limping down the stairs and into the clubhouse, the trainer running after him.
2006-09-30 14:27:01
85.   Jim Dean
32 Lofton at least had a legit reason to be dour. He was absolutely buried by Torre even as he would have been better than Bernie in 2004.

Then they really compounded the problem last year by trading him away. With how close the 2004 and 2005 post-seasons ended, a legit CF could have made a huge difference.

43 You're going a bit over board on the Phillips as "clearly" the best defensive 1B. The discussion from the other day showed that Phillips has maybe made four outs more than Wilson. Further, that assessment is based less than half a year of data (for Phillips). If I had to choose those extra four outs or the extrta few years of experience, I'd choose the latter. That's why it was Wilson tutoring Shef while Phillips watched from the bench. Even still, both are average at best.

That said, it's weird. They've known for a while that they'd need a defensive 1B. With how cheaply an offensively challenged, but defensively sound, 1B could be had, why not go out and get one before August 30th?

2006-09-30 14:27:15
86.   randym77
Miggy's so clutch.
2006-09-30 14:30:31
87.   wsporter
85 Man, this roster is a mess! ;-)
2006-09-30 14:43:44
88.   weeping for brunnhilde
86 Agreed.
2006-09-30 14:44:39
89.   Jim Dean
87 Sorry for my own dourness, wsport! Lofton was a bad mistake - the guy is a borderline HOF'er because of his longevity and he was absolutely buried then dumped. And they went two seasons without a CF because of it. While I love what Damon has done and who he is, I don't love the contract or the fact that if they had given Melky a real shot last year he may have worked out the yips then. Now they have a $33 mil OF with no room for the Melkman. Weird.

The Phillips case gets me because it's not like the guy is good, yet folks have been bending over backwards to "clearly" support his roster space. It's like the guy's the team mascot in the Bubba mold. We all know how that turned out last year.

So yeah, I have a giant stick lodged in me, and I'm not sure why. Maybe nervousness about a tough upcoming opponent where the storyline by the national media will be David against Goliath. Worst of all, the worst trade they made of the last few years has given us Kevin Brown part 2. If we can beat Santana in game 1 I'll probably go back to feeling good for the rest of the post-season.

2006-09-30 14:46:31
90.   randym77
Well, Bernie came back out to bat, so I guess he's okay.
2006-09-30 14:47:01
91.   singledd
Karstean looks more like the Big Unit then does the Big Useless himself.

Unit WANTs to pitch in the PS because he wants a ring. Rah, rah.... but is this better for the team? If he is shit, he takes up a spot that might be better with Karstens it in.

It might be best to sit him for the ALDS and then give him a novicain enema for the ALCS... where his spot will come up twice.

2006-09-30 14:47:10
92.   wsporter
I'm sorry if this has been discussed but I just saw that Pedro has a torn Rotator Cuff, needs surgery for it and will be out 8 months. Ouch.
2006-09-30 14:48:38
93.   Eirias
The Mexican-American War program is on, so everyone can learn about Karim Garcia.
2006-09-30 14:49:38
94.   Alex Belth
I agree that Lofton was jerked around in New York. But I have no problems believing that he's an asswipe, good situation or not.
2006-09-30 14:50:36
95.   mehmattski
89 Eh, I'm pretty sure that the CF solution could have been solved by spending money on Beltran rather than Kevin Brown part 2, as opposed to picking one aging CFer (Bernie) over another (Lofton). I'm no Lofton fan; he has zero chance of being in the Hall of Fame.

As I said in 43, Phillips playing first is an extreme worst case scenario, and it's more likely that he pinch runs for Giambi or Posada late in a close game. Fretting over the 25th man on the roster seems a little weird, but I understand that's what we fans do :-)

I promise to remain the optimist poster even if we (gasp!) lose to Santana in game 1; 2004 should have taught us that no series is ever over.

2006-09-30 14:50:42
96.   Alex Belth
where did you see that about Pedro?
2006-09-30 14:52:48
97.   randym77
95 I hope Andy's not on the roster to be a pinch-runner. He's a terrible baserunner, and not very fast, either. He's on the roster for defense.
2006-09-30 14:53:24
98.   rbj
92 Torn rotator cuff? In addition to his torn calf muscles?
Is there any part of Pedro that isn't torn?
2006-09-30 14:54:05
99.   yankz
Jeter's career BA is up to .317, wow.
2006-09-30 14:55:19
100.   randym77
Here's an article:

>>The New York Mets will be missing ace Pedro Martinez for more than just the postseason. The Mets right-hander will have rotator cuff surgery next week and be out eight months. The injury is expected to sideline him until at least June.<<

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-09-30 14:55:41
101.   3rd gen yankee fan
92 Wow that's harsh. I actually feel sorry for the guy.
2006-09-30 14:57:36
102.   sabernar
Like someone mentioned on another thread, if the Yankees postseason comes down to whether Phillips or Wilson is playing 1B, then there are much bigger problems at hand.

91 I doubt Karstens would ever get the nod over Lidle.

89 Lofton is a borderline HoF'er?

2006-09-30 14:59:49
103.   randym77
Andy looked like Sheff on that play.
2006-09-30 14:59:51
104.   yankz
Look how consistent Jeter's been this year:

BA by month:
April .398
May .292
June .322
July .412 (!)
August .295
September .350

2006-09-30 15:00:50
105.   mehmattski
Hey, andy: stop proving me wrong
2006-09-30 15:05:19
106.   wsporter
89 Jim, I'm a little sensitive on Andy. We watched him for a couple of years as a minor leaguer and he actually is a good infielder. He has soft hands, quick feet and good instincts. He's had a chance to show that at some points this summer. He has not had a consistent opportunity to get the 500 ab's he will need to become a solid major league hitter. If and when he gets them under his belt I think he'll surprise a number of people.

As to Lofton. we can agree to disagree about him. I think he's a piece of crap. Everything I read indicates he was club house poison in NY. I'm glad he's gone. Would he have avoided that collision with Shef? Maybe. Would he have made the difference? I can't see it.

I wasn't crazy about the Damon signing. A lot of us here weren't when it went down. I've come around on it. He's not Grady Sizemore but he may be the next best thing right now. I love Melky but he can't give us what Damon does at this point.

As to the roster; if we can't win with this group, this year, it's just not in the cards. We're going up against the Twinkies who can throw Santana twice. Am I nervous? Sure, we all are but I don't think it's as bad or as dire as you paint it. Can we loose this thing? Sure we can, but I like our chances as well as I like anyone's if not better.

2006-09-30 15:09:13
107.   randym77
And Karstens won't get the W.
2006-09-30 15:10:23
108.   mehmattski
Wow, when I heard Leiter give Myers' L/R split, I thought for sure he was mistaken. But he's correct:

vs Righties: 48 AB, .208/.333/.271
vs Lefties: 70 AB, .257/.297/.443

Perhaps its Sample Size, but it certainly doesn't seem like Righties are murdering him as in the past (2003-2005):

vs Lefties: .208/.278/.318
vs Righties: .331/.450/.509

2006-09-30 15:10:31
109.   Jim Dean
94 Oh, I'm not saying he's not a putz (I wouldn't know either way), just that he had a good reason to be in NY. Then he had a monster year last year (.811 OPS with 22 SB), when we sure as heck could have used it. Remember who we got in return - F-Rod - the really bad one.

95 I didn't say Kenny IS a HOF'er just a borderline one. I wouldn't make the former case.


Well, if Bernie is borderline HOF'er then so is Lofton (career G AVG OBP SLG SB ZR):

KL: 1965 .299 .372 .423 .795 597 .900
BW: 2074 .294 .381 .477 .858 147 .878

Pretty good match there. That big difference In SLG looks alot smaller if you give Lofton "credit" for all those extra stolen bases. And Lofton has consistently played the better OF is you use your own preferred defensive metric.

IMO, both miss out on the HOF - borderline but on the outside.

And I really hope Phillips sees no playing time, because a good 1B makes that play.

2006-09-30 15:10:59
110.   3rd gen yankee fan
107 That's unfortunate, Karstens pitched a good game. Other than that, I wouldn't mind TO winning this game.
2006-09-30 15:11:07
111.   yankz
Ok wtf? I was gone for about 3 minutes and this happens??
2006-09-30 15:12:06
112.   3rd gen yankee fan
Villone in: out of the frying pan, etc.
2006-09-30 15:12:33
113.   wsporter
Well that sucked.
2006-09-30 15:12:40
114.   3rd gen yankee fan
111 It's all your fault.
2006-09-30 15:13:37
115.   randym77
It was Beam, not Villone, that let the tying and go-ahead runs score.
2006-09-30 15:15:31
116.   yankz
114 sorry :(
2006-09-30 15:16:16
117.   marc
Joe's given the order he wants Boston out of 2nd no matter what
2006-09-30 15:16:40
118.   singledd
Even though this game is a throw-away, see the PB give up a 3 run lead always makes my stomach queazy.
2006-09-30 15:17:27
119.   3rd gen yankee fan
114 Aw it's okay. It's a nice gesture for Toranna. Hopefully Boston will lose tonight.
2006-09-30 15:17:47
120.   wsporter
Anyone still watching this on Gameday? Fasano is one interesting looking dude. That soup strainer he calls a mustache is a classic.
2006-09-30 15:18:08
121.   Alex Belth
Yo, Sal Fasano is my favorite fat baserunner. He's better than Giambi. For a big man, he has decent wheels. Really looks funny.
2006-09-30 15:19:31
122.   Jim Dean
106 No, I don't think it's bad or dire at all, wsport. This has been the greatest season for me going back to 1994 to this point. Just lots of fun all around.

If all I'm complaining about is Andy Phillips then things are good, indeed. Past decisions I could complain about for a long time though. I hope Cashman has turned a corner but the lack of a true defensive 1B is a bit surprising.

2006-09-30 15:20:11
123.   mehmattski
109 That's an interesting comparison, though I think you'll find an extreme bias for Bernie among Yankee fans, even among the usually critical Banterers. Personally, I don't think either is a HOFer, but I think the overall picture sways in Bernie's favor. The stolen bases are not enough to make up for the huge SLG gap, as seen in Equivalent Average, which takes SB and CS into account. This, in effect, negates 152 of Lofton's SB because of CS. Lofton's career EQA (adjusted for park and season) is .277, which equates to 176 career runs above replacement. Bernie is at .290 (320 BRAR) over the same 15 season period. EQA is on a scale similar to batting average, so imagine the difference between a career .290 hitter and a career .277 hitter. I think it gives Bernie the edge. Plus Bernie plays a much better guitar ;-)
2006-09-30 15:21:21
124.   wsporter
Yo man think how fast he'd be if the Gameday picture did have that mustache. That thing's causing a lot of friction.
2006-09-30 15:23:57
125.   wsporter
122 :-)

124 Uhm that should be "....did't have that mustache." oh well.

2006-09-30 15:25:26
126.   mehmattski
Mauer .34623
Jeter .34360
Cano .34100
2006-09-30 15:33:07
127.   wsporter
125 Re: 124 Damn - DIDN'T. Oye.
2006-09-30 15:36:10
128.   monkeypants
123 Maybe he's not a HOFer, but I think Bernie gets sold a little short, especially if we consider how much the last fe years have depressed his career stats. He had a .900+ OPS from 1996 to 2002 and led the team in OPS in 5 of those 7 years. Bernie also played a credible, at times superior CF, before the injuries. During Bernie's peak, who was a better CFer overall? Griffey. Maybe Finley (I don't know, I didn't chck the numbers).

Compare Bernie's numbers to HOF CFer Kirby Pucket.

2006-09-30 15:42:12
129.   mehmattski
Mauer .34623
Jeter .34466
Cano .34100

If Mauer sits tomorrow, Jeter will need to go at least 3 for 4 to surpass Mauer. 2 for 2 would also do it. 2 for 3 would give Mauer the victory by .00002.

2006-09-30 15:44:45
130.   marc
gameday has Jeter at .345 now
2006-09-30 15:50:21
131.   randym77
Aw, Ralph Malph. That was your pitch!
2006-09-30 15:55:48
132.   marc
I'm conflicted about whether I care if we win this game. I really would like the Jays have a chance for second. Then at least people can't say the Yanks and Boston makes it impossible for anyone else in the division. If it ends up a tie for 2nd I assume that's the way it shows up in the final standings
2006-09-30 16:06:17
133.   C2Coke
Well, the Yankees lost. But I guess it's not that bad besides that Cap'n didn't get any RBIS. Cap'n's stat up to .345, Blue Jays in second place.
2006-09-30 16:08:27
134.   3rd gen yankee fan
Go Baltimore. That game's getting off to a great start, Wake's pitching and the O's have the leadoff hitter on. :-)
2006-09-30 16:13:43
135.   randym77
Wow. Jeter 3 for 3 today. Mauer better play tomorrow, or Jeter's going to catch him. I would have thought it was impossible. Maybe for Cano, but I thought Jeter was out of it.
2006-09-30 16:16:06
136.   marc
Actually, pretty good results. Now Jeter is way too close for Mauer win by hiding and Toronto has a real shot of taking 2nd from Boston. If we get to the WS it will be a pretty good match with either the Mets, Cardinals, Dodgers or Padres. While it would be the least interesting and the lowest ratings the Padres wouldn't be bad for winning it all. It's hard for me to imagine any NL pitcher wanting to face the new lineup we have especially with the DH and pretty brutal even with the pitcher batting 9th.
2006-09-30 16:24:10
137.   yankz
Yeah, all this MVP and batting title talk must be getting to Jeter.
2006-09-30 16:27:47
138.   randym77
I don't think Mauer was going to sit out tomorrow, anyway. As Al Leiter pointed out, he took today off so that he could play tomorrow, so no one would say he was hiding.

Kay and a lot of Yankee fans are muttering about Mauer sitting out today, but he's a catcher. They've been playing him every other day anyway, in order to rest him. It has nothing to do with the batting title and everything to do with the post-season.

2006-09-30 16:29:09
139.   C2Coke
137 Yea, and he's taking note from Arod...
2006-09-30 17:17:30
140.   marc
Baltimore leading Boston 3-0 in middle of 5th.
2006-09-30 17:24:00
141.   randym77
I see the Dodgers clinched. I'm kind of rooting for Yankees vs. Dodgers. That would be so classic...
2006-09-30 18:59:57
142.   marc
Boston loses again.
2006-09-30 19:19:44
143.   Jim Dean
123 Sorry, my wife insisted I take her out for dinner. The .22 difference in ZR has to account for something though, right? Especially for a CF? And .900 ZR across his career is pretty darn absurd. Between the 600 SB, even with 150 CS, and that defense, he does a pretty good job of making up for the difference in EQA. And even as Bernie picks a sick guitar, Lofton is one of only two men to play in a Final Four (as Arizona's starting point guard) and a World Series. Even still I agree - neither makes the HOF in my book. But they're both pretty darn good players - it's amazing they were both on the Yanks at one time. Too bad Joe didn't make sufficient use of one of them.

125 Right back 'atcha!

2006-09-30 19:43:04
144.   Simone
I can't believe that Andy Phillips made the playoff roster over Wilson. Awful. What is Joe thinking here? Insanity. At least, Wilson is a major league player. Finally, they get rid of Bubba and now Phillips takes his place as the minor league player who should never be on the team.
2006-09-30 20:07:40
145.   Simone
Also, Phillips is not the best defensive 1st baseman on this team, that would Craig Wilson. Phillips has barely played the position for a year and a half and it shows sometimes on routine plays. There is no reason to justify picking Phillips over Wilson. This may not be a big mistake, but it is a mistake nonetheless. A blown save, an extra inning game, the Yankees will need a 1st baseman who can hit not just a defensive replacement. Bad decision by Joe, just downright bad.
2006-09-30 20:11:22
146.   JeremyM
Anyone catch this from On the Yankees Beat:

Grimsley Named Names
Kudos to the Los Angeles Times -- which, like Newsday, is a Tribune-owned newspaper -- for finding out the names of players Jason Grimsley reportedly mentioned to federal authorities as users of performance-enhancing drugs.

Here are the names Grimsley reportedly mentioned:

Roger Clemens
Andy Pettitte
Miguel Tejada
Brian Roberts
Jay Gibbons

David Segui also told ESPN a while ago he was on the list.

2006-09-30 20:27:59
147.   randym77
146 Holy crap. Brian Roberts?

I guess that explains how you go from hitting 4 homers a year to suddenly hitting 20. :-/

2006-09-30 21:51:08
148.   Maniakes

Wilson: 220/257/380 in 100 ABs with the Yankees
Phillips: 241/283/398 in 241 ABs this year

If Phillips comes up to bat in extra innings after a blown save, Bernie and Melky are available to pinch-hit, and Cairo is available to play first. Or Fasano can come it to catch and Posada can play first. Or an outfielder can play first.

It may not be the optimal decision, but it isn't likely to cost us any games. Not the way Wilson has been hitting (a Womackian

2006-09-30 23:02:52
149.   yankz
146 Oh my god...two key players of the 99 and 00 teams?
2006-10-01 05:01:36
150.   Simone
146 Steriods help athletes recover faster from injury and work outs. Most of the players caught so far have been pitchers so Clemens and Pettite make sense.

There better be equal opportunity outrage from fans and media about Clemens as there is about Bonds. I expect ranting and crusading (Whitlock's word) columns from Gollum aka Lupica, etc. against Clemens. They better be calls for him to retire, people saying that asterisks should be on his records and that he perpetrated a fraud. After all, the fans and media were all hyped over Clemens' record breaking events.

Tejada was implicated by Canseco, Palmeiro and the didacted Grimsely documents released previously and Roberts was his teammate so again I'm suprised.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-10-01 05:15:56
151.   randym77
To me, the really unnerving thing is that (former) Yankees trainer Brian McNamee was apparently the guy who was guiding the players to the juice.

And yeesh, the weather looks awful today. I hope the last game of the season isn't rained out. I want to see Bernie manage the game! I want Jeet to get his chance to catch Mauer.

2006-10-01 07:02:02
152.   ChuckM
I still find most defensive metrics to be a bit flawed. Lofton's speed may have covered up some of his defensive deficiencies when he was younger, but as he got older it became evident that he was not the greatest defensive OF. I remember one scout's quote on his route running, "it looks like he's being chased by bees out there". I'm not saying Bernie was the greatest either, due to his slow acceleration, but I think you're barking up the wrong tree if you think Lofton's defense makes up for his weaker stats elsewhere in comparison to Bernie's...
2006-10-01 07:04:36
153.   monkeypants
148 But you know Torre will do something crazy like PR for Giambi in the fifth, and then Phillips/Cairo will absorb two or three ABs (somehow, all of them critical).

More important, though--why no Gueil? Even if we assume that Wilson, Phillips, and Gueil are essentially the same (which they are not), Guiel has shown all year that he can smoke lefties. Who is going to PH against a tough leftey reliever, Bernie??

2006-10-01 07:23:35
154.   randym77
Of course it's going to be Bernie. What else is he on the team for? Not for his defense or his speed or his smart baserunning.
2006-10-01 07:31:58
155.   singledd
I agree with a lot of what has been said about the PS roster, and I personally have some different choices then Torre does (as many of you do).

But I must remind myself that Torre has a whole organization's worth of information behind him, including coaches and face-to-face knowledge of the players. While Torre appears to make bad moves, I think often we don't have the whole picture (obviously), and that Torre REALLY wants to win.

I trust the guy. He ain't perfect and some moves seem really stupid... but I do believe there is a method to his madness.

I trust him to put the best team on the field.

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