Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
Joe Torre is now meeting with the print media at Yankee Stadium. TV and radio are not there. Check with Pete Abraham's Lo Hud blog all afternoon for updates. I'm listening to the feed on the FAN and the word is: Torre is staying.
Free WiFi at the Stadium?
"Jeter, sit down - I don't care if you actually 'lived this'..."
Why the hell did George have to can Zim . . .
Welcome back, Joe. (cue Kotter theme music)
Time to take the long road, I think, and build the farm system and see what other Hugheses and Clippards and the like can be produced from within.
I personally don't think any A-Rod trades are going to happen, but I'm sure we'll hear every possible trade scenario and rumor in the coming weeks. Can't wait.
Not sure about Moose yet. I guess it depends on money and length of contract.
Lupica is a real piece of work. He stated in the article that "Nobody wants a bad ending for Torre
." then called for exactly that by attempting to tweak the Bosses nose. "Are you a Boss or just an old man" he essentially asked. His advice was essentially "If you're still the Boss you'll exercise your own voice and fire that looser, those around you be damned". Of course Lupica has made a career out of haranguing the Boss for adopting just that attitude over the last 30 years. But why should something as simple as consistency or truth or honor bother a mind as expansive and all knowing as Lupi's. Up is down, black is white, truth is a lie and apparently that's ok so long as it works for Lupi.
What a Creep. He's like that sneaky little kid in school who would egg the other kids on to break the rules then be the first one to rat when the teacher found out. I can't believe anyone needs to sell papers so badly that they are willing to engage in this kind of shallow, transparent nonsense.
Lupi would have egged George on to fire Mr. Torre then stood first in line to criticize the new choice no matter who that choice was. Heck he'd probably be the first one to criticize the Boss for firing Mr. Torre and then call for his re-hire. What does Lupi care; it's not his ass on the line. Clearly his word and any concept of honor or consistency don't matter to him or his bosses. He is nothing more than an over paid scream. Wish we could have an open referendum on whether Lupi could keep his sorry job. Now that might be fun.
I'm just glad that they did the right thing after 11 straight trips and a lot of good years.
Nice post, ws. You nailed it.
need 5 from above. let sheff and moose go. keep everybody else. get a 1B and a back up catcher.
Personally, I'm none too impressed with Zito. I fear he'd be mediocre to start and the press would get on him. Also, if he has a good postseason, his market value will be overly inflated.
johnson setting up rivera could potentially be mindblowing.
My only skepticism is that he won't go for it. He's at 280 wins and I'm sure he's lusting to get to 300.
22 Why just 5? Why not more? Ask the Red Sox about pitching depth. That said, Zito is not worth 5 years/$15 mil. Nor was Pettitte, for that matter. The Yanks need to avoid overpaying for mediocre talent, so they can continue to shell out the big bucks for the big talent.
With all the pressure, no way Zito comes to the Yanks anyway. I bet he goes to the Dodgers or San Diego.
20 MFD, that was a beautiful post. Well said.
It would be a mistake to get Zito and think the Yanks had locked up Sandy Koufax and the 2007 World Series. But he would really help the 2007-2010 rotations. If not Zito, then where is the starting pitching coming from?
I don't see them winning the WS again with him at the helm. Playoffs? Yes. Then, when the going gets tough, they will fold yet again.
It is not a coincidence that these collapses keep happening. And it is not a coincidence that virtually every member of the team underachieved the last three playoffs. If Mussina -- who I don't particularly like -- had just pitched as well as he did during the regular season, the yanks would have been up 2-0 against Detroit.
I kid! I kid!
BTW, anyone else think re-signing Dotel is a priority? Dude ought to be back to his strike-throwing self come April.
True, but how do you blame that on Torre? Guidry, maybe.
But what will he cost? (Is he a Hilton or a Ramada?)
Madden, Marchman, Klapisch, even Steven Goldman advocated Torre's ouster. Many Yankees bloggers wanted him out as well.
I'm relieved that Steinbrenner is honoring Joe's contract and keeping him on for one more. But man, Joe sure seemed drained and dejected today, and who could blame him after the 5 days he just had?
Dumping Joe would have been a shameful, expensive panic move.
Change for the sake of change would only bring more melodrama to the Yankees, and they've damn well had enough of that.
Let patience and calm prevail as the Yanks revamp and revitalize.
But, as 41 mentions, this is the first time the press has largely turned on him. In the last eleven years, I mean. He may be prepared fro that, but he may not be prepared.
I expect the tone of NYY coverage to be far more negative in '07.
Blame Guidry? Look, if Mussina sucked all year, then maybe I would blame Guidry. But if in the most important game of the season, Mussina suddenly can't hold a lead...that's not the pitching coach's fault.
Just to be clear. I'm not saying that Torre DESERVES to be fired. I'm not saying that it is all his fault. What I am saying is that I believe the team would be BETTER with a replacement.
I don't single out Johnson, Sheffield, Matsui, or Farnsworth for blame either. But do I think the Yanks should get rid of them? Yes. A vote for change is not the same as placing blame.
2004 2.01 (48th in ML)
2005 1.92 (65th in ML)
2006 1.53 (73rd in ML)
He apparently needs a good defense behind him
Year ERA DIPS (Defense independent pitching)
Here's some more fun numbers:
2004 28 HR (T-21st ML)
2005 26 HR (T-23rd ML)
2006 27 HR (T-24th ML)
(If those don't look particuarly scary, try this: Oakland allowed 71 HR while playing at home this season, 3rd fewest in the majors. Barry Zito gave up 18 of them.)
He can't control what park he plays in (actually his 2006 away numbers are very good). He can't control what defense plays behind him. But he can control his rate of strikeouts, walks, and home runs... and he does a poor job of all three.
Plus, the word on the street is 6 years, $96 million. Pass.
42 Dianagramr, I don't get it. Giving away maybe 15 win shares per year, because... why?
46 Aha. Well, he does owe the team a bunch, huh? In that case, I agree it should be done quickly.
well said ....
I don't consider Zito an ace, and am not advocating that the Yankees sign him, but I think we tend to overvalue our own guys. Rasner has no career numbers to point to future success, yet is only 3 years younger than Zito. He could turn out to be a decent starter, but to expect him to be better than a past Cy Young winner seems like wishful thinking.
I think calling that sentiment "optimistic" would be an understatement.
Zito has pitched 1400 MLB innings and posted a 3.55 ERA and gone 102-63. Vs the American League. He's 4-2 with a 2.43 ERA in 40 Postseason innings.
I cannot fathom what people on this site expect to find out there.
The Yankees problem is not offense. They have a surplus of that. Beltre is a Gold Glove 3B, and has enough of a bat to hold his spot in the lineup.
I'm not saying the Yanks wouldn't be giving up more in the exchange, but they'd be dealing from a surplus (offense).
Compared to his regular ERA numbers, I think this quite clearly shows that many of the A's preventing runs when Zito is on the mound comes from their defense or ballpark, not from Zito.
You're right - bottom line, it's Mussina's fault. He's a vet who's been through a lot of battles, and he should know by now what's expected of him in big spots.
Safe to say the media and this particulat heartbreaking loss have a lot of us very confused.
If you give away 45 runs of offense per year, and in exchange get 25 runs prevented by your defense of pitching, it doesn't matter whether you started with 970 runs or 810. You've just gotten worse.
If you already score 970 runs and give up 850, and you can either have a guy who will prevent 25 runs by defense or pitching, or else have a guy who will produce an extra 45 runs, then it's a no-brainer: take the guy who produces the runs.
(I'm aware that runs prevented are very slightly more valuable than runs produced, so if it were a very, very close trade, I could see it.)
Zito has been smacked around by AL east teams since day one. You want that guy to pitch to Boston three times as much as he already does? I don't.
If Boston got him, I would be thrilled. The Yanks destroy that guy. He's never pitched well against the Yankees.
So, Cashman must work within these parameters. All platoon-type players must, unfortunately, be purged (Guiel, Wilson, even Bernie). Veterans who will tempt Torre must be purged (Bernie). If the Yankees wish to intergrate youth, then all potential threats (i.e. veterans) at the same position must be purged.
BP? That's tough. The more Torre destroys a pitcher, the more he trusts him and uses him. So I am not sure if it's better to carry, say, 13 or 16 pitchers and just let him work through them. Or maybe carry just 8 or 9 (5 starters, Mo, two set-up guys, and maybe a lefty specialist). Then, when one starts to suck, he gets put on the DL and another is slotted in his place--Torre would have no choice but to use him becuase he wouldn't get buried.
Just some ideas.
Maybe you guys think he has to be the Cy Young or he is not useful. He's a great option for the middle of the rotation for years to come and I would have loved to hand him the ball in game three this year instead of anyone else on our roster.
Ervin Santana? Straight up?
You know who Lupica reminds me of, and actually looks like him, too? Anyone remember the scene in 'Young Frankenstein', where Gene Wilder is teaching in the classroom (2nd or 3rd scene in the movie), and the wormy guy in the glasses stands up to needle him about his grandfather's work?
Season AB Hits 2B 3B HR RBI BB K BA OBA Slug%
2000 21 3 0 0 0 1 2 4 .143 .217 .143
2001 23 5 0 0 0 3 2 7 .217 .308 .217
2002 18 6 0 0 1 6 4 6 .333 .455 .500
2003 27 4 1 0 0 0 3 4 .148 .233 .185
2004 57 19 4 0 4 11 3 12 .333 .377 .614
2005 28 6 1 1 0 2 1 5 .214 .241 .321
2006 44 9 1 0 2 6 11 8 .205 .357 .364
I thought we were talking about Carlos!
69 I am in awe; I bow to you. That's just amazingly perfect - Lupica is that guy.
Is that even possible? Pretty much all of the national sports news organizations and personalities already hate the Yankees, and make no attempt to hide it. ESPN is of course the primary example of this.
Going after Zito (or whoever is on the market) means probably tying into a four year contract, which we will all be bitching about in two or three years.
While I never said that people here wanted to trade Arod "straight up" for Santana, I didn't bother to list the rest of the deal (figgins and a prospect) that people were advocating because I'm talking about pitching.
And the point here has been that Santana would add depth to rotation where it is sorely needed. So my post was just saying "hold on, we collectively think Santana will help, while costing us Arod, while Zito won't help while costing us nothing but money?"
I'll still take Zito and Matsuzaka and bid farewll to Moose and Sheff and take my chances with the rest.
67 Evidence for repeatability of BABIP is shaky at best. But what's clear is that HR rate, K rate, and BB rate are repeatable, and very independent of park/defense/mojo. And what you see from the numbers is that Zito has been steadily decreasing in all three important categories over his last three seasons. We may have already seen his peak, and so signing him to a 6 year contract may seem good initially (See: Johnny Damon, 2006), but by the time he's 34, he may be worse than Jaret Wright.
a) 4 years younger
b) much better defense (and let's face it, the Yanks infield defense has been pitiful for the last 3 or so years)
c) only signed for 2 more years (rather than A-Rod's 4)
d) same $ per year
Yes, Beltre will not go .320/40/140, but in the Yankee lineup, he doesn't have to. I'm sure the Yanks would be fine with his 2006 line of .270/26/88 and Gold Glove defense.
You're right that Barry Zito will make a sufficient middle of the rotation guy. However, with Satan (sorry, Boras) as his agent, he's going to cost front of the rotation money, and I don't think it's worth it. Adam Eaton would be a better option.
As an aside... I think I may be missing something but it does not appear that either Dontrelle Willis nor Miguel Cabrera are under contract for 2007... so any discussions on trades with the Marlins for these players seems to be about three months late.
I don't buy the argument that in the Yankees lineup X or Y doesn't have to be a stud. The only reason the lineup is as formidable as it is, is because there are so many studs. But let's look deeper. Who is going to make the lineup so intimidating next year?
Giambi: Injury prone, DH, year older.
Damon: Coming off unpredictable career highs in power, will almost certainly play worse next year (though still good).
Jeter: Second best season at age 32; should regress.
Posada: 35 y.o. catcher.
Matsui: solid but not outstanding power numbers for corner OF.
Cano: maybe if he hits .340 again or learns to walk.
The bench: Fasano? Cairo? Cabrara (maybe he hits for more power)?
Abrea: could be better, since power was down this year.
So basically, you would trade the team's likely most valuable offensive player because the rest of the lineup is strong, despite the fact that this same lineup is due to get worse at almost every position with seemingly no minor league talent to step in?
Dontrelle Willis isn't a free agent.
How do you look up a particular player's contract status?
2) Giambi is untradeable because he's a twenty million dollar one trick creaky ass pony.
3) A-Rod has too much upside to trade.
4) Why then is it that nobody else seems to want to consider trading Matsui? A very good player, who we have a viable replacement for (Melky.) Who could bring back some good arms.
And I'm not buying the whole "he's Japanese and the Yankees are the only ones who can make money off of his Japanese-ness." Or "He's Japanese and that's the only way we'll get Matsuzaka."
If he wasn't Japanese, would he still be so untouchable?
Look, I like the guy, I think he's a hell of a ballplayer, but I also think he's tradeable for something valuable in return, and we know for a fact that this team can win without him. So aside from his country of origin, why can't I think about trading the guy?
Seriously though I agree with you about most of everything you write here, I just don't care how much money they spend. Never have, never will. I'd much rather spend more for a guy who WILL help rather than pay market value for and Adam Eaton who probably won't help.
I just hope they don't trade Arod for crap.
The best value the Yanks will get for him is to keep him in pinstripes and let the media relations folk devise a plan this winter to quiet down the hysterical media. He'll start playing like it's 2005 in no time.
Alex Rodriguez: .290/.392/.523
Adrian Beltre: .268/.328/.465
Alex Rodriguez: .305/.386/.573
Adrian Beltre: .271/.328/.457
Fielding (Career, 3B):
Rodriguez: .958 FPCT, 2.50 RF, .752 ZR
Beltre: .955 FPCT, 2.41 RF, .799 ZR
Actually, Beltre is signed until 2009. So, very inferior hitting, similar defense (Gold Gloves be damned) and no savings in money or years? Pass.
Also, "King Felix" is shaping up to be quite the figure head/bust. I take Hughes every day (and perhaps Torre will.... just kidding).
Look, I think Zito is a decent #3 starter, but if he does decently this postseason Boras is going to be asking for ace type money for him likely over a long term deal. With Hughes and Clippard coming up in the next two years, and Wang pitching well I'm less inclined to go for him.
102 Get out of the corner, it's all dusty over there. Seriously, I know we all appreciate creative thinking around here, so don't get discouraged. Besides, we need you to come up with that "offensive consistency" data.
At the very least, he will learn to be a better hitter, and that's what we need.
I'm sorry, no disrespect intended, but I'm so sick of these rules about which position needs to hit how many homeruns.
There are other ways to win baseball games than hitting homeruns.
IMO, if the team and the fans would get behind him (he is a Yankee and an important part of this team) rather than boo him or throw him under the bus when he goes into a slump he would actually perform better. And that is what we all want, right?
I agree with mehmattski's hesitancy concerning Zito. His BB9 rate was 4.03 which was the ninth worst in the AL for pitchers who started more than 15 games.
slinking OUT of the corner
OK ... I'll fess up ... part of the reason I'm interested in seeing Beltre in pinstripes (if the Yanks feel the need to trade A-Rod) is that I drafted Beltre for my roto league this year (he was the best 3B remaining at the time), and I had to suffer through his .215/2/10 first two months.
Chalk it up to post-traumatic stress :-)
I'm sure they had good pitching, I get it, I get it, I just wonder why they can't serve as a model for a winning team?
Power is one model, but is it really the only one?
Matsui was the one who roped the double in the corner.
Or did some mishap occur that allowed Jorgie to reach second?
Just go through the record books for tha last 80 years--occasionally light hitting speed teams win. But more often than not the great teams hit the hell out of the ball (not just singles) and keep the other team from doing the same.
... cool .... I wasn't aware of those cards .... sweet!
I've watched Duke football for 5 years now. You think being a Yankee fan is hard lately? Let me put it this way: If football games were only 3 quarters long, Duke would have had some major upsets the last few years...
The United Nations, impressed with Yankees pitcher Chien-Mien Wang's ability keep cool under pressure, has sent the young star on a year-long diplomatic mission to North Korea, hoping to diffuse the mounting nuclear situation there.
Embattled manager,Joe Torre, posted this year's starting rotation on the clubhouse wall, then quickly retreated to his office mumbling, "You can't blame this one on me".
The sheet on the wall simply read:
Zito's VORP and MLB ranking by year:
2001 - 51.2, 17th
2002 - 75.3, 3rd
2003 - 56.1, 13th
2004 - 32.5, 51st
2005 - 41.1, 29th
2006 - 51.0, 12th
Zito's SNLVAR and MLB ranking by year:
2001 - 6.6, 16th
2002 - 8.5, 3rd
2003 - 6.7, 10th
2004 - 4.7, 36th
2005 - 5.5, 21st
2006 - 6.1, 11th (tie)
I see an early peak (2002) and then some fluxuation, with another little peak in his (surprise!) age 28, free agent season.
It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but I hate to see the Yanks spend that kind of money on Zito.
And maybe my "Rasner could put up Zito-like numbers" comment is too optomistic - but if you're looking for Zito to be a 3rd starter/league-average innings eater, yes I think Rasner could do that, if given the chance.
As for Zito, all free agent pitchers are risky, but Zito is probably the least risky pitcher in the history of free agency. He's healthy, consistent, and still pretty young. You don't need to project anything (e.g. Burnett's got ace-like stuff if he can stay healthy): you should pretty much know exactly what you're going to get: a solid 2-3 starter who will give you a lot of innings, and won't choke in the playoffs.
There's no reason any team can't figure out exactly what he'd be worth, and then offer that amount. Every team should want him; the team that gets him will either be the team he has the most value for, or the team that does the worst math.
I'm just saying that with him I think we ain't seen nothing yet and I love his approach at the plate and can't see him not turning into a monster player, even if he doesn't hit for much power.
123 Fair enough, fair enough. I just have a deep suspicion for this newfangled cult of the home run, is all. Watching the rise of the home run in the nineties made me kind of sick and I've just never warmed up to it.
Call me a reactionary.
I'm just trying to offer a bit of admonition because I do think that slugging can be overrated--and I mean that literally, "overrated" not "utterly without value"--and I fear that disproportionate attention to "power" can cause us to not appreciate other aspects of hitting or offense that can also help you to win games.
Here's my Underpants Gnome strategy for 2007:
Step 1: Post and sign Matsuzaka.
Step 2: ?
Step 3: Profit!
It must have been on the throw.
136 Yeah, I like Thaddeus Lewis, he looked awesome in the game against Wake Forest (during which, I might add, we blew a 10 point 3rd quarter lead and lost when the game winning field goal attempt was blocked...), and we seem to have some pretty capable running backs. Far cry from 2002 when our best player was our punter and we habitually ran up the middle for no gain on 3rd and long...
134 I recall a commercial with Maddux and Smoltz trying to learn how to hit because "chicks dig the long ball." Yeah, that's all I've got to add to this discussion, but that commercial always made me laugh.
In 2006/7, especially in the AL, its a high-power, high-OBP game. The average AL player hit .275/.339/.437 in 2006. The average AL LF hit .280/.347/.449.
Melky, meanwhile, hit .280/.360/.390 in '06. OBP is more valuable than SLG, but the +.013 in OBP doesn't make up for the -.059 in SLG.
If Melky isn't hitting at or above average compared to all other AL LFs, the Yanks are essentially taking a hit in production out of LF.
The speed game could work again, but given the current offensive context of the AL, I don't see it working next year. In the NL, that's another story.
Did you decide to go up to the old school for Home Comming next weekend?
I too think Melky could develop some power as he grows up and fills out. He'd make a fine CF, though I hope Brett Gardner ultimately fills that slot for the Yanks. There's a guy you could love, weeping - not much power (.370 SLG across A and AA and zero HRs!) but man does he get on base (.395 OBP).
Arod's swing is perfect, yet he's easily fooled. What that means is that he'll crush all mistakes and even borderline mistakes, but if you make your pitches, which pitchers do more of in the postseason, you'll get him out.
Melky's swing doesn't look as pretty, but his success depends on something other than the raw talent of his mechanics.
That's why I think a guy like Melky has the potential to be a great hitter, relatively speaking, whereas Arod's not so much a great hitter as a hitter with a great swing.
I think that's a key distinction.
Does that make any sense?
The real question, I think, is how much of your game rests on making adjustments and battling and how much rests on pure natural ability. In a tight spot with an ace pitcher, I'd feel more comfortable with the former type of hitter at the bat, even if his batting average is lower than the latter's.
randy will likely have surgery to help with his disc situation.
ditto giambi & his wrist.
ditto phillips and the cartilidge in his knee.
speaking of injuries, espn says:
Cashman also said the Yankees will meet with right-handed pitcher Carl Pavano and the players' association to discuss discipline for Pavano's decision to hide a rib injury from a car crash for several weeks.
if he finds a way out of that deal, ca$hman deserves a monument in monument park.
Pitching and defense are good, though. And I think everyone agrees that the pitching needs a serious upgrade.
before anyone throws anything my way I'm joking.
First, in order to win, it isn't necessary to have above average players at every single position. In the aggregate you do. But not at every position, so long as you aren't being hurt anywhere.
Second, given that Melky doesn't hit for power, he will likely never demand an exhorbitant sum to play LF. Money saved at LF is money the Yanks can spend at SP and middle relief (among other places).
I imagine that one could even quantify it. One would be willing to pay $X for each increase in slg %. Or one would expect a discount for each percentage drop off.
Assuming that were the case, I imagine that Melky is a pretty cheap, but valuable, LF, and will be going forward.
The AL has too many sluggers right now. I think it'd be much easier to pull off in the NL, at least going into 2007.
As for old U, we might be going, we might not. It will depend on the weather and my wife's work schedule. I will let you know - I see all the leaves in color and I think of the old place.
One reason I've been so frustrated with these current teams is because over and over and over again they've whiffed when all we've needed was a single or sac fly or some such.
I said this yesterday, but I'll say it again, because I think it can't be overstated:
Luis Gonzales after Game 7 was interviewed about his approach in that last at-bat.
He told the reporter that he choked up because he just didn't want to strike out.
He also said he hadn't done that since little league.
It was really that simple. It was within his power to alter his approach as per the dictates of the circumstance and look what happened.
If only our guys were capable of making those kinds of adjustments.
Or remember Winfield? He decided to hit for average and went out and hit .340 with only 19 homers rather than his standard .280/35 or whatever.
Major league baseball players have enough talent to make these adjustments, but it takes work and it takes desire.
Why can't all major league baseball players play pepper if the situation calls for it?
Melky can't bunt.
Why is that?
Is it some special mysterious skill that only the elect can execute?
The problem, if you ask me, is that players are simply allowed to be one-dimensional and no one ever calls them on it.
That's the problem.
i thought it was just roster mechanations, too.
No, of course they won't always get hits, but they won't pop up or strike out in those types of situations.
You build it by finding players who can get timely hits. You're right though you can't plan on it and probably can't "build" with it as the plan. I should have said "solid" hitting.
Of course it's the pitching. Remember how we used to just walk through Texas, despite all their power?
If you have the pitching the other guys won't be hitting home runs and you'll be fine singling the other team to death.
the yankees had solid relief in the championship years way back when.
...not so much right now.
162 No argument here. You need all those pieces to win and that's what we had. That's what we need.
And as to Tino's home run, you know what I remember him saying about that at-bat?
He said, "I went up there thinking the first two swings were mine."
Which is to say, in a situation that called for power, he tried to hit for power.
Had the at-bat reached 2 strikes, he would have changed his approach.
And I can't recall, but when Paulie reached by dunking that single into left field, did he have two strikes on him?
147 I'm sorry. Look at ARod's career. He's a great hitter.
This gets back to "trusting your eyes." I don't think our eyes are good enough - we just can't see things the way major leaguers do. ARod didn't get this far by being unable to make adjustments. And, with all due respect, if they lead us to the judgment that Melky is sure to be a monster player but ARod isn't a great hitter, I think doubts should creep in.
I'm not saying Arod isn't a great hitter, I'm saying there are different kinds of greatness.
I watch the man hit and I see his greatness in his swing. Balls he hits that I never expect to carry out of the ball park, carry out of the ballpark. That's freakish, and it's great.
As to his approach at the plate? Honestly, I'm not impressed by it at all.
I've been watching this guy a lot now and he just doesn't impress me as a guy who has consistently quality at-bats or who I feel can hang in well against tough pitchers.
I'm not saying he's not great, I'm saying that just watching him as a hitter, his singular strength is in his swing.
Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I see with my eyes when I watch him.
What do you see with your eyes when you watch him?
As to Melky, again, I don't mean "monster" player in the way that Arod is. I'm talking about him being a player I feel confidence in in a big spot, someone with a plan.
I could be wrong, sure, but I'm telling you that from watching him play, I expect greatness from him. He'll only get better and I think the ways in which he'll get better are ways that will help the team.
Am I totally off base here?
But the memory can play tricks, no doubt.
If you put the ball in play, anything can happen.
I know, I know, as Earl Weaver (I think) used to say, "If you're going to hit into a double play, at least have the good sense to strike out."
A player who can't adjust doesn't look like Alex Rodriguez. He looks like Juan Samuel, or Mickey Rivers, or Kevin Maas.
Rodgriguez does not exceed his level of talent, but plays up to it.
Other people, like Pete Rose, become great through sheer force of will.
Or maybe that's a myth about Rose, I was too young when he played to have noticed such nuances, but that's what I've read about him.
Let's say you had one month to watch him play.
Or one year.
Whatever. But pretend you only could judge him based on watching his at-bats.
What kind of hitter would you say he was based on what you see?
Because that's what I see when I watch the guys hit. I watch how they respond to each and every pitch they see and develop a sense for what kind of hitter they are, how they're apt to be fooled, etc.
NAME AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
Jason Giambi 88 23 3 0 12 29 40 31 .261 .485 .705
Derek Jeter 75 23 4 2 2 17 36 30 .307 .536 .493
Johnny Damon 60 8 1 1 0 4 36 18 .133 .458 .183
Alex Rodriguez 59 11 1 0 1 6 38 27 .186 .510 .254
Jorge Posada 41 10 2 0 1 6 33 16 .244 .587 .366
Melky Cabrera 41 10 1 0 1 3 24 11 .244 .523 .341
Bernie Williams 35 5 2 0 1 6 10 7 .143 .326 .286
Bobby Abreu (98 Phi) 33 12 3 0 2 7 18 12 .364 .588 .636
Andy Phillips 25 3 0 0 0 3 8 13 .120 .333 .120
Robinson Cano 24 5 2 0 1 3 4 6 .208 .321 .417
Hideki Matsui 22 4 0 0 2 5 16 9 .182 .526 .455
NAME AB H 2B 3B HR RBI SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Alex Rodriguez 50 10 2 0 2 7 25 .200 .212 .360 .572
Robinson Cano 49 11 2 0 1 1 23 .224 .224 .327 .551
Jorge Posada 43 6 3 0 1 5 20 .140 .191 .279 .471
Derek Jeter 39 8 2 0 1 5 18 .205 .244 .333 .577
Johnny Damon 39 8 1 0 0 2 14 .205 .220 .231 .450
Melky Cabrera 34 7 1 0 0 1 14 .206 .206 .235 .441
Bernie Williams 29 6 1 0 0 1 14 .207 .207 .241 .448
Jason Giambi 25 3 0 0 1 3 16 .120 .185 .240 .425
Andy Phillips 22 4 0 1 0 0 9 .182 .182 .273 .455
Miguel Cairo 19 2 0 0 0 1 10 .105 .150 .105 .255
Bobby Abreu (98 Phi) 15 3 1 0 0 3 5 .200 .200 .267 .467
Would you really be that excited about him or think he is the kind of player the Yankees should be focusing on rather than Alex Rodriguez, who is one year removed from winning MVP?
Or say you had one month to watch Melky play and you choose June, when he hit .214 with a .313 OBP and .296 SLG. Or September when hit .247/.346/.315. How psyched would you be about him then, watching him hit weak ground out after weak ground out?
This is why sample size matters. Arod has a career as one of the best hitters in baseball. Melky has one year of mediocre production.
I like that he's young and enthusiastic and determined too, but don't get carried away by your affection for him.
And yes, of course I've had those thoughts. I've had them about every player. I've also wanted Sheffield to be able to slow up his swing just a bit, so those Foul Balls of Death would go fair instead. Every time a Yankee hits into a double play I wish they'd laid off that pitch, or something. I want them to be perfect; the fact that they're not doesn't detract from their greatness.
this is more recent footage. (from april.)
the kid's control on the corners of the plate is amazing.
the K at 2:15 on the clip is astounding.
granted, this is a highlight reel of sorts, but still...
...if cashman could dump glass carl and pry this kid from the lions, i'd be ecstatic.
(...and yes, the new stadium should be named after him if he can make all of our wishes realities.)
Let me think about this, because maybe I'm not articulating myself well.
That was some sick pitching.
a side note: there is another clip of him pitching 5 days before that. so, it seems as though he has pitched 2 consecutive starts this season.
compared to pavano, this guy is cal ripken.
(there are a bunch more on youtube, i need to stop. i am getting my hopes up.)
Seriously, I don't think its possible to get young pitching from an organization that's honestly trying to rebuild, because they are going to need that young cheap pitching to rebuild.
Except the Cubs. They are morons when it comes to giving up pitching (sorry, Cubs fans). That said, I'm not sold on any of the young pitchers the Cubs arent' already attached to.
I honestly think Cashman makes an offer to Zito at a reasonable level: say 4 years $52 million. Boras laughs, rejects it out of hand, and Zito signs with the Dodgers or the Padres for whatever large amount they offer.
A sac fly is nicer than a K, but I'd rather have a non-out event anyday.
I will bet the Yankees grab Matsuzaka and plug him in at their number 2 or 3. I see Moose working something out so he finishes here. I'm willing to bet they can coble together a decent rotation with what's left at the 4 and 5. For the life of me though I'm gald my job doesn't depend on doing it.
Lets put aside the fact that Giambi is due in the range of $40mil/2 years, and is untradeable.
1) He lead our team in HRs and OPS, and was second in OBP only to a career year for Jetes.
2) Even with a month of a bad wrist, where is number plimeted. he was still 6th in the league in both OBP and OPS.
3) While he is no longer a .300, if healthy, you can bank on a .270+ average, to go with 30+ HRs. If ARod and Matsui start hitting HRs, Giambi might not try to tiy yard, and be back at .300.
4) He is a guaranteed .400 OBP guy every year (hacker?)
5) He helps wear down pitchers by being in the top 3 of pitches/AB.
6) He's clutch. As ARod under-performed, Giambi stepped up and carried this team, along with Jetes, for quite a while.
Yes... he a bit one-dimensional... but he's a consistant force, and with the possibility of no ARod and no Shef, he is CERTAINLY needed in our line-up.
If you do and think I'm crazy, fine, go ahead and laugh.
Do you think his greatest asset is his swing? Because I do.
That's what seems to me, from what I've observed, to carry him as a hitter.
That "fact," if it is indeed one, has implications and I'm just trying to explore them.
Why is this cause for laughter?
I find #5 especially compelling.
That said, I'm still not sure that he's the guy I want at the bat in a huge spot because I don't like that he doesn't alter his approach when the situation seems to warrant it. Maybe this is a downside that we have to live with.
I don't know, but I do think it's a considerable downside.
Part of what I'm trying to ask is whether we need any power hitters at all, rather than maybe a bunch of 20 hr guys who never strike out but all hit .310.
I hope you take me point.
Who am I thinking of? Excellent question. Off the top of my head, I'm often impressed with Paul LoDuca's at-bats.
I know, I know, small sample size, anecdotal evidence, I know.
But theoretically, his good at-bats impress the hell out of me and I'd look for hitters who have such at-bats with great frequency.
That's the kind of approach to hitting I'm looking for.
Also, someone like, as I mentioned, Luis Gonzales in that last at-bat. Someone who actually thinks about his approach going up to the plate and is deft at tailoring the approach to the situation.
Someone who you can see adjusting from one at-bat to the next in a single game.
203 What I don't get is that I thought Arod has no-trade clause? Is Arod basically willing to agree to whatever decision the Yankees come to?
199 I haven't used those exact words, but I've chanted something like that while sitting in front of the TV many times, and the few times I've made it to a game. Its more like, "Anything but an out!" Its usually in response to my dad saying, "C'mon you (blank), hit a home run!"
"We want a non-out event!" is what you chant when you're a baseball fan who's also an engineer-turned-patent attorney.
I don't think you have to replace Giambi if you trade him. If Darin Erstad can switch to 1B, so can Damon. Then you supplement the 1B starts with a cheap option like Phillips or some pickup ala JT Snow or Doug M.. As for Giambi being untradeable - I think you have to eat a bad contract coming back. My prime candidate would be Garret Anderson of the Angels.
Cry, Gollum (Lupica), cry like the whiny meanspirit person that you are. Joe said that he won't forgot you backstabbing media hypocrites. I hope he sticks it to you over and over again next season.
Alex Rodriguez needs to ignore all this crap. He is so talented that I refuse to believe that he needs to be coddled like some people say. He needs to field well and hit like crazy and give Joe, Jeter, ESPN, and all his critics the finger behind their backs.
Now the Yankees need to tell whiny excuse making Sheffield and Lidle to get on their bikes, sign Barry Zito, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Frank Thomas as the DH.
"Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women, and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent I'll probably waste."
Tug McGraw, on his plans for his $75,000 salary
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