Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
There was no game last night, but plenty of action in the St. Louis press.
The first Alex Rodriguez trade rumor has sprouted up, what with Sweet Lou taking over for Dusty Baker in Chicago. Rich Lederer asks some initial questions. Also, while you are there, check out Jeff Albert's examination of Derek Jeter's swing.
I'm as annoyed with Steve Trachsel as the next New Yorker, but does the Mets' scorched earth policy toward using him again this year make any sense? If he is healthy, can they afford to pass over him out of spite? There is even a rumor that Hernandez would replace him on the Series roster if it comes to that. I find it hard to believe.
at least. a three for one shouldn't be out of the question.
3 the numbers rodriguez could put up at wrigley would be frightening.
Figure an A-Rod trade rumor will give us something to talk about for about three days.
Day 1: A-Rod is being traded to _____ for ____, ______, _______, & _______
Day 2: Why it makes sense for A-Rod to go to _______, why it's a good idea for the Yanks to trade their best player for _______, ______, ______ & ______ and how the trade will impact Jeter's lovelife.
Day 3: Yanks couldn't get enough in return for A-Rod. He stays. Discuss.
29 teams: 29 A-Rod trade rumors X 3 days per rumor = 87 days.
Next thing you know it's January 11th, NFL playoffs are in full swing, and we're about 5 weeks from pitchers & catchers.
Hoo-ray for A-Rod trade rumors. Not.
Meanwhile, props to the Red Sox for signing John Farrell to be their new pitching coach. Farrell was the head of player development with the Indians and a former Indian hurler from the late '80s/early '90s. I spoke to him last year when I did the Indians chapter for Baseball Prospectus and was impressed by his generosity and warmth on the phone as well as how much he appears to get it when it comes to player and particularly pitcher management. With the Tribe, Farrell instituted strike-throwing incentives throughout the organization, rewarding pitchers for first pitch strikes, strikes in 1-1 counts, and overall improvement in K and BB rates. In 2005, at least, walk rates plummeted throughout the organization. Impressive stuff. Congrats to Farrell and props to the Red Sox for a smart hire.
After an offseason of rumors, he goes into next season and starts slowly. Many people are just waiting for him to not come through and boo when it happens (as I doubt the people who booed him last season will decide to stop next year). He has another solid season numbers wise, but the Yanks unfortunately don't win the World Series.
What will stop ARod from then opting out of his contract after 2007? I wouldn't blame him at that point, as there is no reason any player should take being booed at home for two years when he is an All-Star.
Does Cashman have to take this possible scenerio (one I don't think is too far fecthed) into account? It would be miserable to both lose Alex, and get nothing in return.
A strike-1 incentive might be a good for Farnswacker. I think he's too careful sometimes when he should be trusting his upper 90's-101 mph heater.
I predict Alex "bounces back" from this "awful" season.
11 I agree it's not a question of Farnswacker's desire. I think he tends to lose focus, and is sometimes too careful. A strike-1 incentive might make him more aggressive and go after batters, which is obviously better approach for him.
You're right though. How much incentive can you offer a guy who makes Farnswacker money?
For him opting out though I think he can only do that if the Yankees don't give him an 8 million dollar raise (LMAO can Mr. Boras be my agent?) or $1 million more than the highest paid player....that would be Alex right? Not sure how that works out (if the Yankees would have to offer 1 or 8 million more).
Yes, that means that A-Rod would have to be paid an infinite quantity of money. Could happen, but man wouldn't other fans around the league squeal about that one? Not the owners, though. They'd dig the luxury tax.
Unless he's only comfortable on a team that doesn't have the sort of all-star roster that NY has. Who knows, I don't pretend to know what's going on in his head.
If I was Cashmoney, I'd start the asking price for A-Rod at D-Lee, Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano, Donald Veal, and Sean Gallagher - plus enough money to pay Lee, Ramirez, and big Z.
If Hendry asked me a second time after he stopped laughing, I'd ask for those five, the money, and Felix Pie too.
I think he'd stop calling me at this point. I would be very happy, as Yankee fans the world over wouldn't have to spend every day picking apart the latest A-Rod trade rumor. And I could focus on more important tasks, like pitching.
This situation actually reminds me of the agenda that the same media has against T.O. These are athletes who the media have grudges against for one reason or the other so they pursue their agenda and exaggerate everything that happens with the athlete. T.O. didn't destroy the Eagles last season. Their quarterback got injured and couldn't play effectively. A-Rod wasn't the reason that the Yankees lost these past post-seasons, but they go on and on about the Yankees having to trade him because he is a distraction, yada, yada ... Cashman better tell these people where to get off and refuse to trade A-Rod.
13, how the heck do you figure the Cubs will take Pavano? That's beyond fantasy. If Cashman insisted in packaging Pavano with ARod, that would kill the deal all by itself.
And just what young pitching studs does Chicago have? Prior? Wood? Please. We already have Pavano, why would you want any more injury plagued pitchers who cost too much for what they give you? Zambrano? Well, I don't see the Cubs trading their one solid starter, and personally, I don't want him. He walks too many people and against AL lineups I just don't see him being an ace. Finally, as far as I know, the Cubs have no elite pitching prospects, but if they did, I doubt they would use them to get ARod, when their own pitching sucks. The Cards this year have proven you don't need much to win the Central, and If D Lee comes back next year and Ramierez is still there and does well, the Cubs should be in decent shape, given that no one else in the division is in a position to get a whole lot better. Actually, that last part is not true as the Cubs ahve become better by subtraction: Baker and Neifi are gone. In other words, an ARod deal to the Cubs ain't gonna happen. Nor should it.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, hopefully all these trade rumors will show that the Yanks can't possibly get a fair deal for A-Rod and the best move is to make no trade at all (as they say, sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make). Then the "Trade-Rod" crowd could stop booing, learn to like the guy and get used to having a HOFer at 3B. BTW, does the "Trade-Rod" crown realize that they agree with Steve Phillips on this (that would be enough for me to change my mind right there)?
As for the "chemistry" argument, didn't Randy Johnson and Jorge Posada have chemistry issues that got resolved? Haven't Gary Sheffield and Bobby Abreu both fit in (at least from the reports I've read) when others thought they wouldn't? IMO, it's time for Jeter & Mo to publicy voice their support for A-Rod similar to the way they voiced their support for Torre (I don't think this is too much to ask if it will make the team better).
As for the booing, the so-called fans could and should just stop doing it. What's the point? If you don't like A-Rod and the Yankees have explored every possible option to trade him, then just learn to like him or find another team. This question of "earning pinstripes" is silly. He was a Yankee the first day he put on the uniform. If fans can't accept that and feel the need to boo a current member of the team that I have loved through good and bad for 30 years then I say that maybe those fans haven't "earned" their pinstripes as fans yet.
Obviously, I'd rather keep Alex and have him produce, but you have to admit we may be dealing from a bit of a surplus here - and if someone's willing to deal us some decent young pitching in return for someone who perceivably can't handle the stress of playing for the Yankees, who am I to argue?
I'll only entertain A-Rod trades because
1) It's 121 days to pitchers and catchers
2) Everyone is tradeable -- for the right price, except Mo and Jeter.
no one will trade such a prospect unless they're getting someone of rodriguez's ability in return.
i think we can all agree that the yankees need some pitching. badly.
all avenues should be considered. that doesn't mean that the trigger should be pulled on any offer, but more options are better than none.
it doesn't hurt to see what could be had. at the same time, he will likely play out his contract in the bronx.
So, it seems like A-Rod's reputation as a postseason failure basically stems from 3 straight bad series. Here's his line from those series:
16 games, .183/.300/.333, 10 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0.81 RC*/G
I decided to see who else from baseball history has had a similar or worse 3-series stretch. I found somebody from each position just for fun.
C Yogi Berra, 47WS-50WS ... 14 G, .140/.204/.260, 6 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0.64 RC/G
1B Jeff Bagwell, 97NLDS-99NLDS ... 11 G, .128/.261/.128, 3 R, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 0.64 RC/G
2B Jackie Robinson, 47WS-52WS ... 19 G, .212/.342/.303, 9 R, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 0.79 RC/G
SS Derek Jeter**, 01ALDS-01WS ... 17 G, .226/.262/.290, 5 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0.47 RC/G
3B Mike Schmidt, 77NLCS-80NLCS ... 13 G, .164/.233/.218, 4 R, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0.54 RC/G
OF Babe Ruth, 18WS-22WS ... 14 G, .211/.333/.368, 4 R, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 0.71 RC/G
OF Mickey Mantle, 61WS-63WS ... 13 G, .130/.216/.217, 3 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0.23 RC/G
OF Ted Williams*, 46WS ... 7 G, .200/.333/.200, 2 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0.43 RC/G
DH David Ortiz, 02ALDS-03ALDS ... 14 G, .200/.231/.280, 0 R, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 0.43 RC/G
I think we can all agree that this team of chokers could never make it out of the first round.
* runs created (R+RBI-HR)
Jeter also had a pretty crappy 98ALDS-98WS ... 13 G, .235/.328/.294, 7 R, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0.77 RC/G
* OK, Ted only had 1 postseason series, but I figured in the spirit of judging players off of small sample sizes, I'd include him
You do whatever you can to make the team better, so each offseason you assess the trade value of pretty much everyone on the roster. You deal from strength and go after scarcity. There are 2 high profile hitters on the market (Sori and Lee) and both figure to top $15M/yr. A-Rod is a better hitter than either of them, and the Yanks are only paying him $16M/yr.
(Has it been confirmed one way or another that the Texas contribution is nullified should the Yanks trade him onwards?)
Offensively, the Yanks are stacked. The bats got shut down, to some degree in the postseason, but not having power arms hurt worse. 3B is a relatively abundant offensive position. Ergo, if you can trade A-Rod for some good young chuckers, and acquire a decent 3B either in that trade, or thru other means, you do it.
You can't do this with Giambi, b/c his age and salary vs his defensive position don't offer the same value. Matsui is a possibility, but he's kind of overpaid in terms of corner OF production, and then there's the whole unraveling of how much more he might be worth b/c of the Japanese exposure, esp if going after Matsusake.
There's really no one else you could think about trading (off the top of my head).
The Cubs are not a good fit, b/c they'd want to send Aramis back in the deal, which would eat up much of the value coming back in NY's direction, at the expense of pitching. That would be a trade simply to dump A-Rod, not get better. There'd need to be a 3rd team involved that has some pitching.
The market for guys of such extreme ability and salary is tough to make.
*as of mid-August
1. Philip Hughes, Yankees
Age: 20.2 H/9: 5.74 BB/9: 2.17 K/9: 10.40
2. Homer Bailey, Reds
Age: 20.3 H/9: 6.23 BB/9: 2.99 K/9: 10.13
3. Nick Adenhart, Angels
Age: 20.0 H/9: 7.67 BB/9: 2.39 K/9: 8.24
4. Luke Hochevar, Royals
Age: 23.0 H/9: 3.86 BB/9: 1.93 K/9: 9.64
5. Tim Lincecum, Giants
Age: 22.2 H/9: 4.39 BB/9: 3.04 K/9: 16.54
6. Yovani Gallardo, Brewers
Age: 20.5 H/9: 6.04 BB/9: 2.96 K/9: 10.95
7. Mike Pelfrey, Mets
Age: 22.6 H/9: 7.57 BB/9: 3.08 K/9: 10.18
8. Adam Miller, Indians
Age: 21.7 H/9: 7.62 BB/9: 2.66 K/9: 9.10
9. Eric Hurley, Rangers
Age: 21.0 H/9: 7.39 BB/9: 2.81 K/9: 8.96
10. Jeff Niemann, Devil Rays
Age: 23.5 H/9: 6.50 BB/9: 3.13 K/9: 9.75
1. Scott Elbert, Dodgers
Age: 21.0 H/9: 5.88 BB/9: 4.86 K/9: 11.03
2. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
Age: 18.4 H/9: 7.00 BB/9: 1.25 K/9: 13.00
3. Andrew Miller, Tigers
Age: 21.3 H/9: NA BB/9: NA K/9: NA
4. Donald Veal, Cubs
Age: 21.9 H/9: 5.47 BB/9: 4.78 K/9: 9.77
5. John Danks, Rangers
Age: 21.4 H/9: 9.10 BB/9: 3.03 K/9: 10.13
6. Franklin Morales, Rockies
Age: 21.3 H/9: 7.75 BB/9: 5.26 K/9: 9.97
7. Jacob McGee, Devil Rays
Age: 20.0 H/9: 7.14 BB/9: 4.36 K/9: 11.21
8. Troy Patton, Astros
Age: 21.0 H/9: 8.29 BB/9: 3.30 K/9: 8.88
9. Gio Gonzalez, Phillies
Age: 20.9 H/9: 7.77 BB/9: 4.57 K/9: 9.75
10. Chuck Lofgren, Indians
Age: 20.6 H/9: 7.10 BB/9: 3.45 K/9: 8.23
I don't see a single team above that would be willing to surrender one (or more) of these guys for A-Rod. They all need these guys to turn into effective big-league pitchers as desparately as the Yanks need Hughes to become an ace.
(OK, maybe the Tigers don't need Andrew Miller to become an ace, but you can bet they are drooling over the prospects of a Verlander-Miller-Bonderman big-three rotation. I would be, too.)
There is one team I can think of with an overabdunace of young power arms. Its also the one team in the majors that would never take on A-Rod's contract - the Marlins.
that Tony Pena could manage the Nats (they're interested), Joe Girardi could take his place as bench coach and heir apparent to Torre's job.
Intriguing, and a more digestible speculation than any A-Rod rumor.
After Lackey, Jered Weaver, and Adenhart, Santana is at best the 4th-best Angels' starter.
I'd hope we all agree that A-Rod is worth more than a team's fourth-best pitcher, even if an All-Star 3B was part of the deal too.
But why is it preposterous that one's comfort level could effect one's performance?
I don't know if Arod is a cancer or not, but I do think that, given what human beings are, the notion that an individual's presence could adversely effect the performance of his teammates on the field is perfectly legitimate.
Optimal performances come when players have struck a balance between being loose and being focused, which is to say, when they're in the zone.
Morale, comraderie, chemistry; whatever you want to call it, is real, isn't it?
I know people think it's created by winning and of course that's true. But it's also true that high morale (good chemistry) can facilitate winning by turning out players who are relaxed instead of tense.
Again, I have no idea what Rodriguez' psychological impact is on the club, but I think it's wrong to discount this as a factor.
And the reason I think Arod draws so much attention isn't because of his salary, but his potential.
It's hard for me to watch a guy with so much potential who seems so regularly to underachieve. Compare him to Jorgie, a guy who (in my view) constantly overperforms, managing to get the very most out of his limited natural abilities.
I think these sorts of nuances are lost when we focus too much on production, per se.
Part of being a fan is about forming attachments with players; too often it seems to me that people form emotional attachments with their stats instead. This is fine, and its their prerogative, but it's a little frustrating that for some reason statistical production is the trump card people play when trying to argue for or against roster moves.
I don't hate Rodriguez, but I don't much like him either; I don't like watching his at-bats and still fervently believe that his chief assets are his strength and his mechanics, which obviously get him very far.
But he still doesn't inspire confidence in me as a hitter, as someone who's in tune with the situation he's in and is ready to make adjustments. In a way, it seems to me like he slides by on pure talent and that's what I find frustrating.
Anyway, if he stays, fine, but if he can be moved in a good trade, great.
What's a good trade? Right, that's the question.
32 that does not mean that the notion of trading him should be completely abandoned. something might come about that could improve the team. (not likely, but possible.)
people have strong feelings on this issue. (or perhaps they're just the most vocal.) even resorting to name-calling...
33 the free agent options aren't looking too great, either. i tried to cut & paste a list of the available starters, but the formatting wouldn't hold.
here is a great list, searchable by team or position:
i really don't think that getting worked up about this is worth it.
either rodriguez will stay and hit .300 with 30+ HR and 120 RBI for the yankees, or ca$hman will find a way to swindle a team out out of a slew of can't-miss stars. (he won't make a move otherwise. ...so long as george and the tampa group let him play his game.)
And how do you know I'm not on TV?
The problem I have is with people booing a guy who makes mistakes while they are giving their best. Booing someone who is not giving 100% or someone who makes mistakes while showboating that's one thing, but booing someone like A-Rod just because he doesn't get a hit every time up just doesn't make sense. Especially in a sport where a 60% failure rate can get you in the HOF.
36 You may have hit on something there with the Posada comparison. IMO, in recent years, a lot of the great Yankees teams were built with guys who looked like they had to work at it - Bernie, Posada, O'Neill, Brosius, etc, etc. You could even make the case for Jeter being more of a 'worker' than someone who just coasts on his natural talent.
Then here comes A-Rod, with his 'look at my numbers' attitude and the fans aren't having it.
Pinella: "What the &(^@^#(&! are you talking about? You're here to (&@#@O!@_ pitch! Now take the &@#(&@& ball and get out there and (@$@++!@# pitch, you (&@~@!+#@!~@#@!!!"
Pavano goes out and pitches a 2 hit shutout.
i never thought i'd read a sentence like that again.
The flaw in your argument for trading Alex is that he is still young and productive. The Yankees need Alex's production on offensive just to get to the playoffs in the AL East. Also, the Yankees are not going get the young ace and reasonably priced young 3rd baseman that they need. They would be better off going into the free market signing Zito or Daisuke Matsuzaka and waiting for Hughes to mature into the ace that they need. Sometimes there are just no quick fixes to shoring up a starting rotation.
43 & 36 Love Posada, but he is a guy who stikes out 24% of the time to Arod's 20% and has a consistent track record of underperforming in the postseason. I was glad to him have such a great series this time around - but his career line in the postseason is .241/.358/.388. Perhaps what we perceive about their appearance is not always that indicative of what they actually do.
He's pulled everything else, why not pull a Kenny Rogers (without the cameraman abuse, chicken and country music)?
i agree. however manny is often perceived as being more of a diva (demanding a trade whenever the moon is full, mysterious undetectable injuries causing him to sit out games...) rodriguez is younger, cheaper (thanks, texas!), and locked into an extra year of a contract i believe.
the angels are looking to make a splash. they want a big name and a big bat.
do the angels have enough? probably not... but could they turn a 3-way deal?
(that ought to get things going around here...)
What I'm saying is that he overperforms in his career.
I'm constantly amazed that his production is as consistent as it is year in and year out given how bad his bad at-bats are and how regularly he seems to have them.
What amazes me about him is that he can have an absolutely horrific at-bat in the one inning, striking out on three pitches, and yet have a good at-bat in another. Is it that he makes adjustments during the course of the game? Or that his focus wanes at times?
And how he can hit while so often taking off-balance swings is a mystery to me.
My point is, he's someone who seems to perform very well despite so many flaws in his game whereas Rodriguez seems to underperform despite having so few apparent flaws in his.
What I'm saying is that it seems like there's more room for improvement in Rodriguez' game than in Jorgie's because Jorgie seems to be making the best of his limited talents while Rodriguez seems not to be making the best of his prodigious ones.
This is why I expect more from Rodriguez than I do from Jorgie or pretty much anyone else and find it particularly frustrating when he falls short.
Does that make sense?
But why should fans have to settle?
Rodriguez, to me, seems to be in this category, albeit obviously nowhere near to the degree that Manny is.
Also, I read somewhere once (Maybe in that Last Day of the Dynasty book?--can't remember where) that there was suspicion that Jeter resented Bernie for precisely this reason: that he didn't work as hard as he could and coasted on natural ability.
The idea was that with more work and focus Bernie could have gone from being a very good and even excellent player to a truly elite one.
Meaning that on paper, of course, production is what it is, but that doesn't tell the whole story as to what kind of player someone is. If an die-hard fan feels a certain player is not living up to his potential, I think that fan is well within his or her rights to resent (or at least feel apathetic towards) that player for it.
I had a hard time doing this when Arod was getting dominated by mid 80's fastballs all summer long. I found it easier in the postseason when he just couldn't get it going against some good pitchers.
It's just a pretty flawed way to go about it.
when i read an earlier post of yours saying that people may get frustrated with rodriguez because he is capable of more, i had to stop myself from posting about manny.
manny will be in the hall of fame.
he hits the crap out of the ball, and his time spent in the batting cage is said to be extensive.
that said, his fielding on the whole is shoddy, and he often won't run out a grounder.
i can't stand to watch him because of the seemingly half-hearted play he puts forth at times. i've seen him make a few great plays in left, too... but what could he do if he really tried on each play?
i see your point.
the biggest difference between manny and alex is that the fans in boston still scream until their lungs are raw to root manny on (even though he has repeatedly asked not to play for them), while alex is cursed with the same decibal barrage, but of the opposite nature.
(in the end, this difference reflects the fans more than the players. i think the opposite treatments of these two are more warranted.)
...and if they're "really good looking", they're really in trouble.
And the Yanks can't trade A-Rod for Ramirez and whoever else until the 3B decides whether or not he will opt out of his contract...
This is how Girardi messed up: He didn't want to play the young players, alienated the FO, misused Josh Johnson who got injured, and then proceeded to have a public argument with his owner. If he can't manage Marlins without conflict how exactly does he manage in New York?
As a teacher, it's fairly easy to see who succeeds through effort and who succeeds through talent and who's able to join the two and in what proportion.
Who decides? I guess I do, since I'm the one offering my evaluation. Could I be wrong? Sure. But I could also be right.
I'm speaking as a fan and to me that means forming emotional bonds with the players I watch based on the nuances I perceive or think I perceive in their day-by-day performances.
Watching Jorgie succeed on what appears to me to be a relatively low level of "natural ability" endears him to me.
Maybe I'm not being clear; I guess I'm just wondering how else a fan is expected to behave.
I like some players better than others and their numbers are for me not the first criterion, but rather the first criterion for me as a fan is the overall judgment I come to based on watching the people play.
Which, actually, raises a really fascinating question: is it possible that sabermetrics is creating a new kind of fan, one whose relationship to a player is grounded in a player's body of work, taken in the abstract, rather than being grounded in watching him play day in and day out?
I have no answer to this, but I do sense a wide gap between how I watch baseball and how lots of folks here seem to.
Not a value judgment, just an observation.
56 Jeter got on Bernie for being late to a team meeting. Jeter never questioned Bernie's work ethic as far as I know. Jeter has, over the years, confirmed the perception that Bernie is "spacey" but that does not mean Williams was ever dogging it.
Bernie was an "elite player", not anything less than that, as you suggest (see 1998 batting title, All-Star appearances, Gold Gloves, most postseason HRs, and RBIs in MLB history, etc.)
I have no idea what these guys do when they practice or what their approach is, but just because one spends time in the cage doesn't mean they're working.
They could be in there hitting fastballs over the fence because they find it gratifying rather than working on holes in their swing or training themselves to make contact on tough pitches or whatever.
I'm just making a theoretical point here.
Maybe I'd feel more comfortable if I knew what and how batters actually practiced when they take bp.
Are they isolating their vulnerabilities and working to improve them or are they just trying to stay sharp?
Do they embrace new approaches to hitting or do they basically try to just maintain what they already know how to do?
I don't know.
Any ideas, anyone?
Effort: I have never seen anyone (even those that don't like him) say that Alex has never given 100% if not more. It has been said over and over again that he is usually the first one in and the last one out working on things. Its almost impossible to be at your very best all the time...even Michael Jordan had days/weeks where he was off...this was Alex's off year. I do think he'll come back stronger this year with any team he's on.
Relaxing: Manny doesn't seem to care what anyone thinks about anything he does, he's able to let go of past mistakes and just relax when he gets up to the plate (thus he hits so well). Where as it seems Alex thinks way too much about EVERYTHING..
If either of these players find a balance between the two, they will be forces to be reckoned with.
Regardless of whether it's true, the point holds; I was just trying to illustrate what I'm talking about.
And as to the other point, I think you're overstating what I'm trying to say. I'm not saying that he's not trying hard enough.
What I am saying is that there seems to me to be a gap between his talent and his performance.
Am I actually not making sense, or are you just disagreeing with me?
Didn't mean to offend.
I don't know if they are or aren't.
I'm really trying to have a conversation about this more than I'm trying to dig my heels into any particular position.
I would hate to make judgments on the eventual Home Run king based on some undisclosed injury or vision problem that's easily correctable. That stretch scared me, and led to many of even the biggest Arod fans to wonder what the f was going on.
The average was a "C."
He was the best offensive 3B in the AL. Not bad for a "C" season.
To me, it seems simple. ARod needs to disappear for the winter. He, Boras and any other handlers the guy has just need to stay quiet. With hard work and less deflecting blame (or placing blame on outside factors), ARod can restore whatever goodwill he's lost in the clubhouse, with members of the local media, and with the fans.
The guy has talent. He's won a MVP in New York. He handled things just fine in 2005. An extended slump and an article in SI don't change that. If he works hard and doesn't spout off to the media, he'll be fine.
Anyone notice the breakdown of the Mets' postseason roster, in terms of how the Mets got their guys? Me neither. But BP's Kevin Goldstein lays it out for us:
Free Agent Signs: 14
Waiver Claim: 0
Rule 5 Draft: 0
Another way of breaking it down:
Homegrown: 3 (Wright, Reyes, Heilman)
Bought: 22 (everyone else)
Compare to the Yanks' playoff roster:
Free Agent Signs: 9
Waiver Claim: 0
Rule 5 Draft: 0
*Godzilla really isn't homegrown, but he was an International Free Agent, and I counted all the others IFAs as homegrown, so . . .
And I know the two aren't mutually exclusive, it's just I'm more into what can be observed with the naked eye as one watches a game than I am with abstract, statistical representations of performance.
Anyway, to all the devotees of sabermetrics, I apologize for my ignorance in that area and mean no disrespect when I express my suspicions.
I keep hearing how the yanks will decline sheff's option and he will go elsewhere.
Couldn't they sign him and then trade him? It seems he's affordable for a lot of teams and could command some good prospects. that way he doesn't go the sawks. However all I ever read about is the "decline the option" and he's gone.
JR House, former Pirates catching prospect, might be available (he played in the Astros farm system last year). He's not a great defensive catcher, but he hits very well and will be 27 next year. If the Yanks could get him, and Tony Pena stays on staff, I bet House could be a very servicable backup to Posada. He might even help bridge the post-Posada catching-gap we all worry about. Thoughts?
and i'll save you the effort, no... they do NOT stream TBS on TVU.
I never read anything close to what you are claiming re: Jeter and Bernie. Sliced Bread is correct. Based on the limited media reports, Jeter's issues with Bernie come from his lack of baseball intelligence. Bernie has in fact worked very hard to be the best baseball player that he could be, especially as the game doesn't come to him as instinctively. Joe Torre comments on this all the time. Bernie isn't the hitter that Manny is, but he is a good hitter. Bernie's fielding ability has eroded as he aged, but he always hustled in his prime.
What Bernie lacks is the ability to read a play as it is unfolding, for example even after playing the game all these years, Bernie doesn't instinctly know to throw 3rd and not 2nd in specific situations which is fustrating for Jeter, but that doesn't mean that he or anyone thinks that Bernie didn't work hard and has somehow squandered his talent.
Bernie is the one offensive player in the championship years who actually performed above his regular season averages in the playoffs. He carried the Yankees for stretches. There is no way that anyone can ever say that Bernie didn't work hard and wasted his talent. If anything he performed above everyone's expectations from when he was a prospect in the Yankees farm system.
Alex Rodriguez From To Yrs 1994-2006
Total yrs - 13 G - 1746 AB - 6767 R - 1358 H - 2067 2B - 364 3B - 26 HR - 464 RBI - 1347 BB - 820 SO - 1404 BA - .305 OBP - .386 SLG - .573 SB -241 CS - 60 OPS+ - 145
Manny Ramirez From To Yrs 1993-2006
Total Yrs - 14 G - 1817 AB - 6575 R - 1258 H - 2066 2B - 438 3B - 16 HR - 470 RBI - 1516 BB - 1054 SO - 1451 BA - .314 OBP - .411 SLG - .600 SB - 34 CS - 31 OPS+ - 157
What does that mean? With almost a half-season more in total games, Manny has achieved very much the same production as A-Rod, however A-Rod being four years younger has surpassed Manny in comparison with the numbers they produced by a certain age; A-Rod at 30 having produced more than Manny at 30. Couple that with A-Rod's superior defense and running, and it's not nearly as close.
Both are HOF, with numbers running congruently with Name-brand HOFs, but barring injury, A-Rod's got years left that Manny doesn't. Perhaps it just looks like he's not trying as hard as he can, but then there's Manny, so that really can't be it. I suspect we (in general) expect A-Rod to have 600 homers, a .350 BA and 3500 RBI right now, but give it a rest; he's a lot better than almost anybody, period.
"Pick up the option and trade him for pitching. This would keep him away from Boston and gets the most out of him. It would enrage Sheffield, but he signed the deal."
Speaking of Peter Abraham...he's really the only reason I think A-Rod will be traded. The way he talks about A-Rod's "baggage"...the only other player I can remember him being so blunt about is Carl Pavano. That tells me Pete isn't worrying about dealing with A-Rod next season, nor with any of his friends or supporters.
I wasn't assenting to that view of Bernie, but using it as an example to illustrate the point I was trying to make. I do know that I read that criticism of Bernie attributed to Jeter and it was disturbing to me to read, which is why I remember it.
There's no need to defend Bernie to me, I love the guy.
If not House, maybe we can work a deal with his former club. The Pirates have more catching talent than they know what to do with.
I guess that could happen, but I think that would be more up to Moose than the Yanks.
Clemens, RJ (in his day) and a few select others are on a short list of great pitchers who maintained a high level for many years. I just don't believe any pitcher is a sure thing for the long run. You get what you can, but you don't bet the farm on any pitchers career.
However, if ARod retires as a Yankee, considering his health and injury (free) history, here's what you can bank on from this 3rd baseman.
1) 6 years of 800+ OPS, 4 of them 900+ OPS. Possibly a year of 2 of 1.000 OPS,
2) Average, but probably above average defense for his career.
3) His 500th HR (hopefully in Yankee Stadium)
4) His 600th HR (hopefully in Yankee Stadium)
5) Probably his 700th HR (hopefully in Yankee Stadium)
6) Maybe his 756th HR (hopefully in Yankee Stadium)
7) The Greatest 3rd baseman in Yankee history
8) 1st ballet HOF induction in a Yankee uniform
9) Another MVP or 2.
10) Another HR title or 2.
11) Plaque or Monument in Monument Park
12) #13 Retired to the rafters.
13) Stats wise, one of the top 10 players in baseball history.
14) A WS MVP or 2.
15) various other lifetime records.
But yes, this gentle man is a cancer, so lets trade him for a 'great pitcher', who will probably be Pavanoed before ARod hits #600, and we can watch baseball history made by AROd over and over again, in someone else's uniform.
Yes... we can't trade Babe Ruth... so we'll trade ARod instead.
I'm SURE no one here will look back on his trade, and wonder WHAT THE FUCK WERE WE THINKING!
But to me, that's not relevant to the issue, which is, does Alex Rodriguez at third base make the Yankees the best possible team it can be?
I think that's a very legitimate question.
You can argue that all those numbers do indeed translate into the Yankees being the most competetive team, of course.
But I'm not convinced that's the only argument to be made. The question is, is this man at this time the best possible fit for this ballclub?
Is it conceivable that other players can be obtained the sum and diversity of whose value makes the Yanks a better or more consistent team?
I'm not qualified to answer that question, but I do think it is a legitimate one.
Are you thinking that other players get worse when Alex Rodriguez is on the team? I guess that sort of thing is possible, but I'm very skeptical and I'd like to see evidence.
If it's not that, then I don't see how a great player could make his team better than a less-great player (at the same position) would.
How much is fandom about the team winning?
How much about sentimental attachment to players?
For instance, Mattingly to me was what Mays and DiMaggio were to previous generations.
I was young and he occupied that unique mythical status that's possible to only a young fan.
Yet the Yanks kept losing in the eighties.
Now, suppose we could have traded Mattingly in his prime for three Cy Young winners and, I don't know, Jack Clark or someone to replace him at first.
That probably would have allowed the Yankees to dominate in the eighties, but if you'd asked me then, I would have refused because of my love of Mattingly.
Better to lose with him than win without him because there comes a point when winning won't be as sweet.
Sine I'm not really that emotionally attached to Arod, I'd entertain any trade that seemed to me in the best interests of the team.
Others seem disturbed by the mere suggestion that we might try to move him, although in fairness most of those people believe that there is no such conceivable trade in which we'd get (hypothetically speaking) three Cy Young winners or whatever.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but there it is.
The general question, I guess, is whether we're more attached to the team per se or to its constituent parts, the players.
Sorry if I've rambled.
I'm more thinking of this: one great player is still just one great player.
The Yankees have other players who provide more than enough offense to win, provided we have good pitching.
So if we could trade Arod, a great player, for, say, three very good (but not great) pitchers and a good (but not great) third baseman to replace him, might that not make the team stronger?
Bernie has always been a poor baserunner. Bad reads on the pitcher and bad instincts on the bases. Did he work on this extensively? Did he improve as he got 'older and wiser'? I don't think so.
While Bernie outran a lot of balls in the outfield, no has never taken the best path to the ball or gotten a great jump. Did he work really hard on this? Did he improve as he got 'older and wiser'? I don't think so.
I love Bernie. He was a great player and a great Yankee. But his game has lots of holes, which are all too apparent now.
I do think Bernie could have been a better and more complete ballplayer had he really worked on it.... but maybe not as good a guitarist.
I was too young when Pete Rose played to be able to judge, but the story I always heard about him was that he made himself into a great ballplayer by sheer force of will. That he was someone who wasn't overly talented, but had an ungodly drive to compete and improve.
I presume they're the same demons that drove him to (inadvertently, presumably) end the career of poor Ray Fosse.
That's really all I'm trying to point out: some players succeed on talent, some on hard work, most on a combination of the two.
My only point is that it seems to me that Rodriguez relies far more on talent than on hard work. Not to say that he doesn't work hard, but only to say that, for instance, he often seems to have no plan when he's at the plate (swinging at pitches he should take, taking pitches he should swing at, trying to pull pitches he should take the other way, etc.) and that disturbs me.
I just feel like if he could focus on this aspect of his game he would easily hit .340 every year because his swing is just so goddamned good.
That would be the next level for him and it doesn't appear to me that he's trying to reach it.
Of course it is in principle possible to trade a great player and get enough very very good players in return to make it worth while. But most of us are pretty well convinced that in practice it's not possible. Nobody is going to give up three very good pitchers, for instance.
And, this is not really germane but it's becoming a pet peeve of mine: there is no such thing as having "more than enough offense to win provided we get good pitching". For one thing, even with great pitching you only win 60% of your games, or in spectacular years with tons of luck maybe a bit more. Second, the more offense you have, the more chance you have of winning, and the more games you will win in the long run, so there's no 'more than enough'. More is always better. And third, lowering your offensive production by, say, thirty runs per year, is going to cost you nearly the same number of games whether your pitching is weak, pretty good, good, very good, or great. (Not quite exactly the same, because of the pythagorean ratio, but near enough.)
HR: 43 OPS: .959 - over 12 seasons
HR: 40 OPS: .935 - 3 seasons as a Yankee.
HRs as a Yankee: 7.5% under LT averages
OPS as a Yankee: 2.5% under LT averages
Now, consider park factors and playing in NY, and just HOW BADLY has ARod underperformed? A little bit. 2 of 3 years, by some, overperformed in 1 year.
I say: "Off with his head".
And, just for a moment, suppose the Yanks do trade ARod for better teammates. How do you know they'll be better? What measuring device do you use? Do you say, we don't want the good player, we want the scrub who's really funny and a good teammate. We already have Cairo. So what do you go on the market looking for? Specific parts? Spare parts? Any parts at all? You seem to be asking for something you can't define, and I'd rather stick with the HOF status quo than take a risk on a woman with a great persona. . . errr, a great "teammate."
So until you can offer a better definition of what being a team is, and can offer some argument about how getting rid of Arod would produce thedesired effect (which would include defining how to get good teammates), then your srgument does not appearto be a very solid one.
Damon - slight decline
Jeter - decline (as 2006 was a career year)
Shef - gone
Giambi - slight, slow decline
Matsui - same, maybe a little better
Cano - can he have a better year then last? Lets see
Melkdud - He HAS to get better
ARod - you wanna trade him?
Abreu - same
Posada - slight decline
Take ARod out of the equation, and we still have an excellent, but aging offense. I do not think its that good that we don't need ARod, and that his loss won't be considerably felt.
Pujols has a carreer avg of 43 HRs and 1.050 OPS. If he hits 33 HRs and has a .900 OPS in 2007, do you trade him the next offseason?
115 Your criticism of Alex Rodriguez has just entered the realm of pure rubbish. Name a baseball player in the last 20 years who hit .340 every year of their career? Great players with the most talent work the hardest to become great. It doesn't happen by accident. Tiger Woods hits tons of balls to perfect his swing and win majors. Michael Jordan practiced his shot for hours in the gym to hit those amazing shots in the actual game. Alex Rodriguez and other great baseball players practice for hours to have excellent production on the field. The idea that great players don't work hard enough is beyond ridiculous. Sometimes these athletes just have flaws in their game. Shaquille O'Neil is a terrible free thow shooter during the game, but hits them in the gym all the time.
In Alex Rodriguez, you are watching one of the greatest players to EVER play the game of baseball. Yet, all you can do write diatribes that pick him apart and focus on the flaws in his game. You are like the people who rip Tiger Woods for not winning majors by 10 strokes or berate his competition instead of appreciating the history that you are watching. Yes, Alex could strike out less. Yes, he could press a bit less. Yes, he seems to get anxious and occasionally throws the ball away. Yet in a down year, Alex hit 35 home runs, .290 BA, 191 RBIs and stole 15 bases and you are going on and on about how he could be better. Gawd.
It's precisely because I love Bernie that I was so stung by that assessment of him and remember it today. It caught me off guard because of my affection for him and because it disturbed me that Jeter, another player I have affection for, would level it.
As to Arod, sure, I'm probably overstating my case, but I believe I'm doing so in response to the predominant feeling here that he's such a great player.
I agree, he is a great player, but nevertheless, I see things in his game I wish he'd improve on and caught me by surprise because he came with such great expectations.
I'm sorry I offend you, that is not my intention. I'm sharing my perspective, which I think has some validity. The problem is, in defending my perspective I necessarily have to exaggerate it for the sake of clarity because people tend to jump on me for even suggesting the things I do.
I don't mean to offer diatribes. I'll try to come up with a way to express myself that isn't a diatribe, because that's really not my intention.
118 116 I'm still thinking.
Okay, I was away for a bit. Why did they have to get a new base?
FOX broadcasters are now proponents of the idea.
i am now convinced.
You da' man.
I'll take it you're a G.W.Bush fan.
I never said Arod wasn't a team player. I don't know if he is or isn't.
One of my points is that hypothetically I think there can be such a thing as a "clubhouse cancer" whose presence can theoretically effect (some of) his teammates' on-field performance by making the atmosphere tense instead of loose.
I believe that athletes (and indeed human beings) perform best when they're in a situation where they like or feel comfortable with the people around them. I believe there is such a thing as morale and that low morale can translate into poor performance and that one individual can, through his behavior, attitude, whatever, cause morale to drop.
That's my premise.
If I'm wrong about that, fine. But that's all my premise is. My premise is not that Arod is bad for morale, but rather that he might be bad for morale in the way that's been reported. All I'm saying is that, on the face of it, the notion doesn't strike me as so preposterous as to dismiss out of hand.
"Is it the fact that some players don't like him? So what? Again, we don't know very much about that and even if we did no one is getting paid to like anyone."
No, no one is getting paid to like anyone, but that doesn't mean that liking one another can't be a real factor that effects performance.
If I'm playing on a team where everyone thinks I suck, I'm going to be more tense because I'm going to feel I have something to prove and my failures are going to be more demoralizing if my teammates come up to me afterwards and tell me I suck and just lost the game for them.
The next time I come up, I'm going to feel that pressure and it's likely to distract me as I try to do what I have to do on the field.
Some people are uneffected by such criticisms, or can even use them to their advantage. But the reality is that some people are negatively effected by such interpersonal dynamics.
That's all I'm saying as to that.
In this particular case?--like you, I don't know.
"So until you can offer a better definition of what being a team is, and can offer some argument about how getting rid of Arod would produce thedesired effect (which would include defining how to get good teammates), then your srgument does not appearto be a very solid one."
Of course it's hard to know precisely what makes a good team, but that doesn't mean that it's impossible to foresee potential conflicts.
Given the history between Jeter and Rodriguez, and the fact that they played the same position, and the fact that Rodriguez was better at that position than the beloved captain of the team, my gut reaction was, "This is a bad idea."
People have egos and neuroses and insecurities and I don't see why, when constructing a baseball team, you wouldn't try to avoid the potential for obvious clashes.
I'm just saying that I don't think it's ridiculous to suggest that these things are factors in a team's success.
How determinative are they? I have no idea, but just because I don't know doesn't mean that their influence is negligible.
We were all pulling for him, I wanted nothing more than to see him succeed. But it has got to the point that we've all seen the games, we've seen all the drama (whether it was mostly media driven or stupid Yankee fans), and the guy just hasn't done much for the Yankees. I've stopped trying to going through all sorts of great pains to cite a handful of games and prove to everyone how great he is. It's not worth the energy anymore. The guy might be great, but he ain't ever gonna be Yankee great. I think there's a higher probability that the laws of physics could be reversed than ARod ever doing anything significant for the Yanks.
You can use all your stats VORP, RPG, WMD, IAB, but when it comes down to it....ARod has given Yankee fans very few good memories. Including his MVP year. ARod will always be remembered for a slap, a double play, and people hating him because he's "bi-racial".
Time to get rid of him....I loved him, I rooted for him, but it doesn't require an IQ north of 150 to realize the guy just has not worked out. I just hope he gets traded to the NL, I don't want to see him again......I don't want to see him succeed or fail, I just want to forget about the guy.
Just like Peter Abraham said that he sucks the energy out of a clubhouse, he has also sucked the energy out of me from defending him so many times.
Whether Arod had, has, or will have great numbers is beside the point. So far beside it in fact, that you would need some serious binoculars to see it. The numbers are a moot point. We all know what they are. Even the numbers can be looked at from different perspectives. Would he even have had 100 RBI if he played for say, Oakland? Probably not. But it matters not in the trade decision.
That being said, the reason a trade makes sense is two fold.
1. Distraction: I understand the man's talent, however, unless he goes on some crazy tear, he is going to be booed right from the get-go next year, count on it. And whether that is right or wrong is again, beside the point, it is going to happen no matter how you may individually feel about it. It will be 180 days of Arod this, and Arod that. It will be exponentially worse than it was this year, and again worse the following year, if the Yanks don't win and Arod struggles. This is just the way it will be, like it or not. It's not fair to the other players or coaches, and it will be a yolk around the Yankees neck just like it was this year, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
2. Pitching: God knows the Yankees need it. I won't cite the above posts, but the Yankees are not getting a group of studs from the Cubs for Arod, nor do the Yankees deserve it. His numbers, no matter how good, are not worth Zambrano, Ramirez et. al. I hate to agree with Cliff (just kidding), but Arod isn't heads and tails above the bunch anymore, and his salary, especially if the Texas contribution is voided, is way out of line with what even the best of the best are getting these days.
If you can get Zambrano and a top prospect for Arod straight up, you take it. He's better than Schmidt, he's better than Zito, and he brings a fire. The same fire that was sucked from the Yankees this year following 180 days of Arod obsession. An obsession that Arod did not one thing to curb, rather, he exacerbated it. Whether that was his intent, is again, beside the point.
It's not a question of numbers, records, and plaques. It is not about individual accomplishments. It is about Championships. It's quite simply, a question of what is best for the New York Yankees.
Speaking of Aaron Small...he was at Cory Lidle's funeral today. Apparently, he grew up with the Lidle twins. He considered them his younger brothers. Aaron's father, Art Small, presided over the funeral.
Me too. Want to know a secret? Brian Cashman and Yankee management know it too. It is only a question of whether they can look past the dollars he'll generate, and put the team first.
He has to be traded...I don't care if it's for a bag of M&M's at this point. I don't want to see him again. I've given up on the fact that we'll get equal value for him.
134 "His numbers, no matter how good, are not worth Zambrano, Ramirez et. al."
No, he's worth more than they are.
But it's hard to know how to argue about this when you say that the numbers are beside the point.
I'm kidding of course, but I'm still rooting for him.
There is more to baseball than numbers. On paper, we should have crushed Detroit, but we didn't, did we? The game is supposed to be fun Teams that have fun tend to have lower stress levels and end the season more fresh. I will gladly trade a 40 or so RBI drop off at 3B for a bona fide ace and a jettisoning of all the drama.
Yes, at the time, I felt deeply ambivalent about keeping him because of all that flailing at sliders off the plate in the 2003 postseason.
Part of me felt that we should be patient with him and let him mature as a hitter while part of me feared he never would and would therefore continue to be an easy out against good pitching in tight spots.
So when we got Arod, he was replacing someone I'd watched develop and was half looking forward to continuing to watch develop.
As a fan, I prefer to watch our guys develop.
But I came around and figured, well, ok, if he's the best player in baseball, I guess I should just enjoy him.
Meanwhile, Sori has gone on to achieve levels of production in the same general ballpark as Arod.
So part of my lack of raging enthusiasm for him has to do with that.
Btw, did you just see Encarnacion's slap hit to right field with two strikes?
That's the kind of hitting I like and the kind of hitting I wish Arod could do when the situation calls for it.
My point is that I had affection for him that was built up over time, exasperating as I often found him. What I'm getting at is that I have feelings about these players and if you're going to ask me to say goodbye to one of them by arguing that the replacement is so much better, the onus is on him to win my affection, which means he'd better be pretty special.
I know everyone thinks Arod is pretty special, but as I keep saying, the qualities he shows at the plate that are special are, as far as I can see, basically in the fluiditiy of his swing and his strength.
But I'm just not fond of his approach when he's at the plate; he doesn't seem very good at situational hitting, by which I mean shortening his swing, going the other way, etc. when a single is what's needed.
His style of hitting just isn't particularly to my taste. Nor was Sori's, but as I say, at least he was our guy.
Again, you can have ARod and his "numbers". I was like you at one time, constantly defending ARod....I saw the light and I see that he's no longer valuable or worthy.
I'd much prefer to see him in the NL than in the AL. I just don't think he has the intestinal fortitude to succeed in a high pressure environment. Actually....I don't think...I already know.
Are you nuts? If you love stats so much, try taking a look at them. Aramis Ramirez is on par with Arod, if not better. To ask for him and anyone of value would be silly. If the Cubs would take Arood for wither Ramirez or Zambrano straight up, I'd jump at it, and I think so will the Yankees. I will gladly trade 15 SB's to trade the one man lightning rod. The Cubs fans will love him no matter what he does, and that, after all, is what Alex really wants. It's about as perfect a trade as you could ask for.
Does this Duncan character remind anyone else of a left-handed Steve Balboni?
But . . . that's also why the Cubs won't do it.
Come on Lou.....push it...push it. You can do it. You won't be in the Yankee dugout in October next year to put your best starter in an elimination game, like any other manager worth a damn would have done, the least you can do is take this clown off our hands.
I guess it's true what they say, good pitching beats good hitting. Yea, we better keep Arod after all. Maybe we can teach him to pitch.
I'd much rather have Arod batting 4th than Zambrano on the mound in a playoff game . . . lol.
Snipes, 44, also failed to file tax returns for six years, according to an indictment unsealed in Tampa, Florida.
Pocket change for me
ARod in Wrigley would be obscene, but it's about as likely as a parade in Baghdad next Fourth of July.
to be rotten, from puter, putris rotten; akin to Latin putEre to stink
He had to have been looking breaking ball there and at any rate, he's gotta protect.
If only Willie had gone to Heilman after Mota walked that guy on four pitches in game two.
It'll take a miracle now.
The deal that makes the most sense is still
Kuo or Billingsly/ Laroche / Broxton or Brazobon.
Jeff fucking Weaver!
"Everything that should be up, is down . . . and everything that should be down, is up."
Anyone that can place that quote gets a popsicle.
Why isn't Colter Bean on the list? Shouldn't he be eligible by now?
Expect to see multiple Buckner clips tomorrow night.
Incredible? Like his MVP season in 2004. Aramis is a drama free player "nearly" on par with Arod year to year. I have never argued Arod's talent, rather his cancer-like impact on the Yankees.
Practical doesn't mean objective reasoning based on hard data and statistics. It means pragmatic, mindful of the likely outcome, weighed advantages and disadvantages. When one weighes all these things, it is quite possible to determine that Arod should be traded. It is not my contention that it will ultimately result in the best outcome, simply that a viable argument can be made for a trade.
I am open to the idea that he will play great and win a Championship in NY. Conversely, most Arod supporters, insofar as this blog is concerned, are unwilling to entertain the possibility that trading him might be the best thing for the team. It isn't that black and white, it just isn't.
I have a feeling this series is going to go seven. It's in the stars, it's the freakin Mets. Say what you will about them, but they are rarely boring in the playoffs.
I am open to the idea that he will play great and win a Championship in NY. Conversely, most Arod supporters, insofar as this blog is concerned, are unwilling to entertain the possibility that trading him might be the best thing for the team. It isn't that black and white, it just isn't. "
Well said, Stormer. You've said with concision what I stumble and ramble and sputter and muse to express.
And I give up on the quote, though it sounds like a variation on what's-his-name's "the center cannot hold." The poet who also wrote that great poem about Leda and the Swan, what's his name? Ah--Yeats! Duh.
It's some good old-fashioned apocalypticism, which generally tickles me.
Sheffield didn't "break down," he got injured on a rough play down the first base line playing hard. Based on your reasoning, we should have traded Matsui along with Sheffield becuause he is getting older, and he "broke down" on a fairly routine play in Left Field.
And Alex didn't show at Lidle's funeral, while Brian Cashman, Joe Torre, Reggie Jackson, Jason Giambi, Aron Small, and Derek Jeter did. If you want to step up Alex, step up. It would have been a good opportunity to show everyone that he takes being a Yankee seriously, dut he didn't take advantage of it.
Being a Yankee is different than being an Oriiole or Indian, or Ranger for that matter. It's a committment, and the greatest Yankees have all understood that.
Torre: "I was his manager for a couple of months, though I knew of him professionally for quite a while," Torre said during the reception at Faith Community Church in West Covina. "What sticks with me, what I keep replaying, is the fact that I went out to the mound and gave him the ball, and I went out to the mound and took the ball away for the last time on that day in Detroit," he said, referring to the Yankees' 8-3 loss to the Tigers on Oct. 7 in Game 4 of their American League division series.
"I didn't get to know him very well personally because we were only together a short time, but he seemed to blend in very well with our team," Torre added. "And now the future that you sort of planned, there is no future other than his memory. But I know one thing: the fact that he was a Yankee and that he was very, very pleased when I called him after the trade, pleased he was to be a part of our Yankee family. Unfortunately, he couldn't have been there longer."
"There were so many sensitive things," Torre said. "When you deal professionally, it just scratches the surface on what someone is really about. Friendships that he forged early on, before his baseball career, were still there. I think that speaks a lot about someone."
Giambi: "That was our dream," Giambi said of the goal of becoming a professional that he shared with Lidle. "For a team and an area to produce big-league ballplayers, it was exciting. We always reminisced about the old times."
Jeter: Jeter said that while he did not know Lidle very well or for very long, he wanted to be there for Lidle's family.
"He has a wife and a young son," Jeter said. "However difficult it is for us, it's more difficult for them, so we're just here to show our support. It's a rough day."
I'm impressed they've made it this far, though; once Duque fell, I figured they wouldn't even compete.
And honestly, I think if Willie had put in Heilman in Game 2, things still might be different.
Leaving Mota in there was a major blunder, imo.
I actually was hoping he would start Heilman. Given what they had left, you need to find a guy to shut down the opposition and let your team get a lead. The Mets just don't have that guy, it's kind of sad really. I was pulling for them.
Say what you want about A-rod. His massive talent gets use to the postseason. What other team can suffer the loss of Matsui, Sheffield? At some point, we had almost every starter hurt. No other team could do that. The reason why we could is because of the production we get our other positions. Giambi and A-Rod.
Now postseason requires pitching. That's true. But you have to get to the postseason.
The ONLY person I trade A-rod for is Johan Santana. Zambrano is not a certified ace. He is an innings eater who is good but not great.
149 So when he hit the homer off Shilling AT BOSTON when Shilling came out of the bullpen. That was low pressure? In front of screaming Red Sox fans? When he destroyed the Twins in 2004 in the first round of the playoffs, that was low pressure? When he was hitting the tar out of the ball the first 3 games of the ALDS that year, that was low pressure?
How quickly fans forget! Why don't fans boo him some more and see if you can make your prediction of his failure a self-fulfilling one?
150 A-Ram vs A-Rod
ARAM in a hitters ballpark has three years
with 951,926,913 OPS == avg 930
AROD in a pitcher ballpark has three years with 887,1031,915 == 944
So already without making the league and park adjustments, AROD has better numbers. With those adjustments, AROD's numbers OPS+ is 133, 167, 140. ARAM's numbers is 136, 137, 126.
And ARAM can't steal and is slow and is below par defensively. AROD for his first two years has been above par. This year he was below par.
So no ARAM is not as good as AROD anyway you cut it.
I blame Torre for mishandling A-Rod. Rather than leaving Arod alone when he had a 1157 OPS september, Torre had the SI article published. That set the media circus in full swing and killed A-rod's swing.
You want to blame someone for this season's failure. Blame Torre not A-rod.
Or have you forgotten A-Rod's MVP already?
"Practical doesn't mean objective reasoning based on hard data and statistics. It means pragmatic, mindful of the likely outcome, weighed advantages and disadvantages."
When I try to work out which outcomes are likely, I use the information available. But that's statistics.
Here's where I stand: the 'cancer in the clubhouse' story is a fairy tale. If someone actually believes that having Alex Rodriguez in the clubhouse makes other players perform worse, then let's see the evidence.
Oh, sorry. Evidence would be statistics. Darn.
154 "I'd much rather have Arod batting 4th than Zambrano on the mound in a playoff game . . . lol."
Oh, it would be great to get one of those good NL pitchers starting for your AL team. That's worked out great for the Red Sox and the Yankees so far!
Crap...I thought 2004 put an end to those!
Know this article is unsettling. Just about bats being used inappropriately in the Green Mountains.
As for the A-Rod banter, better him than anyone. Let's work on the hurling staff.
I would expect Brian Cashman and Reggie Jackson to go (as they represented the Yankees organization), Joe Torre (as a manager I would expect him to attend,Jason Giambi (he was a close friend of Corey's I would expect him to be there) and Derek Jeter (as the captain of the team I would expect him to be there as well). There were several other Yankee team members who weren't there....does that mean they don't seriously want to be Yankees either?
I'm okay with the baseball skills, effort etc. and Alex trade talks. But when it comes to personal attacks with no evidence then I usually speak up.
Jason Giambi has known Cory and his wife since they were in high school. I assume it must be something similar with Jaret Wright; he is also from southern California.
Aaron Small was also there; he's known Cory and Kevin even longer than Giambi has.
I'm surprised Aaron Guiel didn't attend. He was supposedly Cory's closed friend on the team. Or maybe he was there, and the press didn't see fit to mention it.
In any case, there's no reason to expect A-Rod to be there.
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