Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Happy Belated
2006-11-16 05:09
by Alex Belth

You know, I've been so consumed with work over the past month that I forgot to mention that Bronx Banter turned four years old back on November 7th. Here is a look at the first post I ever wrote here. Anyhow, I feel great going into Year Five. Cliff has been a valuable addition over the past two seasons, and I'm proud of the community of readers that keep coming back (both those who use the comments section and those who don't). The whole pernt was to build a community in the first place so I feel as if the banter has been a success. I've always been more interested in starting up a dialogue than I have in necessarily being any kind of expert. While I feel that I've grown considerably as a blogger, I also know that I've learned so much from you all, and for that I am grateful.

I've spent much of the fall working on new writing assignments, including some freelance work for Variety, not to mention my gig with I'm also contributing a few chapters to a forthcoming Baseball Prospectus book as well as editing a compilation of Pat Jordan's best journalism. I've read over a hundred of Pat's articles and profiles over the past six weeks, material which covers almost forty years. Picking out the best 30 or so is not easy but is a tremendous amount of fun--it's like making a literary mix tape. In addition to selecting the pieces, I'm also contributing an introductory essay, and I've conducted a Q&A which will appear in some way, shape or form, at the back of the book.

Yo, when I started doing lengthy interviews with baseball writers back in 2003, Pat was one of the guys I most wanted to speak with. Now, I'm responsible for proposing, pitching and selling a project devoted to his best writing. I can't tell you how stoaked I am about this. Yup, Bronx Banter has been a great launching pad for me, and it is still rewarding to blog about living in New York and following the Yankees with you guys.

Keep comin' back. We'll leave the light on.

Comments (207)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-11-16 05:35:02
1.   rsmith51
Thanks Alex and Cliff!

This is my first stop for Yankee information. As someone not from NY, I like the non-Yankee pieces, too.

2006-11-16 05:54:39
2.   Repoz
Congrats Alex!

BTW...w/no-mo Coliseum Book Store, where to next?

2006-11-16 06:13:27
3.   jakewoods
do leave that light on
2006-11-16 06:15:53
4.   NetShrine
What happened to the Coliseum Book Store?

Oh, and, congrats AB. Four years is a long time! Good job.

2006-11-16 06:18:48
5.   RIYank
We all know that we're the ones getting presents, though, and every day of the year. Free Belth and Corcoran for everybody!
2006-11-16 06:23:24
6.   RIYank
Items from Baseball Musings:

1. The D-Rays won the negotiation rights to Akinori Iwamura with a bid of $4.5 million. Hey, did somebody misplace the decimal point? Or why didn't other teams bid tens of millions, you know, to get access to that lucrative 'Asian market'?

2. The Jays are about to sign Frank Thomas. Gulp.

3. David Pinto has some nice charts comparing teams' 2006 defense using Probabilistic Model of Range. The Yanks come out very well indeed, which probably won't surprise BB readers but would definitely surprise a lot of commentators who, well, who would never bother to read anything so geeky, so never mind.

2006-11-16 06:26:37
7.   Sliced Bread
Happy belated, Alex.
I come here for the Belth and Corcoran, and stay for the banter.
Just read your interview with Pat Jordan from a few years ago, which was a blast. Looking forward to the book.
Meantime, any idea where I could find his piece about Bernie?
2006-11-16 06:30:42
8.   Alex Belth
Hey. The Coliseum closed cause they weren't making any money. To be honest, the Coliseum really closed when they left their original location on the corner of 57th street and Broadway. The new location, across the street from Bryant Park, was unispired. The place never was good for discounts and without the charm of the old location, it just seemed like another, bland, over-priced bookstore.

As far as Pat's story on Bernie goes, dag, I wish I could remember who he did that for. It was a family magazine if I recall correctly, not a sports mag. It's not going to be in "The Best of." The story is good but not great. But I recently read one of Pat's original manuscripts of that piece and there was some good stuff in there which I plan to excerpt next time there is a reason to talk about Bernie.

2006-11-16 06:34:49
9.   Shaun P
Congrats Alex and Cliff - as long as that light stays on, I'll be here. This is far and away the best Yanks' site on the web.
2006-11-16 06:38:17
10.   Chyll Will
What's good, B! You and Cliff have made this really the first stop on any Yankee fan's vision quest. I honestly feel like I've been here forever. Onelove, ya'!
2006-11-16 06:45:46
11.   Yankee Fan In Boston
congrats. may there be many years still to come.
2006-11-16 06:46:10
12.   Yankee Fan In Boston
(and thanks, by the way.)
2006-11-16 06:48:46
13.   JL25and3
8 When it was on 57th, the Coliseum was one of the city's greatest bookstores, a browser's paradise. (Cramped and crowded, but what great bookstore isn't?) You're right, the death knell was when it moved from that location - though maybe the handwriting was on the wall once there was no longer a Coliseum...

At least the Strand is still there.

2006-11-16 06:51:54
14.   Sliced Bread
8 Looking forward to reading his Bernie observations, and his "Best of."
2006-11-16 06:59:00
15.   jonnystrongleg
Thanks for this site Alex & Cliff! Congrats!

6 # 1 - I'm sure you're being cheeky, but also the difference between the best pitcher the nation has ever produced and a solid 3rd basemen is obvious, no? The bid for Troy Glaus would be substantially lower than for Roger Clemens at 26?

2006-11-16 07:04:34
16.   Alex Belth
Hey Sliced. Cool. The guy has done some great work over the years. His stories on Steve Garvey and Steve Carlton gave him the most notoriety but there are other gems in there on Richard Williams--Venus and Serena's old man, OJ, Pete Rose, Jr, Wilt, Steve Dalkowski, Renee Richards and Carlton Fisk just to name a few.

Another cool feature of the book is that we're going to run Pat's original manuscript versions as opposed to the published magazine versions in a lot of cases. That's not something I would normally do but after reading both versions, in many cases, Pat's orginals are simply fuller, better-told stories. (Pat is not a verbose writer so the longer the story doesn't mean the more self-indulgent.)

For instance, he did a piece on Mike Veeck's daughter for "Good Housekeeping." Veeck was working for the D Rays at the time of the piece and his 7-year old daughter was going blind. One of the central conflicts of the story was between Veeck and his wife. Veeck wanted to take his daughter around the country so she could see as much of the world as possible before she lost her eye sight. His wife wanted to keep her close to home and have her life be as normal and oderly as possible. Pat was sympathetic with both points of view and their arguements were central to the story. But that was not the kind of thing "Good Housekeeping" wanted so they cut it. Well, the story simply isn't as good without that portion, so I chose the original.

2006-11-16 07:05:38
17.   mehmattski
The best damn Yankees blog period. I'm so glad I found this place this season, wish I'd found it sooner. Thanks Alex and Cliff, once again.

6 #1... I've been impressed with the Devil Rays' moves the past year or so, since the new management has stepped in. They need to seriously improve their starting pitching so they don't waste the prime years of some of their budding superstars. Hopefully this signing helps. Rumor Central on also reports they are looking to trade Baldelli to the Marlins for pitching. I think that's a no-brainer deal for both teams.

2006-11-16 07:11:16
18.   Chyll Will
13 Yes... we'll always have the Strand!
2006-11-16 07:18:36
19.   Count Zero
Echoing the previous posts -- this is my #1 most visited website. Thanks for making it such!
2006-11-16 07:19:21
20.   Bama Yankee
Happy B-Day to the Banter and thanks to Alex, Cliff and all the regular posters for making this my one-stop-shop for all things Yankee.
2006-11-16 07:40:47
21.   Sliced Bread
16 Great concept going with the original manuscripts, great subjects, great writer. Can't wait.
2006-11-16 07:51:50
22.   bp1
Congrats on four years, Alex. You and Cliff complement each other well, and of course the "banterites" are top notch. The discussion in the comments is often spirited, but almost always respectful. A rarity, to be sure, especially in this anonymous virtual world we live in.

I wish you guys continued success, and I wish all the banterites years of Yankees chat, with maybe a championship celebration tossed in every now and then.

2006-11-16 07:56:05
23.   C2Coke
Even though I've never met anyone in person, I feel as though many of us have become friends who share one huge common passion and who agree or disagree with each other.

So, thank you very much Alex and Cliff, for building Banter as a bridge. And congrats.

2006-11-16 07:59:33
24.   Oscar Azocar
Thanks Alex and Cliff for providing this great community for Yankee fans!

I too enjoy the fact that the discussion here is intelligent and how all the posters maintain a respectful environment. Keep up the great work and I look forward to many more years!

2006-11-16 08:02:28
25.   jakewoods
the devil rays need to be proactive right now

they should trade crawford and baldelli

maybe they get ervin santana and scott olson and some more pitching for them

they're trading good players but they have of's.

u take those 2 and put them with kazmir and u got something brewing.

2006-11-16 08:04:53
26.   Yankee Fan In Boston
sorry to interrupt the much deserved lovefest, but i just read an article and needed to share it. (in the spirit of the described cameraderie.)

warning: this item contains pavano

2006-11-16 08:07:28
27.   jakewoods
it contains pavano?

does it come with bandages, ben-gay, and aspirin?

2006-11-16 08:09:37
28.   C2Coke
26 Even with the warning, that still scared the kids in the house.

I will tell you what I think when September comes or maybe even in March. Right now, I need not to be scared.

2006-11-16 08:13:25
29.   Chyll Will
25 But what would that accomplish, really? Those two are their best proven run producers, and Kazmir is their number 1; you trade them all for pitching and then what? A top-shelf pitching staff and barely anything else? Pitching can put you over the top, but c'mon, you need to score runs for them, too.

Not that I wouldn't mind going after those three if they were offered, but they'd have to be either audacious or complete idiots to put them up and expect equal value.

2006-11-16 08:16:00
30.   jkay
Congrats guys on 4 years. You have led where many have followed. Keep up the great work.

26 Great news!

"Pavano's legs are now equal in length"

2006-11-16 08:19:33
31.   jonnystrongleg
29 In 25 he is saying to keep kazmir and pair him with the new pitchers.
2006-11-16 08:29:18
32.   jakewoods

obv keep kazmir. but he needs some help. what good does having crawford and baldelli do them if they still cant pitch?

they have a some good of prospects like young, dukes and can even move upton there. or they sign a dellucci and put him in left. you lose some but you gain much more with some young power arms.

unfortunately i think the devil rays will chicken out and not make any moves. and keep their guys and have another yr of winning 68 games.

2006-11-16 08:37:46
33.   Chyll Will
31 Oh, my bad.

26 Am I the only one reading that who's head is spinning like a 78 record right now?

And does this imply that if we were in a 'Yo Mama' contest, he'd have been making snaps on his own mother?

2006-11-16 08:42:05
34.   Schteeve
Alex and Cliff, congrats on the 4 years. You produce a very high quality product, very consistently. It isn't easy, and I very happy for your success.
2006-11-16 08:45:00
35.   mehmattski
32, etc, re: Devil Rays
I realized later that Iwamura is a third baseman, which is very interesting, given that they have a logjam of left-side infielders, with Zobrist and Upton blocking Joel Guzman (a 22 yr old at AAA). What signing the Japanese 3B tells me is that they are looking to trade Balldelli or Upton, and as I said the Marlins are interested in Baldelli. The Marlins have no CF and so much pitching that their AA team set all kinds of records last season. Then move Crawford to CF and Upton to RF. Sounds like a good plan to me. I don't know why I'm so interested, but when I play baseball video games, I always use the Marlins or Devil Rays, cause I like the challenge of building the team into a dynasty.
2006-11-16 08:47:14
36.   Schteeve
Good lord, our starting rotation situation is horrible that I actually sometimes find myself thinking, "Well, Pavano could be good next year."
2006-11-16 08:50:17
37.   jakewoods

if the rays had any foresight they'd shake things up. they have the pieces in place to be a decent team if they make the right trades.

on the flip side i hope they dont because i like pounding on the cupcakes

luckily cash doesnt want to count on pavano. treating him as a bonus which is the way to go.

2006-11-16 08:51:09
38.   Yankee Fan In Boston
36 i suppose that is technically a possibility.
2006-11-16 08:56:31
39.   jakewoods
i wonder what cash has up his sleeves for the rotation.

because you have to figure hes going after 2 guys. whether it be free agents or trades.

2006-11-16 09:05:48
40.   Shaun P
35 37 etc - My first thought was, when and why has this place become Rays Banter? My second thought was that you've forgotten about Evan Longoria (3B), Reid Brignac (SS), and some kid named Young who is clearly their RF of the future. I'll bet the DRays trade Upton and Baldelli for two pitchers, either in separate deals or as a package. At least one of them is going to Miami, and it wouldn't surprise me if it was Upton, only because he makes a lot less than Rocco does.

If I had to pick a destination for Rocco, I'd guess the Angels, only because he's their type of hitter (contact guy) and they too could use a CF.

2006-11-16 09:12:59
41.   thirtythr33
I love the fact you have created a forum for true Yankee fans, many of whom are both well-spoken and informed on the subjects. Also, kudos on the opportunities that have been afforded to you as a result of your success with Bronx Banter.

As for Matsuzaka issue, I point and laugh at the Red Sox! Enjoy spending $50 million minimally on a question mark. I may not know much at all about the Japanese League, but I know for SURE it is not the Major League. Japanese players have been highly touted many times before, and only two (Ichiro and Godzilla) have been anywhere near as productive as scouts say they will be. Note, both are hitters, which I believe is a lot more stat-dependable than pitching.

Last time I checked, there isn't a steroid scandal in Japan. Japanese pitchers aren't dealing with juiced up monsters who can hit the ball 450 feet any time they get a good crack on a ball. Matsuzaka may be solid, but I'd take Barry Zito or Jason Schmidt, proven stars in America, over an unproven multi-million dollar gamble such as Matsuzaka anyday.

Evil Empire my ass. Go Yanx!!

2006-11-16 09:23:35
42.   domvjr
Cheers to Alex & Cliff, on their 4th anniversary!! Bronx Banter is the first site that I always check in the am. As an occasional poster, I really enjoy the "banter" amongst all the passionate Yankee fans!!
2006-11-16 09:29:22
43.   Raf
I'm a relative newcomer here, but I'd still like to offer my congratulations for 4 years.

Keep up the good work, guys.

As for Pavano, Cliff posted a writeup on Meat not too long after he was signed.

From the Big Red Blog archives;

2006-11-16 09:30:42
44.   SF Yanks
The Banter has been set as my Home Page for awhile now and I wouldn't have it any other way. Being on the west coast, I usually don't get to jump into the comments until late in the discussion. So if, Alex and Cliff, you guys could just post your articles at about 12 in the afternoon EST, that would be great. All kidding aside, thanks guys.
2006-11-16 09:35:29
45.   Jim Dean
Defintely the best Yankee bantering around. Thnaks for a great site!

36 39 I disagree pretty hard regarding the state of the rotation. I'd be fine going in to the season just as it is. Why? The offense!

This team is going to win a bunch of games with league average pitching. Between:

1) Wang
2) Moose
3) Hughes
4) Unit
5) Rasner/Karstens
6) Pavano
7) Sanchez
8) Clippard

From everything we've seen, they'll be fine! And that's even if they don't get much from Unit OR Pavano.

Between Wang and Moose, they'll get the same pitching with one improving slightly and the other decling slightly.

Hughes is the best pictching prospect in all of baseball. His ceiling projects higher than the expensive sushi in Boston. His starts weren't just good last year, they were phenom-enal. And he's going to be in the rotation by June.

Karstens and/or Rasner will give enough league average starts between them (based on their performance last year) that they will help.

And at the 5th slot, they'll get enough from Unit and Pavano, to win more than half of the games there. Worst case, Sanchez is close and Clippard may be by the middle of the year. Or either of them could be traded mid-year, for a "proven" guy.

Now all that said, sure they could go out and pay a bunch to get a #2 or #3, like Zito, or overpay for a #5 like Lilly or Meche. Sure why, not? But it isn't necessary. Even still, do any of those guys break the top three in October? Maybe Zito, but even then I'm not convinced he'd pitch better than Wang, Moose, or Hughes. So basically they'd be paying $75 million for a guy that might start one or two games in October? Meh...

2006-11-16 09:47:41
46.   mehmattski
40 I like to think of myself as an Equal Opportunity Banterer. Plus I've had a good look at those Tampa youngins, watching them in Durham. B.J. Upton hit a walk off grand slam in the Bulls' home opener last season. The offense, between Upton, Zobrist, Young, and Dukes was incredible. Their pitching, well... let's just say that Doug Waecter is their top starter. Ugh.

45 I agree with you, up to a point. Those pitchers would make a servicable (and relatively cheap) starting rotation, especially given the offense the team is likely to produce. However, I would still like to see the Yanks add one more middle of the rotation guy, so long as they don't overpay. Who that guy might be is a mystery- I don't particularly like Zito or Schmidt, Clemens and Pettitte would both be mistakes, and everyone else is a Jaret Wright-type signing waiting to happen. If Cashman feels like I do, I wouldn't be surprised to see a deal made this year. Sending Melky and Clippard to the Marlins for Willis or to the Tigers for Bonderman or to the ChiSox for Buerhle would be my first instincts. I would be sad to see Melky go... but he's expendable this year and solid OFs aren't as scarce as solid SPs. Plus I'd love to see Jose Tabata in RF at Yankee Stadium as early as 2008.

2006-11-16 09:47:54
47.   thirtythr33
Jim Dean:

I appreciate your optimism, but you are, of course, basing all of it on the idea that our pitching staff will be healthy. Imagine either Wang or Mussina going down for an extended period of time. In the blink of an eye our staff would appear decimated.

Our offense is stacked. It is brimming with power goodness. All we need is pitching. The more the merrier, as they say. It is more than apparent we need improvements in that department. Come October, pitching wins. Don't tell me you would not appreciate seeing a proven hurler such as Zito in pinstripes when it came down to the nitty gritty!

2006-11-16 09:49:21
48.   unmoderated
after i found the banter, i spent the next 4 days at work catching up on all the previous posts.

thanks, guys.

2006-11-16 09:52:21
49.   Zack
Congrats Alex/Cliff, Jus tthink how different the world was 4 years ago, yet how very much the same it was....

45 If /When Hughes comes up, it won't be until at least June, if not later. Remember, temper oyur expectations here, he hasn't pitched above class AA yet, has shown to need some adjustment time at each level, and hasn't logged enough innings to be able to pitch a full season yet. I expect him to come up next year, but its really 2008 that we will beable to judge him...

So it should be more of:

2006-11-16 09:57:41
50.   mehmattski
47 You mean like his start agains the Tigers this year when he went less than 4 innings and gave up 5 runs on 7 hits? Or when he crumbled against the Red Sox in 2003, blowing all of a 3-0 A's lead in the 6th inning?

Getting away from the small sample size of the post-season... Zito still walks the world (99 BB in 212 IP) and gives up gopherballs at near-Beckett like frequencies (average of 27 over the last three seasons). Getting him out of pitcher friendly Oakland will do the same to him as it did to his buddies Hudson and Mulder. This is supported by his Defense Independent Pitching, which I reported yesterday as sitting 47th out of 50 qualified pitchers in the AL.

Sure, he eats innings, but I think Yankees fans would grow tired of him very quickly. Not to mention the fact that his price is likely to be in the $17 mil/year range. No thank you.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-11-16 09:59:24
51.   Jim Dean
46 That's the thing - they scored over 900 runs without Abreu and Matsui for over half the season. A decent rotation is more than enough - but sure go get an overpriced #5, I just don't think it's necessary.

47 I don't think it's optimism. Rasner/Karsten can be #5 starters. They're Ted Lilly/Jaret Wright without the price tag.

Hughes is Matsuzaka, all potential and projection - indeed Hughes projects higher, and again without the price tag. Just adding Hughes is a huge upgrade from last year.

And between Unit and Pavano, they get enough decent starts to win more than they lose.

After that Sanchez and Clippard may be ready in case of injuries. If not you trade them for a "proven" guy.

Even still, asking if Wang or Moose gets hurt is like asking if Santana or Schilling get hurt. If that happens, the Yanks deal with it then - give some kids a shot or again, trade for a proven guy. They COULD always make a move now, either a free agent or in a trade, but I just don't think it's necessary.

2006-11-16 10:04:33
52.   smingers
51 On what are you basing your claim that Hughes projects higher than Matsuzaka? I know the Baseball America people, Jim Callis and I can't remember the other guy, said that Matsuzaka becomes their #1 prospect in all of baseball (although you can debate whether he should be considered a prospect).
2006-11-16 10:06:51
53.   Jim Dean
29 Zack, his adjustment time has been one month (A and AA). After that, he dominates. I expect, he'll do the same in AAA for April and May, then he'll be up in June. By October he'll be starting in the post-season, and if merit ruled the day, over Unit.

50 I think Zito's a bit better than what you're saying - on the Yanks he'd be a #3 now, and a #4 with Hughes in the mix. But, they still don't need him. And anyone else they get could easily be replaced by any of the youngsters. My bet is on Cash getting one more arm though.

2006-11-16 10:08:22
54.   Jim Dean
52 Callis said it yesterday in a chat and that he'd take Hughes over him but that also factors in price
2006-11-16 10:16:54
55.   thirtythr33
With the kind of run support Zito would receive, he stands to be a 20 game winner. He's also LHP. I'm sorry I'm not on point with statistics, but I read earlier today on cnn/s.i. that Zito was 15-0 when the A's gave him three runs to work with. Thats pretty good...

Other than 40something Randy Johnson, we have 0 lefty starters... I think that should be taken into consideration.

2006-11-16 10:17:19
56.   vockins
53 I think Zito could do well in a situation that's similar to what he's leaving - good defense, pitcher's park.

On the Yanks he'd get absolutely smoked.

I was hoping the Sox would go for him. The Yanks pound that guy.

2006-11-16 10:17:41
57.   mehmattski
52 I haven't seen recent numbers on this, but I remember the sentiment among scouts at least is that the Japan League is comparable to the US AA level. That was a few years ago though, back when Nomo was coming over, and there are good statistical ways of comparing the leagues. But if the Eastern League (Hughes) and the Japan League (Matsuzaka) are similar, and the two have very similar statistics... you'd have to give some edge to Hughes, who is six (six!) years younger. Then again, Matsuzaka has proven himself capable of consistently being at that high level against his Japanese competition, wheras Hughes has just two (albeit very impressive) professional seasons under his belt. This all being said, I don't think Jim Dean is way off base to compare them the way that he did.
2006-11-16 10:21:00
58.   smingers
54 I'm less interested in price that actual performance potential (say that five times fast). The Sox wouldn't spend money on Matsuzaka they don't have. And I just read Callis' chat and he called Matsuzaka one of the top 5 or 10 pitchers in the world. I've never heard him make such a claim about Hughes. Don't get me wrong, I'm stoked about Hughes. But I don't necessarily believe he's got a higher ceiling that Matsuzaka, who's dominated better competition for longer.
2006-11-16 10:23:02
59.   Zack
53 True, but each level gets harder, so you have to figure a longer time per level. AAA is, by all accounts, a different world from AA, youa re tlaking about people with lots of major league experience and peopel just about ready to be there in AAA, and then, of course, the majors...I am not saying I don't expecte Hughes to make the adjustments and dominate, its just that we all need to remember that AA is a long long way from Yankee Stadium against mashers like the Sox etc. I think expecting anything more than #5 starter #s from him for half a season is probably overly optimistic...
2006-11-16 10:28:56
60.   C2Coke
With all the speculations and rumors aside, let's just say the Sox do sign Matsuzaka with a total spending of around 100 million.

And then, Matsuzaka performs as the #1 pitcher in baseball.

Ladies and Gentlemen, even though that would benefit the Sox and potentially harm our beloved Yankees, we might be witnessing history right now. As a baseball fan, I have to say I am actually excited in that aspect.

2006-11-16 10:32:32
61.   smingers
I think what will ultimately end up determining who has the better career--Hughes or Matsuzaka--is who stays healthy. They both could be called injury risks, although for very different reasons:

Matsuzaka has thrown a ton of innings, yet, so far at least, his body has been able to handle it. Maybe he's just a durable guy. It remains to be seen whether all that mileage is a good or bad thing.

Hughes has very little mileage on his arm, but he's already had some injuries and has yet to take on the kind of workload he will need to in the bigs. So his arm is fresher, but he has yet to prove he can throw 150-200 innings and not get hurt.

Of course, I wish we had them both.

2006-11-16 10:33:42
62.   Jim Dean
58 Read the lightning round - he said he'd choose Huge Hughes.

59 Actually, "they" say the big leap is from A to AA - that's why you see alot of prospects skip AAA. Indeed, AA is stocked with guys like Long and Crosby - washed out prospects with experience to be called up if needed, whereas AA has a much higher talent level. The Yanks are just being extra, extra conservative because they can be.

2006-11-16 10:34:14
63.   mehmattski
55 Okay, but then the Yankees could do with anyone whose league-adjusted ERA (which means runs count more in pitchers parks like Petco and less in hitter's parks like Coors) is around 4.50 (like Zito's). I think Karstens and Rasner can put up those numbers.

I agree with you about lefties, although the Cardinals did just win a World Series without one. If a lefty is the goal, I think my idea of Clippard/Melky for D-Train, Beurhle, or Bonderman is much more cost-effective.

2006-11-16 10:35:29
64.   Sliced Bread
Completely off topic, and boorishly irrelevant: according to Was Watching Jeter's off-season slugging percentage has just gone up as he is hot-stoving Jessica Biel.

Don't know much about Ms. Biel's work, but she's a FINE young actresses whose derriere arrives about 6 minutes after she does, and is well worth the wait.

2006-11-16 10:36:31
65.   Zack
I don't think anyone, or, well at least, most people, are arguing that DM won't be good, its more that if he is signed to 100Mill+, then where does that leave a team that still lacks a ss, rf, 2b, and an entire bp? Just remember, dm couldn't carry the SL to the cahmpionship, much as he tried, so he sure isn't going to carry the Sox...

Olney is already writing on how this will enable the Sox to trade Manny, which as we have all discussed, would be welcome...

2006-11-16 10:39:11
66.   Zack
62 see, I have heard it the other way, especially with the advent of "high" A. Sure, AA has a lot of up and coming talent, but they are still that, up and coming. AAA is much much closer to the majors, thus the ability to reasonably project mlb #s based on AAA numbers but not AA...
2006-11-16 10:39:20
67.   Jim Dean
60 I agree -it's going to be fun either way. Either:

a) DM is a a big success - that only improves the rivalry since they were a third place team plast year.

b) DM does ok, but he's not as good as advertised. Then we get to mock them further as they tried everything, including abandoning their not-the-Yankees philosophy, and are still a second place team.


c) DM has a Beckett flameout and we say goodbye to the Red Sox for three or four years while they get new management.

Any way you slice that sushi, it's going to taste like great baseball.

2006-11-16 10:39:42
68.   jakewoods
Hughes hasnt even turned 21 yet plus hes 6'5 and a big kid. Plus we control him for 6 years.

One decent SP doesnt make a team. Ask the Twins and Santana. D Mat improves the Sox's SP but now they still have more holes than the house in the Money Pit.

And I'll leap for joy if they trade Manny.

2006-11-16 10:41:20
69.   Yankee Fan In Boston
59 word.
i'm not basing this on statistical data, but it seems like young pitchers (especially the highly touted ones... see cole hamels, matt cain...) take a bit of time to find their stride in the bigs.
while hughes is expected to tear up the AL and everything, i am not expecting anything close to phenom performances from him in '07.
if he gets called up in june and doesn't shut hitters down until next may, i'll still be excited.
...but if he wants to start mowing down batters in june, i'd be okay with that.
2006-11-16 10:44:37
70.   Yankee Fan In Boston
64 double word.
2006-11-16 10:44:43
71.   jakewoods
In Cash's best case scenario, and well ours, he gets a SP for cheap on the market like a Zito for 11 and not 15 a yr. Pavano is healthy and a capable 3 guy and RJ's back is healthy and capable of throwing 180+ innings. Karstens shows he can get outs and is capable 5 guy/long relief and Hughes comes up in July and is lights out.

i really dont care if they overpay for a pitcher as long as said pitcher isnt a j wright/brown clone

2006-11-16 10:46:23
72.   Jim Dean
64 It's been said here before and I'll say it again: God, could I be Jete's penis for just one day? I know my wife would be okay with it. Please... - thanks, Jim

66 I'm too lazy to look it up but it seems like most of the pitching prospects that made the leap last year (Verlander, Liriano, A. Sanchez) came up directly (or almost) from AA. And keep in mind, what Phil Huge does projects very nicely - he doesn't walk folks and he strikes them out. We'll see, just hope that we don't see Scott Erickson before Phil though.

2006-11-16 10:46:54
73.   Yankee Fan In Boston
68 ...and they're out about $100M + whatever they give jd drew.
the yankees have stopped spending so freely (to a degree) for a reason.
2006-11-16 10:48:34
74.   jakewoods

triple word

derek is a god.

2006-11-16 10:52:51
75.   yankz
If I could just be Jeter for one day...
2006-11-16 10:56:38
76.   dianagramr

We can pencil you in for January 8, 2046 ...

2006-11-16 11:01:10
77.   jakewoods
i had the day after the biel date

i/derek was too tired to do anything


2006-11-16 11:01:48
78.   Mike T
"The best damn Yankees blog period. I'm so glad I found this place this season, wish I'd found it sooner. Thanks Alex and Cliff, once again."

Indeed. I've learned more about baseball in six months of reading this blog than I have in the previous 30 yrs. Keep up the good work.

2006-11-16 11:04:08
79.   Sliced Bread
76 ...the same day Matsuzaka's contract expires with Boston, though there's a mutual option for 2047.
2006-11-16 11:04:55
80.   smingers
68 73 Signing D Mat doesn't create new holes for the Sox, he fills one. And if rumors are to be believed, they're also going to sign Drew and Lugo. So it doesn't seem like D Mat is crippling their ability to improve elsewhere. We may just be witnessing the Sox take the next leap in payroll from a distant #2 to the Yanks' equal.
2006-11-16 11:10:30
81.   Yankee Fan In Boston
80 obviously matsuzaka fills an important role for the sox. i didn't mean to imply that his contributions wouldn't help them out.
i have spent months day dreeaming about the kid playing in 'stripes.
that said, this (probable) signing when combined with the two you mention, while improving the club today, may tie their hands in the future.
i don't see how they could support a payroll the size of the bombers' for long. but then again, this is likely why i am not in a position to make such decisions for a team.
2006-11-16 11:13:30
82.   smingers
There's been plenty of insinuations in the past that the Sox cried poverty while sitting on piles of cash. Maybe it's true and they're finally spending it.

But maybe they are just overreacting to last year and putting themselves in dire financial straits. Time will tell.

2006-11-16 11:14:47
83.   Yankee Fan In Boston
82 i think that it is a combination of the two scenarios.
2006-11-16 11:16:32
84.   Jim Dean
I was just checking in at NoMaas - they have some really great pics up - love the one with Cash and the cigar. That's great Photoshopping.

Any case, they're loving Cash. And it made me think how tenuous baseball management is, maybe because of all the moves that are possible and the obvious effects they have. In basketnball, fewer moves are possible. And in football, many more moves, but fewer obvious outcomes.

Any case, who could have predicted the divergence in Yankee/Boston management over the last year, and the effects on the teams.

Yankees don't do much in the off-season, their offense gets decimated by injuries, they hang tight, and still win the division by ten games with a solid mid-season trade. They follow up, as a consequence, by trading OPP players for prospects.

By contrast, the Sux have a big winter, one that made me shit the bed, only to watch as the biggest trade turns from bad to horrible. They compound it the first month with the Belli laugh, because the Yanks were coming to town, and they give up on the season in September.

Now they just overpaid, by 14 million, for the highest bid on a very good prospect. If that prospect doesn't work out for the Mets or Yanks, it's almost a non-story. If that prospect doesn't work out for the Sux, the jackals will eat that franchise alive.

I love this game!

2006-11-16 11:17:09
85.   wsporter
I was tied up most of the morning and I started reading the posts from the end back to the begining. It immediately appeared that the Sawx had actually signed Matsuzaka today. They haven't yet, right? I don't see anything on it out there in misinformation land.
2006-11-16 11:19:23
86.   Yankee Fan In Boston
85 i just heard that radio here in boston is saying that matsuzaka has been signed to 3 years at a total of $45M.

$96M total.


again, i have no confirmation yet.

2006-11-16 11:21:54
87.   Yankee Fan In Boston
big surprise of the day:
johan santana is your 2006 AL cy young award winner.
2006-11-16 11:22:02
88.   jakewoods
i hope D Mat fills a hole for the them. Hes going to cost 20+mill a yr.

Lugo? The same guy who couldnt play over Marlon Anderson in LA?

Drew? The same guy who is on the Pavano Gamer team?

Lets just say I wouldnt get my panties in a bunch being a Yank fan.

2006-11-16 11:22:19
89.   Jim Dean
86 Even better - Boras is setting him up for free agency at the age of 29. They pay $30 million a year for three years. If he sucks, they're done. If he's decent, how does he not get a raise? And if he's a phenom, the Yanks pick him up him during Boras-style negotiating.

I love this game!

2006-11-16 11:23:03
90.   jakewoods
Makes sense of Boston to get it out of the way since they have holes everywhere and you know hes going to get his money sooner or later.
2006-11-16 11:25:20
91.   ric
"...and they're out about $100M + whatever they give jd drew.
the yankees have stopped spending so freely (to a degree) for a reason. "

isnt it early to say that the yanks arent spending freely? the offseason has just begun and theres still a good chance that the yanks will spend big for a zito or someone...

2006-11-16 11:26:15
92.   rbj
Happy boit-day, banter.
And if it is $96 mil for three years, I don't care that $51 mil doesn't count against the cap. It is still $32 mil/year tied up for one player -- that isn't A-Rod money, it is Michael Jordan money.
Say he wins 16 games/year. That is two mil per win right there. Even with 24 wins, it is $1.33 mil a win.

How are the poor Yankees supposed to compete with the free spending Red Sox? Waa, waa, waa.

2006-11-16 11:28:39
93.   mehmattski
88 If healthy, Drew can be a very dangerous hitter. As Rich Lederer said on Baseball Analysts the other day, .300/.400/.500 hitters don't grow on trees. The Yankees are lucky to have two of them. That said, it's a giant, NY Post headline-sized IF, and whoever signs him will be understanding the risk. But if a team is able to get him relatively cheaply, there may be a big reward. May be.

In actual Yankees news, Chien-Ming Wang scooped up Second Prize in the Cy Young Award race. Santana won unanimously, and deserved to, but Wang deserved his second place as well. Many worms gave their lives.

2006-11-16 11:29:35
94.   Jim Dean
88 Seriously. I'm loving the new Red Sox. Let's play today!

They're setting themselves up for a huge downfall. Their revenues are at their peak. If attendance suffers one bit - say, with another third place finish - they're done. Advertising rates collapse. Lord Theo out of a job. Sith Larry looking for a new apprentice.

In Yankeeland, don't we know that's not how you build a ballclub? The Sox had one homegrown starter in 2004 (Nixon). The Yanks in 1996-2001 had a few. That says it all.

2006-11-16 11:32:41
95.   C2Coke
76,79 I am just glad no one is around to see me laughing like an idiot.
2006-11-16 11:33:24
96.   RIYank
85 Is that WEEI?

Boras is still The Man. That's an unbelievable deal, just incredible.

Discount the Sox' spending by the luxury tax amount for the bid: that makes it worth $36.5 million. So it's as if they're spending $81.5 million in salary for three years of Matsuzaka. Put in the other way: the actual outlay over three years (including luxury tax) will be $114 million (assuming, as seems almost certain, that Boston will be over the tax limit for all three years).

Some day maybe somebody will explain how this happened.

2006-11-16 11:33:33
97.   Jim Dean
Is Henry just going through that part of his life where normally sensible fellows say "Screw it" and proceed to blow half their retirement on a boat and a sports car?
2006-11-16 11:34:34
98.   yankz
76 Deal.
2006-11-16 11:36:55
99.   Yankee Fan In Boston
91 good point. however, they made efforts to reduce payroll thus far and my boy ca$hman has repeatedly stated his intention to bring payroll down.

they didn't keep sheffield (yeah, they could've let him walk, but they also didn't pick up his option and keep him, which was discussed).

they essentially bought off wright.

they reduced moose's pay.

those are the three moves to date. all moving in that direction. i know that small samples are like kryptonite around these parts, and that it is indeed quite early (especially considering the potential for king george to awaken from his slumber to go on a post-posting spending spree), but so far ca$hman has kept his word.

are you calling him a liar?!? ca$hman?!? put 'em up... c'mon... you take that back...

they will likely sign one FA pitcher, and the current market will dictate that doing so ain't gonna be bargain prices that they'll pay... but they aren't dishing out money to every big name on the market anymore.

2006-11-16 11:37:47
100.   ric
"In Yankeeland, don't we know that's not how you build a ballclub? The Sox had one homegrown starter in 2004 (Nixon). The Yanks in 1996-2001 had a few. That says it all."

it says that your argument is retarded. picking up a guy off waivers and turning him into a mvp candidate says something as well as picking up a scrub and turning him into a batting champ. making smart cheap acquisitions ain't the same as home grown but it also ain't the same as buying an all-star.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-11-16 11:38:16
101.   smingers
I definitely think the Sux will regret signing Lugo, assuming they do. But, although not a "gamer," Drew produces. His career OPS is above .900 and he did play in a career high number of games last year. I've also heard he's a strong defender and could be shifted back to center.
2006-11-16 11:38:45
102.   RIYank
97 Your explanation is as good as any and better than most I've seen.
With the luxury tax, over $38 mil/year for three years. I know, I'm just repeating myself. I can't get over it.
2006-11-16 11:39:05
103.   Sliced Bread
Daisuke Matsumilliondollarsperstart.
2006-11-16 11:41:55
104.   Jim Dean
99 Unlike some other teams in your parts...

If they're really going to continue with this level of spending, has that ever worked out for a team?

Not the Yanks (80's and 2002-2005 editions)
Or the Dodgers
Or the Mets
Or the Knicks
Or the Rangers

When a team with 83 wins takes the Serious, why spend like drunken frat boys in a strip joint? Oh wait...

2006-11-16 11:42:15
105.   Yankee Fan In Boston
96 i heard it was boston's espn radio station.
not WEEI. are you as annoyed by those guys as i am?
2006-11-16 11:43:12
106.   thelarmis
Happy Birthday Bronx Banter! Congrats to Cliff & Alex!

i'm a displaced New Yorker and die-hard Yankees fan. longtime reader of the Banter and Cliff's old Big Red Blog. i never post but i read daily and feel like i know many of you. it's the best Yanks site on the web and i thank each and every one of you!

the threads and comments are wonderful & witty, informative, insightful and intelligent. i've turned plenty of folks onto BB! k, back to lurk mode...

2006-11-16 11:45:08
107.   C2Coke
103 If you exchange for Yen, our home use 12 digit calculator is not enough.
2006-11-16 11:45:32
108.   Shaun P
92 I wonder how that payment to the Lions is made, all at once or spread out? If all at once, that's $66.1 million dollars that DM costs the Sox this year.

Just for the record, the following 12 MLB teams had payrolls less than that number in 2006 (based on Opening Day numbers):

D-backs (snicker*)

*Everytime I think of their new uniforms, I laugh.

94 I'm not ready to write Boston off just yet. They'll sellout that park even if they finish in 3rd in '07 and '08. They are still the beloved Red Sox, and as much as the fans might complain, they'll still buy tickets. All the Sox have to do is remain competitive, which with some of that talent on hand (Manny and Papi at the least) should be easy to do. And with some of the younger guys they have on the farm, they could field a "homegrown" player at every up the middle position by 2008 (I'm cheating a little and calling Kotteras homegrown, though of course the Sox got him from the Padres).

2006-11-16 11:46:47
109.   C2Coke
106 Please do chip in the discussions from time to time. Trust me, it's addictive.
2006-11-16 11:47:22
110.   jakewoods
Drew is one of those guys that looks terrific on paper. He puts up some stats. But hes has no heart.

He's always hurt and doesnt play.

I'm really comfortable with the thought of him playing right or center in fenway.

He's no Trot Nixon. I dont care what the stats say.

2006-11-16 11:49:53
111.   C2Coke
Does this mean the Yankees won't be called " the team with the highest payroll " next year? (And I've already taking into account of possible Zito signing.)
2006-11-16 11:49:55
112.   Jim Dean
100 It's all about the core. And "retarded" is a terrible word. One with a mental handicap should know that. I do.

Seriously, teams that stick together win together. Every dynasty you'll ever see is based on that principle. I'd argue that's it's necessary for a dynasty though not sufficient. Sure, you need more than that - but it's a good start.

The Sux didn't even have that. They had high priced acquisitiions that then they didn't re-sign (Pedro, Damon), caught lightning in a bottle with a few (Mueller, Papi, Foulke), and juiced where necessary (Varitek). Not a recipe for long-term success, cause then those guys need to be replaced. That's alot of turnover as we're seeing now. Once you've traded your prospects, the only option left is spending. Even worse if you lose value in those trades, as they have - significant value: starting SS, 5th starter, setup guy, backup catcher.

2006-11-16 11:50:34
113.   RIYank
105 There isn't any decent sports radio station in the area, frankly. It's a shame. I'd listen several hours a day if there were even a tolerable one.
2006-11-16 11:52:01
114.   Yankee Fan In Boston
110 that will be one half-hearted outfield if they keep manny.
and yes, watching as many sox games as i do(baseball is baseball), trot nixon is the man. his production has dropped, but he'd run through a burning building to catch a foul ball in the first inning of a spring training game.
he reminds me of a description bill james used to describe don mattingly:
"he's 100% ballplayer, 0% bu!!$#!t."
2006-11-16 11:54:35
115.   thelarmis
109 thanks C2Coke, 'precciate it! i'm sure it's addictive. reading it already is! i'm always afraid of being late for work... : / (like now...)
2006-11-16 11:54:47
116.   Yankee Fan In Boston
113 supposedly the espn station is a new one. i haven't checked it out. (nor do i know the station ID.)
2006-11-16 11:59:47
117.   wsporter
When A-Rod signed at $25 million per for 10 seasons he was arguably the best position player in the game and the baseball world was outraged on a number of levels.

$32 million per for 3 years; that seems a bit excessive! :-) Yet, had we won with an auction bid of $30 million I immagine we would have paid about the same contract; that would have made it $25 million per for three seasons. Seems silly no matter how it's sliced, diced and wraped.

Personally I hope he falls in a hole and pulls Theo in with him and yes that's purely a Red Sawx thing. The only time I wish those guys well is when they retire or come away from the dark side.

2006-11-16 12:01:41
118.   Jim Dean
With Wang second in the Cy Young, don't we already have our #1. At least last year, wasn't he the second or third best pitcher in all of baseball?

Sure, we could worry about K rates and such. But with a better 1B, isn't he likely to improve?

2006-11-16 12:03:27
119.   ric
not to distract the thread but:
1. my bad on "retahded"
2. i thought you were talking about 2004?!
3.Pedro, Damon- choice based upon cost/benefit (justified IMHO see, DL-Pedro)
4.Mueller, Papi, Foulke- add bellhorn, millar, bronson, heck- the whole team! luck? or perhaps good scouting?
5.Varitek- c'mon... proof (see, giambi)
the philosophy was to try to get a younger, smarter(cheap value based) and homegrown mix. that way, you get have money for the occasuinal big FA pick-up (when they are entering their prime hopefully). sure they paid a ton for Mat, but at least he is only 26 and seems to be entering his prime, like when they signed Pedro -thats my take:) are they straying from that philosophy? i am not certain that they are....
2006-11-16 12:04:12
120.   Yankee Fan In Boston
118 speaking of potential yankee 1Bs, talk today has nomar signing with the dodgers for 2 years.
2006-11-16 12:05:46
121.   thirtythr33
Wang is a perfect example that you don't need to pitch in a "pitchers park" or have a top 5 defense to be a highly effective pitcher.
2006-11-16 12:10:56
122.   Jim Dean
Even if you leave aside the offenses, don't the Yanks still have the better rotation?

Wang vs. DMat: Wang on proven performance
Huge vs. Paps: Wash on potential
Moose vs. Becket: Moose on last year
Unit vs. Tampon: Wash on injuries
Meat vs. Wake: Wake

After that, Rasner and Karstens showed they had something, unlike their "prospects".

And Clippard and Sanchez could still be useful as chips or as fill-ins.

Then you compare their offenses, even with Lugo and Drew (the best options out there for what they need) and I'm still not even close to worried.

I suppose if Paps and DMat throw dueling aces, then the Yanks could be in trouble. But that's a big I-F right now, and also assumes they're not matched by Wang and Phil Huge. Even then, the back of the rotation gives the Yanks an edge because of the offense.

Is it April yet? Wow, four more months...

2006-11-16 12:15:35
123.   Patrick
Congrats Alex and Cliff. :)
2006-11-16 12:17:29
124.   Shaun P
121 Huh? Wang does pitch in a pitcher's park (.9 park factor run suppression according to ESPN, behind only Safeco, Dolphins Stadium, and PETCO Park) and has a top 5 defense (according to BP's Defensive Efficiency, Yanks were 4th in MLB, 2nd in AL; according to David Pinto's PMR, Yanks were 3rd in MLB and 3rd in AL).
2006-11-16 12:21:38
125.   thirtythr33
Shaun P: I was going on what some posted earlier about the complete opposite of what you are purporting... I am no stat master whatsoever so I apologize if I'm coming off like a dolt, but if what you say is the truth, then I really think signing Zito is a good idea..
2006-11-16 12:22:24
126.   Shaun P
113 116 There's a reason I have XM. Even the mostly inane ramblings of Rob Dibble and Kevin Kennedy are preferable to the subjective screamfest that is 'EEI. Actually Dibble has shocked me on occasion with some intelligent analysis and insight.

Mike Felger's afternoon show on ESPN Boston (890 AM) is not bad, nor are their Pats-related shows if you're a Pats fan. The rest of their programming is, sadly, ESPN Radio programming, which I don't think too highly of.

2006-11-16 12:24:33
127.   Yankee Fan In Boston
126 wow. thanks for the breakdown.
2006-11-16 12:25:17
128.   Jim Dean

1. No worries
2. I was - in reference to the Yankee standard of sustain success :)
3. Maybe on Pedro. We'll see on Damon - he had a great year last year. By 2009, the money difference won't matter, just as it obviously (now) shouldn't have to the Sux. They thought he could be easily replaced. He couldn't be.
4. It works when you're plugging holes here and there. The Yanks saw that too with Brosius, Strawberry, Gooden. But that wasn't the majority - they had Posada, Bernie, Petitte, Jeter, Mo. But Papi was certainly luck.
5. He's as shrunken as his performance, even before he got hurt. I have little doubt. Just as I do for Giambi. The difference is Varitek is the captain and the one "keeper" from the 2004 team.
6. Oh they are because they have no more prospects to trade. And they still have a ton of holes, not including the ones that are about to become gaping - CF and maybe 2B. The only saving grace could be a huge package for Manny. Even then it's rare that two guys in a trade work out. Too bad Hanley and Anibal did (and Bard and Cla).

2006-11-16 12:25:22
129.   vockins
121 Wang is a groundball pitcher par excellence. Zito is a fly ball pitcher par nothanks.
2006-11-16 12:32:55
130.   Shaun P
125 No problem thirtythr33 - a couple of years ago I wouldn't have known a park factor or defensive efficiency if they fell on my head. =)

On Zito, even with what I said, he scares me because of his extreme flyball tendancies (and the number of batters he walks). I think he'd be better suited to a big park where the OF has a ton of room, like PETCO.

BTW, thanks in advance to the Tigers for re-signing Sean Casey - hopefully they'll play him everyday again and he'll hit .245/.286/.364 (a .650 OPS!, ugh) or roundabouts again. Hey, I just noticed that Chris Shelton is a righty . . . hmm . . .

2006-11-16 12:45:20
131.   thirtythr33
I am steadfast in the belief that we should get another solid SP. I have no faith whatsoever in Pavano. I would love to be pleasantly surprised by Rasner or Karstens but I refuse to put faith in two young guys that not many people know much about (aside from you die-hard know-it-all Yankee fans who I respect and admire). Notwithstanding the fact the FA pool is shallow like the kiddie type, I'm a spoiled Yankee and I expect the team to pick up the best available, every year...

Also: how does one insert HTML in the message box? ie: referring to an earlier thread? underlining words?

p.s. I know how to write HTML, i'm wondering what I need to do to make it show up!

2006-11-16 12:48:03
132.   JL25and3
With all the birthday congratulations going around...I'd just like to point out that the Yankees haven't won a championship since Bronx Banter was started. Alex and Cliff may pile up great stats during the regular season, but they obviously just can't post in the clutch.

Seriously, great job, guys. Thanks.

2006-11-16 12:49:47
133.   vockins
Good Zito article at BP today, which was what I was going to put up at if a) I ever got off my ass, and b) I could write better.
2006-11-16 12:51:14
134.   Start Spreading the News
Congrats to the Bronx Banter on four great years!

Clay Davenport, who had studied this extensively, says that the Japanese league now is above AAA baseball but below MLB. So he would put the level at "AAAA."

His estimates of Matsuzaka's stats put him comparable to Clemens in the past few years. His quote from Baseball Prospectus:
"Beyond the Clemens comparison, the next most-comparable pitchers over the last four years include Roy Halladay, Brandon Webb, Chris Carpenter, Jason Schmidt, Josh Beckett, Pedro Martinez, Tim Hudson and Jake Peavy. In other words, a short list that includes most of the true right-handed rotation aces in the game over the past four seasons."

That is a pretty heady group. How much would you pay for a 26 year old whose last four years are like Clemens?

110 If the Sox get Drew, he will be an upgrade over Trot Nixon. People forget that Nixon was injured as well a lot last few years. In the last 4 years, JD Drew has played 43 MORE games than Trot nixon has while putting up a LOT better numbers.

So what we have here is that the Yanks scored 110 more runs than the Sox last year and gave up 58 less runs.

If D-Mat and Paps are for real, the Sox will give up a lot fewer runs and Drew will help them score a lot more runs. Trot killed the Sox last year with a 768 OPS. If he didn't walk, his .268 batting could have made things worse.

We may give up more runs since Mussina and RJ will be a year older and creakier.

Assuming no major dropoff in performance from the stalwarts (A-Rod, Jeter, Giambi, Matsui, Damon, Cano, Posada, and Abreu), we will score more runs since we have a whole year of Abreu and Matsui.

So the Yanks should still finish in first next year, slugging their way to the top. Of course, the post-season seems to be about pitching where I would guess we find another quick exit.

2006-11-16 12:53:32
135.   Bama Yankee
To highlight a post: put the # in brackets [#]
To underline: use the underline character _ before and after the words
To bold: use the asterisk character * before and after the words
2006-11-16 12:54:09
136.   jakewoods
A lot of If's there.

What about this

If Hughes is the next Clemens, if Clippard is another Moose, If Betances is another Unit, If Joba Chamberlain is a stud, if Sanchez is a stud, if Kennedy is good, etc etc

If Papelnon is healthy, If D Mat is good, If Bard is quality, etc

You never know with pitching. Especially young pitching. Especially foreign pitchers.

2006-11-16 12:54:17
137.   Jim Dean
131 Link to another: [number here]

Underline lower case lines on both sidea: _ xx

Bold with stars on both sides: *xxx

Skepticism about pitching prospects: Start digging into the links on the right.

2006-11-16 12:56:52
138.   jakewoods

Drew may be the better player. Numbers wise. But I'd prefer Nixon in RF. If they're both healthy.

When you see Nixon come up to the plate arent you a tad scared with that swing? Hes a proven gamer. I know Ive seen him get a big hit one too many times.

Drew? Talk about all fake stats. He's the king of them.

2006-11-16 12:57:53
139.   Zack
The thing about Drew is not so much his "heart" which I never buy into, but his injuries and his consistency. He's played a full season just twice, and, while his career ops is above .900, he has only posted a .900+ ops thrice: 2001, 2004, and 2005, and only 2004 was a complete season. He will give you a good obp, decent power, and a, most likely, sub .300 BA. However, throw in batting in Fenway, and you could probably project a full season of .300.25.100, IF he stays healthy and IF they keep Manny. Trade Manny and that all changes.

In any case, for all the claims of .900 ops guys not growing on trees, well, he really isn't a TRUE .900 ops guy, he just benefits from 3 seasons that bring it way up. 5 of 8 are under .900. And he can't hit lefties nearly as well, no surprise.

HOWEVER: he is a vast vast improvement over Nixon. But at what price?

2006-11-16 12:58:56
140.   thirtythr33
thanks for your time!
2006-11-16 13:02:01
141.   JL25and3
134 So the Yanks should still finish in first next year, slugging their way to the top. Of course, the post-season seems to be about pitching where I would guess we find another quick exit.

Actually, I thought the problem against Detroit was the offense. The pitching wasn't great, but the hitting was so weak it hardly mattered.

2006-11-16 13:02:12
142.   Jim Dean
134 You mean like how the Cardinal pitched their way to the title?

The playoffs are a crapshoot, no matter what. The first problem is getting there. The Yanks are ahead on that count, even with a Clemens like year from DM and Lugo and Drew.

The Sox are also going to lose runs from Loretta leaving and a likely regression for Lowell. And it's about time Ortiz got hurt. After that, their closer will no doubt do worse given who's out there. And they still need a bullpen.

Their only saving grace is IF Paps and DM have huge years. Otherwise, the pitching may struggle to be league average (Schilling, Wake, Beckett).

2006-11-16 13:04:56
143.   jakewoods
The Yanks cant make moves worrying about Bostons team.

They have to worry about themselves right now and not panic or anything.

Thats why I laugh when people say they picked up Sheffs option to keep him out of Boston.

No, they picked it up to get 3 power arms into the organization.

2006-11-16 13:05:56
144.   jakewoods

About time Ortiz got hurt?

The dude missed most of Aug-Sept because of an irregular heartbeat. He was in bad shape.

One thing no one should ever do is wish injuries on anyone.

2006-11-16 13:06:26
145.   Bama Yankee
140 You're welcome. BTW, thirtythr33, are you a Larry Bird fan or a David Wells fan (or could it be Brian Bruney)?
2006-11-16 13:11:23
146.   Jim Dean
144 No, I'm thinking Mo Vaughn/ Frank Thomas/ Albert Belle hurt. And I'm not wishing it on him - just saying a body that big can't stay healty for his whole career. He's entering that phase. And they only got one title out of it.
2006-11-16 13:14:36
147.   C2Coke
145 I am guessing it's our BB.

142 In the end of the day, it's still about timing. Plans never ever catch up with changes.

2006-11-16 13:14:53
148.   Chyll Will
125, 130 At least there's the Strand 18 >;)

I'm still learning, though I've noticed that no one takes me seriously when I quote stats anyway; that's the least anyone expects coming from this heading. I suppose that some folks have to provide a balance so that other folks can come in and rest their stinky feet on the coffee table. (That is until Cliff releases the hounds...)

2006-11-16 13:17:32
149.   Yankee Fan In Boston
looks like the moose 2 at $22.5M deal is official.

2006-11-16 13:18:57
150.   Yankee Fan In Boston
149 almost.


sorry. i misread that. oops.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-11-16 13:23:17
151.   thirtythr33
sorry to disappoint, but not a fan of any! just the number.
2006-11-16 13:25:24
152.   Chyll Will
151 Okay, what's the story behind 33?
2006-11-16 13:27:37
153.   Bama Yankee
151 I just wanted to make sure that you were not this guy:
2006-11-16 13:35:18
154.   thirtythr33

I'm intrigued by the fact that no matter which way you slice it, when it is spelled the way i have it, it still says thirtythree :)

2006-11-16 13:46:05
155.   Chyll Will
154 Oh. If you tilt your head and squint, they look like boobies.
2006-11-16 13:46:35
156.   Yankee Fan In Boston
85 ...and now i hear that the matsuzaka signing radio report was indeed not factual.
2006-11-16 13:51:04
157.   Chyll Will
156 (sound of loud screeching of tires from careening car, followed by thunderous thump of alloy and shatter of glass, along with vigorous slapping) Eh?
2006-11-16 13:54:37
158.   Yankee Fan In Boston
157 someone mentioned that they heard that matsuzaka and the sox agreed to terms. i said that i heard that it was reported on the radio here. i was just told that someone read that the radio report was false. nothing to crash your miata over.
2006-11-16 13:57:33
159.   Chyll Will
158 It's okay, it wasn't mine. I was in Boston the other night and I needed to get home fast, so...
2006-11-16 14:11:34
160.   thirtythr33
I dislike the fact that most of you are probably getting out of work right now, and thats why all the posting has ceased! I don't leave until atleast 6... :(
2006-11-16 14:20:09
161.   Bama Yankee
160 I with you on that one 33. I'm down here in the Central Time Zone and always dread that "dead" time in the afternoon when it seems like everyone (except me) has gone home from work...
2006-11-16 14:22:20
162.   wsporter
I was tied up most of the morning and I started reading the posts from the end back to the begining. It immediately appeared that the Sawx had actually signed Matsuzaka today. They haven't yet, right? I don't see anything on it out there in misinformation land.

From what I recall of Fortran Programming I believe this is called a "Do Loop" 85

Not factual? Is that not accurate as in "premature" or as in just another stinking lie?

2006-11-16 14:28:43
163.   Bama Yankee
162 Good ol' Fortran. It's been almost 20 years since I took that in college, does anyone use that stuff anymore?

BTW, when I first starting reading your post (I remembered the similar one from earlier), I thought you might have set the record for the longest time between accidental double posts. ;-)

2006-11-16 14:30:11
164.   Jim Dean
Someone smarter explain this to me (Avg OBP SLG):

Godzilla JPN .304 .413 .582
Godzilla MLB .297 .372 .485

Ichiro JPN .355 .418 .524
Ichiro MLB .331 .376 .438

Someone like K.Matsui can go from being a superstar to a AAAA player here.

Yet, we're supposed to believe their best pitcher is supposed to produce like Clemens? What about the fact that JPN stars like Godzilla and Ichiro, lose about 40 points in OBP and 90 points in SLG? Should the converse be that stars in MLB gain those points against JPN pitchers? Wouldn't that explain their numbers as a collective set here (Pussy Toad, Nomo, etc.).

What's interesting is that their batting averages are pretty constant even as they walk less and hit for much less power. Doesn't that mean that JPN pitchers would be expected to walk more and give up more doubles and homers? Isn't that what we saw from Beckett last year in the move from the NL Least to AL Beast?

Further, guys like Ichiro and Godzilla are exceeedingly rare over there. Whereas there are ten guys that produce like them in the whole JPN league, on every MLB team their numbers are replicated as well as the superstars that produce well above their averages.

Look at the Yankees. What would it mean to project Jeter or A-Rod or Giambi or Abreu or Posada to Japan - all of whom are clearly better hitters than Godzilla? If anything, NY Godzilla is an average ball player, maybe slightly above, for his position.

Wouldn't logic say that their best pitcher will be an average pitcher here, or slightly above?

That's why the more I think about it, the more statements like in 134 about "AAAA" and the projections of Davenport seem so strange. If the JPN league is AAAA, then we would be seeing a flood of talent. Why? Because that means the average is AAAA, and assuming a normal distribution of talent, that means more than half the guys are above average.

Instead, we've sen a trickle of only their best players. And the posting system and love of Japanese culture be damned - Money talks.

So when the best players barely produce above average for their positions, and they're not followed by even more talent, I have a very hard time believing any projections about DM. Hopefully, he signs with the Sux and we can find out for ourselves without having to pay for the pleasure. If history is any guide, DM will be giving up more walks and homers and the results won't fit with the top ten pitchers in the world.

2006-11-16 14:31:17
165.   randym77
ESPN and are reporting that the Yanks are trying to get Willis. Which would presumably take Melky Cabrera and then some.
2006-11-16 14:34:07
166.   randym77
164 IIRC, Mike said one of the reasons baseball is different in Japan is that Japanese parks tend to be smaller. I guess that's why Godzilla was a good CFer in Japan, but doesn't have the range for it here.
2006-11-16 14:34:35
167.   Jim Dean
165 Why so we can again see the NL Least to AL Beast projections? No thanks, not for the price.
2006-11-16 14:35:30
168.   Jim Dean
166 That explains the SLG. What about the walks - the umpires?
2006-11-16 14:35:59
169.   jakewoods
i love melky but i'd give him up for the D Train.
2006-11-16 14:43:33
170.   thirtythr33
No way in Hades Matsuzaka is signed already!
2006-11-16 14:43:44
171.   Jim Dean
169 It's not going to be just Melky - throw in Karstens or Rasner AND Sanchez or Clippard, and maybe a bullpen arm like Britton or Beam.

After what we saw with Beckett, I say no thanks.

Melky at 22 had a great first season. Use Cano as an example of what could be possible in his second dseason - all he need is some more pop which develops late.

If D-Train was going to be a Cy contender, I'd say sure. But he's not one now and moving to the East I don't think he'll get better. To give up three live arms and a starter - that's asking for Beckett results all over again.

2006-11-16 14:44:59
172.   randym77
168 Lots of IBBs?

169 You'd have to be nuts not to make that trade. Which makes you wonder why the Marlins would do it. We'd obviously have to throw in more than Melky.

2006-11-16 15:01:43
173.   jakewoods
I'd give up Karstens or Rasner in two shakes of a lambs tale. That would be a steal for D Train.

And you're kidding yourself thinking the D Train isnt a Cy Young candidate.

2006-11-16 15:03:49
174.   wsporter
163 Yes, it has apparently lived through a number of iterations but it's still out there kicking ass or rather kicking freshman ass. Some good ideas just stick around; like an 0-2 changeup.

165 If Hughes is moved for D-Train I may be moved to violence.

2006-11-16 15:04:45
175.   yankz
After one of the projections had Jeter below .300 BA last year, I stopped believing in them.

And I'm skeptical on D-train.

2006-11-16 15:05:18
176.   yankz
174 Don't worry, this is Cash's show now.
2006-11-16 15:06:30
177.   randym77
The thing is, I'm not sure why the Marlins would want Karstens or Rasner. They already have tons of young pitching talent. They need a CFer. (They were using their SS and various other warm bodies in CF.) And they need a big bat for the middle of their lineup. They don't need more young arms.
2006-11-16 15:12:35
178.   Jim Dean
173 Let's review:


Both did nicely in Florida. In the AL East, not so much.

Dontrelle Willis last year?

223.3 IP 234 H 106 ER 83 BB 160 K 3.87 ERA

He wasn't even their best pitcher last year. He may have actually been their third best pitcher behind Olson and Johnson if you like peripheral pitching stats like WHIP and K rate. If he loses anything in translation, he's Jaret Wright. If he stays consistent, he's Barry Zito. No thanks - not for the price.

Just Melky and Rasner or Karstens? That I'd do. But that won't be the price.

2006-11-16 15:17:18
179.   wsporter
176 That's right I keep forgetting. Ok I'll exhale and go eat. Thanks Yank! :-)

The guy is so wierd, I can't decide if he's a 1, a 3 or a 5 or a 2 or a 4 for that matter. It seems he's so good but I'm just not sure. Of course that NL to AL thing doesn't help. My sense is that his ERA+ etc. would still be impressive but WHO THE HELL KNOWS?

2006-11-16 15:23:49
180.   Zack has one of their informal "sportsnation" polls up right now for who should be the AL MVP. No surprise, Jeter is winning. But somehow Ortiz is coming in 2nd! Nothing like media hype and the power of the top two markets to skewer things...
2006-11-16 15:24:20
181.   Jim Dean
177 You're right on that - except that if you lose a pitcher usually you want one back in some form or another.
2006-11-16 15:24:33
182.   yankz
I do remember that D-train started off very badly last year but got hot.
2006-11-16 15:27:03
183.   randym77
I would take Jaret Wright, if he could pitch more than five innings. :-P

I think the Yanks will trade for someone. They won't give up Hughes, but they won't start Karstens and Rasner, either. Zito? Meche? Proctor? (Okay, we don't have to trade for him, but we'd have to get a setup man to take his place.) I'd be okay with Willis. Yes, there is a real gap between the AL and NL. But the Marlins park is humongous. Willis' numbers are a lot better away than at home. And he pitched well against the Yankees and the Red Sox this season, from what I can recall.

I'd rather we get him than Boston gets him.

2006-11-16 15:28:03
184.   Jim Dean
177 Just to return to earlier in the thread - I wonder if Tampa and Florida would go in on a deal together - swap Willis for Baldelli and another young bopper? Wow, it would be fun if Tampa got better - we could see a battle for third with the Sux, O's and Rays.
2006-11-16 15:31:01
185.   Jim Dean
183 What would Boston trade for him? Their system is empty at the upper levels. All they can do to improve is spend. No, it would be the Dogers or Angels or Mets if not the Yanks.
2006-11-16 15:38:42
186.   randym77
185 The Marlins are supposedly interested in Jacoby Ellsbury.

Baldelli would be their dream guy, of course. CF in the Marlin's park is so immense. Not many have the speed and arm to cover it, but Baldelli could.

2006-11-16 15:42:47
187.   smingers
186 If I'm the Sox, I sign Drew to play CF, dump Coco, then trade Ellsbury and something else for Willis. Imagine a rotation of Shill, Papelbon, Willis, Matsuzaka, Beckett. Yikes.
2006-11-16 15:43:26
188.   wsporter
Tabata, Joba, Karstens & Melky. Too much? I think so. Maybe Gardner instead of Tabata? They'd probably say not enough. Everyone will be looking to undress us now on a deal because they think we HAVE to react to the Sawx.

A good young lefty with a lot of innings on his arm and a wierd herky jerky delivery; is that a perscription for a nice long career free from a visit to Dr. Andrew's office?

I think I might be tempted to sit tight and let a good deal come to me if I were B. Ca$hman. If nothing comes then weather the storm with what we have. If we're + or - 3 on the Div or WC in July then do a deal. Somebody will be desperate to dump salary; they always are. Good pitching is tough to get and usually never cheap. We may have some good in-house alternatives by then anyway.

2006-11-16 15:44:25
189.   Jim Dean
186 Let the Sox get him - I think it's harder to find an above average CF than a leagu average pitcher. But even then it's hard to think they have enough after Ellsbury.

A major deal between Tampa and Florida would be really fun. I hope baseball's finances have changed enough to allow something like that.

2006-11-16 15:47:24
190.   Jim Dean
188 That's exactly how I feel right now. Hang tight, and see what happens. If they want to sign someone - fine - that's money and they have plenty of it. Save the prospect dealing to see if it's really necessary. I don't think it is - not with the offense and not with the nearest East teams having to make up 10 games this off-season.
2006-11-16 15:47:43
191.   randym77
Well, rumor has it the Marlins owners have agreed to increase the payroll enough to keep Willis. But they would be willing to deal some of their other arms. Like I said, they have more young pitching than they know what to do with. Anyone interested in Ricky Nolasco, Scott Olsen or Josh Johnson?
2006-11-16 15:59:20
192.   3rd gen yankee fan
"How are the poor Yankees supposed to compete with the free spending Red Sox? Waa, waa, waa."

= quote of the day.

2006-11-16 16:00:19
193.   Start Spreading the News
164 You can do the same extrapolations from the Japanese league that you do from AAA. You can compare the dropoffs from each and estimate similar dropoffs for future players.

Here is the link for the Davenport article on Japanese league.

Key Quotes:
"In Baseball Prospectus 2001, I wrote that the difficulty level of Japan was "about even with the Triple-A leagues." Looking at it more comprehensively--I was basing my assessment on a scattering of players, rather than off a full list of Japanese player data--that was a silly thing to say, as the Japanese leagues have clearly and consistently rated as tougher than the American Triple-A leagues. Every case from the 1990s shows that players do worse as a CPA-weighted-average group in Japan than they do in Triple-A, and by a considerable margin. The Triple-A/majors multiplier is .860; if the transitive property holds, then Japanese EqA is worth about .948 of a major-league EqA, which conveniently enough is almost identical to what we got from major leaguers."

"EqA values may look like AVG, but they incorporate walks, power, and base-stealing in a way that correlates very well with runs scored--better, in fact, than OPS does. The multipliers I gave out were multipliers for EqA, not for runs."

Here is another quote from Baseball Prospectus:
"So, to start off with, thanks to the powers of Clay Davenport's translations, let's take a look at Matsuzaka's performance for the last four years, as well as the closest line to it in baseball (again using just the last four years):

IP NRA H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 PERA dH dR
736.1 3.37 7.5 0.6 2.5 7.4 3.41 -28 +2
765.0 3.11 7.1 0.6 2.5 7.6 3.30 -47 0

Some terminology to get out of the way: NRA is Normalized Runs Allowed, where the scale to compare a guy against is a world where an average pitcher allows 4.5 runs per nine innings. PERA is a pitcher's ERA based on his peripheral statistics-his hits, homers, walks allowed, that sort of thing, also set to where 4.50 is the baseline. The two at the end might be particularly foreign to you, but "dH" describes how many (in this case) fewer hits a pitcher allowed than you might expect, and "dR" is how many fewer runs. Although BABIP rates fluctuate for most pitchers, there's a level of quality at which it stops looking random and starts speaking to simple dominance, and this comparison indicates that Matsuzaka is one of those guys. The runs element is the sort of thing where a pitcher who induces a lot of double plays would wind up trending more negative (say, Greg Maddux), and somebody like Nolan Ryan--poor fielder, poor at holding runners, and all-time wild-pitch record-holder--does worse than your average hurler. In this instance, it says that there are no such surprises, for or against.

The first line's obviously pretty good, so it's fair to say there's data to support the suggestion that Matsuzaka can pitch in the major leagues. The question is, how well? Considering that the second line belongs to Roger Clemens 2003-2006, really well. That's why teams are bidding so much for the right to negotiate with Matsuzaka. He's not simply a really good pitcher, he's arguably the best starting pitcher on the market this winter, eclipsing Jason Schmidt and Barry Zito."

In the end, there is no guarantee that anyone coming from anywhere will succeed in the bigs. All anyone can do is estimate based on similar players who have come over. In the end, the data we have for Japanese players is limited since few have come over. That makes prediction a bit more tricky.

That said, the people predicting success for Matsuzaka have taken into account the decline in performance due to the quality of MLB talent, park factor, etc... Clay Davenport even found a "homesickness factor" due to the transition of culture and language difficulty.

Taking these into account, people are still predicting good things for Matsuzaka. The question is how accurate those predictions are. They may not be since they are extrapolating based on the few people who have come over. On the other hand, many players have come to the MLB from AAA, so estimates of their performance would be more accurate.

2006-11-16 16:14:01
194.   Jim Dean
193 That's the thing - I understand all that. But in oder for me to believe it they need to explain the data that doesn't fit the theory.

Those data points would be the JPN superstars (generational players of the Pujols and A-Rod variety over there) that come to MLB and underperform. And they do significantly worse (.40 on OPBP and .90 on SLG), so much so that they are average, or slightly above, for their positions. Where's the explanation for that? Would then the expectation be that a superstar pitcher would gicome over and give up significantly more walks and homers?

Further, if Davenport is now basing his projection rates on players that left the US, well that's a biased sample. Those players left for a reason!

2006-11-16 17:29:12
195.   Jim Dean
See something's off in Davenport's projections because MLB Ichiro and MLB Godzilla are not .94 of JPN Ichiro and JPN Godzilla. I don't have to get all crazy math to show that. Plain and simple they lost, on average, .130 in OPS in the transition. That's the difference between Bernie and Abreu circa 2006. And that's the generational superstars!

So if that's what's happening to their best hitters, we're supposed to believe that their best pitchers are only goign to lose a smidge?

See, I have no doubt the Davenport Kool-aid is what the GM's are drinking - indeed that's all I see being cited everywhere. But what if his basic assumptions are flawed?That's one expensive mistake.

See, I bet DM will be a bit above average inning eater - good but not great: 200 innings, 16-9, 170 K, 90 BB, 4.05 ERA. Just enough for folks to say he's in transition. Until the second year shows the same results. I'm just glad we aren't paying his salary.

2006-11-16 17:56:49
196.   Yu-Hsing Chen
195 maybe, maybe not, we shall see, Nomo put up a wooping ERA+ of 150 in his first year though, and Matsuzaka's lines in Japan were better than Nomo's

essentially, he's a guy with a plus fastball, good array of secondary pitchs, and exellent control, the comp that keep poping into my head would be the younger Mike Mussina. and Moose's ERA + from his age 27 to 30 was 102, 137 , 129, 139 . that would be the range of what i'm guessing Matz will fall in in his stay with Boston, just over 100 to 140 in ERA plus.

2006-11-16 18:16:41
197.   Jim Dean
That's funny because a young Moose also poped into my head - maybe because of all the pitches they both throw. Even still, that's not top ten in the world - above average, yes; phenomenal, no. I'd still be surprised if he's as good as a young Moose though.

And apologies to everyone for the rampant posts today. Procrastination with other stuff - I'll just read tomorrow or hopefully get that other stuff done.

2006-11-16 18:22:14
198.   jakewoods

I dont think they trade an asset like Willis for Baldelli. I think they'd use one of their other pitchers like Olson or one of their farm system guys.

I think if they move Willis hes going to go to Arizona for Young their big time CF prospect and a catcher.

2006-11-16 18:27:28
199.   Start Spreading the News
195 I hope you are right about DM. But only because he is a Red Sox now.

194 Now I will try to defend a methodology without having read in depth on how it works. So in order to avoid too much BS on my part, I will try to stick to generalities.

I think Davenport's technique is to look at the overall variation. If you have 20 people come here from Japan, he is saying that on the average, that group of 20 have decreased their performance by 6%.

So Taguchi, for example, has put up almost the same numbers here that he has in Japan. In Japan, he was a career .285 AVG, .336OBP, .405 SLG. In the US, he is .281, .331, .339. So if you will, he is .94JPN.

Hideo Nomo has also performed about a little lower than he did in Japan. Then you have a guy like Shigetoshi Hasegawa who performs BETTER than he did in Japan. His career ERA in Japan was 4.55. His ERA in the US is 3.71.

Now to be fair, the ".94 JPN" number I quoted from Davenport is from a 2002 article. It was before Ichiro and Godzilla got here. So they probably have been updated but I haven't them.

So all we can do to make an estimate is say what a player will do based on what the group did. If the group decreased slightly, we would estimate that a new player coming from Japan would do the same. But that does not mean that every player will perform as the group did. Some will suck and others will rock. But on the average, they will be 94% of the player they were in Japan.

One way to assess the quality of the guess is to see the estimate's confidence interval (CI). That would give us the upper and lower levels of the estimate. So imagine if we extrapolate that Matsuzaka is going to have a 4.0 ERA. If the guess is based on little data, the the 95% CI would be broad: 2.5 - 5.0. But if the estimate is based on many Japanese pitchers who came here, the CI could be 3.8 - 4.2. Translating that into plain English, "we are 95% sure that he will perform with an ERA between 3.8 or 4.2. To be brief we say, our best guess is 4."

The larger the CI, the less data was used to create the guess. The smaller the CI, the better the estimate.

As the number of people increase that come here, you can get better analysis. Once you get 200 or 300 people here, then you can break it down between the good players and superstars like Ichiro and Godzilla. Maybe superstars are more likely to suffer coming here where they will be just merely good instead of dominant. Time will tell.

2006-11-16 18:27:54
200.   jakewoods
I can pretty much guarantee that Tabata is going nowhere.

Im not going out on a limb there.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-11-16 19:04:18
201.   Jim Dean
199 I agree with everything you've said in there. The difference is that I think Davenport presents the DM as Clemens comparison as if it's the most likely outcome rather than as the uppermost point on that confidence interval. Then other folks have just fallen into line.

The basis of his stats is not Japanese players coming here, however, but AAA players going there, right?

Anyone know a simple way to find the list of Japanese imports in the last ten years, both pitching and offense? That list seems like it would be very limited, true, but with enough variation to see a distribution of performance decline. Further, that would apply better because those players are biased to include the best the JPN league had to offer, like Nomo, Godzilla, and Ichiro but also K. Matsui and Pussy Toad. If the best from JPN can't translate their skills, who can? Plus, I'd be willing to be Davenport's JPN = .94 MLB is WAY off. If I was going on Ichire and Godzilla alone, I'd guess something closer to .75 - 130 points in OPS!

By the way, wouldn't you want to say DM's competition has been diluted over the last six years with the export of guys like Godzilla and Ichiro? How do you account for that? Instead they import guys like Tony Batista, who come back to the States and hit .236 .303 .388 for the Twins after being smoking hot in JPN.

No, really, I hope they spend 90 million on DM!

2006-11-16 19:07:16
202.   Jim Dean
Looks like I found another way to procrastinate tomorrow:

2006-11-16 19:32:33
203.   jakewoods
You cant compare Japanese ballplayers. Its like Single A over there.

Tuffy Rhodes was Barry Bonds there.

Tuffy Rhodes!

2006-11-16 20:07:37
204.   Shaun P
203 Don't forget park effects - like randym said in 166, the parks are much smaller in Japan. All their fields, IIRC, are also turf, not grass; all are domes, none are outdoors. And the pitching isn't as good overall as in MLB. I'd say that could easily account for what Tuffy Rhodes did over there.

As for these D-Train rumors, ha. I don't believe them for a moment. Ca$hmoney isn't a fool; the dude knows pitching. Look at how well they've handled Hughes, Clippard, etc. D-Train's arm has too much mileage on it, and I'd bet the translation from NL to AL would be ugly, lefty in Yankee Stadium or no.

Besides, it would ignore the fact that the Yanks are trying to shed payroll, not add it. Having Melky + the other kids keeps things cheap; adding D-Train changes that.

(And yes, I know Ca$hmoney talks up Pavano all the time, but what else is he supposed to do? If he does anything different, not only does Pavano lose whatever confidence he has in himself, he also loses all value on the trade market.)

2006-11-16 20:21:29
205.   Shaun P
BTW, and I'll bet I'll have to repost this in tomorrow's new thread, but Rob Neyer, according to some a Yankee-hater/Sox-lover through and through, savagely questioned the Sox's bid for DM today. The short story is he didn't see how the money added up, unless Henry opened the checkbook and said screw it.
2006-11-16 21:31:32
206.   jakewoods
what move by a big market team has rob neyer ever liked?

he never likes a move in regards to money and he never likes a player someone tries to sign or trade for.

2006-11-17 04:28:41
207.   Simone
Congrats Alex!

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