Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Going, Going...
2006-12-15 05:22
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

I remember when Tower Records first opened in New York. Must have been the early-to-mid eighties. Their first store was on Broadway near NYU. Eventually, they opened a second store just north of Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side. I remember buying 45s there when I was in middle school. (Woody Allen bumps into Diane Wiest in uptown store near the end of "Hannah and Her Sisters.") Well, Tower went bankrupt a few months ago and all merchandise was 60% when I passed by store last Friday. There wasn't much left--a clerk told me they've been clearing house for two months already--but that didn't stop me from digging around anyhow.

One of the things I found and figured I'd take a chance on is a documentary about minor league baseball called "A Player To Be Named Later." I had never heard of it. The movie follows the 2001 Indianapolis Indians, the Brewers' triple A team. Marco Scutaro is the most famous player featured in this crisp, well-made, and unsentimental look at life in the minor leagues. It's kind of like the baseball version of "Hoop Dreams." It may not actually reveal anything that you might not already know about how difficult it is to make the majors, but it presents the information in a compelling, understated manner. There are some terrific interviews, particularly with the ballplayers' wives. The scene where manager Wendell Kim tells Scutaro that he is not getting called up to the big leagues is wrenching. The moment is so awkward and Kim is so inarticulate, yet it is not unusual.

If you run across it, it's certainly worth taking a look at. I was pleasantly surprised. I'm always moaning about how few good baseball movies there are; even though this is a documentary, this would make my list of baseball movies that won't make you nauteous.

Comments (141)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-12-15 05:49:32
1.   mikeplugh
Thanks Alex.

There's a PBS special on Japanese high school baseball that I have not seen, but I exchanged e-mails with the people who made it before I moved over here.

It's called Kokoyakyu, and I hope someone will tell me how it is....

I will always love "The Natural." Talk about great performances, tremendous production quality including gorgeous lighting, and a timeless feel.

2006-12-15 06:29:37
2.   JohnnyC

If you were at all interested in music AND grew up in the NY area in the '80s and '90s, the demise of Tower Records is a landmark event (akin to the shuttering of CBGBs). Man, the hours I spent combing through the bins of both the W. 4th St. and West Side stores. Tower accounts for a good percentage of my entire CD collection. Happy memories!

2006-12-15 06:33:59
3.   Raf
I'll have to stop by then. Usually something cool to be found there.
2006-12-15 06:41:16
4.   mikeplugh
There's a Tower Records in little backwater Akita City, where I live. It's in a building adjacent to the train station, in the basement. I still go down there a lot. I've been wondering for a while about whether they are going to close too, or if they're independent.

I used to go down to the TR on W.4th after watching hoops at the cages, and it was always a place to meet friends. "Where should we meet?" "In front of Tower Records". There was always an open air market in the vacant lot next to the store.

2006-12-15 06:42:01
5.   mikeplugh
I lived in Philly for a year and a half. I used to go to the crazy TR on South Street too. That's a good one.
2006-12-15 06:51:30
6.   Yankee Fan In Boston
there's a tower closing up in 3 days two block from where i'm sitting right now. there's nothing left.


Damon said, "It's a no-brainer for us. If I had to go play first base, I'd do it for a few games here and there just so we can work Bernie in."

just thought some people here might be interested in damon's campaigning for bernie's employment.

2006-12-15 07:00:51
7.   rsmith51
6 That is pretty nice of Damon to say, but the Yanks have enough bashers of LHP to play DH. How soon can a team retire a player's number?
2006-12-15 07:18:34
8.   Yankee Fan In Boston
7 i don't think they wasted much time with donnie's 23. if he hangs 'em up now, they could conceivably do that this season... of course, joe would try to put him in the lineup that day.
2006-12-15 08:06:23
9.   vockins
2 Landmark events that probably should have happened a decade earlier...
2006-12-15 08:14:25
10.   wsporter
I feel so conflicted on Bernie. My heart says there must be a way to find a place and my head says there is no way that should be done.

His mind would wonder at times and his instincts would go walk about but his contribution and class and example is and was so important. I know I'll miss that half crouch stance and little hop, the silly little spin move on a swing and a miss and the futile arm in the air gesture on a ball out of his range. I'll also miss those doubles laced to the gap and big hits and sliding catches and that great big beautiful smile.

Good men like Bernie don't seem to wander through the business of professional baseball often enough. If it should come to pass that his time is up already I will miss him. Bernie Williams Day will be a nuts event. I hope they find a way to polish a nice shiney plaque for him. He certainly has done his share.

2006-12-15 08:35:40
11.   Yankee Fan In Boston
10 you aren't alone.

maybe he'll take up a coaching job, so we can get a shot of him on the bench from time to time. (i know that i smile everytime i see mr. mattingly sitting there.)

his numbers during "The Dynasty" are definitely plaque-worthy. (in my unsolicited and meaningless opinion.)

2006-12-15 08:37:30
12.   Shaun P
6 And then there's the original Tower building, right on the corner of Newbury St and Mass Ave, straddling the Pike, that has (had?) the Boston music stars outside. That was a landmark for me when I first moved here. Virgin bought the building or otherwise moved a Megastore in back in 2002 I think, and its never had the same feeling about it.

Come to think of it, I heard somewhere that Virgin's Boston Megastore has itself closed.

10 MFD, Bernie was a wonderful Yankee for all the reasons you say and perhaps more than any of us can say usually words. But the good of the team outweighs the good of the individual, and in this case especially, its time for Bernie to hang 'em up. Melky deserves to have the time and chance to become what he'll be, just as Bernie did way back in 1991.

2006-12-15 08:45:21
13.   ric
"Come to think of it, I heard somewhere that Virgin's Boston Megastore has itself closed."

yes, it recently turned into a best buy with luxury condos above floor 3

2006-12-15 08:53:38
14.   Schteeve
Going Going Gone...Now I dialed 9-1-1 a long time ago. Don't ya see how late they reactin'?
2006-12-15 08:55:05
15.   rbj
I very rarely went to Tower Records. When I was going to prep school in Watertown CT, there was a good independent record seller where I got lots of imported punk records (the nice shiny vinyl records).

So now it's what, only two months to pitchers and catchers?

2006-12-15 08:58:07
16.   Yankee Fan In Boston
12 13 boston is just about out of retail music options.

other than newbury comics, you're pretty much out of luck. up until last spring, i was running a little local chain of used cd shops. that chain has since been dissolved into one solitary store.

people blame all of this on increased downloading, but i think the real problem is that major labels focus solely on "hit singles", which usually means disposable artists and music that has little longevity and virtually no shelf life.

a sad, sad state of affairs.

2006-12-15 08:59:21
17.   standuptriple
Yeah the Tower Records stores in SF are pretty legendary. I think the Berkeley one is still open...for the time being. I gotta say I was never a huge fan. The people there were always kind of snobish IIRC. Rasputin is the new King in No.CA.
2006-12-15 09:01:58
18.   standuptriple
16 Be careful. You don't want me opening my pandora's box of opinions about today's "music" scene. Let's just say I tried to watch the most recent music awards show and it almost brought a tear to my eye. What a sad state we are in. Video is a major culprit.
2006-12-15 09:03:09
19.   Yankee Fan In Boston
17 is there an amoeba records in SF? 'cause i would camp out on the sidewalk in front of their store if i needed to.
2006-12-15 09:03:49
20.   Shaun P
13 Ugh. Did Boston really need another one of those? Isn't the one at the Landmark Center enough?

16 Oh, so you mean that the music business's problems are mostly of its own doing, and not because of all the evil freeloading downloaders?

I agree, and it is a sad, sad state of affairs.

When I lived in Brookline, there used to be a great independent music shop on Beacon St. that even sold records. Sometimes a little pricier than, say, Best Buy, for new stuff, but what a place to browse for old stuff. I hope its still there.

2006-12-15 09:05:35
21.   Chyll Will
My nostalgia for Tower Records ended a year ago. Seemed to me that customer service began to get less friendly around that time; perhaps they knew what was coming and couldn't hide the frustration. The Yonkers one closed a few years ago, and I'm not really sorry to see the one in Lincoln Square close, though the one on W4th was my fave. They had all the harder-to-find movies. Should have picked up that Eagles collection when I had the chance. I've been to each one once in the past three weeks and saw nothing but crap scattered around to look like they had lots more. Even the foreign film and anime looked shady.

All said, I'm not surprised, though it is a shame to see what a barren hull they're becoming. Yes... this is absolutely a metaphor for the Knicks... (sniff) (Stops to think of something sarcastic to follow-up with, but instead silently finishes this sentence, sighs deeply and logs off...)

2006-12-15 09:06:17
22.   Yankee Fan In Boston
18 amen.

i have sworn off all music awards shows.

i do enjoy watching videos from the early MTV era... that was when anyone (physically) could be a rock star.

2006-12-15 09:10:28
23.   kylepetterson
Tower closing actually brought me in their doors for the first time in years. Their prices were ridiculous. Look at places like Guitar Center/Musicians Friend. MegaChains should be less expensive, not more. So I say good riddance to bad rubbish. I did, however, pick up a Ralph Stanley CD for $5. Good times.
2006-12-15 09:27:30
24.   kylepetterson
"I'd like to meet Curt Schilling." Matsuzaka said.

How much do you think they paid him to say that?

2006-12-15 09:31:03
25.   vockins
17 There is an amoeba in SF on Haight near Golden Gate Park. I prefer the other options in the area, though.
2006-12-15 09:36:10
26.   standuptriple
25 vockins does not lie. These days I usually go to that area for drinks, not music.
2006-12-15 09:39:09
27.   yankz
"I'd like to contribute to the world championship," Matsuzaka said. "I'd like to meet Curt Schilling."

Eager to meet D&D Schilling? WTF?

2006-12-15 09:43:23
28.   yankz
24 Dang, sorry, hadn't seen that.
2006-12-15 09:51:59
29.   vockins
26 I never really understood the deification of Amoeba. Yes, the stores are physically big, but that's about it. The prices are a little high. The selection, while certainly immeasureably better than anything in your local mall, isn't much better than most record stores that have been around for at least ten years.

If I'm in LA or SF, I'll stop by, but I've never been blown away by the place.

That said, if any of the branches closed, I'd be down about it.

2006-12-15 10:15:08
30.   Yankee Fan In Boston
26 i was at the one in LA years ago. it was a far cry better than anything we had in the little upstate NY town i grew up in, which was all i had to compare it to at the time.
2006-12-15 10:15:50
31.   Yankee Fan In Boston
30 was actually in reference to 29.
2006-12-15 10:17:28
32.   joejoejoe
I'm totally on-board the Johnny Damon to first base movement.
2006-12-15 10:19:37
33.   Shaun P
30 YFiB, do you remember when Media Play started springing up all over upstate NY? That was what I imagined a huge chain should be like - everything music under the sun, all at low prices. I haven't been in one in years, I don't even know if they exist anymore. But for a time, Media Play was a heck of place.

24 27 Any chance he also said, "I'd also like to meet this Walking Greek God, Youkilis"?

2006-12-15 10:29:37
34.   bp1
33 Or "I'm looking forward to learning how the game should be played from Josh Beckett."

Or "I'm hoping Manny Ramirez will teach me how to do strange things with my hair."

Oh boy - this could go on for awhile.

2006-12-15 10:30:37
35.   Yankee Fan In Boston
33 yeah. the media play phenomenon was starting up just as i was moving to oregon. i don't remember seeing many on my visits home though. are they gone, too? the fact that it is a reasonable assumption to make is a testament to the sorry state in which the industry finds itself.

and yes, i find it odd that out of all the people on the team, he mentions schilling. that ought to do wonders for curt's low self esteem.

2006-12-15 10:32:36
36.   vockins
30 Next time you're upstate, check these stores out:

I've done better at Bop Shop in one visit than I've done at any Amoeba branch in about 15 visits!

2006-12-15 10:41:27
37.   Yankee Fan In Boston
36 thanks. much appreciated. i don't usually get over to rochester or buffalo, though. i'm from saratoga springs, outside of albany. that is about as far into the empire state as i usually venture. (unless i'm going the extra distance to visit cooperstown, that is.)

next time i get out that way i will try to check them out. (my sister went to SUNY buffalo for a couple of years, she mentioned new world record as being her favorite spot out there.)

this is a full service site.

2006-12-15 10:56:07
38.   Peter
I usually go to Other Music or Kim's, but I've been going to Tower exclusively after finding out about the sale. Last time I went, it was 50% off and buy 4, get the 5th free. But now everything is so picked over, it's like buying for the sake of buying just because it's on sale. The shame of it, though, is just a few months ago I visited the Lincoln Center Tower and realized I really liked their classical section. But now it's gone.

34 "I'm hoping Doug Mirabelli will give me pointers about riding police escort through Boston."

2006-12-15 11:05:56
39.   Yankee Fan In Boston
38 other music pulled out of this area a few (maybe even four) years ago. that place was fantastic.

34 "i look forward to learning the ways of the mulleted one. i believe the mullet is the source of schilling-san's inner strength."

2006-12-15 11:08:33
40.   thelarmis
16 newbury comics has a good ebay store, as well. always a smooth transaction with them.

36 alternative music is up in rochester, right? i ordered a cool cd from them online a coupla years ago and it was also a fine transaction.

i used to go to the Tower on Broadway & Lafayette all the time as a teenager and then when i was at NYU for Grad School. The Annex was great. Tower's always been overpriced and overrated, however. the annex ended up here in Atlanta when they moved to a bigger location a coupla years ago. the stock has been diminishing greatly, but even with the big discounts, it's still sorta pricey.

they'll most likely close soon after the holidays. all the stock has already been bought and will be sold to other distributors, so it'll never get stoopid cheap...

2006-12-15 11:10:05
41.   thelarmis
38 oy! the Classical section was completely raped early on here. there was NOTHING left. : /
2006-12-15 11:10:55
42.   mehmattski
"I'm looking forward to watching leads evaporate after I leave the game."

"I'm looking forward to the fans turning on me after my first rough outing."

"I'm looking forward to meeting the guy in the gorilla suit."

and, of course:
"I'm looking forward to meeting the head of bullpen security, Karim Garcia."

2006-12-15 11:16:47
43.   ric
"I'm looking forward to the fans turning on me after my first rough outing."

it is likely that Matsuzaka will mistake AROD for a teammate when he hears the boos AROD receives at Yankee Stadium...

2006-12-15 11:17:06
44.   thelarmis
42 who's karim garcia?
2006-12-15 11:17:37
45.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i read that matsuzaka was prompted to mention the yankees in a derogatory way at the press conference.

he declined.

unlike the "straight shooter" mr. schilling.

matsuzaka is supposed to be very kind and i've even heard the word "sweet" used to describe him by a japanese reporter.

it will be hard to root against him, but i think i'll find a way.

2006-12-15 11:22:04
46.   OldYanksFan
Someone please straighten me out.
Lily just signed for 4/40. He wanted to be a Yankee badly, and I'll say we could have had him for 4/36.

We instead got Andy for 2/32.

Andy seems like a better pitcher, but he had has injuries over the last 3 years and his recent numbers are from a weak division of the NL, where Lily has been in the AL East.

Some comparing the dollars, we could have had Lily for an extra 2 years at 2$m/year or used him as trade bait.

I know we are all emotionally attached to Andy and his history with us.... but wa this deal, 2/32, really that wise?

2006-12-15 11:23:25
47.   Peter
41 I played a small role in that. When I heard about the sale, I stocked up on any classical stuff I figured I might want to get at some point.

45 Pete Abraham has a post about all of the extra perks heading Matsuzaka's way. Boras did better than we gave him credit.

I wonder if Godzilla has to pay his own rent.

2006-12-15 11:25:14
48.   Shawn Clap
The New York Dolls at the downtown Tower was the greatest musical experience I've had in my entire life.

That is all.

2006-12-15 11:25:34
49.   Bama Yankee
42 & 44 You guys beat me to it. I was thinking his quote would be:
"誰がそうですか Karim Garcia?"
2006-12-15 11:25:41
50.   vockins
47 The Tower classical section was no joke. I forgot about that.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-12-15 11:28:20
51.   Yankee Fan In Boston
46 your pettitte post was #46. well played.

AP's agent said that they might not take the 2nd year. if there was an injury, etc. they'd walk away.

you can't assume the 2nd year if you trust the pettitte camp, which i choose to do.

as for lilly, those 4 years would be locked in, and the amount of money a pitcher of his calibur might get three years from now, if owners and GMs come to their senses could drop... so they'd be overpaying for mediocre pitching.

that is my take, anyway. i liked the signing.

2006-12-15 11:34:07
52.   Yankee Fan In Boston
speaking of signing japanese pitchers:

in case you missed it in the NY times today...

"The Yankees have until Dec. 28 to sign Kei Igawa, the Japanese starter whose rights cost them $26 million. "We are making good progress," Igawa's agent, Arn Tellem, said in an e-mail message. "However, I do not anticipate reaching a deal this week.""

2006-12-15 11:56:59
53.   standuptriple
One of the residual benefits of the Yanks relative hibernation this off-season I think is that their reputation of being cold-hard spenders will decrease. If only to lessen the need for my defense between my non-believer friends. It would be nice to see the Igawa deal done quietly and reasonably to show RSN how the pros do it.
I've seen statements "It's still 2006 and I'm already sick of the 2007 Red Sox". Lovely.
2006-12-15 12:01:23
54.   Yankee Fan In Boston
53 i hope you're right, but i still keep hearing that the yankees win the world series every year. as recently as last week.

that quote is beautiful, however.

2006-12-15 12:27:00
55.   dianagramr

I look forward to beating Jonathan Papelbon in Scrabble ... in English.

2006-12-15 12:43:42
56.   Yankee Fan In Boston
here is an article on the state of baseball, featuring 30 established baseball writers, including some great ones, such as a certain mr. alex belth:

2006-12-15 12:59:15
57.   RIYank
The Sox have signed Brendan Donnelly as their new... closer. From the Angels, for a prospect. Last year ERA 3.94, WHIP 1.34.
2006-12-15 13:00:11
58.   Yankee Fan In Boston
57 sweet.

that is the best news i've heard all day.

2006-12-15 13:06:38
59.   Yankee Fan In Boston
donnelly's ERA against the yankees in 4 appearances last season: 9.82
2006-12-15 13:07:25
60.   standuptriple
I hope Torre has him checked for pine tar early.
2006-12-15 13:25:49
61.   Zack
Come on, the Donelly trade was actually a very good one by the Sox: low risk, high reward. They trade away a B prospect, a 27 year old with some potential, and get back a 35 year old who, while never regained All-star form, was pretty darn good after the break last season: 3.52 era, 1.27 WHIP, .216 BAA...Great against righties, not so hot against lefties...Not as good on the road, and career-wise, pretty tough agianst the Yanks.

He will, at the least, repalce Timlin as their righty set up man. I doubt he will be their closer, but he will help their BP a lot...

2006-12-15 13:34:02
62.   RIYank
It's not a bad trade (actually reasonable on both sides) -- it's the prospect of Donnelly's being their closer that's making Banterers wet their lips, I think.
Zack, who do you think might close for them? I agree with you that he's an okay replacement for Timlin. Kind of Farnsy, maybe.

(Sorry for writing that they 'signed' him, by the way. Traded for him, I meant to write.)

2006-12-15 15:46:00
63.   Orly Yarly NoWai
Re: the musical discussion-

Many of the bands I enjoy existed only because of illegal tape-trading in the 80s and early 90s. Nothing made me more furious, in recent years, than Metallica coming out against Napster, since without people copying the demo tape they made and spreading it around the U.S., they'd be nothing, rather than one of the premier bands of the 1990s.

On baseball: I love Bernie, but I don't know if I want him back. I feel like a traitor, but it doesn't seem like he has much left in the tank, especially on defense. I think The Fielding Bible rated him as the worst CF in baseball. We don't really need him at DH.

I just can't bring myself to cut the strings.

2006-12-15 18:02:59
64.   OldYanksFan
I haven't counted, but it seems to me, since the WS win in 2004, that more then 1/2 the Sox starters are turning over every year.

One of the best things about being a Yankee fan is we get attached to our players, and many stay around a while.

It's 'new baseball' due to FA, but does anyone else miss the days when players stayed on the same team for a while?

2006-12-15 19:49:39
65.   Orly Yarly NoWai
64 If you're winning, you miss those days. If you're losing, not so much.

Check USSMariner. A lot of them (not a majority, but a significant minority of the commentors) have given up. They want Betancourt, Ichiro and King Felix traded to get them off that sinking ship.

Look at the Minnesota Timberwolves and the situation with Kevin Garnett. Everyone wants him to get out so he can win. It's KILLING him to be stuck in that environment. Same thing with Allen Iverson.

Meanwhile, we have the luxury of being able to retain our players almost at will because of our economic power and the draw and lure of the Yankee name.

(Aside: OYF, doesn't it seem, though, like most of the moves the Sox have made were supposed to be upgrades? I seem to remember everyone being high on Clement, Beckett and now Matsuzaka.)

2006-12-15 19:50:17
66.   Orly Yarly NoWai
Gah. Those paragraphs looked so much longer when I first typed it.
2006-12-15 20:18:41
67.   yankz
They were selling adult DVD's at the W 4th Tower Records for $4.99 today. I'm pretty sure i saw Godzilla...
2006-12-15 20:28:04
68.   misterjohnny
Nothing to add on your blog entry today, but I just wanted to say I loved the last line in your section on the 30 voices on the State of the Game!
2006-12-15 20:31:29
69.   ric
"I haven't counted, but it seems to me, since the WS win in 2004, that more then 1/2 the Sox starters are turning over every year."

in fairness, many of the 2004 yanks were signed to long term contracts though. and many of the 2004 sox players were former scrubs that overachieved from 03-04 (guys you dont hold on to). also, mussina is the only starter remaining from 2004 so the sox beat them in that department (i soooooo miss the john burkett days)

2006-12-15 20:34:01
70.   ric
i think yanks fans and sox fans should unite and put clement and pavano over a dunk tank filled with paranha and battery acid and practice our gyro balls together :)
2006-12-15 21:26:05
71.   Zack
62 RI: If you are still there, which I'm not sure anyone is at this hour. I have to stop this offseason posting and then wandering away for hours thing I guess...

In any case, I imagine that either Hansen will emerge during the season after Donelly returns to his better suited role of setup man, or they will make another trade. Wakefield wouldn't work, no matter what the press says.

Their best bet is really to cross their fingers and hope than Hansen regains his status as closer of the present. Closers always seem to emerge from unlikely places however...

2006-12-15 21:27:38
72.   yankz
71 You're not alone, man.
2006-12-15 21:42:22
73.   ric
Hansen regains his status as closer

he needs to find that st. johns slider... i think coaching f'd him up somehow.

2006-12-15 23:46:18
74.   Yu-Hsing Chen
73 in all seriousness, a bullpen of
Hansen/Timlin/Donelly/Romero/Delcarman/Okajima is not making me piss my pants.

Donnelly and Timlin are both declining fast. Romero had a terrible year in LAA last year but migth be decent as a LOGGY, Okajima is a wildcard but at best i see a Otsuka out of him (which would be nice i suppose) Delcarman is a decent arm but at the very best he throws up a Scott Proctor 06 -lite like year. Hansen is a mixed bag, but if i were a Sox fan i definately dont' want him as teh default closer if simply for confidence issues.

2006-12-16 02:11:16
75.   BklynBmr
Melky Gonzo?

Say it ain't so! After a few days' well-earned break in the NoCal wilderness, //think Goodfellas// — "I come home to this? To THIS!

"Baseball sources indicated Friday that Yankees are willing to part with left-handed hitting outfielder Melky Cabrera straight-up in a trade for (Pirates closer Mike) Gonzalez."

Hoping it's nothing more the usual media BS, can anyone make a case for this move?

2006-12-16 03:38:34
76.   sabernar
75 I read this, too. My only guess is that the Yankees feel they have guys that can plug into the 4th OF spot (Bernie, Thompson, etc.), but Gonzalez will be their much needed setup man AND that he can/will take over Mariano's closer role. Mariano will be 37 next year. Gonzalez will be 29 and was 24-for-24 in saves, pitched 54 innings with 64 K's and 31 BB and 1 HR. His numbers the year before were almost identical (minus the saves).
2006-12-16 04:20:24
77.   mikeplugh
75 76 Newsday is also reporting this. They are saying that Melky would go to Atlanta and they'd turn LaRoche around to Pittsburgh.

They also report that Mientkiewicz is a good bet to sign and platoon with Phelp and Phillips. I'm not a fan of either move.

2006-12-16 04:23:36
78.   mikeplugh
77 Strike that. I am a fan of the Gonzalez part of the deal. Here's why....

Gonzalez is lights out. He'd fill in for Mariano in a pinch. He'd be the steadiest bet as our set up man since Mariano was setting up for Wettland. He'd be kept away from the Red Sox.

Melky leaving would absolutely suck, but it would open the door for the Yankees to go get Ichiro next year to play the outfield and put Matsui at the DH. Something like that....

2006-12-16 04:30:33
79.   mikeplugh
79 Plus, I haven't made up my mind how I feel about it one way or the other, so those posts should cover me... ;)
2006-12-16 04:37:13
80.   C2Coke
78 Parting with Melky is not a favorable situation for me. Period.

Considering the age of Matsui and Damon, Melky will have a role to play as long as Bernie decides to retire. Trading Melky just adds that much more possibility of Bernie staying. (Really, I love Bernie too like everyone else here but I am ready for a Bernie Williams Day next year at the Stadium.)

2006-12-16 05:17:07
81.   manila boy
80 I'd hate parting with Melky too, but Kevin Thompson can play his role. Gonzalez has been lights out in three years, and he's not yet 30. Then Ca$hmoney can use some of the pitching surplus in the minors to get a top-flight catching prospect.

79 Not hot on getting Minky either.

2006-12-16 05:39:00
82.   OldYanksFan
Look.... nobody here wants to see Melky traded, but a B+ pitcher for a C- outfielder? Lets face it, that's a no-brainer. As a matter-of-fact, that would qualitfy as CashMagic.

I love Melky but his nunbers were still bottom of the (outfield) barrel. It's not like he's Nick Johnson or something.

2006-12-16 06:23:16
83.   C2Coke
It's really not just the reluctance to part with Melky but also the fear of Bernie staying. Yes, fear. I should point out, however, the feeling of fear is towards Torre.
2006-12-16 06:28:50
84.   RIYank
Melky was the number one LF in defense last year, according to David Pinto's latest chart.

His "out ratio" is over 109, which is astounding.

Still, Melk just doesn't hit well enough for a corner OF, so I think Mike Gonzalez must be an objectively more valuable player. But I'd still hate to see the Melk Man go. And his BA could really jump this year -- it's expected to because of his age.

2006-12-16 06:42:46
85.   kylepetterson
While I would hate to see Melky go (I think he is going to be one of the best outfielders in a couple years, if not one of the best all around players), pitchers, especially good pitchers don't come easy. That's life. At least the rumors of Gonzalez for Proctor and Melky are mostly gone. When compared to that, I can easily swallow Melk for Gonz. It's bitter going down, but I'll do it.
2006-12-16 06:45:24
86.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Gonzalez misses bats but he also misses strike zones, i'm not very confident on his ability to maintain that kind of preformance over the next 3 years.

It is essentially a given that anyone who can qualify as a legit starter on the field is worth more than a reliever, unless the reliever's level of dominance is way ahead of that positional player. and i'm not very sure Gonzalez fits that bill over Melky.

people have said that bats are easier to replace, to some extend i agree, but in terms of non-closer relievers i have to disagree, those guys are easy to replace. finding another Melky Cabrera would be a lot harder than finding another Scott Proctor.

2006-12-16 06:53:49
87.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Also, The Bucco blog makes a great point that Gonzalez is still 3 years from FA, Littlefield is in no hurry to deal him, and the Yankees aren't desperate for a reliever nor are they completely loaded on the farm.

logically the Pirates are better off just holding on the Gonzalez until a desperate borderline contender with a messed up bullpen and a deep farm shows up (happens almost every year) and fleece them at the deadline (the Dodger is certainly a team that might end up like that next year. if Saito goes boom or hurt, hell if K-rod gets hurt the Angels definately could end up dealing too, or if the D-backs make a legit run next year)

In the end, it just doesn't seem to make enough sense on either sides for this to happen.

2006-12-16 07:04:03
88.   Yu-Hsing Chen
sorry for another post but.

anyone can find out how/what Melky is doing in the dominican winter leagues? those websites just don't seem to update much (or maybe because i can't read Spanish..)

2006-12-16 07:04:10
89.   Zack
87 Ah yes, but you forget that that sort of reasoning would imply that the Pirates have some sort of clue as an organization, and I think we all know they don't. I mean, they traded for Chacon!!!
2006-12-16 07:06:01
90.   Yu-Hsing Chen
89 true, but that was probably just overplaying thier hands and panicing when things obviously didn't turn out as expected. but the deadline to trade Gonzalez is in 3 years, they shouldn't panic... just yet ;)
2006-12-16 07:46:59
91.   yankz
More on that idiotic Mantle book:
2006-12-16 08:52:32
92.   wsporter
I'm of two minds on moving Melky. I think he can grow into a consistent 290 - 310 ba, 360 - 380 obp and 420 - 460 slg player with 20 hr power. He's got a great arm and seems to have a cool head. In my view he'll be a pretty good corner outfield player and above league average. But punch out lefty relievers are VERY hard to find. If they were easy to find I think we'd have one already.

Can we afford to give up Melky? Gardner and Tabata are on the way to being MLB ready; Gardner maybe ready this year. Tabata may be ready by next year ('08) or the middle of '09. Justin Christian and Seth Fontenberry could be ready soon as serviceable 4th outfielders as could Bronson Sardinha. Kevin Thompson is ready now. We should over the next couple of years find something useful in the group including: Colin Curtis, Josue Calzado, Melky Mesa, Tim Battle, Austin Jackson and Carlos Urena.

I actually think a league average or above corner outfielder may be easier to find than a lights out lefty reliever with a big arm. If Gonzalez is that, much as it pains me to say it, I think we should consider the deal that's outlined in the Post. If we have to include Proctor or Farnsworth to do it I'd say no because that would seem to be at best a lateral move or worse. If we had to throw a minor leaguer in it wouldn't be anyone above A ball that has attained B level prospect status.

I'd hate to move Melky but a big lefty arm out of the pen to sit Pappi on his back side sure would be a thing of beauty.

2006-12-16 09:21:57
93.   drlecter
Trading Melky would be like trading Cano last season. Does anyone want to trade Cano for Gonzalez?
2006-12-16 10:05:32
94.   Zack
93 Melky and Cano aren't really comparable. A hitting 2b is far more valuable than a 4th outfielder. I would miss Melky, but lets face it, our bp is going to have a lot more say in our record next year than our 4th outfielder will...
2006-12-16 11:03:23
95.   kylepetterson
I love this:

From the what's right and wrong with baseball article mentioned at the Griddle:

STEVE TREDER - Author for The Hardball Times:
Wrong: TV games as presented by Fox

Unfortunately I don't have cable so that's the only way I see 'em, but still...

2006-12-16 11:05:41
96.   bobtaco
77 81 I think the reason behind the Mientkiewicz signing is because he leads the league in being Arod's best friend. I think this is a move that Cash$ and Boras discussed over that dinner, as a way to relax Alex in the clubhouse. Thoughts?
2006-12-16 11:48:44
97.   kylepetterson
96 Man, they've got a stat for everything now! BABFF?
2006-12-16 13:41:46
98.   fgasparini
Guys, last year was Melky's age-21 season. His numbers compare very closely with Nick Johnson's age-23 season. Now Melky may not develop into a Nick Johnson quality hitter, certainly his MiL numbers are not as good, but we're still talking about a kid with a lot of potential. For a reliever? I'll pass.
2006-12-16 14:03:35
99.   fgasparini
WRT Melky for this Gonzalez...Ortiz's splits against lefties are almost as good against righties. If this Gonzalez fellow faced him 20 times next year, perhaps he'd be say one hit better than a comparable righty reliever. Plus this Gonzalez pitches in the NL Central, whose level of competition translates to approximately NY-Penn league.

I'm not equipped to do the math so I won't insist I'm right on this, but I would guess that Melky's offensive potential plus defensive chops more than equals the amount of runs saved by ANY loogy.

Besides, didn't Cash spend the offseason to date cannily stockpiling bullpen arms while NOT giving away building blocks?

2006-12-16 14:49:48
100.   yankz
99 Hey, they NY-Penn League takes offense...
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-12-16 15:17:27
101.   mikeplugh
The main argument about dealing Melky would be:

1. He's 21 and plays great defense. He could find his power stroke, as others do, at age 25 and be a Bernie Williams type hitter.

2. Moving Melky would mean more Bernie (ironically).

His age and potential are why you'd hesistate to deal him. As for Gonzalez, the reasons you'd hesitate to acquire him are:

1. He's put up a 1.350ish WHIP in the NL the last two years
2. He's never pitched in a meaningful game.
3. You look super foolish if he's a bust and Melky is at the very least the same player as last year.

Gonzalez' WHIP is largely a result of his walks totals increasing the last two years. His K/9 ratio is the same as B.J. Ryan. His salary is still league minimum so you aren't adding payroll for a nice opportunity.

The reason I'm in favor of this move is that I think we should re-up Abreu, and we have Matsui and Damon already in the fold for a few years. We brought Melky up to the bigs, and we have a choice. Sit him and make him the 4th outfielder, or send him to SWB to play everyday. Neither of those is a great option. Melky could really stretch his wings in Pittsburgh and could have a very nice career in center for them. If he wants to come back in a few years when he's a FA, and he has turned out to be Bernie, great.

I'm in favor of the move. Go Melky go. Show 'em what you got in an everyday job! I just hope Gonzalez turns out to be as good as advertised. You'd have to like our pen with :


That's nutty.

2006-12-16 15:20:16
102.   mikeplugh
BTW...has Baseball Reference always had that "neutralize stats" feature where you can translate statistics from the players career to fit a set of data from a specific year, league, and team?

I noticed it a few days ago, and wondered if I'd just been blind all these years.

2006-12-16 16:04:21
103.   randym77
Melky's not a left-handed hitter. He's a switch-hitter. Sheesh.

I had heard the Pirates were desperately seeking a young OFer. I'm not sure why; I thought Chris Duffy was working out for them (once they found him, anyway).

It would probably be better for the Yanks if Melky stayed, if only because it would mean Bernie retires. But it would probably be better for Melky if he's traded. At his age, he needs to play every day, and he's not going to get that as a 4th OFer with Torre in charge of the team.

If Melky is traded, I like Bronson Sardinha, but I have a feeling it's going to be Bernie Williams as 4th OFer, and no 5th OFer.

2006-12-16 16:31:28
104.   Schteeve
Gonzalez ain't no L00GY.
2006-12-16 16:41:52
105.   yankz
102 It's new, and it's marvelous. Although, I wish there was an option to only neutralize the park factors, not games played.
2006-12-16 16:49:15
106.   yankz
If the Braves are willing to trade Laroche for Melky, I'd rather trade him straight up. Laroche had a great year last year (133 OPS+) and is just entering his prime (was 26 last year). That's why I don't see this deal going down.

Also, from NYT: "...the Yankees were close to completing a five- year, $20 million contract with the Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa."

4 mil/yr is fine, but FIVE years? What?!

2006-12-16 17:12:39
107.   yankz
Dodger Thoughts has a post about the Red Sox hesitating before signing Drew. Buyer beware!
2006-12-16 17:20:31
108.   randym77
107 The Boston Herald has an article about it. They think Drew didn't pass his physical. But they think the deal will still be done. The Red Sox are just working out ways to protect themselves.
2006-12-16 19:24:12
109.   markp
WHIP is basically a lesser version of OBA. A better measurement is OPS against. Opposing hitters have a 298 OBA and a microscopic 268 SLG against Gonzales. In his last 104 IP he's given up a grand total of 2 HR.
2006-12-16 19:52:26
110.   Jeteupthemiddle
109 His numbers are very good, but I am seeing different numbers than what you are looking at.

.206 BAA .300 OBA .291

Very good numbers, just slighty different.

Although, perhaps they are wrong. I see that the link says a OPS against of .588--though, that would mean their math is wrong by .003.

Anyway, I am not opposed to getting Gonzalez. I just think that Melky would be more valuable to the Yankees next year than Gonzalez.

2006-12-16 23:51:26
111.   Yu-Hsing Chen
If we look at what the two teams have done recently in terms of Gm work, i doubt this would get done. Littlefield has a record of doing really dumb things....

A great bullpen is more valuable than on paper yes, but so is a good bench. and while a good LHP reliever don't grow on trees, 21 year olds that could actually hit something out of the bench is not nearly as abundent as you would think.

Brett Gardner's power makes Melky look like Barry Bonds, anyone who think he's going to be anything like Melky is mistaken, he's probably a slightly better Bubba, or at the very best a slightly worse Pierre.

Tabata's arrival time should more realistically be put at 2010, late 2008 would be the best possible situation, but sometime in 2009-2011 is far more realistic.

Tabata is the only player in our system that's probably going to be better than Melky, everyone else would really not be, at least it would take a while.

I thought we just learned it the hard way what a crap bench could mean over the last few years?

2006-12-17 03:02:34
112.   mikeplugh
I just posted this over at WW, but I think it's worth pasting here too, since not everyone here reads what's over there. Here goes:

The one thing that I think is important to understand here is that Major League teams deal from positions of strength to fill weak points. The Yankees weak point is pitching. They have a good solid starting rotation, but that rotation has age questions and health questions. We've addressed the health questions by acquiring an extra pitcher or two and building a good supplemental staff of minor leaguers. The age question is an issue of resilience.

Can our starters go 7 or 8 innings every start? We know RJ can't. We've seen Mussina grow weaker after 5 or 6 tough innings. Pettitte would do well to have his innings managed this year. Pavano, if he pitches, shouldn't be counted on for more than 6 innings of good work. That necessitates a bullpen.

We've had a very mediocre pen in the last several years. We've watched the Angels and Twins throw top notch middle and late inning relievers out there and do very well. If we trade from a position of strength (a young switch-hitting outfielder with nice potential) to acquire a lights out left handed closer, we suddenly turn our weakness into a strength and lose very little in the short term.

Face it, we need a good lefty in the pen. We may as well get a guy who has posted a career 182 ERA+ and absolutely ridiculous OPS against of .588. He posts a strikeout rate similar to B.J. Ryan and lefties go .176/.260/.218 against him. He's only given up 9 home runs in 155.2 IP, and only one to a lefty (Carlos Delgado, last season, walk off).

I can't say we won't be trading a future star, but at this point it makes sense for our roster for the next 3 years. That the remaining time on Gonzalez' contract, and probably the time until Melky Cabrera really breaks out. I'm for the trade with only a little hesitation.

2006-12-17 06:16:31
113.   NetShrine
Huh, they don't read me! Bummer! ;-)
2006-12-17 06:24:26
114.   mikeplugh
113 I just figured that some people aren't in the know. For some it comes easy...for others, it takes forever.

Rest assured my friend, one day the Bronx Bombers' Bloggers will rule the world!!!!

2006-12-17 06:27:03
115.   sabernar
Found this in one of the NY papers:

"The Yankees, however, have a history of being unable to deal with Pirates GM Dave Littlefield, and talks about a three-team trade - which would send the lefthander to the Yankees, Braves first baseman Adam LaRoche to the Pirates and Yankee outfielder Melky Cabrera to the Braves - have cooled."

'Cooled' - that sounds about right for the Pirates management.

2006-12-17 06:47:12
116.   randym77
115 They said that about the Craig Wilson trade, too.

The NY papers do seem cooler on the Melky for Gonzo trade today. The Pittsburgh papers are hot about it, though. Maybe they're just a day behind. The Post-Gazette is reporting that the Pirates are willing to do Melky for Gonzalez straight up, and they think the Yanks would go for it.

If we don't get Gonzalez, I hope Boston doesn't. They reportedly want him very much, but so far, they haven't found a match. The Pirates want a young, lefty-hitting outfielder or first baseman. The Sox have offered Eric Hinske, but he's not what the Pirates had in mind.

I wish we could get Ryan Doumit from Pittsburgh. He's hitting pretty well in winterball. And Pittsburgh has so many young catchers they are trying to convert him to another position. He played some at 1B this season, and he's playing right field now in winterball.

2006-12-17 06:51:12
117.   Jim Dean
115 Whew. I don't think Melky should be traded, now, for three reasons:

1) He's 21. These are the guys that the Yanks shoud be holding on to - young, motivated, improving, cheap, and talented, not signing someone like Ichiro (Mike, come on!) to a bloated contract for probably equal production.

2) Who would have thought that both Shef and Godziller would have lost 2/3 of last year. Melky saved them because he was good! He won at least one game with his glove, made great throws, and hit increasing well, especially in July and August (ops = .850). If any of the OF's get hurt, having Melky around means you have a solid and capable replacement, but one who could still get better!

3) If he shows even modest improvement (OPS = .800) he's even more valuable next year, or at the trade deadeline when the deals are better. Hanging on to true prospects too long will never a problem a problem for the Yanks because they have other ways to make up the difference.

Gonzo is solid (though maybe not in the AL East). But that deal wasn't right for the Yanks.

2006-12-17 07:10:04
118.   randym77
117 I think Peter Abraham is right. Melky will likely never be more valuable than he is now. I think he's as likely to regress next year as to improve. Not least because he'll be riding pine so often. His batting average fell off a cliff in September, when he became the 4th OFer.
2006-12-17 08:15:33
119.   Jeteupthemiddle
Maybe he had a bad Septebmer because he has never had to play in September before last year?

Maybe Melky's value will never be this high, but at the age of 21, I think it is reasonable to expect him to improve a bit over the years. Maybe he is never more than a 4th outfielder, or maybe he is merely a solid starter but never an All Star.

However, we certainly have a need for him on this team right now.

If you want to talk about trading a player because his value will never again be this high, then I want to talk about trading Proctor. As much as I love the guy, I think last year was a fluke, and we should trade him before Spring Training. We have enough replacements in the farm for him.

2006-12-17 08:30:44
120.   randym77
119 Nah. It's the most predictable thing in the world: young players have to play regularly, or they lose their timing. That's why they're stashed in the minors rather than kept as bench players.

As for Proctor...we probably should have traded him early this year. That was when his value was at its peak. Everyone thought he was a future lights-out closer.

But the Yankees clearly do not want to trade Proctor. They've had a lot of people asking for him - last spring, this summer, at the trading deadline, and now. But Cashman won't give him up. I think they're grooming him to be a closer or at least a setup man.

I think we have players on the farm now who can replace Melky. I'm not as enthusiastic about KT as some, but I think he'd do all right. I like Bronson Sardinha. And Tabata will be ready in a year or two.

The drawback is that we won't use KT or Sardinha. It's probably going to be Bernie, unless Cashman puts his foot down.

And I really want to get rid of Farnsy. I don't know if Gonzo will work out or not, but I'm willing to chance him instead of Farnsworth.

2006-12-17 09:13:34
121.   Jeteupthemiddle
I think Kevin Thompson would be a fine 5th outfielder.

Meaning the very occassional start, possibly defensive replacement, but mostly a pinch runner.

I suppose, considering the durability of our outfield, if you want to upgrade him to 4th outfielder that is fine.

However, what happens if one of our durable outfielders (as all are over 30) gets a freaky injury and is out for 1,2,3 weeks...a month...the whole season? As we saw last year, Melky is the player that would be able to step in and not kill us on offense while helping us on defense.

Kevin Thompson, however, will likely not be able to handle such a workload.

Also, I believe that if Melky is on the team next year, he would get consistent ABs.

2006-12-17 09:41:53
122.   yankz
All right, I'm in the "Don't trade Melky" camp. How many more years is Gonzalez expected to last? With his arm problems? I can easily see Melky with 15 good years ahead of him, though I don't think he'll ever be a star.
2006-12-17 10:55:16
123.   Jim Dean
121 I'm with you, jete. Melky will get consistent playing time, one way or another. And I agree - Look for other pieces to trade: Proctor is one I don't expect to match the level of productivity.

Assuming a 21 yo is likely to regress is pretty silly, IMHO. Melky will get get better. The only question is how much.

2006-12-17 11:49:46
124.   monkeypants
106 Five years is no problem at all. The worst case scenario is that he sucks and the yanks cut him loose and eat 45 million--that would be bad. But by spreading out his contract there is a greater chance that he can be traded in the future, if the team wants. Also, if he is any good, that 4 mil/year contract will be a steal in a couple of years.

As for trading Melky, I am not convinced you trade a more-or-less everyday player for a middle reliever, I don't care how good the reliever is. Will Melky's career likely be stunted in NY? Yeah, and that's too bad.

But there is a very good chance that he gets at least 100 games started next year--despite torre--because he is the ONLY back-up CF option, and he will fill in when Matsui DHs. His sitation right now is comparable to teh first year or two of Bernie's career, and that worked out pretty well for everyone.

Yes, his value might be the highest it will ever be, but if that high value is only a middle reliver, so what? Also, the team's minor league teams are heavy in arms. If we need a reliever in the middle of the year, there is every chance that one can be had for free by plucking him from AA or AAA, rather than trading for him.

But the farm is weaker in position players; let's not shed one of the few young ones on the roster. Last year we all moaned and groaned about the horrible roster construction, with its terrible and inflexible bench. The team is finaly in a position to have a young, flexible, decent player for the bench, and now we want to trade him? Makes no sense to me.

As it is, the team will likely have a sucky back-up IF, an inexcusably bad back-up C, and some Josh Phelps clone as the starting/back-up 1B. Should the entire bench be crippled?

2006-12-17 12:08:02
125.   Peter
I'd like to see Gonzo come to the Yankees. Maybe Cash could work out a package involving Proctor and Kevin Reese. Reese is no Melky, but he's a ML-ready lefty OF (which the Pirates want) and blocked here. The Yanks would lose an innings-eater in Proctor, but there's already a surplus of #5 starters like Igawa/Karstens/Rasner who could take over his role.

Of course this would be a steal for the Yanks, but the Pirates made some pretty questionable trades last year, so who knows?

2006-12-17 12:23:29
126.   randym77
I think KT would be okay if he gets regular playing time. There two things that bother me about KT. One is his height. He's listed at 5'-10" but is probably shorter than that. The other is his maturity. He was sent back down to Trenton, and from what I heard, it wasn't because of his performance on the field. It was because he was whining about not being called up.

The reason I think Melky might regress is that I think he was playing a little above himself this year. As Cliff pointed out, he didn't show that kind of plate patience in the minors. It wouldn't be surprising to see him drop back more in line with his career numbers. Especially if he doesn't get much playing time.

And I really think this would be best for Melky. I don't think he has the tools to be a starter in the AL, especially not for the Yankees. Maybe he could be in the NL. He'd at least get the chance in Pittsburgh. He won't in NY.

2006-12-17 12:30:15
127.   Jeteupthemiddle
Except "What is best for Melky" should not be the Yankees' main concern.

The Yankees are concerned about "What is best for the Yankees?"

Maybe Cashman believes that Gonzalez is more valuable to the Yankees than Cabrera, but I am of the opinion that Melky would be better for us next year and in the future.

2006-12-17 13:01:14
128.   randym77
I want Gonzalez. I don't think we're going to win any jewelry with Farnsy as setup man.

Toby Hall has signed with the White Sox. I know it was kind of a long shot, but I was hoping...

2006-12-17 13:17:27
129.   monkeypants
If winning jewelry rides on your setup man, then your team has bigger fish to fry. By the way, last year's 3-1 thumping by Detroit included two appearance, 2.0 Inn, 0 R, 0 ER by Farnsworth.
2006-12-17 13:31:41
130.   randym77
We cruised into the postseason this year because Boston collapsed. We can't depend on that every year.

When Farnsy is good, he is very, very good. I love his fastball.

What I don't love: he can only pitch one inning every other day. And his back gives out unexpectedly, usually when he's warming up in the pen to come in.

I think we need someone more versatile and dependable, especially if we're carrying Myers, the one-hitter wonder. Thirteen pitchers is ridiculous, but they are apparently seriously considering it.

2006-12-17 13:48:13
131.   monkeypants
130 You're right, but middle relievers have by and large a minimal impact on the season, and in the case oflast year, he post season. One could argue that the Yankees have thrown away more games (or at least runs) because of Torre's poor use of BP rather than personel. In fact, the greater weakness of this team is, in my opinion, their recent commitment to the worst bench imaginable--especially considering an aging starting line-up.

60 to 100 games of Melky will help the team next year far more than 60 innings from reliever X, who MIGHT be better than Farnsworth in half or a quarter of his appearances.

2006-12-17 14:12:26
132.   randym77
Maybe, but I doubt we'll get 60 to 100 games of Melky. It's not like we have the likes of Bernie Williams, Ruben Sierra, or Tony Womack starting any more. Our outfielders are all decent now.

I think Mike 101 is right. The hole is pitching. I'd rather have Matsuzaka, but that's not happening. If we have to make do with the best bullpen we scrape together, so be it.

Ordinarily I'd be leery about an NL pitcher, but it's not like we're giving up Hughes for him. Also, he's a closer. The DH won't bother him, because by the time he gets into the game, the pinch-hitters are in. His stats aren't padded by pitching to pitchers.

2006-12-17 14:13:47
133.   Jim Dean
131 Word.
2006-12-17 14:29:36
134.   mikeplugh
The interesting thing is that both sides of this argument are right. I don't think this trade is so cut and dry the way many others are. There are very legitimate arguments to be made on both sides, and I'm sure they're taking place in Yankeeland as well.

Whatever happens in this situation, I'll support it. If it goes bad, I'll just shrug and say "You win some, you lose some." I'm less worried about trading away a potentially very good outfielder, than I am about anything else. When the Yankees need an outfielder they grow on trees.

2006-12-17 14:30:44
135.   monkeypants
132 You might be right. BUt last year Damon DHed 16 times; two years ago Matsui DHed 19 times (using 2005 instead of his unusual 2006 injury year). Assuming that Abreu DHs off a total of 10 games, that's 40 starts for Melky right there.

That assumes NO injuries and NO other days off by the OFs. 60 starts is a real possibility if Torre decides to rest any of the 30+ y.o. startes a little more, or if any go on the DL.

100 starts would require, aside from major injury, clever lineup juggling by Torre. I grant that this is highly improbable.

2006-12-17 14:35:43
136.   randym77
Yeah, this is probably a tempest in a teacup, whichever way it goes. I'm reminded of the wailing and gnashing of teeth that occurred when Brandon Claussen was traded for Aaron Boone. Boone didn't really work out (though I'll always remember that walkoff homer - thanks, Boonie!). And Reds DFA'd Claussen this week.

The minor leaguer traded with Claussen was traded back to the Yanks the very next year (Charlie Manning). And Reds are rumored to be pursing Boone for their vacancy at 1B. All we have to do is pick up Claussen and the trade will be completely unwound. ;-)

2006-12-17 14:37:32
137.   randym77
135 I don't think our OFers will be DHing as much this year, because Giambi is going to be a full-time DH.

I'm not thrilled about this. I hate the idea of a full-time DH. But it looks like that's what we've got. They asked Giambi if he was willing to be traded, and he said no.

2006-12-17 14:48:37
138.   randym77
The Globe has an article today about how it's often a mistake to trade pitchers. They think we should keep Pavano:

Carl Pavano, Yankees -- The St. Louis Cardinals know pitching. Dave Duncan has been able to turn Jeff Suppan into an NL Championship Series MVP, and Jeff Weaver became an integral part of a championship rotation after being acquired from the Angels in July. The Cardinals have been kicking the tires on Pavano.

Pavano has changed agents and apparently changed his attitude. For the first time in his career, he worked out like a fiend in Arizona, hoping to show he didn't just take the money ($39.5 million for four years) and run.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who never tips his hand, has said he won't deal Pavano.

The Yankees' rotation is old. Between Mike Mussina, Randy Johnson, and Andy Pettitte, they have three guys who could break down. Chien-Ming Wang is their young ace. They will also add 28-year-old lefthander Kei Igawa, giving them six starters. And Humberto Sanchez, who was acquired in the Gary Sheffield deal, and Philip Hughes could be ready before midseason to earn spots in the rotation.

So, do the Yankees want to deal a guy who is obviously very talented -- an 18-game winner in 2004 with Florida -- and acting as if he's hungry to get back to that level?

Hmmm. Is Pavano really changing his stripes?

2006-12-17 16:01:42
139.   OldYanksFan
I don't really think we NEED Melky. The difference between him and KT over 40-60 games is not as great as a killer set-up man and closer, if Mo gets injured.

We don't really NEED Melky, but I WANT Melky. There is nothing as satisfying as watching homegrown players succeed. ARod's MVP was nice, but one for Jetes (or Posada or Bernie) would be many times better, because he (they) are pure 'Yankee'.

But what if Mo goes down? Without Gonzalez we are cooked.

Emotionally, I want to see what Melky becomes. But intellectually, especially with a questionable starting rotation and a 37 year old closer, you simply can't have too good a bullpen. Maybe our PB didn't have much effect on the last few PS losses, but if you look back to our wins, the PB was a BIG part of our winning.

2006-12-17 16:13:50
140.   choirboyzgirl
139- ARod's MVP was nice, but one for Jetes (or Posada or Bernie) would be many times better, because he (they) are pure 'Yankee'.

WOW!!! (that's about all I can say)

2006-12-17 16:47:43
141.   murphy
i am sure we'll talk about this on tomorrow's thread, but why in the hell would toby hall agree to be a backup for the pale hose but not the yanks??!?!

did cash really not consider it?

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