Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Recruiting the Rocket
2007-01-12 05:29
by Alex Belth

So how happy do you think it makes Roger Clemens that the Yanks and Red Sox (not to mention the Astros) will fawn all over him once again this year for his services? His head must be ready to explode. Speaking of which, I was thinking about Barry Bonds last night, and what I find fascinating (in a morbid kind of way) about him is that he seems utterly incapable of making the right move. It just keeps getting worse and worse. Meanwhile, Clemens is dipped in pixie-dust, and everything keeps coming up roses and daffodils for him. I still think the Rocket more likely to end up in Boston than New York, but nothing would surprise me. I never thought I'd say this, but I'd be happy to see him back.

Comments (132)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-01-12 06:02:27
1.   Count Zero
Always seemed to me that everything goes the way it does for Barry because he's a selfish, egotistical schmuck -- and it can't help but come out whenever he steps in front of a camera because he can't hide his complete disdain for everyone that isn't Barry.

But that's just my opinion and I could be totally wrong. :-)

2007-01-12 06:05:57
2.   Sliced Bread
Sure, I'd rather see Clemens back in NY than wearing the putrid "B" cap again, but that's about the extent of my interest in him.

He always seemed like a Yankees rental to me.

Not that there's anything wrong with renting a Hall of Famer who can still bring it, but I'm more excited about the possibilties for our young pitchers.

2007-01-12 06:13:10
3.   Yankee Fan In Boston
0 "His head must be ready to explode. Speaking of which, I was thinking about Barry Bonds last night..."

i've heard people claim that bond's head is massive (i don't see it, but i've heard it several times), was that an intentional shot? (no pun intended.)

2 i'm with you, sliced bread. i never was able to see clemens as a yankee. i usually don't enter into the whole "true yankee" nonsense, but it always felt to me that he was just swinging by for a couple of rings and that was the extent of his involvement with the team. perhaps this is because while i've always appreciated his talents and abilities, i have never been too fond of him.

2007-01-12 06:22:20
4.   Jim Dean
2 Yup - rental was exactly it. He was another SOB - but he was our SOB for that time. And while he helped, I felt like it was more the Yankee dynasty getting him his rings, rather than the other way around.

He'll help again - but my bet too is that he ends up in Boston. They'll give him the same money, more leeway, and he'll close that chapter.

2007-01-12 06:26:07
5.   wsporter
Clemens didn't come to us as a free agent. Sure he approved the deal but it seemed to me at least that he embraced the tradition and the City and that he left everything he had on the mound each and every time he took it. My reservations about bringing him back have to do with stuff, league, age and blocking youngsters not with what he brings to the park or his attitude. In fact, I wish we had a few more guys who bring the same red assed attitude that Roger does. Besides that I don't think I could handle the sanctimonious holier than thou horse-hockey that is sure to leak out of Bean-town and the 4-letter Whore of Babylon if he were to head back to the Sawx.

I think I maybe talking myself into hoping he comes back.

2007-01-12 06:29:41
6.   vockins
I think it's more likely he'll end up in NY. I just don't see him agreeing to be on the same team as Schilling. Boston's already blown a hell of a wad of dough. The whole buddy movie thing with Pettite seems legit.

But I certainly wouldn't bet my house on that scenario. It's certainly within the realm of reality that he'll go to Boston. If that's the case, I imagine we'll see some looney tunes trade for Santana.

2007-01-12 06:31:30
7.   monkeypants

"Besides that I don't think I could handle the sanctimonious holier than thou horse-hockey that is sure to leak out of Bean-town..."


"and the 4-letter Whore of Babylon if he were to head back to the Sawx."


2007-01-12 06:35:56
8.   Yankee Fan In Boston
7 "and the 4-letter Whore of Babylon if he were to head back to the Sawx."


i think he's referring to t-h-e-o? maybe?

2007-01-12 06:37:10
9.   wsporter
2007-01-12 06:38:59
10.   JoeInRI
9 That's what I figured . .

8 My Boston Whore of Babylon would be spelled L-A-R-R-Y.

2007-01-12 06:39:11
11.   unpopster
"4-letter Whore of Babylon"


2007-01-12 06:41:28
12.   thelarmis
11 i, too, was thinking C-U-R-T
2007-01-12 06:46:42
13.   unpopster
Curt, oh Loudmouth Curt, you ask him for the time and he'll give you the history of clocks.
2007-01-12 06:47:29
14.   Jim Dean
9 Yeah, ESPN fits better. The whole Rocket goes home would be disgusting.

But you know, I hope he goes to Boston. Then when we beat their asses - again - they have no more excuses. Plus, it would make for better baseball.

2007-01-12 06:47:57
15.   rsmith51
I would like to see Boston sign Clemens and then the Yanks pound him in the ALCS(or the Red Sox miss the playoffs). I have a feeling that he will struggle against the AL East lineups. In 2000, Clemens was excellent in the playoffs, pitching 2 gems. In his other playoff appearances he was pretty average, at least in my selective memory.
2007-01-12 06:56:11
16.   Jim Dean
Always nice to look at baseballrefence at times like these:

That M's game in 2000 was a masterpiece. But he never did pitch well against Boston, or Oakland, in the post-season. Otherwise - money in 2001 against ARI.

We could beat his ass today. He'll be smart to stay in Houston.

2007-01-12 07:08:03
17.   mikeplugh
I think he'll go to Beantown too. I posted about just that scenario at COH a few hours back. It makes so much sense. The only thing that would stand in the way is Pettitte, any of the other Yankees he's close to (Jeter is supposedly close to Rocket, as is Torre), and the idea that the Yankees offense is the best in baseball.

The thing that goes against it is the fact that he's already retired in a Yankee uniform once, and the 2nd go around may be awkward for that reason. The Sox is a more natural closure. The Red Sox are also more likely to massage him and fawn all over him, while the Yankees have too many other big name guys that it won't happen to the same degree.

We'll see....

2007-01-12 07:22:28
18.   wsporter
15 "... then the Yanks pound him in the ALCS."

Mr. Lincoln said many wise and famous things, among my favorites is "the hen is the wisest of all of God's creatures because it only crows after the egg has been laid."

2007-01-12 07:28:48
19.   holmesy007
Does anyone remember an article coming out (I read it this offseason) about how Clemens said he wanted to be a closer in his final year? I can't find it now but when I read it, it made me think of him having a better fit in Boston.

I don't think Boston needs the pitching and I agree with WSPORTER that he would block alot of young Yankee pitchers. But I wouldn't be against him coming to the Yankees for the last half of the season if he was consistent and healthy.

2007-01-12 07:29:13
20.   Jim Dean
18 Very nice, sport. But did Lincoln say anything about rooting that bitch on?
2007-01-12 07:42:55
21.   Yankee Fan In Boston
19 i read one article that mentioned the possibility of roger closing for the red sox.

i have read a ton of articles that mention his desire to pitch on a schedule that suits him, so that he can be with his wife and K-lings.

the likelihood that he'll want to visit texas often diminishes the chances that he'll close. (in my opinion, anyway.)

2007-01-12 07:46:33
22.   holmesy007
Thanks YFIB - I just found this on USA Today from 11/22:

"Here is the chance that Roger will consider becoming the Red Sox closer: NO CHANCE," agent Randy Hendricks said in an email. Clemens would almost certainly want to remain a starter, in part so he can be with his family in between outings."

And I don't see the Yankees being flexible on him just packing up and leaving between his starts... but that's just me.

2007-01-12 07:47:31
23.   wsporter
20 I would doubt it. He did however say "If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first four sharpening the axe." So I'd say let's get the best guys available in here to fill out the rotation, including what we already have. If Clemens is that then let's get him, if he's not, then let's don't.
2007-01-12 07:50:13
24.   Yankee Fan In Boston
22 yes. all the talk in the papers(for whatever that is worth)is indeed saying that the sox would be more lienient with his schedule. i say that if the guy's making $16M+, he should "gut it out" and at least attend his team's games... but that is just me.
2007-01-12 07:52:11
25.   buffalocharlie
Hey Bronx Banter, Happy New Year!

Was wondering if anyone has been to Spring Training recently. I am going to Tampa for the first week of March with my girlfriend and she has given the ok to spend alot of time watching baseball.

What I can expect? The game tickets are more expensive than I expected. Will I be able to scalp tix cheaper on game days?

Is there more to do than just attending the actual games? Is there opportunity to walk around the practice facilities and get close to the players?

thanks in advance

buffalo charlie

2007-01-12 07:57:10
26.   Jim Dean
23 Oh, Lincoln sure was a thinker. I wouldn't object much to Clemens' return to pinstripes. But it would be more fun if he lands in Boston, cause I think this Yankee line up would smack him around good. In his last AL stint the patient teams killed him.
2007-01-12 07:58:39
27.   Javi Javi
25 Check out PeteAbe's post on going to spring training, sometime last week (i think). Apparently the tickets go very quickly and most games are sold out. Good luck.
2007-01-12 07:59:05
28.   unmoderated
#25, send an email to PeteAbe, no joke. He offered help for people going down to spring training. i'm hoping i can get some time off and head down mid-march.
2007-01-12 07:59:23
29.   unmoderated
2007-01-12 08:00:17
30.   monkeypants
8, 9 Aha, got it. Both make sense, really. Sorry, I'm a little slow today; coffee not strong enough this morning.
2007-01-12 08:12:31
31.   buffalocharlie


2007-01-12 08:16:56
32.   rbj
I wouldn't mind seeing Roger in pinstripes this year. To me, it would tarnish his time in NY if he wound up going back to Boston. Houston, I could live with -- but I think Roger is fed up with the lack of run support there.
2007-01-12 08:29:43
33.   Yankee Fan In Boston
32 speaking as someone who is neither a fan of roger clemens or the boston red sox, but also lives smack dab in the eye of the sox media hurricane, i can honestly say that a clemens-to-boston scenario does not sound the least bit appealing to me. (neither does a yankee reunion. i guess i'm pulling for the 'stros on this one.)
2007-01-12 08:44:06
34.   Schteeve
I don't really get it when people criticize players for being "hired guns" or "only here to get some rings." Who cares? I mean, sure it would be nice to imagine that in the offseason Cano and Melky and Jeter all pile in Cano's Corrolla and do a road trip to see the world biggest rubber band ball.

Or that Posada and Mo, go out for Yoo Hoo's and play Playstation after games. But these guys are all professionals. They go where the money is best first, and the chance of success is greatest.

It's not like Jeter took a huge hometown discount to spend his whole career with the Yankees.

2007-01-12 09:14:34
35.   pistolpete
All this talk that somehow Boston would be more accommodating to Clemens' 'family leave' schedule is pure speculation, isn't it?

How do we know that Cashman wouldn't do the same if Roger coming on board in July boosts our WS chances by about 20%?

Perhaps the Yankees could get some sort of discount on the private jet if Pettite wanted to go back & see his family as well?

2007-01-12 09:17:08
36.   Chyll Will
34 I LOVE Yoo-Hoo. Or at least I did when I was a child. My Uncle "L'Brotha" would stand on the sidewalk in front of the house when we lived in North Tarrytown, just standing there until I peeked out the window and saw him. Then I'd come running out and he'd always say the same thing, "William, ol' boy!" Then we'd walk to the corner store up Beekman Avenue by the park and he'd always buy me a Yoo-Hoo. I suppose if you're a child, you either loved or hated the stuff, no in-between. I'd dream about swimming in Yoo-Hoo.

When you get older, it tastes different. I'd drink Hi-C by the can when I was a kid,, now I can't stand the sight of it. 3 Musketeers were the same for a while (They must have recently discovered their mistake and went back to their old formula) and Twinkees... sigh...

All that to say this: Roger coming back may not be who everyone remembers him to be, same as Pettitte. I like to remember how good they were back then, but as tantalizing as they seem now (coming from a very weak NL), we might be holding our breaths a little too early. I'm waiting until the beginning of the season to see how things really pan out with those two. Hopefully they're more Yoo-Hoo than Hi-C.

2007-01-12 09:26:16
37.   pistolpete
34 Interesting how people don't mention David Cone or Jimmy Key in the same breath as Clemens - regarding 'hired guns' for the Yankees, that is.

IIRC, that's basically what they were as well. Granted Key and Cone were both here at the start of the dynasty, but neither of them were farm products or hung around for any great length of time...

I think Clemens gets a bad rap because 1) he came on board when the Yankees already HAD 2 titles under their belt and 2) he's staked out this nice little 'half season of work' arrangement and teams are actually buying into it.

2007-01-12 09:29:47
38.   Chyll Will
34 As for the Big Pros you mentioned, none of them likely had a chance to think about playing somewhere else as the Yankees threw big money at them so they didn't have to, and rightfully so. Who could picture even Steinbrenner taking a chance on Mo or Jeter or Posada leaving in their prime? They did talk about opportunity or being wanted, but that's shop talk for "Hey, we both know I deserve big money, so it's not an issue. Whenever you're ready..."

The only two Dynasty players who got a chance to go for the money were Pettitte and Bernie. Bernie took less to stay because he wanted the Yankees to want him. Pettitte left for virtually the same reason. In either case, money was not the first factor.

Even Cone came on with a "hired gun" rep, but left as a legend. I just kinda hope Roger doesn't do what Cone did in the end, but if the results are the same, I could live with it.

2007-01-12 09:31:00
39.   Chyll Will
37 Jinx!!!
2007-01-12 09:35:43
40.   KJC
17 "...and the idea that the Yankees offense is the best in baseball"

For a guy like Clemens, isn't that a reason to go to Boston -- to take on the best offense in baseball?

2007-01-12 09:44:43
41.   Beth
i think i may very well be the only person on the planet who isn't really interested in roger clemens and what he does anymore. first because i think it's all a ploy for attention and fawning when he has absolutely no intention of leaving texas again; second because he may be one of the all time greats but he's still getting old and who wants to pay the guy $25 million to pitch like 12 games next season, what with not joining the team till whenever he damn well feels like it and not pitching unless his kid doesn't have a little league game; third because if he were to come back to boston the cognitive dissonance might kill me; and fourth because it's usually all just a bunch of hoopla over nothing and these clemens discussions happen every year, if not more often, with little in the way of actual results. honestly, i hope he doesn't come back here--to either the sox or yanks.
2007-01-12 09:46:44
42.   Sliced Bread
34 I hear what you're saying, but I think what fans (unlike yourself) respond to is a feeling that some players genuinely want to play for their team, while others are just here for the money.

re: your Jeter example
Jeter didn't have to take a discount to stay here. The team recognized that he was one of the best players in its history and paid him accordingly.

Clemens, for all his rubbing of the Babe's bronze head, always seemed to me like a guy who was just passing through NY. I didn't begrudge him for that, but I never really embraced him as a Yankee, and I wasn't the least bit surprised when he unretired to play for Houston.

To me, certain guys will be Yankees for life, even after they leave. Either they will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame as Yankees, or will be forever embraced by Yanks fans.

When Pettitte went to Houston, everybody knew he'd always be remembered as a Yankee.
I still think of Soriano as a Yankee, even Nick Johnson.

It's not logical to regard players this way, but if I make an emotional connection to a player it colors my judgement of them, right down to the cap that I picture them wearing in my mind's eye.

37 Yeah, the Cone example is interesting. I'll always think of him as a Met, but he was a great Yankee and even the team spokeman for a while. Even though he and Clemens were both labelled "hired gun" I think Yanks fans were generally more accepting of Coney than Clemens simply because they found him more likeable - but that's just me being a subjective and irrational Yanks fan again.

2007-01-12 09:59:28
43.   Shaun P
41 You're not alone, beth. I hope Clemens either stays retired or announces he's going back to Houston.

I understand that half of this overly-hyped crap is the media's fault - nothing else going on, so this becomes a big story. And while part of it is Clemens's fault for keeping quiet and waiting, he's got the right to do that, and its probably in his best financial interest to wait. But, like MFD said in 7, that last thing I want is another 4-letter Whore of Babylon 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week reporting-fest on "Will Clemens got o Boston or NY?"

2007-01-12 10:21:09
44.   Zack
For Jimmy Dean, from Heyman's article:

"The Yankees offered to pay Arizona more money -- as much as $4 million -- had it been willing to include one of two other highly-regarded pitching prospects, either Micah Owings or Dana Eveland in the package (they got Ross Ohlendorf, Alberto Gonzalez, Steven Jackson and Luis Vizcaino). But Arizona, which covets prospects and has done a nice job to keep its best ones, decided they'd rather retain both those pitchers and take only $2 million from the Yankees despite its longstanding money difficulties."

-So ease up on the "Cashman COULD have gotten better prospects from the DBacks. Its not like he didn't try..."

2007-01-12 10:28:02
45.   Knuckles
Has Clemens said anything publicly this offseason?
I'm very curious as to the extent the Mitchell Investigation might play into his decision on 2007.
I could see the possibility of an agreement between the investigators and baseball that findings on retired players not be released, opening a door for Clemens to saunter out into the sunset, unsullied.
2007-01-12 10:34:46
46.   standuptriple
44 Now how is JD going to complain?
2007-01-12 10:44:45
47.   wsporter
45 "...opening a door for Clemens to saunter out into the sunset, unsullied." I wonder what Sully would say about that.
2007-01-12 10:48:09
48.   mehmattski
46 By saying that even though the Yankees apparently asked for more and offered more money, they still were only looking for pitchers and not for BUC and first basemen. I'm not saying he doesn't have a point, but I'm not nearly as heartbroken by the deal as he is.

As for Clemens... I've gone back and forth on my thinking. First, the money it would take and the circus it would cause are not welcome additions to the 2007 Yankees (although maybe A-Rod would be off the bubble). However, if he still doesn't want to sign until midway through the year like last year... I say it's not worth it, especially when we have the guy many are saying is the next Roger Clemens who will probably be major league ready by June anyway.

Further, even though he pitched only half a season and even though it was against NL opponents, and even though his stats are very good.... he pitched into the seventh inning in just five of his starts (out of 19). He pitched no more than six innings in any of his last seven starts in 2006. With the inevitable uptick in ERA that comes from moving from the NL Central to the AL East, and the likely deterioration from signing a 45 year old pitcher... would we be paying $23 million for half a season of Jaret Wright?

Yuck. Pass.

2007-01-12 10:55:50
49.   thelarmis
according to a pittsburgh paper, gonzo/laroche talks still simmer, but melky is (thankfully) not part of any of this anymore...

jerome williams was brought up here the other day. he and our old "untouchable" - brandon claussen - were both just signed by the nationals...

i certainly won't complain if we get Rocket back at some point, but i won't be upset if he doesn't come back (or if he goes to boston), thinking our chances for postseason play and success are being hindered.

in fact, it might be really nice beating up on dice-k & rocket in the gross B uni's...

2007-01-12 10:57:23
50.   thelarmis
if Jim Dean isn't Rob Gee

and Rob Gee is Ron Burgundy

is Jim Dean... Stormer Sports?!

(snakes on a plane! die in a fire!)

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-01-12 10:59:36
51.   Jeteupthemiddle
I have doubts Clemens could pitch an entire year anymore (hense the half year seasons).

I have doubts Clemens could pitch well in the AL (there is a huge difference in numbers when he left the Yankees to go to Texas).

I have doubts Clemens could pitch for the Yankees specifically (I don't want him facing the Red Sox 4 or 5 times a year, and I don't want him causing distractions for all involved).

I am tired of his media whoring (even if it is only the media and not him at all).

I find it difficult to root for Clemens in general (always have).

I don't think any player deserves $16M for half a season of work, and I resent any player coming in via free agency, mid-season, after a whole lot of hoopla, so he can be seen as the savior the Yankees desperately needed.

At first, I was very much indifferent to signing Clemens. If we got him, whatever, if he went home, whatever too.

I would like nothing more for him to go to the Red Sox and suck monkey balls...since I doubt that would happen (I'm talking 6.00 ERA monkey balls), I'd rather he just go home and leave the rest of us alone.

2007-01-12 11:32:22
52.   Shaun P
50 You realize this begs the question:

Is thelarmis . . . Oliver Stone?!

Stormer pops up every so often. While Rob Gee and Ron Burgundy could be the same guy, Jim and Stormer have very different writing styles.

Re: the Rocket. Here's a fun thought.

If Clemens were to go back to Boston, and they paid him what Houston paid him last year, the Sox payroll would be in the low-to-mid $170M range - presuming the numbers NoMaas quoted from the Herald are correct.

To clarify - Boston's payroll would be less than $10M behind the Yanks.

And then, let's say, if the Yanks traded Pavano (no offense to your bandwagon, YFiB) without paying any of his salary - admittedly a big IF - the Sox would have the biggest payroll in MLB.

All of a sudden, I really really really hope Clemens decides to return to Beantown. And that the Reds decide they must have Pavano without the Yanks paying any money.

2007-01-12 11:50:29
53.   Jim Dean
44 If anything it further solidifies my view that Cashman is on a pitching addiction, nothing more, even as 14 of the top 15 prospects in the organization are now RHP.

He does realize that there are other positions on the field, right?

Given the need for positional prospects, which the D'backs have in bunches, I wouldn't have been happy with that trade either.

They should have held out for more, esp since the D'backs were going to Spring with Webb and Livan in their rotation and nothing more solid. The Yanks had the leverage and they blew it.

Unit, Shef, and Wright and all you got me was 6 right-handed relief pitchers and 1 Alex Gonzalaez wannabe? That's disgusting.

46 How's that?

48 At least one person has read the 2,000 words I've written on the subject and understood my POV. Thank God!

BTW: Anyone know where James et al put RHRP on the value chart? Me, I'd put them below C, CF, SS, 2B, and 3B, and, of course, both varieties of starting pitchers as well as LHRP. On that count, Cashman is stocking the farm with the hardest to project (being pitchers) but least valuable (as they only throw at most 100 innings) of all baseball players. Brilliant!

2007-01-12 11:53:51
54.   jayd
6 Right on with the Curt Swilling/Roger connection. While it's true the Rocket brought enough aura to blot out the Yankee thing, I've never read he begrudged his time here and read he loved playing with Tino and Jeter. He's on his way, start spreadin' the news, baby.

No place else to go and the guy is a consummate professional which reads to me as Yankee born and bred.

And bring on the looney tunes' trade. How many Craig "Lost My Slider" Hansons do we have in the following list: Darrell Rasner, Humberto Sanchez, J. Brent Cox, Jeff Karstens, Phil Hughes (48Already the next Rocket?!!! Whoa, time out. 49Thank you for the Brandon Claussen mention. You are a voice of sanity.), Ross Ohlendorf, Sean Henn, Stephen Jackson, T.J. Beam, Tyler Clippard?

If you think we are going into next season with the current staff of Wang, Moose, Andy, Kei, Pavano, whatever and this list of Banter "untouchables" then you're buying into "Bubba Crosby is my centerfielder" Reread the Clausen Pickle.

If George dies and Yanks have not taken the Serious again, tears will begin streaming down the Babe's bronzed head in Monument Park.

If we had had Randy Johnson pitching for us the past two years we'd be at 28 rings and counting.

Cash knows it's Johan my Johan. Stealth is good. I miss Bubba, though.

2007-01-12 11:54:05
55.   Yankee Fan In Boston
52 re: "no offense"

i admit that i was already reaching to type in comeback carl's defense by the time i got to the disclaimer.

it would be great if the payroll gap was narrowed to such a degree and the sox still had that bullpen (& were still without a real closer).

2007-01-12 11:56:52
56.   kylepetterson
52 if crazy carl did get traded, that bandwagon would get a whole lot safer.
2007-01-12 12:02:35
57.   Yankee Fan In Boston
56 how very misguided (and unbold) of you.
2007-01-12 12:20:13
58.   kylepetterson
57 hey now. I'm not sayin that the bandwagon isn't fun. Carl knows how to have a good time. Pickin up chicks, running into stuff. All I'm sayin is make sure that your health insurance is in good standing before you jump on any wagon bearing the name of Pavano. Here's to crazy Carl winning the Cy Young in '07. (Although he will later have to give the award back when we find out that he was lip-syncing ala Milli Vanilli) I can just see Pavano and Farnsworth arguing:

"You got to be Vanilli last time! I want to be Vanilli!"

2007-01-12 12:33:19
59.   Yankee Fan In Boston
58 there are so many things in there that i disagree with, and yet there is an equal amount of things with which i agree...

i don't see pavano hanging out with farnsworth, though. perhaps gene monahan... in an exclusively precautionary role, of course.

or sylvester stallone? the Italian Stallion Club? (alright.... frank stallone... for now.)

i rescind my previous remark. it was careless and hurtful.

2007-01-12 13:00:07
60.   kylepetterson
59 I accept your apology. If I had known that Frank Stallone was in your club, I would have joined eons ago.
2007-01-12 13:03:14
61.   kylepetterson
59 To help mend things between us and to brighten your day:

2007-01-12 13:11:33
62.   Yankee Fan In Boston
61 wow. i had never heard of that one.

any film that has a synopsis beginning with "In a post-apocalyptic world where rollerblading is the chief means of travel, the evil Pharoah sends his minions outside the Wheel Zone to abduct a psychic" HAS to be good.

i have officially been floored. (much as you will be when you witness the season-long league average performance of comeback carl pavano.)

2007-01-12 13:21:21
63.   OldYanksFan
41 I can not speak for my entire planet, but as a Neptunian, I have no need for Roger, and agree he may be no more then Wright+. Too old, too tired and too used to the NL West.

We Neptunians do agree that we don't like that the Yankees FO have pinched their noses and put up with the stench of 'True Red Socks' like Boggs an Clemens. While both were indeed great players, they were both egotists and assholes (Boggs of the ignorant southern variety - no offense Bama), and I simply didn't want to see them stain the Pinstripes.

We here too are all baseball whores, and showed gratitude when they helped us win, but nonetheless.. would still like to maintain our Neptunian Constitutional belief in the division between Yanks and Sox.

We didn't like the JD trade, but in fairness, he was a Royal and Athletic, and is not pure Red... added to the fact that he is a genuinely nice guy. So Johnny, we welcome thee.

42 I believe you are wrong. Jeter was in mid-negotiations with an offer for just under 12$mil/yr.. and was hedging because it was rumored he wanted 13$mil/yr. Then some SS who was at the time considered better then Jeter, but not by that much, signed for $25mil/yr. Thus Jetes held out and ended up with $17m/yr... with as good as he is, was quite overpaid.

51 Well said... and I totally agree but "suck monkey balls"? Careful, we have some young ladies on this site.

2007-01-12 13:30:36
64.   OldYanksFan
P.S.: Roger Clemens' lifetime ERA as a Yankee is 3.99, posted during his ages 36-40, while he played with better defensive teams.
2007-01-12 13:37:21
65.   Zack
53 I think you are actually far overvaluing the importance of handedness. Just like Joe often does. Just because someone throws with one arm versus another does not mean they will be any better or worse at getting someone out, no matter the side of the plate they stand on. A righty who is a good pitcher and gets people out is valuable, as is a lefty who does the same. The key is that they get people out, and most good pitchers will do that regardless of their preferred arm.

The "best" lefty out of the pen we had during the championship years was Stanton, who showed only a slight advantaged against lefties. (Not counting Lloyd, as the whole concept of a lefty specialist is absurd.) Meanwhile, last year, Farnsworth was MORE effective against lefties than righties. Mo has ALWAYS been tougher on lefties, and that's because of the pitch he throws, not his arm.

In any case, stockpiling pitching, no matter what arm, is never a bad thing. Look at most of our recent trades, what do they revolve around: pitching prospects. Stockpiling pitchers assures the team of a healthy stock of trading chips and bodies to fill in/take over. No matter lefty or righty.

You keep saying the D'Backs had no leverage, but neither did we: we had a 42 year old cranky, injured reliever with a huge salary who wanted to be traded to Arizona and who we clearly wanted to get rid of. Hold out for more? And then what, risk being left with him on the team, and after next season where are we? A lot worse-off than we are now.

You can be as grumpy as you want, demand that Cashman be fired and claim he is crappy, but in the end, he isn't compiling this team based on Jim Dean's views on how the Yankees should be constructed. Perhaps he should be, but then again, I somehow doubt that the Diamondbacks would just happily hand over their best positional prospects; their GM is no dummy, he's one of the brightest young minds out there, this is a two way street.

And finally, I also thin you are overvaluing the importance of a firstbaseman for sure, and probably a BUC as well. Rememeber, Jorge was converted to C, and 1B is by far the easiest position to switch to. I agree that we NEED a catcher of the future, but you are also seem to think they grow on trees. Just like pitchers, how many "can't miss" catcher prospects are there out there, and how many actually do anything productive with the bat in the end? Joe G. brought us a few championships, and he was a light hitting FA...

2007-01-12 13:47:04
66.   mehmattski
64 Better defensive teams? Here's the starting infield and Fielding Rate for the 2003 Yankees:

1B Jason Giambi (93)
2B Alfonso Soriano (104)
3B Robin Ventura (104)/Aaron Boone(110)
SS Derek Jeter (82)

And the likely 2007 starting infield (2006 rates)
1B MCI (93)/AP (92)
2B Robinson Cano (113)
3B Alex Rodriguez (88)
SS Derek Jeter (105)

So Creaky Back MCI = Younger Giambi.
Cano > Sori
ARod Jete 03

I don't see that the defense is all that much worse. Other fine points about not getting Clemens have been made. Yours is not supported by the stats.

2007-01-12 13:48:35
67.   mehmattski
66 Oops, in my haste I forgot that greater than/less than signs are not ideal. Here's what I meant:

Creaky Back MCI = Younger Giambi.
Cano is better than Sori
ARod is worse than Ventura/Boone
Jete O7 is much better than Jete 03

2007-01-12 13:49:57
68.   Bama Yankee
63 None taken, OYF. Although, wasn't Boggs from Nebraska? ;-) Either way, I do get your point and it is a good one.

I was okay with Clemens coming to the Yankees (since I always had him on my fantasy team) but I never wanted Boggs to be a Yankee. It took me a while to get over that one.

FWIW, I believe Clemens will end up staying in Houston and the Yankees will make a trade for a front line SP. IMO, Cashman is stocking up his nuts for the winter (like a squirrel, get your mind out of the gutter... as OYF said, there are young ladies present ;-) and intends to make a deal when the time is right.

2007-01-12 13:50:23
69.   Yankee Fan In Boston
64 ...and overall, i feel that the lineups in the AL east have improved.
2007-01-12 14:30:52
70.   Zack
According to ESPN, Jeff Nelson signed a minor league contract with the Yanks and then retired, so he could go out as a Yankee. Weird...
2007-01-12 14:41:06
71.   thelarmis
70 it's true. pete abe already has a selection on it at his blog site. nelson is 2nd in postseason appearances - 53 to Mo's 73. 15 year career, 8 postseasons, 798 regular seasons appearances.

jeff had a really nice & classy comment about the yanks organization in regards to his time here and the retirement.

weird, yes; but, a nice gesture all around.

2007-01-12 14:49:49
72.   wsporter
Nelson was a mercenary in an age of mercenaries; what I see as weird is that such an apparently cold blooded character is displaying some emotion about it.
2007-01-12 15:08:51
73.   Jim Dean
65 RHRP is a dime a dozen (Bruney and Sturtze logged valuable innings for the Yanks). And the Yanks acquired 6 more this winter. The handedness means a little bit, but much less so than the fact that they're all relief pitchers (at least in the Yankee plans).

That's the main point. Take a moment to breathe that in.

The Yanks didn't have to trade Unit. He was a league average pitcher who will throw 180 to 200 innings this year. That's valuable in today's market, esp to the D'backs who had exactly two pitchers in their rotation that could give them that performance. Further, Unit is an icon returning home and if they Yanks threw in the salary they were willing to ($6 million in reports for the Padres trade) - he's a fairly priced league averager pitcher.

In return they got 3 relief pitchers and A-Gon.

My point is and will be: They should have gotten positional prospects back, even just one or two. Those players are much more needed in the current Yankee farm (esp. after the Shef and Wright trades) and are readily available in the D'back system.

Take another moment to breathe that in.

Now of said positional prospects, I would have preferred a catcher, capable of being a starter (which they have two), or a 1B (four to choose from: 2 at MLB level). After that they have three OF's to choose from and a 2B rated highly. So take your pick. But the Yanks chose foolishly.

2007-01-12 16:05:51
74.   standuptriple
Jim, Jim, Jim.
You're assuming that the DBacks were willing to give positional players up and that there surplus of RHRP can't be moved to fill positional players. I look at the deals similar to the NFL draft. Each team has positional needs that they rank. The Yanks valued extra arms higher because Mo will not be around forever and they've been getting killed in mid relief situations for a couple years now. Could they have gotten a positional player? Possibly, but it could be that the players offered were not ranked better than what they have in their system already or what they thought they could get in the open market. I'm not sure how many more ways you can express your displeasure with the RJ/AZ deal. It could be that AZ isn't sure about either of their C's and wants to hold on to the both. It's a Moneyball philisophy to get pieces that are undervalued and it appears that's what Cashman did. Calling the deal foolish is very narrow-minded without seeing what the youngsters can do and knowing the behind the scenes strategy.
2007-01-12 16:16:25
75.   kylepetterson
73 Mr. Dean,
You seem to miss the fact that not all of these pitchers are going to play for the Yankees at the Major League level. My understanding of the situation has always been a: pitchers are a commodity 2: pitchers are always needed and d: the other teams are going to need pitching help at some point. Where do they go? The answer invariably comes back to the Yankees farm system. Brian Cashman isn't stocking up on guys that are going to be filling the Yankees bullpen next season (although some might and some might be starters), he is stockpiling chips that will be used to acquire pieces to this team at later dates. You are not looking at the finished product, you are looking at the money in the wallet. And said wallet is getting pretty darn full. If quality relief pitching is so abundant, why is everybody looking for it? So before we go and fire Mr. Cashman, let's see what he has in store for all these pitchers.
Dr. Kyle Petterson
Genuine Grade A Awesome Guy
2007-01-12 17:20:31
76.   OldYanksFan
MISTER Jim Jim Jim Jim Jim Dean,
(I got nothing!)
2007-01-12 18:01:11
77.   Orly Yarly NoWai
To add to the piling on, I'm confused as to your reasoning in saying that all the Yankees are getting are relievers, and, further, why that is bad.

Humberto Sanchez is very injury-prone; that's one of the reasons the Tigers were willing to part with him. Putting young pitchers in the bullpen then pulling them back out again seems to be a trend in baseball at the moment; the Twins did it with Santana and Liriano and the Sox and Cardinals were making noise about converting Jonathan Papelbon and Adam Wainwright, respectively, back into starters. Converting Sanchez to a reliever makes a bit of sense in this instance.

Meanwhile, last year the Cincinnati Reds went insane over pitching at the deadline. We've now got a surplus of young pitching. Again last year, at the deadline, the Yankees traded four marginal prospects to the Phillies for Abreu and Lidle. I think Cashman is positioning himself for a run at a big deal during the season.

2007-01-12 18:54:42
78.   Jim Dean
74 How many f'in RHRP do they need? An even fifty?

I don't even need to go to the NFL for a similar comp. I go to the same division, less than five months ago, with another old lefty. In that deal they got a legit catching prospect who has better MiLB numbers (with 100 points of isolated plate discipline) than Jorge did while still only 23. That tells me more than anything what could be had for the Big Unit. That's market prices friends, even as it was a deal for the last two months of the season and included a vastly inferior pritcher over the last two years. The only difference is money, and the Yanks could have handled that. The real difference is: Cashman didn't want positional prospects - he wanted pitchers. He's said as much. I think that's plain dumb esp when their starting catcher is going on 36 and after tearing a ligment last year. I also think it's dumb when they re-sign an utter scrub like Cairo and pencil in MCI, Phillips and Phelps for 1B. I also thinkm it's dumb when it mean that 14 of the top 15 prospects are pitchers - the vast majority being relief pitchers. This team has other needs - and the GM punted.

75 RHRP pitchers aren't worth shit because they can't be projected as well as other positions and because they can often be had very, very cheaply - as in FREE (see Jenks, Bobby and Bruney, Brian). I hope you're right about being able to move them - but I highly doubt it. CLippard or Sanchez will headline any deal, and both could be legit 2 through 4's behind Phil Huge.

76 I hope you're you're right about Sanchez. He's their second rated arm and it would be a waste of talent if they kept him in the pen, esp. since they already have a few bullpen arms that could perform reasonable well if given a chance (Beam, Cox). Then again, why develop those arms when you can acquire "talent" like Vizcaino and Farns?

It's bad cause they got nothing otherwise. Unless you're looking forward to Cairo playing 80 games again? Or Nieves/Chavez playing 40 to 80 games? I'm not. Pitching in of itself isn't bad. Acquiring pitching while ignoring every other need is.

The Abreu trade was salary dump. A good one to be sure, but let's call it what it was.

2007-01-12 19:12:56
79.   Jim Dean
I'm such an idiot. Cashman had the BUC problem solved and no one even knew it.

Todd Pratt has a Spring invitiation, as per PeteAbe.


2007-01-12 22:20:47
80.   Raf
70, 71 I think it would've been cool to retire during ST, get that one last inning in, like Leiter.
2007-01-13 14:21:40
81.   yankz
I couldn't let the Banter go a full day without any comments.
2007-01-13 15:37:00
82.   OldYanksFan
I couldn't let Yankz be the only poster today.
By the way:
"Barry Bonds said he did not get amphetamines from teammate Mark Sweeney, but did not deny a report Thursday saying he tested positive for the drugs last season."

According to a story in the New York Daily News, the San Francisco slugger failed an amphetamines test in 2006. The newspaper reported that when first informed of the positive result, Bonds attributed it to a substance he had taken from Sweeney's locker.

Thursday, Bonds did not deny that but did apologize to Sweeney.

"He is both my teammate and my friend," Bonds said in a statement. "He did not give me anything whatsoever and has nothing to do with this matter, contrary to recent reports."

Bonds may be an asshole... but his job is to play baseball, and at least he's pretty damn good at his job. Reporters are supposed to report fairly. I wonder how good they are at their job.

Bonds has done steroids. Testing has found over a dozen other players who have done steroids. Add up ALL the newsprint about those 12 players, and it is not a fraction compared to the number of trees killed to 'lament' Bonds. I'm not defending Bonds, but I'm sooooooooo tired of 'professional' writers who keep jumping on this bandwagon.

2007-01-13 16:07:20
83.   kylepetterson
82 To quote Paul Anka: "Just don't look. Just don't look."
2007-01-13 18:17:37
84.   Chyll Will
82 Yoo-Hoo haters, the lot of 'em (YAWWWN...)
2007-01-14 04:14:42
85.   mikeplugh
I declare this as the slowest period of the baseball year for Yankee fans. Nothing is on the burner now. Cashman is on vacation. Rocket speculation is probably premature by 2 months. The 40 man roster is basically set.

What is a fan to do? Can't Jeter get caught shagging Jessica Biel in the ladies room of a Starbucks or something?

2007-01-14 07:12:27
86.   Jim Dean
I hope Cashman gets laid by a BUC while on vacation with Jeter and Biel but interrupts an holy Islamic music recital.
2007-01-14 15:11:16
87.   OldYanksFan
I can't wait for the season. To watch them beat the Sox again for the AL East. Watching Highes winning the 5th game of the ALDS, watching Pettitte clinch the ALCS, watching ARod have a 1.300 OPS in the WS carrying the Yankees to a ring, the parade, the....
They don't have a good BUC
2007-01-14 15:56:01
88.   OldYanksFan
Thanks to - enjoy
Ah, the joys of catching in the majors. 90-mph splitters in the dirt, foul tips off the shoulder, full-speed collisions at the plate—not to mention lobbying umps for called strikes and massaging your pitchers' fragile egos. Imagine handling all this when your infant son has a rare, life-threatening medical condition. Welcome to Jorge Posada's world. This is his story…
2007-01-14 19:33:27
89.   Chyll Will
88 Yeah... no one really questions why Jorge is such a red-ass and wears his emotions like a badge of honor. When you look at all the things people complain about on the field, you have to either laugh your head off or eat the other guy's head when you think about what's going on off the field. That's why it's such a joy to watch guys like Melky and Cano playing and laughing like little kids; you really kind of feel like they get it. They're lucky to be around some real professionals on and off the field.

This is a game, not life eternal. At the end of the game, you go home. Some guys have a lot to go home to. That's why Jorge's so special; his passion is clear and his priorities are straight.

I kid around and stuff, but some of you know about my scars. It's never personal with the jibes, but the embracing nature of this blog makes me believe that the Yanks' passion, professionalism and Id, for lack of a better term, extends to this site and touches almost all who visit. Thank you, Easter Bunny!

(That's not to say the other Toaster blogs don't have their passions and energy and great wit, they do! And I respect that... but I'm a Yankee without a doubt.)

2007-01-14 20:28:21
90.   wsporter
Have a good one Chyll. We'll get it right yet! :-)
2007-01-15 01:49:31
91.   manila boy
87 They don't have a good BUC


And their first baseman sucks. And they have too many RHPs.

So I guess it's between Boston and Toronto this year.

2007-01-15 08:31:33
92.   Yankee Fan In Boston
91 yeah. i don't know why the yankees even plan on showing up. they have no chance at all.
the sox are so stacked at every position. no question marks to be found in boston. their bullpen looks SO good right now...

and the jays? fuhgedaboudit. tough. SO tough. not a weakness to be found there.

the yankees don't stand a chance. maybe they can put out a competitive team sometime in the next few years. (i'm crossing my fingers.)

2007-01-15 09:00:03
93.   YankeeInMichigan
I just noticed that Colter Bean has made it back to the 40-man roster. When did that happen?

The 40-man is maxed out now, so the Yanks will have to cut someone when they sign Cairo. My guess is Jose Veras. Age 26, already dumped by two teams, 2 HR and 5 BB in 11 innings in his audition last year. Seeya. Other possibilities are Bean, Kennard and Reese.

2007-01-15 09:41:27
94.   Start Spreading the News
Happy MLK Jr. Day!

Here is a note from Buster Olney's blog on ESPN which could explain why the Yanks didn't aim higher on Arizona's prospect list.
"There was some surprise that the Yankees didn't land pitching prospect Dustin Nippert in their Randy Johnson trade talks with the Arizona Diamondbacks. But the Yankees were guided in their conversations by Kendall Carter, the former national scouting coordinator for the D-Backs; the Yankees just hired Carter last fall as a crosschecker, and based on his inside knowledge of the Arizona system, he recommended that the Yankees pursue Ross Ohlendorf, the sinkerballer who became the centerpiece of the deal. Executives with rival teams say that Nippert's stock has actually fallen in recent months, and say that at a time when organizations are hoarding their best pitching prospects, they have made it known they are willing to swap Nippert in the right deal."

2007-01-15 10:09:03
95.   Jim Dean
Laugh all you want, but all I know is the lack of a CF had a direct negative impact on at least two, and maybe three, post-season series (2003, 2004, 2005).

One position makes a difference. Every out makes a difference. Every AB makes a difference.

After CF, the most important position on the field is catcher. There's no arguing that. The Sox learned that last year when they fell off a cliff when Varitek got hurt. In response they went out and got a legit catching prospect. Cashman has had at least four years to do the same. Instead he went out and got 52 RH relief pitchers.

That said, I've consistently said that the Yanks make the post-season this year. Neither Boston or Toronto has made up the ten games this off-season. But still they have to play the games.

But none of you have answered the "Why be stoopid?" question. Unless you really want to defend signing MCI (puke), Cairo (vomit), and planning to depend on one of Nieves/Chavez/Pratt (hurl)? Those aren't just bad moves they're plain dumb. Why be dumb?

94 That's old news which we discussed here. And the point that Olney leaves out is sometimes insiders overvalue the knowledge they have. After all, Carter was very involved with drafting those guys - he already drank that Kool-Aid. So:

A-Gon = the next Ozzie!

Russ = the next Wang!


Why trade for four unneeded mediocre "prospects" when they could have held out for one top prospect that actually had a place in the Yankee future?

Why be dumb? Why ignore CF for four years? Why ignore the catcher position for four years? Why acquire 6 relief pitchers when you already have a bunch and a full bullpen while ignoring every other slot in the organization?

Why be dumb?

2007-01-15 10:34:43
96.   Yankee Fan In Boston
95 alright. i realize that i am stepping into extremely dangerous territory here, but i'm just going to toss a couple things out there, jim dean. before i type anything else, i want to state for the record that i think i understand where you're coming from and i believe that my views are somewhat similar on the BUC matter.

catcher is easily one of the most important positions on the field. (i would actually place it ahead of CF, but at this point that is splitting hairs.) we've been extremely lucky that jorge has been as healthy as he has been throught the years. yes, the likelihood of that continuing diminishes each year, especially with the knee ligament injury last year. obtaining someone to slot in behind posada that can produce at the plate as well as call a decent game would be ideal, and should be a priority.

(so far so good, right?)

is it possible that whoever was pulling the strings in recent years (beit ca$hman or the invisible tampa braintrust) felt that filling other holes were more urgent, seeing that posada was doing such a solid job?

when the yankees were ousted in october, the cry was for younger pitching, which ca$hman landed, at little cost. yes, a lot of bullpen arms, but knowing the tendencies of mr. torre to use bullpen arms as often as possible, a couple extra arms might come in handy. and who knows, perhaps he is trying to spin some of them off. (i expect that the thought must have at least crossed his mind.)

last year, it was painfully obvious that the yankees needed a CF. they landed johnny damon, a temporary solution, but one that struck a blow against the sox by taking his production away from them, etc. the best move? perhaps not long term, but it looked like a stroke of genius when johnny was having a career year this past summer.

i realize that making these moves should not restrict the team from making additional moves to fill important holes such as the coveted BUC, but what were the options as far as getting a young, highly touted catching prospect in the past couple of years? is there a team with extra catching projected to be of MLB starter quality in the minors?

i will take this opportunity to state that i am honestly curious as to what options there were/are. these questions are not provocations. i have been around long enough to know not to push your buttons, but i am hoping to be made aware of some young catchers about whom i can get my hopes up.

2007-01-15 11:02:22
97.   markp
After a great deal of study, the order of defensive importance was determined and agreed on by 99.9% of the researchers:
1 SS 2-3 C or 2B, 4 3B 5 CF 6 RF 7 LF 8 1B.

Bill James called it the "defensive spectrum", others have different names, but nobody who's studied the issue disagrees.

2007-01-15 11:03:39
98.   Yankee Fan In Boston
here's an article with a few (very vague) hitting and 1B fielding tips from don mattingly:

his book on hitting is due to drop this spring. (i personally can't wait.)

2007-01-15 11:06:27
99.   rsmith51
97 Which begs the question...

How does a LF ever get a GG? Unless their CF is GG and RF is GG, I don't see how it is possible.

2007-01-15 11:42:30
100.   Bama Yankee
95 "Unless you really want to defend signing MCI (puke), Cairo (vomit), and planning to depend on one of Nieves/Chavez/Pratt (hurl)?"

Jim, TinyHurl is your friend ;-)

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-01-15 11:42:37
101.   YankeeInMichigan
99 It probably depends a bit on the stadium. A Red Sox LF must play the caroms off the monster. A Yankee LF must cover death valey (which is nowhere near as deadly as it was in the past). A left fielder (outside of New York and Boston) also has more opportunities to rob home runs (since righty pull hitters hit them there). RF is still to the left on the spectrum because of the throw to third.

I am surprised that CF is so far to the right. Only a CF can turn a triple into an out (or, in Bernie's case, vice versa).

2007-01-15 11:49:06
102.   YankeeInMichigan
96 Saltalamacha (Atlanta). Had a disappointing 2006 at AA, but still considered top catching prospect in baseball. Blocked by McCann.

Clemens (Seattle) -- Blocked by Jojima.

Mathis (LA Angels) -- Once considered their #1 cathing prospect. He's since been passed by Napoli and Molina #2, but he still projects as a major league starter.

Montero (Arizona) -- Lots of analysts were hoping that he'd come in the Unit trade. Either D'Backs weren't letting go of him yet or Cashman wasn't interested (it's this latter possibility that invokes the wrath of Jim Dean and others). No relation to the Yanks' Montero, who looks great but is only 16.

2007-01-15 12:04:26
103.   Yankee Fan In Boston
102 "Montero... invokes the wrath of Jim Dean and others"

alright. that makes sense.

as wonderful as saltalamaccia (sp?) is, is mcann the real deal? if i were ATL, i'd want to hold onto the kid they've been hyping until i knew for sure.

i've also heard mathis' name (probably in discussions here) but will now do a little digging.


2007-01-15 12:07:57
104.   Bama Yankee
Coming to a theatre near you:
Rob Gee stars in the epic sci-fi thriller... The Wrath of Dean
In the off season, a battle is about to begin. A battle between good and evil. A battle over the need for a backup catcher. A battle between the Yankee Front Office and the wrath of Jim Dean. For some it will be their first mission, for others it will be their last.
Don't miss The Wrath of Dean where you can hear Brian Cashman utter the phrase: "Deeeaaaaaan!"
This film is not yet rated.
2007-01-15 12:20:47
105.   markp
YankeeInMichigan has it right. But even with the huge LF in the old YS, guys like Bob Cerv, Norm Siebern, Gene Woodling, etc got a lot of PT on some very successful teams.
The reason CF is behind 3B is the number of chances, and especially the number of chances that a good fielder gets that a poor fielder doesn't. 3B has to make a lot more plays.

One thing the defensive spectrum doesn't show is the difference between the positions on the chart-is there a bigger difference between 3B and CF or CF and RF. I tend to think the latter, though for a long time 3B was considered as important as 2B to a lot of pretty smart baseball people. (Which is why you don't see a lot of good hitting 3B right up to Eddie Mathews.)

2007-01-15 12:32:04
106.   YankeeInMichigan
103 That seems to be exactly what Atlanta is doing. Salty and McCann are both cheap now, and they could be in even higher demand in a year (when Salty is recognized as "major-league ready"). If both are the "real thing" in two years, they will be able to trade an arbitration-eligible McCann for top returns.

And that's basically the story for any team with a "blocked" prospect. The team can afford to be patient, so unless the trading partner can fill a gaping need or is offering a blue-chip prospect of its own, the team with the prospect holds all the leverage. (Note: a 43-year old pitcher with back problems coming off a 5.01 ERA season does fill anyone's gaping hole.)

2007-01-15 12:39:04
107.   Yankee Fan In Boston
106 i am utterly ashamed that i am unable to comment on that last sentence in a witty fashion at the moment. i have brought shame upon this house.
2007-01-15 12:42:45
108.   Yankee Fan In Boston
106 i suppose that the esteemed mr. dean could still have a case if ARI just wanted a AA body or two in addition to RJ and perhaps a slightly larger envelope of cash for the montero kid.

i assume that the gentleman with unside information on the d-backs farmhands would have urged ca$hman to try to get him if he was worth it, right? the arizona FO must have shot down any hopes of getting montero.


2007-01-15 12:43:42
109.   Yankee Fan In Boston
108 strike "unside

insert "INside"

2007-01-15 12:44:48
110.   YankeeInMichigan
105 Quite a few factors are in play here: frequency of chances, consequences of failure, skills required. If a 2B or SS lets the ball through, it's just a single, but making a throw from the hole or turning a DP requires great agility and athleticism. If a 3B misses a shot down the line, it's a double, but these plays are less common. The 3B needs a rifle arm, but this skill is more common than the agility of a keystone guy. A CF chases down balls in the alleys to prevent doubles and triples, but these plays are rarer still (I guess), and the only skills that he needs are speed, judgment and a decent arm. A RF gets fewer chances than a LF, but his arm can prevent runners from taking 3rd base.
2007-01-15 14:42:08
111.   Jim Dean
Interesting discussion I missed today. I'm not sure what I was thinking earlier but I'd put C ahead of CF too. I think somewhere in there I mix in the likelihood of finding one too that can hit and field at a MLB level. So I don't I stick to a strict defensive metric because they still have to come to bat. In my mind it's harder to find a hitting C and hitting CF than hitting IF's. But maybe I've been spoiled with Jeter and A-Rod and Soriano/Cano the last few years.

I think Cashman didn't look at Montero because he was fixated on pitching. It wasn't on his radar last year and it wasn't this year either if he ends up with Todd Raul Nieves.

But I'll stick to my basic argument. Unit = a league average starter with the cache of a HOF and 300 wins. At 10-12 million/year (Meche money) that's a fair deal. The D'backs had a rotation of Webb, Livan and ???. They were in greater need than the Yanks. So Unit plus 4 - 6 million could have netted Montero and one of those arms. But Cashman was fixated on pitching and the haggling was over the arms and money.

102 I agree with that list except for Salty. ATL still isn't sure what they have and they have another two - three years to figure it out. Clement and Mathis could be obtained in the right deal exactly because they are blocked. Montero should have been.

2007-01-15 16:15:46
112.   OldYanksFan
The Astros signed Mike Lamb to a one-year contract worth $2.7 million plus incentives. Lamb hit .307, 12 home runs and 45 RBIs in 126 games last season, his third in Houston.
Lamb is a career .280 hitter with 57 homers and 273 RBIs in seven seasons.

In this 'day and age', that seems like good deal for the 'Stros

2007-01-15 17:29:17
113.   Reader11722
Can't we tape Bonds' mouth shut? After all, censorship is becoming America's favorite past-time. The US gov't (and their corporate friends), already detain protesters, ban books like "America Deceived" from Amazon and Wikipedia, and fire 21-year tenured, BYU physics professor Steven Jones because he proved explosives, thermite in particular, took down the WTC buildings. Ban that steroid freak Bonds.
Last link (before Google Books caves to pressure and drops the title):
2007-01-15 17:37:26
114.   cargia
Is that "wishful" thinking?<Clemens.
2007-01-15 18:02:05
115.   cargia
Is that "wishful" thinking?<Clemens.
2007-01-15 18:42:36
116.   Jeteupthemiddle
111I think Cashman didn't look at Montero because he was fixated on pitching.

I don't think there is any way you could possibly say that with any accuracy. You weren't privy to any of the discussions.

It is quite possible the Diamondbacks said "hey, we aren't going to give you a top rated catching prospect for an old, league average pitcher, just coming off of back surgery and will require an extension."

2007-01-15 18:43:57
117.   wsporter
Yeah, I'd say the Caribbean has to look pretty good right about now.
2007-01-15 20:31:27
118.   Orly Yarly NoWai
97 The defensive spectrum is actually:

C - SS - 2B - CF/3B - 3B/CF - RF - LF - 1B.

Look at the careers of Craig Biggio (C->2B->CF) and Paul Molitor (SS->2B->CF->3B->DH).

102 I don't think there's much chance of getting Clement. He may be blocked by Kenji, but he also has lefty sock. Bavasi may be an idiot, but I think there's more chance of getting Joh than Clement at this point.

2007-01-15 20:43:12
119.   Jim Dean
116 He's said as much. Every statement he made was about pitching, pitching, and more pitching. He never said anything about needing a catching prospect - not once in the last four years. I'll take him at his word, thanks. And his actions speak even louder. Nor were there ever rumors.

Cashman's on a relief pitching addiction. One trade would have been fine - but all three this off-season? No thanks.

118 I disagree regarding Clement. Bavasi is in a "win now" mode fro ownership. A MiLB BUC is something he can't afford to hang on to. The Soriano trade shows exactly that. If the Yanks can help the M's chances this year (one of Pavano, Vizcaino, Britton, or Proctor), Clement can be had. But Mathis might just be the better catcher.

2007-01-16 04:25:06
120.   mikeplugh
119 Jim, I'll make a deal with you brother. Let's keep track of the games that our backup catcher costs us in 2007 and see if there's reason to shout. I'll be right there next to you in criticizing Cashman if we see the lack of a quality backup hurting us in 2007.

Actually, what we need to do is a running +/- on our backup catchers. Anything we can point to that the catcher does to hurt us in a losing ballgame is a minus. If the guy lets a passed ball by and the runner scores in a game we lose, that's a minus. If he fails to move a runner over, get a sac fly with a guy on 3rd, or strikes out with runners in scoring position another minus, and so on.

If he drives in a run in a victory, a plus. If he throws out a runner attempting to steal in a win, a plus. Even a blocked ball that prevents a runner from scoring from 3rd. It can get subjective so we'll have to be kind of "about" when it comes to this. It's not going to be completely scientific, but if we can agree that it is a decent way of evaluating the lack of a young high quality back up in the short term, maybe it will be interesting. I can post a running tally at COH in the sidebar.

The reason I want to hold off on crucifying Cashman on this, is because I have a hard time seeing the backup catcher biting us in 2007. If Jorgie gets hurt, God forbid, I suppose we can double the pluses and minuses for all the games played by the backup during the injury. If he does good, we count ourselves lucky and give the guy credit. If he does bad he gets negative marks and his score takes a beating.

If Cashman ends up getting us a great young catcher in 2007, 2008, or 2009 I'll be happy. I don't see it as a huge pressing need, although I know it would be a huge bonus to secure the future of that position before the worst happens.

2007-01-16 05:00:17
121.   markp
I just looked it up. Bill James didn't include catcher at all, and he did have CF as more important than 3B.
2007-01-16 05:15:09
122.   Jim Dean
Brother Mike -

History shows that catchers fall off cliffs. And it can happen anytime. That's the reason to plan for the future now. The Yanks (I believe Cashman) had four graceful years of Bernie's decline to find a replacement. Sure, in the end it didn't matter. But it did matter in the 2004 and 2005 post-seasons, and IMHO in 2003 as well. He's was more a DH by then and team speed in CF would have helped.

What's goint to kill me is not the accumulated innings of a subpar BUC. I actually think the Yanks can survive that. Instead it's if TR Nieves is starting in the post-season. Even still, Jorge's reaching the point where all the years of wear and literally tear are adding up. It wouldn't surprise me to have him miss two months (God forbid, indeeed!) this year.

See, if Jorge gets hurt the prices only go up. The time to do it was two years ago. Shoot, Jorge could have been the RH 1B this year. But it wouldn't surprise me if Cashman waited until 2009.

2007-01-16 07:02:54
123.   Ravenscar
113 - I feel the need to say that I read the first 7 or so pages of that referenced book online and that is some damned stilted, high-school-level compostional prose there.

In regards to catchers, as much as the Yankee fans I know wait in semi-horror at the thought of no Mariano, I can't say that Posada not being there will hurt much less. Somehow growing up with Bench, Munson, Yaz, and then Piazza I always forget that catcher is a black hole offensively. If I were the Yankees (or ANYONE, but the Yankees have the means) I'd go after McCann. I think he's the real deal.

2007-01-16 07:03:50
124.   Ravenscar
Stupid typo while I'm snarking. "Compositional".
2007-01-16 07:03:55
125.   Zack
This BUC debate is so far from interesting, fresh, or important that I really just want it to go away. As has already been mentioned a billion times, if the Yanks biggest concern this season is their BUC we are in better shape than every other team out there.

Go look at WasWatching sometime JimmyD and look at the chart of all time seasons by a Yankee Catcher. You'll notice that its really just Dickey, Berra, Howard, Munson and Posada, and then not much else. And those guys are HOF catchers, two of whom are arguably in the top three. Otherwise, the Yanks haven't had a C who can hit. Yet they have still won somehow. So don't sweat it. THose teams won with (gasp) pitching and other positions, just as this one could, in theory.

YOu yell at Cashman for giving up Johnson based on what he could do this season, yet also yell at cashman for not getting a catcher of the future, who wouldn't help us this season, Once again, I extend my apologies, via Mr. Cashmoney, for not building the team according to how Mr. Dean believes it should be built, he will try better from this point on.

Now let us speak of other things...

2007-01-16 07:10:05
126.   Shaun P
Note all BP Premium subscribers - PECOTA weighted mean spreadsheet for 2007 is available:

Phil Hughes's weighted mean projection looks good, though PECOTA has him at 130 IP, 31 G but only 19 GS (and 1 save!).

For all Melky lovers out there, his #2-4 comparables are:
Carlos Beltran, Roberto Alomar, Richie Ashburn (!) (#1 is Rick Manning, who had a long career but wasn't very good)

Cano's number 2 comparable? Rod Carew, of course. (#1 is Carlos Baerga)

Finally - while he's very very young, and who knows what will happen, I would like to say, my opinion of Dellin Betances just went way up. Here are his top 4 comparables:
Matt Cain, Francisco Liriano, Joel Zumaya, Francisco Rodriguez

I'm drooling, how about you guys?

2007-01-16 07:40:28
127.   OldYanksFan
Have you even SEEN Dellin Betances? The dude is 6'7 and 185 lbs.
Anybody here 185 lbs? How tall are you?
The good news is he has a great arm, and as he ages should naturally put on weight. But right now, he can't pitch on windy days. He also might be the worst dressed player around. He makes Manny look dapper.
2007-01-16 07:43:09
128.   OldYanksFan
I'm gonna guess that Melky has hit the gym hard this offseason. Some more muscle (without any juice) might push him a few steps up the ladder. I'm not looking for big HRs, just turning some flyouts into gappers.
2007-01-16 07:43:33
129.   Yankee Fan In Boston
anybody planning on reading gary sheffield's autobiography?

a page-turner i'm sure.

2007-01-16 07:49:02
130.   Bama Yankee
124 I think you had it right the first time. It seems more like "compost" to me...

113 By "firing", of course you mean "placed on paid leave" and by "proved" you mean "wrote a paper about his theory". "America Deceived" indeed...

2007-01-16 08:10:02
131.   Shaun P
127 Yes, I have. That he's 185lbs at his age, and with his height, just means he has room to grow. I would gladly transfer some of my extra weight to him if that was possible. =)

What I like is that he has a good shot at turning into something special. Of course it might not happen - Brien Taylor, etc, etc - and since he's just 18, the usual caveats apply even more. But - there are not many guys out there with that kind of potential.

2007-01-16 08:48:51
132.   Shaun P
Now I know why its so quiet 'round here.

Life has a way of putting discussions about backup catchers, young pitching prospects, and everything else into their proper perspective.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.