Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Moving On
2007-01-18 07:24
by Alex Belth

As much as I feel that this is a place for me to share parts of my life with you, I also realize that you guys are primarily coming here to check out all the latest news on our beloved Yanks. I have to say that the words of support that you all have shared over the past several days has been enormously helpful. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

In the meanwhile, there are some Yankee tidbits--like the upcoming publication of Gary Sheffield's autobiography, which should be good for some sour grapes. More importantly, the 2008 All-Star Game may be held at Yankee Stadium. Wasn't '77 the last time an All-Star Game was hosted in the Bronx? I think it would be fitting for the House that Ruth Built to host another in its final year of existence.

For links to all of this Yankee news, and more, please refer to the great list of Yankee blogs you can find on the right-hand column of this page. If Was Watching, and Yanksfan vs. Soxfan, and Pete Abraham's blog, and the rest of the stellar sites listed here haven't covered it, it probably hasn't happened.

Comments (69)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-01-18 08:02:20
1.   yankz
I'm sure every other reader here agrees when I say that none of us mind when you use this place for yourself. I'm just glad you trust us enough to share something that personal.

I always lean on baseball in tough times. I can see I'm not alone.

2007-01-18 08:23:12
2.   Jim Dean
1 I feel exactly the same way. When other things in life spin downwards, the Yanks have always been there for distraction - from box scores to hot stoves to prospects. My dad was the greatest source of turbulence in my formative years, and yet we found common ground in the Yanks. The Yanks have hung around as a calming effect even as our relationahip improved. And that coincided with me taking him to Game 6 in '96 and sharing a true moement in time. Baseball and Dad and living just goes together in my head.

Thanks for sharing, Alex. At the vey least you made me think deeply about the fabric of my life. May your Dad live widely in your memories and may your emotions move you freely between time and place.

2007-01-18 08:34:19
3.   Jim Dean
In case anyone missed it, the 'Ducc had an interesting piece on Clemens and Hughes.

Some highlights:

"Joe Torre called up after the Anaheim series [in late August] when we were stretched for pitchers and said, "What about bringing up Hughes?''' Cashman said. "On the next homestand, Gator [pitching coach Ron Guidry] asked me about bringing up Hughes to help out the staff. I joked with him and said, 'Nope. I'm saving him for the next pitching coach."'

"The Red Sox were so eager to sign Clemens last year that they essentially gave him freedom to write his own job description. In one scenario, for example, Clemens would have been paid $1 million per start to pitch only on Sundays, with permission to leave the team in between starts."

2007-01-18 09:28:04
4.   Yankee Fan in Chicago

Il Ducci?

Iirc, last Spring training Moose and Giambi both said that Hughes had the best stuff of any pitcher in the camp, including, presumably, the big league staff.

2007-01-18 09:48:42
5.   Matt B
...and now Art Buchwald.

2007-01-18 10:10:09
6.   Start Spreading the News
FWIW, here is a projection of the Red Sox season:

It is projecting the Sox to be anywhere between 99 and 105 wins.

2007-01-18 10:10:38
7.   Shaun P
1 Ditto.

If we are going to move on to baseball, the last thing I want to ignite is the old BUC/Posada's replacement argument. That said, I saw this the other day and immediately thought of you, Jim, so I thought I would share:

"Clement went that high [3rd overall in 2005 draft] because he has big pull power and was expected stay behind the plate, although he was never pretty back there.

Now he's already had his first knee surgery, he didn't hit for power in the power-friendly Cal League, and was awful in the Hawaiian Winter League. At 23, he has plenty of time to put his career back on track, but it looks likely that he's more evidence that drafting for need is usually a bad strategy in the first round."

2007-01-18 10:13:59
8.   yankz
There should be a question posters have to answer before they register: Do you know how to use tinyurl?
2007-01-18 10:22:14
9.   Jim Dean
7 I saw that and I'm not a big fan of Law. I think he was fired/left Toronto because he wasn't good at his job. After all, it wouldn't be the first time that the network hired former staffers that could talk a good game but couldn't keep a legit baseball job (e.g., a certain GM).

In any case, Clement is still rated highly and is only 23. The knee injury is worrisome, but he still has value. Further, I'm not saying he's the next Jorge or that he's the only option (see also Montero, Miguel and Mathis, Jeff). He's just better than what they have (i.e., nothing). But don't listen to me - check out his MiLB numbers and make your own decision.

2007-01-18 10:23:18
10.   Start Spreading the News
8 Snark duly noted. Yes and I chose not to use it since my link wasn't very long.

But Tinyurl is not without its hassles:

TinyURLs are opaque, hiding the ultimate destination from a web user. This can be used to unwittingly send people to sites that offend their sensibilities, or crash or compromise their computer using browser vulnerabilities. To help combat such abuse, TinyURL allows a user to set a cookie-based preference such that TinyURL stops at the TinyURL website, giving a preview of the final link, when that user clicks TinyURLs.

TinyURLs also introduce a dependency on a third-party service that may change, go away, or maintain privacy-compromising logs of user activity indefinitely.

These and other potential problems with TinyURLs have led some corporations to block access to TinyURLs.

2007-01-18 10:31:56
11.   murphy
i hope everyone has clicked on the lohud blog today. abraham has a pretty funny post about a team made up of the unsigned free agents.

check it:

2007-01-18 11:03:00
12.   Chyll Will
8,10 Well, TinyHyphen is still your friend...
2007-01-18 11:09:08
13.   jayd
on the money cow matsuzaka:

Funny that it has taken all this time for this reasoned view to make print.

2007-01-18 11:12:33
14.   Jim Dean
13 It took that much time for this reasoned analysis to reach "irrational" minds gripped by the posting fee and his numbers. At the time of the signing, Zimblast (the foremost authority on sports revenue) was quoted as saying that the additional revenue would add up to about 3 million/year, if that. But the Sox fans, and some others, didn't want to hear that and so they ignored it.
2007-01-18 11:17:23
15.   The Mick 536
If they hold the all start game in the Stadium, I hope that players other than the Yankees make the team. I also hope that they jettison the home team advantage in the series to the winner idea. Never thought it added any incentive to play harder. GMAB. Does someone on the Brewers care if the NL has the home team advantage so much they will try to stretch a double to a triple?

As for you Alex, we be part of your extended family. Grieve and grow.

2007-01-18 11:21:39
16.   Shaun P
10 Duly noted, but please note that tinyURL now offers a preview version as well, so you can know in advance what is legit and what isn't. I haven't been using it, but now I think I will. Thanks for the info, SSTN!
2007-01-18 11:26:55
17.   OldYanksFan
We should keep in mind that the Sox were on pace for 95+/- wins last season, until they fell off a cliff... mostly due to injury and a 5 game sweep by the 'hated Yankees'.

Considering their upgrades and with DiceK pitching, certainly 100 wins seems reasonable.

I hope Cashman can pull another SP out of his hat. Banking on a 1/2 year of Clemens or Hughes is not a great idea. Since Clem had a 3.99 ERA with the Yankees 3 years ago, I don't think we can count on that much from him.

Anyone with guesses what decent SPs might be available B4 the trade deadline?

2007-01-18 11:30:17
18.   Nick from Washington Heights
The Sox actually outperformed their Pyhtagorean record and did that for most of the beginning part of the season. While injury undoubtedly played a part, I don't think they truly were a 95 win team.
2007-01-18 11:41:14
19.   Yankee Fan In Boston
alex, if you need to blow off steam, you should do so. absolutely no one here seems to mind.

4 i remember a certain mr. posada declaring that hughes had the best stuff of any pitcher at camp last spring. he even went so far as to remind the reporter that mariano rivera was in camp... and that hughes' stuff was better.

also, i love that ca$hman has already let it be known that hughes will start out in AAA no matter how he does this spring. he just put that one to bed before anyone could start any rumors... further containing expectations for his young pitchers (a la sanchez & igawa). brilliant.

2007-01-18 11:42:23
20.   OldYanksFan
Yes, Neyer is a Sox fan, but I thought this was a thoughtful article. Make sure to read the LAST sentance.

2007-01-18 11:43:44
21.   Jim Dean
18 Thank you. They were barely an 85 win team, and any one who thinks otherwise needs to do more thinking.

They have to make up ten games, and seeing the guys that got hurt weren't spring chickens, you can't expect those guys (Schilling, Varitek) to improve their performance. The Yanks may have improved their flexibility, but they still look like a 95-97 win club to me. If Hughes or Igawa pitch well, then maybe they bump over 100.

Otherwise, did the Sox improve 10 games with DM, Lugo, and Nancy plus Paps to the rotation? Me, I don't think so esp since they'll spend until June trying out closers. But that's why they play the games.

2007-01-18 11:48:17
22.   Yankee Fan In Boston
21 ...and the drew deal has yet to be completed. it is likely to get done, but it seems like they found something that they didn't care for in his physical. ...something significant enough to hold the proceedings up for well over a month. what kind of shape will he be in?

yes... i am this starved for baseball news...

2007-01-18 11:48:24
23.   Jim Dean
BTW: I was poking around BA's site and put this together. Feel free to ignore the commentary if it riles you up :)


What's that quote about the value of history?

Below represents the top Yankee prospects within the history of BaseballAmerica's yearly top 100 prospect ratings ( Take a moment to look at this list.

39. Philip Hughes, rhp, Yankees
86. Eric Duncan, 3b/1b, Yankees

36. Eric Duncan, 3b, Yankees

41. Dioner Navarro c, Yankees

6. Jose Contreras, rhp, Yankees
8. Hideki Matsui, of, Yankees
55. Juan Rivera, of, Yankees

9. Drew Henson, 3b, Yankees
13. Nick Johnson, 1b, Yankees
37. Brandon Claussen, lhp, Yankees
67. Juan Rivera, of, Yankees
76. John-Ford Griffin, of, Yankees

10. Nick Johnson, 1b, Yankees
14. Drew Henson, 3b, Reds
27. Alfonso Soriano, ss, Yankees
46. Angelo Jimenez, ss, Yankees
66. Adrian Hernandez, rhp, Yankees

5. Nick Johnson, 1b, Yankees
16. Alfonso Soriano, ss, Yankees
88. Wily Mo Pena, of, Yankees
89. D'Angelo Jimenez, ss, Yankees

18. Nick Johnson, 1b, Yankees
25. Ryan Bradley, rhp, Yankees
39. Alfonso Soriano, ss, Yankees
70. Ricky Ledee, of, Yankees
72. Jackson Melian, of, Yankees
100. Drew Henson, 3b, Yankees

46. Ricky Ledee, of, Yankees
71. Mike Lowell, 3b, Yankees
98. Jackson Melian, of, Yankees

9. Ruben Rivera, of, Yankees
40. Jackson Melian, of, Yankees
64. Rafael Medina, rhp, Yankees
85. Katsuhiro Maeda, rhp, Yankees

6. Derek Jeter, ss, Yankees
7. Karim Garcia, of, Dodgers
12. Matt Drews, rhp, Yankees

4. Derek Jeter, ss, Yankees
49. Andy Pettitte, lhp, Yankees
78. Russ Davis, 3b, Yankees
79. Matt Drews, rhp, Yankees

16. Derek Jeter, ss, Yankees
18. Brien Taylor, lhp, Yankees
26. Russ Davis, 3b, Yankees
76. Ruben Rivera, of, Yankees
84. Sterling Hitchcock, lhp, Yankees

2. Brien Taylor, lhp, Yankees
44. Derek Jeter, ss, Yankees
52. Gerald Williams, of, Yankees
60. Russ Davis, 3b, Yankees
90. Sterling Hitchcock, lhp, Yankees

1. Brien Taylor, lhp, Yankees
32. Carl Everett, of, Yankees
58. Russ Springer, rhp, Yankees
83. Mark Hutton, rhp, Yankees

11. Bernie Williams, of, Yankees
30. Hensley Meulens, of, Yankees
68. Pat Kelly, 2b, Yankees
79. Willie Smith, rhp, Yankees
88. Carl Everett, of, Yankees

48. Willie Smith, rhp, Yankees
53. Deion Sanders, of, Yankees
77. Bernie Williams, of, Yankees
95. Cullen Hartzog, rhp, Yankees
96. Russ Springer, rhp, Yankees

RHP: 11
LHP: 4
IF: 11
OF: 14

My reading of the last 18 years:

1) The boatload of RHP prospects have not amounted to anything in the Yankee organization, save for Contreras and the immortals Willie Smith and Matt Drews. Besides Contreras, has one even earned an MLB pension? Hopefully Phil Huge breaks that trend.

2) LHP prospects have faired better because of Pettitte and Hitchcock while Taylor is the seminal cautionary tale for the next few generations of pitching prospects.

3) The Yanks have done much better with their legit positional prospects. By my rough estimate about half have had significant MLB careers.

4) These trends, of the very best prospects of any given year, seem reflective of every other organization.

a. RHP prospects seldom amount to much – and for the Yanks not at all.
b. LHP prospects are more likely to have value somewhere along the road.
c. Top positional prospects can be projected with very good accuracy.

That said, now realize that the recent Michael dynasty was farmed from positional prospects (and then at the most important positions – C, SS, CF) with a side of Pettitte and a one-of-a-kind cup of Mo.

It's too bad Cashman missed history class, especially since he lived through it – being in the Yankee organization through every one of those lists.

Hey, but those of you that think Cashman is "money" because he keeps acquiring RHP prospects – enjoy the Kool-Aid. Me, I don't find it very satisfying in the long run.

2007-01-18 11:54:36
24.   thelarmis
hope you're hangin' in there, alex. twas nice to see your brother posting on the last board.

btw, sal fasano signed a minor league deal with the blue jays and is already growing his fu-manchu back in full-force. tony woe-mack signed with...the nationals, who else.

2007-01-18 11:55:24
25.   Yankee Fan In Boston
6. Derek Jeter, ss, Yankees
7. Karim Garcia, of, Dodgers

subtle, but hilarious.

2007-01-18 12:00:24
26.   Yankee Fan In Boston
23 this isn't based on anything at all, but i don't think it is ca$hman's plan to hold onto all of those RHPs long-term. as others have pointed out, there isn't room in the system for them all. give him a chance to get a feel for who is marketable. it is january. perhaps he could even land a back up catcher with a few arms... all is not lost.


2007-01-18 12:03:00
27.   Jim Dean
25 Thanks. That was the test to see if anyone was paying attention. The best part is it's actually in there! Just goes to show how much the experts know.

But even then, they do a very nice job of projecting position players (maybe 50% accuracy at least from the top 100), less so for LHP (maybe one in five), and even less so for RHP (probably 1 in 10, if that).

Looking at the lists was fun - a nice lesson in levity. I so wanted Bam Bam to be legit as a kid, if for no other reason than I had about 20 of his rookie cards.

2007-01-18 12:03:27
28.   rbs10025

I haven't said anything after your two prior posts because I find it odd to express condolences to someone I don't know. But there is no reason to apologize for bringing the hard parts of your life into the blog. If we can share the joy of your engagement, then we should be there for the tough parts too.

2007-01-18 12:04:47
29.   Yankee Fan In Boston
27 yeah, i think they flooded the market with meulens cards. they were in garbage pail kids packs at one point.
2007-01-18 12:07:41
30.   Jim Dean
26 The problem is he'll have to trade them in bunches to get anything of substance in return. And I fear he was aware of the historical trend, and said "Screw it" - if we acquire enough of them then a few HAVE to amount to something (backward logic if you ask me). The problem is he just doesn't know, no one does, which ones will be worth holding on to. So he either holds onto all of them or risks trading away a diamond in the rough.
2007-01-18 12:15:04
31.   rbs10025
28 Oops, I somehow hit the submit button early.

Anyway, Alex, your posts about your dad were good reads and I think meaningful to many of us in thinking about how we relate(d) to our own fathers. A guy can learn or two from reading this blog; they don't all have to be about baseball.

2 I found baseball an excellent way of finding a way to communicate with my dad. We weren't especially close, but when the phone call hit a dry spell, we could always talk about the Yankees. He wasn't a great baseball fan, but he greatly admired Mariano Rivera for his composure at the end of the 2001 Serious, and liked a lot of the other guys too. He died a week before the 2004 Boston game when Jeter went into the stands after that ball. That incident alone would have provided fodder for a couple conversations.

2007-01-18 12:17:56
32.   Yankee Fan In Boston
30 yes, but all trades are gambles. there's no changing that. no risk, no reward.
2007-01-18 12:29:57
33.   Jim Dean
31 After having lived near my parents for a few years then moving away last year, my Dad finally got a Yankee ticket package. Now I have to schelp to the Stadium from much farther away and I couldn't figure out why he insisted on it when he could just as easily come down to Camden Yards and we'd see a few less games but save more cash. Then in the last two days I realized it - Yankee games in the Bronx were the only time we really connected when I was growing up.

32 True. But Cashman seems to squeeze the life out of prospects until they either thrive in NY or lose all value. Duncan is the most recent example. If he shows something, they hold onto him - if not, he's a total. Even as 1B's should be easy to find and replace, Cashman had made it very hard.

I hope I'm wrong but if Cashman didn't want positinal prospects for Wright, Shef, or Unit, then I don't think he'll want them this year, unless an injury occurs. And then say goodbye to three of the young pitchers.

2007-01-18 12:31:22
34.   Start Spreading the News
It is very strange but I was just talking about Brien Taylor recently.

For those who don't know, here is his story. He was THE number one prospect in all of baseball. He got into a fight and tore his labrum. Now he is a bricklayer.

I didn't realize how his contract negotiations were influenced by his mom who, despite being poor, felt that 300K was a insult. Really amazing. In the end, he got over a $1 million -- the highest at the time

2007-01-18 12:34:44
35.   Jim Dean
34 That's exactly where I got the cautionary tale bit. Every top pitching prospect should send Brien 1% of their yearly earnings just because no one will make that mistake again for another 20 years or so.
2007-01-18 12:42:38
36.   vockins
13 Who called it! Booyah!

I'm contemplating forwarding it to the guy that wrote that Hardball Times article, but I think enough of a petty jerk as it is.

2007-01-18 12:43:23
37.   Yankee Fan In Boston
33 good point re:holding onto prospects

i think that ca$hman might feel a bit easier about trading from a "strength." he's got a TON of arms. similar arms in some cases. that should make it easier for him to pull the rigger if something becomes available.

i keep telling myself that he didn't land a big position prospect for wright, sheffield or johnson because in two out of those situations, the other team had him over a barrel. the tigers knew they'd probably get sheffield and that ca$hman had few other options. the same applied to the johnson deal with the d-backs. the other teams had the power in those trades, and when i look at the trades on those terms, i think he did pretty well.

as for the wright deal, i don't remember who they were offering or know who the O's have down on the farm that could help out the yankees.

wait. do they have a C prospect? if so, i will follow you into battle, sir. let me grab my grenades... jeez, they're never where i leave them... i'll find them... you go ahead, i'll catch up.

2007-01-18 12:44:24
38.   Yankee Fan In Boston
37 * *T*rigger
2007-01-18 12:47:59
39.   New Amsterdam Yankees
23 I have a hard time condemning Cashman's recent moves based on the fact that Cullen Hartzog never developed into an effective MLB pitcher. Particularly when you consider he appears on the list once--as do Mark Hutton (#83), Rafeal Medina (#64), Katsuhiro Maeda (#85) and Adrian Gonzalez (#66). Compare this with Jeter (4 times), Nick Johnson (4 times) and Soriano (3 times). Even Ricky Ledee, Ruben Rivera, Russ Davis, and Jackson Melian make multiple apperances. Clearly we aren't talking about the same level of prospect.

Looking at the lists another way, I see two things. First, highly touted position propsects often don't amount to much either. Second, it seems clear that the Yankees haven't had the level of pitching talent in the minors that they do now for 20 years. Why you continue to portray that as a bad thing?

2007-01-18 12:51:11
40.   Zack
23 I don't actually see how that list proves anything. If anything, it proves that the whole act of ranking prospects is silly to begin with, that even the top ten "can't miss" prospects often end up missing or at least never living up to such a ranking, and that the bottom of the 100 often far exceed their "potential." Besides that, I see a Yankee farm system that has basically produced nothing from its hype. Derek Jeter and Bernie are the only two to have lived up to any high ranking (Nick Johnson certianly is not a top 5 1B). Soriano and Pettitte were never ranked all that high. So basically what it comes doen to is that its very very hard to predict, as we all know, and that our stars are just as likely to be unhyped guys as hyped.

And by that reasoning, figuring that NO MATTER the position, most prospects will never really make it, stockpiling a lot of guys with good arms and some potential makes even more sense, since it increases the cahnces that at least two of those guys might pan out. It also says that just because a guy might not be on your or anyone's radar doesn't mean they might not be the one to take over a spot. I don't see Jorge on that list, funny...

2007-01-18 12:53:00
41.   Zack
And as for the "holding onto prospects" argument, what I actualyl see is that cashman has made a LOT of trades with prospects who never amounted to much, so that if anything, he and the Yanks do a good job of hyping their prospects just enough...
2007-01-18 12:55:20
42.   New Amsterdam Yankees
37 The other thing to remember about the Sheff deal is that Cashman picked up his option to trade him when most people assumed they would just let him walk. Also, the return for Sheffield was as good as it was because of the Tigers pitching depth. Here I can certainly see Jim's point though; if it was smart to target the Tigers' pitchers, it would have been smart to target the Diamondbacks' position players.
2007-01-18 13:05:17
43.   Yankee Fan In Boston
42 "it would have been smart to target the Diamondbacks' position players"

he very well might have. if i were the arizona front office, the 1st thing i would do is cry a little... just a few muffled sobs beneath my desk.... then if i was aware that a team was approaching me with a trade that had to be approved by their player and that player lived in my stadium's back yard and that player wanted to return to play for my team, i would hold onto my top tier positional players. because i could.

then i would learn about run-on sentences.

but with the d-backs' former scout guy whispering in ca$hman's ear, i'm sure they got as good a deal as they could manage. they want to win.

2007-01-18 13:08:50
44.   Yankee Fan In Boston
out of curiosity, i just checked on the orioles' C prospects.

their best C prospect is ranked as the 13th best C prospect in baseball and played last season at the A level.

brandon snyder

anyone have the scoop?

2007-01-18 13:16:14
45.   Jim Dean
37 I was fine with the Shef deal. I'm less fine if they think Sanchez is a full-time reliever.

As for Wright, even though they were going to buy him out, he was a league average pitcher last year (granted for 140 innings) who the O's are now paying 3 million to pitch for them. I think the Yanks could have got a bit more, but that they didn't really try. Not a bigggie in my book.

On the Unit deal, I disagree whole-heartedly. The D.backs qwere going into Spring with a rotation of Webb, Livan, and prospects. They needed Unit more than the Yanks needed to trade him, at least now.

39 40 I guess it just depends on what you think of history. Me, I think something can be learned, namely:

1) Position prospects can be predicted with the highest accuracy.
2) LHP occassionally turn out okay
3) RHP are seldom worth anything.

If you had $100 to invest, would you put it into the stocks that hit about half the time? or the ones that hit a quarter of the time? or the ones that hit 10% of the time?

Further, in baseball the stocks that hit half the time play ALL of the games. It seems like a simple decision to me.

I suppose you could invest $10000 in the stocks that hit a tenth of the time, on the hope that the few hits will really pay off. But still, why not go with those stocks most likely to be valuable?

39 Point noted about the single appearances. Still, Matt Drews? Willie Smith?

40 Actually, to be ranked in the top 100 is to be ranked very high (Soriano, Pettitte). And if you took the time to look through the lists you'd see they're actually quite good - for the position prospects.

Sure, Jorge never made it. Nor did Mo. But it's a long stretch to say that those lists are worthless - they're helpful in gauging values. RHP prospects have unpredictable value because they're so damn hard to gauge. Again, do you want to invest in stocks that have clear earning forecasts, or those where you have no idea what they'll be worth in five years?

Besides, what's your point? Not to depend on prospect lists? Fine - don't read them.

2007-01-18 13:20:40
46.   Jim Dean
44 Oh, and hold on to your grenades. I don't want Cashman fired - I just want him to do a better job. He started off great this off-season, then ended very poorly.

Snyder is their catcher of the future. Bring up his name and they'll bring up Phil Huge.

2007-01-18 13:24:24
47.   Yankee Fan In Boston
46 good. all i could find were some water balloons. and i figured you'd have the skinny on the C. thanks. ...i'll keep the balloons handy just in case.

but in all fairness, the offseason hasn't ended yet. give my boy a chance to finish what he started.

2007-01-18 13:31:05
48.   Jim Dean
47 Most folks take vacations when the job it done. But if by "not finished" you mean exploding the lockers of TR Nieves, Cairo, and MCI, then I hope you can find those grenades.
2007-01-18 13:33:36
49.   Yankee Fan In Boston
48 the cairo thing hurt. i threw up a little that day. nieves might not end up with the team. did you see all of the Cs they invited to spring training? we could end up with pratt. ...oh, this isn't helping, is it?
2007-01-18 13:40:40
50.   Jim Dean
TR Nieves = the unborn beast child that is Todd Pratt, Raul Chavez, and Wil Nieves.

Now, Peter Pilittere could show something in spring training. But it would be a huge leap for the Yanks oranization to call him ready after one solid year of A+ ball. Even with a big half year at Trenton, there's no way Tea will give him starts over a more established product.

Chris Widger in June, perhaps?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-01-18 13:44:58
51.   Yankee Fan In Boston
50 perhaps if all three WERE combined... six arms, six legs, six eyes... the result would still be less than desirable, but i think it would be fun to watch. it would be like antonio alfonseca, but on a larger scale.
2007-01-18 13:46:49
52.   Yankee Fan In Boston
51 re: alfonseca

for those unaware, this is from wikipedia:

"His nicknames are "El Pulpo", "The Octopus", and "Six-Fingers". He has six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, a condition known as polydactyly; his extra small fingers next to his pinky have no influence on his pitching, as they don't touch the ball. The trait appears to be genetic – several family members have this trait, and they regard it with pride, as a kind of family emblem."

2007-01-18 13:47:35
53.   Jim Dean
51 Nice.
2007-01-18 13:50:24
54.   New Amsterdam Yankees
45 "I think something can be learned, namely:

1) Position prospects can be predicted with the highest accuracy.
2) LHP occassionally turn out okay
3) RHP are seldom worth anything."

As I said, I just think it's hard to draw these conclusions solely from the Yankee lists. We are talking about 11 RHP over 17 years. I haven't looked at the complete lists though, and I don't have much trouble believing that RHP prospects are generally the most unpredictable.

On the other hand, the value of pitchers seems to increase greatly once they reach the majors and show they can perform there, and we have a bunch of guys who are very close. For example, I read recently that Billy Beane told Minaya that it would Milledge, Heilman and Pelfrey/Humber just to get Joe Blanton. Joe Blanton! I'm confident that between Tyler Clippard, Steve White, Ross Ohlendorf , Stephen Jackson and Ian Kennedy we have at least one or two guys who can be as good as Joe Blanton. But I'd imagine you aren't so optimistic about that.

48 49 I know I am in the minority, but I have a very hard time getting worked up about Cairo, et al. I mean, the guy we were all so excited to have as the back-up IF, Mark Loretta, signed for $2.5M. Cashman signed Cairo and Eye Chart for $2.25M. I just can't get too upset about that, considering what else was out there. Hopefully, this is Cairo's last year, and Alberto Gonzalez can do the job next year. And I'm hoping that come the second half, Eye Chart is a LIDR.

2007-01-18 13:51:18
55.   dianagramr

So is he's not twice the player Mordecai Brown was ...

2007-01-18 13:56:09
56.   Yankee Fan In Boston
55 ahhhhhh... well played.
2007-01-18 14:07:22
57.   yankz
10 I wasn't referring to you...
2007-01-18 14:07:33
58.   Jim Dean
52 My cat has the same genetic quirk, and regarding such cats they kept on ships because they were considered smart and lucky.

Hmm, I wonder if she can play catcher.

54 It's the same trends for all organizations, and the feeling is exactly that for RHP - it's too unpredictable to get a sense of. Shoot, even at the MLB level - look at the Vazquez trade. He looked like a legit ace. The recent prices are even more reason to stay out of the mareket, and I was quite pleased with Cashman's inital moves and non-moves. The Unit trade was just overkill from an organization that could have given up good position prospects. Then the signings were further indication that he has a ways to go.

And while I wasn't a huge fan of Loretta, a few million saved should mean nothing to the Yanks. Otherwise, they learned what they had in Phillips and Cairo last year. There's no need to repeat that experiment. Chris Shelton from Detroit could have worked. Chad Tracey from ARI too. Sign Chris Gomez and they might have snagged Zaun if they had put on a hard press earlier. Other moves could have worked too. But the old tired retreads? No thanks.

2007-01-18 14:09:17
59.   Chyll Will
52 So that's what it's called! I have that, too, but just on my hands. My sister has it on one hand. The doctor nubbed ours at birth, but believe it or not there's still feeling in them. I've met others with this, but never met anyone with a full-grown finger or toe... cool!
2007-01-18 14:18:52
60.   dianagramr

I was born with an extra digit on my right hand, next to the pinky. It was nubbed at birth also, resulting in a slightly disjointed-looking pinky.

Fortunately, I'm a lefty.

2007-01-18 14:25:16
61.   Jim Dean
59 60 Do you ever wish you had it? What a strange world we live in - "Oh, this baby has a extra finger - we should just cut it off." Did they even ask permission to do that?
2007-01-18 14:35:12
62.   New Amsterdam Yankees
58 I hear you on Chris Gomez. I agree they could have done better than Cairo, I just don't think it's that big a deal, and I'd imagine Torre was pushing for Miggy.

I can't blame Cashman for not anticipating how the Barajas/Zaun situation would play out in Toronto. But it does indicate how hard it is to get anyone decent to agree to be a back-up.

Leaving Chad Tracy to the side (since I don't want to get into a debate about the RJ trade), I prefer the package they got for Sheffield to one built around Shelton. Maybe they could have gotten Shelton and Whelan, at most. I'd rather have Sanchez, who I'll believe they are permanently converting to a reliever when I hear soemone from the organization say so.

2007-01-18 14:41:33
63.   Jim Dean
62 My only point is that there were other options - yet they ended up with Cairo, TR Nieves, and MCI. Those three will combine for 600 AB's this year. That's a full-time player with a 70 OPS+. That's inexcusable esp for a guy being paid 5 million/year to make better decisions.
2007-01-18 15:50:17
64.   Start Spreading the News
63 Before you condemn him, you really have to consider the production the Yanks get out of their backup C position against what other teams get.

I doubt there are very many teams that get much more than 70 OPS+ from their backup catcher.

2007-01-18 17:28:59
65.   New Amsterdam Yankees
63 I'm not sure why it matters either way, but Cashman doesn't make $5M a year. His contract is 3 years/$5.5M.

64 Some teams don't get a 70 OPS+ from their starting catcher. In 2006 for example, Brad Ausmus had a 53 OPS+ and Yadier Molina had a 54 OPS+. Both had more than 400 AB. By way of compaison, Kelly Stinnett had an OPS+ of 56 in his time with the Yankees, and it got him run across town.

But Jim was saying that the backup catcher, Cairo, and the first base situation would yield a composite OPS+ of 70 - I assume with the 1B platoon safely over that number, and both Cairo and the BUC well below it. I think that might be a bit low, but it is certainly in the ballpark.

2007-01-18 17:49:04
66.   Matt B
8 Well, aren't we superior. I was in a rush, and I felt the content was relevant. So yeah, should I have used tinyurl? Yeah, you bet. But... I don't like your tone, young man!
2007-01-18 18:32:41
67.   yankz
66 Hahah, I was mostly messing around. Although shame on you!

Anyone watch the amazingly hilarious and wonderful Scrubs musical? Derek Jeter did not hit .303 last year!

2007-01-18 20:29:57
68.   jkay
This subway smell map says there are some body odor issues at the 161st Street station. It was probably some Red Sox fans in town stinking up the place.

2007-01-18 22:04:37
69.   Chyll Will
61 If I had to have anything nubbed, well I'm glad it was that...

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