Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Big Audio Dynamite
2007-02-06 21:28
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Multi-media time, folks. Check out frequent Bronx Banter commenter and author of Canyon of Heroes and Matsuzaka Watch and proud new papa Mike Plugh as he discusses the Red Sox's new ace on Baseball Prospectus Radio. Also, check out Matsuzaka Watch for Mike's counter interview with BP Radio host Will Carroll and a pretty bad-ass Matsuzaka/Red Sox-themed Japanese beer commercial.

Another audio hit for you iPod owners out there, and a bit of shameless semi-self promotion, check out this podcast with Newsday's David Lennon and the Daily News's Roger Rubin, authors of The Great New York Sports Debate, a book I had a part in editing (more like a cameo, but a part nonetheless).

While we're on the interview tip, check out this Sports Illustrated piece with Baseball-Reference's Sean Forman (hat tip to Dodger Thoughts for the link). The new features on B-Ref that incorportate Retrosheet's box score data are tremendous, if you haven't full explored the splits and game logs and other additional features added this winter, be sure to take the time to do so.

As for actual Yankee-related news, the best I can do right now is this item on Mel Stottlemyre joining the Diamondbacks as an organizational pitching instructor, which also points out that Goose Gossage will be in Yankee camp as instructor for the first time in a few seasons, neither of which is really new information. Speaking of Yankee camp, Jorge Posada and Kei Igawa are already there, according to Peter Abraham. Man, I can almost taste the hot dogs . . .

2007-02-06 23:51:08
1.   thelarmis
and pete abe is also joining in the multi-media fun! he's going to have audio interview feeds at his blog site. he ran a test last week and it should be a nice added feature for after games, esp. for those of us who don't live in NY anymore and can't get YES...
2007-02-07 04:11:04
2.   Levy2020
What about the worrisome chatter that A-Rod could JD Drew us?
2007-02-07 04:11:24
3.   Levy2020
(And with a whole, functioning body nonetheless.)
2007-02-07 04:15:21
4.   Jim Dean
Mmmmm, hot dogs...
2007-02-07 05:12:34
5.   Sliced Bread
Big Audio Dynamite. Much better band than their acronym suggested. I lost track after "The Globe." Followed Strummer until he departed too soon. "Global-A-Go-Go" was a sign of more greatness to come.

Backpage of the NY Post stops just short of blaming A-Rod for the cold weather, but suggests he might have driven 900 miles to his booksigning, wearing diapers, and is planning to kill Jeter for dating someone he is secretly fond of. But he's not going to be THE STORY this year, right?

Gots to tip your cap to the NY rag headline writers for the droll:
"Lust In Space" and "Dark Side Of The Loon."
It's a sad story though. Figure the TV movie is already in the works. Courtney Love as the astronaut wouldn't be a stretch. "No need to act, honey. Just wear the orange suit."

2007-02-07 05:26:02
6.   3rd gen yankee fan
4 & beer! & sunny days!
2007-02-07 05:39:54
7.   rsmith51
2 With the way he has been treated by mamy Yankee fans, I would not blame ARod at all for leaving after this year. It must suck to be booed at every stadium, including the home stadium. I also wouldn't mind seeing him playing SS again. That said, I would like to see Alex win over the fans and have a good regular and post-season.
2007-02-07 05:45:57
8.   yankz
Sunny days? What are those?
2007-02-07 05:57:55
9.   Jim Dean
7 But at the same time he knows that if he performs when it counts, he'll be embraced.

Picture it: Game 6 at the Stadium. A-Rod hits a three run shot in the 7th inning to break a 3-3 tie. After a solid series (3 HR's, .340 Avg) he's named MVP as the Yanks win #27.

I can just taste the smell of Spring...mmmm, hot dogs.

2007-02-07 05:59:27
10.   Sliced Bread
Just checked out the Carroll-Plugh interview.

Mike and the Big Dog. Great radio!

Way to go, Mr. Canyon. I can tell you're bummed Matsuzaka is pitching for them but keep up the great work.

I was not aware of Will Carroll's mad broadcasting skilz. Really good stuff.

2007-02-07 06:09:39
11.   mikeplugh
Thanks Cliffy. Appreciate the plug. FYI, there is also a pretty fair Hideki Matsui version of that Asahi Super Dry ad. If I can "Tivo" it and put it on YouTube, I'll let you all know.

Thanks for the kind words, Sliced. I was beside myself when the Sox got Matsuzaka. It was the single nightmare scenario in my life. I was prepared for the Rangers or Mets to get silly with their bids, and I would have had no problem cheering him on in those uniforms, but the Sox?! I can't help it though. He's my guy, so I have to stick with him....except when he pitches against us.

2007-02-07 06:45:11
12.   Popcult
Speaking of multimedia, am I the only one extremely interested in seeing daily (okay, weekly) pictures of how the new stadium is coming along? None of the newspapers, websites (official and unofficial, including YES Network) seems to be giving us updates on how the construction is coming along. Anyone know of a blog that's been tracking it? Someone needs to volunteer to take regular pics-how cool would it be get a picture taken from the same spot, then do one of those time sequence animations in 2009 on opening day?
2007-02-07 06:51:42
13.   Sliced Bread
11 I hope he does well too, as it would be good for the game, good for Japan, good for the "rivalry" and all that.
No pressha, Daisuke.

Let's go Hughes! Let's go baseball!

2007-02-07 06:56:02
14.   Peter
9 A 3 run shot in the 7th to break a tie? You only need one rbi in that scenario. There goes ARod, padding those stats again...
2007-02-07 06:57:17
15.   Jim Dean
11 13 Sorry guys, but I hope he pulls a Fat Toad. He doesn't have to be terrible, but a Beckett-like year would be fun.
2007-02-07 06:58:58
16.   Jim Dean
12 I have to imagine it exists (for exactly that sequence you mention), but did no one have the foresight to put it up online?
2007-02-07 07:03:16
17.   Cliff Corcoran
12 I'll do my best to snap a pic each time I attend a game this year (I very much regret not having taken a couple of before pics and a post-groundbreaking pic last year).

As for those of you complaining about Mr. Rodriguez becoming the story, do you not realize that this post and thread had nothing to do with him until you brought him up? (I'm looking at 2--and we discussed all that yesterday, by the way, I say no way he opts out--5, 7 and 9)

2007-02-07 07:17:59
18.   Sliced Bread
17 I dunno, Cliff, I think he's an okay topic today as he's put himself out there to promote his book.
When I lament him being "the story" I mean when the papers obsess about him when there's a lot more to discuss.
Like, why did Verducci have to ignite that stink bomb in the clubhouse right before the playoffs? Not that it was a factor, but it was certainly an unnecessary distraction.

But why ignore Rodriguez when he's making the rounds the week before Spring Training?

I have no idea if he'll opt out, but I wouldn't be surprised if he does if the booing nonsense resumes this season and persists. Here's hoping it does not come to that.

2007-02-07 07:25:16
19.   Jim Dean
Interesting interview with Boras:

17 Just cheering here. I don't think he opts out either. If anything, Torre is gone first and the next manager will (hopefully) be better with handling him. How could he not be?



The one disconcerting part about re-signing Jorge I realized: A two year deal (which indeed seems most likely) means that in 2009 it's going to be pretty hard on the defense and still very expensive. You've got Matsui and Damon in the OF for 13 million each and Jeter and A-Rod on the left for about 20 million each. While Jorge could 1B/DH - that means none of those guys are, even as they all probably should be.

In Jorge's case it's interesting that his most similiar through age 34 is Fisk (hat tip to No Maas). Hoepfully that's the scenario, esp because it would give him a shot at the HOF.



2007-02-07 07:27:27
20.   Jim Dean
18 Actually, the Verducci piece was done much earlier but then Alex got hot and SI sat on it and released it for maximum exposure.
2007-02-07 07:33:31
21.   williamnyy23
12 If you are interested in the construction progress, check out the link below. It has over 170 pics spanning October through January.

2007-02-07 07:36:23
22.   jakewoods
Why wouldnt he opt out when he can get 150 mill for 6 yrs?

The Yanks should give him an extension now to end speculation.

2007-02-07 07:37:38
23.   jakewoods
The AL East is a tad different than the Japanese league. Ask Josh Beckett how easy the transition is.
2007-02-07 07:52:03
24.   jayd
One of the comments on the abraham blog pointed out that the media guys are leaving for tampa over this weekend, so this coming week will be the first blush of bball news.

Francoma was on TV here last night. Schwilling-Beckett-Matsuzaka-Wakefield--PoppleArm/Clement. Is that really it?

Can you imagine the Yankees trotting that group out? I just don't get it myself. Isn't Beckett kind of in a postion synonymous with Jeff Weaver a few years back? Schwilling is a #4, hope for 13-14 wins. PoppleArm is the real deal till the arm gives out again. Clement's track record is real and should be back in the NL. And if Matsuzaka fades in August/September because his first year throwing every four five days instead of five or six in the cauldron of anti-asian Boston. What's left here -- Jon Lester? I really like the Drays for third. Jays for second. Hell even the Orioles might be stronger this year. Where has Boston improved?

2007-02-07 07:57:14
25.   Raf
12 I have to get on the ball about adding more pics, but
2007-02-07 08:10:17
26.   Popcult
21 Many thanks-those are great shots. Looks like they're really making progress. I wonder how the residents feel-the construction must be making a ton of noise in the neighborhood.
2007-02-07 08:21:00
27.   kylepetterson
Man, I went and got my digital watch in synchronization for nothing.
2007-02-07 08:26:07
28.   The Mick 536
Hoping that A-Rod shows up big. With an average year, he goes over 500. Guy can play. He just don't unnnerstan us fans. I rooted for The Mick and Roga. Screamed my ass off for them. Don't have no problem cheering for him and Jete.

Want to read the book. Maybe I'll figger him out.

Hammering Hank's birthday. Don't follow Bonds, please. You rank on top of them all with Jackie and the Babe.

Lew Burdett died. Started as a Jank. Traded to Braves for Johnny Sain. Ke killed us in 1957 Series. One of the greatest WS performances ever by a pitcher. 3 wins. .067 era. Got even the next year. 1-2. Over 5 era. Had 12 homers.

2007-02-07 08:27:57
29.   JL25and3
I work right down the street from the Stadium. If I ever remember to bring in my camera - and if the weather warms up a little, I'm not walking up there in this deep freeze - I'll take some pictures.

Personally, I tend to think of it less as "the construction of the new Stadium" than as "the destruction of my home away from home, and of Macombs Dam Park." But I wouldn't want to turn this into a JD-style rant...

2007-02-07 08:28:23
30.   Jim Dean
24 They've improved their lineup and defense with Drew (if he stays healthy). Lugo I think is a wash (more offense, less defense). Pedroia could have a nice little season (.750 - .800 OPS) based on his MiLB numbers and year 24 (either he was rushed or can't hack the Boston Snakepit).

Otherwise, I think they're hoping for bouce back years from Varitek and Crisp.

So those are improvements.

Helton could be a difference maker to them even if he only adds two wins.

Further, even if Beckett is WYSYG, the rest could easily be league average starters with DM and Paps maybe significantly more than that.

Add all that up, and that's a 90-95 win team in my eyes. But the bullpen could easily kill them.

We know that Mo easily adds at least five wins to the Yankee totals each and is proabably the primary reason they consistently outperform their Pythagorean record. The Sox bullpen could turn out okay but it can also really sink them in a close race.

I think the Yanks win 95-100.

If anything it should be fun. I know I like a pennant race once every few years.

2007-02-07 08:32:14
31.   JL25and3
9 I seriously doubt whether that would be enough. If he hadn't struck out with men on base one time, the Yankees would have won in four. Besides, Jeter was one of the men on base for that three-run homer, he really made it possible.

ARod's WS MVP would probably be valued as much as his 2005 MVP.

2007-02-07 08:50:32
32.   williamnyy23
22 While Boras comments are interesting, they do ignore two important facts:

1) In 2008, Arod will not be the same long-term value that he was in 2000 (age 32 versus 25), and will be exiting his prime, as opposed to entering it.

2) While industry revenue has doubled, Arod's original contract was disproportionate anyway. Basically, Hicks overpaid by a lot because of other business arrangements. Even with a healthier industry, salaries still have not come even close to catching up to the original Arod deal. What's more, TWO teams are currently paying for the deal, not one.

Also, what so many are ignoring is that Arod will still be able to sign one more deal...even if he waits until 2010. In that regard, whatever deal he could sign in 2008 would have to exceed the $81mn left over the next three years IN ADDITION TO the total value of his future contracts. If you consider that Garry Sheffield just signed a $28mn extension for 2008-2009 (at which point he'd be 41), I think Alex could reasonably expect a $60mn/4 year deal at age 35. When combined, Arod would have to sign a 7-year/$141mn deal just to come out even, not including the time value he would lose by forfeiting the huge upfront allocation over 2008-2010.

2007-02-07 08:59:27
33.   williamnyy23
Like or not, Arod generates interest, so fans and media alike are going to harp on the story. Personally, I think the whole Arod pile-on stems from jealousy...that part of the human condition that makes us feel better by tearing down one who is supreme. So be it...Alex is blessed enough that he should be able to brush off such pettiness. It's really a shame he doesn't have more Barry Bonds in him, though. That is, after all, what most people seem to want.
2007-02-07 09:10:25
34.   jayd
The infield of 1B Kevin Youkilis, 2B Dustin Pedroia, SS Julio Lugo, 3B Mike Lowell. Reserves: Alex Cora, Eric Hinske was ranked 13th in the AL by sporting news sandwiched between the royals and the drays for dead last.

I'm having trouble figuring out what lucky larry and theo are up to. Have they switched over to the real estate side of the operation (which is vibrant by the way)?

Yanks first whitesox second in same survey.

Team improvement is all centered on JD Drew. No team "improves" with the addition of one player.

If you come in third in this division, it seems to me you have to make something big happen. I think Bosox management is taking the sawks fans for granted. I would love to see them stay away in droves this year. If they don't and thinks turn out the way they look, we're talking the end of the "rivalry." 90-95 wins? I see 83-87. No way they break 90.

2007-02-07 09:11:12
35.   williamnyy23
Here is the problem with Arod. No matter what he does, someone will blow it out of proportion and be critical. Check out the three excerpts below that describe what happened at yesterday's book signing. The first two portray Arod as being apart from the fray, while the third (not surprisingly that bastion of credibility known as the NY Post) pins it all on him, before launching into a bit of nonsense about how Arod needs to be honest about his relationship with Jeter.

Personally, I think Arod needs to add two new words to his vocabulary: one starts with F; the other is You.

From Newsday
All the while, Rodriguez is looking on helplessly and his personal representative, Steve Fortunato, is trying valiantly to keep the scene from degenerating into a free-for-all.

"Alex wants to talk to you guys," he said. "This is not his doing at all."

And so it wasn't, but since he's A-Rod, of course it appeared as if it was

From the Daily News
Rodriguez then headed for Barnes and Noble, where he was greeted by 400 fans at a book signing. The event turned chaotic for a few minutes as reporters - whom Rodriguez seemed happy to speak with about the upcoming season - were rushed out by HarperCollins publicists while A-Rod continued answering their questions. A police officer even got involved, getting into a shouting match with a reporter after the cop grabbed him by the arm.

From the NY Post
But this being Alex Rodriguez, a version of Altamont broke out. The athlete who cares the most about his public perception surrounded himself with media-relations buffoons, who through incompetence and rudeness decided the best way to sell the product was to keep the very press they had invited to talk with Rodriguez away from A-Rod.

2007-02-07 09:17:51
36.   Cliff Corcoran
"the destruction of my home away from home, and of Macombs Dam Park."

Amen, 29. The photos from 25 help drive the latter home. Good stuff from 21 as well, thanks both.

2007-02-07 09:24:29
37.   Levy2020
17 Apologies. I tend not to dip into the comments during the workweek.

I wasn't complaining, though, about bad focus. I just saw a New York Times article about him talking up the opt-out, which I thought has contrary his many, many "retire a Yankee statements." And then I realized that there's no 3B that they could get to replace him and it worried me.

2007-02-07 09:25:52
38.   ny2ca2dc
24 & 34, pretty much all of Boston's moves this winter are really risky, but your interpretation has taken the downside as the given. Matsu could pretty easily be quite a bit better than any Yanks pitcher, and a Cy Young contender. Becket could easily turn it around. Lester could be a solid #3, easily a good #4; Schilling will probably be a great #3. Papelbon could easily be a solid #2 or better. Clement is probably worthless. Wakefield will probably be the best #5 one could ever ask for (TONS of innings, decent outings - I'd settle for that!)... The bullpen is total trash, yes, unless superboys delcarmen and hansen turn it around. The offense could easily be among the best in the league (though i think the Yanks lineup is easily the best in baseball, especially when MKZ's semi-permanent replacement comes in ;)), if 'Tek and Crisp revert to previous form, or even some version of it, and if Drew is healthy he's their Abreu. Oh, and Manny and Ortiz say hello, they're still not half bad.

Moral: it's going to be a slog, and will probably depend a lot on how the dice come up for the Sox on Pedria, Drew, Matsu, and who turns it around (Tek, Crisp, hansen, delcarmen, Becket). There's a lot of talent on that team, pretty easily within ~5 wins of the Yanks.

2007-02-07 09:26:26
39.   yankz
Yeah, his publicist was very pushy.

I'm still feeling the 2005 pennant race. I want a slaughter, a la 1998.

2007-02-07 09:35:06
40.   Jim Dean
34 Pedroia is likely an improvement as well. Even as that IF isn't fantastic they're all very capable of .800 OPS. And they give plus defense but Lugo is at best an average defender.

They make it up in the OF. Manny is still Manny. Crisp could have a bouceback year. And Drew will give fine numbers for a 5 hitter (if healthy).

Then there's Papi.

No doubt that overall, their lineup isn't as strong as the Yanks, but their big two are better than anyone in stripes and the Yanks could easily have the worst hitter of them all with their 1B throwing away AB's. That makes it closer than it should be.

Also, don't forget Pena who is the best hitter on either bench.

They added quality innings to their roatation as well in DM and Paps. How good and how many is their big question mark aside from the bullpen.

I still think the Yanks have the better team but it is closer than ten games - i.e. Boston has improved.

36 Amen, indeed.

2007-02-07 09:35:57
41.   OldYanksFan
I hope all here of the opinion that ARod stays are correct. Some random thoughts on the subject (and Cliff... ARod talk is really better then the 'who was born on my birthday' posts)

... I've said it before... if ARod leaves, it will be the worst 'trade' (loss) since the Babe.
... I fear the children's book will be more fodder for the press to attack ARod. I sure it will generate quotes and scenerios to trash ARod with.
... If for whatever reason the booing, stupid articles and other forms of harassment continue, if I were ARod, I'd leave.

Even with 'the Barry', steroid issues, salary issues, and all the other problems in Baseball, ARod taking off his shirt seems to be the most newsworthy stuff writers can come up with.

It's getting outright mean. Manny is the second highest paid player. Look at ALL the shit he pulls, every year. But the amount of Mammy print doesn't compare to ARod. I'm sick of all the mean spirited press.

2007-02-07 10:58:16
42.   Cliff Corcoran
41 "ARod talk is really better then the 'who was born on my birthday' posts"

I gotta disagree with you there.

2007-02-07 11:09:16
43.   Bama Yankee
41 & 42 Maybe we could talk about who was born on A-Rod's birthday (July 27th)?

Leo Durocher
Norman Lear
Jerry Van Dyke
Paul Michael Levesque (wrestler Triple H)
Shea Hillenbrand (born the same day in 1975)
Nick Hogan, son of Hulk Hogan

2007-02-07 12:22:12
44.   Cliff Corcoran
43 So Hulk Hogan could be Alex Rodriguez's dad? That bugs me in a lot of different ways. I walked past Hogan on the street a block from my office last summer. It was like seeing Bugs Bunny in person or Batman or something. Really odd.
2007-02-07 12:56:33
45.   Shaun P
41 Perhaps you prefer sneaker talk?

43 That's quite a list of people. Imagine if you got them all in the same room together, and watched them interact. For example, what would Leo the Lip have to say to A-Rod? Or better yet, to Hillebrand, especially after what happened last summer in Toronto?

I'm just babbling now, as I have nothing to contribute to the sneaker talk discussion in the post above. I will say that the Baseball This AM crew on XM today wondered how anyone could possibly be down on A-Rod, except for, of course, jealousy or misguided anger about the contract.

My favorite quote: "If you looked at just his statistics, and a list of his attributes - outstanding character guy, good teammate, no trouble off the field, great role model for kids - there isn't a team in baseball who wouldn't want him."

And its so true.

2007-02-07 13:43:05
46.   yankz
44 I was once in a car right next to Hulk Hogan's giant truck. He was acting pretty crazy.

I decided last night that I love Arod and I want him to shatter every record known to man.

2007-02-07 15:28:35
47.   Bama Yankee
44 Good ol' Terry Gene Bollea and his 24" biceps also shares a birthday (August 11) with a couple of guys we all know and love:
Bubba Crosby
Melky Cabrera

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