Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Dirt McGirt
2007-02-15 19:48
by Cliff Corcoran

I know I promised you all my campers post this week, but with the influx of juicy news items and it being Friday and all, before a three-day weekend no less, well, forgive me for taking the easy way out.

Did I say juicy? How about the Boss's son-in-law and successor, who to some degree has already taken over the day-to-day operations of the team, being busted for a DUI.

How about Mikey Moose making mince meat out of Pavano's "What Me Worry?" attitude toward returning to the team (quotes below the fold).

How about Kerry Wood taking a page out of Pavano's book and missing the opening of camp because he slipped and fell out of a hot tub.

How about Barry Zito, San Francisco's $126-millon man, showing up for Giants camp with a completely new delivery that pitching coach Dave Righetti thinks could ruin his famous curveball.

How about the BALCO testimony leak being identified.

Less juicy is the news that the Yankees will be wearing black armbands this season in memory of Cory Lidle. The Yankees last wore armbands in 2000 in memory of Catfish Hunter and Bob Lemon.

Speaking of uniform alterations, the ad wizards at MLB have tricked out the Yankees batting practice duds with white underarm stripes on the jerseys and these godawful caps complete with highly illogical ear piping. Last year the Yankees avoided this crap. It's severely disappointing to see them infected this spring.

Even more problematic, Joe Torre has finally spoken to Bernie Williams and is encouraging him to come to camp. Torre told the media today that Bernie's only chance of making the roster would be at the expense of the winner of the Phelps-Phillips battle, but that he's not opposed to playing Mientkiewicz fulltime at first base. Curiously, he also indicated that he's not going to rule out starting Giambi at first base until he gets a look at him this spring, which opens up the possibility of Giambi playing first and Melky Cabrera seeing a spike in playing time as Giambi and the three outfielders rotate through the DH spot. That would reduce Mientkiewicz to a backup role and clear room for Bernie in place of Phelps/Phillips. One other piece of relevant info from Torre's chat was that while Philip Hughes is all but guaranteed to start the season in triple-A, his only chance of making the major league team would be as a member of the rotation. So much for my bullpen idea.

Finally, here's a puff piece on Kyle Farnsworth in which he says all the right things and indicates a budding friendship with Andy Pettitte that I imagine would do the big guy a hill of good (pun intended).

* * *

The following quotes were compiled from the various reports of the Pavano and Mussina's conversations with the media yesterday:

Pavano: "Joe obviously has his opinions on it. [On Wednesday, Torre said Pavano had "sizeable" work to do in the Yankee clubhouse.] I didn't come in here nervous that my teammates are going to oust me or give me the cold shoulder. I have no control over that. I know that definitely there's respect to be earned. Other things that were said, I think were just things that you guys [the media] are having a lot of fun with. It was more hyped up by you guys than anything else. Obviously, I've got to go out there and pitch. Other than that, I don't think there's really much left to do. I know a lot of these guys obviously are frustrated. I think it's more of a compliment. They're frustrated because they know I can help them, and I haven't been able to do that."

Moose: "He is only looking at it from his perspective. We're looking at it from our perspective, those of us that have been through both years. We want him to go out there and show us that he wants to do this. I think once the whole team is here and it's baseball season again, when we're into the routine, maybe he'll look at it differently. I don't know how he's going to be treated by everybody. It's a situation that he needs to show a lot of people that he wants to go out there and pitch for us. If he shows us that, I think everything is going to be fine. I'm looking at it from the perspective of just the way each [injury] happened and the timing of it and just piecing all of those things together, the perspective that it showed. You get to form your own evaluation. It didn't look good from a player's and a teammate's standpoint. It didn't look good. Was everything just coincidence, over and over again? I don't know. When one guy is out there playing the game despite whatever is going on, and somebody else is not, that's how teammates get bad tastes in their mouths. It got to a point where we just didn't want to even hear about it or talk about it anymore. As another starting pitcher who hasn't been 100 percent the last two years, I know what it takes to go out and pitch. I know when you can't go out there and pitch. Sometimes it's a fine line. But I think after 15 years I know where the line is. Saying something [an apology] doesn't mean much to me. He doesn't have to say anything. Actions speak louder than words. I just want him to go out there and do what he's supposed to be doing. If he takes the ball and goes out and pitches, and does the things he's supposed to be doing, it'll go away. It will go away. We're all in this together. We want him to pitch and need him to pitch. Show us what you got." Asked if he would give Pavano the benefit of the doubt, Mussina replied, "No, not just yet. Not yet, no. I want to see that he wants to do it."

Here's Joe Torre's take on the situation from Peter Abraham's tape recorder:

"We talked about it last year, last September or October, whenever the season ended. When he was in Tampa, we spent some time talking about the reason he was there to begin with at the end of the year, and what he had to look forward to this year. And he understands that, he understands that, you know. It may not be automatic, but I think over time, and when I say time [I mean] during spring training, I think he can gain that trust and respect back from the players that I know they wish they had the last couple of years. Because, you know, this game is all about everybody contributing, and it's not the idea of what kind of year you're gonna have, how many wins you're gonna have, it's just a matter of being there, and he hasn't been there." Asked if he thought simply going through the motions of spring training along side the other starters would help, Torre replied, "I think that's a starting point. The best part about it is he's doing everything everybody else is at the time they're doing it, and, to me, that's probably as good a place as any to start. But I think he understands that it's a long spring. There's a lot of responsibility that goes with being one of the starters here and all the attention that he's obviously going to get every step of the way because of what's happened the last couple of years. I think reversing [his clubhouse reputation] takes care of itself, just with his presence and his turn in line, so to speak. As long as he takes his turn, I think gradually, and hopefully by the time we're going north, it's not even an issue anymore."

Which is to say, it definitely is an issue right now. Still, all three men seem to agree that all Pavano has to do is take the ball and pitch and all will be forgiven.

Comments (88)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-02-15 23:23:46
1.   Zack
Maybe joe is jsut using Pavano to take pressure of A-Rod. There, not only did I nab pole position, but I hijacked the thread and blamed it all on A-Rod, I rule!

Seriously, if there is one thing Joe (at least used to) does well, its deal with crap like how the team responds to Pavano.

Anyone else notice how much love ESPN has been heaping on the Sox, its a new article like every day over there!

2007-02-16 00:11:27
2.   BklynBmr
Moose has a little 'Paulie' in him. I love it. I'm still hopin' for an out of the blue move by CashMoney that will send Pavano packing.

1 I've avoided ESPN for weeks until tonight, and the first thing I see is a 'Dice-K' fluff job. It's going to be long year...

And those are training caps are hideous...

2007-02-16 03:45:57
3.   Shaun P
I can't believe the BALCO leak was finally identified. That crook gives all us lawyers a bad name, and I hope he rots in jail for a long, long time.

Meanwhile, and I'm sure I'm in the minority on this, but I think Williams and Fainura-Wada (and their publisher) are also crooks for making a small fortune off that leaked grand jury testimony. Its one thing to expose corruption in government (Deep Throat and Woodward and Bernstein) and to make money off of that - at least you're doing the general public a service there. As far as I'm concerned, no public good was done by Game of Shadows, because Barry Bonds isn't important in the grand scheme of things - no matter how much certain commentators would like us to think otherwise.

1 2 I just don't watch ESPN at all anymore. Helps keep my blood pressure down.

2007-02-16 05:14:43
4.   JL25and3
1 Zack, that ARod stuff is just so 2006. Get with the program - if Cashman had traded for a good young catching prospect, none of this would have happened.
2007-02-16 05:31:58
5.   rbj
I would love to see Melky get more playing time. Just not sure that Bernie should be part of the team (I mean, he shouldn't, but we'll see what he does this spring.)
2007-02-16 05:53:43
6.   TheWord
Two words: GO MOOSE!
2007-02-16 06:05:14
7.   Jim Dean
Tyler has some good stuff too -

His take on Pavano (and why we can't expect much from him):

Summary: It's never his fault.

Where some of last year's Yankees are:

Just don't look for Scott Erickson and Terrence Long on that list.

2007-02-16 06:26:07
8.   Cliff Corcoran
7 Jim, the info on where last year's Yankees have ended up has been at the bottom of the sidebar all winter. That's a permanent feature of this site.
2007-02-16 06:32:55
9.   Jim Dean
8 Thanks.

What Scott Erickson, Terrence Long, AND Kelly Stinnett are all out of baseball?

2007-02-16 06:34:51
10.   Sliced Bread
I'd probably sign up for any plan that reduces Doug Out's role, and creates opportunities for Melky.

If that somehow boils down to Joe playing Giambi at first (maximizing his bat), and giving Bernie a couple hundred final at-bats, at the expense of Phillips/Phelps, so be it.

Good for Moose for not ignoring the 800 pound sloth (as perceived) in the room.

Too much drama swirling around Camp DeeWee right now. Hopefully, it will dissipate as the rhythms of the season take over -- but it probably won't.

2007-02-16 06:44:35
11.   wsporter
3 MFD Too bad Swindal didn't get the message on the Scotch last night; he could have hammered at the Banter and of course we never would have let him do anything so stupid as to drink and drive. I know we'd have poured him into a cab.

The only other person I can remember who has put up a post like that here that I agreed with in total is Slice. As a member of the Bar (the other one) it makes my skin crawl when I think about leaking grand jury testimony. The mischief that could work on defendants, their families and witnesses is immeasurable. I hope that idiot's license to practice has already been revoked. I also agree that people have got to stop treating those two reporters as heroes and understand that their action cuts against one of the few protections citizens maintain within the grand jury process. It's true you can get a ham sandwich indicted at a Grand Jury. Privacy and not corrupting a potential pool are the few protections we are accorded in that regard. Should the government ever feel unconstrained in that regard our Federal Criminal Justice system will be turned on its ear; bad, very bad, a very bad thing.

2007-02-16 06:47:07
12.   jayd
Take the ball, pitch and all will be forgiven. Sounds like a deal to me. Go Meat!

And as if to validate all of my concerns the other day Derek and Joe are moving to Bring Back Bernie (Bernie to the 3rd power, get your TShirts now).

And my other concern that Giambi likes to play and it feeds his hitting. That will put Minky on the bench (good)or off the team (better). More playing time for Melky, (priceless).

Jason wins games with his bat. Keep him happy. When he screws up everyone tries harder to cover for him. This is a good thing. I say keep him in the field. He's a team player. PECOTA that.

I think this is Derek and Joe's last year and they plan to go out doing it their way. Too bad Cash didn't check with the team before making some of his moves; he should be doing a sizzle, heh?

And how do you get all that fucking money and not a shred of fucking brains: Our Man Swindal can't afford a designated driver? Or a limo? Or even a paltry cab, for that matter. Maybe they don't have cabs in Florida.

Steve, Steve, Steve. What is it with these guys? Is that why I'm poor? Cause I'm so smart? With my pro Bernie posts, I will only allow williams23 to answer that question.

Poor George. I heard Stevie had a RedSox cap on and mooned the cops during the straight line walk portion of the drunk test. It's a sad day.

2007-02-16 06:48:55
13.   Rich
5 Ditto on Melky. If Bernie is on the team, Torre better not play him in the OF, no matter what.
2007-02-16 07:08:49
14.   Sliced Bread
Statement from Steinbrenner re: Swindal

"I'm upset at a lot of them... the son-in-law.."

2007-02-16 07:13:45
15.   Rich
Swindal is lucky that this isn't the old George.
2007-02-16 07:19:06
16.   Yankee Fan In Boston
speaking of george, the other day i saw that michael kay's radio show is available free at itunes. i downloaded an interview with bud selig. they were discussing the '08 all star game at the stadium.

selig was saying that it was was to be a farewell to a "cathedral of baseball," then goes on at length about how close he and steinbrenner are, closing with "it is also a goodbye to george."


kay just moved along to the next topic without following up. (i don't think he was paying attention.)

i was instantly reminded of the discussion of george's health here a little while back.

side note: i enter a virtual waiting room for a chance to buy yankee tickets for fenway in less than 2 hours. i'm a little excited about that.

2007-02-16 07:33:50
17.   yankz
From the Farnsworth article:

"Farnsworth, who appeared in 72 games (fifth in the Majors) and had 19 holds (eighth), joined Scott Proctor and Randy Villone as Yankees pitchers who pitched in more than 70 games."

Ouch...Randy Villone?

2007-02-16 07:34:55
18.   Knuckles
14 Nice.

Those caps are garbage. The jerseys don't bother me as much.

First ST game is 2 weeks from yesterday. I'll be attending the Yanks' 2nd and 3rd tilts- looking fwd to some warm weather, and hoping for a Phil Hughes sighting...

I may be finally moving back to Jersey, and I must say I'm excited at the thought of being in my team's broadcast and media coverage territory again.

Gotta say, I'm happy to see actual players calling out Pavano, and pulling no punches in the process. Maybe now he'll get it thru his head that it's not just a media witch hunt. And if he's got any balls, he'll realize it's time to prove something.

Yahoo Fantasy Baseball goes live today, FYI.

2007-02-16 07:43:50
19.   Cliff Corcoran
18 By the way, I plan on live-blogging that first spring training game for all of you stuck at work or otherwise unable to watch it on YES or MLV.TV.
2007-02-16 07:51:53
20.   Howie
16 Thanks for the reminder. I will be trying for the Fenway tickets at noon as well. I am going for the Sat afternoon game in April.
2007-02-16 07:56:14
21.   Yankee Fan In Boston
20 good luck to you. i've never actually won any of the lotteries to get the chance for these tickets. i'm hoping it isn't quite as impossible to get tickets for the game you'd prefer with the limited number of people able to access them.

yeah. i'm worthless today at work.

2007-02-16 08:30:53
22.   Jim Dean
Regarding the mini-discussion of the state of the M's pitching from yesterday:

They have good friend Aaron Small as well as Jim Parque trying to win jobs.

2007-02-16 08:38:54
23.   standuptriple
21 And that's why I love the Oakland A's. It's never difficult to get Yankees tickets if you're remotely aware. I already bought 20 for the series (and no, I'm not a re-seller...but perhaps I should be). It was nice of the Yanks to come out the day after my birthday too. The SF tickets are a whole different story (stupid All Star Game commitment BS).
2007-02-16 08:57:52
24.   TheWord
Another thing about Moose/Pavano.... it takes the attention away from ARod. I wonder if Moose did it on purpose, or was asked to say something. He's usually so calculated with what he says to the media, this is not really his style.
2007-02-16 08:58:31
25.   Zack
I was all set to get to watch the Yanks here in San Diego, but then the Sox whined or something and now the Yanks aren't coming here, the Sox are! Blah. Talk about a reversal of fortune....
2007-02-16 09:27:04
26.   standuptriple
25 That's too bad. I'd rather have the Yanks in SD than COL. It was the Rox that did the whining I believe.
2007-02-16 09:58:21
27.   Yankee Fan In Boston
how'd you make out, howie? somehow, i got the game i was hoping for. it only took 10 minutes. amazing.
2007-02-16 10:05:26
28.   JL25and3
Now that Sheffield's gone, I haven't had much opportunity for a good rant.

I realize how much fun it is to play "Dogs Pile on the Wabbit" with Pavano, but I'm still astonished that Mussina's garnering such praise for publicly bad-mouthing a teammate. Even if everything he said is true, I think it's inappropriate - bordering on unprofessional - to air dirty laundry in the papers. But in the last year there seems to have been a major shift in Yankee clubhouse culture, and I don't think it's a good thing.

For the last dozen years or so - dating back into the Showalter years, I think - the Yankees have specialized in presenting a bland, united facade. There's been the occasional David Wells or Gary Sheffield, but they've stuck out glaringly, green plaid jackets in a room full of gray flannel; and the team has generally reacted to them with a chuckle. (That darn Boomer!) BklynBmr sees
this as "a little 'Paulie'" in Mussina, but when did O'Neill - or anyone else - call out a teammate publicly like this?

Put this together with the SI article on ARod, and Jeter's pointed comments (as I see them, others disagree), and it looks like a sea change. I'm not a big "chemistry" guy, but I remember the 80s well enough to think that a fractious clubhouse can get ugly.

I don't care how big a dirtbag Pavano is, I don't see the upside of Moose's (second) tirade. Why is it better said to the papers than behind closed doors? Go to Torre, go to Cashman, separately or in a group; hell, get Farnworth and Bruney to beat the crap out of him. That's all fair game.

What's gained by this? Think ahead - let's say Pavano does pitch this year (I know, science fiction). After every single start, reporters will be descending on Mussina: Has Pavano proven himself yet? How many starts will it take before you accept him? That 3-1 slider he threw to Manny - does that show he's still afraid to challenge major league hitters? And on. And on. And on.

And then...let's see, it's fair to badmouth Pavano, because he's a goldbricker. Moose ripped ARod, too, but that was OK because ARod made errors and was slumping. Who gets to rip whom, and under what circumstances? Bottom line is, it's becoming established that this is acceptable; it's the kind of thing that can get pretty ugly if the team hits a rough stretch.

Finally, there's a commonly-held attitude that I don't get. On the one hand, Pavano is a weak, selfish coward who's sold out his team for close to two years, exaggerating injuries and punting his rehab because he's too scared to pitch but wants to collect his paycheck. That's a damn serious indictment, one step this side of Sheffield's Milwaukee act. Well, you know how I feel about that I don't get people saying that if he pitches will a few times, all will be forgiven and we'll root for him. I've tried my best to withhold judgment, because once I'm convinced that he did those things, there's no way I'll ever root for him, no matter whose laundry he's wearing. He could win the Cy Young - I say trade him to Kansas City for two fungo bats and a Buddy Biancalana autograph and let him win it there. I just can't understand how people
can make such damning judgments about his character and then say, well, win a few games and it's OK.


2007-02-16 10:16:10
29.   Yankee Fan In Boston
28 amen. word.

i've been saying for a while that comeback carl should be given a chance. i was beginning to think that i was the only one who thought so.

he might actually put up relatively decent numbers. that would be easier without everyone scrutinizing his every move.

i've been disappointed with moose's remarks, but i'm hoping that he has some kind of insight into carl's personality and is saying these things because he feels it will light a fire under him or something...

2007-02-16 10:29:52
30.   Jim Dean
28 29 you I know would have been closer to you guys, but after reading PeteAbe for a while then Tyler's blog this morning, I think Meat gets what he has coming.

The guy doesn't take his job seriously. And in a clubhouse of proefessionals, when's the last time they've seen that? Especially from a guy who's now making the same amount oas Moose?

That's fine when you're either a Wells-type who knows how to put everything aside and perform when it's required.

But as far as the guys in the Yankee clubhouse are concerned, Meat hasn't proven anything - YET. And he can't act like he has or that it's the media's fault.

The message wasn't getting through that: It's all on his shoulders. That, I thought, was Moose's point. Just do it - biatch. Now step up and pitch.

2007-02-16 10:36:17
31.   Howie
27 YFIB, I got the game I wanted as well. It took almost an hour and I ended up with bleachers, but I'm happy. I hope you get to see Pavano shut out the Sox.
2007-02-16 10:37:45
32.   standuptriple
I don't think it's bad form for Moose either. The media has been killing A-Rod in the papers for years. Does he deserve half the criticism he's received? Pavano has been screwing off for a while now and the team is tired of it. And that's saying a lot these days when EVERYONE gets multiple passes for almost anything. The fact that he is stating the obvious is probably a last resort to light a fire under Pavano's ass once and for all. I read it as "We're tired of hearing and making excuses for you, this is your last chance".
2007-02-16 10:40:00
33.   Sliced Bread
28 Personally I liked your anti-Sheff rants better (even though I liked Sheff).

I can't get worked up over Pavano one way or the other.

Moose was just speaking his mind, and I'd rather he did instead of offering bland pabulum.

Moose isn't the type to stir up trouble, and the way I see it his remarks could actually help Pavano in the long run.

Disagreements? work 'em out.

2007-02-16 10:55:05
34.   Yankee Fan In Boston
31 congrats, howie.

as much as i would love to see comeback carl spin a gem in fenway that night, i'd be just as happy to witness kei "quest" igawa do his thang.

honestly, i feel like a kid on christmas morning.

(i've already been offered $325 FOR 2 OF MY $27 tickets, by the way. i love this town for their baseball passion, as misdirected as it may be.)

2007-02-16 11:03:33
35.   JL25and3
33 I'll probably never be able to match my Sheffield rants. An opportunity like that doesn't come around very often.

And to be clear: I'm really not defending Pavano, I really don't care that much about him either. But I am concerned about badmouthing teammmates, no matter what the circumstances. We haven't seen it here in amnay years, and when we did it wasn't pretty.

2007-02-16 11:03:49
36.   JL25and3
amnay? That's "many"
2007-02-16 11:20:18
37.   Sliced Bread
35 That's a good point about the badmouthing, but I don't see Moose v. Pavano degenerating into the Bronx Zoo Part 2.
Torre will keep the cool, and Pavano will be fine... or not.
2007-02-16 11:20:27
38.   rbj
30 "The message wasn't getting through that: It's all on his shoulders"

Careful, or Carl will come down with tendinitis in his shoulder.

Maybe Carl just needs his ass kicked a bit. It can do wonders at times.

2007-02-16 11:23:02
39.   Bama Yankee
36 I thought you were speaking "pig latin" there for a second... ;-)
2007-02-16 11:26:16
40.   JL25and3
39 Ixnay on the igpay atinlay.
2007-02-16 11:27:06
41.   JL25and3
38 "Maybe Carl just needs his ass kicked a bit. It can do wonders at times." When exactly has this sort of public denouncement done wonders?
2007-02-16 11:29:30
42.   Bama Yankee
40 ollingray onway oorflay aughinglay
2007-02-16 11:30:15
43.   JL25and3
42 Otherwise known as "oflray."
2007-02-16 11:37:38
44.   dianagramr

His maladies already included an injured buttocks .... do you want to risk re-injury?

2007-02-16 11:41:03
45.   Yankee Fan In Boston
44 must carl be the butt of every joke?
2007-02-16 11:44:23
46.   Raf
30 What I don't understand is that a lot of people seem to be suprised that an injury prone pitcher is missing time due to injury.
2007-02-16 11:45:52
47.   Raf
Also what I don't get is that there were complaints when he didn't pitch through pain, and there were complaints when he pitched through pain (hiding the cracked rib). What do people want?
2007-02-16 11:52:55
48.   standuptriple
47 But that was due to him lying about an injury (which in some cases is reason to terminate a contract).
2007-02-16 11:56:37
49.   dianagramr
Where have you gone, Ed Whitson?
2007-02-16 11:58:50
50.   Howie
34 It's always fun being a Yankee fan at Fenway. I remember Game 5 of the 1999 ALCS. I got some nasty looks when I jumped up after Jeter's 1st inning homer.

I had a chance to go to Game 5 in 2004. Not sure why I passed it up, but I'm really glad I did.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-02-16 12:03:00
51.   Yankee Fan In Boston
50 yeah. sometimes are more fun than others, but i'd imagine that walking though the bleachers at the stadium in sox gear would be pretty risky, too.

update: i've now been offered $350 plus 4 tickets to a different sox game in exchange for 2 tickets to the yankee game. (this is 3 hours after tickets went on sale. ridiculousness.)

2007-02-16 12:09:31
52.   Cliff Corcoran
47 The complaint was that he pitched through the pain in rehab, but when he got to the point that they were ready to activate him he fessed up, once again avoiding actually contributing to the team.

That's the beef with Pavano, that he would go through the motions of rehab, but when it was time to finally contribute to the major league club, he'd come down with another injury. Moose says it above:

"just the way each [injury] happened and the timing of it and just piecing all of those things together . . . It didn't look good. Was everything just coincidence, over and over again? I don't know."

Remember he pitched one inning in spring training, then made seven rehab starts during the regular season. Also remember that his inital DL stay in 2005 was originally expected to last no more than the 15-day minimum, then he was perpetually a week away from returning at the end of that season and never did. It was then that some stories surfaced about Pavano saying he didn't want to pitch in New York and regretted signing with the Yankees. Remember, these guys can see how hard a player is working to make a comeback. Remember how Matsui busted his butt last year to stay in shape even without the use of his right arm. The Yankee players saw nothing but indifference from Pavano over the last year and a half. If everything else was the same but they saw him working hard to return, or even expressing frustration at being unable to help, this wouldn't be an issue, but that didn't happen, and that's why Torre uses words like "trust and respect." There's a lot more to this than Pavano being injury prone, or even lying about his car accident, it's about a teammate not showing a desire to contribute.

2007-02-16 12:18:41
53.   ny2ca2dc
In response to those who think Moose shouldn't have called Meat out, or that it was counterproductive, etc, check out Pete Abe's LoHud blog:

"After hearing what Mike Mussina had to say about him yesterday, Carl Pavano requested a meeting after today's practice."

"Pavano said he was satisfied and understood Mussina's frustration with him. Mussina told us he apologized for making his comments in public."

"Asked if he were convinced that Pavano wanted to pitch for the Yankees, Mussina nodded his head. "It sounds that way, yeah," he said. "It sounds like it's No. 1 on his priority list.""

I'm of the opinion that some people need a loud and clear shot over the bow - and i think this was just what Meat needed.

2007-02-16 12:20:36
54.   Raf
52 If he didn't want to pitch in NY, or regretted signing here, why didn't/doesn't he demand a trade? He wouldn't be the first to do so. Cashman had an opportunity to move him after 2005, when rumors of Pavano's regret first started.

I just find the whole thing odd; I remember the article you wrote at the Big Red Blog documenting Pavano's career, and his Yankee career seems to fall in line with his history.

2007-02-16 12:24:04
55.   OldYanksFan
I had some thoughts that have been brought up, but not really 'Bantered' on.

1) If we play Jason at first, we can DH either Melky (or Bernie?)
2) If we play Jason at first, we can put Melky in the OF and DH Mats/Damon/Abreu.

We loose defense at first, but gain in the OF (in #2) and gain all around on offense.

Is Giambi that bad on D?
Is the team better overall with one of those 2 scenerios?
Were Jasons DH numbers any better in 2006?

Is making Jason a full time DH really in the teams best interest?

For one thing, it does NOT allow us to rest OF'ers by having them occasionally DH.


2007-02-16 12:27:10
56.   Yankee Fan In Boston
55 if playing giambi in the field raises the risk of injury, i vote against playing him at 1B regularly. but does anyone know if that would be the case? or how much more likely an injury would be? you people are good with numbers....
2007-02-16 12:28:59
57.   Start Spreading the News

Another ranking of the farm systems. This one has the Yanks as #11.

2007-02-16 12:35:45
58.   Zack
28 While I don't tend to see Moose as going as far as you do, I do see a noticable trend in the clubhouse at least dating back a year of Torre seeming to either have less control or not want as much control. ARod, Sheff, Pavano: these are all issues that could seemingly be solved by Joe but haven't, who knows.

I am totally on board with not giving Pavano a free pass no matter what though. While I am hesitant to condemn him, the evidence, as Cliff points out above, is pretty damning. And as Cliff has also said, you HAVE to trade the guy as soon as he puts together enough starts to get something, anything in return. No one needs him on the team or needs to cheer for him...

2007-02-16 12:45:45
59.   Jim Dean
55 It's been bantered about but not much recently because they'be been pretty vocal in their plan to keep him at DH. By most accounts he's a pretty bad 1B, but that won't hurt more than a couple of times a week - how many close plays are there at 1B?

Me, personally, you put him in the field and tell him to just catch the balls (no dives, no leaps, no stretches). Even for half the games, that's 80 fewer that MCI is in the lineup. If it's a close game you put MCI in and move Jason to the DH (and lose one of the displaced OF) or just take him out.

I can't ever see a reason to put Melky at DH when he's the best OF on the team. If they give each of the OF's 40-50 games at DH, that's 400 AB's for Melky. You continue his growth and use the roster in the best possible way.

57 "According to this system, the Diamondbacks have the greatest concentration of offensive "studs." They have 11 guys who are 90th-percentile or better against their age group; in other words, nearly 25% of their system is in the top 10% of minor leaguers."

So the Dbacks have the best hitters, and in a trade in which the Yankees acquired four of their "prospects", they didn't get one?

Just figured I'd ask.

2007-02-16 13:00:44
60.   rbj
Apparently Pavano met with Moose, and things are good between them:
2007-02-16 13:03:21
61.   Cliff Corcoran
54 Raf, thanks for being such an attentive reader! Here's that article on Pavano for others interested:

OYF, as Jim says in 59, Brian Cashman has been adamant all winter about Giambi being a DH, thus the conversation appeared to be moot, but Torre just threw the door back open yesterday per my post above.

To answer some of your questions:

1) If we play Jason at first, we can DH either Melky (or Bernie?)

--You could, but it would be a waste as your second suggestion is far preferable.

2) If we play Jason at first, we can put Melky in the OF and DH Mats/Damon/Abreu.

--Exactly. Melky upgrades the corner OF defense, helps rest aging players with valuable bats and hopefully will continue to mature at the plate making him more productive than Minky or even Phelps/Phillips. What's more investing playing time in Melky now benefits the team in the future.

Is Giambi that bad on D?

--Sadly, yes, he's the worst defensive first baseman in baseball by virtually any measure (85 Rate in 2006, dead last in Probalistic Model of Range:

Were Jasons DH numbers any better in 2006?

Not really, he's still a far better hitter when he plays the field, here are his 2006 splits:

1B: .289/.459/.592
DH: .224/.373/.531

and career:

1B: .311/.434/.577
DH: .246/.388/.483

This is perhaps the most bankable split in baseball. Note that the difference is almost all batting average. He'll get his walks and homers in either case, but he just doesn't get base hits as a DH.

As for the net effect of the two plans (Giambi at DH vs. Giambi in the field) that would take more analysis than I can muster at this moment. If this issue persists, I'll likely post about it in March.

2007-02-16 13:10:07
62.   markp
I doubt Giambi will be in the field more than 2-3 times a week, meaning M-z will be making outs either way. The real solution is to get a league average 1B, but we've been down this road before with this front office.
2007-02-16 13:15:43
63.   Jim Dean
61 You think Cashman and Co have done that analysis and realized they'd come out ahead with Minky at 1b? Or are they more worried about the Giambi injuries and think they'll lose more offense if he's out (30+ games) than if he's a DH?
2007-02-16 13:18:23
64.   Sliced Bread
Giambi's splits can not be ignored. I've been saying all winter that we'll probably see a lot more of Giambi at 1B this year than Cashman would like to see.
I'm glad Torre seems to want to challenge Cash's edict.
Giambi's defense wouldn't hurt the team as much as the precipitous drop in SLG percentage when he's the DH.
Let's not mess with Giambi's bat for the sake of Doug Out's mythical glove.
2007-02-16 13:20:25
65.   yankz
I know that the Yankees have knowledge of Giambi's splits. Still, the difference between his stats is so consistent and overwhelming that I'd do it. It would upgrade the outfield defense; is that more valuable than first base defense? It would also upgrade the hitting immensely (replace Scrabble with Melky and Good Giambi with Great Giambi).
2007-02-16 13:22:36
66.   Shawn Clap
59 It's been a while since I've seen a baseball game, but I don't think a player in the lineup can move to DH.

The DH can take the field, but then you lose the spot and the pitcher has to bat.

Anyone sure about that?

2007-02-16 13:26:37
67.   Jim Dean

Anyone can take the place of the DH (pinch runner, player in the field, pinch hitter). You just can't move that player into the field, like you say.

2007-02-16 13:37:54
68.   Cliff Corcoran
67 You read that wrong. They key line is here:

"A Designated Hitter is 'locked' into the batting order. No multiple substitutions may be made that will alter the batting rotation of the Designated Hitter."

Thus no player can be moved from a field position to DH because neither the player nor the DH spot can change their position in the batting order. For example, if Giambi's hitting fifth and the DH spot is seventh, Giambi can't be the DH because the DH has to bat seventh and Giambi has to stay in the fifth-hole.

2007-02-16 13:40:04
69.   Cliff Corcoran
63 I think the risk of injury is their primary concern, and it's a legitimate one. If not for that I'd be whole hog for playing Jason in the field and making Melky the starting LF and Matsui the starting DH.
2007-02-16 13:40:43
70.   bobtaco
63 You guys continue to analyze this through the lens of on field performance, but I really think that the current 1B situation has more to do with Arod's mental well being and production.
2007-02-16 13:42:54
71.   Cliff Corcoran
70 At first I thought you were being sarcastic, but now I'm not so sure.
2007-02-16 13:45:45
72.   Jim Dean
68 I see - thanks. Pinch runner coming in for the DH keeps the spot "locked". Like when Cairo comes in for Giambi. :) Or a pinch hitter.

That is a weird consequence of the rule. Obviously it's meant to restrict flexibility and I suspect the only reason you can pinch hit for them or move the DH into the field is because of potential injuries.

They should just get rid of it, but it will never happen.

2007-02-16 13:49:19
73.   Jim Dean
69 I think you're right on both counts. After all, if they lose Giambi's bat for a hammy, there goes alot of offense.

But you know what, that's what makes the current 1B (and even bench) solution so weird. On one level they're planning for an injury. But on so many other levels they're not.

2007-02-16 13:49:33
74.   Yankee Fan In Boston
71 i think it is a legitimate statement. i keep forgetting that doug and alex were pals. good point.
2007-02-16 14:32:10
75.   Bama Yankee
70&74 Yeah, it'll be dinky when Minky makes like a slinky extending his pinky to keep A-rod's throws from looking stinky...

(Sorry, but it's Friday and at least it's better than the pig latin stuff from earlier, where's Chyll when we need him?)

2007-02-16 14:43:20
76.   dianagramr
At this point, Giambi is more mobile than ex-Yank Nick Johnson ....

"Johnson arrived at spring training Friday. Asked what he thought the best-case
scenario is for his return, Johnson said it might be June.

"Everything's so weak in my right leg -- my hip, my quad, everything,'' he said.


(always liked Nick .... thought he could have/should have been the man after Tino)

2007-02-16 15:09:12
77.   markp
Giambi getting on the field very often is a bad idea for several reasons. His health, his defense, and the fatigue factor. That the only alternatives are Phillips, M-z et al doesn't speak well of the guy who let it get to that situations ability to construct a roster.

I seriously doubt M-z is going to change Arod's season in any way. The "he'll make Arod happy" BS is yet another way for the sports media to demean Alex.

2007-02-16 15:41:29
78.   Zack
I always liked Nick the Stick too, problem is, his injuries seem to be preventing him from ebign what we all thought he could be. Or maybe he just isn't. In any case, another injury to shorten his season..
2007-02-16 16:53:06
79.   OldYanksFan
28 I can't agree more. This is bad news. Like Vegas, what happens in the clubhouse (should) stays in the clubhouse.

You guys missed the slippery slope issue. Pavano deserves negative flake? Well, who draws that line? Nothing is served taking to reporters. It just creates artificial controversy.

My feeling is sports writting is getting worse and worse, and therefore writers jump on any 'real' issue.. such as ARods state-of-mind, etc. Now, there is more Pavano grist for the mill.

I don't like it. I don't think players should ever take shots at each other via the press.

I'm not defending Meat. I just think that if this kind of behavior (badmouthing teammates) is acceptable, that it's a very, very bad sign.

2007-02-16 17:15:59
80.   yankz
Is Tyler Clippard even in Tampa?
2007-02-16 17:33:14
81.   Cliff Corcoran
80 Sure he is, why do you ask?
2007-02-16 18:11:53
82.   yankz
81 Haven't read anything about him being there, and he wasn't in either pitching "Group."
2007-02-16 20:28:49
83.   Cliff Corcoran
82 Pete Abe only posted two groups, the third likely included Steven Jackson, Matt DeSalvo, Jeff Kennard, Steven White, and Clippard.
2007-02-16 20:47:19
84.   Chyll Will
75 I've got nuthin', ask wsporter...
2007-02-16 21:28:55
85.   dianagramr
Missed this one earlier today .... Torre's brother Frank now needs a kidney transplant ...

2007-02-16 21:48:33
86.   Chyll Will
"They call him Minky, Minky, Cashman en-light me...
how you came to see...him back Giambi...

And we know Minky, makes the entire world wonder...
why he bats under... .223!"

2007-02-16 22:11:58
87.   dianagramr

Need a porpoise in life, Chyll?

2007-02-17 08:06:27
88.   Chyll Will
87 I dolphin asked myself that same question...

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