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The Ship Be Sinkin
2007-05-28 07:48
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The first man Mike Mussina walked on Sunday afternoon was also the last batter he faced. With one man out in the seventh inning, Joe Torre relieved Mussina with the Yankees holding a 2-1 lead. Scott Proctor quickly gave up a double and then walked three consecutive men as more than 50,000 Yankee fans sat on their hands, helplessly. The Angels ended the inning leading 4-2 one just one hit. When Torre came to get Proctor after the third walk, the Yankee manager was showered with boos from the Stadium crowd, whose frustration had boiled over.

The Bombers staged a rally in the ninth against K-Rod and for the second straight day they came up just short. Rodriguez got Jeter to fly out to center field to end the game. Final: Angels 4, Yanks 3. A fine effort from Mussina spoiled. The Yankee offense was terrible. Jason Giambi is slumping so badly he's practically giving away at bats (he's 4-for his last-44). Oh, and John Lackey showed why he's a tough, big-game pitcher. He goes right after hitters and is as good as he is ugly.

Hey, and what do you know, the Red Sox won for a change. New York is now 12.5 back. Only fantastic memories of 1978 are keeping hope alive for Yankee fans now. However, this Yankee team is looking more like the 1979 vintage. They didn't give up yesterday, but it seems as if these guys are down 2-0 before the first pitch is thrown these days. Still some time left, but they've got to play .600+ ball for the rest of the season. Oy.

Comments (76)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-05-28 08:16:48
1.   nemecizer
I think someone is about to get fired. I hope it's not Cashman, I actually generally like what he is doing. He made some bad signings, sure, but he is stocking the farm. I read that Steinbrenner wants to keep Torre around to humiliate him with a losing season. Who knows.

This team just looks bad.

2007-05-28 08:17:35
2.   Mattpat11
Tonight's the night. We go 9-1 over the next ten games. I can feel it in my bones.
2007-05-28 08:19:47
3.   RIYank
Yeah, John Lackey really is good, and much as I fumed over that truly hideous Proctor performance the Yanks inability to get key hits on three occasions (am I forgetting any?) was more frustrating than anything else.

Man. In the ninth inning, I was thinking, "Looks like we're about to get swept, but on the other hand a comeback would be a great beginning to a winning streak..." And Jeter came up just short.

2007-05-28 08:28:06
4.   JL25and3
2 Nice sentiment, Mattpat, even if it doesn't happen. Wouldn't it be nice if it did?
2007-05-28 08:29:30
5.   JL25and3
4 Ouch. Change that second "nice" to "great" or something. It's much nicer that way.
2007-05-28 08:32:41
6.   RIYank
We could go 9-1. It's just that then we'd be 9 1/2 out.
Still, a winning streak would feel good. A winning streak with a nice Clippard rebound and topped off with seven shutout innings from Clemens.
2007-05-28 08:38:41
7.   Mattpat11
6 We need to break it up. If we can get it down to six by the break, we have a real shot.
2007-05-28 08:46:20
8.   RIYank
7 I'm calling the FBI to report a case of identity theft...
2007-05-28 08:47:12
9.   Mattpat11
8 I've been drinking. Its Memorial Day.
2007-05-28 08:55:31
10.   RIYank
Ah, so that's it. Well, in keeping with the theme of the day: The sun's over the yardarm!
2007-05-28 09:04:47
11.   yankz
No pressure on Pettitte, what with DeSalvo and Clip going next.
2007-05-28 09:13:48
12.   manila boy
11 Ten posts without a single trace of sarcasm or snide, and you had to go ruin it. ;-)

Me, I'm just hoping we're within striking distance of the wild card when Hughes gets back.

2007-05-28 09:16:13
13.   Jim Dean
I'm of mixed emotions in canning Cashman, almost schizophrenic, actually:

On the pro side -

That the trades of Wright, Shef, and Unit yielded nothing that has helped the 2007 Yankees is a major indictment. Whereas the Sox knew they had to improve across the board, the Yanks did nothing apart from signing Pettitte. They simply stood pat or [gasp] even got worse. We could look to the obvious places and shudder in horror (1B and bench), but what truly makes the team worse is that because the bench is barely worthy of AAA playing time, there's no contingency with any struggles by the starting 9. At this point, the only way to improve the team is the same way the year was looking in January - trade for 1b and bench help.

On the con side -

The rebuilt pitching in the farm can not be understated. That is very valuable from Hughes and Clippard all the way down to Joba. Indeed, those pitchers will prevent an all out collapse by the organization - unless Cashman get fired and the newbie looks for quick fixes.

At least with Cashman we know what we've got - a guy who seldom trades for young talent, is habitually blind to the need of a decent bench, and leaves holes to fester for seasons on end before addressing them. However, he at least turned a corner in his thinking with the help of Pavano - no big money to crappy free agent pitchers. Too bad they've got no position players above High-A ready to help in the next two years.

Perhaps the only way Cahman could be fired and the Yankes don't face a total collapse: Bring back Stick Michael for a two year tour of duty. Then let him hire a sucessor.

2007-05-28 09:37:29
14.   rbj
Well, it looks like I picked the right weekend to go away.

Yanks had what, 11 straight years of playoff appearances? Exceeded only by the Braves, who missed last year? I want the Yankees to win the WS every year, but it just isn't going to happed, it doesn't in any sport where there is some decent level of competition. And I don't think any one, or group of people, is necessarily responsible -- Bill James talks about regression to the mean, and that teams that are successful one year tend to trend downward the next; see, e.g. Red Sox winning the WS & two years later not even in the playoffs. Or the Angels, or White Sox or Mets of recent vintage.

This year's team doesn't look that good, but I can see it more as a reloading, what with Rasner, Karstens, DeSalvo, Wright, Clippard and Hughes waiting in the wings. The Yanks have a good foundation of young pitchers, which bodes well for the future, even if this year is going to be a bitter pill to swallow.

Anyway, the only thing that can be done is win tonight. Clemens is going at 5 pm for SWB.

2007-05-28 09:52:38
15.   The Mick 536
Before bailing and making some coach, executive, or manager walk the plank, lets find out who is responsible for overloading the boat with aging or overrated stars.

Someone authorized the signings or resignings of Pavano, Matsui, and Damon. Someone scouted the foreign market and came up with Igawa. Someone ignored the warning signs about Farnsworth's straightball. Someone decided that benches don't matter, buullpens do and then forgot to stock it up. And, someone started a rumor that the two rookies who played out of their minds last year would dominate at their position, even though one didn't have one.

Who is that person? Maybe it is the errant son-in-law. At least I hope it is.

2007-05-28 10:02:57
16.   Jim Dean
15 Cashman assumed total control after the 2005 season. Of those you listed, that explains Matsui's reup, Damon, Farns, and the bench for 2006 and 2007.

Keep in mind though that Matsui is playing to his career averages.

2007-05-28 10:06:38
17.   Chyll Will
14 Very cool, rb... I was gonna say much of the same thing. Removing Torre at this point would only undermine whatever incentive the team has at this point to go after the current leader. At some point, pride is gonna kick in and the talent will meet the expectations. If not, then you'll know where the changes need to be made (and Cash oughtta be the man to do it).

The Yanks have been the most consistent winners over the last ten or so years, including championships that Atlanta doesn't have, so I'm not worried about the immediate future. After all, this is not unprecedented in Yankee history, and with the moves that Cash has made to solidify a soft farm system, not to mention the added incentive of international FA signings that have yielded two high-caliber starters through the farm, I'd say our down-time is more consistent with the teams from the fifties.

I see it kinda like the Dow... the market might go down precipitously as a matter of correction once in a while, but because of the safeties in place, we'll likely never have another Great Depression (i.e. late sixties-early seventies). Let's remain patient; I don't really care if we win or not this year, as long as we're locked and loaded for years to come.

9 Ah, a happy drunk! I like them. Lose the keys, MP and enjoy the holiday >;)

2007-05-28 10:14:04
18.   Chyll Will
16 Outside of the bench, what else was available? And since there appears to be a moratorium on value trades with the Yanks, I don't really know what else could be expected except to hope for the best and endure the hardships for the short term. It worked for Kenny Williams, who everyone thought was absolutely crazy until 2005.
2007-05-28 10:19:16
19.   Shaun P
Ain't over 'til its over!

14 17 Exactly! If the price of the Yanks consistently winning for the next 10 years, is a losing 2007 (and even 2008), I will make that trade gladly. Define "losing" however you like.

My only worry is "evil George" of the late 80s comes back, fires Cashman and scraps 'the plan' in favor of his old strategy - sign overpriced, old, good once 5 years ago free agents and develop nothing. It'll be deja vu all over again. I was hoping those days were gone, but we'll see.

In the meantime - go Yanks!

2007-05-28 10:23:23
20.   yankeefrank
Hey nemecizer, if someone gets fired, I vote for the guy who recommended that we sign Igawa. Sunglasses, mullet hair-do, and zero stuff to boot. Now that was NOT a smart move by the Yanks.
2007-05-28 10:39:57
21.   Chyll Will
You're only as strong as your support system. Cash should start there before someone else does. Firing Len Garrett was a good decision in hindsight (he failed to produce a starter from the farm from 1992 on), but shouldn't be the last, how about evaluating the people who brought in good talent and seeing if there's a spot that would help the big club as well?

Oh yeah, George.

2007-05-28 10:41:10
22.   yankz
Yes, Matsui is playing to his career averages, to the tune of a 126 OPS+. And we're unhappy about that?
2007-05-28 10:44:55
23.   seamus
20 Igawa definitely does not have "zero stuff". He is damn ugly though. But in any case, we won't know if he is a good signing until we see how his reconstruction of his throwing motion turns out. I've never heard of such a dramatic change that late in a guys career, though i'm sure it happens (randy johnson?). There is no question that we have to wonder about the idea that his throwing motion has such issues and yet he was expected to start right off. What I don't get is he had phenomenal control in Japan. Was he always up there too?
2007-05-28 10:47:02
24.   Chyll Will
22 What's his Clutch Factor as opposed to his DP Descriptor?
2007-05-28 10:49:07
25.   weeping for brunnhilde
22 I love Matsui, but I'm disappointed in him.

He's hitting .290ish and yet I watch him and notice he frequently dribbles the ball to second base trying to pull. I feel like he used to go the other way with greater frequency, especially with risp.

Imagine how good he'd be if he'd focus on driving that outside pitch to left.

I see him as a very good player with room for improvement.

It's painful for me to watch those little dribblers to second base.

They absolutely kill me.

2007-05-28 10:54:25
26.   Jim Dean
18 That's a popular question. "Outside of the bench" is not so readily dismissed - it's big piece of the problem. A decent bench and they could afford to sit Cano, Abreu, and Damon more often. In CF it was a four year problem and the ultimate solution was utterly uninteresting AND overpriced. And now with 1B it's the same thing and they still have three 1B's with no other role. Bullpen is always a crapshoot - Bruney is better than Farns (for now). Me, I though the Matsui signing was fine.

But the point is: You do what you have to get young talent into the system. You can't say there's a "moratorium on value trades" after an offseason in which the Yanks obtained 7 mL players (6 pithcers) for Sheffield, Wright, and Unit and none have helped the Yanks so far in 2007 (though Britton prob will). Cashman has been gun shy about acquiring young talent since Vazquez. Unfortunately that's part of the job description.

14 17 19 That's exactly the way I'll justify things to myself too (when the time is right). But it didn't have to be that way.

Where the Dow jones analogy works quite well is with the players as stocks. Too often the Yanks have bought high and sold low (Unit, Vazquez) - that's catching up to them. The inability to draft talent for over ten years also hasn't helped.

2007-05-28 11:03:34
27.   yankz
26 But you didn't address the question: Who was available? People I can think of:

Beltran for CF (I'm pretty sure that George ordered Cash to get Unit, not Beltran)
Howry/Eyre/Ryan for the pen (like you said, it's a crapshoot, and Hendry/Ricciardi went nuts with these contracts)
Easley for MI (Turned down the Yankees' offer)

Conor Jackson, who I believe you campaigned for this offseason (I know I did)? Below average offensively so far. He'll probably turn it around, but he wouldn't have helped this year.

2007-05-28 11:06:13
28.   yankz
Matsui 2 Outs RISP: OPS = .784
Close and late = .850
Tie game = 1.026
Within 1 = 1.061
Within 2 = 1.048

So not only has Matsui been good, he's been pretty good in the clutch as well.

25 I've seen him do it, multiple times. If he could do it every single time, he'd be earning as much as A-Rod.

I think there are far more pressing issues with the team than Hideki Matsui.

2007-05-28 11:07:58
29.   yankz
24 Is that a poke at statheadism ;) FWIW, Matsui's on pace to have less GIDP than his career avg for a season.
2007-05-28 11:09:55
30.   Zack
Its Memorial Day and I had too many Margaritas last night (too much sugar!), so my head already hurts before all this talk, ergo, I'll try to change the subject a little.

I live in San Diego, where I have the pleasure of watching Jake Peavy throw every 5 days. I know I have been pumping him all season, but has anyone looked at his #s lately?

7-1 ERA: 1.47 IP: 73.1 H: 48 K: 85 BB: 20 WHIP: 0.93

Nasty, just filthy. And watching him pitch is even more impressive. His pitches have ridiculous movement, too much almost, so that his one drawback being that he throws a lot of pitches (combo of power pitcher and lots of movement).

So, my point in all of this is two things/questions:

1) Why the heck isn't he getting more attention? I assume its the San Diego-East Coast bias blah blah blah, as Beckett has gotten so much more attention with much worse #s (save wins).

2) A lot of people have talked about the biggest difference between last season's not so great #s and this season's awesome #s being the presence of Maddux on the team. Think there's anything to that?

Oh yeah, Yanks stink, but I too feel a win streak coming on...

2007-05-28 11:10:21
31.   David
26 "Too often the Yanks have bought high and sold low (Unit, Vazquez) - that's catching up to them. The inability to draft talent for over ten years also hasn't helped."

I fully agree. The Yanks are not particularly good at measuring the value of players. Smarter teams are eating their lunch.

Although Cashman is to blame for this problem, simply firing him isn't enough. The real challenge is to replace him with someone stronger.

OTOH there are lots of good replacements available for Joe Torre. I'd try replacing him with Joe Girardi.

2007-05-28 11:11:39
32.   yankz
30 He's on my fantasy team, so I've been watching closely as well. That 9 K in a row game was just beautiful.
2007-05-28 11:11:58
33.   Zack
And as for other offseason moves: Mike Gonzalez, he of the rumored Melky trade, is about to undergo Tommy John surgery...
2007-05-28 11:12:50
34.   weeping for brunnhilde
28 I understand, yankz. I'm not saying he's the problem with the team, not by a long shot.

But watching him play day in and day out, I'm convinced he has untapped potential.

I could be wrong, but that's what I see.

2007-05-28 11:13:29
35.   williamnyy23
26 I agree with Jim. "Outside of the bench" is not an acceptable starting point. Throughout the Yankees dynasty run, they always had a superior bench. Not all stars, mind you, but good solid major league quality players. Of course, those teams didn't really need a bench as much because while not loaded with All Stars like this team, the starting lineup was much younger. Now, you have an aging front line with absolutely no back-up. That is a recipe for disaster. Giambi and Damon struggle with injuries and there's no replacement. Cano goes into witness protection, but he is still light years ahead of Cairo. Abreu falls off a cliff, but Melky is falling faster. Basically, the Yankees rolled the dice with 8 quality major league hitters. Even though they were all All Stars, it left little room for error. Now, the team is paying the very dear price.

I wont take any satisfaction from Cashman's firing because I think he'll learn from this. All I'd like to hear him say is he has learned from the mistake of ignoring the bench and it will never happen again.

Personally, I like to see Torre fired simply for gratification. I think he has been the wrong fit for this team for sometime and think the Yankees left some post season victories on the table as a result. Having said that, the last emotion this team has is "win one for Joe", so they might as well give that a chance.

Hopefully, the continuing collapse of 2007 will not spill over into 2008. At this point, looking for signs of that is just as important as searching for signs of life in the current team.

2007-05-28 11:14:08
36.   Zack
32 In Yahoo leagues at least, he is up to the #3 ranked player in all of baseball, behind A-Rod and Ordonez, but AHEAD of Reyes. That's just sick...
2007-05-28 11:14:20
37.   seamus
31 i don't believe that we can blame cashman for this. the buy high came when he was not in control. The sell low was a direct result of selling high (you have to sell low to dump the salaries). Obviously I disagree with Jim Dean on this point.
2007-05-28 11:15:16
38.   williamnyy23
30 He got the attention before last season and had a poor year by his standards. Now, everyone has backed off until he re-emerges, which he is doing quite nicely.
2007-05-28 11:16:56
39.   JL25and3
30 It might be too early for that win streak. I'm a pessimist, born and bred: I see the Yankees going 22-6 in August, to pull within about 6 games. That will be it.

Ah. It's because of all the sugar. I hate it when that happens.

2007-05-28 11:17:25
40.   Chyll Will
26 Not all the high-quality talent you bring into the Bronx can achieve in this environment. The team's history is littered with players they thought would compete on the same high level, but failed under the scrutiny of the media, the fans and the Boss. Jeff Weaver was certainly applauded as a good signing until he started pitching; yet he was the ace on the Tigers before-hand. Vazquez did well enough after leaving the Yanks, as did Contreras. You can't really anticipate the reaction a player is gonna have to NY until he actually plays. I do know this, if Matsuzaka had started here like he did earlier this season, we'd be clamoring for Cashman's head early on and Matzuzaka would be in Tampa faster than Igawa was.

If you take the analogy that way, JD, you're a day trader. If you're lucky, you'll hit it big, but chances are likely the same as hitting the lotto, and then there's the principle of sustaining that wealth. Good luck with that. Be patient.

2007-05-28 11:17:46
41.   yankz
34 Gotcha. When you put it that way, I agree.

36 That's NUTS.

Since we're talking about this being a potential punt year where the boys retool for the future, I'd like to bring up something I mentioned late last night: next year's lineup. Like I said, does this scare anyone?

RF Ichiro (my guess for Abreu's replacemnt)
SS Jeter
LF Matsui
DH Giambi
3B Free Agent? (assuming Arod walks)
2B Cano
C Posada (assuming he's resigned)
CF Damon
1B Eric Duncan??

2007-05-28 11:21:11
42.   seamus
41 Wouldn't that be one of the better lineups in the AL?

I really hope ARod stays. I doubt he can get paid much more than he is anyhow.

2007-05-28 11:21:12
43.   Zack
41 The Ichiro battle is going to be out of control. The Sox, Yanks, Mariners, Muts, and a lot of others are going to be going full guns. I imagine the Sox and Yanks will be throwing all sorts of money at him, so who knows. Ichiro wouldn't be a bad signing by the Yanks, but he IS going to be 34 next season, so even a 4 year deal has him until 38. And if he loses a step or two, well...
2007-05-28 11:21:27
44.   williamnyy23
41 Ichiro on a short-term deal might make sense more for the attitude he brings than his actual output. I think he would be a much more suitable CF'er than Damon though. If Arod is gone, that lineup above is simply not going to be very good. The bottom line for the Yankees is they NEED to re-sign Arod. Period. Otherwise, a massive retooling is in order.
2007-05-28 11:21:44
45.   JL25and3
15 Before bailing and making some coach, executive, or manager walk the plank, lets find out who is responsible for overloading the boat with aging or overrated stars.

But that's how it's always, with two exceptions. In the early 70's and the early 90's they were able to make trades with an eye towards the future, and to build up the farm system at the same time. Those periods shared two specific characteristics: (1) The Yankees were in a losing period, or just coming out of one, and (2) George had to serve a suspension.

Otherwise, this has been the Yankee way for a long time.

2007-05-28 11:24:56
46.   Chyll Will
29 Not really, that was more setting it on the tee for ya. Nice knock >:)
2007-05-28 11:25:44
47.   williamnyy23
42 I'm not being condescending, but the only sure things in that lineup are Ichiro, Matsui and Jeter, and neither of them are off the charts statistically. Will Giambi be healthy next year? What FA 3B is even available? Who is the real Cano? Posada has been great this year, but can he really keep it up another year? Damon has injury concerns similar to Giambi and Duncan hasn't exactly proven he can hit in the minors?

That lineup has a ton of questions and not one bonafide, every day slugger. If that's what takes the field in 2008, I am not so ready to give up on this year.

2007-05-28 11:28:28
48.   monkeypants
26 The Dow Jones analogy can be extended further, though. This team has made the play offs for a dozen straight years, and it is clear that a "market correction" was due. It happened to the Braves last year, and to some degree the Sox last year--now it's the Yanks' turn.

It is easy now to blame the GM for signing aging and unimaginative FAs--indeed, I do. But we need to put this in context. When sports dynasties (and just post-dynasties) begin to age, there seems to be the temptation to sign the 'one more player' to win now, since there appears to be too much residual talent to warrant throwing in the towel. In the NFL, this certainly happened to the Fortyniners.

For example, wow we complain about Damon, and many will point out that they predicted his early demise when he was signed. But no one seemed to mind when he had the best offensive season in his career last season.

But let's forget the past and look to the future. If a new philosophy must be put in place and the win now at all costs rejected (no more aging vets, past their prime, overpaid, etc.), what is to be done about A-Rod? Is he worth overpaying for a contract that is too long, figuring the return the first few years will be worth it? Or, closer to home, what about Mo and Posada. If a new strategy is adopted wholesale, then I think that they must not be resigned (because I suspect that if the Yankees enter the bidding, they will be compelled to overbid, lest it look like they "lost" Mo to the Sox or whoever).

2007-05-28 11:29:48
49.   seamus
47 Posada has always been a good hitting catcher. Why would 2008 be substantiall different? Even with a small decline, he would be a solid hitter. Have we seen any reason to believe that Cano won't be able to hit in 2008?

I agree about Giambi and Duncan, but I seriously doubt Duncan starts for the Yanks in 2008. So I just ignored that. But even with the doubts on Damon and some others, take a look around at other lineups. Lineups are rarely as deep as the Yanks lineup has been these past few years.

2007-05-28 11:40:52
50.   monkeypants
49 But, continuing with my (long) post at 48, one expects a small decline with aging stars, like Posada. but the last couple of years have also shown how dramatic declines can be (Bernie, perhaps Giambi and Abreu this year). So again, in a walk year, do the Yanks gamble on Posada or let him go. if they gamble and it doesn't work out, will we all call for the GM's head?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-05-28 11:42:44
51.   Chyll Will
When I said "outside of the bench" that should have been accepted that something could have been done about the bench, not as a benchmark for measuring Cash's evaluation skills. I've said it before and I'll say it again, his talent evaluation is in question, but given the moves he's made to fortify the farm, I'm willing to give him more time before we come to a conclusion.

45 Why do so many people dance around this? George isn't going to ban us for criticizing him, especially when it's justified.

43 What would you offer Ichiro to forgo a long-term contract so that you could take advantage of his skills while they remain prime? Principally, a player like him probably feels like a difference-maker for a contending team that would be willing to deal with declining skills, perhaps because they have a player ready to replace him when it happens. Tell me, what should the Yanks offer that he couldn't get somewhere else (Boston?) for a longer period of time?

2007-05-28 11:43:11
52.   yankeefrank
23 I confess; I did not know or follow Igawa in Japan. Nevertheless, based on what I have seen so far, minmal velocity, and limited control does not translate to effecitve stuff at the MLB level of competition.
2007-05-28 11:44:17
53.   seamus
50 we've also seen with improving workout regimens, that players (without roids even) can actually improve late in their careers. So yes, we could see a decline, but its predictability is becoming more difficult to project.

As for Abreu, he has not struggled long enough to be labeled an abrupt decline yet. Giambi looked like he was done two years ago. so hard to know what to expect from aging players (which is why youngsters should always be on the ready to step up).

2007-05-28 11:49:20
54.   yankz
46 Thanks for the alley-oop.

Unfortunately, 47 is exactly what I was trying to get at. Like I said last night, you HAVE to break the bank for A-rod.

49 Who plays 1B next year? Tex is the best option, but that's still a longshot.

2007-05-28 11:52:21
55.   weeping for brunnhilde
Hmm.

On Ichiro.

First off, I'm against signing him on principle, because I'm sick of the known quantity free agents. It's boring.

A few years back there was an excellent piece in the onion about George buying the entire league, featuring the likes of Bonds, RJ Sammy Sosa et. al. in pinstripes.

The piece was dead on. Enough of the low-hanging fruit route to victory, or non-victory, as the case may be.

I'd rather lose with a more original kind of team in future and patiently await its improvement then continue this mad groping for the shiniest new/old sportscar available.

Yawn.

Ok, so that's the aesthetic reason I don't want Ichiro.

Practically speaking, he's a great outfielder and I'd love to watch him play, but at his age, you have to wonder about declining speed, no?

He'll still hit and field with reduced speed, to be sure, but if his speed starts to wane, his game will be hampered appreciably.

More imagination (which necessitates patience), less predictability, I say.

2007-05-28 11:53:05
56.   seattleyank
49 I think there are legitimate questions about Cano. His is totally unable to control the strike zone and has only shown flashes of power. When he's not on a hot streak, he's a total out machine.
2007-05-28 11:53:16
57.   Zack
51 No idea. Not even sure its what the Yanks should do. Depends on this season I guess. If the result of this season is that this year and next become the "rebuilding" phase, forget Ichiro. If not, then I would say 3yrs at 18 Mill would do it. The question is, is he worth that to us?
2007-05-28 11:56:25
58.   weeping for brunnhilde
56 I'll accept that there are questions about Cano, though I think they're about focus more than anything else, especially in the field.

But why is the fact that he's shown only flashes of power a problem?

He's a second baseman, for crying out loud.

Why does every player on the team have to hit 20 homeruns?

Power/schmower, I say.

But then, I'm old-fashioned.

2007-05-28 12:01:43
59.   Chyll Will
57 Not saying that's what they should do, but just asking, what should they do if they chose to pursue him?
2007-05-28 12:05:46
60.   monkeypants
58 I don't think the question is power per se. But a player--even a middle infielder--is much more valuable if his offensive output is not tied soley to BA. Willie Randolph was pretty light hitting, but he had a relatively high OBP. We know Cano is not going to walk a lot, so he better hit with some power or else his ofensive contribution will be negligible (unless he bats .330 every year).
2007-05-28 12:08:40
61.   weeping for brunnhilde
60 Hmmm.

Maybe so.

I'll think on that.

2007-05-28 12:09:23
62.   williamnyy23
49 I'm not suggesting Posada will fall off completely, but a decline has to come at some point. As for Cano, the jury is still out. He could very well be just a league average hitter. That's solid production from 2B, but not what I think we all were expecting.
2007-05-28 12:11:52
63.   yankeefrank
54 Now playing first base, number 25, Norm Seibern, number 25. At least that's what Bob Shepard would say.
2007-05-28 12:13:55
64.   Shaun P
Wait a moment. Why are the Sox going to throw any money at Ichiro? Just because? They've got Manny for (at least) another year in LF, Drew for (maybe) 4 more years in RF, and that Ellsbury kid ready to play CF. Plus Wily Mo as a backup OF (and Brandon Moss supposedly looks solid again).

I don't see the Yanks making move for Ichiro either. He's a great talent, for sure, but at 34 likely to be overpriced. Guys with other skills AND speed tend to decline smoothly, but when speed is the centerpoint of a guy's game - it is for Ichiro - that smooth decline often doesn't apply.

I don't see the Yanks breaking the bank for him. No, the new Mariners' GM will pay to keep him, because (for PR at the least), they have to.

2007-05-28 12:15:17
65.   seamus
folks need to realize that a player of cano's age and talent is going to go through some bumps on the road, but Cano definitely looks better than a league average hitter from here.
2007-05-28 12:16:44
66.   seamus
see y'all tonight... probably.
2007-05-28 12:20:07
67.   JL25and3
49, 50 Catchers have a tendency to decline precipitously. The best way to counteract that is to lessen their catching load (or move them to another position altogether, which is more common). Posada may be able to keep on catching this much, but it's not wise to count on it.
2007-05-28 12:47:14
68.   weeping for brunnhilde
65 Agreed.

Anyone know how many such players there are?

I.e., players with a good rookie year, a near batting title their second year, and then an average career?

2007-05-28 12:48:29
69.   Shaun P
Some OFs who will be free agents after 2007, and who I think the Yanks might want to consider (ie, not everyone available). At the end I listed guys who would be textbook "evil George" signings.

Bobby Abreu - 33; if in a rapid decline, not worth it; if he rights himself . . . a short-term deal?

Milton Bradley - 30; talented but so injury prone

Eric Byrnes - 32; can he play CF well? Might be a reasonable stop-gap (1-2 yrs at most) solution in CF if Melky doesn't work out (presuming Damon is toast); can play RF ASAIK, but doesn't hit like a RF

Mike Cameron - 35; another short-term intriguing CF stop-gap, is he still a good defender? OBP/SLG-wise, he might hit like a RF . . .

Adam Dunn - 28; an intriguing 1B solution; I expect a major bidding war between Boston and the Yanks on him; his downside is that his home/road splits are as bad as Teixeira's (111 OPS+ at home, 90 OPS+ on the road), but maybe it doesn't matter? a bad glove in LF by all accounts, could he play RF? (He was a QB in high school in Texas, so in theory he has an arm.)

Kosuke Fukodome - 31, RF, supposed to be a great player, I know nothing about his defense - the question may be, who does he hire as his agent, Boras, Tellem, someone else?

Torii Hunter - 32; reminds me a little too much of Andruw Jones (see below), but with less ability/upside; looking for a long-term/big bucks deal, but I don't think he's worth it

Geoff Jenkins - 32, strictly platooned, a good short-term solution in RF (along with Kevin Thompson)? Though he's had injury issues before

Andruw Jones - 30; I just don't know; he's been lost this year, and its starting to look like power is the only remaining part of his game (never walked much, never hit for average - career .265/.345/.503); he stopped stealing bases 8 years ago, and his defense isn't what it used to be (Gold Gloves be damned); Beltran he is not, though I'm sure Boras will try to spin him as Beltran's clone

Aaron Rowand - 30; hmm . . .

Rondell White - 35; sorry, wanted to make sure you were still paying attention

Brad Wilkerson - 30; 3 years ago I would have said yes, now I think not

Textbook Evil George signings (for obvious reasons, I hope):

Barry Bonds
Jermaine Dye
Darin Erstad
Luis Gonzalez
Trot Nixon
Reggie Sanders
Sammy Sosa
Shannon Stewart
Preston Wilson

2007-05-28 13:02:05
70.   rbj
64 I agree on Ichiro(!) -- I don't want a 35+ y.o. CF who's main component of his OBP is speed. Just imagine if the Yankees brought in some dunderhead from, I don't know, a country club and he screwed up Ichiro's hammy.

Personally, I could see giving Melky a year to win the CF job. Robbie, I think, needs a certain type of hitting coach -- someone who could reach him about being more selective at the plate.

Posada should start splitting time between catcher and 1B while working in the new, young catcher from the minors (Cashman did ensure the Yankees have a good young catcher, right?).

2007-05-28 13:05:32
71.   weeping for brunnhilde
Rondell White.

:)

2007-05-28 13:28:24
72.   Chyll Will
[69} MIL-ton? where have I heard that before? Something Wicked This Way Comes... >;)
2007-05-28 13:32:55
73.   williamnyy23
65 Does he really look better than league average (which I'll define as 100-105 OPS+)? With 1250 PAs in the book, his OPS+ is 110, which is above average. Having said that, his trend line is down. I don't think you can simply dismiss how poorly he has looked at the plate. It's not just the results, but the approach that concerns me.

Also, keep in mind that Robbies career Minor League OPS is only .756 in over 2,000 PAs. While Robbie has shown he CAN live up to the higher expectations you have, I don't think it is a given that he WILL sustain that level.

2007-05-28 14:02:19
74.   rbj
Roger's pitching on ESPN2
2007-05-28 15:50:50
75.   debris
Alex,
I think this Yankee club much more resembles the 1965 club than the 1979.
2007-05-28 18:25:31
76.   Mattpat11
Perhaps this is rock bottom.

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