Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
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2007-06-22 06:06
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

For a third straight day, the Yankees did not hit in Colorado as they lost 4-3 to the Rockies. They didn't run much better either and Roger Clemens left a few too many pitches up in the strike zone. The Yankees are back to .500 and trail the Red Sox by 10.5 games.

"The good feeling has gone away, there's no question," Manager Joe Torre said. "The reality of what kind of team we are and what it takes to win, you certainly have to recapture that."
(N.Y. Times)

The rollercoaster continues. Speaking of which, Jason Giambi is now officially set to speak to the Mitchell investigation.

2007-06-22 06:23:36
1.   Sliced Bread
The NY Post did the math.

Clemens is making $875,000 per start (based on his projected 20 starts).

Yesterday he made $213,414 per inning(4 1/3)

$9,722 per pitch (90)

$15,909 per strike (55)

2007-06-22 06:34:42
2.   mehmattski
Is there Milton Bradley yet?

Seriously, for no other reason than hours of punny amusment for Sliced, Chyll, Bama, and I.

Come on Cash- He got game!

2007-06-22 06:47:24
3.   Sliced Bread
Anybody catch the Lumpy and Chuckles Show on the radio yesterday?

Sterling registering his disgust at the offhanded manner in which the Yanks were failing to advance runners, and run the bases: "Not good, not bad, TERRIBLE!" he said, calling out Jeter and Abreu by name.

Sure, Sterling's home run calls are corny, and sometimes inaccurate (he called Melky's deep fly out a homer yesterday, gave it the full treatment too, leading me to believe the scored was tied... before correcting himself) -- but even a homer like Sterling knows a stinkbomb when he smells one, and he was as fed up with this team as the rest of us.

First full day of summer and it's hard to picture these Yanks standing tall when the schools re-open and the leaves start to fall.

Oh well. It's still summer, and it's still Yankees baseball.

I'll keep watching, and listening, and rooting because watching and listening to a Yankee loss on a summer night is still better than not watching them at all.

Maybe the futility of a Yankee summer will make this sweetest of seasons go slower.

When's Phil Hughes back? That's something else to look forward to.

2007-06-22 06:49:38
4.   Sliced Bread
2 Milton Bradley? A game the whole family can play! Weeeeeeee!
2007-06-22 06:59:55
5.   Jim Dean
Just back from a two week island holiday - I see I missed the Ha! good times...

And Cairo starting game after game. Man, Cashman helped to restock the farm, but what a terrible job at the major league level. A team starting Cairo at 1B doesn't deserve to win anything. Just plain disgusting - I'm sure you all have mentioned that one or two times.

Meanwhile, Carlos Pena - a guy the Yanks couldn't find room for last year when they were starting Cairo, Phillips, and Wilson -is just tearing things up in Tampa. Sure, it's a fluke but he's still better and younger than anything the Yanks have right now. Instead, they'll make a run at Scott Hatteberg.

The power of Ha! can only do so much. And too bad Tyler lost his.

P.s. I managed to check in here a few times - great work by Ken, Alex, Cliff, and Emma. The frontpage loaded quickly on a very slow connection and once there i could easily see all the doings in Yankeeland from the game recaps. One quick and easy page load and I was up to speed - thanks guys and gal!

2007-06-22 07:04:06
6.   C2Coke
Three games ago, the Yankees showed what they are capable of. In the past three games, they showed what this year is about?

Like Sliced said, we will all probably keep watching, and perhaps continue to scratch our heads out and scream our lungs out...

2007-06-22 07:06:48
7.   C2Coke
5 Jim, you really missed out on some good times. Not only Phillips is back, the Yanks' had Jorge and Damon on 1B already. Cairo? Cairo is the good first baseman the Yanks' got apparently.
2007-06-22 07:09:32
8.   mehmattski
3 I would be very surprised to see Phil Hughes with the big club before September. And with the season on the brink of Lost-Causeville once again, there's no sense in rushing the kid back.

5 Welcome back. I've noticed the fast load times on the Toaster when I'm back in my hometown and using dialup. Ken's got a nice product here, no fluff to slow it down.

2007-06-22 07:10:15
9.   vockins
4 Unless you're his wife.
2007-06-22 07:10:22
10.   JL25and3
2 It will also give me someone new to despise, now that I no longer have Gary Sheffield to kick around. Well, not so often, anyway.

Seriously, I want no part of this guy. Consider this: the A's are playing Mark Kotsay in CF. Since 2003, Kotsay has had an OPS+ over 100 exactly once. Kotsay's injured as much as Bradley is, and Nick Swisher plays CF when he's out; Swisher's a fine hitter, but I suspect he's not a great center fielder. Meanwhile, Shannon Stewart is playing left - a lousy defensive outfielder with OPS+ of 88, 88 and 89 since 2005.

Yet the A's would rather live with this situation than tolerate having Milton Bradley on their team. Doesn't that tell you something?

2007-06-22 07:12:42
11.   JL25and3
3 I've always said that one of Sterlin'gs few saving graces is that he's not really a homer, not compared with other announcers. he takes a Yankee POV, of course, and he likes the Yankees to win, but he doesn't root when he announces, and he never calls the Yankees "we." Yesterday he did a good job of calling them out.
2007-06-22 07:17:11
12.   mehmattski
10 I know you have a long memory, despising Sheffield for his comments made when he was a third baseman for the Brewers, but I think this is a bit much. While Sheff has proven once again this year that he's a malcontent with a stick as big as his mouth, Bradley has kept his cool for the last couple seasons. So he sometimes has a hot head and gets frustrated when he messes up. Was this a problem for you when Paul O'Neil was busting water coolers day after day. I don't know if I speak for you, but in terms of intangibles, there are many Yankees fans who would welcome the fire he brings to the field.

His name, by the way, for those who don't know, is his deadbeat fathers' name. His biological father snuck into the hospital and named the child after himself and then was never seen again. Bradley uses that as fuel.

Also, if the Yanks don't trade for him, in eight days he will be absolutely free and only be around for the rest of the season. With Giambi unlikely to play for the Yankees for a long time, and Damon about to serve his first DL stint, they could use the bat. When healthy, he's much better than anything else the Yankees have.

It's not like the Yankees' clubhouse has this delicate chemistry that can't be upset. They need to win baseball games, and they can do that by having better baseball players.

2007-06-22 07:19:31
13.   Jim Dean
With a 120 OPS+, Bradley would be the 2nd best OF on the Yanks right now (Matsui = 126 OPS+). I say - why not - especially since he's a switch-hitter and he hits LHP better.

But I can't see Cashman making that move. Indeed, why doesn't he just wait another month to improve the team?

2007-06-22 07:20:18
14.   Knuckles
Milton Bradley for CF? What next- the Parker Brothers playing left and right?
2007-06-22 07:24:11
15.   Count Zero
2 This makes me nervous...because the Sox could use him to replace the stickless Coco Chanel. (Although he has been on a tear of late.) With the Twins and Braves in races, Hunter and Jones will not be rentals, so MB looks pretty appetizing to me if I'm Theo.

For the Yanks, I'm not really sure if I would use MB to replace Melky or not. If you do, then you might as well trade Melky because the demotion back to 4th/5th outfielder will likely end his usefulness with the Yankees.

I'm still more in favor of pursuing Teixeira (assuming we actually win 2 out of 3 in SF and stay in this thing) as long as it doesn't cost us Hughes, Joba or Tabata. We really do need a 1B badly.

2007-06-22 07:26:22
16.   Jim Dean
10 You forget about Travis Buck - I think Beane wants to keep giving him playing time in RF as the starter (133 OPS+).
2007-06-22 07:27:10
17.   Bob B
I'd like to see Bradley added. too. Cabrera is a nice kid, but I don't see much more upside than we see right now from him. If we're going to contend for the Wild card, we need an every-day productive center-fielder (which was why I never wanted Johnny Damon two years ago-past his prime, no arm or range-just another old legend-but that's past history and typical Steinbrenner influence). We need to improve overall to catch the Indians, Twins, Tigers or Mariners.
2007-06-22 07:28:24
18.   Jim Dean
15 He doesn't have to replace Melky - he could also replace Matsui or Abreu against LHP or push them to the DH slot on other days.

As 12 said: "They need to win baseball games, and they can do that by having better baseball players."

2007-06-22 07:53:07
19.   weeping for brunnhilde
3 Hear, hear, sliced!

"Oh well. It's still summer, and it's still Yankees baseball.

I'll keep watching, and listening, and rooting because watching and listening to a Yankee loss on a summer night is still better than not watching them at all. "


2007-06-22 07:57:04
20.   weeping for brunnhilde
5 Wb, Jim. That was two weeks already? Man, time flies.
2007-06-22 08:03:49
21.   The Mick 536
I am seriously lost. True. Hope springs eternal, but there are too many holes to fill. No need repeating the weaknesses. Sorry. Ain't no drawing board. Wasn't one in the off season. Wasn't one in the Spring. Ain't one now.

Don't bring in anyone. Enough stich drek to go around. I can live with the losing. Like to hear the spin Joe puts on it. So long as they keep playing hard, OK with me. Can't convince me they aren't trying to hit.

Feel sad for Andy.

Have seen them lose and seen them win. Never rooted for another team. Won't stop looking for their boxscore first any time soon.

2007-06-22 08:04:18
22.   Count Zero
18 It's not that I mind having's that I have trouble seeing where he's going to play unless you bench Melky.

Let's face it -- MB is the not kind of guy who's going to be happy playing every other day. I wouldn't sit Abreu and his career .910 OPS for MB's career .784 -- that seems like a downgrade to me even against LHP. Same for Hideki's .855 OPS. MB in CF seems like a defensive downgrade (from Melky) to me? (I would never DH Melky!) And this puts Damon totally out of the lineup -- which may very well be deserved, but is unlikely to happen with Joe.

So again -- I just don't see him getting anything more than every other day PT unless you scrap Melky. We could use a stick, but I'd rather see one that's going to be in the lineup every day -- which means a 1B. That seems to be the big gaping hole in this lineup. CF is a small gaping hole in comparison. :-)

2007-06-22 08:06:00
23.   Bama Yankee
14 Why not? We already have a Monopoly on Sorry 1B-men that have no Clue when it comes to hitting. Although it does Boggle my mind that we might Risk the entire Operation on the Trivial Pursuit of a guy who has had a Life of Trouble.
2007-06-22 08:17:03
24.   rbj
23 You certainly got game. I don't want a guy who's had such a Checkered past.
2007-06-22 08:18:12
25.   AbbyNormal821
23 YAAAAAAAAAY!!! I know someone would come up with a "board game" pun-type thing!
Rock on, Bama!!!!
2007-06-22 08:21:57
26.   weeping for brunnhilde
24 Oh, groaaan.
2007-06-22 08:22:31
27.   weeping for brunnhilde
23 And that goes for you too, Bama.
2007-06-22 08:22:55
28.   Sliced Bread
23 You sank my Battleship!
2007-06-22 08:24:39
29.   Jim Dean
You guys are hilarious. And thanks for the Wb's.

As for MB - as long as Cairo is in the lineup, and there's nothing on the bench, there's room for an upgrade. And MB is cheap ($2mil and one prospect or even league minimum and no prospects if he clears waivers) and young (29 yo).

If they get MB, they'd have more flexibility to rotate him, Matsui, and Abreu at the DH slot. Melky could stay in CF. And Damon becomes the full-time 1B. If that's what it takes to get Cairo out of the lineup, then so be it.

Again, I don't see Cashman making the move. You know, why do anything to improve the team?

2007-06-22 08:27:25
30.   standuptriple
I wondered where Jim Dean was. It's good to have you back in the fold, stirring things up.
I'm worried about a Coors hangover in SF. Call me a Debbie Downer if you will. Cain vs. Igawa (4 bullpen arms used yesterday). Ugh. I would like to see a Yank put one in the water though. Jorge, I'm looking in your direction.
2007-06-22 08:34:26
31.   ny2ca2dc
23 Oh. Em. Gee. nice.

29 I pretty much agree, go get MB if it's a reasonable price - honestly, I don't give a shit who they get, Dunn, Tex, and/or some combo of Hatteberg and/or Griffy and/or Bradley. There are enough holes and a non-existent bench so that just adding warm bodies & mixing and matching at 1B and DF would be fine.

This situation must make Bernie really sorry he didn't show up to ST - he could help this team (a bit) right now (at DH)... Because Damon really shouldve been DL'd for quite some time. Phelps at DH with Melk in CF & Phillips or Cairo at 1B and Damon on the DL would've been fine until Damon could come back an play 1B fulltime.... but alas.

2007-06-22 08:36:03
32.   JL25and3
12 Well, it was a little more than his comments - it was his behavior, his play, his complete lack of responsibility and his attitude since then. But that's quibbling.

I understand what you're saying about Bradley. But unless you can explain to me why they're DFA'ing him in the first place, I'll remain skeptical. Maybe he'd be the second-best outfielder on the Yankees - but he's already the second-best outfielder on the A's. So why the ignominious dump?

If they can get him for nithing, I suppose there's no harm in giving him a look. But I don't think the Yankees should give up anything of value, not for a short-term patch. This is looking like a lost season again, and in a couple of weeks it may be clear that the Yankees should start looking towards next year.

2007-06-22 08:38:47
33.   Jim Dean
I was with you rigt up to:

"Phelps at DH with Melk in CF & Phillips or Cairo at 1B and Damon on the DL would've been fine..."

My god - that's what the GM of the NY Yankees had set spring training.

2007-06-22 08:47:08
34.   ny2ca2dc
33 err, let me clarify, that would be fine for june, until more bodies can be brought in (e.g. dunn etc). That sentence is really just bitterness over dumping phelps but retaining basak & not DLing damon.... trading fringe for garbage, but an upgrade is an upgrade.
2007-06-22 08:49:25
35.   standuptriple
31 See I don't think a Dunn/Teix/MB will do anything to the team at this point(Griffey has been adamant that he will never play for the Yanks...not that I want him). The writing is on the wall. Don't expect the Wild Card. Too much heat in the Central and they don't take games/series off.
2007-06-22 08:53:25
36.   Jim Dean
34 I know - but even temporarily, that's disgusting - just repulsive really. What's worse is the current team isn't so far off.
2007-06-22 08:59:59
37.   ny2ca2dc
35 Tex, if maybe not Dunn, would at least be a possible long term solution at 1B. Regardless, i don't think the wild card is out of reach. The central will end up doing a lot of internecine bloodletting. Though we'd probably agree that trading long/medium term assets, like Hughes (DUH!) and Joba and Tabata and the rest of the high ceiling guys is off the table.

My real frustration here is that Cashman & co, who i still like on balance, seems unable to get the details and day to day stuff right - while still nailing the overall strategy. I mean, he did bring about a pretty drastic turnaround in philosophy, and managed to trade away guys with little value to the ML team, but then punts 1B, gets the wrong guys from Arizona, the wrong guy from Japan, and assembles a bench full of defensive replacements, sending away the one guy with even a hit of a bat. We all (usually rightly) criticize Torre's in game tactics, but usually think he does a good job with the clubhouse and personalities and over the course of a season trotting out the right guys in the right slots, i think the front office suffers from the same thing.

2007-06-22 09:07:58
38.   JL25and3
37 The bench has frustrated me for years. Look across the Whitestone Bridge to see what a few extra dollars can get. Ramon Castro, Endy Chavez, two out of Easley/Valentin/Gotay - even when you throw in Father Time Franco, they've got tons more skill and flexibility coming off the bench.
2007-06-22 09:11:01
39.   mehmattski
23 I knew you'd come through.
2007-06-22 09:11:22
40.   Jim Dean
37 Me, I'd still like to know how you can trade Gary Sheffield, Randy Johnson, and Jaret Wright and get absolutely nothing that helps the 2007 Yankees. It still Boggles my mind like a botched Operation where Risk seemed low.

Meanwhile, the only guy they got that seems like he could help (Britton) is stuck behind aborted fetuses like Vizcaino and Villone.

2007-06-22 09:15:29
41.   Count Zero
37 Interesting point about strategy vs. they say in business, the best strategy in the world won't work if you don't execute it well.

From a strategy viewpoint, I guess that's why I'm OK with Tex but not so good with Dunn, MB, etc. You take a rental when you think you need one more piece to help win it all -- right now, we don't look like a team that's "one piece" away. So I don't want to trade assets for anybody who doesn't fit into a long-term strategy.

OTOH, as pointed out, MB won't require much in the way of assets. Dunn, however, would.

2007-06-22 09:31:05
42.   JL25and3
40 Actually, Jim, one of the things you missed was a bit of a resurgence for Vizcaino. He didn't pitch for almost a week - rest, what a novel concept - and since then he's been pretty good. He was downright excellent against the Mets last week, not only getting the win but deserving it.

Hang on, Jim - you think the Yankees should have gotten more for RJ?????????

2007-06-22 09:42:03
43.   Count Zero
42 lol

I seem to recall his having expressed that sentiment at some point in the past... ;-)

2007-06-22 09:42:12
44.   Jim Dean
42 Okay, so Vizcaino has sucked for two weeks and sucked for eight weeks. I wonder what kind of pitcher he is?

As for RJ, I've made my thoughts known once or twice. But he was an opportunity to improve at 1B or the bench, rather than acquire a crappy bullpen arm and even crappier AAA players.

The Sheffield trade I can't slam now because I was okay with it then. Just, how can the GM trade all those guys and get nothing back that helped the 2007 team? The GM went in Spring training with a bench of Melky, Cairo, Nieves, and Phelps with Mfhgdj starting at 1B. Just terrible...especially with an old team.

2007-06-22 09:43:20
45.   Jim Dean
Er - "Okay, so Vizcaino hasn't sucked for two weeks and sucked for eight weeks. I wonder what kind of pitcher he is?"
2007-06-22 09:51:07
46.   standuptriple
44 You and I both know that some of those are AAAA players.
2007-06-22 10:00:01
47.   Zack
Man, I go away for 5 days and looks what happens. A three game losing streak kills all optimism and once again we are back to discussing why Cashman SHOULD have gotten ever prospect the Tigers and D-Backs had, ro at least their very best ones, for two very old, and in the case of Johnson, injured players we didn't want and who didn't want to be here. Also, we have returned to the "lket's pick up this or that guy" b/c they are really what we are missing vs "the season is lost" talk...

Well, I say bah-humbug to all that. The Sox are playing in Petco this weekend and the Yanks play the Giants. If they don't win 2 of 3 and gain at least a game, THEN its okay to retread all this boring stuff and I'll tune out again.

But it was just a crappy three game series, and sights should have been on the WC all along anyway...

And Milton Bradley? puh-lease. Wasn't everyone complaining about the Yanks being a very unlikeable team last year and before? There's nothing to root for in Milton, and his contribution to the team is simply not going to be enough to either make or break the season.

This team has been living and dying with A-Rod. When he knocks in runs, they win. When he doesn't, they don't (for the most part). I've noticed it more and more as the season goes on. In years past, it was Bernie (in his prime). When he was hitting, the team was winning, when he slumped, so did the offense. Its A-Rod now, which makes it that much scarier to think that he might be run out of town...

end rant...

2007-06-22 10:33:36
48.   Jim Dean
47 It had nothing to do with every prospect. How about one that could play 1b or be a competent bench contributor?

Meanwhile, why do folks think one player will make or break the season? The 2007 Yankees are so screwed up in many areas that they need to improve whereever they can. It's been that way from Day 1.

2007-06-22 10:43:21
49.   3rd gen yankee fan
I have no faith that Cash can solve the CF problem until he solves the 1B problem. I am damned sick of 1B problem.
2007-06-22 12:46:18
50.   weeping for brunnhilde
47 Agreed about Alex. And if indeed that's the case, hold on to your hats because he seems to be slumping again.

Not horribly, yet, but the whole series in Denver he went back to that guessing thing that exasperates me about him.

He'd let meatballs go by and swing at breaking stuff. He still picked up a couple of hits and continued to walk, but it's clear his pitch-selection is out of whack.

Let's hope it's not a weeks-long affair.

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