Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2007-07-27 05:30
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Just like that the Yankee offense turned back into a pumpkin last night as they were blanked by the Royals, 7-0. It's not that they didn't put runners on base--once again they did that very well. They simply could not get a big hit. Hideki Matsui failed twice with runners on. In the first inning he popped up a 3-0 pitch with runners on the corners and in the the fifth he grounded out, swinging at the first pitch, with the bases loaded.

Then there was Kei Igawa. More mediocrity. Igawa gives up hits when he's ahead in the count, and runs with two men out. He's an entirely frustrating pitcher to watch and with Phillip Hughes about set to return to the majors, it is likely that Igawa's days in the rotation are numbered. And if Joba Joba gets called up to pitch in the pen, the running man Igawa might find himself back in the land of Dunder Mifflin.

No soup for Alex Rodriguez either, who is sitting on career homer #499.

Hey, the Yanks were due for a stinker. They lose a game to the Red Sox who pounded the Indians in Cleveland. The Bombers now head to Baltimore to face the O's, who are coming off a three-game sweep of the Rays.

Comments (73)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-07-27 05:59:51
1.   joe in boston
"Dunder Mifflin" - great reference....

Actually I found myself switching to a great "Office" repeat myself during the game. Rats !

Back at it tonight....

Lets Go Yankees !

2007-07-27 06:26:51
2.   OldYanksFan
Igawa-san has disappointed me. I expected a #5 guy who could eat innings and post a 5.00- ERA.

But... he keeps getting 2 strikes on batters.
He often gets 2 outs relatively unscathed.
Is he close? Is this a mental condition where he 'lets up' when he thinks he's ALMOST out of a situation?

I don't know what mechanics were worked on and what the Yankees 'changed'. But just watching him, his stuff is not even as good as it was his first month (mind you, his stuff was never great, but I thought he has a decent curve and changeup, and that it was location that was killing him). Now his curve seems flatter, and his location still stinks.

The Yankees are married to this guy for a while. I don't know his trade status, but remember.. his salary is only $4m/yr. $4m does not BUY a lot of pitching these days.

There are other Japanese pitchers in MLB who are doing much better then Kei, even though he did much better in Japan.

Can he be straightened out?
Will a year in MiLB help, until he adjusts to whatever ails him?
Is he possible trade bait?
We could have used 'Good' Kei this year, but next year he is a bit superfluous.

Pot? Pills? Green Tea? Acupuncture?
Just what is the key to Kei?

2007-07-27 06:28:33
3.   Jim Dean
I'm really not picking on you Alex, but it's not much of a surprise that Matsui sucked last night (among others).

Career vs LHP
.291 .355 .449 .804

2007 vs LHP
.259 .341 .440 .781

Combine that with Abreu (.577 OPS vs LHP in 2007) as well as Jorge sitting (even as Molina did his best to chip in) and the Yankee offense was severely underpowered. Apart from A-Rod and Jeter, they were going up there with noodle bats.

That's what drives me mad (even as I'm already halfway there). This team loses games based on how they were constructed from the start.

And that's without even mentioning Kei Quest....

2007-07-27 06:32:12
4.   Jim Dean
BTW: Thanks for the Chamberlain link. I love reading about history between kids, and seeing him face Gordon, knowing their friendship, just increases my interest in what will be a great match up for years to come.
2007-07-27 06:32:27
5.   Shaun P
2 I think NoMaas has the best idea so far as to what to do with Kei.
2007-07-27 06:38:48
6.   pistolpete
3 Can't blame Torre for Matsui being in there - he's been an absolute animal in July so far.

Torre's always one to go with the 'hot bat', so I'm guessing he doesn't have any use for dem fancy-schmancy new fangled statistics...

2007-07-27 06:38:56
7.   Jim Dean
Let me just summarize 3 for my own sanity (at least):

Left-handed noodle bats + Rotten Fish Quest = One shitty tasting meal.

2007-07-27 06:42:39
8.   Jim Dean
6 Well, Damon has a .352 SLG against LHP this year with Abreu topping the charts at .283.
2007-07-27 06:45:34
9.   Chyll Will
7 witha soda on da side... yummy.
2007-07-27 06:45:48
10.   pistolpete
8 What, then? Damon in RF?
2007-07-27 06:46:49
11.   randym77
Mike P. warned us about Igawa. He said Igawa is inconsistent, and always will be. (Though it sounds like Torre is still hoping to turn him around.)

Kevin Thompson was pulled from the Scranton game on Tuesday for "disciplinary reasons," and was out of the lineup the next day. There's been rumors about KT's disciplinary issues for years. Maybe there's a reason he barely sees the light of day when he's called up, besides Torre's aversion to non-veterans.

2007-07-27 06:49:39
12.   Jim Dean
10 I have no idea. Either Melky in RF and Damon in CF, or Duncan in RF (he's 27 and has played there a little). Then they could have made Cairo the DH!

That's the problem with how this team was constructed.

And if they don't figure this out soon, the Kason Gabbards and Nate Robertsons of the world are going to kill me in the next few weeks.

2007-07-27 06:52:01
13.   pistolpete
11 I disagree. He's consistently mediocre!

12 Trade deadline is approaching - keep the faith... :)

2007-07-27 07:06:37
14.   JL25and3
Best thing about last night's game: I didn't see any of it, and only listened to a couple of innings.

I had hopes that Quest might be turning it around. The start before this he wasn't great, but he wasn't awful either - and he was throwing strike one to every batter. Well, it's a start - now he's got to start working on strike three.

2007-07-27 07:43:02
15.   rbj
Yeah, I'm glad I missed the game too. But the Yankees were due for a stinker -- just be glad that a good start wasn't wasted. Now if the rains hold off, I hope to see the Mudhens beat the stuffing out of the Pawsox tonight. Bad news is that Schill pitched well last night.
2007-07-27 07:51:30
16.   Mattpat11
Please no more Igawa
2007-07-27 08:22:37
17.   RichB
2 Actually, Igawa has been about what you could expect from, a 5th starter since coming back from Tampa. In June & July he's had a 5.54 ERA in a league whose starters average 4.63. Right now that would rank him 49th out of 65 AL starters with min. 60 IP - or to put it another way, in the bottom of the 4th quintile, i.e. in the poor 4th starter / good 5th starter range.

His peripherals are dicey, though, (since June: 1.81 WHIP, 1.69 K/BB) so he may be due for more outings like last night.

Still, I'm all about moving him to the bullpen and pitching Hughes. Might do Igawa good to focus on getting two pitches over consistently, rather than trying to mix in a lot more as a starter. And, frankly, I'd rather see Hughes in there than Igawa or Moose.

2007-07-27 08:55:11
18.   mehmattski
Hey, just to recap, here are the things at which Melky Cabera is better than Johnny Damon:

a) range in CF
b) arm (then again, so am I)
c) hitting for average (.285 vs .246)
d) hitting for power (.110 Isolated Power vs .099)
e) putting the ball in play (12% K rate vs 15%)

Here are the things at which Damon is better than Melky:
a) getting on base (.101 Isolated Discipline vs .056 for Melky)
b) stealing bases (barely- Damon's at 18 of 20 versus Melky's 8 of 10)
c) Veteranness
d) BFOG+

Damon's one of very few veteran players on the Yankees without a full no-trade clause. I would be very happy if he is swapped for a package that included a 1B or some position prospects.

2007-07-27 08:55:21
19.   ChrisS
17 Heck, at this point, they may as well bring Joba right on up to the starting rotation, forget the bullpen.

Wang, Pettitte, Clemens, Hughes, Joba.

2007-07-27 09:00:33
20.   mehmattski
18 I should note that my statement about Range in CF for Melky is based upon watching him personally and not on Zone Rating (Damon is ahead of Melky in CF .924 to .905). While I do personally consider Zone Rating to be more accurate when it comes to outfielders, I admit I am swayed by my gut to think that Melky is the better defensive CF at this moment.
2007-07-27 09:04:54
21.   RIYank
20 I remember reading that Zone Rating is problematic for outfielders -- possibly because many outfielders manage to field balls outside of their Zone?

19 Not permitted, because of the obscure rule that forbids a rotation that would contain two players the sum of whose ages is less than the age of a third player.

2007-07-27 09:07:28
22.   mehmattski
I should also note that according to THT's measurement of Zone Rating, the best Left Fielder in baseball this season is: Hideki Matsui.

Manny Ramirez is at .656 but with 31 Out of Zone Plays. I'm sure that playing half his games in Fenway have a lot to do with that. In fact, it may have a lot to do with Matsui's numbers as well- does anyone know if the zone is fixed or varies stadium to stadium?

2007-07-27 09:16:48
23.   Zack
Everyday I keep hoping that Cashman will come out and say that there is no way he will trust his future #2 (barely behind Hughes) to the BP under Torre. I have shudders just thinking about Joba pitching one inning every day and the damage that could do. If somehow Joe realizes that 2 or 3 innings every 5 days is the way to do it, fine. But the thought of Joe abusing Joba's arm makes me very very worried...
2007-07-27 09:19:28
24.   williamnyy23
20 Let's not start that debate again!!

As for Igawa, I think the best option is to see if the Yankees can ship him back to Japan at a discounted price. Not only would the Yankees save some money, but Igawa would stop embarrassing himself and a Japanese team could pick up a pretty good pitcher for their league at a fraction of the price.

2007-07-27 09:32:01
25.   monkeypants
17 Dicey, but not Dice-K-y.

24 Price discounted to what? They're only paying him like 5 million a year (or is it less?). For the Yankees that's chump change. The posting fee was the big hit, but that's a sunk cost. They could simply release him and eat the 5 million/year, or ship him back to AAA (one advantage is that he should still have plenty of MiL options).

2007-07-27 09:34:08
26.   RichB
19 Agreed! Joba and Hughes in the rotation! First, of course, they have to fire Torre because he'll never start than many rookies.

23 The reality of all this is that - knowing Torre - it's much more likely that he'll put Karstens in the rotation, put Igawa and Hughes in the BP and leave Joba in AAA. Then, when that happens, it's much more likely that he'll let Hughes rot on the bench for a week at a time before using him in a blowout for 0.2 innings during which he gives up 2 runs.

2007-07-27 09:37:54
27.   monkeypants
23 26 It's too bad, because twinning Joba with, say, Moose and pitching him 2 or 3 (or even 4 on Moose's increasingly frequent off days) innings every five days could be very clever and very effective.
2007-07-27 09:45:50
28.   williamnyy23
25 At this point, you can't be greedy. I'd happily split the difference with a Japanese team. I just don't see Igawa fittig into the long-term plans, so I'd rather cut my subtantial losses.
2007-07-27 09:49:13
29.   monkeypants
28 I'm sayin g that there is no way practically to cut losses. The big expense was the posting fee, which is a one time shot and it's lost. The remaining expense is Igawa's salary, which is a relatively meager sum. OK, maybe he can be 'traded' to a Japanese team that assumes some of the salaray--for a savings of 1 million a year. Fine.

But really, the greater cost is that he uses up a roster spot and a spot of the 40 man roster. For a million a year, just cut cut him and save the hassle.

2007-07-27 09:55:33
30.   Shaun P
27 The last time Torre showed creativity with regards to a starting pitcher was with Ramiro Mendoza in 1997 - and that was just swapping him back and forth between the bullpen and the rotation as needed.

Though to be fair to Torre, there are very few managers in MLB who would be that creative right now: maybe Scioscia, Bob Geren, Manny Acta, and Ozzie.

26 The one thing you can count on with Torre and prized rookies is that they'll play. There's no way Hughes goes to the bullpen in favor of Karstens or anyone else.

Now, switch "Hughes" with "Joba" in your last sentence, and that sounds more likely, though Zach is scarily right in 23 about the potential for over-use. And I think Joba could handle a multiple inning workload, having been a starter. What really worries me is the stress of warming up and being used so much more frequently than he's used to. Weaver's law says to work a young starter in the bullpen as the long relief guy, not in high-leverage multiple short outings. Something tells me Joe would not use Joba in long relief.

Its one thing to destroy the arms of Steve Karsay and Paul Quantrill. Its quite another to frag the arm of the Yanks' second best pitching prospect of the last 40 years.

2007-07-27 09:58:39
31.   rbj
Heck, I'd be satisfied with Clemens for 6, then bring Igawa in for 2-3 innings. Less worry about running up Kei's pitch count that way.
2007-07-27 10:00:37
32.   RIYank
So, to change the topic:
Who pitches in the suspended game?

Someone yesterday suggested Wang, on his throw day, but that's out because he was the starter in the suspended game! Vizcaino is also ineligible.

I figure Myers will begin the eighth, and if the tying run comes to the plate, enter Sandman.

It would be cool to have Duncan pinch hit.

2007-07-27 10:05:18
33.   monkeypants
32 Maybe they could call up Joba to pitch the last two innings of the suspended game, then send him back down? I don't really mean that, but it is fun to play around with how to manipulate and explit the goofy suspended game rules.

How about finishing with Mo for two inning and then take you chances with the next game? It's too bad Clemens is only a 5 inning pitcher, or else you could use Mo for the 8th, then Clemens for the 9th; then twenty minutes later he pitches in the real game.

2007-07-27 10:09:36
34.   Jim Dean
Just a reminder: The team got shut down by Nelson De La Rosa. 86 vintage Clemens wasn't winning that game.
2007-07-27 10:09:59
35.   RIYank
33 Yeah, Mo, but my idea was to give Myers a shot, and if he works then you still have Mo for the real game.

The Clemens idea isn't bad. Because then you have the entire bullpen available, in the second game -- I guess the only pitcher you re-gain is Vizcaino, but still.

Oh, also, the Chris Ray, who was on the mound for the O's is now on the DL. A-Rod is on deck. Will they bring out a box of balls with "493" printed on them???

2007-07-27 10:10:53
36.   RIYank
34 I was gonna call him "Nelson" yesterday!
But I don't see your point.
2007-07-27 10:15:18
37.   Shaun P
32 With Markakis due up to start the 8th (no way he's pinch-hit for), I could see Myers for 1 batter. Then, why not EDSP? He's pitched little in the last week, and if things got out of hand, he could go a couple of innings (or more).

I don't expect we'll see Mo in the conclusion game unless absolutely necessary, because Joe will want him for the full game.

2007-07-27 10:16:55
38.   monkeypants
33 35 Oops, my bad. I thouht the suspended game was tomorrow ( So I was really suggesting Using Pettitte for the end of the suspended game and start the regular game. Just msuing.
2007-07-27 10:18:36
39.   monkeypants
37 "I don't expect we'll see Mo in the conclusion game unless absolutely necessary, because Joe will want him for the full game."

Maybe right, but doesn't make a whole lot of sense. A win is a win, and using Mo in 2 run game (a perceived, if not actual, high leverage closer situation) makes more sense than 'saving' him for the later game.

2007-07-27 10:18:48
40.   OldYanksFan
Telephone, anybody?:
In an article by DAN GRAZIANO of the Star Ledger, he said "And there are also many in the organization who worry that manager Joe Torre could stand in the way of the improvements they try to make." Unfortunately, GRAZIANO didn't say what his sources were.

Now we know DAN GRAZIANO's ONLY motivation is to portray the absolute truth, in the most succinct manner possible... correct?
What other motivation could he have?

Now of course, I have no idea to what degree that statement represents the truth about Joe and those around him. But NoMass has picked it up (and reprinted it in 'its got to be the truth' bold type) And I have seen it elsewhere in the blogosphere. I believe I have read it three times, so it MUST be true.

Yes, when it comes to what personel the multi-million dollar Yankee organization gets, it's Joe Torre with the final say. I'll bet Cashman and many others were saying "Oh gee, oh shucks... I wish Torre would let us get Milton Bradley (a true Yankee type if ever I've seen one).

I got no facts, only my own dumb, prejudiced opinion. I believe Cashman respects Torre, and knows Torre decides who plays and who doesn't. My guess is Cashman, and the other powers that be, listen to Joe and take what he says into account before they make their decisions.

But I don't think Torre is driving the boat. He just has a seat near the front. Just IMHO.

2007-07-27 10:22:42
41.   NJYankee41
Did anyone see the article about Jose Canseco on A-Rod at Was Watching? My heart sank. I hope Canseco is talking out of his ass. If he is he's a real scumbag.
2007-07-27 10:25:57
42.   Shaun P
39 Very true. I guess I was trying to say that I expect the Yanks score a couple of more runs, making using Mo pointless - unless the O's score some runs of their own.
2007-07-27 10:26:36
43.   JL25and3
41 I vote for real scumbag.
2007-07-27 10:31:29
44.   Shaun P
41 No, not until now. And given the number of errors - aw screw it - outright lies Canseco told in his first book, I wouldn't trust a word he says in another book.

That he told this story on Boston's own garbage 'sports talk' radio station, WEEI, makes it even more suspect in my book.

And how is Canseco "vindicated"? I don't recall him pointing fingers at middle relievers and crappy powerless hitters as steroid users in his first book.

2007-07-27 10:32:58
45.   JL25and3
18 Holy small sample size, Batman! If Damon's healthy, he's better than Melky at a lot of things. Throwing, obviously, isn't one of them.

I don't know if anyone listened to Torre talking to Francesa yesterday, but it was an interesting conversqation - not at all what a lot of Banterers would expect. Even when Giambi came back, he described Damon's role as basically that of a fourth outfielder, maybe third-and-a-half - play a day or two a week in center, spell Matsui sometimes. Of course, that's assuming that Damon doesn't begin playing btter than Melky, which is still a distinct possibility.

Torre also talked about the possibility of using Joba in the bullpen, and he made it clear that he'd have to get - and accept - guidance from the front office on how he should be used. He specifically talked about how valuable Joba is, and that his usage would have to be within that context.

2007-07-27 10:35:19
46.   RIYank
I agree about Rivera: we're in a two-run game, with two out in the ninth (Jeter's on second). Even if they plate Jeter and the O's don't score in the eighth, it's a Mo situation. It is a little different from the usual situation, since you have another game that you're almost entirely eliminating him from if you use him in this one, which is why I was thinking you continue with Myers unless and until he gives up a baserunner (or if we score, maybe two runners).
2007-07-27 10:37:25
47.   williamnyy23
29 $1-2mn is nothing to sneeze at, even for the Yankees. If such an arrangement could be worked out, it beats keeping him or outright releasing him.
2007-07-27 10:38:05
48.   NJYankee41
44 I don't trust him much either as it is obviously fueled by nothing more than jealousy.

What really bothers me is 1)now A-Rod has to answer a bunch of idiotic questions as he can't catch a break and 2)no matter how true it is his perfect record of never being in question for PEDs is gone, even given the source.

You're right he has only pointed his finger at people who are more successful than him.

2007-07-27 10:44:03
49.   Shaun P
45 I'm sorry, but talk is cheap when it comes out of Mr. Torre's mouth with regards to bullpen usage. I've heard those kind of statements before, and he hasn't followed through on them in years (if ever). Torre is like the rest of us - when under pressure, he reverts to form, which is to overuse the "hot hand" in the bullpen. The next two months are going to be pressure-packed.

Now the Damon stuff I could believe, because last year in the regular season, after Matsui came back, Melky did play regularly.

2007-07-27 10:44:24
50.   williamnyy23
41 Canseco never played with Arod and has no 1st person perspective. Arod is the big name, so if you want to sell a book and get pub, you drop his name.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-07-27 10:49:08
51.   rbj
48 "You're right he has only pointed his finger at people who are more successful than him"

And look at who has gotten caught with the testing: Minor leaguers and journeyman players. With Jose saying this on the Boston radio station, does that mean Alex has crossed the Red Sox off his list for off season negotiations.

Use Mo in the first game, if it is a save situation. There's no guarantee the full game won't be a blow out, and you have to worry more about winning a winnable game.

2007-07-27 10:50:32
52.   tommyl
50 Also, "wait and see" could be anything. Maybe he means that in his book he'll write about how much A-Rod likes blond strippers. Who cares, its a guy who was on the Surreall Life, a show that had Corey Feldman or whatever on it.
2007-07-27 10:51:29
53.   monkeypants
47 Fair enough. For 1 or 2 million/year I would try to demote him to AAA for the rest of the season and try to work with him some more, or mabe convert him to a long reliever.

By next season they would have a better idea what they have with Igawa, and Hughes and Joba. Hell, the starting rotation could include all three!

2007-07-27 10:54:00
54.   tommyl
53 I just don't see Igawa having a spot in the rotation, barring injury. At the very least you have Moose and Wang on the books for next year. You might also have Andy if he picks up his option. That leaves at most three spots, possibly two open. I'd say Hughes gets one of those, and the other could go to Joba or Kennedy depending on this year. Maybe if there are three open he could be the 5th starter, but its tough to see.
2007-07-27 10:55:17
55.   Shaun P
53 monkeypants, your optimism never ceases to amaze me. Even I'm not cheery enough to think Igawa will ever start another game for the Yanks, except in dire circumstances. =)
2007-07-27 10:59:27
56.   RIYank
55 Maybe (probably) not, but the cost of sticking him in Scranton is low. I'd go with that.
If there were a way to recoup the money, sure, that would be smarter, but plainly there isn't.
2007-07-27 11:02:24
57.   monkeypants
54 Hey, I agree with you in general. But the fact remains that only two pitchers are under contract for next season, Moose and Wang. Pettitte may be here, or he may be gone. The rest of the rotation is then some number of uber-prospects. So all I'm saying is that for the savings of probably one or two million dollars, I would keep Igawa as "break glass in case of emergency option," demoting him to AAA for this year and maybe next (depending on the rotation next year). After this season, and more so after next season, they will have a better sense of what Hughes and company will give them, and Mussina and Pettitte will be cleared off the books--either replaced by the kids or by a free agent. Then they can cut Igawa loose (or, miracle of miracles he learns how to pitch in the ML) or get a year or two out of him.
2007-07-27 11:05:05
58.   williamnyy23
A fun suspended game story from Jayson Stark at

"• August 1986: In July of 1986, Syracuse Chiefs outfielder Dale Holman released a book entitled, "Dale Holman's Concepts of Hitting." The next day, to commemorate his book release, those compassionate Syracuse Chiefs released him. But it worked out great. He wound up signing with the Braves. And a few weeks later, he found himself playing for Richmond, in the very same International League, in a continuation of a June 30 suspended game against (yep) Syracuse. Which made it possible for him to hit a single and a double for Richmond plus a double and two RBIs for Syracuse. In the same game. Whoah. We need to get ahold of that book. "

2007-07-27 11:07:43
59.   williamnyy23
57 If Pettitte opts to not come back (it's funny, but he gets no grief for having that in his contract) and the Yankees don't replace him, then Igawa and all the Kings horses wont help save the season.
2007-07-27 11:10:25
60.   RIYank
59 Come on, the point is that it is easy to imagine the Yankees needing a fifth starter, and it's possible, though not particularly likely, that Igawa could do the job. That's why keeping him in SWB makes sense.
2007-07-27 11:15:28
61.   williamnyy23
60 I understand that point, but I think if the Yankees ever need to turn to him as a regular, they've done a very bad job of preparation. I'd much prefer to cut bait on him now and try to recoup $10mn or so over the life of the contract. I'd rather groom Clippard, Ohlendorf, Horne, et al. as the emergency option than Igawa.
2007-07-27 11:18:04
62.   Shaun P
60 True, but I'd say Karstens, Rasner, Henn, DeSalvo, Clippard, and Chase Wright all rate ahead of Igawa for the 2008 5th starter job. So would White and Ohlendorf, but they aren't on the 40-man roster right now. =)

Not to mention Joba (unless he's filling Pettitte's slot, but I bet Andy comes back once more to say good-bye to the Stadium), and Kennedy - though they aren't on the 40-man roster either.

So yeah, I think its worthwhile to keep Igawa around, but if he's filling in as the 5th starter at some point next year, something has gone horribly wrong.

2007-07-27 11:27:04
63.   monkeypants
61 First, they are not going to recoup 10 million dollars. At most, probably, they rcoup 8 million (2million/yar for the next four years_ In reality it will be closer to 4 or 5 million total.

Second, I agre that they should groom promising young players like Clippard; no doubt. But you present a false dichotomy: there is no reason Clippard et al can't be groomed as emergency options while at the same time keeping Igawa as yet another emergency option. When the 40 man roster is filled with names that don't include Chris Basak, then we can talk.

Third, Clippard et al are the most attractive trade bait the Yankees have w/o giving up the gig guns.

Fourth, saving 10 million over the next four years (or maybe 4 million) only matters if the money that is saved will be put to good use. Maybe they use that few million to lan Teixera, but I suspect that at level of cash, one Igawa more or less doesn't matter.

Fifth, I am under no illusion about Igawa's ability or potential. It would all depend on the deal. If a team offered to pick up most of salaray, why not move right away? But to save a few million dollars over four years, I'm not so sure.

2007-07-27 11:31:45
64.   monkeypants
62 63

Sixth, following on the theme of "if Igawa is the fifth starter, something has gone horribly wrong"--

The Yankees have vast financial advantages over most other teams in teh league, and these can be put to use in a number of different ways. Most observers only focus on their ability to outbid other teams for premier FA talent, but that's only part of teh story. They have teh ability to shrug off mistakes (like Igawa) easier than other teams, whose margins of error are much slimmer. Finally, they have the resources to establish depth in ways that other teams simply cannot.

Yes, having Igawa as the fifth starter means something has gone horribly wrong. But other teams wouldn't even have that option--they would pulling dregs up from AA or lower. For what is likely a 1 million a year savings, that's not bad insurance.

2007-07-27 11:38:07
65.   williamnyy23
63 There is no reason...except my whole premise is I'd rather have $4-8mn than Igawa. I can see your point of view, but still prefer mine :)

64 I don't see how that matters in this discussion. Pretty much, all it means is the Yankees can do anything from keep him, sell him at a discount or drop him outright. I think we all agree the Yankees have the flexibility to do that. The question is what would you do.

2007-07-27 11:43:26
66.   JL25and3
59 The trade-off for the player option is that Pettitte doesn't have a no-trade clause.

I'd be shocked if he leaves. It's not just that he's guaranteed $16M for next year; I really think that Pettitte is one of the few players who's not all about the money. I don't think it's coincidence that when he left NY, it was to go back home; and when he left Houston, it was to come back to NY.

2007-07-27 11:45:14
67.   monkeypants
66 If he doesn't come back, it's because he'll retire.
2007-07-27 11:50:36
68.   JL25and3
49 I can't think of when I've heard that sort of statement from Torre. He'll say every year that he's not going to use Mo in the 8th inning, but that's not the same situation at all.

In fact, I can't think of an analogous situation, period. So I don't see any reason to disbelieve it, especially since we do know that the fron office is interested.

2007-07-27 11:51:15
69.   JL25and3
67 True, but he could do that with or without the player option.
2007-07-27 11:54:08
70.   williamnyy23
66 69 The fact of the matter is the Yankees wrote Pettitte a blank check. Now, as Cashman said at the time, you can trust Andy to do the right thing. I'm sure he''l either retire or accept the option. I'd be very surpised if he declined the option to go elsewhere.
2007-07-27 13:32:20
71.   RichB
Okay, this is far back in the conversation because I was, you know, working...

33 OMG! Yes, that's a great idea. Use Clemens for a 2 inning save! 24 years, over 20,000 batters faced, 4,875 inning pitched... no saves. Clemens has no saves in his entire career. This has got to be the only opportunity he'll have for the rest of his life. Man, I wish I had Torre's number. This is an historic opportunity.

2007-07-27 13:59:19
72.   monkeypants
71 I can't tell if that's sarcasm or not, but see 38.
2007-07-27 14:42:25
73.   OldYanksFan
For those of you wanting to put Iggy in the trash (next to Viz):
Iggy has a salary of $4/yr. All things being equal, that's cheap for a SP. But to date, his performance has not even been worth that.

If we can get him into a 4.5-5.0 ERA guy for a stretch of 5 games or more:
1) He is a viable/above average 5th starter.
2) He is (as said) a 'break glass in case of emergency' guy. Yes, we have lots of good kids, but funny things happen to pitchers, including injuries
3) He has trade value... I think. I don't know if he has a no-trade contract. Anyone know?

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