Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Couple of Few Things
2007-09-05 09:41
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Here's some Yankee notes for you...

Triple A pitching coach Dave Eiland has been working with Phil Hughes, who is due for a strong performance. Hughes goes tonight vs the Mariners. Expect to see Joba too.

The Rocket will have a cortisone shot today. According to Buster Olney:

Roger Clemens won't make a decision about whether to retire, after 24 seasons, and we've seen him change his mind in the past. But what friends and associates are saying is that they believe this will be the final year for The Rocket, because at age 45, the grind of pitching is wearing on him differently, and his numbers reflect this: The batting average against him, of .271, is the highest since his first season, in 1984; the slugging percentage of .411 against him is the worst of his career, and his strikeout-per-nine innings ratio of 6.19 is the worst of his career.

I missed this a few days ago, but Jack Curry wrote a good story in the Times about Alex Rodriguez's half brother, Victor.

Speaking of Rodriguez, x-rays were taken after the game last night on his right ankle. They came back negative. He might sit out tonight. But even if he's not seriously hurt, I fear that his swing will be thrown out-of-whack. I hope I'm wrong, of course. Hope it's just me being nervous.

That was some bomb he hit last night, huh?

Yo, I'm itching for Rodriguez to hit 50 dingers. I want him to set the single-season HR mark for third basemen and I just want to see a Yankee to hit 50. Right now, Rodriguez has an OPS+ of 179, which would place him in the top half-dozen great seasons ever by a third baseman.

Rodriguez has already scored 125 runs, his best mark as a Yankee (his career high is 141 in 1996). He has 28 doubles, one shy of his Yankee-best 29. The 46 dingers are just two shy of all-time record for third basemen, a mark Rodriguez already shares with Mike Schmidt and Adrian Beltre. Rodriguez has 131 RBI, his high in New York, and just nine shy of his career best (142 in 2002). Oh, and he's also swiped 22 bases while getting caught just twice.

Jorge Posada has had a dream season, same for Magglio Ordonez, but right now, the AL MVP is Rodriguez's to lose.

Comments (57)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-09-05 10:20:17
1.   Mattpat11
I'd rather A-Rod lose out on 50 and hit those dingers in the playoffs.
2007-09-05 10:20:57
2.   Sliced Bread
ah, jeez, at this moment Cashman's probably out shopping for a 2008 retirement Hummer for Clemens to tool around Houston in before his (SURPRISE!) next start for the Astros.

I'm not knockin the guy. He's given us everything he has.

Sherman was really hard on Rocket today. Klap too, I think. Sure, jackals, go ahead, pile on the old guy. I imagine Clemens will be doing Jack Palance one-armed pushups long after the writers who are dogging him hang it up.

Man, I hope Eiland can get Hughes recalibrated and back on track, but I have no doubts about the kid. I believe he'll live up to the hype -- if that's possible.
Tonight would be a fine time to turn it around, Phil.

2007-09-05 10:22:08
3.   Alex Belth
Yeah, you are right about Rodriguez. The playoffs is the thing for him no matter what he does over the course of the next three weeks.
2007-09-05 10:28:56
4.   Sliced Bread
No doubt, the third baseman would trade all of his accomplishments this year for October glory.

He would trade stats with Aaron Boone to have one of those moments.

2007-09-05 10:30:46
5.   Alex Belth
He'd trade stats with Brian Doyle to have that kind of a series!
2007-09-05 10:32:06
6.   Chyll Will
Easy there, killer...
2007-09-05 10:37:18
7.   williamnyy23
5 Well, if you trade stats with Brian Doyle, you also have to take his pay check :).
2007-09-05 10:37:50
8.   Chyll Will
5 you think he'd trade with Brian Doyle-Murray? >;)
2007-09-05 10:46:52
9.   JL25and3
Jeez. Even if the Yankees make the playoffs, losing quickly to the freakin' Angels is a distinct possibility. So is their pitching around Rodriguez - wouldn't you?
2007-09-05 10:55:20
10.   Sliced Bread
9 Imagine if A-Rod could be the one to knock the 800-lb rally monkey off the Yankees' back? The Brothers Steinbrenner would give him a huge piece of the team to stick around, name the new stadium after him, whatever he wants.

Yeah, I'd say it is in the Angels interest to contain A-Rod in the playoffs. They won't give him a pitch he can hit. Anybody but A-Rod will be their mantra.

2007-09-05 10:58:19
11.   Zack
9 And if the yanks lose to the Angels, it doesn't matter how good A-Rod is in the series, it will be forgotten and he'll still be an October "failure."

What's so funny is that 100% I feel this is the worst Angels team the Yanks might go up against...

2007-09-05 11:01:16
12.   Zack
And Alex, correct me if I am wrong, but OPS+ is measured against the league average, which has to be a lot higher now than it was when Schmidt and Brett put up those #s, no? Going by straight OPS, right now he's in line to be just behind Schmidt's '81 season. Thoughts?
2007-09-05 11:01:50
13.   Sliced Bread
11 and then the Angels will offer him $30 million dollars a year to play shortstop.
2007-09-05 11:14:57
14.   Chyll Will
11 ,13 Phooey!
2007-09-05 11:21:59
15.   Sliced Bread
Loving the first link Alex provided above.

Kevin Hench:
10 reasons why the Red Sox don't want to see the Yanks in the ALCS.

I knew Pettitte was HUGE last month, but it hadn't occurred to me that he'd come up HUGE against Cleveland, Detroit, Anaheim, and Boston. That was quite a string of victories before the fuggin D-Ray series.

Anyway, good news! Fun times! Go ahead, treat yaself.

2007-09-05 11:25:52
16.   williamnyy23
12 Yes, OPS+ is adjusted for league and ball park. Schmidt's 1981 season ended with an OPS+ of 199, which is a significant notch better than Arod's current campaign. Sadly, we can only wonder what Schmidt would have done with 60 more games.
2007-09-05 11:58:42
17.   bp1
9 Exactly what happened in '05. He was pitched around the entire series, and his numbers were awful. He took his walks, but walks don't make someone "Mr. October". He got nuttin' to hit the entire five games.

Man - what a frustrating series. The Yankees led each game, including the Big Unit meltdown game.


2007-09-05 12:03:46
18.   Shaun P
13 Meh. The Angels' payroll next year, without making any additions to the club, is going to rise to like $120M - and that's after Colon's $14M salary for '07 comes off the books. Are they really going to bump it all the way up to $150M or more - and that's before they sign anyone else?

I'm not saying the Angels can't sign A-Rod, I just don't think they will.

2007-09-05 12:31:42
19.   uburoisc
Anyone have a guess on what Arod's contract will look like? I do think the Yanks will pay the man, but how much and for how long?
2007-09-05 12:39:42
20.   Raf
17 And when he did finally get something to hit he GIDP'ed (gm 5).

It was one of the few times I almost put my foot through the tv set...

2007-09-05 12:54:11
21.   Sliced Bread
If A-Rod opts out, as I believe he unfortunately will, he's going to have nearly another decade of SICK MONEY thrown at him.
But I don't think whether he stays or goes is going to come down to money.
I think it's going to come down to his wife, who give me the impression that she wants the eff out of NY. "Read my t-shirt, bitches!"
Mrs. Alexander Rodriguez is his rock. Boras controls his finances, but she controls his balls, and where he raises his family.
If she decides (or has decided) a better quality of life awaits them elsewhere, they're outta here.
She would remind him of the heartless boos he's received here, the shit press, the batting 8th in Oct., the 2nd class citizenship to the beloved shortstop.
Any GM who wants A-Rod next year, better start kissing Cynthia Rodriguez's ass PRONTO!

The A-Rods held a luncheon in Washington Heights today, a fashion event benefitting his foundation.
I'm told Suzyn Waldman was there, but none of his teammates. Mostly fashion and foundation people in attendence. Now, I have no idea if Cashman, Torre, or any Yankee officials were invited to this thing, but if they were, and chose not to attend, NOT GOOD!

2007-09-05 13:27:14
22.   MainLineYankee
There'll be no crying by me if A-Rod goes elsewhere. In the beginning of the Torre era, the Yankees won consecutive World Series with a mere mortal at 3b because they had terrific pitching. A-Rod is not the solution to our problems, and he won't bring a WS championship, either.
2007-09-05 13:29:26
23.   Chyll Will
21 If you've been to any type of fashion event, you wouldn't blame his teammates for not coming. If anything, I bet A-Rod warned them off; "just write a check" kinda thing. I can't imagine what else they could add to something where the majority of folks are not likely interested in sports, much less the Yankees.

Besides, the press will write anything they want; meaning that if they went as a show of support, they'd likely either skew it negatively by saying they were 'coersed' or that they have 'more important things to prepare during a playoff race.' Too cynical? That's exactly why the question exists.

You're absolutely right; it will be Mrs. A-Rod's choice, and for real, I can't blame her one way or the other. Even I don't want to be here sometimes. But if they do walk, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

2007-09-05 13:29:40
24.   standuptriple
21 Mid week day of game fashion show? I hope A-Rod told them not to show up. The playoffs are not a lock right now and they need to concentrate on playing good baseball, not attending tea parties.
2007-09-05 13:33:41
25.   Sliced Bread
oh, I wouldn't expect players to be there, but hopefully the team stepped up to the plate for him in some,er, fashion.
2007-09-05 13:39:23
26.   JeremyM
Well, for those keeping score at home, we do know that Clemens and other teammates (I never heard as to whom) were at A-Rod's home for a BBQ on Labor Day.
2007-09-05 13:50:28
27.   Sliced Bread
24 How do you suppose they spend their days? Talking and thinking about making the playoffs? I imagine they spend a lot of time watching movies, chilling out with their music, etc.
A "tea party," as unappealing as that sounds to you and me, would hardly drain anybody's energy. Now, sitting next to Suzyn might.

by the way, my friend who was at the event started talking baseball with Alex, and he was happy to oblige, until wifey-poo shot him a glare to get him back on topic... her.
Oh, and he wasn't limping. Looked good to go. But we'll see if his wife, I mean, Joe lets him play tonight.

2007-09-05 13:50:36
28.   Chyll Will
26 Lemme guess: Pettitte (joined at the hip with Roger), Melky and Robbie (joined at the hip, period), Betemit (free food?), Andy Phillips (what suthun'ah will turn down BBQ?) Joba (he seems like he knows food), Shelly (Heppy Ket), Hughes (with Roger holding the leash) and any rookie who has the guts to say, "can I come?", along with Mo ("We thank you, Our Lord, for the food we about to receive..." ) ...close?
2007-09-05 13:56:17
29.   yankz
28 Jeter, showing off the latest supermodel. Moose, to make sure he's in front of IPK in line.
2007-09-05 13:59:40
30.   Chyll Will
27 mmmm... playoffs... darjeeling... oolong... tighter strike zones... runners left on base... earl gray...
2007-09-05 14:05:30
31.   standuptriple
27 Watching game film instead of models would be acceptable to me.
2007-09-05 14:10:23
32.   Chyll Will
29 Farns was there, but they told him to take out the trash and he never came back.
2007-09-05 14:11:39
33.   standuptriple
32 Maybe he ran into some "fans" in the back alley.
2007-09-05 14:13:37
34.   Chyll Will
31 Guess you won't be at my bachelor party...
2007-09-05 14:13:43
35.   alterity
22 If you're going to try and make a claim that having one of the best hitting third baseman in history is what's keeping the Yankees from winning the WS, then take it somewhere else. More pitching would help, no doubt, but there's no free agent this year who is likely to be any better than what they already have (unless you want to take a flyer at Colon. . .). Of course, having one of the best third baseman in history AND having more pitching would help, but don't imply that we the Yankees only need one or the other. Of course, this point is especially important since there doesn't look to be much improvement at 1B next year, and that, as good as he is, Melky is never going to carry this team offensively, or that Damon and Matsui and Posada are not getting any younger or that Abreu may be more like his first half next year than his second half or that Cano can't be counted on for a full season of good production given his past performance. . to name just a few of the challenges the offense faces next season. Why give up your best player if you can sign him? Are you going to claim that Scott Brosius Gritacularity or Veteranosity (two important components of BFOG+) would be leading the Yankees' playoff surge? Are you really going to claim that they would be in the hunt this year (or would have been the last three) if Aaron Boone hadn't screwed up his knee and had been manning the hot corner in the Bronx? I don't see it. . .
2007-09-05 14:17:26
36.   standuptriple
34 If you're having models instead of strippers I probably wouldn't miss it too much anyways. Maybe you know some different kinds of models than I do though.
2007-09-05 14:18:40
37.   yankz
34 I think he meant watching movies. Because I have no problem with them "watching" models. If I had that much money, I'd probably do the same.
2007-09-05 14:18:59
38.   yankz
OK, I guess not.
2007-09-05 14:25:32
39.   OldYanksFan
21 "Any GM who wants A-Rod next year, better start kissing Cynthia Rodriguez's ass PRONTO!"
Err.... can I have a shot at that?
2007-09-05 14:25:42
40.   Chyll Will
36 I'd have to get the "models" past security somehow ...quiet is kept >;) I'd count on you to bring the "game footage" with equal stealth, amigo >;)
2007-09-05 14:27:13
41.   standuptriple
I just think that when the team you're battling for playoff eligability is in town, maybe you cut back on the extra caricular activities...even if it hurts A-Rod's wife's feelings. It's crap like this that makes the team such a circus. If they don't play well over the next few weeks they'll have plenty of time for that October.
2007-09-05 14:27:21
42.   OldYanksFan
22 Losing ARod will not bring us better pitching. Conversely, keeping ARod doesn't mean we can't have outstanding pitching... especially considering the kids we already got.
2007-09-05 14:31:55
43.   MainLineYankee
alterity: Sorry! Yikes! I didn't know I had entered the A-Rod fan club!
2007-09-05 14:38:28
44.   Zack
43 If recognizing that losing A-Rod would devastate this offense and that the claim that an inferior 3B that is scrappy somehow makes this team better means being in the A-Rod fan club, then yes, you have entered it...
2007-09-05 14:46:05
45.   MainLineYankee
Is George Steinbrenner posting comments here?
2007-09-05 14:46:07
46.   MainLineYankee
Is George Steinbrenner posting comments here?
2007-09-05 14:46:10
47.   MainLineYankee
Is George Steinbrenner posting comments here?
2007-09-05 14:46:11
48.   MainLineYankee
Is George Steinbrenner posting comments here?
2007-09-05 15:00:27
49.   yankz
Hey buddy, this isn't the A-Rod fan club, it's a Yankees fan club. The idea that getting rid of Arod would improve the team is a joke, and you got called out.
2007-09-05 15:15:36
50.   Mike T
49 That's what I was arguing a couple of weeks ago, that no matter what the Yankees' needs are, letting A-Rod walk won't solve them. The Yanks can afford to keep him, and improve the pitching where needed.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-09-05 15:16:28
51.   Mike T
And speaking of A-Rod, he's in the starting lineup tonight. I guess the ankle is ok.
2007-09-05 15:19:17
52.   tommyl
44 Me too, I'm in! Its clear to me if that if Brosius was still at 3B he would have hit all the game winning HRs and hits A-Rod has this year, plus he could have fielded both 3B and SS (thereby alleviating Jeter from having to move at all) and he could be brought in to pitch and be the bridge to Mo.

A-Rod is a once in a generation talent. No, he can't single handedly win a WS, but the idea that losing him will actually get us closer is insane. If anyone believes that I suggest the comments section of PeteAbe's blog. You'll fit right in there.

2007-09-05 15:19:29
53.   monkeypants
43 In addition, the notion that the Yankees won four WS in 1996-2001 because of great pitching alone is ludicrous. In those years they ranked 5, 1, 1, 2, 6, 3 in pitching in the AL, and 9, 2, 1, 3, 6, 5 in runs scored in the AL. They won because they had overall very good pitching and hitting.
2007-09-05 15:19:52
54.   tommyl
51 Questionable, he left for an MRI at 3:45pm. He might be a late scratch. Supposedly he was pissed the team made him go for it.
2007-09-05 15:21:13
55.   tommyl
53 Yes, but in those years they were also 1 in the BFOG+ and grit departments. They were actually 2 in 2001 because the Diamondbacks might have actually been older than the Yankees and they had Tony Womack.
2007-09-05 15:27:43
56.   JL25and3
52 Be fair, now. He didn't say letting Rodriguez walk would actually improve the team, only that it would be irrelevant.

Which is equally indefensible, of course.

2007-09-05 15:28:40
57.   JL25and3
New thread is up.

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