Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Couple of Three Things...
2007-09-21 08:46
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Over at BP, Joe Sheehan thinks the Red Sox are being smart in giving some of their starting players a breather:

It would behoove Joe Torre to start doing this as well. The Yankees are up five games in the loss column on the Tigers, with a magic number of seven for the wild card. If form holds through the weekend and the Yankees' magic number reaches three or so, Torre needs to worry less about seeding and more about making sure his aging team is ready to go on October 2. Alex Rodriguez has missed two games all year, and none since August 8. Robinson Cano hasn't missed a game since May 6. Jorge Posada has played his usual 130-odd games behind the plate; a couple of extra days off next week couldn't hurt. I can't quantify the effects of rest on a player's performance, but I can say that the cost of doing so—possibly ending up as the wild card versus winning the division—is essentially zero.

At ESPN, Buster Olney thinks that Alex Rodriguez could find a good home with the L.A. Dodgers:

Rodriguez might be a perfect addition at the perfect time for the Dodgers. He would give them the power they need, in home run production and in marketing; they could build their business plan around his pursuit of Barry Bonds' home run record.

Friends of A-Rod don't think he would be interested in playing in the National League. We'll see. Some within the Yankees' organization wonder if any team will be willing to pay A-Rod as much as the Yankees can pay him; others think that it's all but a lock that A-Rod will leave the Yanks.

If he does go, the Dodgers would be a perfect landing spot for him, if the team is ready to spend big.

Finally, in the Times, Goose Gossage says he likes Joba. That's not a shocker. Neither is this:

"I really don't see how they can think about making him a starter after what we've seen," Gossage said in a telephone interview. "You can find starters — I know they have other young kids — but how are you going to find another character like him? How are you going to replace him? Before he came up, those setup guys were killing them."

Goose, we love ya, but um, got to disagree with on this one. However, this quote is more like it:

"I saw him throw those two pitchers over Kevin Youkilis's head when they played Boston," he said. "I loved it. The same thing used to happen with me when I tried to get it inside. When I missed, my body would get out front, my arm would lag and the ball would fly.

"And guess what? It was a great purpose pitch, only now they're protecting these hitters every chance they get. It makes me sick. I went crazy when they tossed the kid that day. I screamed, 'What the heck is this game coming to?' "

Back when I played...

Comments (96)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-09-21 09:06:17
1.   wsporter
Well ,,, What the heck is this game coming to?
2007-09-21 09:15:41
2.   Alex Belth
I know, it's funny how often old ballplayers sound like Grandpa Simpson, whether I agree with them or not. Then again, maybe it's not just ballplayers. I feel like an crotchity old bastard half the time these days too.
2007-09-21 09:18:26
3.   Zack
I was too young to really see Goose in his prime, just the old version hanging on at the end, but even so he's one of my favorites. They should have him come be the BP coach and really teach Farnsworth how to pitch and be intimidating. That being said, what Joba can provide as a starter is so much more valuable than as a reliever...

AS for resting the starters, all i can say is, home field advantage means a lot to the yanks, just look at Wang's home vs road splits...

2007-09-21 09:21:49
4.   Mattpat11
3 I could see Farnsworth somehow ruining Gossage. I don't know how or what you would do to ruin a retired ball player, But Farnworth is Midas in Reverse.
2007-09-21 09:27:56
5.   Mattpat11
I though the magic number was five.
2007-09-21 09:31:33
6.   Chyll Will
I have a theory. Much of everything is being marketed to traditional college-aged demos; the kind that spend easy and wild right before they settle down with a family. If the game were treated like a game instead of a product (such as it seemed until Selig and ESPN wormed their way into the commish's office), then bad umpiring, drug policy and sensible scheduling would have been tackled before they became national spotlight issues. The biggest problem with baseball is in the commish/owners/networks' offices.

"Bud Selig doesn't care about real fans."

2007-09-21 09:33:41
7.   wsporter
2 I am a crotchety old bastard but I'm desperately trying to reform. When an idiot umpire tosses a kid who didn't actually hit anyone when no warnings have been issued it doesn't help.

As to the warning pitch issue I never saw Goose have to throw more than one! When he threw it everybody backed off the plate, including Mickey Rivers.

2007-09-21 09:33:43
8.   Mattpat11
Bud Selig cares about few people not named Selig.
2007-09-21 09:35:08
9.   Chyll Will
4 Sadim? Didn't they just get rid of that guy? EVERYTHING is reverse when it comes to Farns, huh?
2007-09-21 09:38:30
10.   Bama Yankee
6 "Bud Selig doesn't care about real fans."

Are you Kanye East? ;-)

2007-09-21 09:39:50
11.   rbj
I doubt A-Rod would go to Dodger Stadium -- it's a pitcher's park and if he wants 800 HRs he wouldn't get them there.
2007-09-21 09:44:12
12.   Chyll Will
10 I certainly caught Dana Carvey off-guard >;)
2007-09-21 09:45:09
13.   NJYankee41
11 Something tells me with the way he has handled "Death Valley", park dimensions are the least of his concerns. I just hope he cares about Yankee lore and wants that cap on his plaque.
2007-09-21 09:49:14
14.   Shaun P
11 And the McCourts have had money issues before - even with guys (Wolf, Gonzalez, etc) coming off the books, I don't see them ponying up $30+M.

I'm not smart enough to figure this out for sure (Wang's numbers on just turf may skew his home-road splits - you could look it up), but my thinking goes like this:

The Yanks' best pitcher is Wang. The Yanks want their best pitcher to be able to pitch twice in the ALDS if it goes to 5 games. Wang pitches much better at home. The only way Wang pitches two games at home if the ALDS goes to 5 is for the Yanks to have homefield advantage. The only way for the Yanks to have homefield is to win the division. Thus, winning the division is a good thing.

2007-09-21 09:56:25
15.   Chyll Will
13 I think a bigger factor would be if he's really matured as much as he seems to have this season. Having made his point with a magic season, and being a presence in the playoffs, what does he value the most? His ultimate decision will tell you exactly that, but if he leaves after playing on the biggest stage in all baseball in the prime of his career, it'll never get better for him, no matter how green the sports writers make the grass elsewhere.
2007-09-21 09:59:18
16.   RIYank
4 Yeah, that's good, I agree.
Although I wouldn't be too unhappy with Pettitte pitching twice in a five game series, I have to say.
2007-09-21 09:59:47
17.   RIYank
Dang, this just isn't my day for references. By 4 I mean 14 .
2007-09-21 10:03:37
18.   pistolpete
My first instinct is always to drop the hammer on the Sox.

But then you have to look at what the extra day did for Rocket & Moose, and it suddenly becomes a better idea to rest the regulars as well.

I think the next series is going to decide that for Joe Torre anyway - if we take 2 or 3 and the Tigers tank a few more games, we're up 7 or 8 on the WC by next Tuesday.

Then let's forget this silly division stuff and get the old men some rest.

2007-09-21 10:03:37
19.   yankz
WasWatching has the numbers. Wang is the Cy Young winner at home, and below average on the road. Clemens is drastically different as well.

14 Home field is overrated. The Marlins won two- count 'em, TWO!- World Series without it. Therefore the Yankees should not try for it.*


2007-09-21 10:06:51
20.   pistolpete
18 should be: what the 'extra days' did for Rocket & Moose
2007-09-21 10:07:52
21.   Bama Yankee
12 Good call on Dana Carvey (in a Bizarro World sorta way). The best I could do was picturing you standing next to one of these guys:
Of course, either one of those guys would be much too dangerous to stand close to for any length of time (if the knife don't getcha, then the line drive will)...
2007-09-21 10:16:51
22.   Chyll Will
21 Reminds me of my prom (sigh)...
2007-09-21 10:27:02
23.   Mattpat11
18 I think it might be time to stop worrying about the Tigers all together.
2007-09-21 10:27:48
24.   Mattpat11
BTW, Vernon Wells is done.
2007-09-21 10:29:38
25.   pistolpete
23 Talk to me on Tuesday. If we're swept and Detroit wins their games, things aren't so comfortable anymore.
2007-09-21 10:33:14
26.   Mattpat11
25 Yes, if the Yankees completely collapse, Detroit is back in it. So is Seattle for that matter.
2007-09-21 10:36:14
27.   RichB
I think A-Rod has a crucial moment here. He already tried going for the money, but Texas couldn't afford to pay him and still win ballgames. Rocket tried the same thing. In 1996, even though courted by the Yanks, he signed with Toronto and after two years it was clear he wasn't within sniffing distance of a ring. Like Roger, A-Rod will get all the other accolades and records and awards no matter where he plays. But, if he wants to actually get paid and get rings, there's only one reliable place to go - the Bronx.
2007-09-21 10:42:57
28.   Schteeve
Daggummit you whippersnappers!
2007-09-21 10:47:03
29.   Yankee Fan In Boston
this just in:

Phil Rizzuto Tribute
(at Yankee Stadium, of course)
Pre-game ceremony starts at 12:30 pm, on Sun., Sept. 23

oh, how i'd love to be there for that.

tickets are still available.

2007-09-21 10:50:25
30.   Mattpat11
Here's a question for you.

If we get home field and the "normal" ALDS schedule, would you (or Joe) start Andy Pettitte game 3?

Wang and Roger are much better at home. Pettitte is slightly better on the road, hughes is much better on the road. Torre likes to put a big starter for game three.

I might do it.

2007-09-21 10:59:26
31.   weeping for brunnhilde
I don't like this business about Alex, Alex, but since you bring it up, if he does fly away, who's going to play third base?

Any likely candidates pop to mind?

2007-09-21 11:00:54
32.   weeping for brunnhilde
4 Hee-hee!
2007-09-21 11:02:22
33.   weeping for brunnhilde
13 Exactly.
2007-09-21 11:02:42
34.   RIYank
30 No doubt about it.

That way (with Pettitte third), you still definitely get one start each out of your top three. With home field advantage, it's plainly better to have Wang twice at home than Pettitte twice at home. So as I see it, there is no cost to moving Pettitte to the third spot.

Oh, well, there's the way your rotation is set up for the ALCS assuming you win the DS, but that's going to be have a big random element anyway.

2007-09-21 11:03:32
35.   RIYank
31 Mike Lowell.
2007-09-21 11:04:30
36.   weeping for brunnhilde
35 Really?

I'd take him.

2007-09-21 11:05:50
37.   RIYank
36 Absolutely.

The only rub would be if he was looking for (and getting elsewhere) a long contract. I think I'd give him up to three years.

2007-09-21 11:09:33
38.   williamnyy23
Goose's comments are a little ironic. As I mentioned at the end of the previous thread, Goose had wanted to be a starter early in his career. In 1976, the White Sox gave it a try, but Goose wound up with an ERA+ of 90 for the season. After that, he never started another game. The Yankees should take the same approach with Joba. Let him start and if, and only if, he fails, happily make him a dominant closer for the next 10 seasons.
2007-09-21 11:12:56
39.   williamnyy23
35 36 I don't think Lowell would be a good choice at all. He is pretty much going to parlay a 130 OPS+ career season into a long-term deal and then go back to playing at his career norm of 110. Even if he did maintain his 2007 totals, he'd still constitute a huge drop off. Also, Lowell has huge H/R splits: 1.005/.768. His RH bat would wither at Yankee Stadium. In many ways Lowell is a product of Fenway.
2007-09-21 11:13:56
40.   Mattpat11
37 My issue with Lowell is his second half swoons. Not this year, but it is a contract year.
2007-09-21 11:14:13
41.   Bama Yankee
31 Wilson Betemit
2007-09-21 11:16:28
42.   williamnyy23
If Arod does walk (I can feel my chest tightening just think about the possibility), the Yankees need to make Miguel Cabrera a top priority. No matter how you slice it, there is no replacement for Arod.

One thing to keep in mind is that Tejada should be available this winter and many accounts have him on the verge of moving to 3B due to decreased mobility. He could emerge as an option too, but that would be a mistake, IMHO.

2007-09-21 11:25:56
43.   RIYank
39 OPS+ is ballpark adjusted, so he isn't a product of Fenway at all.

But I'd certainly take Miguel Cabrera.

2007-09-21 11:29:06
44.   seamus
ugh, i hate, hate, hate mike lowell. please no...
2007-09-21 11:32:09
45.   NJYankee41
We should all pitch in and take out a one page ad in one of the newspapers to beg A-Rod to stay in NY. It would be a two-fold ad as it would be news in itself. And of course it would have to end with a big fat HA!
2007-09-21 11:32:55
46.   Yankee Fan In Boston
43 miguel cabrera is the next manny ramirez. yes, an amazing hitter, but can lack hustle at times.

he's said that he'd rather not play for the yankees, citing the "rules" he'd have to abide by.

plus he probably won't play 3rd much longer.

i don't have any other suggestions, though.

2007-09-21 11:33:48
47.   Yankee Fan In Boston
45 i'd chip in for that.
2007-09-21 11:33:52
48.   Mattpat11
42 That would be a huge mistake for so many reasons, not the least of which is I don't know how many more times he's going to dodge a bullet in regards to steroids.
2007-09-21 11:42:50
49.   wsporter
43 I like Lowell. He seems like a classy guy but ....

Lowell's H/A splits:

Home 71 267 48 101 13 1 13 63 155 23 32 3 0 .424 .581 .378
Away 73 284 23 79 22 1 6 46 121 28 31 0 2 .342 .426 .278

Yeah his OPS+ is ok but my lying eyes are still trying to tell me something.

2007-09-21 11:45:29
50.   yankz
45 I'm in, assuming I get to sign it "yankz."
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-09-21 11:47:53
51.   JoeInRI
42 Wait . . . are you saying that their are other players that have juiced besides Barry and Giambino?? Say it isn't so!!!

48 Miggy could also be the 1b of the future

2007-09-21 11:50:31
52.   NJYankee41
50 I was thinking more along the lines of from Bronx Banter. But you are definitely my second choice ;)
2007-09-21 11:50:50
53.   Yankee Fan In Boston
51 yeah! bring back miguel cairo!

...oh... you meant... gotcha...

2007-09-21 11:52:21
54.   Bama Yankee
49 Plus, where would Lowell be without Yankee pitching from which to feast: (.382/.447/.676)?

Actually, that might be a good reason to get him... that guy has killed us this year. Also, where would Boston be without him this year?

2007-09-21 11:54:19
55.   Bama Yankee
53 Reading that almost made me as sick as that Sid Vicious leg break video that I posted in the last thread...
2007-09-21 11:56:18
56.   pistolpete
31 Heh, I see Aaron Boone's name on the list...
2007-09-21 11:59:06
57.   pistolpete
56 Speaking of FA's, has anyone gotten a gander at the SP offerings for this upcoming offseason?


Let's just say it's the best reason bringing up Hughes, Kennedy and Joba this year was a great idea.

2007-09-21 12:05:06
58.   Ben
45 that's a great idea. You need to get a few hundred people to chip in, but I bet it could be done. Everyone could sign the thing, it would be hilarious. What's more, I bet it would work. A-rod wouldn't be able to resist.
2007-09-21 12:08:38
59.   williamnyy23
43 Not necessarily. Players can play even better at their home ballpark than the adjustment. Take a look at Lowell's splits. His home OPS+ is 160 versus a road OPS+ of 106. As I mentioned, the Lowell who has an OPS+ of 130 is a creation of Fenway.
2007-09-21 12:08:39
60.   NJYankee41
45 I looked up the rates in the NY Times. I have to admit it kind of confused me. I'm not sure if it would only cost a little over $1,000 or I have to figure out the rate based on the columns and such. If anyone wants to check it out:

2007-09-21 12:15:17
61.   RIYank
154 (= David Murphy post-trade OPS+)

2 (= rank of Engel Beltre among prospects in the Arizona League,

I love Eric Gagne.

2007-09-21 12:15:41
62.   Yankee Fan In Boston
60 i was checking for rates as well... nothing available online for newsday... i nixed the post before i even started.
2007-09-21 12:20:42
63.   NJYankee41
62 Ha I did the same thing with the Post. Screw them. I looked at Daily News but you had to contact someone for rates and I am unsure what it would fall under given their choices. NY Times had the best info, its just a matter of making sense out of it.
2007-09-21 12:20:44
64.   RIYank
60 The latter, I'm afraid. That's the price per inch. And a full page is 128 column inches.

On the bright side, there's an 8% discount for buying a whole page, so it would really cost only about $120,000.

2007-09-21 12:23:10
65.   NJYankee41
64 Thats exactly what I was afraid of and it makes complete sense.
2007-09-21 12:37:54
66.   wsporter
64 So if we get all 120,000 of us who contribute to this blog to kick in a buck each ...
2007-09-21 12:39:28
67.   Sliced Bread
64 Better to donate $120,000 to The ARod Family Foundation which his wife runs.

She probably requires more convincing to stick around than him.

Is it too late to schedule a Cynthia Rodriguez Day at the Stadium where Alex and Cliff could present her with a big fat Bronx Banter check?

2007-09-21 12:43:17
68.   Mike T
60 The NY Times charged half their going rate for the now infamous ad attacking general David Petraeus (General Betray Us). A few days later, they gave the same discount to Rudy Giuliani.
2007-09-21 12:46:11
69.   thelarmis
sounds like we'd need folks to chip in from loads of different yankees blogs... : ~

i'm very much hoping for that november back page ad that would read: STAY-ROD!

i definitely don't want lowell...

just to chime in from the last thread that i had missed -- i have to side w/ vockins: "Run To The Hills" by Iron Maiden would be a perfect entrance song for Joba...

2007-09-21 12:46:46
70.   JL25and3
42 Making Miguel Cabrera a top priority is a great idea. (Among other things, it would give the team Cabrera, Me and Cabrera, Mi. I always love that.)

The problem is, I don't think anyone here is really willing to pay the price. You'd have to start with either Hughes or Chamberlain, and it wouldn't end there.

2007-09-21 12:47:30
71.   thelarmis
cubs-pirates tied at 7 after 3. each team has scored in every half-frame thus far. if it continues, someone will need to alert Bob at the Griddle! : )
2007-09-21 13:02:10
72.   yankz
52 :) Of course I was kidding...BB comes before any of us.
2007-09-21 13:08:08
73.   Chyll Will
72 Online petition?
2007-09-21 13:13:43
74.   Yankee Fan In Boston
72 73 [etc.]

here's all i could find for the daily news:

it is considered "retail rates", but a rag-tag bunch of knuckleheads putting an open letter out there asking a guy who generates headlines for this paper might be able to catch a price break.

...especially if the story behind the ad is spread, generating talk about the ad in said paper...

any negotiation experts here?

2007-09-21 13:37:08
75.   Chyll Will
74 We can start an online petition supported by a coalition of Yankees sites (check the sidebar) and collect donations toward the ad fund via PayPal, then designate a letter writer to write a draft letter on behalf of all the petitioners to explain who we are, why we did this and what it would mean for everyone if he stayed, whatever the case may be...

A-Rod could always click on the link himself if he wanted to know what people are saying, or we can bind it into a commemorative book and present the postings to him as a first edition love letter of sorts. The ad would call much more attention to the petition, the site and the fact that we really want him to stay. I don't doubt he knows that, but i think some smart people could put it in a way that it would actually mean something for him to stay, and not just because he's having a hot year.

Just brainstorming >;)

2007-09-21 13:39:45
76.   Aviezer
If we are talking enterance songs for Joba I suggest No more lies by Iron maiden
2007-09-21 13:46:22
77.   Yankee Fan In Boston
75 word.

hand me an electronic quill and i shall place my herbie hancock on the dotted line.

2007-09-21 13:49:00
78.   yankz
Anyone know how Arod's mail works? I'm sure he has someone reading it. But if 100 of us each wrote a page, and someone put a fat paperclip on it and mailed it, his manager or whoever might give it to him.
2007-09-21 13:57:07
79.   Popcult
Just heard on WFAN that Kennedy has been scratched from tomorrow's start; Clemens is pitching instead. Anyone know why? Torre goes on the air for his weekly interview in five minutes so I guess we'll find out then.
2007-09-21 14:01:05
80.   JL25and3
I think Joba's theme song should be "Nuclear War." It's a motherf&*%er.
2007-09-21 14:03:12
81.   Mike T
79 Kennedy's back is bothering him.
2007-09-21 14:05:59
82.   seamus
80 don't you know! :)
2007-09-21 14:07:08
83.   Bama Yankee
77 "electronic quill... herbie hancock"
That's brillitant. Way to "Rockit", YFiB (BTW, would you use an extremely large font?)
2007-09-21 14:11:58
84.   Bob B
I respectfully disagree. First of all, the pitchers are on a six man rotation. That's a lot of rest there. Second, Arod's been rested by Bettermit and so has DJ. Matsui and Damon have switched off and on in left. Abreau doesn't want a day off. Giambi couldn't be more rested. Jorge is still hitting and Molina has caught quite a few games recently. Just keep shuffling the deck and get the all important best record- win all ten and you'll have the home field advantage.
2007-09-21 14:21:59
85.   Vandelay Industries
2007-09-21 14:22:58
86.   Vandelay Industries
83 Big game for you guys this week!

SC over LSU as well, you heard it here first.

2007-09-21 14:26:54
87.   Mike T
To be more specific, Kennedy has a muscle strain in his upper back.
2007-09-21 14:36:06
88.   Bama Yankee
86 You do know that the USC that LSU is playing is the University of South Carolina don't you? ;-)

I hope you're right (on both accounts). I just hope the Arkansas game didn't take too much out of my boys. I'll be sure to give you credit if (and when) SC pulls the upset. Maybe Spurrier and Saban can both earn that big money that they are getting with big wins tomorrow...

2007-09-21 14:53:09
89.   Vandelay Industries
88 Well, it will need to go perfectly for South Carolina to beat LSU. However, I do see a changing of the guard in the SEC, so who knows. Georgia looks weak to me, and Auburn and Tenn are finished. With Ducette out, I actually think FLA is the best team by far in the SEC, but what do I know?

Anything to shut Lee Corso up. "Spurrier could coach at South Carolina for one hundred years and he'll never win the SEC" Hmm, we shall see about that.

2007-09-21 14:59:08
90.   SF Yanks
New thread fellers.
2007-09-21 15:00:51
91.   Vandelay Industries
88 Must be nice to be the other USC. Twelve games, and the Cal Baby Bears are the only somewhat viable opponent they have all season. That is of course unless you have sucked in too much smog and think Oregon is as good as the third best team in either the SEC or Big East. Must be nice, must be nice.
2007-09-21 15:03:11
92.   Bama Yankee
89 Boy, I hope you're right about A*%#&@ (this is a family site, you should know better than to mention the A-word) and Tenn being finished. Nothing would please me more (except another Yanks win in the Serious) than to beat those two teams. Losing the Iron Bowl for five straight years has been very hard to take (imagine the Yankees not beating the Red Sox for five years).

As for shutting Corso up... that'll probably never happen. Sometimes he makes Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver look like Rhodes Scholars...

2007-09-21 15:05:32
93.   Chyll Will
83 "Rockit" being a seminal song in my development >;) My brother and oldest sister collected hundreds of vinyl albums from the sixties, seventies and early eighties; the bulk of which was soul, jazz and funk. I managed to hold onto a tiny sample size of that collection somehow, but I remember 'Rockit' opened the floodgates for me. My whole family loved the video; especially the walking pair of legs and the hand smacking the back of the manniquin's head into the bowl.

I think I'd mentioned "Future Shock" on Banter long ago, but nobody got it then...

2007-09-21 15:05:39
94.   Bama Yankee
90 Thanks for the heads up. Well, at least all this football talk will not offend anyone since they've probably moved over to the new thread... ;-)
2007-09-21 15:07:11
95.   Vandelay Industries
92 I know, I know. My bro went to Auburn, and got his MA at South FLA. He had a tough couple weeks....:)
2007-09-21 15:08:56
96.   Vandelay Industries
94 Agreed! Ok, I'm out. What are we supposed to watch, the marketing machine that is the NFL?

Go Yankees!

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