Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Yankee Panky # 26: Playoff Prep
2007-10-03 06:00
by Will Weiss
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

In any other year, the Yankees would be starting their Division Series with the inappropriately-logoed team from Cleveland today, or even yesterday. But by virtue of MLB's insane methodology to let TV further dictate start dates under the guise of giving the team with the best league record "an advantage," we must wait until Thursday.

But we won't have to wait too long. With early starts to all the games in the Yankees-Indians series — Games 1 and 2 start at 6:30 and 5 p.m., respectively, Sunday's Game 3 start is scheduled for 6:30, Game 4 is next Monday at 6 and Game 5 next Wednesday at 5 — we have at least a week before we see the annual "playoff games should start earlier so kids on the East Coast can stay up to watch it" column from Post Sports TV critic Phil Mushnick. I'm looking forward to that one, because he always cuts through the B.S., and provides me with a good laugh.

At any rate, since we do have some extra time, let's quickly reflect on the 2007 regular season coverage and look ahead to the playoffs. Feel free to agree or disagree with your comments below.

Disclaimer: The opinions presented are not reflective of the proprietors of Baseball Toaster or my esteemed colleagues here at Bronx Banter, who allow me to put my warped thoughts in this space.

• NY Daily News. No paper sends more writers to more places, and gets as many different angles. The Times may break more stories and have more words to work with, but the Daily News fills space and gets straight to the point.

• LoHud, Peter Abraham. He understands the in-game blog function and doesn't try to be something he's not. The NY Times' "Bats" item, with Tyler Kepner, Ben Shpigel, Jack Curry et al, is a close second.

• Tie between Tyler Kepner (NY Times) and George King (NY Post). I would likely choose these two even if I had not seen them in action and know how they go about their business. One is a by-the-book, work the phones guy who looks for angles and stories where others may not; the other is a clubhouse schmoozer who has sources pretty much everywhere. They are both extremely effective reporters in their way, and good writers. I have a tremendous amount of respect for all the beat guys, because it's a thankless grind of a gig, but Kepner and King consistently churn out high-quality work.

Honorable mention: Dom Amore, Hartford Courant. A veteran beat man who's witnessed plenty of Yankee history. I'm continually amazed at the accuracy of his quotes, given that he barely jots down notes or uses a recorder. His brain capacity is incredible. I've seen him in action. It's uncanny; because many of us aren't directly exposed to him due to his Hartford base, he doesn't get the credit he deserves.

• Bob Klapisch — The Record/ I chose Klapisch over Joel Sherman for the following reason: Klapisch, who pitched at Columbia and still plays some semipro ball, thinks like a player and brings a knowledge of the game that pierces his stories.

• Being wholly unbiased, Bronx Banter. Although I must say, now that I've had a chance to read more of the blogs listed on the right side of the screen, there's a lot of strong information outside the mainstream, which has restored my faith in the intelligence of Yankee fans. After five years of eyeing and moderating the YES boards, reading your comments here and viewing the other communities has been educational.

BEST YANKEES BLOGGER • There are many talented Yankee wordsmiths. For consistency in tone, fairness, humor, etc., Steven Goldman is the best.

• Tie between the following: Kay, Singleton, Flaherty Kay, Girardi, Leiter

We saw it at the tail end of last year; there's no way to replace Jim Kaat. With so many permutations of people to match with primary play-by-play men Michael Kay and Kenny Singleton, YES's two-man setup suffered a bit because Kaat transitioned so well between the analyst role with Kay and the dual role with Singleton.

With that said, I was very impressed with some of the three-man arrangements, particularly the ones noted above. If Joe Girardi doesn't take a managerial job next year, I look for his workload in the booth to increase to 75 games or so. Same with John Flaherty.

Flaherty and Girardi prove one of the unwritten rules of baseball coverage: if you want to gain information on the team and learn more about game strategy or what makes opposing players tick, the backup catcher is the best resource.

• David Justice. He's fair, he's complete, and he's honest in his assessment.

Now to the general on-field stories…

• Alex Rodriguez. If his batting average was 50 points higher, we'd be talking Triple Crown. Easily one of the top five composite offensive seasons ever by a Yankees right-handed batter, what's interesting about his performance was how all the tabloid stories stopped once he decided to shut up, say "F--- it" and focus on baseball.

• Joba Chamberlain and the cult following he's gained. A couple of weeks ago, Times columnist Harvey Araton echoed sentiments presented in this space by this author — make Joba the Shut (down reliever) Mariano Rivera's heir apparent. He's got a ringing endorsement from another hallowed Yankees stopper: Goose Gossage.

• Andy Pettitte. Not that he won 14 games, but if the bullpen came through for him in the first six weeks of the season, he might have had a shot at 20.

• 3-way tie between Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, and any reliever not named Joba Chamberlain (yes, that includes Mariano Rivera). I don't know about you, but I'm surprised the criticism of the aforementioned players wasn't more pronounced. Winning has a way of masking cynicism among the scribes.

• Joe Torre boycotting the Daily News writers in Boston following the publication of the bonehead headline "Torre to A-Rod: Shut Up." I've seen Torre verbally pants writers without raising his voice when asked a question that he considered to have crossed the line of professionalism. This, however, was undeserved, since the actual reports have no control over the headlines associated with their stories.

• Of all the ridiculous offensive numbers and ZIP code level ERAs posted by the pitching staff at various points of the year, Bob Abreu's 123 runs scored stood out as the quietest, most unassuming gaudy number among the starting nine. Through all the derision and prolonged slumps he endured, I was stunned to find that Abreu's run total was second in the AL only to A-Rod's absurd 143.

* * *

To review, I thought the composite coverage during the regular season was solid. There are always going to be some kinks, but over the course of an eight-month grind, mistakes will be made and quotes, columns and stories will be misinterpreted.

We're all wondering whether guys like A-Rod, Abreu, Clemens and Mussina will raise their games against the Indians. (The "pressure's on A-Rod" stories were published in full force Tuesday, and Mike Greenberg issued a "cut him some slack" missive on Wednesday's ESPN Radio show.) I've found that the writers are at their best in the postseason also. Do you agree? Do Playoff Pullout sections of the local papers enhance coverage or is it a bit gluttonous? Overall, what improvements do you think should be made from the mainstream coverage? If you were on the beat or were being paid to lend your opinion to the postseason Yankees coverage, how would you make your coverage stand out in the various media platforms, given the various constraints that may be placed upon you by your employer? How would you juggle staying at a press conference to get a quote with going to the clubhouse to get something that may be more useful? These are all considerations that must be made on the fly, as the entire coverage process becomes more standardized and teams relinquish control of information flow and player availability to MLB.

Next week … a review of TBS's TV coverage and YES's pre and postgames.

Comments (249)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-10-03 06:15:26
1.   Mattpat11
Inappropriately logoed?
2007-10-03 06:24:03
2.   Yankee Fan In Boston
1 many people find the fact that the team uses native americans as mascots offensive.

(the redskins and braves get the same complaint.)

i think this is what was being alluded to, but i could be wrong.

2007-10-03 06:36:09
3.   williamnyy23
0 I think Goldman really shouldn't be considered a blogger anymore. The frequency and depth of his pieces have diminished as his other workload has increased. To me, he is better classified as a columnist now.

I disagree about Rocket and Mariano being disappointments. Clemens mere presence on the team was enough to make me pleased with the signed. Sure, I expected a little more production, but I can't complain about 100 just above league average innings. Mention Mo as a disappointment really makes no sense to me. Not only were his peripherals were still very good, but if you parse his season, his inflated ERA (compiled over one bad early stretch and a the last garbage time loss against Baltimore) doesn't look as high as at first glance.

As for Abreu scoring 123 runs…it must be nice to bat in front of Arod.

2007-10-03 06:43:36
4.   williamnyy23
I think mainstream coverage still leaves a lot to be desired. If I was orchestrating the coverage (in the post season and during the year), I would require that all of my writers bone up on the advancing sabermetric trends. It is no longer acceptable to have guys like Heyman and Chass scoff at a more intelligent understanding of the game. Also, I'd like to see the beat guys put their access and more intimate knowledge of the players to good use. Game stories are becoming increasingly irrelevant, so it doesn't make sense to spend much time compiling them and accompanying them with inane, pool style quotes. The best way a beat guy can differentiate his work is to dig up a unique perspective or frame the game in an interesting way. In other words, don't regurgitate what happened, but let the readers know why and how it happened from the perspective of informed and interesting sources.
2007-10-03 06:50:20
5.   Rob Middletown CT
There were a few games this year with a YES booth of Leiter, Singleton and Girardi or Flaherty. I loved that combo. I can't stand Kay anymore.

For Yankees blogs, I'm a big fan of RLYW as well. The writing here is better, with Alex's and Emma's contributions being my favorites, but RLYW gives me my statistical fix. :)

2007-10-03 06:57:44
6.   williamnyy23
5 I agree about Kay. I wish he'd go back to radio and try to salvage what I thought was a good pairing with Sterling.
2007-10-03 07:06:58
7.   Jersey
6 Agreed, I think Kay was at his best next to Sterling.

I'll never understand why people keep thinking Joba should be a closer. If it turns out he can dominate for 200+ innings a year, wouldn't you rather have that??

2007-10-03 07:07:34
8.   yankster
I was disappointed by the press coverage of Sheffield's comments on his treatment in the Yankee clubhouse. I thought the whole thing was about finding a villain (and then branding any supporters as part of that villainy) rather than sorting out what the hell he was talking about.

4 I agree completely about the pool style quotes. If I read five articles from different sources and they ALL have the AP outline with a couple interspersed comments, I feel like it's a waste of time. I'm sure it's very hard, but come on. I'd love to have a way to get straight to the original content.

0 The Bats blog is not a blog. Weeks went by repeatedly with nothing but an apology for not posting anything about the Yankees and this DURING THE SEASON. Even in the off season that would be lame for a blog of that profile. Bats is more like a place to publish ideas that don't quite make the paper. A log must be regular...

2007-10-03 07:12:12
9.   Felix Heredia
There are people who actually like Michael Kay, John Sterling and David Justice? This explains why I've had to tolerate them. And I thought it was because they had naked pictures of Steinbrenner.
2007-10-03 07:14:19
10.   Will Weiss
2 That's exactly what I was referring to ... 3 I can see your points and agree to an extent. I still consider Goldman a blogger because of the format of the majority of his pieces. For me, Mo had a disappointing season. Looking beyond the peripherals, I thought he began to show his age, and despite everything he's done, and he's still great, if I was in Brian Cashman's position I wouldn't re-sign him.
2007-10-03 07:25:04
11.   Mattpat11
2 I think people try way too hard to be offended
2007-10-03 07:27:55
12.   williamnyy23
9 Speaking of naked pictures, what on Earth else could explain why Joe Torre kept using you during the 2004 season?
2007-10-03 07:29:49
13.   Yankee Fan In Boston
11 as someone of native descent, i understand why someone might be offended, but there are bigger ills in the world that could use some correction, in my opinion.

i guess the indians got the name when they had a native pitcher way back in the day, before teams had official nicknames. people just started referring to the team as the indians and it stuck.

at least, that is how i remember the story.

2007-10-03 07:37:33
14.   williamnyy23
10 You wouldn't re-sign him? Also, how can you look beyond the peripherals? Isn't that the best indicator of what the near future will bring? Until the Oriole debacle, Rivera had an ERA+ of around 160. While an off year for him, that's still an excellent year.

Putting aside that Rivera is still highly effective, how on Earth could any Yankee GM decide to let Rivera walk away against his will? To do so would be extreme lunacy in my book. Now, add in that Rivera is still effective and the fact that you'd need to find a replacement. The closer market is very weak this off season, so that compounds the problem. Of course, you could install Joba in the role, but that would come at the immense opportunity cost of possibly taking the next Roger Clemens out of the rotation.

No matter how I look at it, letting Mo walk would be a colossal blunder by Cashman.

2007-10-03 07:42:41
15.   williamnyy23
11 I have a feeling someone will ask Joba about it.
2007-10-03 07:42:45
16.   pistolpete
3 I had certain expectations about Clemens when we signed him, but pitching 8 innings & striking out 10 batters every game weren't among them.

He filled a rotation spot that no one else seemed to want to grab - not Chase Wright, not Jeff Karstens, not T-Clip, not nobody! Clemens just went out and pitched every 5th day and didn't embarrass himself - for the most part, anyway. And we didn't have to think about trading away any prospects in July to go after someone like John Lieber (ecch).

Besides, these next few weeks is what Cashman really signed him for.

2007-10-03 07:49:37
17.   Sliced Bread

Don't resign Mo? Eesh, should they change the team uniforms, too while they're at it? Horizontal stripes perhaps?

The Daily News coverage is solid, but because it occasionally wastes valuable space, soils fingers, and pollutes the environment with Lupica's dittos, NY's "hometown newspaper" takes a backseat to NJ's Star-Ledger in the quality per inch contest.

The NY Sun deserves props for Marchman and Goldman whose columns are consistently interesting, and well-written.

Alex, Cliff, and their assembled super group of writers (all of 'em) (oh, and the commenters, too) make this my favorite Yankees blog.

For timely updates and quick hits on "current affairs" I love Pete Abe's "Lo Hud", and Lombardi's "Was Watching."
I've never commented at those sites, but I appreciate their work very much. Jay Jaffe, too. Fantastic writer.

2007-10-03 07:51:36
18.   Zack
10 11 13 et al--
The issue isn't so much the name "Indians" which isn't great, but worlds above "Redskins" which is just a downright slur. The classic, "its equivalent to naming a team" the Washington [insert deragatory racial/ethnic/religious slur here to keep it clean for the blog]." Its appalling.

But the issue with the Indians is 100% Chief Wahoo. Their logo is nothing short of a racist caricature playing on stereotypical aspects of Native Americans reminiscent of the days of Sambo/blackface etc. Saying that Chief Wahoo is somehow not offensive, or worse, that he honors Native Americans is to be blind to the issue, especially when those saying it have no connection to the issue.

Check out this:

Its not a matter of being overly sensitive, its matter of insisting that tools that have been used to marginalize, oppress, and disenfranchise entire populations by ridiculing and debasing their appearance aren't appropriate for use by a major league team.

On another note, Joba for Starter in 2008 or bust!

2007-10-03 07:52:18
19.   williamnyy23
10 Just to back up my point a little more, if you remove the 7 runs that Mo gave up in two low leverage games (recently against Baltimore and trailing by 3 runs in the 9th against Boston back in April), Mo's 2007 season would be as good as if not better than his 2006 campaign.
2007-10-03 07:58:06
20.   Schteeve
3 WRT Abreu, yeah it must be nice batting in front of A-Rod, but the dude still had to get on base to score all those runs.
2007-10-03 07:58:22
21.   vockins
11 I find the Cleveland team name and logo disgusting.
2007-10-03 08:00:12
22.   williamnyy23
18 I agree with some of your points, but it is also important to put the meaning of words into context. Take "Yankees" for example. The history of that word is rooted in a derogatory term used by the British when referring to Americans (before being adopted by Southerners to derisively refer to Northerners). Of course, Yankee also has been a Dutch nickname, a reference to Pirates and a term associated with the New England region. In other words, the meaning of words and images can change over time.
2007-10-03 08:00:26
23.   Schteeve
Also, I would go so far as to say that not only is Bronx Banter the best Yankees blog by a wide margin, but it might be the best blog period.

The writing is compelling and not self congratulating. Cliff, Alex and Emma don't rely on schtick or device. And this blog has done more to deepen my understanding of and passion for the game and the team than anything short of Jeter's flip play.

2007-10-03 08:03:02
24.   williamnyy23
20 Ironically though, Abreu posted a relatively low .OBP of .369, which was the lowest of his career since becoming an everyday player. At the same time, he posted the highest run total of his career. Considering the contradiction, I think you'd have to give Arod a whole lot of credit for that statistic.
2007-10-03 08:09:50
25.   Schteeve
24 Totally agree. I'm just defensive of Bobby, because i thought the cries for his head this season were ridiculous. Yes, he had a couple of atrocious months, but people were acting as if he was a total bum and always had been and always would be. It was way over the top in my opinion.
2007-10-03 08:11:06
26.   NJYankee41
20 ,24 Just as ironic is that Jeter posted an OBP of .388, which is his career average, and only got 102 runs. I have found this to be a weird stat all year.
2007-10-03 08:14:46
27.   Andre
I consider Mo, if not a disappointment, a real concern for next year or the year after. I would definitely re-sign him for 2 more years, but I'd be quickly trying to groom his replacement if Joba is moved to the rotation. This is not a statistical analysis, but Mo seemed to be very shaky quite often this year. Even when closing innings, he seemed to let many people reach and seemed to be closing by the seat of his pants at times. I haven't felt completely confident with Mo for most of the season, even though his numbers are good. On the other hand, when Joba's at the mound, it feels like Mo circa 1996-1998 - no one can touch him, and even if they do, I feel like the damage will be minimal. All of these observations are completely subjective but I think others will agree based on comments like Wil's and others I've read throughout the season. If I had to choose right now, for this post season, I'd flip flop Mo and Joba, and make Joba a 2 inning closer if needed. Each game would be a 6 inning affair.
2007-10-03 08:20:06
28.   williamnyy23
26 Two clues to why that might be are Jeter ranked among the league leaders in both caught stealing and GIDP, two events that remove/add you from the bases without showing up in your .OBP.
2007-10-03 08:23:55
29.   Shaun P
24 Yes, but also Matsui and especially Posada, who likely picked A-Rod up many times and drove Abreu in after A-Rod made an out.

26 My thought is, though Abreu was on base less often than Jeter, when he was, it was in situations where he was more likely to be driven in, if not by A-Rod, then by Godzilla or Posada. But that's just speculation, and I have no idea where to get the data to back that up without spending hours combing through Retrosheet.

3 I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Goldman last night, and whether he's technically a blogger or not, he is probably the most knowledgable Yankee/baseball historian on the Internet. Maybe off the Internet, too. Dude knows something about everything baseball-related.

2007-10-03 08:29:52
30.   williamnyy23
27 Wow...talking about jumping ship on the S.S. Rivera. I love Joba, who clearly has more better days ahead, but I wouldn't be so quick to assume he'll be able to match Rivera's post season production, at least not at the age of 22.

Clearly, I can't argue about a gut feeling, but the statistics don't jive with the statement that Mo "let many people reach". His WHIP was only a shade above his career norm and his K/9IP was the second best of his career. I think the lingering doubt about Mo stems from his having two bad stretches (each 3 games), instead of his usual one.

Even if Mo had slipped considerably, it would be very bold to suggest he lose the closer's role. Considering how well he is still pitching, it seems to be more like heresy.

2007-10-03 08:30:53
31.   williamnyy23
29 Don't get me wrong...I think Goldman is excellent too. I just don't think he blogs anymore.
2007-10-03 08:40:21
32.   NJYankee41
28 If he GIDP, doesn't it count as a PA and AB? So it is the same as him getting out any other way in terms of OBP and BA. Right? And yes his caught stealing numbers were up, but he has had that many before without it hurting his runs. I just think it is an anomaly.
2007-10-03 08:52:35
33.   RIYank
32 Yeah, I don't get that point either.

Now if Abreu had a very high rate of GIDP, that would explain how Jeter could get on base more but fail to score as often.
But, he doesn't.

Or, if Abreu hit into a lot of FCs, again that would explain how Jeter gets removed from the bases without scoring. I can't find that stat, but Bobby does not hit an especially large percentage of ground balls (45%).

2007-10-03 08:58:17
34.   RIYank
22 Of course.
But I assume you would not find it insulting if a southerner called you a 'Yankee', or a Londoner did. Now, if you passed Joba Chamberlain on River Ave., would you call to him, "Hey, Redskin, how's it going?"

I hope not. Words can change meaning and tone, but that one has not changed in the relevant way.

2007-10-03 09:14:02
35.   williamnyy23
32 does count as a PA, which lowers ones .OBP. By reaching first base on a FC, however, you still get the opportunity to score. Had Jeter turned half of his 21 DPs into FCs, he would have had 10 more opportunities to score. Add in the CS, and there is a signficant number of lost chances. Finally, without looking it up, I'd also guess that Jeter was thrown out on the bases more times this season, so that would detract from the total as well.
2007-10-03 09:26:07
36.   williamnyy23
34 That was my point. I think while teams should be sensitive about words when they are still deemed offensive, there shouldn't be a knee jerk reaction. For example, I don't think Indians, Braves and Seminoles are necessarily offensive. Now, Redskins definitely seems to me to be offensive, but I can't be sure. I've never heard the term used outside of sports or old Cowboy movies, so perhaps the word has ceased to have an impact?
2007-10-03 09:44:28
37.   JL25and3
36 Again, the biggest issue isn't with the name "Indians," but with Chief Wahoo - a thoroughly repellent and offensive caricature.

If you haven't heard "redskin" outside the movies anymore, it's not because the word's lost its impact. It's because no thinking person would use it anymore.

As for the term "Indians," it's not quite offensive, but I don't think it's necessary, and perhaps not appropriate. I go back and forth on this one. On the one hand, I don't get worked up about the Boston Celtics or the Fighting Irish (though that drunk, pugnacious leprechaun is pretty bad). On the other hand, I don't think I'd like a team called the New York Jews.

2007-10-03 09:47:49
38.   RIYank
36 Oh, right, I certainly agree about 'Seminoles'. There the question is not whether the word is offensive, which it obviously isn't, but whether it is offensive to name a team after a tribe at all. This is not obvious to me, but I understand that actual Seminoles are fine with it, so, whatev.
2007-10-03 09:52:51
39.   Shaun P
34 36 37 There's a famous case (still pending, since 1992) about canceling the Washington Redskins' trademark. There was evidence that large numbers of Native Americans and even non-Native Americans found the term "Redskin" racist and offense. I can't speak to the validity of those studies, but they were enough to convince at least one board that the mark should be canceled. Of course, on appeal, the DC Federal District Court found some problems with the studies (namely, they weren't done when the marks were registered in 1967 and 1990), but that smells like a red herring to me.
2007-10-03 09:59:28
40.   williamnyy23
37 I guess I am asking whether chief Wahoo is deemed offensive by a significant portion of Native Americans? As for Redskins, while it was at one time an offensive word (like Yankees), I wonder if Native Americans still view it as such? Maybe the derogatory nature of that word has faded into the past?

You brought about a few good examples, but what about the following…are they offensive too? Is Spartans offensive to Greeks? Are Canadians offended by Vancouver Canucks? How do Nordic ethnicities react to Minnesota Vikings?

I guess my overall point is that while teams should use a common sense approach to dealing with their brands, the decisions shouldn't be made on a knee jerk basis, no matter how well meaning it might be.

2007-10-03 10:01:06
41.   williamnyy23
39 Such studies are exactly what I am referring to...if the decision is made on a factual basis, I have no problem with it.
2007-10-03 10:06:22
42.   OldYanksFan
Being wholly unbiased, Bronx Banter.
Absoulutely... and the Banter has raised itself to a position of being more then a blog. Many of us here use the word 'family'. That, and the unprecidented level of intelligence and humor here set BB apart from the rest. However, I find WasWatching to be a very high quality blog. Steve seems to be unpopular, as he has been pessimistic about the Yankees and has also voiced unpopular opinions. However, he not only puts up multiple posts a day, but always comes up with unique, interesting, non-mainstream, and thoughtful material. While many blogs simply re-harsh the current news, Steve always comes up with stuff nobody else brings up.

One thing of real interest Steve posted was:
On the whole, Sabathia and had the following results: .259/.292/.392.
On a 0-0 count, the numbers against Sabathia are: .407/.402/.695.
On a 0-1 count against Sabathia, they went: .305/.298/.488.
Good to know.

And a funny story was the "Steve, I just have one more question that I have to ask. Was the guy with the dummy there?" story.

Steve may be an aquired taste, but in 3 years of reading almost every Yankee Blog religiously, to me, WasWatching makes an important contribution.

I have to give the edge to Singleston. He is a great partner for almost anyone.

Roger was close to what I expected, Moose was worse, but I expected 2005, not 2006. To me, Iggy was the most disappointing. While I only expected a decent #4/above average #5, the guy was a real trainwreak.

Joe Torre boycotting the Daily News
Actually, I wish ALL teams and players did this. I don't believe anyone boycotts writers who write negative articles, as long as they are well founded. But the degree and misrepresentation that is 'sensational journalism' is ruining the game. ARod boycotted the 'Blond Bombshell' guy (as well he should), and having a strick line on garbage reporting might actually encourage writers to write decent, factual articles instead of exploitive crap.

2007-10-03 10:16:10
43.   Bob B
Maybe Mo was not a disappointment this year but it is hard to imagine him closing in 2009 or 2010 (since it is said he wants a three year deal). This season he reminded me of John Wetteland in 1996. Wetteland always made it interesting in the 9th inning and we saw some of that from Mo this year. Can we expect more of the same down the road? Granted, other teams have won World Series without the greatest relief pitcher in baseball on their rosters but I wouldn't mind having Joba waiting in the wings if Mariano should lose the magic touch.
2007-10-03 10:16:43
44.   yankz
I agree with almost everything here, except I don't see how Moose doesn't win biggest disappointment in a landslide.
2007-10-03 10:32:15
45.   Sliced Bread
42 I'm with you re: Biggest Disappointment, Old Yanks Fan.
I was expecting about the same of Igawa, and he was just a AAA guy. I still think his stuff might be good enough to make him a back of the rotation starter on a Major League club, but I don't think he'll get another chance with the Yanks. Cashman will cut his losses and trade him this winter I bet.

The other big disappointment for me was Farnswacker, who most fans already wrote off before the season started.
I've wanted to like the guy since he got here. Came to NY for less money than he was offered to stay home in Georgia. Wanted to do the heavylifting for the Yanks. Throws a zillion mph. The more he struggled over the past two season, the more he got booed, the more the fans became fed up, the more I rooted for him to succeed.
Alas, I've reached the end of the leash with that dog. I don't want to see him unless the Yanks are up by 4, or down by 8. Bummer. I really wanted to root fer Farnswacker in the same way that I rooted for Superfly Jimmy Snuka as a kid.

2007-10-03 10:38:17
46.   OldYanksFan
The word 'Indian' is not offensive, and was the only descriptive word until the recent term 'Native American'. The word Redskin however, was always slang/derisive, and used that way by Cowboys. But I do agree that it is the LOGO for the Indians, not the name, that is the problem. I always think of Indians/Native Americans as a very dignified people. There is no reason Cleveland can't come up with a logo that honors, as opposed to caricturizing.

As a Jew, Jew is a word used for a Jewish person. But I have always thought it had a 'harsh' sound to it. If you had an all-Jewish NY team, what might they be called? 'N.Y. Yids' is out. 'New York Jewish Persons' sounds like and international board. I think it might have to be 'N.Y Jews'. But careful with that Logo! {:-)

2007-10-03 10:43:24
47.   Sliced Bread
44 Moose crapped out against the Tigers in such a hugely disappointing way last October, so I wasn't the least bit surprised to see him struggle this year.

I remember feeling good about Moose coming back for this season, because I've always liked him, but I honestly wasn't expecting much from him when the season started.

I wasn't disappointed when he fell apart, because I thought he might. Unfortunately, I feel the same way about him now going into the playoffs. Of course I'm still hoping he'll surprise us with vintage performances.

Clemens is a different thing for me. I didn't like his signing, and I'm not surprised by his mixed results, but the more I see him with the young pitchers, and the more I see of the old warhorse who left it all (well hopefully not all of it) on the Fenway mound, the more I liked having him around this year. Nothing disappointing about the 2007 Clemens to me. Just please don't go all Boomer Wells on us in a big game, big guy!

2007-10-03 10:45:06
48.   Sliced Bread
46 The Oys Of Summer?
2007-10-03 10:47:20
49.   Shaun P
43 With the Yanks' financial resources, and huge depth of potential closers sitting down in the minors (Sanchez, Whelan, Cox, Melancon to name just four), there's no reason not to give Mo whatever he wants. Even 4 years.

BTW, I don't think Mo is showing any signs of slowing down. If he's allowing more hits, its either due to defense, the batter getting lucky, or a drop in his stuff. If his stuff was down, it would show up in his K rate, his walk rate, and his HR rate.

In 2007, his K rate was over 9.0 for only the second time since 2001 (2005 was the other). His walk rate (1.51 per 9 IP) is below his career average since he became the closer (2.01). His HR allowed rate (.5 per 9 IP) is just a hair above his career rate since he became a closer (.43).

(And FWIW, Wetteland in 1996 had a great K rate (9.75) but his walks per 9 (2.97) and his HR allowed per 9 (1.27) were poor. Mo is nowhere near that bad.)

2007-10-03 10:58:27
50.   OldYanksFan
48 Funny!!!

As Mo is basically a fastball/hard cutter guy, he may not age as well as someone who has a greater arsenal of pitches. I love Mo and want him back, but I believe he is 'degrading', which would not be unusual for someone his age. 2 years is fine, 3 years may have us 'eating' some of his contract, 4 years seems nuts.

Mo will be 38 1/2 next spring. Do you give a 38 year ol FB pitcher a 4 year deal?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-10-03 11:00:58
51.   williamnyy23
50 If his name is Mariano Rivera...absolutely.
2007-10-03 11:11:58
52.   ChrisS
Joba is great and everything as a reliever, but starting is the best use of a dominant arm.

Mo can still close, and he will for the foreseeable future, not resigning Mo for whatever he wants would be a travesty. He's still hitting 95 on the gun and can still break bats. Would I encourage the signing of any ol' 38 year old reliever to a 3 or a 4 year deal? Nope, but Mariano has earned that trust.

There's no f'in way I'd want to see one of next year's playoff teams trot Mo out in the ninth against the Yanks. The mere thought of it makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

2007-10-03 11:12:33
53.   underdog
46 I totally agree. I remember in college I once had a disagreement with a friend who was a Redskins fan, and he, like I, was (I assume still is) Jewish. I said, "It'd be like if there were a team called the Philadelphia Kikes." He said it's nothing like that, and I said, are you Native American? Ask one what they think. (I had a friend who was half Cherokee who thought the name was beyond offensive. I remember fairly recently there were still protests and boycotts against that team from D.C., but of course that got nowhere with the league, because, you know, it's tradition!) The Indians nickname isn't nearly in the same league but they could certainly make things better by ridding themselves of the cartoonish mascot. Braves isn't offensive either, but I always found myself peeved by the sight of 30,000 white Southerners doing the Tomahawk chop and war cry during a game - and I'm not even Indian.

The KC Chiefs nickname actually derives from the fact that their original owner/founder was nicknamed "The Chief" and had nothing to do with Indians. But of course they quickly marketed into the Native thing.

Anyway, good luck to your boys - should be a fun, tough series. I predict Yanks in 5. (But don't hold me to that!)

2007-10-03 11:18:37
54.   David
To me, the name "Indians" is not offensive, but rather is complimentary. That name signifies that the team wants to emulate positive characteristics associated with Native Americans, such as strength, speed, aggressiveness, etc. YMMV.
2007-10-03 11:23:08
55.   underdog
Plus "Native Americans" takes up too much space on a jersey.
2007-10-03 11:23:12
56.   Sliced Bread
50 Can't take credit for oys of summer.
That was the title of a piece I recently came across on the inaugural season of the Israeli baseball league.
2007-10-03 11:24:45
57.   Andre
As I said in my post, I would definitely re-sign Mo for 2 years, and probably give him 3 if that's what he demanded.

However, are you guys seriously saying that this year you've felt more comfortable in Mo's innings than Joba's innings? With Mo against the Red Sox, I definitely squirm a bit, and his track record against the Sox bears this out.

I just feel more confident with Joba right now. That may not hold true next year, and it may not hold true throughout the playoffs, and I'm not anointing Joba as Mo's replacemet just yet, but if I had a gun to my head and had to pick one or the other to be my closer for the next 2 weeks, I'd pick Joba.

2007-10-03 11:32:03
58.   Rob Middletown CT
Mariano is still better than most closers in the majors. Even if he slowly fades to average, he's still going to be useful for a while. I'm up for a 2-year deal. He's Mo, ffs.

Joba was developed as a starter. He was a dominant ace starter in the minors, and scouts & stat heads alike think he can be one in the majors (no guarantees, of course). You HAVE to find out, IMO. If he can't hack it as a starter, or is merely ok, you can switch him back to the 'pen... just like Mariano, after he put up a ~5 ERA as a starter.

2007-10-03 11:32:46
59.   williamnyy23
57 I have a feeling that if Mariano Rivera was given the same set of rules as Joba, he'd also be as dominant as he's ever been. We are finally going to see Joba pitch with the handcuffs off. I expect him to still be very good, but wouldn't count on a decimal ERA through a long playoffs. The only pitcher who can realistically be counted on to compile such numbers would be Mariano. Until he fails in the playoffs (based on performance and not circumstance as in 2001 and 2004), I will always feel supremely confident with Mo on the mound.
2007-10-03 11:33:39
60.   williamnyy23
58 The same thing happened with Goose. He only became entrenched as a reliever after a failed season as a starter.
2007-10-03 11:34:22
61.   Will Weiss
18 Spot-on assessment. It's no different than the Chief Illiniwek at the University of Illinois, or St. John's changing its name to Red Storm. and williamnyy23, I understand where you're going. I respectfully disagree that Mariano Rivera's peripherals indicate a good season. Let me ask you this: when he took the mound, did you have the 150% confidence that he'd nail down the victory as you did two or three years ago? I wouldn't call not signing him a "colossal blunder." If A-Rod is re-signed for $30 million-plus, where's the room to retain Mo?
2007-10-03 11:36:28
62.   JoeInRI
0 If my memory serves me, wasn't the Chief Wahoo modeled after the former Cleveland player and manager, Al Lopez?
2007-10-03 11:37:12
63.   Rob Middletown CT
As regards "the closer for the next 2 weeks" ...

I want the best reliever used in the most important situations. Considering that Joba has been groomed to pitch the 7th & 8th innings, he very will may be pitching in the highest leverage situations. I'm fine with that.

I'm as comfortable as one can be with either guy on the mound. What terrifies me is any other Yankee reliever.

2007-10-03 11:39:16
64.   Will Weiss
Sorry to everyone about re-hashing the Mo argument above ... was in a meeting and just read all the posts ... good discussion all around. As far as why players don't boycott writers, they know the writers have the votes for season awards and Hall of Fame, so they need to be careful. My issue with the "weirdness" was boycotting a reporter when the person at fault was the headline writer.
2007-10-03 11:39:59
65.   Will Weiss
62 Chief Wahoo actually looks like Otis Nixon.
2007-10-03 11:40:31
66.   Rob Middletown CT
It's sorta like retaliatory HBP in the AL. You can't hit the other team's pitcher, so you hit a teamate. The guy you hit didn't do squat.
2007-10-03 11:44:39
67.   cult of basebaal
61 the same place it's always been, in George's checkbook ... maybe in the same place where Roger Clemen's big fat 28 mil check for this year was hiding, hmmm???

150% confidence??? i haven't had 150% confidence in Mo since he blew that save against the Tribe back in '97, let alone after 2001 and 2004. Sheesh.

Shoe-horning Joba into Mo's spot at this point seems like a horrible misuse of the advantages that the Yankees have as it relates to the talent they have on hand and what is available via free agency. Fact of the matter is that top flight starters are far more rare than viable closers, in both cases. The yankees have several candidates for Mo's successor, they don't have anybody who strikes me as a true number 1 starter (and yes, that includes phil, until he gets the mph he lost off his fastball AND his command back)

2007-10-03 11:46:04
68.   williamnyy23
61 a big game, I have complete confidence Mo will nail it down. If he does blow a post season game because of ineffectiveness, I'll be shocked.

The reason I think not signing Mo would be a colossal blunder is because I regard him as a member of the Yankee Pantheon. Even though other Yankee greats have finished off elsewhere, I don't want him in another uniform. That would be true even if he was in a significant decline. The fact that he is still highly effective makes the issue all the more clear (not to mention the cost to replace him). Personally, I'd rather evaluate Mo based on his numbers as opposed to how he makes me feel.

Finally, I see no reason why the Yankees can't afford Mo, Posada and Arod, especially when Cashman has already stated he will only offer Arod an extension. If that's the case, then Arod wont be making any more money from the Yankees in 2008 than he did in 2007.

2007-10-03 11:47:02
69.   ChrisS
"If A-Rod is re-signed for $30 million-plus, where's the room to retain Mo?"

Not having to pay Clemens $18 mill next year will free up some cash. Posada will definitely get a raise, and Mo will probably cost more, but it's still the Yankees and they can afford to pay core vets what they want. Abreu is on a club option after the season and he might settle for a renegotiated extension.

I have no worries about the Yankees and money.

2007-10-03 11:47:54
70.   williamnyy23
64 Although, with Torre, I think we are actually seeing the opposite. Writers know Joe has at least another best selling book in the near future. I am sure all the scribes would kill for that assigment, so it wouldn't surprise me if that's part of the reason why Joe is treated so leniently.
2007-10-03 11:48:02
71.   Sliced Bread
I fully expect Cashman to offer 2-year extentions to Joe, Mo, and Po. No raise. No paycut. Last season in the old park, first season in the new one, and then we call it an era. Whaddaya say, fellas?
2007-10-03 11:53:35
72.   Sliced Bread
71 extensions. oy.
2007-10-03 11:56:16
73.   williamnyy23
71 He'd better be prepared to go to three if they ask...except for Joe, of course, unless it's as a consultant of some sort.
2007-10-03 11:59:25
74.   Sliced Bread
73 my guess is Mo and Po won't hold a gun to Cash's head for a 3rd year. I could see them all retiring together after 2 more years.
2007-10-03 12:00:15
75.   williamnyy23
74 I'm sure a 3rd year option would make all parties happy. Regardless, I'd rather overpay on money and years then hold out for a better deal.
2007-10-03 12:16:18
76.   Sliced Bread
75 With Mussina and Pettitte Cashman set 2-years as the max for older players. There's a precedent. But if Mo and Po want that 3rd year option I'd give it to them, and trust them, as Cash trusted Pettitte, to skip that last year if they can't be counted on.
2007-10-03 12:28:24
77.   pistolpete
52 >> but starting is the best use of a dominant arm. >>

Apparently the Red Sox don't subscribe to this theory.

2007-10-03 12:48:23
78.   cult of basebaal
77 A) papelbon wasn't nearly the SP prospect that Joba is

B) he had injury concerns

C) they didn't have mariano rivera in the pen ... if foulke hadn't self-destructed in '05, and instead had another year like '04, there's no papelbon in the closer's spot in '06

2007-10-03 12:56:34
79.   Mattpat11
45 I'm not shocked by Kyle Farnsworth's performance, because this is, and always has been Kyle Farnsworth. He's a bad late inning reliever.

I'm still shocked that we decided to put up with it for two years and counting.

2007-10-03 13:00:03
80.   Sliced Bread
77 Apparently, Papelbon does not subscribe to the theory that one's mouth should not look like a sphincter.

Also on the subject of sphincters, truth be told, while I believe the Yanks would have no problem handling the BoSox in the ALCS, I'm rooting for the Angels to beat them down, and send them packing in the first round.

The Angels don't scare me. 7 games, bring it, bitches.

Cleveland, however, makes me nervous. Can't lie about that. I fear the unknowns: C.C. Southpaw, and which Yankee starters will show up.

2007-10-03 13:00:46
81.   Mattpat11
I'm watching the Phillies/Rockies game. Balls are being hit to mid-center field and the announcer isn't shitting himself looking to call it a HR.

This is some kind of culture shock.

2007-10-03 13:02:38
82.   Mattpat11
80 Papelbon also doesn't seem to subscribe to the theory that one should wear some kind of pant or undergarment when cameras are around.

I saw video of the clubhouse celebration, and the Riverdance in sliding shorts was the most clothed he was all night.

2007-10-03 13:03:49
83.   pistolpete
78 All true, and I guess it's just wishful thinking on a Yankees fan's part. I'd rather see them without a good closer than an extra starter.

Until the last 5-6 years or so, we could usually beat them by holding the lineup to 2-3 runs and then waiting out the starter. Once they figured out how to prevent this, well, we all know the rest...

Then again, since Joba is the better prospect, he has the potential to be the more dominant closer.

Someone else suggested leaving him in the 'pen next year to get a little more seasoning - not as the closer, but in the same role he's in now. The more I think about it, the more I tend to agree. If he starts next year from the beginning of the season, we could potentially lose him around the end of August due to innings restrictions.

The way he's pitching now, he's much more valuable to other young starters who would be on pitch counts. Use him to make sure Hughes & Kennedy don't burn themselves out, making a few spot starts here & there to slowly build up the arm towards being in the rotation full-time from 2009 & beyond.

And all the while you've got yourself a dominant 7th-8th inning guy who can also close on occasion. Keep a similar set of 'rules' in place and I think he'd still be fine.

2007-10-03 13:05:57
84.   pistolpete
80 The Angels are certainly one of the 'devils we know' among the playoff teams we would have been matched up with, but it certainly doesn't stop them from beating our brains in every year since 2002.
2007-10-03 13:09:00
85.   Mattpat11
83 If we kept Joba in the pen and kept him on the rules, we'd have to totally revamp the bullpen.
2007-10-03 13:11:49
86.   Faithson
The economist and columnist Thomas Sowell has a column devoted entirely to the Yankees! See
2007-10-03 13:15:42
87.   yankz
86 "Why are they still sticking with Jason Giambi, who is a serious liability in the field? Let the man retire and spend his time counting his millions."

Ohhh, I get it. Giambi wanted to retire, but the Yanks wouldn't let him. Explains everything.

Newsflash, Sowell, it doesn't really work like that.

2007-10-03 13:26:23
88.   Shaun P
83 The problem with that is, Joba is young too. Better to lose him to innings restrictions (which can be managed quite easily - see my #61 in than pigeonhole him into a short relief role from which he'll never get the stamina to pitch 200 innings in the bigs.
2007-10-03 13:31:04
89.   mehmattski
85 Wouldn't it just be a lot like the 1996 Bullpen?

Wetteland 63.7 IP 2.83 ERA
Rivera 107 IP 2.09 ERA
Nelson 74.3 IP 4.36 ERA
Wickman 79 IP 4.67 ERA

They then traded Wickman for Graeme Lloyd in August... Lloyd was awful for 5.7 innings in the regular season.

So if Rivera 2008 = Wickman 1996 and Joba 2008 = Rivera 1996, then you just need two relievers to fill the Nelson and Wickman roles. Farnsworth is signed through 2008 and he can be mediocre like Wickman was... and some combination of Ohlendorf, Whelan, and Britton can fill in for Nelson.

2007-10-03 13:32:26
90.   Shaun P
86 Who is this guy, and does no one fact check him?

" During Alex Rodriguez's great season this year, he became the first player in a quarter of a century to have more than 150 runs batted in."

Yeah, Manny Ramirez's 165 RBI in 1999 was 26 years ago. Which must mean Juan Gonzalez's 157 RBI in 1998 was 27 years ago. Brilliant work, sir.

And using RBIs to measure clutch? I think Tom Tango's head just exploded.

2007-10-03 13:32:33
91.   cult of basebaal
83 well, by that measure, brett myers should be waaaaay better than mariano as a closer, after all, brett's been an all-star starter ...

in the end, i guess i'd much rather take a chance that joba can be the next jake peavy, than the next scott shields ...

2007-10-03 13:35:00
92.   Shaun P
89 And again, Joba would never build up the stamina to become a 200+ innings dominant starter.

Having another Mo is quite valuable, but isn't having another, say, David Cone even more valuable? That might be the bottom of Joba's upside.

2007-10-03 13:36:22
93.   cult of basebaal
GAME 1 lineup AND ALDS Roster:

Johnny Damon LF
Derek Jeter SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jorge Posada C
Hideki Matsui DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Melky Cabrera CF
Doug Mientkiewicz 1B
Chien-Ming Wang RHP

Other position players
INF Wilson Betemit
1B Jason Giambi
OF-1B Shelley Duncan
C Jose Molina
OF-3B Bronson Sardinha

Other starting pitchers
LHP Andy Pettitte
RHP Roger Clemens
RHP Mike Mussina
RHP Phil Hughes

RHP Mariano Rivera
RHP Joba Chamberlain
RHP Luis Vizcaino
RHP Kyle Farnsworth
RHP Ross Ohlendorf
RHP Jose Veras

2007-10-03 13:38:17
94.   cult of basebaal
I like them choices, that's the best bully we've had in a post-season in a while ...

i think mo might be the soft-tosser in that pen ... (and, yes, velocity isn't everything, but there isn't a BB-Bruney on that list)

2007-10-03 13:41:01
95.   Mattpat11
89 I think we HAVE to get rid of Kyle Farnsworth. Its one thing to put up below average numbers. Its another entirely to put up below average numbers with a million restrictions on when we can have the pleasure of watching you suck.

And I agree on two more relievers on top of that.

2007-10-03 13:41:02
96.   pistolpete
88 He can build up the stamina by starting once every couple of turns through the rotation, or if someone goes down with an injury.

91 Based on what I've hashed out, he'd be the next Scott Shields for 2008, not for all time.

Then, depending on how the rotation or the closer's role shakes out, he could go one way or another.

In the end it's just all fun speculation. Mariano will probably get a 4-year deal which I'm pretty sure will be to close games until he retires.

2007-10-03 13:41:18
97.   Mattpat11
Frank TV looks awful.
2007-10-03 13:43:53
98.   weeping for brunnhilde
1 2 It amazes me that they haven't abandoned Chief Wahoo. It's so patently offensive, in the honorable tradition of the "ewige Jude," Sambo, etc.

High time for the image to be retired.

2007-10-03 13:43:59
99.   Shaun P
86 More fun "facts".

"Back in the heyday of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, the Yankees often won the pennant by such a wide margin that there was little reason for fans to go to Yankee Stadium at the end of September.

To create an attraction, Babe Ruth pitched the last game of the season for the Yankees six times. His won-lost record in these games was 6 and 0." must be missing some data, because according to them, Babe Ruth pitched in all of 5 games as a Yankee, with only 4 starts - and only in 4 years (1920, 1921, 1930, and 1933). And, according to Retrosheet, the Babe pitched on June 1 in 1920 - when they finished all of 3 games out; June 13th in 1921, and in relief on Oct 1, a year they won the AL pennant, but only by 4.5 games; Sept. 28 in 1930, which was the last day of the season, but in a year the Yanks finished 16 games out; and on Oct 1 in 1933, the last day of the season, but in a year the Yanks finished 7 games out.

2007-10-03 13:44:42
100.   pistolpete
93 Thank God, Damon in left. That Matsui knee-draining might be a blessing in disguise.

Veras still scares me though. There's a reason he didn't make the team out of spring training, Joe.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-10-03 13:46:52
101.   weeping for brunnhilde
13 It's not the name that offends me so much as the image.
2007-10-03 13:47:14
102.   Shaun P
96 Shuffling Joba back and forth between starting and relieving is the surest way to destroy his arm, though. Two completely different routines, and each places different strains on the body.

95 If the Yanks are going to have two, if not three, of Joba, Phil, and IPK in the rotation next year, they are going to need lots of relievers who can pitch 1+ innings on back-to-back days. See ya, Kyle.

2007-10-03 13:48:44
103.   weeping for brunnhilde
18 Bingo.
2007-10-03 13:52:10
104.   mehmattski
92 Oh absolutely, Joba should be a starter in 2008 and beyond. I was just responding to the point that the bullpen would have to be reworked- it wouldnt, you just have two sets of pitchers: one for JobaMo days, and a second crew (BrittVizDorf).

Joba's thrown 112 innings this year, so next year he should go about 180, which is 30 starts of 6 IP. Same for Hughes, who threw 110 innings this year. Kennedy needs the least buildup, as he's gotten 170 innings this year.

So while I would prefer they all be starters, I'm also wanting to be realistic about the wisdom of having all three be work-horse starters next year. If Pettitte gets hurt, then everything is in trouble, and the three kids may be force well over 220 IP, which none of them are ready for.

2007-10-03 13:52:14
105.   ny2ca2dc
holy shit, no villone. no lefty for the sake of a lefty. holy shit.

this is some year for shifting paradigms, eh.

2007-10-03 13:52:15
106.   cult of basebaal
100 yeah, he was on the DL following elbow surgery for bone chips
2007-10-03 13:53:00
107.   cult of basebaal
104 don't forget poland ... err, horne!
2007-10-03 13:54:45
108.   ChrisS
90 Or Sammy Sosa and Albert Belle. That statement is just goofy all the same. Even if he just spaced and didn't think about any player in the 1990s, a quarter century shouldn't even come into play. Prior to Andres Galarraga knocking 150 in 1995, the last hitter to accomplish the feat was Tommy Davis in 1962 (45 years ago). 25 years ago is irrelevant considering that no one knocked in 150+ in the 80s.

I think having a HoF closer is nice, but not necessary for a playoff team. Just look at the last few years. Last year it was Isringhausen, Doug Jones in the Serious; the year before it was Brad Lidge and Dustin Hermanson.

2007-10-03 13:55:45
109.   Shaun P
105 Joba and Mo destroy lefties as well as righties. =)
2007-10-03 13:58:40
110.   pistolpete
102 Then why would it not destroy the arm of Mussina, who's on the verge of 40, but it would somehow wreck a 22-yr old's?

106 Right. Still, not impressed thus far.

2007-10-03 13:59:26
111.   Mattpat11
100 There's a reason Veras can't get minor leaguers out.
2007-10-03 14:00:44
112.   Mattpat11
110 I think at this point in Mussina's career, it doesn't really matter
2007-10-03 14:04:24
113.   OldYanksFan
Gentlemen... I believe Torre and the Yankees FO have put together just the PS roster (as posted in 93 we would have. Do you all agree?

Of the NL teams, who are the #1 and #2 teams we would MOST like to face (so I know who to root for)?

It seems the Cubs who be the easiest to beat and the most fun to play.

Joba in the BP JUST for 2008 ONLY is a good idea. I would like to see him do multiple 2 inning stints (7th and 8th or 8th and 9th), with a total of 100+ innings.

Do you see the SD BP yesterday? Their ENTIRE BP has a better ERA then most of our guys (Joba excluded). I'm glad we don't have to see their pitching.

2007-10-03 14:05:47
114.   Shaun P
110 Who said it wouldn't? It would destroy what's left of Moose's arm, too. I can't think of the last pitcher who consistently went back and forth between starting and relieving over the course of a season. It just isn't done. It would put too much strain on the pitcher. Of course it happened all the time "back in the day", but that's a whole other story.
2007-10-03 14:08:26
115.   mehmattski
113 I think the main point is that it isn't all about innings pitched, it's about stamina. Throwing 100 innings at 100% is probably worse for a young arm than throwing 180 innings at 80-85% as one would as a starter. As others have pointed out, preparing for starts and relief appearances are totally different things. In addition, the ability to get to the 7th and 8th inning as a starter is something that can only be learned as a starter... and down the road, we need Joba to be making long starts.
2007-10-03 14:09:27
116.   weeping for brunnhilde
19 I don't doubt your statistical acumen, william, but Mo really has seemed more shaky this year than in the past. Could be a distorted perception, of course, I don't know.

I see he's only got 4 blown saves this year, which is par for the course with him, but it feels like his outings, even his successful outings, have been a bit rockier.

Do you have some comparative stats on 1-2-3 innings or some such metric?

His walk total (12) also falls within the normal range, as does his HR total. His strikeouts are significantly up, 74 in 71.1 innings v. 55 in 75 innings in 2006.

And yet, I've not felt so confident about him this year as in years past.

Again, could be a totally distorted perception.

Thoughts on why this might be?

2007-10-03 14:10:18
117.   weeping for brunnhilde
19 None of which, btw, is to say I think he shouldn't be re-signed. He should, no questions asked.
2007-10-03 14:13:54
118.   weeping for brunnhilde
27 Agreed. Another question, william, might be whether there's some kind of metric for "well-struck balls."

It seems like there were more hard hit balls off Mo than in previous years, perhaps fewer broken bats?

2007-10-03 14:20:42
119.   weeping for brunnhilde
40 "I guess I am asking whether chief Wahoo is deemed offensive by a significant portion of Native Americans? "

I take your point, william, but to me, it's not a question of what Native Americans per se think, but rather a more general issue of what members of groups with a history of being thus caricatured/dehumanized think.

It's not so much about the particular caricature, but rather the whole genre of caricature. Chief Wahoo recalls (for me, at least) Sambo, die ewige Jude (the eternal Jew posters employed by the Third Reich), etc.

You've seen one, you've seen 'em all.

They're all cause for alarm.

2007-10-03 14:21:06
120.   Yanks Fan in Chicago
TBS' coverage of baseball is so much better than FOX it makes me want to cry. I can't believe we have McCarver, Buck, Scooter, and...God help us all...Dane Cook to look forward to.
2007-10-03 14:25:05
121.   weeping for brunnhilde
50 51 Especially if he actually unveils that change-up of his.

I'll admit there have been times this season when I've wondered what the hell he's waiting for.

2007-10-03 14:25:06
122.   mehmattski
Take that, Tom Gordon! And the girl who loved you!
2007-10-03 14:26:31
123.   OldYanksFan
120 Don Orcello is a very good announcer. It's hard to hear his voice and not expect the Sox to be playing.
2007-10-03 14:29:33
124.   C2Coke
I obviously came to the party late today but "Horizontal stripes"(Re: Sliced in 17 ) is hilarious.

23 Hear, hear!!

I am all for Joba turning to a SP if he can handle, but then who's gonna be the Yankee cloer for 10 years after Mo?

Glad Villone is not on the roaster, if they didn't need him before it's unlikely the Yanks will need him now. And I get to save a few bucks on Blood Pressure meds. If only Farnsworthless was forgotten, I would've been enjoying those delicious icing on the cake right about now.

Now, an important question, Is there no HD for TBS coverage? Or will a kind someone tell me I am wrong?

2007-10-03 14:30:03
125.   OldYanksFan
This kid Holiday looks very impressive.
2007-10-03 14:32:45
126.   Shaun P
116 weeping, see my 49 . Mo is as sharp as he's ever been.

As for more-well hit balls, I don't think that's kept as a stat, but again, if that was due to Mo's stuff falling off, it would show up in the stuff he controls (K, BB, HR). Fluctuations in hits can be entirely due to the defense, or the hitters just "hitting 'em where they ain't."

I can recall at least two games this year where Mo gave up runs due to bloopers and bleeders, and we all cursed bad luck here.

2007-10-03 14:35:57
127.   Shaun P
124 I read somewhere (Bill Simmons' column today) that TBS has unveiled an HD channel for the playoffs. Rest easy - the only question is, do you get that channel?
2007-10-03 14:35:58
128.   mehmattski
124 I don't have HD, but Bill Simmons' column today said that TBS just launched their HD channel this week.
2007-10-03 14:38:07
129.   mehmattski
127 Dammit Shaun, stealing my thunder! I do get the channel (282 on Time Warner Cable NC) but alas, no HD. But who wants to see Julian Tavarez and Jonathan Papelbon in HD anyway?
2007-10-03 14:39:24
130.   weeping for brunnhilde
126 Fair enough, Shaun. Your argument makes sense, but if that's the case, I still wonder why my stomach seems to have gotten a bit more queasy with dear Mo on the hill than in times past.

In any event, I do believe Cash should give him whatever the hell he asks for, no questions asked.

Mo retires in pinstripes, period.

2007-10-03 14:40:22
131.   Shaun P
129 You have gotten me back for stealing your thunder, sir, by putting the image of Julian Tavarez in HD in my head. Well played.

Can someone tell me how to get this image out of my head?

2007-10-03 14:41:55
132.   RIYank
Hey, did I just hear this afternoon that Tavarez is not on the Sox' PS roster??
2007-10-03 14:44:12
133.   Mattpat11
132 Indeed.
2007-10-03 14:44:24
134.   cult of basebaal
128 i did like the fact that even Simmons' ragged on Steve Phillips for picking the Mariners over the Yanks for the WC ... other than that, simmons is useless at baseball (well, except for the info about TBS HD, i suppose ;)
2007-10-03 14:45:41
135.   RIYank
133 I thought so. I was surprised. Also Wakefield.
If Gagne gives up a run in his first appearance, it's going to be a very, very happy day.
2007-10-03 14:46:22
136.   mehmattski
132 Hey, but they do have three catchers! Despite not having Wakefield either!

Also, re: Simmons' column... he spent a whole lot of time with his lips firmly attached to Joba's butt. Very odd.

2007-10-03 14:48:22
137.   RIYank
136 I know. That's what's so odd about leaving Tavares off. Instead they have Mirabilidictu. What exactly was Theo's reasoning???
2007-10-03 14:49:30
138.   cult of basebaal
134 just to add, if bill simmons thinks the yanks ought to groom Joba as the next Yanks closer, my money's on the exact opposite being the smart choice ...
2007-10-03 14:51:39
139.   Shaun P
137 Got me.

138 Agreed.

2007-10-03 14:56:01
140.   yankz
I'm frankly shocked they could Veras over Villone. If only Myers had lived up to his billing.
2007-10-03 14:56:08
141.   yankz
they took*
2007-10-03 14:58:13
142.   Mattpat11
Gotta love the people leaving a playoff game with two outs in the ninth.
2007-10-03 15:01:37
143.   mehmattski
140 Yeah, but now I am spared the nightmare that would have been: Villone giving up a crucial homer to Hafner because Villone was being used as a LOOGY. Now it will be Farnsworth that gives it up, instead.
2007-10-03 15:03:00
144.   Mattpat11
143 Or Veras.
2007-10-03 15:04:40
145.   mehmattski
144 Right, but it won't be because Torre thinks its lefty-lefty strategerie, it will be because Torre let the last man in the pen face the Indians' most dangerous hitter.
2007-10-03 15:09:35
146.   C2Coke
Thanks for the TBS HD info, you all!

138 I see your point very clearly and must say I agree with you.

2007-10-03 15:17:30
147.   Mattpat11
Tony Gwynn put on a lot of weight
2007-10-03 15:53:32
148.   mehmattski
147 Yeah, if he were still playing, everyone would think he's on steriods, because that's the only explanation for increased head size with age...
2007-10-03 15:55:33
149.   Zack
Glad to see Lackey is up to his normal "crap the bed" performance in Fenway...
2007-10-03 15:58:01
150.   Yanks Fan in Chicago
Trying to choose who to root for between the Sux and Los Anaheimos is like trying to choose between contracting herpes or gonorrhea. Those socks cut into the infield grass are really lame.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-10-03 15:59:52
151.   JeremyM
149 No kidding. Why is it that the Angels play like maniacs against the Yanks, and fold like tents against the Red Sox? Pathetic.
2007-10-03 16:00:19
152.   mehmattski
150 At least there's a cure for gonorrhea...
2007-10-03 16:00:48
153.   Mattpat11
148 Gwynn is pear shaped. Aside from possibly eating them, I don't see anyway steroids does that
2007-10-03 16:02:40
154.   Mattpat11
153 I realize the joke you were trying to make, of course. I'm just pointing out to anyone that hasn't seen him that Tony Gwynn ate San Diego
2007-10-03 16:03:07
155.   JeremyM
Why is Drew starting over their wonder kid Ellison again?
2007-10-03 16:07:26
156.   mehmattski
153 Pear shaped? Then how will he wear the low-rider jeans and shapely gowns that are in this year!
2007-10-03 16:08:26
157.   JeremyM
155 I mean Ellsbury, Starbury, Marbury, whatever...
2007-10-03 16:12:34
158.   mehmattski
155 I don't suppose Harlan Ellison can play right field. Maybe in the Twilight Zone?
2007-10-03 16:15:22
159.   Zack
Apparently, according to Terry Francona, he doesn't care if any of his players can hit at all as long as they can play defense and bring "intangibles."
2007-10-03 16:17:32
160.   Zack
How the heck did Lackey win the era crown this year?
2007-10-03 16:17:38
161.   JeremyM
158 For some reason I was thinking of Jason Ellison (of the Mariners now I believe). Don't ask me.
2007-10-03 16:18:17
162.   Zack
Wow, terrible call there, not sure what the ump was looking at
2007-10-03 16:18:21
163.   Mattpat11
Lugo was safe by quite a bit
2007-10-03 16:22:06
164.   Zack
How the heck did this Angels team win their division and beat the Yanks for the season? Their lineup stinks, their starters stink...
2007-10-03 16:22:35
165.   JeremyM
I'm not watching so I'll take your words for it. I am so sick of the atrocious umpiring this year. It's getting embarassing.
2007-10-03 16:22:59
166.   Eirias
It hurts to say this, but... go Angels?
2007-10-03 16:26:59
167.   Zack
Sadly, the Yanks probably match up better against the Sox somehow than this awful Angels team, so its hard to root FOR the Angeles. On the other hand, Sox fans are insufferable and nothing is more fun to see them try to rationalize early exits...
2007-10-03 16:31:59
168.   Zack
Wow, these announcers really really really like the Red Sox
2007-10-03 16:32:28
169.   Mattpat11
How the fuck did this man win the ERA title?
2007-10-03 16:32:59
170.   Zack
I think I could have crushed that curve ball
2007-10-03 16:33:48
171.   Zack
At least the Sox took the long series so they won't get as long of a break when they sweep this crapawful team
2007-10-03 16:34:48
172.   3rd gen yankee fan
Are the Angels looking alive at all?
2007-10-03 16:37:01
173.   Zack
The Angels just look they always seem to in Fenway for whatever reason: totally over matched and scared. The opposite of the Stadium...
2007-10-03 16:38:20
174.   Mattpat11
And Scioscia hasn't even started giving games away.
2007-10-03 16:38:44
175.   Mattpat11
Has a Lackey curveball actually broke yet?
2007-10-03 16:47:14
176.   Zack
Is this even a real offense?
2007-10-03 16:48:12
177.   JeremyM
176 If Garrett Anderson is a real cleanup hitter, then yes. So no.
2007-10-03 16:51:03
178.   ric
you mean Popeye Anderson?
2007-10-03 16:53:55
179.   Mattpat11
Well. A curveball that broke.
2007-10-03 16:54:47
180.   RIYank
175 Broken.
2007-10-03 17:00:31
181.   Mattpat11
TBS is talking about how Beckett avoided his blister problems. He went on the DL with blisters this year.
2007-10-03 17:03:38
182.   Zack
181 No no no, it was an "avulsion"
2007-10-03 17:04:46
183.   Mike T
Beckett is simply dismantling the Angels.
2007-10-03 17:05:49
184.   Mattpat11
182 With the defective baseball.

I forgot.

2007-10-03 17:12:06
185.   3rd gen yankee fan
I suppose that we can take comfort in the fact that if it was us playing Boston, we'd be kicking the poo out of them.
2007-10-03 17:13:02
186.   Zack
Amazing, the Red Sox complaining about balls and strikes? And Youkilis is involved? I, for one, am shocked, shocked!
2007-10-03 17:13:13
187.   kylepetterson
Evening ladies. Sorry I'm late. From the conversation way up top, I am mostly Cherokee and find nothing offensive about Cleveland's name, logo, mascot, etc. (Although I do find the fact that it took me 3 tries to spell "Cleveland" horribly offensive.)
2007-10-03 17:14:08
188.   RIYank
Lackey has found his groove.
Maybe just a littttlllle too late, though.
2007-10-03 17:14:12
189.   kylepetterson
187 and now, back to your regularly scheduled conversation.
2007-10-03 17:15:52
190.   Zack
Oh my God, who are these announcers? They are literally in bed with the Red Sox
2007-10-03 17:16:22
191.   mehmattski
If this were Pettitte going 0-2 on every hitter, the Angels would be smacking 2 strike singles all over the place.
2007-10-03 17:17:54
192.   Zack
Are the Angels hitters even trying? Do the announcers even care if they talk about the Angels?
2007-10-03 17:18:02
193.   JL25and3
I'd just like to say that Red Sox-Angels might be the most hateful series since the 1975 WS. The rest of the world loves that WS, but I totally hated it.
2007-10-03 17:19:22
194.   Zack
By the way, why does tbs have all these games? Whose idea was that?
2007-10-03 17:20:53
195.   Mattpat11
Other than this goofball in the studio with Cal and Frank, I'd day TBS coverage is pretty good.
2007-10-03 17:21:19
196.   mehmattski
193 But what if Gary Sheffield were playing on those teams? ;-)

194 Cal Ripken is awesome, though.

2007-10-03 17:21:47
197.   Zack
The TBS coverage of the Pads-rockies game, which was the only one i've watched thus far, was pretty bad and they really blew that last play
2007-10-03 17:22:28
198.   Zack
Oh God, here goes Soscia trying to make sure they lose this game--Santana in a road game, that makes total sense
2007-10-03 17:22:46
199.   mehmattski
Nice hit there, Nancy.
2007-10-03 17:25:05
200.   Mattpat11
198 The Red Sox really expose him as no different than any other manager.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-10-03 17:29:20
201.   Mattpat11
Please stop showing John Lackey's face.
2007-10-03 17:30:02
202.   cult of basebaal
so, what's the count on people whining about how the angels roll over for the red sox?
2007-10-03 17:32:26
203.   ric
old nancy has been surprisingly durable this year, having palyed 140 games; also, many of those missed resulted from avoiding matchups vs. lefty starters rather than injury.
2007-10-03 17:32:53
204.   weeping for brunnhilde
191 No fucking kidding!
2007-10-03 17:33:23
205.   Maniakes
Hey, has anyone noticed that Beckett has a one-hit shutout going?
2007-10-03 17:33:47
206.   Maniakes
Because we probably shouldn't mention it. We might jinx him.
2007-10-03 17:34:36
207.   Maniakes
Oops, make that a two-hit shutout. But a shutout nonetheless.
2007-10-03 17:35:37
208.   weeping for brunnhilde
201 Perhaps the ugliest mug in the majors.

Mary Shelley Frankenstein's monster has at least managed to make his ugly mug likeable with his puppy-dog-like enthusiasm and general aw-shucks, just off the turnip truck everything's-up-to-date-in-Kansas-City demeanor.

2007-10-03 17:35:42
209.   cult of basebaal
man, i bet the red sox wish beckett was their closer, i mean, shit, think how tough they'd be then ...
2007-10-03 17:35:50
210.   weeping for brunnhilde
I mean Duncanstein's monster!
2007-10-03 17:38:26
211.   cult of basebaal
208 julian tavarez begs to differ ...
2007-10-03 17:39:48
212.   mehmattski
208 See 129 for examples of uglier faces. (Shaun P, don't click the link...)
2007-10-03 17:39:49
213.   JeremyM
Don't the Angels have a pretty good bullpen? So what's the point of Santana here? Then again, who am I to question Mike Schosha?
2007-10-03 17:43:03
214.   Mike T
202 I wish the Angels rolled over for the Yankees. And I think these announcers like Fenway Park more than they like their own homes.
2007-10-03 17:43:15
215.   cult of basebaal
papelbon's not uglier, he just makes the private pyle face ...


2007-10-03 17:45:56
216.   JeremyM

In case anyone hasn't seen the video of Papelbon dancing, there it is. How he keeps that face going while doing that is beyond my understanding.

2007-10-03 17:48:24
217.   3rd gen yankee fan
207 Really, Beckett has a two-hit shutout going? No way.
2007-10-03 17:49:00
218.   3rd gen yankee fan
A three-hit shutout? Unbelieveable.
2007-10-03 17:49:24
219.   JeremyM
A guy batting .237 is their best pinch hitter right now? Not Juan Rivera?
2007-10-03 17:53:21
220.   Mattpat11
219 Have I mentioned that Mike Scioscia is not nearly as good as people want him to be?
2007-10-03 18:00:14
221.   JeremyM
Well, Santana did do the job. I'll be darned.
2007-10-03 18:01:54
222.   Maniakes
218 , indeed. And he's now just three outs away from his third career postseason win.
2007-10-03 18:03:25
223.   Maniakes
It'd be pretty special if his third career postseason win were a three-hit shutout.
2007-10-03 18:06:12
224.   Maniakes
Make that a four hit shutout, but still a shutout and still a win.
2007-10-03 18:06:56
225.   Maniakes
Dammit, Anderson, that was your cue to get a hit! Is the rally monkey broken or something?
2007-10-03 18:10:15
226.   Mattpat11
Well, I'm ready for game three tonight
2007-10-03 18:10:17
227.   3rd gen yankee fan
That was a disgusting, pathetic "effort."
2007-10-03 18:10:45
228.   cult of basebaal
well, hopefully escobar's shoulder is fine for friday ...
2007-10-03 18:11:02
229.   cult of basebaal
227 oh, please ...
2007-10-03 18:12:39
230.   cult of basebaal
227 now, "Fred TV"???

now, that's a disgusting, pathetic effort ...

2007-10-03 18:13:50
231.   Orly Yarly NoWai
Newest fielding data is out, and it's REALLY bad for the Captain.

UZR : -27 runs.
Dewan : -35 runs.
THT : -28 runs.

That's Manny-level incompetence right there.

2007-10-03 18:15:26
232.   RIYank
Beckett pitched a gr...
He pitched a really go...

Nope, still can't type it.

But some of us had fun 'watching' over at Cardboard Gods. Anyone for Cub Town later?

2007-10-03 18:15:49
233.   cult of basebaal
231 oooooh, i don't think we've flogged that horse in a while ... it ought to keep us busy until the game tomorrow!


2007-10-03 18:20:41
234.   cult of basebaal
232 gem? good game?? grand hurling of the spheroid???
2007-10-03 18:30:15
235.   RIYank
234 Any other pitcher, I could say it. My fingers just won't type the damn words. But, yeah.
2007-10-03 18:35:29
236.   cult of basebaal
235 really ... any??? like your fingers would have done any better if this had been the work of The Exhaulted Schrill???
2007-10-03 18:43:54
237.   RIYank
236 I'm afraid so.
Partly, maybe, because the Boston media has severely soured on Schill. It makes me want to rethink my stance.

I'm off to Cub Town! (Which, oddly, is in Phoenix.)

2007-10-03 18:44:21
238.   williamnyy23
116 In 2006, Rivera had 21 clean games (no hits, walks, runs) and 45 games with a WHIP equal to or less than 1 with no runs scored. I probably miscounted by one or two, but according to my calculation, he had exactly 21 and 45 in both categories in 2007 as well.

According to THT, Mo's line drive % rose from 15.7% in 2006 to 18.5% in 2007, which I don't think is very significant.

Finally, BP has a stat called Delta-H which estimates how many more hits a pitcher yields than would normally be expected. For the first time, Mo had a positive rating (+4), which indicated bad luck. In fact, when you consider his -5 rating in 2006, it pretty much explains the extra 7 hits he yielded this season.

The bottom line is Mo gave up more runs this season, so I think that's why many people think he has slipped. I maintain that if you look at his game log, you'd see that most of those runs were yielded over two stretches (which I attribute to Joe abuse). Also, if you remove 7 runs yielded in garbage time, Mo's final stats resemble his normal output.

Has Mo slipped a little? Perhaps. Even if he has, he has a long way to fall, so I wouldn't dream of cutting ties with him. Also, he has along way to drop before I lose confidence in him in a big spot.

2007-10-03 18:51:29
239.   williamnyy23
231 Yep, Jetes regressed further on defensive, but at least he has guys like Drew, Betancourt and Hanley to keep him company.

Of course, despite his defense, Jeter still compiled 24 win shares, which is only 4 behind the much heralded Jimmy Rollins and 5 behind Hanley Ramirez, who ranked 1st among short stops.

2007-10-03 18:56:00
240.   weeping for brunnhilde
232 Heh heh heh.
2007-10-03 18:56:29
241.   cult of basebaal
238 nice research ... seriously, this bizarre "the king is dead, long live the king" fetish is the weirdest twist to this season ...
2007-10-03 18:58:00
242.   Orly Yarly NoWai
239 He tied for fifth with Jose Reyes. I didn't realize how good Troy Tulowitzki's defense is.

A-Rod is twice as good as Dusty Pedroia: 39 to 38 Win Shares.

2007-10-03 18:58:16
243.   williamnyy23
216 God I love Mariano...if anyone needs a reason why the Yankees shouldn't ever let Mo go, please watch that awful video. If money is an issue, I'd gladly pay an extra surcharge on all of my tickets next season.
2007-10-03 18:58:38
244.   weeping for brunnhilde
238 Cheers!
2007-10-03 19:03:31
245.   williamnyy23
242 You don't need a stat to tell you that...all you need to do is watch Tulo for a few games. Not only does he have great range, but he also possesses a cannon for an arm. I think he is going to be a superstar, much in the mold of his hero, Mr. Derek Jeter.

Jose Reyes gets a big boost from his 70+ SBs, which I think leads to his being overvalued.

2007-10-03 19:50:19
246.   fansince77
As for Mariano- I seem to remember some talk of mixing in a changeup early in the season. I think that that if MR can (and why couldn't he) throw one more pitch- once an at bat- it could add another 2 years to his career. It doesn't even have to be that good- just the idea of something else- a different speed coming would have hitters on their heels. He has to throw another pitch.

As for the future- one thing I have been thinking alot about is Hideki. What is his future? Anyone got thoughts? Clearly Damon has been an upgrade in the field and Matsui's numbers are good - but is he our future DH? or a trade for some good things. I don't want to see him go but it will be tough to keep him and Damon.

Oh and the Indian logo- horrible...I worked on a reservation for 3 years and while not the number one topic of conversation - i think it was a unanimous perceived as another of a long line of slaps in the face.

2007-10-03 20:12:58
247.   cult of basebaal
man ... i'd sure love to lock CMWang in a room with days of tape of brandon webb ... damn!
2007-10-03 20:13:07
248.   yankz
God damn, I hate to see Beckett succeed.
2007-10-03 20:53:40
249.   Zack
In case you were wondering, which you weren't, Verducci continues his trend of showing himself to be a total Sox homer with his ode to Beckett tonight

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