Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
This Time, We Didn't Forget the Gravy
2007-11-20 06:00
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

After some deliberation, Mariano Rivera has accepted a more than generous offer to stay in pinstripes. It's a legacy deal, an outrageous sum to pay for a closer, but hey, this is Rivera and this is the Yankees we're talking about. We knew the Yanks would overpay to keep him (as they overpaid Posada), just as it was clear that nobody else was going to give Rivera nearly as sweet a deal.

Oh, by the way, congrats to Alex Rodriguez, who won his third MVP award yesterday, and his second in four years with the Yankees. Over at BP, Nate Silver writes that Rodriguez was the clear cherce:

What might be more surprising is that A-Rod's numbers were even more impressive than they appear at first glance, because of one area for which he's traditionally had a poor reputation: his performance in the clutch. Rodriguez hit .333, with 98 RBIs and a 1.138 OPS with runners in scoring position. He hit .357 in "close and late" situations. He hit .500 with a 1.286 slugging percentage in 14 plate appearances with the bases loaded. At he hit .362 in September, as the Yankees climbed back to reclaim their spot in the post-season.

Rodriguez, of course, renewed doubts about his clutch ability with his relatively poor performance against Cleveland in the ALDS, when he hit .267 with just one RBI. In other words, he had a bad series. On the other hand, over 162 games during the regular season, he was the one guy you wanted up there when the game depended on it. Which performance do you trust more: 583 at-bats in the regular season, or 15 in the playoffs?

Yes, Rodriguez has disappointed in the playoffs in the past. But the bottom line is this. Firstly, clutch performance is mostly about luck: the same player who is clutch one year can be a choke artist the next. And two, the Yankees ought to have every bit of confidence that Rodriguez can not only get them to October, but win them a title once they're there. Rodriguez is the MVP - and the highest-paid player in baseball - for a reason: no player provides his team with a bigger head start toward winning a World Championship.

And that's word to Big Boid.

Comments (79)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-11-20 06:39:42
1.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
The issue is whether he can stay out of his head in the post season. Look at his post season numbers through and including Game 3 in 2004 against the Red Sox - they were quite nice thank you very much.

But as The Collapse unfolded, so did A-Rod's hitting (and most everyone else's for that matter) and he clearly hasn't been the same since.

That said, personally I think he took some strides this past year in the post season. "Ordinary" is actually an improvement over the prior years.

My guess is that sometime in the next 10 years, not only will A-Rod have a ring, but he will have earned his pinstripes by contributing when it counts most in the post season.

2007-11-20 06:59:24
2.   OldYanksFan
I'd have to look it up, but since Hellday (Game 3 in 2004 against the Red Sox), I don't know if there is a single Yankee who has posted better then average numbers.

It's like this team has been in a huge teamwide PS slump since that time. But I have faith in 2008.

2007-11-20 07:15:51
3.   OldYanksFan
Cordero has spent very little of his career on winning teams. His numbers are interesting in that his ERA is not good, but his BA and OPS against are very good, as is his K/9 (well over 9).

Why not throw money at him to setup for Rivera? He may even get some chances to close, especially in 2009 and 2010. The guy is 32, so a 3 year deal should be OK.

I think he's looking for something like 3/$20? Its a lot, but if he's good, he will be a difference maker.

And is it nuts to have Joba in the BP for 40IPs in the first half, and then permanently move him to SP for 100IPs in the 2nd half?

2007-11-20 07:30:30
4.   ChrisS
It would certainly be nice for A-Rod to have postseason like Ortiz manages to have every year. That guy just rakes.
2007-11-20 07:41:07
5.   Yankee Fan In Boston
3 if cashman and the steinbrothers aren't at the very least talking this over, i'd be shocked.

that would compensate nicely for joba's rightful departure from the 'pen. one issue might be whether cordero would want to play 2nd fiddle to mo.

2007-11-20 07:41:42
6.   YankeeInMichigan
Tom Gage of the Detroit News defends his Ordonez vote:

He focuses mostly on batting average with RISP. Another stat that can be used in defense of Mags is OBI%. A-Rod's 19.2% was pretty good, but Ordonez' 21.85% led the majors.

If it wasn't for the fact that A-Rod played 3rd base, this one could have been a pretty close call.

2007-11-20 07:43:46
7.   Shaun P
3 Someone is going to throw lots of money at Cordero to close, so I don't think he'd take a deal to set up. He might get something more like 3 years/$30M, and that's an awful lot to pay a setup guy.

The only problem with your Joba scenario, OYF, is that he'd need to be stretched out in the minors after the bullpen stint, to build up arm strength and stamina. So you wouldn't get 100 IP out of him post ASB; maybe more like 40-50, and then not until mid or late August.

2007-11-20 07:51:33
8.   williamnyy23
6 That was a pretty weak rebuttal.

7 I agree that Cordero is going to be paid closer money (about $10mn per). I'd rather focus on Mahey and Riske...I think both/either would be welcomed additions to the Yankees pen.

2007-11-20 08:11:08
9.   mehmattski
6 But, with 2 outs and RISP, A-Rod has Magglio, .318 to .307. Not to mention the fact that Magglio hit .247/.333/.387 in "Late and Close" situations while A-Rod hit .357/.439/.686

This MVP would not have been close except if A-Rod were a full-time DH. And even still, A-Rod had the edge in all the categories that take total offense into account: Runs Created, WARP, OPS+, and EqA.

This one was not close, unless you want to make your MVP choice based on arbitrary stats that just happened to go Magglio's way. Like, for instance: I'm giving "Batting average in the sixth inning" the most weight: Magglio's at .471, but A-Rod's only at .313. Sorry, A-Rod, I'm going to have to ignore your 52 homers and 96.6 VORP and give it to Magglio.

Please. These Michigan guys were homers and they should just admit that, rather than play the pick and choose stats game.

2007-11-20 08:13:18
10.   tommyl
6 So all of A-Rod's walk off HRs were less valuable? Would the Yankees have even been near the WC if not for A-Rod? How about his .362 BA in September while the Tigers choked? Nate Silver makes a much better case. The problem with the RISP and close and late stats if that you can pick and choose to make one player seem a lot better than another. For example, its true A-Rod hit .333 with RISP, but its also true in that same situation he had an OPS of 1.138. Which one is a more valuable stat? I'd go with OPS here.

That rebuttal basically shows that Tom Gage is an idiot. He has no appreciation for how much more impressive it is that A-Rod plays a prime IF position, whereas Magglio is a corner OF. He keeps bringing up BA, when their OBP is a lot closer and A-Rod's EqA and OPS are higher, as is his VORP.

2007-11-20 08:15:55
11.   tommyl
9 A-Rod also leads in blond strippers per postgame I believe ;).
2007-11-20 08:18:00
12.   standuptriple
It's pretty clear that the DET losers are just homers who want to cherry pick stats that "help" their case. They were enamorred with the hair. I overheard during the All-Star festivities that Magglio is known as the biggest prick that made the trip. But to the Tiger writers that probably classifies him as "misunderstood".
2007-11-20 08:19:33
13.   ny2ca2dc
6 Thanks for the link

8 Yes, it's a terrible, terrible, article. Awful in so many ways. Terrible reasoning, and a shitty article to boot.

2007-11-20 08:19:47
14.   JL25and3
8 Extremely weak, cherry-picking stats and deciding that they prove "value." It's common for people to downgrade "flashy stats," but that ignores the fact that Rodriguez, alone, was the difference between postseason and no postseason.

I especially love the way he dismisses home runs as "glamor stats." The way I see it, Rodriguez redefined RISP, because the batter's box was scoring position for him.

2007-11-20 08:21:25
15.   JL25and3
11 There's an awful lot of competition for that title.
2007-11-20 08:26:32
16.   mehmattski
A-Rod's BSORP is off the charts.
2007-11-20 08:28:56
17.   YankeeInMichigan
10 And what BBWAA voter is not an idiot? Do any recognize the extra value of offensive production in a defense-intensive position? These were the guys that voted Justin Morneau the MVP over Jeter while ignoring Joe Mauer (while the Twins, recognizing value, gave Mauer -- not Morneau -- a contract extension).

Granted, A-Rod was the clear #1, but the Ordonez votes irk me far less than Morneau's award last year or Lowell's 4th-place finish this year (if you bat behind David Ortiz, you'll get a lot of RBIs -- duh!).

9 Your statememt "These Michigan guys were homers" implies malicious intent. I don't think that that's the case. Seeing Ordonez get the big hits day after day just skewed their objectivity a bit.

2007-11-20 08:37:26
18.   liam
doesn't this happen every year? which of these subjective awards are actually done right? theres always going to be an issue with the way these awards are decided, and how the voters vote.

whats amusing to me is that these michigan guys were the ONLY ones to do so, just highlighting the lack of objectivity that these baseball writers have.

17 aren't you being a bit of a homer yourself ? :) i mean come on!

2007-11-20 08:39:45
19.   standuptriple
I still can't believe Morneau won. Haters.
2007-11-20 08:40:36
20.   mehmattski
17 It's not malicious at all, it's a statement of probable fact, and may be because Ordonez got "the big hits day after day." Of course, he didn't get enough big hits to get his team to the playoffs...

In 2001, Barry Bonds was not a unanimous MVP selection, there were two votes cast for Sammy Sosa, both by Chicago writers. This sort of thing goes on all the time, and the journalists should be honest about it rather than cherry picking stats.

What does worry me, however, is players with postseason awards incentives in their contracts. I think PeteAbe brought up an interesting conspiracy theory- Schilling's new contract includes incentives if he gets any Cy Young votes: I would guess that a writer casting his vote for Schilling even if he doesn't deserve it would expect some kind of kickback... PeteAbe was the one who brought that up, and I don't know how likely it is, but it's worth consideration...

2007-11-20 08:48:35
21.   JL25and3
18 Basically, I don't take postseason awards seriously, and All-Star votes even less so. The lame attempt at justification bothered me more. He should just have said, "I watched Magglio play every day so I could appreciate how valuable he really was."
2007-11-20 08:49:04
22.   Shaun P
18 "which of these subjective awards are actually done right?"

Jake Peavy won the NL Cy Young unanimously this year, and I think the voters got that one right.

But yeah, there's usually something that doesn't make sense in the voting. What ticks me off is that these guys (and their publications) get lots of free press as a result, and you wonder if that wasn't a motivation for voting as they did.

2007-11-20 08:51:01
23.   williamnyy23
20 There is no way a player would risk the professional/criminal implications of bribing a voter for what still amounts to a small percentage of their salary. I don't really think that's a concern.
2007-11-20 08:56:54
24.   williamnyy23
22 I think a certain hometown bias is to be expected, which is why a simple majority of 26 different writers is needed. The two Detroit area judges alone can not overcome the other 24. It almost like throwing out the high and low scores in the Olympics.

The thing that concerns me more about the two Detroit writers is they based their decision on BA-based stats. It's one thing to subconsciously (or consciously) let bias taint your vote, but another to use silly rationale to justify that action. Who cares that Magglio had a higher BA and BA w/ RISP. Just for the record, Arod had a 1.138 OPS w RISP, while Magglio had a 1.137. In other words, each player's performance with RISP was even, making it a very poor basis for deciding one way or the other.

2007-11-20 08:57:13
25.   mehmattski
22 Ok, I like your conspiracy theory better. I'm going to vote Miguel Cairo MVP!

What's that? You think I'm nuts? Well, I can't hear you over the advertising dollars rushing in from you visiting my newspaper's website!

2007-11-20 08:58:32
26.   Shaun P
23 Maybe a player wouldn't, but a writer might. And I don't think there's anything that's a crime in the act (unless the writer didn't report the money received as income), so I'm not sure what the player risks, other than notoriety.

The writer would be risking more. There's got to be something against it in terms of professional responsibility, which means they'd probably lose their job. But if you're making $45K/year and someone offers you an easy $400K . . .

To me, the potential for something like this happening is enough to worry me, regardless of the actual chances of it happening.

2007-11-20 09:00:02
27.   YankeeInMichigan
22 Up until today (we'll see what they do with NL MVP), the writers have gotten all of the winners right (expect possibly for NL ROY, where Tulowitzki edges Braun in WARP3). Their 2nd and 3rd place selections, however, reveal how clueless they are. Delmon Young's 2nd-place ROY finish (accompanied by the complete snubbing of Jeremy Guthrie) bothers me the most.
2007-11-20 09:28:12
28.   RIYank
23 It could be done in a way that's uncatchable. For instance, Schilling could give the writer an exclusive interview, something like that.

I guess off hand I'd pay Cordero 'closer money'. So, he'll get closer money without being a closer. So what? We know that what's important is having a really good pitcher available to pitch the most important innings. I bet Joe(2) uses Mo(1) as a traditional closer, that is, ninth inning only (more or less). Wouldn't it be great to have a top pitcher for the bases-loaded situation in the seventh inning of a close game?

2007-11-20 09:43:39
29.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
Well, Flash Gordon swallowed it to set up Mo, so I have to believe Cordero would too (for the right price of course).

And with Farnsworth nearly a memory, I don't have a problem offering Cordero 3 x $8mm or so...

2007-11-20 09:51:44
30.   Knuckles
Gordon was in his mid-30s, and coming off 2 straight years of not being a closer. He may have believed he was done as the closer at that point. While Cordero is (I believe) 28.
2007-11-20 10:18:06
31.   mehmattski
Don't know if this was mentioned yesterday, but NoMaas has a good article about Yankee prospect Allan Horne. To summarize: Yes, Horne is 24 years old (25 in January) and won't likely add much to his talent at this point. But, they say, that doesn't matter since he's got three plus pitches and can throw in the mid nineties right now.

Other people who follow Yankees prospects, like Mike A at RAB and Chad Jennings on the SWB blog, have had similar things to say about Horne. Jennings expects Horne to make his major league debut next year. With Joba likely on an innings cap of 130 or so, that could be a possibility (Horne threw 150 innings last year).

2007-11-20 10:38:50
32.   YankeeInMichigan
6 10 24 I've been mulling this one over for awhile. On the one hand, one can make a case that, with RISP, batting average is nearly as significant as OPS. Any base hit (except for an infield single) will generally drive in the runners, and a walk will not. So batting average with RISP is a first attempt at measuring a hitters ability to drive in runs.

The falacy here is that, while a double or triple drives in the same runs as a single, a home run drives in one more. This same falacy taints Baseball Prospectus' OBI% (by which Ordonez leads A-Rod 21.85% to 19.2%), which explicitly measures ones ability to drive in runners other than oneself. A more meaningful metric is ones true RBI%, i.e. RBI / (ROB + TPA). (I presume that reason BP publishes the less-significant OBI% is that RBI% is copyrighted -- does it come from Total Baseball?) In RBI%, A-Rod leads Mags 12.6% to 11.7%.

So if all of A-Rod's home runs were doubles, Ordonez would have been more valuable. Sorry, Mr. Gage.

2007-11-20 10:43:42
33.   ny2ca2dc
26 etc re: shilling's bonus for a Cy vote, I hope a NYC (or other) gives Schrill a vote just to cost the Sawx that $$. That would be sweet! Come on PeteAbe, if you have a vote, do it for us.

30 Cordero is 32

2007-11-20 10:49:51
34.   ny2ca2dc
Hold on to your hats, Austin Jackson is the number 1 prospect out of Hawaii winter ball, per BP. Excerpts:

1. Austin Jackson, CF, Honolulu Sharks (Yankees): Another reason a player can be assigned to fall ball is as a reaffirmation following a breakout season. In 2006, Jackson looked like a waste of money after the Yankees had bought out a college basketball career, as he'd hit just .258/.338/.344 in the South Atlantic League.
Once profiled as a future leadoff hitter, Jackson instead showed all five tools in Hawaii, and now his ceiling reads much higher. Jackson impressed many coaches with his defense in center field, as well as his speed on the basepaths, where he stole eight bases in nine attempts. However, it's been Jackson's continued ability to square up the baseball and show power that left him as the unanimous top prospect amongst coaches.

2007-11-20 10:55:26
35.   Sliced Bread
Something tells me ARod is going to officially announce his return to the Yanks at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

I'm picturing a quick interview with Matt Lauer, (winter scarfs and stylish hats all around) followed by the unveiling of the biggest balloon in parade history - a 150 foot tall inflatable ARod, ushered into Herald Square by Warren Buffet, Scott Boras, the Steinbrothers, and the Goldman Sachs MVP Marching Band.

"Up With People" will then perform the heartwarming song and dance spectacle "A New York Yankee Miracle on 34th Street!"

Set your DVRs, people.

2007-11-20 10:58:56
36.   liam
33 genius.
2007-11-20 11:06:18
37.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
36 Agreed! If I had a vote I'd do it!

30 As 33 pointed out, Cordero is 32. Certainly younger than Flash was when we signed him, but a far cry from 28 in pitching years (though in honesty I haven't checked innings logged for each over the seasons in question).

Either way, I think Cordero would take a 3 year deal from us to set up Mo.

34 Interesting. Does that make Melky somewhat more available as a trade chip?

2007-11-20 11:14:12
38.   JL25and3
35 Wow, it never occurred to me that Up With People was still around. And as soon as I read that, this came up from somewhere in the dimmest reaches of a pretty dim memory:

Up, up with people
You meet 'em wherever you go
Up, up with people
They're the best kind of folks we know
If more people were for people
All people everywhere
There'd be a lot less people to worry about
And a lot more people who care.

Jeez, with all the brain cells I killed in college, I couldn't have killed the ones responsible for that?

2007-11-20 11:15:22
39.   liam
37 im not too good with the defensive stats, but ive read that they dont rate melky too highly. from what i've watched though, i think they just have to be underrating his ability to make plays to the bases.

that being said, i dont think that AJ is a large determinant in the decision to trade melky- he's at least half a year from getting bronx-time.

2007-11-20 11:16:27
40.   liam
lets talk about kenny "im smarter than you" williams trading garland for cabrera!

what the h was he thinking?

2007-11-20 11:17:48
41.   DadinIowa
I remember Up With People from Junior High on the West Coast in the late 60s. Wow, I guess its been a long time.
2007-11-20 11:24:43
42.   Sliced Bread
38 It's never too late to destroy THOSE brain cells.
2007-11-20 11:27:48
43.   Mattpat11
29 Farnsworth is almost a memory? What happened? Is it time to celebrate?
2007-11-20 11:34:09
44.   RIYank
34 Music to my ears.
I do think it makes Melky more tradeable. Maybe try to sign Andruw to a short contract? (What would he cost in draft picks -- is he Type A?)

Rollins won the NL MVP. Awful.

2007-11-20 11:37:49
45.   Mattpat11
44 My standard for awful is still Morneau. It will take Podsednik winning to top that.
2007-11-20 11:49:47
46.   Sliced Bread
NL MVP probably should have been Holliday, but Rollins had a solid year.
If he hit down in the order his RBI would probably be in MVP territory.
Back to back MVP years for the Phils, (Howard '06) and now they're going to lose Rowand... sucks for them.
2007-11-20 11:52:41
47.   ny2ca2dc
44 Andrew is type-B, which is why i think he should be signed if it's for anything short of 5ish years and NO no-trade. no matter what, can always use the guy, or eat salary & trade for value.

Gotta use that cash somehow, & type-A is a no-no no matter what!

2007-11-20 11:54:40
48.   YankeeInMichigan
44 46 My NL ballot:

#1 Wright
#2 Holliday
#3 Peavy
#4 Fielder
#5 Utley
#6 Rollins
#7 Ramirez (Hanley)
#8 Pujols
#9 Jones (Chipper)
#10 Cabrera

Still nowhere near as awful as Morneau, who shouldn't have even cracked the Top 10.

2007-11-20 12:00:48
49.   Andre
Any decision to put an extra $1mill in Schrill's pocket doesn't sound like a good decision to me, UNLESS he agrees to donate it all to one of his charities. I just cringe at the idea of inflating his ego even further with a CY vote, ESPECIALLY when there's an extra $1mill tied to the vote.
2007-11-20 12:16:04
50.   Sliced Bread
48 Looks about right.

Wright looked like a slamdunk before he and his team blew to pieces in the end.

Holliday, as I mentioned above, probably should have won.

Peavy got his hardware, and Fielder will get his someday.

Utley's deserving, too, but Rollins was really the straw that stirred the Phils this year. He carried the team at times, especially when Utley was down for a few weeks. Rollins' wack but accurate declaration at the start of the season, that the Phils were the team to beat in the East got everybody's attention, and probably earned him a few votes.

The Sporting News preferred Hanley to Rollins, but I don't have any beef with him getting it. I don't get worked up about the individual awards.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-11-20 12:18:57
51.   JL25and3
42 Unfortunately, I don't think those brain cells can be destroyed. They're in that safe deposit vault of memory that has things like the Palisades Amusement Park jingle, all TV cigarette ads, and "Honey."

The brain cells that die are the "where did I put my keys two minutes ago" cells.

2007-11-20 12:48:57
52.   YankeeInMichigan
32 Just followed a link from BP to a "clutchiness" stat:

Guerrero leads the league by a mile with a "clutchiness" index of 2.42. A-Rod is 8th at 1.10, with Ordonez just behind him at 1.07.

2007-11-20 13:17:04
53.   RIYank
The Indians have signed Masahide Kobayashi to a two-year contract. No word on the money.
He's supposed to set up for Borowski.

I wonder if Cashman missed the boat on this one? Depends on the money, I guess.

2007-11-20 13:27:02
54.   standuptriple
53 I'd be ok if the Yanks stayed away from Japanese pitchers for a little while.
2007-11-20 13:31:26
55.   Yankee Fan In Boston
53 the weakest link in their bullpen is their closer... if this guy doesn't go all igawa on them.
2007-11-20 13:32:20
56.   Yankee Fan In Boston
54 exactly.


2007-11-20 13:42:57
57.   liam
37 yankees supposedly looking into torii hunter. do you think cano's performance would be negatively impacted if melky was moved?
2007-11-20 13:58:07
58.   Mattpat11
57 I don't want Hunter.
2007-11-20 14:20:42
59.   thelarmis
31 yeah, that NoMaas read on Horne was quite good. i sure hope to see him next year and hope he can help spread out those innings that joba/phil/ipk can't pitch...

53 it's a 2-year $6.25 mil deal. pretty good for the tribe. 2 years at $3 mil per, a 3rd option year, also at $3 mil, with a $250,000 buyout...

57 torii is being courted pretty hard by the pale hose and his hometown rangers. i'm guessing he'll end up in one of those locales...

boras talking about andruw NOT taking a 1-year deal...

34 thanks for the 411 on austin jackson. how far off is he? i need to check...

2007-11-20 14:24:32
60.   liam
58 wasnt the question :).. i dont want him either..

59 great commentary from baseball america's john manuel about yankees prospects on SWB:

the link lets you listen for yourself.

2007-11-20 14:30:06
61.   RIYank
I dunno, Japanese relievers have been pretty good recently. (Or maybe I should say, Japanese reliever has been pretty good recently.)

Hunter will be too expensive.

2007-11-20 15:12:40
62.   DadinIowa
JL25and3...... I'm glad those brain cells are still here. I don't mind losing the fact, saves $ on gas. :)
2007-11-20 16:28:07
63.   JL25and3
Stories you will not be reading::

"Jimmy Rollins won the NL MVP today after batting .296 with 30 homers, 94 RBIs and 41 steals for the regular season. However, he once again failed to bring home the big prize, batting only .182 as the Phillies were swept in the first round of the playoffs. Rollins has yet to win his first world championship."

2007-11-20 16:28:10
64.   Marcus
So, the Yankees 40-man roster stands at 39 players, but that does not include Jorge Posada, Alex Rodriguez, Jose Molina, or Mariano Rivera, not to mention Andy Pettitte.

Are they holding off on announcing the deals until the Rule 5 draft or something? They just added 4 guys today (Patterson, Cervelli, Marquez and White), bringing it up to 39, but they'll need four spots for the re-signed guys. They can always drop Pavano, and DFA some of the detritus (DeSalvo, Chase Wright).

2007-11-20 17:22:27
65.   Jeb
Guys, I think everyone's made valid points about those idiot Michigan writers voting for Harpo Marx for MVP. But who cares, really?

Arod still won the MVP and its not like they give you a blue "unanimous" ribbon to hang off the award for getting all the votes.

2007-11-20 17:34:10
66.   weeping for brunnhilde
53 Any relation to the kobayashi maru?
2007-11-20 17:41:45
67.   JL25and3
66 I was thinking more along the lines of: "My name is Kobayashi. I work for Keyser Soze."
2007-11-20 17:43:13
68.   RIYank
66 No idea.
Is it a common name? We could ask Mike Plugh.
2007-11-20 17:47:01
69.   RIYank
Over at Baseball Japan, Mike put Kobayashi in the 'second tier' of Japanese free agents, calling him "a fireballing closer with a chance to do some nice work."
2007-11-20 18:21:39
70.   OldYanksFan
"no letter of agreement between the team and Lowell's agents had been signed. John Blake, a Red Sox spokesman, declined comment. A person briefed on the negotiations said last night that Lowell wanted a no-trade clause but that the Red Sox had yet to agree to one."

I hate to give kudos to the Sox for anything, but their NOT giving out No-Trade clauses is good business. I'd like to see the Yankees follow suit. We pay top dollar for our personel, we should be able to do this.

2007-11-20 18:41:49
71.   RIYank
70 I can't agree with you there.
If you want a player to take a hometown discount, it's completely unreasonable to refuse to give him a no-trade clause. Just ask Bronson.
2007-11-20 19:18:34
72.   cult of basebaal
the #1 prospect in the Hawaiian League, by consensus of coaches is ...

austin jackson!

from BP:

1. Austin Jackson, CF, Honolulu Sharks (Yankees): Another reason a player can be assigned to fall ball is as a reaffirmation following a breakout season. In 2006, Jackson looked like a waste of money after the Yankees had bought out a college basketball career, as he'd hit just .258/.338/.344 in the South Atlantic League. The Yankees re-assigned Jackson to Charleston in 2007, and he continued to struggle, hitting .260/.336/.374 in his repeat campaign. It wasn't until what seemed an ill-advised promotion to Tampa that the light came on, and Jackson hasn't looked back since. After becoming the FSL's best hitter in the second half by hitting .345/.398/.566, Jackson continued to square up in Hawaii, hitting .271/.368/.489. Once profiled as a future leadoff hitter, Jackson instead showed all five tools in Hawaii, and now his ceiling reads much higher. Jackson impressed many coaches with his defense in center field, as well as his speed on the basepaths, where he stole eight bases in nine attempts. However, it's been Jackson's continued ability to square up the baseball and show power that left him as the unanimous top prospect amongst coaches.

2007-11-20 19:30:21
73.   nemecizer
Hey Alex, shouldn't that be: "that's woid to Big Boid"?

Team is coming together. Nemecizer is feeling good (and it has nothing to do with the scotch, I promise).

Happy Thanksgiving Banter!

2007-11-20 19:36:18
74.   OldYanksFan
A really nice piece of music
2007-11-20 19:49:28
75.   cult of basebaal
72 oops 34 beat me to it!

AJ was also #2 in BA's HBL review, so the kid is opening some eyes ... maybe even a fall cup o' joe with a strong 2008

2007-11-20 20:45:11
76.   greenzo

That is not safe for work! You need to put a warning label on that. They play that stuff in Guantanamo.

2007-11-20 21:08:21
77.   Raf

One of my favorite toons as a kid.

2007-11-20 21:33:04
78.   weeping for brunnhilde
67 Heh heh heh. :)

68 :) Kobayashi maru was the name of that test in The Wrath of Khan. The one Kirk cheated at, thus becoming the only starfleet cadet to ever beat the Kobayashi maru.

He changed the conditions of the test.

He doesn't like to lose.

2007-11-20 21:35:07
79.   weeping for brunnhilde
69 I'd certainly take him over a certain "fireballing [ex-]closer" we haven't yet managed to rid ourselves of.

He's an albatross around Cash's neck.

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