Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
The Source (Good n Plenty)
2008-02-18 07:59
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

It wasn't so long ago when you really had to hunt around to find good Yankee blogs. That just isn't the case anymore. In fact, there are so many interesting Yankee-based blogs that I have tough time keeping up with them all. We don't even have a full listing of 'em all on our blog roll, but there is still more than plenty to keep you busy: Replacement Level Yankees, Yanksfan v. Soxfan, River Ave. Blues, Yankees Chick, Canyon of Heroes (welcome back, dude), Was Watching, and No Maas, just to name a few (and no disrespect meant to the other fine blogs that I didn't mention). Kat O'Brien, who did an excellent job on the beat last season, is blogging On the Yankee Beat, Jack Curry and Tyler Kepner do a nice job at Bats, and of course, there is Pete Abraham, whose tireless efforts have established The Lo-Hud Yankees Blog as the premiere one-stop shop for all the behind-the-scenes Yankees action. I don't think it is a stretch to say that Pete has raised the bar for all the professional writers who are now being asked to blog in addition to carrying out their usual assignments. This is a perfect, little example of why his site is so good--nice composition Scorsese, you done good.

2008-02-18 09:57:39
1.   debris

I've really only glanced at the other Yankee sites, but as far as I'm concerned, this is the cream of the crop. I'll add that there isn't, to my knowledge, a Sox blog it's equal.

The writing and analysis on the front end is articulate, intelligent, and refreshing. And, of course, the whining on the back end that accompanies each Yankee loss, each losing streak, and the sad end of each Yankee season is priceless.

2008-02-18 10:02:22
2.   RIYank
Ah, it's good to see Mike Plugh back in the saddle -- thanks for that link! Mike has a long entry on Yu Darvish. There's a lot of stuff about the finances and likelihood of Darvish being posted next year (Mike thinks he probably won't be), and a little bit of baseball evaluation:

In addition to that information, you might be interesting in knowing that he throws in the mid-to-high 90s with ease and has a wicked slider, change, and sometimes works a cutter. His size projects to much better long term success than Daisuke Matsuzaka. He has room to fill out his upper body as he is still only 22-years old, but his lower body is relatively thick and generates power at a Major League level.


2008-02-18 12:32:11
3.   Biscuit Pants
1 I thoroughly agree. Although I don't comment here much, it's my first read every morning. It's been said before, but really the best commentary on baseball is in the blogsphere and I think the added responsibility of maintaining a blog for beat writers makes them better reporters in general.
2008-02-18 12:34:35
4.   Chyll Will
I don't know if you guys caught this from other sources... I suggested it to Bob T at Griddle, but he rightly said it was too weird, as in there wasn't enough information to know what or how it happened. Still, that's a lot a time and initiative for someone to do (not to mention balls...)

2008-02-18 12:45:40
5.   Chyll Will
3 BTW, welcome to you and Bagel Boy, good to see you cross the lines and join the fun. You know the routine; no allowance, speak your peace, stand your ground, no hitting below the belt, eat the ball, play the game, yadda yadda yadda Ken is god of toaster and all that. Cheers!

1 Welcome back, debris. Your ethereal candor is equalled only by your generosity. Good to see you >;)

2008-02-18 12:54:19
6.   wsporter
5 Or is it that his ethereal generosity is only equaled by his candor?
2008-02-18 13:26:26
7.   underdog
Yankees Chick makes me want to become a Yankees fan. I'll trade ya one Alyssa Milano for a Yankees Chick.
2008-02-18 13:51:05
8.   Biscuit Pants
5 Thanks CW . . . I'll keep that all in mind.

7 She COULD bring a Sox fan to reason . . .

2008-02-18 14:07:34
9.   OldYanksFan
Well.... Andy's conference is over.
He sounded great. I do believe he is relieved to have this off his chest, and he seemed as honest as straightforward as possible.

I am stunned by all the hate for Andy I have read on various blogs. There ara obviously many, many more Saints walking the Earth then I realized. Glad I don't have to take the stand.

I can only hope the dogs in the media can dig up another bone and we can start focusing on baseball.

I think the team looks great.
I think Girardi and the boys are on a mission.

2008-02-18 14:29:26
10.   Chyll Will
6 po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to...
2008-02-18 14:40:30
11.   JL25and3
9 I also thought Pettitte acquitted himself well. And I don't get the hate, either.
2008-02-18 14:58:51
12.   wsporter
10 Let's call the whole thing off?
2008-02-18 15:07:54
13.   mehmattski

Monday, February 19, 2008: Something about the urethral genuflections of condors...

2008-02-18 15:14:46
14.   OldYanksFan
With all the talk about our hole at 1B, there is a very good 1Bman with a very cheap 2 year contract, who may be available.
Seems to me he would fit well on this team.
Ever hear of Nick Johnson?
2008-02-18 15:42:05
15.   Chyll Will
13 If I could genuflect that way I wouldn't need after-shave...
2008-02-18 16:10:20
16.   wsporter
13 What's really freaky is there is no Monday 02/19/08.


2008-02-18 17:19:57
17.   mehmattski
16 I was hoping nobody would notice.

14 How many first basemen does a team need? Will the cost associated with trading for Nick Johnson be offset by his increase in production over Shelley Duncan, Jason Giambi, and friends? And what about Nick's penchant for injuries? How high on the prospect list are you willing to go for an unclear improvement?

2008-02-18 17:27:41
18.   Shaun P

(There's No Such Thing As A First Baseman Prospect)

Maybe the way to find a good first baseman is like finding a young pitcher - start out with 10, and you're bound to end up with at least 1 or 2 good ones. =)

Let's be honest, DC is probably looking to dump his salary, given his penchant for injuries and they have Dimitri Young too. Bowden likely isn't going to be picky given that; offer a couple A-ball pitchers and be done with it.

11 Haven't seen the hate anywhere, but I think Andy did a super job. I now have no concerns about him doing his thing this year.

2008-02-18 17:36:29
19.   Chyll Will
17 Takin it from the top?
Tippy? Tippy?

How High?....
The Ultimate high? So that I can kiss the sky! (up-up in the sky!)

ahem... continue >;)

2008-02-18 17:43:48
20.   wsporter
Chyll . . . Are you feeling alright? That's not the pneumonia talkin is it?
2008-02-18 17:49:22
21.   Chyll Will
20 Nope. 100+ fever, in conjunction with a procedure I described on my blog. Forgive me, I'll just take a powder for a while since I'm not really in the best of health or personal standards. Boredom makes you say or do stupid stuff sometimes...
2008-02-18 18:09:40
22.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
2 Have seen Darvish pitch, he's the real deal. Now that Hillman has left the Fighters though I worry about his arm being driven into the ground. Japanese managers never heard the phrase "pitch count"...

BTW, VERY late on this, but finally checked out some of ths links about the new Stadium. Martini bar..??? Really, it's getting harder and harder to justify going to a game with the expenses and lack of concern for the average fan...

2008-02-18 18:47:41
23.   OldYanksFan
How many first basemen does a team need?
... Well, ONE above average one would be nice. You can't call Shelly a 1st baseman, either on offense or defense. Engberg? He's played what? Under a dozen games at 1st? Giambi is my boy, but if we get 30-40 games from him in the field, we will be lucky.

Will the cost associated with trading for Nick Johnson be offset by his increase in production over Shelley Duncan, Jason Giambi, and friends?
... Nick the Stick is very productive. As far as prospects, it depends who we have to give up.

And what about Nick's penchant for injuries?
... He was pretty healthy in 05 and 06. I can't put a freak broken leg on the 'prone to injuries' list. He just turned 29.

How high on the prospect list are you willing to go for an unclear improvement?
... I think Nick over Duncan/Ensberg is a BIG improvement, on both O and D. We could then send Shelly to the minors and bring up Gardner as a 5th OFer with good D and great speed. This is MUCH more flexibility.

I mean I love all our kids, but we have a ton of pitching. We are keeping the Big 4 (thats the Big 3 + Horne). Some of them can be used in a good trade. If Nick doesn't work out, he was cheap, can be gone in 2 years, and brings a draft pick? If he's good, he could be an above average player for 5 or 6 years.

I think the only question is: Who do we have to give up? 2 pitchers? What might it take?

I mean the guy had a 0.948 OPS in 2006 for $5.5m. ARod has a 0.969 Carrer OPS. Papi is at 0.943. He also hits lefties as well as righties. And what will Tex cost 6/$100m?
Nick is now at 2/$11m.

I mean the guy is 'Nick the Stick'!

2008-02-18 18:48:49
24.   wsporter
21 Yeow, Dude. Sounds like its been one long winter.

Didn't know you were blogging! I had some noisy neighbors too, the Keeblers, but they were viciously attacked and kidnapped by an ubiquitous unseen hand. I haven't seen them since. I think it's just a weird coincidence, huh?

2008-02-18 19:14:27
25.   Chyll Will
23 I wish Alex were reading now, because he'd understand the Fugees reference I'd ordinarily make in regard to your first line (me say many-many-many...)

24 Man, you just don't know. Or perhaps you do now. BTW, I did some checking up on the side-effects on the medication (update on the current posting to come soon)... wowzers! Doc and I need to chat again, and how!

2008-02-18 19:15:28
26.   JL25and3
23 "He was pretty healthy in 05 and 06. I can't put a freak broken leg on the 'prone to injuries' list."

Johnson was out for a full month in 2005. That's "pretty healthy" for him, but does nothing to boost my confidence. So rather than seeing last year as a fluke after two years of health - as you do - I see 2006 as the fluke, the only year he hasn't been injured.

No matter how you look at it, the Yankees have at least 6 guys, maybe more, for 4 positions. LF/RF/1B/DH; Matsui, Abreu, Damon, Giambi, Duncan, Betemit and very likely Ensberg. Against righties, which of the first four do you sit to play Johnson?

I think you've got to clear out the logjam before you go about getting him.

2008-02-18 20:15:32
27.   OldYanksFan
I can't argue on the injury issue. I think it's a possibility.

As I said: Nick at 1st, Giambi at DH, 4 OFers who rotate 3 OF positions + some DH.
Betemin is our BUIF. He is consided at 1B because we don't have one, not because he's a good option. Same as Ensberg.

So you have 5 players to rotate between 3 OF positons and a DH. No bad. Plus JD, Giambi and maybe Matsui might be injury risks.

Our bench would be Molina/Betemin/Matsui and one of Ensberg/Shelly/Gardner.

Again, we don't have a logjam at 1B. We don't have a 1Bman, only some players who own a first basemans glove (sort of like Miggy Cairo). Washington has a logjam at 1B.

2008-02-18 21:00:00
28.   markp
I agree completely that our 1B situation is more of a lot of poor alternatives instead of an overabundance. I'd love to get NJ, but I can't imagine he's available for cheap. Maybe as a trading deadline deal, but by then we may be seen as being desperate.
2008-02-19 05:58:16
29.   horace-clarke-era
I'd be surprised if Cash went after first base, though I do like OYF's formulation (guys who own a glove). I think there are enough of those to create a productive position if Girardi figures it out.

But what upsets me is that I've been calling for almost TWO WEEKS for another starter and Cash ain't done squat about it! Doesn't he READ the banter (does he?)

I see a rotation filled with innings cap guys and real injury risks (as opposed to 'all pitchers are injury risks'). We are certainly better than last year so far, when He Who Is Not Named was opening day, but ...

2008-02-19 06:55:23
30.   OldYanksFan
I agree Hoss, but you know Cashman. He does his deals mid year. Who do you see the Yanks getting now? I hear both Horne and Melancon can be MLB ready if necessary. Sanchez is good for June.

Decent FAs have been way overpaid the last 2 winters. Come the ASB, when teams are trading and dumping, much better deals are to be had. Plus, at that time, we can do a much better assessment of our needs.

So... how about some creative thoughts for NJ. Matsui + $5m and a propect (or 2)? What does Washing need (aside from everything)? How's their farm? Would they want 3 A/AA prospects for the future.

I hate to see some of the kids go, but Nick is a stud, and underrated.

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