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Sister Kisser
2008-03-02 12:45
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yanks and Phils played to a 7-7, nine-inning tie in the Yanks' first home game of the spring.

Lineup:

L - Johnny Damon (DH)
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
L - Bobby Abreu (RF)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
L - Jason Giambi (1B)
S - Jorge Posada (C)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
R - Jason Lane (LF)
S - Melky Cabrera (CF)

Pitchers: Andy Pettitte, Steven White, Scott Patterson, LaTroy Hawkins, Kyle Farnsworth, Sean Henn, Brian Bruney, Jose Veras

Subs: Juan Miranda (1B), Alberto Gonzalez (2B), Wilson Betemit (SS), Cody Ransom (3B), Jose Molina (C), Colin Curtis (RF), Justin Christian (CF), Chris Woodward (LF), Nick Green (DH)

Opposition: The Phillies traveling squad, featuring five regulars and no Ryan Howard.

Big Hits: A rocket of a three-run home run by Jason Giambi to inaugurate the new right-field bleachers in the first inning. Giambi (2 for 3) also had an RBI double to the gap in left center. Jason Lane added a solo shot and a triple in three trips. The triple was actually a dropped fly by Jayson Werth playing in center, but Lane did hit it about 400 feet. Both homers game off Philly starter Cole Hamels. Johnny Damon doubled in three trips. Bobby Abreu went 2 for 3 with a stolen base for the second straight game.

Who Pitched Well: LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect inning of relief, getting all three outs on the ground. Jose Veras also pitched a perfect frame, with all three outs coming in the air. Scott Patterson, who has a really wacky delivery (a tall guy, he looks like he's going to throw about three-quarters, then suddenly he drops his left shoulder and comes straight over the top in the low 90s), retired the only batter he faced. Andy Pettitte was sharp, pitching around a walk (erased by a double play) and a single (erased by a pickoff) in two scoreless frames and getting just one of his outs in the air. Sean Henn pitched around a single for a scoreless inning of his own.

Who Didn't: Steven White was lit up for four runs on five hits and two walks in just 1 2/3 innings. Brian Bruney, who is probably the most noticeably slimmed-down player in camp, gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in his lone inning of work, picking up a blown save in the process. Kyle Farnsworth is still working from the windup, but it did him little good as he gave up a solo homer to Pat Burrell plus a single in his only frame.

Nice Plays: The gem of the game was actually a full-out dive by Philadelphia center fielder Greg Goslon to rob Juan Miranda of an extra-base hit in the left field gap. Goslon caught the ball in mid-air at full extension. He also had an RBI single and a stolen base and homered in Saturday's game. Word is he still has a lot of work to do at the plate, but he's a young five-tool player worth keeping an eye on. Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez both made nice plays going to their right and throwing off balance to Jason Giambi, who also had a nice day in the field ("I'm a cat out there" sez G'bombi).

Oopsies: Nothing egregious, but there were a few difficult plays in the infield that weren't made that likely would have been during the regular season, betraying how early we are in the process of these players getting ready for the season. Derek Jeter didn't quite get his jump-pass to first base on time, Cano pulled Giambi off the bag with another cross-body throw, and Alex Rodriguez got eaten up by a short hopper right after making his nice play mentioned above.

The First Cut: Jesus Montero, Austin Romine, Eduardo Nuñez, and Eric Duncan have all been reassigned to minor league camp, which opens tomorrow. I'm disappointed not to have gotten to see Montero hit, particularly after he homered in Saturday's game, but he and Romine, who were actually reassigned on Saturday, are important prospects from the low minors who need to spend the spring doing something other than riding pine with the big leaguers. Nuñez and Duncan probably shouldn't have been in camp in the first place. In Duncan's case, the invite was likely intended solely to boost his confidence, as not inviting him would have underscored the degree to which his stock has fallen.

Further Reading: Anthony McCarron's liveblog. I found this bit on Giambi particularly interesting: "Giambi is giddy about his condition and wants to prove to the Yankees that he can shoulder the load at first every day. He said he never realized how bad his feet are--medically speaking, not that he's got two left ones--and he is now taking care of them with orthotics and exercises." Remember it was plantar fasciitis (a foot-arch injury) that sidelined him last year.

Comments (74)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-03-02 18:37:01
1.   Shaun P
Except recap as always Cliff.

McCarron's live blogs have been very good. I always go to Pete Abe first out of loyalty, but I might have to check out the Daily News blog more often.

The fan in me says, I'm glad Giambi is putting in extra effort to succeed, including taking better care of himself. The cynic in me reminds the fan that Giambi is in a contract year, so it shouldn't be a surprise. In any case, I hope he does well this year.

2008-03-02 19:24:36
2.   monkeypants
If...if, if, if, if, if...Giambi can actually play a little 1B this year, and hit some, and not get hurt, that will really help make this a very formidable lineup. A Giambi-Duncan platoon at 1B, with Matsui playing a lot of DH. Hmmm...
2008-03-02 19:56:18
3.   wsporter
1 "The cynic in me reminds the fan that Giambi is in a contract year, so it shouldn't be a surprise. In any case, I hope he does well this year."

Sigh and agreed. It would be nice to think that a guy making that kind of money might be incentivised to work hard after he got the contract rather than in anticipation of the next one but I guess "it is what it is". "Same as it ever was".

2008-03-02 20:06:20
4.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
I'm not a big Giambi fan but I can't see this as a contract push, he must realize his age and condition will keep him from getting a big payday. Maybe he's finally feeling bad about the 2003 WS and wants to go out a hero?
2008-03-02 21:10:58
5.   monkeypants
4 I disagree that there is no possible big payday for Giambi. Remember, this is not exactly his contract year: the Yankees have a team option on him for next season. Let's say he lights it up this year; the FO may decide that its better to keep for one more year at 26 mil (I think, or is it 21?), then buy him out at 5 mil and try to find another 1B. We all thought that Abreu was gone this year, but he's back after making a big push the second half of next year.

But even if Giambi gets bought out. If he can stay healthy and hit reasonably well, then he is looking at signing maybe a two year deal with some AL team as a DH. Given the going rates, it's not hard to imagine that he could make 20 mil over two years--after all, the Jays signed Frank Thomas to a 2-year, 18 mil contract.

So there is plenty of financial incentive, even for a broken down 37 y.o. DH.

That said, I don't put much stock in the "contract year" thing. No one has been able to prove that pending FAs play much better in their contract year, at least that I recall.

2008-03-02 21:25:38
6.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Is he really on the books for 21mil if they pick up the option?? I would hope Mussina, Giambi and Abreu would all depart with hugs and handshakes to make way for some young 'uns to come up...
2008-03-02 21:44:34
7.   monkeypants
6 Yep. From Wikipedia, citing rotoworld:

"Giambi is due $21.5 million for the 2007 season and another $21 million for the 2008 season. There is a 2009 club option that if picked up will pay Giambi another $22 million, but the team can buy out that 2009 option for $5 million, and if they do, Giambi will become a free agent in 2009 instead of the originally anticipated 2010 season."

So, in 2009, Giambi costs either 5 million or 22 million.

2008-03-02 23:27:44
8.   weeping for brunnhilde
Not to be a crank or anything, but isn't it a bit late in the game for Jason to be learning new things about his feet?
2008-03-03 05:31:48
9.   Shaun P
8 That's what the cynic in me was thinking!

5 I think that Giambi is certainly bought out. Abreu was worth $14M (Yanks had to pay the $2M if they kept him or bought him out), especially given the dreck of available RF free agents. Giambi isn't worth $17M (gotta pay the $5M either way) unless he hits like he did in '05 or '06 AND plays 135-150 games. I'm not hopeful that he can do that in 2009.

Meanwhile, there are 3 free agents to be, any of who would fit in nicely, if not at 1B, then certainly in the LF/DH mix: Tex, Dunn, and Burrell. But that's for next offseason. =)

2008-03-03 05:33:45
10.   ms october
5 i think we just pay attention more to fas in their contract year - you could probably find just as many who had dud years (see jones, andruw). i think the phenomenon is slightly more pronounced in the nba where you have very talented guys who do not always play hard, but then play hard in their contract year (see thomas, tim and sorta carter, vince)

8 i would agree - it's not like he just got them.
but speaking of feet, i didn't really see that many of shelley's games at 1b last year - can he competently play first, just referring to him in the field - and i know our standards of competent at 1b have been all over the place of late.

and to mattpat - better thank latroy hawkins for you b'day present.

2008-03-03 05:44:12
11.   monkeypants
9 Oh I agree, he's 99.44% gone after the season. But if Frank Thomas can get 18 mil for two years at age 38-39, then Giambi also has a big paycheck to play for.If he hits at all this year--and as you say, stays fairly healthy--someone will pay him.
2008-03-03 06:27:51
12.   Cliff Corcoran
They say never say never, but I'll tell you all now there is NO chance of the Yankees picking up Giambi's option. I don't care if he hits 70 home runs this year and wins the Gold Glove at first base. They'll count themselves lucky and buy him out. The Yanks have been desperate to get rid of his contract since 2004 and have been extremely gun-shy about long-term deals ever since (I think it was Giambi, not Randy Johnson, that caused the Yanks to balk when they had the opportunity to sign Carlos Beltran).
2008-03-03 07:28:22
13.   williamnyy23
Count me among those who think hell will freeze over before the Yankees pick up Giambi's option. Even if the Yankees really do want him back, no is going to pay him $17mn next season, so it would still make sense to buy him out and then resign him. Unless the Braves have a change of financial heart, I think Texeira is the leader in the clubhouse for the Yankees 2009 1B.

2 With or without Giambi, this lineup is very formidable. If he is healthy, however, then the lineup becomes ridiculous. What's more, if Abreu and Damon bounce back and Melky and Cano both improve, I think this lineup could score 1,000 runs, even if Arod and Posada regress some.

2008-03-03 07:40:55
14.   weeping for brunnhilde
13 Where do you see Cano's improvement coming?

To me, his most glaring vulnerability is to the high heat.

He also pulls off sometimes, hitting weak-ass grounders to second Hideki-style, but other than that, he's so solid.

Are you looking for more consistency?

Or maybe more presence of mind with runners on the bags?

2008-03-03 07:51:04
15.   williamnyy23
14 Cano has a lot of room to improve in terms of consistency, especially in the early part of the season. Cano's career OPS by month is .717, .677, .862, .923, .807 and .981. Don Mattingly has always said that one of the most important adjustments for a player is figuring out how to transition from March to April. If Cano can use his experience to get out of the gate better, he'll have a lot of room for improvement.

In addition, I'd also expect Cano to continue to improve his batting eye and also get a little stronger. I am probably more of a Cano fan than most, but don't think a line of .320/.370/.500+ is out of the question.

2008-03-03 07:53:57
16.   pistolpete
12 >> (I think it was Giambi, not Randy Johnson, that caused the Yanks to balk when they had the opportunity to sign Carlos Beltran) >>

To me, Giambi is the face of this post-dynasty era of stupid contracts and overpaying for 'big' names.

Flashes of greatness is all we've ever gotten from the Giambino - I will dance a Papelbonesque jig when his contract is finally up.

2008-03-03 07:53:57
17.   pistolpete
12 >> (I think it was Giambi, not Randy Johnson, that caused the Yanks to balk when they had the opportunity to sign Carlos Beltran) >>

To me, Giambi is the face of this post-dynasty era of stupid contracts and overpaying for 'big' names.

Flashes of greatness is all we've ever gotten from the Giambino - I will dance a Papelbonesque jig when his contract is finally up.

2008-03-03 07:54:22
18.   pistolpete
16 17 Sorry for the double-post!
2008-03-03 08:01:15
19.   williamnyy23
16 Giambi has been far from perfect, but I think that's a little harsh. It's not like the Yankees got nothing out of Giambi (I actually typed Pavano first, as if by instinct). In fact, four of his six seasons have been very good to excellent (OPS+ of 172, 148, 161, 148), while 2003 and 2007 standout as stinkers (especially relative to playing time).

I also don't see what's wrong with being the face of the post dynasty era...after all, that includes 5 division titles and an AL pennant. Giambi might not have been a great contract, but it was far from stupid.

2008-03-03 08:14:26
20.   monkeypants
12 16 19

In terms of long-term contracts gone sour, what about Bernie's megadeal after 1998? Cliff is probably right that Giambi's was the straw that broke the camel, but I always thought that Bernie's contract, signed when he was "only" 29, is the one that really scared the Yanks away from a 7- or 8-year deal with Beltran.

2008-03-03 08:20:45
21.   Cliff Corcoran
19 Agreed. Giambi is actually an underrated Yankee because of 2004 (you meant 2004, right?) and 2007, and because too much emphasis was placed on his drop in batting average in 2003 despite his still-excellent power and on-base production. To a lesser degree, I think the same can be said of Mike Mussina. Both have actually been very valuable Yankees.
2008-03-03 08:23:35
22.   williamnyy23
20 I don't think Bernie's contract was a bad one either. In fact, at $12mn per year, I think it was a pretty good one. In the first four years of the deal, Bernie was excellent, posting OPS+ 149, 140, 138 and 141, while playing very good defense in CF as well as contributing significantly to three more pennants and two championships.

Clearly, the last three years of the deal were less than stellar, but even at OPS+ of 107 and 108 in 2004 and 2005, Bernie wasn't wildly overpaid considering market fluctations.

I am not sure if the Yankees have soured on long-term deals in the first place. Didn't they just sign Arod to a 700 year deal?

2008-03-03 08:25:28
23.   williamnyy23
21 Yep...I meant 2004. I also agree with you on Mussina, and will take even further by saying Randy Johnson's 2005 season even made his acquisition worthwhile, especially when you consider what they gave up and how they were able to dump his last year back on Arizona.
2008-03-03 08:26:48
24.   williamnyy23
22 Can't get my dates straight...I meant 2003 and 2004 for Bernie in the second paragraph.
2008-03-03 08:28:55
25.   tommyl
21 The Moose bashing I've never fully understood. I've even had to defend him to my own family. All you ever hear is that he fails in big spots, isn't clutch, but there's a slew of playoff games (Game 7 in 2003 stands out right now in my head) that Moose pitched well to excellent in. Sure he's a bit of a pain, but he's just small town crotchety, which doesn't bother me.

Why one player is "clutch" like Andy even after having some truly awful playoff starts and another isn't even after having some great ones always escapes me.

2008-03-03 08:29:24
26.   ms october
21 23 agreed - a little less on giambi though; i know i am somewhat guilty of thinking of them as part of a group of high priced fas that has come in and not won a tiltle, so the tendency is to devalue them.
2008-03-03 08:31:18
27.   ms october
26 but i should make clear they have mostly done well.

25 agreed on the whole cluth thing. i read a nice piece by dan lebetard about this once - how certain players get this rep one way or the other and then it is hard to move either direction.

2008-03-03 08:38:33
28.   Cliff Corcoran
23 My argument against Johnson is that they didn't need him to make the playoffs, they needed him to win in the playoffs, and in both of his years with the Yanks he was bombed in a crucial Game 3 loss in a losing ALDS effort, thus doing exactly the opposite of what he was acquired to do. That said, he was nails down the stretch in 2005, when the Yanks swiped the division from the Red Sox with Johnson pitching the clincher, so I'll grant him that.
2008-03-03 08:43:25
29.   williamnyy23
28 I guess I give him more credit for 2005 because he was something like 6-0 against Boston. Also, even in the era of WS or bust, winning the division still means something to me. I thought it was important for the Yankees to come back and win the division after losing the 2004 ALCS, so RJ gets a small place in my heart.
2008-03-03 08:45:08
30.   weeping for brunnhilde
15 Oh, no, not out of the question at all.

And I'm extremely high on him myself. He's by far my favorite hitter when he's on.

Those line drives in the left-centerfield gap and down the leftfield line send me to the brink of orgasm.

:)

2008-03-03 08:50:12
31.   weeping for brunnhilde
25 Moose has been great, and has come up big in the PS.

He was on the hill in the Jeter flip game, no? 1-0?

Also, his relief work in 2003 against Boston was stellar.

And that stretch where he kept losing despite strong efforts, prompting him to snap, "Well, I can't hit for the guys, too, I can only go out there and pitch..."

The thing with Moose these days is you have to know when to get him out of there. He should have a short leash, don't give him an opportunity to cough it all up, because he will.

But until he falls apart, he's a strong pitcher.

2008-03-03 08:50:56
32.   tommyl
30 TMI
2008-03-03 08:51:43
33.   weeping for brunnhilde
32

:)

Sorry.

2008-03-03 08:56:57
34.   williamnyy23
31 Also, in the 2004 ACLS, Mussina more than held his own. In game 1, he was brilliant for 6 innings before giving up 4 runs in the 7th when the team had an 8-0 lead. Then, in game 5, he went 6 innings, yielding only 2 runs and departed with a 4-2 lead.
2008-03-03 09:04:55
35.   monkeypants
22 I don't necessarily think Bernie's deal was a bad one either, especially since it kept him out of Boston! I'm not sure I agree with you, though, that the FO didn't sour on long-term deals. Sure, A-Rod just got the big chalupa, but the last few years have seen the team seemingly bending over backwards not to give out deals longer than four years.

My main point with Bernie is that IF (and I grant your point, however, that it is an "if") the team did sour on long-term deals, Bernie's contract might have had more influence (tan Giambi's) in dissuading them from signing another late 20s CF to a seven year contract.

You're exactly correct about Moose.

2008-03-03 09:06:38
36.   Zack
As always, it returns to 2003. The Yankees beat the Marlins there, and the concept of being "the face of this post-dynasty era" is a much different thing. 5 pennants, 1 WS etc. And who knows what then happens in 2004.

But, all that aside, the thought of Jason Lane making the roster is already driving me nuts. The guy has never been anything but average to below average, has been terrible the past two seasons, and has a career OBP of .314. Ensberg in his worst year still beat that. Not that he's great, mind you.

I know there aren't great options per se for that last roster spot, and its never really going to be used anyway, but Lane is pretty much the WORST option, no matter what ST stats say...

2008-03-03 09:08:51
37.   pistolpete
19 >> after all, that includes 5 division titles and an AL pennant. >>

Meh.

2008-03-03 09:12:05
38.   Sliced Bread
Thanks for the recap, Cliff. Unfortunately, had to miss the first televised game of the season.

Hate to nipick, but in 12 you stated the Yanks have been extremly gun-shy about longterm deals. I agree they generally don't sign 'em like they used to -- but clearly, the new A-Rod deal does not suggest any hesitation by the Yanks to go very very long, and dig very very deep for the best available player.
The new Posada and Rivera deals could also be considered "longterm" due to the advanced ages of the players.

The Yanks probably wouldn't do the Giambi deal again, (if they could go back in time) but I'm not so sure that it changed the front-office philosophy about longterm deals -- just made them more selective.

2008-03-03 09:27:08
39.   Cliff Corcoran
38 Alex Rodriguez is a very obvious exception to every rule. Otherwise, they've not gone over four years with anyone since Giambi. Damon, Matsui, Posada, all four-year deals (in fact, all essentially identical four-year deals with a flat salary and no options or bonuses). Mo got three. Even the Pavano disaster and Cano's new deal were four-year deals. The one exception is Kei Igawa, who got four years, but at a flat $4 mil per year that's hardly in the same category.
2008-03-03 09:27:32
40.   Cliff Corcoran
38 Alex Rodriguez is a very obvious exception to every rule. Otherwise, they've not gone over four years with anyone since Giambi. Damon, Matsui, Posada, all four-year deals (in fact, all essentially identical four-year deals with a flat salary and no options or bonuses). Mo got three. Even the Pavano disaster and Cano's new deal were four-year deals. The one exception is Kei Igawa, who got five years, but at a flat $4 mil per year that's hardly in the same category.
2008-03-03 09:27:56
41.   Cliff Corcoran
Ignore 39 , 40 is a corrected version.
2008-03-03 09:31:32
42.   Shaun P
38 Gotta disagree with you, Sliced. The A-Rod signing is an outlier, because he isn't just "the best available" player, he's a guaranteed bona-fide super-duper star. There really is no one like him.

And, since the Giambi deal, the only deal the Yanks have signed that's longer than 4 years is A-Rod's new deal. Everything else has been 4 years or less, even Cano's deal is only 4 years guaranteed.

The Yanks probably offer Teixiera 6 years - but he'll be only 34 when such a deal would end, which is fine. I'll bet we're done seeing 6+ year deal handed out to guys over 30 though.

2008-03-03 09:34:50
43.   Cliff Corcoran
40 I should add that the Igawa deal will only serve go reinforce their reluctance to hand out long-term deals. That said, I agree with Shaun 42 that they'd go over four years for Teixeira, but also agree they'd probably top out at six years.
2008-03-03 09:35:52
44.   Shaun P
42 Err, what Cliff said in 40 . I totally forgot Igawa, I wonder why? =) But he too was nowhere near 30 when they signed him.
2008-03-03 09:48:32
45.   Sliced Bread
[41-42] Yeah, I see your pernt but maintain that 3 and 4 year deals for Posada and Mo are "longterm." Thanks for clarifying.
2008-03-03 09:55:30
46.   pistolpete
40 Even 4 years seems like a lifetime when it comes to guys like Igawa and Pavano.
2008-03-03 10:25:55
47.   Bagel Boy
It depends on what happens at 1B this year, but I don't think Teixeira is a given. If Duncan provides above average offense against LHP, and Miranda shows the same against RHP in Scranton, I could see them going with that platoon rather than locking up Teixiera for the next five to six years. Cashman seems gun shy about clogging up the roster with 1B/DH types and with A-Rod and Jeter soon entering that period of their careers, having Teixeira would further limit roster flexibility, especially in 2010 and forward.
2008-03-03 10:51:07
48.   Bagel Boy
Let's say Moose has an awful Spring. Would anyone be surprised if he retired?
2008-03-03 11:01:27
49.   Shaun P
48 Yes; wouldn't he lose his salary for the year if he retired?

Maybe I'm imparting too much to Moose, but I also think he knows how much the team needs him to pitch, at least halfway decently, to limit the innings on the kids. I bet he'll gut the year out.

2008-03-03 11:02:37
50.   JL25and3
48 I think I would be surprised. I see him as more of a Steve Carlton type, a guy who'll keep pitching as long as they'll let him. He might not wander from team to team the way Lefty did, but I don't see him retiring that easily, either.

Plus, of course, he's got 11 million reasons not to retire.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-03-03 11:11:24
51.   Bagel Boy
True, but would he deal with be sent to the bullpen to start the season? That's where I see it breaking for him if he sucks big time this Spring with no improvement. He's basically trying to get by on fooling hitters. And if he ain't fooling them, he's got nothing.
2008-03-03 11:24:54
52.   The Mick 536
Someone please start some discussion about the article in the NYT that urges some inquiry of the Yankee management during the steroid years.
2008-03-03 11:26:24
53.   rilkefan
8 "[...] isn't it a bit late in the game for Jason to be learning new things about his feet? "

He's learning about getting old and how to deal with it. Being a young healthy athlete isn't the best training for that. Multi-system decompensation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decompensation) isn't easy to understand in any case.

2008-03-03 11:26:58
54.   YankeeInMichigan
36 It wouldn't be so terrible. The team needs a right-handed reserve outfielder (who can preferably play 1B as well), so Lane is competing against Duncan (not Ensberg). Duncan is probably the better player, but he still has all three of his options (I believe). So if Lane comes out of Spring Training with the hot hand, they can option Duncan. When Lane begins to show his true colors, they can DFA him and call up Duncan.
2008-03-03 11:48:02
55.   Zack
54 Which is exactly my point. How many times have we seen the "ST hot hand" make the team at the expense of a more deserving younger or less experienced player, have that hot hand revert to their pumpkin-like state relatively soon, and waste a month to half a season with him on the team. The whole "read more into a few ST ABs than the last two full seasons to justify a crappy vet on the roster" drives me nuts. There's pretty much nothing Lane can do that Duncan can't, and a lot that Duncan can potentially do that Lane can't.
2008-03-03 12:11:07
56.   OldYanksFan
"...new A-Rod deal does not suggest any hesitation by the Yanks to go very very long.."
I must disagree, and I offer Beltran as partial evidence. Jeter's deal is one where I think we overpaid some (he can thank ARod for that).

But for the ARod deal, you are looking at a special case, where even hard rules are broken. I ask this. If he gets 700 HRs, will he looked at like Mantle? Willie? Bonds? The Babe? Will he be considered the greatest all around player since the Babe? Where will he sit on the all-time list? And what if he gets 800 HRs (hence the 10 year contract)?

70 years after he played, the name 'Babe' is still the iconic name in baseball. Will it be ARod in 2050? If so, can you really equate his (excessive) contract on 'normal' terms?

Also, Giambi, even WITH his bad years, has posted an OPS of .935 as a Yankee. Isn't that worth $17m/yr? Yeah, his injuries devalued the contract some.... but a bust? If he maintains a .925 OPS over the entire life of the contract, that's a bust?

Will Soriano have a better year then Jason? Tori Hunter? Beltran (.870 OPS as a Met)? BARRY ZITO? How many guys making $17 this year will be better then Giambi?

Is the bad rap due to unrealistic expectations? No WS? Injuries? PED user?

2008-03-03 12:24:20
57.   Cliff Corcoran
47 He's not a given, of course, but there is no comparison between a Duncan/Miranda platoon and Teixeira. The difference between those two options is similar to the gap between the Phillies' third base situation (Dobbs/Helms/Feliz) and Alex Rodriguez.
2008-03-03 12:32:44
58.   Bagel Boy
57. I don't know about that gap. Teixeira is an average glove (and at 1B it's not critically important) and a very, very good, but not an excellent, bat. If he gives you a .900 OPS, could Duncan-Miranda give .850 for about 10-12 million less a year? I think so.

Besides, I think Cashman now is more about roster flexibility. Teixeira in 2009-2010 may be nice. But every year after that, he starts to clog things up, especially with Jeter and A-Rod and the ability to move youngsters into their much more important positions for added defense.

2008-03-03 12:35:41
59.   Bagel Boy
How do you highlight a number? I discovered bold accidentally.
2008-03-03 12:38:11
60.   Bagel Boy
And is it okay to say I hope Mussina retires? He gives the team nothing out of the pen, and it seems he alternates between decent starts and pure stinkers. Karstens could do that.
2008-03-03 12:40:39
61.   Cliff Corcoran
58 Don't forget that Teixeira is younger than Duncan. I'd be happy to revisit this conversation mid-season after we get some more evidence in on Duncan and Miranda. That .850 looks awfully high to me. I think we're talking .750 vs. .950.
2008-03-03 12:43:03
62.   JL25and3
52 I don't think that's really a fair summary of the article. He says that it's time to look at front offices, trainers, team doctors and so on, in general, to examine their culpability. Oh, yeah, and the commissioner's office as well.

He talks about Kevin Towers and the Padres, Brian Sabean and the Giants - and then the Yankees. I thought it was an extremely reasonable question to ask.

2008-03-03 12:44:05
63.   JL25and3
59 Put the number in [brackets].
2008-03-03 12:47:03
64.   weeping for brunnhilde
"I apologize, I apologize!"

This business about Andy apologizing to everyone and his mother recalls a great scene from Deadwood where Andy Cramed, the guy who Tolliver dumped in the woods after contracting small pox, lies there muttering, "I apologize, I apologize!"

And Jane comes along, as drunk as he is ill, and snaps at hi for apologizing so much!

The point being, I don't think Andy owes Suzyn an apology anymore than Andy owed one to Jane!

2008-03-03 12:53:46
65.   The Mick 536
62 Not trying to summarize, just focus on what disturbs me the most--what happened in the clubhouse bathroom of the team I support.

Your additions are quite accurate and do state more about area the article covered than I did. I didn't try to be misleading.

It is too easy to laud Towers; he outed a dead guy. Could W have known and could that guilt, assuming he is capable of such a feeling, be why he included steroids in his State of the Union speech? Canseco seems to think the Ranger management was aware. The Lords needed butts in the seats after the strike. HRs fill seats. That's easy. But did the Yankee owners and Joe know. That's all I was concerned about today. Look at all the names and the Yankee teams they played on.

2008-03-03 12:57:15
66.   Bagel Boy
63 Thanks!

61 Fair enough. .750 seems awfully low for me, especially since they'd presumably only hit when the matchups favor them. But, I agree. It will come down to how Duncan and his counterpart this year (Giambi - hopefully, Betemit) perform. Just to be clear. It's not that I'm opposed to Teixeira. It's that I like the flexibility of the current roster. I think that will be even more critical as Jeter and A-Rod continue to age.

2008-03-03 13:40:37
67.   OldYanksFan
Did management know about PEDs? I have to think so. But my (ex)wife knew I exceeded the speed limit when I drove. So what. Everybody did. In a way, when a whole system gets away with something, it ceases to become a big deal.

Steroids was talked about, and made the papers more then 10 years ago. I would think multiple players getting shots in their asses would be hard to hide. And were they really trying to hide it?

After the FIRST hearings, did Bud lay down the law to owners? Tell them there would be multi-million dollar fines for neglegence? Did he give the impression he REALLY wanted to clean this up, and owners and staff would hereon, assume responsibiltiy? Aside from the 'improved' testing, did anything really change? Did Bud want to get rid of steroids, or just cover up better?

I believe it was up to Bud to lay down a mandate. The owners can't be serious if Bud (and Fehr) aren't.

I personally hold them responsible, as they were really the ones who could have stopped it. The owners, and everyone else, were just following Bud's lead.

2008-03-03 13:40:57
68.   JL25and3
65 Gotcha.

As I see it, there were two types of people involved in baseball in that era: those who used, and those who were complicit to one extent or another. That covers pretty well everyone from clubhouse attendants up to Selig, in addition to all the players.

2008-03-03 15:14:14
69.   vockins
Quote from LoHud:

"[Mussina] also noted that four of the six hits he allowed came on two-strke counts.
'I didn't have an out pitch,' he said."

You haven't had an out pitch in four years, big guy.

2008-03-03 15:43:21
70.   Bagel Boy
Well, that new change in 2006 helped. Problem is, he's lost another 3 or 4 mph off his fastball. He needs to start working in an eephus. That would be fun at least.
2008-03-03 17:31:26
71.   wsporter
Quote from Pete Abe at Lohud:

""I didn't have an out pitch," he said.

I'm sure the many members if the Yankee Panic Society will proclaim that Mussina is finished. But you can make up a long list of pitchers who looked like bums the first week of March and did fine once the season started. The list of pitchers who looked great the first week of March and proved to be bums is even longer."

2008-03-03 22:26:20
72.   Yu-Hsing Chen
14 well after 2+ seasons Cano owns a career .OPS of .835 at age 24, the only other 2Bs to have OPS over .800 at a similar age with more than 300 games under them already are

Tony Lazzeri *
Eddie Collins *
Frankie Frisch *

*signifies hall of fame

kinda sums it up when the only guys who's even remotely close OPS wise (Collins is the only one higher at .850 ish, Pushem up Tony is a wooping .003 OPS higher and Frisch barely cracked .800) in the hey day of the liveball era.

Granted that isn't completely fair, because this era pretty much is the best hitter era after the liveball days. but even looking at adjusted OPS it's pretty unbelivable.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/shareit/jzHQ

there's still some sour sticking point ofcourse. like Cano's top PECOTA comp Mr. Baerga or Gregg Jefferies. but still it gives you a pretty good idea on where Cano possibly stands in the context of history. as long as he could avoid a Baergain path to say that he's a potential HOF candidate isn't really crazy.

One must understand that to have a young 2B at this age that can hit for very good average and significant pop and doesn't look like he needs to be escorted off 2B by the police is EXTREMELY rare. i'm not talking about rare in the context of a few year. I'm talking about rare in the context of the entire game's existence.

2008-03-04 04:47:22
73.   Bagel Boy
What about Mussina looking like a bum on and off for the last four years?
2008-03-04 07:05:57
74.   horace-clarke-era
Hate to disagree with Cliff, but I would not cite Po/Mo as exceptions to going long, given their ages. They went long by one year for sure, and possibly two on Posada.

I also agree there's a bit of Giambi/Moose bashing that goes on at the end of long contracts, and it feels unfair. You could say they cash the cheques for weak end-of-contract years, they can take the fan-heat but it still feels off to deride them for slippage we all EXPECT to see. (We gonna do that to Posada in 3 years?)

The Arod contract has another element, as so many do now: perceived marketing value over and above on-field value. Pedro to the Mets was another example of that, so was Dice K, so was Matsui.

Turning on a mini-rant, this is why I hate some of the Yankee-bashing ... Bombers sell out or come close all over the league when they visit teams, putting money in other owner's pockets. They also now contribute (alas!) about a starting player's worth of money in sharing.

Bash the damned Marlins, who are running a scam. Field the cheapest team possible, take some revenue from hapless fans, and more from sharing. Make profit. Go to bank. Repeat.

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