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Punchless
2008-03-23 18:06
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yankees brought their B-team on the road to play the Pirates, got just five men on base, and were shut out 8-0

Lineup:

S - Melky Cabrera (CF)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
L - Hideki Matsui (LF)
R - Morgan Ensberg (1B)
S - Wilson Betemit (SS)
R - Jason Lane (RF)
R - Cody Ransom (3B)
R - Chris Woodward (DH)
R - Chad Moeller (C)

Pitchers: Jeff Karstens, Scott Strickland, Heath Phillips, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, Ross Ohlendorf

Subs: Bernie Castro (2B), Eduardo Nuñez (SS), Nick Green (3B), Jason Brown (C), Brett Gardner (CF), Greg Porter (LF), Wilson Betemit finished the game at first base.

Opposition: Something approximating the Pirates starters.

Big Hits: None. The Yankees had two singles on the day, one by Hideki Matsui and one by Chris Woodward. Matsui also drew one of three Yankee walks and was thus the only Yankee to reach base twice.

Who Pitched Well: Health Phillips pitched around a single for 1 1/3 scoreless frames.

Who Didn't: The only other Yankee hurler not to be charged with a run was Scott Strickland, but he came in with a man on base and allowed a pair of singles, which plated that inherited runner. He also pitched just 2/3 of an inning. Jose Veras allowed two runs on a walk and two singles in the sixth. Edwar Ramirez allowed a run on a walk and two singles in the eighth, though he also struck out the side. Ross Ohlendorf allowed a run on two singles in the ninth, though he also struck out two and/or got two groundouts (the box score is a bit conflicted).

Jeff Karstens started and allowed four runs on seven hits, five of them doubles. He has a 9.64 ERA on the spring and a 1-3 record. Per Pete Abe, the Yankees remain determined to take a long man north, which means it's probably between Darrell Rasner (1-0, 5.84) and Kei Igawa (1-0, 3.38). Igawa, by the way, dominated the Trenton Thunder in today's minor league intrasquad game (see below). I've always preferred Rasner out of this group, though his struggles earlier this month concerned me. Unfortunately, Rasner has the additional obstacle of not being on the 40-man roster.

Ouchies: Andy Pettitte (back) was supposed to play catch yesterday. He didn't. He was supposed to start on Thursday. He won't. If he can start in a minor league game on Friday, he can stay on schedule to start Game 2 of the regular season. If not, the Yankees will have to come up with another plan, which could be anything from simply swapping Mussina and Pettitte in the rotation to using the afore-mentioned longman in a spot start, to placing Pettitte on the DL retroactive to his last spring start and starting anyone from a minor league replacement to Joba Chamberlain in his stead. Robinson Cano (back) was supposed to play against the Pirates. He did. He's fine.

Other Action: Igawa, pitching for Scranton, and Mike Mussina, pitching for Trenton, faced off in a rule-bending minor league intrasquad game of sorts that started at 10am yesterday morning. Dan Graziano sets the scene. Chad Jennings has the details. The relevant lines are Igawa: 4 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 8 K; Moose: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

More: Kat O'Brien has an exclusive piece on Hal Steinbrenner, on whom I must admit I'm developing a bit of a man-crush. He's young, good looking, and says things like, "The Super Bowl was great. I think it showed New Yorkers that if you're patient with a young kid, good things can happen." Swoon. Excerpts from the article can be found on Kat's blog. Meanwhile, here's a solid piece by Sam Borden on the impact of Joe Torre's relocation on his family. Also, Pete Abe is taking reader questions for Brian Cashman. I imagine you guys could come up with some real doozies for the GM.

Comments
2008-03-23 21:36:00
1.   weeping for brunnhilde
Hey, Team!

I was just remembering how someone from the Dodger blog wandered in here a couple weeks ago asking innocently whether Joe tends to over rely on one or two trusted relievers and how we could all barely contain ourselves.

Well, I got curious as to how he's faring amongst the fans, so I went scrounging around.

I turned up this nugget:

"131. jasonungar07
Fromthe Dodgers.com mailbag (Gurnick)
Even with it being Spring Training, where numbers can be deceiving, can Joe Torre seriously ignore Andre Ethier's statistics compared to Juan Pierre's?
-- Jake N., Raleigh, N.C.

When you put it that way, I guess the answer is yes. Not that he's ignoring Ethier's stats, but having spoken with Torre, I believe that Pierre's eight years in the Major Leagues carry more weight with Torre than this Spring Training. That said, if Pierre is in the lineup Opening Day, it doesn't mean that he'll be in the lineup every day, or even most days, or even after a couple of weeks.

I believe that Torre would rather start the season with the veteran and transition to the younger player, than do it the other way around. There are important reasons to do it that way, particularly in the management of clubhouse politics. On the other hand, if Torre really believes Ethier deserves to play ahead of Pierre from the start, he'll do what he did when he benched Bernie Williams with the Yankees. Torre will do what's best to win. He's built a pretty solid reputation doing that. "

They have no idea what they're in for, poor things.

2008-03-23 21:50:19
2.   OldYanksFan
PeteAbe managed to get a Q&A with the Man of Cash himself. He is taking questions from posters. Check out his blog for info.
2008-03-23 22:24:59
3.   Mattpat11
Chances Igawa doesn't make the team? Then we can all sit around for a couple months and pretend that if we just hope real hard, he'll stop pitching like Kei Igawa.

Its an Easter Miracle.

2008-03-23 22:34:59
4.   Mattpat11
1 I may just have an an overly romantic view of Torre's tenure, but I don't really remember a ton of legitimate baseball players that got passed over for mediocre veterans. Cano and Cabrera got to play over veterans like Womack and Williams.

Now, he stuck with veterans over 30 year old minor leaguers for sure, but the refusal to play Kevin Thompson never lost me any sleep.

2008-03-24 04:11:05
5.   JL25and3
1 , 4 I'm with MattPat on this one. In fact, I think that the Dodgers.com poster got it just right: "I believe that Torre would rather start the season with the veteran and transition to the younger player, than do it the other way around."

That's what Torre does. He prefers to start with the veteran and give him the chance to play himself out of a job. Torre may even give him two chances. But then he will make the change - and once he makes the change, he'll generally stick with it.

I suppose one can fault Torre for not playing Kenny Lofton. Me, I thought Bernie was overdone, but I wasn't all that thrilled about Lofton, either. Aside from that, as MattPat said, I'm not sure who was passed over.

2008-03-24 05:18:21
6.   Mattpat11
And its not like Williams over Lofton was a veteran over a rookie.
2008-03-24 06:12:42
7.   tommyl
Williams over Cabrera was (though to a much lesser extent). Williams DHing was a pretty bad decision. Allowing Terrence Long to pick up a bat. Continuing to trot Ruben Sierra out there.

What I think is interesting to me about Joe with the Dodgers is that he has no previous ties to these players. I rationalized his playing Bernie all the time because Bernie had been a part of the dynasty run and they were friends. If he's really just going to play Pierre because he has more experience, I don't know how you rationalize that.

Now, Joe has a history of saying the right thing to the media but then sometimes making a decision the other way (see Terrence Long above and his clubhouse presence). The litmus test will be how many ABs Pierre gets as a starting LF, and when Ethier gets a shot, how much of a shot he gets (e.g. benched at first slump?). If he really does start Pierre all or most of the time, he's shooting himself in the foot.

Sigh, I still think this move by Joe is a mistake. He has nowhere to go but down. The NL West is extremely competitive and he's no lock to make the playoffs. If he doesn't, he begins to look more like benefitting from the Yankees than the other way around. I guess he might make the playoffs, but not with Juan Pierre playing the second most unimportant defensive position.

2008-03-24 06:13:50
8.   tommyl
6 No, but it was a stupid move showing that his loyalty to his guys can get in the way of making the right decision.
2008-03-24 06:41:15
9.   Cliff Corcoran
2 Thanks for reading my post, OYF.
2008-03-24 07:16:02
10.   TokyoTom
Yu Darvish Thanks for the great post, Cliff and the link to the Yu Darvish article. I hope Darvish starts to draw more attention in the States. He is an iceman on the mound and he's very cool off. Best of all, even though he is half, what Japanese call bi-racial children, he is accepted and loved here.I would love for the Yankees to pursue him. He could take NYC by storm. Confidence of Daisuke, but better pure stuff.
2008-03-24 07:16:49
11.   Sliced Bread
Just got back from Fla. with the wife and kids, and damn, whoever posted here a few weeks ago about the infestation of Red Sox fans at Disney World was right. The place is crawlin' with 'em. All of South Fl. is crawlin' with 'em. They're like the State Insect. A little larger, and less appealing than the Palmetto bug, too. Easily 5:1 ratio of Beantown to Bomber lids down there. Not that they ruined my vacation or anything, mostly harmless pests -- like the pretty blonde who muttered "Yankees suck" at me, and my boys as we cruised by her in the 5-minute "fast pass" lane, along the 1.5 hour waiting line to the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Good times.

Yanks-wise, I've got some catching up to do. The only action I've seen in the past week was that televised Easter egg of a snore-fest Cliff describes above.

I'm with you re: Rasner, Cliff. I was high on him, but dumped that stock in preference for Ohlendorf some time ago. Guess he's still in the mix.

2008-03-24 07:40:03
12.   monkeypants
I think it's interesting that a team with "too many" starters is trying to figure out what additional BP arm will serve as the "long man." Something seems incongruous there. I know, I know: innings limits, young arms, yada yada. But now that Traber has seemingly wrapped up the LOOGY spot, the spring BP battle has become whether or not Rasner or Karstens makes the team as the long man, while only one out of Ohlendorf, Edwar, etc. will end up in the BP.

It will be interesting to see how often the long man gets used in that role. Otherwise, I wonder if the better move wouldn't be to forget about the LOOGY and the long man, and just keep the best arms in the BP.

2008-03-24 07:49:05
13.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
Cano, Wang, and Melky were - to the best of my recollection and understanding - sort of thrust upon Torre by the organization/Cashman. I'm not sure how much of that was Torre's inclination.

I think the Dodgers are in for a not so fun time personally.

2008-03-24 08:37:14
14.   underdog
1/4/ etc. - Torre actually sounds as if he's leaning toward Ethier, but wants to keep Pierre's feelings from being hurt. He's already had a closed door meeting with JP. He really likes Ethier. The spring's been a little discombobulated due to having to split it up between Florida, China and Arizona, but I think Torre is so far saying the right things and handling things the right way. It's not like Tanyon Sturtze is still getting a look in spring. And with injuries in the infield he's been clear about wanting to give younger players in-house a shot at backing them up there first before clamoring for a veteran. The thing is the Dodgers "kids" are for the most part - Martin, Kemp, Loney and yes, Ethier, are so clearly good to Torre, and he knew about them before he even came to camp - that it's like he's going to bench them for a veteran. And he doesn't appear to have any interest in starting Ramon Martinez at third for now either. Maybe he will start Pierre and then ease him out of it, but right now it's very possible he won't even start.

I think the last line in 13 is projecting things way too negatively. Also, keep in mind we had Grady Little for two years and as much as I liked Grady personally, he was way too nice and couldn't deal with bruised egos without trying to stroke them, or just ignore situations altogether. Right now Torre seems even better than he might be because of the tiresome charade we had to deal with before him. That's underdog's view after following Dodger spring training for two months, anyway. :-)

2008-03-24 08:38:21
15.   mehmattski
Well, with Duke out of the tourney it is now time for me to turn my full sports obsession to baseball. I've read all of Cliff's spring training game digests, and while all the info is awesome, I can't wait for the games to mean something!
2008-03-24 08:39:41
16.   underdog
14 "It's not like he's going to..." that should read above.

Btw, we'll trade ya a Joe Beimel or a young reliever not named Broxton for Betemit back. ;-)

2008-03-24 08:45:03
17.   JL25and3
13 That's become a common meme, but I don't see any reason to think it's the case. All three were brought up out of necessity, in dire circumstances, but I don't have any reason to believe that Joe was keeping them down.

In fact, I think it's just as likely that the likes of Tony Womack and Jaret Wright were thrust on Torre, not Wang or Cano. Neither one of them made the team out of spring training, and no one really thought that they should.

2008-03-24 08:52:42
18.   JL25and3
7 When did he play Williams over Cabrera? In 2006, both played every day because there were so many outfield injuries. And 36 AB for Terrence Long? Bad choice, perhaps, but trivial.
2008-03-24 09:04:35
19.   wsporter
9 Come rain or shine even in stormy weather, the Banter will always bring us a reason to smile. There's nothing like the pay off for all that hard work is there Cliff? I thought that type of thing was only confined to my clients. Glad to see I'm not alone; misery does love company.

Thanks OYF; I know you didn't mean to but the timing on that one was priceless in my ugly little corner of the world.

2008-03-24 09:17:41
20.   Jeterismyhomeboy
18 I think that the Torre "preference" for vets didn't come from refusing to play younger players necessarily but a lot of other things, like how he had less patience with a struggling kid than he did an old vet. He presumed that the vet "knew" how to get out of a slump, while he took a young, struggling kid and assumed that he wasn't adjusting. He didn't know any of the minor league players at all. He didn't know about who the Yankees had drafted; fans knew about Joba before he did. He's more reluctant to give up on a player that he's "loyal" to or has "experience."

It's a bit like people who point to inning totals for relievers and say, "Look, he didn't burn them out," but they ignore that a top reliever--while he was pitching well--might enter a game where the Yanks were leading or losing by 5 or more runs. He might use a reliever for three days in a row and then give him a day off and use him again and then give the reliever a week off.

I know I'll just be happy when I can focus on the new Joe because we'll be watching games that count.

2008-03-24 09:46:13
21.   williamnyy23
I was a big Torre critic toward the end of his tenure, but not because he wasn't able to manage the roster. Even his over-reliance on guys like Proctor were out of necessity. All things considered, Torre usually had the best players at the forefront more often than not. In fact, he even went out on a limb in that regard on more than a few occasions.

Where Torre grew weak, in my opinion, was managing the game. Whether it was knowing when to bunt or pinch run or not bring in Rivera (like with a 4 run lead), it was the little things that started to slip. Even toward the end, I thought he managed the players well. For example, at one point or another, many Banterites were ready to pull the plug on Cano, Cabrera and Abreu last season, but Torre's patience proved to be an asset.

2008-03-24 10:13:26
22.   RIYank
10 Which is the link to a Yu Darvish article?

I've been waiting for Mike Plugh to resume his Darvish Watch. The stuff he's wrote earlier was intriguing, but he dropped that project (the link to the darvish-watch blog seems to be dead).

2008-03-24 10:33:36
23.   rilkefan
21 But consider his handling of the you-know-who situation in '06...

Re tactics, I seem to recall years of slight unhappiness about the leadoff spot. Maybe that was mostly the Soriano period.

There's of course the question of Posada's playing time in earlier years too.

2008-03-24 10:58:49
24.   underdog
21 I think that's fair enough. Of course, I think y'all have generally been spoiled, too, given what other managers you could've been stuck with over the years. I've yet to see a manager who wasn't roundly criticized about something at some point during the tenure. I think Torre did seem a little burned out in NY towards the end there. Maybe he'll be reenergized, or maybe he'll still make some in-game goofs, but again, we had Jim Tracy followed by Grady Little so I can't imagine he'll be worse. ;-) Plus Bob Schaefer is a good bench coach, so hopefully he'll be on the alert if Torre nods off during a game or something.
2008-03-24 12:40:16
25.   OldYanksFan
Re: Yu Darvish.
Before Dice-K got here, Mike P. was sure he would be an elite pitcher in MLB. Yes, he is decent, and could get better, but he will never be elite. I would be surprised if he is in the top 25%

I'm really blown out on Japanese pitchers.
In terms of position players, contacts hitters fair pretty well here. Power hitters, ala Matsui, will not do as well. And there will be some exceptions, like Ichiro, who can hit anywhere, anytime.

But for pitchers, my theory is simple. MLB players are much stronger then the Japanese. When a 'strong' Japanese player hits a deep flyout (340'), his MLB counterpart hits it 370'. It is often the difference between long flyouts and HRs/deep gappers. I also think MLB players are more patient and will more readily take a BB.

Maybe MLB has a vested interest in international baseball politics, but these Japanese posting fees for players with zero MLB time is nuts.

I know it was just hype, but I read one article that said the posting fee for Yu Darvish could go to $70m. Dice-K set an ARodish bar, and maybe $51.111m will be exceeded. But I hope NOT by the Yankees.

2008-03-24 12:58:28
26.   monkeypants
25 We don't agree on much, OYF, but I'm right with you on this one. Until some more Japanese stars come over to the MLB and play at an elite level, I remain pretty skeptical.
2008-03-24 13:07:37
27.   Bagel Boy
25 Darvish is ri-dunc-ulous. 6'5", 21 years old, already better than Dice-K. And the price is right - even at a 75 million posting. None of that is taxed. Even if he gets paid 60 million for six years - that's a bargain for a #2 and possibly a #1. Plus he fills the Jap-gap when Matsui leaves after 2010. And Darvish is already Jeter over there.

Here's a comparison:
Darvish 2007: 15-5, 207.6 IP, 123 H, 9 HR, 49 BB, 210 K, 1.82 ERA, .174 BAA (age 21)
Diced-K 2006: 17-5, 186.3 IP, 138 H,13 HR, 34 BB, 200 K, 2.13 ERA, .210 BAA (age 26)

2008-03-24 13:09:09
28.   Bagel Boy
By the way, I'm one who thinks Dice-K and Igawa will improve this year. The former to a legit #2 and the latter to a passable #5.
2008-03-24 13:13:38
29.   Shaun P
25 Re: your theory on the pitchers - I don't think it has anything to do with strength or walks. I think it has to do with: talent distribution - the Japanese leagues are probably more on the level of AA/AAA overall, and certainly not MLB-level. Park effects - the parks are small, almost all are domes, and almost all have some type of artificial turf. Smaller parks should make it easier to hit HRs in Japan (eg: Godzilla Matsui and Tuffy Rhodes). But, this is counter-balanced by strategy. IIRC, in Japan, most managers employ one-run strategies: lots of bunting, lots of hitting and running, sacrifices, etc. This depresses scoring, which also depresses pitcher ERA totals. As Master Weaver said, "If you play for one run, that's all you'll get."

And, BTW, Daisuke was in the top 25% of pitchers last year.

By BP's SNLVAR - which only considers guys who started a game - he was tied for 37th in MLB. By VORP, he finished 38th.

148 pitchers threw 95+ innings last year - which ought to eliminate any relievers from the sample. 25% of 148 is 37.

2008-03-24 13:15:58
30.   monkeypants
28 Well, Igawa can't be much worse this year.
2008-03-24 13:22:09
31.   Bagel Boy
29 Great work.

30 His AAA shows something. What, I'm not exactly sure.

2008-03-24 14:09:22
32.   YankeeInMichigan
Pete Abe reports that Chris Britton has been reassigned to minor league camp, along with Giese and Phillips. I guess Girardi has kept to the Torre playbook regarding Britton.
2008-03-24 14:38:38
33.   Shaun P
32 The question is, is Britton the best of the available guys for the last RHP slot in the pen? In ST 2007, because of his 2006 season, I think the answer was a resounding yes. Is this still true? I don't really know.

At least, Girardi seems to know who guys like Britton are, and what their abilities are, so I don't think its fair to say he's keeping to the Torre playbook when it comes to Britton.

Is Bruney out of options? If so, the Yanks might want to give him one more chance before exposing him to waivers, where he'd probably be claimed. That may explain Britton's optioning as much as anything else.

2008-03-24 14:41:07
34.   weeping for brunnhilde
It may be unfair or trivial, but my enduring grievance against Joe on the count was not replacing David Justice with Shane Spencer in the 2002 postseason until it was too late.

That killed us.

No, of course I'm not saying things would have turned out differently on the strength of some kind of Shane Spencer heroism, but to this day I find his insistence on playing a man who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a paddle inexcusable in a short series with no margin for error.

2008-03-24 14:51:41
35.   OldYanksFan
Dice K walked 3.53/9 last year. Were his walk totals in Japan better? MLB players aren't stronger then Japanese players? If steroids and working out add 30' of distane to batted balls therefore increasing HRs, doesn't the greater strength of MLB players turn many Japanese fly outs into HRs? I am NOT disagreeing with you. Everything you say is true. But Dice-K will give up more HRs and BBs here then in Japan. His K/BB rate in Japan was 5.88, last year 2.51

And while adjusting to America and MLB should make Dice-K better, I wonder if batters knowing his stuff will balance that out. Japanese pitchers with funky deliveries ususally do well when they have not been seen much.

What league were Darvish 2007 numbers posted?

Dice-K had an ERA+ of 108. Thats top 25%?

And yes, that $75m posting fee, or even $50m is not taxed, but neither is money that goes into scouting/development. How much in total did Phil, Joba, and IPK cost us? I just think spending that kind of money POSTING one player is a very poor use of resources.

I know ERA isn't adjusted, but of 63 AL pitchers who threw 100 innings, Dice-Ks rated 36th (of 63). I have to think if you consider those pitchers salaries, Dice-K was very expensive.

2008-03-24 15:23:50
36.   JL25and3
34 Sure, there were decisions along the way that were indisputably bad. But I think that the idea that he persistently played over-the-hill veterans in favor of more talented youngster is way overblown.

Two problems with his roster management that I think are more salient:

1. He really liked having a set lineup, and didn't handle any time-sharing arrangement well. One year he had Spencer, Knoblauch and Justice in the outfield; later when it was Mondesi, Sierra and Rivera. Two groups of outfielders with different skills, none of them good full-timers but all with something to contribute. Instead of mixing and matching their skills, though, he almost seemed to use them randomly for a week or two at a time.

I think he's improved on that score. Last year he had a glut of of/1b/dh types by the end of the season, and I thought he handled it reasonably well.

2. There were times that he clearly had a doghouse - Shane Spencer, for one, was clearly in it. That, too, seemed to improve over time; there weren't obvious doghouse players in the last year or two. Maybe Britton.

In Spencer's case, I wonder if it might have had to do with the replacement player thing.

2008-03-24 15:28:02
37.   OldYanksFan
Closer Joe Nathan and the Minnesota Twins agreed Monday to a $47 million, four-year contract, a deal that includes a 2012 club option on the two-time All-Star.
2008-03-24 16:22:46
38.   RIYank
As of now, I'm with bagelboy on Darvish 27 .

Darvish is a physical freak (in a good way), and from Mike P.'s stories I like his psychological make-up. Sure, it would be very risky to pay a fortune for him, but I think the upside is astronomical.

2008-03-24 17:19:09
39.   OldYanksFan
How may here would like to have Dice-K for $51m posting + 6/$52 + 8m incentives?
2008-03-24 17:33:53
40.   monkeypants
27 38 Mike P. raved on and on about Dice-K, and he has been (so far) a glorified #2 or #3, for a lotta, lotta money. Maybe Darvish is the real deal, maybe not. But I still say pass--let other teams be the guinea pigs for the great Japanese pitcher experiment.
2008-03-24 17:34:26
41.   Andre
right now, I wouldn't mind Dice K.

1. it's not my money

2. pettitte is gone soon

3. moose is gone soon

4. a rotation of wang, dice, hughes, joba, kennedy could be sick

5. dice probably roughly equals pettitte circa 2007, but dice is avail for 5-6 more yrs.

6. name a better current pitcher (other than rookies) who is getting paid < $10m per yr

When does Darvish post? I'd say he'll probably end up being a whole lot cheaper than Sabathia (especially if you subtract the non-tax posting fee), albeit with a whole lot more risk, but no risk no reward, right?

2008-03-24 17:56:00
42.   weeping for brunnhilde
36 Good points.
2008-03-24 18:11:35
43.   monkeypants
41 right now, I wouldn't mind Dice K.

1. it's not my money

OK, OK, if we assume that the Yankees have an infinite supply of money and we don't care how it is spent, yes: sign him., In fact, sign EVERYONE so that all other teams have to fill out their rosters with double-A players. Didn't the Onion have an article on this a few years back?

More seriously, if we assume that the team is operating with SOME financial limits (presumably right around 200 mil/year, give or take), we have to approach Dice-K or any other high-priced player in a more sophisticated manner. Does he provide value for his salary? Can better results be obtained by spending the same money on another player or suite of players?

Dice-K is not A-Rod. Dice-K, until he proves otherwise, is a wildly overpriced #2 or #3 starter. If Darvish is another Dice-K, and if he commands the same sort of bidding war, I say pass.

2008-03-24 18:55:50
44.   Mattpat11
18 I have no real recollection of Williams playing over Cabrera either. One played left, one played right. When they acquired Abreu, Melky still played in left every day. Matsui was the guy that shoved Cabrera to the bench.
2008-03-24 19:40:52
45.   Andre
43 monkeypants, consider the following:

Pettitte 2007:
$16million
15-9
4.05ERA
141 SO
36 G
215 IP

DiceK 2007
$8.66million (+$1.33m signing bonus per yr of contract)
15-12
4.40ERA
201 SO
32 G
204IP

If Dice K is a "wildly overpriced #2-3 starter" then what is Pettitte?

I love Pettitte, but if you're operating on purely financial and statistical merits, you can't really claim that DiceK is wildly overpriced. I'd say that Pettitte is wildly overpaid, but I'm still glad the Yankees have him.

I do believe Dice K was wildly over-hyped, but I still think the Sox got a good deal. If you have to analyze the deal based on results, he did help win a world series in his first year there. Much more than I can say for Roger last year.
Also, consider the $$ and old talent coming off the books over the next 2-3 yrs, and it seems like money well spent. Finally, compare this deal against our recent high priced busts: Pavano, Vazquez, Contreras, Weaver, Clemens (2007), Wright , etc. Without actually looking up the stats, I'd say Dice K compares favorably to all of them.

2008-03-24 19:56:50
46.   markp
I really don't see sending Britton down as indicative of anything other than Bruney looking to be in better shape and having a much better spring.

As far as Torre being a good manager, I'm sorry, but I remember Cairo, Wilson, etc getting a lot of PT at 1B when there were better options available. I remember Womack getting a lot of PT in LF. I remember Zeile playing a lot of games at 1B against RHers while Nick Johnson sat.

Most of all I remember him ignoring some pitchers for ten day periods and then expecting them to be sharp while badly overusing setup men, and doing it annually. I think what he did to guys like Quantrill and Proctor and a bunch of others isn't so easily dismissed.

2008-03-24 19:57:06
47.   monkeypants
45 Sorry, but you can't leave out the posting fee for Dice-K, which pushes his yearly cost to around $17 million/year. Pettitte is indeed overpriced, but he performed better than Dice-K (though it was close: ERA+ 110 v. 108), gave 10 more innings, cost less, and is only under contract for this year. meanwhile, the Sox get to pay Dice-K $17 big ones a year for another five years. maybe he gets better, or maybe at age 27 and 1600 career INN we've seen the best he can do. Pass.
2008-03-25 06:14:10
48.   JL25and3
46 Your memory doesn't serve you well. Enrique Wilson never played 1b for the Yankees. Miguel Cairo played a little in 2006 nad 2007, but it was when the Yankees didn't have better options (unless you think Josh Paul was obviously better; I don't). Womack played left so they could get Bernie out of center field, and since Torre had been handed Womack, he tried to get something out of him. And virtually all of Todd Zeile's playing time at 1b came when Nick Johnson was injured.

And the discussion wasn't about whether Torre was "a good manager." It was about whether he persistently and irrationally played bad veterans over good young players. He didn't.

2008-03-25 06:16:00
49.   JL25and3
47 I don't know how to count the posting fee, because I don't know how it's handled from an accounting point of view. It's not payroll, clearly; is it a capital investment? I have no idea. But the answer to that question bears directly on the cost to the Red Sox.

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