Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Jim Callis: In terms of pure stuff, I think Buchholz' curveball and changeup are right up there with Chamberlain's fastball and slider. I'd love to have either of those guys, but I'd take Buchholz for two reasons. One, his plus fastball and occasional plus slider give him a deeper repertoire. And two, given their pasts and their builds, I think Buchholz is a better bet to stay healthy over the long haul.
Chris Kline: They're both fearless, but Chamberlain pitches off his fastball more consistently. And not that Buchholz is some soft-tosser, but I when I think of an elite pitcher who will come right after hitters with pure power, it's Chamberlain. And for as good as Buchholz' secondary stuff is, Chamberlain's arsenal of secondary pitches seems a little underrated to me.
Will Lingo: I think given Chamberlain's build, durability questions, and overwhelming success out of the bullpen, it's going to be mighty tempting for the Yankees to make him Mariano Rivera's successor. I know they're talking about moving him to the rotation at midseason, but Jonathan Papelbon was a starter at this time last year too. I just think Buchholz is a little more likely to end up as a long-term No. 1 starter.
John Manuel: I ranked Joba higher because he's a four-pitch guy with two (fastball, slider) that earn 70 grades on the 20-80 scouting scale, plus command and impeccable makeup. He can get big leaguers out with a fastball in fastball counts, while Buchholz relies more on his secondary stuff. Chamberlain's superior fastball makes him the better bet to be a long-term ace. In fact, it makes him the best pitching prospect to come around since I've been at BA, surpassing Josh Beckett and Mark Prior.
So 2 out of 4 prefer Joba to Clay, with one picking Buchholz only because of injury concerns due to The Beast's body, and the other betting Joba stays in the pen.
I REALLY hoipe Longo is wrong and the Yanks stick to the plan to get Joba in the rotation. 200 innings out of a phenom like Joba is far preferrable to 70!
1) The Catch- O’Neill caught the last out of Game 5 of the 1996 World Series. Off the bat, Luis Polonia’s drive looked like it may tie the game. A gimpy O’Neill was perfectly positioned and caught the ball in the gap at a full run. His punch to the wall after the catch is one of the enduring images of that series.
2) The Chant- The 2001 World Series was tied at 2, and the Yankees were down 2-0 in the ninth inning. Instead of focusing solely on the game, the Yankees’ fans took the time to acknowledge that this was likely Paul’s final game at Yankee Stadium. The chant of “Paul O-Neill” filled the Stadium for minutes, and replays always give me the chills.
3) The Slide- The Yankees trailed the Indians by one run in the 9th inning of Game 5 in the 1997 ALDS. O’neill hit one off the top of the wall, and limped towards second for a double. A hook slide got him in safely, although he came up bloody. The Yankees lost, but the play led the Boss to dub O’Neill “a warrior.”
4) The Walk- The Yankees trailed the Mets 3-2 with one out in the 9th inning during Game 1 of the 2000 World Series. Armando Benitez entered the game to close it out, and the Yankees were desperate for baserunners. Paul worked a 10 pitch walk, scored on a sac fly, and the Yankees eventually won the game and the Series.
5) The Home Run- The Yankees and Mets met at Shea Stadium for the first of three on June 27, 1998. The Yankees trailed 4-3 with one out and two on in the seventh. In an oft criticized move, Bobby V went to Mel Rojas to replace the injured Al Leiter and face Paul. O’Neill smacked the first pitch he saw over the fence in left center, leading to a Yankees victory.
Trading Roberto Kelley for O'Neill is one of the best moves in recent Yankee history; it literally started the dynasty. Paul was not only an offensive force for the Yanks, but also contributed mightily to the atmosphere that lead us to 4 championships in 5 years.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
4 days(3/1) to First Sprint Training Game
5 days(3/2) to First Sprint Training Telecast
So far the stories of spring training have surrounded the new attitude with Girardi on board. It seems that almost every player was called personally and told to come to camp in shape. That kind of show up ready attitude and the exuberance of youth have changed the tone in Yankee land. Let's hope the positive vibe carried over through spring training and into the regular season. This is one season I can't wait to see.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Ian Kennedy's fastball moves a lot(-5.16x and 12.37z) compare it Roy Oswalt (-4x and 9.51z).
Joba Chamberlain throws a nasty curve (8.5x and -4.68z) compare to Josh Beckett (6.65x and -3.51z).
Mariano's cutter is unreal (1.94x and 8.27z) compare to Tim Hudson's cutter(-1.86x and 3.34z).
Also, I noticed that Papelbon throws a real moving fastball but not much else with any movement. Interesting stuff, I urge you to take a look.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
We need a double play.
I ask you, fellow Yankee fans, where do you want that groundball hit?
I have no doubt of your answer.
Isn't that far more telling than any statistical study?
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
"Tabata has a special, special bat. It's the kind of guy where you see the swing and how he approaches things, and you think this is a guy who will hit .300 and hit 25 or 30 home runs a year. But what you guys have in your Prospect Handbook--plus run, plus arm . . . no, I didn't see a plus runner. I didn't see a great arm. Maybe a tick above (average), but he didn't show me a plus arm. But it won't matter with that bat."
What happens if when Joba returns from AAA he gets hammered as a starter? Usually a young pitcher like The Beast would get sent back to AAA to figure out why he is getting hit and then brought back to give it another try.
In Joba's case, however, if he does not succeed almost immediately as a starter, will the Yanks send him down to AAA to work it out, or will they put him back in the 'pen where he has been extremely successful? Having that dominant link to Mariano might be a key to the Yanks winning a World Series in 2008; will Hank, Hal, Cash and General Joe be willing to sacrifice that possibility in order to allow Joba to work out his starting issues in the minors?
I think the Yanks are backing themselves into a corner. It's extremely unfair to ask a 21 year old with ZERO games started in the major leagues to be successful immediately. Unless he is successful immediately the pressure to put him back in the 'pen will be immense. If he returns to the 'pen Joba would probably top out at 100 - 120 ip for the year and we would be faced with the same innings limit issue in 2009 as we are in 2008.
I completely agree with the goal of protecting all of our young pitchers with an eye toward their (and our) future. In this case, however, I think the Yanks are setting Joba up to fail (as a starter) and pushing him toward being a career reliever.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Year 1- 25 starts, 141 ip, 155h, 4.85 era (92 ERA+), 1.461 whip
Year 2 - 30 starts, 192 ip, 182h, 2.86 era (146 ERA+), 1.219 whip
Year 1 - 29 starts, 178 ip, 194h, 4.55 era (103 ERA+), 1.433 whip
Year 2 - 32 starts, 222 ip, 217 h, 3.41 era (144 ERA+), 1.252 whip
Year 1 - 33 starts, 204 ip, 191h, 5.01 era (95 ERA+), 1.295 whip
Year 2 - 30 starts, 200 ip, 189 h, 3.27 ERA (145 ERA+), 1.141 whip
It's tough to tell the 3 pitchers apart, no? Each had a bad year followed by an excellent year. Each had eras league average or worse, followed by dominant eras the next.
Pitcher A - Kevin Millwood
Pitcher B - Charles Nagy
Pitcher C - Josh Beckett
If I had a penny for everytime I read about Josh Beckett being the standard for an "Ace" this offseason, I could retire a rich man. For his career, Beckett's ERA+
Good year, bad year, pretty much all the way through.
Beckett has pitched extremely well in the postseason - these performances, though, happen to coincide with his 2 best overall years when he sported ERA+ of 138 and 145.
History is littered with pitchers who had exceptional years, but were unable to find the consistency of a true Ace - Javy Vazquez, Jeff Weaver, Esteban Loaiza, Jaime Navarro are just a few.
Is Beckett the next Jeff Weaver or Jaime Navarro? or is he a becoming a true Ace? While I am certainly not looking to call him Esteban Loaiza, I believe it's way too early to be annointing him the standard to which all pitchers aspire.
Spring training is a great time of year when every player is filled with potential and we are reminded that spring is coming. The sight of players doing sprints, playing catch and taking BP fills me with joy. Its time to talk real baseball stories so lets take a look at the top story lines of the spring:
Who will fill the Firstbase role?
The canidates are Shelley Duncan, Morgan Ensberg, Wilson Betemit, Jason Giambi, Jason Lane, Hideki Matsui and maybe later in the season possibly Nick Johnson or Juan Miranda. Long on canidates, short on answers. I think you pencil Shelley Duncan in for some time here as he is almost guaranteed to make the team at least as a part time role. Also, Jason Giambi will probably get more time then we all think. Spring training will determine who the "other" guy is. Morgan Ensberg probably has the inside track to make the team, with Jason Lane being the longshot. Expect a revolving door at first; some Giambi early, Shelley against lefties, Betemit at times and Ensberg being given a shot. Firstbase may be be a revolving door, but all of the candidates this year have a higher upside then the Phelps or Phillips combo from last year. I don't think we should make a move now for a long term solution. Mark Texiera is available at the end of the year; if he gets away I think you look to make a move, but this year will be done by committee and the offense is in a place where we can be a little patient here. My hope is that Shelley and Betemit get the majority of the ABs here.
How will the veterans react to General Joe?
I see Joe Girardi as a blend between Buck Showalter an Don Zimmer; a super-prepared advanced baseball mind but with some more people skills and a better feel for the game then Buck. Joe G. will try and create a certain atmosphere and will be a lot more hands-on then Torre was. We have already seen the General Joe rules and it will be intertesing to see how the veterans and long term Torre guys react to a more controlled environment. I think it was long overdue. It became too comfortable for these guys to fail over the years and the high priced vets that were brought in need some pushing from time to time. This change though could be rough at first as the long time Yanks adjust to the rules. It wil be interesting to see if Girardi has to win any early battles for control of the clubhouse.
Open Casting Call: The 2008 Yankee Bullpen
Mariano, Farnsworth, Hawkins and Ohlendorff are in. So that leaves the following canidates for the last 2 to 3 spots; Bruney, Ramirez, Veras, Patterson, Albaladejo, Britton, Henn, Igawa, Kartsens, Wright, Rasner, Billy Traber, Scott Stirckland, and Heath Phillips. Expect a long man, maybe a lefty (probably Igawa) and one more to make it. The battle should be intertesing and the bullpen will look and feel a lot different then it has in years. I like the strategy of throwing a bunch of options at the pen and seeing who sticks.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
As our Captain, face of the franchise and clubhouse leader, Jeter is not about to get embarrassed by the Yanks. Additionaly, even if the Yanks wanted to tell him to move, where would we move him to?
Second base - taken for the next 10 years
Third base - we're not gonna swap DJ and Arod for 2 reasons...first, that would be a huge slap to Jeet, and second, Arod has become a very good 3B
First base - after 2008, Texiera will be there for 5 or 6 years
Left field - possibly, but both Damon and Hmat are signed thru 2009
I guess Jeter could start the 2010 season in LF; what if both Ajax and Tabata are ready though? The point is that even if Jeter is the worst SS in the league (which I subjectively do not believe), he ain't going anywhere.
Moving Jeter off short is like moving Mantle out of center, or putting Whitey Ford in the 'pen. For better or worse, I think we're going to see #2 manning SS until he's ready to hang up his spikes.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Essentially the HOC would be an honor for players like Paul O'Neill that were great Yankees but would maintain the integrity of Monument Park for the likes of Ruth, Gehrig, Joe D and Mantle. A player included in the Hall of Champions would get his day, be immortalized at the Stadium, but his number would not be retired.
Every team that wins a World Series would have their leaders included in the HOC, and it would create debate about players like Willie Randolph , Goose, and Nettles from the 70's teams, and O'Neill, Cone, and Tino from the 90's.
Foir $1.3 billion, maybe it's not too late to add a room to the new Stadium?
Friday, February 15, 2008
Jason Giambi - $21mm
Bobby Abreau - $16mm
Andy Pettitte - $16mm
Carl Pavano - $10mm
Mike Mussina - $11.5mm
Kyle Farnsworth - $5.5mm
Total - $80 million.
(You think CC's agent knew this when he broke off talks with the Indians?)
There are some pretty interesting names that are currently headed for the '08 free agent class; some names the Yanks may have interest in:
Tex will be 29 at the start of the '09 season and is a perfect fit for the Yanks. A switch hitting, great glove power-hitting first baseman? Sign him up - (anticipated Yankee contract - $18mm AAV x 6yrs)
In the event we can't sign Tex, Blalock would be a fair backup plan.
Umm...28, lefty, Cy Young winner, 200+ ip per year, no injury history...nah. (Anticipated Yankee contract $22.5mm AAV x 6 years)
Dunn likewise will be 29 starting the '09 season, and as Hmat and Damon will be in their last year and probably in wheelchairs, we need some OF power help. When Ajax and Tabata are ready, Dunn will slide nicely into the DH role. (Anticipated Yankee contract - $15mm AAV x 4 years)
As he has the ability to opt out of his contract at the end of this season, look for Burnett to have a monster year. There has never been any question about the guy's talent, but staying healthy has been his main challenge. As he will be 32 entering 2009, look for someone to give AJ a 4 year deal worth about $15-$18mm per. I hope it's not the Yanks.
Depending on how his season plays out, and how the youngsters in the Yankee 'pen develop, Lidge might be a good pickup for '09 and beyond. If a couple of Veras/Melancon/Sanchez/Ohlendorf/Ramirez develop, however, Lidge won't be needed.
Between Tex, CC and Dunn the Yanks would be doling out $55.5mm of the $80 coming off the books. With the balance we need to sign IPK, Joba and Phil to long term deals.
Clemens: You want answers?
Congressman: I think I'm entitled to them.
Clemens: You want answers?
Congressman: I want the truth!
Clemens: You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has baseballs. And those balls have to be hit by men with bats. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Congressman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for steroids and you curse HGH. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that HGH, while illegal, probably sells tickets. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, sells tickets...You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that mound. You need me on that mound. We use words like fastall, slider, splitfinger...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent playing a sport. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and falls asleep to the Sportscenter clips I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a bat and dig in. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!
Congressman: Did you order the HGH?
Clemens: (quietly) I did the job you sent me to do.
Congressman: Did you order the HGH?
Clemens: You're god damn right I did!!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
The Boss has been the most important and consistent part of Yankee success since buying the team. We need to show George our appreciation for his years of dedication to the Yanks and for his dedication to us, the fans.
We would like the Yanks to have a George M Steinbrenner Day this year, and to put a monument in Monument Park in George's honor.
Sign the petition here -
While a lot of it looked to come down on party lines, there was definately an obvious split among the members of congress. Half of them looked to back MacNamee and roasted Roger in questions, and the other half backed Rocket and killed MacNamee with questions.
If the members of congress are this split, a jury is sure to have a lot more trouble coming to a unanimous decision.
Hopefully this is the last we will hear of this and we can now focus on baseball!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Roger Clemens' case has now taken a huge credibility hit. According to Newsday....
Sources said McNamee has told investigators that in the winter of 2002, he, Clemens and Pettitte were working out together at the gym in Clemens' Houston home. According to the sources, McNamee says that during a break in the workout, Pettitte went over to McNamee by himself and asked: "How come you don't give me the stuff you give Roger?" McNamee supposedly replied, "Because it's illegal."
...and now on to Pettitte
Pettitte's account matches McNamee's in most details
So now we are supposed to believe both are lying? Or as Rocket claims they are talking about medications besides steroids? Even if it was something other than steroids that's enough to create suspicion. After all, if a player will take other illegal drugs why wouldn't he take steroids? I have always believed Roger was lying and this does nothing but solidify that. Look at some of the relevant facts:
- Nobody else has disputed McNamee's claims
- Andy backed up McNamee and his story
- The needles
- "I was eating Vioxx like it was Skittles" - Roger Clemens
- The Tape - Why wouldn't Roger ask McNamee why he was lying?
- McNamee had everything to lose by lying, nothing to gain.
Tomorrow should be an interesting day as Rocket will most likely bring out all the stops to defend himself. The thing that I do not understand is why hasn't a player taken the stance we all know is true and might actually give them some vindication? I want someone to stand up and say:
"Yes, I did steroids but it was necessary to compete at a high level. Was it wrong ? Yes. I apologize for it but I wanted to maintain a high-level of performance for me, my family and my team. To do that I needed to have the same advantage as the other top players and that meant taking steroids."
I know the truth is not something baseball, its union, or Selig is really interested in.
This rankings can be viewed at: http://www.topprospectalert.com/2008top100baseballprospects.htm
All the best
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Yesterday, Roger's lawyers stated that they have proof that Clemens was nowhere near the lunch party in question.
Does this prove Clemens never did PEDs? No. But what it does do is offer further proof that Brian MacNamee is a liar and that NOTHING the man says can be taken seriously.
I believe the whole Clemens thing started something like this-
Government investigators got MacNamee's name from Randomski and sat him down. They told him that he was going to go to jail unless he was honest with them. MacNamee proceeded to tell about Pettitte and Knoblauch. Investigators then said something to the effect of - 'We know Clemens did steroids too...you had better tell us about him too or it's off to jail with you.' So MacNamee did what they wanted - he made up a bunch of crap on Roger to make them happy and to stay out of jail.
When Roger started fighting back, however, MacNamee got nervous that he was going to jail for lying about Roger and started adding to his lies so that he looked more like he was telling the truth.
Now, MacNamee is boxed into a corner...he lied about Roger but if he comes clean he will not only lose the defemation suit and any money he makes for the rest of his life, but also go to jail for a long time.
Truely, I have no idea if Roger used or not. What I am sure of, however, is that I am not going to condemn a man and soil an otherwise pristine reputation, on the word of an obvious liar like Brian MacNamee. Therefore, unless and until there is more than just MacNamee saying Roger used, I am (and think everyone else should too) give Roger the benefit of the doubt.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
First, PECOTA loves him. 76 ks in 60 ip and a 3.61 era are projections every Yankees fan would happily sign for. Scouts all agree that Edwar's changeup is a 'plus, plus' pitch scoring an 80 on the 20-80 scale. The quality of this pitch can be seen in the 31 ks in 21 major league ip in 2007.
Second, Edwar will be 27 in spring training this year. The 31 ip Edwar threw last year were his first in the bigs; he is the perfect age for a break out.
The best comp for Edwar is probably Keith Foulke. Foulke had (has?) the same kind of changeup as Edwar. Foulke likewise struggled a little bit early in his career as he searched for the proper complimentary pitch to go with his great change. Once Foulke was able to spot his 85-88 mph fastball effectively he became a dominant reliever. I believe Edwar will do the same. When you have the dominant pitch, your other pitches need only be average to keep hitters honest. A little Mo 'cut', a little Wang sink, or simply being able to spot his fastball better will give Edwar the secondary pitch he needs to be a top reliever.
Now that Gator has been replaced by someone who can actually make additive changes to a pitcher, and with the first year under his belt, I believe Edwar will become a dominant force in the Yankee pen for a long time to come.
Friday, February 8, 2008
I understand that Joe G is a new manager for the Yanks. I also understand that Brian might be feeling a little impotent with Hank taking the spotlight on the Johan debacle. But unless Cashman is prepared to send one of the Big 3 to SWB isn't it Girardi's decision who pitches and when?
If Cash wants to limit The Beast's (Joba's) innings, then he can have Girardi start Joba in the pen. If he REALLY wants Moose to start he can send Ikky (IPK) to SWB to start the season. Short of that it is General Joe's decision who the starting 5 are and comments such as those posted by PA only serve to undermine Joe G...don't you agree?
Cashman said that Wang, Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina are in the rotation.
The other two spots are open. At some point, Chamberlain will have his innings restricted. That could come in a variety of ways including being used in the bullpen. “We have to see how it all plays out,” Cashman said. “But Joba will prepare as a starter.”
I really thought we had seen the end of Mike Mussina's days in the Yankee Rotation. Take a look at Moose's ERA the last four years;
Take out the walk year abberation and Moose has been a bad pitcher for some time now. It is time for Moose to join the ranks of the National League or slip into his spot as a long reliever. Hearing Cashman say that he is in makes me cringe. I only hope that this is the plan to start the season as a way to avoid Joba's innings limit(~160) and once the calendar turns to June, Joba takes over every fifth day.
Had this happened 2 weeks earlier I bet Theo would have had a lot more to say when Bill Smith called looking for a final offer for Johan!
Thursday, February 7, 2008
This is obviously a repetitive motion injury - incurred through years and years of patting himself on the back.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
First of all, why the hell would he keep these things when, at the time, Roger was not only ManNamee's meal ticket, but was also "teaching (him) how to be a father and a man"?
Secondly, DNA on a syringe swab and/or gauze means only that it touched Roger at some point. When it touched him was it full of B12? Lidocaine? Who knows?
This not only proves nothing, but makes MacNamee look a lot worse.
“It was great to be able to tell them what I’ve been saying all along - that I’ve never used steroids or growth hormone,” he said.
While we have yet to watch him say it in front of congress, this statement would undoubtedly be refuted by someone at the deposition if it weren't true. Simply making this statement would leave Roger open to legal issues if it were not true.
I am now going on record that I absolutely believe Roger.
Someone outside of the Commssioner's office needs to investigate the Mitchell report. Not only was it unbelievably incomplete and centered only on NY, but Roger's sworn testimony in front of congress leads me to believe it is inaccurate as well.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
2 - Jeter
An easy one. Not only will Jeet be the last to wear #2 for the Yanks, but he is a first ballot Hall of Famer.
6 - Torre
Objectively this one is a no brainer as well, though subjectively I have reservations. When you compare Joe to the other retired managers his inclusion looks obvious. For some reason, though, I have never been a huge Torre fan. In fairness to Joe T, though, 6 will be retired.
20 - Posada
Jorge has been an underappreciated major part of all the success the Yanks have had the last 12 years. 5 Silver Sluggers, 2 top 6 MVPs and continually improving defense behind the plate make for one hell of a career. As only the 5th catcher in MLB history to hit 300 or more HR, it would be wrong if Jorge gets into the Hall but not monument park. #20 is off the market.
21 - O'Neill
A much more emotional case can be made for Paulie. His double and slide into second in '97, his catch of Polonia's line drive with a bum hammy, all of the O'Neill bulls-eyes in the right field stands, and all of the clutch hits and passion for the game make O'Neill someone Yankees fans adore. Compared to other retired numbers, however, Paulie's .288 lifetime average, 281 HR and 1269 RBI fall short of retired number status.
51 - Bernie
Ah, Bernie - my favorite Yankee. His lifetime numbers are not all that different from O'Neill's - .297 BA, 287 HR, 1257 RBI. Where Bernie sets himself apart is in the postseason. Included in his .275 lifetime avg in the postseason is utter dominance in the ALCS. .321 avg, .413 OBP and .549 SLG; a .962 OPS against the best pitching in the AL is certainly a factor.
Bernie almost single-handedly beat Baltimore in '96 with a .474 BA, .583 OBP, and .947 SLG (DAMN!) and Seattle in 2000 .435 avg, .481 OBP, .609 SLG. He posted a .400 avg, .429 OBP and .720 SLG vs Florida in 2003 and ranks either 1st or second in postseason history in the following catagories: games, at bats, runs, hits, total bases, doubles, HR, RBI, walks and extra base hits.
Also setting Bernie apart from O'Neill is the fact that Bernie is a career Yankee. Paulie's 17 years were split 8 with the Reds, 9 with the Yanks. Bernie obviously played all 16 season with the Yanks. 4 Gold Gloves, a silver slugger, 5 All-Star games and 6 top 20 appearances for MVP and Bernie's #51 belongs in Monumnet Park.
46- Andy Pettitte
This one would be soooo much easier if only Andy hadn't defected for 3 years. While there is still time for more great moments and numbers, Andy is among the most successful home-grown pitchers in the illustrious Yankee history. #46 is off the market.
24- Tino Martinez
Another of the most beloved Yankee figures of the time. Who can forget Tino's grannie off Mark Langston game 1 1998 (after taking what should have been strike 3)? Again, I and Yankees fans in general, love Tino, but the numbers and years with the Yanks are just not there. Tex gets 24 next year. 42- Retired by all of baseball to honor Jackie Robinson, number 42 would never have been worn again anyway. Quite possibly the first HOF'er elected unanimously, Mo is not only the greatest reliever, but also greatest postseason pitcher in history.
22- Roger Clemens
While he only pitched for the Yanks for 6 years, Roger could choose to enter the Hall with a Yankees cap on. Should he do this there is no way the Yanks won't give him a day and plaque.
So Bernie, Andy, Jorge, Torre, Jeter, Mo and maybe Rocket get plaques in monument park, and O'Neill and Tino don't.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Congrats to the Giants for completely outplaying and outcoaching the Pats.
Hey Bill - there's a big difference between despising losing, and completely lacking class and grace. Your parents must be so proud.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Melky won't turn 23 until July 2008 still putting him in the top 30 of the youngest players in all of baseball. We forget just how young Melky is, and that he therefore has significant upside still to realize.
Melky - 286 games, 1024 AB
Player B- 283 games, 1178 AB
Player C - 271 games, 1017 AB
Melky - 15 HR (1 HR every 68 AB)
Player B - 20 HR (1 HR every 59 AB)
Player C - 11 HR (1 HR every 92 AB)
In a very similar number of games and AB, player B showed a touch more power than the Melk man, and player C a touch less; either way, none draw Bambino comparisons. Power is typically the last tool to develop (as B and C will show); being comfortable enough at the plate to try and drive the ball instead of just trying to make enough contact to get a hit comes in time.
Melky - 99 BB/129 K (.767 BB per K)
Player B- 130 BB/199 K (.653 BB per K)
Player C - 31 BB/118 K9 (.26 BB per K)
During the early part of a player's career, pitch recognition is paramount. Therefore, the ratio of walks per strikeout is an excellent measure of how well a young player is handling the bat. Player B improved to the tune of a .88 for his career; a 35% improvement (player C remained approx 2:1 K/BB). Should Melky experience the same percentage increase as player B he will be walking more than once for every K.
Melky - .275 BA, .340 OBP, .388 SLG
Player B -.262 BA, .340 OBP, .393 SLG
Player C - .285 BA, .310 OBP, .387 SLG
There is absolutely nothing here to say that either player B or C looked like they were going to develop any differently than Melky.
Lifetime stats -
Player B - .297 BA, .381 OBP, .477 SLG, career 125 OPS+ 5 time All Star over 16 seasons
Player C - .317 BA, .359 OBP, .475 SLG, career 130 OPS+, 15 time All Star over 18 seasons
So player B had a career OPS 25% above MLB average for his career, and player C 30% above MLB average for his career, while both started almost exactly like Melky.
Both player B and C were borderline hall of famers (C made it and B has not).
Again, the point of all of this is that it is WAY too early to start calling Melky a 4th outfielder. While projecting players using comp beginnings is pretty much akin to mental masturbation, there is still plenty of time for Melky to develop into an offensive force in center field.
Player B -
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Picture and headline courtesy of The Onion
Friday, February 1, 2008
We have three top prospects that will determine our season in 2008 and they will be determining a lot more - how the franchise is run from here on out. If they flop, permanent damage could be done to the 'build from within' strategy that Cashman has been preaching. Let's say they turn out to be mediocre, and also the 'bullpen by a committee of prospects' fails, the George will come out in Hank. Hal will no longer be able to control him and with over $60 million + coming off the books after 08 there will be nothing from stopping an old fashion George-like shopping spree. Once again the Yankees could end up an old, expensive, passionless team made of high paid mercenaries.
However, if the big three turn out to be legit players and contribute to Yankee success this year with promise of more, the whole dynamic of the team changes. The Yankees can then spend excessively on free agents that fill a spot of weakness - say a Mark Texiera for first base - and still maintain a young core that plays with passion and allows for some roster flexibility. Instead of watching the Giambis and Kevin Browns of the world play out the end of their overpaid contracts, we can see Austin Jackson and Humberto "The Dirty" Sanchez try and make their mark. Also, without the burden of large contracts you can have open competition and if a player cannot perform someone else will be given a shot. If you have a pitcher that is making $20 million dollars a year he is going to get a spot, even if we all know he can't handle it (see Brown, Kevin and Vasquez, Javier).
So the Johan watch and the fact the Yankees walked away (I guess the deadline was legit after all) is a clear turning point in Yankee history. Now while it might take more then a year to really know if it was the right move, expect the Steinbrenners to make up their minds based on this year entirely. So as we watch the big three this year, remember you are not only rooting for them to succeed and this year's pennant, you are rooting for the future make of the franchise.
Certainly Billy Beane got a ton more for a lesser pitcher in Dan Haren, and the O's look to get more for Erik Bedard (if psycho-Angelos gives his blessing).
In one respect we are all being extremely unfair to Bill Smith. Both Haren and Bedard are signed for at least a couple of years at reasonable prices and Johan is demanding the moon and stars to waive his no-trade. But that begs a question: As the Twins were willing to go 5 years and $100mm for Johan, couldn't Smith have dramatically increased his potential trading partners - and also the return he got from the trade - by sending some cash along with Johan?
I know, I know, the Twins are a small mkt team and the strategy I recommend is exclusively a big market, Yankee/Red Sox/Mets/Angels strategy. But consider this - Smith was willing and able to spend $13mm this year and $20mm next to have Santana. While I don't know this, but if sending $20mm along with Johan to the Dodgers could have netted the Twins Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp wouldn't it have been worth it?
Assume Johan signs for 6 years $120mm. If the Twins send $20mm to the team that traded for him, the resulting deal is 6 years $100 million, or $16.66mm per year. While still not chump change, it may have been a big enough difference to maybe get the Dodgers, Cardinals, Angels, White Sox, Cubs and/or Mariners to the table along with the Mets, Yanks and Sox.
The reason Smith got as little as he did was the lack of someone bidding against the Mets; a little cash and imagination and he could have had multiple offers to negotiate with and ultimately to choose from.
The best GMs are those that not only play the trade game well, but also have the imagination to find ways to get the most from their trade chips. I think a little more imagination would have gone a long way toward the Twins getting a respectable return for Santana.
In reality, though, I do think the Giants have a shot on Sunday. I think the Giants' game plan will be to get as much pressure on Brady as possible and hope to limit the inevitable big plays downfield. It will come down to whether the Giant secondary can keep the receivers in front of them and make quick tackles on the passes underneath.
I believe either one of two things will happen-
1. The Giant D will get to Brady early and often and cause a couple of tunovers. If they can do this, and if Jacobs and Bradshaw can run the ball early, I think at worst the Giants cover the 12 points and at best have a shot to win. It is really important that the Giant D limit the damage early so that the game doesn't come down to Eli throwing the ball 25 times in the first half. If they can do these things - 35-31 Giants
2. If the Pats find a way to give Brady time, or if the Giants are unable to limit the damage underneath early in the game (missed tackles), it could get really ugly. A 24 point first half would put keep the Giants from being able to run the ball and put the game out of reach. This would result in a Pat's blowout; 42-17 Pats.
The real pressure in this game is on the Giant front 4. If they get to Brady and allow full coverage the Giants could win the game. If the Giants are forced to blitz and get into a lot of single coverage situations the chances for a blowout are real.