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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Pinch hitting: River Ave. Blues

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Jan 15, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

January is usually a slow month for baseball news. So we’ve lined up a series of guest bloggers to entertain you. Next up are the guys from River Ave. Blues.

Ben, Mike, and Joe have been blogging about the Yankees for years, but only came together to form River Ave. Blues a year ago. One’s an engineer, one’s a writer, and one’s an aspiring lawyer, but you’ll have to figure out which is which.

Here is their post:

Ten days ago, the YES Network polled its readers on a topic that’s left Yankee fans divided: Who should be Mariano Rivera’s primary set-up man?

As expected, YES gave us the usual suspects: Kyle Farnsworth, LaTroy Hawkins, or Joba Chamberlain. They finished in that order reversed. Fifty-three percent of respondents thought Joba would be the most effective in getting the ball to Mariano. And you know what? They’re right.

Take a look at the team’s pitching splits from 2007. First, notice that the bullpen’s ERA — 4.37 — was actually a tick lower than the starter’s 4.57 mark. Looking at splits by innings, the 8th actually comes out ahead: opposing hitters had a .779 OPS against Yankee pitching, fourth-best frame for the team.

Remove Joba’s twelve 8th inning appearances, and the numbers get worse. That OPS jumps to .788, second worst among the Yanks’ nine innings. Clearly, the Yankees have 8th inning problems, but the answer, we believe, isn’t to sacrifice Joba the starter to improve one inning.

Why, if we see how Joba can impact the 8th inning, do we believe Joba should start? Simple: The more innings you get out of a stud like Joba, the better. Yes, the eighth inning is a critical one, but so are the ones that precede it. We should be able to agree that the Yanks can do things in the earlier innings to make life easier in the eighth.

So then we have to explain why so many Yankee fans would prefer to see Joba the reliever instead of Joba the starter. The answer to this paradox is called informational cascading. Wikipedia, if you please:

…a situation in which every subsequent actor, based on the observations of others, makes the same choice independent of his/her private signal…even if all participants as a collective have overwhelming information in favor of the correct action, each and every participant may take the wrong action.

The vast majority of Yankee fans haven’t been exposed to Joba the starter. The first time many heard of him was a rumor that he could be in the second-half bullpen mix. After the hype, we saw the results: His fastball touches 100, and his slider is unhittable.

Because we Yankee fans, as a collective, are familiar with him only as a reliever, we think he’s the ideal setup man for Mo. We’ve seen it with our own eyes and heard peers talk about it. Most importantly, we’ve seen journalists tout his abilities as a reliever. These scribes really push the informational cascade in one direction, because they have the farthest-reaching voices.

So let’s reverse the cascade. In 1998 and 1999, the Yankees finished first and second in the league in ERA, respectively. In 2001 and 2003 they finished third, and in 2002 they finished fourth. In 2005, they were ninth, 2006 they were seventh, and in 2007 they were eighth.

Now, what’s going to help bring down the team ERA more, 75 innings of Joba, or 150 innings of Joba? Of course, he’s not a proven starter yet, but he’s certainly earned his shot. He has the ability to get the Yankees back into the top third of the league in pitching.

We can’t deny that Joba the reliever would work, but to get to your stud 8th inning guy, you have to lead in that inning. Joba the starter gives you a better chance of doing that. We clearly need help there, and the fact that we have six starters penciled in doesn’t change that one bit. Joba the reliever was larger than life; Joba the starter could be even better.

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296 Responses to “Pinch hitting: River Ave. Blues”

  1. GRRRRRRRRR January 15th, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Someone who actually thinks things through with Joba. That is refreshing.

  2. Darkstrand January 15th, 2008 at 12:13 am

    omes out ahead: opposing hitters had a .779 OPS against Yankee pitching, fourth-best frame for the team.

    Remove Joba’s twelve 8th inning appearances, and the numbers get worse. That OPS jumps to .788, second worst among the Yanks’ nine innings.

    ——————
    -

    Your acting like 1% increase is that big a difference.

  3. Clare January 15th, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Nice post guys.

    The wiki quote on cascading didn’t make sense to me, but I get the point you’re making. I think if Joba has a couple of good starts, no one will want to see him in the pen ever again. Although that will get messy if he’s moved to the pen halfway through the season due to innings limits.

    I’d rather see him as a starter all season (missing starts as necessary to keep him under his limit). What I’m dying to see is a Beckett/2003 performance from Joba in the postseason.

  4. Buddy Biancalana January 15th, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Hey Guys-

    Great post & love your blog, you do an amazing job. I constantly post items here from your blog, of course giving you full credit.

    I love the idea of starting Joba in the bullpen to start the season & then moving him to the rotation around the All Star break. Keeps his innings down & his arm fresh for the pennant race. With injuries he may become a starter sooner though.

  5. Bennyboy January 15th, 2008 at 12:20 am

    JOba was good as a reliever but the Yankees need people to go into the 8th season.Remember last year in May in 5 days not one pitcher went past 5 innings.Thats with HGH Pettitte and Wang.Joba hasnt even started to use his change-up more which he was just perfecting before being called up…he will be nasty.

    And Joba can give you 10 strikouts per 9 innings.REmember Brian Bruney lead the Yankees in Strikeouts in all of April and he was a reliever!!!!But because of the innings limit he will have to start in the Bullpen.I don’t know what the Yankees will do with Phil Hughes and his 77 innings last year.

  6. Dan January 15th, 2008 at 12:23 am

    thank you for this well thought out piece.

    There is a reason that Baseball America rated him as having the best fastball, slider, and curveball in the yankees system. You don’t put all that talent in the minors

  7. Bennyboy January 15th, 2008 at 12:29 am

    WAs it the REd Sox game where he even though he gave up his first earned run he started using the Breaking ball for the first time. and It looked as good as his slider?I believe he got 4 strikeouts in 2 innings that game.It’s crazy people think he would make a better set-up man.

  8. Jack Ransovy January 15th, 2008 at 12:32 am

    Nice post guys. I don’t think the pole asked if we want Joba as a starter or a reliever it asked if these were our options who would we take. Hence the answer. I actually think most Yankee fans want to see what Joba can do as a starter though nobody predicts success like his ERA as a reliever an ERA of about 3 is not asking too much. The main problem starts when he pitches too many pitches (aka Innings count). Now it wouldn’t be too much to think that Joba going 6 innings will be less than 90 pitches. Thats why I see Joba starting the year a starter and as the year goes on see how it goes.

  9. Chris January 15th, 2008 at 12:32 am

    It’s nice to know we still have intelligent Yankee fans who understand a starter is WAY more important than a setup guy. Setup guys grow on trees.

  10. Jack Ransovy January 15th, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Joba can be an ace starter according to most analysts predictions. It would be a WASTE to leave him in the bullpen.

  11. Jack Ransovy January 15th, 2008 at 12:39 am

    I still don’t expect the yankees to start Joba on opening day. That belongs with Wang if he’s healthy.

  12. Whoever January 15th, 2008 at 12:43 am

    6 innings 20 starts = 120 innings. Plus 40 relief innings = 160 innings. They might let him pitch more innings as a starter he doesn’t have a limit of 160 innings.

  13. dan January 15th, 2008 at 12:43 am

    For those of you commenters here who, for some reason, don’t read River Ave. Blues…. I strongly encourage you to do so. In addition to the major league team as discussed above, Mike A. sets the standard for Yankees minor league blogging.

  14. McLovin January 15th, 2008 at 12:55 am

    dan-

    But does River Ave Blues have great blogging of Patriots fan loving worship up to date action which is even better then the Yankees up to date news here.Also out of subject here’s a great quote from Cano on the MLB site.

    “”It’s a great deal if we can get Santana. We need it. We need a No. 1 guy like him. … If [the Red Sox] got Santana, they’re going to be a way better team. I hope we get him. It’s not a good idea for us if they get Santana”

    Well said Cano.Cano also doesn’t believe Steroids Pettitte and 199 hits in 199 innings Wang aren’t Aces.

  15. Harry January 15th, 2008 at 1:13 am

    McLovin: PPPPLLLEEEEAAASSSSEEEE go get a life! y r u wastin yr time on a Yankees blog? Go Blog about yr CHEATING PATRIOTS…

  16. Harry January 15th, 2008 at 1:22 am

    Oh n by the way, stop dissing Pettitte alright? Just because Pap-a$$ Ortiz wasn’t named in the clearly biased George “Sux Front Office Guy” Mitchell Report doesn’t mean HE’S not on HGH which as we all know is undetectable… 20 HR’s with the Twins one year and all of a sudden he’s jackin 45 with the Sux… Hmmm… Didn’t he admit to taking some kind of mysterious “Protein Shake” back in the day in the Dominican?…

  17. McLovin January 15th, 2008 at 1:34 am

    Harry-

    Actually what I meant about the Patriots thing was that Pete is a Patriots fan on a Yankees blog and talks about them more then the Yankees.Go Giants!!!

    But what about the Cano post surpised no one here is saying what I been saying and called a idiot for talking about Santana coming to pin stripes and how HGH Pettitte is not a Ace or 199 hits in 199 innings Wang.

  18. McLovin January 15th, 2008 at 1:35 am

    Also Ortiz is a Steroids guy I Know.

  19. susan mullen January 15th, 2008 at 1:36 am

    A poster fell into the trap. The so-called Mitchell report excluded most teams, mainly dealt with players in New York from 2 sources. As such, the “Report” should never have been made public. Whatever Andy did was on 2 occasions in 2002 when he was in Tampa on the DL. It did not enhance his performance. In case you followed his career, I believe he spent some years with the Astros at some point after that. Did the “report” question clubhouse guys in Houston? If not, why not? Was the report about drugs or the Yankees? Mitchell didn’t care enough to do that. Because the report was incomplete, and because today’s media environment is quite negative and vicious, there’s been a free for all against Andy for almost nothing while many others guilty of much worse skated. The Report itself said HGH bears no similarity to steroids and shouldn’t be discussed together, but that’s not the bill of goods that was eagerly sold by the media. Again, no names should ever be discussed because it was a political and media exploitation. Paul Byrd, on the other hand, has used at least 1000 vials of HGH and 100 syringes. He lied. He never came forward. He didn’t deny using through his 2007 ALDS win v the Yankees. But he was outed by ESPN employees shortly before the Mitchell report. Even though he’s an obvious egregious long-time user, he wasn’t a Radomski McNamee guy, therefore he has skated.

  20. Hideki Balboni January 15th, 2008 at 1:38 am

    Not a bad argument. But one problem is that if Joba is only pitching 150 innings as a starter, the bullpen is going to have a lot more problems than finding an 8th inning set up man. They are going to have to get a lot of extra innings out of a very weak middle relief group. Not good. Also, if Joba is in the rotation, what are the Yanks going to do with Mussina or Kennedy? One of those two will have to go to the pen. But if Mussina and Kennedy have good springs, isn’t the team better with both of them in the rotation and Joba in the pen, rather than Joba in the rotation and Mussina or Kennedy twiddling his thumbs in the bullpen?

  21. Harry January 15th, 2008 at 1:41 am

    McLovin: I know Pete’s a Pats fan. I’ve been reading this Blog for a year and a half. U r just getting on my nerves since last week when U made that comment of how Theo has constructed 2 championship teams in the last 4 years and Cash hasn’t done anything since 2000. Besides, your Cano comment stinks from sarcasm…

  22. Summer January 15th, 2008 at 2:22 am

    IMO this was the first solid, fresh post of all the pinch-hitter blogs so far. Well done!

  23. iYankees January 15th, 2008 at 2:38 am

    Great post guys. Joba was such an excellent addition to the bullpen that it seems only right to wonder how he would do if he continued in that role. However, I totally agree that he would ultimately benefit the team as a starter, especially since relievers, as one other poster stated, often “grow on trees.”

    True, we’ve had trouble piecing together a lock-em-down bullpen, but, it’s just a matter of trial and error and providing guys with the necessary chances to see what they can do. One or two of them are bound to pan out for you. Hell, this works for closers (Kevin Gregg, Joakim Soria, etc.), so why not set-up men or middle inning relievers.

  24. Kyle Anyone January 15th, 2008 at 3:51 am

    Joba will have less innings than IPK and Hughes. Thats what it sounded like by Hank in the Times. Does that mean IPK is starting the season as a major league starter?

  25. E-ROC January 15th, 2008 at 5:33 am

    The Yanks should start Joba out in the ‘pen, then have him start for the rest of the season including the playoffs. That should work out for the best.

    The Yanks have a ton of options in the ‘pen. Somebody will turn out to be a gem. There is enough talent and options for the ‘pen.

    I think IPK will be in the rotation with Joba and Hughes. He’ll probably beat out Mussina and I think he’s better than Mussina at this point.

  26. Drive 4-5 January 15th, 2008 at 5:47 am

    Being a rank amateur myself, I’ll defer to a professional like Goose Gossage. Goose sees in Joba that special “thing”, call it makeup,call it guts that Joba posesses. Joba seems like a natural coming out of the bullpen. He can handle the tight situations (notwithstanding midges).

    The Yanks most glaring weakness is their bullpen. Removing Joba from it only makes the situation worse.

  27. Patrick January 15th, 2008 at 6:09 am

    Fantastic post, I totally agree

  28. G.R. January 15th, 2008 at 6:30 am

    Great post! Totally agree and I certainly couldn’t have said it better. Thanks.

  29. Vader January 15th, 2008 at 6:49 am

    Good job, and I agree. Once Joba the starter is released, Joba the releiver won’t be talked about.

    I just read this from a Daily News article and it brings up some real questions;

    Why does McNamees testimony against Roger get him off jail time for distributing steriods? I mean if a coke/crack dealer suppling drugs to a whole neighborhood/city/county, gets off for giving up his best client and not the supplier of those drugs is the system not flawed?

    Why is Clemens so important, to not get jail time for distribution?

    And if McNamee has more information about Clemens, did he not lie to investigators (Federal and Mitchell) the first time around?

    http://www.nydailynews.com/spo.....tml?page=1

  30. Vader January 15th, 2008 at 7:02 am

    “Emery, however, says he is merely concerned that his client might be prosecuted by another jurisdiction for steroid distribution.

    “I’m less concerned about federal prosecutors than local prosecutors, but Brian has to be protected from both,” Emery said. “The immunity only forecloses prosecution based on the words spoken to the prosecutors in the interviews as long as they are truthful. To be safe, I think we need congressional immunity for the words spoken to Congress on the same basis only.”

    This was the exact quote that I was talking about in the previous comment.

  31. Fran January 15th, 2008 at 7:13 am

    Really good post. Joba as a starter could be our #1 shut-down ace.

  32. Doreen January 15th, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Hey Guys -

    Good choice of topic.

    I for one want to see Joba as a starter. But given the sloppy performance of last year’s bullpen it is easy to see why so many people want Joba as Mo’s set-up guy.

  33. Travis January 15th, 2008 at 7:20 am

    I suspect that River Ave Blue’s Ben is the writer of the group. Who else would use a phrase, as found in one of his recent blog entries, such as “buried the lede?” Good work, as always.

  34. i miss bernie January 15th, 2008 at 7:25 am

    excellent post topic, well done guys.
    i agree, this guy has to be given the chance to start. we have to see what we have here. however it is important to note that some guys work out well in one spot and for no really explainable reason not in another. eric gagne is one example. the dodgers kept trying him as a starter, kept saying he had the stuff to do it, but he just couldnt put it together. He was injured alot, but when healthy, he’d show flashes, but just never put it together.
    then the put him in the bullpen and instantly, he just took to it.
    on the subject of switching him to save innings. i agree that may be the way to have him contribute all season, but i would definetly start him out in the rotation, then switch. for one thing, that formula worked for him last year, for another, its an easier switch. if he starts in the BP, he will only be using 2 pitches most of the time and then he’d have to get his other pitches into major league shape immediatly if he goes from bp to rotation, whereas if he goes the other way, he will just cut down to 2 pitches.
    finally, i think the yanks will want to give the newly formed BP a chance to see if they can do the job without joba first. who knows, maybe hawkins-farnsworth-mo will work and they wont need joba in the pen. maybe not but its worth a look.

  35. murphydog January 15th, 2008 at 7:29 am

    River Avenue Blues: Well done, chaps. Thought provoking indeed.

    Joba’s in danger of becoming a guy “set up” to fail instead of being a “set up” guy if expectations are not kept reasonable.

    He’s got to make the transition sometime and this year might as well be the year. Opposing batters see a starter at least three times in the same game, not once as with relievers. True, it’s hard to hit a 100 mph fastball even if you know it’s coming, but Joba will not be throwing 100 mph consistently if he has to pace himself to go 6 innings. He’s got other pitches I hear, but will that be enough to get him an ERA of about 3.00? That’s a big hope especially for next year.

  36. sunny615 January 15th, 2008 at 7:34 am

    The Rangers have DFA’s Chris Shelton… is there room for one more at 1st?

  37. murphydog January 15th, 2008 at 7:45 am

    Vader:

    Good points.

    I continue to be intrigued by the whole notion that Federal criminal defendants were flipped and given favorable consideration as to prosecution and sentence in exchange for cooperation offered to a private, non-criminal, non-regulatory corporate investigation. When did the US Attorney, IRS CID and the FBI become private investigative consultants? And if the United States’ official law enforcement troops are going to get involved, how can they only get involved in order to target players, not management, and even then only a small, very subjective sample of players?

    The Congressional Committees that oversee Federal Law Enforcement ought to hold some hearings too. They should find out who authorized this trade of illegal drug distributing criminals for “mere user” ball players and determine how much it cost tax payers to subsidize Selig’s War. I’m really surprised nobody else is ticked off at this stunt.

  38. Jack Ransovy January 15th, 2008 at 7:50 am

    I agree with you -I Miss Bernie- that Joba should first be used as a starter. But one problem When the playoffs start what are the Yankees to do if he proved he’s that good of a starter. Leave him in the bullpen? Or work on him starting again in September so that he’ll be ready? What do you think?

  39. i miss bernie January 15th, 2008 at 7:55 am

    jack
    what they do with joba has everything to do with how well the bp does without him. if it looks like they are going to need him in the pen, then he should be switched early enough to allow for post season innings. remember, he started last season right up the him promotion to n.y. so they already have experience in this area.

  40. Yanksrule57 January 15th, 2008 at 7:55 am

    Great guest post. Another excellent Yankees blog.

    I miss bernie:

    I agree with everything you said this morning, I was about to post basically the same thing when I read yours.

  41. Jack Ransovy January 15th, 2008 at 8:08 am

    I miss bernie – My question is if he’s worth more as a starter for the playoffs How long before should they switch him back from the bullpen to the starter role.

  42. whozat January 15th, 2008 at 8:10 am

    “The Rangers have DFA’s Chris Shelton… is there room for one more at 1st?”

    No, but there might be room to dump Shelley for Shelton. Basically, Shelton is what they hope Shelley will be.

  43. Joseph P. January 15th, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Thanks for the feedback, guys. There are a few comments that I’d like to address. I’ll get to it later today.

    And to those playing the guessing game: Ben’s not the writer. Though he does write pretty damn well, in my opinion.

  44. TurnTwo January 15th, 2008 at 8:11 am

    great article by the RAB crew… love the site and their take on the yankees world.

    IMO, IPK is a lock to join Pettitte and Wang for the major league rotation because, as its been pointed out, he can offer the most innings over the course of an entire season next year… that leaves Joba and Hughes to fight with Moose for the 4/5 slots.

    knowing what Joba offers coming out of the pen (compared to what development you are expecting from Hughes this season), and then taking into consideration Moose has one year left on his deal, i think its too easy a fall back to not see Joba in the pen to start the season, and target him for the 2009 starting rotation in Moose’s place, in an ideal world for me.

    of course this is blasphemy, but to me it makes the most sense to, yes, move Hughes in the deal for Johan.

    you’d have Wang, Johan, and Pettitte who can each give you a targeted 200IPs targeted at above average to well above average league numbers, and allow IPK and Moose to fill out the 4/5 spots and give you 160-180IP each at around league average.

    you could slide Joba to the pen for the 2008 season, which helps solidify the bullpen in front of MO for 2008, and allows you to be careful with the real future of the bullpen, who are all coming back from injury/surgery.

    Melancon, Sanchez, JB Cox, and company could then, when they are ready, either come up for the stretch run of 2008 or replace Joba in the pen for the start of the 2009 season, which allows Joba to take Moose’s spot in the rotation. you then have a starting staff of Johan, Wang, IPK, Joba, and then you have the 5th spot for Pettitte, should he choose to come back, allow pitchers like Alan Horne and the minor league crew to battle for it, or you have the availability to sign a FA pitcher to slot right in.

    to me, this best utilizes the resources, both at the MLB and minor league level, for 2008, and for the near future.

  45. Drew January 15th, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Good post guys. The only thing missing from the Wikipedia quote is, “you will be assimilated”. :D

  46. Turnaround January 15th, 2008 at 8:21 am

    Turn two your post makes no sense Joba will get 70 innings in the bullpen and next year would have an innings limit. Plus unless something goes wrong in spring training Moose is starting. Your idea sounds totally against reality.

  47. bodhisattva January 15th, 2008 at 8:22 am

    Melancon, Sanchez, Whelan and Cox should all be in BP by August, Whelan earlier. We also have other guys like Horne, Marquez, McCutchen who could emerge as long relief guys. I’m not that concerned about it. Joba is a starter. So he should start.

  48. Turnaround January 15th, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Turn two one more thing Joba going bullpen won’t help his other pitches. Baseball america ranked three of his pitches best out there in the yankees system. Bullpen pitchers use only two pitches mainly.

  49. TurnTwo January 15th, 2008 at 8:35 am

    If Joba pitches out of the pen, he’s not pitching 70 innings. He’ll prob pitch closer to 2 innings an appearance rather than 1, and he’ll be above 100 innings for the season, guaranteed; especially if/when you include postseason innings.

    then, you can have Joba continue work in the Winter Leagues, where he can stretch himself out, work on reestablishing the feel for his secondary pitches he doesnt utilize while coming out of the pen (changeup mostly), and be ready to give 150-180 innings for 2009.

    how does that not make sense?

  50. John in Ohio January 15th, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Big decision for Girardi, that’s for sure. I think Joba ends up in the pen out of necessity. Pettitte starts opening Day, Mussina probably is tabbed at #5. If Torre was still in the pilot’s seat, Mussina would be #4, perhaps even #3. Joe’s loyalty was, at times, inexplicable.

    Personally, I’d like to see Pettite, Wang, and the three young guys in the rotation. Then, in the first year of the new stadium, Santana, Wang, Hughes, Chamberlain, Kennedy. Nice.

  51. Andrew January 15th, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Jason Lane might have a little value. Once was adecent prospect:
    Travis M. writes: With the possibility of the Astros trading Daryle Ward and with Richard Hidalgo’s struggles this season, do you see the Houston giving Jason Lane, who is playing at Double-A Round Rock, a shot in the bigs? He is absolutely tearing up Double-A pitching and leads many of the offensive categories in the Texas League. When is the earliest you see him making it to the majors?

    Lane is hitting .325 with 33 homers, 110 RBI, and 14 steals. He isn’t a tools monster, but he has genuine bat speed, controls the strike zone well, has good instincts, and works his tail off. I like him a lot, and from what I understand the Astros do as well. But they are well-stocked in the outfield right now as you point out, so it may be another year before Lane gets a chance. He could be a September call-up next month.

    I think Lane is going to be a good player, not a superstar but a solid regular outfielder. He was a sixth-round pick out of USC in 1999, and should end up being a much better player than dozens and dozens of guys drafted ahead of him.

  52. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Let me start by saying I didn’t hear this myself. But supposedly Romo was giving Jessica signals while he was playing the game. Tugging of the ear sort of thing. Has anyone else heard this. :lol:

    Supposedly the Yankees talks with the Twins aren’t dead. I for one am sick and tired hearing about this. The Twins asking price is too high given the contract that you have to give Johan on top of it.

  53. yanks61 January 15th, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Vader, murphydog – I’m sure there are a lot of people out there, Yankee fans and fair minded baseball fans in general, who are indignant, if not outraged, at how this has all played out vis-a-vis the Mitchell “Investigation.” In fact, it’s an outright travesty. I had also made the point before that the Federal authorities could very simply obtain sworn statements from clubhouse staff throughout the ML as to the numbers of players they know or believe have been taking PEDs on their team (without naming names.) Going a step further, team management and ownership, as well as union executives should all be asked, if necessary subpoened to make sworn statements as regards what they knew and when. But what can we do about it?!

    Would it be possible to get an Online petition going that can eventually be posted on baseball blogs throughout the New York area and submitted to the appropriate Congressional authorities? A lot of angry New Yorkers, completely ticked that this has played out as a NY thing might very well shake up a few people in Congress. How about submitting a full petition list of names, at the very least, to the NY congressional delegation?

  54. TD January 15th, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Joba has 2 plus plus ptiches now with his fastball, slider and a plus curve. From what I have read his changeup is progressing to a plus pitch as well. You dont put a man with 4 pitches in the pen. You start him.

    Mariano has one plus plus pitch (albeit a fantastic pitch over the years). Thats why hes in the pen.

  55. John in Ohio January 15th, 2008 at 8:41 am

    One more thing…they’ve got to keep Hughes. He’s mentally mature beyond his years (as are the other two, from what I’ve read), and has that Don Drysdale pack-mentality presence on the mound. He’ll he a top-notch starter for many years to come.

  56. TurnTwo January 15th, 2008 at 8:44 am

    We all know that Joba’s future is as a frontline starting pitcher… but what we dont know going into 2008 is what his role will be.

    i agree with John in Ohio, in that if they dont make the Johan deal, it sets up for Girardi to have IPK and Hughes be in the rotation with Moose as the 3/4/5, and Joba in the pen.

  57. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 8:44 am

    I will be very angry if they trade Phil. They keep jerking him and the fans around.

  58. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 8:46 am

    The Yankees certainly look to have a lot more depth in the rotation than they did last year. Last year our 6th starter was Karstens, this year it is Mussina/Joba.

  59. Doreen January 15th, 2008 at 8:51 am

    In reading about the make-up of the Yankees rotation next season, it is often talked about how Hughes and Chamberlain will require some special handling due to the fact that they will have innings limits.

    It has just occurred to me that this may be the very reason that the Twins haven’t jumped on a deal for Santana centered around Hughes. They already have once pitcher that they are going to have to be careful with in Liriano. Hughes projects to be an outstanding starter, but at least for next season will not be able to counted on to replace the innings they get regularly out of Santana.

  60. Doreen January 15th, 2008 at 8:52 am

    “one” pitcher, not “once” pitcher. !

  61. TurnTwo January 15th, 2008 at 8:55 am

    i really think that its not Hank’s fault for how this is all playing out in the media.

    Who is Andrew Marchant, but some punk who thinks he has some source that tells him the Yankees are out… he hears from some “high ranking official” that the yanks are out, and he wants to run with the story so he can be the first one with the “breaking news” for ESPN.

    thats when the rest of the NY reporters go to Hank, and ask him again, and he says again, no, nothing has changed, we’re still talking a little but nothing has happened really since december.

    the problem here are all the little reporters who never have to reveal their source, and they are never held accountable for having bad information… so you just continually get bad information, which is when the other reporters go back to Hank, and Hank apparently “changes his mind AGAIN!” when really, nothing changed in the first place.

  62. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Hank also needs to stop talking to them. Say I will call you when I have something to say, until than stop bothering me.

  63. Florida Yank January 15th, 2008 at 9:01 am

    It can’t be stressed enough how important it will be for the Yankees to put extra emphasis on a long relief man this spring training.
    With all the talk of limited innings for a certain few, there’s also the other end of the spectrum in the overuse of the bullpen.
    Each game is different in knowing how deep a starter will work into a game and the opponent’s approach to making a starter have a high pitch count early in a game and seeing how soon and how often they can get into a team’s bullpen.
    Some days a starter just doesn’t have it and labors from the get go. This is where the valuable long reliever role becomes so important.
    In 2007 there were 112 complete games in the major leagues compared to 907 in 1977. The game has changed. A manager having 5 or 6 pitchers good enough to trust in the final 4 innings is an ongoing, unpredictable process.

  64. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 9:01 am

    And you are right who is this Andrew Marchant? Someone that ESPN invented. I never heard of him until 2 months ago.

  65. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Fla Yank

    I have a feeling it will be a lot different with Joe G. He will allow the starters to work out of trouble, instead of pulling them in the 6th at the first sign. He also won’t burn thru 6 relievers when he knows the game will go to extras (a la Joe T).

    And if he sees a reliever is doing well and he knows he can go another inning, he will let them.

  66. TurnTwo January 15th, 2008 at 9:06 am

    i think that Karstens and Rasner as options fill the long relief well, and if not for 2 freak injuries that happened practically at the same time, they could have provided that role last year. neither have great stuff, but they work quickly and throw strikes.

  67. TurnTwo January 15th, 2008 at 9:07 am

    i was reading yesterday, also look for Steven White to possibly fill that type of bullpen long-relief role if he has a solid spring training…

  68. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 9:09 am

    turntwo, I think there are a lot of guys from the farm that will be given shots this year to pitch out of the pen. I believe Horme (sp) was one possiblity, and maybe even later in the year Sanchez.

  69. I'm No Idiot January 15th, 2008 at 9:14 am

    “Now, what’s going to help bring down the team ERA more, 75 innings of Joba, or 150 innings of Joba?”

    If you assume he pitches to the same ERA as a starter as he does as a reliever, obviously 150 IP is better. But I don’t think that’s the case – and I think that’s the point the “Joba the Reliever” camp is pushing.

    Let’s assume Joba pitches to a 2.5 ERA as a reliever, he would need to pitch to at least a 3.5 ERA as a starter to reduce the Yanks’ ERA by the same amount (based on last year’s 724 ER / 1450 IP). Is he capable of that? Absolutely. But it’s not as cut and dry as you might think.

    That said, I still agree with you, because I think Joba the Starter can be THAT good.

  70. murphydog January 15th, 2008 at 9:15 am

    “How about submitting a full petition list of names, at the very least, to the NY congressional delegation?”

    Good idea. Without having the time to look today, I’m guessing that most of the NY delegation have websites. (Not sure if there are nay NYers on the House Oversight committee). Let’s look into that and then maybe decide on some kind of form letter to which you can add or subtract and make it you own while still conveying the same general thought. It’s got to be short and to the point.

  71. randy l. January 15th, 2008 at 9:18 am

    interesting post,
    but” informational cascading” ?
    how is it informational cascading when individuals see something with their own eyes and make a decision? how is this herd behavior? in the example wikepedia gives with the bear, if people saw the bear eat the ones who made the wrong choice,and everyone who saw it went the other way, i don’t think it would be a herd behavior or” informational cascading”. it would simply be seeing other people get eaten by the bear and going the other way. the fact everyone who saw the bear eat someone went the other way doesn’t make it a herd behavior. just because everyone makes the same choice individually doesn’t mean there is a herd behavior.

    so if people with their own eyes see joba excel in the 8th inning set up role and their opinion is that this is where they like him there, i don’t see how this is herd behavior.

    you also ask “Now, what’s going to help bring down the team ERA more, 75 innings of Joba, or 150 innings of Joba?”

    even if joba were to have the same era in 2008 in a starting role( which isn’t likely),and the team era came down as you suggest, that doesn’t mean this would necessarily be better for the yankees. having him pitch only when it matters in key situations could result in more wins.

    i don’t know which role joba should be in,but i don’t think simply lowering the team era should determine where he should be. he should be in the role that results in the most wins.

  72. SJ44 January 15th, 2008 at 9:19 am

    I don’t think there is any question Joba’s future is as a starter.

    The issue is, how to maximize his value to the team this year, with an innings cap in place.

    Its why I think he will start out the year in the bullpen and work his way to the rotation for the second half of the year.

    Its really the smart way to handle him at this point.

    As far as the Yankees-Twins talk, according to the “experts”, this deal was supposed to be wrapped up by the Red Sox, “a few days” (according to Buster Olney among others) after the Winter Meetings.

    The reality. NONE of these guys have a clue on what’s going on. They are forced to have to say something by their editors/news directors each day so, they throw @#$% against the wall hoping it sticks.

    Seems to me the Twins aren’t eager to trade him within the AL unless they get a bounty of players. Clearly, neither the Yankees nor Red Sox are interested in giving them such a bounty.

    So, its either trade him to the Mets for a lot of “maybe’s” in terms of prospects, or keep him for the season and utilize his great talents.

    At this point, the offers for him aren’t going to improve. Given that, its probably best for the Twins to keep him.

  73. Old Yanks Fan January 15th, 2008 at 9:29 am

    oyf – hgh is not a ped? that’ll be news to a lot of people, especially all the atheletes who are using it.
    —————————————————–
    No, it is NOT. And it even states this is the incomplete, slanted Mitchell report. To QUOTE Mitchell:

    ‘A number of studies have shown that use of human growth hormone does NOT increase muscle strength in healthy subjects or well-trained athletes Athletes who have tried human growth hormone as a training aid have reached the same conclusion. The author of one book targeted at steroid abusers observed that “the most curious aspect of the whole situation is that I’ve never encountered any athlete using HGH to benefit from it, and all the athletes who admit to having used it will usually agree: it didn’t/doesn’t work for them.” The primary attraction of human growth hormone for athletes seeking performance enhancing effects appears to be that it is not detectable in any currently available drug test.33 In addition, because human growth hormone stimulates growth in most body tissues, athletes use it to promote tissue repair and to recover from injury.’
    ————————————————————
    from Karl E. Friedl, “Performance-Enhancing Substances,” in Baechle and Earle (eds.) Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, 2e, p. 219, . (Textbook)

    http://www.arthurdevany.com/?p=768
    ‘There is no evidence that supplemental growth hormone produces effects of the same magnitude [as growth hormone deficiency] (it may not even produce normal muscle) or enhance athletic performance in a normal man or woman….Apparently, few athletes are actually using this hormone, which suggests that they may well be aware that the substance probably does little to enhance performance, carries risks, and is very expensive.’

    Do some reserach. There are MANY articles that come to the same conclusion.
    ————————————————
    The beauty of the Mitchell report is that it does absolutely nothing to promote our understanding of Steroids and HGH, and by using to questionable witnesses to name names, has simply created an environment of total confusion, where we have no idea who is telling the truth.
    However, David Justice stated very clearly that McNamee told him HGH would help his injury recover, highly recommended it as a great drug, and went so far as to place HGH and syringes in Justice’s locker.

    There are already some legal steroids like Cortizone in use in MLB. From a (random) user found on the Net: “hey im ready to do another cycle its been 3 months since i did mdrol.. i want to know whats the most potient steroid thats legal..i heard Hemogen-50 and tren was good but im not sure can somebody help me out thanks”

    MLB has chosen this ‘Mitchell Report’ route (commissioned withOUT union support by Selig) because all the ‘Bonds’ and ‘Clemens’ attention is a smokescreen to disguise the fact that Selig (and to a lesser extent and Fehr) have been well aware of PEDs usage for over a decade, and intentionally looked the other way, because ‘chicks dig the long ball’, and MLB was prospering financially from the ‘power explosion’ it was experiencing.

    Steroid and HGH use were rampant for over a decade (as were Uppers and a host of other drugs). Canseco AND McNamee both estimated that MORE THAN 50% of MLB players were on the juice. Year after year after year, hundreds of players used with no consequences at all (except for maybe better performance). Then BALCO happens, and Bud and Fehr are brought in front of Congress.

    Did you hear Bud deny ANY knowledge (to his recollection)? Even though there were many newpaper articles about this in the early 90′s? And he was warned by a few owners? And witnessed a whole generation od ‘body builders’ breaking HR records?

    We have heard that players were ‘warned’ before steroid tests were given. Initially, penalties were so light as to be totally ineffective. Selig did everything possible to cover this us, and ONLY took action when Congress threatened him. Theo asks his guy if Gagne uses steroids, is told ‘probable’, and then trades for the guy.

    Your outrage is santimonious and misguided. If steroid abuse IS indeed harmful, like with Giambi and Bonds, many players may have serious health problems because of their desire to perform better and ‘entertain’ then masses. Will Bud or Fehr get sick? Will they or their families suffer?

    I too am outraged, but not at Andy, or Roberts, or Clemens or even Bonds. While they did ‘the wrong thing’, I prefer to blame those who are responsible for policies, both legal and ‘illegal but un-policed’. Those in charge who had YEARS and YEARS to do something, but chose not to for sake of profit.

    In MLB, we have hundreds of players (maybe thousands) who used PEDS. We have thousands, many thousands of players who used other illegal substances in hopes of better performance. (We won’t even talk about Pot, Cocaine, Alcohol and an entire menu of illegal ‘recreational’ drugs). And then we have the guys in charge. Guys who never come to bat or field a ball. Guys who’s only job is to manage baseball and baseball players.

    Selig received $14.5 million in the 12 months ending Oct. 31, 2005, according to Major League Baseball’s tax return, which was obtained by the Sports Business Journal.”

    I have spent hours reading up on this, but I confess I still feel ignorant. There is a lot of information, and disinformation out there. (Much like the ‘Reffer Madness’ days of the 50′s/60′s, when a whole population of agenda driven idiots wanted to ‘Save the Children’ by burning witches, as opposed to education children with the facts and the truth). The only thing we know for sure is that we don’t know much. However, rather then reading tons of incomplete, contradictory material, which is bound to leave you confused and with a headache, it is MUCH easier to simply ‘boo’ your favorite villian.

    You were in the military? Remember Abu Grav? Where a policy designed by ‘Generals’ was systemically implimented. Then when the abuse was exposed, these Generals were ‘magically unaware’, and in the end it was the soldiers acting on policy that were punished. Is this your idea of justice, IMB?

    So soldier, who are YOU going to blame?

  74. SJ44 January 15th, 2008 at 9:36 am

    That may be the best post ever written on this blog re: this issue.

    Instead of finding fault with it, folks should just stop talking about it because OYF covered everything that needs to be said on the matter.

  75. randy l. January 15th, 2008 at 9:36 am

    “It’s nice to know we still have intelligent Yankee fans who understand a starter is WAY more important than a setup guy.”

    i think that the issue is really more of a closer vs. a starter. if joba were to be a set up role for rivera,he would also be preparing to be the closer when rivera leaves.

    rivera seems more valuable as a closer than as a starter. papelbon seems more valuable as a closer than as a starter.

    i think that it’s a myth that a starter is always more important than a reliever. even if all runs were equal, some pitchers do better in different roles. papelbon didn’t look like the same pitcher when he started. he lost velocity quickly and his third and fouth pitches were weak. he didn’t seem to have the same command a a starter. psychologically, he seems better suited to be a closer.

    congressional hearings/ mitchell report is on live on espn.

  76. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Save the Three Musketeers! January 15th, 2008 at 9:40 am

    I’m late but: Most excellent post with a different thought view than most.

    Must go shower and head to class, but well done.

  77. whozat January 15th, 2008 at 9:49 am

    “papelbon didn’t look like the same pitcher when he started. he lost velocity quickly and his third and fouth pitches were weak.”

    If that’s true, then he physically didn’t have the tools to be a starter. Which I disagree with.

    The Red Sox pen last year wasn’t actually that amazing. They had Papelbon and lucked out with Okajima. Then they had Delcarmen who was reliable sometimes. That’s really it. The thing that made their pen look so good was that it didn’t get exposed because their starters tended to go pretty deep into games. Having Yankee starters collectively average 6 IP per game and the front 2-3 guys go 7-8 IP with regularity would go a LONG way to improving the Yankee pen. Guys aren’t pitching tired, they haven’t been seen by the opposing team twice in the last three days. Having another starter who can throw 6-7 effective IP a start _will_ help the pen, in addition to providing value for the team.

  78. Vince January 15th, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Old Yanks Fan :

    Excellent post on your part. Among other things, it exposes the poor leadership of Selig which is realized by more people each passing day in his procurement of a government style report rather than roll up his own sleeves and deal with “the problem” in-house of which he’s incapable of doing as evidenced by his looking the other way for so long. The year 2009 can’t arrive fast enough for Selig when his term as Commissioner expires.

  79. Jorge Steinbrenner January 15th, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Pete Abe and River Ave. Blues…..like Hogan and Randy Savage, baby. the Megapowers unite!

  80. batty January 15th, 2008 at 10:05 am

    The only thing I’d disagree with is if Joba gets that ‘Pettite’ luck – the one where he pitches seven innings to have Farnsworth (LaTroy, etc…) blow the game every time (were they just ‘showing up’ as Mattingly mentioned about some hitters?). Then that value of having 7 shutout innings will quickly diminish as fast as the win column.

    I am excited to see him as a starter…but we really need some middle relievers past Mo.

  81. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Is anyone watching the hearings? I’m curious if they are giving Mitchell a heros welcome.

  82. randy l. January 15th, 2008 at 10:05 am

    i’m going to call these hearings, the baggy eyes hearings. when people talk about health,it makes you wonder what they know when they look like crap. waxman definitely looks like he’s never taken an over the counter supplement.

  83. i miss bernie January 15th, 2008 at 10:06 am

    hgh increases muscle mass
    thats why atheletes take it
    thats why its banned in mbl, and by the world anti doping agency

    athelete take it to try to improve thier perfomance.

    whether it works or not is a different issue, and certainly isn’t settled by that mitchell quote or the anectdotal evidence you sight.

    i agree that the effectiveness of hgh is in question but what is not is that atheletes who use it are attempting to artificially attempting to enhance thier performance

    but i have no problem agreeing to disagree.

  84. Robert January 15th, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Watching this hearing on TV, I hope these senators dont break their arms patting Mitchell on the back for his “great” job. I hope they have higher standards for a “great” job than what Mitchell produced.

  85. Robert January 15th, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Jennifer

    The other senators and representatives are falling over themselves to congratulate Mitchell “on a job well done”.

  86. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Well done? They truely are out of their minds! I guess they are right well done in finding on NY players using and not exposing any Red Soxs. I’m sure some Red Sox names came across his desk and he threw it right in the shreder.

  87. randy l. January 15th, 2008 at 10:17 am

    those two guys over mitchell’s left shoulder could use some happy pills.

  88. Mark January 15th, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Live on TV, Congressional hearings at their finest and loaded with hollow words and insignificant bullshyt. Pffft !! …. dog & pony show.

  89. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Watch they mildly scold Bud, and really rip into the Mlpa guy (his name escapes me at the moment).

  90. joltin joe January 15th, 2008 at 10:22 am

    congress should put up or shut up already.
    step in and do whatevr it has to .
    stop it cause mlb wont.
    save the youth.

  91. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Mark

    That is your tax dollars hard at work!! You should be proud! Never mind Congress worrying about the $40 it costs you to fill your gas tank, or the war going on in Iraq, or the president making noises about Iran.

  92. Robert January 15th, 2008 at 10:23 am

    The Senator talking right now called the report “exceptional”.

  93. Robert January 15th, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Donald Fehr is the Union President.

  94. Robert January 15th, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Senator Elihah Cummings (D) from Maryland just said that he worries about “kids going to those stores on the weekends using their allowance to buy steroids.” Nice job Maryland in your electoral decision making and I am a Democrat too.

  95. joltin joe January 15th, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Steroids are the result of the owners picking an owner to be commissioner. Nice legacy Bud.

  96. Robert January 15th, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Sorry, Elijah is his first name. We need an edit button.

  97. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Robert which Senator. We should make sure he doesn’t get voted back into office, if he thinks the report is exceptional. Unless he means an exceptional piece of cr*p.

    Thanks Robert, for some reason I thought it was Gene Orza, that name was sticking in my head.

  98. Alan January 15th, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Spotted at the hearings is the human prune himself, Selig. Can’t wait to hear his stumbled, bumbledomed, horsechit laden testimony of how he’s had a plan in place and all it needs is finishing touches. A room full of hypocrisy.

  99. joltin joe January 15th, 2008 at 10:29 am

    robert

    wait till players and kids start dropping like flies ala the World Wrestling Fed. and Caminitti.

  100. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Robert

    He can’t be serious. He thinks they go to the store to buy it? :lol: They probably buy it from the same people they buy their pot from.

  101. Robert January 15th, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Here Mitchell goes again, talking about his 5 years working in Northern Ireland. This guys thinks his integrity gets a free pass. And he is right because nobody questions a word he says.

  102. joltin joe January 15th, 2008 at 10:31 am

    what;s the difference where they buy it?

  103. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Another note, which is why they need to go after the dealer aka McNamee, instead of letting him off scott free being a snitch.

  104. Robert January 15th, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Jennifer

    Cummings from Marlyand is the same senator who called the report exceptional. What I found the funniest was that he thought kids were using their allowance to buy steroids. I cracked up at that.

  105. joltin joe January 15th, 2008 at 10:32 am

    want to stop it? MANDATORY BLOOD TESTS.

  106. Buddy Biancalana January 15th, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Jennifer-

    Gene Orza is the COO of MLB Players Association.

  107. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Robert

    Politicians are some of the sleazest people on earth.

  108. Old Yanks Fan January 15th, 2008 at 10:36 am

    I do NOT believe the issue is: Joba – SP or RP?
    I believe the issue is: Joba-2008: How to best use 150 IPs.
    Maybe there are a few who want Joba as a career RP. If so… well… what can you do? Most people know that just about every reliever, no matter how good, is a SP who CAN’T go 5 IPs or more effectively (Goose, Mo, many others… or out of desparation: Smoltz)

    However, looking at the issue and conditions of 2008 does leave legitimate debate on how to ‘best use’ Joba.

    We know he will be limited in IPs, probably to 150+/-
    We know we really need 6 SPs, because Hughes will also be limited, and IPK also to a lesser degree (under 200 ips).
    We know we have a very questionable SP in Moose (if the rumors that GB7 ate him are not true)
    We know our BP sucks.
    we know we have young guns on the farm, but the majority of them would ideally stay on the farm until 2009.
    Debateable-Fact: “8th inning guys grow on trees”
    If so, why haven’t we had one since Tom Gordon (and he had quite a few bad days) and still don’t have one now? Why does the word ‘Farnsworth’ weaken the bowels of the strongest battle tested soldier?

    So, given then facts(?), what is the best use for Joba in 2008?

    1) 6 Man rotation… and takes sways starts from Wang and Andy
    2) 5 Man rotation… with the 5th guy being FrankenHughesJoba
    3) 5 Man rotation… with Hughes as #5, saving IPs by skipping his spot when the schedule allows it, and the occasional spot start from Karstens/Rasner/Iggy… and Joba in the BP.

    We skip Hughes 5 starts so: 25 starts x 6 IPs = 150 IPs
    2 or 3 can be skipped due to schedule, the other 2 or 3 get the spot starters.
    My main concern for Joba: I assume he is being groomed to be a SP. Having him throw ‘full out’ for multiple 1 inning stints (with warmup) does not promote this goal.

    First Half: I would like to see him get 50 IPs in 2 and 3 inning appearances only. This allows for 20 appearances in the first 80 games. 2.5 IPs x 20 = 50. Its is also possible that IF Joba continues to be excellent, that he has ‘Goose It’, pitching the 7,8 and 9th innings when Mo needs a rest. This will limit the number of ‘warm ups’, and he should be told NOT to go full out, but pace himself and pitch like it’s a ‘short start’.

    Second Half: 15 starts x 6 Ips = 90 IPs. This leaves a little extra gas for the PS.

    Basically, whatever way we go, having strong pitching in 2008 will be based on 1 of 2.5 conditions:
    1) Moose can be league average or better
    2) Cashman gets another SP
    2.5) Sanchez or Horne can get the job done. This may be viable for the second half. Rasner, Karstens, Iggy and other kids are in the equation, but with injuries on other issues, I don’t think we should plan on these guys except in a very limited way.

    Since Hughes and Joba will both be 6 innings SPs in the second half, Moose and Sanchez/Horne/Rasner/Karsten/Kids will need to help out.

    I think this is both reasonable, and does not ‘set Joba back’ in terms of conditioning as a SP. Also, I believe some kids WILL be available in the 2nd half, but as of right now, our BP looks extremely weak for the 1st half. Joba DOES make a big difference in the BP. Without him last year, do we even make the PS?

    This is a 2008 solution ONLY.
    But it is MOST MOST important not to overtax Hughes or Joba, as this would be killing the Golden Goose (Geese?).
    (Again assuming that GB7 is not eating either Moose or Goose).
    We also was to make sure they can both be efective in the PS, although using 4 starters in the PS allows one to be in the BP.

    I really see Moose as the wildcard here. If he can have a decent year, we may be in good shape.

    Short of getting another SP, I can’t think of a better alternative, and I will bet this is how the Yankees FO see it. Anybody got a better idea?

  109. Michelle January 15th, 2008 at 10:37 am

    There’s no way to determine how many wasted tax dollars are now seen live on television for the country to see opposed to how many illegal aliens have crossed into or under our borders ripe and ready to reap the free provided benefits they’ll soon realize as these useless proceedings bore us to tears.

  110. yanks61 January 15th, 2008 at 10:37 am

    SJ44, you hit the nail right smack on the head! OYF just wrote the best post ever on this subject (quite a few splendid posts on the subject by others too, especially murphydog.)

    By the way, does anyone know if I was seeing things or did I actually read a day or two ago that Jeff Kent has come out and said that “there’s a thousand players on PEDs” (an exaggeration perhaps, but certainly getting into more accurate territory)

  111. Robert January 15th, 2008 at 10:38 am

    The Representative from Massachusetts John F Tierney just commended Mitchell for without subpoena power having such a thorough report. I guess he doesnt realize that not having subpoena power makes the report the opposite of thorough. It made the report condensed to whatever information they could get without forcing it out of someone.

  112. randy l. January 15th, 2008 at 10:42 am

    interesting question about ritalin and other prescription stimulants. mitchell says they weren’t part of his investigation. interesting how the misuse of drugs like ritalin for performance enhancing results produced by pharmaceutical companies seem to get a pass.

  113. String Beanfellow January 15th, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Randy, the thing is Papelbon was given the opportunity to show what he could or could not do as a starter. Joba deserves the same opportunity.

    This is speculation, as none of us know how things will turn out… What if Joba as a starter is able to dominate? What if Joba is just as effective as a starter as he is in relief? Then where do you put him?

    Yes, you need to have a mentality for being a closer. But the talents needed for that role are different than for a starting pitcher. Papelbon didn’t have what it took to be a starter due to weakness in his body. The transision to the closer role suited him, but is still quite risky for his longevity. The starter role tends to be less difficult to manage to keep the possiblity of injuries down.

  114. Rockin' Rich January 15th, 2008 at 10:42 am

    VERY thoughtful. Nice job!

  115. Bob from NJ January 15th, 2008 at 10:44 am

    The ‘set up guy’ is the second most overvalued commodity in baseball today, trailing only ‘the closer’. It’s obvious that Joba is worth more as a starter, but some people just don’t get it.

  116. Nick January 15th, 2008 at 10:48 am

    What can be expected from a room full of people that possess absolutely zero street smarts.
    No different than a kid getting pot from a variety of sources. Athletes with more sources will get what they desire and certainly at no vitamin store, delivery at their own houses, or now, within their clubhouses.
    Where there’s a will there’s a way. The element of surprise will help and it’s a damned shame that it was let go for so long where a virtual sting operation will almost be necessary to contain the problem.

  117. randy l. January 15th, 2008 at 10:51 am

    i hope everyone understands that congress refuses to be drug tested themselves. why?

  118. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Because they all smoke pot or do other drugs. I guess what is good for the goose isn’t good for the gander.

  119. String Beanfellow January 15th, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Congress is exempt from a lot of things that we, mortal human beings are not.

    You won’t hear them condemning Mitchells report, he is part of the club.

  120. mel January 15th, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Good post. We should be so lucky to have such a problem. We have 3 really good young pitchers ready to contribute at the MLB level. Thoroughbreds trying to kick their way out of the gate. What a world we live in when Mussina’s your weak link.

    Let them control Joba’s IP count in the bullpen until some of the young pitchers are ready to step into the pen. Re: Joba. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

    Pete, any word from your operatives?

  121. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 11:02 am

    We are smart enough to see that he is part of the club. Some in the media will run with the quote that the report was thorough, and the people who can’t think for themselves will beleive that it was a complete report.

  122. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 11:04 am

    I read a creative way to keep the innings down of the young kids, that would not effect Wang, or Pettitte. They would keep both of them on their normal rest and rotate the kids in. At this point I think Mike would benefit from an extra day here and there.

  123. Old Yanks Fan January 15th, 2008 at 11:05 am

    hgh increases muscle mass
    You have obviously don’t do investigation. POST A LINK! HGH creates something dubbed ‘immature muscle’ (like babies develop as they grow). This muscle has absolutely NO performance enhancing effect, as has been documented by multiple sources, including the Havrad Journal of Medicine. However, there are some who believe (but unproven) that used IN CONCERT WITH a regular program of steroids and exercise, that ‘addition product muscle’ can be produced.

    thats why atheletes take it
    thats why its banned in mbl, and by the world anti doping agency.
    You are wrong. I showed 2 links. Please show me 2 links that support your point of view

    athelete take it to try to improve thier perfomance.
    No, most use it to heal. They use greenies and other stimulents to improve stamina and performance. In Andy’s case, how much does using HGH, while injured and not playing, over a 2 month period, enhance the performance of a 13 year career. Please show some correlation

    whether it works or not is a different issue, and certainly isn’t settled by that mitchell quote or the anectdotal evidence you sight.
    So when an Athlete uses something that is NOT a PED, but he thinks it will work (although again, most seek relief from injuries), he should be punished? Not for what they do but what they think?

    You continue to simply repeat your uneducated point of view.
    The fact that the Mitchell Witch Hunt even admits that HGH has no performance enhancing properties, you continue to repeat your misconceptions.

    You have offered no links or backing or proof of ANY kind.
    You have not stated whether you think Bud is more responsible then the individual players.
    You have not said whether you will boycott baseball for fostering a systemic, destructive environment.
    You answer every single post many have presented by simply REPEATING the exact same thing. Is this how you debate? No facts. No backup. No Links. No references. Simply repeating your OPINION, regardless of the specifics that people present you?

    I don’t want to be UNFAIR.
    IF ANYONE HERE believes the IMB presents facts and is fair in his POV, PLEASE speak up!

  124. randy l. January 15th, 2008 at 11:09 am

    mitchell says steroids may have a placebo effect. did he really just say he doesn’t know steroids are bad for people?
    ban all placebos!!!

  125. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 11:13 am

    So becuase they think they took roids they can hit the ball further, and swing the bat further? I’ve heard of mind over matter, but that is just insane. :lol:

  126. Old Yanks Fan January 15th, 2008 at 11:15 am

    ‘… did I actually read a day or two ago that Jeff Kent has come out and said that “there’s a thousand players on PEDs” (an exaggeration perhaps, but certainly getting into more accurate territory)’
    ———————————————————–
    30 teams x 25 = 750 players. Add 100 or so who go up and down. 850 players per year. Now many of these players play multiple years, but over the last 12 years, how many unique players have seen MLB time? My guess would be 3,000+. So, if 33% of players ‘used’, that’s 1000 players. Guessing 500+ players used PEDs (or HGH Pettitte + 499+ others), might well be a reasonable assumption.

  127. Old Ranger January 15th, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Good job RAB.
    Thank god someone has faith in the young guns. 27/08

  128. Buddy Biancalana January 15th, 2008 at 11:16 am

    The ’set up guy’ is the second most overvalued commodity in baseball today, trailing only ‘the closer’. It’s obvious that Joba is worth more as a starter, but some people just don’t get it.

    ————————————————————–

    So exactly who are the people who don’t get it? SJ44, myself, who? Obviously, Joba is more valuable as a starer & has superstar potential. Starting him in the pen will benefit him in the long run. He will also sure up the BP for the beginning of the season. Once ST comes, depending upon any injuries, then the final decision will be made.

  129. Drew January 15th, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Be sure to go fill out the poll concerning Joba on my site..thanks :D

  130. randy l. January 15th, 2008 at 11:20 am

    mitchell is much more animated and maybe po’d when talking about clemens than at any other time.

    i think he knows hitching his wagon to mcnamee is his weakest link.

  131. Yanksrule57 January 15th, 2008 at 11:22 am

    I refuse to watch these hearings because:

    1. I have to get work done.
    2. I could have told you before they started that Congress would be well pleased with the Mitchell report. They want to get this off their plate. Report submitted, check box, task complete. To say he is an insider is to understate the situation. there is no way they were going to critique anything in the report.
    3. I no longer care what Bud Selig and Don Fehr have to say on this subject. They are both guilty of a complete failure to address this issue until they were forced to. They also have no credibility as they are too concerned with their own interests to worry about those of the game. Feh!

  132. rodg12 January 15th, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Steroids have been found to have a placebo effect. However, it’s mostly on the ‘roid rage’ side of things. Reference this study using google books which found that just as many subjects on steroids as on placebo had the same behavioral and psychological effects.

    http://tinyurl.com/yudbqz

  133. randy l. January 15th, 2008 at 11:27 am

    did i just hear,mitchel has to catch a train ,so not many more question?

    if things get tough in front of congress, clemens should just say “sorry ,i’ve got that train i have to catch”.

  134. randy l. January 15th, 2008 at 11:29 am

    isn’t this congressional hearing the most important thing on mitchell’s schedule?
    this rush to get mitchell out of there is a joke.

    subpoena his butt and make him sit there until all questions are asked.

  135. CB January 15th, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Terrific post by the RAB guys as usual. Very well done.

    The Yankees have been searching for years for a “true ace.”

    It would be a shame to keep a potential true ace and squander him in the pen long term.

    I agree that starting him out in the pen then switching him to a starting role is probably the best way to use him in 2008 to spread out his 150 inning cap over the year.

    My concern is that if he starts out in the pen the yankee pen may come to rely on him as it did last year. The media and fan crush to keep him there will be strong.

    In Girardi’s first year as manager replacing Torre I don’t know if he’ll feel inclined to move Joba back to the rotation if he’s a critical member of the pen and the team is winning.

    If they start him in the pen there will hopefully be new “joba rules” to get him back into the starting rotation after a certain number of innings or a certain date.

  136. saucy January 15th, 2008 at 11:37 am

    the post kind of implies that if someone says Joba is a better 8th inning option than Farns or Hawkins, that they also think Joba should be a set up man. Not necessarily true.

  137. Matt Schweber January 15th, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Murphydog, it’s outraged me from the outset.

    Ordinarily, prosecutors justify leniency for cooperating defendants because they allege the target defendant committed a more culpable crime– a Faustian bargain, they claim, that supposedly serves “the greater good”.

    Never can I recall prosecutors offering immunity to a defendant who has confessed to a more severe crime to testify against someone alleged to have committed a more innocuous one. Let alone can I recall a case, as you mention, where the prosecutors conferred immunity upon a cooperating defendant to testify before a private investigative body against parties who aren’t even the subject of a criminal investigation to begin with.

    More bizarre still. From my limited experience with the Feds on drug charges, in most instances, US attorneys oblige the defendant to plead guilty and then promise to write a sentencing letter on his behalf asking the Judge deviate from the compulsory Federal sentencing guidelines to mete out a more lenient sentence– if and only if, however, he BOTH cooperates AND his testimony results in the target defendant’s conviction.

    Something is rotten in the state of Maine. And the Feds conduct are as responsible for the stench as Mitchell, if not more.

    By the way, River Ave. Nice post. Flaws in human perception always interest me, so I especially appreciated the education about “information cascading”

  138. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Roger should say “sorry boys my private jet is scheduled to leave, it was nice talking to you.” And he should get up and leave.

  139. Buddy Biancalana January 15th, 2008 at 11:40 am

    My concern is that if he starts out in the pen the yankee pen may come to rely on him as it did last year. The media and fan crush to keep him there will be strong.

    —————————————————————–

    Excellent point, given that the Yanks have 6 SP’s & if all five other than Joba(in the pen) stay healthy all season long, it’s definitely an issue.

    I think Karstens will make some spot starts & excel in long relief (a la Mendoza), given the fact he makes the roster.

    I think come July, Joba would go back to starting, sort of like acquiring a big gin at the trading deadline, but instead just simply promoting from within.

  140. Buddy Biancalana January 15th, 2008 at 11:41 am

    *gun*, gin may not be so bad either. Lol

  141. rodg12 January 15th, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Mitchell seriously just said he had a train to catch and had to leave? That’s freaking ridiculous! He couldn’t clear his schedule for today to take as long as it took? Absolutely ludicrous.

  142. rodg12 January 15th, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Oh, and that’s a serious question since I can’t watch it while I’m at work.

  143. Boston Dave January 15th, 2008 at 11:53 am

    what makes you think papelbon didn’t succeed as a starter???

    What was his ERA?

  144. Boston Dave January 15th, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Matt S -

    Excellent post. Thanks

  145. YANKEE BIAS January 15th, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Sorry I’m coming to the conversation a bit late, but I’ll just echo the above thoughts and say great job once again from the guys at RAB. I couldn’t agree more.

    I’m going to guess the Joseph P. wrote this so I’ll address the question to you (Ben chime in if you like).

    What limits or “caps” do you think they’ll put on Joba this year? I think 130-150 innings or 15-20 starts is reasonable and then use him in long relief. But how should they structure that over the season?

    Don’t allow him to get anywhere near the set-up role again for fear that everyone will “fall in love all over again” with him there.

    Also, I think having Eiland around as the new pitching coach helps the situation.

    Once again… great job exploring this issue.

  146. Old Yanks Fan January 15th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    ‘My concern is that if he starts out in the pen the yankee pen may come to rely on him as it did last year.’
    —————————————————-
    I’m not worried at all. The Yanks WANT Joba as a SP. 2008 will just be an adjustment period to deal with the fact that Joba and Phil have innings limits. Joba in the BP is just making the best of the CURRENT situation.

    Also, we have both SPs and RPs on the farm. Some of the RPs will be legit and available in late 2008/2009. And of those SPs, some will ‘fail’ and ultimately be tried/used as RPs.

    The Yankee FO is not stupid (open myself for serious debate). They know what the have in ‘the 3 young studs’. We have plenty of BP help coming in the future. In 2009, when we are ‘Mooseless’ (GB7 licks his lips) and Pettitte may be gone, the Yanks are going to need SP, and would never use Joba in the BP.

    The real question is: will Horne be ready and good enough to be our #5. (Imagine Wang, Hughes, Joba, IPK and Horne).

    Another reason why Santana for Hughes/IPK or Hughes/Horne is problematic.

  147. mel January 15th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    espn live blog w/ jason stark.

    check out the 10:01 am entry.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn.....l_hearings

  148. keith January 15th, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    see: 2003 Johan Santana

  149. Bronx Cheer January 15th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Clemens would have made an excellent set up man over his career. So would have Nolan Ryan. That Beckett guy in Boston, too. Same with that Randy Johnson feller.

    The best relievers are all failed starters for a reason, you know. When a guy has good stuff, you give him every chance to work up to where he can give you 200 innings a year. You don’t make guys with three well above average pitches relievers absent injury or stamina concerns.

    Joba should be given every chance to start this year, and preferably should be in the rotation at the beginning of the season to quiet the masses.

  150. Jorge (México) January 15th, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    “Joba the reliever was larger than life; Joba the starter could be even better.”

    Agree. That’s one of the main reasons I’m so excited about the upcoming season.

  151. mel January 15th, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Just found the hearings on C-SPAN 2. Selig sitting with his arms crossed over his chest. Classic defensive mode in body language. I don’t know what the drool on his chin means.

  152. Turnaround January 15th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    New article at MLB.com Yankees invited 26 non-roster players to spring training. Check It Out.

  153. Gotta catch a train January 15th, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    That’s the way to do it, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. Keep passing the buck and eventually it will all go away. In the meantime, those people at MLB headquarters in Manhattan can just keep their feet proped up on desks and do crossword puzzles as always rather than put heads together for problem solving. The good ‘ol boy method is alive and well. Stall tactics supreme.

  154. mel January 15th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Selig had no idea what gene doping was when asked about it. He deferred to the medical expert he brought.

  155. S.o.S.27 January 15th, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Hey i heard today on the radio that congress called Palmero Palmeneri and Selig Selick. You would think they would have looked up the names on espn and seen the pronunciation before speaking.

    I don’t know what the drool on his chin means.

    Maybe its past his lunch time.

  156. Old Yanks Fan January 15th, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Have they called any players yet?

  157. Wolf In Pinstripes January 15th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    mel said: “Classic defensive mode in body language. I don’t know what the drool on his chin means.”

    LMAO!!!!!! hahahaha!! Ahhhhh, mel. Classic.

    Oh, and thanks for the link to the live blog, mel. I’m following that now along with the broadcast on tv.

  158. xxx January 15th, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    If you are watching the hearings step away from the tv. Time to get one of two things. 1.Some friends 2.A job

  159. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Some nice names there. Can’t wait to see them in action. I think Eric Duncan is a dark horse for first base.

    The Yankees also invited the following players: right-handers Alan Horne, Steven Jackson, Daniel McCutchen and Mark Melancon; catchers Kyle Anson, Jason Brown, Jesus Montero, P.J. Pilittere and Austin Romine; infielders Eric Duncan and Marcos Vechionacci; and outfielders Brett Gardner, Justin Christian, Colin Curtis, Austin Jackson, Greg Porter and Jose Tabata.

  160. mel January 15th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Wolf,

    Have it muted myself. I wish they would mute the whole issue.

    xxx,

    I’m going to see if I can find someone to do a root canal for me. Or do housework. Or watch a video. What does xxx mean?

  161. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Did Mitchell leave to catch his train?

  162. mel January 15th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    jennifer,

    I didn’t hear that, but if it’s true that’s soooo lame.

    It’ll be the new catch phrase. When you just can’t wait to escape: “Gotta catch a train”.

    When the kids are in the principal’s office. “Are we done? Gotta catch a train”.

    Ha Ha.

  163. Say it ain't so January 15th, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Is anyone else getting the impression (from the numerous errors Congress continuously makes, from player names to baseball terminology) that these hearings are just a way for all of those nerds back in school to get their revenge on all the jocks who stuck their heads in the toilets?

  164. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Someone said, he said it earlier. I mean what a moron. He’s known for 2 weeks that the hearings were going to happen. Clear your schedule.

  165. Say it ain't so January 15th, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    I hope they shorten and dumb down their questions for when the players and trainers are getting questioned. Andy and Knobby might fall asleep listening to all this, while Clemens just furrows his brow and nods a lot.

  166. GRRRRRRRRR January 15th, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    The trouble with people in Congress is that they prefer to hear themselves speaking over anything else. They don’t care about this other than seeing their power being used.

    This government is pathetic.

  167. kei igawa's sunglasses January 15th, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Eric Duncans been invited to spring training. Guess he’ll continue his stinkiness.

  168. Old Yanks Fan January 15th, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    DRIVING CARS IS BAD FOR CHILDREN!
    MLB PLAYERS SHOULD NOT DRIVE CARS!
    ITS SETS A BAD EXAMPLE!
    SAVE THE CHILDREN!

  169. randy l. January 15th, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    “If you are watching the hearings step away from the tv. Time to get one of two things. 1.Some friends 2.A job”

    but you spending time on a baseball blog noticing all is ok. okeydokey.

    if it takes baseball to get me watch congressional hearings, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. i mean these members of congress do make decisions that affect our lives.

    for instance, living in massachusetts, i noticed that the massachusetts members of congress were a bit sharper than some of the other questioners . i was actually surprised because when you live here, they often seem like morons. today i was pleasantly surprised, especially about the questions about ritalin from the massachusetts congressman.

  170. THIS JUST IN ......... January 15th, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Mitchell did catch his train …..barely on time.

  171. Say it ain't so January 15th, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Now MLB is being asked to raise America’s kids because parents don’t feel like letting their kids in on that fact that drugs are bad for your body.

  172. Doreen January 15th, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    randy l

    What did they have to say about ritalin

  173. Old Yanks Fan January 15th, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Eric Duncan:
    MiLB: .250 .338 .428 766
    MLB: 3 yrs/ 41 ABs/ 3 Hrs/ 1.000+ OPS

    Seems like we should give him 15 ABs or so every year.

  174. Old Yanks Fan January 15th, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    It ain’t hard:
    Little Leaguer: Dad, can I use steroids just like MLB players?
    Smart Dad: Yes son, but not until after you make an MLB ballclub.
    Little Leaguer: That makes sense Dad! Can I drive the car home?

  175. Public speaking 101 January 15th, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Selig presents himself as a speaker about as well as Alfred E. Neuman does.

  176. Yanksrule57 January 15th, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    5 catchers invited to ST and none of them is a top MLB prospect?
    Montero is the only name I recognize and people have not exactly raved about him on this blog.

  177. randy l. January 15th, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    doreen-
    there was testimony that a dramatically higher percentage of baseball players have prescriptions for ritalin than adults in the general population.

    ritalin is a banned stimulant for players so they have to get special medical permission from mlb to use it. the inference is that some players are just using it for performance enhancement.

    it is interesting that mitchell said stimulants used as peds were not part of his investigation so he had nothing to say about ritalin. why weren’t stimulants part of his investigation?

    as usual with the mitchell report, the more you hear ,the more questions
    come up.

  178. Yanksrule57 January 15th, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Selig was a used car salesman. What does that tell you?

  179. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Yanksrule57

    Well we don’t exactly need another catcher. We have Jorge and Jose.

  180. i miss bernie January 15th, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    old yankees fan

    did u say I was the one on a crusade?

    look at your posts, guy!

  181. S.o.S.27 January 15th, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    SAHM(DOREEN),
    Remember the conversation we had about a week ago about closet space. Well come to find out that my wife not only has her closet full, but my sister is moving out of her home and she has a closet in her house full of clothes. Man if this doesnt call for a divorce, i dont know what will. This has Dr.Phil written all over it. I wonder if he would finally take a mans side on this. The bigger question is will i lose my closet now that her clothes are coming back home. Time for a garage sale.

  182. Yanksrule57 January 15th, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Talking about Bud Selig made nme think of a Funny story…

    While in the Navy we had a new sailor come onboard. One of my guys new I was a big baseball fan and told me the new guy was Bud Selig’s nephew. Cool, I thought, it might be nice to chat with him.
    The new guy came to see me as I had to brief all new personnel on some safety issues. I see on his uniform his name is spelled Seelig. So I ask him, is Bud your uncle?, knowing there’s something funny going on here. He says yeah I grew up in Milwaukee, blah, blah. I ask him how well he knew Wendy and how things were going in her new job. At the time Bud’s daughter Wendy was shilling for him as the “real” owner of the Brewers so Bud wouldn’t have a COI.
    He said he didn’t know her. I said you know I thought Bud spelled his name with one “e”. By this time he knew the jig was up and I was on to him. He got away from me as fast as he could. I always wondered how long he had been going with that line of BS before someone caught him. Sad really, when you think that someone would feel the need to build themsleves up with a lie like that.

  183. Yanksrule57 January 15th, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Jennifer,

    I guess my point re the catchers was we really don’t have anyone in the pipeline. Despite his contract, I can’t see Jorge as a catcher in 3 years.

  184. mel January 15th, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    The ESPN Ombudsman is free to say whatever she wants because, basically, nobody reads it.

    But I found this article interesting (no doubt, a response spurred by the millions of e-mails from Yankee fans):

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn.....id=3195285

    For those of you whose eyes glazed over and couldn’t get to the good stuff, here are two highlights:

    I do not fault them for those conflicts, nor do I fault ESPN for hiring former athletes and coaches who bring similar conflicts along with their insider knowledge. As I have said in this space before, ESPN has become so much a part of the sports it covers that conflict of interest cannot be avoided. It can only be managed. In this case, I think it was mismanaged, not by making use of Kruk and Phillips on the day of the report’s release but by giving them far too prominent a role as “analysts” of the day’s news.

    Gammons’ response to his sewer rat reference was backpedalling IMO:

    Many viewers assumed that, in blaming the messengers, Gammons also was making a snap summary judgment about their credibility. Unsure about that myself, I e-mailed Gammons to ask what he meant. “My reference was not about the veracity of their testimony, given to avoid prison time,” he replied. “I meant that if players end up in the business’s sewer — and both were criminals — then they have to be prepared for those in the sewer to rat on them.”

  185. Doreen January 15th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    SOS27 –

    LOL! Your wife is good. :) Well, do you have a basement or storage area?

    My mom has half of her closet in her bedroom (dad has the other half); a full closet in what used to be my and my sister’s bedroom, and a walk-in storage closet upstairs, plus the built-in and stand alone dressers. And that’s in New York. Florida is another issue altogether! So, I say if your wife has less than that, you’re ahead.

  186. randy l. January 15th, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    doreen-
    the filter gobbled up my answer.
    according to testimony today, a dramatically higher percentage of players have ritalin prescriptions than in the general population. ritalin is considered a ped by mlb and is banned. players get medical exemptions to use it. espn just said the number with ritalin exemptions went up from 26 in 2006 to about a 100 in 2007.

    mitchell wanted no part with answering any questions about ritalin. he said his report was not about stimulants even if they were peds.
    why weren’t they part of his report?as usual, there’s more questions than answers.

    stimulants do help performance so why he wouldn’t have made them part of his investigation is beyond me.

  187. ray January 15th, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    mel,
    Um…um….did you put a curse on my C’s??????

  188. S.o.S.27 January 15th, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    SAHM,
    No basements in SO.CAL. Whats worse is that they are seperate walk in closets. Her invading it is inevitable. I remember when we started going out and she started sleeping over and i told her that she could hang up her jacket in my closet. Before i knew it a week or so later it was the beggining of the end. I guess i have the trunk of my car if a door lock to my closet fails.

    Man your mother is Queen. Let me quess, for christmas and her birthday she asks for shoes and clothes. And never has anything to wear.

  189. GreenBeret7 January 15th, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    YanksRule57, Romine was the Yankees number 2 pick in this year.

    Kyle Anson will be at Tampa this year and is a moderate prospect.

    Jason Brown just an extra catcher and could help tutor the kids.

    Jesus Montero should be at Charleston this year and the Yanks big ticket catching future at this time.

    P.J. Pilittere will be at Trenton so he’s in line for advancement, but really isn’t much of a hitting prospect.

    Because of the huge number of pitchers coming to camp, somebody needs to catch them. None has more than a slimmest of all chances of making the big team. Romine and Montero are only 18, so they are a few years away, along with Weems who was the 6th draft choice for NY this past year.

  190. mel January 15th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    ray,

    Quit whining like a typical Boston fan.

    We’ve lost Bynum for 8 weeks! We’ll enjoy our first place in the WC for a day because that’s about how long it’s going to last.

    How ’bout them Pats?

  191. ray January 15th, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    mel,
    I bet you guys are glad Bynum didn’t get traded earlier!

  192. hmmm January 15th, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/01....._91468.htm

    according to this article, the Twins are asking for Hughes and Kennedy.

    “Cashman wouldn’t name the players Minnesota wants, but another Yankees official said the Twins haven’t budged from their demand of Phil Hughes , Melky Cabrera , Ian Kennedy and Jeff Marquez. ”

    yet for the last month people here have been ripping Cashman for not pulling the trigger on the “Hughes, Cabrera, Marquez, HILLIGLOSS” package that was rumored.

    according to this, the Twins have always demanded Kennedy.

    that’s why nothing has gotten done.

    it’s not a matter of Cashman standing in Hank’s way, the Yankees and Twins have never agreed on the players.

  193. Doreen January 15th, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    SOS27

    Well, my mom can’t resist a good bargain! And now that she’s retired, she has the time to slowly go through all the clearance racks. To her credit, she never complains of not having enough to wear.

    Don’t flip out. You’ll work it out, I’m sure.

  194. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 15th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    The Twins are out of their minds, They want both Hughes and Kennedy. I don’t even want them to give up Hughes by himself, let alone him and Kennedy. The Yankees should tell them to take thier propsal and stuff it.

  195. mel January 15th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Ray,

    Yes! Even Kobe’s singing a different tune. He said after the game, “We’re a championship-caliber team with him in the lineup.”

  196. raymagnetic â„¢ January 15th, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    From ESPN, Joba vs. Laptops

    The case for Laptops

    In his first three professional seasons, Buchholz is 22-11 with 378 strikeouts in 309 innings. In his six career stops — with Lowell, Greenville, Wilmington, Portland, Pawtucket and Boston — opponents have hit .219, .211, .182, .180, .221 and .184 against him. Buchholz began his college career at McNeese State as a shortstop, and he’s extremely athletic. He has a four-pitch arsenal, and his curveball and changeup are so good that his fastball (which registers in the 90-94 mph range) is generally regarded as his third best pitch. It’s no wonder that when the Red Sox made a play for Johan Santana, they made it clear from the outset that Buchholz was off-limits.

    The case for Joba the Hutt
    He sailed through three minor league stops last year, whiffing 135 batters in 88 innings before emerging as a bullpen sensation in New York. Chamberlain’s 15 1/3 scoreless innings stretch, to begin his career, was the second-longest such streak in Yankees history –surpassed only by Judd ”Slow Joe” Doyle’s 18 scoreless innings in 1906. His fastball and slider both grade out near the max on the 20-80 scouts scale, and the Yankees have the option of plugging him into their rotation or keeping him in the bullpen as a bridge to Mariano Rivera. Right now, it looks as if he’ll be a starter in 2008. While the Yankees were willing to part with Phil Hughes in a Santana deal, they told Minnesota that Chamberlain was not up for discussion.

    The Choice

    We talked to nine non-Red Sox or Yankees personnel people, and the verdict was decidedly pro-Joba. While most baseball talent evaluators predict stardom for both pitchers, seven of the nine preferred Chamberlain. So we’ll go with the Yankees guy as well. Let the debate (and the angry e-mails from Red Sox fans) commence.

  197. mel January 15th, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    So when Hank says they’re still in the Santana talks, he means that they’re trying to convince Minnesota to budge on one of the pitchers?

    And if they’re so hot for Kennedy, package the deal around him. He’s going to be an excellent pitcher.

  198. Gayle January 15th, 2008 at 2:47 pm

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  199. S.o.S.27 January 15th, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    “Cashman wouldn’t name the players Minnesota wants, but another Yankees official said the Twins haven’t budged from their demand of Phil Hughes , Melky Cabrera , Ian Kennedy and Jeff Marquez. ”

    Why not just go for the trifecta and ask for Joba while their at it. I say move one and see what they want for Nathan or call Beane and ask about Street.

  200. S.o.S.27 January 15th, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Sorry,meant to say move on.

  201. S.o.S.27 January 15th, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    “move on,not one”

  202. hmmm January 15th, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    “He sailed through three minor league stops last year, whiffing 135 batters in 88 innings”

    repeated for no other reason than i like seeing it in print.

  203. S.o.S.27 January 15th, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    mel,
    Seeing that your a Laker fan. How do you feel about Kobe asking for a trade and talking bad about Bynum in the offseason? I know that most fans are split about his me first attitude. I for one am a Spurs fan and Duncan is the ultimate team player.I have never had a player on my team that acted like that.

    Do you live close to L.A.?

  204. S.o.S.27 January 15th, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Does anyone know what the opponents batting avg. was vs. Joba?

  205. McLovin January 15th, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    a GREAT QUOTE FROM CANO:

    “”It’s a great deal if we can get Santana. We need it. We need a No. 1 guy like him. … If [the Red Sox] got Santana, they’re going to be a way better team. I hope we get him. It’s not a good idea for us if they get Santana”

    Well said Cano.Cano also doesn’t believe HGH Pettitte and 199 hits in 199 innings Wang aren’t Aces.

  206. hmmm January 15th, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    opponents hit .145/.202/.229 against Joba. which is obviously just plain filthy.

  207. hmmm January 15th, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    “Well said Cano.Cano also doesn’t believe HGH Pettitte and 199 hits in 199 innings Wang aren’t Aces.”

    hey Pete, can we get an “ignore” button?

  208. murphydog January 15th, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    The Hearings, The Report, Mitchell, Selig… what does it all mean?

    “…it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.”

    Shakespeare, Macbeth, Scene V, the “Tomorrow” speech.

    [Complete lines:

    To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
    To the last syllable of recorded time,
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.]

    … a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

  209. murphydog January 15th, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    “Well said Cano.Cano also doesn’t believe HGH Pettitte and 199 hits in 199 innings Wang aren’t Aces.”

    Another perfect example of what Shakespeare was talking about, complete with the sound and the fury.

  210. S.o.S.27 January 15th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Follow up question. Which one of those two pitchers have a more fluid motion, which in the long run is less likely to have arm problems?

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  212. mel January 15th, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    SoS,

    I was disgusted by the behavior, but not at all surprised. We saw what being a “team player” did for Garnett in Minny.

    From the first game of the season, you could tell that Kobe’s a team player. He put all that personal animosity in his back pocket and played. Never pouted one bit since the tip off of opening night. Deferred and let the other players develop. With Bynum out, he’ll carry the team.

    It’s worked out though. All the players, but especially Bynum, wanted to prove Kobe wrong and have all (except Walton & Radmonovic) risen to the occasion. Kobe was impatient, but the jewel may not have surfaced if not for his pounding at it.

    Personally? I don’t think he wanted to leave and as the franchise player he has a right to say what he wants, he just went about it the wrong way.

    Duncan’s cool, but boring. I’d rather watch Tony Longoria or Tazmanian Ginobli. But, Showtime’s where it’s at. :)

  213. raymagnetic â„¢ January 15th, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    “Follow up question. Which one of those two pitchers have a more fluid motion, which in the long run is less likely to have arm problems?”

    Crasnick spoke about all of the during the chat. Here are some excerpts.

    Wayne (Hackettstown, NJ): Will Joba’s arm be okay for 200 innings of 100 MPH fastballs all season long?

    Jerry Crasnick: Wayne,

    This is obviously the big question with both guys: Can they handle a Roy Halladay-Brandon Webb type of workload? That remains to be seen. But Chamberlain’s fastball and slider are overpowering enough to blow away hitters even if he’s pacing himself over 6 or 7 innings. I don’t think you’ll be seeing him throw 100 mph as a starter. But 95-97 is more than enough to get the job done.

    Steve (Boston): While Joba has a great future ahead of him, I believe that Clay has better raw stuff. Joba has great velocity but does he have an out pitch as nasty as the Bucholz Curve?

    Jerry Crasnick: Steve,

    Chamberlain’s fastball and slider both grade out near 80 on the 20-80 scouts scale. You don’t get any better than that. He didn’t use his curveball or changeup out of the bullpen, but he’ll have both in his arsenal if he goes to the rotation. I still think he’s good enough to blow hitters away throwing the fastball and slider 90 percent of the time.

    Jayson (Boston): Boston shut Clay down when he had a hot hand and the Sox were headed to the playoffs. New York had its famous “Joba Rules” limiting action for Chamberlain. Which pitcher is likely to break free of these restrictions first? Will the depth of Boston’s rotation allow Buchholz additional time to develop, or will it unnecessarily hold him back?

    Jerry Crasnick: Jayson,

    I think both teams are going to monitor their pitchers’ workload closely this season. Buchholz shut it down at 148 innings last year with shoulder fatigue, and Chamberlain threw 122 innings during his four stops. There’s no way either guy makes the quantum leap to 200 innings. I think maybe 160-170 innings for Chamberlain and a little more than that for Buchholz.

    Doug (Boston): Clay has no weaknesses, Joba cannot pitch with insects around.

    Jerry Crasnick: Doug,

    Here’s an interesting thing about Buchholz: Two scouts told me they’re a little concerned because he pitches with an extremely high arm angle. Apparently some people in baseball think that can lead to shoulder problems. Buchholz also has a very wiry build — a la Bronson Arroyo. Some talented evaluators look at his body type and wonder if he can consistently handle a big workload.

    Drew (Bedford, NY): You mentioned that on the 20-80 scale Joba’s Slider and fastball are an 80. Where on the scouting scale do Buchholz’s pitches fall? What about Joba’s Change and curve?

    Jerry Crasnick: Drew,

    Buchholz’s curveball and changeup both rank around 70. His fastball is slightly below that. I guess Joba’s curve ranges from above average to hellacious depending on the day. His changeup is a work in progress.

    Lou (NJ): I know you may be high on Joba but many of your colleagues think he is over hyped. What are your thoughts

    Jerry Crasnick: Lou,

    It’s natural that any kid named “Joba” who throws 100 mph and pitches in New York is going to get a lot of hype. But geez — the kid was up for two months and barely allowed a run. As long as he stays healthy, he has a chance to be terrific. The only question is, will he be a starter or a closer longterm? But that’s a pretty nice problem for the Yankees to have.

    Stephanie,New Mexico: I think Joba has staying power due to his body type. Since he such strong legs,what are your thoughts?

    Jerry Crasnick: Stephanie,

    The scouts I talked to all said that Buchholz and Chamberlain both have good, “clean” arm actions, although Chamberlain’s delivery might look a little violent at times. But I think you’re on to something: Joba has such a strong foundation with his legs, it has to help.

  214. McLovin January 15th, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    hmmm-

    murphydog-

    Why didn’t you reply to what Cano said.He just said that quote on the MLB site for Yankees.He just said we needed a #1 Ace and he disdn’t say Wang or Pettitte was a #1.Ignore Cano then where’s that button.Of course HGH Pettitte said we didn’t need SAntana he honestly believes he can be a Ace.

  215. hmmm January 15th, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    “Why didn’t you reply to what Cano said”

    b/c i don’t like you.

  216. Matt in California January 15th, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Now that the A’s are dumping vets, what do you think about trading for Oakland’s Huston Street? I know he had elbow trouble last year, but he has been a pretty effective late-innings reliever (sub-3.00 ERA anyway). Would he make a good 8th inning choice bridging to Mariano?

  217. McLovin January 15th, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    hmmm-

    Yeah easy answer.Some dumb idiot like me says get Santana and you guys are like a pack of wolves but when one of the Great Yankees says we should get a Ace and you are speechless.Funny.

  218. hmmm January 15th, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    “Would he make a good 8th inning choice bridging to Mariano?”

    he would.

    but i am sure the price to acquire him would be prohibitive.

  219. hmmm January 15th, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    “Yeah easy answer.Some dumb idiot like me says get Santana and you guys are like a pack of wolves but when one of the Great Yankees says we should get a Ace and you are speechless”

    at least we agree on one thing.

  220. McLovin January 15th, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    hmmm-

    You forgot to Quote this with what I said before.

    “”It’s a great deal if we can get Santana. We need it. We need a No. 1 guy like him. … If [the Red Sox] got Santana, they’re going to be a way better team. I hope we get him. It’s not a good idea for us if they get Santana”

    Quote from Cano.You keep forgetting to quote that.

  221. hmmm January 15th, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    “Quote from Cano.You keep forgetting to quote that.”

    yes, i get it.

    all Cano said is that he would love to have Johan Santana and that it would be bad for the Red Sox to have him.

    every single person on this blog agrees with that.

    ok, that is settled.

    now, where here is we break from the world of hypotheticals and enter what we call “the real world”.

    in “the real world”, the Twins want Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera, and Jeff Marquez for Santana. the Yankees would then, after giving away 2 of their top their 3 pitching prospects and their starting CFer, would have to give Santana a $150M contract.

    this is something the Yankees don’t want to do. the price is too high.

    since Robinson Cano is not an owner or the GM, he really doesn’t care about such things. he, like you, doesn’t not consider the “real world” implications of acquiring Johan Santana. all he knows is that he wants him.

    who doesn’t?

    now, what is your point? that the Yankees should base their decisions on what Robinson Cano thinks? is your point that Cano thinks Santana is really good?

    what is your point?

  222. McLovin January 15th, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Of course we aren’t giving both Hughes and Kennedy for that price but Hughes and Melky and Marquez is fine and The Twins are still asking for Reyes from the Mets so when there price goes down Hughes is worth the risk for Santana.If not then okay lets try the big three and 4 rookies bullpen guys.

    And stop with the $150 millon contract he is in this market actually worth that but 6 years $135 million is worth that risk because this year you are stealing him for $13 million and when HGH Pettitte ($16 million),Balco Giambi($22 million),dead weight Mussina($11 million),Glassman Pavano($9 Million),this years setup man Fransworth ($5 million) would give way to a great future Hall of Famer next year.

    But the point is Cano knows to compete this year without so many questions in our pitching staff and gambling like we had since 2004 we need a Ace and Wang isn’t that.SAntana can give you 5 Hall Of fame years in the next 7 years thats worth a Maybe Ace in Hughes,a 4th outfielder in Melky and a future long man in Marquez.

    THe Yankees are waiting for the price to go down.And it will.WE needed Santana the last 4 seasons.Cano is saying if Melky is traded at least Melky will play everyday so he really wants Santana not jusy likes him.

    If we keep Hughes okay but like many of these threads when someone says they want Santana and give up Hughes there called idiots.WEll at least CAno also knows we need Santana.

  223. hmmm January 15th, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    “If we keep Hughes okay but like many of these threads when someone says they want Santana and give up Hughes there called idiots.”

    yeah, see this isn’t true at all.

    there are many people here who argue this point intelligently, and while people disagree with them, they are never called idiots.

    there is a completely different set of reasons for why everyone thinks you are an idiot.

  224. Boston Dave January 15th, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    McLovin,

    I actually agree, to some extent, with your thoughts on Santana. You just do such a horrible job of presenting your opinons that you’re never going to have any credibility…. and that’s before considering your insults and sheer ignorance. You have a long way to go before you’re going to convince anybody of anything.

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