The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Pinch hitting: Depressed Fan

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Jan 30, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Two days left this month and two more guest bloggers. Our penultimate pinch hitter is Brian from Depressed Fan.

Why Brian is so depressed, we have no idea. He’s 31, lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter and followed the Yankees, Eagles and 76ers. He’s been a Yankees fan since seeing Don Mattingly play.

Here’s his post:

I have a bone to pick with certain members of the Yankee front office, fan base and blogosphere. Over the past year I’ve heard on numerous occasions that Melky Cabrera is “expendable,” “average at best,” “a stop-gap,” and “terrible.” I have to ask, do you guys watch the same team as I do?

I realize that when the games are over all we have left are statistics. Today, statistics seem to be more important than our own eyes. I’m not here to argue against VORP, PECOTA, OPS or any other stat for that matter. I believe in them, to an extent, but I also believe that statistics alone never tell you the whole story. In Melky’s case, they don’t even begin to quantify his contribution to the team, unless you put some weight on one particular
statistic … wins.

In 2006 when Sheffield and then Matsui went down with serious injuries this team was between a rock and a hard place. How can you replace 40+ home runs and 200+ RBI in your lineup? Brian Cashman didn’t go the traditional Yankee route right away, instead he called up a kid who looked completely overmatched in 2005 when he had his first cup of coffee. When Melky was called up, the Yanks were 18-12, a .600 winning percentage. After Sheffield and Matsui went down, they finished 79-53, a .599 winning percentage. Obviously, Melky alone wasn’t responsible for this, but he was a big factor. At the end of the year, when Matsui and Sheffield came back Melky was deposited back on the bench. We all know how that turned out.

You’d think Joe Torre would’ve learned his lesson coming into 2007, but no. The season started much the same way the last had ended. Melky saw sporadic action in April and May of 2007. On May 31st, Jason Giambi went down with a foot injury and an organizational decision was made. Melky was to be the every-day center fielder until further notice. On that day, the Yankee record was 22-19, a .431 winning percentage. From that point on the Yankees played to a .649 winning percentage (72-39) and Melky’s influence was felt in every aspect of the game, tangible and intangible.

Since offensive statistics seem to be the most common tool used to discredit his contributions, take a look at Melky’s numbers from June through August, 2007. His OPS was .811 in June, .939 in July, .818 in August. Those numbers over a full season would put him as the seventh most-productive center fielder in the game. His final OPS number, .718 ranked 16th, in his second full season in the majors.

Is it out of the question to believe that he’s going to be able to avoid the horrendous start he had in 2007, and the terrible month of September and play on more of an even keel throughout as he matures? Even last year, with all the offensive warts, he outperformed the center fielders on 14 other teams. The point being, his offense isn’t that bad. If he continues to progress, his production will be downright good, God forbid.

On defense, I’ve heard complaints about his range. For my money, his 16 assists make up for any bad patterns he takes to the ball. Baseball America actually rates him as the fourth-best center fielder at fielding balls in his zone. So he makes all the catches he’s supposed to, throws out more runners than anyone, and holds countless other runners from taking an extra base. Sounds like a positive at the position to me.

I spent way too much time talking about the tangibles, because that’s how Melky is always attacked. Let’s finish with the intangibles. Before Melky was inserted into the lineup in 2007 we started hearing dreadful things about this Yankee team. “The don’t have fun out
there,” “They’re just playing for their paychecks,” “They’re a bunch of overpaid All Stars.”

As the season wore on Melky and Cano’s youthful exuberance overtook the entire team. It manifested itself into joking in the dugout, dancing at the plate after home runs, high fives all around, Bobby Abreu making snatch catches against the Red Sox just to show off for Melky, A-Rod actually smiling. The team played together and they played loose. They had fun out there and it translated into two things, wins for them, and enjoyment for us.

By the end of the year, who didn’t look forward to getting home from work to see the Yanks play? Can you honestly say the same about April and May?

Melky Cabrera is an integral part of this team going forward. Austin Jackson or Jose Tabata may move him out a couple years down the road, but moving him for the sake of moving him now would be a step in the wrong direction. It’s about time all the doubters started to take notice of the contributions he’s made.

Comments

comments

 

Advertisement

139 Responses to “Pinch hitting: Depressed Fan”

  1. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Save the Three Musketeers! January 30th, 2008 at 1:10 am

    1) You’re depressed because you’re an Eagles and 76ers fan.

    2) I love the Melkman. Great, well-written post. My keyboard doesn’t want to work tonight so I won’t get much into it, but I agree with you–Melky is a vital part of the team.

  2. Bronx Liaison January 30th, 2008 at 1:10 am

    did anyone see WasWatching’s post on the Santana deal? Steve knows his baseball but he is lost on this one:

    http://bronx-bomberz.blogspot.com/

  3. Clare January 30th, 2008 at 1:11 am

    Brian, nice post. I’m a big Melky fan as well, and I think as of today we can stop worrying about him being traded.

    And, I don’t want to hijack this thread, but I posted at the end of the last thread about a new story in the Clemens saga.

  4. Bronx Liaison January 30th, 2008 at 1:12 am

    sorry meant to include what Steve proposed would be an equal proposal to what the Mets got Santana with:

    To me, this would be as if the Yankees traded Ian Kennedy, Jose Tabata, Alan Horne, and Dellin Betances for Johan Santana.

    Let me know what y0ou think

  5. Peter Abraham January 30th, 2008 at 1:12 am

    Thanks for the post Brian. Now cheer up.

  6. mike eff January 30th, 2008 at 1:19 am

    wonderful post …nice to have someone stick up for the melkman. i think anybody who watches him play can’t help but love the guy.

  7. Ashley January 30th, 2008 at 1:24 am

    Awesome post Brian!!
    Its about time someone stuck up for my melkman!!
    Im a huge huge huge Melky fan and I really hope he is a Yankee forever!!

  8. Bronx Liaison January 30th, 2008 at 1:24 am

    Very good stuff Brian.

    Most important for me was this line:

    Today, statistics seem to be more important than our own eyes. I’m not here to argue against VORP, PECOTA, OPS or any other stat for that matter. I believe in them, to an extent, but I also believe that statistics alone never tell you the whole story.

    That sums up exactly how I feel about baseball’s recent shift to spreadsheets over boxseats. Good to hear somebody else with the same sentiments.

  9. Dee January 30th, 2008 at 1:28 am

    So true! Leche is good and he’s still a baby. Hey but seriously, you live in the best city in the world supporting the best team in the world, why are you depressed?

  10. Johnny B January 30th, 2008 at 1:28 am

    Best post so far out of the guest bloggers (with the possible exception of Will Carroll). Best argued and most convincing points. Very convincing, it won me over to Melky’s side.

  11. Mark McCray January 30th, 2008 at 1:31 am

    BRIAN—

    ABSOLUTELY THE BEST POST SO FAR…

    I tried to say it with my post earlier on this month, but I couldn’t find the words that you did. Honestly, really well done.

    I know there will be a lot of people who don’t agree with you on this and they will bust out all of their trusty stats and what not– but in my opinion– you hit the nail on the head with this post.

    The haters will come around. Melky will make them.

  12. Brian January 30th, 2008 at 1:35 am

    Thanks for all the kind words, and I’m glad there’s a groundswell of support for Melky here, but I have to ask: Why aren’t all of you guys/gals depressed? Haven’t you watched the same exits from the playoffs I have over the past 7 years?

    Admittedly, it’s hard to maintain my depression with the Big Three on the roster, but I won’t be truly happy again until there’s another Yankee parade.

  13. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Save the Three Musketeers! January 30th, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Brain: How could I possibly be the Blog Optimist and depressed? That would make me one heck of a hypocrite!

    (Also, I’m a Nets AND a Jets fan; I have no right to be a depressed Yankees’ fan!)

  14. i miss bernie January 30th, 2008 at 1:41 am

    YEAH MELKY’S STAYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. i miss bernie January 30th, 2008 at 1:49 am

    if you’re gonna be depressed everytime the yanks don’t win the WS, you’re gonna spend alot of time depressed. The yanks didnt win a WS for the first 13 seasons i rooted for them. They went 18 seasons before they won in 1996.

    This is not a time to be depressed, 1989 was a time to be depressed.

  16. Whatevered January 30th, 2008 at 2:03 am

    Nothing to be depressed about. The Yanks didn’t win the WS 7 years but we got the closest any team has. Once a team’s in the playoffs it got to pray hard. Some teams get their miracle and some got to wait a full year again to pray again. If the pats don’t win the superbowl (and I hope they don’t) does that mean they are not great. No. Will they feel bad. Yes. But everybody knows that when it comes to a crucial game (playoffs and etc) you got to pray and play hard. Do your best and hope that it’s what’s going to get you to the win you wish for. Nice Post. For all you that think AJax is going to come up and move Melky away it just might never happen. 2008 could (and hopefully will) a great year for Melky.

  17. Mr. Faded Glory January 30th, 2008 at 2:10 am

    Trusting “eyes” over “statistics” is exactly why inferior fielders like Jeter win gold gloves. I think the reason a lot of people don’t like stats is because they say what they say, not what you want them to say.

    Melky has a chance to be a league average player in CF. And that’s fine. But expendable? Absolutely, in the right deal.

    Unless of course you think that his “joking around” led to wins, rather than the fact that the club was winning led to “joking around”…

  18. Brian January 30th, 2008 at 2:19 am

    Faded Glory,

    He was a league-average center fielder in 2007, his second full season. Obviously he’s going to stay right there forever. No way he’s going to improve on those numbers.

  19. Kyle Farms January 30th, 2008 at 2:20 am

    I just wanted to add on the Santana trade. I hope Phil Hughes gets to start a game against Johan Santana in 08 and outpitch him by alot. I don’t care if Santana wins 20+ games in the national league because that keeps him far far away from us. AND I think the Twins did it because they think the same way too.

  20. Bob from NJ January 30th, 2008 at 2:20 am

    Correlation does not equal causation.

  21. Whatevered January 30th, 2008 at 2:23 am

    Brian, what’s your take on Shelley Duncan. (and Wilson Betemet.)

  22. Brian January 30th, 2008 at 2:30 am

    Whatevered,

    I think Shelley could make an impact as the right-handed side of a platoon at 1b, and a right-handed bat off the bench. Betemit I’m not so high on. I’d rather see Miranda as the left-handed side of the platoon.

  23. Mark McCray January 30th, 2008 at 2:42 am

    AVG .268 | HR 6 | RBI 60 | OBP .330 | SLG .382
    AVG .273 | HR 8 | RBI 73 | OBP .327 | SLG .391

    Who is who?

  24. Mark McCray January 30th, 2008 at 2:46 am

    Well. You would be surprised. One of those players has a World Series ring. And it isn’t the one with the better numbers.

    If the Red Sux can win a World Series with Coco Crisp as their center fielder why can’t the Yankees win one with Melky.

    The answer? Pitching.

    But it’s looking up.

  25. Matthew Cohen January 30th, 2008 at 3:30 am

    On that day, the Yankee record was 22-19, a .431 winning percentage.

    I think that is .537.

  26. Erik January 30th, 2008 at 3:33 am

    Well argued, sire. As a fellow pro-Melky arguer, this was a nice breath of air to see on such a widely read blog.

    You’d think they’d learn their lesson after we were right about who would be a greater help to their team this year — Melky or Mike Gonzalez…

  27. Erik January 30th, 2008 at 3:36 am

    @Matt Cohen: 22-19 was a typo. The Yankee record at that point was 22-29, for a win percentage of .431.

    http://www.retrosheet.org/boxe.....A02007.htm

  28. Brian January 30th, 2008 at 3:37 am

    Matthew Cohen,

    That’s a typo, it was 22-29.

  29. Keith FL January 30th, 2008 at 4:09 am

    We traded for David Cone and he was extremely valuable to the early dynasty…the Sox traded Hanley Ramirez and Sanchez for Beckett, think they love that trade now after winning another World Series? We needed Santana, an ace there for us to acquire, why have we lost in the postseason the last 7 years…..pitching…why did we win the WS 4 out of 5 years..pitching…not offense, if they were so worried about the money, they should have let ARod go and don’t start to say where would the offense be, who would play third…Boggs, Hayes, and Brosius come to mind..guys like that would have worked, they wanted their big name to sell tickets for the new stadium and break records in the Yankee uniform..we have him but no pitching…Cashman you have failed again when it comes to pitching, you wanted Kevin Brown, Vasquez, and Johnson..but get cheap when it came to Santana and he ends up with the Mets, you blew it and I guess we’ll spend another year chasing the Red Sox and maybe the Tigers even though they have more of an all star line-up than we had when we lost to them in 06 and Leyland said we had too many stars….going in to the season with Pettite and Wang and 3 youngsters, it will be another long season of chasing..thanks Cashman and little Stein…might as well just hand the division to the Red Sox and lets look forward to Wang on opening day…he is a #3 pitcher at best…how can anyone feel confident in our starting pitching this year, Cashman you blew it and I hope you are no longer the GM after this year!

  30. bardos January 30th, 2008 at 4:18 am

    the good news is that one AL pitcher who dominates is headed for the NL and one AL pitcher who dominates is headed out of our division to another division. so stat-wise and on-the-field-wise, the yankees will be seeing inferior pitching to what they saw last year. errr… so will boston.

  31. Rockin' Rich January 30th, 2008 at 7:21 am

    Nice job, Brian.

    Haven’t been home to Brooklyn in a while. Could you get me a Blackout Cake at Ebingers?

    Seeya at Bohack’s!

    (Wonder what’s playing at the Rialto…)

  32. Doreen January 30th, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Brian -

    Count me as a Melky fan, for all reasons you cite. There’s something about him — he is exuberant and it is contagious. Had Melky netted the Yankees Santana, I would not have been devastated, but I would have missed him and I didn’t like that he was the one piece of that trade that never changed. However, now I get to look forward (barring unforeseen transactions) to watching Melky from day one of the season.

    I have to say, after that 2005 “cup of coffee” I thought Melky would be doomed. I felt bad for him that he was a kid rushed into a situation he was clearly not ready for, and I thought that would devastate his career. But I believe the Yankees – Cashman specifically – handled that situation well, and when Melky “redeemed” himself in 2006, I think he won over many, many Yankees fans. It was such a hoot to see, first, the “got Melk” signs and then, as more rookies joined the cast of characters, the “Melk & Rookies” signs in the stands.

  33. John in Ohio January 30th, 2008 at 7:40 am

    I’m a Melky guy too, but I think this might be a pivitol year for him. There is talent waiting in the wings. That will be some motivation, as will the knowledge that the Yanks were more than willing to ship him off to Minnesota. I’m looking for a big year from him.

  34. Triple OG January 30th, 2008 at 7:42 am

    Not a Melky fan at all. I hope Cash is looking to trade him for some pen help.

  35. Parrot Guy January 30th, 2008 at 8:00 am

    AMEN BRIAN

  36. ThatWasMe January 30th, 2008 at 8:04 am

    The most important thing Melky brings to our team is his attitude and enthusiam. I’m so happy that he along with Phil Hughes stays in pinstripes.

  37. Tony A. January 30th, 2008 at 8:07 am

    Melky played in 41 games from the start of the season to May 31, partly because Matsui got injured. That’s not sporadic.

    Maybe his slow start had nothing to do with playing time. Maybe it had to do with him just never proving to be a consistently good hitter, as even the most basic stats (i.e. OPS) will show.

    I like Melky, but it’d be foolish to let him hold up a solid deal.

  38. TurnTwo January 30th, 2008 at 8:18 am

    great post… short and succinct.

    and i find it amusing when you go to message boards that are more general discussion boards and not a spcific team board… you hear all these people just throw out “melky’s awful! he’s a bottom 5 CF in the game! he’s not even a starting OF on a good team! if he played in KC noone would even know who he is!”

    and that last one gets me… really? not a starting OF on a great team? maybe if he did play in a smaller market, he’d be lost, but the fact is he plays on a team who has now made the postseason for more consecutive seasons than any other team in the league currently, and plays on the largest stage in the shadow of some of the greatest CF’s in the history of the game, and he’s never really looked intimidated…

    he may not be an all-star, but we should all appreciate him as a player.

  39. Yazman January 30th, 2008 at 8:18 am

    Nice post, Brian. I’m with you in Melky’s corner as well. Something I posted a few weeks back:


    I’m surprised that more folks here haven’t lobbied for keeping Melky, given the Yanks’ defensive situation in the OF. I think his ceiling is Bernie-level, with a better arm. And he won’t turn 23 until the All Star break.

    At the age of 21/22, he was already almost an average AL OF with a superior arm —

    Out of 42 startling AL OFs, Melky was:

    -#22 in RBIs, better than Damon, G. Matthews, Drew and other $10 million+/yr. OFs

    -#19 in hits, more than Damon, Manny, Drew, Matthews, Wells, Crisp, Swisher

    -#5 in triples

    -#25 in total bases

    Many of his weaknesses are learnable: positioning, plate discipline, etc.

    John of Ohio, good point as well about this being a key year to show additional improvement in his weaker areas.

  40. Doreen January 30th, 2008 at 8:26 am

    The thing I’m looking for in the Melk-man this season is the ability to last throughout the season. Up until September, he seemed to be going strong, but then he bottomed out. Not good timing at all. :) Anyway, perhaps with less winter ball played this off-season, he’ll have better stamina, and maybe those ARod workouts will help, too. Plus maturity and learning how to pace himself.

  41. Old Ranger January 30th, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Thanks Brian, great job;
    A lot of us like Milkman, and would have hated to see him go, but this is also a business. To get, you have to give. To be honest, I wanted to keep Melky, the reason is simple…you wrote it. One (over used) word may have been over looked in speaking of Melky, Duncan, and Joba…Chemistry. Chemistry; enthusiasm, enjoyment, interaction, just (as you stated) making your teammates smile/laugh. I realize the dictionary the many not agree with it, but I don’t think they are baseball fans. We all know what it is…it’s in the heart.

  42. Victor the Predictor January 30th, 2008 at 8:31 am

    History will show that the hierarchy of the Yankees made a sensible decision in backing off a Santana deal.

  43. Yazman January 30th, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Clare, excellent catch in the previous thread:

    “Ward said that during the time McNamee injected Clemens with the banned substances, he did not tell anyone about it.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12.....038;st=nyt

    The same two reporters wrote both articles, but don’t note the discrepancy. Pretty shoddy work, IMO.

    Perhaps they are relying on the distinction between “tell” and “discuss.” If Andy already knew, and McNamee discussed it with him, he could argue that he never did “tell” anyone.

  44. Yanksrule57 January 30th, 2008 at 8:39 am

    I too am a Melky fan but here’s a question;

    Do you think that the Yankees have broken him of his stubborn habit of sliding into first base? I know he drove Torre nuts with it despite being ordered not to do it. After he got chewed out about it in the press, a couple of games later he slid feet first going in. Great way to hurt yourself and has actually been proven to be slower than running through the bag.

    But that’s my only complaint about him, he seems to be a great team mate and has an infectious personality.

  45. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 30th, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Bronx Liaison

    Wow you are right, he couldn’t be more off the mark on that one. I know Ian didn’t have too many innings, but pitched to a 1.89 era. That has to count for something. Humber pitched to 7.71 era last year!! 6.00 over all!

  46. Bronxie Brenda January 30th, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Ahhhh …. yes !

    There’s a breath of fresh air in the Bronx today knowing that the Santana cloud of wonderment has moved on to Queens and the Yankees can move on to spring training with their identity cleared and the knowing of what they go to work with.
    It can only be imagined just how clear the minds of Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera are today knowing where they’ll be.

  47. Mike in RI January 30th, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Nice post Brian. Very well thought out.
    I agree 100% on Melky. What he brings to the team can”t be measured on a stat sheet.

  48. TurnTwo January 30th, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Bob Klapisch is reporting this morning that GM Bill Smith came back to the Yankees and told them Phil Hughes was no longer a pre-requisite to a Johan deal; that he would have worked with a package built around IPK, Melky, and another prospect, and Cashman still didnt budge.

    taking into consideration all that i said about melky above, and i like the potential of IPK, but if this is true, I cant see how that wouldnt have been considered a solid trade for the Yankees.

  49. murphydog January 30th, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Nice job, Brian. I dig Melky. If it was for the right deal, however, he’s not irreplaceable.

    As for the latest Clemens thing, “during the time McNamee injected Clemens with the banned substances, he did not tell anyone about it.”

    Is it a play on “during,” meaning that Pettitte and McNamee discussed it “after?”

  50. Doreen January 30th, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Clare, Yazman-

    I am troubled by this statement. It seems more than a bit disingenous, since prior to this, McNamee said no one ever discussed anything with anybody. Now, he is saying he tried to discourage Pettitte from using HGH, but that after Pettitte spoke to Clemens, he brought it up again. Color me cynical, but McNamee is painting himself as merely the unenthusiastic and reluctant participant in this, and YET, it is in the Mitchell report that he would drop hints that one of his guys was “on the program” when he performed well, which bespeaks of a “proud papa” kind of attitude.

    What troubles me most, however, is that by saying in the print media that they are sure that Pettitte, being a stand-up and truthful guy, will corroborate what McNamee has been saying, will say that he and Roger discussed steroids and HGH, it sets Pettitte up in the public eye to be called dishonest if he does not in fact say what they expect him to.

  51. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 30th, 2008 at 8:56 am

    I just had to check out the NY Daily news site to see what their reporters had to say about the Mets getting Johan. And our old Fav Lupica is at it. The title of the article is hysterical to me.

    After long winter, Omar Minaya finally bowls over Twins

    As is this.

    The Mets finally showed up for the baseball winter, beat the Yankees and the Red Sox to Santana, did something you would have thought impossible a few days ago, which means knock the Giants off the back page.

    I’m not exactly sure how they “beat” us to Johan. If the Yankees offered a package, any package, it would have been better than what the Mets gave the Twins.

    if they hold to the idea of giving Santana only five years after this one, the last of his current Twins contract, it is going to cost between $110 million and $120 million in the end – it is the best day for the Mets

    And if the Yankees got Johan and gave this same exact deal, he’d be crying how the rich get richer.

    Yankee fans were in despair at the thought of Santana joining Beckett and Curt Schilling at the top of Boston’s rotation, and an awful lot of them wanted Cashman to give up Hughes to keep that from happening.

    Really I wonder who he was talking to? The Yankees have made moves to prevent moves for far too long.

  52. Todd Drew January 30th, 2008 at 8:58 am

    Very nice job, Brian. You don’t sound depressed at all.

  53. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 30th, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Good article in Newsday.
    http://www.newsday.com/sports/.....551.column

  54. Chris NY January 30th, 2008 at 9:03 am

    great post, totally agree. If they pan out, Jackson, Tabata, and Melky in the outfield sounds pretty good to me. Melky is a good center fielder. Imagine having a good center fielder in left field with that rifle attached to his shoulder.

    I could be wrong, but doesn’t Tabata have a good arm as well? When was the last time we had 2 good arms out there on a regular basis?

  55. Eric January 30th, 2008 at 9:07 am

    The Yankees should be thankful for every day they don’t have a hoot like Peter Gammons overestimating and boasting of minor league talent like Gammons does in the interests of his Red Sox.
    To hear him talk, Boston has nothing but high ceiling prospects chomping at the bit to get to Boston.

  56. Catherine January 30th, 2008 at 9:12 am

    What people need to realize about the Mets offer being compared to the Yankees offer is that the Mets players are only comparable to Kennedy, Tabata, Horne, and Gardner in the fact that they are the cream of the crop of the Mets system. The Twins got 4 of the Mets best prospects, the fact is though that those 4 wouldn’t break the top 10 prospect list of the Yankees and Sox.

  57. Mike NYY- Save the Big Two January 30th, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Not a good post. I love Melky to but he is what he is. He`s a 23 year old centerfielder with an average to below average bat, a great arm, and good range. Yes, he has time to improve and he`s on a great pace so far but he is expendable. Austin Jackson will likely surpass him in center in a few years and then you have to ask yourself if you want Melky in a corner-outfield spot.

    Fun to watch, great fielder, young, cheap, but until his bat improves he`s expendable.

    Theirs plenty of other exp[lanations for the Yankees imrpovements when Melky came up other than Melky. In 2007 the pitching staff’s getting healthy and Chase Wright getting sent back down to the minors helped. Later on Joba replacing Farnsworth was a slight improvement. THeirs a lot of variables other than melky coming up.

    By the way, I was against the Santana trade.

  58. Doreen January 30th, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Jennifer -

    Thanks for the link. Good article.

  59. Mike NYY- Save the Big Two January 30th, 2008 at 9:16 am

    To be honest i wouldn’t compare Humber to Kennedy. I`d compare him more to Alan Horne.

  60. TurnTwo January 30th, 2008 at 9:18 am

    one thing i’d like to point out is how so many people were railing Hank Steinbrenner for yapping his mouth and assumed he’d overrule Cash and Hal and trade away Hughes, etc,… and now, we see he’s bought into the plan; that he didnt overstep his boundaries within the organization’s new structure.

    if you believe keeping a hold of the holy trinity was the right thing to do, lets hear some of these same people come out in support of hank, finally.

  61. DMan January 30th, 2008 at 9:21 am

    I’m a Melky fan too.

    Just the energy alone he and Cano bring to the team is enough for me to like him.

    I do think though, in order to satisfy the masses, he’s going to need to impress more at the plate. He has to get that average up this year..

  62. Mike NYY- Save the Big Two January 30th, 2008 at 9:25 am

    TurnTwo, I`m of the opinion that Hank did want to make the trade but Hal was against it who has equal power in the organization and Brian was against it as well. Good for Hank for not creating a power struggle with Hal but you can’t give him that much credit.

  63. Yazman January 30th, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Good points, Doreen.

    I sure hope the media and fans would give Andy the benefit of the doubt if he says he never had any such conversation about Roger.

    Upon reflection, I’d likely believe Andy either way. If he says he knew about Roger taking steroids, that’s WAY more credible than McNamee. But if he says he had no such knowledge or conversations, that would be another strong indicator of Roger’s innocence.

    As a family-first guy with too much to lose, I just don’t think Andy will lie about any of this under oath.

  64. DMan January 30th, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Yazman, Doreen-

    I wish it could work that way.. I hope it does..

    But doesn’t everyone get the feeling that public opinion is shifted agaisnt Roger that it’ll take a lot to change most peoples minds?

    Maybe it’s just me living in Boston, but the only thing people seem to want to talk about is what the Mitchell Report says. They run with that as fact, and take everything else as hearsay..

  65. What's the real story? January 30th, 2008 at 9:33 am

    “According to sources familiar with the entire negotiations, after the Red Sox removed Lester, the Twins called the Yankees back and proposed a scenario in which Hughes would not have to be part of the deal. Instead, they asked for Chien-Ming Wang and Ian Kennedy. The Yankees flatly rejected that, leaving the Mets as the Twins’ only alternative. ”

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

  66. Russell NY January 30th, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Thank god, somebody gets it. Try telling all that to a stat head lol.

  67. Russell NY January 30th, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Bronx – Tabata and Kennedy are of more value than anyone the Mets gave up. I am upset the Mets picked up Santana, but happy the Twins got nothing because their fans were morons for laughing at our offer and saying “Hughes and Melky weren’t good enough.” Look what you got in return Twins fans… a 5-tool below .300 hitter and 3 crap pitchers.

  68. whozat January 30th, 2008 at 9:39 am

    “taking into consideration all that i said about melky above, and i like the potential of IPK, but if this is true, I cant see how that wouldnt have been considered a solid trade for the Yankees.”

    And the Daily News says that the proposal included WANG and Kennedy.

    Sure, that doesn’t include Hughes…but I still don’t make that deal.

  69. Doreen January 30th, 2008 at 9:40 am

    It would seem to me that Andy has built up some credibility by admitting that he did use HGH twice. So, I would very much hope that whatever he has to say in front of Congress will be accepted as truth.

    Honestly, DMan, I don’t really know what to believe with Roger. Is it a case of “thy dost protest too much,” or is he really clean here? And even if Pettitte testifies that they did in fact discuss steroids and HGH, it’s not necessarily a foregone conclusion that Roger used them. In fact, I would be surprised to learn that any major league baseball player had NEVER discussed steroids and HGH. It is a major issue in their sport, and they are tested for steroid use. Unless there is physical evidence, how can we ever be sure of the credibility of anyone’s testimony?

  70. DMan January 30th, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Russell NY, Bronx-

    What’s strange, is that according to mvn.com and Baseball Americas’s list, the Twins got the Met’s #2,3,4 and 7th ranked prospects..

    Imagine if that had been the Yankees? That would probably be Kennedy, Tabata, Horne.. And I have no idea who would be 7th..

    At least with that deal, the Twins would have gotten 1 player who was major league ready..

  71. whozat January 30th, 2008 at 9:43 am

    “When was the last time we had 2 good arms out there on a regular basis?”

    The last game of the 2007 season. Bobby has a good arm too. He doesn’t throw his body around, and he’s bad at going up against the wall, but he’s got a strong, accurate arm.

  72. Steve Lombardi January 30th, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Excellent post Depressed Fan! Two thumbs up.

  73. whozat January 30th, 2008 at 9:44 am

    “Imagine if that had been the Yankees? That would probably be Kennedy, Tabata, Horne.. And I have no idea who would be 7th..”

    2,3,4 and 7? That’d be Kenendy, Tabata, Jackson and then like…Marquez.

  74. mel January 30th, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Turn Two,

    Hank’s already hedged his bet. He uses Hank-speak to warn the fans to be patient with the young pitchers (i.e.Phil) and to lay the path to blame at the feet of Cashman.

    Phil’s going to be fantastic. He may get injured or stumble as young pitchers inevitably do, but in the end it’ll be the smart thing to do. Unless Phil becomes the next Pavano the fans won’t turn on him.

    _________________________________________________________

    Brian,

    Nice post about Melky. He’s not as good a “prospect” as the others, but he’s definitely earned his keep. Can’t help but thinking that he’s a seat-warmer, that he’ll end up patrolling centerfield in some other stadium. But he’s pretty good for a seat-warmer.

    The intangibles are there and there’s no doubting the effect on the club he’s had since his callup. There’s no stat for that, just a gut feeling. One thing about Melky, guys learn very quickly not to underestimate his arm. In many ways he’s like Shane Victorino. Spark plug, lots of assists, fun guy.

    Now if we can only find a nice seat-warmer for 1B, that would definitely help with your depression.

  75. Doreen January 30th, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Wow, Twins, what a deal! Wang instead of Hughes. So, if the Yankees wanted Santana they had to give up 3 major league players (IMO IPK is not a prospect anymore) plus another front-line prospect, or if you do consider IPK a prospect, 2 major league players and 2 front line prospects. And Cashman was supposed to consider this especially knowing what the Mets were offering? Hah.

  76. fan9 January 30th, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Did anyone see this? Joel Sheehan of Baseball prospectus wrote about Melky as a possibly breakout player this upcoming season.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....ers/1.html

    “Melky Cabrera: Cabrera went backward in ’07, but not by enough for concern. Remember that he’s just 23 years old and has more than 1,100 plate appearances in the majors, with average to average-plus defense (good physical tools but very raw, takes bad routes) and a very good 129/96 K/BB. He’s a mature player offensively, patient at the plate and fair on the bases (25 for 35 stealing in his career). One interesting quirk is his G/F ratio, which is 1.63 for his career and was a whopping 1.81 last season. Cabrera is listed at 5’11″ and 200 pounds. He’s not Willy Taveras, but rather a player who should be developing power and learning how to drive the ball, rather than hitting the ball on the ground 60 percent of the time.

    I’m reminded of Alex Rios, who doesn’t look a thing like Cabrera. Rios was largely disappointing in 2004 and ’05, hitting just 11 homers in more than 900 at-bats, with an isolated power of 117. The problem: Rios was hitting the ball on the ground too much, a 1.82 G/F in those two seasons. Starting in ’06 Rios put the ball in the air more than half the time and became a star. When you look at Cabrera’s body, his established control of the strike zone and his ability to hold his own at a young age, you recognize that all it’s going to take is for him to start elevating the ball. Cabrera may not get there in 2008, but he’s going to pop 80 extra-base hits and slug .500 in a season very soon.”

    He makes some valid points. I do however think, as a young player, Melky swings at some god-awful pitches. His head sometimes isn’t in the game(as is Cano’s), he takes bad routes and he really hasn’t developed into the hitter he should be. However, I can easily see Melky turn into a top of the order guy who can steal some bases, hit 10-15 hr, smack 30 doubles, score 100 runs and hit .300, all while playing a solid OF. I mean, if you or anyone else doens’t think that’s valuable, why did the Yanks pay so much for Johnny Damon and Jeter?

  77. TurnTwo January 30th, 2008 at 9:47 am

    well no, if it was Wang and IPK, i wouldnt have done that, either. but now we have conflicting reports, so we dont know the true facts, and all of this is speculation.

    the whole point of the Yankees not including Hughes and IPK, to me, was that they were giving away 2 MLB ready arms out of the 2008 starting rotation… they could have one, or the other, but not both…. obviously, this would carry over in the Wang scenerio, too.

    but think about what the Twins were asking for from the the Yankees, and what they ended up with from the Mets… its staggering.

  78. Larry Jaffe January 30th, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Wonderful post Brian. I get so tired of hearing about stats instead of just enjoying and playing the game. You got it right.

  79. whozat January 30th, 2008 at 9:50 am

    “but now we have conflicting reports, so we dont know the true facts, and all of this is speculation.”

    We didn’t know any facts before the conflicting reports either:-)

    Basically…we can either assume that Cashman’s not an idiot or assume that he is. I’m going with the former.

  80. Old Goat January 30th, 2008 at 9:52 am

    If there was truth to the reported “lowering of demands” to Cashman to make an offer, I think Cashman handled it right by just blowing him off.

    Think about what the Twins GM settled for. I think there could be two reasons why Smith wanted the Yankees involved. First that comes to mind is that he was still playing his game trying to use the Yankees bid to up the Mets package. The other reason that comes to mind is that Santana might have expressed his preference of what team he wanted to go to.

    With all the talk, all the comments about how the Twins didn’t like Hank’s deadline, I think the Yankees saw through the actions fairly early on. If the Twins were really that upset over the deadline and everything else, why did they reach out to the Yankees as a last ditch effort? I think Smith knew that even Kennedy lead deal was a better offer than what the Mets put together.

  81. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 30th, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Doreen

    Wow they got crap from the Mets, yet they wanted a 2 time 19 game winner from the Yankees, and a guy who pitched to a sub 2.00 era last year (yeah I know he only pitched 19 innings but still), among others. NO ONE can blame Cash for not making the trade now!

  82. Old Goat January 30th, 2008 at 9:59 am

    If the story in the News about the Twins “lowering their demands” and taking Wang and Kennedy instead are true, then Smith really needs to be put in an institution because he is certifiably nuts.

  83. mel January 30th, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Basically, I think Cash didn’t want to give up the players and Hal didn’t want to give up the cash.

    Human nature precludes that Hank’s going to resent Cashman for siding with his brother. I bet he thinks they’re standing in his way, not allowing him to take his rightful place as the sole decision maker for the New York Yankees.

    Wang & IPK? We all would’ve taken that deal in a heartbeat…in December.

    Now? I don’t know. I just want to move on. Wang, Melky, IPK, Hughes aren’t too bad if they’re the consolation prize. Wang doesn’t win a lot of games by accident. (Please don’t mention his last postseason. More exception than the rule. And Cleveland was red-hot.)

  84. Drew January 30th, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Amen Brian! I too am tired of hearing “lets just trade Melky” and then we’ll get another centerfielder. I don’t know if Melky will turn into a star and who cares if he does. I don’t need an All-Star at every position. The guy is steady and shows signs of getting better. He’s certainly a better centerfield option than Damon. He also brings more to the game than the usual buttoned up attitude of the Yankees. His energy and child like enthusiasm shouldn’t be overlooked. Mets fans can identify with this. As soon as they dumped Dykstra things took a turn for the worse. Leche!!!!!!

  85. OldYanksFans January 30th, 2008 at 10:11 am

    “I love Melky to but he is what he is. He`s a 23 year old centerfielder with an average to below average bat, a great arm, and good range.”

    Beat me too it Mike. EXACTLY!
    Melky is NOT a horrible CF’er!
    Melky is NOT an excellent CF’er!
    If you ‘average’ Mikes assessment above, I think Melky comes out as a slightly better then average CF’er.
    Grade C+

    However, considering his salary (CHEAP!) and his youth, he does have potential upside.
    If he improves his routes, which is do-able with practice and coaching, with decent speed and a great arm, he will be a solidly above average defender.
    If he is more selective at the plate and does NOT try to pull the ball (sprays the ball ala Cano) he could post a consistant .800+ OPS.

    An above average defender in CF with an .800+ OPS is valuable, especially when he is cheap.
    So, basically, the ‘Story of the Melkman’ has yet to be told.

    If people here would like to ‘Thank Pete’ by helping to maintain a quality dialog, please, please, PLEASE remember:
    Bob from NJ – Correlation does not equal causation.

    Not to be cruel Mark McCray, but comments like:

    AVG .268 | HR 6 | RBI 60 | OBP .330 | SLG .382
    AVG .273 | HR 8 | RBI 73 | OBP .327 | SLG .391
    “If the Red Sux can win a World Series with Coco Crisp as their center fielder why can’t the Yankees win one with Melky.”

    really has no value is terms of adding to the discussion.
    The Red Sox did NOT win the WS because they had a crappy CF’er. They won despite him.

    My mother smoked, drank and shot Heroine and lived to be 93.
    Does this mean you should recommend that your mother smokes, drinks and shoots Heroine if she wants a long life?

    Tenley Albright had polio, yet also bacame an Olympic gold medalist for figure skating. Does this mean having polio INCREASES your odds of becoming an Olympic gold medalist for figure skating. Should Skating scouts hang out at polio wards?

    Correlation does not equal causation.

    One of the best things about a quality Blog is that one can hear others analysis and educate oneself to become smarter in any number of the fascinating aspects of baseball, and what goes into assessing ballplayers and developing a winning team.

    I think it makes for a better blog when people listen and learn from one another, and try to raise their own level of discourse. After all, this is a Yankees blog, not a Red Sox blog.

  86. pat January 30th, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Hal Steinbrenner actually holds a higher position in the Yankee organizational structure than Hank. While Hank has shared lots of words with us all, his is in no way the last one so he is not the sole decision maker.

  87. Lori January 30th, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Great post Brian! I think you have to love Melky — he is truly having fun out there and I do agree that the attitude rubs off on people. I’m glad he’s still here for now. The one area I’d like to see improvement this year is his leadership in controlling the outfield. CF is supposed to be the traffic cop, but the number of times I cringed as I watched him and Abreu almost — or in fact do — collide was way too many. Perhaps he is deferential to the veterans, but if he is going to make CF his long term home he has to get over that.

    I must say – there are way too many sickos on this board posting at 4 in the morning! Don’t you people sleep??

  88. Old Goat January 30th, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Mel, I can’t say that I would have liked seeing IPK and Wang traded for Santana at any time. A deal centered around IPK would have been more acceptable, but to say Wang AND IPK? That is nuts.

  89. Dan January 30th, 2008 at 10:14 am

    He might get better but he isn’t that good he is average at best right now but he is still young so he can still improve but he was one of the worst CF in offense last year he takes some bad routes to the ball and does not have great speed

  90. the burning question January 30th, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Will Johan Santana be the guy that makes the Mets and their fans forget about the free fall of September, 2007 ???
    Can he lead his team to at least a division title in a weak NL East division ???

  91. Buddy Biancalana January 30th, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Some info on Santana from Olney’s blog:

    Something else to consider: Always assume that the folks involved in making a trade usually have more information at their disposal than we have. And the Twins’ push to finish this deal now, rather than opting to keep Santana, raised the eyebrows of many of his brethren in baseball. “They’ve obviously made the decision they have to get him out of there before spring training starts,” said another GM, “and you have to ask yourself: Why?”

    I wrote here earlier this month that evaluators from four different teams saw the same signs of regression in Santana in his last seven starts at the end of last season: diminished velocity, an unwillingness to throw his slider. Two of the evaluators had concerns about this and wondered if Santana was completely healthy, and two did not, chalking the regression to the lack of late-season adrenalin on a Twins team that wasn’t in the race.

    “The Twins are going to know him better than anybody,” an evaluator in the AL said Tuesday night. “It’s not that they think he’s hurt, but maybe they’re seeing signs (of decline) in him, and figure it’s better to make the move now.”

    A clear option would’ve been for the Twins to hang onto Santana and try to win in ’08. “But there was a reason why they made the decision to move him now,” said the evaluator. “They’re smart people over there. It makes you think … “

  92. Doreen January 30th, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Lori -

    I agree with you about Melky taking charge in CF. Every time he and Abreu go after the same play, I worry.

  93. randy l. January 30th, 2008 at 10:22 am

    brian -
    good timing on your guest post and with the santana trade to the mets meaning melky is now staying with the yankees. melky staying passes the all important “conrad test”.
    the “conrad test” is not based on stats. the “conrad test” is based on watching the yankees from from the days of babe ruth to joba chamberlain.

    conrad is my father and he first watched ruth, gehrig,lazzeri, etc after a twenty hour trip from the family farm in maine in the back of his big brother’s pick up to the big apple and yankee stadium when he was about 6-7 years old.

    “the conrad test” is simple. he watches once. he likes a player or he doesn’t.i remember being told for years that there was this guy at cleveland that the yankees just needed to get. it was graig nettles.

    melky passes the” conrad test” with flying colors. matter of fact , he totally cracks him up whether he’s tripping over second base after a hustle double and almost being tagged out from over enthusiasm,to fighting off pitches with the little brother determination on his face before he knocks a three bouncer up the middle for a key hit, and to the celebration hand shake or bump that melky and cano do. he says melky is always in the middle of things like a troublesome little brother.

    conrad did not want to see melky traded. matter of fact, i found out about the santana trade from my father calling( and it’s hard for him to beat me on the punch on baseball news). he was euphoric that santana went to the mets.

    so santana to the mets and melky staying with the yankees gets a big thumbs up from the “conrad test” . i feel the same way ,but expect melky to move to left field field( with a chance of right field) at some point in a year or two as a speedier center fielder with more range comes along( gotta pay some attention to those range factor stats).

  94. raymagnetic â„¢ January 30th, 2008 at 10:22 am

    “Instead, they asked for Chien-Ming Wang and Ian Kennedy.”

    If this is true then this is even more ridiculous than them asking for Hughes and Kennedy. In fact this is outrageous. If this is true I wonder why they didn’t ask for Cano as well. I mean if you’re going to get ridiculous with your demands then you might as well go all out.

  95. Jeff NJ January 30th, 2008 at 10:23 am

    This post is right on. Melky is just a winner. His contributions offensively are overlooked or frowned upon and that is just wrong. Instead of having an all star at every position I would take a team of 9 Melky’s any day of the week. That team would hustle, have fun and most importantly win.

  96. mel January 30th, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Old Goat,

    Before the winter meetings, we were the only player involved and it was new and exciting. The prospect of getting Santana was very real and we knew it would cost us. But at the time it was a MUST GET DONE kind of thing. You’re talking Johan Freaking Santana. So yes, Wang & IPK would have to go. If it doesn’t hurt it’s not a good deal.

    But we’ve convinced ourselves that it’s expensive, it’s long-term, he didn’t use his whatever pitch, he gave up the most homeruns in the league (ironically Beckett did that the year before), Phil was “it”. Basically, I think we fell out of love with Santana.

    It was a win-win, either way. You get the best pitcher in the game (LH btw), someone to take the ball twice in a post-season series. Or you get to keep a really good, potentially great prospect. Between Joba & Phil, you have an opportunity to create your own Santana.

    If you took the same poll in both early December and late January. You’d see a striking difference. Many people would’ve done Wang/IPK then, but not now. (Wang’s postseason still stung in December, as well).

    Still not convinced? Even SJ44 changed his mind. And he was down on Hughes after last season.

  97. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Save the Three Musketeers! January 30th, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Morning all.

    The wind up here last night had me utterly terrified; my apartment’s the top floor of this house and I didn’t realise windows could shake so much!

    Hope your night was more peaceful than mine.

  98. Doreen January 30th, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Jeff NJ -

    Much as I like Melky, I would not want 9 of him. He is a complementary player (which is not a knock, but a compliment).

  99. Greg Andrew January 30th, 2008 at 10:28 am

    You should never really trust your eyes about anything. Vision doesn’t give us a true representation of the world; it’s a skewed vision caused by how our brain reacts to certain light patterns. There is a lot going on that we can’t see at all. And that’s before the information that comes through the eye is transferred to the brain, which is wired to make connections in many more situations than it should.

    I’m not trying to make any specific point about Melky, just that the reasoning that people should “trust their eyes” on anything is wrong. The eyes are not trustworthy, and the fact that people vastly overrate their trustworthiness is one reason a lot of innocent people are put into jail because of unreliable eyewitness testimony.

  100. Chris NY January 30th, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Good point whozat, forgot about Bobby for a second. But then again, he only has a good arm when he feels like playing defense.

  101. Doreen January 30th, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Rebecca -

    The night here seemed fine, but that could have just been the exhaustion setting in from returning home! However, this morning, I’m afraid the neighbors’ trash cans are going to come blowing through my windows any minute now!

  102. TurnTwo January 30th, 2008 at 10:31 am

    where is SJ? I havent seen him post since the news came down…

  103. vrsce January 30th, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Poor Minnesota Twins,
    This is what happens when you think too much. “He who hesitates is lost”.
    Hughes, Cabrera, Marquez plus prospect, and you do not take it? As for out of the AL for Santana, that is a laughable excuse to take 4 minor leaguers. It really is true, that the boondocks are full of rubes.

  104. whozat January 30th, 2008 at 10:40 am

    “Good point whozat, forgot about Bobby for a second. But then again, he only has a good arm when he feels like playing defense.”

    That’s not true at all. Bobby plays solid D. Objective measures all show that he’s better than average in terms of getting to balls. He’s bad at timing jumping catches against the wall and he doesn’t lay out, that much is true. And people who equate a dirty uniform with good D get down on him. But he doesn’t dog it out there, and it’s unfair to say that he does.

  105. Kill-Schill(ing) January 30th, 2008 at 10:41 am

    “About 12 hours before the Mets would pounce upon their most dramatic trade in recent history. Twins’ general manager Bill Smith, in a panic to move Johan Santana, called the Yankees and admitted surrender: Phil Hughes was no longer a prerequisite, he said. Instead, the Twins asked for Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera and a top prospect. Would the Yankees still be interested, Smith wondered?

    The Yankees’ internal straw vote was unanimous: The Twins had waited too long. On Tuesday Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman told Smith he was passing on the deal, prompting the Twins to call the Red Sox.”

    SO much for the Cashman champions’ assertions last night that Bill Smith would not have accepted an offer for Santana centered on Ian Kennedy.

    Nice work Cashman.

  106. Old Goat January 30th, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Mel, I think you are over rating your own feelings with including Wang in a trade to be a majority. I read a lot of blogs and have a site of my own. In the majority of them, this was the only site that probably would have had Wang in along with Kennedy.

    Kennedy isn’t as loved by a large portion of Yankee Fans because he didn’t set the world on fire like Joba did, nor did he get the years long hype that Hughes did. That is what made him more expendable.

    People here were including Wang because of how he pitched this post season.

    Don’t confuse being fickle about the Yankee players to the desires of the majority of Yankee fans.

  107. Kill-Schill(ing) January 30th, 2008 at 10:42 am

    About 12 hours before the Mets would pounce upon their most dramatic trade in recent history. Twins’ general manager Bill Smith, in a panic to move Johan Santana, called the Yankees and admitted surrender: Phil Hughes was no longer a prerequisite, he said. Instead, the Twins asked for Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera and a top prospect. Would the Yankees still be interested, Smith wondered?

    The Yankees’ internal straw vote was unanimous: The Twins had waited too long. On Tuesday Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman told Smith he was passing on the deal, prompting the Twins to call the Red Sox.” — Bob Klapisch, Bergen Record

    SO much for the Cashman champions’ assertions last night that Bill Smith would not have accepted an offer for Santana centered on Ian Kennedy.

    Nice work Cashman

  108. whozat January 30th, 2008 at 10:47 am

    “SO much for the Cashman champions’ assertions last night that Bill Smith would not have accepted an offer for Santana centered on Ian Kennedy.”

    Well, I’d seen sources that said that. Now we’ve seen one source that refutes that. Ok.

    Anyhow…Let’s say the Yankees put Kennedy/Melky on the table. Smith goes back to boston, who put Ellsbury back on the table. Now the Yankees have to put Hughes back on the table or let him go to Boston, and we’re back where we started.

  109. Gus G. January 30th, 2008 at 10:55 am

    I know Ian didn’t have too many innings, but pitched to a 1.89 era.

    Jennifer-

    Totally agree. The thing that I absolutely love about Kennedy is that he faced the Blue Jays TWICE in a week and shut them down BOTH times. It’s one thing when you can see teams once through and have an ERA of 1.89… it’s another when you see a team like the Blue Jays and do it to them twice. It’s not like the Jays had a weak offense last year either. Maybe a little banged up, but not weak by any sense of the mind. Kennedy will be turning some heads this year. Bet on it.

  110. Jeff NJ January 30th, 2008 at 10:55 am

    FYI I think IPK, Melky and a top prospect named let’s say Tabata is too much for a player going to demand $22M a year.

    I think the Yankees should just hope that Sabathia hits free agency, then blow him away with being on the team that opens the new Yankee Stadium. The 2009 rotation would be Joba, Sabathia, Hughes, Wang, Kennedy or Pettitte. That works.

  111. Jeff January 30th, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Sounds good Pete.

  112. Buddy Biancalana January 30th, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Wow, new look for the blog! Nice!

  113. Mario January 30th, 2008 at 10:58 am

    The Twins in final attempts, changed their stance with Hughes and ask for Wang and Kennedy.
    Cashman saw that Bill Smith had 24-karat chutspah and went thumbs down …. no deal. Props to Brian.

  114. raymagnetic â„¢ January 30th, 2008 at 11:00 am

    “SO much for the Cashman champions’ assertions last night that Bill Smith would not have accepted an offer for Santana centered on Ian Kennedy.

    Nice work Cashman.”

    Did you read the other article which says that Smith asked for Kennedy & Wang? Who knows what’s the truth. Would you have wanted Cashman to trade Kennedy and Wang?

  115. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 30th, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Damn everything shrunk.

  116. randy l. January 30th, 2008 at 11:07 am

    old yanks fan ad bob from nj-

    ” Correlation does not equal causation”

    on the other hand, correlation does not equal no causation, either.

  117. saucy January 30th, 2008 at 11:11 am

    good post on melky. lets hope that baseball america’s (or whoever that was’s) predection is true on him this year

    as for the santana trade, the price was ridiculously too high, and came back to being somewhat realistic. to say you’re paying for a one year rental is not true. the way i look at it is similar to a posting fee for a japanese or foreign player, but in this case the posting fee is players/prospects as opposed to money, making it more difficult for anyone to judge which is the better offer.

    i also think a lot of trades these days are based on what percentage of what another team has to offer are they obtaining by getting rid of a star, without looking at the real values of the players. X% of yankees farm vs X% of mets or boston farm. glad they didn’t make an offer in the end.

    i’ll stop rambling now.

  118. Yazman January 30th, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Doreen, my compliments for the complementary use of homophones! Who said diction is dead? :)

    More importantly, you make a good point about Melky.

  119. OldYanksFans January 30th, 2008 at 11:15 am

    “Instead of having an all star at every position I would take a team of 9 Melky’s any day of the week.”
    ———————————————————-
    Errrr… would this be for your company softball team? Surely you don’t mean for a MLB team that you hope makes the playoffs?

    You know, while I took a beating for it, I liked Miguel Cairo. I don’t think he was a very good baseball player, but I liked the guy. Guys don’t have to be really good in order to like them.

    I happen like the Melkman too. I’m glad he’s still on the team and I get a chance to see if he developes into a plus player. But right now, he’s just slightly better then average for his position. But I like the kid. He’s not a really good ballplayer (yet?), but I like the kid.

  120. OldYanksFans January 30th, 2008 at 11:23 am

    “SO much for the Cashman champions’ assertions last night that Bill Smith would not have accepted an offer for Santana centered on Ian Kennedy.”

    So…. Smith is now desparate and calls the Sox. Smith asks for LESS THEN the afformentioned Lester -or- Ellsbury packages. The Sox now have a chance to bury the Yankees for years, and get Santana at below market. So the Sox do what?

    Well… Santana is a Met now, so I guess THE SOX SAID NO!
    Does that tell you anything?

  121. Doreen January 30th, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Yazman –

    I try, I try. :)

  122. OldYanksFans January 30th, 2008 at 11:26 am

    “on the other hand, correlation does not equal no causation, either.”

    Well I guess that’s true. I guess the fact that on 1/16/08 it snowed 12″ in NH doesn’t mean it WON’T snow 12″ on 1/16/09. However, I wouldn’t be Phil Hughes on it.

  123. OldYanksFans January 30th, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Oops… that’s “BET Phil Hughes on it”
    PETE!!!!!!! Edit Screen please!

  124. mel January 30th, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Old Goat,

    Don’t make it to other Yankee sites too much, but I’ll make sure to check yours out.

    Personally, I love Wang, but I’d rather give him up than Hughes. And only for Santana. But it’s a moot point anyway.

    As for IPK. I’m high on him. He was a great college pitcher and I think that’ll translate well.

    In fact, I love all our guys. I just think if you asked people in December, “IPK & Wang for Santana?” Some would’ve said, “Hell, yeah!”

    What I’m really trying to say is that getting Santana went from ‘hot damn!’ to ‘whatever’. At least from what I’ve read here.

  125. JDnotDrew January 30th, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Totally agree. Melky was/is a breath of fresh air to this team. He gave this team back a human side where before they were just going through the motions instead of having fun and playing the game. Also, to those who point out that this is the same team as last year like it’s a bad thing, look at it this way. Teams take time to develop. This team has played together and overcome major down times last year. I think this will only make them stronger and more unified. In my opinion with all the shuffling of players the Yankees usually do in the offseason this is a goood thing. Hopefully this year this team will play like a team and win. I’m sick of all the individualism the last few years. Hired guns didn’t get it dones so here to teamates who play like ateam and win 27/08

  126. Shepherd January 30th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    I’m so happy the Mets got Santana. Who cares what Bill Smith told Cashman, it’s a done deal we can all sleep and stop clicking the refresh button on MLBTR.com finally lol.

    As for Melky, I love him. Someone said he passed the “Conrad Test”. I think that’s funny but true. Wise veteran Yankee fans do have a good feelings for players. I would hate to see Cano without Cabrera and vise versa, they really feed off of each other. It’s always good to have friends on the team that can speak the same language.

    Does anyone know if Matsui speaks English well yet? Or is he fine with knowing the baseball basics and keeping true to his Japanese ways?

    I’m so excited for the Yankees future. Youth is egniting the team and will domninate starting in 2-3 years.

    We could have Wang, Hughes, Joba, IPK, and for the next 10-15 years!!

    Also, after the aging Abreu, Damon, Matsui leave in 2-3 years, LF Tabata CF AJax and RF Cabrera will dominate!

  127. Yankee Jay January 30th, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    I totally agree. Melky is my new favorite player. I think people really undervalued how much his defense and attitude contributed last year, they don’t make the playoffs if he isn’t on the team. The Yanks are a far better team with him in center rather than Damon or Matsui. Gunning out a runner at 3rd, or home is a huge boost to the team, and nobody is better than the Melkman. Also, if not for midgefest in Cleveland Melky drives in the game winning run in game 2 with the dinger off of Carmona.

  128. Melky January 30th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Please. Stop calling me Melkman. it is the worst nickname ever. Please. Just stop. You make my mother cry with the stupid name.

  129. Mr. Faded Glory January 30th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I attribute a lot of this Melky adoration to Yankees fans once again overvaluing their own prospects and players. The point about Melky is that he’s replaceable. he’s not terrible, but he’s not a superstar. That makes him expendable.

  130. iYankees January 30th, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    i haven’t read all the comments, but i have to say that the Depressed Fan blog is one of the funniest i’ve ever read. great stuff over there.

  131. randy l. January 30th, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    oldyanksfans

    ” Melky was to be the every-day center fielder until further notice. On that day, the Yankee record was 22-19, a .431 winning percentage. From that point on the Yankees played to a .649 winning percentage (72-39)”

    i was referring to the above statement about melky by brian. melky may have been a factor in the increased winning percentage. it seems like “Correlation does not equal causation.” is used to imply that melky was not a factor. i think the opposite is also true that” correlation does not equal no causation” and that melky may have easily been a cause in the improved winning percentage.

    ok, after giving myself a headache from too much logic,i’ll move on. just wanted to get that out.

  132. Brian January 30th, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Mr. Faded Glory,

    I don’t think it’s a problem of “over” valuing our own prospects, I think it’s a case of us actually valuing them properly. Any other team in the league with a 23 year-old center fielder who was providing average offense at the position and above average defense wouldn’t even think about trading him when they have him under contract for years to come at an extremely favorable rate. Even leaving the intangibles out of this conversation, trading him makes no sense.

  133. The Fallen Phoenix January 30th, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    We don’t really know what the Twins did–we don’t really know if they actually reduced their demands to Kennedy, Melky, and a top prospect (whoever that is/could be…for all we know, it’s a prospect the Yankees are really, really high on who was never previously on the table). We don’t know whether Hal Steinbrenner chose to step in and say, “We’re drawing the budget line here; no matter who the Twins want for him, we’re not trading for Santana.”

    I, personally, will concede that–if I’m in Cashman’s position–based on all of the information that I myself have, if Smith calls me and offers Santana for Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera, and either Jairo Heredia, Dellin Betances, or Jesus Montero, I might have a very difficult time turning down that deal. Sure, you’d be giving a young, high-upside player in any of the three I mentioned, but I think that the Yankees system is deep enough to withstand such a blow.

    But that’s just it: we all have very limited information, even in this day-and-age. As much as we think we know about prospects from websites like BA, BP, and writers like Keith Law, we still lack the resources (particularly in terms of scouting, and a team’s own internal evaluation of their developmental and coaching staff) to make true, sure-fire evaluations of all the players involved. Say what you want about “objective” analysis, but I firmly believe that no one knows their players more than the team they belong to, and while there might be a tendency to overrate or overvalue a team’s own assets, I still think that tendency is overcome by the sheer volume of information a team has on its players.

    This isn’t to say that a team cannot be wrong or evaluate its assets poorly; a cursory look at MLB history (or even Johan Santana himself) will show that teams can, and have, missed big-time on their own talents. But I definitely think that MLB teams are certainly in a *much* better position than you, I, or even someone like Keith Law–despite his resources–to evaluate the moving pieces in a deal like this.

    But that’s just my two or three cents.

  134. The Fallen Phoenix January 30th, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    And when I say the sheer volume of information a team has on its own players, I do think that includes a great deal of unique information that other teams may not be privy to–for example, how that player responds to coaching, how that player goes about his day-to-day business outside of the stadium, how hard that player works or is willing to work, the sorts of intangibles that *do* matter but are so difficult to hit on, especially evaluating from a distance.

    That’s not to say this information is completely inaccessible to anyone but those who are in a particular organization, but I think there’s a really good reason that, when an executive formerly affiliated with one team moves to another (especially those cases where he’ll take on GM responsibilities for another team), you will frequently hear of (or even see) that executive trying to deal with players who he was most familiar with in his previous organization. I really think that it’s a partly, if not entirely, a result of this privileged information he was previously privy to.

  135. winfield killed my seagull January 30th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    i do like melky but i ain’t drinking the koolaid that he was responsible for the turnaround. how about the fact that Wang got healthy? hence, the rest of the pitching fell into place.

  136. Brian January 30th, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Obviously he wasn’t solely responsible, but he was a big part of it. He was a big part of the team’s success the year before also.

  137. Chris January 30th, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I think Joe Torre wrote this Blog. Melky’s got a “belly full of guts” and “heart.” Stats are your friend.

  138. Chris January 30th, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Shepherd wrote: “We could have Wang, Hughes, Joba, IPK, and for the next 10-15 years!!
    Also, after the aging Abreu, Damon, Matsui leave in 2-3 years, LF Tabata CF AJax and RF Cabrera will dominate!”

    Of course all those guys will work out perfectly. No problems there. Oh, Yankees prospect fans…..

  139. MAN February 28th, 2010 at 1:28 am

    With thanks.. Still an additional great picture, it is why I come to the web-site habitually!!

Leave a comment below


Sponsored by:
 

Search

    Advertisement

    Follow

    Mobile

    Read The LoHud Yankees Blog on the go by navigating to the blog on your smartphone or mobile device's browser. No apps or downloads are required.

Advertisement

Place an ad

Call (914) 694-3581