The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Finding a first baseman

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Feb 10, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Several readers e-mailed over the winter suggesting the Yankees make a trade for Nick Johnson.

I had my doubts. While he’s a good player when healthy, staying healthy has always been an issue for Johnson. He hasn’t played since the end of the 2006 season because of a badly broken leg.

In his column today in The Post, Joel Sherman wrote that the Yankees could wind up with Johnson if he shows he can play this spring.

With Dmitri Young at first, the Nationals don’t much need Johnson.

I asked Brian Cashman about the idea of trading for a first baseman on Friday and he dismissed it out of hand. He is convinced they have enough of those types. “Either we’ll platoon or somebody will take the job,” he said. “I’m not too concerned.”

Potentially, they could be fine. Jason Giambi could be productive in his walk year. Maybe Shelley Duncan just needs a chance. Maybe Morgan Ensberg is healthy and can be a OPB force and field the position.

But maybe Giambi is immobile, maybe Duncan strikes out too often and maybe there’s a reason the Astros and the Padres didn’t want to keep Ensberg. Then what? The Yankees will be keeping a close eye on the Nationals.

It would be ironic if Johnson returned to the Yankees a few months after his uncle, Larry Bowa, left the team to join Joe Torre in Los Angeles.

 
 

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114 Responses to “Finding a first baseman”

  1. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--27/08 February 10th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    …Larry Bowa is Nick Johnson’s uncle?

    Next I’ll be hearing A-Rod and Jeter are second cousins once removed.

  2. Joe from Long Island February 10th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Right now, I agree with Cash, Pete. But, who knows? The world is full of irony.

    Personally, I really hope Giambi and Shelly make good.

  3. Jay February 10th, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    I’ve always been a Giambi supporter, and he’s hit like a star when healthy, but it’s sweet music to my ears to hear it’s his last year — it’s amazing that his absurdly long contract is FINALLY over. Fitting the contract that started the downturn for the team — when they signed one big star after another — should come in the year that the Big Three take over. It truly is a new era.

    What Cashman doesn’t want to say is, “We’re going to get by with Ensberg, Shelley or someone for a year and then we’ll be signing Tex for a whole lotta money.”

  4. Travis February 10th, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Doesn’t seem overly ironic to me. Rather, what if the Yankees reacquired Javier Vasquez and then traded him for Nick Johnson? That would be ironic.

  5. chris February 10th, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    even more ironic if they get johnson in giambi’s walk year… afterall, that who they replaced ol’ nick with. i’d love to see him come back. i mean, he’s home grown, a good dude and would have numbers just as similar as any of the others in that pool of ambiguious 1st base talen.

  6. Jeff NJ February 10th, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Oh that’s right Giambi can play some first base. Funnily enough George King in his brilliant analysis of the Yankees first base question, didn’t mention that Giambi would be in the mix for 1st. He just said they would have to find a way to get three veterans Damon, Matsui and Giambi into 2 spots, LF and DH. I think the platoon of Giambi/Duncan or Giambi/Ensburg with Damon backing up Melky will allow plenty of at bats for all 3.

    Gone are the days when the bench was Cairo, Minky, random no bat journeyman catcher and Kevin hemoroids Thompson never getting off the bench. I love the idea that the bench could have Matsui/Giambi, Ensburg, Betemit and Molina.

  7. ThatWasMe February 10th, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Always liked Nick Johnson, great patience at the plate, good OBP when with us and a good glove. The broken leg was a freak accident. Just when it seemed like he would finally complete a decent season uninjured it occurred, I always felt at some point Nick would return to the Bronx. I do not believe however that Giambi can maintain good health for the upcoming season, his body seems to be breaking down and unless Duncan puts up some powerful numbers and can play a decent first, the return of Johnson to the Yankees, if he remains healthy throughout the spring, could be a possibility.

  8. whoa February 10th, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    I would love to see OBP Jesus back in pinstripes, but Bowden is tough to deal with, and it would be hard to assign a reasonable value to someone who seems so susceptible to injury.

    Maybe if Igawa pitches well in ST his value would be sufficiently raised to include him in a package along with maybe Marquez and a PTBNL based on how well Nick performs.

  9. Fran February 10th, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Cashman never tips his hand. Even though he dismissed the idea of trading for a first baseman, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

  10. SJ44 February 10th, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    In a perfect world, Juan Miranda kills AAA pitching and he and Duncan are the first base platoon the second half of the year.

    Nick Johnson hasn’t played for a long time. Its going to be interesting to see if he can still play.

    They can always find a glove for late innings work at the deadline.

    Count me in the camp of not expecting too much first base work from Giambi. He just doesn’t seem to be able to stay healthy for a long enough period of time to help them at first.

    I hope I’m wrong but, at least for the first half of the year, following Miranda’s progress in Scranton is going to be a must on my baseball to-do list.

  11. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--27/08 February 10th, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Does anyone know when single game Scranton tickets go on sale?

  12. Yazman February 10th, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    I like our chances of 1-2 players emerging from Giambi, Duncan and Ensberg. Keep Betemit in the 1B mix, too.

    That said, I remembered Nick Johnson’s OBP was good, but wow, in his last four seasons .428 (in 2006), .408, .359 and .422. Wow. His 2006 also boasted 100 runs, 23 dingers and an OPS of .948. Not chopped liver!

    I say stay the course, but he’s sure an intriguing discussion if we go 0/4 on the current guys.

  13. Yazman February 10th, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Excellent point, SJ44.

    Most fun part of this season is that the Yanks should be in the championship mix, with a number of key slots potentially open for youngsters:

    => 2-3 SPs
    => 3-5 RPs
    => 1-2 1B

    And that’s barring injury.

    Can anyone point to a Yankees team in the last decade with that many slots likely to be filled by youngsters?

  14. Terrible Tom Paine February 10th, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    It should be a rule of journalism that you people err on the side of caution and never use the word irony. I have yet to find a sports journalist who uses it correctly.

  15. RonH February 10th, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Rebecca, the SWB single game tix may be on sale now. Hard to tell, but the website let’s you access the schedule for single game tickets. Call 570-969-2255.

    http://www.minorleaguebaseball.....p?sid=t531

  16. Josh February 10th, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    I don’t understand why everyone assumes we’re automatically going to sign Teixeira. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see him in NY, but I don’t get why everyone says he automatically a Yankee and mind as well set aside a locker for him at the new Stadium.

  17. cc February 10th, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    “It would be ironic if Johnson returned to the Yankees a year after his uncle, Larry Bowa, left the team to join Joe Torre in Los Angeles.”

    Can someone explain how this would be “ironic”?

  18. McLovin February 10th, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    For people who complain Pavano is always injuried people will make our prospects look like future hall of famers when they are not.And the Nick Johnson fan club won’t let go from Yankee memories and worry about people worth trading or as free agents.Like CC Sabathia or Mark Texeria who will be your future first basemen.

  19. james February 10th, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    I admit, right now the timing to bring Nick Johnson back isn’t good becuase we have a lot of alternatives that have to be looked at first. Not necessarily great alternatives. Now whether your on team Cashman or team some other guy his inability to find a decent option for first base year after is the largest black mark on his resume. Considering it’s the deepest position in Baseball and their is usually 5 or 6 teams who have better back ups than we do a starter. It makes me uncomfortable that he rejects Nick Johnson out of hand. Last year he waited all off season to add a terrible left handed first baseman becuase he couldn’t find a decent right handed one. My overblown point is if you add Nick Johnson to the list of first base candidates who wins? Nick Johnson probably does, so we would be better. So Cashman’s 5 year first base rebuilding plan better start to work.

  20. james February 10th, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Some people have wondered if Bobby Abrue should be platooned because against lefties his avg and obp .262/.329 vs righties .289/.382 the slugging percentage was .349 vs .476. really he should be platooned home and away. Away .241/.330/.394 and at home .326/.408/.497

  21. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--27/08 February 10th, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    RonH–Thanks, I was hoping I might be able to order them online sometime.

  22. Mike S. February 10th, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    I’ve been advocating bringing Nick back for a while now. He’s only 29.

    Next time you see Brian, Pete, ask him how many of his options at first he is comfortable with and see if you get a straight answer or a B.S. answer. Defensively alone, Johnson beats that bunch hands-down. I’ve asked others about Nick’s recovery, and I’ve heard that he is running and is fine. Remember that RFK was a tough park for hitters.

    As for Shelley Duncan, I find it ironic that the Yanks have signed two righty hitters (Lane and Ensberg) who will basically compete for Shelley’s position. Not a show of confidence in Shelley.

    Anyone who wants to see the big G at 1st is nuts.

  23. Clay Buchholz stole my laptop, and David Ortiz ate my hamburger (aka Joe) February 10th, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    “Next I’ll be hearing A-Rod and Jeter are second cousins once removed”.

    I think Joe Torre is related to Herman Munster, but I’m not 100% sure.

    Not to get off topic, but I enjoy Yankees Chick’s blog, and that leads me to a question. Is my enjoyment only due to the halo effect? Let’s face it, Maureen is as cute as a bug in a rug.

  24. Catherine February 10th, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    Do the Yankees actually have a shot at getting Texeira? I heard he likes ATL

  25. Ranting Guy February 10th, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    I’m guessing that Shelley Duncan taking over at 1B is a possibility they’re leaving open for him to earn. Lane & Ensberg are the insurance if Shelley turns out like Josh Phelps in the field. Betemit could earn it too but he might do more for the team as the all-around backup infielder. Giambi could fill in for a few games if they’re all merely average or go into slumps.

    Bring four guys into spring training, see who earns it. Either way, having Shelley’s enthusiasm on the team sure doesn’t hurt unless he injures a teammate with a forearm bash after a HR. I don’t expect his defense to be like Mientkeiwicz or Youkilis, but if he rises to the occasion, does better than realistically expected and earns a spot (backup OF or DH if not 1B) that’s great. A good low cost gamble.

    If nothing works out then look into Tiexiera when he’s available, while also looking for other options.

  26. Ranting Guy February 10th, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    To elaborate a little further, I’m with the thinking that although Nick Johnson’s a real good player, he’s been too injury prone. I wish it was worth the risk, but I don’t think it is.

  27. Doreen February 10th, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Catherine -

    I’ve heard the same thing – that he likes Atlanta a lot, even that he either bought or is looking into buying a home in the area. I don’t think Teixeira is a given to become a free agent after the season. A lot will have to do with whether Atlanta wants to pay the money necessary to extend his stay with them. But Atlanta operates on a strict budget and has let superstars go before. The difference here is they traded for him, so they must have given some thought to keeping him after his contract ended, in my opinion.

    In any event I think the Yankees are better off doing what they’re doing for one more season, as imperfect a situation as it is, and if Teixeira IS available, and still performing well, then they go after him. If not, they’ll have to see what shakes out this season. Perhaps one of their own rises to claim the job. I’m not sure Nick Johnson is the answer, though if he were able to play again it would be pretty cool to have him, I guess.

  28. Doreen February 10th, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Just as an aside, it would not “ironic” if Nick Johnson were to return to the Yankees after his Uncle Larry left, but it would be an interesting happenstance.

  29. Olde Town Glory February 10th, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    This is why the Yankees will always be around in the hunt for the playoffs. They have All-Stars even as their platoon guys (Giambi) and they feel like they need to go out and add more players.

  30. Bronxbyte February 10th, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    At some point the logjam at 1st base has to be sorted out. The ideal scenario has Cashman ridding the team of Giambi’s bloated contract. That by itself opens some doors. If Juan Miranda has a head turning spring, Betemit may have the most to prove. He also has competition from Chris Woodward, Nick Green, and Alberto Gonzalez for an infield utility role.

  31. Ranting Guy February 10th, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Hey I have an idea!
    Can Pavano or Igawa play 1B ?????

    OK sorry I’ll go back to my crack pipe …

  32. Nick February 10th, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    With Mark Teixeira being from Maryland, he’s expressed past interest in playing in Baltimore but with Peter Angelos on a mission of dismantling the Orioles, his thoughts have turned to either Atlanta or where he’ll see the biggest contract of his career and realize a championship team.

  33. Joe from Long Island February 10th, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Hey Ranter, can I have some?

    Seriously (or not), Doreen is right. We really can’t book on Tex winding up here. So here’s rooting for Shelly!

    By the way, I think Giambi has a no-trade clause, and, in the past, has said something to the effect of “no way” about waving it. He grew up a Yankee fan with his father, and, at the end of his career, I don’t think he will walk away. Besides, what GM would take him at this point? He may go on to have a really good season, but who would pick him up with his contract? So, let’s root for him along with Shelly.

  34. 2008 Yankees February 10th, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    If Nick left the year before Larry here then it would be ironic if Nick came back right after Bowa left.
    But that is not the case, so there is nothing that is ironic about Nick coming back.

  35. SJ44 February 10th, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    The Braves have had a lot of talks with Boras (Tex’s agent) about a contract extension this off-season.

    Frank Wren, the Braves new GM, has a good relationship with Boras. Much better than Scheurholz had with him.

    Tex went to Georgia Tech. He is knows and likes Atlanta.

    I think he ends up doing a deal with the Braves.

    However, if he doesn’t, Boras can count. He knows how much the Yankees have coming off the books after this season, and how much new revenue the new Stadium will produce.

    Before anybody asks the answer is “no”. Scott Boras won’t shun the Yankees because of the Arod stuff. If he has a client (like Tex) he will have the Yankees in the mix for him. There are no long term grudges between agents and teams. Only between teams and agents! lol

    If Tex sees free agency, the Yankees will be all over him.

    Provided of course, their first base issues aren’t solved from within this season.

  36. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--27/08 February 10th, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Clay, c’mon now, you gotta have some idea of how that makes the rest of us female bloggers feel…

  37. JK February 10th, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    For those who dont get why it would be ironic…

    Nick Johnson gets traded right before his uncle is hired

    His uncle leaves and the Yankees trade for Johnson

  38. Ranting Guy February 10th, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    or coincidental if not ironic

  39. Bronx Born February 10th, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Rebecca, you got nothin to worry bout. you are aces in my book.

  40. Doreen February 10th, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    SJ44 –

    I had forgotten the Braves have a new GM. That makes things a little more interesting, I think.

  41. Joe from Long Island February 10th, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    The Braves did give up a lot for Tex, like that highly rated Salty guy (I’m not even going to try and spell it). It would be a bit strange if they let Tex go after paying so much in young (low-cost) projected talent.

  42. Travis February 10th, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    I like Doreen’s description of “happenstance.”

  43. Bronxbyte February 10th, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Pecota projection :

    Jason Giambi
    2007 Stats: .236/.356/.433
    2008 Projection: .235/.363/.453

    PECOTA agrees with the general consensus that Giambi’s days of being an elite hitter are gone. The system projects a repeat of last year’s plate appearance total (around 300), with plenty of walks and homers — and pretty much nothing else. Look for Morgan Ensberg to get plenty of time at first base this season, with a possible trade or free-agent signing in the works for 2009 and beyond.

  44. 2008 Yankees February 10th, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Nick left in 2003, Bowa didn’t come until 2006. That is not “right before”

  45. Blargh February 10th, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Irony is saying stuff to express the opposite of the literal meaning of the words you used (if it sounds like sarcasm to you, then note that sarcasm is irony with contemptuous/harsh intent) or stuff happens in the opposite manner of expected.

    Coincidental, sure; not really ironic.

  46. Nick in SF February 10th, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    All this Yankee talk is fine, but does Lohud have a “Lost” blog? I need to hear SJ44′s take on that. And maybe Phil Hughes’.

  47. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! February 10th, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Hey is anyone Volunteering do work All Star week?

  48. Jeff NJ February 10th, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    It’s like rain on your wedding day, a free ride when you already paid. Good advice that just don’t take. Isn’t it ironic? Don’t ya think?

  49. Kj February 10th, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Does anyone have ESPN Insider? If so can you please post Keith Laws top 100 prospects.

  50. JoeT YANKEES February 10th, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    is there really a conversation going on over the use of the word irony?? who cares if pete used the word correctly or not.. i’m MUCH more interested in “who’s on first?”

  51. Old Ranger February 10th, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    EJ Fagan…reports on Juan;
    “He’ll make the plays that come to him,” but Juan is a terrible defender…This scouting on Juan Miranda. Do we need two lefty DH types? He goes on to say he is young yet and won’t hurt the team ala Jason. Others have also shown disdain for his defence. Also, against leftys…bad news, although he will improve by facing some in the MIL.
    Hopefully he will improve his defence. 27/08.

  52. stat guy February 10th, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    The Yankees have 3 more World Championships than 75.8% of the Major League teams they’ll compete against in 2008, put together.

  53. dontfirecash February 10th, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Nick,

    The first two episodes of season four of “lost” have been amazing in my opinion. It is shaping up to be a great season; much better than last years.

  54. yanksrule57 February 10th, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    Re First base:

    The Yanks have a lot of options. Not necessarily great options but between Shelly, Betemit, Lane and Ensberg, someone has to earn the job.

    Re Lost: I’ve never watched but am tempted to buy the first season dvd to try, anyone recommend it? I hear it’s a very complex story with lots of flash-backs/forwards. Sounds like more trouble than its worth.

  55. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--27/08 February 10th, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    Jeff: There’s not a single instance of irony in that song.

    Whoever’s asking about Lost: It’s one of those shows where if you miss one episode, you’re totally lost, no pun intended. I saw all of season one and two, and some of Season three before I went to London last spring and i haven’t seen it since.

  56. PAT M. February 10th, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    It’ll be interesting as to what the Yanks do if Texeria does go FA…..Even if Miranda does have a outstanding season at AAA in 08, I cannot invision the Front Office making a strong move for his services…..Once again it may very well point to how well Hughes, Kennedy and Joba do this season….If they do excell then maybe the youth movement stays on course….That being said, I cannot see the Yanks not spending big Yankee dollars for an All-Star 1B who has many productive years ahead of him….Finding a catcher for 2010 has to be a priority…I’ve seen Rommine play many times at El Toro HS…Great Arm, foot work so-so, and his size maybe an issue…..But the boy flat out rakes though……As always, the advent of Spring Training is exciting….Looking forward to the great ( for the most part ) banter that fills this site…..I already have tickets for Oakland, Seattle and of course Anahiem….I just need to make plans for the Stadium……Any thought to maybe piggybacking Hughes & Joba, alternating starts and relieving each other ??? Maybethe only way to scrip out their innings…October could be a challenge as the innings mount…..

  57. Clare February 10th, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Anyone see this article in the NYTimes yet?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02.....ref=sports

    Waxman is criticizing Hardin’s comments about Nowitzky.

    I see it as pushback against Hardin’s criticism of Mitchell and the government in general. Hardin has raised some serious questions about Mitchell’s report, specifically in the Canseco affidavit. (I’ll link that later so this doesn’t get stuck in moderation). Basically, Mitchell didn’t do even the most obvious fact-checking of McNamee’s story. Mitchell’s staff did not even call back Canseco to ask if Clemens was at that party. That’s pretty damn sloppy work.

    Hardin’s pointing out that particular flaw in the report reflects badly not just on Mitchell, but also on Waxman’s committee, that couldn’t do enough to pat Mitchell on the back at the first hearing. I think Waxman’s letter, leaked to the NYTimes before Hardin even received it, is Waxman’s not so subtle message to Hardin to make sure he’s properly deferential to the govenment, its agents and cronies.

    Hardin has tried to do that, noting that he’s not criticizing Mitchell, just the part of the report that is based on what McNamee told Mitchell. However, the real culprit is Mitchell’s hopelessly conflicted, investigated by lawyers not investigators, sloppy, biased and unprofessional report. It’s hard to tap-dance around the main problem.

  58. cc February 10th, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    “is there really a conversation going on over the use of the word irony?? who cares if pete used the word correctly or not.. ”

    Fair enough, except that Pete is a writer, even if about sports, and should be expected to use the language correctly and avoid the cliches that sports journalism notoriously and increasingly abuses (“obviously,” anyone?). Since Pete is very receptive to reader feedback, it seems reasonable to point out that the potential near-miss of a player and his uncle would not rise to dramatic irony. (Rhetorical irony is a related but different term.) Almost any situation could be described as ironic, if that one could be.

  59. Clare February 10th, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    “According to The New York Post, Mitchell interviewed Canseco before speaking to McNamee, so Canseco was never asked about the party in question.”

    And what, they couldn’t call him back? You’re going to trash the reputation of one of the greatest pitchers in history, and you can’t make a single phone call to check your facts?

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=3238965

    (This is in reference to my post above, to split up the links).

  60. Joe from Long Island February 10th, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Maybe Tino can spend a lot of time with Juan Miranda to help him out. Supposedly, defense can be learned, at least to some extent. If his hitting skill is as advertised, he should be interesting to see progress.

    My wife is into “Lost”. From the first season on, in my view, it has gotten progressively worse. The plot lines get more obtuse, and fantastic. As others have pointed out, if you miss an episode, you’re “lost”. The last couple of times I’ve peaked while my wife watched, I’ve found it so unbelievable that I can’t stand it. It seems to revel in it’s obtuseness and unbelievability.

  61. Joe from Long Island February 10th, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    The Mitchell report clearly stinks. It’s only the bozos on Capitol Hill who take it seriously. We deserve better representation in Congress, and should remember this next election day.

  62. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! February 10th, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    JoeT YANKEES

    http://www.baseball-almanac.com/humor4.shtml

  63. Peter Abraham February 10th, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    From Oxford American:

    ironic |īˈränik|
    adjective
    using or characterized by irony : his mouth curved into an ironic smile.
    • happening in the opposite way to what is expected, and typically causing wry amusement because of this : [with clause ] it was ironic that now that everybody had plenty of money for food, they couldn’t obtain it because everything was rationed.

    To me it would seem ironic that Nick could get traded to the Yankees a few months after his uncle left given that they’ve always wanted to be in the same organization.

    If I’m using it incorrectly, I apologize. I is not always the best of writerz.

  64. Doreen February 10th, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Pete,

    Then there already is some irony, since they HAVE been in the same organization – just not at the same time. :)

    I guess I probably could have assumed, but I did not know that they had expressed the desire to be in the same organization.

    Hey, Pete, didja know Bruce already won 2 Grammy awards for Radio Nowhere????

  65. Nick in SF February 10th, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    I have a vague recollection that Dennis Rodman, in his autobiography, made some specific comment about Alanis Morissette use of “ironic” in her song and then suggested that she didn’t know what the word actually meant. I am not making this up.

    re: Lost, I love it, so I’m biased, and I think it’s totally worth it. It can be extremely frustrating, yes, and the basic M.O. is, why answer one question when you can ask three more? But the characters are great, lots of eye candy (whatever your persuasion), and the story does actually move along. Whether the destination is worthwhile in the end is hard to say, but the journey is pretty great. For an uber-dorky tv show, that is. So I say yes, get the season one DVD, or Netflix the first disc, but do give it a try. And if you’re a few episodes in and like it, make a point to not watch any promos on ABC/ESPN, they’ll only spoil the surprises.

    I enjoyed the first couple episodes this season a lot too, but after waiting eight months, I was pretty desperate for my fix. Thank goodness the writers’ strike seems to be settled, eight episodes this year just wasn’t going to cut it.

    Last, if you’re already a fan and are already caught up, I recommend this literary/scientific take on the show from the Powell’s Books site, very interesting stuff:

    http://www.powells.com/blog/?author=104

  66. JDnotDrew February 10th, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Pete- it’s your blog and you can use irony any way you want. There is no irony in that. Keep up the good work.

  67. Joe from Long Island February 10th, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    My wife is threatening to make me watch more “Lost” with her, both old episodes on DVD and the new season.

    Baseball cannot start soon enough.

  68. Nick in SF February 10th, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    It would be really ironic if someone became a Lost fan because of something they read on a Yankees blog!

  69. john s February 10th, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Msnbc reported on 2/7/08
    “The plan announced by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is to start the 2008 season with Joba Chamberlain in the bullpen.”
    Has this been reported elsewhere? What’s the deal?

    here’s the link
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23059454/

  70. cc February 10th, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    “• happening in the opposite way to what is expected, and typically causing wry amusement because of this …

    To me it would seem ironic that Nick could get traded to the Yankees a few months after his uncle left given that they’ve always wanted to be in the same organization.”

    But there’s no actual reason (that I’m aware of) to expect Bowa and Johnson to be in the same organization, even once it’s given that they’ve apparently wanted to be. So their near-miss is (in my judgment) not ironic. “Ironic” has become a sports journalist cliche for describing “something that makes you go ‘hmm’” but has no real meaning. “Worth noting” might be a better term, especially because it would make you pause before noting whatever it is you’re about to claim is worth the effort.

  71. JGNYC February 10th, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    It’s like ray-ee-aaaaain on your wedding day.

  72. Tom(Eastchester) February 10th, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Pete,
    Don’t ask about Nick. Cashman had his eye in that direction all winter. The Nats will ask for too much but they really have no option but to trade him. The Yanks will be first in line.

  73. Peter Abraham February 10th, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Tom: Just wondering, but how do you know what Cashman has had his eye on all winter? Does he swing by Eastchester on his way home and fill you in on his plans?

    Meanwhile, Doreen, while I’m pleased for Bruce, the Grammys are largely a joke.

  74. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! February 10th, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    I agree Pete, I haven’t watched the Grammy’s in years!

  75. OldYanksFan February 10th, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Giambi in 2007:
    Apr: .322 .404 .517 .921
    May: .177 .350 .323 .673
    After the injury, he had about an .750 OPS, but if you remember, Torre wouldn’t play him 2 days in a row. When healthy, Jason is much better when he plays everyday.

    Basically in May, he played most of the month with the heel spur. I’m told it’s painful just to stand up with a heel spur. The guy ain’t done. The projction is based on a year playing injured and then VERY inconsistanty. If he is healthy, he will still rake. A bone spur is a bit of a freak injury.

    Nick the Stick is a stud. His OPS is about .040 pts below Tex’s, but Tex with get $15m+, maybe $18, while Nick is making $5.5m. I’d take him back in a heartbeat.

    You don’t really expect Cashman to go on record saying he wants Nick, do you? He will give Washington the impression he is doing them a favor by taking Nick off their hands.

    Miranda is trade bait.

  76. LathamJoe February 10th, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    I just wish Mr. Cashman would concentrate more on finding a decent left-hand late inning BP pitcher and less on picking up Nick Johnson. The Yankees won 94 Games with virtually the same 1B combination last year. They have fair 1B candidates, a wealth of right-hand bullpen arms…and NO LEFTIES!

  77. UtilityMan February 10th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Well Alicia Keys looked pretty awesome!!

    I wish Dr.Acula was here to post some pictures.

  78. whozat February 10th, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    “I just wish Mr. Cashman would concentrate more on finding a decent left-hand late inning BP pitcher and less on picking up Nick Johnson.”

    Wait…so Cashman says “no, we’re not interested in trading for a first baseman” and you respond “He’s focusing too much on getting Nick Johnson!”

    What?

  79. JoeT YANKEES February 10th, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Jennifer – I love that skit, when i wrote my original comment i wasn’t thinking about it until i wrote it out, naturally i had to change it to “whos on first”

  80. randyhater February 10th, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Giambi’s a shadow of the player he was even 2 years ago. He’ll acquire a nagging injury that’ll bother him all year before Spring Training is half over. No way he gives us even 20 games at 1st and if Cash hadn’t gifted him an insane 7-year deal (with an option for an 8th!) he’d be on a beach somewhere now with Mike Piazza comparing back acne.

    Assuming Betemit bothers to come to camp in shape and swings a decent stick, we should find out once and for all if he’s a player. He’s still young, has pop and a decent eye, and can probably field the position better barehanded than Shelly can with a glove. Girardi should tell him the job is his for the first 30 games, no matter what, and see how he responds. It’s just the kind of thing Torre would never do.

  81. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--27/08 February 10th, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Heh, Amy Winehouse won four, that’s all I need to know.

    Meanwhile, the windchill here is -16 and the wind is so loud my building is shaking.

    Spring training on Thursday. Right.

  82. Vote No February 10th, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Shut up Oprah

  83. JoeT YANKEES February 10th, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    John – good find there – he starts the article saying how cashman aparently said Joba is going back to the pen, but then talks about it like he’s trying to convince the Yankees they should do it.

    I don’t see that anywhere else and honestly I would think Pete/ESPN/every other sporting outlet would have it before msnbc

    I personally think (and have all along) that if you have a guy that can dominate in the pen like I think he’ll be able to they should keep him as the 8th inning guy, they’re too hard to come by. Obviously 200 innings is better then 60-70.. but he can help win a lot more games in those 60-70 innings then he can in the 200 as a starter.

  84. OldYanksFan February 10th, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Joba will be on a 140-150 IPs limit. If we look like we’re going to the PS, subtract 20 from that. So maybe 120+ IPs for the regular season. So thats 40 IPs in the BP and then 14 starts in the 2nd half. Then back to the BP for the PS.

  85. Guiseppe Franco February 10th, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    I don’t see the Tigers putting Verlander in the pen – or the M’s putting King Felix in the pen – or Boston planting Buchholz in that role.

    When you have a young stud who you believe is going to be a frontline dominant starter – you don’t waste that kind of talent by putting him in the pen.

    That’s ludicrous.

    I understand using Joba in that role for the sole purpose of keeping his innings in check, but it absolutely should not be permanent.

  86. Kill-Schill(ing) February 11th, 2008 at 12:00 am

    Cashman has earned a permanent spot on my sh-t list. Everything out of his mouth of late only reinforces his position.

    Believe me, I won’t weep when he leaves at the end of the year.

    “Power corrupts.”

    Brian “Hubris” Cashman. I do like the sound of that.

  87. Yazman February 11th, 2008 at 12:02 am

    OYF certainly hit it on the head — the Yanks’ goal will be to get Joba his 140-150. I totally agree with 1st half pen/2nd half SP.

    But I’m agnostic for the post-season. If we have 3-4 other hot starters, then I agree.

    But if Joba’s one of our top 3 SPs in the 2nd half, and the incoming kiddie corps solidifies the pen, Joe G. could keep Joba in the rotation.

  88. whozat February 11th, 2008 at 12:03 am

    “if you have a guy that can dominate in the pen like I think he’ll be able to they should keep him as the 8th inning guy”

    I just really think that would impact his development negatively. He’d not use his secondary pitches much, and it would be harder to stretch him back out to start. If he pitches 2-3 innings an outing, I think that’d be better.

  89. JoeT YANKEES February 11th, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Boston doesn’t do that with Clay because they already did that with Paps…. seems like it worked out pretty good

    There was another starter that went to the pen…. I believe Mariano Rivera worked out pretty good as a closer. Joba getting 2-3 years as a set-up man then taking over for MO could make him a dominant closer for the next 10 years.

  90. Buddy Biancalana February 11th, 2008 at 12:22 am

    JoeT-

    You shouldn’t have said that about Joba being a dominant closer. Now you will have tons of comments about why he shouldn’t be wasted in the closer role due to him not using his full arsenal of pitches.

  91. Buddy Biancalana February 11th, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Rebecca-

    Any news on grad school admissions yet?

  92. PAT M. February 11th, 2008 at 12:31 am

    Maybe like throwing 3-4 innings to follow Hughes’ starts…They together form a team as a combined starter….Then as the season grows into Agust they can seperate and there innings would still be low and then when October and the Postseason starts, they have innings to spare….Ian’s innings could pose a problem come playoff time….If he’s to be capped at 180 innings then there very well maybe an issue when October rolls around….Even though he’s a little bit ahead of the other two, he still maybe limited to 5 inning outings times 30 starts which will help out the Playoff picture somewhat……Randy 1 of SJ44 HAVE AN OPINION ON HOW THIS MAY PLAYOUT……It also means that Mussina still has a critical early season role as a viable starter…This could change if Igawga learned anyhing during the winter….Maybe they could piggyback those two as a combined start….It would take a great deal of a load off of Farns, The Hawk, and our National’s acquisition……Something creative will be done to get by this tender season with the concern on tender arms

  93. whozat February 11th, 2008 at 12:56 am

    “I believe Mariano Rivera worked out pretty good as a closer.”

    So? Is anyone saying Joba wouldn’t be a good reliever? No. They’re saying he has the potential to be a No. 1 starter and that it would be a waste to not even see what he can do as a starter at the major league level. Mo was a BAD starter. Why? Because he really only has one pitch, and that works as a closer, but wouldn’t play as a starter. Papelbon? Never as highly touted as Joba. If I already had a full rotation, I’d be ok with bumping a #3 starter into a setup/closer role. But if I have a potential number one guy on my hands? That’s just insane.

  94. Brandon (Proud supporter of "Alex being Alex") February 11th, 2008 at 1:21 am

    LOL :lol: these people reporting Joba is in the BP really need to stop lieing nothing has been spoken of that by Cash.

    Again I said it last year the year before that Joba most likely will start the season as a SP. People forget Humberto Sanchez, Ross Ohlendorf, Mark Melancon and David Robertson are all being preped for the BP and if Joba goes into the BP (which I don’t see happening) most likely Alan Horne or Christian Garcia or Dan McCutchen become the 5th SP

  95. Brandon (Proud supporter of "Alex being Alex") February 11th, 2008 at 1:24 am

    and stop w/ the innings cap it’s not an issue when you have depth in your farm system

  96. TurnTwo February 11th, 2008 at 8:19 am

    if you can get past the Cashman bashing, Steve at WasWatching actually did some pretty interesting numbers crunching, comparing Joba’s projected role as a SP vs. role in the BP.

    basically, when its all said and done, the difference between Joba the SP and Joba in the BP is projected to be 1 team win.

    i’m not ready to say he should start in the BP or in the rotation just yet, because thats what we have Spring Training for. BUT, I dont think anyone should be completely against the idea of Joba starting in the pen if thats what Cash and Girardi feel is in theb est interest of this team going north.

  97. TurnTwo February 11th, 2008 at 8:44 am

    and yes, if Nick Johnson proves that he’s healthy in spring training, i’d make the move for him.

    Jim Bowden is traditionally hard to deal with, but if you take Johnson’s contract off the books, he doesnt have much of a leg to stand on to ask for much more than that.

  98. hmmm February 11th, 2008 at 8:54 am

    “I just wish Mr. Cashman would concentrate more on finding a decent left-hand late inning BP pitcher and less on picking up Nick Johnson. The Yankees won 94 Games with virtually the same 1B combination last year. They have fair 1B candidates, a wealth of right-hand bullpen arms…and NO LEFTIES!”

    by this logic, they also won 94 games without a lefty in the bullpen.

  99. OldYanksFan February 11th, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Again, people here are arguing the wrong question.
    The question is NOT should Joba be a SP or a RP?
    I am 99% sure, from 2009, that question has been answered.
    The question IS: In 2008, how do we use 3 pitchers with IPs limits and get the most Team wins?
    If you want to do the SP vs BP argument, wait untill next year, when all 3 are capable of being an SP for an entire year.

    Futhermore, as mentioned above, we have a lot of talent in
    “Humberto Sanchez, Ross Ohlendorf, Mark Melancon, David Robertson, Alan Horne, Christian Garcia and Dan McCutchen”.
    It is all speculation at this point, because RPs are usually guys with very hard stuff who can’t be effective as SPs (6-7 innings at a shot). In this mode, from what I’ve read, Sanchez seems to be destined for the BP, probable our closer. As of now, Alan Horne seems to be our next SP in 2009.

    I don’t know if any of those guys above are really quite ready for MLB. I think some, depending on how they do at AAA, might be up for the second half. Alan Horne, Humberto Sanchez and Ross Ohlendorf (who has been up already) top that list.

    My guess in our 2008(.5) and 2009 BP is now on the farm.
    Again, this is why Joba will START the year in the BP (as opposed to finish the year in the BP), because our second half BP will likely have 2 more kids in it.

    Also remember that all starting pitchers in games that are blowouts. Joba’s SP innings will be ‘wasted’ in games where we are up 5 runs by the 2nd or 3rd inning. Joba as a RP will only be used in high leverage, close games where we have a very high chance of winning. So while 160 IPs as a starter IS INDEED GREATER (and better usage) then 80 IPs in the BP, the difference is NOT 2:1, because the (selected) BP innings are games where we have a much higher chance of winning.

  100. hmmm February 11th, 2008 at 8:55 am

    “No way he gives us even 20 games at 1st and if Cash hadn’t gifted him an insane 7-year deal (with an option for an 8th!) he’d be on a beach somewhere now with Mike Piazza comparing back acne. ”

    i’m 99% sure George worked out Giambi’s contract, but let’s not let facts interrupt a good rant.

  101. hmmm February 11th, 2008 at 9:00 am

    “I personally think (and have all along) that if you have a guy that can dominate in the pen like I think he’ll be able to they should keep him as the 8th inning guy, they’re too hard to come by. ”

    harder to come by than a #1 starter?

  102. randyhater February 11th, 2008 at 10:04 am

    “…George worked out Giambi’s contract.”

    Oh right, I forgot. All the good deals were Cash and all the bad ones were George.

    And the go to excuse since Cash took full control? Teams ask more from the Yankees in trades than they do everyone else.

  103. hmmm February 11th, 2008 at 11:23 am

    “Oh right, I forgot. All the good deals were Cash and all the bad ones were George. ”

    no, just the ones that actually were George.

    seriously, do you ever add anything positive to ANY conversations here?

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports.....bodley.htm

    “While sons Hal and Hank and son-in-law Steve Swindal assume more of the day-to-day activities, the Boss continues to rule with a strong hand.

    He was the prime force behind the transition from the Paul O’Neill-Tino Martinez era to the Jason Giambi era, and he engineered the return of David Wells with new Yanks Rondell White, Robin Ventura and John Vander Wal.

    Steinbrenner’s eyes light up when he talks about Giambi, the seven-year, $120 million prize free agent who smashed a two-run home run against Toronto in Saturday’s 6-3 exhibition victory.”

  104. hmmm February 11th, 2008 at 11:54 am

    “Oh right, I forgot. All the good deals were Cash and all the bad ones were George. ”

    why don’t you read this article?:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn.....type=story

    i’ve twice posted an article citing that George was the driving force in getting Giambi, twice my post hasn’t showed up.

    here are some highlights to this article:

    1. George demanded the Yankees sign Contreras

    “The bidding between the Yankees, Boston, and the Mariners began in earnest at four years, $24 million, for a pitcher without a single day of major league experience. But Blakeley told rival executives that he had come to sign Contreras, no matter the cost; Steinbrenner promised Blakeley that he would be fired if he failed to land the pitcher. Hearing this, another executive realized his team had no chance to sign Contreras, so he decided to at least make the Yankees pay exorbitantly and kept matching the Yankees’ offers, driving up the price.”

    2. George demanded the Yankees get Mondesi

    “Randy Levine, the Yankees’ president, had called Godfrey. Cashman argued strongly against a deal for Mondesi, feeling his enormous salary would be prohibitive. He and Michael had kept Steinbrenner from making moves like this in the past, but Steinbrenner could not be dissuaded. He wanted Mondesi. Now.”

    3. George personally negotiated the Sheff deal

    “And when Sheffield wavered on his oral agreement with Steinbrenner, Cashman, seeing an opening, worked frantically to complete a deal with 27-year-old free agent Vladimir Guerrero. But with Guerrero on the verge of signing for the same annual salary as Sheffield and with one extra year on the contract, Steinbrenner killed the negotiations with Guerrero. Sheffield had capitulated, and Steinbrenner insisted, “I want him, I want him, I want him.”

  105. hmmm February 11th, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    one more try:

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports.....bodley.htm

    “On this particular morning, a pensive Steinbrenner says he won’t keep going forever. “I’m trying to put things in the kids’ hands, and they’re doing a good job. Thirty years in baseball is a long, long time. I’m ready to see the young fellows come in.”

    But?

    “But one of the biggest problems people have, including me, is that it’s tough to let the young elephants into the tent.”

    Steinbrenner, who turns 72 on July 4, says the fire still burns.

    “I still get motivated,” he says in an understatement. “Always will.”

    While sons Hal and Hank and son-in-law Steve Swindal assume more of the day-to-day activities, the Boss continues to rule with a strong hand.

    He was the prime force behind the transition from the Paul O’Neill-Tino Martinez era to the Jason Giambi era, and he engineered the return of David Wells with new Yanks Rondell White, Robin Ventura and John Vander Wal.

    Steinbrenner’s eyes light up when he talks about Giambi, the seven-year, $120 million prize free agent who smashed a two-run home run against Toronto in Saturday’s 6-3 exhibition victory.”

  106. randyhater February 11th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    If George takes the knock for Contreras I guess he gets the credit for El Duque and Matsui, right?

    Say this for Contreras, he proved in ’05 he’s a top major league talent. Why the Chisox got it out of him and the Yanks couldn’t, I don’t know. I doubt it was George’s fault, though.

    I’ll give you Mondesi and Sheffield (although Shef put up 2 huge years) but what about Big Stein’s claims that he told Cash to get Ortiz when he was non-tendered by Minny?

    Clearly, Vazquez/Brown over Schilling/Pettitte was Cashman, and those are the deals that have changed history. It was also Cash who decided not to agressively court Clemens after ’03, or even offer him arbitration. You think we could’ve used him in ’04?

    We could play this game all day. Bottom line, show me the big moves Cash has made over the past 10 years. Most of them have come up lemons. Meanwhile his buddy in Boston has built two separate championship squads, and at least as good a farm system, with a fraction of the money.

  107. thisguy February 11th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    i love tex, but i believe boris is his agent, and it was rumored he wanted to play for baltimore, and he also loves the braves, and apparently the braves may spend some money quite soon…although he’d be a great fit at 1b.

  108. thisguy February 11th, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    joba will start the year in the pen because he cant go more than 160 innings give or take…if you want him starting in the playoffs, he needs to pitch about 2 months give or take again, in the pen. not sure what they will do about hughes and kennedy, but i guess that depends on a few other pitchers who may pitch well for us…then we could alternate starts, but really, its going to be a tough problem to solve.

  109. Patrick Bateman February 11th, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    I’m glad Cashman isn’t concerned about a quality 1st baseman.

    He probably said the same thing with Will Nieves going into the season. Then we saw that the guy couldn’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag and had to make a trade.

  110. hmmm February 11th, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    “He probably said the same thing with Will Nieves going into the season. Then we saw that the guy couldn’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag and had to make a trade.”

    right, b/c Nieves is comparable to Betemit, Ensberg, and Giambi. 3 major leaguers with proven talent.

    and yes, the Yankees had to make a trade for Molina. and it was a great trade. what is your point?

    that every single roster spot wasn’t nailed down in Spring Training? when does that happen?

    yes, Cash made a mistake on Nieves. and then he fixed it.

    i don’t get it, what are the standards here, perfection?

  111. Kill-Schill(ing) February 11th, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    “yes, Cash made a mistake on Nieves”–hmnn, 3:29pm.

    I’m incredulous. I’m outraged. I’m appalled.

    Cashman makes mistakes?

    “And then he fixed it.”

    Now, that’s better.

    Whoo, got anxious for a second. If I can’t rely upon your opinion, hmmn, whose can I count on?

  112. Kill-Schill(ing) February 11th, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    “NO, I’M PATRICK BATEMAN.”

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