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

A few opinions on the Yankees

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Feb 19, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Nobody asked me, but:

* The organization must develop Joba Chamberlain as a starter. It’s a waste of money and talent to have a pitcher than good as a set-up man. Starting pitching is what makes the biggest difference in baseball. The three outs in the eighth inning are far less valuable than the first 18 or 21.

* Brian Cashman should get a contract extension right now. The more Hank Steinbrenner pines for Johan Santana, the more I wonder if he’s setting Cashman up for a fall in the fall. Cashman has made some questionable free-agent pitching decisions (particularly Farnsworth and Igawa), but his decisions on player development have changed the face of an organization that was headed for disaster. That said, the Steinbrenner Bros. should tell him he has to hire an assistant GM with some experience. Cashman could use a rational voice in the room when he makes decisions. If he doesn’t trust Stick Michael, find somebody he does trust.

* If Hideki Matsui shows he’s healthy this spring, the Yankees should trade him. Matsui is a guy who played literally every day for years. He’s not going to be effective as a part-time DH and occasional left fielder. Let Jason Giambi DH. As a bench player, Matsui is fairly useless beyond having some pop. He can’t run, bunt or play much defense.

* With the relief market what it is, Kyle Farnsworth could get you something in return if you pick up some of his salary. If that something is a reliable lefty reliever, make the deal. It’s nice that Joe Girardi caught Farnsworth once upon a time in Chicago. Is that really going to make a difference?

Finally …

* Kidnap Bernie Williams, sit him in a room and tell him he needs to come to the Stadium for Bernie Williams Day at some point. Enough is enough. The guy spent his entire career as a Yankee, the fans love him and the cloud that hovered over his departure remains. He doesn’t need a job. But the fans deserve a chance to applaud him one more time.





132 Responses to “A few opinions on the Yankees”

  1. Ralelen February 19th, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Couldn’t agree more on Williams.

  2. Frank February 19th, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    just my two cents….

    Trading Matsui would be an awful idea. We need him to be a DH. He is a much better hitter than giambi, and who’s to say Giambi stays healthy? that is a huge assumption.

  3. Melissa February 19th, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    As much as I’d love to see Bernie come back in some fashion, I do believe that kidnapping is kinda illegal… so asking politely, and maybe begging a lot would be better, from a legal standpoint, at least.

  4. whozat February 19th, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Matsui is DEFINITELY not a better hitter than Jason. Giambi is on base 40% of the time and has more power than Matsui. If he’s healthy. That, to me, is the issue. I’m loathe to trade Matsui because then we’re an injury away from having ARod be the only real power threat in the lineup.

    But…if the season is under way and Jason’s looking ok…and Matsui’s not getting playing time…

  5. Joeysdadjoe February 19th, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Giambi when healthy is a better offensive player than Matsui when healthy.That being said they wont both be healthy and if they are someone else wont.So keep them.

  6. Joeysdadjoe February 19th, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Their will be ABs for everyone

  7. BxBomber February 19th, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Couldnt agree more about Joba. Even if he isnt as good a SP as he is 8th inning, 150+ inn of very good SP is more valuable than 60 awesome from the pen.

  8. raymagnetic February 19th, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    A few opinions on Pete’s opinions

    *Joba Chamberlain will be a starter. He’s on a strict innings limit. What good will it be to have him start the year in the rotation if he can’t finish there. It’s much better to have him be able to start games in October instead of April, no?

    *Agree about Cashman getting an extension. Disagree about Farnsworth being a bad signing. At the time he was signed he was coming off the best season of his career and was just turning 30. Also, IIRC other teams wanted Farns as their closer as well. The Igawa signing was indeed bad.

    *If Giambi is healthy and in as good shape as everyone claims he is then Matsui should be traded because he’ll probably bring back good talent. Who’s looking for a left fielder though?

    *I think Kyle Farnsworth should be given every opportunity this year to see if he can be the eighth inning guy. If not, trade him to the Phillies or someone else.

    *Agree about Bernie.

  9. Jeff NJ February 19th, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    I disagree on Matsui. For the first time since the championship years the Yankees are poised to have an outstanding bench. Besides there is plenty of at bats to go around for Giambi and Matsui between DH, 1B and 4th OF’er. Unless of course you are pining for your new best friend Shelley Duncan. Either way, let us have a real bench to work with.

    What do we need back for Mats anyway? Not worth it for any reliever not named Joe Nathan. A veteran starter? No thanks. Keep the depth!

  10. jay destro February 19th, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    the yearly “i hate kyle farnsworth” pete abraham post makes it’s debut.

  11. Johnson February 19th, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    I actually agree on all your points. Trading Farnsworth is gonna be hard, but if the deal is there, they’ve gotta make it. Also, while I agree with you on Matsui, I can’t see that happening…too big of a chance him/giambi or both will get injured and they need the other one or too good of a chance that all 5,000 options at first fail and they need to stick Giambi in the field leaving Matsui to DH.

    and get Bernie into the Bronx!

  12. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 February 19th, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Agreed about Bernie.

    Need to get him, Paulie and Scotty B. all together for one day, call it the ‘threepeat appreciation day’ or whatever, and yeah, I kinda get chills thinking about it.

    Tino can come to.

    I’d say Jeter/Posada/Rivera/Pettitte, but as it is, they’re still playing.

  13. John February 19th, 2008 at 9:35 pm


    My man, you are preaching to day. All your points are dead on, even though I think that Cashman’s moves have been a little more than questionable and I am very worried that he doesn’t trust Stick, who was the one who helped build a dynasty here while Cashman was busing tables.
    The Joba point can’t be stated enough. I hear so many people saying that he needs to be in the bullpen, mostly dopes on the radio, and it absolutely boggles my mind. This kid has “once in a generation” talent, attitude, excitement, and crowd appeal. He has the total package. He could become legendary. You don’t get there being the setup guy, waiting in the wings for Mariano to decide to hang them up.
    As far as Matsui, I agree totally. I know San Fran was originally interested in him. Maybe something could be worked out with them. How about Ian Kennedy and Hideli Matsui for Tim Lincecum or Matt Cain?:)

  14. Drive 4-5 February 19th, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    Joba could be that classic power pitcher in the rotation the Yankees lack. I’d love to see him in the rotation, but the Yankees don’t make the playoffs in ’07 without Joba in the bullpen. His relief work saved the season. and showed just how important the set up role is.

    I think Joba should be in the rotation only if a Melancon or Huberto Sanchez becomes the ’07 Joba. I have zero confidence in Krazy Kyle.

  15. Drive 4-5 February 19th, 2008 at 9:37 pm


    Dopes such as Goose Gossage think the Yanks are crazy NOT to keep joba in the bullpen.

  16. raymagnetic February 19th, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    “All your points are dead on, even though I think that Cashman’s moves have been a little more than questionable and I am very worried that he doesn’t trust Stick, who was the one who helped build a dynasty here while Cashman was busing tables.”

    I’ve never heard that Cash doesn’t trust Stick and today I read that Hal still considers Stick a big part of the organization. Secondly, when Stick was building the Yanks dynasty Cashman was also working for the Yankees. He wasn’t bussing tables.

  17. Marcy February 19th, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    -I thought they were developing Joba as a starter but due to pitch count…
    -Cashman should have an assistant but Stick needs to stay where he is at least until the Brothers Steinbrenner get their acts together.
    -They won’t trade Matsui-from a purely business perspective (and Hal is clearly all about the business perspective)they need him. YES has a huge deal with Japan and they can’t afford to disrespect the most famous Japanese baseball player. This is bigger than just a player unless Matsui wants to leave and I don’t see that happening.
    -Caught a very little bit of a 2000 Mets vs Cubs (Classic) earlier this evening; Farnsworth was pitching (not very well)and Girardi was catching. This will have to be a Cashman call – maybe his 1st rub with the new Joe but I agree – he has got to go. The man is a mess and a lousy pitcher.
    -Every fan would love to see Bernie back even if only for a day but that will take eating some humble pie on the part of Cashman after his comments last month.
    So Pete, things aren’t looking too good down there, huh? None of the other guys look good? Hank said he wouldn’t fire Cashman over the Santana mistake but this is before the season and he is a Steinbrenner. Sounds like we’ll be seeing C.C. next year.

  18. LathamJoe February 19th, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    “If Hideki Matsui shows he’s healthy this spring, the Yankees should trade him.”

    Bad, bad move….

    First, The Yankees would not get back equal value for a guy who’s a really fine offensive performer that averages 25 Hr/110 RBI/.371 OBP and 103 Runs per season.

    Second, at 37 years old and with much mileage on his body, Giambi’s hitting stats will likely be closer to 2007 than 2006 – that spells disaster.

    Matsui can play an occasional Left field without damaging the Yankees defensively. The past few seasons have shown that an outfield rotation of four is a wise strategy for New York.

  19. Elizabeth February 19th, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    I disagree about Farnsworth. He’s still got plenty left, and his stuff is so good that he’s bound to find his groove again, particularly working with Girardi. Give him a chance. If he’s not performing by the deadline, then shop him around. But I don’t think picking up part of his salary is smart. Girardi has made similar comments to that effect. If you’re gonna pick up part of his salary anyway, why not keep him and try to make something out of him?

  20. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 February 19th, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    You know, as bad as you all think Farnsworth is, he could still be worse.

    He could be named Carl Pavano.

  21. Dan February 19th, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    agree on (almost) all accounts.

    * The organization must develop Joba Chamberlain as a starter. – ABSOLUTLEY, you do not waste a 4 plus-pitch pitcher in the pen.

    * Brian Cashman should get a contract extension right now. – Ever since Cashman got control of the team, he has taken the Yankees minors from a joke to one of the tops in the league.

    * If Hideki Matsui shows he’s healthy this spring, the Yankees should trade him – He has gotten worse over the year, and the yankees could use some more position prospects, hell, I’d do it even for some more arms (cough-giants-cough-lincecum-cough)

    * With the relief market what it is, Kyle Farnsworth could get you something in return if you pick up some of his salary. – I actually disagree with you on this one. This is the first year he’ll have a legit pitching coach and a manager to motivate him.

    * Kidnap Bernie Williams, sit him in a room and tell him he needs to come to the Stadium for Bernie Williams Day at some point. – yup

  22. Joe from Long Island February 19th, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    For what it’s worth –
    1. I couldn’t agree more – Joba is a starter. Would you put a young Roger Clemens in the bullpen (the PEDs alone didn’t get him 350 or whatever wins)?
    2. Absoultely. Besides, who are they going to get to replace him, Dan Duquette? Steve Phillips? Steal Theo away from Boston? Let’s get real.
    3. That’s cold about Matsui, but hard to argue. There is a glut at DH.
    4. I still think they’re quietly shopping Kyle. They just want to drive his price up.
    5. Sometimes the hardest thing is saying goodbye. Maybe this relates to why Cash made that harsh and seemingly out-of-the-blue about Bernie at that dinner last month.

  23. Tim February 19th, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Peter, I got to say I agree with the other posters, Matsui cannot be traded, he is needed as a DH and part-time LF. There are bound to be injuries with this old team and I love Matsui’s power, also he is an icon in Japan and the Yankees need that connection with the Japanese market. I see him getting 500 or so AB’s barring injury. I shudder to think what would happen if he is traded and Damon or Giambi go down for an extended period of time. Can’t and shouldn’t happen.

    Per Chamberlain, if the Yankees had a viable 8th inning solution then I would say great, make Chamberlain your ace starter but they don’t. Chamberlain is your best bet and I hope he stays there all season barring more injuries to Mussina, or Pettitte or Wang, etc.

    Melancon or Horne or Sanchez have to emerge as a viable alternative before I even think about making Joba a starter.

    The comments by Hal really bother me, as if Cash isn’t under enough pressure. Boy sometimes I’m really glad I’m not in Cashman’s shoes, but hey it comes with the territory.

  24. Jaewon February 19th, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Pete I have to say I love that you’re being bold and honest and just saying things extremely straightforward. AND. . . you’re right, except that I would give Farnsworth 1 more shot.

  25. Ross ( February 19th, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Every day was Bernie Williams day in 2005 and 2006. The fans chanted his name every day of September and in the home playoff games both years. Personally, I’m in no rush for Bernie Williams day. It should happen, but I’m not pining for it. YET

  26. Drew February 19th, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    At one point last year I thought dealing Matsui might be a good idea. Right now I’m not so sure that’s a good idea. All those things he can’t do that you described also pertain to Giambi, who is a much bigger injury risk.

    Bernie needs to just officially retire and Cash needs to not take shots at him.

    Cashman will not be back after this year. Can you really see this team winning the world series? It’s a combo of veterans and re-building, the latter part being the pitching which is what wins.

  27. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! February 19th, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Drew so I assume you won’t be watching any games since we have no chance.

  28. Fernando Alejandro (Respect Jeter's Gangster) February 19th, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    I agree with all your statements. I feel bad about Matsui, but the truth is, he’s not going to get the at bats he could if he stays with the Yankees. He deserves to be an every day player with occasional rest somewhere.

  29. LathamJoe February 19th, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    Matsui has gotten worse over the year? In 143 Games, Matsui put up 25 HRs/103 RBIs/.367 OBP and 100 Runs scored – right in line with his lifetime averages. Giambi, on the other hand, had his worst offensive season since his 2004 travesty.

    Lincecum is the Hughes/Chamberlain of the Giants Organization, he’s not going anywhere without 2 A-level prospects AND Matsui.

  30. mel February 19th, 2008 at 10:07 pm


    Bernie Williams needs to pull the stick out of…

    If Hal wins the Battle of the Brothers, Cashman will remain a fixture in the Yankee front office for years to come or until they sell.

    And despite what Steve says, Cashman does NOT suck.

  31. YankeeFan5 February 19th, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    I agree with you about Joba…the only way we will find out if he is going to be as good as Beckett is to have him start from the get go this year.

    Lock Cash up for the long term…he has the right vision for the team…build from within…

    Def have a day for Bernie at the stadium…

  32. liz February 19th, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    I do not trust Giambi and at this point in both their careers, I would rather have Matsui.

  33. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! February 19th, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Since many have been in the business of throwing around allegations I’ll only say take a look at this picture.

    All I will say is this is pretty interesting. He is a new man.

  34. kd February 19th, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    The Giants will not give up Lincecum. Hideki also has a no trade clause and will want to play in a really big market. Maybe the Dodgers give one of their first base prospects so we don’t give Texiera a huge contract that will end up being another Giambi or Pavano.

  35. gargoyle February 19th, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Trading Matsui is a bad idea. The Yankees have fine OF depth for the first time in a long time and they should not mess with it. There’s plenty of at bats to go around given the respective ages of Matsui, Abreu and Damon. I expect all 3 to have terrific years.

  36. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! February 19th, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Not sure why this didn’t post, so I’ll try it once more.

  37. John February 19th, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Drive 4-5……….Goose was a great pitcher, but he is also kind of a dope who thinks he single handedly won those championships in the 70′s for the Yanks. Of course he thinks Joba should stay in the bullpen, he thinks he was the most important pitcher in history.
    And to everyone who says “we don’t make the playoffs without Joba”, I agree, but this team also made the playoffs EVERY year with the likes of Paul Quantrill and Scott Proctor and Tom Gordon and the like trying to be the set up man. They certainly weren’t shut down pitchers, yet the yanks still won. Why? Mainly because their starters were good. Plus, why were the Yanks in the position to have to scrape to get into the playoffs last year? Because their starting pitching was miserable the first half.
    You can find a guy, or two, or three to be a set-up man. You CAN’T find a guy to be a shut down, ace of the staff.

  38. ray February 19th, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Hi Mel,
    I’m looking forward to baseball season. In the meantime if I was a Laker fan I think I would be wanting Kobe to just bite the bullet and get the finger taken care of rather than risk him not being able to play in the postseason. Just my two cents worth.

  39. LathamJoe February 19th, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    It appears that Manny has introduced Big Papi to his hair stylist.

  40. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! February 19th, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    LathamJoe I actually didn’t even notice that. I noticed that he lost half a person. :lol:

  41. ray February 19th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    I know I will get shot down for saying this but that is okay. I can’t help but notice the last few weeks the similarities between Clemens and Schilling. I am not saying that Schilling was as good as Clemens, but they both are among the most outspoken and arrogant players in the game in my opinion.

  42. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! February 19th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    :cry: can anyone help me who knows firefox. In the website portion “deleted” keeps coming up. That is why there is a link there, there shouldn’t be. And I always forget to delete it.

  43. Rocco February 19th, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    rangers lose in a shootout after being up 5-0…. so pathetic…. grrr

  44. kissbeavis February 19th, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Right on about Joba, Pete.
    It has been forever since the Yankees have had a bona fide stud #1 starter, and Joba has the chance to be that guy … the kind of guy who, in a short series, the opponent better hope they wrap that baby up before the last game because they know they have no shot against our guy.
    We’ve seen those guys in other uniforms over the past few years (Beckett, Sabathia/Carmona, Verlander, Santana, Pedro in his prime, Schilling/RJ in their primes).
    This is the first chance we’ve had in a long time to develop that kind of guy and have him in his prime. Let’s not throw it away b/c we’re too impatient to find a guy to pitch the 8th inning.
    We have roughly 100,000 young arms in camp this year. Let’s see if a couple of them can rise to the occasion in the pen.

  45. Boston Dave February 19th, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Trading Matsui is a horrible idea unless a team overpays for him (like Lincecum straight up which has 0% change of happening).

    I think you need to approach Japanese players a little differently. If it makes complete sense to trade him, you do. In this case and at this point, it’s not clear that trading Matsui is a good idea.

    You have to factor in the Japanese fan base and the way Japanese players approach the game differently. When Matsui hurt his wrist, he apologized to the fans with a newspaper ad. No American player is going to do that. Trading Matsui could be seen as disrespectful and I believe could have some impact on future signings of Japanese players.

    Again, I’m not saying you make a huge sacrifice to keep a Japanese player when it makes sense to trade him, but there is a little more to it that should be considered.

  46. LathamJoe February 19th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    I certainly would not put Flash Gordon in the same category as Proctor and Quantrill. Gordon was a very effective Setup man – when used correctly.

    Also, am I the only one who thinks that Phil Hughes will have a better season as a starter than Joba?

  47. NJ in Tampa February 19th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    disagree about Joba needing to be a starter. One could argue that since ’96 the MVP of the Yankees has been Rivera. Starting pitching is very, very important but so is a dominant closer.

  48. mel February 19th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    hello, ray.

    Yes, it’s a raging debate, but if he sits out 6 weeks there may not be any playoffs for him to come back to. They have at least 10 quality teams fighting for 8 spots. Dallas is in the middle. 2 games out of 1st and 2.5 games from the lottery.

    I thought the Celtics were know for their D? Knotted up at 62 at the half.

  49. Travis G. February 19th, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Agree with half those things Pete.
    Absolutely 100% on Joba. to those wanting him to be the full-year set-up guy, bad idea. yes, there might not be anyone better, but a set-up guy doesn’t pitch over 100 ip. then what in 09? to get to be a 200+ ip starter, he has to build up to it. having him go only 100 this year would set him back another year.

    Also agree re: Cashman. his drafting and signing IFAs is going to produce great results soon. perhaps not this year, but 2009 and beyond will be awesome to watch.

    However, i disagree on Matsui and Farnsy. you just cant count on Giambi to stay healthy. Matsui is still a very good bat. call me krazy, but i still see some good in Farsnworth. he looked like a completely different pitcher out of the windup. also, we’d be trading him at low value.

    on Bernie, i dont care. both he and Cash acted like babies back when.

  50. yanksrule57 February 19th, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    I loved watching Bernie Williams. However, some fans can’t get over the fact that, although all players get old, some refuse to acknowledge it and need to be pushed out the door.
    He wanted to keep playing and with the development of a better fielding, cheaper option (Melky) he became expendable.
    I saw this over and over again in the military. Guys wouldn’t want to leave because they thought the service couldn’t go on without them. But it has for over 200 years and it was really just their ego. When my time came I knew it and was ready because I had prepared myself for the next phase of life. Maybe Bernie hasn’t come to terms with that yet. It’s the same with sports teams. Somehow they manage to survive the loss of their stars and in the case of the Yanks continue to win.
    At some point, Bernie will realize all this and come back. They all do eventually. And, the Yanks will honor his service appropriately.

  51. mel February 19th, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    ray, ray, ray,

    Clemens is not on our Christmas card list. He may be a liar and a cheater, but he’s very charismatic. Can’t say the same for Schilling.

    It’s not Happyville for him and the team right now is it? We kind of went through this with Pavano. About 10 times.

    My fear is that it opens up a full-time spot for Laptops. Scary.

  52. Dee February 19th, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    AMEN re Bernie.

    Agree on other points except Matsui. We’ve only been hearing hearsay on result of his knee surgery, and haven’t even seen him workout until tomorrow. I think it’s a bit too early to write him off. Hideki is here not because of money or fame, he wants to win a WS rings, and he’s a super hard-working player with a huge heart. I trust he’ll have a great year if he heals well from his surgery.

  53. ray February 19th, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Ray Allen (who I know you really like….just kidding) is still in his all star game mode….therefore the high score. When is Bynum scheduled to come back? That should give the Lakers a huge boost.

  54. Sean Serritella February 19th, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    I don’t agree on making Joba a starter. I can almost predict that Mariano is going to break down and Joba will be the next Yankees’ closer, for years. Maybe the next 10.

  55. mel February 19th, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Bynum is on his 8 week schedule, another 4 maybe? Ariza’s taking longer. He’ll be another 8 weeks. That hurts, he really caught on before he got injured.

    Why would you think I don’t like Ray Allen? Tell me and I’ll tell you if you’re correct.

    And Ray’s shooting is not responsible for 62 points allowed…

  56. B-D-4 trains February 19th, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    The least likely scenario is Giambi being healthy. With the albatross contract Giambi has, he’ll go down in history as the most expensive pinch hitter – - ever.
    Keep Matsui.

  57. ray February 19th, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    mel, mel, mel
    Please send me your dictionary because apparently there must be multiple meanings for the word “charismatic”….LOL

  58. Drew February 19th, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    “# jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! February 19th, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Drew so I assume you won’t be watching any games since we have no chance.”

    Don’t be silly..of course I will…cause once the games are played anything can happen.

  59. ray February 19th, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    I think we had a brief conversation once in which you mentioned that you considered Ray Allen a Kobe wanna be or something like that.

  60. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 February 19th, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    mel–62 at the HALF? Whoa.

  61. ray February 19th, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    How are Nets fans feeling about the Jason Kidd trade?

  62. mel February 19th, 2008 at 10:42 pm


    Yes. You got it. Ray felt he should get the love that Kobe gets because he’s just as good which is understandable because Allen is good. Don’t lie now, you were worried about Ray’s shooting the first half of the season weren’t you!

  63. mel February 19th, 2008 at 10:44 pm


    Yes, it was tied at 62 at the half.

    But get this. Utah was up 77-64 over Golden State. At. The. Half.

  64. Bob February 19th, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    If Joba is really as good as he looks like he will be, there is no question he should and will be a starter. Somehow over the years the bullpen has morphed into being more important than starting pitching in alot of peoples minds, despite the fact that it simply is not true. You want your best pitchers to pitch the most innings. If they can’t cut it as a starter than they go to the pen. If Joba doens’t work as a starter than you put him back in the pen. My only exception to this would be if Mariano goes down and you want to have him close. Even then it’s debateable if his value would be maximized by doing that.

    I’d like to see Matsui traded as well, but if past years have shown us, these perceived “gluts” at certain positions won’t end up being that way. The Yankee outfield aside from Melky is very old and Giambi is fragile. Most likely a few are going to miss time and you’ll need all these guys.

  65. whoa February 19th, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    I agree with EVERY POINT!

  66. Keith FL February 19th, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    I still think the jury is out on Cashman….too much money has been spent and too few results…the key with young talent is developing it for your team to play for your team or to trade them when the right player comes along, like Santana, a young, lefty ace…..Cashman has made so many bad moves and a few good ones, but the young pitching still needs to be proven, Hughes and Kennedy especially as Jaba is the real deal…..our main competition the Red Sox have won 2 world series by developing talent but also trading it for Beckett and Schilling…we have a win now type of offense that needed an ace pitcher and we passed and let him go to the Mets….we don’t have but a few years if that left of prime Posada, Jeter, Rivera, Petite….unfair expectations to put on these young arms, especially with all of the money coming off the books after this season…. Cashman still has to prove himself to me especially with all of the bad moves still hovering over this team like a cloud…Pavano, Farnsowrth, Igawa, etc….sorry but if someone could please say 7 real positive tangible things Cashman has done please go ahead and don’t say a general term liked improved the farm system because that is so subjective until they totally prove themselves and we win a Championship!

  67. bodhisattva February 19th, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    umm…Matsui is a lifetime .293 hitter against lefties. We have a lefty-loaded lineup. Matsui and Cano are like righties against lefthanders – I’m not parting with that. Besides, Matsui, has been completely worn out by postseason in the last three years -dreadful, really – because of that iron man nonsense that his wrist injury put and end to. It may rankle him not to be the everyday left fielder, but it will probably save what could prove to be a very valuable bat for us in playoffs. Giambi just doesn’t hit lefties like Matsui does – Godzilla’s in a different class here, like having a switch hitter. You just don’t let Matsui field very often, and hopefully, when he’s back in body sync, he won’t be pull-popping out to shallow left center (cringe).

  68. Ben February 19th, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Who asked you anyway, Pete?

    Just kidding, great insight like usual, thanks!

  69. John February 19th, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Bob, agree that the outfield is old, but, shockingly, that is where they have the most prospects coming up. In a few years the yanks are gonna have both Austin Jackson and Jose Tabata knoccking at the door (if they continue to progress). The Yanks SHOULD be fine in the outfield in the future. I think, if you can move Matsui for even a decent arm (maybe Lowry) you should think about it. I just have an idea that Giambi, if he is kept away from the bag, could provide power and a nice DH bat. He might actually have a few decent years left in him in that full-time role.

  70. raymagnetic February 19th, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    “sorry but if someone could please say 7 real positive tangible things Cashman has done please go ahead and don’t say a general term liked improved the farm system because that is so subjective until they totally prove themselves and we win a Championship!”

    I don’t really understand your logic here. In your opinion the only way you can prove a farm system is improved is if they win a championship?

  71. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 February 19th, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    ray: Can only speak for myself and my brother, but we both believed it was time to move on. It’s weird to talk about it like that, given that the original Kidd trade turned NJ from worst-to-first but we haven’t been past the second round since then, and, well, Kidd’s not going cheap.

    We do, however, find the necessary return of Keith Van Horn hysterical.

    Mel: ….DANG.

  72. george February 19th, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Agree with lots of this. Especially Bernie. but it’s more fun to discuss points of disagreement, so:

    Trading Matsui in hopes of a full, productive year out of Giambi is unrealistic. Sure, if Giambi could stay healthy all year, he’d have a better OBP & SLG. But based on the track record, Matsui’s the one more likely to stay on the field and produce the most runs.

    doesn’t matter if Matsui can bunt. it’s the American League in 2008, not the dead ball era.

    Indeed, here’s my comment for what i’d like to see: Girardi forbid Jeter from sacrifice bunting early in games, which he’s done much more since Zimmer left than between 1998-2003:

    last year apparently had less; but i vaguely remember Derek uncharacteristically missing a few bunts last year; does anyone know where to find a stat for bunt attempts?

    Anyway, nothing drives me crazier than Jeter sac bunting in the first inning, third inning, etc.

  73. Bob February 19th, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    John, that may be true, but that doesn’t help this year. What happens if Damon gets hurt in April? Or when Giambi throws out his shoulder putting his pregame grease in his hair?

    You’re not likely to get much value for Matsui given his contract/age/health. Might as well hold onto him at this point.

  74. mel February 19th, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Latham Joe,

    I don’t want to compare the two. That’s like comparing God and your family. Just kidding, guys.

    But I do believe that Hughes will have an unbelievable year.

    Many positives. He’s had a taste. His legs are back. The Yankees chose him (sort of) over Santana. He’s seen Joba’s stock skyrocket. SJ44′s finally on board (j/k!).

  75. AroundtheMajors February 19th, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    I agree totally especially with the Bernie Williams day.

  76. Tim February 19th, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    So riddle me this batman? If Joba is a starter, who sits?, Kennedy?, Mussina? If Mussina is healthy and throwing 90, 91 consistently, even 89-90, then he’s in the rotation with Pettitte, Wang and Hughes. I say Joba 8th inning and 9th inning in some cases, and let the Kennedy get the 5th spot in the rotation, when Melancon is healthy next year or 2nd half of the season then Joba to the rescue as our “Beckett”.

    Matsui stays, Yankees have best 4 man OF rotation in the AL, plus you can’t get quality back for him, and it would be a PR nightmare.

    Bernie, who cares? Let him come back when the new ball park opens for OT day.

    Cash? If he’s back next season great, if not so what? Oppenheimer will take over and continue growing the farm.

  77. Rockin' Rich February 19th, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Please let me know when they schedule Bernie Williams Day so I can fly in from Boca Raton International Airport.

    And please invite his “brother” Gerald, too.

    Saw both guys come up in spring training in Ft. Lauderdale. Those were the days… more or less.

  78. Ty February 19th, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Its amazing how people seem to write off Giambi’s performance last year and constantly look at 2006. Bodies damaged by steroid use don’t get better with age. His bat speed has slowed significantly and it showed last year. Yes, he was hurt, but Matsui was as well for the last few months of the season but he seems to get very little leeway from many Yankee fans. He outhit all of our outfielders last season yet people speak about him like he’s Juan Pierre. Was anyone bothering to watch Jason’s performance at the plate when he returned from injury last season? Notice his OBP? His slugging %? It is far more likely that the 37-38yo Giambi will look more like 2007 then 2006.

  79. Bob February 19th, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Mussina won’t be here next year. Sure this year Jobe likely will spend time in the pen due to th innings cap. I’m talking long range plans. He needs to be a starter in my mind.

    And I’m personally not counting on Moose adding much to the rotation this season. He looked all but but done last year to me.

  80. Tim February 19th, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    I agree that Joba should be a starter in the future definitely, but for this season and especially the first half he’s the bridge babee!

    Again trading Matsui would be foolish, and Cash won’t do it. The Japan connection thingy is way too important.

  81. Bronxbyte February 19th, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    The Yankees are fortunate in that Joba has the mindset of being flexible of how he’s used. He wants to see No. 27 and that’s his focus.

  82. Tim February 19th, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Peter the more I think about it, your suggestions aren’t logical for someone that follows the Yankees, Giambi is going to get hurt, guaranteed, Matsui is an RBI machine, hits LH’s well, is great in the clubhouse, etc. Giambi is an injury waiting to happen, you don’t trade Matsui under any circumstances, period end of story.

    Krazy Karl however, I would trade in a deal for Marte in a heartbeat, or someone of his ilk.

    Barring a terrible spring by Mussina, you cannot put Joba in the rotation this season or at least the first part. Now if Mussina is totally ineffective then yes by all means make Joba a starter, but with the “bridge to Mariano” right now a huge questionmark, Joba is needed in the pen.

  83. Bob February 19th, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Krazy Karl isn’t going anywhere unless the Yanks eat most of his salary.

    Why bother doing tha? Might as well at least give Girardi a chance at fixing him as he claims he can. I personally don’t think he can, but if you’re gonna be paying his salary anyways might as well give it a shot.

  84. Jimbo February 19th, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    30 five-inning starts by Joba would obliterate every arm in the pen. Bye-bye arms! Any arrangement vaguely resembling that is totally out of the question. Anyone advocating for Joba to be a starter needs to explain how a Joba-less bullpen makes up for all the innings that Hughes and Chamberlain are not allowed to pitch, plus the innings that Mussina isn’t able to pitch, in addition to their normal workload.

    A weak bullpen + short starts = . . . I don’t even want to think about it. We saw what happens back in April/May 2007 – and that pen was better than the current pen would be without Joba!

  85. JimDC February 19th, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Disagree on Farnsworth: Farnsworth’s contract makes it hard for him to be moved and the Yankees seldom if ever pay part of a salary for a player they traded to another team. Cashman must live with Farnsworth’s contract unless a team is willing to assume all of it. Farnsworth is not in the category of “Fire Sale” yet and I believe Girardi can inspire Farnsworth whereas Guidry seemed to have given up on him.

    The NYY bullpen is iffy as it is except for Mariano and no team will trade a good lefthanded reliever before July 31. I say keep Farnsworth and hope and pray for a turnaround.

  86. lil' m February 19th, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    Pete: Right right right you are about Joba and Bernie. Joba clearly has what it takes to be what the Yankees have been missing for some time: a pitcher with swing-and-miss stuff and pinpoint control who is not named Mariano. He’s got a rare combination of maturity, personality, and YOUTH, and nothing short of a swarm of gnats was able to stop him last year. Memo to AL hitters: Good luck with that slider, and all the best getting around on the fastball. And a day to show big-time love to our dear Bernie before they move into the new digs would be just perfect. CashMoney, please make this happen . . .

  87. Chris MCO February 19th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    This is Giambi’s final year, what do we do next year for a DH after he leaves? Hold on to Godzilla, it’ll pay off in the long run, he’s a franchise player.

    I think that the Bombers considered 2006 to be the “Bernie Williams Thank You Tour.” Yogi came around…. so will Bern.

  88. OldYanksFan February 19th, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    “First, The Yankees would not get back equal value for [Matsui]”
    Giambi’s hitting stats will likely be closer to 2007 than 2006
    Giambi, April 2007: .322 .404 .517 .921
    Matsui, Year- 2007: .285 .367 .488 .855
    After April, Giambi played with a very painful heel bone spur until he finally had to sit.

    Matsui just had knee surgery while Jason appears in very good shape. I like Mats, but if Giambi is healthy, he is a much better hitter.

    Matsui has 2 years left at $13m/per. For an above average OFer, that is a good deal. For the right player in trade, the Yankees could easily eat $3m/yr to make the deal more attractive.

    If they trade Matsui, they could bring up Gardner who is not a great hitter, but is solid on D has has huge speed.

  89. Bob February 19th, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    Yeah, the fans said goodbye to Bernie all of 2006. Remember the standing ovations anytime he did something as little as change seats on the bench?

    I love Bernie, but he needs to grow up a little bit here in my opinion.

  90. bigjf February 19th, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Pete, I love the blog and usually agree with you, but I disagree on every point in this post (except Bernie).

    1) Farnsworth is not going to get you a reliable lefty reliever. Might as well see if he can do anything, and hopefully get at least a Type B draft pick.

    2) Matsui has a no-trade clause, and he can find a spot in my lineup anyday. Did he steal your dumplings or something?

    3) On this team, Joba is better as a reliever. The pen needs him. He can contribute more, his stuff will likely be more effective than as a starter. You mean to tell me you’d rather have 5-7 innings of Joba starting and then depend on Veras and Hawkins in a close game over having the last two innings taken care of by Joba and Mo? CMW for 7 followed by Joba and Mo = Win. Joba for 6 followed by Hawkins = pray for the best. Plus, his experience as a setup primes him to take over the closer role when Rivera retires. You know, Rivera was a starter once too…how did that go again? All I’m saying is, why mess with a good thing? There’s no guarantee that Joba could be half as good as a starter as he could be as a reliever. At least we’ve seen his relief potential.

  91. Khoa February 19th, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Amen to all of it Pete though I don’t see Matsui as such a liability. Maybe I’m not as close to the team as you are, but I thought he was pretty good when healthy, and as you noted, he stays healthy a lot more than Giambi.

  92. OldYanksFan February 20th, 2008 at 12:03 am

    “When Matsui hurt his wrist, he apologized to the fans with a newspaper ad. No American player is going to do that.”
    … Yes, that was very nice… but it made our team better how?

    “Trading Matsui could be seen as disrespectful and I believe could have some impact on future signings of Japanese players.”
    … So in Japan, teams don’t trade players? Did sending Iggy down to the minors alienate the Japanese? The Yankees aren’t by far the most popular MLB baseball team?

    You points are valid, but IF Giambi is healthy and hitting and IF a fair trade can be made, I will guess Cashman will look into it. The Dodgers look like a good trade partner.

  93. OldYanksFan February 20th, 2008 at 12:08 am

    “but a set-up guy doesn’t pitch over 100 ip. then what in 09? to get to be a 200+ ip starter, he has to build up to it. having him go only 100 this year would set him back another year.”

    Travis, get with the program.
    Joba is limited to around 140 IPs, which might be 125 IPs in the regular season.
    This will translate to 35 IPs in the BP and 90 IPs as a starter, and then 15-20 IPs in the PB for the PS. Thats 140, and next year he should be good for 170-180 Ips, or a 4th/5th starter.

    Of course this depends on many variables, such as Moose and IPK. I dont’t think ANYONE is talking about Joba in the BP for the full season.

  94. Jimbo February 20th, 2008 at 12:09 am

    I should acknowledge that Mr. Abraham said they must “develop” Joba as a starter. I agree with that, I’m just not sure how long it will be before they’ll have the luxury of doing that without leaving a gaping hole in the pen.

    On the other hand, I do believe this: Josh Beckett is a good pitcher to have over the course of a 162-game season, but his value skyrockets in the postseason. The ultimate goal for Joba should be to have him ready to start games and go deep in October, even if it weakens the pen. Getting him to where he’s fresh and strong as an October starter – without exceeding 150 or so innings – is the trick. I think it requires using him out of the bullpen for the first half.

  95. james February 20th, 2008 at 12:27 am

    Why you don’t trade Matsui let’s see how may reasons I come up with
    1) I love Melkey but he could regress to the point Damons’ back in center and Matsui in left
    2) There will be injuries so what might look fat in February could look thin in May
    3) Matsui has swung the bat well as a DH
    4) Matsui is better and younger than Giambi
    5) Right now the player losing the most at bats to Matsui is Shelly Duncan. Well Shelly can make use of reason number 2
    6) International star Matsui makes the Yankees a lot of money that they use to pay Giambi
    7) If Matsui is healthy, is why not to trade him
    8) What If I need Porn
    9) Baseball ties are settled by the eternal question of how many licks it takes to get to the center of the tootsie pop, Guess who is the only player on the Yankees who knows the answer
    10) Ladies and Gentleman you 2008 World Series MVP Godzilla

  96. randyhater February 20th, 2008 at 12:37 am

    1. Like I said 2 months ago, Joba will (and should) start and finish the year in the bullpen. Even with him, our pen is a couple of arms short. If you think otherwise, please name the guy who’ll fill his role.

    2. Cashman has made “some” questionable pitching moves? Name one in the past 10 years (other than the Small and Chacon miracle moves) that wasn’t questionable? If Mo and Po had to play for their suppers, Cash can too. His Yankee future will live or die with how the Santana deal plays out.

    3. Unless Giambi’s off season regimen also included ankle, knee, hip, wrist, shoulder, and eye transplants, it’s a mortal lock that he’ll spend the year nursing injuries, stealing money, and begging out of playoff games. Also, I like Damon but can we see him swing a bat before we declare him comeback player of the year? I’ll take Matsui over either of them, or Abreu for that matter.

    4. Any team fool enough to take Farnsworth should be our guest. I can see him being a major problem. Girardi’s plenty stubborn and I can see him going to Farns. too much in a vain attempt to try and “fix” him. Memo to Joe: He’s unfixable.

    5. Amen to honoring Bernie. I’m not sure if Cash’s calling him lazy and unprofessional, and his play “horrible,” is really the way to butter him up though.

  97. james February 20th, 2008 at 12:37 am

    I would think the best use of Joba is to be a long reliever so he can limit innings and work on his repertoire (short relievers really can’t). It would cause the media to jump up and down about wasting him but it was the way the Twins broke in Santana and Liriano. Later in the year he could be put in the rotation. Should he fail its always an option to say hey Joba you were a success as a short man lets go back to that and throw 95 percent fastballs and sliders

  98. fleas February 20th, 2008 at 12:37 am

    Keith FL

    You had me at “hello” no seriously.. great post. finally someone with a brain.

  99. Hideki Balboni February 20th, 2008 at 12:42 am

    As for Matsui and Giambi, it seems like the Yanks are trying out everybody at first base, except the players they should try out there. If Matsui or Damon (or Giambi) can play a decent first base, then the Yanks could have all three guys in the lineup everyday. I don’t understand why the Yanks are holding tryouts at first base for washups like Morgan Ensberg or unproven players like Duncan. Matsui or Damon at first base is the obvious answer.

  100. Hideki Balboni February 20th, 2008 at 12:44 am

    Randyhater is correct. Exactly right on all points.

  101. Dan February 20th, 2008 at 1:34 am

    I would rather have Matsui than Damon anyday, Damon came in to be a leadoff hitter and get on base and he cant really do that any more. Even if you keep Damon he didnt look terrible at first last year, Matsui in left, Damon at first, and Giambi at DH…then it all changes when Mark Teixeira comes in

  102. The Fallen Phoenix February 20th, 2008 at 1:46 am


    1. There are a number of guys who could conceivably fill Joba’s role, including (but not limited to) Ohlendorf, Britton, and Edwar. Last January, was anyone pegging Joba Chamberlain to be a shut-down 8th inning pitcher through September? Of course not, just like no one was pegging Okajima to be a shut-down 8th inning pitcher for Boston.

    Relief pitching is notoriously unpredictable, and the best bullpens (see: San Diego Padres) are made by taking a lot of power arms who can throw strikes, sticking them against a wall, and seeing who sticks. That’s precisely what the Yankees are doing this season, and I think it’s going to pay off.

    Starting and ending with Joba in the bullpen is complete idiocy. Starting him in the bullpen to keep his innings down, not so much; it’s the kind of strategy teams used to do to break in starting pitchers, and one of the more recent (successful) examples would be Johan Santana, circa about five years ago.

    No matter what your perceptions might tell you, ace relievers just aren’t worth that many wins over the course of a season; on the one hand, they’re only pitching 70 or 80 innings over the course of a season, whereas a starter is giving you anywhere from 150 to 200. Relievers are generally responsible for 3-6 outs; starters are generally responsible for 15-21 outs.

    I played with a few numbers over at the Bronx Block to demonstrate my point about relievers just not having the same value as starters, and I’ll just quote verbatim:

    “The very best relief pitchers are worth 5 to 6 wins over a replacement-level relief pitcher (Putz, last year, was worth roughly 7.5 wins over a replacement-level reliever, measured by WXRL (win-expectation-above-replacement, lineup-adjusted). Even Mariano Rivera was only worth 3.6 wins over a replacement-level reliever. Chien-Ming Wang was worth nearly twice as many wins over a replacement-starter, at 6 wins, measured by SNLVAR (support-neutral, lineup-adjusted value-above-replacement).

    Jake Peavy, by contrast, was worth 9 wins over a replacement-level starting pitcher.

    Just to get an idea of what a replacement-level starter looks like, as opposed to a replacement-level reliever:

    Scott Olsen was worth a win *below* a replacement-level starter, pitching 176.7 innings with an ERA of 5.81.

    On the flip side, Kyle Farnsworth in 2007 was worth a win *above* a replacement-level reliever, in 60 innings.

    So, you tell me–in your estimation, is the difference between a Scott Olsen and a Jake Peavy, Josh Beckett, or a Johan Santana greater than the difference between a Kyle Farnsworth and a J.J. Putz? Remember, the difference–measured in wins-above-replacement, for which Kyle and Scott are decent baseline, full-season barometers–between Olsen and the aces was between six and nine wins, while the difference between Putz and Farnsworth was roughly seven. The difference between Farnsworth and Rivera was only two-and-a-half wins!

    Let’s look at this from another angle. Mariano Rivera was worth 50 runs above a replacement-level reliever in 2007. In his best season, he was worth 84 runs above a replacement-level reliever (2005).

    Farnsworth, who is actually closer to an average-level reliever than a replacement-level reliever (looking purely at run valuation), was worth 9 runs above a replacement-reliever in 2007, or 2 below-average.

    I don’t know; a difference of 73 runs is certainly substantial. But what was the difference between Peavy and Olsen last season?

    Olsen was worth 15 runs above-replacement in 2007, but 43 below-average! Peavy, on the other hand, was worth 105 runs above-replacement. That’s a difference of 90 runs; and remember, Farnsworth was closer to an average reliever than Olsen was to an average starter, despite both treading above the replacement-level line for their respective positions.

    What’s the conclusion I’m drawing from this? That even the very best relievers, despite our perceptions, are not drastically superior to average ones; the very best starters, on the other hand, *are* drastically superior to average ones; we’re talking something on the order of twice as many wins.

    I am *not* saying that a dominant closer is by any stretch of the imagination useless, or even run-of-the-mill; I *am* saying that if you have your pick between a dominant closer and a front-line, No. 1 or 2 starter, you should pick the starter every time.”

    If Joba doesn’t get some work as a starter this season, he’ll forever be doomed to the bullpen; you just don’t do that to one of the top three pitching prospects in all of baseball. And he’s a top three pitching prospect exactly BECAUSE he projects as a frontline starter; if his ceiling was an ace reliever, I’m not even sure he’d sniff the top 25.

    2. Wells, Lloyd, and Bush to the Toronto Blue Jays for Clemens (during the offseason between 1998 and 1999). Yes, that was a Cashman move, and I’d say it worked out pretty good for the Yankees.

    I’d even say the Johnson/Rivera for Vasquez move wasn’t questionable, going back to 2004; though productive when healthy, Johnson hasn’t been able to stay on the field much these last few years, so it’s questionable what he might have contributed had he stayed with the Yankees (nevermind Giambi was penciled into the 1st base slot, and this was before he fell off a cliff). While Rivera has potential, too, he hasn’t exactly been a beacon of production, either.

    And while you can claim Vasquez flopped in his only season in pinstripes, it was his transitional year from the NL, and as he proved last season, he certainly has the stuff and endurance to be a solid 2, borderline ace in the AL. Had the Red Sox punted Beckett after his miserable 2006, do they win the World Series in 2007?

    3. Having major-league depth is generally a good thing, and Matsui is a lot of help on that front, so I concur. I’m not sure I’d take him over Damon (Damon’s defensive value probably makes Matsui’s bat a wash), but I wouldn’t sell 50 cents on the dollar, so there’s no argument here.

    4. IF (and this is a big if) Farnsworth can get confidence in his slider, he could be a great relief pitcher this season. Again, it’s rather silly to just give him away for peanuts. See how his Spring goes, and if he gets off to a good start this season, maybe you can sell-high towards the trade deadline like Cashman did with Proctor last season, especially if some of the Yankees’ minor league arms are knocking on the big league door by then.

    5. No argument regarding Bernie, either.

  103. james February 20th, 2008 at 2:01 am

    The Fallen Phoenix When I’m on vacation next week and I’ll read you’re comment

  104. Joba Is A Starter February 20th, 2008 at 3:22 am

    My name says it all.

  105. jimmy1138 February 20th, 2008 at 4:18 am

    Trading Matsui is a horrible idea. Giambi and Damon healthy and Cabrera hitting well all season long? That’s a pretty long shot.
    The Yankees wanted to trade Melky away in a New York minute. Do you really think Melky+Damon save you about 20 runs a season compared to Matsui+Damon?

    Seems to me like a case of “Do not trust any statistics you did not fake yourself.” Matsui wasn’t healthy all season too.

  106. Don Vito February 20th, 2008 at 6:19 am

    I agree with you on all points, Pete !

  107. YankeeDiva February 20th, 2008 at 6:39 am

    I agree with Joba and Cashman thoughts.

    For the most part I agree with Matsui- although I would add maybe he needs to spend part of ST learning how to bunt, it would give him/the team extra options. (Personally I think every pro player should know how to bunt its fundamental of the game).

    I’m okay with seeing what Farnsworth can give us this year unless there is someone much better out there that we can get (and their doesn’t appear to be).

    Bernie- here’s what the Yankees do, invite him to the stadium for a BW day if he doesn’t respond in a timely manner or declines then the Yankees should just move on. Some of these ‘legends’ (for a lack of better word) are way too coddled and much more so that others the media has us believe are.

  108. Y's Guy February 20th, 2008 at 7:03 am

    right on about joba. he is projected as a #1, you cant be wasting his development in the BP.

    if they trade matsui, they need some RH power in a 4th outfielder back

    the bernie thing is a mess that cashman made much worse this month with his insult about bernie’s music ‘getting in the way’. i was sure it would be settled this season but with cash picking at the scab, it seems like its gonna carry on a bit longer. so sad.

  109. jmo February 20th, 2008 at 7:09 am

    dont any of you joba-in-the-bullpen types realize that this plan is hurting his development as a starter? he needs to be working on all his pitches in a starting role. going through most or all of this season in the BP will serisously retard his development as a starter and delay his arrival as a top flight starter. he’s way to talented to take a chance on retarding his development by using him in the BP

  110. Dirk from Rockland February 20th, 2008 at 7:16 am

    I agree with maybe of the points.
    Krazy Kyle should get 1 more chance before being shipped out.

    Matsui needs to stay. Somebody will break down at some point.

    Steinbrothers need to sign Cashman to a 20 year contract and the Yankees retire a sweater for him in monument park.

    Its now or never for Joba. If he is not a starter this year, it probably will not happen. Now is the time.

    It is also time for Bernie to come home.

  111. whozat February 20th, 2008 at 7:16 am

    Spending april and may in the bullpen isn’t going to seriously retard his development.

    He’s already said that he’s been throwing his change all offseason, and it’s felt the best of all his pitches in the throwing sessions he’s had in florida over the last month.

    I think it’ll be fine.

  112. whozat February 20th, 2008 at 7:17 am

    But putting him in the pen all year, yes, that’d be a bad call. And one that I hope the Yankees don’t wind up doing “out of necessity”

  113. Dirk from Rockland February 20th, 2008 at 7:17 am

    * I agree with maybe half of the points

  114. jmo February 20th, 2008 at 7:33 am

    i’v been working on my knuckler all offseason and it looks unhittable. somehow i dont think thats the same as throwing it in major league games.

  115. TurnTwo February 20th, 2008 at 7:37 am

    without reading the 100+ posts before mine, i couldnt agree more with this post.

    Matsui, if healthy, still holds a ton of value on a reasonable, short term contract. There are certainly teams, as well as pure contenders, who could use the OF help, most noteably the San Diego Padres. Giambi should not be playing 1B at all. If he comes into camp in shape and ready to go, subtracting the amount of stress that is placed on his body by playing in the field, I think he can give .260/30+/100+ this season as a full time DH.

    I’ve always thought that Cashman was so outwardly in Farnsworth’s corner because he knew that he needed to up his value to get someone to take the contract. I dont know what you’re going to get back, but even if it is a couple minor league pieces, you continue to stockpile talent and allow some of the young arms to give it a go when you break camp.

    Joba will be a starting pitcher, i have no doubt about that. It always seemed to me with Moose under contract for one more year, it made sense to see Hughes and IPK round out the back end and see Joba start in the pen, but just for 2008. I could even see him remaining in the bullpen thru the entire season this year; but that doesnt by any stretch mean, to me anyway, that he’ll be stuck there for his entire career. to think that is just silly… they didnt draft and develop him to pitch the 8th inning, not with his stuff.

    I dont know what to think about Cashman and his current situation. I think he’s done a good job putting this team together, and should get another couple years to watch it play out. Whether or not he takes a fall here if they dont make the playoffs, i dont think any of us could really predict that at this point, because i think it would also be determined by how the team got to that point (if they played well or poorly most of the season, how strong they finished, how far back out of a playoff spot they were, etc.). For what its worth, I still think they are going to make the playoffs as of right now, so he’s got nothing to worry about.

    and Bernie and the organization will settle their differences, and he’ll be here for Bernie Day. I have no doubt about it.

  116. Doreen February 20th, 2008 at 7:40 am

    I agree that Joba should be a starter, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing that he starts out in the pen this season. I do believe I heard Joba (and maybe Girardi) say that he will be using all of his pitches, even in relief, that it was important to develop all his pitches. Therefore, I believe big picture is that Joba will be a starter.

    I am glad Giambi showed up in great shape but I’m not sure how that will translate with regard to his production. And playing first base has been, shall we say, dangerous for him the last couple of seasons. It’s a two-edged sword – he definitely hits better when he’s playing the field, but when he’s playing the field he seems more prone to injury. In a perfect world, having Matsui as DH and Giambi as a productive almost-every-day 1B would be good. I guess we’ll see.

    I think if they traded Farnsworth it would be fine.

    I believe they’ve already offered Cashman an extension and Cashman said now was not the time to be thinking about it. I would assume the offer is still on the table.

    Bernie will get his day. Sooner would be better, but it will happen.

    Just regarding that picture of Brian Bruney in the last thread. Huh??? It looks NOTHING like him. I know when people lose a lot of weight they look different, but this is like an entirely new person showed up with the same name. His hair is different, and did he have a mustache before?

    And Big Papi in that picture you linked, Jennifer, looks fantastic. Like you said – he lost half a person. Probably a lot better for his knees.

  117. E-ROC February 20th, 2008 at 7:50 am

    I would keep Matsui, Pete. Giambi won’t stay healthy for an entire season. If possible, the Yanks should trade Giambi. Angels may want him.

    I believe in Girardi. I think he can turn Farnsdearth into Farnsworth this season. If not, trade him. I’d at least give him a chance.

    Everything else is spot on.

  118. Kevin February 20th, 2008 at 8:02 am

    I disagree. I think Joba should be groomed to take over for Rivera. Rivera has been the most important cog in the Yankee machine the past decade plus. Finding a lights-out closer is more important. Joba has already proved he can do that but we don’t know if he’ll be as effective as a starter. Put him in the pen.

  119. Kevin February 20th, 2008 at 8:05 am

    I also disagree about Bernie Williams. Loved him as a player, but he’s a big, rich boy who shouldn’t be begged to come back. If he doesn’t, it’s his loss. Grow up Bernie. You were done a couple of years before you quit – you couldn’t throw the ball anymore. Grow up.

  120. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge February 20th, 2008 at 8:11 am

    I read in todays Bergen Record that the Yankees are “thinking” about going with a 6 man rotation.

  121. TurnTwo February 20th, 2008 at 8:15 am

    the angels dont want giambi, they need to keep the DH clear for Vladdy.

    in fact, i think if you were forced to move one or the other, you wouldnt find nearly as many, if any takers at all, for Giambi, taking into consideration injury history, recent production levels, and total salary (even if the Yankees eat a chunk of it).

  122. TurnTwo February 20th, 2008 at 8:16 am

    link, jennifer?

    that would certainly be a departure from what Girardi and Cashman reportedly already decided.

  123. SJ44 February 20th, 2008 at 8:22 am

    I think the way to make Joba a starter is the way they are going about it.

    Start him in the bullpen. Gradually stretch him out, then have him start the second half of the season and the rest of his career.

    The Twins did it with Johan Santana way back when.

    Its the best way to maximize his innings this year.

    I have no doubt he will be a starter for the Yankees. Its just a matter of when.

    Matsui? Given the fragile health of Damon and Giambi, that’s a tough call. If both guys are healthy and productive, and you see kids like Gardner, Tabata and Jackson making the type of progress they need to make, yes you can trade him.

    Absent that, tough to trade him right now.

    Farnsworth? Like Matsui, you have to see how the kids turn out. If kids like Veras, Ohlendorf and Melancon are realistic options this year, you definitely trade Farnsworth at the deadline.

    Contract extension for Cashman? IIRC, when the Steinbrenner sons took over, they offered him an extension and he turned it down. I think he is waiting to see how it works answering to Hank and Hal.

    Against most popular thought, I think he re-upps with the Yankees. I just don’t think it will be now.

    Bernie? No brainer. Send O’Neill and Coney to Westchester, take him to the private room at Mo’s restaurant in New Rochelle, and have he and Cashman settle their difference. That way, you can hold Bernie Williams Day in the present Yankee Stadium rather than in the new one.

  124. murphydog February 20th, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Of all of the idiots, I actually like Papi. But with that new ‘do, Papi is starting to look a little too much like Mr. T.

    Start Joba in the pen. The Verducci Rule strongly suggests a conservative approach to make sure Joba doesn’t blow out the arm. Why go to all the trouble of a development program only to take risks with the talent? He can come back later in the season as a starter.

    Cashman should get renewed, but he needs an experienced assistant? If he doesn’t know the ropes by now, I don’t see a reason to retain him. He may need more admin. support, but he’s either got the smarts for the job or he doesn’t. I say keep him.

    I’m on the fence with Godzilla. I love the stroke when he’s healthy; he’s a proven professional hitter who will make a difference. Yet I agree that as a bench player, Matsui is fairly useless beyond having some pop. He can’t run, bunt or play much defense. Gun to the head? Try to move him.

    “With the relief market what it is, Kyle Farnsworth could get you something in return if you pick up some of his salary. If that something is a reliable lefty reliever, make the deal.” Isn’t that the Scooby Doo ending? IMO nobody is giving up a reliable lefty reliever for Krazy Kyle.

    Benrie? Really low on my priority list after Girardi, Pettitte, the bullpen and 1st base. If the Yankee pitching holds up and they get ahead in the division early, maybe I’d make a few calls to try to smooth things out, or maybe ask Torre to help broker it at the All Star Break.

  125. jmo February 20th, 2008 at 8:32 am

    that 6 man rotation was from klapish, so take it with a grain of salt

  126. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge February 20th, 2008 at 8:33 am

    The bulk of the innings have to come from Andy Pettitte, who still has to prove he can separate himself from the HGH scandal. Chien-Ming Wang is a likely bet to throw 200 innings, but the Yankees are still leaning heavily on Mussina, either as No. 5 starter or No. 6 starter (yes, a six-man rotation is one option being considered by the club’s hierarchy.)

  127. YankeeGM February 20th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Pete –

    You are 100% right on both Joba and Bernie.

    Unless Joba is lights out from the 1st pitch he throws as a starter the Yanks are gonna stick him back in the ‘pen and he will never come out.

    As to Bernie – seems like Cashman doesn’t like him and that’s the problem. Hank needs to reach out and put an end to the Bernie embargo!


  128. Jimmy Cannon February 20th, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Nobody asked me, but… you can send royalties for the use of my tagline to the New York Journal-Necropolis. Thanks, bub.

  129. SJ44 February 20th, 2008 at 9:47 am

    That’s just not true re: Joba.

    Its simple math.

    He has approx 130-150 innings to pitch this year.

    If he starts from Day One this season, and pitches 16 starts (not unusual) prior to the All Star Break, he could have 100-110 innings in by Mid-July.

    That means you have Joba Chamberlain for approx. 30-40 innings the rest of the season.

    How smart is it to shut the guy down by August because you didn’t intelligently work out an innings plan?

    The same fans who want him to start from Day One would be fuming (and second guessing) if he was done for the year by August.

    By having him start the season in the bullpen, and gradually stretch it out, you will have him for the season.

    His future is as a starter for the Yankees. He’s simply not able to start 30+ games this year.

    Its a question of maximizing the innings you do have him for this year.

    That’s why its smart for him to start the year in the bullpen.

  130. George is my Father February 20th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Forget Bernie Williams Day lets have HGH/Steriod appreciation day. We can have:


    Hell lets even invite Brian McNamee. Without the juice we never would have one three consecutive WS championships.


    Hank Steinbrenner

  131. Whitey Fraud February 20th, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    @George is my Father

    Leave the comedy to professionals. It’s dangerous work and requires certain skills, such as wit, humor and a rudimentary knowledge of punctuation.

    I applaud your ambition, however, if not your effort.

  132. bdr February 20th, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Since when is Giambi a better hitter than Matsui?

    Oh wait 2001…

    That was a LONG time ago.

    Compare the two players numbers.

    Suggesting a trade of Hideki Matsui was a STUPID comment to make.

    I’m ashamed of you.

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