The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Opening up the mail bag

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Sep 16, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

mailbox.jpgI cleaned out the in-box last night. So let’s get right to it …

Jason writes: How do you feel center field shapes up next year? Damon’s center field days seem behind him, and I don’t think that Melky, Gardner or Christian is the future center fielder for the Yankees. Austin Jackson seems to be the center field of the future, but he seems like a September 2009 call-up at the earliest. I thought the Yankees really blew a chance last off-season to pick up a great clubhouse leader in Aaron Rowand, but I understand why they didn’t. However, right now it seems like the Yankees are without a center fielder for at least 2009 and last year was the year for going after a center fielder in free agency.

Answer: I’m a big Austin Jackson fan and I think he can be the center fielder in 2010. I think they can get by with Damon next season or obtain a player who can play there and maybe shift somewhere else later on. Jackson has made great strides the last two seasons.

————

Kerwin writes: I’ve been reading articles about Kevin Long’s desired changes for Robbie Cano’s swing. But isn’t this the same swing that produced comments from Joe Torre about how he will be a hitter like Rod Carew? Is there something I’m missing or is there something really wrong with Cano’s swing. I realize that the guy did not hit the ball this year and has problems being patient at the plate. But how effective do you think this swing overhaul will be?

Answer: Now there’s a good question. I think that Cano has gotten out of balance and when he lunges at pitches, he can put very little impact on the ball. Long wants to “square him up” to the ball. Now that pitchers have adjusted to Cano, he needs to make the adjustment himself to keep up. Clearly something is wrong given how often he puts the ball in play and how little he has to show for it.

————

Marcus writes: I have a question about Hank Steinbrenner. His quotes make him sound uninformed and unintelligent. In your opinion, how much of what he says is just bluster? I have to admit that as a fan, he really scares me. He sounds like he could really make a mess of things.

Answer: I love when Brian Cashman pretends he’s a reader and writes in questions. Hi Cash!

————

Chris writes: Have you heard anything about the new Yankee stadium about the bleacher seating? I am a five-year season ticket holder, I was in the bleachers for four years now I am in the upper tier, and I am considering going back to the bleachers. But only if we actually are treated like normal fans and can actually go visit other parts of the stadium. Also have you heard anything about if they will allow beer in the bleachers? Having a beer if you stay in control is a great ballpark experience.

Answer: I believe that the $100 beers will be available to everybody at the Stadium, even children. The team will be sending out the details in their new brochure Empty Your 401-K To See The Orioles soon.

————

John writes: Pete, I have a suggestion for you in the off-season. Perhaps you could arrange to have some of the other writers and broadcasters (like Kim Jones!) have a Saturday or Sunday event. The proceeds could go to a charity. I know I would love to be able to hear all of you speak and answer questions about your work. Give it a thought.

Answer: I am hoping to try and do something like that, John. While nobody want want to hear a dope like me, Kim would pack them in. Plus Mark Feinsand knows magic tricks and George King’s stories about covering the 1919 Black Sox are fascinating.

———–

Edwin from Canada writes: You are a reporter, not a fan, and obviously just don’t get it. When you set yourself up as the best, as A-Rod has, based on his salary, and don’t produce as the fans see fit, then you deserve what you get (other than your 28 million). But this is only a paying fan’s point of view but you, as a free-loading reporter, obviously know better. I live in Alberta, Canada and I bet my three-day trip to watch the Yankees drop two of three to the Orioles cost me more than you spend in a year.

Answer: I have no idea what it costs to get from Alberta to New York, Edwin. But I guarantee you I spend more in a year on Diet Coke, blackjack, Springsteen tickets and Rolling Rock. Oh, and Alex says hi.

————

Dave writes: Are you “under contract” with The Journal News to cover the Yankees for any extended period of time, or do you just cover the team you are told to cover?

Answer: Much like Carl Pavano, I am day to day. I’m hoping to get Scott Boras to represent me.

————

Marc writes: I love how he leaves and the Yankees get worse. And the Dodgers are going to make the playoffs. This is not a coincidence.

Answer: I don’t think it’s quite that simple, Marc. But you could be on to something. Getting Manny Ramirez, Casey Blake and Greg Maddux didn’t hurt, either.

————

Thanks for the e-mails everybody.

Comments

comments

 

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107 Responses to “Opening up the mail bag”

  1. Natalie September 16th, 2008 at 4:40 am

    Al Aceves & Phil Coke –

    Don’t be Yankee prospect teases (Rasner & IPK). Continue to throw strikes and be successful after three weeks.

  2. Frankjur September 16th, 2008 at 4:58 am

    “I love how he leaves and the Yankees get worse. And the Dodgers are going to make the playoffs. This is not a coincidence.”

    FYI, The Dodgers have a lower winning percentage than the Yankees do in 2008. And the Dodgers are in a much easier division too. So, yes, it is a coincidence.

  3. kimmiebruce September 16th, 2008 at 5:47 am

    I second the suggestion for a weekend event with the writers/broadcasters. Perhaps Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center could host it? They run similar speaking events all the time!

  4. autograph seeker September 16th, 2008 at 6:52 am

    about the last comment in the mailbag about marc…

    um, how is Joe Torre having a better year? The Yankees have a good record in the toughest division in baseball in a long time. The Dodgers, until very recently, were a VERY average team in a horrible, horrible, terrible, terrible division.

    Yes, the Yanks got worse and that can be blamed to things outside Girardi’s control on a lot of stuff. You can say Joe G handles the media bad, etc, etc. but if anything, our record is worse with Torre here.

  5. Paco Dooley September 16th, 2008 at 7:23 am

    I agree with the earlier comment that too much is being made of Torre’s success in LA. The Dodgers play in a terrible division in the weaker league. The Yankees play in a tough division in a league that has around 4 teams better than any NL team (except perhaps the Cubs). If the Yankees played in the NL West I would bet that they would have at least a 5 game lead in their division (and perhaps more).

  6. populoso September 16th, 2008 at 7:48 am

    I hope Marc is being tongue-in-cheek. Jesus.

  7. #9 September 16th, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Dear Pete,

    Now that Wall Street is in financial Armageddon – who’s going to be able to afford the seats at the new Stadium next year?

  8. Doreen September 16th, 2008 at 8:31 am

    #9 -

    That is the question of the day!

  9. NYYanksFan September 16th, 2008 at 8:58 am

    From nypost.com

    “According to Brian Cashman, a MRI done this past weekend on Andy Pettitte’s left shoulder didn’t uncover a serious problem. However, the shoulder has been an issue lately.

    Asked if the shoulder would be addressed in the offseason, Pettitte said, “I just think I need an offseason.”

    Cashman said Pettitte’s MRI was part of the season-ending physical all players go through.”

    AND

    Jorge’s CenterStage taping ticked of Pedro even more than Joba:

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/09.....129274.htm

  10. jennifer September 16th, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Pedro is an idiot. Every Yankee fan knew he was saying I’ll hit you in the head. We aren’t fools Pedro.

  11. Mazun September 16th, 2008 at 9:15 am

    That question about Cashman pretending to be a fan is hilarious.

  12. Tom September 16th, 2008 at 9:21 am

    One of the things I still wonder about is this: why didn’t Pedro get tossed from that game? He pointed at Posada and the Yankees bench implying he was going to hit them in the head. He threw a geriatric Don zimmer on the ground by his skull and he threw behind Garcia. He was a pitcher who was out for blood. Mlb just pretended it did not happen.

  13. Blake September 16th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Is it time to really explore trading A-Rod? I know the new stadium and his big contract but this team isn’t getting younger. With core young pitching how about getting rid of the A-Rod, Melky, Cano alliance. It is like the axis of evil? I mean I love all those guys and when they win it seems like they are just enjoying the game but when they lose it seems like they are lazy – any thoughts?

  14. jennifer September 16th, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Tom Becuase he didn’t have an NY on his cap.

    Blake- Shirely you can’t be serious? They just signed Alex to a 10 year deal and in year 1 they are going to trade him. Really you cannot possibly be serious with that question.

    And Alex is lazy? where in the world do you come up with that? Cause he doesn’t get a hit every time up? You know there is a reason a 300 hitter is considered good. Do you realize a 300 hitter fails 7 out of 10 times?

  15. Tom September 16th, 2008 at 9:37 am

    I give up. Getting angry at people who want to trade Arod is like railing against the high tide.

  16. Blake September 16th, 2008 at 9:38 am

    jennifer – you are right about lazy – Alex is not lazy – I meant the other 2. Alex is amazing but what do we make of him batting .200? with RISP?

  17. SJ44 September 16th, 2008 at 9:41 am

    First off, he’s not hitting .200 with RISP.

    Second, he isn’t going anywhere.

    Third, there are other blogs you can peddle this stuff to on a daily basis. Try them.

  18. YankeeFan4Eva September 16th, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Jennifer –
    I am with you. Alex is still hitting 300 and will have 100+ RBI’s, that calls for a trade????? Blake maybe you need to look at stats before saying let’s trade Alex. All these fans who boo him are just haters and don’t realize what he brings to the table. Does anybody on the roster have 35+ homeruns, can anybody else play third like him, can anybody else steal bases smartly?? He may be a little over payed but we have the best player in baseball, GET OVER IT!!!

  19. Tom September 16th, 2008 at 9:43 am

    A-Rod has a better AVG with RISP then his 3B counterpart, David Wright. But where is the crit on Wright?

  20. Rich September 16th, 2008 at 9:45 am

    “Pedro is an idiot. Every Yankee fan knew he was saying I’ll hit you in the head. We aren’t fools Pedro.”

    Zimmer’s rhino impression was one of the funniest things ive ever seen.

    hey- yanks are technically in second place!

  21. John September 16th, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Just for the people who did not write to pete: Even though my question did not appear in this post, pete still wrote back to me. at 2:30 in the morning too.
    Peter, you are the man, even if you do like the patriots

  22. Tom September 16th, 2008 at 9:47 am

    A-ROD’s Stats W/ RISP 2008: .272-7hr-60rbi-.879ops. while His stats with RISP have been bellow his season numbers, they have been average. Arod is not the problem. It’s Pitching.

  23. myrtlebeachfan September 16th, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Alex can’t just hit .300 with 35 HR and 120 RBI.

    We can get players that will do that for half of what we pay A-Rod.

    He needs to put out 45+, 135+, and hit .300 with a .410 OBP.

    And that’s being conservative. 30 million dollars better net 50HR and 145 RBI or it’s not worth it.

    And it’d be nice if some of those HR and rbi were meaningful.

  24. SJ44 September 16th, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Really?

    The Yankees can get players to hit .300 with 35 HR’s and 120 RBI for half of what they pay Arod? Like whom?

    Go back and read what you just wrote again.

    You want Arod to put up numbers that NOBODY in the history of the game has done in a 10+ year period. At least not in the modern era of baseball and at least not somebody not on PED’s.

    What you are requesting, nobody can do.

    If that’s the standard you have set for Arod, its probably best you watch football because you know nothing about baseball.

  25. Fredo Corleone September 16th, 2008 at 9:57 am

    “hey- yanks are technically in second place!”

    Technically, actually, mathematically, logically, just about any -ly you can think of (except financially), they are tied for 3rd.

  26. ANSKY September 16th, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Has anyone ever sat Cano down and told him that if he played as hard as Boston’s marginally-talented gnat Pedroia, that he could challenge for the batting tile AND gold glove every year of his career? Not just told him in passing – ACTUALLY SAT HIS ARSE DOWN AND SPOKEN FRANKLY TO HIM, SO THAT IT SINKS IN AND HE ACTUALLY REALIZES IT. And he plays like he realizes it every day without being told.

    If Girardi has to bench him any time he doesn’t hustle(I still say do it immediately, not when the inning ends) then so be it. Maybe also, the team should lean on him real good in the clubhouse next time it happens.

    I think someone also has to tell him that he’s not off the hook until nobody has to tell him anymore. Not just when he can go a whole week without looking like he has to be told.

    Message to Robbie Cano – Get hungry, look hungry, and play with guts on every freakin’ play, whether the game’s on the line, or it’s already won or lost. You’re better than Pedroia. Act like it. Think like Pete Rose. It’s the difference between retiring with career stats like the stats you have this year or something more like Tony Gwynn’s. The ball’s in your court.

  27. Fredo Corleone September 16th, 2008 at 10:01 am

    “Act like it.”

    That’s the problem, Ansky. It would be an act. He doesn’t have the Pete Rose drive. Most don’t. Tends to be something you have or don’t have. Usually not something you can suddenly adopt.

  28. ANSKY September 16th, 2008 at 10:03 am

    SJ –

    People just don’t realize A-Rod (w/o PEDs) put up numbers that most PED-using guys couldn’t put up back when they were using PEDs.

    And when he puts up Gehrig-type numbers people still aren’t satisfied.

    It’s not worth pointing out to them … they won’t get it, ever.

  29. Fredo Corleone September 16th, 2008 at 10:04 am

    “The Yankees can get players to hit .300 with 35 HR’s and 120 RBI for half of what they pay Arod? Like whom?”

    Pujols?

  30. Tom September 16th, 2008 at 10:04 am

    People who hate arod are just jealous of his contract. They hate him because he’s the highest paid player. They want him to fail and refuse to see him as great player. Of course these are the same-simple minded people who go and pay 12 bucks to watch Adam Sandler make 20mil. per film to play the same person over and over and over again.

  31. TKinDC September 16th, 2008 at 10:06 am

    This is going to sound nuts, but I think the fact that Girardi benched Cano actually signals that it is more likely that Robinson will be back next year.

    Benching him now hurts his value and cements the perception that he has attitude problems – not exactly what you do before trying to ‘sell high’ on our mercurial 2b.

    It also shows that they are willing to face him down. They are going to send Long down to the DR to remake his batting stance and this is the first step in making sure he doesn’t blow off the staff’s input and just ‘play his game’.

    Should be an interesting offseason.

  32. ANSKY September 16th, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Fredo –

    Totally agreed nobody hustles like Charlie Hustle did. It’d be ridiculous if Cano sprinted to first on a walk.

    Watching Gardner hustle in CF recently was pretty good to see though. We’d all be happy if Cano could do that.

    He has to think that way though, it has to sink in to his mindset or the ‘act’ of hustling would be an obvious act.

  33. Fredo Corleone September 16th, 2008 at 10:09 am

    TK:

    Agree 100%. I think the fact that Cano’s value is in the toilet right now sealed the deal anyway, but the fact that they are taking some action at this point would lead me to believe they are trying to drive home a point or two that he can take with him to ’09.

  34. SJ44 September 16th, 2008 at 10:12 am

    TK,

    I don’t think that’s nuts. Its most likely an accurate appraisal of the situation.

    Given the age on the roster, they would have to be overwhelmed to trade Cano.

    By “overwhelmed”, I mean getting 2, under 30 starting players for him. Given his season and his attitude, that’s highly unlikely.

    If they have decided to keep him, they probably need to find a super utility type of player (a Ryan Freel, for example) in the off-season.

    It would not only help their bench but, it would give them a guy to insert into the lineup if Cano continues to float his way through a season.

    One of the reasons why they didn’t put the hammer down on him sooner is they had no viable replacement. That has to change in the off-season.

  35. YankeeFan4Eva September 16th, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Fredo-

    Pujols is a 1st baseman and has no arm range, can’t steal, and does not know how to scream HA! in important games!!!!

    I am done here.

  36. gayle September 16th, 2008 at 10:13 am

    From Jon Harper’s column in today’ Daily News. If this isnt just 1 example of why this team needs to really change the clubhouse mentality nothing is. When you only have 1 player who is willing to get in someone’s face something isrong

    “The best opportunity was that day in Anaheim, Aug. 10, when Cano, for some reason, barely made a move for a slow ground ball in the hole in the ninth inning that merely won the game for the Angels.

    Other Yankee players were furious with Cano’s effort that day, but, according to Cano himself, none of them said a word to him. That was part of the problem this season: without the injured Jorge Posada, the Yankees lacked a clubhouse enforcer, someone willing to confront a teammate, if necessary, and demand more.

    It’s not Derek Jeter’s style, as we know by now, and while Jeter sets the best possible example of the way to play the game, it’s a failing of his as a captain”

  37. ray (sox fan) September 16th, 2008 at 10:13 am

    I am not at all saying that Jason Bay is as good a player as Arod. But look at the numbers.

    With a few more games left Bay is hitting .288, has 30 home runs, and 98 RBI’s.

    Not too shabby for about a third of the money that Arod makes.

  38. Yanksgal07 September 16th, 2008 at 10:14 am

    These same “fans” have at time booed Mariano and Jeter…heck they even booed Hughes who is just a kid getting started (nice encouragement by the way for a then 21 year old). Alex has to take it where it’s coming from and know that the knowledgable fans appreciate his efforts. I’m sure there isn’t a player in the majors who wouldn’t love his numbers which have basically been the same or better throughout his career. Next year if he has another MVP season and leads the team to a World Series all the fickled fans will be fawning over him like they did last year when he was a monster in the clutch. I agree he seems to put too much pressure on himself at certain times but the fans booing his every out doesn’t help the matter. It’s been a tough year all around for the Yankees but I’m looking forward to a new beginning in 2009 and I’m confident that the organization will do all in it’s power to give us a competitive team as they have for all these years.
    Other fans say wait till next year …at least with the Yankees we know it’s the truth…we’ll be there.

    Go Yankees !!!!

  39. Doreen September 16th, 2008 at 10:14 am

    If Pujols was a Yankee, I’m sure there’d be people criticizing him, too.

    There’s just no pleasing some people.

  40. Tom September 16th, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Lets’s face it, for many people on this blog this is the first year the Yankees will not made the playoffs. All they have known is winning. Winning spoils fans. My advice is to take a step back and appreciate what has happened the past 13 years.

  41. gayle September 16th, 2008 at 10:18 am

    ALso bck to Jorge couple of things from his Centerstage taping that was reported thatsort of makes me scratch my hea. He says hat it was the pitching that led the team astray his year. That you cant have question marks in tha area. Although he says hehasnot been watching entire games is he really wathing ANY of thegames. The pitching has not been great this year but it certainly in my opinion has o coul have been servicable if the offense from top well amost top to bottom didnt tank.

    Also Kay told a story on the rado yesterday that after the team was 1 hit against the Red SOx earlier in the year Jorge went into the clubhouse on a tirade that this is nit the Yankee way, the team then went on a huge run but he then got hut again. I think we all underestimate his value on this team not jut from a on the field perspective.

    Best quote when asked about Pudge he said he is my friend but he has to find somwhere else to play next year. That made m laugh

  42. SJ44 September 16th, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Did Jason Bay miss over 20 games with an injury?

    Really, comparing Jason Bay to Arod is beyond comical.

    If Arod didn’t get hurt this year, he’s over 40 HR’s, 110 RBI and people would STILL rip him.

    No matter what he does, its never enough for some Yankee fans.

    We even had folks pining for Joe Crede instead of Arod last night.

    The same Joe Crede is who currently out with a back injury, about to face his third back surgery in the last 5 years.

    Yup, he’s “better” than Arod because he’s more “clutch”. Even when he’s not in the lineup.

    That’s how foolish the Arod discussions have gotten.

  43. ray (sox fan) September 16th, 2008 at 10:27 am

    SJ

    I was very careful to say that I was in no way saying that Bay was as good as Arod.

    I was only pointing out that he has some decent numbers for a lot less money. And I bet his average is better than .100 when the bases are loaded.

  44. YankeeFan4Eva September 16th, 2008 at 10:29 am

    That Jason Bay comparison was just to FREAKING STUPID!!!!

    SJ44

    People dont realize that A-Rod was hurt, obvisouly they don’t watch baseball and don’t know baseball. What’s next people are gonna say 5 Innings pitch, 5 Earned Runs is a quality start…LMAOO…

  45. Fredo Corleone September 16th, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Agree the Arod stuff is getting a bit crazy. Phenonenal ’07 season and not so bad this year.

    Here’s what bothers me and what I think bothers most fans about Arod:

    Since hitting a 3rd inning homer to give the Yankees a 2-0 in Game 4 of the ALCS, Arod has gone 8 for 59 with 1 homer and 1 rbi, both of which were meaningless as the Yankees have gone 4-13 in their last 17 postseason games. Granted, he’s had a lot of company in the Postseason Dead Bat Society, but his performance is glaring. He was brought here, not just to get to the playoffs, but to succeed there.

  46. pat September 16th, 2008 at 10:34 am

    I wouldn’t wish the media and fan abuse A-Rod receives on any other player but it would be an interesting psychological experiment to see it happen and how it would effect their game.

  47. Whitey Fraud September 16th, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Pete:

    Please set something up during spring training. I can guarantee you that me and/or Rockin’ Rich would be there.

    If Mark Feinsand can do magic tricks, maybe he could make Michael “If You See” Kay disappear.

    And good luck with Borat, too.

  48. gayle September 16th, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Going back to the bleacher question in the mailbag. This is something I have never understood and hope gets rectified in the newstadium. Do you realize that if you have only seat in the bleachers for your entire Yankee Stadium experience, you have never been to monument park?

    To me that is plain wrong just because you sit in the bleachers shouldn mean that you should not be able to experience something that makes the stadium great.

    I do hope that next year if you have bleacher seats you are not only able to visit monumen park but also the Yankee museum thing they are doing itshould be an equal oportunity experience.

    The beer thing gosh hope he was joking they should not sell beers there it is bad enough when people dont have the beers lol.

  49. Fredo Corleone September 16th, 2008 at 10:34 am

    “That Jason Bay comparison was just to FREAKING STUPID!!!!”

    So is cherrypicking portions of another post to make a point. Guy who made the comparison was rather clear about indicating that he recognized Bay was nowhere near as good as Arod.

  50. bruce September 16th, 2008 at 10:35 am

    managers can take a team so far to prepare them for winning but they do have to put the team in the best position to win both mentally and physically and torre did exactly that.i am not convinced that is the case with girardi.

    it could be very possible that girardi is not creating or allowing an atmosphere condusive to winning.

    the bottom line is that the yankees need to rebuild the pitching staff.

    the red sox traded for becket,signed dice-k and the rest is history.they are not that much better than the yankees.

    the yankees have to stop holding on to their prospects because until a prospect turns into a good player you have to use them to bring in the right pieces to build a winning team.

    if you have a team that you are happy with then you can keep the prospects you wan’t but in the yankees case free agency alone will not fix the mess.the players are usually too old,expensive and there are not enough of them that are worth it.the yankees need a whole new outfield,first baseman,catcher and at least 2 pitchers,maybe 3.

    i would trade hughes,cano,kennedy and whoever else it takes to bring in all the players needed,try to sign sabathia and another frontline pitcher and or trade for another good young pitcher.

  51. SJ44 September 16th, 2008 at 10:39 am

    So Ray, we want to take those small sample sizes and do what exactly?

    If Theo Epstein could trade Jason Bay even up for Arod, ‘ya think he would do it? He would do it in a heartbeat.

    You can take small sample sizes out of any baseball stat and make want you want with it. Unfortunately, most people who come on here quoting stats have no idea how to use statistical analysis correctly.

    Last year, Arod hit over .450 from the 7th inning on with guys on base. That’s off the chart unbelievable.

    Yet, nobody cares. They think he is supposed to do that EVERY YEAR.

    Its not PlayStation. Its not how it works.

    His “off” year, equals career years for 99% of the players in the game. Including the Jason Bay’s of the world.

    If more guys had “bad” years like Arod this year, the Yankees would be in the playoffs.

  52. pat September 16th, 2008 at 10:41 am

    ray

    Jason Bay is hitting .250 with RISP. That means his BA and RBI’s mean nothing because they happened in non-clutch situations. :smile:

  53. Yankeefanfoev13 September 16th, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Actually, Jason Bay bats .241 w/ RISP & 2 outs; and .246 with RISP

    And A-Rod bats .250 w/ RISP & 2 outs; and .272 with RISP

    Oh, and he bats over .250 w/ bases loaded, not .100

  54. Fredo Corleone September 16th, 2008 at 10:43 am

    “If Theo Epstein could trade Jason Bay even up for Arod, ‘ya think he would do it? He would do it in a heartbeat.”

    Not given their present contracts, he wouldn’t. Not in a million years.

  55. SJ44 September 16th, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Fredo,

    No question, his post-season numbers are bad. IIRC, so was Barry Bonds’ post-season numbers until the 2002 post-season.

    It happens sometimes. Some players just don’t perform well in the post-season, or even in a few post-seasons.

    Arod needs one big post-season, as was the case with Bonds, to get that monkey off his back. Sooner or later, it will happen.

    The guy is too good not to hit in the post-season.

  56. ray (sox fan) September 16th, 2008 at 10:47 am

    I will say this one more time, and then stop for fear of beating the dead horse.

    I in NO WAY said that Jason Bay is as good as Arod. SJ, please point out to me where I indicated Epstein would not trade straight up Bay for Arod.

    You are setting up a straw man, and then knocking it down.

    Of course Theo makes that trade everytime.

    I was just comparing some numbers. If that makes everyone defensive then I am sorry.

  57. pat September 16th, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Coke looking to avoid a starter/bullpen controversy with him:

    “A starter for most of his career, Coke has been a revelation in relief but has no preference.

    “Whatever the Yankees want me to do,” he said. “If they want me to sit there and make sure everybody on the bench has seeds, I’ll do it. I’m fine with that.”

    nytimes.com

  58. Fredo Corleone September 16th, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Agreed SJ. He’s five years deep into his Yankees career and the postseason results, save one ALDS, have been disastarous. He’ll likely be here for 9 more years and will undoubtedly hit in the postseason at some point.

  59. mel September 16th, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Doreen,

    I think you’re half right. There is no pleasing people, but fans would love Pujols. They’d love Manny, too. Why? I don’t know, but I know part if it would be because they’re not Alex.

    Alex is the villain of this generation, just like Bonds was the villain of the last generation (haha, I know. A generation is 25 years).

    I suspect that the media has something to do with influencing how certain players are perceived.

    These are just my opinions, but how else can you explain the hate for such a prolifically productive player?

    If Alex cares about such things, he should take a page out of Kobe Bryant’s book. A player with one of the lowest Q ratings who said he wouldn’t use a PR campaign to improve it. He eventually came around to the idea. He did it subtly and it took years, but I suspect his Q rating’s a lot higher now.

    If Alex wants to be liked by the fans, he has to let the fans get to know him. Really know him. That means stupid things like Letterman, Today Show, etc. No championship to promote? Then do it for charities, etc.

    That’s IF he cares about such things. But I think he’ll find that it’s a lot easier to achieve the greatness he desires with people rallying around him.

  60. Fredo Corleone September 16th, 2008 at 10:50 am

    “Of course Theo makes that trade everytime.”

    Ray, if Cahsman called Epstein and said I’ll give you Arod for Bay right now, Theo would say NO 100 different ways. They simply aren’t dumb enough to take on that contract up there.

  61. Doreen September 16th, 2008 at 10:52 am

    pat -

    “Everyything goes better with Coke.”

    “Have a Coke and a smile.”

    Great attitude. Gotta love the guy!

  62. Tom September 16th, 2008 at 10:53 am

    since Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS the yankees pitching staff has an era of 5. 63 in the post season. I suppose this is Alex’s fault too.

  63. Bronx Jeers September 16th, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Last night Pete alluded to the fact that Aceves may be older than stated (at least that is how I interpret his line throughs) and I see his height/weight being listed differently all over the place by as much as 6 ” and 50 lbs.

    What gives?

  64. Fredo Corleone September 16th, 2008 at 10:54 am

    “Alex is the villain of this generation, just like Bonds was the villain of the last generation (haha, I know. A generation is 25 years).”

    I see where you’re going, Mel. But I hate this comparison. Bonds was an effing puke his entire career. Treated everyone like garbage. Alex has only treated his wife like garbage but is otherwise a nice guy, good teammate and generally pleasant to be around. I just don’t see him as a villain. He’s image conscious to a fault and at times seems a tad phony, but he’s not evil. Bonds is evil.

    We need a better word than villain.

  65. Matt September 16th, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Alex is one of those rare players with 5 tools. Just cause Bay might be close to him in offensive stats doesn’t make him a comparison. A-Rod can hit for average, power, has amazing baserunning instincts and good speed, cannon of an arm, and above average defense.

    Bay has an average (at best) arm, mediocre at defense in the outfield. i will give it to him that he is quite good on the basepaths, and that gives him the high percentage of SB/CS, but it’s not like he has blistering speed. Also Bay is a career .282 hitter, and hasn’t hit more than 35 homeruns in a season.. so there goes the hitting for average and power argument.

  66. mel September 16th, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Bronx Jeers,

    The height/weight thing could be because of his rapid ascension through the system in less than a year.

    As for the funny last night, maybe he meant that Alfredo has the Greg Oden thing going.

  67. Yankee Trader September 16th, 2008 at 10:57 am

    This will be an interesting Yankee offseason!

    What new coaches will the Yanks bring in?
    Will Cashman stay? If not who replaces him?
    Yankees have a lot of needs, and it starts with their starting pitching. What free agent starters?

    Lets say CC doesn’t want to come to NY, Burnett’s wife loves Toronto and he resigns an extension there, Sheets resigns with the Brewers, Dempster with the Cubs, Lackey’s option picked up by the Angels, Penny’s by the Dodgers, Perez resigns with the Mets. What quality young free agent starters are left?-Jon Garland? Do you really want him for 5 years?

    By signing two quality FA starters, that gives the team the opportunity to trade some of our minor league pitching for “young” athletic position players.

    Bench-needs revamped, especially with a player “like” a Mark DeRosa who plays multiple positions well and can hit.

    The team needs to get rid of all it’s FA’s and offer arbitration only to Abreu and Mussina. It needs to “explore” opportunities to trade its DH type players. If Matsui brings some decent prospects that can be spun off in another trade then it might be worth it to listen at offers, if there are any! If you trade Damon, now they need a leadoff hitter.

    Don’t be surprised if 2009 is another rebuilding year, until 2010, when some real quality and decent FA position players become available-Roberts, Polanco, DeRosa, Wiggington,C. Jones,Figgins, B. Molina,Ankiel, Bay, Crawford, Guerrero, Holliday, to name a few.

    Maybe the Yankees will go with one year stopgaps, and keep their talented minor league talent, and see how they are playing at the July trading deadline?

    Too many variables this offseason! Only constant strength is the possibility of a strong bullpen!

  68. Doreen September 16th, 2008 at 10:58 am

    mel -

    It would have to be slow and subtle, because any other approach and he’s crucified for drawing attention to himself. Alex just can’t win. It might be too late. If last season’s production didn’t do it, I don’t know what will. And I’m with you, I’m no longer sure a productive post-season will do it either, because the line in the sand will just be moved by those who are wont to do so.

    Maybe they’d like Pujols. I don’t know Pujols enough. Manny has clownish charm – “Manny being Manny” – and so people just shrug their shoulders as long as he’s hitting (the ball, and not people).

    I guess ARod has always been seen as a guy who’s after the money, and will always be seen that way. Even though 99.9% of the human population would try to get as much money as they could, too. And ARod is somewhat awkward socially, so that doesn’t help. He’s not glib. He can’t charm people or beguile them. He doesn’t have the Jeter dimple.

  69. Tom September 16th, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Fredo, “Scapegoat” come to mind.

  70. Fredo Corleone September 16th, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Matt:

    Bay also hasn’t collected a paycheck greater than $7.5M per annum. I believe the argument was centered more around bang for the buck moreso than who the better player is.

  71. mel September 16th, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Fredo,

    According to Pete (who I trust on this one because it fits my theory), Alex has his weird moments with the writers. Not as hostile, but not Mr. Cordial.

    The weird thing is that the press is not on Alex anymore. I guess he earned some respect by not running off when he had the chance. :)

    New targets to fling arrows at, too. Kidding, Pete!

  72. Fredo Corleone September 16th, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Tom:

    That may be right. As the best player and most polarizing figure on the team, he takes an unfair share of the blame for things not going as hoped. However, as you suggested with the Team ERA remark ealrier, the Yankees really have gone in the postseason tank as a team the past few years.

  73. bruce September 16th, 2008 at 11:06 am

    SJ44 :

    i would take arod over almost any nother player in the game going by just numbers but when people talk about the crede subject or at least when i talk about it my point is that you can win with crede at third base and not arod.

    30 million dollars a year to players prevents teams from spending in other areas of need like pitching,arod probably being the exception because of the revenue he brings in.

    i would much rather be without arod and have two frontline pitchers at 15 million dollars a year each.

    the yankees have to many big contracts and for the first time last year money became an issue and prevented them from making moves to better the club.

    brosus,hayes,boggs got it done in the 90′s with good pitching and defense and until the yankees realize that pitching and defense wins not an allstar at every position they will continue to have problems.

    look at the angels,they havn’t scored many more runs than they gave up and probably will win 100 games this year because of good pitching and defense, so when you hear people wanting a crede or a player like him it is because arod is not needed to win it all and i would gladly trade him in for a better pitching staff and a 3rd baseman with 25 hr and 90 rbi.

    it is not about comparing arod to crede,it is about building a winning team.having a player consuming 30 million dollars a year could hurt the team in the big picture.i do think the yankees can win with him and he is not the reason for the yankees problem,pitching is but arod is not needed to win so because of his large salary the yankees have to be cautious in spending in other areas.

  74. mel September 16th, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Doreen,

    I’m telling you. It will work. Both the players in question were prodigies and built a wall to protect themselves. Knocking down the wall exposes them, but they can’t live on a moat.

    I’m not a big fan of using PR in such nefarious ways, but it works.

    If Alex wants to be loved by New York, he’s going to have to give himself to the people.

  75. ET2012 September 16th, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Does anyone know what happens if a team takes a player off waivers? Does the team get compensated at all?

    On the A-Rod deal, people need to understand he is no robot. He was injured this year and went through a messy divorce. That alone can mess anyone up, yet he still has put up decent numbers. Cut him some slack.

  76. Fredo Corleone September 16th, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Mel:

    Sounds right to me. From what I’ve watched, Arod is really only comfortable in situations where canned answers and cliches will suffice. Otherwise, he’s a little out of his element.

  77. Tom September 16th, 2008 at 11:09 am

    The Yankees fatal flaw in the postseason has been the pitching and Arod’s performance has been magnified because of it. Jeter has had some awful post season series in the past: .118 BA against Seatle in 2001, .148 vs Arizona in 2001, .233 vs Boston in 2003, .200 vs boston in 2004, and .176 last year vs cle.

  78. mel September 16th, 2008 at 11:10 am

    I’m not disparaging Alex in any way, but other teams have won, and are winning, without him.

    It’s still a team game, so arguing over whether to use him or someone else is futile.

  79. mel September 16th, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Fredo,

    I don’t watch the postgame interviews, but I haven’t noticed many video with him.

    You don’t see a lot of quotes in the papers by him lately, either.

    Could Alex actually have won the game of “Chicken” with the media?

  80. Yanksgal07 September 16th, 2008 at 11:23 am

    I just read on the other post there is a player named Lance Broadway in the Chicago White Sox minors..won’t his name look good up in lights…lol.

    Go Yankees !!!!

  81. Doreen September 16th, 2008 at 11:26 am

    mel -

    You’re right – Alex pretty much escapes the post-game interviews. Damon was getting the honor for most of the summer. It seems to be spread around a little more these days. Jeter was also missing from a great deal of post-games, but seems to be more present now. Giambi’s not really ever around either. The pitchers always seem to be available, win or lose. Those guys stand there after losses and do a decent job of answering questions in a tough situation (not that the questions are tough, but just be accountable for a loss).

    In fact, while I hope the Yankees are not in a position next season to have to rely on a guy like Ponson, he has won my respect. He is straight-forward in his post-games, never skirts a question. Even Pavano’s post-games have been pretty decent – he makes sure to credit his teammates for one (whether he has an agenda makes no difference to me – it would be just as easy to say he was in the trainer’s room after a game).

  82. Bronx Jeers September 16th, 2008 at 11:29 am

    At times, watching ARod at bat is like watching your kid in the school play. Tense and uncomfortable as you wait for a mistake to happen. Still he is an amazing talent. 5 tools that have been going strong for 13 years. How he is criticized and booed so much is beyond me.

    Aceves = this years version of IPK + Huevos.

  83. bruce September 16th, 2008 at 11:35 am

    ET2012 :

    i believe when a player is claimed off waivers both teams involved have a certain amount of time to work out a deal.the team losing the player could just let the player go with his salary or the team can demand for players or a player in return,almost like a trade.very strange process.

  84. bruce September 16th, 2008 at 11:39 am

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=1860265

    waiver rules.these are the details.

  85. Timothy Clougher September 16th, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Hello everyone:

    I’ve been out of action for 2 weeks, I had shoulder surgery, glad it’s over.

    Anyway some interesting reading here, I honestly feel that we had a pretty good season considering all the hurdles that had to be overcome.

    We definately should not trade A-rod…

  86. Jon September 16th, 2008 at 11:52 am

    A-Rod is leading the team in BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, HR, RBI, and Runs. He is third in stolen bases at 17, but has only been caught 3 times, that success percentage is more valuable than Abreu’s pitiful 19-11. With RISP he is batting a decent .270 and OBPing an excellent .408. By any possible measure he is the best position player on the team and arguably the best overall player. If the Yankees were in the playoff race he would be a serious MVP candidate.

    But yeah sure he’s overrated and not worth the money. It’s A-Rod that is killing the team.

  87. richard September 16th, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Did someone mention pitching? Phil Jackson has had this thing where he tries to relax his teams before the game. The pressure of being a NYY has to be an influence. So how to balance the pressure the players put on themselves with putting pressure on them to perform would be a challenge. Like “who does Cano making $$$$ not perform?” Why does A-Rod stop having fun and pressure himself into 0-somethings when there are men in scoring position.??? These guys need to know they have to have fun and enjoy the game. Look at the Rays. They seem to be having fun. I’m curious if they keep it up and forget it’s a game. I can’t root for Boston afterall.

  88. Doreen September 16th, 2008 at 11:54 am

    I don’t think the Rays are having as much fun this morning, though. :)

  89. Fredo Corleone September 16th, 2008 at 11:59 am

    “I don’t think the Rays are having as much fun this morning, though.”

    Fortunately Kazmir’s mild case of whiplash won’t render him unable to make his next start. How ridiculous was that? Even Varitek homered for crying out loud.

  90. mel September 16th, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Timothy,

    Best of lucky with your recovery.

    richard,

    I agree about the pressure getting to these guys. There was pressure from the beginning of the season to get it done in the last year.

    They’ve played well in the last 3 games. Part of it’s got to be because the pressure’s off.

    The team that wants it more will hit better, hustle on defense, and keep focus on the basepaths. Teams that are pressured can’t do any of those things very well.

    Hoping for more effort and less disappointment next year.

    We’re going to end up closer to the WC than people thought we would. And that hurts. I can understand why Mo is livid. Too little, too late.

  91. richard September 16th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    The Rays and Boston, makes me sad about the Yankees. My take on the present manager is he seems good day to day with all the injuries over the season. I just hope he manages his veterans a little better. Pettite threw too many innings for his age and he has to be arm tired this time of year. There were many veteran injuries this year and I don’t want to blame them all on the manager but he did come in gung-ho and work the players hard early. We all know the injuries to the starting line up and pitchers (not to mention Pavano) so I hope he takes a little more care of them next year from spring training on and they are healthy and win one more WS for Mariano, Jeter, Pasada, Matsui, Mussina and one for A-Rod.

  92. Joey's Poodle September 16th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Timothy,

    Do right by that shoulder, recovery is a long slog! Hope it goes well for you.

  93. Doreen September 16th, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    mel -

    I dont’ think the Yankees didn’t want it or that other teams wanted it more, but I do believe the pressure of feeling you absolutely MUST do it because of the Stadium closing could very much affect the psyche and therefore the physical performance. Wanting it TOO much, perhaps?

    I seriously almost hope the Yankees miss the WC by 3 or more, because if it’s less than that, boy, will it be that much tougher to digest. People (all of us, the players, the media) will start pointing to that one game, that one pitch, that one at-bat. The If-Onlys will be deafening.

    I think Colorado was not a good team to set an example by – Colorado never has the same pressure to win as the Yankees do, and so what they did last year was, while still magical, not expected and not demanded. The Yankees could say, well, we just need to play today, win today, but coming from a team that comes out of the gate saying they have to win it all, you know they’re not very good at taking things day by day. :)

  94. Fredo Corleone September 16th, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    “I’ve been out of action for 2 weeks, I had shoulder surgery, glad it’s over.”

    Did Dr. Posada say you should start or pitch out of the bullpen????

  95. mel September 16th, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Doreen,

    I know the team wanted it. So did they not believe in themselves?

    Why was it dead man walking to the plate? I don’t believe they gave their best effort at the plate at every AB. I don’t believe they hustled as much on defense as they could. Too many years of, “we’ll get it back at the plate”.

    I’m just flabberghasted at the kind of defense I’ve seen the last 3 days. Yes, some different personnel playing for a job. But it really points out what could’ve been.

    Teams like Toronto and Tampa are winning with pitching, but good defense makes the pitching better.

  96. Steve Kline September 16th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    To all those maligned the NL West as inferior as a way to belittle Torre’s accomplishment, take a look at the 2000 Yankees – worst team in the playoffs. How about the 2006 Cards? Both world champs. 1988 Dodgers. etc.

    It is a mistake to say the Yankees would dominate in that division – they would have a different schedule. different pitching matchups for every game. They could win 100 or 70 games. It is impossible to tell. Just because you are bitter that Torre is again gonna be in the playoffs after most of you couldn’t wait to shove him out the door doesn’t make making the playoffs any less of an accomplishment.

  97. Steve Kline September 16th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Mantle was booed, Mike Schmidt was booed, Phil Simms was booed – AFTER he won the Super Bowl (people conveniently forget that fact). Fair or right? No. but it’s part of the deal unfortunately.

    And A-Rod wanted to be here, twice – when he forced the trade and after the opt-out. I’m sure counting his money helps him forget about it.

  98. Doreen September 16th, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    mel -

    I know. It’s been one of those seasons where you’re just left scratching your head. Yeah, did they take too much for granted – all those late-season rallies to win the division or WC – thinking they would definitely turn it on? And when it didn’t happen according to script, just simply not knowing what to do, how to turn it on, how to make adjustments? I agree that at the plate this season, in pressure situations, almost to a man, the discomfort was palpable. And these are professionals. They’ve all had great success.

    I think for some of them (Giambi), knowing it’s the last chance to do something as a Yankee, could have doubled the pressure.

    But these guys should thrive on “pressure.”

    They got on base – look at the .300 or close to BAs on this team – even though walks were down. But they looked clueless against too many pitchers this season. Looked like they had no plan. Looked like they never picked up a scouting report. In too many situations. Not all the time, obviously, I mean, they are over .500. But enough times to make a difference between contending for a playoff spot and not.

    A real conundrum of a season. Lots of soul-searching to be done this off-season by a lot of people – players and management.

    Plus, some bad luck thrown in.

    Perfect storm.

  99. pat September 16th, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    mel

    While every paper covered every detail of Alex’s personal life this summer, how many reported that he sponsored a little league program in the Bronx? How many knew that after playing in an extra innings game on a Saturday that Alex went to a Bronx park with Babe Ruth’s grand daughter to tell hundreds of kids about Babe Ruth on Babe Ruth Day?

    If I hadn’t stumbled on a picture of Alex on the Internet and wondered what it was about, I wouldn’t have known about it either because it wasn’t reported in the papers.

    Sometimes PR at the grass roots level is better than PR on blast. Someone with a 10 year contract can build a fan base a few hundred 10 year olds at a time rather than convince a bunch of cynical adults all at once.

  100. yankeefan91 September 16th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    remember people arod was injured and missed like a month and he stiill had 34 homeruns and 100 rbi imagine if he didnt missed that month all ya dat booo him are all haterzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  101. Dennis-Costanza(Sox fan) September 16th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Good Afternoon.

    I have not posted in months due to business travel and a summer in Maine. I have read from time to time but due to the way the season was unfolding I could not find a proper time to jump in

    The Yankee win last night put the AL East 31 games over .500 vs. the vaunted AL Central. Anyone else remember the pre season pundits claiming the Central to be the best division in MLB?

    Anyway, it is just not the same w/out the Yanks. I just can not get that fired up over the Rays. I would rather beat my big brother than a distant cousin I barely know..

    Respectfully. -dennis

  102. Mr. Faded Glory September 16th, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Marc, the Dodgers have won 52% of their games. Let’s throw a parade!

  103. richard September 16th, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    No denying A-Rod, Jeter, etal could be would be the best starting line-up. Look what they did last year in terms of runs and hits. So maybe mel- has a good point about preperation before getting into the batters box.
    Larussa is famous for his managing as is Scocia and Torre and Guillen. Girardi was in his first season.
    Dennis? I’m sorry, I’d rather have the Dodgers beat the Red Sox because Torre is there. And that’s rare because I am an American League fan.It’s just a yankee thing, don’t take it personnal.

  104. bye melky September 16th, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    great mail bag!!! it was funny

  105. AROD fan September 16th, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    “I believe that the $100 beers will be available to everybody at the Stadium, even children. The team will be sending out the details in their new brochure Empty Your 401-K To See The Orioles soon.”

    LOL!

  106. rover September 16th, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Having a 250 hitter behind you doesn’t get you pitches either.

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