The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Today in The Journal News

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Oct 02, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Brian Cashman is back and is determined to clear his name. Cashman has plenty of interesting comments at his press conference.

Columnist Rick Carpiniello wonders if Cashman should have escaped the Steinbrenners when he had the chance.

Columnist Sam Borden checks in with Rays owner Stu Sternberg, who’s a real baseball fan.

————-

Not sure how much, if any, Yankees news there will be this week. Things could be quiet for a few days now that Cashman is back. The organizational meetings won’t be for another two weeks. But we will keep blogging at various points.

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477 Responses to “Today in The Journal News”

  1. Kevin October 2nd, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Well Pete….I am going to say this now. Thanks for all you have done for us this season with keeping us updated at all sorts of hours of the day. Enjoy the next couple of weeks away from things (sort of) until the organization meetings begin.

  2. Bronx Jeers October 2nd, 2008 at 10:26 am

    I personally wouldn’t blame Cash if he walked but he would have got crucified for leaving a mini mess behind.

    And god only knows who would have replaced him.

  3. JR Yankees October 2nd, 2008 at 10:34 am

    I am glad Cashman is back to finish what he started. The last thing we needed was for somebody else (who for that matter?) to come in and try to make a name for himself right away and undo what has been in the makings for a couple of years now. Cash is the man for the job and he is now on a mission.

  4. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 10:40 am

    It was a disappointing season and given that I think it’s hard to fully appreciate just how spectacular Mariano Rivera was this year, even compared to the overall brilliance of his career.

    Here’s a write up from the RLYB:

    “It was only the second season EVER where a pitcher pitched 60 or more innings and had a WHIP less than 0.675.

    It was only the second season EVER where a pitcher pitched 60 or more innings and had a K/BB ratio greater than 12.

    Opponents hit .165/.190/.233 against him.

    It was the third lowest OPS+ ever allowed by a pitcher who pitched at least 60 innings. ”

    In other words, this past season, we watched a pitcher have one of the greatest seasons in the history of baseball. Forget the saves nonsense and most wins, etc. – Mariano was the best pitcher in baseball this past year and it wasn’t very close.

    Mo also hit an important career landmark this year. He threw his 1000th inning. That meant that he now qualifies for a number of different pitching records.

    Take a look at where he ranks all time in terms of ERA+. ERA+ is one of the best stats to compare pitchers, particular pitchers from different time periods. It adjusts a pitcher’s ERA for the league average ERA and for the ball park he pitches in.

    All top ten:

    1. Mariano Rivera (38) 199 R
    2. Pedro Martinez (36) 154 R
    3. Lefty Grove+* 148 L
    4. Walter Johnson+ 147 R
    5. Dan Quisenberry 146 R
    Ed Walsh+ 146 R
    Hoyt Wilhelm+ 146 R
    Joe Wood 146 R
    9. Johan Santana* (29) 144 L
    10. Roger Clemens 143 R

    Again – this is mind boggling. Mariano is in his entirely own class.

    No other pitcher in history has prevented runs from being scored at the rate Mariano has – and it’s not even close. Not even remotely so.

    One can argue that Mariano is only a reliever and his job is comparatively much more limited and easier than that of a starting pitcher. That is true. At the same time, it’s equally true that his ERA+ is nearly 25% better than any other pitcher in the history of the game. So that’s not even close.

    People shouldn’t really discuss Mariano in the context of him being the greatest relief pitcher of all time. He needs to be in the discussion about who the greatest pitcher of all time is. Just remarkable.

    http://www.replacementlevel.co.....ng_edition

  5. SJ44 October 2nd, 2008 at 10:46 am

    CB,

    It’s why all the whining about his work in tie games was dumb.

    You can make an argument Mo is one of the 10best players in the history of the franchise.

    Amazing when you consider it’s history.

    There are certain guys who are above ANY criticism.

    Mariano is one of those guys.

  6. bigjf October 2nd, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Pete, I know we’ve had our tiffs and plenty of disagreements, but the main reason I continue to come to this blog is your devotion to updating it with coverage and other such tidbits. It’s been fun reading along all season and I’ll stick around.

    Any off-season Q&A’s coming up? Maybe you can post some pics you took of the new stadium, especially if the Yankees open it up to you guys for an off-season press conference of some kind (here’s hoping it will be Sabathia…)

  7. Whitey Fraud October 2nd, 2008 at 10:48 am

    “Clear his name”?

    This sounds like it could be the premise of a great action movie with Harrison Ford.

    Or maybe not.

  8. Buddy Biancalana October 2nd, 2008 at 10:49 am

    CB-

    Thanks for that info. Simply amazing.

  9. S.A.-Looking forward to 2009 and save Robbie Cano! October 2nd, 2008 at 10:50 am

    If Cashman makes a change it could involve third base coach Bobby Meacham, who seems to have been unfairly criticized for Robinson Cano’s supbar season.

    Nevertheless, some players grumbled about Meacham’s work at third. If Meacham, who was brought in by Girardi, isn’t retained, Larry Bowa, the Yankees’ former third base coach, could return. Bowa, considered the best third base coach in baseball, signed a two-year deal with the Dodgers but has an out after this one.

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/10.....131724.htm

    I *heart* Larry Bowa

  10. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story October 2nd, 2008 at 10:55 am

    CB: Thanks for that post.

    I’ve been following Mo all season because he is, without qualification, my favorite Yankee.

    His stats are completley mind boggling–even more if you consider that he apparently pitched hurt!

    I mean, when’s the last time a 38 year old pitcher n ot named Jamie Moyer had a career year?

  11. Bronx Jeers October 2nd, 2008 at 10:57 am

    As an absolute Mariano worshiper, CB’s post will serve as my daily scripture.

    Thanks for the info. I’ll be sure to pass it along to anyone who I think may be remotely connected to baseball in any way.

  12. S.A.-Looking forward to 2009 and save Robbie Cano! October 2nd, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Mo is just amazing.

    I’m just thankful that he is a member of the NY Yankees

  13. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 11:01 am

    SJ,

    It didn’t really dawn on me that Mo was approaching 1000 innings thrown for his career.

    Figure an average starter may throw 170 innings or so a year now – 1000 innings is around 6 seasons for a starting pitcher.

    At that point you can really start comparing relievers and starters in a more meaningful way.

    I’ve always thought that one of the most remarkable accomplishments in baseball history was for Pedro Martinez to be the career leader in ERA+ particularly because he pitched during the era of perhaps the greatest offense explosion in the history of the game.

    But to see Mariano’s career ERA+ dwarf Pedro’s like that while pitching during that same period of time is just eye opening.

    It’s hard to believe that any pitcher could give up runs at so much lower a rate than any other pitcher in history.

    Mariano shouldn’t be discussed alongside Rollie Fingers, Sutter, Gossage, Hoffman, etc.

    Mariano really needs to be discussed in the same conversation with Christy Matthewson, Walter Johnson, Bob Feller, Sandy Koufax, Gibson, Pedro, and Maddux. That’s the group he rightly belongs with – with the all time great overall pitchers in baseball history. He should no longer be cordoned off into the category of relief pitchers only.

  14. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story October 2nd, 2008 at 11:03 am

    CB: The most amazing thing is that Mo has done all of this while performing at a time when, aside from this year, baseball offense was at an all time high.

    I think Yankees fans, as a whole, (not just us hardcore LoHudites) are finally realizing how good he is–every time I went to a game in the past couple of yeas, the cheers for him have gotten louder and louder.

  15. Bronx Jeers October 2nd, 2008 at 11:05 am

    “This sounds like it could be the premise of a great action movie with Harrison Ford.”

    ______________________________________________________________

    Here’s the voiceover for the trailer:

    “In a world where a former intern controls the fate of the most storied sports franchise in history, one man stands alone against a mentally challenged billionaire to save a city from utter embarrassment.”

    Let’s just hope there’s a Hollywood ending.

  16. bru October 2nd, 2008 at 11:06 am

    pete:

    thank you for a great job on keeping us informed and doing a great job with the best blog on the planet.

  17. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 11:09 am

    “People shouldn’t really discuss Mariano in the context of him being the greatest relief pitcher of all time. He needs to be in the discussion about who the greatest pitcher of all time is. Just remarkable.”

    Respectfully disagree. He was a relief pitcher for a reason. Not willing to say it’s because he’s a failed starter, but it became pretty clear early on the organization didn’t believe he’d make as one. Just can’t be argued that 200 IP of a Pedro circa 1997-2003 or a Koufax in the mid 60′s isn’t more valuable than 75 IP of Mo.

    I’d buy into as the greatest pitcher of all time if any evidenece existed that suggested he could do it over 200 IP a season.

  18. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 11:10 am

    “Mo has done all of this while performing at a time when, aside from this year, baseball offense was at an all time high.”

    This is exactly why what Mo and Pedro have done has been particularly amazing.

    ERA+ adjusts for league average ERA, but to be able to withstand the offensive barrage each faced year after year is amazing.

    And it wasn’t simply that they pitched at a time when the HR was king. They did it in the AL East – by far the best hitting league in the game and they faced the DH.

    But again, for Mariano to be in his own stratosphere like that is just a testament to how great he is. Not just an all time franchise great – but an all time baseball great.

    Unfortunately, because saves are such useless stats, how good he is actually gets obscured.

  19. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 11:12 am

    *he’d make IT as one

    *buy into MO as

  20. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story October 2nd, 2008 at 11:12 am

    CB: If we’re going by saves, then Francisco Rodriguez is the greatest pitcher to ever walk the planet ;)

  21. Braintrust October 2nd, 2008 at 11:15 am

    In fairness to Cashman, he has taken alot of heat for some decisions that weren’t all his. I think the Steinbrenners pushed for alot of stuff, and stamped Cashman’s name on it. I do however blame him for Pavano, and Igawa, and the Hughes/Kennedy fiasco.

    He did make a curious comment on the Fan yesterday regarding the bench. He said that they had a good bench this year (ok?), and that it was hard on bench players on the Yankees because they don’t get enough playing time, because of the regulars. Maybe they didn’t get enough playing time because they stunk? Also, for the veteran players, it’s time to make the team first, and not try to play every game to give the bench players a chance to egt in there and stay fresh, especially when a sterting player is injured.

  22. G. Love October 2nd, 2008 at 11:15 am

    That’s one of the things that angered me so much about this past season.

    Mo has only so many bullets left in that arm and he came out this season looking determined to make this a lock down championship season if it were up to him.

    This is why Cashman’s plan was so poorly conceived.

    You have guys like Mo in the end stages of their careers giving their best and you roll the dice on unproven starters…and I know, I know, the offense had a lot to do with it…but I still subscribe to the theory that some of the hitters issues with pressing in RISP situations came from the lack of aura this pitching staff (mostly the rotation) had.

    I’ve never played baseball, but let me ask some of you guys who have insight a question.

    Is it easier to get up for a game started by Joba or Johan or a Beckett type vs. Rasner/Kennedy/Ponson types? Are you a more comfortable hitter with that kind of presence on the mound?

    It’s a perception I have and maybe it’s wrong, but I tend to feel that some of the hitters weren’t in their comfort zone knowing the starter that day is a mismatch and will give up 5-6 runs.

  23. Braintrust October 2nd, 2008 at 11:16 am

    *Get
    *Starting

  24. randy l October 2nd, 2008 at 11:17 am

    why would bowa come back to the yankees? he’s in a great situation now.

    until they prove otherwise the yankees are a sinking ship.

    until they do what the red sox did when they signed matsuzaka and put a bad year permanently in the mirror, the yankees are not a playoff team as constituted.

    if they sign sabathia or several other prominent free agents, then maybe people like bowa will come on board, but right now no one jumps on a sinking ship.

    no one in the industry is scared of the yankees because cashman has been retained. if anything they are relieved that nothing has changed with the yankees.

  25. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 11:17 am

    “Just can’t be argued that 200 IP of a Pedro circa 1997-2003 or a Koufax in the mid 60’s isn’t more valuable than 75 IP of Mo. ”

    Fredo,

    I’m not making an argument about value. I agree that a starting pitcher is much more valuable than a reliever. And its a much more difficult job.

    And I agree that Pedro and Koufax during their hey day are probably the greatest peak pitching performances we’ve seen.

    But there are different ways of being great – and Mariano is defining his own path, IMO.

    If Mo had an ERA+ of say 160 or even 170, I’d agree that there would be no way to compare his to Pedro or Koufax or any other starter.

    But his ERA+ is 199 – that’s an order of magnitude better than Pedro. It’s so far and away better that IMO it reopens that conversation and puts Mariano in the mix with Pedro and Koufax.

    And remember – Pedro and Koufax both really had 5-6 seasons of true brilliance.

    Mariano’s now thrown 1000 innings. That’s very close to 5-6 seasons of starting. Not exactly the same but the game has obviously changed.

    My point is this – Mariano is so disproportionately great and has been so for such an extended number of years that I think it’s not longer valid to simply consider his career in the context of other relief pitchers. I think he is much closer to Koufax in brilliance and impact than he is to Rollie Fingers.

  26. SJ44 October 2nd, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Mariano plays the most emotionally fragile position in today’s game.

    No position has more scrutiny, especially in the post-season, and no position (in today’s game) has as much pressure on them as a closer.

    What’s even more amazing is how he has been able to shake off losing a Game 7 or losing the chance to close out Game 4 in ’04 and keep on going. A lot of pitchers would never get over such appearances.

    Donnie Moore blew his brains out because he could never get over blowing the save that would have put the Angels in the World Series in 1986. It haunted him forever.

    Guys like Joe Page, Ryan Duran, closers from different eras, drank themselves to the brink of death because of the pressure they felt as closers.

    Some say Rod Beck’s drug addiction was in correlation to the pressure he put on himself to be a great closer. Don’t know if that’s true but, he certainly had a tough time getting over bad outings in his career.

    It took Brad Lidge 3 years to regain dominance again after his post-season meltdowns.

    Yet, Mariano just keeps on chugging along.

    He is an amazing athlete and I don’t think appreciation of his overall greatness will really occur until he retires.

    You don’t fully appreciate guys like Mariano until they are gone and you see just how tough it is to do what he does at the level (and the length of time) he has done it.

  27. Buddy Biancalana October 2nd, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Rebecca-

    That would be true of K Rod for this year, not career wise. At least not yet.

  28. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story October 2nd, 2008 at 11:20 am

    He did make a curious comment on the Fan yesterday regarding the bench. He said that they had a good bench this year (ok?), and that it was hard on bench players on the Yankees because they don’t get enough playing time, because of the regulars. Maybe they didn’t get enough playing time because they stunk? Also, for the veteran players, it’s time to make the team first, and not try to play every game to give the bench players a chance to egt in there and stay fresh, especially when a sterting player is injured.

    Cashman does have a point.

    The most valuable commodity to baseball players, especcially at this level, is playing time.

    With the Yankees, you know you are never going to sit Jeter or Alex unless they’re hurt, and usually not Robbie or Damon, either. So if, say, an infielder is approached by the Yankees, he knows that his playing time might be limited, and I’d wager substantially that for many, playing time is more important than pinstripes.

  29. wolf man (2008 is over) October 2nd, 2008 at 11:21 am

    randy l,

    harsh but 100% true. yankees no longer have any mystique and as it stands now, things will get a lot worse before they get better especially if cc doesn’t sign here.

  30. Wave Your Hat October 2nd, 2008 at 11:22 am

    CB, Mariano’s career ERA+ will, I suspect, decline before he retires, as happens with all great pitchers, Koufax excepted (but he has some bad early years dragging him down).

    So let’s not compare apples and oranges.

    But, I gotta admit Mo’s been some fine pitcher.

  31. ray (sox fan) October 2nd, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Even Red Sox fans that will take a moment to be objective will admit that Mo Rivera is a one of a kind pitcher!

  32. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story October 2nd, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Buddy: I know, I’m just poking fun at ESPN.

    SJ: Brad Lidge was my first thought, but you mentioned him.

    I don’t think any of us–at least fans like me that started following in 1996, for reasons of age or whatever–are going to realize just how good Mo has been until he’s gone.

    I mean, you can throw the stats out there, but stats are still stats.

    It’s only when you see Mo striking a guy out on three pitches when he’s got to get the final out in the 8th inning with the bases loaded that you get some real, tangible idea.

  33. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 11:28 am

    “Mariano is so disproportionately great and has been so for such an extended number of years that I think it’s not longer valid to simply consider his career in the context of other relief pitchers. I think he is much closer to Koufax in brilliance and impact than he is to Rollie Fingers.”

    I’ll disagree with the 1st point and agree with the 2nd…though that’s a bit contradictory. My reasoning is the relative youth of the specialty in which Mo made his bones. Starting pitching has been around for 100+ years. The 3 out closer (occasionally 4) has been around for about 30 or so. Mo is quite clearly the best of those guys and by a long distance, though I’d argue if Smoltz was asked to do the same job Mo has done over his entire career, he’d be in the conversation.

    I just can’t get my hands around comparing him with the great starters. Completely different context. Completely different jobs.

  34. Y26 October 2nd, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Derek Lowe looked very good yesterday

  35. Braintrust October 2nd, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Rebecca- Jeter was hurt for probably most of the season after getting hit on the hand by Cabrera. Jeter’s a gamer, but at his age, how wise is it to risk further injury, when a guy like Ransom could have probably come in for a few weeks while Jeter healed. Also Matsui is another guy who never wanted to sit, even when he had a blown out knee. There was no reason for him to come back this year, he was just trying to prove something to himself, like with his iron man streak. That’s what we don’t need around here anymore, players chasing stats, we need players chasing rings.

  36. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 11:30 am

    “Mariano’s career ERA+ will, I suspect, decline before he retires, as happens with all great pitchers, ”

    Not by much. It’s actually very, very unlikely for Mo’s ERA+ to change very much at all.

    Why? He’s all ready thrown the vast majority of the innings he’ll ever throw in his career. 1000+ innings is an enormous number for a reliever.

    Even if he had a disastrous season it wouldn’t impact his career numbers all that much because it wouldn’t account for that many additional innings compared to what he’s thrown over the past 13 years. This is particularly true of relievers as they throw relatively few innings in any one season.

    His career ERA+ will not be markedly different than 199. There’s almost no mathematical/ practical way this could happen.

  37. Ed - looking forward to 2009 [slacking in class now] October 2nd, 2008 at 11:34 am

    In another post, Piecoro talks about Eric Byrnes’ no-trade clause. Byrnes gives the impression he might waive it if he feels he’s not wanted. If Conor Jackson stays in left Byrnes could be the fourth outfielder heading into ’09.

    source: MLBtraderumors

    Should Cashman look into this as Eric Byrnes being our CFer? He does have AL experience, decent bat, have a good arm, good speed, and a good defender. 2008 is his down year because he hustled his legs to steal 50 bases in 2007.

  38. Vrsce October 2nd, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Fredo Corleone

    Your unwillingness to accord Mo his rightful place alongside the all time great starters is why Michael had you taken out to the middle of lake Tahoe

  39. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story October 2nd, 2008 at 11:35 am

    CB: By Mo’s standards 2007 was not a very good season, but even then it didn’t significantly impact his overall numbers.

    Nor did the dominance of this season.

  40. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 11:36 am

    “Derek Lowe looked very good yesterday”

    Experience helps. Lowe’s been in some big spots and looked very comfortable. Dempster looked like every bit the guy who was starting his 1st postseason game.

    Man, the Cubs lineup is awfully righthanded. Billingsley could be hard on them this evening.

  41. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 11:38 am

    “Fredo Corleone

    Your unwillingness to accord Mo his rightful place alongside the all time great starters is why Michael had you taken out to the middle of lake Tahoe”

    OH YEAH!?!?

  42. Doreen October 2nd, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Cashman did talk about the quandary with bench players. He said he’s been told by past players just how difficult it is to know you’re not going to get many chances to play. He also mentioned, I believe, how difficult it is to get really good bench players because of that. He understands the problem. I really don’t know how you fix that one. Who’s going to take on Jeter? And just how often to sit ARod?

    Although, I think both Jeter and ARod probably benefit from being able to sit more regularly (not a lot, just more than now). But still, you’re not going to get prime talent to sit on the bench.

  43. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story October 2nd, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Ed: No.

  44. Joey's Poodle October 2nd, 2008 at 11:40 am

    I watched Koufax as an LAD fan in my youth and his prime. Years later after having moved away and become a Yankees fan, it often occurred to me watching Mariano that he’s the only pitcher since then who gave me that almost supernatural impression that it would be truly shocking to see things go wrong when they were on the mound. Pedro was a very, very great pitcher in his prime but I saw the Yankees find a way to beat him enough times that he never had that almost superhuman aura for me.

    Granted their jobs were completely different, but that almost superhuman ability to do what they do on the great stage gave Koufax and Mariano a similar aura.

    Another point of resemblance: both remained sane.

  45. E-Rod October 2nd, 2008 at 11:40 am

    I like Byrnes– he is also a firey type and a leader.

    I’d look into it

  46. Ed - looking forward to 2009 [slacking in class now] October 2nd, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Rebecca -

    i’m taking it you don’t like Byrnes?

  47. Say it ain't so October 2nd, 2008 at 11:41 am

    “Not sure how much, if any, Yankees news there will be this week.”

    I’m sure A-Rod will do something stupid before the week is finished that will make the news.

  48. Vrsce October 2nd, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Say it ain’t so

    A-Rod has been humbled by his so so season. He will lay low and keep quiet.

  49. Rishi October 2nd, 2008 at 11:42 am

    thanks for the analysis, CB…thought-provoking…

  50. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story October 2nd, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Ed: IIRC, he was a huge disappointment for Arizona. He’s a great clubhouse personality, but it only goes so far if there’s a lack of production.

  51. RER - 98 October 2nd, 2008 at 11:44 am

    There’s no way to measure the emotional relief Mariano has provided teammates when coming into a game and in particular starting pitchers.
    Andy Pettitte among others have stated many times that having a closer like him accounted for many victories in their careers.
    A first ballot Hall of Famer.

  52. Tom October 2nd, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Rivera has been one of, if not thee dominate player, of this era. Even somebody as biased as Peter Gammons says so. Pedro’s 5 years or so may have been the most transcendent ever, but, Rivera has been at the top of his game since ’96. Not many ballplayers have been able to be Great for as long as Rivera–regardless of what Pos. they play.

  53. Russell NY October 2nd, 2008 at 11:44 am

    “I’m sure A-Rod will do something stupid before the week is finished that will make the news.”

    Hope so, he better not let me down.

  54. Doreen October 2nd, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I think what’s ultimately got to happen is that the bench guys have to be paid more. Not the current ones, but in order to get the best guys out there, you’re going to have to pay them more.

    The only position Cody Ransom seemed to have some difficulty with was SS, but, as we are often reminded here, it was a small sample size. :)

    They need to get to the next tier of utility guys whose weaknesses don’t automatically come out after 3 straight days of playing. Most of the guys the Yankees have had were fine for a one-game fill-in. But once they were called upon to take over for an extended period of time, well, not so good.

  55. Bronx Jeers October 2nd, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Fredo Corleone

    Your unwillingness to accord Mo his rightful place alongside the all time great starters is why Michael had you taken out to the middle of lake Tahoe

    ————————————————————–

    Never speak out against the family!!!!

    You broke my heart Fredo.

  56. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Fredo,

    Smoltz is a good comparison. But if you look at the 4 years smoltz spent in the pen, outside of 2003 when he had one of the great years of all time, he wasn’t that comparable to Mo.

    What you say makes sense and in general I’d completely agree with it. But Mo’s numbers simply don’t fit any longer with the body of work of a relief pitcher. They really don’t.

    The never ending conversation in baseball is how do you assess greatness which basically breaks down to peak performance vs. longevity, especially for pitchers. Koufax vs. Walter Johnson, etc.

    Mariano’s combination of peak performance maintained for such an extended period of time moves him into a strange territory. Normal roles don’t fit.

    During Koufax’s peak seasons – the seasons that put him in the mix for the greatest of all time – the threw around 1400 innings.

    During the 7 seasons of brilliance that marked Pedro’s high point he threw around 1200 innings.

    Mariano has now thrown 1023 innings. By the time he finishes his career I’ll guess he’ll close surpass Pedro’s 1200 and finish between Pedro and Koufax.

  57. Ed - looking forward to 2009 [slacking in class now] October 2nd, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Rebecca –

    his first year in Arizona was only a his disappointment. his second year, he improved from his first season, as far as OBP and BA. only this year he was on the DL because he blew his legs while stealing 50 bases last season.

  58. Glenn October 2nd, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Doreen:

    As Jeter and A-Rod age, having the benefit of a good bench player in late innings will go a long way to preserve their careers when a game seems safely put away.
    Almost like a closer, a good utility man has to have the mindset to be ready when called upon.

  59. Doreen October 2nd, 2008 at 11:53 am

    CB -

    Mariano’s in a class by himself, simply.

    I strongly, strongly believe that once his is retired they need to name an award for him. He’s never won a Cy Young and he’s never won an MVP, yet clearly those numbers he’s amassed would seem to say he was deserving of one or the other or both at some time. But the role of the closer over the course of the season, doesn’t really adhere to the parameters of either award.

    As you mentioned, the closers role is a new one in baseball. Let’s face it the Fireman of the Year Award is cheesy and is not really considered a major award. I mean, do you await the announcement each season as you do the MVP or the Cy Young? An award named for Mo would legitimize the closer’s role in modern baseball, and it would honor Mariano Rivera, against whom all closers in the modern era will be measured.

  60. Ed - looking forward to 2009 [slacking in class now] October 2nd, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Doreen -

    Mo was a ALCS and a World Series MVP. Does that count as an MVP award?

  61. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 11:54 am

    “He said he’s been told by past players just how difficult it is to know you’re not going to get many chances to play.”

    This is why they’ll need to make a trade for a bench guy. They’ll just need to make a trade, have leverage over the guy and tell him that he’s going to come off the bench, he’ll get 300 at bats and that’s that. If he doesn’t like it – too bad.

    It’ll be tough on the free agent market – even if you overpay.

    Arizona is really looking to dump Byrnes. They will give him away – his contract is exactly the type of contract that a team like Arizona can’t make a mistake on (especially when signing him leads you to trade Carlos Quentin).

    Byrnes can play CF. He’s very expensive. But I think he’ll be much better than he was in 2008.

    With a guy like Byrnes it’s really about how the yankees want to utilize their financial advantage.

    His contract is so bad for Arizona that they could take him as a salary dump. He could play CF in 2008 and move over to LF when Damon leaves in 2009 and Jackson is ready. His ability to play a decent CF is what makes him worth kicking the tires on.

  62. Doreen October 2nd, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Glenn -

    Agreed. They need the right bench guys to be able to feel comfortable doing that. In the case of Jeter, he won’t sit if he feels he’s hurting the team more by sitting than by playing. If they have a legitimate temporary replacement, the manager can make the argument that he sits. (Not the Jeter will ever like it.)

  63. Wave Your Hat October 2nd, 2008 at 11:55 am

    “It’s actually very, very unlikely for Mo’s ERA+ to change very much at all… Even if he had a disastrous season it wouldn’t impact his career numbers all that much because it wouldn’t account for that many additional innings compared to what he’s thrown over the past 13 years. This is particularly true of relievers as they throw relatively few innings in any one season.”

    Not sure about the math there, CB.

    By my rough calculation a couple of league average seasons at 70 innings per season would move Mo down significantly closer to the other guys. It would still be a stellar ERA+, just not 199.

    Not saying Mo would have league average seasons, but you never know. A lot of great pitchers have hung on longer than they should.

    A reliever’s season is not much different than a starter’s season in affecting career numbers, as long as the reliever has always been a reliever and the starter has always been a starter.

  64. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story October 2nd, 2008 at 11:56 am

    CB: I think, and I may be overstepping my bounds, that Fredo’s post isn’t so much about the innings pitched as types of innings pitched–starting comes with different pressure and expectations than closing.

    Now, I’d actually argue that because closing involves more pressure Mo’s numbers make him that much better, but I can see where Fredo might think it’s an apples/oranges situation.

    I guess it’d be like trying to compare a short stop with a center fielder. Totally different expectations.

  65. Ed - looking forward to 2009 [slacking in class now] October 2nd, 2008 at 11:58 am

    CB –

    Like I mentioned before, Byrnes is on the DL this season because he blew his legs while stealing 50 bases last season (2007) which he really shouldn’t have.

    Do you think Arizona would most certainly take any kind of deals in order to get rid of him?

  66. Doreen October 2nd, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Ed -

    I’m talking about recognizing his body of work during a regular season. Closers, including Mo, have been named MVP for a short series. In a short series the impact a closer has can be more than a starting pitcher, because he probably gets more opportunities; same with regard to position players. A closer who saves 3 games in a short series can conceivably have had more impact than any other player on the team.

    The only way Mo, or any closer, gets an MVP or Cy Young during the regular season at it stands now is if there is no clear position player or starting pitcher who would better qualify. I think closers are still seen as part-time players.

    This year, if Cliff Lee didn’t have the season he had, I believe we’d be hearing a lot more talk about K-Rod being a candidate for the Cy Young. As it is, I have heard his name mentioned as both a Cy Young and MVP candidate.

  67. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    “But Mo’s numbers simply don’t fit any longer with the body of work of a relief pitcher. They really don’t”

    Yet they don’t fit in with the work of truly great starters either. That’s a dilemna. I’m going to stand by measuring vs. his contemporaries rather than guys who do a job that his own organization doubted he could do.

    Doesn’t mean he’s not a 1st ballot HOF’er. Doesn’t mean I don’t view him as the greatest reliever ever. Doesn’t mean that I don’t agree that he’s further ahead of his relatively small list of contemporaries than the best at other postions/roles are of their’s.

    I just see more value in an otherworldly starter than I do an otherworldly reliever.

  68. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    “By my rough calculation a couple of league average seasons at 70 innings per season would move Mo down significantly closer to the other guys.”

    Mo has two more years left on his contract. If Mo had even one season that was league average he’d retire when this contract is over.

    The probability of him being league average next year after being so dominant this year are miniscule. He could get hurt but then he won’t be throwing innings and won’t affect his career ERA+.

    I’m working on the assumption that if he has a mediocre year at age 40 or 41 he’s going to retire rather than hang around and have multiple mediocre years.

    I just can’t see Mo hanging around for a few years and being even average. One year at the most – and even then I don’t think he’d even get down to league average. He’ll fall off some but I don’t think he’ll just fall off a cliff from one season to the next.

  69. Doreen October 2nd, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    CB -

    I believe Mo has said he will retire at the end of his contract, but I don’t remember where I heard this.

  70. Ed - looking forward to 2009 [slacking in class now] October 2nd, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Doreen -

    Thanks for clearing it up. If I remember correctly, wasn’t Mo was a runner up for Cy Young in 2004?

  71. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    “Yet they don’t fit in with the work of truly great starters either. That’s a dilemna.”

    Very true. I think that’s the crux of the discussion here. But that’s what makes baseball so great – even when your team doesn’t make the playoffs!

  72. Doreen October 2nd, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/.....ing-coach/

  73. Ed - looking forward to 2009 [slacking in class now] October 2nd, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    CB -

    I believe Mo has said he will retire at the end of his contract, but I don’t remember where I heard this.

    Doreen –

    that is correct, he said it during the post game interview.

  74. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story October 2nd, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    CB: I could even see it if Mo wins the World Series next year, he might retire before the end of his contract.

    I think he’s said as much but I’m not positive.

  75. mel October 2nd, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    G. Love,

    Once again the depth of your hate is astounding, but I’ll bite on the run support puzzle.

    Your premise is logical and Girardi even mentioned it in his last press conference.

    But with these Yankees, that has historically not been the case. The guys who are going to give up very few (less than 3) runs got very little support. Since Andy’s been back, he’s been jobbed so many times it’s sad.

    Then you got guys like Igawa and Ponson. Ungodly number of runs.

    So the thought process might be, “we got to score a lot of runs because we’re going to give up a lot today.”

    This is just casual observations, without looking at any of the boxscores.

    More than likely, though, it was just the pitching matchups.

  76. Wave Your Hat October 2nd, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    CB-

    I don’t see Mo being league average, either. It was more of a mathematical point. However, if he doesn’t get hurt he might be one of those guys you have to rip the uniform off of before he retires. A lot of Hall of Famers were like that, and it hurt their final numbers. Just saying that might happen with Mo, too. Only time will tell.

  77. Doreen October 2nd, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Ed -

    Mariano has received votes for MVP 8 times and Cy Young 4 times. In 1996, 1999 and 2004, he cam in 3rd in the CY voting; he came in 2nd.

    http://www.baseball-reference......ma01.shtml

  78. Ed - looking forward to 2009 [slacking in class now] October 2nd, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    I just found out something really interesting about Mo when he was a prospect:

    Rivera is certain that God is responsible for an inexplicable increase in the velocity of his fastball, which came at a time when the Yankees were preparing to trade him. At the outset of the 1995 season, Rivera was a minor-league prospect with ordinary stuff: a good changeup, a decent breaking ball, a fastball that usually topped out at 88 to 90 mph, and a delivery that was smooth and a little deceptive to the hitters. But there was no reason to expect more. Rivera was three years removed from elbow surgery, enough time for a full recovery, and he was already 25 years old. The Yankees were interested in trading for a troublesome and talented Detroit Tigers left-hander named David Wells, and the Tigers were interested in Rivera.

    http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/.....ndex1.html

    Just be glad that Gene Michael came to his sense and didn’t traded him. If he did, the Tigers would be the dominant team by now.

  79. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Ed,

    I believe that Arizona is seriously looking to dump Byrnes’ contract.

    It’s a very bad contract, especially for them from here on out. He had a career year in his free agent year and they rewarded him as such.

    In 2008 he made $8M with his signing bonus. Next year that increases to $11M and same for 2010.

    Arizona had a terrible year, especially after that fast start. They have absolutely no hitting and they need to free up some money to make moves. Byrnes contract is a problem for them.

    If they sign Adam Dunn then Brynes really has no role on that team at all. None.

    Downside to Byrnes is that he’s so injury prone. He’s hurt a lot.

    These are the kinds of decisions the yankees need to be very judicious about this off season.

    Do they take on the salary of someone like Byrnes as a salary dump or try to sign a Mike Cameron if his option isn’t picked up. Do they try to overspend to get a legitimate bench player. Or do they put their resources into the Teixeira basket and go with Gardner in CF and Ransom on the bench?

  80. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    “Now, I’d actually argue that because closing involves more pressure Mo’s numbers make him that much better”

    Not buying this one either, Rebecca.

    The other night when the White Sox played the Twins, you telling me John Danks 8 innings in a 1-0 game were less pressure-filled than Bobby Jenks 1 inning??

    Closer to home, the 2001 ALDS. The A’s lead the Yankees 2 games to none. Was Mike Mussina under less pressure than Mo in that 1-0 win???

    Or Game 5 of the 1996 World Series. Was Andy Pettitte’s 8 1/3 of shutout ball in a 1-0 game less pressure filled than Wetteland’s 2 outs???

  81. Ed - looking forward to 2009 [slacking in class now] October 2nd, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    CB – thanks for your insights on the possibilty of trading for Brynes. Speaking of the bench, do you think we need a “Chone Figgins” on the bench where he could play every position? Perhaps look into trading for Alfredo Amazega since the Marlins will have a firesale this offseaon?

  82. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    “Speaking of the bench, do you think we need a “Chone Figgins” on the bench where he could play every position?”

    As long as it’s not the Chone Figgins I saw last night, that would be great.

  83. Wave Your Hat October 2nd, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    I’d love it if the Brewers didn’t pick up Mike Cameron’s contract. I’d rather give Cameron $9 or $10 million than give a guy like Byrnes $11 million.

    However, the more I look at it, the more I think the Brewers are going to pick up the option on Cameron. He’s had two fine seasons in a row, certainly worth $10 million per in the current market. Plus, his contract this year had to be discounted for the suspension.

    $11 million is too much for Byrnes. IMO, makes more sense to go for the guy with the track record, like Tex.

  84. TKinDC October 2nd, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    The closer is an odd role because the existence of a statistic essentially dictates the use of a pitcher. The Save stat has become used as a guideline for when you use a relief ace.

    No one with a baseball understanding would look at K-Rod and say that he has outpitched Mariano this year, but sadly, not many people can get beyond the idea that K-Rod got to do a little dance on the mound more times than Mo calmly made a fist.

  85. Ed - looking forward to 2009 [slacking in class now] October 2nd, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Fredo -

    I definitely know what you mean. I still can’t figure out what happened to the Angels that “always whip the Yanks” last night? Figgins and Kendrick bat was nonexistant, Vlad base running was awful. Hunter didn’t bother stealing base when he gets on.

  86. Doreen October 2nd, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Dennis Eckersley was a relief pitcher who won both they CY and MVP in 1992

    http://www.baseball-reference......html#ALcya

  87. saucY October 2nd, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    I’m ripping Pete off here, but Vlad definately looked like Fred G Sanford running the bases last night…

    is he really 32?

  88. saucY October 2nd, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    i personally don’t see too many pitchers winning the MVP award any time soon. i think too many writers nowadays who can vote look at it simply as MVP > hitters, and CYA > pitchers…

  89. TKinDC October 2nd, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    BTW –

    I don’t know if anyone else has referenced it but Chad Jennings does an very thorough and detailed breakdown of the 40 man roster issues and the Rule 5 draft decisions that the Yankees have facing them.

    It is good info – if dense (or is that me?) :)

  90. Wave Your Hat October 2nd, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Ed, I don’t mean it to relate specifically to last night necessarily, but one of the reasons the Angels whup up on us so bad relates to our poor defense. The Angels have the team speed to make us pay and they often do.

    The Red Sox defense is much better than ours, and I think it cuts down on some of the Angels’ strengths.

  91. Jedi Master October 2nd, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Okay I’m done with The Godfather references. Now it’s beyond humor at this point.

    Fredo, if you don’t clam up on the Mo bashing you will face the business end of my light saber.

  92. SJ44 October 2nd, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Vlad’s knees are in bad shape and his back has been hurting all year. Probably because of his knees.

    Folks complain about Arod’s post-season numbers but, Vlad’s are worse.

    IIRC, its now 55 AB’s since he has driven in a post-season run.

    Fortunately for him he plays in a very soft media market. If he posted those numbers in NYC, he would be getting killed today on the talk shows.

  93. Ed - looking forward to 2009 [slacking in class now] October 2nd, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    TKinDC -

    as long as they keep JB Cox away from rule 5. Him and Melancon has closer stuff.

  94. Tony October 2nd, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    I just thought of a good trade. Lets send Cano, Xavier and kennedy to the dodgers for kemp and clayton kershaw. We would be getting and upgrade in the rotation and right field. I would have said just cano and xavier but kemp and kershaw are good players so it would take more than the two to get it done. I would be very happy with that trade and then sign a free agent second baseman.

  95. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    “Dennis Eckersley was a relief pitcher who won both they CY and MVP in 1992″

    Willie Hernandez did the same in 1984 as a reliever.

  96. Steve October 2nd, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Was reading on MLBtraderumors.com that Eric Byrnes could become available as he could be Arizona’s 4th outfielder next year…

    How bout Byrnes roaming center for us next year? He has great energy, is a great defensive player, and has shown aggression at the plate.

  97. Brian (Red Sox fan) October 2nd, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Koufax amd Pedro were the two best pitchers I have ever seen. Mariano is the best reliever I have ever seen.

    CB makes a case for Mariano by bundling his innings, and comparing them to Pedro and Koufax’ transcendent years. But this is like having a miler run 26 distinct miles, then adding the times together and comparing it to that of a champion marathoner.

    The fact is that starting pitchers have to hold their stuff/command for 7-9 innings, a closer only one. The performance for the shorter effort will, of course, be better. It’s not statistically valid to add up a lot of short performances, and then compare it to statistics that were compiled in an entirely different fashion.

  98. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    “I just thought of a good trade. Lets send Cano, Xavier and kennedy to the dodgers for kemp and clayton kershaw. We would be getting and upgrade in the rotation and right field.”

    What would the Dodgers get??? Besides a larger payroll, I mean?

  99. Doreen October 2nd, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Fredo -

    I hadn’t gotten that far down. When Willie Hernandez won both, Dan Quisenberry, another reliever, was second to him in the CYA voting.

    It doesn’t happen often, that’s for sure. I guess the various starters and position players didn’t quite set themselves apart in those years.

  100. Ed - looking forward to 2009 [slacking in class now] October 2nd, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Steve -

    read the above comments. we already discussed it.

  101. Wave Your Hat October 2nd, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Eric Byrnes is due $11 million in 2009 and again in 2010. The chances of his having a year worth that much seem slim to me. I think we could put the money to better use.

  102. G. Love October 2nd, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    mel — “The depths of my hate are astounding”?

    Seriously?

    Do yourself a favor and take a step off your high horse and realize not all fans are pollyanna wimps who see the good in a season like we just went through.

    I swear, I can’t believe the amount of bullying and judging that goes on in this blog when someone has a different opinion from the flock that might even dare criticize these precious Yankees.

    Here’s a newsflash — some of the fun for most normal fans is Monday Morning QB’ing all the decisions your favorite team makes.

    Otherwise we’re all brain dead cheerleaders and outside of the uniform, most cheerleaders I’ve met are not all that interesting.

  103. TKinDC October 2nd, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    “The fact is that starting pitchers have to hold their stuff/command for 7-9 innings, a closer only one. ”

    Fine. But the starter pitches on a predictable day with a lot of rest and a reliever must be ready almost every night of the season. Your point is perfectly valid, but there are challenges to the reliever’s role that starters don’t face.

  104. Seriously? October 2nd, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    “I swear, I can’t believe the amount of bullying and judging that goes on in this blog when someone has a different opinion from the flock that might even dare criticize these precious Yankees.”

    Can someone give me a link to sad violin music?

  105. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    “When Willie Hernandez won both, Dan Quisenberry, another reliever, was second to him in the CYA voting.”

    Quiz also finished 3rd in the MVP vote that year. Should be noted that as their teams closers, Hernandez and Quiz threw 140 innings and 129 innings respectively. Little different than the standard 75, maybe 80 innings today’s closer tends to put up.

  106. mel October 2nd, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    The Angels haven’t played meaningful baseball since July, let’s hope they wake up before the next game.

    3 mistakes doomed them. The walk, the HR, and not pinch running Vlad in the 8th.

    I don’t believe that this dooms them for the series. Unless they lose tonight.

    Did Ryan Dempster really walk 7 guys yesterday? Lou did a poor job in that inning. You don’t take out your guy after he walks the bases loaded? Jeez.

  107. Brian (Red Sox fan) October 2nd, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    TKinDC – the roles of starters and relievers are, obviously, different. But I think that Pedro and Koufax could easily have been elite closers, but most elite closers could not be dominant starters.

    It’s really an apples/oranges comparison ……

  108. saucY October 2nd, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    i like apples better than oranges :mrgreen:

  109. TKinDC October 2nd, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    IDK Brian – Could Pedro possibly have stayed healthy under that kind of stress? But I agree with you that the roles are really hard to compare.

  110. ray (sox fan) October 2nd, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    “Otherwise we’re all brain dead cheerleaders and outside of the uniform, most cheerleaders I’ve met are not all that interesting.”

    G Love, there are certainly a few people who post on here that fit the cheerleader profile.

    But mel is not one of them, in fact not even close.

  111. randy l October 2nd, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    “Folks complain about Arod’s post-season numbers but, Vlad’s are worse.”

    when looking at the downside of vlad i wonder if that was such a bad move by steinbrenner in going after sheffield instead of vlad as cashman wanted.

    sheffield was a short time fix for short term money. i don’t see his signing by steinbrenner as a bad signing.

    vlad’s would be a problem right now, no?

  112. Brian (Red Sox fan) October 2nd, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    TK – supposedly, the Dodgers wanted to use Pedro as a reliever because they though he was too slight to be a starter. Fast forward to Papelbon and Joba, where there seems to be conflicting opinions on which role creates more stress – multiple short appearances, or fewer long appearances.

    The Sox claimed that they were going to make Papelbon start to protect his shoulder, then reversed course. Who knows?

  113. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    “It’s not statistically valid to add up a lot of short performances, and then compare it to statistics that were compiled in an entirely different fashion.”

    Sure this is true. Relief pitching and starting are qualitatively different. Just as baseball before and after the DH is qualitatively different. Jake Peavey pitching in the NL west in Petco is in a situation that is qualitatively very, very different than what Josh Beckett playing in Fenway does.

    So adding up Mo’s innings and comparing them to Koufax’s isn’t exactly the same.

    But there’s also a flip side to this.

    Throughout its history baseball changes – both in quantitative (players hitting more home runs) and qualitative ways (pre-dead ball vs. post dead ball).

    Alot of baseball statistics are designed and analyses conducted to try to look past qualitative differences in the game through quantitative methods.

    Koufax had 5 brilliant years. That’s it. Pedro 7. Outside of those stretches they weren’t that special. It’s those brilliant runs that puts them in the conversation for the greates pitchers of all time. How do you gauge their brilliance vs. that of say Tom Seaver who pitched better for longer but not as well at his peak (though not that far off either).

    Mariano has been utterly brilliant for 14 years. I can think of no other pitcher who has performed at his absolutely peak level for such an extended period of time. And in general, relief pitchers tend to have shorter careers than starters and often flame out quickly.

    So it depends on what kind of “short” you are referring to when you say it’s not valid to add up statistics.

    The roles are clearly different. But at the end of the day, just my opinion, Mariano has transcended his particular, role to a significant extent.

  114. JohnC October 2nd, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Pete:

    Thanks again for all your hard work in keeping this blog updated with all the latest news and bits of info. It will be pretty quiet here until at least the World Series is over and FA filing period begins. Hopefully, you can keep us up to date on how our youg guys are faring in the AFL and the HBL, especially Hughes and Brackman and Sanchez.

  115. mel October 2nd, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    G. Love,

    Haha. Gotcha. Was just having fun, continuation from yesterday.

    My bad, next time I’ll put an emoticon.

  116. Brian (Red Sox fan) October 2nd, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Randy – I know that ir’s become axiomatic that choosing Sheffield over Vlad was a mistake (for the Yankees), but Sheffield was always the most feared Yankee hitter when he was with NY.

  117. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    “vlad’s would be a problem right now, no?”

    His contract is up this year. The angels have a club option for 2009.

    His knees really took a hit but overall Vlad’s signing was one of the single best values ever signed during the free agent period. Even this year he can’t run but he put up an .886 OPS. On another team, used only as a DH, he’d still be a terrific asset.

    Not signing him was an enormous mistake. He was signed for a great contract during a time when the free agent market was very depressed and he was coming off that back injury.

  118. Guard October 2nd, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Rivera is the perfect example of why you just never know with prospects and so much luck is involved. Who could have dreamed he turns into the best closer of all time? He was probably trade bait for years.

    Just like Nobody thought Coke woudl turn into the dominant pitcher he is today and he almost went to Pittsburgh.

  119. Doreen October 2nd, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Fredo -

    Did you notice the 1984 NL CYA winner, Rick Sutcliffe pitched a split season – Cleveland, AL (4-5) and Chicago, NL (16-1)?

    Do you think this would bolster an argument for Sabathia to get the CYA this year for the NL?

  120. SJ44 October 2nd, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Hard to say Randy because we don’t know if Vlad would have injured his back and knees in NY.

    At the time of the signing, I don’t think there is any question Vlad was the better player.

    Put it this way, if we had him in ’04, they probably win the WS.

    What I’m interested in this off-season is, who are going to be the recruiters among the players for free agents?

    Usually, its Jeter and Mo. Damon is one of the most popular players among other players in the game.

    Girardi was smart to bury the hatchet with Damon in September. Down the stretch, Damon became one of Girardi’s biggest supporters in the locker room.

    That’s going to help in free agency because guys will call Damon and ask him about the team, the guys, Girardi, etc.

  121. the big cat October 2nd, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Hey Pete Big Cat here…Thanks for all your hard work!! BTW look at Girardis wikipedia pic…your in it!

  122. Tom October 2nd, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Guard: Good point on prospects. Wang and Cano were on the list of players that were offered for Johnson were they not? The prospect game really is a craphoot.

    If I can remember correctly didn’t SEA turn down Reyes for…Lou Pinella.

  123. Tom October 2nd, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Didn’t willie mcgee (Former Yankee prospect by the way) win a batting title in the NL dispite being traded AL?

  124. pat October 2nd, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    “What I’m interested in this off-season is, who are going to be the recruiters among the players for free agents?”

    Depends on who they are recruiting. Free Agency has made for many strange relationships not to mention agents have made for some very strange friendships. Who ever would have guessed Bruney and Burnett were friends before last week?

    Jeter and Mo are well respected but they only know NY. Someone coming in from the outside might feel better served speaking with someone who has done the same.

  125. mel October 2nd, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Interesting read by Bill Simmons. Of course you can’t write about anything related to the Red Sox without talking about the Yankees. Bill’s not too bitter about Manny, but that’s probably because Simmons is an LA guy now.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn.....page=manny

  126. Brandon (THE METS BULLPEN IS GANSTA !)..."Keep Manny away !" October 2nd, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    all Manny did last night was hit a tack on. Fatcessa is praising him for 12 mins. and forgetting James Looney was the real killer last night.

  127. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    “Mariano has been utterly brilliant for 14 years. I can think of no other pitcher who has performed at his absolutely peak level for such an extended period of time”

    Again, you don’t have much to work with. 75-80 inning per year pitchers are a relatively new thing. 100 years from now, we’ll have to see how he stands. As an example, Francisco Rodriguez has and ERA+ of 189. He’s only at 450 IP, but he’s only 26. If 7 years from now, he’s at that same level, this becomes a different conversation, no??? Papelbon is an ERA+ of 250 something. Only 250 IP, but 27 years old. Who’s to say where he is in 10 years.

    My point is the list of contemporaries is relatively small. A large part of it is because he’s far superior to everyone else. The other part of it is that it’s a relatively new speciality that to a degree is still evolving. Whereas 25-30 years ago, the job was more of a 100+ inning gig and was filled in large part by failed starters, today it’s a 60-80 inning gig that oftentimes young pitchers are being groomed to fill the role in the minors. In a 100 years, Mo may be to closers what Walter Johnson is to starters today. What we don’t know is whether Krod and Papelbon could be Christy Matthewson and Cy Young to Mo’s Walter Johnson. Mo’s clearly the man among relief pitchers/closers now and will almost certainly remain their forever…but the book on the closers, as used today, is far from written.

  128. ZMAN7777 October 2nd, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    “I swear, I can’t believe the amount of bullying and judging that goes on in this blog when someone has a different opinion from the flock that might even dare criticize these precious Yankees.”

    Sadly, this is very true. Way too much groupthink here. Tremendous amount of insecurity as well. Way too few folks willing to say when the emperor’s not wearing any clothes.

  129. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Doreen:

    Was aware of Sutcliffe in 1984. I think the difference when compared to Sabathia’s case is that there was no Lincecum or Webb type year for Sutcliffe to compete with. Doc Gooden at 17-9 and 2.60 finished 2nd. Couple closers and a 20-14 Joaqin Andujar rounded out the Top 5. Those resumes weren’t quite what CC is up against IMO.

  130. stu October 2nd, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    CB – the other aspect of Mo’s greatness that hasnt been touched upon in any of your posts is his post-season dominance.

    I dont know if what his ERA+ would be for his post-season career, by would gather it would be completely off the charts if there was a way to gauge it.

    That is what makes Mariano Rivera so unbeliebably special and other wordly … his regular season are so dominant and incredibly consistent year after year … without any drastic fall off in performance.

    But when you factor in his post-season career, then his career takes on the stuff of legend … legendary as in the likes of Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax.

    We have all been so fortunate so say that we have watched him throughout his whole career … it must be the same sense of pride that someone who watched Joe DiMaggio for his whole career must have felt … sustained greatness, year after year.

  131. Aardvark (the real one) October 2nd, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Dennis Eckersley ought to be in this conversation, despite the Kirk Gibson home run. Very good starter, elite closer. Didn’t waste anyone’s time. Many of his saves lasted five minutes or less. Love him today as a commentator with utter contempt for the base on balls.

  132. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Fredo,

    Good point on KRod and Papelbon. If they continue performing at their current levels or close for 1000 innings we’ll have to reconfigure expectations for the role of the closer in the modern era (post Eckersley/ hyperspecialization).

    But I’d also argue that if KRod and Papelbon don’t hold up for 1000 or so then Mo’s stature gets bumped farther away from other closers and closer to great starters.

    You’re right on the whole – the definition of the position isn’t finished yet.

  133. G. Love October 2nd, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Mel — No need to emoticon now that I know you have a sense of fun. It’s all good. Some people on here aren’t that whimsical.

  134. mel-not insecure at all October 2nd, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    The most amazing thing about Mo’s career is his consistency. Year in, year out, you know what you’re going to get.

  135. stu October 2nd, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Eckersley was amazing as a closer, but Mo has been better … especially in the post season. Look at Mo’s career post season performance and the number of saves he recorded that were more than 1 inning.

    When did Eckersley ever come into game before the 9th inning or with runners on base the way Mo has done time and time again?

  136. mel-not insecure at all October 2nd, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Thanks, Big G. :)

  137. TKinDC October 2nd, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    “all Manny did last night was hit a tack on. Fatcessa is praising him for 12 mins. and forgetting James Looney was the real killer last night.”

    Did you see that tack-on Brandon? That was a phenomenal swing just to make contact with that ball, much less park it deep in the seats. It was about an inch off the ground.

  138. randy l October 2nd, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    sj-
    i just looked up vlad’s contract with the angels. i’ve changed my mind. he got peanuts for what he’s produced.

  139. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    “I dont know if what his ERA+ would be for his post-season career, by would gather it would be completely off the charts if there was a way to gauge it.”

    In 117 post season innings he has a career post season ERA of .77. Just amazing. And 117 innings is a lot of innings – over 10% of his total career innings in fact (these post season innings are not counted in his career ERA+ stats).

    Not sure how to calculate his post season ERA+ as I don’t have the average post season ERA in the AL over the past 14 years.

    But just for a ball park – over the past 14 years the league average ERA in the AL has been 4.55. Yankee stadium is roughly neutral in terms of whether it is hitter or pitcher friendly.

    If we assume that post season era’s are the same as regular season then Mariano’s post season ERA+ would be roughly 590. 590.

    But it’s reasonable to expect ERA’s would be considerably lower in the post season due to better pitching. Let’s assume that the league average ERA in the AL post season is much better than the regular season. Let’s say it’s 20% better. Then the average post season ERA would be 3.64 in the AL. That sounds reasonable, even conservative. Andy Pettite’s post season ERA is roughly the same as his regular season ERA, for comparison so I’d say 20% is a conservative call.

    Assuming an average post season AL era has been 3.64 Mo’s post season ERA+ would be around 475.

  140. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Eck probably had the best year ever by any closer, but he was truly great as a closer for only 4-5 years. That doesn’t match up to Mo.

  141. vinny-b (Fab 5 = CashMoney, Girardi, Nardi, Pettitte, Rivera) October 2nd, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Eric Byrnes.

    others have mentioned (S44 etc) the makeup of the team need change. Byrnes is the polar opposite of Cano. He looks like he is going 100mph, but going at 65mph. And perception is reality. If we retain Cano, Byrnes will provide ‘balance’

    it have been mentioned Byrnes is injured often. It is ok. As it will provide playing time for Gardner. If we land Eric Byrnes, you let Gardner and him compete for CF.

  142. TKinDC October 2nd, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    “Not sure how to calculate his post season ERA+ as I don’t have the average post season ERA in the AL over the past 14 years.”

    Can we include B.K. Kim just to jack up the sample? :)

  143. mel October 2nd, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Picks?

    I’ll take: Tampa, Philly, and the Cubs.

  144. Gary October 2nd, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Papelbon can’t be compared to Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter, Trevor Hoffman or Jeff Reardon much less Mariano’s.
    He hasn’t put up the required years to be talked about in the same breath.
    Until his demeanor changes, he still in the catagory of Al Hrabosky.

  145. TKinDC October 2nd, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    I hope the Brewers get swept so they can’t continue their abuse of CC!

    mel –

    Insecure? pshaw! ChiSox, Phils, Torre’s Titans

  146. Tom October 2nd, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Eric Byrnes? Is this the same Eric Byrnes who has a 10mil. dollar contarct throgh ’10 and a .771 career ops?

    I know he’s a “spark plug” but come on!

  147. pat October 2nd, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    mel

    Thanks for the Manny story link. Good read in a Cashman rambling kind of way.

    Picks?
    Rays, Phillies, Dodgers today.

  148. vinny-b (Cashmoney, Girardi, Nardi, Pettitte, Mo = Fab 5) October 2nd, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Lee Smith needs to be in HOF

  149. Brandon (THE METS BULLPEN IS GANSTA !)..."Keep Manny away !" October 2nd, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Did you see that tack-on Brandon? That was a phenomenal swing just to make contact with that ball, much less park it deep in the seats. It was about an inch off the ground.

    And….. ? I’m not taking away from the swing it’s the importance of it. James Looney was the clutch player last night.

  150. vinny-b (Cashmoney, Girardi, Nardi, Pettitte, Mo = Fab 5) October 2nd, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Tom: Byrnes don’t have to start. We need bench players. Let him backup Gardner.

  151. TKinDC October 2nd, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    “And….. ? I’m not taking away from the swing it’s the importance of it. James Looney was the clutch player last night.”

    Fair enough! Looney’s was clearly the kill shot – Manny’s was like a windmill dunk with the clock running out and a big lead.

  152. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    “Tom: Byrnes don’t have to start. We need bench players. Let him backup Gardner.”

    Hmmm. Start the weaker player. That’s one way to have a better bench.

    BRILLIANT!!!!!

  153. TKinDC October 2nd, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    “Hmmm. Start the weaker player. That’s one way to have a better bench.”

    weaker player @ $400K
    stronger player @ $10M

    Double Secret Brilliant! :lol:

  154. vinny-b (Cashmoney, Girardi, Nardi, Pettitte, Mo = Fab 5) October 2nd, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    if Garnder is not able to hold it down, you have a capable bench player in Byrnes, to back him up.

    brilliant.

  155. Doreen October 2nd, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Fredo -

    You’re probably right. Gooden got ROY that year. Perhaps he gets more votes if he’s not a rookie. Anyone ever get ROY and MVP or CYA?

  156. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    I don’t advocate tryng to get Byrnes because his is a bad contract. But he’s a better player than Gardner. If the Yankees did get Byrnes, he’d be the starter.

  157. Betsy October 2nd, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Kepner, Mo is merely “perhaps the greatest closer of all time”? No, he is the only one in the conversation.

    I love this Mo discussion as he is by far my favorite Yankee and I adore and am in awe of him. What amazes me is how his contemporaries feel about them – he’s a legend in their eyes. I remember seeing a shot of Mo showing the grip on his cutter to Roy Halladay. Wow. Also, I think Soria (?), the Royals closer, idolized Mo and he was basically sitting by Mo in the clubhouse (or so I read) soaking up the knowledge that he possesses. How great is that?

    Mo will be a spectacular pitching coach – he not only can pass on his immense knowledge of the game, but also his class and integrity. The man respects and honors the game not just by his performance, but by how he conducts himself. This is his greatest legacy to the game and having him teach and mold our kids? What a priceless opportunity.

    Doreen, I absolutely agree that Mo needs to have an award named after him

  158. Tom October 2nd, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Maybe to get more depth the yankees can go the way of the ’96 team? Sign older players like an Tim Raines? Trade for a Charlie Hayes. Things like that.

    Trading for a $10mil a year player whose greatest asset is his legs–which happen to be hurt, may not be the wisest of moves.

  159. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    “I don’t advocate tryng to get Byrnes because his is a bad contract. But he’s a better player than Gardner. ”

    Pure salary dump – would you do it? Say a type B prospect?

    He puts up a .750 OPS in center field – that’s not bad.

  160. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    “Anyone ever get ROY and MVP or CYA?”

    Doreen:

    Fred Lynn was both the ROY and MVP in 1975.

    Fernando Valenzuela was both the ROY and CY in 1981

    Not sure anyone else has done it.

  161. Doreen October 2nd, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    I guess I’ll root for the Rays. They probably have the best shot at the Red Sox IF the Angels don’t prevail.

    I’m still rooting for the Phillies over Milwaukee.

    Man, the Dodgers and Cubs series kills me. I wanted the Cubs, so I’ll stick with the Cubs, but you know, they inspire absolutely no confidence! :lol:

  162. Doreen October 2nd, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Thanks, Fredo.

    I love that kind of stuff. I could get lost in the Baseball Encyclopedia if I let myself.

  163. Tom October 2nd, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Doreen: Fred Lynn and Ichiro=MVP+ROY

  164. Doreen October 2nd, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Tom,

    Thanks.

    Ichiro – bah! Some rookie. :)

  165. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    “Pure salary dump – would you do it? Say a type B prospect?’

    For 2 years of him at $11M each????

    I’d see what else is out there first. He’s more ’06 than he is ’07.

    I don’t think Ajax needs two years to be ready.

    I’d lean to no.

  166. TKinDC October 2nd, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    “Mariano Rivera Mariano Rivera will undergo arthroscopic surgery Monday to correct a calcification problem on top of the right AC joint. Dr. David Altchek will perform the operation.”

    I don’t know if surgeons get butterflies, but can you imagine being the guy holding a scalpel over Mariano’s shoulder?

    I understand this guy has a great rep but yikes, I hope this guy is good.

  167. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    The Rolaids Rivera Award

  168. Tom October 2nd, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Randy winn’s only signed for one year at 8-9mil.

    Switch hitter plays all three of spots. Better career OPS than Byrnes (.790).

  169. randy l October 2nd, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    doreen -
    the white sox could be very tough too. red sox fans fear thome and you never know what guillen will do.griffey in center and that 2nd baseman make them a sleeper team. they won’t lay down to to the red sox if there is a match up, that’s for sure.

  170. Vlad October 2nd, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    FOR SALE:

    A slightly used rally monkey.

    Make an offer, any offer.

  171. Russell NY October 2nd, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    What does everyone see in Austin Jackson that impresses them? He hit .285 with a .354 OBP in 131 games at AA this year. How does that translate to Major League success? What are AJax’s finest attributes?

  172. vinny-b (Cashmoney, Girardi, Nardi, Pettitte, Mo = Fab 5) October 2nd, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    “Vlad
    October 2nd, 2008 at 2:27 pm
    FOR SALE:
    A slightly used rally monkey.
    Make an offer, any offer.”

    LMAO.

  173. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    “Randy winn’s only signed for one year at 8-9mil.”

    That’s why he wouldn’t really be a salary dump.

    The Giants have toyed with trading him over and over but seem to be asking for more than other teams are willing to give up.

    The giants will want something back for Winn. The D’Backs are basically in no position to expect much back at all.

    Byrnes vs. Winn vs. Mike Cameron vs. an AL guy.

    These are the kinds of trade offs they’ll need to make this year.

    Pluses and minuses to each situation.

  174. vinny-b (Cashmoney, Girardi, Nardi, Pettitte, Mo = Fab 5) October 2nd, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    a key to Byrnes is his makeup.

    people talk of the team being too laid-back/no type of urgency. You have to make changes, in roster personnel.

  175. TKinDC October 2nd, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    “What are AJax’s finest attributes?”

    He is seriously athletic – he was offered a full ride for basketball at Georgia Tech.

    Since he has concentrated on baseball he has become a significantly improved player. More selective at the plate, power potential, speed, defense.

    I haven’t had a chance to see him play, but people who have rave about him.

  176. Russell NY October 2nd, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    I don’t like Byrnes. Would rather have Gardner out there getting a shot.

  177. vinny-b (Cashmoney, Girardi, Nardi, Pettitte, Mo = Fab 5) October 2nd, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    dennis eckersley: “sitting in the sun, is the only good thing about Tampa”

    + 100 pts.

  178. Russell NY October 2nd, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    “I haven’t had a chance to see him play, but people who have rave about him.”

    Yea, all I can find are like 1-2 short clips of him on YouTube. Not enough to judge the guy. Heard about his athleticism – definitely a plus. And I take it he has more hitting potential then Gardner :)

  179. Joe Monte October 2nd, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Go on vacation Pete, nothing is going to happen for a few weeks so enjoy the time off before the zoo opens again in the Bronx.

    Gardner will be the starting CF in 2009.

  180. Wave Your Hat October 2nd, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    I like speculating but I think you guys are driving up a dead end.

    IMO, no way the Brewers don’t pick up Cameron’s option. If they don’t, he’ll sign somewhere for around $12M per on a multi-year deal. Don’t see any point in speculating about it.

    Winn is underpaid. Despite the rumors, I don’t think the Giants make him available and if they do, don’t know if we would have the players to get him.

    Byrnes is overpaid, IMO. We get Cabrera and Gardner basically for free, how is the extra you get from Byrnes worth $11M? In general, I don’t think it is productive to overpay for assets, and see no reason to make an exception in Byrnes’ case.

  181. Tom October 2nd, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Other bench options: Not saying the yankees should sign them but who knows.

    Frank Catalanotto: Plays 1b, of. Hits RHP fairly well. Could be had for peanuts.

    Kevin Millar: ib, of, hits LHP. (ex sox)

    Matt Stairs: ib, of hits rhp (hates arod)

    Ray Durham: only plays 2b. good obp guy

  182. vinny-b (Cashmoney, Girardi, Nardi, Pettitte, Mo = Fab 5) October 2nd, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Frank Cat owns the yankees.

  183. CB October 2nd, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    “We get Cabrera and Gardner basically for free, how is the extra you get from Byrnes worth $11M? In general, I don’t think it is productive to overpay for assets, and see no reason to make an exception in Byrnes’ case.”

    Very good chance that both Cabrera and Gardner could hit close to replacement level production next year in center.

    That is just unnacceptable. So how much risk are you willing to take in letting them fight it out in spring training?

    I can’t see them just assuming one of those two guys will be the everyday CF. No way.

    And the brewers will be desperate for pitching next year. No CC, no sheets, no closer and terrible middle relief. Even if they reup Cameron I could see them trading him. He’d be valuable on a one year deal. Corey Hart could move back to center.

  184. SJ44 October 2nd, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Again, don’t use AA stats to make a judgment on Jackson.

    Bernie Williams hit 10 HR’s in his last full season in AAA.

    Under the “Bill Madden Theory” of judging propsects, he would have advocated trading him.

    Jackson was the best defensive OF in the Eastern League last year. Gets nice jumps on the ball, uses his athleticism to make plays, and has a pretty accurate arm for a young guy.

    He’s not a speedster but, like Bernie, has good speed. Still learning to be more instintive on the bases and has th potential to be a better baserunner down the line.

    Good line drive hitter. As he fills out, he’s probably a 20-25 max HR guy.

    He’s just a very solid player. Doesn’t do any one thing in a spectacular fashion. Yet, does everything very well for such a young player.

    Especially important since he has only really been a baseball only player for 3 years. Its why many scouts in the game believe his best years are ahead of him.

    Dr, Alcheck is the best shoulder guy in the business. He did Posada’s shoulder surgery earlier in the year and is the preferred choice by players in the game who need shoulder surgery.

    Mo is in great hands.

  185. Wave Your Hat October 2nd, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    My point on Byrnes is that he’s not $11 million better than what we have, not that I love what we have. Need to look elsewhere, IMO.

    Just don’t see the Brewers trading their CF if they exercise the option. If they do, it will take more than IPK and Veras to get him (just as an example). What do we have that would do the trick? Just can’t see the point in speculating about it, no offense meant.

  186. Russell NY October 2nd, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    To be fair, Brett Gardner played 42 games in 2008. His first 21 games he had a .189 batting average and his last 21 games he had a .283 batting average.

    If you look at Gardner’s minor league career, here’s what happened:

    2005 A Ball – .284 BA
    2006 A Ball – .323 BA

    2006 AA Ball – .272 BA
    2007 AA Ball – .300 BA

    2007 AAA Ball – .260 BA
    2008 AAA Ball – .296 BA

    Baseball isn’t that simple but now lets look at his MLB:

    2008 MLB Ball – .228 BA
    2009 MLB Ball – ?

    I’m comfortable thinking he could hit .270 in a season. With plus defense and his speed, that is attractive.

  187. SJ44 October 2nd, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    I think guys like Bill Hall and Ryan Freel will be in the trade market this off-season.

    Both guys, I like Freel a little better, would be upgrades to the bench for the Yankees.

  188. vinny-b (Cashmoney, Girardi, Nardi, Pettitte, Mo = Fab 5) October 2nd, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    update

  189. Russell NY October 2nd, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Jacoby Ellsbury really only hit .280 in his first full season. My hopes are a same average… less pop but more speed.

  190. Mike R October 2nd, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    The best part about Mo is that if he ever can’t pitch anymore, we can just stick him in center field. He’d probably win a gold glove.

  191. Wave Your Hat October 2nd, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    We have so few offensive players in the minors, and relatively speaking so many pitchers (as least as compared to fielders), that it doesn’t make much sense trading AJax.

    Plus, AJax is good.

    It seems to me, if anything, the Yanks ought to be looking at trading some of the minor league pitching talent for young offensive talent.

  192. TKinDC October 2nd, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    “Very good chance that both Cabrera and Gardner could hit close to replacement level production next year in center.

    That is just unnacceptable. So how much risk are you willing to take in letting them fight it out in spring training?”

    Good point CB -

    It is similar to the year where Cashman was saying that Bubba Crosby was going to be the opening day starter at CF. Until he wasn’t and Johnny Damon was signed to the team.

    We need a 1 to 2 year guy who can be productive and catch the ball until AJax is hopefully ready. An Abreu type deal would be good – short years, high production.

  193. raymagnetic October 2nd, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Just passing by with some random thoughts and questions.

    When is it okay to score more runs? Isn’t every run past the first run a ‘tack on’ run? Should teams stop scoring runs once they get a 2 run lead?

    What makes anyone think that Gardner can hit well enough to play everyday? Despite his ‘hot’ 2 weeks at the end of September he still hit under .230 in over 120 at bats and slugged .300.

    I’m in agreement with Fredo with the closer argument, not that it matters of course.

  194. TKinDC October 2nd, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    “Dr, Alcheck is the best shoulder guy in the business. He did Posada’s shoulder surgery earlier in the year and is the preferred choice by players in the game who need shoulder surgery.

    Mo is in great hands.”

    That is very good news. Thanks SJ.

  195. rover October 2nd, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Would seem to me, that the importance of roles between the starter and the closer become exactly the same once the ball changes hands. As I understand things it is the starters job to hand the ball over in a meaningfull situation, close game, winning or losing but close enough that more runs must be prevented to possibly gain a victory or retain a victory. Unless a closer simply needs to throw due to lack of work it is unlikely he ever gets the ball during a meaningless or out of reach game. In that instance the closers importance to that game is negated. However if the ball is handed over to the closer in a meaningful situation regardless of the number of outs required. During that particular stretch his importance is very equal to the starters. The only thing that implys more importance to the job is when one or the other fails.
    If the starter goes 7 innings a reliever goes 1 inning and the closer shuts the opponent down in his inning. The closer wss every bit as important for 1 inning as the starter for 7 and the reliever for 1. The importance of doing their job is the same. Which is most valuable? I would say that starters capable of doing their job are fewer and farther between than closers but not elite closers. Elite closers are not a dime a dozen and found in every farm system. However when you talk about elite pitchers, then the fun begins. Mo in the least is elite, there are what 14 consecutive years of proof.

  196. Doreen October 2nd, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    randy l -

    That’s good to hear about the Chisox. I have a place in my heart for that team. We lived outside Chicago for a couple of years, and we went to see both the Cubs and the White Sox play. I know a lot of people don’t like the White Sox stadium, but at the time our girls were small, and my youngest daughter was not too apt to sit still, and that stadium was very conducive to being able to walk around and still enjoy the game. Plus, she got a real kick out the way the announcers would say Paw-ul-Kon-er-ko and Mag-li-o-Or-don-yez! Still cracks us up. (We hated Wrigley, by the way – the fans were snooty, didn’t like the ushers and the place was filthy. It didn’t help that we went early in the season and the ivy was still brown – yuck!)

    So, I think it would be neat to have a White Sox vs. Cubs WS, with the White Sox winning. Chicago Cubs fans would NEVER survive that. :lol:

    If it’s the Cubs vs. anyone else, though, I go for the Cubs to kill the goat curse.

  197. saucY October 2nd, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Frank Catalanatto (sp)

    i like him because i hate him…

  198. Fredo Corleone October 2nd, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    “That’s good to hear about the Chisox”

    You know what’s not good to hear about the Chisox??? Their announcers.

    Anyone hear the call of Alexei Ramirez’s grand slam the other night by Hawk Harrelson and clown he sits with??? Sounded like an Obama rally was going on right there in the booth.

  199. OldYanksFan October 2nd, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    I was checking stuff out and I came across this. It’s not meant to be compared to Mo, but it is such a sick stat, those who weren’t around at the time should know about it.

    Bob Gibson, 1968:
    IP: 304.7 {ouch!)
    CG: 28 (are you kidding me?)
    SHO: 13 (un-f*ckin-believeable!)
    HRs: 11 (or 1 every 27.7 IP or 1 every 3 CGs!)
    WHIP: 0.853 (under 8 total baserunners a game)
    ERA: 1.120 {that’s not a typo… and over 305 IP!)
    ERA+: 258 (just nuts… lg avg ERA was 2.90)

    I do believe that 1968 was the lowest offensive year in modern history. Yaz won the BA title with a .301 avg. They lowered the mound the next year.

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