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


Hot Stove Mailbag No. 7

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Nov 17, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

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It’s Monday. Time to answer a few e-mails. There have been some doozies lately …

Anthony writes: People are praising the Yankees for the Nick Swisher deal, citing that he has the potential to be a 20-30 home run hitter for the Yankees and continue to become a big on-base percentage type guy. My question is this: Why didn’t the Yankees just bring Giambi back? You got a home run hitter, a high on-base percentage guy, plus you get a higher batting average then Swisher’s .219. You also get more RBI’s out of Giambi than Swisher.

Answer: Swisher is due only $5.3 million next season, less than what Giambi will command. The Big G also will be 38 in January and was one of the worst first basemen in the game last season. Swisher may not drive in as many runs as Giambi,but there are plenty of other qualities he will bring to the table.

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Pete writes: Could you explain what it would take to get Jake Peavy? I have heard a lot of reports over the last year that Towers and the Padres have liked Igawa for a while. In your opinion, could Hughes and Igawa get it done or Igawa, Kennedy, and Austin Jackson?

Answer: People need to forget about Jake Peavy. His agent, Barry Axelrod, had made it clear that Peavy will want compensation to to waive his no-trade rights. So for the Yankees to acquire him, it would take a package of their best prospects and a contract extension. This for a guy who seems determined not to pitch in the AL. I just don’t see it happening. But to answer your questions, Igawa has no value. It would take Hughes or Jackson and at least two other good prospects. That group would include Kennedy, Melancon, McAllister, Betances, players like that.

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Mike writes (and this is verbatim): Do you think any trades for the Yankees will happen in the next few days do you think cc will sign with the yankees what pitchers do you think we will get we should get rid of arod he sucks

Answer: Punctuation is your friend, Mike. Learn it. I don’t see any trades in the next few days. I do think Sabathia will sign. I think the Yankees also will get A.J. Burnett or Derek Lowe. And they should not get rid of A-Rod. While he is a strange dude at times, he doesn’t suck at baseball.

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Dan writes: Has there been any speculation about making a play for Adam Dunn? He’s a below average fielder, and the last thing the Yankees need is another DH, but he might allow them to package Matsui into a deal for a pitcher somewhere along the line.

Answer: Not that I have heard. Dunn is a remarkably consistent offensive player. But the Yankees seem pretty determined to try and improve their defense and get more athletic and Dunn would not serve those purposes. I also don’t see Matsui having much trade value after two knee surgeries in the span of 11 months.

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Mike writes: I’ve been wondering, where do the Yankees stand with Xavier Nady? Do you see him playing in pinstripes next season? I haven’t heard anything about him lately and was wondering if you knew anything.

Answer: Brian Cashman said just the other day that Nady is their starting RF next season. That was their intention when they traded for him, I believe.

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Zack writes: I just have two questions. One: if you ran the Yankees who would you sign? A.J. Burnett or Derek Lowe? Two: What do you think the Yankees bullpen will look like at the beginning of next year? Does Phil Coke have a chance with the signing of Marte?

Answer: That’s three questions, Zack. I would sign Lowe, who will likely get a shorter-term deal and is more reliable than Burnett. If they have Sabathia and Wang, they need a solid No. 3 starter. That’s Lowe. I think the bullpen will look pretty much like it did last season, which is to say it will be pretty good. Coke will get his chance, but signing Marte gives the organization a chance to see if he can be developed into a starter. If I ran the Yankees, I’d want to give a young left-hander with a good arm every chance to be a starter.

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Bob writes: Are the Yanks 100 percent committed to Cano? I would love it if they could deal him and sign Orlando Hudson. I would take virtually anything for Cano at this point.

Answer: They are. Why else would they send Kevin Long to the Dominican Republic this week to work with him? I also disagree strongly with the idea of trading him. He had a down season, why trade him when his value is low? I’d also rather have a 26-year-old player signed to a reasonable contract than the 31-year-old Hudson, who will cost more. It’s amazing to me how people have turned on Cano. But then few Yankees fans have patience for young players.

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Adalberto writes: Is there any chance the Twins could trade Carlos Gomez and wouldn’t the Yankees be in the mix for him? He’s 23, fast, a work in progress and he’s got good defense and plays first base. Kevin Long could work with him on his hitting.

Answer: Why would the Twins trade a 0-3 service time player they really like? Beyond that, Gomez has never played first base in his life as far as I know. He’s a center fielder.

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Albert writes: Last year the Yankees signed a few pitchers that had big league success at one point but had sort of fallen off the face of the earth, such as Eric Milton, Sidney Ponson, and Victor Zambrano to name a few. What are the chances the yankes take a flyer on Mark Prior? Maybe a two-year deal loaded with incentives?

Answer: Prior’s long injury history suggests that he would be a risk. But I would think he’ll sign a minor-league deal with somebody if he rehabs successfully from his shoulder surgery.

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Jim writes: At this time last year there was quite a bit of talk about the Yankees going back to having a long reliever/spot starter type guy. It never happened but I think it is still a good idea. They need someone to eat up innings in blowouts and give a decent start when needed. Any ideas? Maybe Aceves?

Answer: In spring training last year, Joe Girardi talked often about having a long reliever and then they broke camp without one. I think they should fill that spot and Aceves makes sense. I’d rather use an older guy in that spot instead of a younger prospect.

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Finally, this is my favorite e-mail of the week …

John writes: Pete, I’m sick of you saying that the Yankees can’t sign Sabathia and Teixeira. In my mind, they need to sign CC, Tex, Manny and Brian Fuentes to be the set-up man for Mo. Or K-Rod, then he can take over for Mo. Tell Cashman. I think you’re getting paid by the team to lower expectations with the fans so you all make money.

Answer: I’ve been exposed. The Yankees have been sending me under-the-table payments for several months now. I’m blogging this from my beach-side cabana in St. Thomas while Ashanti and Eliza Dushku fetch frozen drinks. Gotta run. Remember, Paul Byrd makes perfect sense.

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232 Responses to “Hot Stove Mailbag No. 7”

  1. dave November 17th, 2008 at 3:39 am

    Pete,

    I guess you and i are the only ones up at this hour. i was wondering why you think Lowe would be a solid third starter. I know he had success last yr but he is old – 36 at the start of spring training I believe, he was pitching the NL West last year (a much easier division) and he was horrible his last two yrs in the AL. I heard he reinvented himself or something of that nature but he was absolutely abysmal for pretty much two whole years before leaving the AL. To me, all of those say Dont sign him. Of course, he isnt an injury risk yet but he is in his late 30s so how long will that last? I think Burnett is the better pitcher, has proven he can atleast be effective is not dominant against AL teams and is five yrs younger. The team wants to get younger and they continue to sign pitchers in their mid to late 30s. We need more youth. Burnett isnt the safer choice but for all the reasons above i think he is the better choice. Not to mention, Burnett has lights out stuff when healthy and can absolutely dominate a game and im pretty sure Lowe cant anymore in this league. I dont understand why you would take Lowe over Burnett? Is it the injury history or his far, far better numbers against the yanks and sox then any other team. Because to me, Lowe is just as big an injury risk at his age and dominating those two teams really means he has the abiity to dominate anyone. Not to mention, he wasnt too shabby against the Rays last yr. I feel like they both could be HUGE disasters but Burnett has the bigger upside. No?

  2. Viper November 17th, 2008 at 4:08 am

    I don’t like the idea of signing either Lowe or Burnett because both would be major disappointments in pinstripes.

    Burnett has his injury history and he’s overrated to boot. Lowe is much better suited to pitch in the NL.

    Just because your local grocery store only sells liver and dog food doesn’t mean you have to buy it.

    They need to find another way to get a decent arm via the trade market.

  3. yanksince57-was this 1959 or is it 1965? November 17th, 2008 at 4:19 am

    so we have aceves, coke, hacker, horne, hughes, igawa, jones, kennedy, kontos and wright as potential scranton starters and albaladejo, britton, claggett, cox, gardner, jackson, kroenke, sanchez, whelan and wordekemper as potential scranton relievers. i smell a flurry of moves that will help keep lohud bloggers warm at night :)

  4. TheKiid November 17th, 2008 at 4:26 am

    so many idiot yankee fans. :sigh:

  5. Argenys J Herrera November 17th, 2008 at 4:36 am

    Peter,
    I dont understand the Yankees not going after texiera. How can we loose Abreu and Giambi and replace it with swisher? Swisher will realistically put up around .265 27 HR 82 RBI. That to me doesnt replace Abreu and Giambi. Are we relying too much on the fact that Matsui will produce and stay healthy, on Cano having a bounce back year, on Jeter not letting his age start to catch up on his offense, on Nady putting on the same numbers and on getting some type of descent production from center? I say that we need Texiera PERIOD. I know its hard to figure it out with so many outfielders but maybe the Yankees can get Texiera with 6yrs @ 25mil. I think the Yankees dont want to commit 10yrs but maybe overpriced at 6yrs would do it?

  6. Thomas Robust November 17th, 2008 at 4:43 am

    I’ve always liked Cano and one bad year is not going to change that. Adding Cano to a trade just to get rid of him is from the worst ideas I’ve heard this year (and I’ve heard alot of ideas). Just last year everybody was talking about how he could play .300+ average, 25+ homeruns, 100+ RBI, if the Yankees still believe that’s possible why can’t you. Phil Coke should start the year as a starter in SWB, that’s where he has the most value to the yankees, if it doesn’t work out he’ll move to the bullpen. If Mike Mussina doesn’t retire the Yankees should sign him to a deal with a 2nd year option, of course if he agrees. Also, if Moose returns do you think the Yankees should still go after Burnett or Lowe?

  7. North November 17th, 2008 at 4:45 am

    Here’s what I would do.

    Sign CC and Derek Lowe. That will give the Yankees the following rotation.
    CC, Wang, Joba, Lowe, Pettitte/Hughes/Aceves

    Trade a package with: Kennedy, Melky and or Nady for a good RF or CF. A guy with a high obp

  8. darkmoonfire November 17th, 2008 at 4:47 am

    Eliza Dushku? Aha, the truth finally comes out Pete! lol

  9. J in PA November 17th, 2008 at 4:47 am

    Mmmmmmmmmm Eliza Dushku!! What ever happened to that gorgeous creature? Havn’t seen her since the one-season “Tru Calling” drama. Too bad she’s from Boston. Not much good ever comes out of there but she bucks the trend!

    And I want Teixeira as my No. 1 free agent signee. Carston Charles can be second. We need a solid, TRUE first baseman and then Dirty Thirty (that’s Nick Swisher for those of you who don’t watch White Sox games) can go to CF and we can keep punchless Brett Gardner on the bench as the pinch runner he is.

    Rock On!

  10. Al from BK( Fit CC for pinstripes. Jets alone in first!) November 17th, 2008 at 5:00 am

    I think time is definitely on our sides in regards to CC. He told his agent that he wanted to sign in a timely manner and not drag the process out. Well now its been officially 4 days that he has been available to sign and none of the other teams thought to be involved(Angels/Dodgers) for him have offered him a contract as they attempt to resign Manny and Tex respectively. One would think its a matter of time before CC signs with us because the other teams have been totally pre-occupied with other players. CC is clearly the 2nd option for those other teams while he is our 1A priority.

  11. Viper November 17th, 2008 at 5:35 am

    They’ve already turned the page on Teixeira with the Swisher trade so there’s no point in continuing to beat that drum.

    They have no interest in signing Teixeira outside of driving up his price for the Angels, Red Sox, or whomever else gets into it.

    And the fact of the matter is that pitching and defense wins championships. It’s been proven time and time again.

    If they do exactly what Cashman says they will do (build a strong rotation, get younger, and get significantly better defensively) – they will be in the thick of the pennant race all season long.

    Forget Teixeira because it’s not going to happen. Cashman has already said that the idea of them signing both Sabathia and Teixeira is “crazy talk” and I don’t think he’s lying.

    ———–

    The raging speculation has been that the Yankees will sign CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and another high-end free agent or two such as Manny Ramirez, Derek Lowe or A.J. Burnett. General manager Brian Cashman termed that conjecture “crazy talk.”

    In fact, in an exclusive interview with The Post, Cashman strongly indicated the Yankees will not even sign Sabathia and Teixeira in tandem.

    “At the pricetags I have read, that is fantasy land, not reality land,” Cashman said yesterday of bringing in Sabathia and Teixeira. A Yankees executive said the club has not even created scenarios for assembling a 2009 roster in which it signs the most attractive starter and position player in the free-agent market.

    The plan is to concentrate on starting pitching, namely Sabathia, and – at best – Teixeira is a backburner issue in case all the rotation avenues prove fruitless. Teixeira was pushed further to the backburner yesterday when the Yanks obtained Nick Swisher, who, as of now, projects to be the starting first baseman.

  12. Drive 4-5 November 17th, 2008 at 5:42 am

    I’ve never really understood the old canard that Yankee fans are impatient with young players. The the majority of the popular Yankee players of the last 40 years have been players that came through the system. How many players have been more popular than Murcer,Guidry or Munson?

    More recently, the fans looked on with pride as the Yanks developed Righetti,the Williams boys (Gerald & Bernie), Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte and appreciated the contributions of Ledee, Mendoza,Melky and even Cano.

    The majority of fans want Cano to succeed as a Yankee. There’s a minority that wants him traded. I think Robbie inattentiveness is the main source of their frustration. I agree with Pete that the Yanks should hold on to Robbie and hope he realizes his immense potential.

    I disagree that Yankee fans are impatient with all young players. The fans are skeptical when asked to put their faith in a player that doesnt seem to possess an abundance of talent simply because he’s young( a Brett Gardner,for instance).I wish the people who sterotype Yankee fans as being impatient would associate the names of some examples Yankee fans gave up on and went on to being substantial major league players. The fact is, that list is much shorter than the list of those that were supported.

  13. Irabu's Son November 17th, 2008 at 5:51 am

    It was really crappy of you to make fun of Mike, Pete. He’s obviously a reader of this blog and therefore technically a customer. You shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  14. Catherine November 17th, 2008 at 6:04 am

    Just a question I want to throw out there: We all know that the players usually have an idea of what teams are thinking of doing and the moves they are making. IE Tex and his agent would be aware the Yankees just acquired Swisher. But, I was wondering, do you think players take into consideration possible moves? Like, for instance, would Burnett, Lowe, and Peavy be thinking about the fact that the Yankees will probably acquire Sabathake and therefore they would be part of a great rotation? Like the Yankees are obviously going big this offseason, do players take into consideration being a part of that?

  15. SamVa November 17th, 2008 at 6:36 am

    I am actually shocked at how dumb some of those questions are… wow… how could anyone think Pete is getting payed to downplay things? hahaha lol

  16. BBFan November 17th, 2008 at 7:09 am

    Dumb and dumber :)
    Why would Pete even aswwer them?

  17. no.27 November 17th, 2008 at 8:05 am

    I don’t understand why someone would think that Lowe will be a decent pitcher in the AL East or that Burnett will be healthy or consistent over the next contract he signs. It’s definitely not likely, but I really hope the Yankees got Swisher to lower Teixeira’s asking price and plan on signing Tex and then trading Swisher in a package for a CFer or a pitcher.

  18. vinny-b -Behold the sword of Urlacher- November 17th, 2008 at 8:06 am

    “I am actually shocked at how dumb some of those questions are… wow… how could anyone think Pete is getting payed to downplay things? hahaha lol”

    I believe it was a joke. Or, atleast i hope.

  19. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 8:09 am

    “and then trading Swisher in a package for a CFer or a pitcher”

    After the weak package the Yankees sent the White Sox to get Fisher, why would you think the Yankees could turn him around and get anything worth having?

  20. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 8:17 am

    “why would you think the Yankees could turn him around and get anything worth having?”

    not for nothing, but there really are some stupid GMs out there.

  21. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 8:21 am

    “not for nothing, but there really are some stupid GMs out there.”

    Stupid? Maybe. But they’ve got short term memory. They know the Yanks bought low and if they were to trade him they’d be selling low.

  22. aaron empty November 17th, 2008 at 8:30 am

    funny, funny stuff…god some of these yankee fans are delusional. some of you must be exceptionally young, and dont remember the 80′s/early 90′s. an org needs a solid base to win, not a mercenary attitude. that is all

  23. VIGGY November 17th, 2008 at 8:31 am

    Man. i love the last one……..
    I think i’m creating by own blog, i can use some extra cash too.

  24. Bobby November 17th, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Giambi was actually around league-average at 1B by most defensive metrics last season Pete.

  25. vinny-b -Behold the sword of Urlacher- November 17th, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Giambi sucks

  26. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 8:46 am

    “But they’ve got short term memory. They know the Yanks bought low and if they were to trade him they’d be selling low.”

    eh, you assume they do… but then someone goes and signs a Corey Patterson- or Paul Byrd-type every year knowing what he did the year before, right?

    and you never know… you’ve got a bunch of people analyzing the deal, saying it was a good ‘buy-low’ deal for the yankees bc Swisher has great bounce-back potential… some GM might buy in to the hype, especially if he’s a complimentary piece to a better prospect in a larger deal.

    again, not saying it will happen or that it should happen, just saying you never know.

  27. jennifer November 17th, 2008 at 8:51 am

    I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some Yankee fans out there who think we can sign everyone and anyone. They think just cause we are the Yankees every team wants to trade with us, and every player wants to sign with us.

    How many times do we have to hear Peavy and his trade demands?, and people still want us to get him. The dude is already owed 50 million and his agent would want a contract extentsion on top of that! Plus you’d have to give up prospects! They aren’t going to take Igawa, what drug is that person smoking? Igawa wouldn’t net us a bag of baseballs at this point.

  28. RhapsodyInBlue November 17th, 2008 at 8:51 am

    Giambi is a wooden indian at first.

  29. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 8:52 am

    I hear you, Turn Two. You never know on GM’s. As you said, some are stupid. But truth is at one time or another, they’re all stupid, including Cashman. It’s the ones who are smarter more often than they’re stupid who survive. The other guys either get fired or still have their job but nothing worth having to deal. FWIW, I’m not sure there is a lousy GM in the AL. Bowden is a stooge in the NL, but even he just plucked Olsen and Willingham in a salary dump.

    Anyways, I think Cash went after Swisher because he’s the type of player he likes. Switch hitter with patience at the plate, good in the field (provided it’s not the outfield), young, and a good attitude and presence.

  30. Mark in Tampa November 17th, 2008 at 8:55 am

    “Giambi was actually around league-average at 1B by most defensive metrics last season Pete.”

    Unless you actually watched him play. I can’t remember a play the last 5 years when Giambi handled the ball, that I wasn’t expecting something bad to happen. And, pickoff plays at first lately are just an invitation for any decent runner to take second on Giambi’s Damon-like arm.

  31. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 9:02 am

    “The dude is already owed 50 million”

    you say that as if thats a lot of money for a pitcher of his caliber.

    “Plus you’d have to give up prospects!”

    if you really think about it: Johan would have cost you Hughes and Kennedy, plus, and you get the best pitcher in the league, and Cashman passed.

    now, you can trade Hughes and Kennedy, plus, for Peavy, and then pair it with a Sabathia signing, and get 2 of the top 10-15 pitchers in the league for the same price in prospects… and in Peavy, get a more dependable arm than Burnett, and better quality innings than an aging Lowe.

    seems like a pretty good deal to me.

  32. Anthony November 17th, 2008 at 9:03 am

    I am getting so tired of the word “prospects” it’s not even funny. I’m not giving up on Hughes (though I think he needs a half a year or even a full year in Triple A) but I lost a lot of faith in Ian Kennedy and Melky Cabrera. Call me crazy, but I just don’t them as the Yankee’s future.

    In regards to Peavy, I don’t think Cashman would assemble a likely hughe package to get him. However, the idea of Sabathia, Peavy, Wang, Pettitte, and Chamberlain in the same rotaion makes me shiver. Besides Pettitte, that’d be your starting rotation for years to come.

    In regards to the line up… I refuse to believe that Nick Swisher will be our big offensive pick up. I also refuse to believe that Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher will be in the same line up. Also, who bats in front of Mr. Rodriguez? I think Cashman is working on something and if he’s not… that line up is going to have problems. I don’t think Damon is getting traded because the Yankees need a lead off hitter (Jeter is better in the two spot).

    Anybody else remember John Heyman reporting the Yankees had interest in Orlando Hudson playing CF? I’d be willing to try that out. The Yankees get more athletic and a hell of a lot faster. You could bat Hudson in the two spot and Jeter third.

  33. Gil L November 17th, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Peter A.,

    as one of those who turned on cano, i’d like to explain why.
    it’s not about being young and lack of patience.
    jeter was young, mo was young, jorge, andy ditto.
    none of them had ever displayed the lazy attitude that cano seems to have.
    the great yankees teams of recent years didn’t always have the most glittering names on the market. in fact, no yankee won a MVP during the championship run.
    but they had amazing grinding attitude, taking no game, no at-bat, for granted. paul oneil, brosius, tino etc.
    it was that attitude that won us championships.
    cano just doesn’t have it.

    i don’t want to get into the debate of when is a good time, if at all, to trade him, that’s not the point.

    you yourself reported that several veterans were upset at how much the kids were able to get away with last year.
    cano’s approach is damaging the team and its youth movement because of his bad example.

    are we ignoring his benching (very belated) as well? do you disagree with it? it wasn’t for slumping.

  34. 86w183 November 17th, 2008 at 9:07 am

    I find it hard to believe anyone prefers Lowe to Burnett. Lowe is one of those highly expensive Lowe risk, Lowe reward type of pickups that handicap a roster. Yes he’ll give you decent innings, but I don’t see him being much more effective in the AL than he was five years ago.

    While Burnett is the greater risk, he also offers a far greater reward with his talent.

    Additionally, Lowe would give the Yankees two sinkeballing right handers in the rotation which is not ideal. It’s also a bad for an infield with below average range to rely so heavily on ground ball pitchers. Burnett is a strikeout guy and gives the rotation a greater variety of looks.

  35. trisha - Mike Mussina is still in my 2009 starting rotation. CC will opt to be a Yankee. November 17th, 2008 at 9:08 am

    *off the topic but still baseball*

    I don’t know whether Pete has mentioned this book before but I am in the process of reading LIVING ON THE BLACK. It chronicles the 2007 seasons of Mike Mussina and Tom Glavine. I’m obviously learning things about both players I hadn’t known before (didn’t know Moose’s dad is a lawyer, nor that Glavine had wanted to go to Harvard). In any event, it is a great book.

    I am in love with Mike Mussina, with all of his quirks; with his bluntness, intellingence, his high integrity – even his moodiness. He is definitely a thinking person’s pitcher. But we all know about Moose’s great love for being badgered by the press. He isn’t Barry Bonds by any stretch of the imagination, but he definitely doesn’t seek out interviews! Well John Feinstein, the Times bestselling author who wrote the book, describes one of the times that Moose “true to his reputation,…did point out stupid questions.”

    He said they were in Shea Stadium in May and the Yankees were playing well under 500 ball. He was asking Moose questions and he said the answers he got were short and biting. He finally said to Moose “You’re not in a good mood today are you?”

    “He gave me a look I had by then become famililar with. ‘No, I’m in a great mood’ he said. ‘I’ve already been on the DL once this season, and I’m pitching right now like a solid Triple-A pitcher. My team sucks, and there’s no sign it is going to stop sucking anytime soon. Everyone wants my manager fired, the temperature is about forty degrees, it’s raining, and there are about five hundred people in the clubhouse right now wanting to ask me questions like, ‘So what do you think is wrong with you guys?’ Why SHOULDN’T I be in a bad mood?”

    Just thought I’d give shout out for the book. I highly recommend it for any Moose lover and actually for any Yankee fan.

    And finally, my plea for the day:

    *MOOSE, PLEASE COME BACK!”

    Good day everyone.

    :D

  36. John November 17th, 2008 at 9:10 am

    if X Nady is officially our RF…then who will our 3 hole hitter be?

  37. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 9:12 am

    “if X Nady is officially our RF…then who will our 3 hole hitter be?”

    I’d guess it’s Matsui.

  38. John November 17th, 2008 at 9:12 am

    by the way that john in the last email is not me

  39. John November 17th, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Matsui is not exactly a reliable 3 hitter, after all he has missed significant time the last few years to injury

  40. jay destro November 17th, 2008 at 9:14 am

    living on the black is a great book

  41. jay destro November 17th, 2008 at 9:14 am

    it also made me decide more so that moose will likely retire, that book gives a million reasons why moose would want to stay home with his kids and go out on top

  42. Mark in Tampa November 17th, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Yes, Cano was able to get away with not being prepared to play every game, or not being focussed, or whatever it was. That is his responsibility, but it is also the responsibility of the coaching staff to immmediately correct those actions, not to wait until September to bench him. Had Bernie Williams done that early in his career, Showalter would have addressed it right away. Had management handled Bernie like they have Cano, maybe the same things would have manifested themselves there. But, he became one of the most important players on 4 championship teams.

  43. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 9:19 am

    “I’d guess it’s Matsui.”

    id wonder if Jeter might be the best fit for the 3 hole, should Cashman not sign another bat.

    he hits well with RISP, and has always been able to drive in runs fairly efficiently.

    he’s a much more natural 2-hitter, but could certainly do the job in front of ARod if it came to that… then you could see Swisher bat 2nd, maybe? good OBP guys in front of ARod, Matsui, and Posada batting 4-5-6.

  44. pat November 17th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    A little golf, a little sun and a few Coronas with friends is always good but no recruiting this time please….

    “Jake Peavy was in Puerto Rico last week with Hoffman, Young and several other ballplayer friends, including ……the Yankees’ Derek Jeter.

    Another friend called Peavy to ask if he had heard that Peavy soon might be dealt to the Braves.
    Peavy’s response left one person present to conclude that Peavy, whose consent is needed for a trade, will not be going to Atlanta anytime soon, even if the Padres and Braves were to agree to a trade. “I think he wants to go to Chicago,” the friend said.”

    San Diego Union Tribune

  45. Joey's Poodle November 17th, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Gil L at 9:05 speaks my mind on Cano. I love his talent but despise his lollygagging.

    Trisha, I too have always really liked Mussina, with his ability to make pitching into chess instead of checkers and his intelligent, prickly wit. But I’ve been rooting for him to go out on his own terms, at the top of his game, and leaving them finally getting his humor and at last laughing instead of snarling at his quips.

  46. jennifer November 17th, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Peavy is afraid to pitch in the AL. That is enough of a reason not to trade for him.

  47. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Turn Two:

    I’d just hate to break Damon/Jeter at the top. Two OBP machine, who to me are the best tablesetting combo in the business. I think Matsui gives you close to what Abreu did. Matsui is a .301 career hitter with runners on and .300 career with RISP. With runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs, Matsui is a ridiculous .430 career hitter. He fits the bill to me.

  48. Tom November 17th, 2008 at 9:29 am

    “Do you think any trades for the Yankees will happen in the next few days do you think cc will sign with the yankees what pitchers do you think we will get we should get rid of arod he sucks”

    I didn’t know Benjy Compson is a Yankee fan.

  49. David Cone's Labrum November 17th, 2008 at 9:30 am

    can you includesome sensible questions, pete? Surely there are brighter bulbs out there. You’re making Yankee fans look moronic.

  50. Doreen November 17th, 2008 at 9:30 am

    trisha and jay -

    I loved the book as well. Jay, I am in complete agreement with you about the indications pointimg toward retirement. I hope he’s gonna come back, but especially after reading the book, you can see that Moose is not the guy who is going to pitch just to get an accolade. So we’ll find out soon…

  51. Doreen November 17th, 2008 at 9:35 am

    I don’t think he’s afraid. I think he doesn’t want to have to learn a new league.

    Just because a player does not want to sign with the Yankees doesn’t make him a coward or a bad person or anything like that. Think about your jobs – some people are always vying for the promotion or the “big case,” or the like. Some guys are very content doing a fantastic job with what they already have. No need to push further. It’s a lot less stressful and a lot of people have decided to forego the stress and there’s nothing wrong with that.

  52. SJ44 November 17th, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Anybody that wants to defend Giambi’s defensive abilities at first base, really needs to take a break from baseball and this blog for awhile.

    Its one thing to be fixated on numbers and believe they trump everything. That’s a discussion for another day.

    However, if you bothered to watch the games, he was awful at first base.

    Folks really have to take their heads out of the stat books and watch the games. When you do, you will actually learn something.

    I put in another vote for Living on the Black. An excellent read.

    Those who are fixiated by stats ought to read the book and learn what’s its like to actually play the game. Get a feel for what these guys go through on a daily basis.

    You will get a greater understanding of the game and about the players, after reading the book.

    As far as Peavy, he’s not coming to NY. He doesn’t want to play in NY, won’t waive his no trade to NY, and the Yankees have no intention of giving up A List Prospects, which is what it will take, and/or Cano, to get him.

    Its not going to happen. Discussing it is as useless as putting together trade packages for Albert Pujols.

  53. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 9:35 am

    “Matsui is a .301 career hitter with runners on and .300 career with RISP. With runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs, Matsui is a ridiculous .430 career hitter. He fits the bill to me.”

    i dont disagree that Matsui is prob the most likely candidate… but i just dont know how much he can be counted on going into the season.

  54. Mark in Tampa November 17th, 2008 at 9:38 am

    The Yanks could use some more offensively, but I think that a lot of the players they have coming back will be much better.

    Jeter: Looked awful for much of the year, but that was likely because of the hand injury. Looked like his old self towards the end of the year. Please figure out a way to stop getting hit on the hands.

    Posada: Probably won’t be ’07 numbers, but a return to ’05-’06 form can be expected.

    Arod: odd year, also should be recovered from his Kabbalah/Madonna “conversion”

    Cano: If the team has gotten through to him, his production should be through the roof.

    CF: Gardner should be able to adjust to ML pitching to at least a .330-.350 OBP, or whoever they put there should be better than last year’s production.

    Matsui: Still a wild card, but, if healthy, has to be more productive than last year.

    Of course, everything could go wrong again this year, but I think they will be much better just with what they have.

  55. duh November 17th, 2008 at 9:41 am

    what was this, the moron mailbag?

    how many idiotic questions can you possibly answer in one day?

    i actually feel sorry for you Pete, and commend you for answering many of these with a straight face.

    Carlos Gomez? to play first base?? trade arod? sign K-Rod?

    embarrassing.

  56. duh November 17th, 2008 at 9:44 am

    “I am getting so tired of the word “prospects” it’s not even funny. I’m not giving up on Hughes (though I think he needs a half a year or even a full year in Triple A) but I lost a lot of faith in Ian Kennedy and Melky Cabrera. Call me crazy, but I just don’t them as the Yankee’s future. ”

    Melky was never really a prospect, genius.

  57. no.27 November 17th, 2008 at 9:45 am

    If the Yankees don’t add anyone else to the lineup I think A-Rod should be the 3 hitter.

    Damon, Jeter, A-Rod, Matsui, Posada, Nady, Swisher, Cano, Gardner

    Just because the Yankees didn’t give up much for Swisher doesn’t mean he isn’t a decent trading chip. He doesn’t have a huge contract and he’s a switch hitter with power that gets a lot of walks and plays decent defense in the OF. I don’t think the Yankees will trade Cano, so Swisher is probably the most talented position player the Yankees would trade right now.

  58. miggs November 17th, 2008 at 9:46 am

    The team as currently constituted is best served having Matsui hit 3rd. Assuming he stays healthy, he will essentially duplicate or exceed Abreu’s numbers in terms of average, home runs, rbis, and runs scored. The only drawback is the fact that Matsui runs about as fast as a 90 year old woman and Abreu, although caught stealing a ton last year, could still run well.

    You can’t have a 3rd place hitter that isn’t going to hit more than 10 home runs. That Jeter suggestion was nice but highly unrealistic. You need some pop from your 3 hitter.

  59. Bronx Jeers November 17th, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Nest season’s lineup is sort of a riddle at this point isn’t it?

    The 3-4-5 part is the real problem. So much is riding on Matsui’s health. I hope he’s soaking those knees in some Japanese hot spring.

  60. Vrsce November 17th, 2008 at 9:48 am

    The mailbag is a great addition to the blog, thanks Pete.

    I also saw the gawker bit. You are going to the top, don’t forget to take your blog (and bloggers) with you.

  61. mel November 17th, 2008 at 9:50 am

    MVP’s to be announced at 2:00. Who’s your guys picks?

    Also, isn’t kind of weird of the Brewers GM to say that the Yankees overbid for CC? He’s right of course, but aren’t they still interested in signing CC? Dissing the FA is not the best way to woo him.

  62. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 9:51 am

    “Just because the Yankees didn’t give up much for Swisher doesn’t mean he isn’t a decent trading chip. He doesn’t have a huge contract and he’s a switch hitter with power that gets a lot of walks and plays decent defense in the OF”

    White Sox were rather loud in making Sswisher available and the bench player/B-list prospects combo was the best they could get. I’m not arguning the Yankees can’t get a bench player and/or B-list prospects back if they wanted to trade him. I’m arguing they won’t get a useful pitcher or everyday centerfielder for him.

  63. no.27 November 17th, 2008 at 9:52 am

    As much as the Yankees could improve with Matsui, Posada, and Cano having career average years, they are replacing 2 of the most productive hitters on the roster, Abreu and Giambi, with less talented players, Nady and Swisher. The only way the Yankees have a better offense than last year is if there are no major injuries.

  64. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 9:53 am

    “That Jeter suggestion was nice but highly unrealistic. You need some pop from your 3 hitter.”

    which is why the team is prob best served with ARod hitting 3rd, and Teixeira batting clean up :-)

  65. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 9:54 am

    “He’s right of course, but aren’t they still interested in signing CC? Dissing the FA is not the best way to woo him.”

    I wonder whether he’s dissing the Yankees moreso than CC. Saying a guy isn’t worth $140M while having a $100M offer on the table isn’t exactly a diss. Is it? I mean he IS acknowledging he’s worth $100M.

    Besides, as you say, he is right.

  66. Jason November 17th, 2008 at 9:55 am

    anyone have a clue when cc will sign

  67. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 9:56 am

    “anyone have a clue when cc will sign”

    probably his mom.

  68. Glenn November 17th, 2008 at 9:57 am

    If A.J. Burnett is not attainable, Derek Lowe will be OK to hold the fort until the next wave of young pitching is ready from the likes of Hughes, McAllsiter, Betances, or others.

  69. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Burnett? Maybe. Lowe? Definitely not. He’s old and is a groundball pitcher. Would you want another GB pitcher with the Yankees infield defense? I wouldn’t.

    Tex is definitely necessary to make up for the loss of Abreu and Giambi. I love Swisher as an addition but there’s more needed.

    I may be crazy or even naive, but I have a feeling that there could be a trade market for either Damon or Matsui (or even Nady)if they’re packaged with the right player. To be honest, I wouldn’t even want something great back…a B level prospect or two would be fine with me. Getting rid of one of them means clearing not only salary but an outfield spot for Swisher.

    If you move Damon or Matsui, whoever doesn’t get traded ends up as the DH, Nady can move back to left, and Swisher can play in right.

    Also, what does everyone think will happen to Nady after this year? I have a feeling he won’t be with the Yankees unless he has a year that mimics his first half of last year.

  70. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 10:02 am

    As for the NL MVP, it had damn well better be Pujols. If Ryan Howard steals it from him (again), I’ll be furious, though this will be far worse than 2006.

  71. bru November 17th, 2008 at 10:04 am

    although getting peavey is highly unlikely if all the planets align it is possible.

    just because people like myself would not wan’t it doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

    cashman has been talking to the sd gm about peavey for a while.

    sd does not wan’t to take on salary so a nice package of prospects might do it.it just seems fishy that when trade talks break down with atlanta and other teams peavey will all of a sudden play for the yankees.

    money talks peeps.

  72. duh November 17th, 2008 at 10:04 am

    “Besides, as you say, he is right.”

    actually, he’s not right.

    the Yankees aren’t overbidding. they bid just a hair over Santana’s contract.

    Sabathia will get that contract. that is a given.

    Santana was never a true free agent, so the Mets gave up four prospects and that contract.

    it’s unreasonable to think Sabathia would get less.

  73. 86w183 November 17th, 2008 at 10:05 am

    I still predict Abreu, stunned by the lack of willingness for anyone to give him three years accepts arbitration, creating a bit of a talent jogjam that requires Damon to play CF.

    Damon 8
    Jeter 6
    Abreu 9
    ARod 5
    Matsui DH
    Nady 7
    Cano 4
    Posada 2
    Swisher 3

    Not too terrible… Cabrera and/or Gardner offer bench support and late inning defense. Need a RH bat to play some 1B and DH on occasion.

    But I’d still rather sign Teixiera!

  74. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 10:06 am

    “I may be crazy or even naive, but I have a feeling that there could be a trade market for either Damon or Matsui (or even Nady)if they’re packaged with the right player.”

    there’s a market for Damon, but you need to recognize how much he means to the top of the lineup, and then have something lined up and ready to go to fill in once he’s gone.

  75. duh November 17th, 2008 at 10:06 am

    “Also, what does everyone think will happen to Nady after this year? I have a feeling he won’t be with the Yankees unless he has a year that mimics his first half of last year.”

    tough to say. but Matt Holliday will be a free agent next year.

    having Nady as a 1 year solution is important. it allows the Yankees to not commit 3 years to Abreu.

    sometimes you have to make moves like that.

  76. no.27 November 17th, 2008 at 10:06 am

    I didn’t say that Swisher by himself could get the Yankees a pitcher or a centerfielder. But if you include a bullpen guy like Bruney, Gardner, and a pitcher like Kennedy I think that could bring in someone to improve CF or get a reliable 4th starter.

  77. Laura - Ready for '09 November 17th, 2008 at 10:09 am

    –Also, isn’t kind of weird of the Brewers GM to say that the Yankees overbid for CC? He’s right of course, but aren’t they still interested in signing CC? Dissing the FA is not the best way to woo him.

    It was weird and stupid. He said that the Yankees should have bid $110mil since MIL bid $100mil. Well, that’s not more than Santana is making, is it? He clearly is missing the point. The point of our offer was to woo CC by making him the highest paid pitcher in baseball. An offer of $110mil doesn’t get that done.

    I don’t have a problem with the $140 offer. I will, however, have a problem if it goes much higher than that.

  78. mel November 17th, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Squints,

    Of the names bandied about:

    Damon
    Matsui
    Swisher
    Nady

    Nady is the most likely to go. Damon is valuable to us because he’s our leadoff guy. One of the best, actually. Matsui doesn’t have trade value and I think the Yankees would honor his contract until the end. If he’s healthy and hits 30HR/100RBI he might even be signed to a very short (1 yr. deal). We just got Swisher. Yes, he’s a reclamation project, but he’s got great upside and helps us get Y&MA (younger and more athletic). As a bonus, he can actually turn 2! His trade value didn’t increase much since last week.

    Now the outfield that we project on any given day is not silver bullet/gold glove caliber, but lest we forget there’s a dearth of good CF players out there. Having Matsui, Damon, Nady, Swisher, and Gardner to fill your outfield will give Girardi a lot of flexibility (and probably a headache) when filling out the lineup card.

    Not much of a future with the Yankees because he should be able to get a nice contract somewhere and we’ve got (I hear) Jackson on the way.

  79. Laura - Ready for '09 November 17th, 2008 at 10:12 am

    –there’s a market for Damon, but you need to recognize how much he means to the top of the lineup, and then have something lined up and ready to go to fill in once he’s gone.

    I’d prefer to keep Damon, but if he were to be moved, we could put Jeter back up top. If memory serves, he was a pretty decent leadoff guy for the Yanks before Damon arrived.

  80. Bronx Jeers November 17th, 2008 at 10:13 am

    “anyone have a clue when cc will sign”

    ——————————————————————-

    “When” is no problem. It’s the “If” that frightens me.

  81. Laura - Ready for '09 November 17th, 2008 at 10:15 am

    –Matsui doesn’t have trade value and I think the Yankees would honor his contract until the end.

    Maybe it’s just me, but if I were another AL team, I’d love to have Matsui in my lineup. This business about his trade value being non-existent because of his knee surgeries does hold some weight. However, I think that there’s a greater chance of him returning to his former self than there is that Jorge is going to have some monster season. I want to keep Matsui, but I just don’t buy this “nobody else wants him” argument.

  82. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 10:16 am

    “I’d prefer to keep Damon, but if he were to be moved, we could put Jeter back up top. If memory serves, he was a pretty decent leadoff guy for the Yanks before Damon arrived.”

    but then who is batting 2nd/3rd?

    idk, i feel as though they’ve lost enough offense where they cant afford to lose Damon, unless you’re signing a middle of the order type bat to help score some runs.

  83. Buddy Biancalana November 17th, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Wow, that mailbag was brutal. I would rather read about another trisha/Nick in SF squabble, they are way more entertaining.

  84. mel November 17th, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Oops. Meant to say that Nady doesn’t have much of a future.

    MVP? Tough to call, but I’d say Howard and Pedroia.

    Howard had a hot September to help edge out the Mets in a tight NL East race. Pedroia by default. Even though he had a horrible postseason, he had a great year on both sides of the ball and helped keep the team afloat while Papi was trying to sink it.

  85. bru November 17th, 2008 at 10:18 am

    if we can get tex for 6 yrs/120 million depending on what teams offer him we should trade nady,kennedy & others for a centerfielder & move swish to right field.

    signing abraeu would be going backwards as far as getting younger & more athletic.

    trading nady,kennedy & prospect(s) for a cf,signing tex & moving swish to rf in addition to getting our pitchers would fix all of our problems,on paper at least.

  86. Laura - Ready for '09 November 17th, 2008 at 10:20 am

    –but then who is batting 2nd/3rd?

    Possbily whomever we got back from the Damon trade. It’s impossible to make out a lineup card now because Cash hasn’t finished wheelin’ and dealin’. My point was that losing Damon would not be the end of the world in terms of the number one spot in the lineup.

  87. Laura - Ready for '09 November 17th, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Um, that should be *possibly*.

  88. mel November 17th, 2008 at 10:21 am

    I realize there aren’t that many AL MVP choices this year, but I’ll throw something at the wall if K-rod gets any 1st or 2nd place votes.

  89. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 10:21 am

    “there’s a market for Damon, but you need to recognize how much he means to the top of the lineup, and then have something lined up and ready to go to fill in once he’s gone.”

    Derek Jeter could lead off. Go look up his splits for leading off an inning, leading off the game, and batting in the first spot. They’re great.

    “tough to say. but Matt Holliday will be a free agent next year.

    having Nady as a 1 year solution is important. it allows the Yankees to not commit 3 years to Abreu.

    sometimes you have to make moves like that.”

    I think Matt Holliday’s year in Oakland will be a giant AL tryout. If he does well, he’ll score himself a big contract. If not, he’ll be Andruw Jones Part 2.

    Even with declining offense last year, Abreu was still better at the plate than Nady. Obviously the Swisher move eliminates Abreu, but I think the haste to be rid of him is misplaced.

    Mel–I agree with you. I think Nady has the most value in a trade, even though he ended the year on a cold streak last year. If he were to be moved, I’d be very happy with Damon/Matsui doing a LF/DH “platoon” and Swisher playing in right every day. Without checking, I believe good ol’ SG @ RLYW said that Swisher projects best defensively in right.

  90. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 10:22 am

    “I want to keep Matsui, but I just don’t buy this “nobody else wants him” argument”

    Wouldn’t say nobody wants him, but the return would be minimal. Minor league roster filler most likely. He’s probably worth more to the Yankees than what he brings back in trade.

  91. Chas November 17th, 2008 at 10:23 am

    These are some of the dumbest questions especially trying to get something for almost nothing. Signing away at all the free agents like they have limitless pockets of money and entitlement. And yeah, I’m not happy about the price of concessions at the stadium. One of these days, I’m hoping that they’ll be like the Angels and offer their fans a break on SOMETHING.

  92. rover November 17th, 2008 at 10:23 am

    I must admit that watching a flame thrower destroy hitter after hitter gets the adrenaline flowing. However,my greatest joy comes from watching guys never blessed with a 99 mph pitch, take apart a lineup by pitching and all that ecompasses.
    I think Moose can if he wants be a very effective guy in the rotation. He has evolved I suppose into a true pitcher.He uses every weapon he has, occasionally hitting 89 an once or twice 90.
    I think if it were a one year decision, he would already have said he would be back, (a ring and 300) being the only likely reasons to do so. The ring could happen in a season, 300 likely could take three years. He has stated its a three year decision for him.
    Either way, if and when Moose hangs them up. I for one will miss his performances, likely more than any other. I hope for my sake he comes back, for his sake whatever it is he decides.

  93. Y's Guy November 17th, 2008 at 10:24 am

    i may be in the minority but i LOVE what cash money’s doing with this team. 2 SP’s and a cf and he’s basically done.
    damon, jeter, cano/nady, arod, mastui/posada, swisher, cf. thats your batting order.
    c.c., wang, lowe, joba, petitte, hughes, kennedy, coke as SP’s and basically the same BP pitching fewer innings.
    cano has to step up (and will) and they need a healthy matsui and posada. payroll drops around $25M.
    i think im going to like the 2009 yankees alot more than the 2008 model.

  94. pat November 17th, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Someone asked how much Rasner could make in Japan, here’s the answer from Tyler’s NYT Blog:

    “Rasner will make a guaranteed $1.2 million for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, with the chance to earn $3.5 million over two years, according to his agent, Matt Sosnick. It’s probably three times the maximum he would make over here.”

  95. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 10:26 am

    “MVP? Tough to call, but I’d say Howard and Pedroia.

    Howard had a hot September to help edge out the Mets in a tight NL East race. Pedroia by default. Even though he had a horrible postseason, he had a great year on both sides of the ball and helped keep the team afloat while Papi was trying to sink it.”

    If Howard wins this award on the strength of one month, then my top will just blow. Howard was third on his own TEAM in VORP. I know it’s a flawed stat, but think about that. He was the third most valuable player on his team. Pujols was more valuable than any player. In baseball. Period. Howard has the edge in homers and runs batted in. That’s it. Pujols wipes the floor with him in everything else.

    As for Rogaine…meh. I guess. The field is wide open. I’d love to see Joe Mauer get it, but I think that could be a long shot.

    Youk and Pedroia might take votes away from each other, though. If he hadn’t gotten hurt, Quinten would still be in the discussion as well, along with Hamilton if he didn’t put up a relatively poor second half. Rodriguez should be in consideration (despite some not so great WPA numbers), but it’ll probably be someone from Boston’s right side.

    Speaking of Boston, it’ll be very interesting to see what they do with Varitek and in turn, what the Yankees will do when their captain’s contract is up. I have a feeling Theo will be more cold blooded than Brian.

  96. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 10:31 am

    “damon, jeter, cano/nady, arod, mastui/posada, swisher, cf. thats your batting order. ”

    Putting Cano or Nady (low OBP guys) in front of A Rod would be stupid. If that’s your roster, your lineup should look like this:

    Damon
    Jeter
    Swisher
    Rodriguez
    Posada
    Matsui
    Nady
    Cano
    Gardner/Cabrera

    Damon, Jeter, and Swisher are all good hitters with good eyes to get on base for Rodriguez. Hiding the low OBP guys at the bottom of the order will definitely help the team. Who knows? There may even be a surprise good on base guy (Gardner) at the bottom of the lineup to set the table for the top.

  97. mel November 17th, 2008 at 10:32 am

    pat,

    Thanks for that. Great move for Rasner. And people were wondering why he’d give up the MLB. There’s the answer. To quote the great Sprewell, he’s got a family to feed.

    Squints,

    Nov. 5th espn rumors had an entry saying Varitek was looking for a Posada-type deal. Nov. 16th espn rumors said he wasn’t looking for a Posada-type deal. He “wants” less years. That sets up a return to Boston on a short contract. Let’s face it. There’s Varitek. And Pudge. And Varitek. And Pudge. Not a lot out there. He knows their staff, works great with the young pitchers, and is an easy out for the Yankees.

  98. Jeff November 17th, 2008 at 10:32 am

    There are a lot of idiots who are asking dumb questions, clearly.

  99. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 10:34 am

    If Varitek thinks he’s going to get a Posada type deal out of the Sox, then he is very, very unintelligent. I’m sure he’ll be back in Boston, though.

  100. Joey's Poodle November 17th, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Pete A.,

    Thanks for the mailbag. Anybody who reads here regularly must recognize that the cogency of the questions and comments you publish in the mailbags is always way above the average for any thread. I know the triage process must be a pain but probably affords a few big laughs as well. The norm here is one intelligent post out of about 20, going to maybe as high as one in 10 on a really good day when your star contributors are active. So you had to sort through a lot of dreck to assemble a list you could use at all. Thanks for the effort. I know you were the kid who said, “There must be a pony in here somewhere!”

  101. rover November 17th, 2008 at 10:35 am

    I have read somewhere along the line that Jeters hand was broken this last year. Never read that in an official document, can someone confirm that or something. Curious, not that pain levels would be hughely different.

  102. duh November 17th, 2008 at 10:38 am

    “Even with declining offense last year, Abreu was still better at the plate than Nady. Obviously the Swisher move eliminates Abreu, but I think the haste to be rid of him is misplaced. ”

    not really. he’s 35 and wants a 3 year deal.

    he was also the worst defensive RF in the AL last year.

    the difference between Abreu and Nady, when including defense, is small.

    if Abreu were willing to come back for 1 year, that would be fine.

    but there is absolutely no logic to bringing Abreu back for 3 years at market rates. none.

  103. Y's Guy November 17th, 2008 at 10:38 am

    i dont see the need to nail down the #3 spot in november, thats why i put it generally. they go to camp and swisher, cano, nady fight it out for the higher spots and maybe you platoon them like manual does with victorino and werth.
    and girardi should be challenging cano to step up and show that he can be a #3 guy that its there for him if he grabs it.
    anyway thats 8 solid hitter and a solid 1-8 SP’s. defense is improved at rf and 1b with cf yet to be determined.

  104. CB November 17th, 2008 at 10:39 am

    “Giambi was actually around league-average at 1B by most defensive metrics last season Pete.”

    I have no idea what “metrics” this is referring to but the best data on fielding strongly affirms what everyone’s eyes were telling them last year – Giambi was awful defensively. Horrendous.

    The two best systems for defensive statistics are probably John Dewan’s +/- system and David Pinto’s Probabilistic Model of Range. Both systems showed Giambi to have been terrible defensively.

    By John Dewan’s +/- system Giambi was the second worst defensive 1b in baseball trailing only Mike Jacobs. Giambi made 18 fewer plays than a league average 1b. That’s horrible.

    By David Pinto’s probabilistic model of range, Giambi was the third worst defensive 1b in baseball – only Jacobs and Garett Atkins were worse. Giambi was around 17 runs worse than a league average 1b. 17 runs. That’s mean Giambi’s glove lost the yankees between 1.5 to 2 wins. Unacceptable.

    And even zone rating showed Giambi to be considerably below average. BY ZR Giambi was 8 runs worse than an average 1b.

    Defensive statistics can have a lot of variation in them. But when they all move in unison they can be very helpful.

    And what the statistics show is that Giambi was an awful first baseman – far, far worse than league average. Those statistics also show that Giambi’s defense negated much of his bat.

  105. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 10:39 am

    “not really. he’s 35 and wants a 3 year deal.

    he was also the worst defensive RF in the AL last year.

    the difference between Abreu and Nady, when including defense, is small.

    if Abreu were willing to come back for 1 year, that would be fine.

    but there is absolutely no logic to bringing Abreu back for 3 years at market rates. none.”

    Yeah, a “long” term deal with Abreu wouldn’t make much sense. The Swisher trade effectively ended the Abreu “era” in New York.

  106. pat November 17th, 2008 at 10:40 am

    “I know you were the kid who said, “There must be a pony in here somewhere!”

    Joey’s Poodle

    Thanks for that. That was one of my Dad’s favorite jokes to tell us when we were little kids.

  107. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 10:42 am

    “i dont see the need to nail down the #3 spot in november, thats why i put it generally. they go to camp and swisher, cano, nady fight it out for the higher spots and maybe you platoon them like manual does with victorino and werth.
    and girardi should be challenging cano to step up and show that he can be a #3 guy that its there for him if he grabs it.
    anyway thats 8 solid hitter and a solid 1-8 SP’s. defense is improved at rf and 1b with cf yet to be determined.”

    I’m not a huge fan of what Manuel did with them, even though I was rooting for them. Sidebar: does anyone else get the impression that Jayson Werth is NOT an everyday player?

    Challenge Cano all you want, that doesn’t mean he’s going to instantly get a better batting eye. Sadly, I don’t think that’s ever going to come. He’s gotta get more consistent in the field. At times he was brilliant, at times…not so much.

    Nady is not a three hole hitter. He doesn’t walk enough and he strikes out too much to be effective in front of A-Rod. Swisher’s a patient guy who will give Rodriguez ample RBI opportunities.

  108. rover November 17th, 2008 at 10:43 am

    I like Abreu, but then whatever. Just don’t put the dude in a position to beat us. He would me thinks!

  109. jennifer November 17th, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Hey Albert said it himself in 2006 that a player shouldn’t get it if his team didn’t make the playoffs. So I wonder if he wins if he’ll give it back and hand it over to Howard. HMMMM Albert sometimes statements come back to bite you huh?

  110. duh November 17th, 2008 at 10:53 am

    “Sidebar: does anyone else get the impression that Jayson Werth is NOT an everyday player?”

    Werth = Nady

  111. Laura - Ready for '09 November 17th, 2008 at 10:54 am

    –He’s probably worth more to the Yankees than what he brings back in trade.

    I hope that’s true because I’ve always liked the dude and would like for him to finish out his US career here with us.

  112. West Coast Guy November 17th, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Don’t count on CC putting on Pinstripes. He is his own man, knows what he likes, has a sense of obligation to those who have been good to him, values the lifestyle of his choice and all of those things indicative of excellent character. This suggests to me that he will make his decision based on other than where the biggest pile of gold is. IMO, it’s less than 50-50, Lebron James’ assurances notwithstanding. Further, it will not go down quickly.

  113. duh November 17th, 2008 at 10:55 am

    “HMMMM Albert sometimes statements come back to bite you huh?”

    who cares what he said? he’s not a voter.

    Pujols not winning the MVP would be absurd.

  114. Brandon (TEIX IS NOT WORTH IT, GET CC !)..."Don't trade Robi !" November 17th, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Andrew Marchant has heard through sources that CC Sabathia is not going to let this drag out he may have the ink on the paper by the end of this week. He’s said to want to make a decision before Thanksgiving.

  115. Rob L. November 17th, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Cano is our 3 hole hitter next year.

  116. Y's Guy November 17th, 2008 at 10:58 am

    so let me get this straight squints. howard is overrated and only had one good month, werth doesnt deserve to wear an mlb uni, and obviously charlie manual isnt as smart as you are?
    that about it?

  117. Mike from CT November 17th, 2008 at 11:00 am

    any idea on when this CC thing shoudl get signed? Its been a few days and I haven’t heard about any other teams even approaching that number, has anyone heard/ready anything that might suggest this will happen soon?

  118. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 11:09 am

    “who cares what he said? he’s not a voter.

    Pujols not winning the MVP would be absurd.”

    Exactly. I’m gonna put the numbers out there, just so I can further drive this point home.

    Basic stats for Pujols: .339/.462/.653/1.115, 37 homers, 116 batted in.
    Basic stats for Howard: .251/.339/.543/.882, 48 homers, 146 batted in. Homers and RBIs do not an MVP make. Take away all of Pujols’ walks and HBPs, and he still got on base at the same rate as Howard.

    Let’s go with some advanced stats, shall we?
    EQA (works on the same scale as batting average):
    AP:.367
    RH:.289

    Batting Runs Above Replacement/Average:
    AP: 98/82
    RH: 45/24

    Fielding Runs Above Replacement/Average:
    AP: 24/13
    RH: 0/-14

    Wins Above Replacement Level 1 (Adjusted for Season Only):
    AP: 13
    RH: 5.0

    VORP:
    AP: 96.8 (first in all of baseball)
    RH: 35.3 (57th in baseball behind guys like: Mark DeRosa, Ryan Doumit, and Cristian Guzman)

    Someone, please, tell me how in the name of Zeus’s butthole is Ryan Howard more valuable than Albert Pujols. I’d like to hear it.

  119. Brandon (TEIX IS NOT WORTH IT, GET CC !)..."Don't trade Robi !" November 17th, 2008 at 11:11 am

    “any idea on when this CC thing shoudl get signed?”

    I’m not going to repeat myself.

  120. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 11:12 am

    “Cano is our 3 hole hitter next year.”

    Then the offense will suffer greatly, unless Kevin Long teaches him the value of a walk.

    “so let me get this straight squints. howard is overrated and only had one good month, werth doesnt deserve to wear an mlb uni, and obviously charlie manual isnt as smart as you are?
    that about it?”

    1. I never said Howard was overrated, he just doesn’t deserve to win MVP over Pujols who is the best person at hitting a baseball on planet earth.

    2. I never said Werth didn’t deserve to wear an MLB uni, I just get the feeling that he’s not an every day player. He strikes me as more of a platoon guy, unless he can start to hit RHP better.

    3. I like Charlie Manuel, I just didn’t agree with what he kept doing with Victorino and Werth, that’s all.

    Please, stop putting words in my mouth.

  121. 89 November 17th, 2008 at 11:12 am

    I’m not into defamation or deriding anyone…

    but I hate fans like John.

    Absolutely no concept of reasonable spending, team character and cohesion, etc.

    wow…does he want the Yankees to be considered a joke?

  122. ANSKY November 17th, 2008 at 11:13 am

    I can’t believe how much people have come to doubt Matsui’s reliability.

    Before he had his knee problems the only thing that ever kept him out of a game was a broken wrist. The knee problems were just cartlidge, both times. First time around he probably should have done both knees at once but for whatever reason he opted not to. IMO that was a mistake, as it dragged out the process of geting both kneees better by a whole year. I believe he will go back to being reliable.

    OK so he’s not going to be a track star, but some of you guys sound like you almost equate him to Carl Pavano and that’s just wrong.

  123. Rob November 17th, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Pete, is there any reason that you think CC will sign with the Yanks? Is it a gut feeling, do you have inside info, is it a reasonable deduction, all or some of the above?

    Personally, my gut tells me that if he receives a reasonable offer from a west coast team, even if for less $, that he will sign. He doesn’t appear the type to need a record-breaking contract and would be happier in the NL and a more laid back environment.

  124. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 11:16 am

    “Someone, please, tell me how in the name of Zeus’s butthole is Ryan Howard more valuable than Albert Pujols.”

    Howard’s season helped guide the Phillies to a World Series victory.

    With Pujols’s grand season, the Cardinals finished in 4th place. whoopee!

    now, the central argument, as it always comes down to this, is what are you voting for as MVP: best stats from a player, or a player who was the most valuable in terms of the overall success of a team that season?

  125. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 11:17 am

    “OK so he’s not going to be a track star, but some of you guys sound like you almost equate him to Carl Pavano”

    Not me. I think Pavano is definitely faster than Matsui. ;)

    Generally agree, Ansky. With new and improved knees and a full time DH gig, Matsui should be able to stay healthy and effective.

  126. Bill November 17th, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Hey Pete,

    I agree with most of your comments, but in terms of trading for Peavy is he really in a position to demand much more than his 5th year be guaranteed. Currently he is signed through 2012 with a 22M team option for 2013. I always assumed that if we did trade for Peavy that it would simply be a matter of guaranteeing that last year. Wouldn’t an extra year and 22M be enough or do you think he would push for another year on top of that? I imagine most teams in the hunt for particularly the NL teams like Atlanta probably would not even guarantee that 5th year. I think 1 year and 22M is enough compensation to switch leagues, but that’s just me.

    One more thing you mentioned in another post that it is possible that the Yankees may be looking to sign all three of CC, Burnett, and Lowe leaving Pettitte out of the picture. If we can sign CC, Burnett, and Lowe wouldn’t we have the money to sign CC, Teixeira, and Pettitte? That would leave a spot open in the rotation, but perhaps we could go to a lower cost option such as Jon Garland or even trade for Peavy who is due 8M in 2009. I know Cash and co. is dead set on improving the rotation, but do we really need to sign guys like Lowe and Burnett to multi-year deals for at least 15M per year to be a #3 starter? Teixeira seems like a much better investment given that he’ll give you at least 30 HR, 100 RBIs and outstanding defense pretty much every year of his deal.

    To me CC and Teixeira are the only top free agents worthy of big time deals. Burnett and Lowe both come with a lot of risk due to injury concerns (Burnett) and a league switch (Lowe). And given the economy I think a lot of the mid-tier free agents (like a Jon Garland) are going to be bargains as no one can afford to overpay for them like we’ve seen in the past.

  127. Irabu's Son November 17th, 2008 at 11:21 am

    If Matsui is the #3 hitter next year, here’s how a lot of first innings will play out:

    1 Damon singles. 2 Jeter strikes out looking. 3 Matsui GIDP 4-6-3.

    or

    1. Damon lines out. 2 Jeter singles. 3 Matsui GIDP 4-6-3.

    Alex would be hitting with the bases empty an awful lot.

  128. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 11:22 am

    “2. I never said Werth didn’t deserve to wear an MLB uni, I just get the feeling that he’s not an every day player. He strikes me as more of a platoon guy, unless he can start to hit RHP better.”

    100% agree. Werth’s a 4th OF.

  129. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 11:22 am

    “Howard’s season helped guide the Phillies to a World Series victory.

    With Pujols’s grand season, the Cardinals finished in 4th place. whoopee!

    now, the central argument, as it always comes down to this, is what are you voting for as MVP: best stats from a player, or a player who was the most valuable in terms of the overall success of a team that season?”

    So it wasn’t Chase Utley’s great year or Cole Hamels having easily his best season? It was all Ryan Howard? Howard was the third most valuable player on his team behind Utley and Rollins (who both contributed excellent defense, by the way). He was also third on his own team in EQA behind Utley and Burrell (where does everyone think he’ll land?) Pujols shouldn’t be punished for not having as good a team behind him.

    As for the other part of your question, usually the guy who puts up the best numbers is the most valuable–but of course, there are other things to take into consideration, like position.

  130. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 11:24 am

    “f Matsui is the #3 hitter next year, here’s how a lot of first innings will play out:

    1 Damon singles. 2 Jeter strikes out looking. 3 Matsui GIDP 4-6-3.

    or

    1. Damon lines out. 2 Jeter singles. 3 Matsui GIDP 4-6-3.

    Alex would be hitting with the bases empty an awful lot.”

    LOL. I don’t think it’d be quite that bad, but I don’t like Matsui in the three spot either.

  131. bodhisattva November 17th, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Y’s Guy
    November 17th, 2008 at 10:38 am
    i dont see the need to nail down the #3 spot in november, thats why i put it generally. they go to camp and swisher, cano, nady fight it out for the higher spots and maybe you platoon them like manual does with victorino and werth.
    and girardi should be challenging cano to step up and show that he can be a #3 guy that its there for him if he grabs it.
    anyway thats 8 solid hitter and a solid 1-8 SP’s. defense is improved at rf and 1b with cf yet to be determined.”

    The 3-hole is something of an issue, with Abreu gone. Cano is an aggressive hitter, and I wouldn’t want to mess too much with that. I saw a great improvement with his patience down the stretch, however. His approach when he goes to the plate is to find a pitch he can hit; he’s never going up there to work a walk, which is fine. The guy has unbelievable hand-eye and can get to pitches other guys can’t (similar to Vlad), which is why he doesn’t strike out that much.

    I agree with you that he has to be promoted, and I do think that some of his OBP troubles have come from him batting so low in the order with zero protection, that he was getting trash to hit. Why would any sane pitcher throw this kid a strike when he doesn’t have to with him batting seventh? And yet, batting low in the order in 2007, he managed 97 RBI.

    I think he should bat 5th for now. He’d be able to be aggressive there, and he’d have awesome protection. It is absolutely imperative that Girardi take advantage of this kid’s awesome bat, and I think we’ll see that this season.

  132. Aaron November 17th, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Wow that last post was hilarious. Anyway im still very high on Cano and think trading him will be a big mistake. Its players like him and Gardner that keep baseball fun.

  133. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 11:29 am

    “Pujols shouldn’t be punished for not having as good a team behind him.”

    but thats your opinion of the argument, which is up for interpretation. just because you feel the player with the best stats should win doesnt mean that is the way the MVP should be decided.

    “So it wasn’t Chase Utley’s great year or Cole Hamels having easily his best season? It was all Ryan Howard?”

    noone would say they didnt have a stake in the WS run, but like he seemingly always does, Howard put together his best statistical month in the last month of the season, to get the Phillies the divisional title and playoff birth.

    to the voters, what players do the last month of the season often determines who wins the MVP.

    now is that right or wrong? thats a whole other discussion.

  134. Wave Your Hat November 17th, 2008 at 11:31 am

    “Why would any sane pitcher throw this kid [Cano] a strike when he doesn’t have to with him batting seventh? ”

    Why would any pitcher throw Cano a strike wherever Cano hit?

  135. CB November 17th, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Today is a big day for the baseball writer’s association, especially after the the NL Rookie of the Year award where 3 writer’s voted for Volquez even though he wasn’t a rookie and the AL Cy Young where 3 writer’s left Roy Halladay off their CY Young ballots.

    If Pujols doesn’t win the MVP today it will be an absolute travesty. And if he loses to Howard, a vastly inferior player who was not even MVP of his own team, that will make it even more of an embarrassment.

    Squints has outlined how incredible Pujols was with the bat this year. But to put Pujols numbers in context – compare his numbers this year to Ted Williams’numbers from the peak of his career – 42, 46-’51. Not quite at that same level, but they aren’t that far off. That’s what Pujols is right now – the contemporary Ted Williams. He’s that good.

    But all of this discussion about Pujols bat tends to do him a big disservice. Granted, he’s the best hitter in the game. But his bat is so good it becomes very easy to forget what a brilliant defensive player Pujols is.

    Pujols was around 25-30 runs better than a league average 1b defensively. That’s the equivalent of adding 25-30 RBI’s to his output at the plate. He’s one of the best defensive players in baseball regardless of position.

    Howard is a poor defensive player – around 10 rund worse than a league average 1b.

    So on top of being the far better offensive player, Pujols is the far better defensive player – he’s 35-45 runs better with the glove than Howard. That’s an enormous difference – 3-4 wins over the course of a season.

    There is just no comparison between Pujols and Howard.

    When you take into consideration offense and defense no player in baseball – not ARod, Manny, or Hanley Ramirez – is close to Pujols right now.

  136. bodhisattva November 17th, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Squints

    “Challenge Cano all you want, that doesn’t mean he’s going to instantly get a better batting eye. Sadly, I don’t think that’s ever going to come. He’s gotta get more consistent in the field. At times he was brilliant, at times…not so much.”

    Guess you didn’t watch the stretch run, when Cano became far more discriminating at the plate, and was working the count, waiting for his pitch, which he often got and drilled.

    To say that a better batting eye is not in the guy’s future is a profoundly short-sighted statement; do you understand what kind of talent you’re dismissing, here? Do you know where this guy has batted in the order? Do you understand that pitchers can throw garbage to an aggressive hitter who has no protection? Cano’s never going to be Bobby Abreu. He is up there to get a pitch he likes. That doesn’t mean his batting eye is forsaken. Really!

  137. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 11:34 am

    “but thats your opinion of the argument, which is up for interpretation. just because you feel the player with the best stats should win doesnt mean that is the way the MVP should be decided.”

    Which is fair enough to say, but how do we determine value? By…statistics.

    “noone would say they didnt have a stake in the WS run, but like he seemingly always does, Howard put together his best statistical month in the last month of the season, to get the Phillies the divisional title and playoff birth.

    to the voters, what players do the last month of the season often determines who wins the MVP.

    now is that right or wrong? thats a whole other discussion.”

    So one good month is enough to get the MVP? That’s total BS. Let’s put that into another context…say I take 9 tests in a math class and do average or below average for 8 of them. If I hit the 9th one out of the park (pun intended), should that one suddenly get weighed more than the other 8 and give me an A+ for the year? Absolutely not. So, why is it acceptable for baseball? It definitely should not be.

  138. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 11:35 am

    “I saw a great improvement with his patience down the stretch, however”

    Yet the numbers defy this. He walked twice in his last 140 plate appearances and saw fewer pitches per PA in Septmeber (3.24)than he did on the year (3.35).

  139. Kill.Schill(ing) November 17th, 2008 at 11:36 am

    PETE, you scurrilous liar. Tell them the truth. Minka Kelly is serving you drinks. Jetes a generous guy, come on.

    We know she’s only on loan while the SS completes the final Edge commercial before the stock drops below $1.00.

  140. ANSKY November 17th, 2008 at 11:37 am

    “ ‘Cano is our 3 hole hitter next year.’ Then the offense will suffer greatly, unless Kevin Long teaches him the value of a walk. ”

    ****************************

    If you bat Cano third, A-Rod is the guy coming up after him. Who did Cano have batting after him last year? Melky? Pudge? Molina? Given that feeble-hitting protection, why would any pitcher have given him anything good to hit?

    That he has to learn to take walks is only part of it. With A-Rod coming up after him, he should be more patient and pitchers will be a little less willing to miss the strike zone.

    I’ve always thought in the off season he should work like a madman on his swing and his eye because he’s been so much better when he gets in his notorious 2nd half groove. If he’s doing that work at home now w/Kevin Long and his dad, then great. If he comes into the seaosn with his swing in tune rather than waiting for it to come around in July, then we’re more likely to have a situation where he IS more patient and pitchers ARE a little less willing to miss the strike zone with A-Rod on deck. This would only help Jeter too, assuming he’s batting in the two spot.

    He’s gotten his butt kicked for lack of hustle and focus. Hopefully that’s a lesson learned. He couldn’t get worse than he was this past year. The question is, how much better can he be? Joe Torre once said he was reminded of Rod Carew when he saw Cano hit. I want to see what he can show us with a good year. Hopefully the work and the butt kicking will bring that out in him.

    Damon-Jeter-Cano-A-Rod-Matsui-Posada-Nady-Swisher would be a respectable first eight batters. I would mix Matsui-Posada-Nady around to see what works best too. Also it kind of depends on who’d playing the OF positions and if Molina’s doing the catching instead of Posada.

  141. Temple of Doom November 17th, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Are Eliza Dusku’s hooters real?

  142. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 11:39 am

    “Guess you didn’t watch the stretch run, when Cano became far more discriminating at the plate, and was working the count, waiting for his pitch, which he often got and drilled.

    To say that a better batting eye is not in the guy’s future is a profoundly short-sighted statement; do you understand what kind of talent you’re dismissing, here? Do you know where this guy has batted in the order? Do you understand that pitchers can throw garbage to an aggressive hitter who has no protection? Cano’s never going to be Bobby Abreu. He is up there to get a pitch he likes. That doesn’t mean his batting eye is forsaken. Really!”

    Cano definitely hit the ball hard all year, that was encouraging.

    As for not watching…well, I did the best I can. I don’t have YES up here at school so it was either gameday or nothing for me. He did do much better in the second half, with a .333 (I believe) OBP, so perhaps I was being pessimistic. I apologize!

  143. bodhisattva November 17th, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Wave Your Hat
    November 17th, 2008 at 11:31 am
    “Why would any sane pitcher throw this kid [Cano] a strike when he doesn’t have to with him batting seventh? ”
    Why would any pitcher throw Cano a strike wherever Cano hit?”

    Umm…because if he’s batting seventh the pitcher faces, umm…Melky next? If he’s batting fifth that turns into, umm…Posada, Matsui? Maybe Nady? Not saying Melky can’t improve, but he doesn’t scare pitchers.

  144. Wave Your Hat November 17th, 2008 at 11:41 am

    “Guess you didn’t watch the stretch run, when Cano became far more discriminating at the plate, and was working the count, waiting for his pitch, which he often got and drilled.”

    Guess the “stretch run” wasn’t September, when Cano got 2 walks in 94 ABs, working the count to a .303 OBP and drilling those line drives for a .404 SLG.

  145. Evan November 17th, 2008 at 11:41 am

    I don’t get Minka Kelly — she’s flat chested and has horrible legs. Oh well, Derek must of been hit in the head, one too many times.

  146. mel November 17th, 2008 at 11:42 am

    It’s not right, but it is what it is.

    The Cy Young is a best player (pitcher) award, the MVP is not the best player award. It’s who’s most valuable to their team in the context of playing winning baseball.

    And the voters vote with September in mind because it’s freshest. And often the most relevant. It’s the time when a team like the Phillies can take over a team that had the playoffs locked up. Every game has implications.

    It’s not right, but that’s what it is.

  147. Mike R November 17th, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Has Cashman said anything about Garland? It seems odd we would consider Lowe over Garland….I personally think Garland would be a better investment than Lowe.

  148. Wave Your Hat November 17th, 2008 at 11:43 am

    “Umm…because if he’s batting seventh the pitcher faces, umm…Melky next? If he’s batting fifth that turns into, umm…Posada, Matsui? Maybe Nady? Not saying Melky can’t improve, but he doesn’t scare pitchers.”

    Unless Cano improves his pitch selection, there would be no point throwing him strikes if Babe Ruth hit behind him, because Cano doesn’t take walks.

  149. Bronx Jeers November 17th, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Alex would be hitting with the bases empty an awful lot.”
    ————————————————————–

    That suits him well!

  150. pat November 17th, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Selig blocking Mark Cuban’s bid for the Cubs may be the least of his problems.

    ESPN just reported he is being charged with insider trading. Someone remind Mark that the cover-up is what takes everyone down and not the crime.

  151. duh November 17th, 2008 at 11:46 am

    “Before he had his knee problems the only thing that ever kept him out of a game was a broken wrist. ”

    aside from that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

  152. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 11:46 am

    “The Cy Young is a best player (pitcher) award, the MVP is not the best player award. It’s who’s most valuable to their team in the context of playing winning baseball.”

    So it’s winning baseball you want? Albert Pujols added 13 wins to his team this season. Ryan Howard added 5.

  153. gayle November 17th, 2008 at 11:46 am

    If Marc Cuban had any shot of being an owner of the Cubs he has no shot now. Just charged with insider trading.Oops

  154. ANSKY November 17th, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Fredo that was hysterical.

    I would’t be surprise of Pavano could beat Matsui in a foot race, even if there wasn’t a waitress from Hooters waiting for the winner at the finish line.

    That Pavano would probably somehow dislocate his pelvis or shoulder in the foot race (or a few hours later with the cocktail waitress) is another subject. But it wouldn’t surprise me if Carl might out run Matsui … when healthy.

    Hey, he can pitch when heathly too, right?

  155. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 11:48 am

    “aside from that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?”

    LOL!

  156. duh November 17th, 2008 at 11:49 am

    “Howard’s season helped guide the Phillies to a World Series victory.”

    no, he guided them to the playoffs.

    the voting is done before the playoffs start. anything that happens after that is irrelevant.

  157. duh November 17th, 2008 at 11:50 am

    “Has Cashman said anything about Garland? It seems odd we would consider Lowe over Garland….”

    considering Garland sucks, i don’t find it odd at all.

  158. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 11:50 am

    “the MVP is not the best player award. It’s who’s most valuable to their team in the context of playing winning baseball.”

    Bigger problem, Mel, is that what the MVP is seems to vary from year to year. Sometimes it’s a true MVP other times it a “Player of the Year” type thing.

  159. Mike November 17th, 2008 at 11:53 am

    If Nady will be our RF, then who will play left? Damon? How our we going to replace Abreu’s and Giambi’s numbers? You cant expect Hideki Matsui to come back and be an all star. You cant rely on ARod to be your big clutch hitter. Posada is coming off an injury also. Cano had a terrible year. We dont have a center fielder. Jeter underachieved maybe because of an injury. Swisher was terrible for Chicago last year. I love the idea of going after pitching, but how many games was it that our hitting didnt get it done? We need a big bat like Manny or Texiera and if we cant get one of them our offense will continue to struggle against terrible pitching.

  160. mel November 17th, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Mike R.,

    Not too many people (or analysts) are very high on Garland. They say he’s mediocre at best. Personally, I feel better sending Aceves and Hughes out there than Garland.

    With his age, he’ll certainly want a contract of some length. I wouldn’t want him blocking pitchers in the future.

    Right now we have Wang, Joba, Pettitte if we want. I think we’ll have CC or AJ for sure. If we got both we’d be set. If got one it would be:

    CC/AJ
    Wang
    Pettitte
    Joba (#5 to control the IP)

    The 5th spot could go to Aceves, Hughes, Coke if he successfully converts to being a starter.

    “Well, that’s what got us into trouble last season. Putting 2 rookies in the rotation.”

    Well, putting in Hughes or Aceves is a lot better than signing Lowe (old) or Garland (mediocre).

    Last year we didn’t have a CC or an AJ. And on top of that we didn’t have Wang for half a season. And Hughes had a cracked rib.

    Healthy Wang + healthy Hughes + Joba in rotation right off the bat + CC and/or AJ= More than the 89 wins we got this year when everything that could go wrong, did.

  161. CB November 17th, 2008 at 11:57 am

    “Bigger problem, Mel, is that what the MVP is seems to vary from year to year.”

    Completely agree. ARod won MVP going away in 2003 for a Texas team that finished in last place at 71-91.

    He hit 47 home runs that year which probably got him the award.

    But by ever other possible measure Pujols year in 2008 was much, much better than the one ARod had in 2003.

    MVP has an ad hoc feeling to it – the writer’s seem to vote using different criteria every year.

  162. mel November 17th, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Squints,

    It’s not me. It’s the voters. Winning baseball=playoff bound.

    Fredo,

    Of course, they’re always moving the goal-posts. Howard’s a nice guy so he has a chance. If it’s Barry Bonds, he’d have no chance and it swings back to the best player award. I do like how Papi didn’t even sniff the award even though he’s a good guy. Hard to argue for a DH over a position player when they had similar numbers. They got it right that year.

  163. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    “It’s not me. It’s the voters. Winning baseball=playoff bound.”

    Is this tennis, golf, or bowling? Do individual players make the playoffs? No. Teams make the playoffs. Let’s put Chase Utley and Cole Hamels on the Cardinals and see what would happen. Judging and MVP candidate on whether or not his team made the playoffs is like judging a pitcher by his Win/Loss record.

  164. bodhisattva November 17th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Wave Your Hat
    November 17th, 2008 at 11:41 am
    “Guess you didn’t watch the stretch run, when Cano became far more discriminating at the plate, and was working the count, waiting for his pitch, which he often got and drilled.”
    Guess the “stretch run” wasn’t September, when Cano got 2 walks in 94 ABs, working the count to a .303 OBP and drilling those line drives for a .404 SLG.”

    His BA, OBP, SLG & OPS climbed steadily over the last 28 days of the season.

    Last 28 days: .299/.317/.429/.746
    Last 14 days: .389/.400/.583/.983
    Last 7 days: .571/.533/786/1.319

    He also suffered a thumb injury courtesy of Lester up in Boston that slowed him. We won 2 of 3 up there and he was in a groove.

  165. Y's Guy November 17th, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    just wanna make a point about rbi hitters.
    they ground into dp’s, get over it.
    through the late 80′s and early 90′s who battled every year for the major’s gidp crown?
    mattingly and eddie murray, thats who.
    gidp’s happen to guys who get rbi’s stop crying about it.

  166. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    “I do like how Papi didn’t even sniff the award even though he’s a good guy”

    Ortiz has gotten a fair shake in the MVP vote. 5 top five finishes (2nd, 3rd, 4th twice and 5th). About as fair as they can be for a DH.

  167. mel November 17th, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Squints,

    And what’s the top criteria for the Cy Young? Win/Loss records.

    I’ve already said (several times) it’s not right, but it is what it is.

    Writers can’t help but be cognizant of the occasions when Howard hit a huge homerun to help his team gain a game on the Mets. They’re watching history repeat itself. They see or hear nothing of what Pujols is doing because the Cardinals weren’t relevant. Being in a smaller market or on a losing team hurts players because voters have admitted they don’t get to see every game played. So a lot of what they file away in their minds is what they see and hear in the media.

    Also, Howard did his damage in September. A-rod won one if his MVP’s in part to what he did in August/September.

  168. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    “Last 14 days: .389/.400/.583/.983
    Last 7 days: .571/.533/786/1.319

    He also suffered a thumb injury courtesy of Lester up in Boston that slowed him. We won 2 of 3 up there and he was in a groove.”

    How was this possible? He was hitting 7th with bad hitters behind him.

  169. bodhisattva November 17th, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Wave Your Hat
    November 17th, 2008 at 11:43 am

    “Unless Cano improves his pitch selection, there would be no point throwing him strikes if Babe Ruth hit behind him, because Cano doesn’t take walks”.

    He did improve his pitch selection. He can and will improve his pitch selection. And pitch offerings affect pitch selection. Baseball doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Cano doesn’t look to take walks. He looks to get a pitch to hit. Even as his patience improves (I won’t call it selectivity, because he can hit pitches that aren’t remotely strikes and do damage with them), he is aggressive; there’s nothing wrong with that in and of itself.

    If you can’t understand that protection impacts what a pitcher throws a batter then I can’t help you; the comment about Ruth is just silly.

  170. StandingO'Neill November 17th, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Squints, your 100% right but don’t even bother. No matter how many great analogies you use (im going to steal that math test one, lol) or obvious statistics you point to, the people still living in 1980 will quote the term “vauable”.

    So why does Cy Young = best statistics, but MVP not equal best statistics? Its that stupid word valuable.

    I’m sure when the voters were creating these awards they said, hmmm giving out a trophy entitled Best Player doesn’t sound that great, lets call it Most valuable player, that has a nice ring to it.

    And because the fans and voters don’t see the term “best” in the title, they take it upon themselves to create some drama and use the term “valuable” literally.

  171. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    No it isn’t right and it shouldn’t be accepted. The BBWA is doing a dis-service to baseball history.

  172. bodhisattva November 17th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Fredo Corleone
    November 17th, 2008 at 12:13 pm
    “Last 14 days: .389/.400/.583/.983
    Last 7 days: .571/.533/786/1.319
    He also suffered a thumb injury courtesy of Lester up in Boston that slowed him. We won 2 of 3 up there and he was in a groove.”
    How was this possible? He was hitting 7th with bad hitters behind him.”

    Well imagine the kind of numbers he’d achieve if he was hitting fifth with good hitters behind him. And we don’t have to imagine, we have that to look forward to, Fredo.

  173. Y's Guy November 17th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    mike,
    the yankees are paying tons of money to arod, jeter, damon, matsui, posada and swisher and very large sums to nady, cano and maybe a cf they bring in to run down everything.
    these guys are getting paid to produce. yankees fans seem to have gone from thinking it is their right to have an all-star at every position to thinking they need to have THIS YEAR’S all-star at every position.
    this will still be the most expensive team in mlb by far and the yankees will no longer just keep adding superstars to improve upon the superstars they already have.
    it used to be, well, giambi’s not getting it done so lets get sheffield; then it was, they arent getting it done, lets get arod…now apparently its, get the best 4 or 5 FA’s on the market RIGHT NOW!
    add pettitte and 2 FA starters and a low priced cf and that, ladies and gentlemen, is your 2009 N.Y. Yankees.

  174. Nick in SF November 17th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Do you what CC’s hometown is? Vallejo, CA.

    Do you know what county Vallejo is in? Solano County.

    Can you name a neighboring county to the west? Marin County.

    Does it take long to drive from Valljo to Marin County? No.

    If you’re looking for a good omen that CC will sign with the Yankees and that the good vibes coming from MOST of the LuHud blog posters is a helpful factor, here you go:

    http://www.co.marin.ca.us/dept.....MocKey=280

  175. StandingO'Neill November 17th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    “And what’s the top criteria for the Cy Young? Win/Loss records.”

    Not this year (thank God). Except for the handful of idiots that voted for Webb first, most of the writers used their brains and went by the numbers.

  176. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    “Not this year (thank God). Except for the handful of idiots that voted for Webb first, most of the writers used their brains and went by the numbers.”

    How Cole Hamels didn’t get in the top 5 is beyond me, though. He was better than Webb.

  177. Jeremy November 17th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    David Wright had a tremendous September 2007 and would have been a deserving MVP. He didn’t win because the rest of his team collapsed.

    Justin Morneau won the MVP when he was the third-most valuable player on his team, behind Johan Santana and Joe Mauer, because he had high HR and RBI numbers.

    Jimmy Rollins won the MVP even though he was an out-making machine, and his performance in 2007 was far less impressive than Jeter’s in 2006.

    The MVP, like most baseball awards, is already on thin ace. Ignoring Pujols’ historic season in favor of a Howard’s very good season would make the award nearly as irrelevant an indicator as a Gold Glove or an All-Star appearance.

  178. SJ44 November 17th, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Nick,

    Good to see you survive your recent uprising on here! lol

    You are far and away the funniest dude on this blog. Don’t let the haters win!

    Considering Pujols did all his damage this year with a blown out elbow, refusing TJ Surgery, if he isn’t MVP, I don’t know who is.

    I don’t know why so many people are in a panic about the lineup.

    If the pitching staff improves, and the lineup is as follows:

    Damon
    Jeter
    Arod
    Matsui
    Posada
    Cano
    Nady
    Swisher
    Gardner or Cameron

    its pretty hard to find fault with it.

    There are no “guarantees” in anything. They could give Tex 200 million and he could bomb or get hurt in NY.

    All I know is, the lineup with Abreu and Giambi in it, had real trouble for most of the year hitting in the clutch. Mainly because there was no diversity in the lineup.

    The lineup above has more diversity. I also expect Cano, Posada and Matsui to bounce back and have good seasons.

    If they do, and the pitching is fortified by the likes of CC, Burnett or Lowe, a healthy Wang and Chamberlain, etc, that’s a pretty damn good team.

  179. Bronx Jeers November 17th, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    That’s basically all I needed.

    CC’s in the bag for sure.

    Once again the omnipotent H.H. saves the day.

  180. Jorge (México) November 17th, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    “Answer: I’ve been exposed. The Yankees have been sending me under-the-table payments for several months now. I’m blogging this from my beach-side cabana in St. Thomas while Ashanti and Eliza Dusku fetch frozen drinks.”

    =====================================================

    I knew it!!!!! You, mercenary.

    Anyway, do you need some help with Ashanti and Eliza??????

  181. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    “Ignoring Pujols’ historic season in favor of a Howard’s very good season would make the award nearly as irrelevant an indicator as a Gold Glove or an All-Star appearance.”

    isnt it there already?

    arent all these awards really just for discussion from the press, fans, etc?

    its not like, in the grand scheme of things, people are going to remember who won the 2008 NL MVP 10-20-50 years from now.

  182. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    “Well imagine the kind of numbers he’d achieve if he was hitting fifth with good hitters behind him. And we don’t have to imagine, we have that to look forward to, Fredo.”

    My point was this. I’m not buying that he suddenly became more selective. The numbers don’t bear that out. Cano’s a streak hitter. He ended the season on a good streak (19 for 47, 1.111 OPS – 2 walks, 2 K’s) that was preceded by a hideous streak (8 for 56, .339 OPS, 11 K’s, no walks). That’s what streak hitters do and that’s what I see Cano as. Didn’t matter who was hitting behind him as he alternated between being lousy and great hitting in front of the same guys.

  183. Y's Guy November 17th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    one other thing about the 2009 yanks. if cash goes with nady in rf, swisher at 1b and signs 2 fa pitchers, he will have rebuilt the team w/o giving up even one of his top tier prospects and will have them to use or trade to fix any parts that dont perform next season.

    im blown away so far by what he’s doing with this club that had an aging, bloated roster at the end of 2007. by the start of 2010 it will be completly remade into a lower priced and way younger and more atheletic team. and cash will have bought enough time for the young prospects to ripen.

    i had been pretty critical of cash until the trade deadline deals which i think were really smart and fit his long term plans perfectly. cash got the power to change things 3 yrs ago but his hands were tied with the contracts they had, now he’s on the verge of realizing what he (and stick micheal) have wanted since then.
    im really excited about what’s to come for the yankees in the next 5 years! nothing’s guaranteed but the 2010 yankees might look alot more like the 1995 yankees than the 2007 yankees.

  184. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    “its not like, in the grand scheme of things, people are going to remember who won the 2008 NL MVP 10-20-50 years from now.”

    We still talk about crazy seasons from the 20′s and 30′s and 40′s that guys had, so why wouldn’t 2008′s Pujols season be in that category? He had a prolific year this year and for it not to be rewarded with MVP is ridiculous.

    But, you are right, most of the awards are a joke.

  185. Wave Your Hat November 17th, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    “He [Cano] did improve his pitch selection. He can and will improve his pitch selection.”

    I hope Cano improves his pitch selection too, but there is no historical basis for it. In 4 years in the majors his high in walks was 39. Last year he had 26. Two weeks at the end of the season don’t make me a believer.

    If you think putting a hacker in front of a good hitter helps the hacker get on base, I can tell you there’s no statistical support for that.

  186. bodhisattva November 17th, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    ^^^Cano is sort of an anomaly. Here’s the thing with him; he is a born hitter, a natural talent. He got by witht that, and when his mechanics got fouled up, he didn’t have a secondary plan. People jump the gun and take this as a kind of moral weakness (actually, it’s their own; for some reason, people like to make definitive moral pronouncements).

    He didn’t adjust because he’s lazy. No – he didn’t adjust quickly because he didn’t have the tools to correct it. The hitting coach has sold some adjustments to him, and he bought them. I don’t see a relapse, because he’s been “fixed” and the foundation is an immense hitting talent that can take fully take advantage of that adjustment. To your point, I think that has a lot to do with the “streakiness.” I donot agree that is is in any way, fatal.

  187. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    “He had a prolific year this year and for it not to be rewarded with MVP is ridiculous.”

    but whether or not he wins the MVP is irrelevent to his ‘historic’ season.

    in fact, one could probably argue that he’s better off not winning it… his name in history would come up more for the season he had and didnt win the MVP than if he did, but it all gets washed away because his team stunk.

  188. CB November 17th, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    “its not like, in the grand scheme of things, people are going to remember who won the 2008 NL MVP 10-20-50 years from now.”

    To this day people still discuss Dimaggio winning the MVP in ’41 over Ted Williams.

    People still talk about whether Phil Rizutto was deserving of MVP in 1950 or whether he won it because he played for the yankees and that was it.

    Joe Torre’s ability to relate to star players was often attributed to his own talent as a a player. Front and center in that was him winning the MVP in 1971.

    Winning MVP and Cy Young’s is a major, major part of Hall of Fame voting. Those post season awards always factor in heavily. Why is Mussina considered borderline for the Hall of Fame? One major reason – never won a CY Young. Part of the reason why Dennis Eckersley was voted in to the Hall in his first year of eligibility was because he won AL MVP and Cy Young.

    The contemporary game tends to be interpreted in terms of the past. Who wins post season awards goes a long way towards shaping who is remembered and what milestones go into the sports historical records.

  189. dave November 17th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Thas great cano had a high obp the last 14 days when the yanks were already out of the playoffs. I dont want to trade cano but i really doubt he is going to get up to the 380s in obp year in and year out. He did have 365 obp two yrs ago but he had to bat 342 to do it. Cano may get high batting averages again but he doesnt seem like he will ever work the count like some of the other yankees can. That is unfortunate if he is planning on being the centerpiece of the yankees lineup one day because this team is built on working the count and high obp. He will never be a superstar in ny without being able to do that. I wouldnt trade him now because no one should ever sell good value at its lowest price but if he continues his decline next season im going to lose some confidence in his ability to even be a good player nevermind an all star.

    I think the comment about giambi and abreu leaving while merely signing swisher is correct. With swisher replacing those two the lineup looks weaker rather than stronger. But one – its early in the off season and signing swisher wasnt the end of the teixera negotiations like pete made it out to mean. Two, the offense was miserably dissapointing last yr and outside of a couple of players I almost expect improvement across the board – specifically, matsui and posada to at the very least stay healthy for the majority of the yr and cano to have a better yr than his 271 305 14 stats of last season. That avg specifically should improve by atleast 20 or 30 points. Additionally, arod seems to do the allstar saeson followed up by the avg by his standards season relatively consistently – so he too should be better next yr if not an mvp candidate. Damon will hopefully be more of the same. We will have a full yr to see what nady can do to impact the lineup. Swisher will most certainly improve from last yr. Gardner may not be our starting CF and i think this should be a bubba crosby like deception. I can see swisher moving to center and the yanks signing tex or perhaps, swisher playing first and the yanks trading prospects for a CF. Either of those moves, could significantly improve the lineup depending on the centerfielder and with the acquisition of CC, Burnett and Pettitte we will have a lot of useful pitchers to trade specifically coke, aceves and the fifteen or more starters and relievers line up for triple A. I think or hope cash will start concentrating on pitching and once that is settles (the primary need for us) he will switch his attention to centerfield. One more solid piece in center to replace gardner and the team will look pretty solid on paper.

  190. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    “To your point, I think that has a lot to do with the “streakiness.” I donot agree that is is in any way, fatal.”

    I don’t either. I don’t even think weak plate discipline is fatal in his case, but it doesn’t help any and I’ve seen a big fat goose egg to suggest he’s figured that out yet.

  191. bodhisattva November 17th, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Wave Your Hat
    November 17th, 2008 at 12:32 pm
    “He [Cano] did improve his pitch selection. He can and will improve his pitch selection.”
    I hope Cano improves his pitch selection too, but there is no historical basis for it. In 4 years in the majors his high in walks was 39. Last year he had 26. Two weeks at the end of the season don’t make me a believer.
    If you think putting a hacker in front of a good hitter helps the hacker get on base, I can tell you there’s no statistical support for that.”

    But he defies your model because he doesn’t really strike out that much, considering how little he walks, and in he is always a threat to hit a pitcher’s pitch. If your view is that he is destined to be a tease and never fulfill his promise then we fundamentally disagree. I think the comparison with Vlad is a good one – another strange but effective hitter.

    And the idea that he will not improve as he sees better pitches to me, is fanciful. I am very much looking forward to him being a great RBI man for us in the near future.

  192. Y's Guy November 17th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    im not an anti-stats guy, but as for the mvp this year, i think you might be undervaluing 2 categories a bit:
    he led the league in homers and rbi’s.
    then add this intangible but potent point; his team won the division.
    you can value all the other stats anyway you like but alot of people would argue that those 3 points trump all the others.

  193. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    “I don’t either. I don’t even think weak plate discipline is fatal in his case, but it doesn’t help any and I’ve seen a big fat goose egg to suggest he’s figured that out yet.”

    It’s fatal when the hits aren’t falling for him like last year. He had some bad luck last year–great LD%, but his BABIP was int he tank–and that’s what made his season so awful.

  194. StandingO'Neill November 17th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    “its not like, in the grand scheme of things, people are going to remember who won the 2008 NL MVP 10-20-50 years from now.”

    Not only do people remember, but most of the time a players HOF case is supported or torn down based on these awards (not to mention their yearly salary, which is why I’m pulling for Pedroia to win so Boston will have to pay their 5 foot 8 second baseman 12 million dollars a season soon). So its the job of the writers to get them right.

  195. Jeremy November 17th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    I agree with Squints and CB. These awards should mean something, or else they should not exist. The writers who vote for them should take the minimal amount of time necessary to be informed and knowledgeable voters. That should not be too much to ask for.

  196. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    “im not an anti-stats guy, but as for the mvp this year, i think you might be undervaluing 2 categories a bit:
    he led the league in homers and rbi’s.
    then add this intangible but potent point; his team won the division.
    you can value all the other stats anyway you like but alot of people would argue that those 3 points trump all the others.”

    So two categories trump all the other ones that Pujols led in along with something that is basically out of Pujols’ control? Oh okay, that seems fair.

  197. bodhisattva November 17th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    dave
    November 17th, 2008 at 12:40 pm
    Thas great cano had a high obp the last 14 days when the yanks were already out of the playoffs. I dont want to trade cano but i really doubt he is going to get up to the 380s in obp year in and year out. He did have 365 obp two yrs ago but he had to bat 342 to do it. Cano may get high batting averages again but he doesnt seem like he will ever work the count like some of the other yankees can. That is unfortunate if he is planning on being the centerpiece of the yankees lineup one day because this team is built on working the count and high obp. He will never be a superstar in ny without being able to do that.

    The Yankees being out of it has nothing to do with it. That implies that he’s getting fat off bad pitching, and that he’s not a great hitting talent. That’s a ridiculous premise, sorry, he’s already demonstrated he’s a special hitter.

    I don’t think the weak OBP is a lost cause, that’s the fundamental difference.

  198. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    “To this day people still discuss Dimaggio winning the MVP in ‘41 over Ted Williams.”

    and is Albert Pujols’s season that prolific to stand up in this type of discussion?

    i dont have the answer, just asking for the sake of discussion.

    “Winning MVP and Cy Young’s is a major, major part of Hall of Fame voting. Those post season awards always factor in heavily. Why is Mussina considered borderline for the Hall of Fame? One major reason – never won a CY Young. Part of the reason why Dennis Eckersley was voted in to the Hall in his first year of eligibility was because he won AL MVP and Cy Young.”

    sure, i can understand what you’re saying here… but, is that right or wrong?

    why should the fact that someone didnt get a real nice, fancy trophy diminish his overall performance thru his entire career?

  199. CB November 17th, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    “I think the comment about giambi and abreu leaving while merely signing swisher is correct. With swisher replacing those two the lineup looks weaker rather than stronger.”

    The yankee’s current line up: damon, jeter, matsui, arod, posada, nady, cano, swisher, and gardner along with a mediocre bench projects to score around 830 runs in 2009.

    The team scored 799 runs in 2008.

    Projections are just estimates. But the idea that losing Giambi and Abreu’s bats are insurmountable obstacles just is not accurate.

    The biggest reasons for the yankee’s offense underperforming last year was losing posada and replacing him with molina and cano’s terrible season. If Posada and cano return to their average form they will more than make up for losing Giambi and Abreu as long as Swisher and Nady produce at close to league average in RF and 1b.

    http://www.replacementlevel.co.....ovember_16

  200. S.o.S.(first 11-10 nfl score in history.) November 17th, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    “How our we going to replace Abreu’s and Giambi’s numbers?”

    Thats simple. Arods odd year will suffice.

    “You are far and away the funniest dude on this blog.”

    Uhhh. SJ. Im not gonna hate on Nick. As long as i rank in the top 5 losers on that list.

  201. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    “Not only do people remember, but most of the time a players HOF case is supported or torn down based on these awards (not to mention their yearly salary, which is why I’m pulling for Pedroia to win so Boston will have to pay their 5 foot 8 second baseman 12 million dollars a season soon). So its the job of the writers to get them right.”

    now, the real historic seasons, yeah, people remember.

    but without going to google, who won the 1954 NL MVP? what about the ’82 NL MVP? ’94 AL MVP?

    like i just said…. seems like an awful lot of weight for a real fancy trophy to hold, when you have writers who dont seem to take these things too seriously.

  202. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    “but without going to google, who won the 1954 NL MVP? what about the ‘82 NL MVP? ‘94 AL MVP?”

    1994 AL MVP was Frank Thomas, haha.

  203. CB November 17th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    “and is Albert Pujols’s season that prolific to stand up in this type of discussion?”

    Yes. Pujols had a historically great season. Not just a great season – historically great.

    I said this before – go compare Pujols production this year and just scan over what Ted Williams did in some of his best years. Pujols nubmers aren’t quite Williams but the numbers are in that kind of ball park.

    For a season like that to not be acknowledged on its merits would be a stain on the historical record of the sport.

    On your point of whether hardware should or should not matter for the hall of fame – no it probably shouldn’t, but the fact is that it does.

    Mussina was robbed of the Cy Young in 2001 which went to Clemens.

    Mussina wins that Cy Young he has a much higher chance of making the Hall of Fame. That’s just a fact.

    So yes – this does matter.

  204. Russell NY November 17th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    I can understand to an extent the Pujols vs Howard MVP debate when comparing stats. But in all fairness both players are playing against different teams at different times in different divisions under different conditions. I’m not suggesting Howard could even trump those numbers but this is an MVP debate not a stat debate.

  205. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    “That implies that he’s getting fat off bad pitching, and that he’s not a great hitting talent.”

    Those two don’t go hand in hand.

  206. Jeremy November 17th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Y’s Guy,

    1. It matters very little that Howard had the most HRs when Pujols’ SLG was .110 points higher than Howard’s. If you’re looking at power hitting, Pujols beat Howard easily.

    2. A high RBI total should count for something, but not much because it’s team dependent. If you put Pujols in Howard’s spot in the Phillies’ lineup, Pujols probably would have had well over 148 RBI.

    3. Whether a team makes the playoffs does not impact the value of its players. It’s the other way around; the value of the players determines whether the team makes the playoffs. The Phillies were a better team than the Cardinals in 2008. That does not mean Howard was a better player than Pujols.

    Look, Howard a very good season. But Pujols was a significantly better hitter and fielder at the same position. If you were drafting a fantasy team and needed a 1B, would you even hesitate before selecting Pujols over Howard? Of course not. And that’s why picking Howard over Pujols for MVP would be just silly.

  207. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    “I can understand to an extent the Pujols vs Howard MVP debate when comparing stats. But in all fairness both players are playing against different teams at different times in different divisions under different conditions. I’m not suggesting Howard could even trump those numbers but this is an MVP debate not a stat debate.”

    And Albert Pujols was a more valuable player. How do we determine value? By stats! What else are we doing to use? Heart points? Hustle runs? Grit factor? I understand that Howard’s team won the division which could play a factor but when all of Pujols’ numbers, save for TWO CATEGORIES, beat down on Howard’s like they do, the teams for which they play is no reason to vote against AP. I bet if the Cardinals had Chase Utley and Cole Hamels, they would’ve made the playoffs. Take Utley and Hamels off the Phillies and they’re a totally different animal. Sure, taking Howard off would make them worse, too, but this year, he was easier to replace at the plate than Pujols (go see VORP and WARP, please).

  208. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    “1994 AL MVP was Frank Thomas, haha.”

    ha! but you get my point. unless you literally study baseball history, to most fans these awards are more for casual conversation about the game we love than bible scripture to follow.

    the great seasons, and the great players we all know about.

    the awards they did or didnt win because a group of writers either like a guy, dont like a guy, cover as a hometown reporter, dont follow outside cities becasue they dont have the time, etc… it all should not matter as much as some are proclaiming they (the awards) do… keep things in proper perspective.

  209. Y's Guy November 17th, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    “Projections are just estimates. But the idea that losing Giambi and Abreu’s bats are insurmountable obstacles just is not accurate.

    cb’s right and add in that nady/swisher cost about $25M less then abreu/giambi.

  210. Fredo Corleone November 17th, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    “Mussina was robbed of the Cy Young in 2001 which went to Clemens.”

    True. That one bothered me too. Voters must have thought they owed Clemens one for Bob Welch.

  211. CB November 17th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    “I’m not suggesting Howard could even trump those numbers but this is an MVP debate not a stat debate.”

    You’re right it’s about production. Who helped his team win the most.

    So the question is how do you assess that? In baseball that’s always done with some kind of statistic – that’s how you record production.

    If Howard wins MVP it will most definitely be based on certain statistics – home runs and rbi’s are statistics after all. So is batting average.

    So the question isn’t whether or not the award is given for statistics. It always was and always will be. Dimaggion won the MVP in ’41 because he was on the winning team but also because he had a 56 game hitting streak. That’s a statistic.

    The question is how to best assess the contribution any single player made. That’s always going to involve some kind of number.

    The real issue is which numbers are the most indicative of a player helping his team win.

    In this instance there is absolutely no question – Pujols did much more than any other player in baseball to help his team win. It’s not even remotely close.

  212. Jeremy November 17th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Something else about Pujols:

    When he won the MVP in 2005, he had a 168 OPS+.
    When he came in second for the MVP in 2006, he had a 178 OPS+.
    This year, he had a 190 OPS+.

    Howard’s OPS+ this year? 124.

    Howard’s winning the MVP would invalidate the award on so many levels.

  213. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    “ha! but you get my point. unless you literally study baseball history, to most fans these awards are more for casual conversation about the game we love than bible scripture to follow.

    the great seasons, and the great players we all know about.

    the awards they did or didnt win because a group of writers either like a guy, dont like a guy, cover as a hometown reporter, dont follow outside cities becasue they dont have the time, etc… it all should not matter as much as some are proclaiming they (the awards) do… keep things in proper perspective.”

    I think I only remember that ’cause it was the strike year. And, honor system, I think Mays won NL MVP in 1954.

    If the voters vote on who they like and don’t like, cover and don’t cover, then they should have their voting rights revoked. If they don’t have the “time” to do research as to who should win the award, then they should find other work. Does it really take that long to go to mlb.com or baseball-reference.com, or baseballprospectus.com, or hardballtimes.com, or whatever, and look up some stats? No, it doesn’t. In fact, with this new fangled inter-tubes, you could have all of those pages open at once!

  214. Christopher Barrows November 17th, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    I myself am not sold on Derek Lowe, but he’s a better option than Burnett. I don’t care how electric his stuff can be, he is FAR too injury prone. It might be unfair to compare him to Carl Pavano, but he’s much closer to that than C.C, Lowe or the unlikely, Peavy.

    As for Peavy, it would take far too much to get him and he’s one of those guys who wants to stay in the NL. I’m not sure we want a guy who doesn’t want to be in the AL.

  215. Y's Guy November 17th, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    you guys just value things differently than others do. remember they started giving out these awards a long long time before statistics became so prominent and plentiful. guys voted for who they thought looked like the best player in the league which included immeasuable things like toughness, durability, leadership, and yes, where their teams ended up in the standings.
    just because we pay much more attention to statistics now doesnt mean all those other atributes dont go into who wins the mvp.

  216. jennifer November 17th, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Tino was robbed of a gold glove when it went to Ralphie who played only 25 games at first.

  217. TurnTwo November 17th, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    “If the voters vote on who they like and don’t like, cover and don’t cover, then they should have their voting rights revoked.”

    but this is what happens.

    not all the writers… one would assume most writers take the responsibility seriously, but its hard to argue they all do.

    so when not everyone buys into the process, does it not lend to some questions of legitimacy? especially in those years where the voting comes down to just a handful of 1st place vs 2nd place votes.

    most years, yeah, they get it right. some years, popular opinion says they dont.

    but in those years the writers dont get it right, it doesnt render that player’s season any less great of an achievement.

  218. Jeremy November 17th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Y’s Guy,

    I think Pujols far exceeds Howard in immeasurable things.

    In fact, I think it’s not even close. It’s no contest.

    If we could measure immeasurable things, it would be like

    Pujols: 1000000000
    Howard: -3

    How do I back this up, you say? Have you ever seen Pujols play? He looks so dedicated and focused.

  219. Wave Your Hat November 17th, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    CB-

    Break those run projections down for me. I don’t see how you get to 830 runs in 2009 on our current lineup unless you assume we get full years from all the old guys, Damon and Jeter don’t decline off 2008, Swisher and Cano each bounce back near to 2007, Nady maintains close to 2008 production and Posada is fully healthy and gets back to at least 75-80% of his 2007 season. Am I wrong?

  220. CB November 17th, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    “just because we pay much more attention to statistics now doesnt mean all those other atributes dont go into who wins the mvp.”

    Albert Pujols has been playing for several years now with a partially torn ligament in his elbow. It supposedly causes him significant discomfort. But he won’t have it surgically repaired because he doesn’t want to miss a season given how much his team depends on him.

    How about that?

    And the MVP award and baseball as a whole has always been based on statistics.

    Babe Ruth revolutionized the game based on the number of Home Runs he hit. That’s a statistic. Ty Cobb based on his speed and how he could get on base and steal – those are statistics. Christy Mattewson based on the number of games he won.

    All of these things are statistics. It’s just that home runs, rbi’s, wins, etc just happen to be the statistics people are more used to than other statistics.

    When Henry Ford started making Model T’s statistics were a big part of his approach. Do you think car manufacturer’s still assess the quality of the cars they produce the same way?

    The baseball writer’s association is remarkably resistant to change. That’s the fundamental issue that is at the heart of this debate.

    It’s not that the writer’s don’t use statistics in selecting post season awards. They do. The writer’s put a ridiculous amount of emphasis a few statistics, most of which are the same statistics they were using in the 1920′s.

  221. james November 17th, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    it’s Dushku

  222. CB November 17th, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    “Break those run projections down for me. I don’t see how you get to 830 runs in 2009 on our current lineup unless you assume we get full years from all the old guys,”

    SG at RLYB has started doing projections on the 2009 team.

    I put up the link before. It’s pasted below as well. He has them projected to score 828 runs – and that’s with setting the bench at replacement level production. The bench may be bad but hopefully it’ll be better than replacment level.

    The reason why it seems so strange for the team to lose Abreu and Giambi and still be projected to score more runs is because people are underestimating how devastating losing Posada and replacing him with Molina was last year and with how badly Cano hurt them last year.

    http://www.replacementlevel.co.....ovember_16

  223. gank November 17th, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    that was my favorite e-mail of the week also, man that was funny

  224. Slu November 17th, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Typical down talking to readers.

  225. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    “but in those years the writers dont get it right, it doesnt render that player’s season any less great of an achievement.”

    That’s true but, in my eyes at least, it doesn’t excuse the writers from getting it wrong.

  226. Squints November 17th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    THERE IS JUSTICE IN THE WORLD! WOO!

    Congrats, Albert!

  227. gameface November 17th, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    I’ve noticed over the years, especially after a losing season, that fans are more likely to favor dropping some players who they perceive as having come up short perhaps in some aspect of their game. This year, it is especially Giambi and Abreu, and fans are breathing easier dropping these “perceptible” burdens from the team. The trouble is,
    they do this even when there is inadequate replacement for what they want to give up. Giambi was the biggest RBI, HR threat on the Yankees second to Arod. He is obviously superior in that department to Swisher for the next couple of years. Abreu is no slouch as an on-base machine either. Just take a look at the prospective batting order without them right now. it gets boring. Watch how other teams will be waiting with open arms, and money, for these two players.

  228. Chris the Great November 17th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    With these types of questions, I honestly wish the team I rooted for was less popular. We could then weed out some of the stupidest baseball fans on earth.

  229. no.27 November 17th, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Is Swisher a better centerfielder than Damon?

  230. Melissa November 17th, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Wow, an Eliza Dushku mention. I haven’t seen her name since she was in a Kevin Smith movie. She should send you a thank you card for putting her name out there like Georgie Jessel once did to Graig Nettles.

  231. ramar November 17th, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    Where do all these IDIOTS/LOOSERS with those DUMB questions come from????

  232. ramar November 17th, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Where do all these IDIOTS/LOSERS with those DUMB questions come from????

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