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


Pinch hitting: Ray Marcano

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 03, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Our next Pinch Hitter, Ray Marcano, has held a number of reporting and editing jobs during his journalism career. He now works in digital media, and he teaches digital media courses at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Ray wrote that he got hooked on baseball and the Yankees when he was 6 years old and saw Mickey Mantle hit a home run in the old Yankee Stadium. His best Yankees memory: Aaron Boone’s homerun.  “I was on the phone, talking to someone at work,” Ray wrote. “When Boone hit it, I yelled so loud the person I was talking to thought I had somehow badly hurt myself.”

Ray’s says he’s an unapologetic Yankees follower, but he has some concerns about these next few years. And that’s why he’s here.

Brian McCann, Joe GirardiThere’s a lot of excitement among Yankees fans about the team’s prospects for 2014. After missing the playoffs last season, the Yankees have invested, so far, about $460 million in free agents. Who knows how much more they’ll spend to fill their remaining and significant holes — especially in the bullpen.

Some believe the spending spree makes a World Series run very possible for my favorite-ever sports team. But I think these Yankees more resemble the mid-1980′s Yankees — especially the 1988 team.

Those mid-80s Yankees were always good. They had stars — Hall of Famers even. They had decent pitching. They were willing to spend.

But those teams always fell just short of the playoffs. Three times, in the 1980s, the Yanks won more than 90 games. Even the fantastic 1985 team had the fourth-best record in baseball, won 97 games and – before the wild card — still fell two games short of the playoffs. The 1988 team won 85 games and finished just 3.5 games back of Boston.

But the 1988 team was filled with aging veterans past their prime, a worn and mediocre pitching staff, and no meaningful reinforcements in the minor leagues.

Don Mattingly was the best player in 1988 — a true star in the midst of an epic six-year run of batting genius (refresh your memory and check out his 1986 batting line). But he was flanked by, among others, Dave Winfield (36), Willie Randolph (an old 33) and Gary Ward (35, whom I forgot was on the team). Ron Guidry (38) and Tommy John (45!) were on the pitching staff.

The minor leagues? Forget it. The best prospect in the Yankee system in 1988 was probably Hensley “Bam Bam” Muelens, who went on to play 162 games in a seven-year MLB career and slugged a very yuch .353 for his career. For those of you old enough to remember Muelens, he was supposed to be the next Steve Balboni, or Brad Gulden, or Rex “Wonder Dog” Hudler, who had one thing going for him — a wicked awesome nickname.

Oh, wait, they all flamed out (as you can see, a Yankees farm system that stinks has been around for decades). One thing about those 80s Yankees. They were far better at holding on to duds than studs. They proved that by trading away Willie McGee (for Bob Sykes!), Fred McGriff (for Dale Murray!), Jay Buhner (for Ken Phelps!??!) and Doug Drabek (for Rick Rhoden, ugh). ALL WITHIN SIX YEARS!!!!!! This is, quite possibly, one of the most putrid front office performances in modern sports history (and I mean going back to chariot races).

Jacoby Ellsbury, Joe GirardiFast forward to 2014. Brett Gardner is the one (relatively) young, homegrown Yankees position player with skills — and he ain’t no Mattingly. By the time the season starts, Beltran will be 37, Soriano will be 38, and Ellsbury will still be injury prone, meaning any of them could break as easily as a dropped Christmas ornament. And, has anyone noticed we don’t have a first baseman? Teixeria, according to MLB.com, still has a stiff wrist, hasn’t started to hit against live pitching and will miss the first exhibition games of the year. Uh-oh. It should be unsaid but here it is anyway — there’s a gigantic difference between soft toss and a 94-MPH heater on the (brittle) hands. Eck.

The pitching? Tanaka could be some version of Darvish, but he could also be the Fat Toad. No one knows. We only know a precious few pitchers transitioning from Japan have had relatively successful MLB careers. CC lost weight, looks all GQ, but he’s still on the wrong side of a declining fastball. Kuroda will soon be 39 and coming off a really bad 2013 second half. Nova looks like — let’s not pretend, no one has a clue. The other guys competing for the fifth starter’s job couldn’t make the Rays or Cardinals rotation — on their AAA teams.

The farm system? Their No. 1 prospect, Gary Sanchez, may be making strides, but check this out: When Bam Bam was in his age 21 season, he hit 19 home runs, drove in 62 runs and hit a combined .238 in AA and AAA. Sanchez? His High-A and AA numbers during his age 20 season — 15 HR, 71 RBI and a .253 BA.  Just sayin’.

And if anyone of the brittle Yankees goes down, here’s what we have to look forward to: Dean Anna; or Ronnier Mustelier; or Corban Joseph. Makes me long for Bobby Meacham or Andre Robertson.

There are big differences between then and now. For example, the Yankees don’t even have young players good enough to deal in stupid trades. They only have mediocre prospects and might not even be able to get useable retreads for them. (Who’s today’s Ken Phelps? That’s right, the Yankees had Vernon Wells last year). There’s also wild cards, but there are other teams that win regularly with strong farm systems (Oakland, Toronto) or may be climbing out of the also-ran doldrums by making smart signings (Cleveland, Minnesota). Even with the expanded playoffs, getting in isn’t so easy.

Maybe all of these numbers and the history don’t mean anything. But to me, it really does. The past is always a great indicator of the future. We could be in for another dark time — an aging, overpaid team with a mediocre farm system that is years away from producing anyone who can help, even a little.

Welcome 1989. The Yankees had losing records six out of the next seven years. I hope we’re not in for that kind of draught. But here’s one more number — the 2013 Yankees finished with 85 wins, tied for fourth place, 12 games behind Boston.

Associated Press photos

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145 Responses to “Pinch hitting: Ray Marcano”

  1. AAA February 3rd, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Straight buzzkill, Ray.

  2. Tackelberry February 3rd, 2014 at 9:14 am

    After perhaps the worst Super Bowl in history, I’m ready for baseball. 11 days til pitchers and catchers!

  3. Chip February 3rd, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Blake –

    There are only really 6 good players still on the market:
    Rodney
    Drew
    Morales
    Cruz
    Ervin Santana
    Ubaldo

    The rest are either guys with big injury questions or retreads who are, at best, on their last legs.

  4. Chip February 3rd, 2014 at 9:16 am

    And the reason most of those guys are available is the draft pick compensation that’s attached to them.

  5. Yankee Trader February 3rd, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Ray-

    Well researched post, that caused some bad memories of Yankee teams past to resurface.

    Hoping that some of the players in High A Tampa are future replacements at first-Bird, outfield-Judge, and third-Jagielo.

  6. blake February 3rd, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Chip,
    Id add arroyo but that’s a lot for 11 days from free agency

  7. blake February 3rd, 2014 at 9:22 am

    11 days from st I mean

  8. Chip February 3rd, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Trader,

    I don’t really start looking at prospects as being real until they hit at least AA. Until that point it’s nice to follow them, see how a guy is doing, but there’s just too much attrition between Tampa and the Bronx to get invested in a kid.

  9. Yankee Trader February 3rd, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Chip

    How about AJ Burnett ? I believe he had a better WAR than both Santana and Jimenez last year.

    From Bronx Baseball Daily:

    “Of course, we remember Burnett’s last tenure with the Yankees and how it didn’t end so well. In three years with the Yankees (2009-2011), Burnett posted a 4.79 ERA, 1.447 WHIP and 1.99 K/BB. But after Burnett signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he pitched his way to a 3.41 ERA, 1.228 WHIP and 3.02 K/BB.”

  10. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 9:26 am

    YT-

    Bite your tongue.

  11. Chip February 3rd, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Blake,

    I forgot Arroyo. You’re right that there are a lot of guys out there, but if you look at them (the key guys I mean) it makes total sense as to why they’re out there.

    Arroyo’s old and wants a lot of money and multiple years
    Ubaldo and Santana both want big contracts for guys who have had mediocre careers
    Cruz wants lots of years and money, costs a draft pick and has a drug suspension on his record
    Morales is a DH that costs a pick
    Drew is looking for a big deal in a market that doesn’t have many teams looking for SS help
    Rodney wants the big time contract that teams aren’t giving relief pitchers any more

  12. BoJo February 3rd, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I agree with Ray–saw this coming last winter. This reminds me though somewhat of 1965-70. Same deal…aging, injury prone club with weak farm system.

  13. blake February 3rd, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I think it’s premature to say what this team will be over the next few years. It could go either way…..a lot depends on how good Tanaka actually is….if Ellsbury can stay healthy…..what Nova is….if their prospects develop etc.

    Another group like came along in the mid-late 90s isn’t going to happen again…..we fans need to get the prospect of that out of our heads.

    The Yankees need to be the Yankees and spend money……and hopefully they can develop enough players to offset the payroll to allow them to do that. There is no doubt they have to do better developmentally if they want to win championships…..but they don’t have to be the Rays…..they just need to find a balance here.

  14. Chip February 3rd, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Trader,

    AJ’s still available because he wasn’t sure he wanted to play until recently. His market will move quickly. I think he’s a great fit for the Phillies.

  15. BoJo February 3rd, 2014 at 9:29 am

    How many of those FAs are represented by Boras? We know he will hold out his player until very last minute.

  16. blake February 3rd, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Chip,
    The draft pick compensation is just killing a lot of players…..the union really needs to push to get rid of compensation all together in the next CBA…..it doesn’t do what it was intended to do…..all it does in general is allows big market teams to stockpile draft picks. It’s killed the market for several players this season

  17. blake February 3rd, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Boras might be sitting there with Drew saying ok….lets let ST start and let the Yankees see how bad their infield actually is…..see if Jeter can play SS…..of not we have them right where we want them. If the mets were gonna sign him they would have already…..Boston is just waiting for him to fall in their laps on a 1 year deal my guess……I think Boras and Cashman are playing chicken right now…..

  18. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 9:32 am

    I’m sorry to disagree with you all on the Farm system.

    There is a lot of talent down there that just needs to step up and break out.

    If one or 2 of them do the whole ranking of our Farm could change from mediocre to good.

    Examples: Banuelos or J-Ram. Any of our 4 young OF’er’s. Sanchez with a big year. Etc.

    And yes I know we are thin on IF prospects at the higher levels.

    That said, if any of the other higher level guys break out we have some good trade pieces to
    get an IF.

    ;)

  19. Chip February 3rd, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Blake –

    Amen. We were spoiled with Jeter, Andy, Rivera, Posada and even Bernie. The fact is that doesn’t usually happen.

    The fact is that in the last decade the Yankees have developed:
    Soriano
    Cano
    Robertson
    Gardner

    along with a host of relievers and middle of the road guys like Hughes. Now obviously Hughes, Kennedy and Joba are failures of development, but that happens.

    Stick always had the philosophy that there are two kinds of prospects, the kind you bring up to help you on the field and the kind that you trade off to help you on the field.

  20. Chip February 3rd, 2014 at 9:34 am

    I read that Morales might have to sit until after the draft to get signed so that the pick compensation expires.

    You could be right on Drew, but I think it will also depend on what happens with Diaz.

    Ideally, I would like to see them add both Drew and Diaz.

  21. blake February 3rd, 2014 at 9:36 am

    The farm system could look a lot different 6 months from now than it does now…..Law was pretty much the only one that acknowledged this in his rankings. The yanks have some talent…..they just need to stay healthy and show it

  22. AAA February 3rd, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Ideally, I would like to see them add both Drew and Diaz.

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

    I’m hearing Diaz is a 2B version of Iglesias. Plenty of glove, little bat.

  23. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Blake-

    We are on the same wavelength.

  24. blake February 3rd, 2014 at 9:38 am

    “Ideally, I would like to see them add both Drew and Diaz.”

    They need infielders…lots of infielders. I hope Jagielo has a good year…..I’m not expecting all star out of him……I just want average big league 3B with a good glove. The yanks don’t have to develop stars…..it would be nice…..be mainly they need to develop solid regulars that can play for the eagle minimum as offset payroll. If Jagielo can be an average player for 500k then that frees up money they can spend elsewhere p

  25. Chip February 3rd, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Blake,

    Farm rankings are always a shot in the dark and very fluid from year to year. Look at this year’s list as compared to last year – the second half change very regularly without guys being promoted or dealt; some guys just fall off, new guys emerge, it’s the nature of the beast.

  26. blake February 3rd, 2014 at 9:39 am

    “I’m hearing Diaz is a 2B version of Iglesias. Plenty of glove, little bat.”

    I’ve read mixed reviews….I don’t know anything about him at all. I’ve read some that suggest the opposite….that he can hit but his defense is in question…..

  27. Chip February 3rd, 2014 at 9:39 am

    AAA -

    Everything I’ve read on Diaz says he’s going to hit a ton, that his glove is the question which is why teams aren’t sure he’ll be able to stick at SS.

  28. Doreen February 3rd, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Well written post.

    Just, well, I feel like hiding my head in the sand, you know?

    Hope springs eternal?

    I don’t want to feel like the season is over before it even begins, much less the next decade.

    It really just goes to show that even the mighty Yankees are not immune to the circle of life (ups and downs).

  29. Tackelberry February 3rd, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Don’t know if this was posted yet, but found a great article on some of the top IFA prospects in this year’s July 2 class, including the top SS prospect who supposedly the Yanks alrady have a deal in place with.

    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2014/…al-free-agents

  30. Against All Odds February 3rd, 2014 at 9:44 am

    but they don’t have to be the Rays

    —————-

    But that’s what they aspire to be.

    We want to be the Rays with money – Hal.

  31. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 9:45 am

    I think that there is too much pessimism.

    The Yankees just need a little more luck and for a few more things to go their way.

    They have areas of strength which they can use to help them get other things they need.

    Some make it sound like the FA has gone completely dry.

    It hasn’t and it won’t.

    189 is dead. that means there is some money to be spent.

    For example, If HK hangs ‘em up I can see Bailey as his replacement.

    If Pineda doesn’t handle the 5 slot he might make a very good BP guy.

    Etc.

    How bout if both Romine and Murphy have good years ?

    We could easily use one in trade.

    ;)

  32. Chip February 3rd, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Tackelberry – the link doesn’t work

  33. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 9:48 am

    AAO-

    That is a pipe dream IMO.

    And it’s misguided too.

    The Yankees can and should have a decent Farm system but they don’t need to be the Rays.

    The Yankees are all about money and financial advantage. The Rays are paupers compared
    to us.

    They have no choice. We do.

    ;)

  34. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 9:49 am

    The Yankees should trade for an IF of the future.

    ;)

  35. Chip February 3rd, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Keep in mind that to build the farm system the Rays built they stunk for a decade and have to deal off every good player they develop. That’s not a business model I want the Yankees to follow.

  36. David in Cal February 3rd, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Ray — sadly I agree with you. The front office seems not to have a long-term plan. One day they pass on Darvish. Then they give Tanaka the moon. Ditto on Cano and Ellsbury. One day they have a plan to get under $189 m; then they’re spending like crazy. They plan to get younger and develop players internally; the next thing you know they’ve given up a bunch of draft choices.

  37. Chip February 3rd, 2014 at 9:51 am

    If Jagelo has a good year, would you want the Yankees to sign Chase Headley next winter?

  38. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 9:51 am

    CC
    Bailey
    Nova
    Tanaka
    Pineda
    Phelps
    Warren
    Banuelos
    J-Ram

    Not too shabby. A possible surplus.

    Trade bait available.

    Things just have to break our way a little.

    I think it’s probable they will.

    :)

  39. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Chip-

    I want the Yankees to continue to improve in any way they deem fit.

    ;)

  40. Tackelberry February 3rd, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Chip:

    Try this one.

    http://www.minorleagueball.com.....ree-agents

  41. blake February 3rd, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Chip says:
    February 3, 2014 at 9:51 am
    If Jagelo has a good year, would you want the Yankees to sign Chase Headley next winter?

    Depends on the money….

  42. Chip February 3rd, 2014 at 9:55 am

    The Yankees had a plan to get under $189 and realized that doing so would prevent them from being competitive and so they shifted gears. I don’t know that I would call that a lack of long term plan so much as I would say that they re-evaluated their situation and adjusted like most businesses do.

  43. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Yes MTU you can look at it both ways.
    Half full or half empty.
    What’s the difference, whatever happens happens, right?
    It can go either way or somewhere in between.
    In the end we have no control, alto’ we think we do…

  44. AAA February 3rd, 2014 at 9:58 am

    If Jagelo has a good year, would you want the Yankees to sign Chase Headley next winter?

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

    I’d want to know what Headley does this summer. 2012 was the exception in his career, not the rule. Still need to see more before committing pretty big money and term to a 31 year old.

    That said, doesn’t matter what Jagelo does this summer. If everything goes very well, he’s not contributing at the MLB level til 2016. If you can get a solid MLB 3B without selling your soul, you do it.

  45. fuji February 3rd, 2014 at 10:01 am

    the 1989 yankees gave up 792 runs, 13th out of 14th teams.

    the yankees in 2013 gave up 671 runs.

    i don’t think the yankees are going to resemble the 1989 team because i think their pitching will be closer to giving up 700 runs.

    that said, i don’t think the yankees have bottomed out yet with their poor management.
    the fact they had to spend almost half a billion dollars to give them a chance at the playoffs show that they haven’t done the job development wise.

    the yankees get a big fail at development. this was all supposed to change when cashman took over before hughes, jobs, and ian kennedy.
    read this to see the typical optimism with hughes at the time :
    http://nypost.com/2008/03/05/f.....-prophecy/

    cashman has to get a big fail . it’s a no brainer, but yankee enabler fans keep supporting cashman when it’s clear he’s a fraud as a baseball development guy.

    i can’t put it any straighter than that. cashman can only survive when he spends close to half a billion dollars. he’s not the solution . he’s the problem.

  46. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Mick-

    I really don’t think it is as dismal as some make it out to be.

    I have to say I am puzzled that they seem to have stopped with a few potentially significant
    issues remaining.

    But I believe they are looking a ahead.

    Next year we get Bailey.

    And the year after we might get Harper.

    And I can see at least 1 of our prospects with big club.

    Trades are always possible.

    There are problems but all Teams have them. Some more than others.

    We don’t totally suck.

    :)

  47. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:03 am

    The difference between the 80′s teams were that they had no pitching.
    Forget the bullpen.
    This team will have 5 bona fide starters or is that too much of a reach.
    The pen will come through again as Girardi is a master.
    But looking at the negatives is more interesting than the positives. It sells.
    Always feel bad when speaking negative, not to say looking at the world thru rose colored glasses brings a false sense of security.
    Somewhere in the middle is better, some call it realism, altho the above post might be more realistic than negative, it is also obvious.
    Sure we have flaws, what team doesn’t?
    It’s the surprises I look forward to.

  48. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I have to say I am puzzled that they seem to have stopped with a few potentially significant
    issues remaining.
    ===============
    MTU

    They haven’t stopped.
    They are waiting, like all other teams are.
    These prices will drop.

  49. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Fuji-

    Not just Cashman.

    Do Newman or Oppenheimer get no blame ?

    They are the guys who are responsible for drafting and development.

    There is plenty of blame to go round.

    Where’s the change that Hal promised ?

    Oh I forgot. We did fire the S and C coach.

    My bad.

    :(

  50. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:07 am

    OK mick.

    I’d like to see them finish it off.

  51. Tackelberry February 3rd, 2014 at 10:09 am

    MYU:

    Supposedly they implemeted a bunch of new changes in strategy, without changing personnel. See if that works. If not, then obviously those heads will finally roll.

  52. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Tackel-

    That should have happened long ago.

    Especially in Newman’s case.

    Must be nice to not have to be accountable and still keep your job.

    ;)

  53. pat February 3rd, 2014 at 10:10 am

    While the snow flies here……

    AnthonyMcCarron
    Baseball players doing baseball things there. The morning after the Super Bowl, it’s baseball season. pic.twitter.com/sgzWbEDDJc

  54. Against All Odds February 3rd, 2014 at 10:10 am

    MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 9:48 am
    AAO-

    That is a pipe dream IMO.

    And it’s misguided too.

    ——————

    He should not have put it out there if that was the case because then it creates unreal expectations.

  55. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:11 am

    NObody complained when the Yanks were rolling with the same philosophy they have always had.
    Since when did they rely on their farm system? Since Never.
    Jeter and the rest were luck. They wanted to trade most of them away.
    Their M.O. was never development. Any Yankee fan knows that.
    It just doesn’t suit the NY market.
    Even if they had a team of wonderful prospects in the field and god forbid lost, fans would stay home.

  56. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Mick-

    Bingo.

    AAO-

    Perhaps not.

    I never expect the Yankees to have a top Farm. Just a decent and practical one.

    Moderately productive.

  57. pat February 3rd, 2014 at 10:16 am

    AnthonyMcCarron
    So far at the Yanks’ Himes Complex, I’ve seen Derek Jeter, Preston Claiborne, Adam Warren, Larry Rothschild.

    AnthonyMcCarron
    Derek Jeter is working in a batting cage right now

  58. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:17 am

    fuji cracks me up.
    here’s an apple that can’t stand to lose, as old school as they come, and he wants to develop the farm.
    doesn’t add up…

  59. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Balance.

    :)

  60. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:23 am

    MTU

    Balance would require a non radical style of thinking.
    Something less than extreme.

  61. pat February 3rd, 2014 at 10:24 am

    AnthonyMcCarron
    There’s Jeter jogging over for some field work now. pic.twitter.com/X6zv2mebiP

  62. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:25 am

    I’d like to see them finish it off.
    ======================
    MTU

    Don’t you think they will?

  63. blake February 3rd, 2014 at 10:26 am

    @AnthonyMcCarron: Jeter just hit one over the left field fence. Meaningful?

    Can Ryan hit one over the fence ?

  64. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:27 am

    @AnthonyMcCarron: Jeter just hit one over the left field fence. Meaningful?
    ===================
    Can he run it out?

  65. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:27 am

    mick-

    That has always been where I’m at.

    There are parallel tracks.

    The weightings can change from year to year but the overall strategy shouldn’t IMO.

    Money
    Farm
    Trades

    :)

  66. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Mick-

    I’m on the fence but I can say that I hope so.

    It does make sense that they would.

  67. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:31 am

    MTU

    The farm is a work in progress.
    I don’t remember a time where we had more pitching prospects down there than now.
    They might not have the hype attached but that was a trade strategy, so some of these might actually stick, without the fanfare.

  68. Hans Davenport February 3rd, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I like this Marcano guy. Nice job. Love it.

  69. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:34 am

    I’m on the fence but I can say that I hope so.
    ==================
    MTU

    A question:

    If they want Drew and he asks for 3/30, if he an answer, would you do it?

  70. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Mick-

    I agree. Our Farm is loaded w high potential pitching prospects.

    Hopefully Aldred and Patterson will do a better job.

  71. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Mick-

    Is that my only option to fix the deficiency ?

  72. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Hopefully Aldred and Patterson will do a better job.
    =========================
    I’m sure that’s why they were hired.

  73. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:36 am

    MTU

    Never.

  74. blake February 3rd, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Russell Wilson used to play 2B for the Asheville Tourists

  75. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Mick-

    If that is the case I would backfill Nova w one of the remaining guys and trade for a guy like Castro, Andrus, etc.

  76. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I wouldn’t give up on Nova for either of them.

  77. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:41 am

    With CC iffy you need potential aces like Tanaka and Nova around.

  78. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Mick-

    Then I guess we go your route.

    ;)

  79. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Evidently Drew and the Yanks see his role differently.
    He doesn’t want to be a Jeter replacement if the need arises and isn’t willing to bet on it with his salary.

  80. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:45 am

    But I will say this.

    If Nova returns to being inconsistent once again (possible) we wasted a terrific opportunity.

    Let’s hope he doesn’t. I’ve been in his corner all along.

  81. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Then I guess we go your route.
    ==================
    Thank you Mr Cashman. ;)

  82. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Let’s hope he doesn’t. I’ve been in his corner all along.
    ===========
    And I haven’t.
    But if Tulo is dangled, that’s a different story.

  83. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:47 am

    mick-

    Are you trying to insult me ?

    :)

  84. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Mick-

    Tulo is a stud.

    Would love to have him.

    Nova doesn’t get you Tulo unless it’s a salary dump.

  85. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:49 am

    I don’t think they want Drew b/c of his bat.
    If he replaced Jeter for the year, they would want a better SS next year.
    Reason for the 1 year contract.
    That would be a last resort for Boras.

  86. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Are you trying to insult me ?
    =================
    Nah MTU why would I do that?
    We agree to often..

    Just trying to picture what Cash has to go through.

  87. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:52 am

    get Baker.

  88. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I think Baker is mulling his offer(s).
    Not too much demand?
    You would think he would take the MIL deal and prove himself here.
    Great opportunity.

  89. AAA February 3rd, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Nova doesn’t get you Tulo unless it’s a salary dump.

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

    Which it never will be.

  90. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 10:56 am

    HanRam might be tempting next year.
    If he wants to come here, he might be able to name his price.

  91. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Mick-

    He has several MiLB offers he wants an ML deal.

  92. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 10:58 am

    I think the Dodgers will re-ink Ramirez.

    I also think he would be too expensive for us.

  93. austinmac February 3rd, 2014 at 11:00 am

    I want my next job to be sitting around in Florida, watching practice and writing a column.

    The Yankees do want to develop a good farm system to save money. It seems apparent they don’t know how to either select players or develop them. At least they are bringing in some new people, but it is truly amazing these guys all keep their jobs.

  94. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Trade for a guy like Castro, Andrus, Franklin, Olt, Ackley, etc.

    They are young and can be the future.

    To do it you load up on pitching.

    And use your other surpluses.

    ;)

  95. BIG AL February 3rd, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Seattle showed last night, as in most sports, “D” wins.

    In baseball I consider pitching as a big part of the “D” and with 3 very good GB pitchers, the Yanks need to upgrade the IF, or the pitching will not be as effective, JMHO.

  96. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Mac-

    I don’t think the Farm is as important to them as some think.

    It’s just one piece of the puzzle.

    And likely not the primary one.

  97. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Absolutely Al.

    Would be a shame to waste it.

    And good morning by the way.

    :)

  98. austinmac February 3rd, 2014 at 11:05 am

    The Yankees have had a number of prospects over the years that seem to have great tools but don’t make it. Melky Mesa for example. He is fast, has a great arm, power and is very good defensively. Yet, he never learned to shorten his swing in eight years with the organization. Is it the player or team’s, I don’t know. It just seems a waste of physical abilities.

  99. BIG AL February 3rd, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Morning Mike -

    I was sitting here this morning looking at some of your pictures, and day dreaming.

  100. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 11:07 am

    After watching Kuroda and Tanaka destroy guys with their splits there will likely be several other guys on the staff who take note.

    :shock:

  101. BIG AL February 3rd, 2014 at 11:07 am

    mac -

    It was my understanding Mesa was not that good on “D”, am I wrong?

  102. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Al-

    I am very happy to hear they continue to give you pleasure.

    :)

  103. blake February 3rd, 2014 at 11:10 am

    “The Yankees have had a number of prospects over the years that seem to have great tools but don’t make it. Melky Mesa for example. He is fast, has a great arm, power and is very good defensively. Yet, he never learned to shorten his swing in eight years with the organization. Is it the player or team’s, I don’t know. It just seems a waste of physical abilities.”

    Yea but to a great degree you can’t teach the hit tool…..either a guy can make contact or he can’t. Now you can hone and improve what ability is there…..but the difference in eyesight, hand eye coordination, and just physical ability to hit a baseball between Melky Mesa and a a big leaguer is significant IMO…..

    As I’ve said the yanks do need to get better at player development….but I think a lot of these guys just aren’t good enough

  104. BIG AL February 3rd, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Mike -

    I’d like to see Kuroda and Tanaka help the staff develop an effective split, it seems the PC does not do an teaching. Mo, IMO, had greater input on the staff than the PC.

  105. austinmac February 3rd, 2014 at 11:10 am

    MTU,

    The farm should be one of the ways to team build. My sense, if I have any, says a team should have 1/3-1/2 of it’s team through development and the remainder acquired in free agency or trades.

    It is by having the cheaper in house players that the team should have money left over to spend on costly guys.

  106. BIG AL February 3rd, 2014 at 11:12 am

    blake -

    Please just tell us what you think, and no sugar coating . :)

  107. blake February 3rd, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Mason Williams is a guy that looks like he has the talent and a guy that good development and leadership could help…..will he get it with the Yankees? I guess we will find out

  108. blake February 3rd, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I love ST….everyone is so ready for baseball that you have beat guys tweeting photos from a mile away LF Jeter hitting in a cage.

  109. BIG AL February 3rd, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Mike -

    How is Lucky doing, I hope his condition is getting much better.

  110. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Mac-

    I leave the percentages to the experts like you.

    :)

    Al-

    You might see more of our guys trying to learn it when they see how effective it can be.

  111. BIG AL February 3rd, 2014 at 11:18 am

    blake -

    Had the Yanks not made the moves they did so far, I don’t think very many of us would be so eager for BB to begin, I hope they still have some good moves left.

  112. Mike R February 3rd, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I really think this team can go either way this year. If everything breaks our way (i.e. everyone important stays healthy) we can at least contend for the WC and maybe the division,with enough starting pitching to go far in the playoffs. If,say,Tex,Jeter and Ellsbury all miss significant time,CC continues his downward trend,and Nova isn’t the real deal,we could be looking at a disaster of a season,as there just isn’t enough major league ready depth in the organization. Maybe we are due for a year of good luck after all of last year’s injuries.

  113. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Al-

    80-90%.

    Eye surgery all healed.

    The medications are very hard on his system.

    We are trying to find a less detrimental regimen.

    He’s happy and playful even as it is.

    So we can live with his current level of health if we have to.

    How is the other baby doing ?

    thanks for asking.

  114. BIG AL February 3rd, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I’d love to see Mo as the PC in the near future.

  115. blake February 3rd, 2014 at 11:20 am

    AL,
    I’m ready either way…..let the grass grow….lets get it going !

  116. pat February 3rd, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Big difference between “D” in baseball and football is that “D” in football can put points on the board but only “O” in baseball can.

  117. pat February 3rd, 2014 at 11:22 am

    BREAKING: #Rays Hellickson has elbow surgery, out until mid- to late-May. Details
    http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/.....ay/2163896

  118. BIG AL February 3rd, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Mike -

    Still looking for her brother, and has become very clingy, never leaves our side. Vet told us this is quite common, and can last for several months, even longer.

  119. luis February 3rd, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Excellent post Ray… That´s why I was hoping for a full rebuilding process… This is just a delaying the inevitable IMO… Since you mention those trades, this FO has his fair share of bad trades as well… Not to that kind of level of suck, but certainly close… As I have said many times, we are back in to the 80´s.

  120. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I’d like to see Mo around in any capacity.

    His mere presence is a huge positive.

  121. austinmac February 3rd, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Al,

    From my limited view and scouting reports, I think Mesa was a very good outfielder. He just struck out every third at bat.

  122. LevinsonSF February 3rd, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Nice Post. We need to get all perspectives which makes for an interesting season. I personally think the Yanks will be pretty good this year but not without some problems along the way.

  123. BIG AL February 3rd, 2014 at 11:26 am

    pat -

    Very true, but, in BB “D” can keep points off the board, which means you need to score less to win.

  124. BIG AL February 3rd, 2014 at 11:27 am

    mac -

    OK, as an OF his “D” was good, I thought he was working on being a 3B, and was not good there.

  125. mick February 3rd, 2014 at 11:28 am

    As I have said many times, we are back in to the 80´s.
    ==================
    luis

    we had NO pitching in the 80′s

    winfiled and mattingly were always complaining about it

  126. BIG AL February 3rd, 2014 at 11:30 am

    mac -

    I think I was thinking of Musty.

  127. luis February 3rd, 2014 at 11:32 am

    No Mick, we had an old rotation that translated in to no pitching… Then we had no farm development and traded most of the prospects that turn out to be good players as Ray mentions… Doesn´t ring familiar to you?… Mostly hired guns, no home grown core and mostly an old core?… Heck, we even traded Righetti!!!… The FA model doesn´t work on it´s own… it needs a good homegrown core, then you compliment it with FA or trades.

  128. luis February 3rd, 2014 at 11:34 am

    The only thing I don´t agree with Ray is on Nova…

  129. luis February 3rd, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Old roster intead of old core should say

  130. BIG AL February 3rd, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Later folks – Y’all have a great day !

  131. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Luis-

    Depends on how you define core ?

    If you mean another set like the core 4 you can forget that notion.

    If you mean a few good homegrown’s sure.

    ;)

  132. austinmac February 3rd, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Blake,

    Mesa’s swing is long. One can be taught to shorten a swing and swing inside put. I do agree hand eye coordination comes from birth.

  133. MTU February 3rd, 2014 at 11:46 am

    New one ———->

  134. luis February 3rd, 2014 at 11:46 am

    MTU,

    No Yankee dynasty has won without an outstanding homegrown core… Like the Core 4?, unlikely, but you can certainly have a solid core of good players… But first we need that kind of talent…So we have to suck for a few years in order to get it and build the team around that talent… We need a player development oriented organization… Not a win at all costs oriented “Steinbrenner” organization… That´s why I was all for a much needed rebuilding period… If you think this so called “new core” of Ellsbury, McCann and Beltran will give you sustained success, you are bound for a big dissapointment

  135. austinmac February 3rd, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Al,

    I will allow this one mistake. Make no more or people will begin confusing us. :)

  136. rmarcano February 3rd, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    Thank you, Chad, for allowing me to write this post. And thanks everyone for reading and posting comments. I really hope I’m wrong…but I’m not feeling wrong on this one.

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