Thursday, January 31, 2008

Yankees Sign Ensberg

UPDATE: It’s a minor league deal

The Yankees signed third basemen Morgan Ensberg, who had been non-tendered by the Padres. I had posted about this earlier here, but got the idea from NoMaas. Ensberg was horrific last year, but has had three decent years. His line last year was .231/.320/.404. I know that sucks, but there is a lot of power there. A .404 slugging % isn't very good, but considering how few hits he got, it is actually pretty good. There is a stat called isolated power, which is just SLG-AVG, so his would be .173, which is a lot of power. He also had an .830 OPS last year against lefties, so he could be valuable in that sense. He will play first base, but may or may not make the team out of Spring Training. MLBTR is not sure if it is a major or minor league deal. He joins Jason Lane as another former Astro to join the Yankees.

Sorry about how poorly written that was, I don't have a lot of time.


jb said...

Comments from Redsox Fans

lol. Hughes the best prospect in the bunch? Not quite. He's already been outperformed by Buchholz, Ellsbury and even a Jon Lester not at full strength. Hughes will likely be better than Kennedy, but time will tell if he has a better career than Buchholz, Ellsbury and Lester.

Posted by: Jeff | January 29, 2008 at 05:04 PM

If the deal is true, I'm happy as well. Get him away from the American League.

Time will tell if this is good for the Yankees or not, but the Sox already have a rotation they know is capable of delivering a trophy. And just think, we haven't even seen the best of Dice-K, Lester, or Buchholz...and Schilling's reinvention as a finesse pitcher certainly makes him intriguing for one more year.

Posted by: DRM | January 29, 2008 at 06:11 PM

Ellsbury had 116 AB
Buchholz had three starts
Lester has a career 4.68 ERA and has allowed 226 baserunners in 144.1 innings. Compared to 110 K. And yes, for the most part, not at full strength.

Hughes: 4.46 ERA, mostly not at full strength (he was hurt in his 3rd major league start). But had a 2.73 September, a 1.59 October and in 72.2 innings gave up less hits than innings pitched (64) and 100 baserunners. He also had 58 K, nearly the exact pace as Lester, but Lester is older.

How exactly was he being outperformed? Because Lester is 11-2 thanks to run support? Or because Buchholz has 22 innings pitched? Or Ellsbury is a position player with 20% of a season?

By those standards, Joba Chamberlain is better than everybody involved and Ian Kennedy's 1.89 ERA in his 19 innings makes him just as good as Buchholz who had a 1.59 ERA.

Again, Ellsbury (24) and Lester (24) have clearly shown they are better than Hughes (21) how, exactly?

Posted by: Vince | January 29, 2008 at 06:43 PM

This is huge for the Yankees, and heads off the one factor that could have really crushed them in 2008, Santana in Boston. Now they are at least even with the Sox, and that may be generous. Let's remember that only when the Yankees had literally historic injuries to their pitching in April and May (more different starters in their first 35 games than any team in ML history) did the Sox have any edge, and the Yanks were 12.5 games better the rest of the way-- with, it bears noting, essentially the teams that both will head into 2008 with. Beckett totally exceeded anything he'd done before, Dice was mediocre most of the season, Schilling can't get it over 86 mph or stay healthy... without Santana, the Yanks have every chance to match the Sox on the mound, and since they outscored the Sox by more than 100 runs and return their whole lineup, they now have an excellent chance to start a new division title streak...

Posted by: Moonlight Graham | January 29, 2008 at 06:45 PM

Oh yeah this is a great day for yankee fans alright. The yankees havent gotten out of the 1st round of the playoffs the last 3 years, there number one pitcher (Wang) lost 2 games to the indians in this past years playoffs, they have the same team as last year and they just passed on the best pitcher in baseball because they didnt want to trade a PROSPECT (Huges), who has yet to prove himself as a top pitcher. Hey, but look at the bright side, if the rookies dont pan out, theres always Igawa. What a joke Cashman is. I think everyone is missing the point here. The yankees werent trading for a 41 year old washed up pitcher. They were trading for the best pitcher in baseball. Hey Cashman, maybe Jared Wright will be available during the year when the Yankees are struggling to stay at 500. Well at least Cashman will be gone.

Posted by: Joe G | January 29, 2008 at 08:39 PM

Pavano, Igawa, Wang, Mussina, Pettitte in last years opening day rotation. Clemens later on.

Wang, Pettitte, Hughes, Kennedy, Mussina, Chamberlain in this years rotation....

Ummm, what was that about the same team? Look at Wang in '06 and '05 in the playoffs. Mussina is going from a 2-3 starter to a 5.

Damon is a split time player with Matsui. Giambi is a split time player as well. Wil Nieves is not the backup catcher and the bullpen has a higher ceiling.

This team also stands to probably not lose 7 starters in April or go into a two month swoon offensively since they actually have a bench.

Same team? What team were you watching in April of '07?

Posted by: Vince | January 29, 2008 at 08:45 PM

I haven't seen the comments get this hostile for awhile. Any Sox fan who says they're not worried about the Yankees is kidding themselves. We may have won it all last year, but the Yankees still beat us head to head, which doesn't sit well with me.

I think this trade was the best thing for these two teams. Both have good reasons to be optimistic for '08. Trades aren't over yet (in fact they've probably just begun).

But with all that said, the Red Sox were the best team in baseball in '07. Gloating time isn't over yet.

Posted by: Pat (SF) | January 29, 2008 at 10:06 PM

I couldn't care less that the Yankees beat us head to head last that logic the Orioles and Devil Rays were better than the Yanks.

Also, Vince, it's hardly fair to judge Lester on numbers just're talking about a kid who was just months removed from his battle with cancer. I realize he pitched in '06 and his stats weren't great, but anyone who denies his talent hasn't been paying attention...he just needs to get his control, well, under control.

As for the Mets, they needed this deal to happen. Omar Minaya had to save face in a big way to show their fans the team is serious about rebounding after the biggest collapse in regular season history.

I love this...I see real potential for the World Series I've been clamoring for for several years now...the long overdue Red Sox-Mets rematch of '86

Posted by: DRM | January 29, 2008 at 10:28 PM

DRM, agree on the Mets.
It also makes no sense to bring tampa and baltimore into this, neither one is a playoff threat. I don't buy into regular season matchups (see Indians-Yankees 2007), but when you talk Yankees and Red Sox and you take note the two were seperated by just three games and were matched evenly head to head, it means they aren't in two different leagues of talent.

DRM, Hughes was hurt last year and wasn't the same when he came back until September, nowhere did any scout project Lester to be a future ace, nor was he ever the top talent in the minors, Hughes has been. Hughes and Buchholz? Make all the comparisons you want, but Lester is not on that level, unless you're prepared to throw Chamberlain on the same level.

Posted by: Vince | January 29, 2008 at 11:24 PM

I agree with DRM, Pat. Head to head doesn't matter. The Sox and Yankees usually play close (9-9 or 8-10. This year, the Sox are the better team heading into the regular season.

As for the debate about Hughes and the Sox top prospects, of course they all have a small sampling in the majors. That is why they are called prospects. I do agree that Hughes has more PR than any other prospect, but so far Buchholz looks like a better pitcher than Hughes, and no prospect could have a better start to their career than Ellsbury. Lester's main issue has been throwing too many pitches, which leads to walks, but the bottom line is he is a winner. The Sox feel like they are going to win when he steps on the mound, and I imagine he does, too. Game Four of the World Series certainly won't hurt that confidence. And Lester should have his velocity back this season. So far, Buchholz, Ellsbury and Lester have performed better than Hughes. All we hear about from Yankeeland is how great Hughes is. We're just waiting to see actual evidence on a Major League mound.

Posted by: Jeff | January 30, 2008 at 08:35 AM

I couldn't be happier with the outcome of this deal. The Sox get to keep Lester and Ellsbury, the Yankees don't get better, and Santana goes to the NL. The Twins got smoked on this deal, they won't see a return on this for a while, though it's better than the sandwich picks.

Posted by: rip | January 30, 2008 at 09:41 AM

If Santana had to go to NY, I am certainly glad it is to the Mets and not the Yankees....I am happy that the Sox don't have to deal Ellsbury, I was really worried it would come to that to get Santana. Frankly, I am surprised at the deal from Minnesota's point of view. I can't imagine that the deal the Mets made was better than what the Yankees and Red Sox were willing to part with...I guess time will tell. And I am equally surprised the Yankees didn't do all that was necessary to get Santana...maybe they are changing their ways! Who knew! I am curious to see the Yankees rotation...Mussina and Pettitte mostly. I am more confident with the Sox rotation in every way. It really does not matter about runs scored, the Yankees can score all the runs they want, in the end it is all about pitching....

Posted by: LMT | January 30, 2008 at 04:35 PM

You are half-right, LMT, pitching is the most important element, but it does matter how many runs are scored also. The Yankees scored over 100 runs more than the Sox last year, and neither team did anything to change that dynamic for this season. That's about 2/3 of a run a game more over the course of the season.

Last year the Sox were able to overcome that-- barely. By 2 games. And that was all in the first two months, when the Yanks pitching was in comical, historic disarray. You may be more confident about the Sox rotation, but there are equal questions on both sides and the edge, if there is one, has certainly shrunk. Mussina may not even make the Yankee rotation, a clear sign this is not your Igawa, Pavano, AA stop-gaps rotation of last year.

As for the Sox, the absolute best they can hope for from Beckett is to repeat last year, and since he had a 5+ ERA the season before and had never won more than 16 games in his career, there is much more downside than additional upside. Schilling is breaking down and unlikely to improve, Dice was a semi-bust before Oct, and Wake is a back-end guy at best...

Wang has won more games than anyone, including Beckett, the last two years, Pettitte was money, and the three kids all have far more upside than the bottom of the Sox rotation...

The Sox may have a pitching edge, but a lot needs to break right and it sure is no given... the Yankees significant offensive edge is a given. And it will matter...

Posted by: Moonlight Graham | January 30, 2008 at 05:22 PM

Vince, what do you mean scouts didn't consider Lester a future ace? They were virtually split 50-50 as to who had greater potential, Lester or Papelbon.

Moonlight Graham, Wakefield is indeed a back of the rotation who has won at least 16 games twice in the last 3 it run support, but what other team can point to their 4th or 5th starter and think, "Well there's 15-17 wins right there." Wakefield is a tremendous testament to our pitching depth.

The predictions for the pennant race are always fun, but let's just see how things turn out. Yankee fans point to what they accomplished last year despite their dreadful first half, but these same fans don't seem to remember predicting the Sox would never make up the 11 game difference from 2006...we won 96 games, and it had little, if anything, to do with Yankee injuries.

Also, I just have this intangible feeling that this is still Boston's time. The Yankees for the most part dominated us from 1920 or so until 2003. The tide has turned, and I believe our day in the sun will continue for some time. But that's just emotion talking, which of course counts for nothing until the next championship is captured.

Posted by: DRM | January 30, 2008 at 06:21 PM

Moonlight, you sure do a good job of painting a really rosey picture for the Yankees and a grim scene for the Sox. Yes...offense matters...until the playoffs start...when the other team has good offense AND good pitching. Obviously the fact that the Yankees scored 100 runs more than the Sox didn't amount to a hill of beans once your starting pitchers imploded (except for Pettite, of course) against the Tribe.

Beckett is entering his prime years, and showed last season that he has matured into an actual pitcher, as opposed to someone just throwing 95 mph batting practice a la 06. Not to mention his sheer dominance in the post season. If you think that 07 was a fluke, I wonder about your baseball sensibilities. Even if he can't repeat his performance from 07, it's not likely to go down that much.

Wang may have more wins in the past few season, but he falls apart in the playoffs. Don't forget that Wang's win totals are inflated do to the potent Yankees offense. You conveniently left that little factoid out.

Even if Mussina isn't in the rotation at the beginning of the season, he'll get plugged in as soon as the three rookies hit their innings limit. At that point, probably around August-early September, what kind of rotation are the Yankees going to have if they make the playoffs? The Yankees FO won't gamble on the youngsters getting injured due to the fact that their starting pitching depth is thin. They may hit the pen, but it is a slim chance that even 2 out of the 3 rookies will be in the starting rotation at the end of the season. I can see the Yankees making a trade for a SP sometime during the season.

And how is that Yankee bull pen coming along? Still setting up with Farnsworth? What's his nickname again?

Dice-K could have easily won a few more with adequate run support, as he lost several 1-0 games. I'm sure he'll be having a better year, now that he knows what to expect, as well as not having to adapt to the cultural differances.

Schilling may not be a fire-baller anymore, but he has learned to pitch with more finesse, and you know he will have the extra determination to end his career with a bang.

Lester will enter camp with all of his strength from not having to battle cancer, no doubt you will see an improvement there. Wake will be Wake, pencil him in for his usual 12-15 wins.

We have rotation depth with Buchholtz, who obviously is regarded nearly or as highly as either Phil Hughes or Joba. Not a bad ace to have up your sleeve (no pun intended, lol).

You also don't mention that several Sox players (Drew, Manny, Coco, Lugo) had bad years at the plate, and they really underachieved with RISP all season long. Drew should make the adjustment this season, he showed flashes of his pre-07 self towards the end of the season, including one of the most pivotal hits of the season in the ALCS. One would think Manny will have a better year, though I suppose he could have a similar year. I wouldn't expect that he does much worse than last season. Coco will be replaced by the gamer Ellsbury, Lugo should make modest improvements as well. I'm willing to put money on the Sox offense scoring a bunch more runs this season. It may not reach Yankees run totals, but just as last season, the run differential should work out in the Sox' favor once again with the higher quality and depth of the Boston pitching staff.

Posted by: rip | January 30, 2008 at 06:58 PM

It's not so much that I'm painting a rosy picture for the Yanks as I am suggesting a little perspective. I find it hilarious how emboldened Sox fans are in claiming what they now perceive as a big and clear edge, especially in pitching.

First of all, kudos on the Oct title run. It means a lot, nice work. But remember, the 82 win Cards won the year before, so crazy things happen in Oct, and the 6 month season is a better indicator of the relative strengths of teams.

The Sox finished 10+ games out in 2006, and from late May on last season, finished 12.5 games worse than the Yanks. Their early lead was built on, quite literally, historic health issues for the Yanks pitching-- they had more different starting pitchers than any team in ML history through their first 40 games.

Once the Yanks got even remotely healthy, they were the MUCH better team the rest of the season. And the Sox impressive 10 day run after falling behind 3-1 to CLE notwithstanding, those are largely the same teams we both head into Opening Day with.

In terms of the improvements from the players you listed, sure, maybe a little. But remember, Drew has still NEVER driven in more than 100 runs in a season, and Lugo has never batted .300, so these guys have always been overrated, and can only improve so much.

You're right about the Yankee kids, inning counts will come into play. But, again, Moose might be our 6th starter, so we have depth we could only dream about last season.

I'm not talking any big smack here. All I'm saying is, look long and hard at last season and how things are shaking out this season before making any big proclaimations about the Sox having leapfrogged the Yanks. It just isn't there, other than a nice 10 day streak against a fading Tribe and the rusty Rox...

Posted by: Moonlight Graham | January 30, 2008 at 07:27 PM

I would say that Beckett was superior to Wang this last season. Wang fell apart 2 times in the playoffs against Cleveland, in part due to Torre's ridiculous decision to start him on short rest in his second game. Beckett was the pitcher that brought the Sox back from the brink and they went on to win it alll= after that. So, if I were betting money, my money is clearly on Beckett all the way. Now, it will certainly take more than Beckett to win it all come October, everyone knows that. But I still think the odds are in the Sox favor, maybe not by much, but they are. They Yankees have not made significant improvements this off season, unless you consider the resigning of ARod an improvement, and many would argue it is not...he certainly has not helped in the post season when it mattered. And the team is another year older at this point. I don't see their pitching any better than the Sox at this point in time. You can mask poor hitting and defense with a good supporting cast (for awhile anyway), but it is impossible to mask pitching when it isn't good.

Posted by: LMT | January 30, 2008 at 07:56 PM

lol. A fading Tribe and the rusty Rox. I love it how a Yankees fan tires to diminish an impressive post-season performance by Boston. The Indians had a 3-1 lead, and the Sox rallied for the series win. The Indians didn't fade. They were beaten by the better team who performed in the clutch as they did in 2004. The Rockies were exceptional through September and the NL Playoffs. They were overmatched in the World Series by a Boston team that was clearly better.

Also, you mention that the Sox were 12.5 worse than the Yankees from late May on. Well, if you haven't noticed, it is a 162-game season. The regular season begins in April (actually March this year), not late May. It matters how a team performs in April, just as it matters how a team performs in September. Every game counts, which is where Boston's pitching depth will help again in 2008. The Sox had a exceptional start last year, had ups and downs and then played well again when it counted most.

Posted by: Jeff | January 30, 2008 at 11:02 PM

Also, when are Yankees fans going to learn that you can't match stats player by player when comparing teams. It's the "team" that matters most. I said it last year, and not much has changed. The Yankees are a collection of players while the Red Sox are a team. I would much rather be in Boston's state than the Yankees state.

Posted by: Jeff | January 30, 2008 at 11:06 PM

As for Lester, he has the tools to be a No. 1 or No. 2 on many teams. His velocity should return to normal this season (93-95), which should make his off-speed pitches and breaking balls even more effective. All Lester has to be in Boston is a No.4 caliber starter, which he is already. He is plain and simple a winner. He will only get better with experience, so get accustomed to seeing Ws by his name in games he starts.

Posted by: Jeff | January 30, 2008 at 11:10 PM

Yes, crazy things happen in October...that's why they play the games. But to say that next year's Yankees could win it all based on the 82 win Cards is preposterous. The Cardinals won the NLCS and WS with great pitching performances. Not ncessarily great pitchers, though Carpenter is pretty good, and Suppan can be good ocasionally. Yankees pitching has not gotten the job done the last few post seasons. Not to say that the Yankees pitchers couldn't have had good performances...that remains to be seen. But, if you want to base future performances on past performances, Wang cannot be counted on. Mussina cannot be counted on. The rookies most likely will not be there. You can obviously count on Pettite...there's 1 out of 5 starters that a Yankee fan can trust, as of now, to win a game in October.

When I said Drew and Lugo would improve, I didn't say either of them would have a career year like you are implying. I merely meant to say that they couldn't get much worse. Ditto for Coco, if he stays with the team. Lowell will have a drop in production coming off a career season.

I wouldn't necessarily say the Yankees were the better team down the stretch, they obviously weren't the last team playing in October. They had to play their tails off just to make it to the play offs, and had nothing left once they got there. Let's face it, the Indians (whom the Yankees owned during the regular season) beat the Yankees in pretty convincing fashion in the ALDS, save for game 2. Then the Sox beat the Indians, though I think the Sox and Indians were nearly even. That series was a matter of which team got hot and got the breaks at the right times, as much as it was about domninant pitching performances.

And if you say the 6 month regular season is a better indicator of the relative strengths of teams, why are you even trying to say the Yankees and Sox are even? Didn't we win the division and have the best record in baseball (along with the Indians, of course)?

Posted by: rip | January 30, 2008 at 11:14 PM

Same fanbase that said the only reason the Sox didn't make the playoffs and finished in third was because of injuries. The Yankees face epic injury proportions for two months int he regular season to BEGIN the season, not end it and all of a sudden it's an excuse and baseball is 162 games blah blah blah no excuses! Please.

Wang never gets it done in the playoffs? Try Before this postseason look at his games, he may have one win, but then again, that makes Johan Santana a bad pitcher too, doesn't it?

Collection of players? Hmm, the Yankees can't get old, can't get young, can't draft foreign players, can't bring up homegrowns, can't have too many rookies, can't have too little rookies, can't have too many free agents-OK, we get it, there is no solution to please a Red Sox fan in regards to the Yankees roster. 13 homegrowns downt he stretch last year was not enough, the chance of 13 starting on this opening day roster makes them a collection of players too. In fact, new rule: all Yankees homegrowns, free agents, veterans and rookies are a collection of players. Boston produces Pedroia, we produce Melky. One is a 4th outfielder "at best" and the other is a gritty "team player".

I mean, at what point does this rhetoric seem ridiculous to even the most optimistic sox fan?

Lester will finally be at full strength, much like Crisp was finally at full strength with his two year hand injury, oh, and put up the same numbers.

But Hughes? No, he's underachieivng and not as good as Buchholz because he made up his popped hamstring AND ankle injuries, those don't need recovery time. Wang? Lucky on his 19 wins, forget the fact he also missed a month, he's a lucky guy, not like Lester though, Lester is just turning into an ace, something Wang isn't because Wang is lucky.

Beckett? Chalk him up for 20 wins every single season, because all aces win 20 games every year. Dice K? Automatically better because he's asian and needed to adjust, forget the rest of asian pitcher history where their best seasons are immediate, Dice-K is too good for that logic.

Schilling? Completely different pitcher, he's ageless and now a finesse guy so the league can't adjust to his worse velocity and he will actually be healthier than the DL trips he takes every year. Mussina? Can't be a six starter, he can't adjust, he's finished, he wasn't better than Schilling as recently as 2006. Kennedy? 200 innings inning cap. I don't know what we will do now. Playoff rotation? Lucky Wang, Pettitte, Hughes who split time with Mussina and will be under his innings and Kennedy, who again, has a tight cap of 200 innings. Joba is probably a setup man finishing his cap, which means our bullpen, you're right, is lead by Farnsworth.

A-Rod? 4/15? He can't hit in the playoffs, no wait, he can't hit in the clutch in the playoffs, no wait, he can't win games in the clutch in the playoffs, no wait-are we done yet?

Lowell? Chalk him up for 100 rbi again, that was complete logic and he doesn't geta year older like the Yankees do, neither does Manny or Varitek. Manny Delcarmen? Only can happen to the Sox, Ohlendorf, Veras, any of the slew of pitchers in the minors poised to be ready soon, those guys can't pull a Delcarmen, they're from the Yankees farm and New York farms have never produced a good reliever, particularly closers.

Seriously, are we kidding?

Posted by: Vince | January 31, 2008 at 12:41 AM

Trying to say that "there is much more downside than additional upside" to Beckett is ridiculous for one reason: the guy is 27!! He's entering his prime. Yeah, it may not be the exact stats of last season, but there's no reason to think he'll fall off drastically.

And might want to watch it with the racial comments. Sox fans are hoping Daisuke gets better because he needed to adjust; his ethnicity has nothing to do with it. The same would be said for any player who has not played in the US Major/Minor League system. If they haven't played in the system before, there's always going to be adjustment. I'm guessing you weren't trying to come off badly with your comment, but seriously now. Food for thought, Vince.

Posted by: Megan | January 31, 2008 at 01:23 AM

"Same fanbase that said the only reason the Sox didn't make the playoffs and finished in third was because of injuries. The Yankees face epic injury proportions for two months int he regular season to BEGIN the season, not end it and all of a sudden it's an excuse and baseball is 162 games blah blah blah no excuses! Please."

Uhh, aren't both fanbases using this excuse now? Do you know what the differance is, Vince? The Yankees injuries occured early in the season, allowing them time to make up ground. By the time the Sox got hit, the Yankees were already breathing down the Sox' neck in August, not leaving any time to recover. The explanation is the same on both sides: not enough lineup depth.

"Wang never gets it done in the playoffs? Try Before this postseason look at his games, he may have one win, but then again, that makes Johan Santana a bad pitcher too, doesn't it?"

You're comparing WANG and SANTANA in the playoffs? Puhlease! Yes, they have the same record at 1-3. What you conveniently leave out is the ERA: Wang ERA = 7.58, Santana ERA = 3.97.

"Boston produces Pedroia, we produce Melky. One is a 4th outfielder "at best" and the other is a gritty "team player"."

Good comparison. Pedroia earns ROY, hits for a 317 ave and 380 obp regular season, and bats at a 345 ave in the ALCS. All while playing some stellar defense. Melky has yet to break a 280 ave, though he does play some solid outfield. Lots of scouts (ie. baseball people who know more than you and me) say that he isn't any better than a fourth outfielder. But Sox fans shouldn't be biased towards Red Sox players and should consider even inferior players of other teams equal. Right.

"Schilling? Completely different pitcher, he's ageless and now a finesse guy so the league can't adjust to his worse velocity and he will actually be healthier than the DL trips he takes every year"

Schilling experienced more success last season after he came back from the DL, putting up a 3.48 ERA in August, 3.16 in September, and a 3.00 during the post season run. Why shouldn't I believe he will have more success for a while with that style? I'm sure the hitters haven't adjusted to it yet, and I'm also sure that Schilling probably hasn't perfected the new technique to it's fullest yet. Plus everyone knows Schill is a competitor, he'll want to go out with a bang. And though you're right that he probably will see some of the DL over the season, he should be at least as effective as he was towards the end of the 07 season. But again, none of those reasons should be good enough to think that way.

"A-Rod? 4/15? He can't hit in the playoffs, no wait, he can't hit in the clutch in the playoffs, no wait, he can't win games in the clutch in the playoffs, no wait-are we done yet?"

Well, he hasn't hit in the playoffs lately, has he? I'm not sure if you were being sarcastic here...

Overall though, Vince, a pretty good rant.
I almost felt the plight of Yankees fans everywhere that have to belly up to the fact that the Sox are still a better team this season. Almost.

Posted by: rip | January 31, 2008 at 02:13 AM

Exactly my point. The Sox had no time to recover, the Yankees dug themselves a 12.5 game deficit. Either way, if you're admitting injuries were a factor in '06, then how do you ignore the fact a 2 game division may have been effected by even more injuries to the other team in '07?

Megan, no racial comment intended, it's simply a fact of foreign asian import pitchers, hence why Matsui, Johjima, Ichiro don't apply. Look at nomo, Suzuki and the likes-asian pitchers regress.

Schilling experienced success when he came back and adjusted, that's also my point, now the league will have an entire season to adjust to his location driven tactics, rather than pure stuff.

Would you prefer Pedroia and Cano? Would that work better for you?

A-Rod homered and after games 1 and 2 had himself a decent second half to the series. The rest of the team (except game 3) didn't hit. You can't knock in runs when there is nobody to knock in and you can't score when nobody advances you.

Posted by: Vince | January 31, 2008 at 08:53 AM

Pedroia and Cano...much better comparison. If I had to pick I think I'd probably take Cano, based purely on offensive performance. I think Pedroia is a bette fielder, but not by that much. I do love Down and Dirty Dustin though.

A-Rod had a chance to win Game 2 of the ALCS while the midges were attacking Carmona. Yet he was struck out. But go ahead, keep trying to make the case for A-Rod being good in the post season. He has certainly faltered since the 04 ALCS, though I fully expect that he will exorcise his playoff demons at some point.

Posted by: rip | January 31, 2008 at 11:08 AM

He has not reached the potential of his abilities, so I do agree with you. My main problem and I know a lot of Yankees fans agree, is that the failing of New York to get past the first round is not to be solely blamed on A-Rod and this most recent postseason he was certainly not invisible.

I do expect him to excercize the demons in the next 10 years though.

The reason I compared Melky and Pedroia is not because I think melky is better (I do think Cano is) but because that is our version of "gritty" and "team" players. Melky doesn't light the world on fire with stats, but he is certainly a winning presence and does the little things that you have to watch and that do not show up in the box scores.

Posted by: Vince | January 31, 2008 at 11:19 AM

I have to chime back in here to address the ridiculous, and conveniently unprovable, suggestion that the Yanks are a bunch of mercenaries and the Sox are a team.

First of all, hogwash. The Sox, despite winning, were easily the bigger collection of random parts and were not any more cohesive than anyone else. Drew was clearly a fish out of water, with fans and teammates, even his teammates thought Schilling was a blowhard and wished he would clamp his trap, as usual Manny was in his own world, etc, etc.

Sure, guys like Lowell and Youk and Pedroia were grinders and gelled. Good for them. But no more so than the energy Melky brought, and Cano, Jeter is obviously a rock, Abreu is pure class, etc.

Let's not overstate the difference here. Yes, the Sox won the title. But the Yanks lost 3 of 4 games to Cle, and needed all kinds of bad breaks to fall. Well guess what, the Tribe went on to then take the same 3 of 4 from Boston, only they were bailed out by the expanded series and Beckett. Good for them, again, but let's not pretend like there was this huge gulf between the teams, or that any clear gap seperates them into 2008.

The Yankees have all kinds of proven homegrown youth (Cano, Melky, Wang) who are completely integrated with the team, and Joba et al are clearly the next wave. Make the aging/mercenary call all you want, but if passing on Santana proves anything, its that the Yanks are actually heading in the opposite direction, and have been for several years...

Posted by: Moonlight Graham | January 31, 2008 at 12:35 PM

lol, Graham, you're really reaching now. Are you actually trying to say that the Yanks lost the ALDS mainly because of bad breaks? Go look at the box score for each game.

Game 1: Wang lasted 4.2 innings in Game 1 giving up 8 runs on 9 hits. The Yankees bats are silenced, for the most part, losing 12-3.

Game 2: Pettite pitches a masterful game 2, firing 6 innings of shutout baseball. The midges come out. Joba's effected, Fausto's not, A-Rod could end it in the ninth with Abreu in scoring position but instead strikes out. Indians take it in extras with Vizcaino on the mound.

Game 3: Yankees win, no need for a recap, even though Roider Clemens can't get out of the 3rd inning. And you thought you only got bad breaks!

Game 4: Wang and Mussina combine for almost 7 innings. Wang lasts 1 inning, allowing 4 runs. Yankees lose 6-4. Noticing a pattern here, yet? Might it have anything to do with starting pitching?

It's more like the Yankees lost because the starting pitching got toasted when the bats went silent, not because of bad breaks. That's what great starting pitching gets you in the playoffs, a chance to still win even when your offense is sputtering. That's how Cleveland won game 2. Sure, those bad breaks may have caused a few runs, but they can't completely account for all of the losses in the series.

And Boston was "bailed out" by a longer series? Excuse me while I piss myself laughing! If anything, a longer series will truly prove which team is better by allowing more chances for each team's respective weaknesses to show through (HINT: That's why the World Series and ALCS are 7 game series). If you think the Yankees would have come through in a 7 game series you're delusional. The Yankees were getting outplayed by the Indians. They were out-hit as well as out-pitched. The starters had nothing left, the pen was the same pen it had been all seaon (with the exception of Joba and Mo, obviously), Jeter was skunked in a slump, A-Rod was October A-Rod for most of the time, and you had nothing going your way. At that point you just say "you're my daddy" and try again next year.

As much as "there is no solution to please a Red Sox fan in regards to the Yankees roster", there seems to be no way to get a Yankee fan to realize that the Yankees have some serious flaws and that there are better teams out there.

Posted by: rip | January 31, 2008 at 02:32 PM

Is it baseball season yet? This is great stuff! Love the PASSION! Bring on the pitchers and catchers!!!!

Note to Yankee fans: De-Nile is not just a river in Africa.

Posted by: Casey | January 31, 2008 at 06:52 PM

RIP, you made my can definitely mask poor hitting, for awhile anyway, but there is no way to hide bad pitching. The Yankees pitching fell apart in the post season, and they would have been done in 3 games had Torre not had the good sense to take the "masterful" Clemens before he mailed it in during game 3. What a joke...that was money well spent, don't you think?

Bring on the 2008 season! It will be fabulous! Go Red Sox!

Posted by: LMT | January 31, 2008 at 07:20 PM

Nate said...

Thanks for the unnecessarily long post that didn't even pertain to the post, but yes I agree that Red Sox fans are idiots (and probably inbred)

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