Showing posts with label Show all posts
Showing posts with label Show all posts

Sunday, January 18, 2009

If Jim Rice says its true...

This article caught my eye in Newsday. This isn't so much a criticism of the author, David Lennon, so much as Jim Rice. Why this guy is in the Hall of Fame I will never know.

Rice blames Boss, Yanks on never winning a Series

Great, more Boston bitching. Exactly what we need.

The complaint is not a new one.

You think?

With the Yankees spending nearly half a billion dollars on three players this offseason - CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira - it is hardly a surprise that the Steinbrenner family again is being blamed for squashing any remaining bits of baseball's alleged competitive balance.

Over the past eight years we have had 7 different World Series champions. The only team to win it more than once in those eight years has been the scrappy/gritty/gutsy/beloved underdog/second highest spending team in those eight years Boston Red Sox (at this point it is natural to hear celestial choirs burst out singing).

And it's not just the salary-cap chorus that was heard coming from the owners' meetings this past week in Paradise Valley. With mind-numbing contracts still being handed out in the Bronx despite a flat-lining economy, such talk was to be expected.

Yes! Which means we need a guy who roots for a team that just gambled 13-30 million dollars on the likes of Rocco Baldelli, Takashi Saito, John Smoltz, and Brad Penny to be the valiant defender of small market baseball.

It's debatable whether the Yankees' practice of buying the sport's premier players is actually bad for baseball. What they pay in luxury tax is helping to keep other owners rich in Kansas City and Pittsburgh, though those teams remain perennial bottom-feeders

True dat.

But it was interesting to hear Jim Rice, finally


elected to the Hall of Fame after a 15-year wait, blame George Steinbrenner's checkbook for The Curse of the Bambino. When asked about Boston's failure to win a World Series during his career - 1975 to 1989 - up to the Bambino-busting 2004 season, Rice pointed directly to the Bronx.

For the record, Steinbrenner bought the team in the early '70's. Ruth was sold in the early '20's. Their's about a 50 year gap there....

"During that time, Steinbrenner spent more money than the Red Sox," Rice said. "He had more free agents. So when you get the best free agents, and you get the superstars from other ballclubs, that's what made you have a better team. The more money you can spend, the better you should get."

During that time the Yankees won a grand total of TWO championships. This dwarfed the competition. Only the Reds and Dodgers came close winning a mere two. See? No competitive balance at all.

Rice does have reason to be bitter. From his post in the shadow of the Green Monster, he saw the Yankees buy Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Goose Gossage, Tommy John, Luis Tiant, Dave Winfield, Rickey Henderson and Don Gullett.

And it translated into ultimate domination of the rest of the league!

Even now, Rice remains annoyed by the Yankees' habit of throwing money at their problems. Not surprisingly, he lauds Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein for doing things the right way. "If you look at the Red Sox now, you see them bringing guys up in the organization," he said. "That's why Theo has been the person he's been over the last couple of years. He'll bring young kids up and stay within the organization.

The homegrown starters on that team are Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, and Jacoby Ellsbury. The only homegrown guy expected to be in their rotation is Jon Lester. That's it. The sellout, satanist Yankees have Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada, and Brett Gardner as hoemgrown starters. In the rotation they have Wang, Joba, and Hughes (maybe). That took me approximately 2.56545 minutes to look up using the amazing new technology of thinking.

"The Yankees haven't won in the last eight years. What do they do? They go out and buy high-priced players in the hope to get back the winning percentage they had 10 years ago."

This is true. Your point?

Obviously, Rice still bleeds Sox red, but he does have the facts on his side. Since the 2000 World Series, the Yankees have gone to the bank repeatedly for Mike Mussina ($88.5 million), Jason Giambi ($120 million), Carl Pavano ($40 million), Jose Contreras ($32 million), Johnny Damon ($52 million) and Kei Igawa ($20 million) - just to name some notable signings.

You seem to have forgotten a few but that's okay. In that time Boston also managed to pool together enough money to get Daisuke Matsuzaka, J.D. Drew, Julio Lugo, Manny Ramirez, Brad Penny, and John Smoltz. They also reportedly made a higher bid than the Yanks for Pavano and came close on Damon and Contreras.

That list does not include the renegotiated $275-million contract for Alex Rodriguez or the salary-dump trades that enabled them to get Randy Johnson ($31 million) and Kevin Brown ($31.4 million).

Or Mike Lowell, or Josh Beckett, or Jason Bay.....

Now, after passing on Johan Santana and stressing a youth movement that flopped last season, the Yankees have returned to the megabuck spending that Rice remembers so well.

Unlike the Red Sox who are so daring that they will give the centerfield job to an unproven rookie. They`re also daring enough to give two of the five spots in their rotation to unproven guys in their early 20's.

Wait, that's not Boston.....

Whatever outrage the Sabathia-Burnett-Teixeira axis has generated around the league, any salary-cap showdown between the owners and the Players Association is going to have to wait until after the 2011 season, when the collective-bargaining agreement expires. Major League Baseball remains the only sport among the Big Four without a salary cap. Even if the nation's economy rebounds by then, this dark period is not likely to be forgotten, and the impact won't be known until this season gets under way.


"I think there's a lot of owners that would like to have [a salary cap] right now," A's managing partner Lew Wolff told at the meetings in Arizona.

Where the hell did this guy come from?

Until then, Steinbrenner still will be Steinbrenner - be it George or Hal. Whether 2009 will resemble 1977, '78 or '98 remains to be seen.

And its over.

Monday, January 12, 2009

What's Wrong With Pettitte?

This article has been causing a minor controversy in Yankee Universe. I like most everything else the author, John Garcia, has written at the Bleacher Report but this article rivals the Oliver Perez article for shear insanity. So, we`re going to do this FJM style.

Should the Yankees Consider Signing Former Mets and Sox Ace Pedro Martinez?


The Yankees have obviously already added their top two free agent pitching targets in CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett, but should they consider adding another?


I mean, their's a guy out there who's first choice (supposedly) is to play for the Yankees. He`s very underrated, will only need a one year deal, and is a lock for 200 solid innings. What kind of idiot wouldn't want Andy Pettitte back?

With Andy Pettitte's decision to turn down their contract offer, the Yankees are still looking for an answer for the last spot in their rotation.

True, they could raise the offer a few million, they could let it stand, they could try and make a play for Derek Lowe or Ben Sheets, they could make a trade, or they could just go with the low risk, high reward option in Hughes, Aceves, and Kennedy.

Youngster Phil Hughes has the best shot from inside the organization, but everyone knows pitching depth is important, especially considering Burnett's injury history and Hughes' ineffectiveness last year.

Also true. Which is exactly why we need a solid dependable anchor at the back of that rotation. Like Andy Pettitte.

Pedro Martinez could be the answer for the Yankees.


Unlike the other pitchers available, Ben Sheets, Oliver Perez, or Andy Pettitte, Martinez would come at a discount with his injuries last few seasons.

It also means he`s probably going to spend most of 2009 on the DL.

Speaking of guys that will come at a discount due to injury, deosn't Ben Sheets fit that description perfectly? He`s been just as dominant as C.C. Sabathia when healthy. The problem with that idea is that it's far to obvious and wouldn't stir up any controversy.

Martinez, 37, would not be expected to return to his Cy Young form which was needed from him with the Mets last season.

I`m nitpicking here but the Mets only missed the playoffs by one game. They didn't need 1998 Pedro. They just needed him to keep them in games and to stay healthy. He couldn't even do that.

The move from Queens to the Bronx wouldn't be a problem for Pedro and a chance to play the Red Sox might be enticing to Boston's former ace.

This sentence could have also been written this way:

The move from the NL East to the AL East wouldn't be a problem for a 37 year old pitcher who hasn't pitched a full season since 2005 and a chance to play the Red Sox would be embarrassing for Boston's former ace.

Pedro isn't what he used to be. He`s not even close. Even if he`s healthy their are no guarentees that he can even pitch. Let alone in the AL East.

Another plus is the Yankees already know he can handle the pressure of New York and a career post-season record of 6-2 with a 3.40 ERA alleviates any post-season worries.

As opposed to noted choke artist Andy Pettitte.....

A Martinez signing to "his daddy" would keep up with Boston's recent signings of former aces John Smoltz and Brad Penny, both also coming off injuries.

This matters?

By the way, I`d take Smoltz or Penny over Pedro easily.

If the Yankees do sign another pitcher, whether it is Martinez or not, it would move Hughes to the bullpen or send him to the AAA-team Scranton to start the season. Other potential starters, Alfredo Aceves and Ian Kennedy, are most likely to start the season in Scranton.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Slow Times...

Things are slow right now in the world of baseball. Which means we fans entertain ourselves with absurd ideas like Orlando Hudson in centerfield and (the slightly more sane) Joba in the bullpen. The Mets commentary is extremely sane and reasonable, however, this article in the New York Post by Kevin Kernan has some thoughts on the Yank that are just to ridiculous to ignore. Its chock full of nonsense and generalizations which have nothing to do with reality so we`ll do this Fire Joe Morgan style, the article is in italics and my obnoxious comments are in normal font.

THERE remains one final major move for the Yankees to make. Same goes for the Mets .

Bringing Andy Pettitte back on a cheap short term deal? Signing Derek Lowe to give us a cartoonish rotation? Trading Nady for a top knotch pitcher like Aaron Harang or Jonathan Sanchez? Selling the farm for Jake Peavy? Please, oh Kevin Kernan, tell us in your infinite wisdom, what is this final piece to the puzzle that the Yankees need?

The Yankees still have a hole in their rotation. This has been an incredibly prosperous offseason for the Yankees and GM Brian Cashman with the free-agent additions of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira. Making one final move toward youth on the free-agent market will set them up for years to come.

Ben Sheets????

The Yankees are waiting on Andy Pettitte , but there is another lefty available at basically Pettitte dollars and that's


Oliver Perez.


Signing Perez would cement the Yankees' rotation for years to come and would give them flexibility with Joba Chamberlain.

Wait, we`re talking the same Oliver Perez right? The one I`m thinking of has had exactly two years of K/BB's over 2.00. Only one took place in the past three years. The one I`m thinking of has no strong tendency for GB's to compensate either, in fact, he seems to display the opposite, consistently displaying one of the lowest GB%'s in the league. The one I`m thinking of is one of the most inconsistent pitchers in baseball which is the last thing a competitive team with a good offense (like the Yankees) needs. The Oliver Perez I know has only his youth and ability to throw hard going for him, all in all is a pretty mediocore pitcher who has a history of injuries.

Are you seriously suggesting that this guy can be a rock for years to come who is good enough to merit giving up on Joba Chamberlain, one of the best young pitchers in the game (knock on wood)?

"Putting Perez on the Yankees would be a great move," says one top pitching evaluator. "That would be the perfect environment for him. He would be more focused there. He needs strong leadership around him, and pitching in front of a packed house, he would not be complacent."

Wouldn't it be cool if Perez had spent the past few years in a pressure packed environment that exposed him to something like the New York media so we knew how he would handle New York....

Perez is 5-1 against the Yankees lifetime. He takes those games as a challenge and he attacks.

How long will it take these guys to understand the concept of a small sample size?

Because he already has six full seasons under his belt and has had his share of ups and downs, people forget Perez is just 27. Opposing hitters batted only .234 last season against him.

His BABIP was a little low but that's a fair point. The only problem he has are.....

Walks, of course, have been his downfall. There is no excuse for his ridiculous 105 walks, the most in the majors. In eight of his 34 starts last season, Perez surrendered five or more walks.

And there you have it. The problem with Oliver Perez is he has no control. Sure, a good pitching coach and some more years could fix that but the Yanks can do better. Their are better options out there. Especially since they`re not looking for a long-term solution, they just need a short 1 or 2 year fix who can pitch about 200 solid innings and hold down a spot for Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves, and anybody else who might break out this year. Andy Pettitte fills that description better than anyone else in baseball. Forget about nostalgia, signing Pettitte makes sense.

That has to change. The previous season, he walked 79.

Right, and if Carl Pavano could just stay healthy.....

Perez is represented by Scott Boras, who also represents Mark Teixeira. Cashman has a good working relationship with Boras.

Yanks have money, Boras likes money.

You`re telling me that having Boras as an agent is a good thing????!!!!!

The GM would have to take a leap of faith with Perez,

Exactly why we don't want him.....

but the upside could be tremendous.

And it has tremendous potential to blow up in our face and be a disaster.

In Pettitte, the Yankees will get a pitcher they hope has one good season left in his cranky left shoulder.

Andy Pettitte's cranky shoulder limited him to over 200 innings the past 4 years. The last time he missed significant time was 2004. Oliver Perez has not had a 200 inning season in his whole 6 year career (although he got close in 2004 and last year).

Opponents batted .290 last season against Pettitte, 56 points higher than they did against Perez, who allowed 66 fewer hits.

Pettitte's BABIP was also 59 points higher. This was despite Pettitte's LD% being 2 points lower. Meaning Perez's BABIP should have been 20 points higher.

Perez also had a lower ERA (4.22 to 4.54)

Every time a professional writer uses ERA, wins, or RBI's in an article a little part of me dies inside.

and more strikeouts (180 to 158).

A fair point, compounded by Pettitte pitching more innings but not enough to overcome the gap in GB% or BB's.

Perez is 10 years younger, too, which fits Cashman's plan of making the Yankees younger

That's right, a team of hungry little leaguers beats a team of All Stars any day.

Its good to get younger but not at the cost of improving the eam.

By signing so many quality free agents this season, it gives the Yankees a window to develop their own talent, and that is still the basis of what Cashman is trying to do. The bottom line, however, is the David Prices of the world can only be drafted when you have the top pick, something the Yankees never have. Teixeira was the fifth pick of the 2001 draft; the Yankees selected 23rd that season. And Sabathia was the 20th pick of the 1998 draft; the Yankees selected 24th that year.

This is a paragraph of pure nonsensical nonsense that I cannot even begin to translate into some semblance of english or any other language.

I happen to agree with every single thing written in the rest of the article which adresses Derek Lowe and the Mets. I have nothing against Kevin Kernan and haven't read anything else the man has ever written. But its early January and things are slow so.....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fire Joe Morgan-Closes

Its not directly related to the Yankees or really revelant to this blog at all but I thought I`d make a post about closing. The irony of this is that the post before the one announcing their closing implied that Joe Morgan may finally, actually be fired.