• Giles Stays West

    Posted by on November 30th, 2005 · Comments (6)

    Interesting that the AP headline reads “Giles rejects Yankees, will stay with Padres” – didn’t Giles reject a bunch of other teams too?

    Anywho, unless the Yankees want Bubba Crosby and Andy Phillips in the line-up, together, on a full-time basis, they still need to get another bat.

    I wonder if the Yankees can get Jacque Jones and Eduardo Perez and just platoon them at DH? Perez had an OPS of .884 vs. LHP last year (in 158 PA) and Jones had an OPS of .814 vs. RHP last year (in 411 PA). Jones can also serve as a back-up OF and Perez can back-up at 1B. Unless the Yankees are sure that Phillips can hit LHP at the big league level – and then use him instead of Perez? (For the record, Phillips batted .150 against both LHP and RHP in 2005.)

    It’s just starting to seem like a “John Lowenstein & Bennie Ayala” approach may start to make more sense, if they can find it, instead of throwing money at some “star” trying to make a comeback or at some “star” wanting too many years.

    Joe Pendleton To Block, Peter

    Posted by on November 30th, 2005 · Comments (14)

    Wow. The Kyle Farnsworth signing is not even official yet and Yankees fans are getting the “Good Luck to you” messages from Cubs fans all over the internet. Know what? I don’t care what they say. Here are the stats/facts of all RH RP who have appeared in 200+ games (combined) over the last three seasons.

    farns.jpg

    Stats via the Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia.

    As you can see, in terms of limiting base runners, over the last three years combined, Farnsworth is the 10th best RH pen-man in terms of effectiveness, out of all durable RH RP in the majors.

    And, considering that Mo Rivera is one of the ten, Farnsworth was one of the nine best RP available to the Yankees this off-season. Taking it further, and realizing that the Yankees had zero chance of getting Joe Nathan or Brad Lidge, and factoring in that Ugueth Urbina is in jail for murder charges, Farnsworth – at the end of the day – was one of the six best RP available to the Yankees this off-season.

    Will Farnsworth be like Mo? No. Will he be like Gordon? Probably not. But, this is not Felix Heredia. This is not Felix Rodriguez. This is not Steve Karsay. This is not Paul Quantrill. This is not Chris Hammond. This is not Gabe White. This is not Jay Witasick. This is not Juan Acevedo.

    Level set your expectations. Farnsworth will be good. He will not be great. But, he’s not going to suck either.

    You cannot be in the top ten for RH RP limiting base runners (over the last 3 years) and be an arsonist at the same time. I think the Cubs fans are projecting some stuff on this kid that he does not deserve.

    Who Is Johnny Damon?

    Posted by on November 30th, 2005 · Comments (4)

    Just in case the Yankees were silly enough to make a run for Johnny Damon, I decided to look at him more closely today. Now, I know that, recently, Damon’s agent (Scott Boras) produced a report that claimed Damon was in the Rickey Henderson class of players. That’s so untrue that it’s 100% comical. Using the Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia, I did find a “comp” for Damon:

    000damon.jpg

    Clyde Milan and Johnny Damon, through age 31, were very much the same type of player.

    And, Milan, after the season where he was 31, went onto to play for just three more full years – and was basically just league average with the stick in that time.

    I would not be shocked to see Damon to continue with his Milan-mirror path. Therefore, if the Yankees were to sign Johnny, and it was for more than three years, it would be a huge mistake – in my opinion.

    And, anyone who gives Damon the seven-year deal that he seeks now is a flat out idiot (if you pardon the pun).

    The New Mr. 8th Inning Arrives?

    Posted by on November 30th, 2005 · Comments (6)

    The Hartford Courant thinks so:

    The Yankees focused on their bullpen Tuesday, closing in on a three-year, $17 million contract with free-agent right-hander Kyle Farnsworth.

    Though Yankees sources were saying it’s not a done deal, talks appeared to be in the final stages.

    Two weeks ago, I said that I was OK with the Yankees getting Farnsworth – and last week I suggested that he would be a nice fit to cover Gordon’s old spot.

    Therefore, I’m happy with this move – if it comes true.

    Now, if the Yankees get another bat, and pick up some good bench players, then I think we’re starting to cook here.

    Shoot, figure out a way to shore up Mussina & Pavano and it will be a full blown winter feast.

    Sandman Wars

    Posted by on November 30th, 2005 · Comments (3)

    Now that Billy Wagner is with the Mets, I wonder if he will switch his song? Is there room in this town for two Sandmen?

    See More Skinner

    Posted by on November 30th, 2005 · Comments (3)

    I see that Joel Skinner is interviewing for the Dodgers MGR post.

    On July 30, 1986, the Yankees traded Bill Lindsey, Ron Hassey, and Carlos Martinez to the White Sox to get Skinner, Ron Kittle and Wayne Tolleson.

    Lots of good names in that trade.

    Tolleson went on to be one of the few former players that Mattingly wanted back for Don Mattingly Day at the Stadium. Lindsey was a Staten Island boy. Carlos Martinez went on to hit the ball that bounced off Jose Canseco’s head for a homer. Ron Hassey is now the bench coach in Seattle – and a good one. Kittle is still trying to be a baseball funny man and finds himself in the news sometimes.

    But, Skinner, man, he was a bad hitter. Probably the worst hitting Yankees catcher in the last half-century:

    000catch.jpg

    Stats via the Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia.

    And, for that, he’ll always have a place in Yankees history.

    Kelly Stinnett

    Posted by on November 30th, 2005 · Comments (2)

    Reportedly, the Yankees have signed Kelly Stinnett to be a back-up catcher in 2006.

    Supposedly, he’s hard-nosed. That’s always good in a catcher. But, he’s not much of a stick. His lifetime Offensive Winning Percentage is .399. But, it was .438 from 2001 to 2005 – and it’s been .484 over the last two seasons. So, maybe he’s getting better as he gets older?

    I still have to wonder how much Randy Johnson’s input went into this move. It sure smells like the Yankees went out to get Unit a personal catcher – since the two have a history from Arizona.

    Mike Myers

    Posted by on November 29th, 2005 · Comments (7)

    I keep hearing these reports about the Yankees going after Mike Myers. This is good and bad.

    The good: The Yankees need a situational lefty. And, that’s Myers. Check the numbers from last year.

    Myers pitched in 65 games and faced 151 batters. This means he averaged like two and a third batters per appearance. This is why he only threw 37.3 IP in 65 games. And, he was murder on LH batters – see these numbers for them against him: .158 BA/.198 OBA/.211 SLG.

    Yes, lefties had an OPS of .409 against him.

    But, RH batters killed Myers last year (.385/.510/.641).

    Yes, righties reached more than half the time against him.

    And, that’s the bad news – because Joe Torre has never used a situational lefty the way they should be used. Instead, Torre uses them like 1-inning or 2-inning RP. And, if he does that with Myers, and allows him to face RH batters, then he will be torched.

    Giving Joe Torre a Mike Myers is like giving a man with no arms a chainsaw. It’s a powerful tool to have – but the guy will never use it the way it was intended to be safely used.

    Jeter & A-Rod On The Move?

    Posted by on November 29th, 2005 · Comments (10)

    From the Daily News:

    Joe Torre said in an interview with Reuters yesterday that the Bombers have considered the possibility of moving Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez to center field to fill the hole vacated by Bernie Williams.

    “We’ve thought about it,” Torre told the international wire service. “We just haven’t made a commitment to that. We haven’t broached it with the shortstops.”

    His use of the plural in that sentence is noteworthy, since A-Rod was once considered the best shortstop in the game but moved to third base to facilitate a trade from the Rangers to the Bronx, deferring to Jeter as the incumbent shortstop.

    Now, it’s possible that one or both could be moving again; Rodriguez could be shifted to center or, if Jeter became the center fielder, A-Rod could slide back over and take over shortstop. GM Brian Cashman didn’t return a phone call late last night, but Torre pointed out that such a move wouldn’t be unique.

    “That’s happened before, hasn’t it?” Torre told Reuters. “Bobby Murcer, Mickey Mantle. Hank Aaron came up as a second baseman. Robin Yount went to center field. It certainly is a consideration.”

    This is interesting. There’s always been suggestions in the public that Jeter should move to CF. But, I do have an issue with this suggestion – assuming that it requires A-Rod to move to short – and this is it:

    This move only makes sense if two things are a lock. The first thing is that we know for a fact that Jeter can play a very good CF. And, considering that he’s never done it – probably ever – how can we assume that it’s a lock that he can play a good CF? Secondly, if you move A-Rod off 3B, you better have another player who can slide in there and play good “D” and help with the stick. Do the Yankees have that other player? Is there one on the market? Again, no locks there either.

    Another factor in this is the assumption that most have that A-Rod is a Gold Glove SS. Well, yes, he won a Gold Glove at SS. But, how is his defense at SS, in reality? Personally, I think that A-Rod, as a SS, got some hype about his glove work – much like many accuse Jeter of receiving all these years. If I had to say “A-Rod with the glove at SS is like……..” I would say “Miggy Tejada.” He’s an above-average SS, defensively, who can make the occasional great play – - but, he’s not the best fielding SS in the league (or in the top group of great fielding shortstops).

    And, is that not what Jeter been the last few years? So, where’s the upgrade with A-Rod at SS?

    At the least, what this news does is that it puts Jeter on the hook. And, now, if he is asked to move to CF and declines, then there’s an answer as to why it never happened – because Jeter refused to move (and it’s not that he was never asked).

    Of course, now, that’s it – Jeter still hasn’t been asked. And, until that happens, this is still just a 5 on the 1 to 10 juicy news scale.

    And, don’t lose sight of the fact that this “news” comes on the same day that Delgado and Wagner are the news out of Mets camp. It all could just be some PR maneuvers too.

    Juan Encarnacion

    Posted by on November 28th, 2005 · Comments (17)

    From Newsday:

    The Yankees need a centerfielder and have discussed internally a three-year offer worth about $30 million for Giles, who has primarily played the corner spots recently. But the person familiar with the Yankees’ plans said the team recently has moved down its list of prospective centerfielders and looked at its other options more seriously.

    Among the centerfielders who have been discussed, at least internally, are the Phillies’ Jason Michaels, who will likely be available, and free agent Juan Encarnacion. Free agent Johnny Damon also could be an option if agent Scott Boras lowers his asking price.

    Five months ago I wrote, about Encarnacion:

    As a hitter, he’s pretty bad. Think Tony Clark, like he was last year, and apply that. It’s not Womack-bad. But, it’s basically some HRs, lots of whiffs, few walks, and a low BA. Not exactly the FT answer to the Yankees CF needs.

    And, I’m still sticking to it.

    2006 Summer Break?

    Posted by on November 28th, 2005 · Comments (1)

    I was just looking at the 2006 schedule for the Yankees.

    And, MLB is giving the Yankees the day off after the All-Star break. So, for the week of July 9th, the Yanks will be off Monday through Thursday.

    That seems so odd. It will almost be like a week without baseball – in the middle of July.

    The White Sox, who play the Yankees in New York after the break, have the same day off. Why not play a game then that day? Very strange.

    The Way We Were

    Posted by on November 28th, 2005 · Comments (4)

    Music has a way of bringing you back – back to the time when that particular piece was first heard by you, and who you were at that time and where you were then. It’s one of the things that I enjoy the most about hearing an older song – letting your mind do the Wayback Machine thing.

    Driving into work today, I heard “Pulling Mussels From A Shell” on the radio and my thoughts began to drift back to another time and place for me. It was the early fall of 1980, and I’m in Barry’s Records on 23rd Street in Manhattan, buying Squeeze’s Argybargy (back in the day of 33⅓ LP vinyl records!). And, I began to recall the days that followed where I played that record over and over again until I had all the lyrics of the songs therein were burned into my brain.

    And, as these memories bubbled up to the of top my present consciousness, I began to think about the Yankees of 1980. They were a very good and interesting team – Rick Cerone and his “10″ Jeans. Bobby Brown. Tom Underwood – who looked like he was only five feet tall on the mound. Luis Tiant. Even fun part-time contributors like Eric Soderholm, Gaylord Perry, Doug Bird and Dennis Werth.

    The Yankees of 1980-81 were the team that followed the Yankees championship teams of 1977 and 1978. Much like the present Yankees team is a very good and interesting team – following the Yankees championship teams of 1996-2000. However, the Yankees teams that followed the 1980-81 teams were not so good. No one wanted to come to play in New York those days. And, for the dozen years that followed 1981, the Yankees failed to make the post-season.

    Are we about to see that trend again in Yankeeland? I hope not.

    The key will be the Yankees farm system. If the Yankees can produce their own needed parts, they will not have to rely on getting help elsewhere. And, I think that Brian Cashman and crew realize this now.

    Hopefully, some time around my 68th birthday in 2030, when I hear Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends” on the radio or somewhere, I’ll then be able to think about how Cashman and the farm plan saved the Yankees back when I was in my early 40′s when I was doing a blog on the Yankees.

    Maybe Someone Missed The Sign?

    Posted by on November 27th, 2005 · Comments (5)

    From The Post Chronicle:

    As if Tom Cruise needed more bad publicity. A report from the website entitled bitterwaitress.com has labeled TomKat a cheapskate. BitterWaitress.com has thousands of entries listing the identities of the generous gratuity avoiders.

    The so-called ‘Shitty Tipper Database’ has famous names and regular citizen’s side-by-side for turning cheap when the check came.

    Superstar Yankees Shortstop Derek Jeter reportedly left a 3 percent tip on a $54.00 bill.

    Yankees centerfielder Bernie Williams is a multiple offender – leaving between 7-8%.

    Maybe Jeter was just trying to let them know that the service stunk via the $2 tip? I’m usually in the 15-20% range (even when just getting eggs at IHOP or ice cream at Friendly’s) when the service is good. And, if the 20% is under $5 then I usually just leave $5. (I figure that it’s worth at least five bucks to bring food and drinks to a family of four – even if it’s cheap eats.) But, I have left just a $2 or $3 tip in some places when I wanted to let them know that it was not a good experience.

    Tips are like respect, you have to earn it to get it.

    1996 Yankees Reunion

    Posted by on November 27th, 2005 · Comments (4)

    From Newsday:

    We are all getting old: Plans are in the works for a 1996 Yankees reunion autograph show in January in New Jersey.

    If anyone hears anything more on this, and is willing to share, please drop me a line, to, staff at waswatching dot com. Thanks.

    Back-up MI For 2006

    Posted by on November 27th, 2005 · Comments (7)

    Right now, if A-Rod, Jeter or Cano pull a Boone and bust up their knee in an off-season pick-up game of something, Felix Escalona or Tony Womack is playing full time in the Yankees infield next year.

    Am I the only one who sees this as an issue?

    Did Florida Juice Lead To Marlins 2003 Ring?

    Posted by on November 26th, 2005 · Comments (13)

    I thought Yankees fans might be interested in an essay that I did on the team that beat them in the 2003 World Series:

    Did Florida Juice Lead To Marlins 2003 Ring?

    Yanks Raise Ticket Prices, Again

    Posted by on November 25th, 2005 · Comments (4)

    From the AP:

    Supporting baseball’s biggest payroll will mean an increase in ticket prices for the New York Yankees, who are boosting the price of many of their best box seats over $100.

    The Yankees said Friday they are raising the price of their box seats closest to the field by $5 to $20, depending on their row and location. The seats, known as field championship boxes, will sell for $110, $105, $100 and $95, up from $90 last season.

    New York’s best regular seats, which include waiter service, are available only as part of season ticket plans.

    With many sections for next year already sold out because of season tickets, the price of the top seat available in advance for individual game sales will be $55 for lower deck reserved, an increase of $5. Those seats will sell for $57 on the days of games.

    Upper deck reserved seats will remain unchanged: $17 as part of season tickets, $19 in advance of individual games and $20 on days of games. Bleacher seats will remain at $10 as part of season tickets and $12 for individual games.

    I got my season tickets in 2001 – Loge Box MVP seats, right by 1B.

    In 2001, they were $37 per seat. That price stayed the same in 2002. In 2003, it was raised to $40. In 2004, it was raised to $45. Last year, it became $50. And, now, it appears that it’s going to be $55 per seat.

    I have to confess, an increase of $18 per seat in the span of four years gets under my skin a bit. That’s nearly a 50% increase.

    I can only imagine what it’s going to be in the “new” Stadium – do I hear $90 per seat? Mark my words – just watch.

    I almost wish that the team didn’t draw so well – and only averaged about 30,000 per game. Then, at least, maybe, the law of supply and demand would not allow them to keep tacking on another $5 per seat each year.

    Right now, with so many people wanting to go, they can do what they want – and, it sorta locks me in too. I know if I gave up these seats that I would never see anything in such a good location again.

    Maybe someday it will become so crowded there that no one will want to go? Can the law of Berra beat the law of S&D?

    But He Lost His Head In The End

    Posted by on November 25th, 2005 · Comments (1)

    cash.jpg

    From the Star-Ledger:

    “There’s a scene in “Braveheart” where the troops are charging and Mel Gibson is yelling, ‘Hold the line! Hold back! Hold the line!’” Yankees GM Brian Cashman said yesterday. “We’re just holding the line right now until the right thing happens. We’re not going to do something that doesn’t make sense for us.”

    “We don’t have a lot to fix,” Cashman said. “We need bullpen help. We need center field help. That’s about it. We finished with 95 wins after sleepwalking the first two months of the season and having a ton of injuries. So we don’t feel like we have to make a lot of big moves.”

    Brave New World?

    Posted by on November 25th, 2005 · Comments (6)

    Do you know that, if Joe Torre leads the Yankees to a first place finish in 2006 and does not win the World Series, it would be an American League record for most years in a row (6) that a team finished 1st and did not win a World Series in that run?

    Right now, Torre is tied at five (2001-2005) with Mike Hargrove (who did it with the Indians (from 1995 through 1999).

    You do need some World Series “bad luck” to get a string like this – see the 2001 Yankees and the 1997 Indians.

    Of course, the National League record is a long way off: Bobby Cox, 10 years, with the Braves (1996-2005).

    It’s interesting that Cox, Hargrove and Torre are the only ones to do this for five years in a row and that it’s all post-1994. Clearly, it has something to do with the leagues going to the three division format (in 1995).

    Without the leagues being broken up into three groups, it’s debatable if the 1997 Indians, 2001 Braves and 2005 Yankees even finish in first.

    It will be interesting to see, if this does happen for New York in 2006, how it impacts Torre’s legacy. Will he be remembered as the man who won 4 rings in a 5 year span or the guy who finished 1st 6 years in a row and couldn’t get it done in the post-season? Or, do the two ends just offset each other and he’s then just another manager with mixed (meaning so-so) results in the post-season on his resume?

    Black Friday Shopping

    Posted by on November 25th, 2005 · Comments (1)

    Red Sox pick up Guillermo Mota. Yankees pick up Chris Grossman.

    It’s not too hard to guess that they’re not shopping at the same stores this off-season.

    Happy Tryptophan Day!

    Posted by on November 24th, 2005 · Comments (6)

    I justed wanted to take a quick moment to wish all the readers of WasWatching.com (and their loved ones) a happy, and a safe, Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy.

    Jason Michaels Rumors

    Posted by on November 23rd, 2005 · Comments (2)

    According to Newsday, the Jason Michaels idea has some possibility:

    But now that the Phillies have Rowand, they could make another centerfielder, Jason Michaels, available. And the Yankees and Phillies have held discussions about Michaels.

    Michaels, 29, played 105 games for the Phillies in 2005, hitting .304 with a .399 on-base percentage. He started 75 games in centerfield.

    Michaels is eligible for arbitration, and the Phillies, hoping to re-sign closer Billy Wagner, probably wouldn’t feel the need to hold on to a pricy player who is now a reserve (unless they trade Bobby Abreu or Pat Burrell to create a starting spot for Michaels).

    Somebody call Chuck Woolery. I think we may have a love connection here.

    Of course, with every potential good thing there has to be some risk. Note this story from last July:

    Philadelphia outfielder Jason Michaels was arrested early Sunday after allegedly punching a uniformed police officer outside a city nightclub.

    Michaels, 29, spent nine hours in custody before he was released on his own recognizance at about noon, Philadelphia police Cpl. Jim Pauley said.

    “He punched a Philadelphia police officer and wrestled him to the ground, in the process ripping the police officer’s shirt,” Pauley said. “It took four officers to control him.”

    Police were dispersing a crowd in the Old City entertainment district just before 3 a.m. and everyone moved on willingly except Michaels, Pauley said.

    Michaels was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, simple assault and reckless endangerment. He is due to appear in court on Thursday.

    “I really would love to talk to you guys about this, but I’ve been advised by my attorney not to say anything,” Michaels said before the Phillies played the Braves on Sunday night.

    It’s not as deep as the Milton Bradley rap sheet, but, you have to wonder about a guy who’s stupid enough to start a fight with a cop in uniform.

    Jason Michaels

    Posted by on November 23rd, 2005 · Comments (2)

    Now that Aaron Rowand has been traded to the Phillies, I have to wonder what Philadelphia will do with Jason Michaels.

    Could he be the “smaller name” that Brian Cashman once hinted towards?

    Michaels is a decent CF in terms of range – thereabouts. And, he’s shown a knack for getting on base. Don’t expect any pop though. And, he’s not a kid. At the worst, he’d be a great platoon player with Bubba Crosby.

    If the price is not too high, maybe the Yankees should make a run at him.

    Giambi’s Fashion Faux Pas

    Posted by on November 23rd, 2005 · Comments (4)

    I saw a link to the picture below on BaseballThinkFactory.org today. Reportedly, it’s from a party in Vegas held 10 days ago.

    IMG_7480.jpg

    Pretty stupid selection there Jason. For Christmas this year, I hope someone buys you a better shirt to wear at public parties.

    If Giambi wants to continue to be so insouciance about his rep, then he deserves all the wondering that he’ll see as he continues his comeback.

    Yankees Still Need One More Bat

    Posted by on November 23rd, 2005 · Comments (10)

    As it stands right now, if the Yankees had a game today, based on who is on their roster, the DH in the line-up would be Andy Phillips, Tony Womack, or Kevin Thompson. Ouch.

    Now, some like to say that Jason Giambi should be the Yankees DH next season. But, there’s two problems with that. First, someone has to play 1B if Giambi is the DH – and, right now, that would be Phillips. So, that’s no gain. Secondly, and more importantly, Giambi should not be the Yankees DH next season (or maybe ever?) because of the following statistics:

    000giambi.jpg

    It’s pretty clear, based on the above, that Giambi does not take well to being a DH.

    Now, what about Gary Sheffield? Could he DH? Sure, he could – but, then you need someone to play RF. And, right now, based on the Yankees roster, that would be Tony Womack or Kevin Thompson. Again, no gain.

    What about Posada? Could he DH? Yes, and the Yankees would probably like that. But, then, based on the current roster, Wil Nieves would be your starting catcher. So, does that help?

    Clearly, the Yankees need to add another player to their team for 2006. It can be a catcher (which allows Posada to DH) or an OF (who would allow Sheffield to DH) or someone who could DH most of the time and maybe spell Giambi and/or Sheffield in the field on occasion.

    When I think of this, I start to get those Kevin Millar nightmares again. If Millar is the target, I’d much rather see the Yankees offer Jeff Conine a one-year deal.

    Of course, getting Brian Giles to play for the Yankees would solve this problem. But, there’s still a question as to whether or not that can happen.

    And, others may like to say this is why Bernie Williams should come back in 2006. But, I think those folks are forgetting that Bernie’s best days are far behind him.

    I’m not forgetting that the Yankees have some great offensive players – like A-Rod, Jeter, and Matsui (to go with Giambi and Sheffield). Also, Cano should be OK with the stick. But, that’s just six positions. Posada is declining with the bat and Bubba Crosby (in CF) is not an offensive performer. So, if you go with a sub-par DH, you’re probably spotting the other team 6 to 9 outs per game.

    That’s too much. Given the Yankees issues in the bullpen – and their questions in the rotation – New York cannot afford to play just a 6 or 7 inning game at the plate. They’re going to need as many runs as possible.

    This is why the Yankees still need one more bat for 2006. I hope that Cashman & Co. know this as well.

    Nomar For CF?

    Posted by on November 22nd, 2005 · Comments (9)

    Tommy V. at SI suggests it:

    I asked one assistant general manager at the GM meetings what sort of interest there was in Garciaparra. He replied, “I haven’t heard a lot. I don’t know anybody who’s looking at him as an answer at shortstop. He’s more of a third baseman or left fielder now.”

    I would not write off the guy that quickly. I realize his body has been beaten up the past two years and that he was never Mr. Reliable at shortstop. But did you notice how Garciaparra hit when he came back from the groin injury last season? His second-half (.318/.347/.531) was nearly in lock step with his career numbers (.320/.367/.544). Garciaparra still can hit, though probably not at the MVP-caliber level he did in his glory days. He’s also very athletic, in the way of Robin Yount, which is why I don’t think it’s crazy for the Yankees to consider him as a center fielder. George Steinbrenner always has liked Garciaparra, and don’t you think he’d love to have Jeter, A-Rod and Nomar on the same team?

    The last time Nomar was a healthy player was 2003. The last time that Nomar was a great hitter was 2000. Heck, the last time he was an above average batter was 2003. He’s never played a big league game in the OF in his life.

    This makes about as much sense as trading for Edgardo Alfonzo and converting him to CF. Pass.

    Cash: Remain Calm, All Is Well

    Posted by on November 22nd, 2005 · Comments (0)

    From Buster O at ESPN the Mag:

    “There is a perception that things haven’t gone our way this offseason,” Brian Cashman said Tuesday morning. “But everything that’s happened so far is not unexpected to me.”

    Click here for the audio version of Cashman’s quote. At least now I know how to get from Brian Cashman to Kevin Bacon in one move.

    Go West Young Manny

    Posted by on November 22nd, 2005 · Comments (9)

    From the AP via FOX:

    One of baseball’s most fearsome offensive duos in 2005 — Red Sox’s David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez — appears to be history.

    According to Ortiz, “Manny is not returning to Boston.”

    “Manny is living through a difficult situation (in Boston) that only he and his family know and he no longer wants to play there,” said Ortiz after arriving early Monday in the Dominican Republic.

    Ramirez has asked for a trade in each of his five seasons with the Red Sox, but apparently this one is definite.

    “I spoke with him last week before he left for Brazil and he told me that he wants to go to a team in the West,” Ortiz, the Red Sox’s designated hitter, said.

    Ramirez has three years worth $160 million remaining on his contract and eight seasons with the Red Sox. Because of his status as a player with 10 seasons in the major leagues and five with the same team, he is allowed to approve any trade.

    “I found out that that they are doing everything possible to trade him,” Ortiz said.

    There’s some rain on the Beckett parade. Any team that throws a strike to Ortiz next year without Manny behind him should be sued in court for not trying to win. Get your walkin’ shoes on Papi.

    Now We Play Doctor?

    Posted by on November 22nd, 2005 · Comments (7)

    From the Daily News:

    Yanks GM Brian Cashman did not return a call seeking comment, but other baseball officials said the Yanks had concerns about Beckett’s health. He has been on the disabled list seven times in the last four years, most often for blister problems.

    I guess the lessons on Steve Karsay, Carl Pavano, Kevin Brown, and Jaret Wright are starting to pay off, huh? I just wonder if it’s the right application on Beckett.

    Losing Beckett

    Posted by on November 22nd, 2005 · Comments (0)

    Two days ago, I wished that the Yankees had made a run for Josh Beckett. And, immediately after the Red Sox traded for him, I thought: “Boston has experience dealing with a stellar, but brittle, and emotional young pitcher. This, getting Beckett, might pay off for them like getting Pedro around the same age.”

    But, then, I decided to look deeper into the numbers, to see just what Beckett has done to date. Thanks to the Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia this is what I found:

    beck.jpg

    So, Beckett’s not Pedro at the same stage – in terms of accomplishments to date. Heck, he’s not even Mark Prior. Basically, he’s Jake Peavy – and, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I wish the Yankees could have a Jake Peavy-type talent right now. But, it’s not like there’s some evidence to say that Beckett can do what Pedro did for the Red Sox from 1998 through 2004.

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