• Wild Thought: Trevor Hoffman

    Posted by on December 31st, 2008 · Comments (9)

    Here’s today’s wild thought from me.

    Yes, he’s old. And, yes, there’s got to be concerns on his health. But, would it be crazy to offer Trevor Hoffman a $4 million contract loaded with incentives to set-up for Mo Rivera in 2009? It could buy some time for the kids like David Robertson and Mark Melancon. Then again, it could work out just as well as when the Yankees brought in Jimmy Wynn, Jose Cruz, Jesse Orosco, John Mayberry, George Scott, Rob Murphy, Buddy Groom, etc.

    After Hours (1985)

    Posted by on December 31st, 2008 · Comments (1)

    I dunno…there’s just something about Griffin Dunne’s character in this one that hits home with me. Always has…and probably always will.

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 12/31/08

    Posted by on December 31st, 2008 · Comments (9)

    Feel free to use this post as a place for you to comment on anything Yankees-related (or within reach of tagging the bag of being Yankees-related on a decent slide) today. It could be a casual conversation offering, or, something you saw in the news, or something very detailed that you want to share that’s within the territory of Yankeeland.

    Or, comment on something that someone else has posted here in the comments…

    Have fun. Play nice. And, remember, keep it Yankees-focused.

    Happy New Year!

    Posted by on December 31st, 2008 · Comments (4)

    I would like to wish all the readers of WasWatching.com a very happy and healthy new year. And, may all your resolutions for 2009 come true!

    The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

    Posted by on December 30th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    My wife and I went to see “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” today. About an hour into it, I was thinking: Oh, great, we’ve gone to see “Titanic meets Forrest Gump meets Cocoon.” But, in the end, this one will leave you with a lump in your throat.

    Just make sure that you see it in a theater with comfortable seating. It has a run time of 159 minutes.

    Wang, Joba, Cano & Posada Keys To ’09 Yanks

    Posted by on December 30th, 2008 · Comments (48)

    According to the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, the Yankees batters had 16 RCAA last season as a team. That was good for 7th in the A.L. (out of 14 teams). And, Yankees pitchers had 28 RSAA last season as a team. That was good for 6th in the A.L. (out of 14 teams) – and just 4 RSAA away from being 7th in the league. When you factor in the Yankees terrible team defense last year, it’s no wonder why they were a near middle-of-the pack team in terms of winning percentage in 2008.

    Now, we know that the Yankees have made a big splash this off-season, in terms of retooling their roster, picking up Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. Will that make them a better team in 2009? Well, consider this:

    In 2008, Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte made a combined 67 starts for the Yankees – pitching 404.3 innings and winning 34 games. On average, that’s 33 starts, 202 IP and 17 wins each. Now, they’re both off the team. Do you really think that CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, combined, can better those numbers in 2009? At best, they should match them. But, pass them? I dunno…

    Basically, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett are the Yankees 2009 replacements for the 2008 production that they got from Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte. It’s a patch – not an improvement.

    In 2008, Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi had 45 combined RCAA for the Yankees – in 301 games played between the two of them. On average, that’s 150 games played and 22 RCAA each. Now, they’re both off the team. Do you really think that Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira, combined, can better those numbers in 2009? At best, they should match them. But, pass them? I dunno…

    Mark Teixeira, by himself, should match those 45 RCAA in 2009 that the Yankees got in 2008 from Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi. But, Nick Swisher? Well, he had -11 RCAA last season and 25 RCAA in 2007. So, he’s a wildcard – he could help the team in 2009 or hurt them. No one knows for sure.

    Basically, Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira are the Yankees 2009 replacements for the 2008 production that they got from Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi. It’s a patch – not a lock for an improvement.

    So, if the Yankees were a near middle-of-the pack team, in terms of hitting and pitching, in 2008 and have not picked up any players to improve that in 2009, how will 2009 be any different from last season for the Yankees?

    The answer is simple: Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada, Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain need to have better stats in 2009 than they had in 2008. These four players, albeit mostly due to injury sans Cano, did not give the Yankees what most would have expected from them last season. And, that’s why they are the keys to the 2009 Yankees season.

    The 2009 Yankees need to get 40+ RCAA from the combination of Cano and Posada (coming in about 280+ games played between the two of them) and they need to get 60+ games started and about 30+ wins (and about 360+ IP) combined from the duo of Wang and Chamberlain as well. If this does not happen, the Yankees 2009 season should be the same as what we saw in 2008 – even with the recent additions of Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 12/30/08

    Posted by on December 30th, 2008 · Comments (15)

    Feel free to use this post as a place for you to comment on anything Yankees-related (or within reach of tagging the bag of being Yankees-related on a decent slide) today. It could be a casual conversation offering, or, something you saw in the news, or something very detailed that you want to share that’s within the territory of Yankeeland.

    Or, comment on something that someone else has posted here in the comments…

    Have fun. Play nice. And, remember, keep it Yankees-focused.

    Father Time Sends Message To Bernie

    Posted by on December 30th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    Bernie Williams is lucky he’s not a horse. Unless Jim Morley gets any more crazy ideas, this should be it for Bambi (who really looked more like Arthur back in the day).

    He was a great Yankee. I hope his music career goes just as well.

    Belth: The Last At Bat @ Yankee Stadium

    Posted by on December 30th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Hey, in case you missed Alex Belth’s bonus feature at S.I. last week, check it out. It’s the usual great stuff from the G.F.O.Y.B. (Godfather of Yankees Blogs).

    Klapisch: Could Teixeira Bump Jeter?

    Posted by on December 29th, 2008 · Comments (24)

    Via Bob Klapisch:

    At this time next winter, Derek Jeter will be approaching the end of his 10-year, $189 million contract, which has already left the Yankees vexed as to how to proceed. The debate centers on the question team officials have been putting off forever: Is there life after Jeter?

    It might seem premature to wonder out loud, but with Mark Teixeira now in pinstripes, the Jeter era may well begin dwindling. Of course, the captain still is enormously popular with the fan base, and he’ll always be the link to the early days of the dynasty. But Teixeira is about to become the most valuable star in the Yankee family.

    He is, after all, younger and more productive than Jeter; the numbers aren’t even close. Teixeira is more stable — both on and off the field — than Alex Rodriguez. And the first baseman already has a built-in reservoir of good will in greater New York after having blown off the Red Sox in the 11th hour of his negotiations.

    And it won’t hurt that he’s a near-lock to hit 30-plus home runs while driving in 100 or more runs.

    Unless Teixeira breaks down from a massive case of big-market jitters, and there’s nothing to suggest he will, he’s about to become the centerpiece of what’s become the best Yankee team (on paper) in a decade.

    Of course, that transfer of power was supposed to happen in 2004 when A-Rod became a Yankee. He wasn’t just going to bring the Bombers back to their glory days of the late ’90s, he was supposed to whisk Jeter off the stage. That scenario quickly turned to vapor, as Rodriguez has staggered through a series of postseason failures, and the Yankees have yet to win a championship, or even get out of the first round, on his watch.

    But at age 34, Jeter’s footprint in the offense has never been smaller.

    You know…of all the players to have 1,800+ career hits with the Yankees (and there have been 11 such players to date), the only men to ever play for a major league team other than the Yankees at the end of their career have been Yogi Berra (with the Mets) and Babe Ruth (with the Braves) – and both of those situations were somewhat ‘joke’ cases. Would the Yankees, ever, dare allow Derek Jeter to finish his career with a team other than them?

    How strange would it be to see Derek Jeter playing for the Detroit Tigers in 2011? Nah, it could never happen…could it?

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 12/29/08

    Posted by on December 29th, 2008 · Comments (26)

    Feel free to use this post as a place for you to comment on anything Yankees-related (or within reach of tagging the bag of being Yankees-related on a decent slide) today. It could be a casual conversation offering, or, something you saw in the news, or something very detailed that you want to share that’s within the territory of Yankeeland.

    Or, comment on something that someone else has posted here in the comments…

    Have fun. Play nice. And, remember, keep it Yankees-focused.

    Recent Yanks Off-Season Shopping Sprees

    Posted by on December 28th, 2008 · Comments (5)

    So, the Yankees have made a big splash this off-season, in terms of retooling their roster, picking up Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.

    But, this is not the only recent off-season where the Yankees went out and grabbed a bunch of “name” players from other teams to add to their roster. Just for the fun of it, here are some other off-seasons external talent grabs by the Yankees since 2001-2002:

    2001-2002: Added Steve Karsay, Jason Giambi, Rondell White, and David Wells.

    2002-2003: Added Hideki Matsui, Todd Zeile, Jon Lieber, and Jose Contreras.

    2003-2004: Added Kevin Brown, Tom Gordon, Javier Vazquez, Paul Quantrill, Gary Sheffield, Kenny Lofton and Alex Rodriguez.

    2004-2005: Added Carl Pavano, Tony Womack, Jaret Wright, and Randy Johnson.

    2005-2006: Added Kyle Farnsworth, Mike Myers, Johnny Damon and Octavio Dotel.

    2006-2007: Added Andy Pettitte, Kei Igawa, Luis Vizcaino and Doug Mientkiewicz.

    2007-2008: Added LaTroy Hawkins and Morgan Ensberg.

    It’s pretty clear that the package brought in this off-season is the best since what came in during the off-season of 2003-2004 in terms of the number of names with star power. Let’s just hope that 2009 doesn’t end the same way for New York as 2004 did…

    TSN Todd Jones Rips Yanks & Their Fans

    Posted by on December 28th, 2008 · Comments (10)

    Retired Tigers closer Todd Jones weighs in on the Yankees recent moves at TSN -

    Life is about to get interesting for the Yankees and their newcomers. Guys who sign big deals usually come to town feeling like they have to live up to their new pile of cash. But with so many of the highest-paid dudes on one club, A.J. can slide in almost unnoticed. Even Big Tex can hope to be shielded by Alex Rodriguez, or at least take a lesson from him about living up to the pressure of a new deal.

    Now that the Yankees have spent so much and have future Hall of Famers up and down their roster, they’re supposed to win. Anything short of reaching the World Series will be a disappointment. That is no way to go through a season. Baseball turns into a job really fast when you strap such an 800-pound gorilla on your back the first day of spring training and carry it around during a six-month-long regular season (and perhaps into the postseason).

    I wonder if Yankees fans ever blush. What’s so special about pulling for the bully at the end of the street who beats up on the smallest kid in town? What’s cool is when you’re rooting for a team that comes from nowhere. Most of us like the underdogs, and they still have their day in baseball, as we saw with the Rays this past season.

    The Yankees should know by now that money can’t buy a championship. You know, I have a feeling this won’t turn how the Yankees are planning.

    And, the countdown for Hank’s reply starts…now.

    Escape From New York (1981)

    Posted by on December 28th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton and Adrienne Barbeau…com’on…what’s not to love about that?

    Yanks Looking To Move An OF?

    Posted by on December 28th, 2008 · Comments (31)

    This was posted on an LA NBC site last Friday -

    Can you picture Nick Swisher or Hideki Matsui in an Angels uniform?

    Apparently the Angels are at least giving it some thought. Reports are that the Yankees are looking to make a trade as they have a glut of corner outfielders. On the trading block are Xavier Nady, Swisher Matsui. At least one, maybe two of those players will get moved.

    As of December, the Angels likely would start Juan Rivera or Gary Mathews Jr. in left, Torri Hunter in center and Vlad Guerrero in right. Behind them as insurance would be Chone Figgins and the loser in the battle to start in left field. That’s a solid lineup, maybe better depending on how Guerrero bounces back.

    Not that there isn’t some reason to at least talk with the Yankees. Swisher (just acquired this off-season by New York from the White Sox) is a left-handed bat and the Angels could use one of those, and Matsui is a switch hitter.

    Matsui doesn’t make a lot of sense in one regard, he is due $13 million next year and likely would DH when not playing in the outfield. Angel fans could rightly question that big an expenditure on a Matsui quality player (.294 last season with nine home runs). Swisher, is a far more reasonable $5.3 million (and is just 28 years old) but he hit just .219 last year, with 24 home runs.

    We know the Angels are not going after the biggest bats on the market now, Manny Ramirez or Adam Dunn. But adding Swisher to the mix for some mid-level picks is at least worth a conversation or two.

    …Swisher (just acquired this off-season by New York from the White Sox) is a left-handed bat and the Angels could use one of those, and Matsui is a switch hitter…

    Huh?

    In any event, backwards reporting aside, there seems to be some buzz out there that the Yankees are looking to trade Matsui, Nady or Swisher.

    It makes sense, in a way. I have a feeling that Girardi really wants to play Brett Gardner in center this year. And, I’m down with that. But, if that happens, this means that Johnny Damon plays left. With such a move, that leaves Swisher, Matsui and Nady fighting it out for DH and RF. That’s one too many players.

    Of the three, I’m hoping that Swisher goes. He’s a terrible outfielder and has some holes in his swing.

    Granted, Matsui is a defensive liability at this point – and a question mark in terms of his health. But, if he’s sound, the upside is huge for him. He can handle being a DH, can handle the glare of New York, and is a solid citizen in the clubhouse.

    Nady, as I’ve written, is probably closer to an .800 OPS batter than being a superstar. And, he’s just OK in the outfield. But, he seems like the kind of player who could be a good fit on the Yankees…batting in the lower third of the line-up, around 7th, and picking up some clutch hits.

    I could see why some teams would want Nady over Swisher – especially when it comes to contract status.

    It will be interesting to see how the Yankees handle this situation – if it’s true that they are shopping an outfielder.

    Yanks Sign Kevin Cash

    Posted by on December 28th, 2008 · Comments (1)

    I noticed that the Yankees signed Kevin Cash to a minor league deal the other day.

    Did you know that, of all catchers with at least 500 PA in the big leagues, all-time, Kevin Cash is the second worst hitting catcher, again, in the history of the game, in terms of Offensive Winning Percentage? It’s true. Here are the stats via the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia:

     CATCHER	          OWP	 PA
     Bill Bergen	.098	3228
     Kevin Cash	.147	557
     Raul Chavez	.152	557
     Bob Davis	.166	734
     Bert Adams	.167	725
     J. Zimmerman	.173	1118
     Ray Berres	.174	1439
     Luis Pujols	.177	922
     Tony Giuliani	.178	729
     Skip Jutze	.180	708

    Only Bill Bergen – perhaps the worst hitter in the history of the game – was worse here than Cash.

    Yeah, in terms of catcher’s batting, Kevin Cash makes “no sticks” like Alberto Castillo, Jose Molina, and Chad Moeller look good.

    I guess Wil Nieves wasn’t available…

    Rogers: Yanks, With A-Rod & Tex, Try & Buy Ring

    Posted by on December 27th, 2008 · Comments (7)

    Via Phil Rogers:

    Impatience rarely is rewarded in baseball.

    It happens, sure. The World Series the infant franchises in Florida (1997) and Arizona (2001) won come to mind. But there have been a lot more spectacular failures than successes from teams that spend heavily to get themselves to the top.

    None of the great teams ever really have been purchased, but the Yankees of 2009-11 now are poised to become the first.

    It’s true the Yankees still have stars they developed in Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. But after committing $796 million to elite free agents with an average age of 32.4 years the last two years — retaining Alex Rodriguez, Posada and Rivera while adding Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett—there’s little comparison to the franchise that won with guys like Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, Scott Brosius and a young Andy Pettitte.

    With a new, heavily subsidized—and possibly criminally financed stadium (someone could go to jail over the inflated appraisal of the land)—the Yankees conduct business as if they live in a booming economy. Their fans are thrilled; fans of the other 29 teams, not so much.

    The meter is still running, of course. But as of Christmas, the Yankees had outspent the other 29 teams in free agency this winter—$423.5 million to $296.6 million. That’s staggering.

    Will it work? We won’t know until next October, and history suggests the odds are against a team built around the superbly talented, minimally impactful Rodriguez and Teixeira.

    Rodriguez (especially) and Teixeira seem to want it both ways. The skills that put them in the middle of the lineup, as well as their paychecks, suggest they should be leaders, but they never have led their franchises. Rodriguez seems to want to be Jeter—a regular guy who drives in runs as he helps little old ladies across the street—and Teixeira seemingly just wants to be left alone.

    Imagine the contract Teixeira would have gotten if he ever had done anything except put up stats. After all, this is a star who in his first six seasons never has been higher than seventh in MVP voting.

    Between them, Rodriguez and Teixeira have played in 11 postseason series. Their teams are a combined 22-29, advancing to the next round only three times.

    Sabathia’s teams have won one of his four postseason series. Burnett never has played in the postseason (he was hurt when Florida won in 2003).

    For what it’s worth, post-2000, the Yankees went out and “bought” Hideki Matsui, Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon, Gary Sheffield, Mike Mussina, Kyle Farnsworth, Tom Gordon, Paul Quantrill, Tony Womack, Steve Karsay, Kenny Lofton, Jaret Wright, Rondell White, Jose Contreras, Jon Lieber, Kei Igawa, Octavio Dotel and Carl Pavano. And, in a way, they “bought” Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Abreu, Raul Mondesi, and Kevin Brown – by taking on their contracts when their former team no longer wanted to pay them.

    And, none of that “buying” ended up in a ring, did it?

    Cashman 2006-08: His “Plan” Cost Yanks Half-Billion Dollars

    Posted by on December 27th, 2008 · Comments (37)

    Brian Cashman became Yankees G.M. on February 28, 1998. However, from 1998 through 2005, George Steinbrenner’s troops in his Tampa office (including but not limited to Bill Emslie, Billy Connors, Mark Newman and Damon Oppenheimer) had so much input on personnel moves that it was somewhat difficult to know what exactly what were Cashman’s decisions or not.

    This all changed in October 2005 when Brian Cashman was given full autonomy on running the Yankees. As Cashman said at that time: “I’m the general manager, and everybody within the baseball operations department reports to me. That’s not how it has operated recently.” So, without question, we can look at the state of the New York Yankees over the last three seasons (2006, 2007 and 2008) as well as this off-season (of 2008-2009) and know that what you see is “All-Cashman.”

    And, this includes the recent Yankees spending spree of $423.5 million over the last few weeks to acquire free agents Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.

    Why did New York go after these three high-priced talents? Well, it made sense. Coming off last season, the Yankees two biggest needs were starting pitching and a bat for the middle of their line-up.

    With the contract expiration and subsequent retirement of Mike Mussina coupled with the 2008 failure of Cashman’s pitching phenoms Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes, it was clear that the Yankees 2009 projected starting rotation was full of holes and question marks. (You can add Andy Pettitte’s departure due to free agency to this root cause list if, indeed, he does not re-sign with the Yankees.)

    Further, Cashman’s decision – which, by the way, I agree with 100% – not to bring back Jason Giambi and Bobby Abreu for 2009 left the Yankees without some much needed fire-power in the middle of their line-up. Hence, the need for a replacement.

    And, Brian Cashman’s solution to these problems was to give CC Sabathia $23 million a year, A.J. Burnett $16.5 million a year, and Mark Teixeira $22.5 million a year – thereabouts – all getting multi-year deals totaling $423.5 million (or “close to a half-billion dollars” for those who like to round and prefer not to use the number pad on their keyboard).

    Now, if you choose to ignore the dollars, it’s hard to fault the acquistions of Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia – as they are two of the best at what they do (currently in the game). And, A.J. Burnett – while injury-prone in the past – gets high-marks from many for his tools and break-out potential. And, actually, as many are quick to point out, the money – for the Yankees – isn’t that much of a big deal. Annually, these three pick-ups cost the Yanks $62 million and the Yankees have cleared $59 million off their payroll by letting Carl Pavano go along with the aforementioned Mussina, Giambi and Abreu. So, in a sense, the dollars are a push.

    But, the Yankees had a team payroll of $209 million last season. Should it really be the team’s goal to match that mark in 2009? It truly was a absurd level in 2008.

    Don’t get wrong here. The Yankees should have the highest payroll in the game (as a result of their revenue stream) – that much seems right. And, as a Yankees fan, I love the Steinbrenner family for their willingness to put money into the team (rather than pocket it all for themselves). However, it seems more reasonable for the Yankees to have a team payroll in the range of $150 to $170 million as opposed to in excess of $200 million. Something along the lines of $160 million would still be the highest payroll in baseball – and more than enough cheddar to provide a line-up full of stars. And, then that left over $40 million or so could go towards other things…say…like preventing ticket prices for Yankees games going up as much as they have in the last nine years. By my rough count, a savings of forty-mill a year would allow the Yankees to shave off, on average, about nine bucks off each ticket sold for the season – assuming 81 sellouts, etc.

    In any event, getting back to Brian Cashman, he’s been the HNIC (“Head Non-Steinbrenner In Charge”) in Yankeeland since October 2005. And, he’s known, since at least the end of 2006, that this day would come – where Mussina, Giambi and Abreu would be off the team after 2008. Cashman’s had two to three years time to install a plan to replace these parts once their time had come – and what was that plan?

    In the end, Cashman’s plan to retool the Yankees for 2009 was to spend about a half-billion dollars on three free agent players. Well, he’s pretty lucky that he works for the Yankees and the Steinbrenner family – because that plan would not work with the 29 other big league teams.

    So, since the Stein-dollars were there for the taking, Cashman ran with it. And, when we look back at Yankees history and Brian Cashman’s “autonomy-run” from 2006 through 2008, we should note that his “plan” (or perhaps lack of a “plan”) cost the Yankees about a half-billion dollars…actually, it’s very close to that if you take the $423.5 million (spent on Tex, CC and Burnett) and add the $86 million that Cashman wasted on Carl Pavano and Kei Igawa to it.

    And, if anyone wants an illustration of Brian Cashman’s baseball acumen, send them a picture of the Steinbrenner family checkbook. For, when it comes to Cashman’s skill as a G.M., he should never leave home without it.

    Saturday AM Flashback

    Posted by on December 27th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    No, it’s not time for some Dungeons & Dragons reruns. Just a nice tune from 1987…

    Sickels Top 20 Yanks Prospects for 2009

    Posted by on December 27th, 2008 · Comments (10)

    John Sickels has published his “New York Yankees Top 20 Prospects for 2009” list. Here’s his “top ten” for the Yanks:

    1] Jesus Montero, C
    2] Austin Jackson, OF
    3] Dellin Betances, RHP
    4] Austin Romine, C
    5] Zach McAllister, RHP
    6] Mark Melancon, RHP
    7] Jairo Heredia
    8] Andrew Brackman
    9] Phil Coke, LHP
    10] Alfredo Aceves, RHP

    Further, here’s what he has to say about the Yankees system, in general:

    The Yankees don’t have anyone in the system that is a sure-fire superstar right now, but there is a lot of material to work with here on the pitching side. I love Montero’s bat, but defensive questions prevent a higher grade at this time. He has star offensive potential, but where does he play? Jackson looks more like a solid player than a star. Both Romine and Suttle have major league potential but some questions they need to answer at this point. Young tools guys like Sosa and De Leon look promising but are so far away that they are hard to rank at this point.

    Things look much better on the pitching side. Brackman has a high ceiling obviously, but I find the New York hype about him highly annoying and, more importantly, very misleading. He is extremely raw for a college pitcher and until he actually takes the field in full-season ball and throws some strikes, I am keeping expectations in check. I like the guys ahead of him better at this point, particularly McAllister and Heredia. Coke and Aceves don’t have huge ceilings, but both look like useful major league pitchers. There are a LOT of power bullpen arms available.

    Overall, this system needs hitters but has considerable depth in pitching, giving them a lot to work with on the trade market. They are putting more and more money into Latin America, and a less conservative approach in the draft should pay dividends.

    …Brackman has a high ceiling obviously, but I find the New York hype about him highly annoying and, more importantly, very misleading…

    A Yankee pitching prospect hyped to the point where we are misled about their true potential? Wow. That could never happen, could it?

    Tune In Tomorrow

    Posted by on December 26th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    For just about the last full three days, I’ve been totally ignoring the internet, e-mail, and blogging – and just spending him with family, eating too much food, un-twisting about a thousand of those metal twisty-ties that they use to lock down toys into their packages these days, and doing my best to understand some very cryptic assemby instructions associated with a few of those aformentioned toys…

    Nonetheless, in the back of my mind, there’s also something going on Yankees-related. And, starting tomorrow, I’ll be back to share some of that. So, if you’re checking, tune in tomorrow – I should have some new content posted here around lunch-time…after I catch up on what’s been out there in the world of the ‘net, e-mail, and blogs that I’ve been ignoring since last Wednesday morning…

    …see you then.

    Happy Holidays!

    Posted by on December 24th, 2008 · Comments (11)

    Barring any breaking and hot Yankees-related news, I do not expect to be posting many entries to WasWatching.com over the next four days. Therefore, I wanted to take this time now to wish all the readers of this blog a safe and happy holiday season. It’s been 44 months now that WasWatching.com has been up and running, and, I’ve truly enjoyed all the feedback to this site and its content that you have provided this year and last. Thanks for that wonderful present! I hope you all have as much fun (as I’ve had here so far) during your holiday observance.

    Look for more stuff here starting next week!

    Better Than A Lump Of Coal

    Posted by on December 23rd, 2008 · Comments (1)

    By the way, in case you’re interested, this was the Holiday Card that the Yankees sent out this year:

    I was kinda hoping that Uncle Cashman had included an X-mas check for me, inside the card, just a lil’ sumtin-sumtin…say around $420 million or so. Ya’ know…for being such a fan and all…

    But, I guess that money’s been spent over the last two weeks. Oh, well, it’s the thought that counts, right?

    Now Pitching For The Yankees, Number Tree…

    Posted by on December 23rd, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Via Roxanne Geyer, WCBS Newsradio 880’s Web Producer, some great snow covered shots of the new Yankee Stadium from Chopper 880. Next to an old dog, there’s nothing sadder looking than a snow covered ballpark…

    Check out the one of the X-mas tree on the mound. No truth to the rumor that Brian Cashman paid $46 million for the rights to talk contract with the pine…

    Commentary On Reported Mark Teixeira Deal

    Posted by on December 23rd, 2008 · Comments (25)

    When I look at this transaction, I see it as having three parts.

    The first part is the immediate on-the-field impact to the Yankees today and in the near future. Will having Mark Teixeira help the Yankees? Well, yeah…duh. With the bat, Teixeira replaces the three-hitter that the Yankees lost after 2008 (Bobby Abreu) and matches the offensive production that the Yankees have recently received from the now departed Jason Giambi. The latter got you puzzled? Check the numbers. From 2005 through 2008, Jason Giambi had 123 RCAA and Mark Teixeira had 173 RCAA over the same time span. However, during that time, Giambi had 6.17 RCAA/100 PA and Teixeira had 6.37 RCAA/100 PA. Basically, in terms of being a “force” they’re both about the same type of offensive player.

    And, of course, Teixeira is a Gold Glove defender.

    Actually, Mark Teixeira is a player somewhat like a Carlos Beltran, Lance Berkman, David Wright or even a J.D. Drew. O.K., he’s really better than Drew. But, while Teixeira is a sabermetric dream, he’s not a monster batter like a Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, or Alex Rodriguez during one of his recent MVP seasons. And, that leads us to the second part of this deal – his compensation.

    The reported eight-year $180 million price tag that the Yankees paid for Teixeira is a bit crazy. I know what the Yankees are thinking here. Well, at least I can guess at it. They probably figure “We were paying Giambi $21 million a season. So, what’s the big deal if we pay Teixeira $22.5 million a year?” And, to many, that makes some sense. But, I think the goal should be to not pay anyone $20+ million a year – even if you can afford it. But, hey, I’m sure many Yankees fans couldn’t care less about the money – they just want good players and a team that wins.

    Lastly, we have that third part – the long-term future. Back on October 7, 2008, I took a look at Mark Teixeira to see if the stats suggested that he was a lock to keep producing, the way he is now, into his 30′s. But, the answer is not clear. How Mark Teixeira will “age” is anyone’s guess at this stage.

    My guess? I’m calling “Ken Singleton” on this one – since he and Teixeira are/were the same kind of hitters. That would mean that Mark Teixeira should be a solid offensive performer for the next five seasons – and then we’ll start to see a pretty good drop-off from him with the stick during 2014, 2015 and 2016. And, that’s where it’s going to get ugly – when he’s not going so well and making a ton of money. Add a (then) 38-year old Alex Rodriguez to the mix in 2014 and the Yankees will be paying two past-their-prime former All-Stars mucho denaro.

    But, then again, for all we know, A-Rod and Teixeira could be owning the Las Vegas Dan Tannas (formerly known as the Florida Marlins) by 2014 and would have already demanded their trade from the Yankees to their own team by then…and, that solves that problem for New York.

    Red Sox React To Teixeira Deal

    Posted by on December 23rd, 2008 · Comments (14)

    Via Buster Olney:

    “From the moment we arrived in Boston in late 2001, we saw it as a monumental challenge,” [Red Sox] team owner John Henry said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “We sought to reduce the financial gap and succeeded to a degree. Now with a new stadium filled with revenue opportunities, they have leaped away from us again. So we have to be even more careful in deploying our resources.”

    …from the moment we arrived in Boston in late 2001…

    Shouldn’t that be: “From the moment Bud handed us this franchise in late 2001…”

    In any event, don’tcha just love it when the Red Sox try and pretend like they’re the Tampa Bay Rays?

    Sources: Yanks Ink Teixeira

    Posted by on December 23rd, 2008 · Comments (35)

    Wow.

    So, I go into a meeting at 3 pm EST – and I get out around 4:15 pm EST. And, when I get back to my desk, someone says to me “Go check out ESPN.com.”

    Did I say “Wow!”?

    You’ll get more analysis from me on this move later today. In the interim, what do you think of this move? Please feel free to add comments on your opinion in the comments section below.

    Mark Teixeira To Bosox?

    Posted by on December 23rd, 2008 · Comments (13)

    Via TheBostonChannel.com

    Prized free agent Mark Teixeira’s decision on where he will play next season is reportedly imminent, according to ESPN.com and The Washington Times.

    It may be that the Boston Red Sox have won the bidding for the first basemen.

    The Washington Times quoted a source as saying, “the Red Sox will announce that they have landed the highly-coveted slugger, who has been courted this off-season by several major league clubs, including the Angels, Orioles and Nationals.”

    “The Red Sox have been considered one of the lead contenders in the Teixeira sweepstakes, but it was unclear whether the team would be able to meet the asking price from agent Scott Boras, who had hoped to land a contract for as much as $200 million over ten years,” the Times reported.

    Well, Tex did say that he wanted this done before X-mas…

    Yanks Roll Back Prices On Cubs Exhibition Set

    Posted by on December 23rd, 2008 · Comments (2)

    Via Ed Price -

    The New York Yankees announced today that full-season ticket licensees will receive complimentary tickets for the first exhibition games to be played in the new Yankee Stadium on April 3-4 vs. the Chicago Cubs, while partial-plan holders will receive the first opportunity to purchase tickets thereafter, via a pre-on-sale (restrictions apply). Individual-game ticket prices will not exceed $50 for either game.

    For the inaugural exhibition contests, Bleachers tickets will be priced at 25¢, and Grandstand tickets will be priced at $1.10 – the same prices they were on April 18, 1923, the day the original Yankee Stadium opened. Tickets on the Terrace Level will cost between $20-35, tickets on the Main Level will be $20-45, and tickets on the Field Level will range from $45-$50.

    Remaining tickets, subject to availability, will go on sale to the general public at a date to be determined in the future.

    “To express our gratitude toward our full-season ticket licensees, we are offering tickets for these two exhibition games at no cost to them,” said Yankees Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost. “The balance of tickets will be sold first to our partial-plan holders, then to the general public, at vastly reduced rates compared to the regular season. Using such a pricing model for these games allows us to thank our fans for their continued loyalty and introduce them to Baseball’s new grand cathedral.”

    Nice move by the Yankees here. Very cool. But, I still wish they were not playing these games…

    WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 12/23/08

    Posted by on December 23rd, 2008 · Comments (7)

    Feel free to use this post as a place for you to comment on anything Yankees-related (or within reach of tagging the bag of being Yankees-related on a decent slide) today. It could be a casual conversation offering, or, something you saw in the news, or something very detailed that you want to share that’s within the territory of Yankeeland.

    Or, comment on something that someone else has posted here in the comments…

    Have fun. Play nice. And, remember, keep it Yankees-focused.

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