• WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 12/16/08

    Posted by on December 16th, 2008 · Comments (34)

    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.

    Comments on WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 12/16/08

    1. Bostowned
      December 16th, 2008 | 7:45 am

      Allow me to get it started then :p…

      Why in the world did the Yanks sign AJ Burrnett and why in the hell to such a long contract and what in the name of mike were they thinking giving him so much money?!!?!?!?!?!

      Hellooooo……hes hurt like all the time!

      W T F – ever!

      Ok Im done. Thoughts? :o

    2. MJ
      December 16th, 2008 | 8:36 am

      I think most folks agree with you, Bostowned. The AJ Burnett deal was ridiculous on so many levels. It shows that, first and foremost, Cashman has misdiagnosed the problems of 2008 (not enough offense), and second, has put too much faith in yet another oft-injured pitcher whose career profile indicates a few ticks above mediocrity even though the pitcher has good stuff.

      It’s an awful contract. Cashman’s a fool for going down this road and it’s obvious he reads too many newspapers since only a Lupica or a Sherman could come up with the idiotic notion that the Yankees needed to revamp their pitching staff. Reactionary nonsense.

    3. Justin
      December 16th, 2008 | 8:52 am

      //Why in the world did the Yanks sign AJ Burrnett//

      To be a mid-rotation starter who throws nearly a hundred miles an hour and can dominate games when he’s on.

      //why in the hell to such a long contract and what in the name of mike were they thinking giving him so much money//

      Because that’s what it took to get it done.

      //Hellooooo……hes hurt like all the time!//

      Except, really, he’s not. I mean, he’s not exactly durable, but neither is he fragile. The last four years, he’s averaged 180 innings a year. Granted, inconsistently, but always of a high quality. If he can do that over the next five years, and there’s no reason to think he can’t, I don’t think we’ll have any reason to complain.

    4. December 16th, 2008 | 9:07 am

      ~~Cashman’s a fool for going down this road~~

      Oh, you’re such a hater. ;-)
      Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.
      J/K.

    5. MJ
      December 16th, 2008 | 9:23 am

      :-) Good one, Steve.

      I don’t hate Cashman. But I think he made a terrible mistake with Burnett, and I would’ve said the same thing had he signed Lowe. Outside of Sabathia, there isn’t a pitcher in this market that doesn’t have fleas.

    6. YankCrank
      December 16th, 2008 | 10:34 am

      I’ll offer a different perspective to Bostowned. In regards to the contract, there is no denying that it’s an awful contract. Five years for AJ Burnett, taking him from age 32-36, is a contractual mistake that the Yankees will regret at some point. If it was a pitcher who was on the mound every year you could project years 4 and 5 will be a drop off but with Burnett, his health is always such a question that you can see the Yankees possibly regretting it in year one. You just don’t know, the contract can be a steal and he can become the greatest Yankee strikeout pitcher since Clemens, or he can pitch in 30 games in five years and be the worst move Cashman’s ever made as a Yankee G.M.

      I do like the move for a couple reasons, none of which you haven’t heard before. AJ’s upside is undeniable. Everyone is quick to kill the contract because of his downside (injury) and quick to compare him to Pavano when that’s not the case. The Yankees signed Pavano with very little organizational depth behind him and when he went down we were lucky to pick up the Shawn Chacons and Aaron Smalls of the world. Now, worst case scenario, if AJ goes down we have guys like Hughes, Kennedy and Horne ready to come up and fill that spot until AJ is back on the mound. That’s worst case, so how does best case work out? Well, we’ve seen it…shut down stuff, over 200 Ks a year, the type of pitcher who pitches big games and misses bats. We haven’t had pitchers like that since 2003 unless you count Randy Johnson. Worst case our talented kids fill in the gap, best case he’s a #1 caliber starter. Either way, the Yankees can take that chance and not worry about monetary setbacks with his deal.

      However, I see the point most of you are making. The Yankees have all of their minor league depth at pitching and are low in offensive production, so why get AJ? That is an understandable argument and if the AJ signing takes the Yanks out of Tex or Manny run than you have a reasonable argument to be upset about. Yes, the team has a ton of holes and offensive production is one of them. But for once, for the first time since 2003, I feel the Yankees have a sick rotation with unbelievable potential to shut teams down. I am very happy about that and i’m hoping we see AJ’s upside rather than his downside.

    7. MJ
      December 16th, 2008 | 10:52 am

      i’m hoping we see AJ’s upside rather than his downside
      ————-
      I think we’ll see both, which is why this move makes me so angry. I’m fine with signing a pitcher that has a ton of upside but maybe hasn’t put it together yet. I’m not fine with signing a pitcher that comes with the giant red flag of an atrocious medical history. You can’t escape bad health and it happens to all pitchers. But you can avoid bringing in guys that do nothing but miss starts every year.

    8. Raf
      December 16th, 2008 | 11:17 am

      After reading some of the stuff @ Fangraphs (as well as other places, though I will link to Fangraphs articles), I’ve softened my stance a bit on Burnett

      A.J. to N.Y.
      http://tinyurl.com/5q4ojh

      A.J. Burnett to the Yankees
      http://tinyurl.com/6bwnz5

      The Potential Yankees Super-Rotation
      http://tinyurl.com/6rlnzw

      Free Agent Values: A.J. Burnett
      http://tinyurl.com/5q38mv

    9. December 16th, 2008 | 11:27 am

      “But you can avoid bringing in guys that do nothing but miss starts every year.”

      actually to be fair, he hasnt missed starts every year.

      looks like he’s basically had 4 healthy, full seasons and 4 injury-shortened-related seasons.

      now, instead of giving the contract to Burnett, what did you want Cashman to do?

    10. Corey
      December 16th, 2008 | 11:54 am

      anyone else think that Burnett might take some of the heat off A-Rod?

    11. MJ
      December 16th, 2008 | 12:48 pm

      now, instead of giving the contract to Burnett, what did you want Cashman to do?
      —————-
      Get some hitters instead. The offense was the problem in 2008 and it looks even more dreadful for 2009.

    12. YankCrank
      December 16th, 2008 | 12:51 pm

      “anyone else think that Burnett might take some of the heat off A-Rod?”

      Nobody can take the heat off A-Rod. No matter what, idiot Yankee fans will never embrace him and love him for who he is.

    13. MJ
      December 16th, 2008 | 12:53 pm

      anyone else think that Burnett might take some of the heat off A-Rod?
      —————-
      No. A-Rod is despised by a number of fans as well as members of the local and national media contingents. He’s only tolerated when he’s winning MVP awards. Whenever he has a “down” year like in 2008 (despite leading the AL in VORP), everyone thinks he sucks.

      It doesn’t matter who the Yanks bring in, those that hate A-Rod will hate him no matter what he does. I don’t even think a championship would solve this problem anymore. Invariably, someone would point out that A-Rod merely glommed onto a title. When it comes to A-Rod, Yankee fans are an infuriating, largely idiotic bunch.

    14. December 16th, 2008 | 12:54 pm

      “The offense was the problem in 2008 and it looks even more dreadful for 2009.”

      so who was going to pitch in front of that offense?

    15. December 16th, 2008 | 12:55 pm

      “Nobody can take the heat off A-Rod. No matter what, idiot Yankee fans will never embrace him and love him for who he is.”

      idk, when he performed up to his potential, he was adored.

    16. MJ
      December 16th, 2008 | 1:00 pm

      actually to be fair, he hasnt missed starts every year…looks like he’s basically had 4 healthy, full seasons and 4 injury-shortened-related seasons.
      ————-
      He’s pitched 200 IP only three times out of eight full seasons as a starter (2001-present). You cited a 50%-50% split between healthy and injured seasons and I see it as, essentially, 40-60 healthy/injured (3/8 healthy; 5/8 injured). So, in a way, yes, you’re close to right. But is the threshold so low that we should consider a 50-50 split as a good ratio or track record?

      My larger point remains that Burnett has an awful track record of unreliability from year to year, even if your semantic correction is valid.

    17. MJ
      December 16th, 2008 | 1:02 pm

      so who was going to pitch in front of that offense?
      ————–
      Sabathia (good signing), Wang, Joba, Pettitte, and your choice of Hughes/Kennedy or any of the other pitchers available that wouldn’t command $16.5M/year with the kind of spotty medical record Burnett has.

      The point I’m making is that the Yanks should’ve focused their time, effort, and finances into fixing the offense first. Now I’m afraid the Burnett contract makes Mark Teixeira an unrealistic option given the cost.

    18. MJ
      December 16th, 2008 | 1:04 pm

      idk, when he performed up to his potential, he was adored.
      —————
      If he were adored, fans wouldn’t have flip-flopped on him twice between 2006 and 2008. He went from hated, to adored, back to hated.

      No, A-Rod is merely tolerated when he’s going well. I don’t confuse cheers and curtain calls with adoration.

    19. YankCrank
      December 16th, 2008 | 1:12 pm

      “idk, when he performed up to his potential, he was adored.”

      I’m going to assume you meant his monster 2007. The thing about A-Rod is he performs up to his potential every year. He’s the most productive Yankee hitter we may ever see in our lifetime and in 2007 he was WAY above potential (career year). That year he put together was something special and idk if we’ll ever see him do that again. If all Yankee fans expect are years like 2007 over and over again, than they will never accept A-Rod…and that’s exactly what’s happening.

    20. MJ
      December 16th, 2008 | 1:26 pm

      If all Yankee fans expect are years like 2007 over and over again, than they will never accept A-Rod…and that’s exactly what’s happening.
      —————
      Bingo. A-Rod’s 2007 season — the best season by a righty batter in franchise history — was what it took to turn what was open hatred in 2006 into mere acceptance.

      A-Rod had “down” years in 2006 and 2008 which mean that he was merely of the best players in baseball, not THE BEST IN BOLD LETTERS WITH 20-INCH FONT. It’s preposterous that he’s judged against his career year and not his career averages.

    21. Raf
      December 16th, 2008 | 2:26 pm

      Now I’m afraid the Burnett contract makes Mark Teixeira an unrealistic option given the cost.
      ————–
      I don’t know about that, they still have room for Texiera.

      From Fangraphs
      “With Jason Giambi, Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano, Bobby Abreu, and Ivan Rodriguez all having their contracts expire, the Yankees lost about $86 million in committed salaries from the end of the ‘08 season. $86 million.

      Some of that will get redistributed to players already on the roster, such as raises for Alex Rodriguez, Xavier Nady, Robinson Cano, and Chien-Ming Wang. However, even if the Yankees just maintain a $205 million payroll (a $5 million decrease from 2008), they’ll still have about $65 million to spend even after taking care of the guys already under contract.”

    22. MJ
      December 16th, 2008 | 2:55 pm

      What is Fangraphs basing this assumption on? They’re assuming the Yankees can go as high as $265M in payroll for 2009? Where did they come up with that figure from? I would argue that even if the Yankees CAN, I highly doubt that they WILL which is really all that matters.

    23. YankCrank
      December 16th, 2008 | 3:06 pm

      Raf, that number is not correct. The Yankees are currently at the $180 million range for their payroll right now. That’s not including the $10 million they may give to Pettitte which would push it to $190 million. If you’d like proof of the exact payroll estimate right now, RAB did a calculation of it. I’d link to it but I tried to yesterday and my comment never went through.

    24. Raf
      December 16th, 2008 | 3:18 pm

      They’re assuming the Yankees can go as high as $265M in payroll for 2009?
      ———-
      No, it’s kinda what YankCrank mentioned.

      Last year’s payroll was $209, of which some $80M came off the books (the aforementioned Jason Giambi, Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano, Bobby Abreu, and Ivan Rodriguez.)

      They’re factoring in the raises some players will get, and they figure that assuming the Yanks go with a $205M payroll, that they have $65M to play with, of which has already been used to ink Sabathia & Burnett. Based on that, they still have room for Tex or whatever bat they want to land.

    25. Raf
      December 16th, 2008 | 3:21 pm

      The Yankees are currently at the $180 million range for their payroll right now.
      ——-
      I know, the article is playing with the assumption that the Yanks are going to go with a $205M payroll.

    26. Raf
      December 16th, 2008 | 3:23 pm

      May as well link to the article;

      Bronx Spenders
      http://tinyurl.com/6a6yfp

    27. YankCrank
      December 16th, 2008 | 3:33 pm

      Raf, I thought you were saying as of right now we still had $65 million to spend. My bad.

    28. Raf
      December 16th, 2008 | 3:37 pm

      It’s ok, I linked to the article, once it escapes moderation purgatory, you can check it out :)

      The article was written in November before Sabathia & Burnett were signed, which is something I left out.

    29. butchie22
      December 16th, 2008 | 4:04 pm

      AJerk Burnett was considered by Jays fans to be their Arod. He was a big signing that had great expectations and came in when Doc Halladay ruled the town. Halladay doesn’t have the stuff of AJerk but he has 100 times the heart. AJerk also got involved in some Arodian controversy including getting caught with another woman by his wife and the cops had to come. That actually sounds worse than anything Alex ever did!

      All in all, Burnett was a terrible signing by Brainless Cash Man and Co who need tons of offense BUT try to go pitching and defense(the Yanks seem to be challenged in this sphere right now). Yes, I’m predicting a mix of Ed Whitson, Pavano and Milt Bradley for AJerk. As I’ve said, the biggest fun will be when the Yankee shills turn on this jerk. Jones and Kay have trumpeted how the Yankee scouts say that he looks forward to the big game. Yeah, right he’s NEVER EVEN PITCHED ONE IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE! They need to think about some new scouts.

      MJ, you mentioned Lowe. I like Lowe better than AJerk because Lowe has been very good in the post season and he hasn’t been injury prone. He is the anti-AJerk ‘coz he is constitent.

      The payroll? I would love for it to be right before the luxury tax but that ain’t happening. As for 209 mill, I can see it even reach 250 mill. Let’s see Teix(23 mill), Manny(23 mill), Pettitte (10 mill) Lowe(17 mill) all together make payroll 250 mill.

    30. YankCrank
      December 16th, 2008 | 4:22 pm

      butchie22, do you have any real concept of the game of baseball or do you just like to call really, really good baseball players stupid names? You sound like you read more tabloids than actual credible sources of baseball knowledge.

    31. MJ
      December 16th, 2008 | 4:44 pm

      I like Lowe better than AJerk because Lowe has been very good in the post season and he hasn’t been injury prone. He is the anti-AJerk ‘coz he is constitent.
      ————-
      He’s also 36, coming back from the NL West — the home of some of the worst offenses in baseball and the best pitcher’s parks in baseball — and he was piss-poor in his last year in the AL in 2004.

      Being good in the post-season is a very dubious reason to sign somebody when you factor in all the other things working against him.

    32. Raf
      December 16th, 2008 | 4:53 pm

      Something I’ve also been looking for is an article on the CBA; IIRC, teams can deduct stadium construction expenses from revenue sharing. Which may mean that the Yanks may have even more money to play with. AND may actually get a revenue sharing payout.

    33. MJ
      December 16th, 2008 | 4:56 pm

      IIRC, teams can deduct stadium construction expenses from revenue sharing. Which may mean that the Yanks may have even more money to play with.
      —————
      I remember the same thing. However, I remember the caveat being that the stadium had to be self-financed and I’m not sure if getting municipal money has affected that.

    34. Raf
      December 16th, 2008 | 5:28 pm

      I remember the same thing. However, I remember the caveat being that the stadium had to be self-financed and I’m not sure if getting municipal money has affected that.
      ———
      I think the Yanks may have found a way around that, if I’m reading this article correctly;
      http://tinyurl.com/5twgb2

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.