• WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 12/19/08

    Posted by on December 19th, 2008 · Comments (36)

    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 12/19/08

    1. antone
      December 19th, 2008 | 8:16 am

      So the Red Sox are reportedly close to signing Teixeira, but honestly I’m not too worried about. The reason why those Red Sox teams that won were so great was that they had Manny and Ortiz back to back in the lineup. That is what made their offense great instead of just good. So Teixeira is certainly in his prime and on par with Manny & Ortiz in their prime. The thing is I don’t think Ortiz is going to be the same hitter he was in the past because of his wrist injury and his bad knees. Youkilis probably had a career year and Pedroia as well. I would be pretty surprised if they repeat the numbers they had this year. So I think their offense will definitely be solid and probably better than the Yankees, but I still think it falls short of those World Series winning teams because there is no big one two punch. It’s really just going to be Teixeira now that you really fear in that lineup. I think they will have a solid offense, but I don’t think they will have an “oh crap we can’t stop these guys” type of offense. Plus you can add in most likely another horrible year from Varitek and the uncertainty of Lowrie and Ellsbury. We really don’t know what they are going to give you for a full season.

    2. YankCrank
      December 19th, 2008 | 9:16 am

      Antone:

      When I look at how good a team is going to be, I never take an objective look at their players and/or lineup configuration and make a judgement on who will be good or not. I usually look at the previous year’s run differential and compare last year’s roster to this year’s. Here are the top five from 2008:

      Cubs: +184
      Red Sox: +151
      Phillies: +119
      Blue Jays: +104
      Rays: +103

      If you wonder where the Yanks were on that list, we were only a +62. The Sox are pretty high on that list even with a injury-laden year from Beckett (only around 170 IP) and a lot of time missed by Mike Lowell. The Sox are bringing back the same lineup plus Lowell and if they added Tex (last night’s report have them out, but i’ll believe it when he officially signs elsewhere) than imagine his impact on that differential.

      My point is, basically, whether the Sox strike you as an “oh crap” lineup or not, they are going to be damn good. If they stay healthy, they will keep runs off the board with their pitching and defense and score a lot of runs with that offense.

    3. MJ
      December 19th, 2008 | 9:35 am

      Actually it looks like the Teixeira-to-Boston will take a longer. I still think he’ll end up there but I think Boras and John Henry are doing a little dance.

    4. YankCrank
      December 19th, 2008 | 9:42 am

      Agreed MJ, it may take a little longer but I still believe he will be a in Boston. I’m sure this news gets Yankee fans excited but we shouldn’t count him out of Boston yet.

    5. MJ
      December 19th, 2008 | 9:46 am

      it may take a little longer but I still believe he will be a in Boston.
      ———-
      Agree completely. I’m pretty sure he still ends up in Boston.

    6. antone
      December 19th, 2008 | 9:55 am

      When I look at how good a team is going to be, I never take an objective look at their players and/or lineup configuration and make a judgement on who will be good or not. I usually look at the previous year’s run differential and compare last year’s roster to this year’s. Here are the top five from 2008

      Cubs: +184
      Red Sox: +151
      Phillies: +119
      Blue Jays: +104
      Rays: +103
      ————-

      Lot of good that +184 did the Cubs….

      You are assuming all things will be equal, which is not the case. Lowell had major hip surgery, who knows what he’s going to be when he comes back and there won’t be a spot for him to play anyway. Ortiz could be declining due to injuries. You don’t know what Lowrie and Ellsbury are going to give you. Youk and Pedroia will probably come down a little bit from last year. Varitek will probably be just as bad. JD Drew is not going to play a whole season.

      A healthy Beckett? You are giving him way too much credit. Check this out over the last 4 years comparing Beckett & AJ Burnett:

      Beckett: 758 inning pitched, 115 ERA+

      Burnett: 731 Innings pitched, 113 ERA+

      Pretty damn similar huh?

      I’m not saying they won’t be better than the Yankees, but I do not see them as an unstoppable powerhouse. That was the purpose of the post. Is run differential from last year even relevant to that? Yes they will be good with Teixeira, but unbeatable? Hardly.

    7. MJ
      December 19th, 2008 | 9:59 am

      Lot of good that +184 did the Cubs…
      —————-
      Playoffs are a bit of a crapshoot so I wouldn’t be so flippant about it.

      Four of the top five teams madet he playoffs, three of the four made the LCS, and two of the four made the WS.

      That’s not to say that you can use run differential as an absolute indicator of success but it certainly does show something, doesn’t it?

    8. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      December 19th, 2008 | 10:05 am

      That run differential gave the Cubs the best record in baseball; it should have given the Sox the best record in the A.L. and that might have made the difference in October (the point being, as Theo argues, October is a crapshoot, the idea is to get there as many times as possible to maximize the chance you get on a roll and win it all).

      I think it takes blind hope to presume that Pedroia and Youkilis are incapable of matching 2008. Barring injury, its highly unlikely that their final stats will be significantly worse.

      Lowell and Papi are coming off of injuries but I wouldn’t write them off yet. Their medical reports to date certainly are encouraging.

      I don’t think anyone can seriously believe that a year of Lowrie won’t be an improvement over Lugo.

      But many thanks to my Yankee friends. I didn’t expect to come here and get a pep talk on why Teixeira will still land in Boston. :)

    9. YankCrank
      December 19th, 2008 | 10:12 am

      Antone I never said you were wrong. I was just offering another way to look at it. There is obviously no foolproof way to predict how a team will perform, that’s why they play the games but like MJ said, run differential is a pretty good way to measure success. If the Red Sox are returning the same team that had an outstanding performance in that statistic (while some of their better players were injured and didn’t contribute as much as they usually do) it may be safe to predict they will be a strong squad. I never said World Series champions, I said they will most likely be a damn good team because they are.

    10. antone
      December 19th, 2008 | 10:15 am

      Playoffs are a bit of a crapshoot so I wouldn’t be so flippant about it.
      —————————-
      This proves my point. They can have a great run differential, but it doesn’t mean they are going to win the World Series. Once the playoffs start the run differential is ZERO.

      I think it takes blind hope to presume that Pedroia and Youkilis are incapable of matching 2008. Barring injury, its highly unlikely that their final stats will be significantly worse.
      —————————
      Not impossible they will match it, but certainly no shoe in either. At this point, those were both career years, so no guarantee that it is a trend. If they both match those numbers again this year then that is what we should expect going forward.

      Lowell and Papi are coming off of injuries but I wouldn’t write them off yet. Their medical reports to date certainly are encouraging.
      ———————————
      At their age, they were likely looking at a decline anyway. Lowell I would imagine is going to be losing much of his power with his hip injury and will most likely be traded anyway if Tex is onboard.

      I don’t think anyone can seriously believe that a year of Lowrie won’t be an improvement over Lugo.
      ——————————-
      You mean a half year since Lowrie had 260 at bats last season. Also, we don’t squat about how good Lowrie really is offensively. In the field, he will be an improvement though.

      Don’t get me wrong I would love to have Tex on the Yankees and will not like facing him, but at the same time I don’t think as Yankees fans we should see this as a move that makes the Red Sox unstoppable.

    11. antone
      December 19th, 2008 | 10:16 am

      I never said World Series champions, I said they will most likely be a damn good team because they are.
      —————–
      I’m talking about Championships here. In the end, that’s all that really matters to the Yankees and Red Sox.

    12. MJ
      December 19th, 2008 | 10:29 am

      This proves my point. They can have a great run differential, but it doesn’t mean they are going to win the World Series. Once the playoffs start the run differential is ZERO.
      ———-
      That actually disproves your point. Although run differential doesn’t absolutely statistically guarantee results, it is a fairly strong indicator of success. So if the Red Sox are returning the best team in the AL of 2008 with Teixeira added to the mix, I’d say it’s a pretty good bet that they’ll be right at the top of the AL again.

      It doesn’t mean they’ll absolutely win the championship and it doesn’t mean that funny things can’t happen along the way (injuries, etc.) but to simply discount run differential because of playoff results doesn’t make sense. Don’t you have to make the playoffs first in order to win them?

    13. YankCrank
      December 19th, 2008 | 10:38 am

      Don’t get me wrong I would love to have Tex on the Yankees and will not like facing him, but at the same time I don’t think as Yankees fans we should see this as a move that makes the Red Sox unstoppable.
      —————–

      None of us are saying this move makes the Sox unstoppable. We’re making a case that the Red Sox project to be a strong team with statistical proof to back it up and all you’re throwing back at us are your assumptions that because Papi and Lowell aren’t in their prime and 100% healthy that the team is due for a decline, and Lowrie and Ellsbury aren’t fully developed yet so they won’t amount to much team success. You’re entitled to your opinion but I think you’re being extremely shortsighted. The Sox were tied for first in the AL in fielding percentage, their team ERA was 4th in the AL and they were 2nd in all of baseball in run differential. That same team is returning, questionable stronger with Lowell returning, and that measures up to success.

    14. antone
      December 19th, 2008 | 10:39 am

      That actually disproves your point. Although run differential doesn’t absolutely statistically guarantee results, it is a fairly strong indicator of success. So if the Red Sox are returning the best team in the AL of 2008 with Teixeira added to the mix, I’d say it’s a pretty good bet that they’ll be right at the top of the AL again.

      It doesn’t mean they’ll absolutely win the championship and it doesn’t mean that funny things can’t happen along the way (injuries, etc.) but to simply discount run differential because of playoff results doesn’t make sense. Don’t you have to make the playoffs first in order to win them?
      —————————-
      This disproves my point that the team with the best Run Differential doesn’t always win?

      Don’t think so.

      I’m not saying they won’t make the playoffs or that they won’t have the best run differential, but I don’t think we should look at the team with the best run differential and say that they are definitely going to win it all. It’s simply not true. Any team with a run differential over 100 is probably solid and can beat any team in baseball in a given series.

      My point has nothing to do with them MAKING the playoffs. I’m already assuming they will. The best run differential means you 99.9% of the time will make the playoffs, but it does not mean you will win the WS, because there are other teams in the playoffs who have strong run differentials too.

    15. YankCrank
      December 19th, 2008 | 10:41 am

      This proves my point. They can have a great run differential, but it doesn’t mean they are going to win the World Series. Once the playoffs start the run differential is ZERO.
      ———-

      Last time I checked you need to be one of the 4 teams to win the regular season to have a chance of winning the playoffs, and judging by the teams that won the season and playoffs, they had a very large run differential. You can’t throw that stat away, it’s a statistic that measures success.

    16. antone
      December 19th, 2008 | 10:45 am

      You’re entitled to your opinion but I think you’re being extremely shortsighted. The Sox were tied for first in the AL in fielding percentage, their team ERA was 4th in the AL and they were 2nd in all of baseball in run differential. That same team is returning, questionable stronger with Lowell returning, and that measures up to success.
      ————————–
      So from this it sounds like you think they are unstoppable and will win the WS. I never said they won’t make the playoffs or be good. I’m just saying as Yankees fans I think we will have as good of a chance to beat them as they do to beat us and the same goes for the Rays too.

      That is all I’m saying is that the Red Sox will not be unstoppable, but you are telling me that they will most likely be improved from last season, so I am giving you possible reasons(Lowell, Ortiz, Beckett, Lowrie, etc) that they MIGHT not be as improved as we all think. I’m not saying they DEFINITELY won’t be improved. I think you have to look at both sides and as a Yankees fan who studies his opponent I was looking for possible reasons they MIGHT not be as improved as much as we think they will be.

    17. YankCrank
      December 19th, 2008 | 10:46 am

      I’m not saying they won’t make the playoffs or that they won’t have the best run differential, but I don’t think we should look at the team with the best run differential and say that they are definitely going to win it all.
      ———-

      None of us are saying that.

    18. antone
      December 19th, 2008 | 10:47 am

      Last time I checked you need to be one of the 4 teams to win the regular season to have a chance of winning the playoffs, and judging by the teams that won the season and playoffs, they had a very large run differential. You can’t throw that stat away, it’s a statistic that measures success
      ———————————–
      Once you make the playoffs, you can throw the regular season stat away. It means jack. It could give you a clue as to who is the better team, but it doesn’t mean that team will win the series. Isn’t that obvious? or am I losing it here?

    19. antone
      December 19th, 2008 | 10:51 am

      I’m not saying they won’t make the playoffs or that they won’t have the best run differential, but I don’t think we should look at the team with the best run differential and say that they are definitely going to win it all.
      ———-

      None of us are saying that.
      ——————–

      Then you have no reason to disagree with me, because I never said they wouldn’t be good. I’m just saying in the playoffs, they can be beaten, regardless of run differential.

    20. MJ
      December 19th, 2008 | 11:07 am

      Then you have no reason to disagree with me, because I never said they wouldn’t be good. I’m just saying in the playoffs, they can be beaten, regardless of run differential.
      ————–
      OK, then we all agree that (1) Boston will still be a very strong team next year, (2) seem very likely to be a playoff team and (3) nothing is guaranteed beyond that.

      Irrespective of #3, the Red Sox seem like a better bet for 2009′s World Series if they get Mark Teixeira because they’d be adding to what was already objectively the best team in the AL.

      The Yanks missed the playoffs in 2008 for a variety of reasons, most of which had to do with a subpar offense. To the extent that they’ve not addressed those issues, Boston is still better than the Yanks right now, that $243.5M invested in the rotation notwithstanding.

    21. antone
      December 19th, 2008 | 11:12 am

      OK, then we all agree that (1) Boston will still be a very strong team next year, (2) seem very likely to be a playoff team and (3) nothing is guaranteed beyond that.
      ———
      Yes, that’s all I was saying, haha.

      ..and yes I agree the Yanks lack of offense and need another big bat in their lineup, but IF the Yankees make the postseason I am going to assume the offense played better than expected and then I would say the Yanks would have as good of a chance as any to beat the Red Sox

    22. YankCrank
      December 19th, 2008 | 11:28 am

      Yes, agreed on all of that.

    23. antone
      December 19th, 2008 | 11:30 am

      Great…so now we have nothing to talk about!

    24. MJ
      December 19th, 2008 | 11:33 am

      Great…so now we have nothing to talk about!
      ————-
      We can talk about how great it is when GM/owners call agents on their BS like John Henry did yesterday to Boras or how Cashman did last week to Pettitte’s BS 3Y/$36M “offer” from some other team.

      Agents are so funny. How is it that GM’s ever fall for their games?

    25. antone
      December 19th, 2008 | 11:45 am

      We can talk about how great it is when GM/owners call agents on their BS like John Henry did yesterday to Boras or how Cashman did last week to Pettitte’s BS 3Y/$36M “offer” from some other team.
      ———–
      Yeah especially when I thought Andy only wanted one year deals. I thought that one was odd.

    26. Raf
      December 19th, 2008 | 11:49 am

      Agents are so funny. How is it that GM’s ever fall for their games?
      ———-
      Jedi mind tricks? :D

    27. YankCrank
      December 19th, 2008 | 12:10 pm

      Would you guys rather us sign Pettitte for another year or go with an open competition for the 5th spot between Hughes/Kennedy/Aceves?

    28. MJ
      December 19th, 2008 | 12:30 pm

      Would you guys rather us sign Pettitte for another year or go with an open competition for the 5th spot between Hughes/Kennedy/Aceves?
      —————
      Pettitte for one year. Best of both worlds for the Yanks: a veteran, relatively reliable arm for the 4th spot in the rotation but a short term commitment that doesn’t tie the Yankees down or give them a good enough reason to trade away all their youth.

      In 2010, the rotation should (hopefully) be Sabathia/Burnett/Wang/Chamberlain/Hughes.

    29. YankCrank
      December 19th, 2008 | 12:39 pm

      Pettitte for one year. Best of both worlds for the Yanks: a veteran, relatively reliable arm for the 4th spot in the rotation but a short term commitment that doesn’t tie the Yankees down or give them a good enough reason to trade away all their youth.

      In 2010, the rotation should (hopefully) be Sabathia/Burnett/Wang/Chamberlain/Hughes.
      —————

      Couldn’t have said it any better, agreed.

    30. Raf
      December 19th, 2008 | 1:54 pm

      but a short term commitment that doesn’t tie the Yankees down
      ————–
      A long term commitment wont tie them down either, as shown with Kenny Rogers, Javier Vazquez, Randy Johnson, among others.

    31. MJ
      December 19th, 2008 | 2:02 pm

      A long term commitment wont tie them down either, as shown with Kenny Rogers, Javier Vazquez, Randy Johnson, among others.
      ————-
      Fair point but short is still better than long, especially when we’re discusing a potential choice of 1Y/$10M for Pettitte or 4Y/$66M for Derek Lowe.

      Plus, I’m looking at it more from the young pitching perspective. If you have Pettitte in for one year then you can re-evaluate where you are with the kids. If you lock yourself in for a long-term deal with someone else, you have a greater incentive to deal the young pitchers (something I’m really not in favor of at this time).

    32. Raf
      December 19th, 2008 | 2:10 pm

      If you lock yourself in for a long-term deal with someone else, you have a greater incentive to deal the young pitchers (something I’m really not in favor of at this time).
      ————
      Depends on organizational philosophy and needs. But I don’t think that’s the case any more than having young pitchers gives an organization greater incentive to trade them for proven veterans.

      If you sign Lowe for 4 years (just going with your example), the kids still develop, you can still re-evaluate where you are with them after the season’s over. If they’re not ready, you have Lowe for another season. If they are, they get worked into the rotation, they work out the bullpen, Lowe gets traded, whatever.

      Too many factors to consider, and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter whether they go for Pettitte for 1 year or Lowe for 4.

    33. MJ
      December 19th, 2008 | 2:26 pm

      Depends on organizational philosophy and needs.
      ———–
      Exactly. So we don’t disagree, I’m simply coming at it from the point of view/belief that if Cashman signed Lowe, he’d see fewer spots for the kids in the short and intermediate term and thus might be compelled to move them for a bat or whatever else.

      I’m not saying it WILL happen, I’m just saying that in my opinion, Pettitte being here on a 1-year deal makes it less likely to happen.

    34. butchie22
      December 19th, 2008 | 2:41 pm

      Raf and MJ, the Yanks have the monetary flexibilty to make any type of deal happen or work. IF CC or Burnett flop, they have the fianacial wherewithal to get yet another pitcher next year with revenues of 800 million next year. I think that if Lowe is signed then you might see Hughes ,Kennedy or one of the flamethrowers in the minors dealt for another piece preferably an offensive one(that being their greatest need).

      MJ, I agree with your rotation for 2010 with one exception. I am one of the guys that are bearish on Hughes so I think there might be a competition for that spot if they don’t sign Lowe. I see them probably going outside the organization and going for a Peavy, Halladay( highly unlikely but hey you never know) or an Oswalt if the pitching falters in 2009 or to a lesser degree if it doesn’t.

    35. butchie22
      December 19th, 2008 | 4:03 pm

      Raf, I want to thank you for posting that information from Cot’s(about Lowell) the other day about Lowell, I owe you one. Now you turned me unto a great site, thanx.

    36. Raf
      December 19th, 2008 | 10:01 pm

      You’re welcome, Butchie…
      —-

      So we don’t disagree, I’m simply coming at it from the point of view/belief that if Cashman signed Lowe, he’d see fewer spots for the kids in the short and intermediate term and thus might be compelled to move them for a bat or whatever else.
      —–
      Depends on the deal made. If the right deal comes along, I don’t mind parting with the kids. The Yanks have a ton of arms in the system, and they can absorb the loss of a few prospects

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