• D-Back Envy

    Posted by on September 23rd, 2010 · Comments (12)

    Reading everything that Kevin Towers is saying here makes me wish that he was the current G.M. of the Yankees.

    Comments on D-Back Envy

    1. Corey Italiano
      September 23rd, 2010 | 3:14 pm

      Meh, what’s he gonna say? Wow we sucked this year, and the idiots before me traded off Dan Haren for a bunch of bat boys? I don’t think so.

    2. MJ Recanati
      September 23rd, 2010 | 3:20 pm

      What specifically did Towers say that has you so jealous? I read the article twice to make sure I didn’t miss anything but I didn’t see any of his remarks as groundbreaking or novel, nor did I see them greatly contrasting with what the Yankees or any other team looks for.

    3. September 23rd, 2010 | 3:30 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      What specifically did Towers say that has you so jealous?

      I’m a big believer in pitching. I think pitching is what wins. Not to say that I take offense lightly, but pitching to me is paramount – especially the bullpen…

      To me, pitching is the name of the game. You look at clubs that go deep into postseason, especially these days, I think the last two or three years, the ones that are pitching dominant are usually the ones that end up at the end of the year on top.

      I believe in size, I believe in strength. With size comes strength. I like guys who have strikeout ability. I like people who attack. I’ve got an aggressive personality and I like pitchers who are aggressive. I like people that pound the zone and are not afraid to challenge hitters inside.

      You’re going to have to start digging down in A ball and Double-A and finding those players that have the potential to be those type of players maybe before they have a chance to get on other teams radar screens.

      I’ve always said that my analogy of a baseball game is like a dining experience. You can have a great meal with tremendous ambiance and great company but if you have to wait 40 minutes for a check, you ain’t going to remember anything that is good about that dinner. Baseball games are no different. You can have a great pitching performance as Hudson did the other night, but if you blow the game, your fans, players, front office, coaching staff – everybody’s going to be unhappy. Bullpens can make managers and people look good.

      A bullpen is not just the closer, you should have five to six guys who can pitch in the seventh, eighth or ninth inning against a middle of the order hitter and be able to get a strikeout. Get you manager options, choices. And the bench. Good teams have experienced bench players that know their role.

      With power usually comes strikeouts. That usually goes hand in hand. You’re going to have usually a couple of guys in your lineup that have high strikeouts and hopefully the homers come. Personally I like contact hitters, guys with good pitch recognition. Strikeouts are a part of the game, but if you’ve got four or five or six guys in your lineup, it’s hard to sustain any sort of rally. I’m a big believer in pitch recognition, grinding out an at-bat, seeing a lot of pitches. The more pitches you see, the longer ABs that you have. David Eckstsein is a perfect example. Eck can see nine, 10, 11 pitches in at-bat. If he gets up two or three times in the first five innings, all of a sudden you’re feasting off middle relief.

    4. September 23rd, 2010 | 3:35 pm

      That’s all so different from “Uh, excuse me, Mr. Steinbenner, may I have a check for $423.5 million to sign three players to plug up the holes on this team caused by my past failures?”

    5. G.I. Joey
      September 23rd, 2010 | 3:50 pm

      If I didn’t know better Steve, I’d think you were secretly rooting for the Yankees to faulter in the postseason so that all of your criticism (mostly rooted in a distaste for Cashman and his abilities as a GM) would be justified. I’d also think that you’ve setup a win-win for yourself b/c if the Yankees win it all again this year, you get to celebrate with the rest of us.

      However, I do know better and I really don’t think you would wish this team harm just to prove your point. Sometimes these crazy thoughts just creep into my head for and for whatever reason I felt the need to share them today. I am by no means a Cashman fan, but he seems to be your white whale.

      It’s not possible to discount winning the WS, is it?

    6. September 23rd, 2010 | 3:59 pm

      @ G.I. Joey: I dunno if I would say that Cashman is my white whale. But, he’s part of what I don’t like in terms of what the Yankees have become – him, Levine, Trost, A-Rod, etc. It’s not just a dislike of Cashman.

      But, on the bright-side, I know that they can’t last forever. It’s just a matter of time. Win or lose on the field.

      Someday, the Yankees will have a baseball man in charge of things. And, someday, the Yankees won’t have players like A-Rod on their team. Again, it’s just a matter of time.

      Footnote on A-Rod: No knock on his on the field play. He shows up. He runs hard. He does produce. More so, my beef is on all the “extra” stuff that comes with having A-Rod on your team.

    7. Evan3457
      September 23rd, 2010 | 4:13 pm

      Kevin Towers said:

      What specifically did Towers say that has you so jealous?
      I’m a big believer in pitching. I think pitching is what wins. Not to say that I take offense lightly, but pitching to me is paramount – especially the bullpen.

      To me, pitching is the name of the game. You look at clubs that go deep into postseason, especially these days, I think the last two or three years, the ones that are pitching dominant are usually the ones that end up at the end of the year on top.

      Well, that’s all well and good, but right now, as we speak, the Padres are in the process of proving the limitations of that approach. Just like the Mariners proved it last year. And the A’s in the AL this year.

      The best teams do everything well. Always have, the great majority of seasons. Always will. Yes, a rare champion will pop up with an overwhelming dominance of pitching and weak hitting (1969 Mets), but those teams almost NEVER do it again.

      I believe in size, I believe in strength. With size comes strength. I like guys who have strikeout ability. I like people who attack. I’ve got an aggressive personality and I like pitchers who are aggressive. I like people that pound the zone and are not afraid to challenge hitters inside.

      OK, so who doesn’t? Strikeout ability is desired by every team, the Yankees included.

      You’re going to have to start digging down in A ball and Double-A and finding those players that have the potential to be those type of players maybe before they have a chance to get on other teams radar screens.

      Yeah, him and 29 other GMs.

      I’ve always said that my analogy of a baseball game is like a dining experience. You can have a great meal with tremendous ambiance and great company but if you have to wait 40 minutes for a check, you ain’t going to remember anything that is good about that dinner. Baseball games are no different. You can have a great pitching performance as Hudson did the other night, but if you blow the game, your fans, players, front office, coaching staff – everybody’s going to be unhappy. Bullpens can make managers and people look good.

      Generic boilerplate: “I’m in favor of good things, and against not-good things.”

      A bullpen is not just the closer, you should have five to six guys who can pitch in the seventh, eighth or ninth inning against a middle of the order hitter and be able to get a strikeout.

      And what part of the last 3 Yankee bullpens denies this?

      Get your manager options, choices. And the bench. Good teams have experienced bench players that know their role.

      The Yankees tie up a ton of money in veteran star hitters. It’s an inefficient use of money to tie up big money in top bench players, first of all, because they ain’t gonna play much, and second of all, no top bench players are going to sigh on the off-chance they’ll get some playing time IF the all-star in front of them suffers a significant injury.

      And somehow, they wind up the season with multiple veteran hitters that know their role, anyway. Last year, Hairston and Hinske. This year, Berkman, Kearns and Thames.

      With power usually comes strikeouts. That usually goes hand in hand. You’re going to have usually a couple of guys in your lineup that have high strikeouts and hopefully the homers come. Personally I like contact hitters, guys with good pitch recognition. Strikeouts are a part of the game, but if you’ve got four or five or six guys in your lineup, it’s hard to sustain any sort of rally. I’m a big believer in pitch recognition, grinding out an at-bat, seeing a lot of pitches. The more pitches you see, the longer ABs that you have.

      Which has been the Yankee offensive philosophy since, oh, Wade Boggs, I guess. And it hasn’t changed. They been above the league average in team P/PA the last 3 years. In 2008, they were 6th. Last year, 4th. This year, 3rd.

      David Eckstsein is a perfect example. Eck can see nine, 10, 11 pitches in at-bat. If he gets up two or three times in the first five innings, all of a sudden you’re feasting off middle relief.

      David Eckstein does this sometimes in the short run of playoff games, and the occasional big game. Most the time he’s a very polite, decent, hustling, gritty, humongous black hole in the offense in which he plays. His career avg P/PA is 3.79. The ML avg? 3.77. In the playoffs, we’ve all seen him do this. The problem is: if David Eckstein is your everyday shortstop, or 2nd baseman, you’re much less likely to get to the post-season, than say, if it’s Derek Jeter, or Robbie Cano.

      As a matter of practicality, it’s OK to have one Eckstein, or one Brett Gardner in your offense. If you have more than that, you MIGHT be the 2003 Florida Marlins with Pierre and Castillo, but much more often, you’re the 2009 Padres.
      —————————————————
      More than any of this; this is the philosophy a GM should have IF he’s the GM of the Padres, or maybe the D’backs.

      You try this stuff with the Yankees, and you’ll be out of the post-season 2 years out of 3, at a minimum, and you’ll be shown the door before 4 years have passed.

      Once again: the Yankees’ organizational philosophy is that they must win every year. This requires overpaying to eliminate as much risk as possible. It also increases the chances that 20% of your budget, and occasionally more, will be completely wasted.

    8. Raf
      September 23rd, 2010 | 4:59 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      To me, pitching is the name of the game. You look at clubs that go deep into postseason, especially these days, I think the last two or three years, the ones that are pitching dominant are usually the ones that end up at the end of the year on top.

      The playoffs have gone on a lot longer than that. And I’m sure that there were teams with better pitching than the Phils, Yanks, Rays, Rockies and Red Sox (pennant winners for the last 3 years)

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      That’s all so different from “Uh, excuse me, Mr. Steinbenner, may I have a check for $423.5 million to sign three players to plug up the holes on this team caused by my past failures?”

      You can keep beating the same drum, it doesn’t make it any more accurate or true. How many runs did the 2008 Yankees allow? How many runs did the 2009 Yankees allow?

    9. Raf
      September 23rd, 2010 | 5:02 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Once again: the Yankees’ organizational philosophy is that they must win every year. This requires overpaying to eliminate as much risk as possible. It also increases the chances that 20% of your budget, and occasionally more, will be completely wasted.

      But have they really overpaid? I do agree that their ability to spend money is the reason they were able to make the playoffs from 1995-2007. And they probably make it in 2008 had they not been hit with a ton of injuries. The Yanks as an organization don’t rebuild, they reload (this was the case during the 80′s as well). And that’s the way it should be, that’s the way it has always been.

    10. Garcia
      September 23rd, 2010 | 5:25 pm

      G.I. Joey wrote:

      If I didn’t know better Steve, I’d think you were secretly rooting for the Yankees to faulter in the postseason so that all of your criticism (mostly rooted in a distaste for Cashman and his abilities as a GM) would be justified. I’d also think that you’ve setup a win-win for yourself b/c if the Yankees win it all again this year, you get to celebrate with the rest of us.

      A lot of days I’m left thinking the same thing after reading some of Steve’s post. Is there a self-fulfilling prophecy at play with Steve? Only one person knows. I root for the Yankees, ultimately that’s all I care about.

      I’m definitely not the leader of A-Rod fan-club, but given how well he’s behaved and performed since February of 2009, I have no issues with him. At some point you just have to move on, no?

    11. FirstTimePoster
      September 23rd, 2010 | 9:26 pm

      I read this discussion and then read Keith Law’s chat today. The quote below from K-Law’s chat made me chuckle, so I thought I would share. I like Towers, and would have liked him to stay with the Yankees, but It made me wonder why Steve was so jealous of Arizona’s hire.

      Kevin (San Diego)

      Thoughts on the Kevin Towers hire? Right person for the job?
      Klaw (1:04 PM)

      Probably a good place to start. I guess my main objection here is that the D-backs said they were concerned about their farm system and wanted a GM who’d rebuild it … so they hired a GM whose strength was big league trades (and working with the media) and whose weakness was the draft and the farm system. And by the way, if Towers is going to recreate this supposed bullpen magic of his in Arizona, the first thing he’s going to have to do is build a gigantic new stadium in a crevasse, because Chase Field ain’t Petco East.
      Klaw (1:05 PM)

      None of which is to say that Towers is a bad choice, just that the message is all garbled. They said they wanted a GM who would rebuild the farm system, then hired a different guy.

    12. MJ Recanati
      September 24th, 2010 | 9:12 am

      @ FirstTimePoster:
      Fair point indeed. Most of San Diego’s recent top prospects (Greene, Antonelli, Headley) haven’t distinguished themselves at all.

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