• WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 8/22/11

    Posted by on August 22nd, 2011 · Comments (17)

    Feel free to use this entry 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.

    Just remember: keep it Yankees-focused.

    Also, feel free to use this post as a place to share your opinions, observations, complaints, rooting, and other sundry comments with fellow fans during the playing of the Yankees game today (if there is one).

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

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    Comments on WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 8/22/11

    1. August 22nd, 2011 | 9:02 am

      Back on August 6th, I posted on my blog (http://theviewfromthemiddleoftheroad.blogspot.com/2011/08/bit-of-diversion.html) an analysis on why AJ shouldn’t be in the starting rotation. This analysis was from the perspective of the discipline of financial decision making. The analysis holds even more today.

      How many more times will the Yankees have to dig themselves out of a hole after the 1st, 2nd or 3rd inning because Girardi (or Cashman) can’t stand “wasting” AJ’s big salary? And, will that cost the Yankees the divisional title and home field advantage?

    2. Garcia
      August 22nd, 2011 | 9:23 am

      @ rg.williams:
      My beef with their blind support for AJ is that they never say it’s because of the money, if it’s not because of the money then why keep him in the rotation? I wish they’d stop saying it’s not because of that. If any other pitcher pitched like that then they’d be sent to the minors a long time ago.

    3. Evan3457
      August 22nd, 2011 | 1:25 pm

      rg.williams, on his blog wrote:

      …if you think it’s going to go down further, or even stay where it is, and there are other investments which have more upside potential, you cut loose of the loser and redeploy your money.

      The stock market analogy doesn’t hold here, because if you sell a stock, you lose no more money, whereas if the Yanks “sell” AJ…well, he has a no trade clause, he can’t be sent to the minors, his contract is untradeable, except, perhaps, for fellow head case Carlos Zambrano…and so, if they “sell” A.J., they STILL have to take almost another $40,000,000 in losses, minus the minimum wage another team would pay him if here were picked up on waivers.

    4. satchel
      August 22nd, 2011 | 1:30 pm

      I went out to Lowell this weekend and caught the Staten Island Yankees visiting the Lowell Spinners (short-season single A). The Spinners are the Red Sox short-season A affiliate.

      I don’t follow the prospect news enough to know if any of the kids I saw are players that either organization has high hopes for. Looking over my scorecard, the Yankee right fielder Ben Gamel (hitting third in the lineup) knocked two doubles. The leadoff hitter, CF Mason Williams, had a single and a double. No one else had a notable day at the plate. The starter Matt Tracey went five innings, gave up one run on 4 hits, 2 walks, and 4 Ks. I wasn’t too impressed with that because these single A kids are free swingers, and the Lowell pitcher was getting more Ks and fewer BBs.

      Sadly, even though the SI Yankees have the best record in the NY-Penn League and the Spinners one of the worst, I saw the Spinners beat the Yanks 2-1 in 10 innings. The Yankees just couldn’t string hits together, especially against the Spinners’ reliever, Hunter Cervenka, who threw 5 impressive innings allowing only one baserunner and striking out 9 – yes, 9.

      There was surprisingly good defense – including a superb relay from center field to gun down what would have been the go-ahead run for Lowell at the plate.

      It was a good game, and great fun. If you’ve never been to a minor league game, I suggest you go! great atmosphere, fun baseball, cheap tickets – you can’t lose.

    5. Wendell_Maas
      August 22nd, 2011 | 2:16 pm

      satchel wrote:

      I don’t follow the prospect news enough to know if any of the kids I saw are players that either organization has high hopes for. Looking over my scorecard, the Yankee right fielder Ben Gamel (hitting third in the lineup) knocked two doubles. The leadoff hitter, CF Mason Williams, had a single and a double.

      Ben Gamel, younger brother of Brewers infielder Mat Gamel, projects as an above-average bat with his hit tool (meaning hitting for average) but only average power at best.

      Mason Williams, now there’s a good one. He’s the best player from the Yankees 2010 draft class and their best overall prospect in the short-season formats. He should be in full-season low-A ball next year in Charleston and could warrant a lot of attention this offseason on all those prospect rankings lists. He’s a legitimate four-tooler (hit, run, throw, field) and the power could develop to something average. A tremendous athlete.

    6. Jim TreshFan
      August 22nd, 2011 | 2:42 pm

      @ rg.williams:
      A.J. Burnett is the classic example of “The Elephant In The Room,” a wonderful expression for an obvious truth that is being ignored by a person or by a group of people.

    7. August 22nd, 2011 | 4:18 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      In finance we call an AJ a “sunk cost” — get on with making your portfolio better — don’t wait for losers to come back.

    8. Evan3457
      August 22nd, 2011 | 6:07 pm

      rg.williams wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      In finance we call an AJ a “sunk cost” — get on with making your portfolio better — don’t wait for losers to come back.

      I know what a sunk cost is. The comparison is not entirely apt, because players, especially pitchers, pop out of nowhere with great seasons, for no apparent reason. Mike Mussina appeared to be a sunk cost after the 2007. By the same logic, the Yanks should have cut him loose after 2007. If they had done so, they’d have cut loose their ace in 2008.

    9. August 22nd, 2011 | 7:12 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      Ah ha — now I understand. You’re looking for another miracle like Mussina. However, probability analysis should indicate to you that Mussina miracles don’t come along that often. I stand by my analysis — dump AJ and on average the quality of the pitching staff goes up.

    10. August 22nd, 2011 | 7:15 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      PS — you’re probably holding the same stocks you had before the tech bubble burst in 2001.

    11. Evan3457
      August 22nd, 2011 | 10:02 pm

      rg.williams wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      PS — you’re probably holding the same stocks you had before the tech bubble burst in 2001.

      I don’t hold any stocks, never really have except through my TDA, and I got out of all of them in 2005, but as it turned out, not for the right reason. The stock market analogy doesn’t really work here. Ballplayers are not like stocks of real companies, no matter what fantasy league analysis you read that says they are.

    12. Evan3457
      August 22nd, 2011 | 10:20 pm

      rg.williams wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      Ah ha — now I understand. You’re looking for another miracle like Mussina. However, probability analysis should indicate to you that Mussina miracles don’t come along that often. I stand by my analysis — dump AJ and on average the quality of the pitching staff goes up.

      No, I’m not looking for another Mussina. In fact, I think it’s nearly impossible that AJ will become another Mussina. In the reality of Major League Baseball, no team, not even the Yankees, gives up on a player with 2+ plus year worth nearly $40 million. If you do a probability analysis on that, you’ll see the empirical probability is zero. The Mets didn’t do it with either Perez or Castillo until they were down to 1 year left worth a combined $18 million.

      Major league teams have statistical analysts saying much the same things you are, but they still try to get some value out of these hyper-expensive deals. You can call it a shared delusion if you like but all teams do this well-run or not. Even the “industry model” Red Sox.

      ======================================
      Jason Giambi looked like “sunk cost” after the 2nd half of 2003 and all of 2004. Carlos Beltran sure looked like sunk cost after 2010, but the Mets got Zack Wheeler out of not eating his last year. Justin Morneau looks like sunk cost right now; wanna bet the Twins don’t release him before the end of 2012. They might trade him, but they ain’t releasing him. John Lackey has been just about sunk cost from the start of his current contract, I bet the Sox don’t release him until the end of 2013.

    13. August 22nd, 2011 | 11:48 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      Kei Igawa ??? Enough said !!!

    14. Evan3457
      August 23rd, 2011 | 12:19 am

      rg.williams wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      Kei Igawa ??? Enough said !!!

      Kei Igawa’s deal was front loaded in the sense that $25 million of the $45 million went to his Japanese team in the bid. He’s cost the Yanks $4 million a year (and $4 million a year toward the salary cap). His “cost load” is therefore much lighter, and STILL, the Yanks did not release him, but sent him to the minors instead, hoping to pressure him into asking for his release. He never has, allowing himself to be buried for 3 years now.

      In any event, that option is not available with AJ, who cannot be sent to the minors without his consent because of his veteran contract rights. He also has a no-trade clause. It’s either wave and release, or nothing.

      Looks like nothing to me, at least until the end of 2012.

    15. rankdog
      August 23rd, 2011 | 7:24 am

      Kei Igawa’s contract does not count against the salary cap so long as he is buried in the minors. They save whatever the cap multiplier is by doing this. They have had opportunities to trade him but for whatever reason it didn’t happen.

    16. Evan3457
      August 23rd, 2011 | 1:51 pm

      rankdog wrote:

      Kei Igawa’s contract does not count against the salary cap so long as he is buried in the minors. They save whatever the cap multiplier is by doing this. They have had opportunities to trade him but for whatever reason it didn’t happen.

      You are correct. As long as the team doesn’t bring him up and add him back to the 40 man roster, or trade him to another team that adds him to their 40 man roster, Igawa does not count against the cap.

      It doesn’t really affect the argument I was making, but I was wrong, and thanks for the correction.

    17. LMJ229
      August 24th, 2011 | 9:47 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      I realize I’m a little late to the conversation but Evan I’m just curious – it sounds like you are defending the Yankees decision – do you agree with them or are you just explaining their stance?

      I’m no financial expert so I don’t know anything about “sunk costs” but I can tell you this: the Yankees are in the middle of a tough divisional race that’s probably gonna go down to the wire so we need to give ourselves the best chance to win as we enter the stretch run. If that means taking Burnett and his hefty contract out of the rotation, so be it. Any reason other than that is indefensible. I’d rather pay him $40M to sit on the bench rather than get lit up and waste our bullpen every fifth day.

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