• Madden: Cashman Has Whiffed This Off-Season

    Posted by on February 10th, 2013 · Comments (50)

    Bill Madden shares this about the Yankees off-season:

    In the Yankees’ case there is sufficient evidence that they’ve regressed while GM Brian Cashman has sat back and watched one prospective improvement player after another go elsewhere, the latest being switch-hitting shortstop Jed Lowrie, who had 16 homers and 42 RBI with the Astros last year, and went to the Oakland A’s for defensively challenged first baseman Chris Carter and a couple of so-so prospects. With Derek Jeter turning 39 this year and coming off major ankle surgery, and the fading, injury-prone 34-year-old Kevin Youkilis brought in to play third base in the absence of Alex Rodriguez, Lowrie seemingly would have been a perfect infield insurance policy for the Yankees. Meanwhile, with the departures of Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Eric Chavez, Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones, along with the uncertainty of when — or if — A-Rod will ever be back, the Yankees are missing 112 home runs from last year. Nobody ever said Martin was Thurman Munson, but he was a bona fide No. 1 catcher, and with career backups Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart now slated to vie for the job, the Yankee catching appears to be back to the Brad Gulden/Jerry Narron days.

    Cashman is looking to replace all that lost power from among a collection of retreads signed off the scrap heap this winter, including injury-prone DH Travis Hafner, who has averaged 86 games the last five seasons, 34-year -old Matt Diaz, 34-year-old Juan Rivera and 33-year-old first baseman/DH Dan Johnson. And speaking of age, did we mention that at a prospective average age of 32.7, the Yankees will be by far the oldest team in baseball this year. In Cashman’s view, however, re-signing Andy Pettitte, who turns 41 in June, and 38-year-old Hiroki Kuroda made for a successful winter.

    We’d like to report there are some exciting rookies coming to camp to vie for the third base and corner outfield jobs, but, alas, there are none, as the consistently fallow Yankee farm system is why they’re in this state of decline. The most impressive rookie in camp figures to be hard-throwing righthander Mark Montgomery, who fanned 99 batters in 74 innings at High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton last year and is creating buzz as another potential closer successor to Mariano Rivera. There is also David Adams, a 27-year-old “grinder” type whose career nearly ended in May of 2010 when he sustained a serious ankle injury. The 6-1, 205-pound Adams, a line drive hitter with 15-20 home run power who spent last season at Tampa and Trenton, is more suited for third base, but for some reason, the Yankee player development moguls had him playing second in the Arizona Fall League. What seems clear is they don’t share the same enthusiasm for him as opposing scouts do.

    …the consistently fallow Yankee farm system is why they’re in this state of decline…

    Great line.

    Yeah, I know, I know…what about Cano, Gardner, Hughes, Roberston…and Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy?

    But, bottom line, the Yankees have no reliable and can’t miss prospects who have played above A-ball at this time. And, when you consider the gap/jump between A-ball and the majors, which is H-YOU-GEE-E, then it’s true that the big league Yankees have little immediate help on the farm.

    Comments on Madden: Cashman Has Whiffed This Off-Season

    1. Scout
      February 10th, 2013 | 9:29 am

      So long as you substitute “Yankee management” for “Cashman,” I think Madden’s comments are on the mark. But the distinction — and where we place the responsibility — is an important one. Cashman doesn’t operate in a vacuum. The people above him have decided on the $189 million cap for 2014 and presumably set a maximum for this year. If Cashman finds himself scavanging on the trash heap of 34-year-old retreads, it is because the organization has decided on a spending cap that he has to live with. As for his responsibility, I would hold him accountable for a farm system that has produced more misses than hits in its top prospects.

    2. Raf
      February 10th, 2013 | 9:35 am

      “…the consistently fallow Yankee farm system is why they’re in this state of decline…”

      and

      “Cano, Gardner, Hughes, Roberston…and Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy?”

      Contradict each other. If the system is producing players, it cannot be “consistently fallow.”

      As for “immediate help,” there are always other options, internal or external. Players are rotated in and out depending on their production, until something is found that works. Baseball teams have been doing this forever, finding options on other teams rosters, veterans still looking for work, or even within their system.

    3. Evan3457
      February 10th, 2013 | 11:17 am

      Oh, let’s see how many things are wrong in that Madden passage:

      1) Lowrie might’ve been a great backup, because he’s actually a STARTER, but he’s probably the last guy you want to bring in to sit behind players who might get hurt, because he’s constantly getting injured himself, damn near every season.

      2) Unlike Madden, I wasn’t aware the Yanks had a Chris Carter lying around, waiting to be traded. I was under the impression that a loss of power from last season was a potential problem for this team, and if they had a Chris Carter to trade, trading him for a player to be used as a backup infielder would’ve made that potential problem potentially worse.

      3) They’re not down 112 HR from last year, or anything like 112 HR. Bill is counting the HR hit by all the players who’ve left, but not counting any that might be hit by their potential replacements. With a reasonable amount of luck, the Yanks are down no more than 50-60 HR from last season, tops.

      4) He denigrates players like Hafner and Rivera and Diaz, calling them “retreads”, but praises (by inference) Chavez, Jones, and Ibanez, who, themselves, at the time of their acquisition by Cashman, all thought to be finished themselves, and 33-, 34- and 39-year old, uh, retreads.

      5) As noted by Raf above, the system has not been “consistently fallow”.

      Other than that, the Madden piece is spot on the money.

      Lookit, I have no proof of this, but it’s patently obvious that Madden persistently attacks Cashman and the Yankees every chance he gets because ever since George passed on and Madden’s “special pipeline” into the Yankees’ organization went him.

      Cashman doesn’t play that game with anyone in the media, so Madden criticizes him all the time. He did it early last season as well, in May when the team dropped to .500 and fell to 5-6 games out by dropping 8 of 10. And then that criticism went down the memory hole when the team rallied to the division lead three weeks later. It re-emerged after the Yanks got swept by the Tigers. I’m getting tired of Madden’s little game of self-aggrandizement (i.e., feed me scoops or I savage you in my column), and I’ve said so several times in his on-line comments sections.

      Last year, the Yankees system seemed brimming with top pitching prospects, but it all fell apart. That happens. Organizations go in cycles. For whatever it’s worth, the Yanks’ “fallow” farm system is currently rated 11th out of 30 by Baseball America, and could be top 5 at year’s end if the highly-rated lower level prospects survive the AA crucible.

    4. 77yankees
      February 10th, 2013 | 6:37 pm

      @ Evan3457:

      Spot on regarding Madden. If Madden reported the Earth was round, I’d figure it was probably flat.

      Funny how he & Little Mike Duplica are already penning the last rites on the Yankee season on February 10th. Guess that means the Daily News won’t be advertising during Yankee games this season since they’re advocating how bad the Yanks will be…..yeah, right.

    5. McMillan
      February 10th, 2013 | 8:01 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Oh, let’s see how many things are wrong in that Madden passage:

      Oh, let’s see how many things are wrong in this post: the post is almost complete nonsense from top-to-bottom: a predictable reaction to any relatively fair criticism leveled against, or written about, “The Stalking Horse” by any source in the mainstream media.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      They’re not down 112 HR from last year, or anything like 112 HR. Bill is counting the HR hit by all the players who’ve left, but not counting any that might be hit by their potential replacements.

      More back-of-the-envelope calculations? The team has lost the production of Martin, Swisher, Ibanez, etc., and you yourself have stated that Jeter’s offense “should be expected to drop significantly…” Your posts over this offseason regarding what should be the numbers produced by this projected lineup have been extremely inconsistent and in contradiction one another – from a “drop off” of almost “nil” with the signing of a D.H., to several that you have written in recent weeks.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Last year, the Yankees system seemed brimming with top pitching prospects.

      Seemed brimming with top pitching prospects to whom? Who is the idiot(s) that characterized this system as “brimming with top pitching prospects?”
      Evan3457 wrote:

      I’m getting tired of Madden’s little game of self-aggrandizement

      What about Brian “Controller of the Yankees and Universe” Cashman’s little games of self-aggrandizement?

    6. Raf
      February 10th, 2013 | 8:44 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Seemed brimming with top pitching prospects to whom? Who is the idiot(s) that characterized this system as “brimming with top pitching prospects?”

      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/929567-new-york-yankees-4-prospects-who-will-rise-fast-in-2012

      http://newyork.sbnation.com/new-york-yankees/2012/4/29/2987524/new-york-yankees-top-10-prospects-manny-banuelos-dante-bichette-mason-williams-gary-sanchez

      http://baseballinstinct.com/2012/06/28/new-york-yankees-top-pitching-prospects-touchem-all-2012/

      You’re welcome :)

      Stick to obsessing over Brian Cashman’s penis :D

    7. February 10th, 2013 | 10:38 pm

      If we just deal with 2013 and forget everything else, including who is responible for the current state of the team (either bad or good depending on your point of view) exactly where are we?

      The team has been built on pitching , starting and relief, going into the season both areas seem to very competitive with any other team in the AL. The big problem of course is the problem with every other part of the team, age. Andy will soon be 41 and Mo is 43! We have no real way of measuring what Mo will do, he could be a downgrade and a significant one at that, from what Soriano did last season. Andy pitched in 12 games last year, zero the year before, and 21 the year before that.

      The most obvious hole in the starting line-up is catching. Two very mediocre talents will share the position, Madden mentioned Narron and Gullen, I went back to my childhood recalling Jake Gibbs and Frank Fernandez. I think at ther very least Jeter will need to be rested once a week in the early part of the year and more often as spring becomes summer, 120 games at short would be tops in my book. I do not expect to see AROD in a Yankee uniform ever again so Youkilis is it. Is he playing more than 120 games? Where is the bench to cover all this missed playing time. We have back up shortstop who is terrible at the position (Nunez), and another potential infielder who hasn’t played in the field since 2007 (Hafner).

      The pitching may be enough, and there could be a surprise or two to help a bit if Mo falters, so 90 wins is not out of the question. Teams tend to pull together so the starting line-up assuming no bad injuries and AROD disappearing, could hold its own.

      The word of the day, of the season is age. The team is old and might collapse at any point. The fixing needs to start this season. Young players where possible should be on the bench, not the likes of Hafner and Juan Rivera. Whether you like Madden or not, whether he has an agenda or not, what he does have is a point, anyone not seeing this is refusing to deal with reality.

    8. Evan3457
      February 11th, 2013 | 1:34 am

      McMillan wrote:

      Oh, let’s see how many things are wrong in this post: the post is almost complete nonsense from top-to-bottom: a predictable reaction to any relatively fair criticism leveled against, or written about, “The Stalking Horse” by any source in the mainstream media.

      Characterization without supporting fact or reasoning. Par for the course. 0 for 1.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      They’re not down 112 HR from last year, or anything like 112 HR. Bill is counting the HR hit by all the players who’ve left, but not counting any that might be hit by their potential replacements.

      More back-of-the-envelope calculations? The team has lost the production of Martin, Swisher, Ibanez, etc., and you yourself have stated that Jeter’s offense “should be expected to drop significantly…”
      No, just straightforward logic, Sherlock. A writer like Madden doesn’t get to just subtract 112 HR for the players who’ve left the rosters without adding back for the players replacing them. 0 for 2.

      Your posts over this offseason regarding what should be the numbers produced by this projected lineup have been extremely inconsistent and in contradiction one another – from a “drop off” of almost “nil” with the signing of a D.H., to several that you have written in recent weeks.

      No, actually, they’ve been entirely consistent. When I made the almost nil statement, I was anticipating them signing a full time, solid DH. They didn’t sign one, so I’ve adjusted my estimates; I now think they’ll be down about 30 runs at the lower end to 50 runs at the upper end. I don’t know about you, but when confronted with new circumstances, I re-evaluate my prior opinions. 0 for 3.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Last year, the Yankees system seemed brimming with top pitching prospects.
      Seemed brimming with top pitching prospects to whom? Who is the idiot(s) that characterized this system as “brimming with top pitching prospects?”

      Before 2012 unfolded, both Banuelos and Betances had been in BA’s Top 100 for two years running. In addition they had just traded for Campos, who was highly regarded. They had just traded for Pineda, who, while no longer a prospect, was very highly regarded by just about everyone. Phelps was reasonably well-regarded and, in the event, did fairly well. The Yankees’ pitching future looked a lot brighter this time last year than it did just 3 months later. Brimming is an overstatement. You win that one. 1 for 4.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I’m getting tired of Madden’s little game of self-aggrandizement
      What about Brian “Controller of the Yankees and Universe” Cashman’s little games of self-aggrandizement?

      Irrelevant. We’re talking about Madden here. He’s lacking. And at 1 for 5, so are you.

    9. Evan3457
      February 11th, 2013 | 1:38 am

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      The word of the day, of the season is age. The team is old and might collapse at any point. The fixing needs to start this season. Young players where possible should be on the bench, not the likes of Hafner and Juan Rivera. Whether you like Madden or not, whether he has an agenda or not, what he does have is a point, anyone not seeing this is refusing to deal with reality.

      It’s possible. An old team can collapse quickly.

      Hafner’s not going to be on the bench; he’s going to be the LH DH, and will likely start most of the games, if healthy enough to do so.

    10. February 11th, 2013 | 9:48 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Hafner’s not going to be on the bench; he’s going to be the LH DH, and will likely start most of the games, if healthy enough to do so.

      We may be splitting hairs here. I’m assuming for purposes of the discussion the Yanks will carry 13 pitchers, and 2 catchers. That leaves 10 roster spots the 8 regulars and three others. Among those three are a shortstop who can’t field (Nunez),nd a a dh (Hafner) who hasn’t played in field in 5 years. Doesn’t give a manager a great deal of flexibility.

    11. McMillan
      February 11th, 2013 | 10:06 pm

      Raf wrote:

      You’re welcome

      Thank you once again for substantiating my comments; quite an impressive list of top pitching prospects.

    12. McMillan
      February 11th, 2013 | 10:21 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      With a reasonable amount of luck, the Yanks are down no more than 50-60 HR from last season, tops.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      [A]ctually, [my predictions have] been entirely consistent.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I now think they’ll be down about 30 runs at the lower end to 50 runs at the upper end.

      Take the “cash” out of “Cashman,” and what are you left with? How much of a decline in offensive production in the 2013 season from a lineup that is “not as big,” and “not as hairy” in front of a fallow farm system?

    13. Raf
      February 11th, 2013 | 11:21 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Take the “cash” out of “Cashman,” and what are you left with?

      Man? :P

    14. Evan3457
      February 12th, 2013 | 3:19 am

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      With a reasonable amount of luck, the Yanks are down no more than 50-60 HR from last season, tops.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      I now think they’ll be down about 30 runs at the lower end to 50 runs at the upper end.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Actually, my predictions have been entirely consistent.

      You do realize the two statements you blockquoted are not necessarily inconsistent, right? You do realize there are other forms of offense besides the home run ball, right?

      Take the “cash” out of “Cashman,” and what are you left with?

      Pocket-hanger. You’re left with a “man”.

      How much of a decline in offensive production in the 2013 season from a lineup that is “not as big,” and “not as hairy”

      As I say, I’m expecting as much as a 50-run decline this year, against which the improved defense in left field and right field will likely make up about half that deficit.

      in front of a fallow farm system?

      As has been pointed out, it isn’t fallow merely because right now, there are no top prospects ready to break out of AA and AAA right into the majors. The system has produced a decent number of major league players in the last several years, and it’s a decent bet that some of the last year’s A-Ball prospects moving up to AA this year, and possibly beyond, will be ready to contribute on the major league level within two years, possibly sooner if trade value is taken into consideration.

    15. Evan3457
      February 12th, 2013 | 3:22 am

      McMillan wrote:

      Raf wrote:
      You’re welcome
      Thank you once again for substantiating my comments; quite an impressive list of top pitching prospects.

      As compared with what? As compared with what other farm system? There are a few I can think of off the top of my head who are clearly more loaded in pitching: the Cards, maybe the Rangers, the Mariners, the Jays, maybe the Mets.

      It is possible for a system to appear loaded with pitching prospects at one time, and then have most or all go up in smoke within a year or two. This very thing happened to the Cubs about 10-12 years ago, and to the Royals within the last year or two.

    16. Evan3457
      February 12th, 2013 | 3:29 am

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Hafner’s not going to be on the bench; he’s going to be the LH DH, and will likely start most of the games, if healthy enough to do so.
      We may be splitting hairs here. I’m assuming for purposes of the discussion the Yanks will carry 13 pitchers, and 2 catchers. That leaves 10 roster spots the 8 regulars and three others. Among those three are a shortstop who can’t field (Nunez),nd a a dh (Hafner) who hasn’t played in field in 5 years. Doesn’t give a manager a great deal of flexibility.

      You may be right about splitting hairs. I don’t think the team will carry 13 pitchers; 12 at most. Youkillis backs up 1st as well as starts at 3rd. Nunez backs up all 3 infield positions (poorly). They’ll have the 3 LH starting OF, and at least one RH backup.

      So: 4 OF, 2 catchers, 1 DH (Hafner), 5 INF, 12 pitchers, leaving two wild-cards. Probably a 2nd RH OF, preferably one who can field a little and also backup at 1st base.

    17. Evan3457
      February 12th, 2013 | 3:29 am

      Actually, that’s one wild card, not two.

    18. McMillan
      February 12th, 2013 | 7:41 pm

      @ Raf:
      A fourth-tier G.M. and an 85-win season.

    19. Raf
      February 12th, 2013 | 9:05 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      @ Raf:
      A fourth-tier G.M. and an 85-win season.

      Unless you know something I don’t, the season hasn’t been played yet. That said, I understand the game that you and Steve play, one that is based on predicting doom and gloom with the idea of some sort of reverse jinx taking hold. Would probably explain why you guys have been proven wrong more often than not in your prognostications. :P ;)

    20. McMillan
      February 12th, 2013 | 9:40 pm

      @ Raf:
      Back in December it was: “its only December;” now its: “the season hasn’t been played yet.” Well, spring training is upon us, and without the $223 mil. to spend, this unremarkable g.m. has put together an unremarkable team – as had been prognosticated. “We” let the “winter program” play out, and as Madden points out, “In Cashman’s view… re-signing Pettitte, who turns 41 in June, and 38-year-old Kuroda made for a successful winter.” Your G.M. sucks. And with less and less money available to him to spend on payroll, the team is beginning to suck more and more – regrettably, but not surprisingly. Hopefully, there is new and better ownership and executive management on the horizon in the franchise’s near future.

    21. Raf
      February 12th, 2013 | 10:32 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Back in December it was: “its only December;” now its: “the season hasn’t been played yet.” Well, spring training is upon us,

      So?

      Were you also one of the people who crowned the Red Sox 2011 Champs in December? You see how well that turned out, right?

      How ’bout last season, did you see the O’s winning the Wild Card? The A’s winning the West?

      How bout this entry?
      http://waswatching.com/2009/06/18/%E2%80%9809-yanks-more-mediocrity-than-anything-else/

      Refresh my memory, how did that 2009 season turn out?

      Yeah, let’s wait a while before suicide watch, shall we? :P

    22. McMillan
      February 13th, 2013 | 8:34 pm

      Raf wrote:

      How ’bout last season, did you see the O’s winning the Wild Card? The A’s winning the West?

      Last season? I relocated to Colorado last season, and watched the entire campaign at a bar/restaurant called Gordon Biersch in Broomfield. For all of the occasions I asked that the Yankees be put on one of the screens, I had dozens, if not hundreds of conversations with people in which I said and repeated, “unfortunately, there’s no way this lineup wins in October.” No, I didn’t see the A’s winning the West, but I did see this lineup failing miserably in the postseason – not because of a case of “Yankees flu,” but because of its composition. A lineup the “best G.M. in baseball” spent $223 mil. to put together. A team with the talent to win a division title is not necessarily a team with the talent to win a World Series.

      And I’ve also said and repeated that there is no way this front office or G.M. consistently advances to the postseason or wins a world championship without the financial resources it has had in the past – and you’re seeing that now with articles describing the The Stalking Horse’s offseason as a “whiff,” and a roster like the one that is forming in Tampa. Its not the end of the world; its just reality. Fans had a good run with the Boss authorizing payrolls exceeding that of all other M.L.B. teams by millions or tens-of-millions of dollars and a G.M. with a B.A. from Catholic University that has never tried to pass himself off as “an evaluator of talent,” but as a “good listener that controls the Yankees (and the Yankees control the universe),” and that sucks.

      Raf wrote:

      Refresh my memory, how did that 2009 season turn out?

      If you think that the 2013 season can turn out like the 2009 season…

    23. MJ Recanati
      February 14th, 2013 | 8:33 am

      McMillan wrote:

      A team with the talent to win a division title is not necessarily a team with the talent to win a World Series.

      You keep on saying that but it doesn’t make it any more true.

      Until last year, it took 11 wins out of a possible 19 games in October in order to be crowned world champion. There are last place teams that can go 11-8 against the best competition in the game so it’s absurd to think that teams that win their division would be somehow incapable of winning the World Series.

      The only teams that can’t win a World Series are the teams that don’t qualify for the playoffs. Any team that qualifies for the playoffs can win a World Series.

    24. McMillan
      February 14th, 2013 | 9:18 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Its absurd to think that building a team to win a division, and building a team to win in October is one and the same, and the 2012 team is a perfect example of such. That lineup was not going to win in the postseason, and if I told one person during the regular season that, I told one hundred. And guess what? It hit .156 against Verlander, Scherzer, Fister, and Sanchez.
      You can keep on saying any last place team is capable of winning four straight games against any given baseball team at any time and that such is the nature of the game, and therefore simply securing a place in the postseason is “all that matters,” but “it doesn’t make it” any more true, either. There is such a thing as teams that are better constituted to win in October. And for $223 million and a g.m. earning $3 million-per-year, the Yankees should have had a team better constituted to win in October, 2012; it did not, and was swept in 4 games by Detroit. No surprise; I called it during the season. And I certainly was not the only one.
      MJ Recanati wrote:

      The only teams that can’t win a World Series are the teams that don’t qualify for the playoffs.

      The only teams that can’t win a World Series are the teams that are not built to win in October. Yes, we all understand that a team must first qualify for the playoffs to get to the World Series…

    25. Raf
      February 14th, 2013 | 10:41 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Last season? I relocated to Colorado last season, and watched the entire campaign at a bar/restaurant called Gordon Biersch in Broomfield. For all of the occasions I asked that the Yankees be put on one of the screens, I had dozens, if not hundreds of conversations with people in which I said and repeated, “unfortunately, there’s no way this lineup wins in October.”

      Which means nothing other than you talk to people in a sports bar in Colorado.

      McMillan wrote:

      There is such a thing as teams that are better constituted to win in October.

      No, not really, as evidenced by the different types of teams that have won in October. As much as you talk up the Tiggers, they hit .159 in the World Series. The Reds outhit the Giants .261 to .194. The Reds lost.

      The crux of your argument is that it always works, except when it doesn’t. :P

      Disagree all you want, it doesn’t change the fact that with “Verlander, Scherzer, Fister, and Sanchez” the Tigers only won 88 games, good for 7th best record in the AL, and the worst record among playoff teams. The Tigers had the 6th best offense in the AL (behind TEX, NYY, LAA, CHW, BOS) and 5th best pitching in the AL (behind TBR, OAK, SEA, NYY).

    26. Evan3457
      February 15th, 2013 | 1:46 am

      McMillan wrote:

      @ MJ Recanati:
      And for $223 million and a g.m. earning $3 million-per-year, the Yankees should have had a team better constituted to win in October, 2012

      The Yanks usually led the world in payroll from the time of George’s 1st title-winning teams until it all fell apart in the late 80′s. They didn’t win for 10 years despite having the highest payroll. And Cashman was nowhere to be seen. Imagine that.

      The only teams that can’t win a World Series are the teams that are not built to win in October.

      And such teams are not known until after October baseball is actually played that year.

      We’ve discussed this before. The 2006 St. Louis Cards mock your vision, whatever it is, of what a championship team needs to look like before the post-season starts. There’s no explanation for that team in your model. None.

    27. MJ Recanati
      February 15th, 2013 | 9:17 am

      @ McMillan:
      None of what you said makes any sense but, honestly, it’s just not worth discussing anything with you. You’re entitled to your opinion but, unfortunately, you haven’t yet figured out that opinion and fact are not the same thing.

    28. McMillan
      February 17th, 2013 | 8:12 pm

      @ Raf:
      Your point is fair: N.Y. hit .only .156 vs. Det. in the A.L.C.S., and Det. hit only .159 vs. S.F. in the W.S. No one is saying that its not possible for a team such as the 2012 Detroit Tigers to hit .159 in a postseason series loss. But it should have come as no surprise to anyone that the 2012 New York Yankees did.
      A .211 hitting catcher with a .189 career postseason avg. hit .143, a first-baseman with a .224 career postseason avg. hit .200, and a third-baseman with a .160 postseason avg. since 2010 hit .111 against Verlander, Scherzer, Fister, and Sanchez. Why was there any surprise with this lineup’s .156 performance? Additionally, a .232 hitting center-fielder with 195 strikeouts and a .250 career postseason avg. hit .000, and a right-fielder with a .162 career postseason avg. – the worst in franchise history, hit .250. Again, why was there any surprise that Cashman’s “Big Hairy Monster Team That Mashes” hit .156 against Detroit’s staff? A better question is: “[W]hy, with a $223 mil. payroll, were these players hitting in the same October lineup?”
      And while Sabathia, Kuroda, and Pettitte might have been good enough to win, was it really that great?
      Detroit had a a Triple Crown-winning third-baseman with a .273 career postseason avg. hit .231, a shortstop with a .296 career postseason avg. hit .067, a .300 hitting center-fielder (courtesy of Brian Cashman) with a .244 career postseason avg. hit .231, a .313 hitting first-baseman with a .200 career postseason avg. hit .071… and with a $135 mil. payroll lost a best-of-seven series to a world championship team with a $133 mil. payroll…

    29. McMillan
      February 17th, 2013 | 8:28 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Disagree all you want, it doesn’t change the fact that with “Verlander, Scherzer, Fister, and Sanchez” the Tigers only won 88 games, good for 7th best record in the AL, and the worst record among playoff teams.

      You neglected to mention the fact that the $133 mil. 2012 Detroit Tigers won the American League, sweeping the $231 mil. “Big Hairy Monster Team That Mashes” in 4 games, a year after the $108 mil. 2011 Det. Tigers defeated the $210 mil. N.Y. Yankees in the 2011 American League Division Series.

      The Stalking Horse can have the 95 2012 regular season wins, Louise Neathway and the$1 mil.-per-yr. alimony payments, and a 38 yr.-old no. 2 starter and 41-yr.-old no. 3 starter signed to 1-yr. contracts; I’m sure Dombrowski will take the 2012 American League Pennant, the $200 mil over the last two years, and Verlander, Scherzer, Fister, and Sanchez to start the 2013 season…

    30. McMillan
      February 17th, 2013 | 8:44 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The 2006 St. Louis Cards mock your vision, whatever it is, of what a championship team needs to look like before the post-season starts.

      Its not a vision; its an opinion on how a team with the resources of the New York Yankees should have looked and been built over the last decade. So what is the payroll this year? $207.685 mil.? And for $207.685 mil., this is the team The Stalking Horse has put together: http://waswatching.com/2013/02/13/2013-yankees-whos-wearing-what/? Now that “looks like a championship team…”

    31. McMillan
      February 17th, 2013 | 8:53 pm

      Raf wrote:

      The Tigers had the 6th best offense in the AL (behind TEX, NYY, LAA, CHW, BOS) and 5th best pitching in the AL (behind TBR, OAK, SEA, NYY).

      “So?” Who won the 2011 A.L.D.S.? The 2012 A.L.C.S.? With almost half of the payroll of the team with the best G.M. in baseball? I’ll take the 88 wins, 6th best offense, and American League pennant over 95 wins, the 2nd best offense, and an A.L. East Division Title every time. And Verlander, Scherzer, Fister, and Sanchez to start the 2013 season, over Sabathia, Kuroda, and Pettitte. LOL.

    32. McMillan
      February 17th, 2013 | 8:55 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      And Cashman was nowhere to be seen. Imagine that.

      No. Cashman was cleaning his father’s horse stables, and working on his B.A. from Catholic University, so that someday he could work for his father’s close personal friend, George M. Steinbrenner.

    33. Evan3457
      February 17th, 2013 | 10:39 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      And Cashman was nowhere to be seen. Imagine that.
      No. Cashman was cleaning his father’s horse stables, and working on his B.A. from Catholic University, so that someday he could work for his father’s close personal friend, George M. Steinbrenner.

      Non-answer to the point made.

    34. Evan3457
      February 17th, 2013 | 10:44 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      The 2006 St. Louis Cards mock your vision, whatever it is, of what a championship team needs to look like before the post-season starts.
      Its not a vision; its an opinion on how a team with the resources of the New York Yankees should have looked and been built over the last decade. So what is the payroll this year? $207.685 mil.? And for $207.685 mil., this is the team The Stalking Horse has put together: http://waswatching.com/2013/02/13/2013-yankees-whos-wearing-what/? Now that “looks like a championship team…”

      Another non-answer. Nobody, but nobody, was picking the Cards to win it all at the end of the regular season. They barely survived the stretch drive. If they can win it all, given the state they were in all that season, then there is no “look”, no formula for winning it all, given that a team makes the playoffs.

    35. Evan3457
      February 17th, 2013 | 10:45 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Raf wrote:
      The Tigers had the 6th best offense in the AL (behind TEX, NYY, LAA, CHW, BOS) and 5th best pitching in the AL (behind TBR, OAK, SEA, NYY).
      “So?” Who won the 2011 A.L.D.S.? The 2012 A.L.C.S.? With almost half of the payroll of the team with the best G.M. in baseball? I’ll take the 88 wins, 6th best offense, and American League pennant over 95 wins, the 2nd best offense, and an A.L. East Division Title every time. And Verlander, Scherzer, Fister, and Sanchez to start the 2013 season, over Sabathia, Kuroda, and Pettitte. LOL.

      Both teams lost the last game of the season. Neither team is champion. The rest is 99 44/100ths% irrelevant.

      Or do people revere the 1976 Yankees as much as the 1977 and 1978 Yankees? The 2003 Yankees?

    36. Evan3457
      February 17th, 2013 | 11:05 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      @ Raf:
      A .211 hitting catcher with a .189 career postseason avg. hit .143, a first-baseman with a .224 career postseason avg. hit .200, and a third-baseman with a .160 postseason avg. since 2010 hit .111 against Verlander, Scherzer, Fister, and Sanchez. Why was there any surprise with this lineup’s .156 performance? Additionally, a .232 hitting center-fielder with 195 strikeouts and a .250 career postseason avg. hit .000, and a right-fielder with a .162 career postseason avg. – the worst in franchise history, hit .250. Again, why was there any surprise that Cashman’s “Big Hairy Monster Team That Mashes” hit .156 against Detroit’s staff? A better question is: “[W]hy, with a $223 mil. payroll, were these players hitting in the same October lineup?”
      And while Sabathia, Kuroda, and Pettitte might have been good enough to win, was it really that great?
      Detroit had a a Triple Crown-winning third-baseman with a .273 career postseason avg. hit .231, a shortstop with a .296 career postseason avg. hit .067, a .300 hitting center-fielder (courtesy of Brian Cashman) with a .244 career postseason avg. hit .231, a .313 hitting first-baseman with a .200 career postseason avg. hit .071… and with a $135 mil. payroll lost a best-of-seven series to a world championship team with a $133 mil. payroll…

      This litany of post-season failure is distorted by the time spent in the post-season AFTER the Yanks acquired them. To wit:

      Mark Teixeira was a .433 post-season hitter before Cashman signed him (only one series, but it’s your desire to make such small samples meaningful, not mine). Once he’s signed to a eight-year deal, there’s nothing to do but let it play out. It’s not part of Cashman’s design that Teixeira’s hit .196 in the post-season since joining the Yankees.

      If your ‘concept’ held water, no one would’ve expected Granderson, a .203 post-season hitter (in all of one post-season) to hit .313 in his 1st two post-seasons with the Yankees. He was a .267 lifetime hitter in the post-season before this year. But he went in the playoffs in a prolonged, deep slump, and that would seem to be more relevant.

      The point is that it’s not really possible to predict who will be a good post-season hitter and who won’t be, not even based on prior post-season experience. Because if you could do that, then Barry Bonds, 2002, and Alex Rodriguez, 2009, would never have happened.

      But they did happen.

    37. Evan3457
      February 17th, 2013 | 11:07 pm

      Oh, by the way…

      The big post-season hitter for the Giants in 2012 was Pablo Sandoval.

      His lifetime post-season average before 2012? .176
      It’s only one post-season and 17 at bats, but hey, it’s your concept, not mine.

    38. Raf
      February 18th, 2013 | 10:22 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      But it should have come as no surprise to anyone that the 2012 New York Yankees did.

      Of course not, given the randomness of a short series. It should come as no surprise when a team does well, nor should it come as a surprise when a team does poorly. You can slice and dice any number of at-bats to get the same effect.

      And while Sabathia, Kuroda, and Pettitte might have been good enough to win, was it really that great?

      The Yankees pitched better than the Tigers; again the Tigers finished 5th in the AL. 2 of the teams that finished ahead of the Tigers didn’t make the playoffs.

      and with a $135 mil. payroll lost a best-of-seven series to a world championship team with a $133 mil. payroll…

      Yeah, and Angels didn’t make the playoffs. Neither did the Phillies and Dodgers, who have even higher payrolls. Texas didn’t even escape the wild card play in. Not sure what your point is with regards to payrolls. :P

    39. McMillan
      February 19th, 2013 | 7:57 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      None of what you said makes any sense but, honestly, it’s just not worth discussing anything with you. You’re entitled to your opinion but, unfortunately, you haven’t yet figured out that opinion and fact are not the same thing.

      Well… It’s been apparent, or made sense, to a lot of us for years that this is a “fourth-tier” G.M. with the highest payroll in M.L.B. by tens-of-millions of dollars, and that without that financial advantage, The Good Listener does not get the team to the postseason – certainly not almost every year.
      And with the team’s payroll “only” an approximate $208 mil. for 2013, it seems evident that this elf might not “deliver another quality, championship-caliber” run as “Santa [was pushing him] for” in Dec., 2012; in fact, fingers are crossed for 87 wins. And next year, or less than $1 mil. worth of alimony payments from today, the team’s payroll will be further reduced to “only” $189 mil. – those of us who do not understand the game as well as people such as yourself, and hope to learn from you, are curious to see how the B.A. from Catholic University manages that.

    40. McMillan
      February 19th, 2013 | 8:30 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Mark Teixeira was a .433 post-season hitter before Cashman signed him (only one series, but it’s your desire to make such small samples meaningful, not mine).

      Yes: 15 at-bats in 2008; In the other 148 postseason at-bats, he is a .196 “postseason ‘hitter.’”
      Evan3457 wrote:

      The big post-season hitter for the Giants in 2012 was Pablo Sandoval.
      His lifetime post-season average before 2012? .176

      Once again, you do not read carefully. That “lifetime post-season” average represented all of 14 at-bats; and how is Sandoval having hit .176 in 14 post-season at-bats in 2010 as a 24-yr.old and having the postseason he had in 2012 inconsistent with what was written?
      The following was written: It should have come as no surprise to anyone that Cashman’s $233 mil. “Big Hairy Monster Team That Mashes” hit .156 against Detroit’s staff in the 2012 post-season. It was not written that it was not possible that the $233 mil. team would hit higher than .156 against the approx. $135 mil. Detroit Tigers, or that the $233 mil. could win a game or even the series against the $135 mil. Detroit Tigers, just that it was no surprise that this lineup, put together by The Stalking Horse and a G.M. that sucks, hit .156 in October against Verlander, Scherzer, Fister, and Sanchez.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      The point is that it’s not really possible to predict who will be a good post-season hitter and who won’t be, not even based on prior post-season experience. Because if you could do that, then Barry Bonds, 2002, and Alex Rodriguez, 2009, would never have happened.

      The A.L. Champion Detroit Tigers acquired an outfielder with a .305 career postseason avg. with more than 15 career postseason at-bats this offseason; how would you predict he’ll do in the 2013 postseason behind Verlander, Scherzer, Fister, and Sanchez (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/predict)?
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Neither team is champion.

      But your G.M. sucks.

    41. McMillan
      February 19th, 2013 | 8:39 pm

      Raf wrote:

      The Yankees pitched better than the Tigers; again the Tigers finished 5th in the AL. 2 of the teams that finished ahead of the Tigers didn’t make the playoffs.

      So what A.L. staff(s) would you take over Detroit’s? Sabathia, Kuroda, Pettitte, Hughes? What is the $189 mil. 2014 N.Y. Yankees rotation expected to be?
      Raf wrote:

      Not sure what your point is with regards to payrolls.

      You certainly should be: as you had conceded and written yourself several weeks ago, a g.m. can not be properly-evaluated without looking at the payroll with which he or she is working with.

    42. Raf
      February 19th, 2013 | 10:14 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      So what A.L. staff(s) would you take over Detroit’s?

      TBR, OAK, SEA, NYY… You know, the ones that have performed better than the Tigers ;)

      What is the $189 mil. 2014 N.Y. Yankees rotation expected to be?

      Ask me in 2014. A lot can happen between now and then.
      http://waswatching.com/2011/10/11/2012-rotation-on-girardis-mind/

      I know you’re fairly new around here, but after the Yankees clinched the AL East in 2011, a fairly handsome and brilliant guy 8) posted this in a comments section;

      Raf wrote:

      LMJ229 wrote:
      This Cashman lovefest is making me sick. Excuse me while I go puke.
      It was a slam that got turned on its head.

      ZOMG they didn’t trade for Cliff Lee!!!! Cashman sucks!
      ZOMG they didn’t sign Cliff Lee!!!1 Cashman sucks!
      ZOMG Pettitte’s retiring!!1!! Cashman sucks!
      ZOMG they signed Bartolo Colon, he’s teh suck!!! Cashman sucks!
      ZOMG they signed Freddy Garcia, he’s t3h suck too!11!!1 Cashman sucks!
      ZOMG the rotation is CC-Burnett-Hughes-Colon-Garcia!!! No way the Yankees can contend with that rotation. Cashman sucks, he should be fired!

      Love Cashman or hate him, the Yankees wrapped up another AL East title when few people gave them the chance to. Not only that, the pitching exceeded everyone’s expectations. AND on top of that, they’re close to clinching the best record in the AL.

      Kudos all around.

      Note that the usual suspects, as usual, didn’t have squat to say, because they were wrong… Again. You should’ve seen the love the Red Sox were getting before the season started. You’d be proud. It wasn’t much different from the love you’ve been giving the Tigers :)

      I mean how could the Red Sox fail with Matsuzaka, Lester, Beckett, Lackey & Buchholz… Ooo and they got Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford!
      http://nesn.com/2011/01/2011-red-sox-will-challenge-1927-yankees-for-title-of-greatest-team-in-major-league-history/

      You certainly should be: as you had conceded and written yourself several weeks ago, a g.m. can not be properly-evaluated without looking at the payroll with which he or she is working with.

      You and Rickertson tend to have reading comprehension issues from time to time. It’s better to go back and read & more importantly understand what was written. ;)

    43. Evan3457
      February 20th, 2013 | 12:40 am

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Mark Teixeira was a .433 post-season hitter before Cashman signed him (only one series, but it’s your desire to make such small samples meaningful, not mine).

      Yes: 15 at-bats in 2008; In the other 148 postseason at-bats, he is a .196 “postseason ‘hitter.’”

      Completely ignoring or missing the point I made, which was: that at the time the Yanks signed him, the only evidence was that Teixeira was an OUTSTANDING post-season hitter, at least according to your rules, at least in regard to BAVG, and should’ve been expected to go on being an outstanding post-season hitter. But he hasn’t.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      The big post-season hitter for the Giants in 2012 was Pablo Sandoval.
      His lifetime post-season average before 2012? .176

      Once again, you do not read carefully. That “lifetime post-season” average represented all of 14 at-bats; and how is Sandoval having hit .176 in 14 post-season at-bats in 2010 as a 24-yr.old and having the postseason he had in 2012 inconsistent with what was written?

      And Nick Swisher was 5-24 lifetime in the post-season before the Yankees traded for him. This may be unfair, but you know what? I don’t care…so let me see here…17 (NOT 14) at bats in the post-season is meaningless and not dispositive, but 24 at bats are?

      Again, with Swisher, as with Teixeira…if your argument is that Cashman should’ve forseen that they’d hit very poorly in the post-season based on their work in the post-season prior to joining the Yankees, then that argument is based on nearly no evidence at all.

      On the other hand, if your argument is based on the fact that they performed very badly with the Yankees in the post-season and therefore should have been expected to perform very badly again vs. the Tigers, that argument is also fallacious based on the examples of Bonds, 2002, and Rodriguez, 2009 that I mentioned earlier…and any number of other players whose career number catch up to them in a hot post-season or two after a poor start to their post-season careers…such as Babe Ruth .182 with 15 K’s in his 1st 44 post-season AB…Yogi Berra .140 BAVG in his 1st 50 post-season AB…Jorge Posada, 7-38 (.184) and 20-100 at the start of his post-season career…Jeff Bagwell 8-46 (.174) at the start of his…Willie Randolph 3-33 and 12-76 at the start of his…

      On the third hand, if your argument is that Cashman should have foreseen their poor post-seasons after their dismal performances in prior post-seasons, that could be so, but then, what is he, or anyone, to do about it? Only Swisher is possibly remediable. A-Rod’s contract is untradeable; Tex has an ironclad no-trade clause and intends to stay with the Yankees through the length of it. If you think the Yanks made a mistake in letting Martin go this off-season because they have no one better, then it hardly makes sense to let him go a year earlier, does it? Given Girardi’s emphasis on defense and receiving behind the plate, there’s no chance he follows Posada with Montero.

      The following was written: It should have come as no surprise to anyone that Cashman’s $233 mil. “Big Hairy Monster Team That Mashes” hit .156 against Detroit’s staff in the 2012 post-season. It was not written that it was not possible that the $233 mil. team would hit higher than .156 against the approx. $135 mil. Detroit Tigers, or that the $233 mil. could win a game or even the series against the $135 mil. Detroit Tigers

      The payroll differential is irrelevant once the teams step onto the field, especially in a short series. We’ve seen teams with much higher payrolls decisively beaten in short series by team with much lower payrolls, even if the team with the much higher payroll wasn’t put together by Brian Cashman.

      just that it was no surprise that this lineup, put together by The Stalking Horse and a G.M. that sucks, hit .156 in October against Verlander, Scherzer, Fister, and Sanchez.

      I was surprised. I expected they might hit poorly, but I never expected so many of them to hit THAT poorly. And most observers were surprised. That’s why people were so upset about it; why the Yankees were so heavily criticized. If many people had expected it, the reaction would’ve been a collective yawn.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      The point is that it’s not really possible to predict who will be a good post-season hitter and who won’t be, not even based on prior post-season experience. Because if you could do that, then Barry Bonds, 2002, and Alex Rodriguez, 2009, would never have happened.

      The A.L. Champion Detroit Tigers acquired an outfielder with a .305 career postseason avg. with more than 15 career postseason at-bats this offseason; how would you predict he’ll do in the 2013 postseason behind Verlander, Scherzer, Fister, and Sanchez (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/predict)?

      I won’t predict, because I don’t know. I mean, I really don’t know. Many players have been acquired for their post-season “clutchness”. Not all of them work out too well. So I don’t know. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect)

      Here’s the amazing part: neither do you.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Neither team is champion.
      But your G.M. sucks.

      Momentarily stipulating to that dubious notion, I point out the following: in the time since the Tigers’ head man Dombrowski and resident genius took over, the GM who sucks has one more ring than the genius.

      Maybe that changes this year. But as my friend Mike likes to say: the other half of maybe is…maybe not.

    44. Ricketson
      March 1st, 2013 | 8:55 pm

      Raf wrote:

      You and Rickertson tend to have reading comprehension issues

      It’s “Ricketson.”

      “How is Baltimore’s ownership and/or front office in the “post-Ripken” era evaluated… without looking at its payroll… What else do you look at?”

      Raf wrote:

      By looking at the roster. There were teams over the years that have spent more and less than the O’s that have had varying levels of success.

      http://waswatching.com/2012/12/20/whats-the-reasonable-amount-of-time-for-a-team-to-stink/

    45. Raf
      March 1st, 2013 | 9:12 pm

      Roster != payroll.

      Again, the point was that you look at the roster of players. The talent on the roster.

      The O’s called up and stuck with Manny Machado because he was a better option at 3B than Betemit & Reynolds.

    46. Ricketson
      March 2nd, 2013 | 7:47 pm

      @ Raf:
      Ricketson wrote:

      How is Baltimore’s ownership and/or front office in the “post-Ripken” era evaluated.. without looking at its payroll? What… do you look at?

      Raf wrote:

      There were teams over the years that have spent more and less than the O’s that have had varying levels of success.

    47. Raf
      March 2nd, 2013 | 9:16 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      @ Raf:
      Ricketson wrote:
      How is Baltimore’s ownership and/or front office in the “post-Ripken” era evaluated.. without looking at its payroll? What… do you look at?

      The roster.

    48. McMillan
      March 4th, 2013 | 3:33 pm

      Raf wrote:

      The roster.

      Raf wrote:

      By looking at the roster. There were teams over the years that have spent more and less than the O’s that have had varying levels of success.

    49. McMillan
      October 20th, 2013 | 5:25 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      The only teams that can’t win a World Series are the teams that are not built to win in October.

      [Brian "The Stalking Horse" Cashman] can have the 95 2012 regular season wins, Louise Neathway and the$1 mil.-per-yr. alimony payments, and a 38 yr.-old no. 2 starter and 41-yr.-old no. 3 starter signed to 1-yr. contracts…

      I’m sure Dombrowski will take the 2012 American League Pennant, the $200 mil over the last two years, and Verlander, Scherzer, Fister, and Sanchez to start the 2013 season…

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      @ McMillan:
      None of what you said makes any sense… You’re entitled to your opinion but, unfortunately, you haven’t yet figured out that opinion and fact are not the same thing.

      @ MJ Recanati:
      F.Y.I.: I’m still working on figuring out that distinction…

    50. McMillan
      October 20th, 2013 | 5:51 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      @ Raf:
      So what A.L. staff(s) would you take over Detroit’s? Sabathia, Kuroda, Pettitte, Hughes? What is the $189 mil. 2014 N.Y. Yankees rotation expected to be?

      Raf wrote:

      @ McMillan:
      TBR, OAK, SEA, NYY… You know, the ones that have performed better than the Tigers.

      @ Raf:
      Good call… And Cashman’s 2014 starting rotation is looking better and better by the minute, isn’t it?

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