Thursday, April 28, 2011
Before pulling the trigger on any trades Cash should make an appointment in Hell to speak with the last person to cast out a savior named Jesus...
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Last year didn't exactly show me to be a master prognosticator (AJ winning Cy Young? Ugh!), but this year I have my Nostradamus hat on and will undoubtedly fare much better!
1. Red Sox
5. Blue Jays
While it is true the Sox picked up 2 very good players this off season, they also lost 2 substantial pieces from last year's team. Replacing Beltre with Gonzalez and Vmart with Crawford may or may not be a push, the Sox still have a better rotation than the Yanks and I think it will carry them to a very close win of the AL East crown.
3. White Sox
5. Kansas City
2011 may be the last year teams will be able to kick the Royals around...enjoy it while it lasts!
A solid, young staff and some nice additions make the A's the team to beat out west
The turmoil continues in Queens where Reyes is traded mid-season and the team loses 100 games.
Don't worry...by all accounts teams will be beating up on the Pirates for years to come!
AL Wild Card - Yanks
NL Wild Card - Braves
Yanks over Twins
Sox over A's
ALCS - Yanks over Sox
Phillies over Giants
Brewers over Braves
NLCS - Phillies over Brewers
WS - Yanks over Phillies
AL MVP - Alex Rodriguez
NL MVP- Troy Tulowitzki
AL Cy Young - Justin Verlander
NL Cy Young - Josh Johnson
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Take a look at some of the staffs the Yankees have had since 2005. I have put any player with an ERA+ of over 100 in bold and listed all starters with 10 or more starts;
2005 Yankees - Johnson, Mussina, Wang, Pavano, Brown, Wright, Chacon, Leiter, Small (9 starts)
Post the series we never speak of the Yankees "loaded up" by signing Pavano and Wright. This works out so well they needed a player off the trash heap(Chacon) and a player from the independent league(Small) to catch fire for them to make the playoffs.
2006 Yankees - Wang, Johnson, Mussina, Wright, Chacon, Lidle (9 Starts)
Jaret Wright actually proved useful this year but unfortunately the 42 year old Johnson was less then useful. Who could have seen that coming? Chacon and Small both had era's north of 7 and picked up Lidle at the deadline in an attempt to have someone useful at the tail end of the rotation.
2007 Yankees - Pettitte, Wang, Mussina, Clemens, Hughes, Igawa
This year was two bad decisions maybe three. Clemens was brought back (OH MY GOD HE IS IN GEORGE'S BOX!), the great Igawa was signed and Hughes was rushed into the rotation at age 21.
2008 Yankees - Mussina, Pettitte, Rasner, Wang, Ponson, Joba
The Yankees took a chance with some youth and it didn't work out in the short term. Joba got hurt after pitching well, Kennedy was horrible and Hughes was horrible and injured.
2009 Yankees - Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, Joba
Three deep with a decent number 4. The 5th starter spot was split between Mitre, Wang, Hughes and Gaudin. The real difference in 2009 was the top three were legit.
2010 Yankees - Sabathia, Burnett, Hughes, Vasquez, Pettitte
Three good starters and two bad starters. This was enough to get the Yankees to the ALCS.
So since 2009 the rotation has produced a good staff once, in 2009. We had aging stars who could no longer get it done(Clemens, Brown, Johnson), some bad signings(Pavano, Igawa, Wright), a player who had nothing on any of his pitches (Vasquez), and a lot of mediocre veterans(Rasner, Ponson, Small, Chacon, Leiter, Lidle). These results are simply not good enough for a championship caliber team. Cashman can excuse away one or two years of mistakes but the fact of the matter is the rotation has been and remains an issue.
The Yankees inability to build a rotation has been an issue since 2005 and with the likes of Colon, Garcia and Millwood lining up for significant starts in 2011 it appears it will continue to be an issue.
First both players have gone basically unnoticed by Baseball America. Want cracked the Yankee top ten once in 2005. Nova on the other hand has never cracked the Yankee top ten. Wang struggled in AA but blossomed at bit at AAA
AA - 4.36 era, 1.355 WHIP, 9.9 h/9, 6.8 k/9
AAA - 2.58 era, 1.088 whip, 8.0 h/9, 6.5 k/9
Looks like Wang figured out the power of the GB in AAA.
Nova on the other hand excelled in AA (2.36era in '09) and struggled in his first pass at AAA (5.10 era , 1.4 whip, and 5.8 k/9). However, much like Wang something clicked eventually for Nova as last year he lowered his hit rate (8.4 h/9) raised his k rate (7.1 k/9) and lowered his walk rate almost a full batter per 9 to 3.0 bb/9. More clicked for Nova then just realizing the power of a good sinker as is clear by his jump in k rate but the early struggles followed by success sounds just like what happened to Wang.
Now the main difference between Wang and Nova is the walk rate of Wang was much lower in the minors (2.0 bb/9). However, I do think that Nova has similar skills, followed a similar path, and even has a similar build to Wang. So maybe Nova can be the new version of Wang which for a team like the Yankees is extremely valueable.
Yankees always seem to pick the guarnteed mediocrity of a veteran over the potential payoff of a prospect.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Heyward 238 games .318/.391/.508 899 OPS .12 HR Rate .53 RBI Rate
Montero 257 Games .325/.379/.509 888 OPS .14 HR Rate .68 RBI Rate
Not listed is Heyward's superior SB numbers but we all know Jesus is not the athlete that Heyward is but so far in their careers he has been up to par as a hitter. Also, it isn't like Jesus has done his damage at rookie ball with Heyward mashing AAA pitching. Their games played by level is very close - Montero Rookie 33, A 132, A+ 48, AA 44 and Heyward Rk 12, A 120, A+ 56, AA 47 and AAA 3. So Jesus has put up similar numbers, at the same age and at the same levels as Heyward. So Yankee fans can be jealous of Heyward's total package but as far as being the top power prospect in the game goes, don't count out Jesus. in other words, Jesus lives!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
5. Blue Jays
Losing Matsui and Damon would hurt, except that Granderson will more than make up for the loss of Damon, and a full year of Arod + Nick Johnson should help mitigate the loss of HMat. Add Javy Vazquez to an already potent staff that includes my Cy Young winner in AJ Burnett, and the Yanks are the clear favorites.
The Sox have a formidable starting staff, and as has been talked about on the Worldwide Leader ad nauseum their D is improved, but if you can't score runs it just doesn't matter! The Rays have a more balanced attack and will take the wild card.
1. White Sox
The White Sox's starting pitching is deep and very good and their pen is one of the best in the game. Expect a full powerhouse season from Carlos Quentin and a bounce-back from Alex Rios.
This is the toughest division to call. The Angels lost some significant pieces, the Ranger pitching is suspect, and the Mariners will have problems scoring runs. Until someone unseats the Angels it's tough to pick against them.
The Phillies are the clear 2nd best team in all of baseball. The Mets are like an addict that has been able to hold on to their job with a tenuous grasp...this is the year it all falls apart and they hit rock bottom.
The 1/2 punch of Carpenter and Wainwright plus the best hitter in all of baseball give the Cards the easiest division in baseball.
It will be a dogfight in the NL West between the Dodgers, Rockies and Giants. The Giants lose out because of a lack of offense and a drop off by Cy Lincecum. Clayton Kershaw becomes a monster for the Dodgers, but the Rockies will be too tough for them to beat.
AL Wild Card - Tampa Rays
NL Wild Card - Atlanta Braves
AL MVP - Evan Longoria
NL MVP - Troy Tulowitzki
AL Cy Young - AJ Burnett
NL Cy Young - Doc Halliday
AL Breakout player - BJ Upton
NL Breakout player - Chase Headley
Yanks over Angels
Rays over White Sox
Yanks over Rays
Phils over Cards
Rockies over Braves
Phillies over Rockies
Yanks over Phillies
ESPN has the advantage of the sheer volume of analysts so you figure someone would have nailed at least the world series match up. Wrong.
How about AL MVP? Well in the AL not a single expert picked Mauer.
AL Cy Young? 0 for again, 3 ESPN staffers actually chose Liriano and his 5.80 era.
AL Rookie of the year? Thw worldwide leader again strikes out.
Also, 5 of the ESPNers picked the Cubs to make the series...
TSN actually nails all of the AL playoff teams and picks the Yankees to win it all. Not too bad but the also picked the Cubs to make the series.
In the official preview edition SI picked the Cubs to lead the NL in wins and the Yankees to set the pace in the AL. The series match they predicted was Mets versus Angels. SI also listed picks from each of their experts. % out of 13 picked the Cubs to make the series while only 2 picked the Yanks( the same amount who picked the Diamondbacks!). Worst Cy Young award pick goes to Albert Chen who jumped on the ESPN Liriano band wagon.
So what does this all tell us? Don't believe a damn word of these predictions. Also beware Cubs love because for some reason it seems analysts love to pick the Cubs.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Let's ignore the fact that they have had to update their projections at least twice due to some kind of issue (Yanks 3rd? Yeah, better re-do!) - but a projected 836 runs scored for the '10 Yanks?
Sunday, January 31, 2010
The RBI numbers will probably drop as Arod goes from a 3-4 hitter to a bit lower in the lineup as he ages. 2013-2017 seem to the big issue. Arod project to be a slightly above average player for most of the time(the average OPS in 2009 was .758) while most likely remaining the top paid player in baseball. You add in the potential 20 million a year Jeter will require for a 4 year extensions and the Yankees could be dishing out 50 million a year in 2013 and 2014 for below average players. They will have an additional 47 million invested in CC and Texieira. Texieria will only be 33 in 2014 and CC 32 so you can expect a fairly high level of production from those two. However the 2013/2014 Yankees will have 100 million in 4 players, possibly achieving only slightly above average production from those 4 spots.
Essentially what the Arod contract has forced the Yankees into is a budget minded approach where they will have to produce cheap players from within their own system. If they do not even the Yankees don't have the financially ability to spend their way into contention. As we get deeper into Arod's contract it will get worse and worse. I know this one is supposedly on Hank but Cashman has to get some blame here too.
But how bad is the contract? Ask me again when Arod is a 41 year old DH producing below average production while making 32 million a year....
The infield spots are rock set in stone;
The OF is now also set, even though the roles and positions could change slightly with Granderson switching to LF and Gardner switching to CF. Also, Winn could potentially get some ABs as a LH if Gardner struggles;
LF-Gardner/Winn vs Lefties
DH and Catcher are also settled;
The rotation has 4 spots settled with AJ, CC, Vasquez and Andy. Throw in Mo closing and there is only two spots of significance left up for debate; 8th inning reliever and 5th starter. This is why the Joba saga just won't go away. If Joba starts and succeeds and 8th inning is a struggle you will here the talk that Joba needs to go to the pen. If the 5th starter struggles with Joba in the pen you have to question why the Yankees suffered through Joba rules only to give up on them so quickly.
With noting else to really debate on this team the radio waves and newspapers will be flush with recycled arguments in both directions. Is there anything that can save us from the same old story here? I don't think so, there is the possibility Joba can dominate as a starter and Phil will do the same in the 8th inning but even then you will hear the whispers. If either struggle the whispers become a roar. So Yankee fans prepare to roll your eyes through months of the Joba debate (again!), hopefully THIS is the last year and next year we can move on to bigger and better things. But as we approach 2010 come to the realization that the Joba debate is here to stay.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
" The Tigers aren't as good today as they were yesterday, but they did manage to shed some payroll...."
Makes sense the Tigers were shedding payroll and restocking with MLB ready talent. But then word comes of the Jose Valverde signing, 2 years and 14 million. Valverde will make the same salary in 2010 as Curtis Granderson. Also, there are rumors of Detroit being in on Damon. So what gives?
The only possible explanation is that Detroit was selling high on Granderson believing that his 2009 was closer to the player he is and his stellar 2007 was the aberration. With clubs still viewing him as the player the saw in 2007 Detroit unloaded him when they had the chance. His salary in 2010 is very reasonable but it climbs to 8.5 in 2011 and 10 million in 2011. If he had another year like 2009 the tigers would have gotten almost nothing back in return for him after the 2010 season.
Now obviously the Yankees feel that Granderson is closer to the 2007 version of himself or they wouldn't have made the trade. However, you have to wonder if the Tigers were watching him every day and felt he was possibly on decline were the Yankees possibly wrong here? Did they buy a player on decline? We will see how it plays out but maybe this deal isn't the slam duck we thought it was at the time.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
We all remember Sosa and McGwire but 98 was also the first year in baseball history were 4 players hit more then 50 home runs as Greg Vaughn(!) and Ken Griffey jr. joined Sosa and Big Mac. So now that McGwire has admitted what we already knew how does 1998 hold up to hindsight? For starters the top players were clearly cheating as six of the top ten in the MVP voting were most likely on steroids in the NL(Sosa, Big Mac, Vaughn, Biggio, Galarraga,Bonds) and seven of the top ten in the AL(Juan Gonzalez, Nomar, Mo Vaughn, Manny, Albert Belle, Arod and Pudge).
For the Yankees, you also have to wonder how many players were doing steroids with Knoblauch and Pettitte already linked. As hard as it is to admit you have to wonder about some of the Yankees other top players. What about Bernie, Paulie, and even Tino? Any name linked to steroids (outside of Jeter but maybe that is even being naive) would not surprise me.
So now we have the top players and the top team linked to steroids.
So this is where the difficult part of the steroid era really comes into play. If the players and teams who succeeded during this period were clearly cheating what do we do with the records and the accomplishments of this time? Do we discount it all or do we simply take the stance that everyone cheated and call it even?
For the Yankees, I have come to the conclusion that the Yankees were the best team of the era with some of the best players. There is no way that most of the other top players were cheating but the Yankees core was not. However, the shear number of players who are being outed make it hard to discount or even taint the accomplishment of a team when they were clearly competing against other steroid using teams. Using that same logic you have to say the same for McGwire as well. He was facing opponents that were doing the same things he was. So basically the best then we still need to consider the best now. Sure those who were clean faced a competitive disadvantage and it isn’t fair to those players but I am not willing to complete throw those years out.
Knowing what we know now we either accept the timeframe for what it was or wipe it out completely. I am not willing to erase those year so Bonds, Big Mac, Sosa and 125 wins should stand forever in the record books and the Hall of Fame.
It is time to accept the period for what it was and move on.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
As I read A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez by Selena Roberts, I thought back to an introduction to journalism course I took at UMass a long time ago.
The professor one day spoke about the difference between writing a story for a newspaper and a column. A story, he explained, contained only what you could prove. A column was what you thought.
The book is 246 pages of what Roberts thinks about Rodriguez. What she proves isn’t much of anything.
Because Roberts broke the story in February about Rodriguez having tested positive for steroids use, I wrongly assumed the book would include other revelations. Instead it’s page after page of “one teammate” suggesting Rodriguez did something wrong. Or “a player” insinuating that he did something else. “Friends” of Rodriguez paint him in unflattering terms.
In her postscript, Roberts acknowledges the use of 19 anonymous sources. But no explanation is given as to why these sources needed anonymity. It’s also unclear whether the 19 sources were used equally or whether one or two sources provided the bulk of the information. We’re supposed to trust her judgment, apparently.
Even those facts that could be documented are not. Roberts, for instance, reports that notorious Dominican trainer Angel Presinal was signed into major league clubhouses by security officers while attending to Rodriguez. But no dates or places are given.
Throughout the book, Roberts even places herself in Rodriguez’s conscience and writes as though she knows what he was thinking. In her version of his thoughts, Rodriguez is a weak-willed, narcissistic cheater and womanizer willing to do anything to succeed.
Given the completeness of the February story in Sports Illustrated, I expected more in the book, certainly more detail. But the book does not meet the standards of the magazine. It is, in essence, a 246-page column.
This is not to say that Rodriguez deserves the benefit of the doubt. He has admitted to using steroids from 2001-03 and it’s difficult to believe he limited himself to those three years. Roberts is able to prove he associated with suspicious characters and she is a skillful enough writer to lead you believe that Rodriguez probably did use PEDs at other points of his career. There are many layers of hearsay evidence.
But she doesn’t prove anything beyond that he’s not particularly well-liked by his teammates and says a lot of dumb things. That we knew. The rest is unfair to Rodriguez.
Roberts come close. But a good editor would have kicked the manuscript back and told her to come back when she more.
A-Rod might have a tough time saying the right thing; he might attract the wrong kind of spotlight too often. He is our player, though, and deserves and needs to get all the support we as fans can give him. We need him, and he needs us - let's not let him down.