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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Harper: Yankees trading for Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez is not so far-fetched

I am somehow reminded of Crumb’s Gotta Have ‘Em.

The perception that the Yankees don’t have enough October-worthy pitching is likely to linger all the way to the start of October. Let’s face it, Yankee fans won’t feel comfortable about the starting rotation until GM Brian Cashman finally lands King Felix.

...“I don’t care what Jack Zduriencik is saying right now,” one AL executive said Wednesday night. “I think he’ll listen to offers next winter. I know the kid says he wants to be in Seattle, but do you really think he’ll re-sign there if they’re not a contender?

“And, really, the decision for Jack will only be a year away after this season. Because he can’t afford to let Felix go into 2014 without an extension, or he’d either have to trade him at the deadline for less than his value or risk losing him for nothing.”

...If the Yankees could put together the right package, then there is the question of the $189 million payroll limit that Hal Steinbrenner wants to enforce by 2014 to avoid severe luxury-tax penalties. The opportunity to acquire King Felix would put that edict to the ultimate test.

No way could the Yankees add $20 million-plus a year for Hernandez and stay under $189 million, unless they were willing to let Robinson Cano or Curtis Granderson walk.

Passing on a chance to acquire King Felix would certainly be proof that these aren’t George Steinbrenner’s Yankees anymore.

Repoz Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:03 AM | 61 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners, yankees

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   1. TerpNats Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:40 AM (#4209481)
Typical New York tabloid thinking. Remember, these are the people who gave Donald Trump his start (in a publicity sense).
   2. APNY Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:42 AM (#4209482)
I'd be surprised if next year isn't Granderson's last with the Yankees. Also, if Gardiner ever gets healthy, i think it will be as a left fielder.
   3. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:51 AM (#4209484)
<sports_radio_fan>
    We should send Seattle Chris Stewart for him. Normally of course I'd say Seattle would have to throw in a decent prospect or two, but I figure this close to the perfect game they're probably overvaluing him a little.
<sports_radio_fan>
   4. zonk Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4209486)
Does this mean Felix has arm problems? Pity...
   5. Lassus Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:01 AM (#4209488)
Also, if Gardiner ever gets healthy, i think it will be as a left fielder.

John Eliot Gardiner playing LF for the Yankees would be pretty awesome.
   6. Boxkutter Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4209497)
The Yankees don't have the pieces it would take to get Felix right now. There are no great prospects in that system. Gary Sanchez and Mason Williams are nice. But I think Seattle would want those two, PLUS a top pitching prospect. The best pitching prospects the Yankees have are guys that have missed significant time this year with injury (one of them is Campos, whom the Yanks just got from Seattle this past offseason). If the Yankees threw in Tyler Austin, that would make a decent third hitter (I am not a big fan of his, and I think he flames out in the high minors), but the Yankees need to throw in one pitcher with upside. I don't think they have it.

And even if they did, this trade would demolish their minor league system. It's already weak, this would make it a bottom 5 system in all of baseball.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4209506)
I like that in the BTF news feed, the last four words of the headline are cut off. Probably gave Mariners fans a heart attack.
   8. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4209509)
It's already weak, this would make it a bottom 5 system in all of baseball.

I'm curious what this is based on. As best as I can tell the Yankees have 3 consensus Top 50 guys so that alone should keep them out of the "weak" category I would think.
   9. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:31 AM (#4209511)
Why should the Mariners trade Felix? A couple of astute free agent pick ups and the emergence of one or two young players and they could be in the thick of the wild card race next season. I don't think they need a complete Astros-style rebuild and trading Felix for prospects would be an epic disaster if those prospects don't work out.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4209523)
I also don't see why they can't overpay for Felix to stay. He is the only player they have signed beyond 2013 so they have some leeway. Seattle has had rather large payrolls before, it wouldn't surprise me to see them splurge on Felix and other FAs once Hultzen, Paxton, Walker, Franklin, etc. are ready.
   11. Dangerous Dean Posted: August 16, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4209525)
I like that in the BTF news feed, the last four words of the headline are cut off. Probably gave Mariners fans a heart attack.


I hate the Yankees and it gave ME a heart attack.
   12. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4209527)
The Yanks should trade for Phil Humber or Dallas Braden instead.
   13. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4209529)
I'm curious what this is based on.

Selling papers.

Several years back, a NY tabloid news reporter who normally hated all the local teams -- he was from New England -- acknowledged that a Yankees World Series appearance was more likely to help him and colleagues keep their jobs a while longer.

EDIT: My bad, NJ, I answered a question that you weren't asking.
   14. DKDC Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4209531)
I like that in the BTF news feed, the last four words of the headline are cut off. Probably gave Mariners fans a heart attack.


Yeah, I saw it the same way first and it took a full half second before common sense kicked in (ie- Felix would never clear waivers, oh and of course no team would trade a pitcher the day after he pitches a perfect game).

I have no insight into the Mariners organization or Yankees organization as to whether Felix will traded or whether the Yankees have enough talent currently in their farm system to offer a credible package.

But I have no doubt that if Felix is made available, the Yankees will find a way to be in the mix.
   15. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4209534)
I also don't see why they can't overpay for Felix to stay. He is the only player they have signed beyond 2013 so they have some leeway

Agreed ... plus Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, and Steve Henderson aren't available.
   16. billyshears Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4209552)
As best as I can tell the Yankees have 3 consensus Top 50 guys so that alone should keep them out of the "weak" category I would think.


Not to be an ass, but I think this is an overstatement. Each of Keith Law, Kevin Goldstein and John Sickels had Gary Sanchez and Mason Williams in their midseason Top 50. Only Keith Law had Tyler Austin in the Top 50 (at 45). Sickels had Austin at 67. Goldstein didn't list anybody beyond the Top 50. I think the Yankees have enough good to very good prospects to put together a viable package for Hernandez, but I think they would have to make up for their lack of top tier upper level prospects with volume. Something like Sanchez, Williams, Austin and Banuelos.
   17. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4209565)
[16] BA also had Williams and Sanchez at 28 and 30 and Austin at 39. So, out of the Big 4 (truthfully, I forgot about Sickels or Goldstein, can't remember which one) all 4 have Williams and Sanchez in their Top 50 and 2 of the 4 had Austin in their Top 50. Perhaps I was overstating my case, but not by much. I think my point still stands that the real overstatement is saying that any farm system with those 3 guys is "weak."
   18. mathesond Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4209567)
Maybe the Yankees would have to include Pineda as well
   19. billyshears Posted: August 16, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4209589)
I think my point still stands that the real overstatement is saying that any farm system with those 3 guys is "weak."


I agree with this.
   20. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4209592)
The Onion!

It might not be as funny as it used to be...
   21. AROM Posted: August 16, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4209600)
I like that in the BTF news feed, the last four words of the headline are cut off. Probably gave Mariners fans a heart attack.


Gave me a heart attack, and I like the Yankees more than I do the Mariners. My mind was spinning to try and figure out what the conditional was, because the visible headline could not possibly be. I mean, Felix clearing waivers? Yeah right. That's an impossible hurdle to meet before you even consider trade matchups.
   22. Boxkutter Posted: August 16, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4209655)
I think my point still stands that the real overstatement is saying that any farm system with those 3 guys is "weak."


The Yankees preseason pitching prospects:
Banuelos - Out with an elbow injury
Betances - Sucks
Campos - Inflamed elbow
Phelps - MLB RP
Warren - Back of rotation ceiling
Marshall - Back of rotation ceiling
Turley - Maybe they actually have something here?

So, this franchise has two injured pitching prospects, and one guy who may not suck. Does that scream "we're a strong system!" to you?

Sanchez and Williams are both in Low-A still, and Austin has been promoted to Hi-A. Even those who are optimistic about Austin think that his ceiling is probably League Average Corner Outfielder. That's it. The Yankees have no other prospects that are considered anything more than possible utility players. Although the Yankees have two Top 50 players, one Top 75, and a couple injured pitchers who may be good, there is nothing else in that system. No depth. I call that a weak system. I would place them in the bottom half already. And if they had to trade all three of those hitters and one of those pitchers to get Felix, that would make them arguably the worst system in baseball.
   23. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 16, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4209672)
Yeah, that cutoff needs to change. Mods?
   24. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4209690)
[22] What does "weak" mean to you? Because, when you say weak I'm thinking below average and probably ranked 21st-30th and there aren't 20 teams with farm systems better than the Yankees. Impact talent matters more than depth and by virtue of having Williams, Sanchez and Austin, the Yankees (no matter how little you may think of the rest of their system) don't have a weak farm.
   25. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4209696)
[22] Put another way, here’s some quick and dirty analysis using the BA list since that’s what’s in front me/easiest to disguise as work related reading. The Yankees have 3 guys listed in the Top 50. There are 5 orgs who don’t have a single player listed in the Top 50. I think it’s fair to assume the Yankee farm is better than those 5 clubs’. There are 5 orgs who have 1 prospect listed and that 1 prospect is ranked lower than (at least) the Yankees’ top prospect. I think it’s fair to assume the Yankee farm is better than those 5 clubs’. There are 7 orgs who have 1 prospect listed and that 1 prospect is ranked higher than the Yankees’ top prospect. YMMV on which of those is worth more than the Yankees 3. So, based on this alone I think we can say that at worst the Yankees have the 20th ranked farm system, but are more likely somewhere in the middle. I don’t think that makes them “weak.”
   26. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4209714)
Same QnD for Keith Law’s list (yes, I realize these are the two lists of the 4 that include Tyler Austin). The Yankees have 3 guys listed in the Top 50. There are 7 orgs who don’t have a single player listed in the Top 50. I think it’s fair to assume the Yankee farm is better than those 7 clubs’. There are 4 orgs who have 1 prospect listed and that 1 prospect is ranked lower than (at least) the Yankees’ top prospect. I think it’s fair to assume the Yankee farm is better than those 4 clubs’. There are 2 orgs who have 1 prospect listed and that 1 prospect is ranked higher than the Yankees’ top prospect. YMMV on which of those is worth more than the Yankees 3. So, based on this alone I think we can say that at worst the Yankees have the 19th ranked farm system, but are more likely somewhere in the middle. I still don’t think that makes them “weak.”
   27. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4209757)
So...all I hear you saying Melo is that the Yankees farm system is really not very good.
   28. buddaley Posted: August 16, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4209766)
Boxkutter, Sanchez and Williams (and Austin) are in High A Tampa. I have been to games they played in and seen both Sanchez and Austin hit monster home runs. I think Sanchez has been very hot after a slow start. (I am not saying they are great prospects because I saw a few games in which they did well, but I have read they are highly regarded, although there are questions about Sanchez staying at catcher.)
   29. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4209767)
[27] I'm disputing the claim that it's weak. If I wanted to argue that it was solid or better I could do that too, but my point (for now) is that even looking at it from the most negative light it's pretty clear that "weak" makes no sense as a descriptor.
   30. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4209773)
Kidding, totally kidding.
   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4209785)
I don’t think that makes them “weak.”


In fairness, your analysis doesn't account for the fact that all Yankees prospects are hugely overrated, by definition.
   32. Boxkutter Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4209792)
Melo, you're trying to refute my comment that this is a weak system using only three prospects. That would be like saying that Matt Cain is the best pitcher in baseball based solely on the fact that he has two of the best pitched games this season. Small sample size. You are discarding the fact that after those three hitters, and maybe two injured pitchers, that they have anything other than a weak system. SYSTEM. I didn't say they had a weak Top 3 prospects, just that as a whole, their system is weak, and it is. Other than those players, they don't have anyone that is expected to even be a Major League regular.

This system is extremely top heavy. I would rank them somewhere in the 18-21 range probably if I ranked all the systems. That puts them safely in the bottom half of the league, and possibly the bottom third. To me, that is a weak system. And what happens when regular prospect attrition claims one or two of those three hitters?
   33. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4209809)
That's not a weak system.
   34. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4209819)
[32]I chose that method to refute your claims for a few reasons: (1) Almost every prospect expert I know of always says that impact guys (Top 50/100 guys) are more important than depth (2) More in-depth rankings aren’t available unless you want to use old/out of date offseason rankings. In addition, while you might see nothing useful in the system beyond those 3 guys, I think Adam Warren, Corban Joseph, Jose Pirela, Brett Marshall, David Adams, Ramon Flores and Abe Almonte have all had years that make them good choices as solid “depth” guys. However, I think it would be a particularly fruitless endeavor to try and determine whose depth guys are better than whose given that a.) I don’t every other farm system as well as I know the Yankees (and I assume you don’t know the Yankees’ as well as you know your club but I could be wrong) and b.) we don’t have anything objective to compare it to like we do with the Top 50 updates. So, perhaps you are right and the Yankee system is “weak” but I don’t think that’s the case based on the available information.
   35. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4209877)
In fairness, your analysis doesn't account for the fact that all Yankees prospects are hugely overrated, by definition

Wasn't Cano an exception to this widely held belief? Perhaps someone can refresh our recollection.
   36. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4209891)
On the other hand ,all Yankees prospects come with the stereotype/caveat that it is assumed that they have to be traded in order to get MLB jobs, which makes them somewhat underrated as long as they stay in the Yankes system since nobody can envision them being called up to the majors.
   37. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4209896)
Wasn't Cano an exception to this widely held belief? Perhaps someone can refresh our recollection.

The below the radar guys in the Yankee system seem to do better. Guys like Cano, Gardner, Robertson, Clippard, and Jackson were all looked at as fringe prospects at one point in their minor league careers and have gone on to be good to great ball players.

The hype for guys for the front line guys like Hanson, Hughes, Joba (who was what he was supposed to be until he got hurt), Betances, and others going much further back has pretty consistently been over the top.

And then there is Ian Kennedy, who seems to have been appropriately ranked. I'm guessing this sort of over and under ranking is similar to most other systems.
   38. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4209900)
And then there is Ian Kennedy, who seems to have been appropriately ranked. I'm guessing this sort of over and under ranking is similar to most other systems.


What I've come to realize is that anyone who is a "fan" of a given team systemically overrates that team's prospects. The number of Braves' fans who flat refused to believe that trading Tyler Flowers was acceptable still boggles my mind a bit, and the number who still think Viscaino is an ace in waiting make my eyes water.

There are just more Yankees fans than everything else. The other teams that could rival the Yanks in number of fans all seem to have some sort of inherent pessimism, Boston, Chicago, LAN. We're starting to see it now with the Rangers. I'd like to think that writers can set that aside, but I imagine there's just too much feedback. Right about how great Batences is and the train starts, even if you don't call him the best pitching prospect in the game, so you write more and the cycle winds up.
   39. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4209903)
Guys like Cano, Gardner, Robertson, Clippard, and Jackson were all looked at as fringe prospects at one point in their minor league careers and have gone on to be good to great ball players.

Add Wang and maybe even Phelps to this as well.
   40. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 16, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4209913)
Phillies Fans on the other hand, generally got used to never trading away anyone of value. Michael Bourn for Brad Lidge? Absolutely. Get him out of here before people realize he's the next Chris Roberson. I think the last time we got mad that a prospect was traded away it was Adam Eaton.
   41. cardsfanboy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4209916)
There are just more Yankees fans than everything else. The other teams that could rival the Yanks in number of fans all seem to have some sort of inherent pessimism, Boston, Chicago, LAN.


Cardinal fans have a large contingent of fans, and their farm system is not overrated (I would argue it's consistently underrated as it seems to produce one major league regular every year) but then they don't have to many top 50 prospects that succeed, I guess like the Yankees it's the lesser prospects that seem to make an impact.
   42. Dan Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4209928)
What I've come to realize is that anyone who is a "fan" of a given team systemically overrates that team's prospects. The number of Braves' fans who flat refused to believe that trading Tyler Flowers was acceptable still boggles my mind a bit, and the number who still think Viscaino is an ace in waiting make my eyes water.


A lot of this is simply due to familiarity. When you're familiar with a guy, his background, and his performance record, it's easier to say "oh, that down year was just due to X injury" or "he got a late start so being old for each level is less significant than for a typical prospect" and so on and so on. When it comes to other team's prospects, all you see is a name on a page and some numbers on BB-ref if you want to look at the record. Sometimes this familiarity can provide insight to better understand the context of a player's performance, but for the most part it just leads to the type of viewpoint referred to in the quoted post: my team's prospects are better than Keith Law says, your team's are worse.
   43. Dan Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4209930)
I guess like the Yankees it's the lesser prospects that seem to make an impact.


Seems like it's even MORE true for the Cards than the Yankees. Guys like Freese, Allen, Jon Jay, etc. really had no prospect hype, but then they come up to the majors and all they do is produce. Meanwhile they trade away big name guys who amount to nothing like Brett Wallace, Daric Barton, and Anthony Reyes.
   44. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4209939)
Seems like it's even MORE true for the Cards than the Yankees. Guys like Freese, Allen, Jon Jay, etc. really had no prospect hype, but then they come up to the majors and all they do is produce. Meanwhile they trade away big name guys who amount to nothing like Brett Wallace, Daric Barton, and Anthony Reyes.


I think the Cards still suffer a bit from the old LaRussa viewpoint of better to have a veteran who's proven he's good than a rookie who might be great. I think that even end of tenure LaRussa got over that to an extent, but I can remember more than a few trades where the Cards definitely overpaid for a veteran simply because the organization didn't seem to correctly value its young talent. All that to say I wonder if the fans don't still do that to an extent, "If LaRussa wouldn't have been impressed with this kid then why should I be?"
   45. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4209942)
maybe even Phelps to this as well.

Phelps is awesome. I have been high on that guy for years, as has been noted! Did you see him against Texas? Masterful pitching for a guy with his stuff. He's never going to be great, but he really gets the most out of what he has. I'm pretty excited to see what his future holds. Guys like him can have long, long careers. I love watching him pitch.
   46. cardsfanboy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4209947)
I think the Cards still suffer a bit from the old LaRussa viewpoint of better to have a veteran who's proven he's good than a rookie who might be great. I think that even end of tenure LaRussa got over that to an extent, but I can remember more than a few trades where the Cards definitely overpaid for a veteran simply because the organization didn't seem to correctly value its young talent. All that to say I wonder if the fans don't still do that to an extent, "If LaRussa wouldn't have been impressed with this kid then why should I be?"


I think a lot of that is overstated by fans who are cuckoo for young prospects. TLR never had a problem playing a guy who was producing or looked good out there, and he even put a lot of them in a position to succeed by platooning them advantageously, yes he will take a track record career over an unproven, but so will pretty much everyone in a management position in any field. But guys like Yadier Molina were given starting jobs the second they showed him anything, other guys like Schumaker TLR went out of his way to find them MORE playing time. What is funny is people will point to players that TLR supposedly didn't support(see Colby Rasmus/JD Drew) and at the end of the year, those guys are top five on the team in plate appearances. Tlr ran teams don't have a set line up, don't have a set batting order and sure as heck don't have an everyday lineup. It's not his disdain for youth that benches the players, it's his love of monkeying around with the roster that benches the players.
   47. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4209951)
I think a lot of that is overstated by fans who are cuckoo for young prospects. TLR never had a problem playing a guy who was producing or looked good out there, and he even put a lot of them in a position to succeed by platooning them advantageously, yes he will take a track record career over an unproven, but so will pretty much everyone in a management position in any field. But guys like Yadier Molina were given starting jobs the second they showed him anything, other guys like Schumaker TLR went out of his way to find them MORE playing time. What is funny is people will point to players that TLR supposedly didn't support(see Colby Rasmus/JD Drew) and at the end of the year, those guys are top five on the team in plate appearances. Tlr ran teams don't have a set line up, don't have a set batting order and sure as heck don't have an everyday lineup. It's not his disdain for youth that benches the players, it's his love of monkeying around with the roster that benches the players.


You obviously know the situation better than I do. But living in Cards country I know that the popular opinion is still that he didn't like young players (most people will actually point to Ankiel and how LaRussa mercilessly ran him into the ground at too young an age yadda yadda). The perception is more important to the fact in the present discussion.
   48. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4209956)
Add Wang and maybe even Phelps to this as well.


Wang was first overrated (during the "Tiger Wang" phase of his career), and then underrated.
   49. cardsfanboy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4209962)
You obviously know the situation better than I do. But living in Cards country I know that the popular opinion is still that he didn't like young players (most people will actually point to Ankiel and how LaRussa mercilessly ran him into the ground at too young an age yadda yadda). The perception is more important to the fact in the present discussion.


I agree that is the perception(although Ankiel's usage is a piece of evidence against that) and everytime someone asked TLR about why he wouldn't use a particular young player, he constantly gave the lines that he was taking advantage of platoon splits, trying to put the player in a position where he succeeds etc. And then the press and fans would say "well that is what he is saying, but we know what he is really thinking and he just doesn't like young players". Nearly every team of TLR on the Cardinals had at least one player under 25 who was a primary component of the team, yet somehow TLR didn't like young players. It's a silly myth that just doesn't stand up to any studying of the facts.

In regards to Ankiel. I've never heard anyone, even the most ardent anti-Larussa crusader say anything about TLR mercilessly ran him into the ground. The common wisdom seems to be the opposite, that TLR's insistence on pampering Ankiel led to the kid developing mental blocks. It started with TLR playing head games with the opposition by not naming the starting pitcher in the playoffs, then after the blow ups, his attempts at pampering him that made it a bigger deal than it should have been. Some argue that if TLR would have just gone about everything as a normal person, that Ankiels mental issues would never have surfaced.
   50. bigglou115 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4209987)
In regards to Ankiel. I've never heard anyone, even the most ardent anti-Larussa crusader say anything about TLR mercilessly ran him into the ground. The common wisdom seems to be the opposite, that TLR's insistence on pampering Ankiel led to the kid developing mental blocks. It started with TLR playing head games with the opposition by not naming the starting pitcher in the playoffs, then after the blow ups, his attempts at pampering him that made it a bigger deal than it should have been. Some argue that if TLR would have just gone about everything as a normal person, that Ankiels mental issues would never have surfaced.


Hmm. Maybe that's just local then. I'm from LR Arkansas, and when Ankiel was coming up he did so through here as a Traveler before the team switched to the Angels. He was kind of a local celebrity, the biggest name we'd had since Drew but an order of magnitude more approachable. So that particular perception might be limited in area.

You ever read "3 Nights in August"? I know that what happened to Ankiel pained TLR, just from his description of the conversations he had about him with the staff. I did think it was interesting that he figured that if Mike Matheny doesn't get a hunting knife for his birthday then Ankiel is still pitching.
   51. asdf1234 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 06:57 PM (#4209994)
Some argue that if TLR would have just gone about everything as a normal person, that Ankiels mental issues would never have surfaced.


As a rookie, Ankiel had trouble all year throwing the ball to first: there were a ton of plays in which he threw away or nearly threw away pick-off throws or one-hoppers back to the mound. It was weird when it happened, and several of us Cardinal fans noticed it, but it wasn't until he fell apart in October that it became clear that there was something really wrong. Whatever it was, though, it was hanging around Ankiel from the very beginning of the year. I don't think that kind of serious anxiety issue could be avoided by anything that Tony did or didn't do or whether Mike Matheny was catching him or not. Sooner or later, that dam was going to spring a leak.
   52. cardsfanboy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 07:56 PM (#4210025)
As a rookie, Ankiel had trouble all year throwing the ball to first: there were a ton of plays in which he threw away or nearly threw away pick-off throws or one-hoppers back to the mound. It was weird when it happened, and several of us Cardinal fans noticed it, but it wasn't until he fell apart in October that it became clear that there was something really wrong. Whatever it was, though, it was hanging around Ankiel from the very beginning of the year. I don't think that kind of serious anxiety issue could be avoided by anything that Tony did or didn't do or whether Mike Matheny was catching him or not. Sooner or later, that dam was going to spring a leak.


I agree, but the TLR haters need to always find something to point at tlr (such as the myth "Pujols wasn't going to make the team out of spring training if it wasn for Bonilla's injury" type of thing). A lot of people do like to point out to Ankiel's personal life wasn't helping things(Dad going to prison), and locally there is very quiet rumors that Ankiel was hitting more than alcohol on his down time and that might not have helped his mental condition.

You ever read "3 Nights in August"? I know that what happened to Ankiel pained TLR, just from his description of the conversations he had about him with the staff. I did think it was interesting that he figured that if Mike Matheny doesn't get a hunting knife for his birthday then Ankiel is still pitching.


Yes, good book (it's not nearly as anti-moneyball as some of the marketing of it made it out to be) , love the fact that Kerry Robinson is almost the hero of the book type of stuff. Again there is nothing in the way that TLR handled Ankiel that indicates he didn't like young players. People could argue he doesn't know how to develop them and point to Ankiel, but they can't point to Ankiel and say Tlr loves veterans more than kids and here is proof.
   53. asdf1234 Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4210030)
locally there is very quiet rumors that Ankiel was hitting more than alcohol on his down time and that might not have helped his mental condition.


This is news to me, though 1) I'd imagine most rich, 20-something men enjoy something more than alcohol in their free time and 2) it might have helped the anxiety more than it hurt it. This kind of gossipy rumor-mongering that STL fans got into during the late 90s and on (the hand-wringing over Lankford and his penchant for hookers being way up there) never sat well with me.
   54. cardsfanboy Posted: August 16, 2012 at 08:48 PM (#4210055)
This is news to me, though 1) I'd imagine most rich, 20-something men enjoy something more than alcohol in their free time and 2) it might have helped the anxiety more than it hurt it. This kind of gossipy rumor-mongering that STL fans got into during the late 90s and on (the hand-wringing over Lankford and his penchant for hookers being way up there) never sat well with me.


The rumors more or less came from the fact that his dad was caught trafficking. And it wasn't something harmless like pot, but more intense like cocaine. But I agree, I think about half the people I know personally could say they at least "experimented" for a period of time in their late teens, early 20's.
   55. Cooper Nielson Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4210139)
Re: The Onion's famous headline "Yankees Ensure 2003 Pennant By Signing Every Player In Baseball," if you look at this team's roster, it sorta looks like they're trying to win the 2003 pennant. Jeter, A-Rod, Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones, Ichiro Suzuki...
   56. AROM Posted: August 16, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4210147)
Yankees sure have picked up a ton of players on the cheap who were superstars in the early 2000's. Derek Lowe is the latest example, last year they had the 2005 Cy Young award winner.
   57. Panned Handle Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4210167)
Re: The Onion's famous headline "Yankees Ensure 2003 Pennant By Signing Every Player In Baseball," if you look at this team's roster, it sorta looks like they're trying to win the 2003 pennant. Jeter, A-Rod, Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones, Ichiro Suzuki..


Also looks like they're going to win the 2012 pennant. Count Da Ringz!!!
   58. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:30 AM (#4210172)
I may be miscounting but I believe the Yankees 25-man roster, plus the DL, accounts for 85 All-Star appearances. The only hitters on the active roster who have never been All-Stars are Jayson Nix, Casey McGehee, Chris Stewart, and Eric Chavez. Yes, Eric Chavez somehow won six straight Gold Gloves and got MVP votes in four straight seasons without ever being an All-Star.

By comparison the Blue Jays have 7. (3 Bautista, 3 Vizquel, 1 Romero). And that's a team whose DL has twelve people on it.

The Yankees have 30 All-Star appearances in 2003 or earlier. Only three people on the Blue Jays 40-man roster were even in the majors in 2003. (Vizquel and Darren Oliver, who were also in the majors in 1993. And Brandon Lyon.)
   59. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:32 AM (#4210174)
Count Da Ringz!!!

And you guys wonder why no one likes you.....
   60. Walt Davis Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:53 AM (#4210184)
The "2003" Yanks WAR:

Tex 2.4
Jeter 3.4
AROD 8.1
Ibanez 2.0
Andruw 4.6
Chavez 4.9
Ichiro 5.3
Wise 0
CC 3.5
Garcia 1.1
Pettitte 2.8
Soriano 1.9
Lowe 2.6
Mo 3.5

That's 46.3 WAR for 14 players. Igarashi and Kuroda are left as an exercise for the reader. Wise didn't play in the majors in 2003 but did in 2002 and 2004 at replacement level so I've kept him. AROD or Chavez will have to move to 2B and they need a C and LF/DH and #5 starter. The Rivera-Soriano bullpen is looking filthy:

Soriano: 53 IP, 68 K, 5 K/BB, .79 WHIP, 1.53 ERA
Mo: 70 IP, 1.66 ERA (standard Mo peripherals)

The actual 2003 Yanks had 52 WAR; the 2012 Yanks are at 37 WAR and counting.
   61. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: August 17, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4210343)
I'm sure the Mariners would trade Hernandez for Cano...oh wait its the Yankees. So it will be a Laker type trade of one superstar for 3-4 "prospects"

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