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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, February 16, 2004

New York Yankees

Acquired SS Alex Rodriguez from the New York Yankees for 2B Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named.

Hell with it - if I wait for an announcement, everyone will be tired of it by then.

Highway robbery by the Yankees even considering that Team Captain’s apparent unwillingness to do what’s best for the team is preventing the Yanks from getting the full benefits of the trade.

The current plan seems to be to move A-Rod to 3B but that can always change.  And should, too, since the Yankees acquired a bunch of 3B options that won’t be able to be moved to 2B.  Houston or Lamb can fill a 3B hole without being too wretched, but neither will do the same at 2B.  The best thing for the Yanks to do now is to leave A-Rod at short, tell Derek Jeter that being a leader isn’t just a pretty label, and move him to 2nd and eventually center.

What the Rangers get out of this?  A much bleaker future than before the A-Rod trade.  They pay the Yankees roughly a *third* of what A-Rod’s owed for the privilege of making the team significantly worse.  Soriano’s a much better player than a lot of people, including myself, thought he would be, but he’s not A-Rod. 

If the Rangers are able to keep Soriano long-term, they’ll have to give him a deal not too far from the 12-18 a year the Yanks are paying A-Rod, which’ll eat into any savings and payroll flexibility.

If the Rangers are not able to keep Soriano long-term, then they’ve lost 10 wins a year.  They had enough problems *with* the wins A-Rod brought and would be that much further from making a dent in the West.

Mike Young returns to short and should handle it pretty nicely.

Really, there’s not much of a way the Rangers get any advantage in this.  This wasn’t a world-class offense - it was a mediocre offense in 2003 *with* the 2nd-best SS in history.

2004 ZiPS Projections
———————————————————————————————————
Player     AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————
Soriano     701 125 223 45 3 39 135 35 140 37 .318 .361 .558
Rodriguez   628 118 184 29 3 50 140 91 124 14 .293 .394 .588

Dan Szymborski Posted: February 16, 2004 at 12:55 AM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Sean Forman Posted: July 05, 2001 at 08:06 PM (#551491)
This was another setup message by me. I just hope that Dan can muster a little better effort than this was.
   2. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 01, 2001 at 01:46 AM (#551710)
I'm not a Yanks fan, but the insistence by us sabermetrically minded people that Soriano is an ineffective player is ridculous.

a) Soriano has improved every aspect of his game during the season except for his batting average, and batting average is of course the stat most supceptible to fluctuation.

b)Soriano's power boost has coincided with his increased walk rate, and he and the Yankees recognize this. Its clear if you follow the NY media that Soriano appreciates the connection between patience and power, and hes both improved his walk rate mid-season and demonstated a better eye a few years back in the minors. He is a very likely candidate to improve, even over the next few weeks.

c) a .740 OPS isnt that bad among second basemen. In fact, according to the Baseball Prosectus's methods, Soriano ranks 9th in the majors among second basemen in offensive production.

d) Compared other 2B's did at age 23, Soriano has a higher OPS than guys like Frank White, Craig Biggio (as a catcher, i think), and Ryan Sandberg. Only greats like Collins, Hornsby, and Alomar had .750+ OPS's as second basemen this early in their careers. Granted, one has to account for era and park effects and such, but the fact that Soriano can be mentioned in the same breath as the players above suggest that the Yanks should be getting him as much experience as possible.

If Soriano can handle 2B defensively and experiences typical development to his peak, Soriano might have a great/near-great career.
   3. Bruce Markusen Posted: September 01, 2001 at 02:14 AM (#551711)
Dzop, you're absolutely right. Even Yankee fans won't give this guy a break; some of the posters over at baseballboards.com absolutely kill Soriano.

If we look at Soriano solely within the context of on-base percentage, then he doesn't look like a very effective player. But he does so many other things: hitting with power, driving in runs, stealing bases, taking the extra base, and fielding reasonably well at second base (certainly an improvement over Knoblauch of the last two years). Plus, he's a No. 8 or No. 9 hitter. What do Yankee fans expect from a ninth-place hitter, the next Rogers Hornsby?

Soriano is an acceptable second baseman right now--and one who has a chance of becoming an All-Star if he continues to show improvement with his plate discipline.
   4. Kurt Posted: September 01, 2001 at 02:49 AM (#551713)
I'm just curious what "if they had their druthers" means. They *do* have their druthers, don't they? It's not like the decision as to who to play at 2B is out of the Yankees' hands.

Sorry. Someone's got to pick that nit though.
   5. RP Posted: November 28, 2001 at 05:25 PM (#551889)
Is it just me, or is the media making far too big a deal about this retirement? Brosious seems to be getting almost as much ink as McGwire has (an exaggeration, I know, but not that far from the truth) and I can't imagine Raines would get any *more* attention if he suddenly announced his retirement. Brosious was an ok player for a few years, nothing more. Yes, I know he benefits from the Yankees halo effect, but c'mon.
   6. Sean Forman Posted: November 29, 2001 at 08:17 PM (#551894)
I'd be happy as well if I could retire at age 35.

Perhaps it is anti-Yankee bias, but most of the websites I say did list the Brosius retirement as the top story.
   7. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 29, 2001 at 10:10 PM (#551895)
That's what I saw too. Compare Brosius to Bret Saberhagen. Saberhagen is a much more significant player in MLB history, was a much better player than Brosius was, and Saberhagen barely got a ripple. Same with Eric Davis and Jay Buhner. If there wasn't any Yankee bias (bias isn't the right word, with more Yankee fans, it's a money thing), Brosius would have made no more an impact with his retirement announcement than Stan Javier did.
   8. RJ in TO Posted: November 30, 2001 at 05:02 AM (#551896)
Keep in mind, though, while Brosius was not nearly the player that Saberhagen, Davis, or Buhner were in their prime, Brosius was able to retire as a regular, after playing in another World Series.

I'm sure that a lot of casual fans thought that Saberhagen retired about 2 years ago.
   9. scruff Posted: November 30, 2001 at 05:53 PM (#551897)
The other retirements (Saberhagen, Davis, Buhner) were expected, the Brosius retirement was not, hence it's a bigger story.

I think most people think Saberhagen has been retired for several years at this point . . .
   10. scruff Posted: November 30, 2001 at 05:59 PM (#551898)
Ryan - I swear I didn't see your comment (about Sabes) the first time I read your post. What's that they say about great minds thinking alike?

Also, it's a great team bias, not a Yankee bias. For example, if Eisenreich had retired right after the Marlins won the WS in 1997 it would have a been a story, especially on a weeknight in November, when there isn't anything else going on.
   11. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 30, 2001 at 10:29 PM (#551899)
Over-reported or not, Yankee bias or not, anything to leads Dan to burst into song is worth the ride, IMHO.
   12. Marc Posted: December 04, 2001 at 06:59 AM (#551902)
I realize that this is a bit of a tangent, but why hasn't Rickey Henderson announced his retirement?

Is it because:
   13. Steve Posted: December 04, 2001 at 10:47 PM (#551904)
The Brosius retirement got more press by far than Saberhagen. I expect that Raines might be able to generate that much press if nothing else happens the day he retires.

There's no way I want to see Rickey retire. He can play at a level which means he deserves a job. He's the guy the Astros should've signed.
   14. Marc Posted: December 04, 2001 at 11:39 PM (#551905)
A few words of clarifiaction...
   15. RP Posted: December 05, 2001 at 08:56 PM (#551906)
"Also, it's a great team bias, not a Yankee bias. For example, if Eisenreich had retired right after the Marlins won the WS in 1997 it would have a been a story, especially on a weeknight in November, when there isn't anything else going on."

Was this intended to be sarcastic or not? I honestly can't tell.

Also, re the comment about the suffocating anti-yankees bias, my response would be "puh-leeeeeeeze!" The Yankees fans reading this site have been able to enjoy 4 WS victories and 5 appearances in the last 6 years. Just enjoy the team's success and don't whine about the fact that that success has caused others to hate your team.
   16. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 08, 2001 at 06:23 AM (#551982)
hopefully, Phillips has the sense to suck up the Mets inevitable downturn, and will just wait, wait, wait, untill he can unload Justice, Zeile, and Appier for prospects. The system could definately use an injection of talent. Frankly, the Mets are doomed to lose 80 or so games this year no matter what, they might as well start building for 3-5 years down the road
   17. Benji Posted: December 09, 2001 at 12:14 AM (#551984)
Any time you wonder if the Mets "could do something as stupid" they can, and under Phillips, they will out-stupid your worst scenario. Imagine if Billy Beane had New York City's advantages! Or if the backstabbed Joe McIlvane could have stayed on and developed that team. NO OTHER GM gets suckered in deals like that incompetent.
   18. Big Ed Posted: December 10, 2001 at 03:38 PM (#551987)
Three years ago, the White Sox offered Ventura 3 yrs, $18MM, and got roundly ripped here in Chicago. They responded that they thought that a fair assessment compared to other 3Bmen around the majors. The Mets swooped in with 4 yrs, 32MM.

Ron Schueler is starting to look like a pretty good talent evaluator, what with this and the fact that most of the pitching he got rid of was on their last legs.
   19. Cris E Posted: December 10, 2001 at 09:12 PM (#551988)
You know, both teams might be resigned to riding out situations in 2002, and the trade just made it easier for both of them. The Yanks are waiting for Hensen, and while they could choose to have $7-9m tied up in a reserve OF, it makes better sense for it to paper over the 3B hole. Same with the Mets: they are waiting for 2002's 80 losses to be over, and it makes more sense for that pile of money to fill one of their many OF spots than to sit at 3b, where someone else could mark time.

Of course, ita's also the case that Justice works better than Ventura in a Sheffield or Mondesi trade...
   20. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 13, 2001 at 07:06 AM (#552111)
I find no fault with this analysis. I especially agree that Don Baylor has a lot to do with guys like Rosie Brown getting no playing time. Don't count your Knoblauchs before they hatch, though; you still might get lucky and Knoblauch signs with the Royals or my pathetic hometown Orioles.
   21. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 13, 2001 at 02:57 PM (#552113)
Why not Roosevelt Brown in left? Probably because of attitudes like this:

"You can bet the fans paying $24 for a bleacher seat would prefer a view of Alou to that of Roosevelt Brown."

Translation: "If you're going to make us pay that kind of money to get into the house, you'd better put some well-known names out there."

-- MWE
   22. VegasRobb Posted: December 14, 2001 at 12:49 AM (#552118)
I think Yankees have put together quite a nice offseason.

Starting Lineup:

1B - Giambi
   23. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 14, 2001 at 02:05 AM (#552120)
This Yankee team could be really, really ugly on defense, especially in the outfield. I don't see one position where the Yankees improved their defense over 2001, two places where it's worse (1B and RF), and that 2001 defense was near the bottom of the league. It won't hurt Mussina, Clemens, or Rivera that much, but the other pitchers (Pettitte and El Duque, if he's still around, in particular) could be seriously affected. It could be almost as bad as the implosion of Cleveland's staff last year (which had a similar root cause).

-- MWE
   24. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 14, 2001 at 02:12 AM (#552115)
Nope. PTBNL is SS/3B James Deschaine, 24, who played at Daytona last year, batting .289/.372/.480 with 21 HRs. That's pretty good for the FSL, but he's also pretty old for the FSL. He didn't rate a mention in last year's BP; Sickels gave him a Grade C.

-- MWE
   25. Bruce Markusen Posted: December 14, 2001 at 04:49 PM (#552124)
The delays on announcing the signing of Giambi had nothing to do with the Rule Five Draft. Including Giambi, Ventura, Karsay, and Vander Wal, but not counting Rondell White (whose signing hasn't been officially announced), the Yankees' 40-man roster is still only at 38 players. The Yankees had protected all of the minor league prospects that they wanted to protect (if not, why would they have left several spots open?; not surprisingly, they lost no one in the Rule Five draft. Thus, the long wait in signing Giambi had nothing to do with Rule Five.

The delays in the Giambi signing were caused by the following: 1) Giambi's hesitance in accepting the NY offer and hesitance about leaving Oakland 2) the generally complicated nature of a seven-year, $120 million contract and 3) time neededed for Giambi's physical.

Giambi had passed the physical in time for the Yankees to have a news conference on Wednesday, but the Yankees decided to wait an extra day so that they include the Vander Wal trade and the Hitchcock re-signing as part of the press conference.
   26. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: December 14, 2001 at 07:21 PM (#552125)
For discussion:

Would it make more sense for the A's to sign Bonds or Moises Alou? I'd pick Bonds from a marketing standpoint, but I have a tough time picking between the two otherwise.
   27. Bruce Markusen Posted: December 15, 2001 at 04:17 PM (#552129)
I agree that Bonds makes a lot of sense for the A's--and vice versa.

I wanted to make one correction from my previous post. The Sterling Hitchcock signing was NOT announced at the Thursday press conference. Like the Rondell White deal, it has not been made official.
   28. Repoz Posted: January 26, 2002 at 05:33 PM (#553341)
I see on Baseball Reference's HOF Monitor Coomer has a 3.0.....is that for just signing your name?
   29. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 26, 2002 at 07:10 PM (#553343)
Olperfesser,
   30. Steve Treder Posted: January 26, 2002 at 08:32 PM (#553346)
Dan S., you hit the nail on the head regarding Feliz. In the 2000/2001 offseason, I was pretty excited about him, thinking that he must have really had a breakthrough year in AAA. But actually watching him play in 2001, it became pretty apparent that the poor numbers he was putting up were a pretty accurate reflection of his abilities: he combines very poor strike zone discipline with a lack of strength/bat speed. In other words, he showed neither physical tools nor refined skill. And he continued to struggle this fall in the Dominican league.

Based on this, I'm going to be very skeptical from now on about gaudy offensive stats racked up in Fresno.

BTW: ALERT! ALERT! Brian Sabean was quoted in the paper this morning actually saying the words "On Base Percentage" in an assessment of a player (Feliz). Could it be that he actually understands and uses the concept? (Acquisitions of Santiago, Shinjo, Bell, Dunston to the contrary.)
   31. Bruce Markusen Posted: January 26, 2002 at 09:14 PM (#553348)
Will Coomer make the Yankees' Opening Day roster? Here's one possible roster set-up:

Catchers (2): Posada and one of the following (Estalella, Greene, or Castillo)

Infielders (7): Giambi, Soriano, Jeter, Ventura, Johnson, Wilson, Coomer

Outfielders (5): White, B. Williams, Spencer, Vander Wal, G. Williams

Pitchers (11): Clemens, Pettite, Mussina, Wells, Hitchcock, Lilly, Choate, Stanton, Mendoza, Karsay, Rivera

This is assuming that the Yankees only carry two catchers, which has been their tendency under Torre. This also assumes that Orlando Hernandez will be traded.

In addition to using Coomer as a backup to Giambi and Ventura, the Yankees might also want to use him as a righty DH against some of the tougher left-handers in the league.

All in all, I'd rather have Coomer on my roster than a third catcher like Greene or Castillo.
   32. Kurt Posted: January 27, 2002 at 03:26 AM (#553356)
Were any of these guys worse than Joltin' Joe Girardi-o?
   33. Darren Posted: January 27, 2002 at 03:48 AM (#553357)
David N wrote:

Not exactly with Duquette, though. Look what he kept doing with his pitching staff. Every year, he has plucked players off the scrapheap to add them to his rotation. He wasn't spending $10 million to get Kevin Appier when he could get Pete Schourek or Ramon Martinez or Pat Rapp or the tattered remains of Bret Saberhagen's arm.

The problem is that DD started out picking up those pitchers cheap, but didn't stick to it. he was soon giving Saberhagen a 3-year deal for $6 mil.+ and paid Ramon Martinez $8 mil. one year. This, shortly after offering Clemens 4 years, $10 mil. as an initial contract offer.

The guy lost it somewhere.
   34. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 27, 2002 at 05:27 AM (#553359)
Sandy Alomar (Jr.) has to be the worst six time all-star.

While I of course agree about O'Leary, Halter, et al., this may well be a case where you can't run a real team the way you'd run a fantasy team. Neither fans nor players are going to be very happy with you if you keep trading players as fast as they establish themselves.
   35. Repoz Posted: January 27, 2002 at 07:04 AM (#553360)
In 1968 when the Tigers went on to win the WS, Don Wert had been selected to the ALL Star game.....Season's stats.

Ave.-.200
   36. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 27, 2002 at 07:04 PM (#553364)
It'll be interesting to see if OF defense undermines that (Yankee) pitching staff a bit.

It started to do that last year, I think. Yankee pitchers had a 4.40 ERA at Yankee Stadium last year, 3.68 on the road, in a park that normally has the opposite effect. The biggest reason for the difference is that the Yankees allowed more non-HR hits than usual at home, and more extra bases on those hits (they averaged 1.27 bases allowed per non-HR hit at home, 1.22 on the road). The effect is masked to some extent because Yankee pitchers strike out a lot of hitters and thus minimize the damage.

I think this is primarily an OF effect for two reasons:

-- The Yankees have, in recent years, been a fairly extreme fly-ball staff.
   37. steve Posted: January 27, 2002 at 08:24 PM (#553365)
Terrific examples of bad All Stars; worst I can remember is Jack Armstrong, pitcher (and if I remember, he started that game).

Coomer will not be an impact player on this team, but I would bet he makes the roster.

Sooner they get rid of the "every team must have a representative" rule, the better off everybody will be.
   38. Voros McCracken Posted: January 27, 2002 at 08:43 PM (#553366)
The problem isn't the every team must have a rep rule. That's fine. The problem is choosing players based on half-season stats.

It would have been no trouble choosing Brad Radke. I'm guessing he was probably one of the 10 best starters in the league anyway.

They should choose the best player from each unrepresented team and then work from there. That year they had Coomer and Sprague selected to the All-Star team while Radke and Brian Giles stayed home.
   39. Steve Treder Posted: January 27, 2002 at 09:00 PM (#553367)
I only watched Van der Waal closely for a couple of months when he was with the Giants, and to be fair he was hampered by a sore elbow the whole time, but still:

1) He looked dreadful in the OF.

2) His bat speed was not at all impressive. He struck out a ton for a guy not generating much power.

The Yankees will need him to be performing at a higher level than he was down the stretch in 2001 if they expect him to be a serious front-line right fielder in 2002.
   40. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2002 at 12:10 AM (#553368)
This has nothing to do with anything said up 'till now in this thread, but I'm throwing it out anyhow.

I went to the annual Pirates fanfest yesterday, and while I was there I went to a fan Q and A with Lloyd McClendon, Kevin McClatchy, and Dave Littlefield. I thought youl might be interested in some of the things they said in an hour-long uncontrolled public forum. The three were sitting on chairs onstage, in an auditorium that looked to hold about 150-200 people. The session was directed by one of the members of the team's local radio affiliate, who called on fans who raised their hands. All subjects were open to discussion, the session was free to the public (anything on the first floor was free, but the other floors required a 10$ admission) and the session lasted one hour. There was also apparently an earlier one on Friday, but I had to work and couldn't make it.

I didn't think much of McClendon as a manager last year, but based on some of his comments, I might have to change my mind. I asked the panel about the team's inability to draw walks, and McClendon responded that "on-base percentage is the most important stat in the game today." He said that the team's OBP problems were partially due to injuries to several of the more patient guys, like Adrian Brown and Jason Kendall (True, but disingenuous.). He also said that he thought that some of the younger guys might be expected to improve their pitch selection with another year of experience, and commented favorably on the potential influence of Chris Chambliss as the new minor-league hitting instructor. McClendon also said, in response to a different question, that salaries will not enter into consideration when apportioning playing time next year. He promised to determine his starters purely on merit. When asked about Derek Bell's offseason workout (he supposedly added 25 lbs. of muscle), McClendon said, "The kind of year he had, he'd better be lifting weights." This last remark drew substantial applause from the crowd. McClendon was good in some respects last year, notably in avoiding sacrifice bunts by position players and keeping pitch counts by the young starters low, and I'm cautiously optimistic that he might be able to improve on the job.

I also got the chance to ask a question to Littlefield, and I chose to ask him about the team's priorities in seeking a new second baseman for next year. Littlefield said that the team is not satisfied with the internal alternatives and is actively seeking a trade. Of course, he isn't allowed to talk about specific players, but he said that the team was looking for a long-term solution (as opposed to a stop-gap), and that his preference would be for a young second baseman with power. He also said that his first priority was to help the team score more runs, and the main goal of any lineup changes would be to improve the offense. Defense did not enter into the discussion at any point, something I found interesting. In response to a question about Kris Benson, Littlefield said that Benson would likely start the year in the bullpen, a-la Matt Morris, and that the team would go to great pains to keep his workload down. Littlefield seemed the least nervous of the three, and was pretty smooth when he dodged a question about the team's draft strategy; I guess he didn't want to tip his hand.

McClatchy seemed by far the least sharp of the three. He was visibly sweating, and his responses were at times transparently evasive. McClatchy wasn't willing to talk much about the status of contraction this year. He did say that he thought that if time pressures became severe, the players and owners might be willing to agree to a one-year extension of last year's labor agreement. He said that some changes to the agreement would probably be necessary in the future, and specified an increased luxury tax, a cap on the signing bonuses of draft picks, the implementation of a worldwide draft, and the elimination of sandwich picks ("I remember a couple of years ago the Baltimore Orioles got about six sandwich picks, just because they go through a lot of free agents."). He said that an increased luxury tax would be more helpful than a hard salary cap, and did not mention a salary floor. McClatchy _did_ have the grace to look embarassed when asked about the offseason increase in ticket prices. If I got another go, I was planning to ask him about his opinion of the Pohlad loans, but I didn't get the chance.

I hope this summary of highlights was of interest to you.
   41. Repoz Posted: January 28, 2002 at 02:57 AM (#553371)
Vlad
   42. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 28, 2002 at 03:19 AM (#553372)
The Friday night public session at Piratefest is available through the Pirates' Web site. Go to http://pirates.mlb.com - there's a link to it on the main page. Interesting stuff.

-- MWE
   43. RJ in TO Posted: January 28, 2002 at 03:28 AM (#553373)
Repoz,

Just because he was not great at drawing walks as a player doesn't mean that he will be a bad hitting coach. Last time I checked, Lau wasn't exactly a great major leaguer, but he's managed to be a highly effective hitting coach. Similarly, Billy Beane was a useless major leaguer, but he's done a good job building a team that has all the qualities that he lacked as a hitter.

Not being capable of doing something yourself doesn't mean that you don't understand the value of it, and I think that Chambliss does understand the value of the walk. Besides, I doubt that Boggs sat down with each player and taught them all his great hitting secrets.

And how can you blame Chambliss' GIDPs on pitch selection? Isn't this a stat that is influenced by the previuos batters, the speed of the batter, and the handedness of the batter, among other things? Yes, a guy who swings a lot will hit into more DPs, but it's hardly the only factor.
   44. Repoz Posted: January 28, 2002 at 04:56 AM (#553375)
Ryan....Last time I checked Charlie Lau was dead.
   45. RJ in TO Posted: January 28, 2002 at 05:11 AM (#553376)
Repoz,

My apologies. I keep getting Charlie Lau and his cief disciple mixed up. Either way, not being a succesful hitter in the majors hasn't stopped a lot of players from being succesful coaches.
   46. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2002 at 05:38 PM (#553379)
Littlefield was asked several times about various Giles rumors (Will he be traded? Did he ask to be traded? Etc.). Littlefield's response was that the team is not and was not actively seeking to trade Giles, but that it would be stupid to refuse to listen to what other teams have to say. He said that when a team has as bad a year as the Pirates did, it can't afford to dismiss any ideas without at least thinking about them first. This seems an eminently reasonable view, in my opinion, and it's the sort of thing he's been saying in local interviews all winter. The chance of Giles being traded is much lower than many national media sources seem to think, since Littlefield has come out and all but said "We'll trade him to you, as long as you're willing to give us waaaaay more than he's worth. Since he's a potential future Hall-of-Famer at a key defensive position in the prime of his career, that'll tend to be a lot. If you're still interested, keep talking. Hello?" I didn't initially include this in my summary, since I thought everybody knew. That's my bad, of course; as a local, I have access to lots more info than most of the rest of you.

As for the Manzanillo thing, it's my impression that Manzanillo's agent is making it hard for him to cut a deal with anybody. He declined arbitration, which was probably not a good idea, since that was right before that whole bunch of relievers got non-tendered. Manzanillo's a good reliever, but I don't think that anyone would say he's enough of an upgrade over one of the then newly-available unresticted free agents (like Shiggy Hasegawa, for example) to be worth the first-rounder he'd get as a Type A free agent. Littlefield said at the talk that the team is, of course, still open to having him return, but that the agent hasn't been in communication with him. He didn't talk about Williams much, other than to complement his abilities and express confidence in a bright future (yadda yadda yadda). My feeling is that the team chose to sign Williams because he was willing to come back for setup-man money to fill the closer role, and as a "proven closer" he might conceivably be a valuable trade commodity (as he was last year, when he fetched Tony McKnight). It's also possible that the team would be willing to toss a bit more money into the bullpen (for Manzanillo) if they can find a taker for Mike Fetters, who demanded a trade in the offseason. Fetters is basically only here because the Dodgers insisted he be included in the Terry Mulholland trade, and the team would be willing to let him go if there was any interest anywhere, but his age and bouts of ineffectiveness last year seem to have, shall we say, lowered interest in him. If he shows something in spring training, I guess it's possible he might be worth something to someone. It's still not as bad as things were with Omar Olivares, when he demanded a trade after his all-around suckage got him bounced from the rotation. Think there's a lot of demand for an expensive pitcher who can't keep a starting job on the worst rotation in baseball?

The one other thing that I didn't mention that was interesting was a comment Littlefield made about injuries. The subject of the team's injury problems last season came up, and Littlefield said that while the team would have done better if it were healthy, it's one of his most important jobs as general manager to come up with a backup plan for every player on the roster. "There will always be _someone_ who gets hurt," he said. This isn't earth-shaking to anyone out there in TV land, but it still looks like a hell of an improvement when you consider the type of guys Bonifay brought into camp last year. The team's rotation problems looked almost inevitable, with two guys coming off arm surgery, but for most of camp the top contender for the fifth spot in the rotation was Balvino Galvez. I'll give you a link here, so you know who we're talking about.
   47. SM in DC Posted: January 29, 2002 at 03:14 PM (#553386)
You're all missing the most basic problems with the Ron Coomer signing.

1. Luis Sojo is already the token aging, portly utility player on the Yankees... and

2. Perhaps most important -- it raises the always nasty "ex-Cub" jinx. Now the Mystique and Aura have danced around this problem before (See Girardi and ex-Sox Clemens and Boggs), but bringing in two players from cursed franchises in one year.. this signals trouble to me... Call me superstitious, or a fan of Luis "Lucky Charm" Sojo
   48. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: January 29, 2002 at 04:24 PM (#553387)
For worst all-stars, Coomer is as low as Sharperson, Lemanczyk, and Jack Armstrong (going by HOF monitor on the reference side of things here). All the others mentioned in the thread so far have higher HOF monitor scores. I'll toss in Steve Swisher as an all-star as bad as Coomer.
   49. Repoz Posted: January 29, 2002 at 09:57 PM (#553388)
Rad
   50. Greg Franklin Posted: January 30, 2002 at 02:35 AM (#553389)
Another ode to a 3.0 HOF Monitor player:

Chris Cannizzaro,
   51. Repoz Posted: January 30, 2002 at 04:42 AM (#553390)
Even more 3.0 HOF Monitor dross.
   52. Eric Enders Posted: January 30, 2002 at 11:14 PM (#553391)
For a given season, I'd say the worst all-star, hands down, would have to be Mark McGwire in 1991.
   53. Kurt Posted: January 30, 2002 at 11:31 PM (#553392)
Come on, guys, HOF monitor ain't the be-all and end-all. Girardi got 6 points just for being the regular catcher on a WS team (96). Doesn't make him any good, particularly in 2000, when he was an all star.

And if we're just going by the player's season, no way was '91 McGwire worse than Ripken in 2001.
   54. Cris E Posted: February 01, 2002 at 10:39 PM (#553885)
It's a negotiating tactic to keep Posada's people in line.
   55. NTNgod Posted: February 01, 2002 at 11:39 PM (#553889)
I suspect pitchers taking bunt plays will be covered more than usual in the Mets Spring Training :)

Either that, or in bunt situations, they'll put Alomar right behind the pitcher's mound....
   56. Steve Treder Posted: February 02, 2002 at 12:44 AM (#553892)
"George could save himself some payroll angst if he just signed these guys instead of futzing around with them.

He added at least 4 million a year alone when he failed to sign Jeter in 2000."

You know, 4 million dollars might seem like a fair amount of money to you or me, but I'm thinking George finds that kind of spare change underneath his sofa cushions.
   57. VegasRobb Posted: February 02, 2002 at 10:53 PM (#553894)
This same discussion came up a few weeks ago when the Yankees signed Castillo. Tejada was the big Estallela booster back then. It really does seem that the Yankees don't have much use for him. Castillo, Widger, Greene have all been signed ahead of him ... "statistical facts" or not.
   58. Steve Treder Posted: February 03, 2002 at 01:38 AM (#553980)
One of the roles that the current mania for carrying 12 pitchers on the roster has rendered nearly extinct is that of the late-inning defensive specialist. You look back at teams in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and a not-uncommon role was an outfielder who'd play maybe 75-to-100 games in the outfield and rack up little more than 100 atbats. Examples of guys who were used this way for at least a portion of their careers were Jim Busby, Dick Simpson, Buddy Bradford, Jack Reed, and Gary Geiger.

Clearly, the teams who employed players in this role really didn't worry too much about whether the guy would be able to contribute much with the bat; his typical use was to come into the game in the seventh inning or later, often as a pinch runner, when the team was ahead, and close out the game in the outfield. I just have to believe there was more value to be derived from such a contributor than from a lefthanded relief specialist who plays maybe 60 times and pitches at most 50 innings, yet every team seems to feel they need one of these now.

Rivera would seem to be a guy who is perfectly suited for the late-inning defensive specialist role. Used that way, you really wouldn't care so much if he strikes out 30+% of his atbats, and his occasional homers would be a nice bonus. And in the ninth inning of a close game, it would be a comforting sight to see him cruising around the outfield. But you wonder if in this day and age Rivera will be allowed to perform such a role.
   59. Steve Treder Posted: February 03, 2002 at 02:07 AM (#553895)
All of this is just adding more drama to the Estalella story ... when he does eventually win that (inevitable) MVP award, the sidebar will enumerate how many catchers were believed to be better alternatives to him back in the dark days of '01-'02.
   60. Repoz Posted: February 03, 2002 at 04:44 AM (#553983)
People tend to forget that Rivera had a 2001 McGwiresque type year in 1999 when he caked out 80 hits and K'ed a not so healthy 143 times.
   61. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: February 03, 2002 at 05:25 AM (#553984)
Steve Treder, I would agree that Rivera would be ideal as a late-inning defensive replacement (wouldn't he look great in a park like Coors with that big outfield) but you'd probably have to carry 11 pitchers to do that, even in the AL. Still, he's not such a bad player that he can't be the 13th man and still fulfil that role... Rivera won't kill you as an occasional starter in any of the three outfield positions, and he hits much better than your average utility infielder. If you can find two infielders who can handle all three positions between them and a backup catcher who can play the outfield in a pinch, as long as you don't have a "genuine" (i.e. Edgar Martinez-like) DH you could get by fine.

Repoz, yes it's true Rivera had "the year we [don't] make contact" in '99, but he also hit 23 homers that year and drew 55 walks. It's not as if he was Clay Bellinger up there. (Remember, Bellinger played 74 games at outfield and DH for the Yankees in 2000 and 2001). The strikeouts are ugly, particularly to the fans, but they're not noticed in a backup like they are in a starting player.
   62. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: February 03, 2002 at 06:00 AM (#553896)
Yes, and when I win the Cy Young Award (going 30-3 with my 'double-secret reverse knuckleball') the sidebar will be all about the "lost years" posting to BP... I can't wait. It'll be especially sweet knowing Bobby Estallela is crouching behind that plate with the three-foot catcher's mitt, waiting to go into the box to slam another tape-measure home run...
   63. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 03, 2002 at 06:07 PM (#553897)
Re: Lester Bangs

Just for the record, the Kendall contract is _not_ "indicative of how idiotic some player contracts are." Kendall is the third-best catcher in the bigs right now. He's an on-base machine, he's entering the prime of his career, and his #1 age comp is a Hall of Famer.
   64. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 03, 2002 at 06:45 PM (#553898)
Kendall was hurt most of last season (thumb) but decided to keep on playing anyway; his age-27 decline is due mostly to that. He should bounce back into the .800s this year if healthy.

-- MWE
   65. Repoz Posted: February 04, 2002 at 12:39 AM (#553987)
Dreadrick
   66. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 04, 2002 at 01:48 AM (#553988)
Yet another player I'd rather have seen playing center for Baltimore than Chris Singleton.
   67. Alan Posted: February 04, 2002 at 06:22 AM (#554025)
"He is 30 but in his favor he's only caught 546 ML games."

He also spent 5 and a half years in the minors. That's a lot of time. Meldrick said he started his career as a second baseman, so, depending on how much time he spent there, he hasn't really spent much more time at catcher for his age, than Piazza or Pudge.
   68. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: February 04, 2002 at 06:51 AM (#554027)
Lester, Jorge Posada is Puerto Rican, not Spanish.
   69. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: February 04, 2002 at 06:59 AM (#554028)
also, the comment claiming Posada's most-similar list is full of players who collapsed after age 29 is incorrect. There are 3-4 players on the list who were productive until age 32, importantly, these players were the ones with the higher walk rates. The only exception to this trend is Dick Dietz, who played way before my time and about whom I know nothing (although he sure has a wacky set of stats).
   70. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: February 04, 2002 at 04:49 PM (#554033)
#1 Comp= Mike Lieberthal (not enough info, and a terrible comp, really)
   71. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: February 04, 2002 at 04:54 PM (#554034)
Posada's 6th and 7th comps (MacFarlane and Semnick) both produced till age 32.Tom Haller, #8, was an all-star in his age 30 and 31 seasons (good stats masked by the 1968 effect)
   72. Steve Treder Posted: February 04, 2002 at 05:55 PM (#553992)
Speaking of Roger Repoz ... a string of numbers that I find just endlessly fascinating is Rog's 1969 stat line. You don't suppose he might have had just a bit of uppercut in his swing, do you?
   73. Repoz Posted: February 04, 2002 at 06:12 PM (#553993)
Steve
   74. Walt Davis Posted: February 04, 2002 at 06:21 PM (#553994)
I wouldn't expect offensive improvement from Rivera. That 321 OBP was the result of hitting 255 instead of 200. His walk rates have actually been declining: 1 per 6.1 AB in 1998 (only 200 PA), 1 per 7.5 AB in 1999, 1 per 9.6 AB in 2000, 1 per 12.5 AB in 2001. And not that it's the be-all or end-all of fielding, but his range factor in CF has been average. Which isn't to say he's not a fine defensive replacement, end-of-the-bench, worth a minor-league contract type of guy, but I see no reason to think he'll ever be more than that.
   75. Darren Posted: February 04, 2002 at 06:46 PM (#554037)
Has anyone shown the similarity scores are a good way to determine a player's future?
   76. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 04, 2002 at 07:14 PM (#554038)
Has anyone shown the similarity scores are a good way to determine a player's future?

As they are currently constructed, they probably are not. Sim scores are based on career totals, and make no allowance for career shape; two players who have similar career totals may have developed along entirely different paths, and one experience wouldn't necessarily be relevant to the other.

James, in the NHA, suggests that Win Shares might provide a better way to evaluate career progression and make comparisons of this type. It'll be interesting to try that once the book that defines the details of the system comes out this spring.

-- MWE
   77. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 04, 2002 at 07:38 PM (#553995)
Walt -- just to be clear, I don't think it's likely he's any good either. I just think there's more of a chance of it than with Singleton. Singleton has been a regular for three years and is 29. I think he's WYSIWYG now. Rivera, maybe there's a chance that he has a good year or three -- he's a few years younger and he has never really had a full-time job. And he's less likely to block someone else.
   78. Steve Treder Posted: February 04, 2002 at 08:41 PM (#554040)
"Dick Dietz, who played way before my time and about whom I know nothing (although he sure has a wacky set of stats)."

Dietz was one of my favorite players, and he certainly had a very weird career.

He was an outfielder in the minors, and converted to full-time catcher fairly late, and was pretty much brutal defensively. (A play that would occur about 6 times every season would be Ken Henderson -- for some reason it was always Henderson -- making a fantastic throw to the plate, nailing the runner there, only to have Dietz drop the ball.)

After the Giants traded Tom Haller, Dietz battled Jack Hiatt for the starting job in 1968 and '69, and then won it for good with a brilliant offensive year in 1970 (he was on deck when Pete Rose hammered Ray Fosse to end the All-Star Game). He turned in another fine year in 1971 as the Giants won the division.

Then, in one of the most bizarre and inexplicable events in recorded history, in spring training of 1972 the Giants sold him ON WAIVERS to their arch-rivals, the Dodgers. What in god's name was up with that I will never know, although at the time I was apoplectic. However, early in the '72 season Dietz suffered a broken hand, and played little and not well that year.

In '73 the Braves picked him up, and used him in a backup 1B/C role, and Dietz performed extremely well. Then in the spring of '74, the Braves cut him, and no one else picked him up. Dietz claims it was part of a collusion plot by MLB owners to get high-priced veterans off of rosters (Dietz must have been making all of about $40,000 or something); whatever it was he sure seemed to have some mileage left on him and his career was suddenly over.

He's done some minor league managing in the Giants' organization in recent years.
   79. Greg Franklin Posted: February 04, 2002 at 09:04 PM (#554041)
If Giuseppe Chiaramonte 1976 (brawny but complex) ever gets to the bigs, we should have a serious wine-tasting competition with Piazza and Posada. Ex-Angels GM Mike Port could be the judge.
   80. Repoz Posted: February 04, 2002 at 09:50 PM (#554042)
And should this wine-tasting foray take place at Mike Vineyard? (O's 1964)
   81. Bob T Posted: February 04, 2002 at 09:53 PM (#554043)
I've heard a Giants fan say that the Dodgers picked up Dietz and then didn't play him just out of spite. Dietz had had a few runins with the Dodgers aside from the Drysdale non-HBP.

I don't put a lot of credence in to that accusation.
   82. Geoff Young Posted: February 04, 2002 at 09:55 PM (#553996)
Rivera, maybe there's a chance that he has a good year or three -- he's a few years younger and he has never really had a full-time job.

Actually, he started for the Pads most every day in 1999 and 2000. Hit .195/.295/.406 and .208/.296/.400, striking out 280 times while collecting 168 hits. Both seasons he got incredibly hot for about three weeks, and did essentially nothing the rest of the year.

Defensively he is a lot of fun to watch. The comparisons to Andruw aren't that far off, right down to the concentration lapses. But when he's focused, Rivera can be downright spectacular in center. You just don't want to watch him bat much. Takes the good pitches, swings at the bad ones. Can't catch up to fastballs, can't read breaking balls. Probably the most frustrating hitter I've ever seen.

Too bad. The guy is a tremendous athlete.
   83. Steve Treder Posted: February 04, 2002 at 10:06 PM (#554044)
"I don't put a lot of credence in to that accusation."

Neither do I. The Dodgers at that time were one of the shrewdest organizations in baseball; there's no way they'd do something as goony as that. Dietz got hurt in '72.

The mystery to me is why the Giants dropped him, and of all things let him go to their direct competitor. Stoneham made a lot of strange moves, but none any stranger than that one.
   84. Steve Treder Posted: February 05, 2002 at 12:11 AM (#554047)
"Also, please spare me the "he was a clubhouse cancer in SF" crap. We're not talking about that, we're merely comparing offensive abilities (and maybe he wouldn't be such an angry young man if he didn't have to go through the humiliation of playing behind Benito Santiago).

Everything said, Estalella at $310K looks like a pretty good replacement in terms of production per dollar. But of course, the Yankees don't have to worry about this. On any other team, though, where money matters, Estalella would be a worthy replacement."

A couple of thoughts regarding Estalella ...

While it may very well be true that "we're not talking about" anything other than "comparing offensive abilities," real GMs making real decisions don't have it so easy. For them, how easy a player might be to get along with, how well he might obey his manager's directions, and so on, are part of the equation as well. One can certainly question how much of a factor these issues should be, and how well GMs do in applying these factors to their decisions, but it simply isn't realistic to imagine that these things don't matter at all. Baseball teams are comprised of real human beings, and to real human beings, personalities matter.

Whatever it was that Estalella did to cause the Giants to cut him, it's becoming more and more obvious the Yankees have no plans to play him real soon either. And so what happens to him next is a very interesting question ... will some stat-smart organization (the Padres, Blue Jays, A's, whoever) scoop him up cheap and make great use of him? If so, will his undefined cancerous streak rear its ugly head, and that team will end up regretting it, or will the whole thing prove to be ridiculous and he's finally on his way to stardom? Or has he been effectively MLB-blackballed, and condemned to spend the rest of his career in triple-A, or Mexico, or Japan?
   85. Steve Treder Posted: February 05, 2002 at 12:13 AM (#554048)
Lester Bangs,

And don't forget P John Boozer. And P Larry Sherry and C Norm Sherry.
   86. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 05, 2002 at 02:21 AM (#553997)
Was Rivera platooned last season, or does that OPS increase potentially represent actual improvement? I know most of the change is in batting average (prone to fluctuation, and all), but he's also right at the age where progress of some kind might be expected (unless he's platooned, hence the question).
   87. Geoff Young Posted: February 05, 2002 at 04:26 AM (#553998)
Vlad: I believe Rivera backed up Junior most of last year in Cincy.
   88. Sean Forman Posted: February 05, 2002 at 05:09 AM (#554055)
I have a toy that I haven't put on the site because it takes forever to run. I call it career path similarity. Essentially, I take the Geometric Mean of a season-by-season similarity scores. So I compare player A and B at ages 24-25 and then find the geometric mean of their sim scores for each paired season. I've tweaked the multipliers to work for a single-season and I upped some of the more important stats as well. Anyways, here is Posada's most similar.

1. Bill Freehan
   89. Walt Davis Posted: February 05, 2002 at 04:49 PM (#554000)
But Rivera is only one year younger than Singleton and they both have about 1400 AB in the majors. I don't see how we can look at Rivera's career 715 OPS and think he has much chance of being better than Singleton (career 753 OPS). Even if we expect Singleton to decline more quickly because his value is in BA, as some argued on the Singleton thread, that should still do nothing more than bring him down to Rivera's level. Maybe Rivera's defense is superior enough to make up for that.
   90. Walt Davis Posted: February 05, 2002 at 04:53 PM (#554001)
on the Latin player question, I think there was a Rob Neyer column or chat where that was addressed. If my memory's correct, he cited a study that showed that (1) yes, if you just looked at Latin vs. non-Latin, Latin players walked less often but (2) if you controlled for position, that went away. That is, there's over-representation of Latin players in defensive positons that have more of a tendency to be hack-friendly, good glove types regardless of what their ethnicity is.
   91. Steve Treder Posted: February 05, 2002 at 07:29 PM (#554063)
Hard-drinking players are a dime a dozen. You want a real wild man? How about Dock Ellis, who pitched a no-hitter while high on LSD. Now THAT'S an accomplishment.
   92. Walt Davis Posted: February 05, 2002 at 09:18 PM (#554064)
Hard-drinking players are a dime a dozen. You want a real wild man? How about Dock Ellis, who pitched a no-hitter while high on LSD. Now THAT'S an accomplishment.

Maybe yes, maybe no. Dock later wrote that day the plate looked a mile wide and he never even saw the batter -- how hard is it to toss a no-hitter under those circumstances? :-) Also, gotta figure players around the league knew he was using. Would you dig in against a pitcher when you weren't sure he even saw you, or if he did you were likely to be a giant purple dinosaur come to devour him and he'd fire a fastball at your head?
   93. Walt Davis Posted: February 05, 2002 at 09:24 PM (#554003)
right OlP, but my point is that given that Rivera is only a year younger than Singleton and has an equal amount of ML experience at an even lower level of performance, he's not the type of player to take a flyer on. He's as much of a known quantity as Singleton is, and what we know tells us he's even worse. It's one thing to take a flyer on somebody who's 4-5 years younger than Singleton and little/no ML epxerience in the hopes they'll turn into something, but taking a flyer on Rivera seems to make even less sense than taking a flyer on Singleton.
   94. Steve Treder Posted: February 05, 2002 at 10:15 PM (#554065)
Okay, Walt, you've convinced me. Pitching coaches can just throw away their radar guns, sandpaper, and whatever other paraphernalia they rely upon, and just start handing out tabs of acid to the day's starter. Lucy in the Sky with baseball Diamonds!! :-)

My favorite Dock Ellis story is the one where Dock was all pissed off because he felt that the team the Pirates were playing against had been taking too many liberties against the Pirate hitters, and the Pirate pitchers hadn't answered back forcefully enough. So Dock decided a message needed to be sent. So he starts the game and drills the leadoff batter. Then he drills the second hitter. Then he drills the third hitter. Bases loaded now. Then he drills the cleanup hitter, forcing in the run.

At this point Danny Murtaugh slowly and quietly walks out to the mound and points to the bullpen, and Dock hands him the ball and heads to the showers.

You just don't see that kind of stuff any more.
   95. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 06, 2002 at 01:50 AM (#554067)
The best thing about the Ellis no-hitter hasn't even been mentioned. From a High Times interview, cited here:

Ellis said that one of his fastballs "left a blazing, comet-like tail that remained visible long after the ball was caught."

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/notebooks/20010520basnot.asp
   96. Repoz Posted: February 06, 2002 at 05:40 PM (#554071)
Stu
   97. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: February 06, 2002 at 06:28 PM (#554072)
Repoz, I'm sorry, but that's complete bull pucky.

I hate the Yankees as much as the next fellow, but to cry that the Yanks have a "monopoly" without explanation isn't analysis, it's whining. Pray tell, what advantages do the Yankees have now that they didn't have from 1984-1994 when they were utterly average? I don't see a single one, except perhaps that there are a few more players seeing free agency now.

What the Yankees have done under Gene Michael and then Brian Cashman is remarkable. Yes, they have financial advantages. But those financial advantages are mainly due not to the size of their market, but to the wonderful job the Yankees have done (as they have almost always done) of selling the team, of marketing. Winning the nearts and minds of fans is mainly about marketing, and the Yankees are incredibly good at it. The Yankees see the whole country, nay the whole world, as their market. And they cater to it.

They have exploited those financial advantages on the field, as well. Should the Yankees not be allowed to spend their money where they see fit? Should Drew Henson have been forced to play baseball instead of using his skills as a bargaining chip? Should the Yankees not be allowed to spend $5,000 instead of $2,000 as a bonus for that Dominican youngster with the good arm? Should draft picks be forced to sign penny-ante contracts with teams too cheap to get out there and compete? You might begrudge Jorge Posada and Jason Giambi and Derek Jeter their millions, but I don't.

I'm bitter about this attitude, because it's the attitude that success comes without working and paying for it that led to the downfall of the Jays, one of my two favourite teams. They don't market themselves, and they have reaped what they sow. (You can, of course, succeed on the field without great expense. You need to be smarter and work harder, and it helps to have luck as it always does).

The Twins have problems signing their picks because they are CHEAP, folks, and they will only pay below-market prices for their picks. If you deal in cheap merchandise, people will eventually catch on.

But the Yanks have learned the power of marketing, and have been blessed with a most marketable product. Look at their team... not only are they supremely talented, they are mostly incredibly marketable. This is a team of players who win, and with marketable personalities. (OK, maybe not Rocket. But the rest are pretty good.) That's what makes Cosell's comment earlier ("I'm tired of their act" about Jeter and Williams) so silly. What act? The act of being (or at least appearing to be) genuinely nice people with great talent, and great humility? Yeah, what a tiresome act. We should all be so damn tiresome. That Andy Pettite is a real jerk, too.

The day the rest of baseball clues in to how the Yankees market themselves, the better off MLB will be and, in fact, the better off baseball will be as the fans drift back to the game.

Because of the city they play in, the Yankees are better positioned to market themselves than any other team except the Dodgers. But they're really the only ones stepping up to the plate and doing something about it.

I'd wish them well if I didn't hate them so much.

</rant>
   98. Steve Treder Posted: February 06, 2002 at 06:49 PM (#554073)
Well said, Craig. If indeed MLB has problems, the Yankees aren't what is problematic; if more franchises were run as intelligently, the sport would be all the better.

And if indeed the well-grounded, eminently likeable personas that Jeter and Williams project is an "act," then may more athletes please adopt it.
   99. VegasRobb Posted: February 06, 2002 at 11:46 PM (#554075)
Nice reply Craig. And it's true, if more MLB owners cared about winning there would be more teams like the Yankees. Scouting Scouting and more scouting. Pay those scouts well and it'll pay off down the road.
   100. Repoz Posted: February 07, 2002 at 12:59 AM (#554076)
I am not decrying what the monolithic Yankees have built/extorted....I was only pointing out that there_is_a difference.
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