Friday, November 30, 2007

Please Don't Do This

If the Yankees include Phil Hughes in a trade for Johan Santana, I will be apopletic. Apocalyptic. And fucking miserable.

Phil Hughes will have as much value as Santana over the next 5 years, at one-tenth the cost. And the Yankees aren't winning the World Series in 2008, Santana or no.

Cashman...don't let Hank Steinbrenner win. Don't bring back the 1980s. Stick to your guns. Threaten to quit, do whatever it takes. Don't let the best pitching prospect in baseball get away.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

It seems that ARod is heading back to the Yankees. Check out No Maas' interview with Tyler Kepner on the subject.

So much about this scenario is so implausible, I can't believe it's really happening. Not only does Scott Boras need to allow ARod to venture out into the world on his own, ARod has to come crawling back to the Baby Bosses begging for his job back, he has to accept less money than he would have gotten a few weeks ago, and the Yankees' brass needs to go back on their word about not signing ARod once he opts out.

I am truly of two minds about ARod's return. Obviously, his production would have been impossible to replace, and Miguel Cabrera wasn't walking through that door without losing either Hughes or Chamberlain. However, I really don't fucking like the guy a bit, and getting away from his ongoing soap opera would have been lovely.

Dealing with ARod is a constant struggle for me as a fan, because the rational is constantly colliding with the irrational. My head knows they can't make the playoffs without him, my heart wants to root against him for all eternity.

I wonder how Derek Jeter feels today.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Free Agents: Is There Anybody Out There?

As the Yankees look to build a revamped contender in 2008, sans the OPS and distractions inherent with ARod, the trade market seems like a more viable option than the free agent market.

This year's free agent class makes last year's famously bad group look like they deserve their own wing of the Hall of Fame. There are no superstars out there, no aces, no lockdown closers (other than Mariano Rivera). Teams across baseball, flush with revenue-sharing cash, are signing their young stars to long-term contracts before they hit free agency, so by the time players finally hit the market, they are often well past their primes.

But if the Yankees don't want to part with any of their Holy Trinity of young pitching, they're not going to score Miguel Cabrera, Johan Santana or anyone else who can make up for ARod's lost run production. And they still need to find a way to get better. Somehow. Unfortunately, that means trawling the dregs of this year's free agent class to see if there's anybody alive out there.

Even though there's no huge difference-maker available, if the Yankees can improve by a win here, or 20 runs there, the effort will be worthwhile in what could be a very close division/Wild Card race next season.

So is there anyone who can help? Anyone worth taking a chance on? The Yankees need to leverage their position as a pretty good ballclub with a ton of money by taking chances on guys they can sign to short-term deals. That way, they can avoid Pavano-like commitments, while paying riskier free agents more than they could get elsewhere. Brian Cashman should at least investigate these four players:

1) Barry Bonds - You hate him. I hate him. Even Willie Mays is starting to hate him. But Bonds can be had for a one-year deal, can play DH and a little left field, and could make up for a lot of the missing ARod production. DHing will help him stay healthy, and if he can play 140 games, he can hit 35 home runs. Signing Bonds would also give the Yankees flexibility to explore trading Damon, Matsui or Melky Cabrera. This is what having money is for, guys.

2) Eric Gagne - By all accounts, Gagne's velocity and stuff were the same in Boston as they were in Texas. He was just psyched out by his horrible start for the Red Sox, and never got back on track. Gagne can also probably be had for a one-year deal, and the more potentially decent bullpen arms the Yankees stockpile, the better.

3) Brad Wilkerson - Signing Wilkerson is mutually exclusive with signing Bonds, but he makes for a decent backup plan. He can play some left field, maybe fill in at center, and DH. He'll be looking to sign a short contract to put up some decent numbers in an attempt to prove his stint with Texas was an injury-related fluke. Again, he's a risk, but a risk worth taking for a team that can absorb the loss.

4) Kerry Wood - As Kid K moves further away from surgery and Dusty Baker, he becomes more likely to partially regain his past form. Like Gagne, he's a power arm worth adding at low cost to help out in the 7th and 8th innings. Because Lord knows help isn't coming from within, right, Farnsy?

All four of these guys could end up being worthless cripples by June. But if so, the Yankees won't really have lost anything, other than the draft picks they'd gain for losing ARod. The money won't make much of a dent, and the contracts will be short. Let's see if the young Steinbrenners have any gamble in their blood.

Jorge? Yep. Lowell? Not So Much.

Jorge Posada has apparently re-signed with the Yankees for 4 years and $52 million plus. For the Yankees, it's absolutely worth overpaying to keep Posada in his decline years, even given that 2007 was likely a fluke. At least for the next couple years, an aging Posada will still be one of the five best offensive catchers in the league. And if the Yankees lost Posada, there was no one else on the market, meaning an offensive strength would have turned into a huge weakness for the team. When combined with the loss of ARod's production, this would have been a death blow for the team's playoff chances. Moreover, Posada can move over to DH or first base in the last year or two of his contract, because The Albatross Jason Giambi will be long gone by then. All things considered, this isn't an unreasonable deal for the Yankees.

Meanwhile, Mike Lowell has yet to re-up with Boston. The Yankees should resist the temptation to tweak their rivals and make a run at the World Series MVP. Lowell is also aging, but he plays a position where it's much easier to replace offense than Posada. His numbers are inflated by Fenway Park, and he's two years removed from a season so poor it nearly ended his career. He won't be worth anywhere near the $50 million for which he's asking. The Yankees would be better off going cheap with Wilson Betemit or exploring a trade.

Let Boston keep Lowell. Let them overpay out of loyalty, under the influence of fan pressure. Let them keep a slightly above average third basemen for his decline phase. If Boston loses Lowell, they could very well get involved in the Miguel Cabrera sweepstakes. And frankly, Boston is in a much better position than New York to trade some young chips to land Fatty Arbuckle. Don't poke the bear.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Shocking: An Idiotic ESPN Article

Everyone is awfully quick to pronounce the Yankees dead now that ARod is gone, just like they were quick to claim the season was over in early May. But Jeff Pearlman is way, way off-base in his comparison of the 2007 Yankees losing ARod to the 1981 Yankees losing Reggie Jackson.

Reggie Jackson was a 5-time World Champion who had earned iconic status in New York. ARod is a limelight-dreading psycho who has never played in a World Series.

The 2008 Yankees will also have significantly more talent that the 1982 Yankees did, even if Posada, Pettitte and Rivera all walk.

It's just another attention grab from an ESPN writer looking to cash in on the naivete of Yankees-haters who are over-eager to bury the enemy.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Manny Ramirez Has No Soul

According to Gammons the Great, Manny Ramirez "played his soul out in October."

Wow. How exactly does one play one's soul out, and how does that technique differ from playing one's heart out? To wit, a cheat sheet to playing your soul out:

1) When you hit a long fly ball that may be a home run, an out or a double, lazily meander to first base while watching the ball like a spectator. End up on first with a 400-foot single.

2) Do not slide into home plate, or attempt to jar the ball loose from the catcher on a close play. Simply jog in from third base, and politely allow the catcher to tag you.

3) While running the bases, toss your helmet off at every opportunity, even if it slows you down. That shit's confining, man.

4) Play left field like a drunken opossum.

5) Lots of pointing.

The great Manny mid-lope

I'm also very concerned about how playing with no soul with affect Manny next season. Will it impact his patience at the plate? Will he become a serial killer? We're in the great unknown here, people.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Kyle Snider was Given a Key to the City

From Peter Gammons' most recent column:
When it came to Tuesday's parade, Mike Lowell, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jonathan Papelbon received the most attention. what do all those players have in common? They're the best players on the team, right? Oh, wait, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez weren't mentioned.

What could it be? I did hear a rumor that it stayed white out very late at the parade.