Thursday, November 29, 2007

More BS Pete

I'm not in the business of hating on PeteAbe, because generally I like his blog, but there comes a time every so often that I think he's thick and needs calling out. So far, the Santana situation has been a lowlite for the LoHud Yankees blog. The last post I put up will give a clue to my feelings about his commentary, but today features another round:

"Lester is better and has more of a track record than Ian Kennedy and Crisp is a proven Major League player. Melky Cabrera is a better hitter and far cheaper, however. Phil Hughes and Cabrera trumps Lester and Crisp, I think. Then it’s a question of what other prospects to include."

Lester is a better player than Ian Kennedy. Hmmmm.....Drafted out of high school, Lester has a career 3.33 minor league ERA with about a 2.5 to 1 K/BB ratio. In 26 Major League starts he has a 4.68 ERA and about a 1.5 to 1 K/BB. He has a history of cancer. Ian Kennedy is a guy with NCAA experience, a career minor league ERA of 1.87, better than a 3 to 1 K/BB, almost 10 K/9. In his short MLB experience he posted a 1.89 ERA over 19 innings. He had a back problem last season. Certainly the track record with Lester is longer, but it's also much less impressive. I don't believe for one second that Jon Lester is better than Kennedy. At best it's a push. In fact, if I were the Twins I'd ask for Buchholz as a starting point. Lester isn't enough unless Ellsbury is in the mix, and by all accounts he's not.

Melky is a better hitter than Coco Crisp? Crisp is a career 94 OPS+ with a batting line of .280/.329/.409 over 4+ seasons. Melky is a career 90 OPS+, granted in limited action, with a batting line of .275/.340/.388 career. If you want to hypothesize that Melky WILL be a better player than Coco when he matures as a pro, I might buy it, but does anyone believe that his upside is substantially better than Coco Crisp? Plus, Melky is a very good defensive player, but he doesn't sniff Coco Crisp for range factor.

This has nothing to do with the deal itself, but we have to think before our fingers dance around the keyboard with wild guesstimates about what kind of value players have. Lester and Coco Crisp is an insult. Kennedy and Melky is an insult unless you include Horne or Jackson. It's going to take Phil Hughes to get Johan Santana, and shouldn't it? If the Yankees were on the other end, wouldn't they demand Hughes? I would.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

BS Pete

From Pete Abe:

"This pitcher was 3-2 with a 5.70 ERA against teams from the AL East last season (not counting the Yankees).

He was 5-7, 4.04 in the second half of the season, allowing 88 hits (16 of them home runs) over 98 innings. The 33 home runs he allowed for the season were nine more than in any other previous season. Scouts have noticed he appears hesitant to throw his slider.

He has one victory in five career playoff starts."

Pete is talking about Johan Santana, maybe just to be provocative, but it's uncannily stupid. Johan Santana's career ERA+ is 141, which is 14th ALL TIME. Last season he put up a 130 and held batters to a .225 BAA, and only an increase to .236 post-All Star break. The cherry picking of those numbers is insanity. During that same period, Santana had a 5-1 K/BB ratio. That tells the story better to me than the load of horseshit that Pete posted.

Also the comment about his playoff wins is just nonsense. The first 3 of his 5 playoff starts occurred in 2002 and 2003, years in which Santana started 32 games and pitched in 72. He was a part time reliever in both seasons, at 23 and 24 years old. The two starts he's made since show these combined numbers:

20 IP
19 hits
5 walks
20 Ks
3 ER

I don't need to get into it any more than that. Stop shitting on Santana to rile readers and generate traffic Pete. He's one of the greatest pitchers in history, and if he pitched in NY he'd be spoken of in the same breath as the All Time greats. Maybe you don't like the trade options, but don't distort the truth in making your case. It's absurd.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Most Valuable

It's official our interim-free agent third baseman has been named the 2007 American League MVP in what must be one of the most foregone conclusions in recent sports history. What was in doubt was which clowns would be the latest hack idiots to prevent a runaway locomotive from winning it unanimously. Here you go:

The only two first-place votes that didn't go to Rodriguez were Tom Gage from of The Detroit News and Jim Hawkins of The Oakland Press in Pontiac, Michigan. ( Send your warmest F&%^ YOU's to these gentleman for making a mockery of their roles in determining historically significant moments in the sport. No, they didn't affect the outcome, but there is absolutely ZERO rationale for their votes. None. Believe me, if David Ortiz were up for MVP with A-Rod's numbers and Alex had produced Magglio Ordonez' stat line, I'd vote for Ortiz in a flash. If Satan went up against Jeter in the same situation, I would have to cast my vote for fire and brimstone. He would deserve it.

This is unnecessary, but....

Alex Rodriguez (177 OPS+, .339 EqA, 39 Win Shares, 96.6 VORP)
Magglio Ordonez (167 OPS+, .336 EqA, 36 Win Shares, 87.8 VORP)

Clearly Magglio Ordonez had a season for the ages. What he did all year was superhero quality play. It was also clearly 2nd place to the historical season A-Rod put up in New York. Going by counting numbers, A-Rod looks ridiculously lopsided against Magglio's production, but it's still a clear win in the advanced metrics division as you see above. Nowhere did Ordonez outplay Alex in that stat line. This is a case of two local guys with a stick up their rear ends about Alex Rodriguez, or the Yankees, or their own little shitty world and they want their names in the paper as having "taken a stand" for their home town hero. They can probably get Magglio Ordonez to sign a few extra bats for them or something.

At any rate, we have the guy on our club that's won two of the last three AL MVPs and he's gonna do it again next year....and the year after....and the year after....Magglio Ordonez will still go down in history as a footnote.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Historical Perspective

A thought just shot through my head about the Alex Rodriguez circus.

Fact: A-Rod is a historically important player (Yankee) on the level of Dimaggio, Ruth, and Mantle.

Fact: Every human being, including those players, is plagued by some kind of character "flaw".

Fact: New York is the modern media capital of the universe.

Fact: Baseball is defined as much by its rich tapestry of stories as the results on the field.

I state these premises to illustrate that any of the great players (Yankees) in history, with their personal peccadilloes, would have found themselves in the media circus in exactly the same volume that A-Rod does today had they played in the climate of journalism that permeates the tabloid/ESPN world that is 2007. Dimaggio for his combative and protectionist personality. Ruth for his syphilis, drinking, binge-eating life of excess. Mantle for his alcoholism. These players, by and large, got a break from the good old boys network of players and writers that prevailed in their day. A-Rod is no better or worse a person or player than those Yankees, but is unfortunate enough to live in 2007. Much of the image that A-Rod is burdened to carry with him is of his own creation. He's a phony. I still think, like the Yankees before him, that history may treat him better than present. When it's all said and done, and the day-to-day dig for news is over for him, our view will soften and all we'll remember are the home runs. Hopefully the champagne and championships. Just a thought.


Lost in the A-Rod drama, I forgot to respond to the most significant moment in the offseason. Jorge Posada signing on to finish his career with the Yankees is the best news we could have wished for, even if it seemed likely that he'd stay. I've written here before that Posada, in my opinion, is the true Captain of the disrespect to Jeter. He is the fire. He is the leader. He is the engine that drives the team on the field, in the clubhouse, and there is no player I'd rather have associated with the Yankee legacy than Jorge Posada.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New A-Rod Thought

Considering the Yankees' situation and their statements about not negotiating after the opt out, here's the way the conversation HAS to go down between the team and the player in order to make this thing work:

Team: If you negotiate with any other team after we make you an offer now, it's over forever.

A-Rod: I agree 100%.

Team: If Scott Boras negotiates with another team on your behalf after this conversation, it's finished...forever.

A-Rod: I understand completely.

Team: Okay. In that case, you have 1 hour to accept or decline this deal, or it's finished forever.

A-Rod: I won't need 5 minutes. Where do I sign.


Yeah, it seems he might be on his way back. Make no mistake, his image has taken a HUGE beating across the sport as a result of Boras' lead. A-Rod is a grown man, so he can't be expunged from the role he played in upstaging the Series and turning his back on the Yankees. He looks like the fake that he really probably is, but this is the right move for both parties in my book. I was in favor of letting him walk and not reopening negotiations with Alex after the opt out. The Yankees needed to hold their word and not cave in if for no other reason than to show they mean business.

A-Rod coming back, on hands and knees essentially, is the only way that this can happen without the Yankees looking weak. Still, you and I were ready to move on without him and we were ready as fans to stick to our principles. The Yankees can't be played by Boras or anyone else. We made threats and we had to keep to them. This is a slight step backwards in that regard, but we hold the cards. We can still flip him the finger and go after Lowell or whoever else is out there to man the hot corner, good or bad. We can do it, and the fans are behind it. A-Rod coming back without Satan in his corner is huge from a power standpoint. It's also the kind of contrition that will eventually win the fans back for Alex. Make no mistake, there are fences to mend if in fact he does come back. He shit in our backyard with the opt out, and no one will ever forget that. If he does anything like what he did in 2007, all will be forgiven eventually. Opening the Stadium in 2009 with A-Rod is a smart move and it gives us a little more ammo in making other moves as well.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Stole this picture from Yahoo Sports. It appears as though Cash Money is saying, "A-Who?" Let the wild Cabrera/Tejada speculation begin. I think Cash Money has a Damon Sublett tattoo on his right bicep though....ask him and he might show you....

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Graduate Work

Hey COH fans....if any of you are left.

My grad work has been fairly intense recently and I've all but given up blogging for a little while. I'm trying to find time going forward to keep up with the latest Yankees news and chime in with a few opinions here and there. I'll go with a few quick hits today to keep you busy, and perhaps use this format to stay on top of COH without writing anything too in depth until major news occurs. As my schedule calms down, longer and more in depth work will follow.

1. Torre to LA

It seems our former skipper has landed a sweet 3-year deal to manage in Chavez Ravine and he's bringing Donny Baseball and Larry Bowa along for the ride. Poor Mattingly. He will never, ever, ever, ever get the Dodgers job and it's dubious as to whether he'd ever get any other job either. He's got to stay visible and hope that Joe Girardi will fall on his face, or pull a Buck Showalter and wear out his welcome in the Bronx. I don't see that happening. Torre will have an easier task in Dodger-land staying in the playoff picture. The NL West is garbage and he should have a good enough payroll to stay in contention. The problem is, it's no guarantee with the younger and more talented teams in that division. Those clubs appear to be rising, while the Dodgers have little young talent to speak of and will likely be on the decline. It's possible we see "Clueless Joe" reemerge in LA. He can only fail, really. If he goes to the playoffs, he looks great. If he wins it, he's a genius. If he fails to do anything, he tarnishes his image prior to going into the Hall. I think the latter scenario is most likely and it's not a pretty picture.

2. A-Fraud

I can't even get into the comments that Boras and Alex have been making about their opt out. They are not worthy of consideration as anything but birdcage liner. In my wildest dreams, I wish the Yankees would come out and make a statement that they will never deal with a Boras client again, regardless of his talent or perceived value. That might hurt the club in the short term, and it would almost certainly burn bridges they don't want to burn, but it would also hurt Boras to an extent. It would rob him of one big piece of leverage that he loves to use in any negotiation. It won't happen, but it should. Every fan in the world has had enough of Boras. He shits on the sport more often than he contributes to it (has he ever made a significant contribution to improving the sport?) and his clients end up with sullied reputations when it's all over. Bring in Joe Crede for Damon and wait out Sublett's development.

3. Posada

To me, and I should have trumpeted this at COH for as long as I've been writing, Jorge is the real captain of the Yankees. I love Jeter, but he's not a captain type. Posada is the type of player that makes a great captain in my opinion. He's honorable, hard-working, passionate, a leader (both on the field and in the clubhouse), and he represents the Yankee way as well as anyone I can remember. Frankly, the Jeter personality that people associate with the Yankees is only half the equation. Torre and Jeter were both perfect ambassadors for the team, the organization, and the sport. They are class acts and deserve all the respect we can afford them, but there is also something to wearing your heart on your sleeve and staying in people's face from time to time. Posada is always ready to grab a pitcher in the dugout and lecture him about what he's doing wrong. He visibly cares, and that's the missing ingredient for most Yankee fans who long for Paul O'Neill. Don't long for Paul O'Neill. Posada has been there and he's better than Paul O'Neill. Embrace "Hip-Hip" Jorge. He HAS to be back in 2008 and beyond. We have no one to replace him on the field or in the hearts of the fans. From now on he is the COH Yankees captain...apologies to Jeter.

I'll get back to you all when I have a minute. Chime in at the comments section and let me know what you think. Your comments will help me drive my writing over the next couple of months, so I'm counting on you to support me a bit. See you on the flip. Go Yankees!