Jeter: Not Everybody Was Doing It

Derek Jeter apparently had his own steroids related press conference today, and was a lot more open about the issue than he has ever been about, well, anything. After supporting Alex Rodriguez and commending him for owning up to his mistake, Derek had the following to say about the notion that “everybody was doing it:”

“I don’t condone anything he did; he doesn’t condone anything he did,” Jeter said.

“First and foremost you cheat yourself; I think that’s the message that needs to be out there.

“And also I think the biggest message that needs to be out there is everybody wasn’t doing it. … There were a few players in this era taking steroids, but it wasn’t a Steroid Era.”

Jeter mentioned that 104 players reportedly tested positive in 2003, and there are approximately more than 1,200 major leaguers.

“You’ve got 1,100 people that haven’t done it; let’s get that straight,” Jeter said. “That’s sending the wrong message to the baseball community, it’s sending the wrong message to the public, and more importantly it’s sending the wrong message to kids, saying that everybody was doing it.”

I think Jeter is making a fair point.… Click here to read the rest

Red Sox Owner Calls For Cap

The little engine that could Boston Red Sox are not happy about the Yankees’ spending spree this Winter, and their owner, John Henry, has gone as far as recommending a salary cap.

Henry said Wednesday he thinks all owners would support an “enlightened” salary cap to improve competitive balance and that players might agree. He did not give details.

This isn’t the first time Henry’s called for such measures.

Exactly five years earlier, Henry called for a salary cap when the Yankees obtained Alex Rodriguez in a trade with Texas after the Red Sox failed to complete a trade for him.

At that time, he advocated a cap to deal with a team that he said has far more resources than any other team.

Guess the timing was just a coincidence. I wonder what his suggestion for a cap number would be now. I’d guess it would be somewhere hovering above Boston’s $135-145 million projected payroll for 2009.… Click here to read the rest

Depth Report: Catcher

Chad Jennings recently did a round up of all the catchers in camp this spring. Its excellent, you should read it.

The Yankees have a ton of depth at the catcher position. The depth chart, in order of closeness to the majors:

  • 1. Francisco Cervelli
  • 2. P.J. Piliterre
  • 3. Kyle Anson
  • 4. Austin Romine
  • 5. Jesus Montero

Piliterre and Cervelli provide the Yankees with two defensive standouts who wouldn’t immediately be all that strong with the bat. P.J. will probably have a much longer career as a coach than as a major league hitter, but Cervelli has some potential to hit enough to be a MLB backup. He has little power, but will take enough walks to be useful. He should replace Molina by 2010.

Further down, Anson provides an interesting option for the Yankees should both Molina and Posada get hit by a bus. He’s new to catching,but has a strong arm and has shown flashes of hitting skill. He’s not a strong prospect by any means.… Click here to read the rest

Brian Giles?

From the San Diego Union Tribune, by way of MLBTR:

There might be obstacles to getting good value in return for Giles. For one, Giles’ consent is needed for a trade to any of the other 29 clubs. A trade also would raise Giles’ salary to $11 million, via an assignment bonus, lowering the player’s value.

When asked Tuesday if he had any potential trade destinations in mind, Giles mentioned the Red Sox, Yankees and Angels.

Giles is a very good player, albeit one with a lot of miles on his leg. Bill James projects him to go .280/.387/.435 in 2009. However, the Yankees do not seem like a fit for a variety of reasons. Most obviously, the Yankees have too many outfielders as they stand now. They could trade Swisher or Nady to make room for Giles. If this was the plan, however, they likely would have brought in one of the outfielders available on the free agent market for a similar price to Giles without having to surrender prospects.… Click here to read the rest

How Could he Not Know What It Was!!

That has been the popular refrain over the last few days among those questioning Alex Rodriguez’s claim that he did not know what he was taking. “A world class athlete, a work out freak, he must know everything that enters his body.” Not so, says Buster Olney:

There is a broad assumption that ballplayers know exactly what they’re putting in their bodies. I do not know for certain whether this is true in A-Rod’s case, but I can tell you that a lot of players I’ve covered, or spoken to on background about this issue, were essentially incurious. The best example I can think of is Jeremy Giambi — during his testimony in front of the BALCO grand jury, he was asked how he knew the substance he was taking wasn’t harmful. Giambi’s response was — and I’m paraphrasing — well, it didn’t kill Jason when he used it, so it must have been OK. Generally, the notion that players would allow themselves to be injected with stuff without asking questions sounds entirely plausible to me.

Click here to read the rest

Joba's Role: Running The Numbers

SG over at RLYB used the Diamond Mind baseball simulator to project the Yankees’ 2009 season with Joba in the rotation, and then compared that to the projections that had Joba in the bullpen. His results were throughly unsurprising:

Scenario 1
Avg W: 95
Avg L: 67
Avg RF: 843
Avg RA: 709
Div: 41.0
WC: 34.0
Playoffs: 75.0

Scenario 2
Avg W: 94
Avg L: 68
Avg RF: 843
Avg RA: 719
Div: 40.0
WC: 32.5
Playoffs: 72.5

As you can see, the team is about a win better with Joba in the rotation for 2009. Given the margin of error with this type of statistical model that’s not necessarily significant. However, if you look at 2009 as part of the development plan to build Joba up to eventually be a 200 inning starter, there’s just no reasonable argument to put Joba in the pen.

Although the data is not neccessarily statistically significant, I am not surprised that it suggests the Yankees would be better served with Joba in the rotation.… Click here to read the rest

Yes, it’s Primobolan

From Tyler Kepner (The NY Times):

It is not clear what substance Rodriguez was referring to when he said that he had used the drug “known on the streets as boli or bollee.” Rodriguez said his cousin bought the drug legally in the Dominican Republic.

“I’ve never heard of this name for a drug,” Gary Wadler, an internist and member of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said in a telephone interview. “It seems to me that it sounds like it could be Primobolan.”

I’m surprised people are still unclear as to what A-Rod was referring to when he said that he used “Boli.” It was clearly Primobolan, right?… Click here to read the rest

Leave A-Rod Alone

Seriously though — reporters can’t get enough

Let’s talk about youthful indiscretion. Jon Heyman and Ben Reiter of SI don’t buy Alex Rodriguez’s notion that he was “young and dumb.” They think he’s trying to blame the steroid use on his age and immaturity rather than fess up and say, “I wanted to be even better.”

The thing is, it doesn’t matter what Jon Heyman and Ben Reiter wanted A-Rod to say. At the end of the day, he said what was necessary in order to look like a remorseful idiot (yes, that’s right). If he would have said, “I wanted to dominate, I wanted to be better than the best, better than the rest” — how do you think fans would have reacted? That looks terrible, I’m sorry, but it really does. No matter what Reiter, in particular, may claim, saying you’re young and dumb (he was 24-27) always works in your favor, especially with males.

Also, people seem to be forgetting that A-Rod admitted to using the drug for its “energy” gains and in the ESPN interview, remember, he said that he wanted something that would help him play everyday, in Texas.… Click here to read the rest

Kalk: Sabathia Not An Injury Risk

The incredible Josh Kalk over at THT is doing some fascinating work with Pitchf/x data, and his latest installment is no exception. Although you are going to have to read his article to understand his methodology, the basic gist of the study was to try to utilize the data to better comprehend pitching injuries and the effects of overuse. The last paragraph in the piece should be heartening for Yankees fans:

I want to close by looking at the pitcher who was ridden as hard as any in the game last year, C.C. Sabathia.

Sabathia gobbled up innings late in the year as the Brewers desperately attempted to make the playoffs. There was much talk about the Brewers’ right to use a rented player this way, and about then-manager Ned Yost in particular.

Near the end of the season, I looked at these effects and found that Sabathia didn’t seem to be having any issues. With this new metric, we can ask how close Sabathia came to the injury zone.

Click here to read the rest