Calling out Jeter and those calling Jeter out

Despite this, Barra is mostly right here:

Though the New York press and Yankee fandom don’t seem to realize it, Jeter has been on a sharp decline over the last couple of seasons, and 2009 is going to determine a lot about how the next generations of fans remember him. Thirty-four–he’ll be 35 in June–isn’t old for a bottle of wine or even a first baseman, but it’s like dog years for a shortstop, and right now Jeter is acting like an old dog refusing to learn new tricks.

Barra’s walking a very fine line in assuming that every Yanks fan is the blindest of homers, at best, ignorant to reality at worst. Then he commits some major crimes that any “true” fan would never let slide:

This will be Jeter’s 14th season (not counting 1995, when he only played 15 games), and judging from the blogs and radio call-in shows, Yankee fans are assuming that he is a walking Hall of Famer, but I don’t necessarily think that’s true.
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Red Sox Spending Closer To Tampa Than Yankees?

From Alex Speier of

This year’s Opening Day payroll would be lower than five other clubs’ marks at the start of 2008. For the first time in six seasons, the Sox will be closer in payroll to Tampa Bay than they are to New York. With that in mind, the Red Sox owners earlier this spring made the case that Boston is more in line with the rest of Major League Baseball clubs than they are with the Yankees, who are expected to tilt the scales at more than $200 million.

The article goes on to discuss how the Red Sox number is a bit low because all of the long term deals they signed with their pre-free agency guys (Pedroia, Youkilis, Lester) were back-loaded. However, the piece does miss a point that needs to be made every time spending by the Yankees and Red Sox is discussed.

There is an indisputably large gap between the Yankees and Red Sox in terms of financial outlay.… Click here to read the rest

Abraham: Yankees Better Off Without A-Rod's 24+1 Mentality

I want to preface this piece by defending Peter Abraham a bit. He has been roundly criticized by many for becoming arrogant due to the success of his blog, an assertion that may have some truth to it. However, his blog remains the number one spot for news from the Yankees clubhouse, and he is truly a pioneer of sports blogging. That being said, I have to take him to task for a statement he made earlier this week, in response to a comment that stated that the Yankees could not win a championship without A-Rod:

In the post of the year, Giuseppe Franco says that the Yankees cannot win the World Series without Alex Rodriguez.
The Yankees have won 26 World Series without him. Somehow.
Alex has never never played in one World Series game.
I would suggest that if the Yankees did not have Alex, they would be far more likely to win. His 24 + 1 mentality is not conducive to championship play.

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More Strasburg Stuff: Apparently He’s Really Good

I know we’ve discussed him before on the blog, but CNNSI posted an article yesterday, by Lee Jenkins that is the definitive Strasburg article, and I’d highly recommend that everyone take a peek at it.  Jenkins writes really well, and gives a soup-to-nuts perspective on the phenom, with stellar quotes and analysis.

Some of the more intriguing stuff you’ll read include some folks absolutely gushing about this kid in unrestrained fashion.  It makes you think he could come into the bigs next year and win 20.   In talking to some scouts watching Strasburg’s game against UNLV where he touch 101mph in the first inning, Jenkins gets these reactions:

“I’ve never seen anyone like him,” said one. “He’s a once-in-a-lifetime talent.” “He doesn’t need the minor leagues,” added another. “He’s ready for the majors right now.” “The only pitcher I could even compare him to is Roger Clemens in his heyday,” offered a third. “This is something you have to see to believe.”

Roger Clemens in his heyday? … Click here to read the rest

Carroll: Joba’s A #3 Starter At Best

In an interview over at DRay’s Bay, Will Carroll, the injury guru of Baseball Prospectus, made some startling comments regarding Joba Chamberlain‘s ceiling and ideal role.

A few months ago, Carroll offered a unique perspective regarding Chamberlain’s innings limit by projecting the 23 year-old could toss 170 innings this year without concerns.

During this interview however, in responding to a question about David Price, Carroll had some peculiar predictions in terms of Joba’s role and the type of ceiling he could have as a starter:

It’s funny because with Chamberlain, I think he’s a better RP than SP, but think he’ll end up as an SP. By that I mean that as an RP, he’s probably one of the best in the game, right now. He would be dominant, would take over the closer role eventually, and is probably as good as Papelbon. As an SP, he’s going to be good, a solid #3, but never dominant.

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