Ghosts of left fielders past

Merry Christmas, Yankee fans. All I wanted for Christmas this year was a deep playoff run, and I got it in spades! Next year? A repeat would be nice.

The team that is currently scheduled to take the field in April projects to do very well. With any luck, Brian Cashman will either sign or trade for a real left fieder. Larry openly covets Matt Holliday. You know what, now that we’ve added a real 4th starter I do too. Let’s go for the kill, and secure another trip through the Canyon of Heroes in the process.

But, at a time when we’re supposed to remember all the gifts life has given us, I wanted to take a moment to remind Yankee fans everywhere that Brett Gardner may not be the ideal option in left field, but it has been worse…

Gerald Williams – Williams played 99 games in left for the 1996 team and gave the Yankees a robust 88 OPS+.
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Bizarre Moves from Seasons Past: The non-signing of Vladimir Guerrero

Welcome to the latest installment of Yankeeist’s “Bizarre Moves from Seasons Past” series. We previously covered the trading of Mike Lowell, the non-signing of David Ortiz and the non-signing of Andy Pettitte after the 2003 season.

Following the Yankees’ World Series loss to the Marlins in 2003, every Yankee fan immediately turned their attention to free agency, armed with the knowledge that one of the most exciting and dangerous hitters in the game, Vladimir Guerrero, was hitting the market. Guerrero, who, up until that point had played his entire career in the barren baseball wasteland of Montreal, was fresh off an age 28 season in which he posted a 156 OPS+ and .418 wOBA and — while not exactly a defensive wizard — also boasted one of the most feared outfield arms in the game. And, perhaps most importantly, the Yankees were in the market for a new right fielder, having traded away malcontent Raul Mondesi during the 2003 season.… Click here to read the rest

Gaudin As 5th Starter? Ridiculous.

From Ken Rosenthal:

A rival executive says that neither Phil Hughes nor Joba Chamberlain should be in the Yankees’ rotation next season.

Instead, the exec suggests that the Yankees keep both youngsters in their bullpen and make Chad Gaudin their fifth starter.

Not a crazy thought. But if the Yankees enact such a plan, they are far more likely to use Alfredo Aceves as their fifth starter, according to a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking.

The Yankees mostly have used Aceves as a reliever, but he was a starter in Mexico and at Class AA and AAA — and his ERA in five major- league starts is 3.42.

Aceves, 28, also has been an effective reliever, going 10-1 with a 3.18 ERA in 44 career relief appearances. But the Yankees could put together a powerhouse bullpen without him.

Hughes and Chamberlain would set up for Mariano Rivera. Damaso Marte would be the left-handed specialist. Gaudin, Sergio Mitre and David Robertson could fill the other spots.

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Commish For A Day II: #5 Salary Cap & Floor

This competition between the large and small markets is the lifeblood of the NFL and 2009 may serve as no finer example of small market success. The top four records in the NFL are held by Indianapolis, New Orleans, San Diego, and Minnesota. What do these locales have in common? Only two have the where-with-all to support MLB in their cities and even those two have been rumored to be on the move. Minnesota was part of contraction talks not too long ago and without the 1998 World Series appearance for the Padres, Petco Park never would have been built and perhaps contraction or relocation would have been in their future. Indianapolis, San Diego, and New Orleans are cities that only support and house two professional franchises and all of the above cities but Indianapolis** have lost a franchise (Northstars, Clippers, Jazz).

At some point one of these NFL franchises has relocated or has been rumored to be on the move but there is one constant: revenue sharing (and capable stewardship) allows the teams to compete each year.Click here to read the rest

Commish For A Day II: #4 Umpire Statistics

The best umpires statistically during the season will get to umpire in the playoffs. MLB will not pick the umpires based on who is perceived to be the best but who are actually the best. And like this year it will not be required to have a new umpire in the World Series that has never been in one before; it will simply be the best umpires statistically.

Now that is how to reward the best umpires but there will be umpires who are significantly worse than the rest in the league. The worst umpires should either be let go or sent down to the minors. The hard part is where the cutoff would be for the worst umpires. I believe the first season should be more of probationary season where the data can be collected and figure out what the average of correctly made calls are. This can then be used to determine which umpires are the worse. After every season any umpire who is so many percentage points away from the average should be reprimanded by the league.Click here to read the rest

Commish For A Day II: #3 Expand the DH to the NL

Make no mistake about it the DH issue is more about money than anything. Rather than paying for an extra starting bat owners prefer their pinch hitting specialist. A good PH will command a couple of million dollars a year. Hideki Matsui, arguably the best DH in baseball, just signed a $6 million dollars from Anaheim. If it were a better economy I could see him commanding double that amount. As always you need to follow the money trail. The ironic thing is saving a few million in DH salaries will put millions of pitcher dollars at risk a far more expensive proposition. Do I need to remind Mets fans about David Cone missing a large chunk of the 87? season after breaking his finger bunting? What about the Yankees missing the playoffs in 2008 largely due to Chien Ming Wang hurting himself running the bases? I could swallow injuries due to the wear of tear of hurling a baseball 100 plus times a start, but running the bases?Click here to read the rest