I spy a fault in your logic, sir

Mark riffed on the Vernon Wells trade when it happened. However, what I stumbled across today bears at least a brief discussion. I like to think Arte Moreno is one of the smarter guys out there. He just seems to have a good sense of what his team is and what they could be. After reading this below, I’m less sure than I was yesterday:

If you look at the deal as somewhere around $70 million, you’re looking at a $17-plus million deal, on a four-year average,” Moreno said, before referencing the Crawford contract. “That’s a lot more tolerable than $142 million.”

No, it most certainly is not more tolerable; it’s only less money in absolute dollars. In Carl Crawford (29), you have a game changing player in his absolute prime. In Vernon Wells (32), you have a solid player whose best days are in the rear view mirror. I’m sure Wells can still play but that Moreno was willing to absorb nearly all of the entire albatross contract was a mistake. Just because the term is shorter does not make the deal better or mitigate the mistake.

Any time you start doing things because of pressure, you’re going to make mistakes,” Moreno said.

Yes, yes you did. Continue reading I spy a fault in your logic, sir

What would Joe Torre do?

With all the hoopla circulating around the state of the Yankees’ 2011 relief core, I couldn’t help but reminisce about bullpen management of years past. Specifically, “WWJD?” No, I’m not referring to the preferences of a long-bearded, destined-to-suffer-for-all-mankind-and-savior-of-some Jesus; I’m talking about former Yankee skipper Joe Torre. As we are all well aware, popular opinion suggests Torre had a propensity for systematically obliterating each ligament within the throwing appendages that were his pitchers’ arms via excessive workload early on in the season. But was that actually the case or simply another example of mainstream hyperbole? Let’s take a look at Continue reading What would Joe Torre do?

The Yankee Front Office Situation

In recent days, fans and columnists have been speculating about Brian Cashman’s future with the organization because of some of the comments he’s recently made and the way he’s very publicly distanced himself from the Soriano signing. Some see this as a form of disloyalty, this sentiment is especially common among those who supported the Soriano deal. Some of these folks conveniently forget the comments he made just a week prior to the signing, which had to be addressed. Further, Brian aired his dissent publicly at the Soriano press conference, right in front of his bosses. Despite this, Hal Steinbrenner Continue reading The Yankee Front Office Situation

My evening with Don Mattingly and Brian Leetch

(Thanks to Nick who was there, too, for the great picture above)

Last night, I had the good fortune to be invited to a special event hosted by ECV at the Gotham Comedy Club. It was a Q&A session featuring Don Mattingly and Brian Leetch, co-hosted by long-time NYC sportscaster Russ Salzberg and MLB Network’s Matt Yalloff.

I was joined by Will, the sometimes-contributor (zing!) from IIATMS as well as Scott Ham (of The Bronx View) and his father. Rather than take notes, I had my trusty Flip with me and took a bunch of the Q&A, as you can see below. The tone of the night was a lot of fun with some great questions and even better answers. One of Mattingly’s best answers, the one that drew a ton of applause was a response to a question about him managing in the NL instead of the AL:

“…One of the good things about being in the NL is playing the Mets instead of the Yankees!…”

Yes, Mattingly FTW!

In the videos after the jump, Mattingly talks about the treatment received by the Yanks during the process (“they handled everything the right way“), playing in Boston, the toughest pitchers he faced, the Hall of Fame, his favorite Steinbrenner moment, who were his coaching influences, where’s his mustache, ‘cocaine guys’, the famous ‘get your hair cut‘ incident, and other fun stuff.  

Most of these questions were thankfully phrased in a way to include both Leetch and Mattingly, so there’s plenty of hockey of stuff here as well.  But most of it is Mattingly related, because that’s what we do here. Most of all, enjoy. [And remember, this was done with a tiny hand-held Flip in a dark comedy club with photographers and servers walking thru my line of vision way too often.]

(click “view full post” for all of the videos) Continue reading My evening with Don Mattingly and Brian Leetch

Prospect Lists and the Musings of Joel Sherman

This is the time of year where all the prospect lists start to come out and two notable compilations were posted this week. MLB.com’s list compiled by Jon Mayo came out Tuesday and Keith Law has been rolling out his work at ESPN all week. It’s no secret that I’m not really a fan of MLB.com’s prospect list which is put together by Jon Mayo who essentially just polls scouts. Last year Montero ranked #19 which a lot of people reacted rather poorly to. This year there was a similar clamor when after many graduations from the list, Montero only moved Continue reading Prospect Lists and the Musings of Joel Sherman

Make it stop: The “Cashman’s trying to get fired” meme

I’m a fairly rational guy, or at least I try to be. I try to keep an even keel most of the time. I even try to ignore the stuff that I know will upset me, but the Chass’ and Lupica’s of the world manage to get under my skin, despite my best efforts.

Today, however, I am losing my patience. First, via HBT, I came across Steve Lombardi’s take on Cashman’s for-charity bartending routine last night. Now, Steve never been the biggest cheerleader in the club, but his slant here is, to me, patently absurd and entirely off-base:

At this point, I would much rather have someone who is “no name” – but a real and qualified “baseball person” – someone trying to make his bones as a hard working GM, running the Yankees. Someone who just wants to do his job, and well, with no fanfare or excuses, rather than someone who is running around town in a wig speaking at pancake breakfasts, jumping off buildings, tending bar – and getting his picture on TV and in the papers.

Gabe Paul and Stick Michael just did their job without using it as a platform to attain celebrity status. Cashman should follow that example instead of trying to be like Billy Beane, Theo Epstein and Kenny Williams – making a “name” for himself for doing things outside of the office. Guys like John Schuerholz and Pat Gillick did it right. Cashman’s inflated sense of self-importance and need for admiration is getting old in a hurry here. I just hope the Yankees put an end to it – and soon.

That sound you hear is me grinding my teeth. And as far as Lombardi’s opinion goes, I’ll let you guys have at it. I’m already on record with my disagreement. I was prepared to let Calcaterra wield the sword and let it go. And then this doozy came out from Lupica and well…

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Make it stop: The “Cashman’s trying to get fired” meme

Yes Censorship Points To Conflict In Yankee Front Office (UPDATED: RAB Statement)

[image title=”yankees-randy-levine-brian-cashman-17b796d2d3c4b7f1_large” size=”full” id=”24691″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]I’ve avoided commenting much on Moshe’s post about how YES seemed to have put pressure on two of its blogs, River Ave Blues and The Pinstripe Bible, to wait to see if anyone involved with deny it. The YES Network’s official response was “no comment”, as was the official response from both the writers at River Ave Blues and the Pinstripe Bible. That they refused to deny that something went on, in my mind, is pretty close to confirmation that something did go on. Some bloggers, promoted by YES, said that the Rafael Soriano Continue reading Yes Censorship Points To Conflict In Yankee Front Office (UPDATED: RAB Statement)

Keith Law’s MLB prospect manifesto

Keith Law is at it in full force today, first with his Top 100 Prospect Rankings and also his Team-by-Team Top 10 Propects (both are Insider). To share some of the goodness, here’s Law’s take on Jesus Montero:

We can all agree on one thing about Montero: He’s going to hit. And by that, I mean he’s going to hit for average, get on base and have huge power — the type of offensive profile that plays anywhere on the field and in the lineup. Montero is a physical beast, the rare front-foot hitter who can generate big-time power, reminiscent of Frank Thomas who was, himself, also a patient and disciplined hitter.

Of course, the question on Montero since the Yankees signed him has been his ultimate position. He has the arm strength to remain a catcher, but takes way too long to get rid of the ball. He’s not a bad athlete, but his bulk has always made it hard for him to get his body moving quickly the way a catcher has to move to block balls or jump out of the crouch to throwing position. There’s also a concern about the long-term effects that catching will have on Montero’s knees. He is listed at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, and only five players in MLB history have caught 200 games at or above those numbers, three of them (Joe Mauer, Chris Snyder, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia) have had knee and/or back problems.

With a bat this potentially strong, why risk injury or give up the 20-25 games a year when your catcher has to rest? Montero could solve the Yankees’ DH problem for the next 10 years if they commit to it, a move they are unlikely to ever regret.


(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Keith Law’s MLB prospect manifesto

Contemplating Colon

The Yankees signed Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal yesterday. Like every minor league deal ever signed, I can’t find any faults with it. Yeah there were other options out there like Justin Duchscherer, but that Colon could be had on a minor league deal alleviates the Yankees of a good amount of risk. It’s damn near impossible to complain about a deal like this. It’s the definition of minimal risk, even if the possibility for reward isn’t all that great. But, that’s the point of minor league signings, right? Think of this signing–and the Mark Prior one–like you’re Continue reading Contemplating Colon