Off Day Thoughts

With one summer course finished last night, I’m like 95% done with my Master’s. Woo. Okay done with the semi-cool brag. Onto the baseball…

During the series with the Cubs, I was annoyed with the constant Wrigley-fapping. This series, it was (as it usually is when they’re together) the Michael Kay and Paul O’Neill Show. This time, though, it wasn’t so much about their constant discussions of food, or golf, or texting but the harping on Drew Stubbs and how he needs to “figure out what kind of hitter he’s going to be” since he strikes out a bit and hits for power. To both Kay and O’Neill, he is unsuited for the leadoff roll because of those strikeouts…and the power. Sure, the strikeouts are bad out of the leadoff spot, but he clearly backs it up with a power bat. And, he works walks. Going into last night, his walk rate was 9.0%, a solid mark for anyone. Kay does this ignoring walk shtick a lot, especially with guys like Mark Reynolds and Carlos Pena. It’s frustrating as hell and does casual fans a disservice as it does not necessarily give them an accurate picture of the player.

Also annoying was something Michael Kay said at the start of yesterday afternoon’s game. They led off with a bit about Brett Gardner being very hot for the last 40 or so games. They stacked up his first 30 games to his last 40, which were obviously much better. Kay commented that Gardner’s .323 OBP in the first 30 games was “unacceptable” for a leadoff hitter. Yet, later in the game with (the ever-awesome-needs-more-airtime-now) Jack Curry in the booth, Kay thought that Derek Jeter should still bad leadoff. What’s Derek Jeter’s OBP? .324. That one point must make a huge difference. I won’t go further into it because it’s been done to death but the level of cognitive dissonance is frustrating.

You guys….Jason Giambi IS COMING BACK TO THE STADIUM THIS WEEKEND. This will be Giambi’s first return to the Bronx since his contract expired after the 2008 season. I am SO PUMPED for this. I always liked Giambi a lot and thought he got a bad rap during his time in New York. Sure, his contract was worth $114.8M and he only played to a $69.2M value per FanGraphs, but that mostly comes from the negative position adjustments and horrid defense. Offensively, Giambi was a beast for the Yankees. His line with New York was .260/.404/.521/.965. The injury shortened 2004 definitely sucked and hurt the Yankees in the 2004 playoffs, but as a hitter, the Giambino was always a lot of fun to watch. I hope he gets a big ovation when he comes to the plate in Yankee Stadium.

After last night, how many more starts do you guys think Brian Gordon will get? I’m thinking one more.

There isn’t much going on in terms of trade talks, so I think I’ll take this opportunity to laugh at some WFAN callers. I haven’t been listening lately, but over the last few weeks they’ve come up with some ridiculous trades involving the Mets and the Yankees. I can’t quite remember the specific trades proposed, but they usually start with “Well (host’s name), I think this could help both teams!” and is followed by something like…”Okay, I was thinking Bay and Beltran for Swisher, Gardner and Nova. I’ll hang up and listen to your response!” A few things…

1. With Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada starting to hit like themselves again, the necessity to trade for Carlos Beltran is pretty low right now.
2. No one is trading for Jason Bay, Mets fans. It’s not happening.
3. The Yankees are not going to give up a bunch of team controlled guys for guys who are rentals or have big contracts. Please, WFAN callers, just stop. You probably aren’t reading this but on the off chance you are, just stop.

9 thoughts on “Off Day Thoughts

  1. UYF1950

    …and I might add to your last comment Matt for guy’s that can’t stay healthy.

  2. Kevin

    Giambi’s been back at the stadium already…in 2009. Don’t you remember Gardner robbing him on a line drive to deep center?

  3. JZ

    I admit to never liking Giambi. Some of it was emotional, having him push out Tino. But the guy was a lousy defender whose career line with the Yanks hides a very uneven tenure. At times he could be a monster, but he went long stretches when he was just awful. It would seem to me that someone who produced barely half the value of his contract counts as a bit of a bust. Plus, he inadvertently cost the Yanks Joey Votto:
    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/yankees/post/_/id/18392/scout-vottos-the-one-that-got-away

    • Professor Longnose

      Why don’t you call WFAN and say that there?

      • JZ

        Oooo. Burn.

  4. Duh, Innings!

    Giambi was a pile of crap who had exactly TWO big games for the Yankees:

    1. The game where he hit the walkoff grand slam in the rain against the Twins.

    2. Game 7 of the 2003 A.L.C.S. where he hit a pair of solo homeruns off of prime Pedro Martinez.

    These homeruns ring hollow considering his ties to steroids and the Yankees never won. And what did he do in the 2003 World Series?

    Also his best all-around season with the Yankees out of seven seasons was his first one. His next best season as a Yankee was his second one.

    High OBP, well, so what when it took two or three singles to drive him in? He clogged the bases. He struck out a ton. I’m only guessing his percentage of driving in the man from 3B with less than two outs as a Yankee was less than 50%. He gave the Yankees six full seasons out of seven. Also remember he hit .314 in 2002 cuz he had .333-hitting Bernie Williams protecting him. The guy was a walk-fisher who never had the skill to hit .280 or higher. His second highest single-season BA as a Yankee was .271. Crap for the money he made.

    I found Giambi’s contract/time with the Yankees artificial in that had the Yankees won the 2001 World Series, they would’ve re-signed Tino Martinez then crossed the bridge named Who’s At First? when they got to it. Just like they would’ve kept Soriano had his tie-breaking solo shot in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series stood up to be the Series-winning shot.

    • I’m only guessing his percentage of driving in the man from 3B with less than two outs as a Yankee was less than 50%.

      Jason Giambi came to bat with a runner on at least 3rd base 233 times for the Yankees. He walked 41 times and drove in 165 runs. Good guess though.

    • Esteban

      Has to be a joke, right?

    • Bexy

      Just like they would’ve kept Soriano had his tie-breaking solo shot in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series stood up to be the Series-winning shot.

      Seriously doubtful. Soriano was a good player, but they traded him for maybe the best player in baseball at the time who was right in his prime.

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