"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice



I thought I’d share some of the letters I’ve received from readers regarding the Allen Barra interview.

Here is what Bronx Banter correspondent Chris DeRosa had to say:

That Allan Barra interview was rich. I do think he’s caught something about Jeter. I don’t see the joy in him this season. I’m not talking about anything that’s gonna change Ws to Ls, but it saddens me, and I blame George.
For all the defensive woes of last season, we ranked 8th in defensive efficiency. This year, we rank 13th, ahead of only Texas. Nevertheless, in the second half, we’re gonna have two big bats back, Matsui adjusted, and a lot of shitty teams on the schedule. So I ain’t getting too bummed out about this horrible month.

Tom Fratamico, a Red Sox fan, has his own team to worry about:

Good point today on the Yankees schedule. They have already had their home and away series with Seattle and Oakland. These games do not come up for the Sox until August and will probably make or break their postseason chances. My head says this is a good thing. Theo and company have the time and resources to get reinforcements. My heart and history tells me to get ready for another summer flop. Yankee fans should be more optimistic than the Sox fans. We haven’t played the best teams out West, no pen, Pedro is hurt, defense is awful, Lowe’s ERA is around 5 and have won too many one-run games with the bats.

One of my first readers, Harley, a Yankee fan living in California, agreed:

…When is the last time the Yankees DIDN’T trail the Red Sox this time of year? And why should we care if they do? …The Jeter Backlash isn’t new or unexpected, but for the life of me, I’ll never understand the Move Him To Third idea given his power numbers, and for all his defensive faults — I’m guessing they begin and end with Range — he manages, time and time again, to be the player in the middle of the Big Play. (Fun Research Project: Compare Nomar
and Jeter’s fielding numbers in recent Yankee/Red Sox games, or just go back and look at the last time they met in the post season).

Here is Brian McMahon’s take on the Yankee offense. Dig his take on what should be done with Jetes:

The way I see it, all their starting hitters are doing as well as you could possibly expect, with the exception of Mondesi–who’s doing far better than we could have hoped, Giambi–who’s been fighting an eye infection, and Hideki, who may become the Yanks’ second expensive flop with that name.
The main enemy of the Yankee offense thus far has been injuries. In addition to Giambi’s pinkeye or whatever, 6 weeks each from Jeter, Bernie and Nick the Stick would be tough for any offense. Sucks . . . but you can’t blame anybody for that. If they were all healthy, they might score 1000 runs this year. But they’re not, and they won’t.

…Allen raises a great point about Soriano in the batting order. For God’s sake, why is he leadoff? I’ve been saying all year Bernie and Sori should swap places–it’s pretty obvious that Bernie’s better at getting on base and Sori’s got more power. Here’s my ideal batting order, with their 2003 OBPs and HRs (assuming no injuries):
Bernie Williams .397 / 7
Nick Johnson .455 / 5
Jason Giambi .345 / 9
Alfonso Soriano .376 / 15
Jorge Posada .366 / 12
Raul Mondesi .379 / 9
Robin Ventura .382 / 8
Hideki Matsui .308 / 3
Derek Jeter .343 / 2
Of course, the quality of this arrangement depends somewhat on Giambi’s BA coming around (thereby raising his OBP).
Yes, you heard right. DJ last. That means, of course, that it’ll never happen, but he’s just not a top-of-the-lineup guy anymore (on this team anyway), and I’d rather not have the complete sinkhole that is Hideki Matsui batting in front of Bernie.
Torre is a great manager in a lot of ways, but he’s never been an innovative one, and I think he’s too married to the idea that middle infielders are leadoff guys and outfielders are cleanup hitters. This is one team where it should be the opposite.

Thanks for all the e-mails, guys. They sure help keep the banter lively. Since I’m certainly no expert, it’s great to read and share of all your opinions. Whether I agree with them or not, I can safely say, I’m learning more each day.


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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver