"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Washed Out

Well, the Yankees and Orioles have been rained out in Baltimore tonight, but there is some Yankee news to report. With Hideki Matsui able to play the field again, the Yanks have demoted Kevin Reese and brought up Jason Anderson.

For those who don’t remember him from 2003, when he made the Yankees out of spring training as a 23-year-old rookie, Anderson is a now-26-year-old righty reliever who has a strong minor league track record (3.35 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 7.93 K/9, 2.54 K/9, 3.13 K/BB through 2004), but was unable to capitalize upon his best major league opportunity in 2003. That year he made 28 of his 29 career major league apperances. After 22 games with the Yankees in 2003, Anderson was dealt accross town in the Armando Benitez trade and eventually wound up in the Indians system before returning to the Yankees via a waver claim just over a year ago, having appeared in just seven more games total for the Mets and Indians.

In Columbus this season, Anderson has been the Clipper’s best reliever, improving upon that minor league career line thusly: 2.85 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, .189 BAA, 7.99 K/9, 2.09 BB/9, 3.81 K/BB (47.1 IP, 30 H, 42 K, 11 BB, 4 HR)

Having Anderson on the team is a step in the right direction as he’s been excellent in Columbus thus far and could make one of the Yankees Bad Three (Stanton, Quantrill, Groom) expendable if he finally puts it together at the major league level.

Incidentally, as luck would have it, the Yankees got rained out on the night Joe Torre finally figured out the Yankees’ ideal line-up. According to MLB Gameday:

R – Jeter (SS)
L – Cano (2B)
R – Sheffield (RF)
R – Rodriguez (3B)
L – Matsui (LF)
S – Posada (C)
L – Giambi (DH)
S – Williams (CF)
L – Martinez (1B)

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1 Simone   ~  Jun 29, 2005 6:55 pm

1.  No Yankees game for you, ESPN. Damn, the line up was perfect though. I hope that Joe remembers it when the Yankees play Detroit. I could do with Bernie out of center, but Womack isn't in the line up and that makes me very happy so that'll do, Joe. That'll do. Have you all noticed that Womack has been playing less and less? Wonderful.

Did you see Kenny Rogers shoving the camera and the cameraman? Too funny. The guy is pressing charges. I just can't take this stuff seriously. RJ's camera incident pales in comparison though I'm pretty sure that Rogers didn't add the memorable, "don't talk back to me" line. LOL! Ah, the life of privileged wealthy professional athletes.

2 singledd   ~  Jun 29, 2005 7:47 pm

2.  There is a lot of panic going on, and talk of 'blowing up' the team and looking to the future. Talk of trading Shef. To step back and remind us all of a few things:
1) this Spring, on paper, the Yanks were picked by virtually everyone to make the PS.
2) with Cano at 2nd instead of Womack, and Wang instead of Wright, we are even better then in the Spring.
3) The Angles and Oakland in the last few Years, Houston and the Sox last year, and many, many teams have been further out of 1st or the WC then we are now... and made it.
4) Trade Sheff? Can we wait until this winter? He will be just as valuable.

5) Do you really think RJ won't be better in the 2nd half then the first? Do you think Jason will be better in the 2nd half then first? If Brown comes back, pain that he is, won't he be better the Henn?
6) Are the other teams that are within 5 games of the WC giving up? Are their fans?
7) Does it make sense to look at 'shake ups' that at best are a minor gain, while we continue to keep the cancer in LF?
8) Is Tino at 1B and Bernie in LF (and Jason as DH) an overall improvement in D over Jason at 1B and Womack in LF (and Bernie at DH)? It's certainly better O. I think its a small improvement without making a trade.
9) Is it possible for us to play as badly and unprofessionally in the 2nd half as we already have?

How about this. We trade Wright to TB, or some other pitching thirsty club for some minimum salary prospect.. straight up. We pay for Wright, they pay for the prospect.
We get youth and get rid of someone we dont need/want, and it doesn't cost us a dime more then we are spending now. They get a pitcher who COULD POSSIBLE be decent for the league minimum, be get a young guy and gain by subtraction. Radical... but reasonable.

The answers lie within... not because we are inflexible, but because we have plenty of talent. If RJ does NOT get better, if we continue to run and field sloppy, if we continue to lead MLB in LOB, if we continue to throw fat pitches on 0-2... swapping Sheff for Cameron or other tweaks won't make a spit of difference.

We can build for the future in the winter.
We are 4 games out of the WC. We can beat Minn and Texas. If we simply play the game right, with the folks we have, we can win.

If we can get bullpen help and some outfield help (hopefully from the farm), we can limp our way into the postseason.

It ain't over till it's over and the fat lady sings. The fat lady isn't even warmed up yet, so lets not panic. We can be and should be bummed. The Yanks have been embarrassing, flat and downright un-Yankeelike. But we ain't done yet.

3 Simone   ~  Jun 29, 2005 7:54 pm

3.  I don't view trading Sheffield as blowing up the team. I view it as a way to get better now and improve the Yankees' chances of making the playoffs this season. If they make the playoffs, I think that they can win the World Series with RJ, Mussina and Pavano on the mound, but I don't see how they can't get there as the team is formulated at the moment. Trading Sheffield can bring back a centerfielder and a couple prospects who can be packaged for a right fielder and a reliever. Yes, the offense will miss Sheffield's bat, but they should be fine with Matsui and Jorge heating up along with Giambi's contributions.

4 yankees fan   ~  Jun 29, 2005 8:34 pm

4.  i think that derek jeter should be moved to center alex rodriguez moved to ss and put russ johnson on 3b i mean jeter covers the whole field anyway

5 Simone   ~  Jun 29, 2005 8:55 pm

5.  Based on Sheffield's obnoxius comments, he isn't going anywhere. The Yankees better not extend his contract after the season. Let him go somewhere else where he can be happy. Imagine the Yankees could have signed Vlad.


6 brockdc   ~  Jun 29, 2005 9:18 pm

6.  This is all moot because Torre will continue to "manage" this team and will continue to make crippling in-game decisions.

7 Nick from Washington Heights   ~  Jun 29, 2005 9:28 pm

7.  Simone, I usually agree with what you say, but today I think you're letting a personal dislike for Sheff get in the way of your better judgement. Unless, we are ready to scrap the idea of competing for the post-season this year, a Sheff deal will not give us any worthwhile return. It is clear that the way this management works, they are only looking at this year. They could care less about prospects the Yanks will get back. We'll get Cameron and Cairo and at the most a B-level prospect back. Meanwhile, we lose probably the 5th or 6th best hitter in the majors. Sheffield is that good of a hitter. You might hate his seemingly lackidaisical way in the field (I personally don't see it), you might hate his comments to the press (I think they're justifiable and I'm all too happy that he wants to stay with the Yanks), but trading Sheffield, unless its part of larger plan to rebuild, will only guarantee a worse season.

8 seamus   ~  Jun 29, 2005 9:35 pm

8.  "could make one of the Yankees Bad Three (Stanton, Quantrill, Groom) expendable"

Close, but not quite. NY Times reporting that Quantrill and Stanton were given their walking papers. Traded or released. Hmmmm. Wooh hooh!

9 seamus   ~  Jun 29, 2005 9:36 pm

9.  and, oh, that would make two of the bad three expendable...

10 Nick from Washington Heights   ~  Jun 29, 2005 9:42 pm

10.  seamus, i heard a rumor that they were going to send quantrill to florida for encarnacion. did that happen? or was he just waived?

11 Rich   ~  Jun 29, 2005 10:16 pm

11.  The "ideal line-up" would have Matsui in CF and Bernie in LF.

Here's the link to the NY Times story mentioned above:


12 Rich   ~  Jun 29, 2005 10:33 pm

12.  http://www.nj.com/sports/ledger/index.ssf?/base/sports-0/1120108441245840.xml&coll=1


But that doesn't mean they won't deal Sheffield. There were rumblings out of South Florida last night of discussions that would send Sheffield to the Marlins for right-handed pitcher A.J. Burnett and outfielder Juan Encarnacion. A baseball official familiar with the Yankees' plans confirmed the team's interest in Burnett and Encarnacion, but said it would be "premature" to talk of a deal that brought both to New York in exchange for Sheffield.

13 rbj   ~  Jun 30, 2005 5:03 am

13.  Crap. According to the schedule yesterday, Moose was scheduled to pitch on Sunday. Now I get Pavano. I get to be a Yankee fan in the stands watching my team lose on the road. Grrr. At least it isn't Brown.

14 Simone   ~  Jun 30, 2005 5:05 am

14.  "...you might hate his comments to the press (I think they're justifiable and I'm all too happy that he wants to stay with the Yanks), but trading Sheffield, unless its part of larger plan to rebuild, will only guarantee a worse season."

Nick, I just don't agree with you. The Yankees are a .500 team with Sheffield so maybe they can get worse, but not by much. You may be happy that he wants to stay with the Yankees unless the team he is traded to reworks his contract, but Sheffield's comments severely limit the trade scenarios for the Yankees. The Yankees have to trade someone to improve the team if they are going make a run for the Wild Card and if it isn't Sheffield, it very likely will be Cano and/or Wang.

About Sheffield comments to the press, they are self-serving and disingenuous. Anything that he "sacrificed" (because apparently multimillionaire athletes deferring money is a sacrifice), he did so because he was so shortsighted and cheap that he fired his agent, Scott Boras, and negotiated the deal himself.

15 Dan M   ~  Jun 30, 2005 5:14 am

15.  I like his comments about the concessions he made. Only thing is, the Yankees were bidding against themselves. He had no place else to go. If he did make concesions, it was to make himself more attractive so they wouldn't sign Vlad.

Come spring training, he'll be moaning and groaning about an extension, and will be a total headache.

16 Simone   ~  Jun 30, 2005 5:27 am

16.  I wanted add to my most recent comments: I'm not saying that the Yankees should trade Sheffield for a bag of balls. However, they should carefully consider their options and if good trade presents itself like the rumored Marlins one, take it.

The Yankees' season is at a critical moment much like the Red Sox's was last year when Theo Epstein made the risky move of trading Nomar. Trading Sheffield is just as risky, but he is valuable chip and can bring back the necessary players to bolster the team and save the season.

17 Nick from Washington Heights   ~  Jun 30, 2005 5:36 am

17.  quite a few people are making the parallel with the Nomar trade last year. I don't think it fits mainly because Nomar was not nearly as important a player to his team as Sheff has become with the Yanks. The Yanks are .500 team with Sheff. Without, they dip to competing for last place with the Rays.

Simone, what is the rumored Marlins trade? I'm not against trading Sheff but I have serious doubts that any deal would bring back what the Yanks need for now and the future. If it is a good offer, then of course it should get done.

18 Yanks in NH   ~  Jun 30, 2005 6:02 am

18.  What is this obsession with everyone thinking the Yankees have to make a trade to make a run for the playoffs? I wholeheartedly agree with singledd's analysis - the team simply needs to play up to its potential, or even just a little better and we'll be fine.

It seems like everyone wants to make a trade for the sake of making a trade, but I don't care what kind of deal they can make, it still won't make a bit of difference unless the majority of the players play up to (or even close) to their potential instead of well below!

Everyone also seems to be complaining about Torre's coaching (and he has made questionable moves for sure) but hey, the guy got us 4 World Championships in 5 years and 2 more appearances to boot! Nobody was complaining then and if his formula wears out certain pitchers, you can't complain about the results because I don't see anyone else out there with better results to show!

19 Max   ~  Jun 30, 2005 6:03 am

19.  Count me in with the group that intensely dislikes the idea of trading Sheffield. There are far worse problems on this team than his bat and defense.

20 Yanks in NH   ~  Jun 30, 2005 6:04 am

20.  Nomar was doing nothing when they traded him - Sheff is doing quite a bit more than that! Don't see the comparison at all.

21 Max   ~  Jun 30, 2005 6:30 am

21.  Not sure it's fair to say Nomar was doing "nothing"...it's easy to see in retrospect that he was breaking down physically in his last days with the Sox (continuing through to his current disastrous stint with the Cubs), but he was still fairly productive offensively at the time the trade was made, and had many good moments that were overlooked.

Defensively however, he was a total liability, his clubhouse demeanor had become an issue, and he was going to walk at the end of last season if he wasn't traded.

Agree that the comparison with Sheff's situation is strained, apart from the broad goal of using a trade to shake up an underachieving team, and getting better defensively.

22 domvjr   ~  Jun 30, 2005 6:53 am

22.  Let me add my 2 cents. Keep Sheff, he may be a pain in the ass, and seems to be slipping defensively this year, but he is dangerous at the plate. The Yanks need his O.

23 JohnnyC   ~  Jun 30, 2005 7:23 am

23.  brockdc, I feel you, man. but we still get comments like Yanks in NH's as if Torre was the difference in 4 championships. LOL, the Yankees were the AL's winningest team in 1994, one game away from the ALCS in 1995...all without the genius of Torre. The Yankees' dynasty was the product of, for the most part, 2 men: Gene Michael and Buck Showalter...Michael assembled the parts and Showalter taught them how to win. What's more, 95% of his coaching staff was not hired by him but given to him on a silver platter...he barely even knew Don Zimmer and Mel Stottlemyre before Arthur Richman inveigled George to hire them. Every time Torre has had to stand alone on the merits of his so-called managing, he has failed. Failed with teams that had the highest payrolls AND have been concensus picks to at least play in the World Series if not win EVERY SEASON SINCE 1998. How can this be more clear?

24 jedi   ~  Jun 30, 2005 7:52 am

24.  CF Derek Jeter
DH Bernie Williams
RF Gary Sheffield
SS Alex Rodriquez
LF Hideki Matsui
C Jorge Posada
1B Jason Giambi/Tino Martinez
2B Robinson Cano
3B Eric Duncan

It's as simple as that and no trades or money have to be exchanged. Suck it up Jeter...we need your arm and speed in center...do it for the team dammit!

25 Yanks in NH   ~  Jun 30, 2005 7:53 am

25.  Boy, its so easy - just put it on autopilot and let it go! Assembling talent is one thing - but getting them to play to that talent level is another thing. I never said Torre was the key difference - but a definite part of the recipe in getting the most out of the players. You don't win 4 Championships in 5 years and contend for the Championship 2 other years just because you have great talent, because others have had great talent as well with nothing to show for it.

Based on your theory, this team should not even need a manager, because on paper the talent should guarantee a World Championship - but it just doesn't work that way, does it!

Complain about this year if you want, because he's not getting them to play at the level they should (at least not yet!) But, you cannot knock his part in their success!

26 JohnnyC   ~  Jun 30, 2005 8:47 am

26.  "Assembling talent is one thing - but getting them to play to that talent level is another thing."

Name me one player other than Scott Brosius (and his best BA was in 1996 with Oakland)who was not a product of the Yankees farm system or acquired after Torre's first Spring Training who had his career year under Torre's guidance. You won't find a single starting pitcher or relief pitcher.

27 Nick from Washington Heights   ~  Jun 30, 2005 8:53 am

27.  this is a fun question (I know it's probably rhetorical) and I might be wrong because he probably played under Showalter but didn't Mariano Duncan bat .340 in 1996. Also, Charlie Hayes had a career year under Torre. Also Jeff Nelson's best years were with Torre. Same with Stanton (part 1). Who else? Must be a couple more.

28 Nick from Washington Heights   ~  Jun 30, 2005 8:53 am

28.  Oh yeah, Tino's 2nd year with the Yanks was a career year.

29 jedi   ~  Jun 30, 2005 9:11 am

29.  El Duque
Jason Grimsley

All ptichers who had career years under Torre and not from the farm

30 Rich   ~  Jun 30, 2005 9:19 am

30.  El Duque had never pitched in MLB before, had spent time in the Yankees' farm system, and had been coached extensively by Billy Connors.

Irabu was too awful to count.

Wetteland had better seasons with Montreal.

Grimsley had a better season with KC.

31 Yanks in NH   ~  Jun 30, 2005 9:24 am

31.  Good point - a great manager gets production from all around not requiring any individual player to have a career year to win.

And hey, who cares whether anybody had career years - Championship Ring's are more important in my book!

32 Yanks in NH   ~  Jun 30, 2005 9:29 am

32.  Again, I never said it was all Torre - he had the benefits of a great farm system and aggressive recruiting of talent, strong predecessors preparing the way, top coaches, and a limitless payroll - but in the end, he put it together and brought home multiple championships, so he must have done something right!

33 jedi   ~  Jun 30, 2005 9:50 am

33.  "El Duque had never pitched in MLB before, had spent time in the Yankees' farm system, and had been coached extensively by Billy Connors.

Irabu was too awful to count.

Wetteland had better seasons with Montreal.

Grimsley had a better season with KC. "

I thought you were talking about "career year" here, not "years"

- Wetteland's 1996 World Series MVP Season is hands down his best season of his life! 1993 in Montreal can be stiff competition but the overall diverence is the World Series Title and MVP status under Torre. His best "career year" was under Torre

Grimsley and Irabu I'll give you, but they are boderline, because they had major impacts in their careers in their first years under Torre regardless of how they turned out

34 uburoisc   ~  Jun 30, 2005 10:14 am

34.  singledd, I agree with your comments; I think you're spot on, thanks. Oh, and Sheff is a Yankee, period. He carried the team through much of last season and has been everything NY has asked of him: tough, competitive, and consistent. He can play in NY and belongs in NY; you don't trade the guy who produces, it kills morale; you sit the guy who doesn't. I think the team needs to fix a couple holes (and Torre might be one of them) and they will get the wild card.

35 Simone   ~  Jun 30, 2005 5:02 pm

35.  Nick, the rumored Marlins trade is Burnett and Encarnacion for Sheffield. The Yankees could then trade Encarnacion for a right fielder and a reliever is possible. Maybe then Wang could be traded for Kotsay. The Yankees need at least 3 pieces to become a playoff team and they have to make moves sooner than later whether they involve Sheffield or someone else.

36 brockdc   ~  Jun 30, 2005 6:42 pm

36.  Jedi, Yanks:

Torre has made some glaring tactical errors over the past nine years. They've become increasingly more frequent (me thinks) over time, due to the departures of Maz and Zim.

We'll never know for sure just how much of those championship teams' success was due to Torre's managing. How much of it was a product of great talent and/or the Maz-Zim effect?

Either way, you must admit that his current line of decision making is enigmatic at best and destructive at worst.

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