"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Moving On

While Curt Schilling finds himself embroiled in some bad clubhouse vibes (paging Mr. Ramirez), Alan Schwarz has a front-page article on Mike Piazza and Bernie Williams in today’s New York Times. Piazza, in particular, seems to have accepted where he is at in his career:

“I compare it to a new car,” Piazza said recently at Shea Stadium. “When you get a new car, the power windows go up quick – it’s quicker and you get more response. And then when it gets older, little things start to break. Things fall off. Our bodies are machines. You have to be pragmatic. You have to be realistic.”

…”I’m not O.K. with not producing,” Piazza said, “but you do have to go: ‘Wait a minute, let’s be real here. You are who you are. Embrace it. Maybe what I lack in pure motor response of what I had 10 years ago, I feel like I bring a lot of other different things.’ It is what it is. It’s not a bad thing. Everyone knows it, everyone times you, scouts know. It’s not a big mystery.”

…”I’m very much at peace with who I am and where I am,” he said. “I’ve caught a lot of games. Physically, it has taken a toll on me, but I still feel I can be somewhat productive. I’m actually looking forward to being a role player.”

I like the idea of Bernie Williams replacing Ruben Sierra next year as a pinch-hitter, part-time DH, spot outfielder. Perhaps Piazza would be equally as effective in that role too.

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1 debris   ~  Sep 28, 2005 8:04 am

1.  Alex,

You think it's Manny? My guess is that it is the much more vocal, soon to be Yankees CF for the next five years, the soon to be shorn Mr. Damon.

2 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 28, 2005 8:35 am

2.  I'd like to see the Yankees add someone who could share catching and DH duties with Jorge next year. I could see Piazza being that guy. If the Yanks can add a pair of outfielders that would allow Sheffield to DH more often, Sheff and Jorge could split DH, say 80/20 with Piazza catching the games Jorge DHes. Piazza's not ideal defensively, which means Torre will probably never go for it, but he'd be a major upgrade over Flaherty at the plate.

The best (really only worthwhile) free agent catcher out there is Ramon Hernandez, whom I'd love the Yankees to pick up to split catching duties with Jorge 50/50, but that seems like a) overkill and b) something the team would never even consider.

3 Max   ~  Sep 28, 2005 8:53 am

3.  Cliff, why would the team never consider Hernandez?

4 pistolpete   ~  Sep 28, 2005 9:07 am

4.  Excellent thoughts on Bernie, but does he really pose the same threat as a Sierra coming off the bench?

My heart wants the team to find a role for him next season, but my head's telling me Bernie might slip through the cracks...

5 ChuckM   ~  Sep 28, 2005 9:10 am

5.  I think Bernie would have to be able to play all the OF spots for him to become more useful. It's been painfully obvious the last couple of seasons that he can't do it in CF on an everyday basis...

6 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 28, 2005 9:10 am

6.  Because their logic will be "we already have a starting catcher earning $8 million/yr" (or whatever Jorge's salary is next year). Misplaced loyalty and a tightening budget. The same reason they didn't sign David Ortiz: "we already had Giambi and Nick Johnson" - yes, but Ortiz was a waver-wire pick-up, he was essentially free, Nick was constantly hurt and if they both thrived the Yanks would have been in a prime position to trade one (which they did anyway resulting in Travis Lee, Tony Clark and John Olerud).

7 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 28, 2005 9:12 am

7.  ChuckM, you hit the nail on the head. If the Yanks bring Bernie back they have to make him play the corner outfield positions. You can't have a fourth or fifth outfielder who can only play one field.

8 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 28, 2005 9:15 am

8.  Incidentally, 6 is why this $200 million team always has a crappy bench. They don't use that money to pay players who would start elsewhere to be bench players in pinstripes, they use it to collect All-Star and Hall of Fame starters and ignore the bench (and the underside of the pen) completely, making them as vulnerable as any other team in baseball despite their tremendous financial advantage. You saw that play out last night and in last year's ALCS when Torre didn't use his bench despite the starters struggling and the team playing a pair of marathon games mid-series.

9 Schteeve   ~  Sep 28, 2005 9:20 am

9.  I predict Bernie is gone after this season no matter what. If they pull off a miracle and win the W.S. I bet he retires.

10 Schteeve   ~  Sep 28, 2005 9:21 am

10.  Cliff, 8. is right on. They really need to get smarter about how they utilize their financial advantage.

Because right now, it's not really making them that much better than anyone else. I also think they sink too much money into risky ass pitchers.

11 rbj   ~  Sep 28, 2005 9:26 am

11.  Schteeve, how about a rotation of Johnson, Mussina, Burnett, Chacon, Wang.
PS, anybody wanna pick up Wright, dirt cheap?
Small as long relief/sixth starter.
Regarding Bernie, it would be nice to have a switchhitting PH.

12 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 28, 2005 9:39 am

12.  The reason I guessed that it was Manny is because the player brought up Pedro and Schilling mentioned that the guy ''somebody who's not wired right." Furthermore, in the print edition of the Times today, Jack Curry quotes from the Globe article, "Somebody on this tams wants me to get booed to make them feel better, and that really bothers me a lot."

Curry begins the following paragraph:

"Nothing bothered Manny Ramirez. As the Red Sox began a tense day, Ramirez was his usual goofy self..."

Again, it's just a guess on my part, but not one that I'm just pulling out of the air.

13 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 28, 2005 9:51 am

13.  No, it's been widely assumed (perhaps even leaked) that the player who made the Pope comments was Manny. It makes sense. Damon hasn't received any harsh treatment from the fans/media, Manny has and he saw it happen to his boy Pedro too.

I was involved in a good discussion of the racial implications of this issue over at the House That Dewey Built:


14 Schteeve   ~  Sep 28, 2005 9:52 am

14.  rbj, i'd be totally fine with that rotation. Kevin Brown's salary comes off the books next year right?

15 rbj   ~  Sep 28, 2005 9:54 am

15.  Damn right Schteeve.
How long until Wang's a FA 2-3 years?

16 scottys boy   ~  Sep 28, 2005 9:56 am

16.  there's only one guy on the sox sour enough to make this comment right now and he's about to have his second knee surgery in 3 months...he feels like he delivered last year and has been unmercifully killed this year for his performance whereas Schilling has gotten a free pass for an analagous situation/performance...there's only one difference - schilling turns it into a positive by being a stand-up guy and foulke calle the fans idiots for booing him...contrary to perception in NYC Manny get's a free pass from the RSN with the exception of few high visibility media members and bloggers - the fans generally love and support Manny with the exception of the day he said he wanted out of town

17 Harley   ~  Sep 28, 2005 9:58 am

17.  Quick question. Is there any particular reason -- other than the obvious -- that the New York Times sports section is front paging Red Sox coverage every morning? The last thing I need upon waking is to see a huge photograph of Manny Ramirez (unless of course he is writhing in agony due to a disabling injury from which he will recover some time around Halloween), and frankly? I don't care what tired metaphors Jack Curry wants to test-drive on Manny, Papi, and the rest.

18 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 28, 2005 9:59 am

18.  RBJ, try six years, he made his major league debut this year.

Good alternate theory, Scotty. Makes a lot of sense. Certainly a lot more than Damon. But is Foulke a guy that would be described as "not wired right"? That seemed to be a very pointed reference to Manny by Pope Montague.

19 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 28, 2005 10:00 am

19.  Harley, other than the obvious bit about the NYT being part owners of the Sox? No.

20 vockins   ~  Sep 28, 2005 10:03 am

20.  Harley-

The NYT owns a part of the Red Sox.

My favorite NYT/Red Sox moment was the "Let The Sox Win" piece on the op-ed page in 2003.

21 Harley   ~  Sep 28, 2005 10:08 am

21.  Yeah, that's the obvious reason. But it doesn't fit all that neatly with the paper's new ad campaign -- running incessantly on YES -- that positions the paper as the beating heart of Manhattan. Unless, of course, the local edition doesn't have the Red Sox junk.

22 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 28, 2005 10:12 am

22.  Wait, Harley, what edition are you reading? Where are you?

23 unpopster   ~  Sep 28, 2005 10:19 am

23.  rbj,

that rotation looks good but you forgot that Pavano is still in the mix. I can maybe see the Yanks getting rid of Wright, but I can't see them rid themselves of both Wright and Carl.

Plus, isn't AJ Burnett a good friend of Carl's and the Yanks would presumably bring AJ in to team up with Pavano in a youngish rotation.

I also think that we need to all come to the realization that Mussina is no longer the #1A or #2 starter that he's been most of his career. His has turned into a #3 type, 14-game winner. He'll have his occasional brilliant starts but he'll also have his share of starts like last night.

Therefore, we might NEED Carl to return healthy (body and mind) to share that #2 spot with Burnett.

But who knows, Wang could turn into a bonafide #2 starter by this time next year.

24 rbj   ~  Sep 28, 2005 10:27 am

24.  C'mon now guys, the NYT is very interested in the story of the underdog team with only the second highest payroll in sports that is still looking for its first World Series after winning the division since 1918.

And thanks Cliff, I wasn't sure if Chein-Ming was a non-drafted signee who had a shorter time to FA.

25 pistolpete   ~  Sep 28, 2005 10:29 am

25.  Why does Burnett's name keep coming up? I might have been convinced to try and trade for him back in July, but he's done nothing but stink it up since the AS break (believe me my fantasy team is evidence of that) - and you can't tell me it's all about being in a 'depressing' clubhouse.

What clubhouse could be more depressing than the Yankees in April & May? Does that give AJ carte blanche to just starting phoning games in, or to blast the manager because no one's making him feel warm & fuzzy between starts?

Puh-lease. The more I hear about Pavano & Burnett, the more I tend to believe these guys need their hands held - and last I checked, New York is NOT a 'hand-holding' kinda town. ;-)

26 Dimelo   ~  Sep 28, 2005 10:30 am

26.  Just to get our mind of baseball a little bit, I found this entire piece on Kate Moss very fascinating.


27 Shaun P   ~  Sep 28, 2005 10:34 am

27.  Not surpisingly, the Boston Globe (which is also owned by the NYT, and thus is also a part-owner of the Sox - what happened to conflict of interest rules?) has had a report covering the Yanks the last few days. I expected a front-sports page picture of Moose or Torre with his shoulders slumped . . . instead, it was on page 3. ;)

Cliff, thanks for the link in 13 - that was a great read. As someone who's lived in Boston for many years, I think you've got the issue dead-on right. I also think most (white) people in the area don't realize there's any kind of issue. Sigh.

28 rbj   ~  Sep 28, 2005 10:35 am

28.  Re: Pavano (whom I had forgotten about). He doesn't like playing in NY, IIRC. He might be willing to go to another club, in exchange for a couple of decent middle relievers. Of course, the Yankees would have to subsidize yet another team's player's salary.

29 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 28, 2005 10:46 am

29.  Ack, RBJ, you're right, Wang was an undrafted FA in 2000. Sorry.

30 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 28, 2005 10:56 am

30.  Erm, but I don't think that effects his FA status. He's eligible after his sixth year, that will be 2010. See, ain't it grand to promote from within?!

31 Harley   ~  Sep 28, 2005 11:03 am

31.  Cliff,

Los Angeles, and I'm reading the national edition. That's why I'm asking. Does the Manhattan edition feature a huge photo of Manny this morning? I can't imagine why it would, but...

32 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 28, 2005 11:04 am

32.  Re: 6, Posada makes $13.5 mil next year with a $12/$4 million option for '07. That's why the Yankees aren't going to pony up to outbid someother team willing to pay Ramon Hernandez to start full time.

33 scottys boy   ~  Sep 28, 2005 11:04 am

33.  Cliff -

IMO Foulke makes Manny look like he is an easy read. You don't see it on the field but every time he opens his mouth something strange comes out - for example he said he'd rather play hockey than be a baseball player - he's not a closer he's an employee that is told to show up at the end of games and best of all what he like's about pitching is the 1st and the 15th of the month - PAYDAY -

Granted he just says what many of would like to say toa reporter in a wise a$$ sort of way but he's wired differently IMO

34 Shawn Clap   ~  Sep 28, 2005 11:11 am

34.  Money hasn't been an issue here for over a decade. And I don't see "Das Boss" rummaging through the clearance bins for turtlenecks any time soon.

Pavano to K.C. for Andrew Sisco straight-up. Yanks pay the difference. Solves three problems:

1. Having to stomach another lackluster Pavano outing.
2. Gets an overpowering lefty in the pen.
3. Allows Embree to re-grow that goatee while he enjoys his retirement.

35 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 28, 2005 11:16 am

35.  Harley, the NY edition has the photo of Torre walking back to the dugout after making a fifth inning pitching change on the front page of the Sports section. Small shot of Schilling under the fold.

36 marc   ~  Sep 28, 2005 11:21 am

36.  Why do people seem to be discounting Wright here?.He seemed to pitch well a few times when he made it back when he could have easily sat the year and aimed to come back next year instead. While some people may be injury prone due to bad conditioning etc. it would be a stretch to say someone is prone to get hit by comebackers so it's just bad luck this year. He might still even make some contribution before all is done this year. Who knows perhaps from the pen once or twice. Cashman tried to sign El Duque for this year for long relief which would have been great but obviously wasn't in Hernandez's interest compared to what the Chisox offered. After the demolition derby of pitchers this year it would be crazy to count on just 5 and let's face it, Randy's unlikely to be great for more than another year or perhaps two at the most given his age and Moose isn't a spring chicken himself. Pavano, Wright, and Wang all have many years if OK (I know, a big IF) and we have Randy and Moose to throw in as long as they're OK and effective. Chacon looks like he may stay the real deal and Small could start or long relieve. The point is I wouldn't be running out looking to sign huge contract pitchers again unless there's a compelling reason like if we come to the day we have to replace Mo which hopefully won't be for another 20 years.

37 Paul in Boston   ~  Sep 28, 2005 11:26 am

37.  There are rumors that the Boston Globe is essentially going to shut down, with a "New York Times- Boston Edition" starting soon. For me this would be great, since the Globe is not nearly as good a paper.

But with the Times owning a piece of the Sox, the Times owning the Globe, and the huge # of New Yorkers living in Boston and Bostonians living in NY, it doesn't surprise me that there's lots of coverage of the "opposing" team in the respective home town papers.

38 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 28, 2005 11:26 am

38.  Wright is infinitely more dealable than Pavano due to their respective contracts. Wright is owed $7 mil for '06 and has a $7/$4 mil option for '07 (reduced from a guaranteed $7 year due to his DL time this year).

Pavano is owed $29 million over the next three seasons with a $13/$1.9 mil option for 2009.

Read that second paragraph again.

39 debris   ~  Sep 28, 2005 11:30 am

39.  Cliff,

Not to discount Boston's race problems, Sox, Celtics, the city itself (and I've read Bryant's fine book and Glenn Stout's recounting of the Robinson "tryout" and the Sox' passing on Willie Mays), it just seems to me that Manny is not forthcoming enough with the press to make that kind of statement. Manny being Manny is not shooting off to the working media.

Scotty's comments on Foulke in post 17 make tons of sense to me. Upon reflection, I'd bet the farm that Foulke, a hothead who took a lot of heat this year from fans and press, many unaware that he was playing hurt, is the man we're looking for. He does like to shoot his mouth off.

40 debris   ~  Sep 28, 2005 11:33 am

40.  Paul,

That NY Times-Boston edition has got to be hogwash. I haven't seen the numbers, but I've heard that the Globe and Herald both took a circulation mashing during the strike of 1994. If a Times/Boston paper didn't retain all the current Boston sports coverage, there would be a huge exodus to the Herald.

41 Schteeve   ~  Sep 28, 2005 11:43 am

41.  knowing that you guys are going to suffer (win or lose) through the next 5 games with me on this site is somehow kinda reassuring. Why am i so personally stressed out over this baseball team???

42 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 28, 2005 11:52 am

42.  That's the thing about baseball, Schteeve, there's such a huge time investment, day in and day out over a sixth month season plus spring training, that you can't just shrug your shoulders and say "get 'em next year" like you can with the NFL. Anyone with a level of interest high enough to have found this site, let alone become a regular commenter, has clearly invested even more time than the average fan. You just can't invest that much mental, emotional, and phyisical (reading and typing and watching etc.) time in something and not stress out in this situation.

For that reason (among others) I thank you all for contributing here, as does Alex (I feel safe speaking for him here). In a way, you guys vent for me. It's great group therapy. And, as the "objective" half of our little Gemini pairing, it helps me focus when I sidle up to the keyboard.

43 marc   ~  Sep 28, 2005 12:03 pm

43.  Pavano hasn't pitched for so long I've kind of put him out of my mind. Are we convcinced that he's not going to be great and consistent once healthy? Wright was impressive I thought a time or two before he officially became designated for target practice. Maybe we should see how everyone looks next year and just get rid of the scrubs including Leiter and just worry about middle relief as far as pitching. Is Andruw Jones going to be available or did he sign a new contract already? Someone like that might be worth giving up a good pitcher for. Finally I think revenue sharing and the luxury tax is now an increasing factor in the mind of the Boss or his designated sub-Boss and the profligate spending is now just going to be excessive spending.

44 Schteeve   ~  Sep 28, 2005 12:12 pm

44.  When was Pavano ever great though. He had one very good year.

Also, i think it would be great if the Yankees had to knock $50million off the payroll. They are overpaying like mad for crapshoot talent and players on the right side of the career curve.

45 rbj   ~  Sep 28, 2005 12:30 pm

45.  Cliff,
Thank you and Alex for giving us a place to vent and bitch and moan and cheer and trade virtual high-fives. And I hope, celebrate.
BTW, how are bandwidth charges what with these game threads of unusual size?

46 pistolpete   ~  Sep 28, 2005 12:31 pm

46.  Maybe we'd get a good deal from whomever decides to take a chance on Burnett- if it's Washington, perhaps we could swing something for a John Patterson or some prospects...

47 pistolpete   ~  Sep 28, 2005 12:32 pm

47.  I was referring to dealing Pavano, btw- seeing as he and Burnett are best buddies...

48 vockins   ~  Sep 28, 2005 12:36 pm

48.  RE: Ticketmaster

I log in within the second ticketmaster put tickets on sale, on two different network connections, and I get "Sorry, nothing available."

I log in again and I get bleachers for home game 4 of the ALCS!


49 BxSparksNYC   ~  Sep 28, 2005 12:48 pm

49.  Cliff,
Re: 42
As a part-time poster and full time reader, I/we appreciate this site. One of, if not the best for through and thought-provoking Yankee/baseball talk around. Came from All-Baseball I'll go to the next spot if there is one. They say around 35 you start slowing down with the fanaticism of following your favorite sports team (and I'm knocking on the door). With the help of bronxbanter I'll drop dead in front of the TV (with the Yanks on) and my laptop next to me (on bronxbanter)

50 unpopster   ~  Sep 28, 2005 12:49 pm

50.  Cliff, in regards to your comment about how the baseball season requires such a time investment from us...my wife considers herself a 'baseball widow'. As much as she apprecaiets the game and likes the Yanks, she dreads opening day because it means that she'll be forced to live through 6+ months of my rabid commitment to my Yanks.

It sometimes leads to a great deal of guilt on my part. Sometimes I wonder why I invest so much of my personal time and energy into a team that I have zero control over.

Anyone else share my predicament?

51 Yanks in NH   ~  Sep 28, 2005 12:51 pm

51.  It's such a long season and whenever it ends prematurely like last year, it just leaves such a big void - especially when you come so close and even look to have it wrapped up, just to have it snatched away and by the team that you detest more than anything else on earth. That ought to sum it up for me!

52 pistolpete   ~  Sep 28, 2005 12:57 pm

52.  Yeah, my wife has been in hell these past few weeks- I'm moody as hell depending on the results of the games, nights are pretty much occupied until about 11, and she's forced to sit in 'good luck' positions on the couch.

Yesterday she was upstairs in the kitchen when Sheff hit his grand slam. As soon as she came down to watch it with me in the den, the Orioles took the lead and slowly pulled away. Do you know how much willpower it took for me NOT to tell her to get back upstairs?!!

LOL. The thing of it is, I usually get somewhat of a reprieve this time of year because the Yanks have either clinched already or they're not even in the running (see early 90's, late 80's). This year it's been wire to wire, mostly because of the horrible start and now the nail-biting finish. I truly see myself getting a divorce if they don't win it all...;)

53 BxSparksNYC   ~  Sep 28, 2005 12:58 pm

53.  Unpopster -
Favorite comment coming from my family every April and reminded 100 times over by the end of October, "You don't get a check in the mail that says NY Yankees on it, so WTF???" I understand your pain...

54 unpopster   ~  Sep 28, 2005 1:07 pm

54.  quite a picture:

Yesterday, my wife and I spent the night watching DVDs of the First Season of "Lost" with a laptop on my lap, occasionally catching up on the Yankee score.


55 Dimelo   ~  Sep 28, 2005 1:24 pm

55.  I don't have a wife, have had many girlfriends even one that was a Sux fan, and they all knew going into the relationship that they'll always take a back seat to my Yanks. Even my mom understands that, no reason my girlfriend or future wife shouldn't.

I remember being on vacation in Bar Harbor, Maine, I delayed my trip because of 9/11 to a time that no one would be in Bar Harbor - the end of October. Well, I had already gone to the ALCS games vs. Seattle and my brother had tickets to games 4 and 5 vs. the Diamondbacks. I told him I wouldn't be able to make games 4 & 5 because I would be on vacation, I hadn't anticipated the World Series going that long. To make a long story short, I said if Clemens wins game 3 then I'm there for games 4 and 5. I cut my vacation short 3 days, the girl left me (eventually), but I could never replace the great time I had in both those games.

56 Shaun P   ~  Sep 28, 2005 1:35 pm

56.  unpopster, if my wife weren't so tired that she goes to bed early every night, I'm sure she'd consider herself a "baseball widow" too. The last couple weeks, with everything so close, have been especially hard. But we make do. (It helps that Extra Innings does not always have the games on Friday/Saturday. =)

In her favor, she's certainly become more of a fan this year. It helps that she teaches school, and the kids - 99% Sox fans, as we live near Boston - know she's a Yankees fan.

57 Rosbif22   ~  Sep 28, 2005 2:39 pm

57.  Things are pretty much the same around here...I spend a good amount of time each day looking around at bronxbanter, waswatching and a couple of other sites. When this is going on, my wife just finds something else to do, mainly because she won't get too much attention from me (as she says, "You're reading about BASEBALL again, aren't you?") If nothing else, however, she is slowly becoming a pretty big baseball fan and is somewhat sad that baseball will be ending sometime soon (which doesn't compare to my feelings of emptiness, which may be unhealthy, but that's okay...)

58 BklynBomber   ~  Sep 28, 2005 3:59 pm

58.  I'm lucky that my better half is a sports fan, so she understands my dementia when it comes to the Yanks. I have a home-based business with a TV in my office, MLB Audio as a backup for games that don't air on the Extra Innings package, and the indespensible Bronx Banter on the browser.

I yell and scream, jump and up and down, unleash profanities and basically act like I do at The Stadium. She gets concerned if it's too quiet and will come in and check the score. This season, she's really into the team (gave up on her SF Giants early), in part because I, too, have forced her to watch to keep win streaks going, or if we need a rally late in the game. More often than not, when she watches, the team comes through, so she knows she's doomed. But it's pretty cool, she's umpiring, on the edge of her seat and way beyond the "Hey, that guy's cute" stage, even noticing when Torre changes the lineup. I showed her post #52 from pistolpete and she said "So, I'm not alone, huh?"

Whenever I can peel our son off of XBox Live, he's getting into it, too. The Yankees are a big part of the day around here, especially with the 4 o'clock Pacific Time starts, we get the whole game in before bedtime.

Speaking of gametime, here we go again ;-)

Let's go Yan-kees!

59 JeremyM   ~  Sep 28, 2005 7:46 pm

59.  I don't think my girlfriend would mind so much if I didn't yell at the freaking TV. For some reason that drives her nuts:) And I just can't stop--it's like Tourette's. I just have to tell her why this was such a bad move, or how awful some guy is, or blah blah blah. I'm pathetic!

60 singledd   ~  Sep 29, 2005 5:37 am

60.  I think it is important for the Yankees, and we fans, to learn some lessons from this years issues, as well as other temas successes.

1) Rookies can make a difference (Cano, Wang, Atlanta)
2) The best spent money can be on lesser known players (Chacon, Small, Ortiz)
3) The first 2 months of the season are not always indicative of a team's or players abilities. Some times you need to invest in those you believe have the talent.
4) Big money does not always produce big results (list too long to mention)
5) Getting highly paid older players is often dangerous and usually financially disasterous.
6) When you promote from within and get results, there is nothing sweeter in the world. (Jetes, Mo, Bernie, Petite. Jorge, Wang, Cano... and the ones that got away, Soriano, Johnson, et al)
7) Is is always good to have money to spend. It is never good to spend it unwisely.
8) No one formula works. The best teams are usally a combination of young and old, FA and internal promotions, stars and journeymen.

I am jealous that Theo manages to find very solid players for little money, who end up contributing to his team. Until Small and Chicon, we have not done this for years. You don't make a team this way, but certainly add to a team this way.

Have the various results of RJ, Pavano, Wright, Cano, Wang, Small and Chacon had an effect on George and Cashman?

This year's winter should be interesting.

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