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News of the Day – 11/18/08
Posted By Diane Firstman On November 18, 2008 @ 8:20 am In Diane Firstman,News of the Day | Comments Disabled
After pausing to wonder whether one of the signature dishes at the Hard Rock restaurant at the new Stadium will be called “Pastadiving Jeter”, I now give you the news …
While Swisher can play all three outfield spots and the Yankees currently have openings in center and right, it’s widely assumed that Swisher will be the team’s everyday first baseman.
One top Yankees official urged for Swisher’s acquisition, lauding his on-base ability and power as cheaper alternatives to Teixeira.
Moreover, it’s apparent the Yankees will aim their considerable financial resources toward free agent pitching, having already bid $140 million over six years for CC Sabathia, while promising forthcoming offers to A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe.
Removing the Yankees from the equation is sure to keep Teixeira’s asking price from rising beyond the Red Sox’ means. Had the Yankees been determined to land the first baseman, they might have directed the bidding to a level only they can afford.
Closer: Mariano Rivera.
Left-handed set-up: Damaso Marte, Phil Coke
Right-handed set-up: Brian Bruney, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez
Promising young guys who are moving up: David Robertson, Mark Melancon
Injured guys who could have a role: Humberto Sanchez, Jon Albaladejo
Guys you get a sense could help if they didn’t send them back and fourth to Scranton 500 times: Chris Britton
Assorted long reliever candidates: Dan Giese, Alfredo Aceves
“You’ve always got to take a negative and turn it into a positive and teach kids and understand that it’s not right,” Chamberlain told The Post following an autograph signing at Last Licks in Rye. “And coming from somebody that’s experienced it, there’s a little more legitimacy behind it. But you never want to -– once is enough. That’s not going to happen again.
“And I apologize not only to the kids, but to the fans that spend their money to come out and to do the things that they do for us and for myself. And as somebody that’s in the spotlight, you’ve got to understand that there’s more important things to life than baseball and you realize that.”
Stop asking him to play defense, don’t worry that he runs like a pregnant Matt Stairs, and just take the .370 OBP and .520 SLG against right-handers.
Of the 146 players to reach the 506 at-bats required to qualify for a batting title last season, Nick Swisher finished last . This is a special achievement. It necessitates that you play horribly, but not so horribly that you are benched. One could make an argument that Swisher, the first-baseman/outfielder for the White Sox in 2008, caused his team more damage than anyone else in the sport. After all, he wasn’t just bad; he was bad a lot.
In most areas of business, this sort of performance would get you marched out of town, preferably trailed by pitchforks and torches. In baseball, this gets you traded to the Yankees.
With Yankees fans salivating over C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Mark Teixeira, or, God forbid, Manny Ramirez, Brian Cashman and company started off the free-agent season by trading Wilson Betemit and some minor leaguers for Swisher, adding a mediocre player to a position in which they are stocked with enough mediocrity already. The team says it gives them “positional flexibility,” which is true. It’s also true that if you have a pocketful of dimes and nickels, you have financial flexibility. You still don’t have much of value.
[Editor's note: It is plate appearances, not at-bats, that qualifies you for a batting title. Also, it is 502 appearances for those players on teams that played 162 games. It is 506 only for those players whose teams played a 163rd game.]
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URLs in this post:
 Boston Herald: http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/red_sox/view.bg?articleid=1132868&srvc=home&position=1
 LoHud: http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2008/11/17/at-least-the-bullpen-is-settled/
 Post: http://www.nypost.com/seven/11162008/sports/yankees/joba__im_sorry_for_dui_arrest_138915.htm
 BP.com: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=8316
 New York: http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2008/11/yankees_pick_up_nick_swisher_w.html
 ESPN: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3709143
 Staten Island Advance: http://www.silive.com/healthfit/advance/index.ssf?/base/living/1226921423250580.xml&coll=1
 New York Institute of Technology: http://www.baseball-reference.com/schools/nytech.shtml
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