"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 1/28/09

I write the posts that make the Banter sing
I write the posts of news and links to things
I write the posts that make the hot stoves fry
I write the posts, I write the posts

(yes, I’m a bit delirious … I blame it on Torre and Verducci)

Anyway … here’s the news:

  • The Times’ Jack Curry has some quotes from Torre on the initial reaction to the book:

“Knowing that my name is on it, I know I’m going to have to answer for it,” Torre said of the book’s contents.

Although Torre feels that betrayal is an inappropriate word to use to describe his feelings toward Cashman, there is no question that “The Yankee Years” leaves the impression that Torre was disappointed that Cashman was not a vocal supporter during the fateful “take-it-or-leave-it” contract meeting that Torre had with the Yankees after the 2007 postseason. …

… (But) Torre clearly felt Cashman could have done more. “There’s stuff in there where, from my angle, I looked at it one way and I’m sure, from his angle, he probably looked at it a different way,” Torre said in the telephone interview.

  • Over at ESPN, Buster Olney takes Torre to task for the quagmire of authorship of the book:

Those passages were based on Verducci’s reporting. They were written by Verducci. But it’s Torre’s book. And within the pages of this book with Torre’s name on it, some former colleagues are demeaned, and that was his choice. Verducci said in a radio interview on WFAN on Monday that all this is not really new, that everybody has known for years that Rodriguez has had difficulty assimilating with the Yankees’ veterans.

Here’s what’s new about it: The stories are in a book authored by Joe Torre. This is hardly a new concept. The fact that former first lady Nancy Reagan could be difficult was hardly a new concept, but when Ronald Reagan’s former chief of staff, Don Regan, published a book detailing that, well, it became a very big deal. The suggestion that the run-up to the Iraq war included misinformation was something posed by many reporters — but it became something very different when posited in a book by former White House spokesman Scott McClellan. The book is in Torre’s name. Says right there on the cover. By Joe Torre and Tom Verducci.

  • The News has some second-hand A-Rod reactions to the book:

A-Rod also told people that nothing Torre could say would be more revealing of how he felt about his player than the act of batting him eighth in the lineup in Game 4 of the 2006 playoff series with the Tigers.

“Alex was really hurt by that,” one friend of A-Rod’s said Monday. “He believed that Torre did that to embarrass him and he knew then what Torre thought of him.

“So anything that comes out now wouldn’t compare to that. He’s just surprised that Torre would talk about these kinds of things because he always told the players the clubhouse and the bond with teammates was sacred, and not to be broken this way.”

Whatever went down that day in Tampa, when the Yankees made it clear to Torre they really didn’t want him around anymore, must have stung Torre worse than any of us could have imagined, because if there was one enduring, seemingly tarnish-proof image Torre took with him to L.A., it was the perception that here was a man of unassailable class.

Now Torre has sacrificed even that for a few moments of revenge. This book is his pound of flesh.

The irony of it all is that the people Torre is most angry at — Randy Levine, Hank and Hal Steinbrenner, Lonn Trost and now, clearly, Brian Cashman — are the ones who will be the least affected by it.

The ones who will have to bear the brunt of it are the ones Torre professes to care about the most — Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Joe Girardi — and the one he claims to have tried so hard to help, A-Rod.

  • The Post quotes Cashman as thinking this whole book brouhaha could bring the team closer:

“I think we’ve gone through so much of the Alex stuff that, you know, if anything, maybe this brings people closer together,” Cashman said.

“There’s always going to be some controversy that surrounds this club. The best way you try to deal with it is to rally around each other the best you can if there’s real feelings there.”

[My take: Well, the Yanks have to integrate three new players, so there is going to be some "getting to know you" time too.  I doubt the guys will be burning the book and singing "Kumbaya".]

  • MLB.com reports that Yankee brass are cautiously optimistic on the return to 100% health for Posada, Matsui and Rivera.  Here’s an excerpt:

“It’s very early in the process for those guys,” Cashman said. “I do have concerns just because we have a closer who we desperately need who is coming off shoulder surgery, no matter how minor it may be.

“I have a catcher who is a perennial All-Star and one of the premier players at that position in this game — a potential Hall of Fame candidate — that we definitely need to come back. He’s rehabbing a significant shoulder surgery and it is going well so far.”

Cashman also noted that Hideki Matsui was rehabbing well before returning to Japan for the winter. The 34-year-old outfielder underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in late September after the Yankees were eliminated from playoff contention.

  • MLB Network interviewed Joba Chamberlain on being in the starting rotation in 2009.
  • ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting that Bobby Abreu has lowered his salary demands to 3 years, $30-33 million … in line with Milton Bradley and Raul Ibanez’s FA contracts.
  • PeteAbe of LoHud reports that Chase Wright was DFAed to make room for Pettitte on the 40-man roster.  Pete also gives us the details on Andy’s contract.

Base salary: $5.5 million.

Innings bonuses: $500,000 each for 150, 160 and 170 innings pitched and $750,000 each for 180, 190, 200 and 210 innings.

Roster bonuses: $100,000 for 120 days on the active 25-man roster, $200,000 for 130 days, $250,000 each for 140 and 150 days, and $400,000 each for 160, 170 and 180 days.

  • Jon Lane of the YES Network writes that the re-signing of Pettitte allows the “youngsters” some more time to work on their stuff:

“Ian Kennedy is someone in hindsight, we put too much on him too early,” Cashman said. “He looked like someone who was ready to take off. It was the wrong call and I take responsibility for that. What I do know about Ian Kennedy is that he’s mentally tough, he’s a competitor and he wants to do nothing more than step back and take his rightful place back in the big leagues.”

Kennedy responded by posting a 2.29 ERA, with opponents hitting .169 off him, this winter in the Puerto Rican League. And even if he and Hughes were to start the season in the Minors, it could end up as a blessing. The pressure for two former first-round picks to produce immediately will be reduced and more success at Triple-A will be reassurance should the Yankees encounter the inevitable injury to one of their starters.

  • Happy 75th birthday to former Yankee announcer Bill White!

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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88 comments

1 The Hawk   ~  Jan 28, 2009 9:10 am

Well there you have it, kids. Torre owned it, so everyone can settle down (about that at least). And that includes Olney, who was as guilty as anyone of criticizing Torre for a stance he MIGHT take ... Talk about a waste of breath. Or words, or whatever.

2 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 28, 2009 9:24 am

What I wouldn't give to be able to turn on the TV and see, on the MLBN, a random 80s game with White and the Scooter doing the announcing.

3 ny2ca2dc   ~  Jan 28, 2009 9:25 am

"the Yanks have to integrate three new players" - FOUR new players! Swisher! Just wait, he'll be the third most important newcomer. Pool on who's the fourth most important?

4 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Jan 28, 2009 9:26 am

Couple of other pieces around the web today, from baseball writers basically saying 'read it before you judge' ... the unfortunate thing will be that the snap-quotes, on Alex, maybe on Cash, will define a pretty substantial work, and one that promises to be well-worth reading, for a baseball fan. I did see a pretty potent extract, quoting Mussina on Mariano 'failing' in the major post-season situations in his (Mussina's) years. It isn't said (or written) disrespectfully, just noting the fact.

5 Simone   ~  Jan 28, 2009 9:31 am

[1] So true. I bet Olney rushed out his diatribe so he would have something to write before Joe gave his first interview. The Yankees help ESPN's ratings and Web site traffic.

I'm looking forward to reading Joe's book. Based on the NY Times' articles, it sounds interesting and insightful.

I never understand that whole "this controversy ill bring the team together" idea. If they don't like Alex, they aren't suddenly going to start liking him because Joe wrote a book. Either these guys step and produce or they do not. If everyone performs and the Yankees win all will be well in Yankeeland.

6 PJ   ~  Jan 28, 2009 9:35 am

[2] I wonder why we don't get any of those games on YES? The only ones I've seen with both White and Rizzutto have been the '78 playoff game at The Fens, and Guidry's 18 K game against the Angels.

"They've got so many Latin players, we're going to have to get a Latin instructor up here!" - Phil Rizzuto

Happy Birthday, Bill White!

7 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 9:58 am

[1] Actually, Torre didn't really own it...at least not completely. Here's another quote from the NYT article.

“I’m comfortable with what I contributed to the book,” Torre said, “even though I’m probably going to get more credit or more blame than I deserve, whichever way you want to look at it.”

Sorry Joe, if there is any blame or credit to assign, you deserve it all.

8 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 28, 2009 9:58 am

[2] If I had to guess, WPIX might still own the rights to part of the games (say White and Rizzuto's voices) and so might want the Yanks to pony up cash in order to use them. The Yanks, I'm sure, say no. For example, whenever YES shows stuff from the 90s that was originally on MSG, they almost always use the radio broadcast of Kay and Sterling.

9 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 10:02 am

[2] Such games are gems in deed. I have a handful of games from WPIX that I have gathered from sources on the Internet. In addition to classics like the Pine Tar Game and Rags no hitter, I have a gem from May of 1985 in which the Twins took an 8-0 lead on Ed Whitson before the Yankees rallied back to win 9-8 thanks to a 3-run walk off by Donnie Baseball. The copy includes all the original commericials as well, so it's a real treat.

10 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 28, 2009 10:03 am

[1] Honestly, I'll bet this will turn out to be a tempest in a teapot for us non-reporters. There might be far more interesting things in the book than what Torre says about particular players and execs. And ultimately, what does it mean for the season? Not the Yanks' problem, period. Verducci may end up looking like a tool and Torre may have brought more trouble on himself than he thought, but is that the Yanks' problem?

Let it go, people, nuthin' to see here.

So whaddaya say, guys; if Jorge bounces back this year and is a sig-fig as before the next two years, is he a HoFer? I think so, even if the Hall doesn't mean much to me anymore. He's a significant part of that lineup being scary because he would provide protection near the bottom (perhaps even behind Cano if he's progressed as much as Long says he has), and more importantly he keeps Molina out of the lineup as much as possible.

Damon
Jeter
A-Rod
Teixeira
Matsui
Cano
Posada
Nady
Cabrera

That's if you do get bounce back from Cano, otherwise he and Jorge flip-flop, then you have Swisher as the first bat off the bench for either Matsui or Nady, and hmmm, interesting...

11 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 10:17 am

[8] Actually, I'd be surprised if the contracts at the time gave exclusive rights to the TV station over the league and team. In fact, I wonder if even today's contract give stations perpetual rights. I think the reason YES uses Sterling's and Kay's voices in many games is because both work for the station. Also, it avoids any mention of a competitor. Besides, there are games that use the original MSG broadcast (e.g., Paul O'neill's 3-HR game and Jim Abbot's no-hitter). In those instances, I think it could be that the radio broadcasts are too old for incorporation (perhaps WABC didn't preserve them?). That could be the same reason for so few WPIX games existing...it could be that no one saved a copy.
I

12 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 28, 2009 10:33 am

I never understood why it was fine to bat Giambi seventh in 2003 but appalling to bat Rodriguez eighth in 2006.

13 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 28, 2009 10:40 am

[11] You make some good points, and I am certainly speculating (a lot). But they managed to delete the MSG references in Abbott's no hitter, so I don't see why they couldn't do it for other games. In fact, I want to say that they do use the radio broadcast for part of that one, but I don't remember for sure.

That copies might not exist makes a lot of sense, though I'd be surprised if there were no official copies of anything from the later 80s and especially the 90s.

I know he's on baby watch, but I wonder if Will Weiss has any insight into this one. Anyone know who the legal counsel is over at YES? They ought to know what the situation is with the rights, though they might have no desire to tell us.

14 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 10:51 am

[13] I found the following doing a google search. It seems to lightly touch on several reasons.

"Yankees Classics has been criticized for showing recent games, including those from the current MLB season, when there are many games which haven't been seen in decades. For example, although the memorable 1978 playoff game against Boston has frequently aired, YES has not shown any games from the 1978 ALCS. Also there have thus far been no shows featuring any of the games from the 1981 ALDS or 1981 ALCS. Curiously, outside of Dave Righetti’s no-hitter, there have been no broadcasts of any Yankees games from the 1980s. It is not clear why this is, but some have speculated that complete tapes of the games no longer exist or are unsuitable for broadcast.

In 2007, YES and Major League Baseball acquired rights to a number of games that aired on ABC as part of MLB's current TV deal with ESPN, including Bobby Murcer’s 5-RBI game on the day of Thurman Munson's funeral. Other games shown through this deal include Game 5 of the 1976 ALCS and Game 6 of the 1977 World Series."

15 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 10:55 am

I also came across this interesting quote from Mattingly about Paul O'Neill. Who does that sound like? I guess there's a thin line between being a "Warrior" and being "a-Fraud"?

Mattingly: (Paul) O’Neill needed to be loved all the time. Definitely, he needs the love. Yeah, if… Paulie was the kind of guy who was dead serious. If he went 0-for-4 like two days in a row, he’d say (to Mattingly) “Cap, I swear, I’m going home, I’m leaving,” and he was dead serious too. There was no question about it in my mind, he was ready to quit that day, so he was the one who needed a little hug.

16 PJ   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:00 am

Just think of all the ratings from showing older games in the 50's and 60's as well. I know MLB airing Larson's perfect World Series game on New Year's Day was popular in my house!

It's a crime that it took 52 plus years to see it again!

17 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:01 am

[14] Interesting, thanks! Its amazing to me that ABC managed to save (good) copies of (some of) the games it broadcast, but WPIX did not. I wonder what NBC might have, if anything.

18 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:05 am

Along the lines of Abreu now being "open" to accepting a "lesser deal", it Dunn really does go somewhere on a one-year contract, I hope the Yanks grab him next year (presuming he again does not cost a draft pick).

19 The 13th   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:11 am

[12] It was Torre's way of publically throwing ARod under the bus. He knew he'd create a media storm and bring more distractions upon ARod before the game by batting him 8th, yet Torre went ahead and did it anyway. Meanwhile, Gary Sheffield remained entrenched in the cleanup spot despite only getting one hit that entire series.

20 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:19 am

Honestly, I think A-Rod just rubs people the wrong way. I'm sure if you were to ask whomever says these things about him, they couldn't even tell you why they don't like Alex Rodriguez. Alot of the things that people say about him can apply to a lot of different people as well.

I know I'm in the minority here, but he just isn't all that likable. He's smarmy. He has a way of sounding totally disingenuous even when he's being totally honest. He has a big frigging mouth and always manages to say the most asinine thing possible. He's a total media whore. And then when he gets all the media attention he craves, we have to hear about how it negatively affects him. 2 plus 2 somehow equals 5 there.

I still love having the best player in baseball on my tean, but I can certainly see how he can wear on people.

21 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:22 am

[16] It took that long because the only known existing copy was discovered in someone's attic only a few years ago.

[17] Perhaps that's a network for local station issue. It could very well be that WPIX didn't save all of its programming because it was too expensive to do so on its operating budget. ABC, however, being a network, may have not had the same problems.

Incidentally, you'd be surprised about how many original game broadcasts (including commercials) are available from places like Ebay. I've kind of made it a hobby and built a collection that includes about 50-60 games, including every ASG since 1973. I would love to add more generic WPIX games, but there aren't many out there.

22 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:22 am

Was he throwing Giambi under the bus as well?

23 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:23 am

Olney this morning says Dunn is a good fit for the Yanks if they move two of Matsui, Swisher, and Nady. Of course, he's completely pulling that out of his ass because which AL team would trade for Matsui if they could have Dunn (better and younger) for less money?

So yeah, if they trade Nady AND Swish, they could sign Dunn. Problem is then they have no RF.

I'm going to harp on Kemp and CF a bit. The Dodgers are thin in pitching and both Hughes and Kennedy are local kids. I don't see how they're not at least interested in either with Melky or Gardner and perhaps another, lower-level pitching prospect. Too bad Cashman doesn't do prospect for prospect deals any more.

24 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:27 am

[20] Everything you mentioned as reason to dislike Arod can be said for so many other players (as Mattingly illustrates above) who are not treated with the same scrutiny. I think it's much more simple than that. Arod is great, so he inspires jealousy. In addition, he is insecure, so he displays a weakness that invites criticism. Usually, all-time greats are beyond secure, while insecure people are far from great. Arod is that unique combination, which is kind of like blood in the water.

25 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:32 am

[23] Dunn may be in the market for a multi-year deal, while Matsui could be had for one-year. One team that I think would definitely be interested in Matsui is the Mariners. Not only do they need a left bat to replace Ibanez (heck, Matsui could probably provide the same defense as well), but the marketing power of Ichiro and Matsui together could be potent.

Kemp is not a prospect right now. He has over 1,000 PA with a pretty good track record for a 23-year old. The Dodgers are not going to take back IPK/Melky/Gardner for a player like that. Hughes might be another story, but the Dodgers already have Billinsley and Kershaw, so offensive may be more valuable to them (esp. if they don't retain Manny). Also, I don't think the Yankees should be so ready to deal Hughes. As intriguing as Kemp is, he likely will wind up playing RF, according to many scouts, and we have seen this year how plentiful corner OF'ers can be.

26 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:36 am

[13] Did a cursory view of their Hoovers profile and says that Ray Hopkins is the COO; I believe the subject of this discussion would fall under his jurisdiction somewhere. You're better off just calling the network and asking yourself; either YES or WPIX.

27 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:51 am

@25

Ah, yes, the devil's advocate...

Sorry, but Kemp is absolutely still a prospect in that you don't know what you getting given his age and the range of his performances. If he slugs .500 while playing an average CF, he's a stud. If he's slugs .450 while deteriorating in CF he's not even a good corner. He may eventually move to a corner (and the Yanks have upcoming needs there too), but he's not to that point yet. He's average in CF right now and he's a certain upgrade over Melky/Gardner. And while this off-season is diluted with OFs, next year the best is Holliday then it's a steep drop to Crawford and Damon.

If it's Kennedy, then you have to include a McAllister plus Melky OR Gardner.
If it's Hughes, then you might include a bullpen arm plus Melky OR Gardner.

Like I said, both are local guys. And while the Dodgers have Billingsley and Kershaw, they just lost Lowe, Penny, and Maddux as well as a chunk of their pen and their system is almost empty. There's room to make a deal if Cashman is willing to part with some pitching. I don't think he is, but he should be.

28 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 11:59 am

[27] In that sense, everyone is a prospect. Kemp is still young for sure, but with a track record for evaluation he trancends being a prospect. As a result, the Dodgers are going to want a lot more for him, as well they should. Personally, I don't think any of the deals you suggested come close to getting the deal done. I am not sure if you overrating the Yankees young arms or underestimating the Dodgers' front office, but if they traded Kemp for either of those packages, they would be insane.

29 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 12:00 pm

Matsui has to prove he can play the field before any team thinks of acquiring him and that's if the Yanks are willing to pick up a chunk of the $13 million. There's no way they can sign Dunn now, unless they're willing to put Damon in CF full-time AND move one of Nady or Swisher.

30 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 12:10 pm

@28

Don't be absurd

He's going into his age 24 season. He's showed sufficient power in the minors to be a corner, but it hasn't really translated yet. If it never does, he's a Nady. If it does, and depending on his defense, he's a Markakis (his top BR comp right now). Given that variability, this year is big for him. And given how much Ethier has emerged and how quickly Lambo seems ready to move, they could realize there just isn't room for him going forward, especially if they sign Manny. Flipping him now for more pitching help would be recognizing a need and addressing it.

Now about asking for a lot, Hughes still has a ton of value given his age and status (Kennedy less so, obviously). When I think about a trade, I always ask how would the other teams' fans feel. I don't see how they would be too upset, let alone "insane", with Hughes, a local kid, fronting a package and slotting in as their #4 or 5.

31 The Hawk   ~  Jan 28, 2009 12:22 pm

Ha, listen ... This stuff about Rodriguez and whether he rubs people the wrong way, or it's jealousy, or whatever - does it really matter? Okay, it's not his fault - he's actually a well-adjusted stand-up guy. The reason he is disruptive and a distraction is because he's so awesome and everyone in the clubhouse is jealous. He's still a distraction, he's still disruptive. I don't need to indict him personally (although imho he IS the main problem, not jealousy) in order to see his presence causes some problems. You might argue any player of his caliber does, and that may be true, but in his case, it's just a matter of sheer mass.

32 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 12:32 pm

[30] Nady had exactly 1 AB before the age of 24. Kemp has had 1,052. Clearly, that immense level of experience factors greatly into how one projects Kemp. It would be absurd to suggest otherwise. Because Kemp has performed so well at a very young age, it only enhances the likliehood of him reaching his best case scenario. Besides, if you accept his worst case scenario as being Nady, that is still a pretty good player. None of the names you mentioned comes close to Kemp in terms of early success and confidence in the accuracy of projections (and I love Hughes).

Your assessment of the organization’s needs are also off base. Even if Lambo does develop as hoped, the Dodgers organization is still top heavy with pitchers. In addition to Billingsley and Kershaw, they also have McDonald, Martin and Lindblom (like Hughes, all right handers) in the minors. Besides, Lambo, who isn’t exactly a blue chip, is only 20, meaning the Dodgers probably wouldn’t be ready to promote him until after Manny’s 2-year contract expires.

While I do highly value Hughes, it would be silly (ok, maybe not insane) to trade an offensive player with both great potential and an impressive early track record for a pitcher who hasn’t been able to stay healthy (especially when your organization is full of right handed pitchers). You simply don’t trade a commodity like Kemp for someone “you slot in as your #4 pitcher”. Also, do you really think it matters that Hughes is a “local kid”? I mean really? Making a trade on that basis would be insane.

As for any deal with IPK as the centerpiece, that would be insane. If the Dodgers made that deal, I’m sure their fans would go nuts.

33 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 12:34 pm

[31] Do you think Reggie was a distraction on the 1977-78 clubs? I could care less whether people like Arod or think he is a distraction. What I think is absurd is the notion that a team can't win with such a player, when the reality is they can and do win BECAUSE of him.

34 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 28, 2009 12:46 pm

Hmm, I determined recently that William was actually Cashman, so could Hawk be A-Rod? This would all be so cool, but stuff like that happens only in movies, which I work on so it makes sense to me >;)

35 The Hawk   ~  Jan 28, 2009 12:53 pm

[33] Well the jury is out, isn't it? I don't remember the Reggie era so I can't really comment. They did win championships though, and have yet to do so with A Rod. If winning is the ultimate measurement, then it's not worked out with A Rod thus far.

I think also that context factors in. From what I know, the Yankees in Reggie's era were a pretty wacky team already. He may have been a distraction, but relative to the general atmosphere, it seems like he added to it but didn't necessarily change it.

The Yankees of the late 90s, upon which the team has been modeled in terms of disposition, operated very smoothly, or relatively smoothly. By 04 they'd already started to wobble a bit, but A Rod's addition put it over the top. That fall they suffered the ultimate post-season embarrassment, and they haven't even gotten to the Series since.

So yeah, if you like: They win with him, but they haven't WON. The former they'd done for some time before he arrived, the latter they haven't done since his arrival.

36 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 12:56 pm

Because Kemp has performed so well at a very young age, it only enhances the likliehood of him reaching his best case scenario.

You mean like Melky?

Besides, if you accept his worst case scenario as being Nady, that is still a pretty good player.

It's an average corner.

The Nady comp was an allusion to their career lines and assuming Kemp doesn't develop. No where is it written in stone that he will. Kemp could be Markakis or he could be Nady. That's exactly the point. He's a prospect to the extent that his ultimate future is unknown. His MLB performance has been too variable to make a clear assessment. More importantly, it's certainly not trending in the right direction.

Lindblom has what 40 professional innings and Martin has, what, zero? Way to lump them in for the hell of it. McDonald isn't the same caliber as Hughes, being older and less accomplished. Like I said, the Dodgers are thin in pitching and have a real need at the ML level. There's no denying that.

The fact is the Dodgers are ready to give a contract to Randy freakin' Wolf. If I'm a Dodgers fan Melky/Pierre and Hughes OR Kemp and Wolf is a very tough call. That tells me it's a very fair trade. Meanwhile, acquiring Hughes means they have more money to spend elsewhere (like Manny).

37 MichiganYankee   ~  Jan 28, 2009 1:02 pm

[12] This biggest difference between the Giambi 2003 and A-Rod 2004 situatations is that Giambi hit 2 home runs and made Torre look like a genious.

Let's assume that Torre did not intent any malice with the A-Rod demotion. He still grossly misread A-Rod's personality. While moving Giambi to 7th took some preassure off of him, moving A-Rod to 8th embarassed him and magnified the preassure. This move seriously tarnished Torre's image as "Jedi Joe."

38 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 1:02 pm

@34

Could be with his extreme resistance to prospect for prospect deals that would help the team now and in the future. It's only been what, six years since Vazquez for Nick the Stick and Rivera? Why start now?

Sitting on pitching prospects is a sure way to watch them lose value. Flip them now and get something that helps the team in return. And trading one of Hughes or Kennedy barely dings their depth.

39 MichiganYankee   ~  Jan 28, 2009 1:08 pm

Olney reports that "As recently as a week ago, the asking price on Bobby Abreu was said to be locked in place, a three-year deal for something in the neighborhood of $16 million a year" (http://tinyurl.com/d9ndhp).

If this is true, then Abreu would certainly have had no intention of accepting arbitration back in early December, so Cashman blew this one badly.

40 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 1:08 pm

[35] I guess I'd point out that the Yankees hadn't WON from 2001 to 2003 before Arod, and were three Mariano outs from the World Series WITH Arod in 2004, but I don't know if it would make a difference.

As for Reggie's influence, even though the 1976 had it's share of "free spirits", Reggie's arrival introduced true hostility and overt resentment to the clubhouse. To say he was a distraction would be an understatement...can you "straw that stirs the drink"? Still, the Yankees won the World Series.

41 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 1:13 pm

[36] Have you looked up Kemp's performance? Do you really see a parallel with Melky? If so, maybe we should just stop here.

Also, did you really tout the 20 year old Lambo and then scoff at the experience of Lindblom and Martin? Again, maybe we should stop. If you bother to look into independent assessments of these players, you'd see they are similarly grouped as prospects. So, if you want to tout Lambo as being on the verge of starting in the Dodger OF, I don't see how you can dismiss three pitchers who rank among the team's best prospects. That is selective, at best.

If you don't believe me about how one-side your deal proposal is, post it over at Dodger Thoughts and see what they think. No one wants the Yankees to improve more than I do, but one does need to be realistic.

42 jonnystrongleg   ~  Jan 28, 2009 1:17 pm

Hold on, did someone just compare Matt Kemp to Melky Cabrera?

Dodger Thoughts would have staged a hostile takeover of the Banter under the old format.

43 jonnystrongleg   ~  Jan 28, 2009 1:18 pm

Even with relative brevity, I was still too late.

44 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 1:19 pm

[38] I wish your portrayal of the Yankees farm system was closer to reality. No one else seems to agree with it though.

[39] If Abreu was still seeking that contract, then he and his advisers must live in a cave. I don't think you can fault Cashman for reading the market correctly, but then failing to read that Abreu wouldn't read it correctly!

45 The Hawk   ~  Jan 28, 2009 1:28 pm

[40] Well that's fine, but I was only responding to your point about them winning with A Rod and comparing it to Reggie Jackson. Sure they didn't win the three years before his arrival - I'm not claiming that they did. You said they've proven they can win with him, and I'm saying ... yeah, kinda, but not in the way they did with Reggie, ie winning it all. So it's an inapt comparison in that regard. Reggie could claim to be the straw that stirs the drink because they did get to the promised land upon his arrival.

46 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 1:31 pm

@41

Um....

You said: Because Kemp has performed so well at a very young age, it only enhances the likliehood of him reaching his best case scenario.

Melky is a clear counter-example to that line of reasoning. Prospects get better. They get worse. Wouldn't you know, Kemp's 2008 was worse than his 2007. There's no telling which way his 2009 will go. Bingo! He's still a prospect.

Then you also said: especially when your organization is full of right handed pitchers

While two of the three you cited were just drafted and have 40 professional innings combined between them. Good one. Meanwhile, McDonald is good not great. Hughes has him beat in every category.

Lambo is still raw, but they bumped up to AA last year in his first professional season and he thrived. They'll probably start him there this year. To say he's one-year away isn't a stretch. But whatever, forget Lambo. If they sign Manny for two years, those are two years Kemp won't be a corner (which you said he is). And of course, they still have Pierre signed too.

Realism ==

Choice A) Randy Wolf and Matt Kemp; or
Choice B) Phil Hughes and Juan Pierre

The tough call makes it very realistic no matter how much you want to believe otherwise.

47 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 28, 2009 1:35 pm

[26] You're probably right, Chyll, but I'm not sure if I'm really that interested. If I did call, I think I'd try WPIX first, because for some reason I feel more likely that I'd get an answer.

I was hoping to get lucky and just have someone give us the details without any further effort on my part. =) If we have Cashman and A-Rod reading the Banter, who knows who else might be reading it as well!

[41] [42] OK, so which of you is going to go to Dodger Thoughts and solicit their opinion?

48 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 1:41 pm

By the way, Kennedy is probably better than McDonald as well. McAllister too given his age and results. A package centered on both may not make their fans happy, but it gives them much more organizational depth than they currently have.

49 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 1:43 pm

[47] I don't want them jumping down my neck!

50 thelarmis   ~  Jan 28, 2009 1:51 pm

[47] i'm about to jump over to cardboard gods and read josh wilker's 3rd installment of his new work: "somewhere i lost the connection" - it's riveting!

51 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 1:52 pm

@ 47

Unfortunately, they wouldn't settle anything unless Colletti is reading them!

For all the bellicosity of lil' Cashman here, there are still a few clear problems:
1) The Yankees will have as their CFer one of two sub-.700 OPS hitters.
2) The Yankees will simultaneously sitting on pitching talent without getting any value from it.
3) The Yankees have more pitching talent in the pipe for only one or two rotation slots going forward.

Now is the time to make a deal. But lil' Cashman will next be saying that Nate McLouth isn't a prospect and that a package centered on Kennedy+ is "insane".

52 MichiganYankee   ~  Jan 28, 2009 2:00 pm

[45] Had it not been for the Yankees' late-inning rally in Game 5 of the 1977 ALCS, the story of the year would have been Reggie Jackson, the divisive egomaniac who chokes in the clutch (2 for 16 -- both hits were singles -- in ALCS).

In 1978, Reggie's ego was certainly one of the major causes (along with Billy's alchoholism and team injuries) of the Yankees' near collapse. One of Bob Lemon's greatest contributions that year was proper people-management of Reggie.

53 PJ   ~  Jan 28, 2009 2:15 pm

All I know is, I'd consider Reggie Jackson's opinion on player personnel before that of Joe Torre's or current players on the 40-man. Seems the Yankees would too...

;)

54 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 2:22 pm

[51] I can see you have resorted to personal retorts...I am not going to engage in that game. As fun as it is to fill the Yankees needs with hypothetical one-sided deals, I think that works best on talk radio, so I'll yield on the argument until a more serious discussion emerges.

[52] Similarly, if the Yankees don't blow that 3-0 lead, Arod might have been called Mr. Clutch for his post season performance that year. I guess it's all a matter of perception.

I don't agree at all with your assessment of the 1978 season. Reggie's ego didn't suddenly balloon from 1977. The real problem was the destructive behavior of Martin, who refused to bat Reggie in the middle of the order for months during the season. I don't think the great comeback was attributable to Lemon's people management of Reggie, unless that led to the pitching improving by about 1 run per game.

55 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 2:38 pm

@54

How generous of you! Ignore all facts, make up your own, call realistic arguments "insane", then you yield while ignoring the main thrust of the argument? Meanwhile, others seems to think you're Cashman, so I'm just following their lead, lil' guy.

Let's see what we've learned:
1) Kemp is still a prospect and one who plays CF.
2) The Dodgers have little to no pitching in their system better than Hughes, Kennedy, or McAllister.
3) So the Dodgers are set to sign Randy Wolf.
4) There's plenty of room for a realistic deal.

56 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 2:40 pm

Meanwhile, does lil' Cashman fight with everyone here? If so, on other sites he'd be branded as a troll.

57 jonnystrongleg   ~  Jan 28, 2009 2:57 pm

[56] I think you may have picked the wrong fight. You should be attacking the guy who convinced you that your "Matt Kemp for Yankee reject pile" trade scenario makes any sense.

58 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 28, 2009 2:57 pm

Shaun, I'd make that call if I cared enough, but I'm up to my eyeballs with re-writes. I'll just assume one of two things:

A.) WPIX has a prohibitive price tag on the rights to those broadcasts; being that they had to reclaim their old station name after bailing on "The CW".

B.) The broadcasts don't exist anymore or are not entirely in their possession (wouldn't MLB have the rights to rebroadcasting as they are strictly prohibited in other circumstances?) and would be too ornery a process to delve into.

What they'd and we'd have to do is count on some guy like William coming across an old recording and schlepping it to them for... well, for what exactly?

59 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 3:01 pm

[58] If they, or MLB, wanted copies of my copies, I'd be more than happy to give it to them for free. I don't sell them...only collect. I have a feeling MLB.com acquired there Baseball Best library in that way because some of the games have a recorded on VCR feel.

60 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 3:02 pm

@57

Problem is, that "reject" pile is better than any minor league pitching the Dodgers currently have. So they're going to resort to signing Randy Wolf. Yeah, I'm "insane" to think Kemp is expendable given the fact they already have Pierre, Ethier, and soon Manny.

61 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 28, 2009 3:12 pm

[60] I almost think that Manny (i.e. Boras) would sit out until either near Opening Day or the middle of May before taking the deal on the table with the Dodgers. He might think someone would come to sign him out of desperation to get over the hump and accede to a high, yet prorated contract. Boras is already trying to stir the pot with his "we have multiple teams in the mix" bullcrap, so I'd be very surprised if he tucks his tail and accepts the Dodger offer, good or bad.

62 MichiganYankee   ~  Jan 28, 2009 3:16 pm

[54] Howard Bryant in The Greatest Game documents quite clearly how Billy, George and Reggie all had significant shares in the destruction. It's no coincidence that the Yanks' turnaround began the day that Reggie was suspended.

63 ny2ca2dc   ~  Jan 28, 2009 3:29 pm

[54] As always I admire your tenacity in responding to our new friend. And for the record, I think you're mostly right. And, obviously, not a troll...

I'd love to get Kemp without giving up Hughes (or Cano), but I don't see it happening.

64 sonyahennystutu   ~  Jan 28, 2009 3:57 pm

[55] Sorry Bum, you're flat wrong. Kemp is not a prospect. Full stop. And there is simply no way in hell anyone in Dodger land (let alone their erstwhile GM) would trade Kemp for a package headlined by IPK. No way, no how, nuh uh.

If it happens, I'll happily eat my crow served cold sil vous plait, but until that day...please, just stop. You're embarrassing yourself.

65 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 4:45 pm

@64

Um, using pseudo-French on a baseball blog outs you as an ignorant snob and worse, a terrible writer. I'd call you an embarrassment and ask you to stop, but after that, no one is listening to you any ways.

Good job responding to everything I said, though.

66 williamnyy23   ~  Jan 28, 2009 4:52 pm

[62] I don't mean to suggest that Reggie was a choir boy, but rather that the same distractions he caused in 1978 were even greater in 1977. The biggest difference between the two years is Martin went from being combative to self destructive.

Also, I don't think you can argue that the Yankes turnaround began because Reggie was suspended. It might have helped that the teams they played, Chicago and Minnesota, were 70 wins teams. Finally, I could turn the tables and point out that the Yankees went 28-8 from the point Reggie returned to being the full-time RF and clean-up hitter.

Without digressing too much, my main point is that when a player is as great as Jackson (or Arod), you can and do win because of him, regardless of the distractions he brings.

[63] Tenacity? Maybe more like foolishness. I thought it was a serious discussion, but alas I didn't realize I was headed toward to shouting match.

67 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 4:58 pm

@ 66

A serious discussion where you started making things up and calling anything you disagreed with "insane" or "silly". Nice job.

1) Kemp is still a prospect and one who plays CF.
2) The Dodgers have little to no pitching in their system better than Hughes, Kennedy, or McAllister.
3) So the Dodgers are set to sign Randy Wolf.
4) There’s plenty of room for a realistic deal.

68 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 5:01 pm

@63

See, and I'd happily give up Hughes in a deal for Kemp. It won't be just him, but that's a perfect use of his value.

@ 61

$45 million is a lot of money to be petulant about.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Manny take a one-year deal. Same too with Dunn. Next year's OF market is Holliday and little else.

69 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 5:08 pm

Of course, based on williamnyy23's analysis of the Dodgers' organizational pitching, Garcia, Betances, Brackman, and Heredia are all better pitching prospects than two of the Dodgers top 3. Heck, might as well throw Brett Marshall somewhere in there too.

There's plenty of room for a deal to get done. You'd only fail to see that if you were "silly", "insane", a French Fry, or Brian Cashman's dim-witted little brother.

70 sonyahennystutu   ~  Jan 28, 2009 5:36 pm

[69] Careful Bum - you're proving our collective point with your incessant petulism. You're new-ish here so perhaps some slack needs to be cut in your direction. But your tone is simply not the way things are done here at the Banter. Take it over to lohud or similarly lo-brow fora.

71 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 5:40 pm

@ 70

Kettle. Meet. Black.

French Fry.

72 sonyahennystutu   ~  Jan 28, 2009 5:44 pm

[71] Again, thanks for proving our point.

SInce you've already chosen to ignore the entirely logical (and correct) analysis of you opinion performed by William, I too won't bother to engage your ridiculousness.

Thanks for taking the Banter down a notch today. Great job.

73 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 5:47 pm

Besides, I've had a few nom de guerre's in my day but have been a part of the "banter" since 2005.

Meanwhile, I would never be so garish as to call someone "wrong" without, you know, disputing their factual points. Banter involves actual discussion, not stating opinions while throwing in French terms to make myself feel smarter.

74 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 5:50 pm

Ah, yes, love connections at the Banter!

William meet Sonya. Sonya meet William.

75 sonyahennystutu   ~  Jan 28, 2009 5:50 pm

[73] If you've changed your nom at least "a few" times then that suggests a few things:

1) you forgot some combination of your email, password, or nom - any of which make you technologically inept at best

AND/OR

2) you were forced to change your nom because your nom(s) were banned. gee...can't imagine why!

AND/OR

3) you did it intentionally to shed whatever bad will you'd built up toward a given nom among the Banter faithful

Oh - and one would pluralize nom, not de guerre.

76 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 5:53 pm

That was was a snob test. Congrats! You passed!

77 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 5:53 pm

That was a snob test. Congrats! You passed!

78 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 5:54 pm

And that a typing test. I failed!

79 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 5:55 pm

Again too!

80 sonyahennystutu   ~  Jan 28, 2009 5:55 pm

[76] Things should get interesting if the Dodger Thoughts crowd are as interested in posting here as they are in reacting volcanically at your trade suggestions...

81 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 5:59 pm

@80

Do you ever add anything of substance, or do you just stop by to pretend how smart you are while trying to pick up baseball geeks?

82 sonyahennystutu   ~  Jan 28, 2009 6:01 pm

[81] Like I said, congrats for taking the Banter down a notch.

SHT - out, along with everyone else it would appear. Have fun talking to yourself. Too bad there's no ignore function on this board.

Hey Cliff!...

83 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 6:05 pm

@ 82

And again, you've added absolutely nothing of substance.

Any more French words to add, at least?

84 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 28, 2009 6:12 pm

Meanwhile, did you just refer to yourself in the third person!?

BR - out!

85 Diane Firstman   ~  Jan 28, 2009 9:07 pm

Would you two get a room .... or six-shooters?!

86 underdog   ~  Jan 29, 2009 5:39 pm

Hey all, I think I was summoned here by dog whistle. (a whistle that sounds like "Dodgersssss....") ;-) Anyhoo, yes, we at Dodger Thoughts would laugh at an IPK for Matt Kemp trade proposal, or frankly most trade proposals involving Kemp (who is definitely no longer a "prospect.") But it's still a free country, you're free to make silly trade proposals! As long as we can laugh at them. Anyway, doesn't matter, Kemp is considered untouchable by Dodger management at this point.

It's definitely true, currently the Dodgers pitching prospects aren't as high or close as they have been, temporarily at least. Though it depends on how you're defining prospects; I'd put James McDonald and Scott Elbert (once extremely highly rated, finally made a good comeback after arm surgery last year) up there with most team's prospects. Both should be on the team this year though so I guess they don't count as prospects. E Martin and Chris Withrow are talented but def too unproven to put in the conversation anytime soon. Randy Wolf may only be an average or slightly above avg pitcher (a pretty good #4 imho tho) but he's also not going to cost them either a draft pick or young player in trade. Oh yes and Ramon Troncoso is being talked about as a starter, too, he did well in limited action this winter in attempt to convert. The cupboard's not exactly bare, is the point.

I still like me some Joba, though.

Anyway, we miss you guys over on the Toaster; have to keep reminding myself to stop by here more often. Cheers.

87 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 30, 2009 6:51 am

Any one calling Randy Wolf a #4 has completely destroyed any credibility they think they have.

Meanwhile, Kemp for IPK is absurd. It's very easy to argue against strawmen. However, given the woeful state of the Dodgers' pitching, IPK + McAllister is not. They would both immediate jump to the top of the Dodgers pitching prospects heap. And Kennedy would legitimately be fighting Wolf for a rotation spot.

To prove that point, let's take a quick look at the two Dodger prospects this "expert" has cited:

Elbert - missed, almost all of 2007 with a shoulder injury. He came back in 2008 to pitch all of 41 innings with 20 BB and 46 K. in AA at age 22. Those K's are great. Those walks are horrible. That, by itself, may not be a problem if he develops. Problem is, he's running out of time and has pitched just 52 innings in the last two years. The best that one can hope is that Elbert becomes useful out of the pen in 2009 or 2010.

MacDonald - At 23 years old, he stretches even the conservative definition of "prospect" especially since he's thrown just 22 innings in AAA. The problem is a sore arm has pushed him back and forth between the OF and the mound and so delayed his early development. Last year, he put up a good K rate in AA, but against too many walks to ever really be effective. Worse, he did it as a 23 year old in AA. Did I mention he's 23 with only 22 innings in AAA? If he arrives at all this year it will be to prop up Randy Wolfs body. At best, right now he's a long reliever who may be forced into starting duty.

Bottom line: There's room for a deal. Most tellingly, none of these self-anointed experts, not even the one from France, has disputed a Hughes for Kemp deal with Melky thrown in for good measure. If Nifty Ned were put in a similar position, I don't see how he could say no given the woeful state of his farm and the back of his rotation. Pierre for Kemp isn't going to cost that team a playoff spot. 200 innings of Randy Wolf's dead left arm and uberprospct James McDonald just might. Hughes, and yup, Kennedy too, have already proven they're better than any arm the Dodgers have in their farm.

Meanwhile, given the state of the Yankee CF I don't care if the Yanks had to cough up Hughes and Betances for Kemp. The chances of both becoming successful major league pitchers is exceedingly small.

88 Bum Rush   ~  Jan 30, 2009 6:59 am

P.s.. Kemp is still a prospect. Unless you can tell me whether he'll slug .520 or .460 in 2009. Because he's headed in the wrong direction and with another year of the latter any value he might have will be destined for fourth OF status. I think he'll develop. But that's far from certain especially if he puts up another 150 K's in 150 games.

So why do I want to deal for him?

Because one or two years of Kemp in CF is vastly better than what the Yanks currently have and his upside as a corner just might be realized IF he develops.

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