"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

What A Difference A Day Makes

I taped the below segment with Ted Berg yesterday, before Jose Molina tore his quad and left the Yankees without a major league catcher, and before Mariano Rivera gave up back-to-back home runs for the first time in his career and later had his manager explain he’s having issues with his arm strength. How Brian Cashman rejiggers the roster with Molina heading to the DL and Alex Rodriguez coming off it tonight is crucial. Can he find a catcher better than Chris Stewart or Francisco Cervelli? Will he drop Angel Berroa, demote a reliever, and bring up a couple of bats (preferably Shelley Duncan and John Rodriguez) who can hit for that catcher in the late-innings? Will he add Brett Tomko to the struggling bullpen? Have things really gotten so bad that we think Tomko can help?

That the Yankees have allowed more runs per game than any other team in baseball can no longer be blamed on Chien-Ming Wang. Even if you just flat out erase the 23 runs Wang allowed in his three starts, rest of the team has allowed allowed 5.54 runs per game, which would be better than only five teams in baseball.

The Yankees have Sabathia, Hughes, and Chamberlain lined up to pitch in Baltimore this weekend. Those three could go a long way toward making us all feel better if they’re able to build on the flashes of brilliance they’ve each shown in their recent starts. As a friend just said to me, “I won’t take the toaster into the bathtub until I see what happens this weekend.”

I’m still not quite ready to panic, but I’m a lot closer than I was when we filmed this:

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1 Raf   ~  May 8, 2009 12:59 pm

Will he drop Angel Berroa, demote a reliever, and bring up a couple of bats (preferably Shelley Duncan and John Rodriguez) who can hit for that catcher in the late-innings?

This I would prefer. The bench is short as is, keeping up a 13 man staff is crazy. Does Gardner get sent down as well, or will he be kept as a LIDR?

2 williamnyy23   ~  May 8, 2009 1:24 pm

I don't think yesterday really makes much a difference in the grand scheme things. Rather, the reasons to worry have been place for the whole season: a bad bullpen; awful fielding; and an offense that seems to be under so much pressure.

The first problem is impacted by Mo, but ultimately, I think he'll be fine. The biggest problem, I think, is Girardi's inability to create any roles or establish a consistent rotation. What has resulted are on/off performances.

The defense is a long-term problem that isn't going to improve much. Arod should stem the leaks at 3B, but this is still a below average fielding team.

Finally, the offense is pressured by two things: having to play catch up due to poor pitching and having a manager who is unwilling to emply stategy. I also think Girardi is portraying a tightness that can't help but be picked up by the lineup. Maybe Arod will loosen things up, but the atmosphere around the Yankees seems to be very tense.

3 sonyahennystutu   ~  May 8, 2009 1:28 pm

Jeez William, I wish I could say I was I optimistic as you are, and you don't even sound all that optimistic :)

I don't know. I can't help but feel like we're right smack in the middle of the 'when it rains it pours' thing.

Either we go 16-34 over the next 50 games, OR, the return of ARod somehow rights enough of the wrongs to make it all okay...

4 unmoderated   ~  May 8, 2009 1:30 pm

this would be a great time for sabathia and arod to carry a team like they've done before.

5 williamnyy23   ~  May 8, 2009 1:34 pm

[3] My optimism stems from the fact that this team as a boatload of talent. My pessism stems from the believe that Girardi is incapable of creating an environment that is condusive to winning. Further pessism stems from the feeling that the Yankees will not change the manager until it is too late. I don't really know where this team is head. Arod is a wildcard, so his return allows for hope. Still, after 2008 and the first 30 games, I not sure why anyone should be confident that the team will suddenly change.

6 williamnyy23   ~  May 8, 2009 1:35 pm

[5] That should be pessimism…as soon as I figure out what pessism is, I’m sure the Yankees will make me feel it.

7 Bum Rush   ~  May 8, 2009 1:52 pm

I know it feels easier to blame the manager, but through last and this year I don't see any thing he could have done differently. This team has been getting progressively worse year after year for one simple reason - the players have been worse and worse (correlated with getting older and older). And instead of a GM that corrects for that trend, we have a GM that thinks we're still the defending world champions of 2000.

Case in point: Last year the biggest loss was Jorge. Plug him in with a typical season and you have a team that finishes maybe one to three games out of a playoff spot. Add to that two young pitchers expected to pitch 300 innings between them (but who, not surprisingly, didn't come close) and you perfectly explain the 2008 Yankees apart from any other players (Jeter, Cano, Melky) not playing their best baseball.

Now this year: Still an old team with old reserves at the two most crucial backup positions - C and SS. Seriously the GM went into the season with a 34 year old catcher backup up a 37 year old catcher and a 33 year old backup infielder behind a 33 year old 3B and a 35 year old SS. Combine that with a DH who's had three surgeries in two years and even with the redundancy of Xady/Swisher this was still going to be a team short a bat or two at some point. Add to that a bullpen of assorted scrubs and you have the .500 team we've been seeing for at least two years now.

All the GM has shown is that after 12 years he knows how to spend money. It's time for his head to roll. This team is finished and it ain't Girardi's fault . It's the roster he was dealt. And that roster is a fucking mess going forward. You've got a guy at SS that can field two steps to either side. A 3B with a bum hip. A 1B with a bum wrist. A DH with bum knees. A LF with a bum shoulder. Two catchers with bum hamstrings. Just awful, awful roster management. It wouldn't be so bad if it hadn't been this way for at least the last 5 to 6 years.

8 Bum Rush   ~  May 8, 2009 1:56 pm

Or more simply: This is what happens to old teams (especially those not using stimulants and PEDs). When they fall apart they really fall apart. Good thing $50 million/year is committed to two past prime players (A-Rod, Teixeira) over the next decade. Jeter is finished at SS. Jorge is finished as a full-time catcher.

But at least they have 20 bullpen arms!

Correction: You’ve got a guy at SS that can't field two steps to either side.

9 Raf   ~  May 8, 2009 2:15 pm

The defense is a long-term problem that isn’t going to improve much.

I don't know about that, I don't think the team is as bad defensively as say, 2005.

10 williamnyy23   ~  May 8, 2009 2:19 pm

[9] Isn't that damning with faint praise though? Having a bad bullpen and a bad defense is a toxic combination. Every extra pitch needed by the starters means more pitches thrown by the bullpen. We've seen several games lost either directly because of unearned runs, or indirectly because a starter had to come out early because he had to pitch around errors.

11 Raf   ~  May 8, 2009 2:21 pm

It wouldn’t be so bad if it hadn’t been this way for at least the last 5 to 6 years.

You may want to take a closer look at the numbers if you think that's the case.

12 Bum Rush   ~  May 8, 2009 2:22 pm


And how is any of that the manager's fault?

13 Raf   ~  May 8, 2009 2:26 pm

Isn’t that damning with faint praise though?

No, not with the understanding that the team is supposed to be improving. For example, the biggest culprits on the defensive side of things, Abreu & Giambi have been replaced. Peña, as slick as he is with the glove, isn't going to replace the production on both sides of the ball, as Alex Rodriguez. Cano & Melky should bounce back defensively, and Damon may maintain what defensive value he has.

Of course, I haven't checked the numbers to confirm or deny this, I'm just going off the top of my head.

14 Bum Rush   ~  May 8, 2009 2:33 pm


Let's see:

Bernie Williams of 2003 leads to Kenny Lofton which leads to Bernie back in CF in 2004 which leads to Bubba Crosby in CF in 2005.

2005 is also the year of Tony Womack and Jaret Wright/Carl Pavano leading to, out of desperation, Cano and Wang and Aaron Freakin' Small.

2006 was the dual Sheffield and Matsui injuries. Abreu helped but because they had Jason Giambi at 1B, they tried to shoehorn Sheffield into 1B when he came back.

2007 was the collapse of the pitching rotation, Clemens as an utter retread, and Kei! Igawa, and 500 at-bats among Miguel Cairo, Andy Phillips, and Doug M.

2008 was Jorge and the the young pitchers. After the youngsters sucked, who'd they turn to? Sidney Ponson (15 starts) and Rasner (20 starts).

That's five to six years right there. The pattern? A team that was woefully unprepared for the realities of a full season. If you're giving 200 ABs to Miguel Cairo, Tony Womack, and Andy Phillips. You're doing it wrong! If you're giving ten starts to Ponson and Rasner and Small, you're doing it wrong!

Fire Cashman. Then, hopefully, someone competent can start rebuilding this organization.

15 Raf   ~  May 8, 2009 2:34 pm

FWIW, the Yanks are 10th & the Red Sox 11th in defensive efficiency.

One other thing; looking at FanGraphs player value, Angel Berroa owes the Yanks $1.9M. Cody Ransom? $1.6M... ouch.

16 Bum Rush   ~  May 8, 2009 2:36 pm


Yeah, you're fooling yourself if you think Jeter isn't the biggest culprit. The greatest number of balls are hit to him and the great number of balls go right past him. Now he doesn't even dive so it isn't Pasta Diving Jeter. You're also fooling yourself if you think Damon is doing any maintaining in the field unless you mean him maintaining the gardening.

NoMaas has been tracking UZR this season - Jeter, Damon, and Swisher are the only ones in negative territory.

17 williamnyy23   ~  May 8, 2009 2:40 pm

[13] The numbers are pretty bad, but I think that's small sample size issue. I agree with you that the defense should be improved, but I still worry that it isn't good enough.

18 Raf   ~  May 8, 2009 2:42 pm


Let's see... 101 (best record), 95 (2nd best), 97 (best record), 94 (2nd best) & 89 (4th best) wins... 3 AL East titles & a wild card.

A team that is "woefully unprepared" doesn't do as well as the Yanks have.

19 Bum Rush   ~  May 8, 2009 2:44 pm

@ 17

And funny, but where do you "improve" the defense? The one place where they're not tied to a player this year (CF) is the only place they're getting plus-plus defense. Great, next year they can sign a guy like Holliday for LF. Big deal.

Defense starts at SS. For the Yankees, it ends there.

20 jonnystrongleg   ~  May 8, 2009 2:46 pm

[14] how many games would the yankees have won with good roster managment in 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008?

what is good roster managment and who currently practices it?

are there 120 game winners out there that I'm currently unaware of? or teams with 27 year old all star back ups at every position?

for all the deserved kudos the red sox have received recently, they've never won 100 games. they've won 95, 86, 96, & 95 which is fairly similar to the yanks 95, 97, 94, & 89.

21 Bum Rush   ~  May 8, 2009 2:47 pm


Regular season teams built to clobber weak pitching. Now that they moved away from offense (by replacing only one of their top bats lost from last season), they're that much worse off.

No surprise there - offense is always available for teams that want to pay for it. In that same time frame, how many MLB players have the Yankees developed?

22 randym77   ~  May 8, 2009 2:47 pm

[8] That thought has crossed my mind as well. Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi said he thinks testing means players will no longer be able keep playing past their mid-thirties. If that's true, the Yanks are in trouble.

Has there been any word on what Cashman's going to do about Molina today? They've got to add a catcher before tonight's game, surely.

23 Raf   ~  May 8, 2009 2:52 pm

NoMaas has been tracking UZR this season - Jeter, Damon, and Swisher are the only ones in negative territory.

I just looked, and it's Damon (-4.3), Berroa (-2.9), Melky (-0.4), Ransom(-1.7), Nady (-0.9) & Swisher (-0.9). Jeter's @ 0.2.

Having said that, I do agree with the sentiment that Jeter's a poor fielder.

24 Bum Rush   ~  May 8, 2009 2:52 pm

@ 20

Aren't you also forgetting about the Sox two championships? That's why they get kudos. And no surprise, they had the better team in 2004 and 2007 even if the Yankees finished ahead of them in the standings.

Look, it doesn't take a genius to realize:

a) This team is OLD
b) Jeter is finished
c) Jorge can't be a full-time catcher any more
d) The bullpen is a joke

All I know is that none of that is the manager's realm of responsibility.

25 Horace Clarke Era   ~  May 8, 2009 2:52 pm

1. Two bullpen arms are DLed and we have worries about the closer. This is not Girardi's fault. The idea of 'set roles' in a pen seems to me to be exaggerated (people dumped on him when he went left-right - set roles - as well, earlier) and flat-out impossible when relievers are hurt, weak, or the pen is overused, which happened with Wang's starts.

2. Signing Marte may end up being laid on Cash as stupid (economically it was and is, as the market collapsed) but no one credible saw it as as signing a bad reliever.

3. The team's best player missed the first 35 games and their two biggest signings were close to MIA. No one saw A Rod's injury coming, and though CC and Tex are notoriously slow starters, no one was other than enthused about Cash getting them. Indeed, he was hailed as brilliant for swooping in on Tex, and the Yankees were hated again around the land for it. Losing Nady hurt the bench a lot. No one's fault, indeed Cash seems to have been THINKING bench in refusing to deal Nady or Swisher.

4. A case can be made that Po's contract was a mistake, and some people here made it. He got his longterm warrior extra years and money. Not sure where and how another solid C was to be found and I vividly recall that as being part of the discussion then. Mariano could have been allowed to go. We'd have had a year of stopgap, or Joba plugged in, and maybe fought the Mets for K Rod. I doubt anyone here wants to fire Cash for signing Mo to that deal.

5. Creating a calm, sure clubhouse ... not sure how many people can do this in NY, or if it is automatically the winning route. Billy Martin vs Cito Gaston? I was and am a Torre fan and am not a Girardi fan (though this post sounds otherwise, I know).

This is a team that has stumbled starting. They are not remotely out of anything, and had 3 tough games (two BoSox, one of the Tampa Bay games) gone otherwise, this panic would not be operating. Word seems to be Posada is 3 weeks, we can survive that if it is true and A Rod and Teixeira are strong in the middle.

When people talk about 'rebuilding' the team, I am honestly not sure they know what the word means. It means missing playoffs for a few years, treating.500+ as positive not 'off with their heads'. The Yankees cannot do that. We're the reason.

26 Bum Rush   ~  May 8, 2009 2:54 pm

Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi said he thinks testing means players will no longer be able keep playing past their mid-thirties. If that’s true, the Yanks are in trouble.

And if Ricciardi is saying that more than half of baseball has already realized exactly that. Not surprisingly, Cashman wasn't in the knowledgeable half.

27 williamnyy23   ~  May 8, 2009 2:54 pm

[20] Anyone who tries to suggest that the Red Sox have the magic formula is ill-informed. If anything, the talent level of the two teams has been very even since 2004. Again, that leads me to suggest that maybe Francona is simply managing his roster better. Unless you think this team doesn't have enough talent (and I think that's foolish), you at least have to seriously consider the impact of the manager.

28 williamnyy23   ~  May 8, 2009 2:57 pm

[25] Most of your points are valid, but again, in spite of the injuries, I think this team has enough talent. My main point of contention with Girardi is I have now watched him manage 200 games and find him to be incredibly lacking when it comes to game management. This year alone, I think his inability to manage the game has cost the Yankees several games. If he isn't know to be a calming presence and isn't beloved by the players and also doesn't manage the game well, what does he do well?

29 Raf   ~  May 8, 2009 2:59 pm

Regular season teams built to clobber weak pitching.

Lombardi @ waswatching has said the same thing. The Yanks lit up Sabathia and were shut down by Paul Byrd in 2007. I'm sure you can find other examples in the playoffs.

You don't win as many games as the Yanks do without beating "good" teams.

30 Raf   ~  May 8, 2009 3:00 pm

And no surprise, they had the better team in 2004 and 2007 even if the Yankees finished ahead of them in the standings.

If the Red Sox had the better team, why didn't they finish ahead of the Yanks in the standings?

31 Bum Rush   ~  May 8, 2009 3:01 pm

no one credible saw it as as signing a bad reliever

Sorry, but you weren't reading widely enough. Marte is an okay middle bullpen guy. But he's far from legit setup. And for what Cashman paid, there were many people questioning him.

No one saw A Rod’s injury coming

You mean except for the pain he felt last year?

Losing Nady hurt the bench a lot.

Sorry, but depending on an average RF with little defense for a starting role was the big mistake. They always needed another bat. And for the prices on Abreu and even Dunn, there were those bats around.

This year alone, I think his inability to manage the game has cost the Yankees several games.

Name three.

This utter BS. Somehow the only difference between 2008 and 2007 is Torre was a great tactician?


32 Raf   ~  May 8, 2009 3:06 pm

Somehow the only difference between 2008 and 2007 is Torre was a great tactician?

I would say the drop off in offense between those two years was the bigger difference.

Sorry, but you weren’t reading widely enough. Marte is an okay middle bullpen guy. But he’s far from legit setup. And for what Cashman paid, there were many people questioning him.

I had seen more people in favor of the move than not.

33 Diane Firstman   ~  May 8, 2009 3:08 pm

Kevin Cash to the rescue!


But wait ..... is Cash hurt too?

"Cash has played seven games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, going 9-for-18 despite battling some right-shoulder trouble himself."

34 Bum Rush   ~  May 8, 2009 3:08 pm

I would say the drop off in offense between those two years was the bigger difference.

Yeah, probably because Girardi wasn't using Torre's tactical mastery in lineup construction.

What a joke.

35 Bum Rush   ~  May 8, 2009 3:09 pm


I just threw up in mouth.

36 cult of basebaal   ~  May 8, 2009 3:11 pm

My moves:

-> MLB:

-> AAA:

- DFA:

-> DL:

* requires 40 man move

meanwhile, i'd be doing my best to find some sort of 1/2 decent trade for Veras, 'cause he's my next passenger on the DFA train otherwise and long term, I'm more inclined to want Robertson on the team.

Piliterre's the only catcher we've got above A ball that might actually hit somewhere near his weight, Linden's another switch-hitter with some pop from both sides of the plate and Tomko's worth a shot in the pen at this point.

37 Bum Rush   ~  May 8, 2009 3:12 pm

Meanwhile, you know your journalistic standards fall below tabloid when both Chass and Abraham ridicule your work.

38 Diane Firstman   ~  May 8, 2009 3:14 pm


Comment of the Day nominee

39 Diane Firstman   ~  May 8, 2009 3:16 pm

Wow .... I didn't realize just HOW bad Cash was offensively ...

.184/.248/.285 in 557 PAs in the Majors

40 Raf   ~  May 8, 2009 3:19 pm

From the link Diane posted;

Pitcher Mark Melancon was also sent out to make room for Alex Rodriguez on the active roster but a move is still needed to clear space on the 40-man roster.

That move to clear space seems obvious to me; bye-bye Berroa.

41 Bum Rush   ~  May 8, 2009 3:20 pm


I feel so special! I'd like to thank my parents for raising me and William for being my muse.


And now with bum shoulder! I just coughed up blood.

42 Horace Clarke Era   ~  May 8, 2009 3:24 pm

[31] Ah, Bum, nothing like a slump to start a Rush to panic.

1. Raf and I saw the same thing (and I felt it). Marte was an overpayment, it turned out, but you know (don't you?) the contract he had before. Look at his career. He was seen as part of building a multi-tooled bullpen, a lefty who could get righties, and had been durable. K/9 nearly 10, era and whip both very good. Not sure where you would have signed a more 'legit' setup, whatever that means, early this spring. Cash thought he'd addressed an issue, and it wasn't a bad idea.

2. Please. The pain he felt last year? What does that mean? That a 'better' GM would have anticipated surgery? We've been through this. GM does not equal doctor. Nor does Manager equal .600 baseball through slow spring starts from stars and another on the shelf. And yet, as I said, a few close games the other way and this conversation isn't happening.

3. You miss my point. Swisher + Nady MEANT another good bat on the bench. That's why he didn't trade one, I am arguing.

4. Not your point, someone else's ... that we lost two good bats and only gained back one. I am assuming this means Giambi + Abreu are not compensated for by Teixeira + Swisher/Nady? I think this is just silly. And no one wanted Abreu anyhow in right.

5. William, my Girardi issue is sort of yours but I'm not going to be as specific about individual games (I do think he messed up the pen a couple of games, but we all thought that about Torre, too. Manager calls are tough: would YOU have kept Papi at #3 all season so far? Even if he promised to tell the press he thought of you as his father? Seems he did, by the way.) My issue is more along the lines of how FEW men manage big league clubs and one looks for some signs, never sure what they are, that they deserve that job, in any city. It gets weird. Why was Cito Gaston out of the game for 15 years? Why does Dusty Baker ever have a job? Is Gardenhire as odd as he seems in making out his top of the order?

I have no sense of Girardi as exceptional yet, but I do remember that when Torre was hired in NY he was a losing manager for his career. I've said it before: NY is a VERY tough place to play and manage, and what makes it toughest is screaming for the scalps during ANY losing streak.

Jeez, two weeks ago it was 'they aren't TRYING!'

43 PJ   ~  May 8, 2009 3:27 pm

[41] "I just coughed up blood."

After suffering through Pettitte's four bombs and Mo's back to back bombs, as well as a five game losing streak heading back on the road, and Cervelli now being the indefinite starting catcher, blood started coming out of my other end!

: )

44 cult of basebaal   ~  May 8, 2009 3:28 pm

Cashman's moves (so far):




[39] Cash is a giant black hole of suck.

Meanwhile, here's what Pilittere was doing at AAA before he got sent down when Cervelli was called up: 317/.349/.488

Now, that's certainly above the line of performance that he has established over the years in MiLB, but there's a non-zero chance that he might have improved a tick and might hit, if only a little at the ML level ... which is more than I can say for Cash, or Cervelli.

Meanwhile, Cashman and Girardi continue to jerk the young relievers around, while arsonists like Veras and Ramirez (with his 2.057 WHIP and 1 appearance where he didn't put at least 1 baserunner on) keep getting run out there.

45 MichiganYankee   ~  May 8, 2009 3:32 pm

If a reliever or two get sent down, who would it be? I tried to analyze relievers by going through their game logs and breaking down their performances into the good, the bad and the ugly. One caveat: mlb.coms game log does not report inherited runs, so it does not give an accurate picture. Robertson's line in has last line against Boston of I IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB looks good if you don't recall that the walk was with the bases loaded. A marked this one as bad, but I probably missed a few similar situations:

- Season: 9 Good, 1 Bad, 3 Ugly
- Last 5: 3 Good, 1 Bad, 1 Ugly

- Season: 7 Good, 1 Bad, 1 Ugly
- Last 5: 4 Good, 1 Bad, 0 Ugly

- Season: 0 Good, 0 Bad, 1 Ugly

- Season: 10 Good, 3 Bad, 1 Ugly
- Last 5: 4 Good, 1 Bad, 0 Ugly

- Season: 3 Good, 3 Bad, 1 Ugly
- Last 5: 1 Good, 3 Bad, 1 Ugly

- Season: 2 Good, 1 Bad, 1 Ugly

- Season: 5 Good, 5 Bad, 1 Ugly
- Last 5: 3 Good, 2 Bad, 0 Ugly

- Season: 6 Good, 5 Bad, 2 Ugly
- Last 5: 2 Good, 2 Bad, 1 Ugly

Nothing is obvious, except that Coke is the most reliable guy out there (despite Pena's homer) and Bruney is sorely missed. Veras seems to be the worst, but he's out of options, and you don't want to DFA him until you are convinced that you have enough other guys who are better. Melancon should get one or two more chances to recover the stuff that he had in his first two outings. So either Robertson or Ramirez goes down. Edwar was strong in his last two outings, so I'd option Robertson while keeping Ramirez, Veras and Melancon on a short leash.

46 MichiganYankee   ~  May 8, 2009 3:34 pm

Oops, I skipped Robertson.

- 2 Good, 3 Bad, 0 Ugly

47 Diane Firstman   ~  May 8, 2009 3:36 pm

Don't look for Shelley Duncan to get called up .... he's got a bum shoulder too!


"Just talked to Shelley a little while ago. It's his left shoulder that's sore. He called it "achy." Duncan got a Cortisone shot and doesn't expect to miss much time.

“It’s been bothering me since before spring training," he said. "But it’s nothing serious I don’t think.”"

48 Raf   ~  May 8, 2009 3:37 pm

Veras seems to be the worst, but he’s out of options, and you don’t want to DFA him until you are convinced that you have enough other guys who are better.

I dunno, RHRP's are pretty common in MLB. Cut one like Veras loose, and you'll find another one somewhere else.

49 Diane Firstman   ~  May 8, 2009 3:38 pm

Here is the Cash shoulder (old) news:


50 PJ   ~  May 8, 2009 3:46 pm

[47] Honestly Diane, the lack of integrity these players have today with respect to their health or lack thereof is staggering to the imagination!

I'd bet dollars to donuts that the next "major purchase" the Yankees make to improve their new stadium is an MRI machine, complete with a full time medical staff to interpret its results!

"Don't bother clockin' if the machine's a knockin'!"

Clearly the physicals today's players undergo for clearance to play, be traded, or signed are remarkably similar to Manny's "diagnosis!"

: /

51 cult of basebaal   ~  May 8, 2009 3:50 pm

[25] Marte's contract was a mistake (and was at the time) in the sense that there was very little reason to tear up Marte's option year and give him a 3 year contract.

6 million was a little much for Marte for this year, but it could be justified by the fact it was only for 1 year, especially since it seemed quite feasible at the time that by the end of 2009, Phil Coke would have proven himself capable of replacing Marte's production at the cost of league minimum.

The only harm in waiting was the difference between the 2009 option salary and the 2009 contract salary, whereas all the downside risk accrued to signing/extending Marte when you didn't have to.

52 cult of basebaal   ~  May 8, 2009 3:59 pm

Robertson’s line in has last line against Boston of I IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB looks good if you don’t recall that the walk was with the bases loaded.

actually, that still goes in the good column for me, even though i'd obviously prefer he didn't issue the walk.

he came on with the bases loaded and nobody out and only gave up 1 run.

2009 run expectancy for that situation is 2.25625 runs.

53 Raf   ~  May 8, 2009 4:10 pm

Phil Coke would have proven himself capable of replacing Marte’s production at the cost of league minimum.

And if he didn't? They just came off a season where for whatever reason Hughes & Kennedy couldn't give them league average production. And then if Coke does emerge as a valuable LH resource, then Marte gets flipped for another part. Instead of holding on to Marte for a year, then overpaying if he, say, had a career year, they tore up the option and resigned him for 3 years @ $4m per. Which is in line with guys like Farnsworth & Putz.

54 The Hawk   ~  May 8, 2009 4:25 pm

I don't think anyone is gonna argue Torre was or is a great tactician, but as I've said numerous times that's not that big of a deal. Keeping the team on an even keel makes more of a difference in the end. The funny thing about Girardi is I thought part of his upside was supposed to be he was a clever in-game manager. He's not. And he's wound too tight overall.

Maybe Torre's time was up, and maybe circumstance has more to do with it than the manager, but things have gotten worse since he left. I think his strength was keeping the pressure-cooker of playing on the Yankees as calm as possible and boy could they use that right now.

55 cult of basebaal   ~  May 8, 2009 4:48 pm

[53] well, you are correct, we are *now* protected from having to overpay to retain his services if marte has a career year in 2009 ...

56 randym77   ~  May 8, 2009 5:33 pm

Cash? They must have removed him from the 7-day DL shortly before calling him up. (The minors have only the 7-day DL. No 15 or 60. Even if you're out the whole season, you're on the 7-day DL.)

Playing him injured seems like a ticket back to the DL...

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