"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

News of the Day – 6/15/09

Today’s news is powered by a vintage performance from the incomparable Dave Brubeck Quartet, appearing tonight at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan:

  • Today, Will Carroll is offering a conversation with Tommy John, and the doctor responsible for saving John’s career, and thereafter the careers of numerous pitchers, Dr. Frank Jobe.
  • Also at Baseball Prospectus, they examine the mortal nature of Mariano Rivera (article from last Friday):

The number in his performance so far this season that immediately jumps out is his home-run rate, which sits at 1.8 HR/9. You may think this is easily explained by his new digs, as Yankee Stadium II hasn’t exactly been on friendly terms with pitchers these past two months, but that’s not the case: Mo has three home runs allowed at home in 16 2/3 innings, and a pair on the road in about half as much work. Four of his five homers allowed have come on fly balls, though he isn’t giving up anymore of those than he usually does. Another source of worry is his BABIP, which sits at a career-high .336. It’s not necessarily the fault of the Yankees‘ defense—they are right around the league average in Defensive Efficiency. The problem might be better found in Rivera’s liner rate, which sits at 25.4 percent, nearly a double-digit increase over his career rate, and much higher than anything we have seen from him since this data was first recorded back in 2002. This also means that his ground-ball rate is at its lowest since that time, which isn’t what you want to see when the ball is leaving the yard this often.

Additional homers and plenty of line drives means that Rivera is throwing pitches that the opposition can hit, whether with his famous cutter or pitches identified as vanilla fastballs. Using published velocity data going back to 2002 up through 2008, courtesy of Fangraphs, Rivera has averaged at least 93 miles per hour on pitches described as pure fastballs and, at its lowest, 92.8 mph on those classified as cutters. However slender the real distinction between the two pitches may be, this year Rivera is at 91.6 and 91.2 mph; while it’s tough to pin an exact run value on that missing velocity, the drop does hint that those extra liners and home runs aren’t from mere luck. This also puts some context behind his falling infield fly rate, which went from last year’s impressive 24.5 percent down to his current 14.3; while many pitchers would love to get that many popups, for Rivera it contributes to why his HR/FB rate has jumped from 7.5 to nearly 24 percent.

Rivera is also throwing fewer first-pitch strikes; while 59.6 percent is still above the average, it’s below his career rate and his recent work by a few percentage points. He’s also generating fewer swings and misses—16 percent overall, and just 14 percent when he’s behind in the count. That’s a significant drop from the past two seasons, when he made opponents swing and miss on nearly one-quarter of his pitches, and even more than that while behind the hitter.

[My take: Nice to see some reasonably hard data behind what we’ve perceived with our eyes.]

The Yankees did not lead at any time in four straight games against the Red Sox, on May 4-5 and on Tuesday and Wednesday, only the fourth time that has happened in the 107-year history of the series, and the first time since 1974.

  • Brian Bruney will NOT be on Francisco Rodriguez’s holiday card list:

The friction between the players stems from Bruney’s unsolicited comments about Rodriguez on Saturday. Bruney said that he did not like the way the animated Rodriguez acts on the mound and called Rodriguez “embarrassing.”

When Rodriguez was informed of Bruney’s comments on Saturday, he blasted him and challenged Bruney to speak to him face to face.

“Don’t be sending a message to the media,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t even know who that guy is, somewhere in Double-A and not even pitching one full season. He’s always been on the D.L. That’s all I really know right now. He’d better keep his mouth shut and do his job, and not worry about somebody else.”

Saturday, Chamberlain said he lamented not throwing more fastballs. Still, he said wasn’t comfortable throwing pitches that he wasn’t fully on board with.

“You look at it as you want one thing, he wants another,” Chamberlain said. “But like I said, you have to throw it with conviction. That’s kind of the battle. He may see something. But even if he sees it, that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to throw it. That may be the right pitch but you may not feel comfortable with it that day, or so on and so forth.”

The veteran Posada said his main goal on Friday was to speed up Chamberlain in hopes of pushing him into a better tempo.

“It’s just one of those days that he was wandering too much,” Posada said. “And I wanted him to speed up a little bit more.”

Instead, as the two went back and forth on which pitches to call, the game slowed and Chamberlain only found more trouble settling into a rhythm.

A.J. Burnett was a hard-throwing but struggling young pitcher in the Mets’ farm system in February of 1998 when the team decided to include him in a trade with the Marlins for Al Leiter. The move netted the Mets an ace and, Burnett says, probably saved his own career.

Burnett, who spent the first three years of his career in the low levels of the Mets organization, was so frustrated with his wildness, inconsistency and slow progression through the system that he seriously considered quitting baseball after the 1997 season.

“If I hadn’t gotten traded, I probably would’ve retired,” said Burnett, who pitches today against Johan Santana. “That’s where I was at. After the trade, I talked it over with my dad and he sat me down and said, ‘You can do this.’ I gave it one more chance.”

The Yankees ranked second in the American League and fifth in the Majors with 246 walks issued entering play on Sunday, a luxury they cannot afford considering their home park has played much smaller than its predecessor.

“Walks are a big problem, and it’s been a big problem for us this year,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “It’s not like we have a staff that’s a real control staff, top to bottom, but we’re better than this. It’s a concern.”

With 85 home runs allowed in 556 2/3 innings pitched, Yankees hurlers have averaged 1.4 home runs allowed per nine innings, tying them with the Phillies and Orioles for the most in the big leagues.

“I am concerned about it, and it’s something that we need to change,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We talk about it all the time, about pounding the zone. We’ll continue to talk about it. You can’t walk people. The way this ballpark has played a lot of nights, you’d better not walk people.”

South Atlantic League history is strewn with right-handers who thrive with 87-mile-per-hour fastballs like Venditte’s. His left-handed stuff is roundly (if not flatteringly) described as slop. Just because it is all thrown by the same guy does not mean it will not get hammered at higher levels.

For all of Venditte’s novelty, his story is in other ways quite routine for the low minors. Great numbers. Bad stuff. We’ll see.

“I know I’m not a big prospect — I have to work my way into becoming someone who the organization sees as maybe one day helping the big club,” he said.

The general manager said he didn’t have a sense of the trade market yet, with six weeks before the July 31 non-waiver deadline, but he said Sunday that the return of Brian Bruney from the disabled list Tuesday, plus the hoped-for revival of Chien-Ming Wang, would alleviate most of his concerns.

“If we fix ourselves,” Cashman said, “there might not be anything we need to do.”

He said he would run any proposals by general partner Hal Steinbrenner if it meant adding payroll.

Cashman said Wang’s start Wednesday against the Nationals would be a big factor in determining what happens next.

“We need Chien-Ming Wang,” Cashman said. “This is an important step. We know what he’s capable of. The velocity and the sink are there. Maybe his confidence isn’t there.”

  • Bret Prinz turns 32 today.  Prinz relieved allowed six homers and walked 17 in 30 innings for the Bombers in ’03 and ’04, before being dealt for Wil Nieves.
  • Andy Pettitte turns 37 today.  Pettitte has compiled a 184-104 record in his 12 seasons with the Yanks, along with a 13-8 post-season log.
  • Ramiro Mendoza and Tony Clark also turn 37 today.
  • Wade Boggs celebrates his 51st birthday today.  Boggs amassed a line of .313/.396/.407 in 601 games for the Yanks from ’93 to ’97.
  • On this date in 1976, Oakland Athletics owner Charlie Finley sold three of his star players. Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers were sent to the Boston Red Sox for $1 million apiece and Vida Blue to the New York Yankees for $1.5 million. Three days later, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn will void the moves, saying they are “not in the best interests of baseball.”
  • On this date in 2008, Chien-Ming Wang, who is 8-2 after back-to-back 19-win seasons, suffers a Lisfranc injury in his right foot running the bases in an interleague game with the Astros, spoiling a 13-0 Yankee rout.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 9:46 am

Cashman really is a spineless sack of shit. Rather than even state the obvious about the park he just passes the buck back onto Trost and Levine. I have little doubt that's how he handled the draft for many years. Rather than put his job on the line he simply said "Not my problem". Seriously, something so obvious as the stadium dimensions and he can't just say "We got it wrong and we'll get it right."?

What a pussy.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 15, 2009 9:55 am

Jeez, Bum Rush, isn't it early on a Monday for rage in the machine? Are you this fired-up all the time?

3 ms october   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:01 am

and why should cashman take the blame for something he had little or nothing to do with. yankee stadium is mostly on trost and levine - lovers of accountability.

interesting stuff on mo - though i don't really like parsing anything about mo - i'd rather it stay mystical

good chance to rack up some wins this week

4 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:03 am

@ 2

Yeah, pretty much except when I get some dank buds inhaled. That does the trick.

Sorry, but this Cashman character really pisses me off. We are always hearing about what he's not responsible for. And then he defends Pavano to the bitter end. Just a spineless sack all around.

5 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:05 am

@ 3

It's nothing to do with taking the blame. It's a simple matter of speaking as an organization rather than trying to find a way to weasel out of every mistake.

6 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:18 am

[3] I'm keeping my fingers crossed; Cliff's last line in Crisis Averted seems like the kind of line that always invites catastrophe around here, and it's not like the team hasn't given us reason in the past to believe that.

If park factors really are affecting pitching as well as defense, then somebody's got to lose their job over this. Down the line, free agent pitchers are not going to want to sign with the Yanks if they realize their numbers will be adversely affected at home, which would also cast a pall on high draftees with a fast track to the majors and a free ride in college waiting for them. It's already talked about (not whispered, mind you) this year with much disdain; you think a lot of players aren't thinking the same thing? I wish there was some enticement elsewhere for Levine and Trost to follow so we could get them as far away from baseball as possible... why doesn't James Dolan hire them or something? At least he'd get that new Madison Square Garden he wanted. Or Al Davis, so he could look at his reflection at every meeting...

7 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:22 am

[5] Commission Scott Adams send them daily cartoons about themselves (which can also be plastered all over the "Great Hall") until they resign.

8 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:34 am

maybe Cashman "passing the buck" to Trost has to do with the fact that Trost took responsibility for, ya know...designing the stadium.

just a thought.

9 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:35 am

We gotta hook Bum with the wake n bake not a bowl of fury flakes.

Where's the hooka?


10 RIYank   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:38 am

The Yankees.com story about the effect of the Stadium is really interesting (thanks, Diane).
On the one hand, it's entirely logical. In a high-HR environment, pitchers should react by walking more batters! On the other hand, if (and I assume this is the point) they're overcompensating, it's potentially disastrous. The last thing we need is two guys on base with free passes when Youkilis or Longoria homers. And once pitchers have this idea in their heads, it must be very hard not to overcompensate.

The solution is probably to entrust the catchers with the strategy, or else just ignore it.

11 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:46 am

@ 8

Have you ever worked on a team where one guy took no blame but constantly pointed out who fucked up? That's Cashman. It doesn't matter who's a fault so long as the problem gets fixed. More importantly, how long have we heard about the divisions in the Yankee hierarchy, especially from Cashman? Except he continues to propagate those very divisions with statements of this type.

@ 9

If I didn't have to work, I would! Vaporizer though.

12 Raf   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:50 am

[9] I know quite a few people who smoke, none are as high string as our friend Bum Rush... There is a lot of Jim Dean in him, and I can appreciate that :D

13 RIYank   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:52 am

Alex, we need a food nerd posting for the day off.

14 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:52 am

@ 10

I agree absolutely. But I also think the pitchers are still trying to learn if there are any safe parts of the park the way the left-center alley used to be.

One more thing: I don't think anyone can be blamed for the stadium dimensions. They thought they were the same but somewhere they got changed when the manual scoreboards were factored into the design. That level of detail is very subtle. If someone wasn't very explicit about the effect of something so minor it would be very easy to miss.

We can blame the Yankees about alot of things gone wrong in this park. But I don't think the dimensions are one of them.

15 Raf   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:52 am

strung.... high strung

[11] That's me too. There's no way I'm going to be accountable for someone else's actions. If I mess up, sure I'll take the heat, but if someone tries to come after me for someone else's problems then I'll deflect them. I have enough to deal with.

Such is the nature of corporate america...

16 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:57 am

[11] I don't think Cashman points the finger at Trost nearly as much as Trost claimed the leadership role on it, that is until the park began to prove itself to be, err, flawed. But I agree that people should stop talking about it and do something as soon as the season's over. I also get the feeling that the idea that the stadium is affected by the presence of the old stadium is a weasel-way of overlooking other flaws just so you can minimize the damage that was already done. It's almost like saying "if the bystanders weren't watching, it wouldn't be a scene" >;)

17 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:58 am

@ 15

But if you're accountable then you're a better man than Cashman.

Simple question: Has anyone here ever heard him take the blame for anything? Surely in 12 years there has to be one thing he fucked up? Even as we know there have been plenty...

18 Raf   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:00 am

But I also think the pitchers are still trying to learn if there are any safe parts of the park the way the left-center alley used to be.

Perhaps they should ask opposing pitchers? :)

Personally, I think they should pitch their game, and let everything else fall into place. I guess it would be interesting to see if there's any difference between the way they pitch @ home & on the road.

19 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:01 am

[13] RI, I think he's just starting to warming up in the bullpen [9] (heh-heh)

20 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:05 am

@ 18

Pitching your game entails knowing what pitches to throw and what you can get away with.

Home: .273 .354 .454 .809
Road: .249 .336 .425 .761

21 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:05 am

[17] simple question: have you ever heard any major market GM admit he screwed something up?

did I miss the time Minaya cataloged his myriad fuckups? or Epstein? or the high exalted Beane? Why does Cashman have to be the one executive who is expected to fall on his sword in front of the assembled press?

Would you put yourself on the firing line, more importantly would anyone reasonably expect you to?

22 Raf   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:05 am

Simple question: Has anyone here ever heard him take the blame for anything?

Here ya go, Bum Rush... Courtesy of WasWatching.com

23 Raf   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:06 am

or the high exalted Beane?

Does "my shit doesn't work in the playoffs" count?

24 The Hawk   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:07 am

[1] Don't forget, Cashman was not involved in the draft until 2006.

25 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:08 am
26 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:12 am

@ 22, 25

You guys know that's tripe bullshit. He's blamed other for specific moves. Where are his specific fuckups? Not some general "team" blame. First I want him to own up to Pavano. Except he still defends the signing.

@ 24

By choice. And from what it sounds like, he's still not involved. Oppenheimer makes all the final calls.

27 Raf   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:13 am

Don’t forget, Cashman was not involved in the draft until 2006.

I think he spun the draft off to Oppenheimer.

28 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:14 am

@ 21

Would I. Sure, why not? There have been numerous fuckups from the organization. If he's going spin the press on which decisions weren't his, then he should absolutely own up to which were.

29 Raf   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:16 am

Has Cashman ever taken credit for anything?

30 The Hawk   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:17 am

[26] That's not my understanding at all, that it was by choice. Pre-2006 the Tampa people drafted. That's why when he signed the new contract, it was stipulated that he did have a say in the draft.

31 The Hawk   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:19 am

[27] According to that article in the NYT last week, pre-2006, Cashman wasn't in a position to spin anything off to anyone (see [30]).

32 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:22 am

@ 30

By 2005 he had been in the job for 8 years. If he wasn't pushing for that responsibility, then he wasn't trying hard enough.

More importantly, now that he does have responsibility he's chosen not to be involved.

@ 31

And that article quoted *who* exactly?

33 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:26 am

So in your ideal world, Cashman gets fired because he'll never change, and you replace him with whom and why specifically?

34 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:30 am

@ 33

In my ideal world, Cashman was fired in 2005 for allowing Bubba Crosby to be the centerfielder in a deciding playoff game.

As for who to replace him with? How about any one with actual baseball experience?

35 Raf   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:30 am

[30] I'm referring to his "new" contract. After he gained control, I believe he spun the draft off to Oppenheimer. My understanding is that from a scouting standpoint, amateur talent falls under Oppenheimer's umbrella and professional talent falls under Eppler's umbrella. Newman monitors the farm system.

36 ms october   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:37 am

just to wade in these waters for a second - has trost or levine accepted any responsibility for yankee stadium?

37 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:40 am

[34] Anyone is convenient, but if you fired him today, who specifically? I think it's a fair question, considering you asked a similar one (where are his specific fuckups?) that you already answered yourself...

38 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:46 am

@ 37

Excellent! Touche.

Honestly I believe in promoting from within - so how about Eppler or Oppenheimer? They'll respect the talent already in the system while hopefully making better decisions at the major league level.

If they're going to completely clean house why not offer John Schuerholz or Terry Ryan a hefty three year contract to set them straight?

39 Raf   ~  Jun 15, 2009 11:49 am

In my ideal world, Cashman was fired in 2005 for allowing Bubba Crosby to be the centerfielder in a deciding playoff game.

In my ideal world, Beltran would've been signed after the 2004 season.

Looking back, it's curious that Martinez didn't get the start @ 1b (w/ Giambi @ DH & Williams in CF), given that he was one of "Torre's guys."

At any rate, the 2005 Yankees were pretty bad defensively.

40 The Hawk   ~  Jun 15, 2009 12:04 pm

[35] Okt, but my point was he wasn't involved in the draft pre-2006. Whatever happened since then is his responsibility.

41 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 12:07 pm

@ 39

Seriously, and if Cashman had any nutsack whatsoever wasn't Beltran vs. Unit exactly the move to put your job on the line for?

But I disagree on Bernie. He was done as a CF in 2003. It only took the manager another year and half to realize it. The GM helped him too by trading Lofton (who didn't believe in his acquisition in the first place).

42 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 15, 2009 12:08 pm

[38] I respect the in-house approach in the choices you've put forth (even though the in-house approach got Cash the job to begin with), but I'm not too certain on Schuerholz, doing a bang-up job down in Atlanta with Frank Wren as his GM; and with Terry Ryan you have to wonder how he managed to let go of both Garza and Jason Bartlett for Delmon (who?) Young, and what's he's done to replace Liriano's absence and subsequent inconsistency in the rotation. I see a lot of potential for more of the same with him...

I think the likely choice to eventually replace Cash as GM is Oppenheimer; could be he's grooming for the position anyway if the corporate culture is really in place. Then Cashman assumes the roles of both Levine and Trost, spins the main responsibilities off to his vice-presidents and remains as Hal's "trusted advisor". Just theorizing...

43 Raf   ~  Jun 15, 2009 12:27 pm

But I disagree on Bernie. He was done as a CF in 2003

I agree, I'm just saying that I'm surprised that he didn't get the start in CF that game, given Torre's proclivities.

Lofton's tenure with the Yanks was weird. I was hoping he'd play more than he actually did. Certainly thought he was a better option than Reuben Sierra.

44 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 15, 2009 12:57 pm

So, given Mo's struggles, what do we think about him breaking out the change?

I, for one, have been wanting him to do it ever since we saw it in spring training.

It seems to me a no-brainer, the perfect way to (effectively) get his velocity back up. If he can throw it with anything like the same control he features with his other pitches, he could go back to being unhittable.

What do we think?

45 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 15, 2009 12:58 pm

[43] I'd totally forgotten Lofton was a Yankee. So was Raul Mondesi. So was what's his name, the guy from Chicago.

Strange days, indeed.

46 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 15, 2009 1:25 pm

[45] Peter Cetera was a Yankee? Yes indeed, strange days >;)

47 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

[46] Most peculiar, mama, whoa!

48 Raf   ~  Jun 15, 2009 2:25 pm

[46] Very well played :)

49 rbj   ~  Jun 15, 2009 2:36 pm

Given that three of Mo's homers this year are at home, I'm more inclined to blame the stadium than Mo. But we are working with a small sample size here.

Man, such negativity the morning after a 15 -0 laughter. In my world today is all sunshine and puppy dogs. Though my brand new scroll saw has seemingly up and died. Grrrrr.

50 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 15, 2009 2:46 pm

[44] weeping, what is it with your obsession with the mighty Mo's change? It's like hitting behind the runner with you!


Anyway, I'll repeat what I wrote in response the last time you brought this up. There was a game recently where Leiter and Kay spent about an inning talking about the very subject of Mo's change. When Mo was a 4 seam fastball guy (that is, the first couple of seasons when he came up) he indeed used his changeup. However, when he moved to the cut fastball, he shelved the changeup and the reason, according to Leiter (who *also* threw the cutter a lot as he got older) is that the cutter grip and changeup grip are essentially incompatible, or at least very difficult to move between. Leiter said that he too, abandoned the changeup after moving to throwing cutters.

Make of that what you will ...

51 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 15, 2009 2:54 pm


Yeah, I hear he had trouble picking out a uniform number .... he went from 25 or 6 to 4.

There was a big press conference for him, but they stopped after questions 67 and 68.

Then there was that Saturday in the park ... I think it was the 4th of July. It was only the beginning of his problems with arriving to the park late. He kept asking "does anybody really know what time it is".

One of the clubhouse guys introduced him to "greenies" and then he began feeling stronger every day.

52 rbj   ~  Jun 15, 2009 2:58 pm

[51] LOL Diane!

53 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 15, 2009 3:01 pm


I think I'd rather listen to Peter Cetera than Kate Smith during the 7th inning stretch, and that's still painful.

54 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 15, 2009 3:10 pm

[22] Now, why did you have to go and introduce facts and common sense into the discussion?

55 Bama Yankee   ~  Jun 15, 2009 3:14 pm

I've been trying to avoid the temptation to throw out a Peter Cetera pun, but After All it is a Hard Habit to Break...

56 PJ   ~  Jun 15, 2009 3:18 pm

[9] "Where’s the hooka?"

Atlantic City has tons of 'em...

I would use a condom if I were you!

: )

57 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 15, 2009 3:19 pm


to paraphrase ...

"Bama what a big surprise" ....

58 PJ   ~  Jun 15, 2009 3:23 pm

[58] Thank God it's not 'only the beginning' of those!

: )

59 rbj   ~  Jun 15, 2009 3:24 pm

[53] Dunno if I'd go that far. Never could stand Chicago. (The band; not the city, which is alright though I much prefer NY pizza to that "deep dish" nonsense.)

60 Shaun P.   ~  Jun 15, 2009 3:24 pm

Am I the only one here who occasionally enjoys Peter Cetera? (I hope that statement doesn't damage my metal cred with thealarmis . . .)

For the record, Kevin Goldstein at BP (among many other draft-y people) have reported that a GM's involvement in the draft is often limited to okaying the first-round pick(s) the scouting folks want to take, and usually from a budget/monetary perspective, and little if nothing else. In other words, the player who is picked, is determined by the scouting staff and whoever is in charge of the amateur scouts, NOT the GM. The draft philosophy, to the extent there is one, may be dictated by the GM, but that's it.

To give Cashman the blame for the team's poor drafts from 1998 to 2003 (Hughes was taken in '04, so I have a hard time calling that a poor draft) is as silly as to give him the credit for the good drafts since then. The greatest share of that credit/failure now, and for the last few years, belongs to Oppenheimer; and before that, whoever ran that show under George (maybe even George himself). Very little credit or blame should be placed on Cashman's shoulders.

This was a very long-winded way of saying that most teams don't draft the way Moneyball depicted the A's drafting back in 2002.

61 Bama Yankee   ~  Jun 15, 2009 3:25 pm

[57] Well, Diane it's Hard to Say I'm Sorry since You're the Inspiration for these puns...

62 Shaun P.   ~  Jun 15, 2009 3:29 pm

[59] The fair island of Sicily would like Chicago to know that it invented pizza with a thick dough long before that "deep dish" stuff came to be.

63 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 15, 2009 3:30 pm

[50] Heh heh. Ok, I guess I can accept that from Leiter, but then what was the point of Mo's tinkering with it in the first place? If he can't do it, he can't do it and I'm satisfied with that answer. But man, when he brought it out it sure looked sweet.

I'm just scared because the time for adjustments appears to be here and I want to know that he'll make them sooner rather than later. He's such a good pitcher that I believe he can still be great given his control, even with decreased velocity and movement.

I just dread seeing him get hit as often as he does these days and want to see some kind of adjustment.

64 PJ   ~  Jun 15, 2009 3:38 pm

Once Upon a Time, The Approaching Storm hit and caused A Hard Risin' Morning Without Breakfast. I went and played golf nevertheless At the Sunrise. It was so wet and muddy, I thought, "Progress?" I was mistaken as the course and me had such a Fallin' Out, that after my round, all I could think of was that I was Happy 'Cause I'm Going Home. I spent An Hour in the Shower...

: )

65 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 15, 2009 4:05 pm

Psst! Weep, thanks for leaving the door open on [45], it's been a lot of pun...

(whaddya all looking at, you knew I would to say something >;)

66 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 15, 2009 4:07 pm

[65] No problem, my friend. Glad to be of service.

67 Raf   ~  Jun 15, 2009 4:11 pm

according to Leiter (who *also* threw the cutter a lot as he got older) is that the cutter grip and changeup grip are essentially incompatible, or at least very difficult to move between.

Cutter and circle change, maybe. With a changeup, you're looking for a speed differential. Something like adding a finger or two will do the trick. Not sure as to what Leiter was trying to do on the mound

68 Raf   ~  Jun 15, 2009 4:14 pm

Now, why did you have to go and introduce facts and common sense into the discussion?

Figured why not :)

Given Bum Rush's feelings about Cashman, he'd be right at home @ WasWatching :D

69 PJ   ~  Jun 15, 2009 4:25 pm

[67] "Not sure as to what Leiter was trying to do on the mound."

Neither was he...

: )

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