"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Baskin’ Baby

Couple few more things…

According to a blog post in the Times, Jack Curry reports that Mariano Rivera pitched with a ribcage injury this post-season.

And I neglected to mention this item about Joe Girardi, who, it turns out, is a good man.

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1 Rich   ~  Nov 7, 2009 1:16 pm

The older I get, the more I realize that you never know how many more championships you will see (especially if you are a Knick and Ranger fan), but the Yankees may be sui generis. I think there is a good chance that they will go on another championship run.

2 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 7, 2009 1:34 pm

This appears to be an abbreviated clip. I wonder if there is video of the entire 'interview'?

Jeter is almost as tall as Andy, but Andy looks like his legs are MUCH longer then Jetes. Andy's seems huge from the waist down (and no... this is not a straight line for you Ms. October).

3 Just Fair   ~  Nov 7, 2009 1:44 pm

[2] OYF, if you go here you can watch all 3 parts. There's even a Biff Henderson clip from the World Series. He shows old footage of him and Girardi watching The Titantic. Pretty funny.

4 ms october   ~  Nov 7, 2009 2:10 pm

[2] jeter is listed at 6-3, andy 6-5. andy has big thighs/butt and i ain't going anywhere near your straight lines oyf :}

[1] it's hard for me to see the knicks even getting close to watchable must less competitive

the mo ribcage injury is pretty amazing - first that he could be as supremely effective as he was while he hurting and was not as sharp as usual; and that the pack of wolves didn't get that story during the serious

5 RagingTartabull   ~  Nov 7, 2009 2:35 pm

My pics from yesterday if anyone wants to take a look, a few came out pretty well if I do say so myself (please don't mind the haggard look of myself and my girfriend...I had been running on fumes since Victorino grounded out):


6 NYYfan22   ~  Nov 7, 2009 3:38 pm

[1] As a lifetime Yanks fan, 96 was so great for me because it's the first one I actually remember myself. Of course 98 99 and 2000 were awesome. But 09 means so much more to me for 2 reasons: my kids-my son especially. He is so excited about baseball. He runs around with his glove on all day. He writes down the Yankee lineup on construction paper from AM to bedtime. I bought the papers on Thursday morning just so I can save them for him.

The thought of teaching my son how to score a game, of teaching him to be patient while at bat, of proper mechanics when making a throw.. these are comforting for me. He's only 5-1/2, and I'm 33, but seriously: I can't wait. Thanks again, Banterites.

[5] dude, your pics rock. Thank you. Great captions, too -- although I disagree about marching bands.

7 thelarmis   ~  Nov 7, 2009 3:56 pm

[4] hey ms. o - if you hop on a plane in the coming hour or two, you can make it to the Atl in time for the Goatwhore concert tonight!!!

8 thelarmis   ~  Nov 7, 2009 3:57 pm

[5] yeah man, thanks for the pics! oh, and i completely AGREE about marching bands!!! : )

9 NYYfan22   ~  Nov 7, 2009 4:00 pm

[8] Dude - you're a drummer and you don't like marching bands? I played quads in marching band, and the drumeline rocked it, man.

10 NYYfan22   ~  Nov 7, 2009 4:15 pm

btw, Chad Jennings over at LoHud has a pretty funny blog post today. Check it out: http://bit.ly/1oGk8D.

11 thelarmis   ~  Nov 7, 2009 4:18 pm

[9] yeah, don't get me started! i'm just not a fan. for a plethora of reasons. that said, i have grown to have an awful lot of respect for it. i also shun a ton of work, since i refuse to teach it. i'd have a terrible time doing so and i'd be doing a disservice to the kids. that said, i adore rudimental snare drumming (there is a difference).

i also HATE wearing uniforms! i marched from 5th grade thru 12th and hated every single last second of it. i went to college at a BIG marching band school. i remember telling the dean of music that i'd forego my scholarship and study at a different school if i HAD to play in the Blue Band. he laughed and said music majors are discouraged from playing in marching band and the percussion instructor was the most vehemently against it! this, of course, was music to my ears.

there are soooo many styles and genres of music & drumming. i have spread myself thin enough. marching band, is like anti-jazz. there are some great chops involved, but the techniques are not really sound and the snare drums are like playing on cement. it is also waaaaay too regimented for me. the stories these kids tell about "band camp" is more like "boot camp." it's really nauseating, actually.

12 thelarmis   ~  Nov 7, 2009 4:28 pm

[9] ok, you got me started! ready for a funny story?

i was always the section leader / snare drummer for band, no matter what grade or age i was. in high school (on long island, by JFK), we generally always marched in the big parades in NYC - Columbus Day & Thanksgiving. it was brutal.

by senior year, we get all fancy high tech and we had some kind of monitor system for me and the band director (who by this time, was my private drumset teacher for jazz/latin/funk. i had known him since i was 10 and we butted heads for a few years. he ended up becoming my mentor and the reason i went to college, branched out musically and began to practice 12-16 hours a day! we remain very close to this day.)

anyway, i had to wear some kind of black box on my belt/waist. it had an ear piece and he and i were able to communicate when he was a block or two ahead of me and we couldn't see each other. not only did i abhor those damn uniforms, but i was sooooo skinny, that nothing fit me! so here i am, marching in the streets of nyc, on tv and this little black box is tugging at my pants with every freaking step. it was only a matter of time. mind you, i had a chronic dislocated shoulder that hadn't been operated on yet, so my arms are freaking killing me, carrying this godforsaken piece o' shit for eleventy hours straight.

soon enough, the band director freaks out 'coz he lost contact with me and runs thru the band to see what the fuck was going on. everybody's laughing, 'coz there i am with my pantaloons hangin' around my ankles!!! i never missed one fucking beat! i kept drumming...and marching. we laugh about it now, but it's still a really shitty memory and i fucking HATE marching band. i had already hated it for 7 years prior to this, so it was nothing new.

my first semester at penn state, i sent my teacher a postcard of the blue band! to this day, he still has a picture of me in my marching band uni up in his office. just so i get pissed whenever i visit him!!!

13 RagingTartabull   ~  Nov 7, 2009 4:48 pm

I really have no feeling on marching bands one way or the other, but I saw 15 of them yesterday.


thats a lot of tuba for one morning

14 RIYank   ~  Nov 7, 2009 6:02 pm

[13] Unlikely. Prob'ly sousaphone.

I don't really dislike marching bands, but I generally hate the events they play at so I tend to be grumpy when I hear one. However, I would make an exception for an event at which the skinny hippy drummer dropped trou. That would be funny.

15 thelarmis   ~  Nov 7, 2009 6:23 pm

[14] i am NOT a hip-eye - take that back!!! i've never been camping, never been stoned, don't like the grateful dead and have well over 2,000 units of underground heavy metal in my collection!!! NOT a hip-eye (hippy)!!!! : p

ps - when will word press fix the times of the clocks here? it doesn't automatically change w/ daylight savings, though i imagine there's a way to set it up to do so. in the meantime, i guess Cliff or Alex will have to go in there and change it "manually"...

16 NYYfan22   ~  Nov 7, 2009 6:35 pm

[11][12] fifth grade? damn, man. If I marched from 5-12 grades, I'd prolly hate it, too.

I played quads from 9-11th grades, then drum major in 12th grade. Then, my freshman year at Univ of North TX, I played trombone in the MB. MuED majors were req'd to do it 2 years, I think, but I majored on a stringed instrument, so I wasn't req. Anyways, that was fun travel w the football team and all, but one year was enough on the college level. The drumline there was insane -- winning every year at PASIC, etc, so I couldn't get on.

Penn State, huh? Prof Armstrong was at UNT before Penn State. Small world, brother. Did you ever work with Jack Stamp at all? He is prof at Indiana Univ of PA.

okay... sorry for cluttering up the Banter with non-baseball talk. How about them 2009 NY Yankees!!

17 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Nov 7, 2009 6:42 pm

[16] Non-baseball music chat is allowed! I believe forbidden subjects are: politics, pornography, Broadway musicals and the Mets.

Yo Tartabull, great pics!!

The Yomiuri Giants won the Japan Series here last night, they are the Yankees of Japan. They won yesterday's game despite their starting pitcher leaving in the first after taking a line drive off his pitching hand..big, big ouchie, it made me flinch watching the replays.

Anyone see the Twins sign Cuddyer for $10million per? Those poor small market-teams, how can they ever compete with the big-bad Yankees who buy championships??

18 rbj   ~  Nov 7, 2009 6:45 pm

I'm glad the Yankees kept the Mo injury super-duper top secret. It would have just added to my level of nervousness.

19 NYYfan22   ~  Nov 7, 2009 6:54 pm

[18] I agree. ...thinking about Buck and McAsshole laboring on and on and on about it. [shudder]

20 thelarmis   ~  Nov 7, 2009 7:14 pm

[17] i believe they just picked up his option for $10.5, so it's not a 10/per contract.

[16] i'm not a college football guy, but penn state is now getting killed by hated ohio state in state college. bollocks.

more proper reply coming...

21 thelarmis   ~  Nov 7, 2009 7:20 pm

[16] holy shit dude - TINY fucking world!!!

first of all, it's highly impressive that you play trombone, stringed instruments AND drums. that kicks ass, man!

north texas is an *amazing* school for music! did you play in any of the lab bands? i played at some place in Denton, TX back in December of '97.

i used to love going to PASIC conventions. i guess this years is coming up, any week now...

that's CRAZY you know Prof Armstrong! yeah, he was my percussion instructor!!! just today, i wrote myself a note, that i have to email him next week. we stay in regular contact. he was a student at NTU back in the day. so was one of my old drumset teachers - John Riley.

Jack Stamp may be newer? when i think of IUP, i'm remembering the name Gary Olmstead. i could be "misremembering" though - it's been a long time and i've done a lot of HGH since then. couldn't have those pants falling down anymore! ; )

i think there was a guy named Jack Schmidt in Central PA i worked with some, not 100% positive...

i still can't believe you know of my perc prof from penn state!!! : )

22 thelarmis   ~  Nov 7, 2009 7:32 pm

[16] yeah man, non-baseball chatter is allowed! esp. in the offseason. and esp after the


hahahahahhaha!!! that RULZ!!! : )

23 NYYfan22   ~  Nov 7, 2009 8:02 pm

[21] I don't know him personally... I know of him. A legend in the world of marimba. I was writing a piece while in college for double bass and marimba. I should dust that fucker off and finish/retool it. It was fun. I think it turned on me when I decided to throw some trap set in there. I had a vision of a percussionist sitting at the kit, mallets in LH, stick in RH, grooving an ostinato during the 2nd mvt. Anyway, maybe if I finish it then we could record that bitch. haha

during my time at UNT, I was studying legit, and there are few non-jazz majors that play in the lab bands. I tried out my freshman year, but didn't after. I shouldve, cause I love playing jazz. So I just gigged around.

Stamp is at IUP and he's huge in the wind ensemble world. My scholarship at UNT was for playing in the wind symphony. I'm on 4 CDs from those 2 years, I think all of them were produced by Stamp. Dude send me an email. jaybuch at gmail.com.

24 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 7, 2009 8:04 pm

OK... while I played drums and was in the school Band in 4th grade, I didn't get along with the lead drummer, so in 5th grade I took up the trumpet... private lessons from the school bandmaster (a very talented guy). Why I took up trumpet, I dont know... but I heard the term 'triple tonguing' and my pre-pubescent mind though there was future value in that skill. So... I did well, and the Bandmaster broke a time honored rule, and I was the first kid ever in Great Neck to be able to join the band and challenge in my first year on an instrument.

For the 'Challenge', while every one else played marching tunes and other shit like that, I played 'Hello Dolly' (which was pretty hip in 1966), and I rocked the joint and ended up 3rd Trumpet.

Never learned to triple tongue on the trumpet, but the idea never left my head when I become sexually active later in life.

OK... Now.....
Can somebody here tell me where the Hot Stove discussion is at? Yankees Baseball! I want Baseball!

25 thelarmis   ~  Nov 7, 2009 8:08 pm

[23] dan's a legend in the marimba world? coolio! his main axes are actually: timpani, fast 2-mallet xylophone and crash cymbals. that said, he's also an amazing marimbist and his snare drum chops are breathtaking. he taught me marimba!!!

you should dust off / finish up your double bass / marimba piece. i have a marimba here in my living room and am about to practice for a short while! then, i'm off to my drum studio, where i'll play a xylophone rag, then workout on the drumkit.

my forthcoming solo percussion cd consists mainly of strange/weird advanced compositions for drumset & mallets (plus some auxiliary percussion).

i can try my best to play mallets & kit at the same time! if not, we could still record your piece - i could just overdub the parts. you can always have a college combo perform it - you'd just need two percussionists for that 2nd mvmt.

keep in mind, my entire family is in NY and i go up to see them. i'll be there in 3 weeks for T'day and we could record your material in the future...

26 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 7, 2009 8:53 pm

Well.... If we're just killing time, here's a little Guitar insanity.

27 monkeypants   ~  Nov 7, 2009 9:06 pm

[24] Can somebody here tell me where the Hot Stove discussion is at? Yankees Baseball! I want Baseball!

Here, here!!

The GM's season never ends. What web of intrigue is Cashman spinning while we distract ourselves with all of this music chatter?

28 NYYfan22   ~  Nov 7, 2009 9:18 pm

[24][27] well, here's some new hot stove discussion: http://bit.ly/3tQ9mt.

29 Rich   ~  Nov 7, 2009 9:19 pm

In re: Hot Stove.

I would not give Damon or Matsui more than one year.

They need to get the Pettitte issue settled quickly so that they will know if they have to pursue Lackey or some other option. My guess is Pettitte will be re-signed for about $10 million guaranteed.

I would let Hairston go. Pena can do what he can do for a lot less money.

I would let Moliina go. Cervelli is a better, cheaper option.

I hope they can work something out with Wang, perhaps a mL deal.

I would not offer Bruney arbitration.

30 Rich   ~  Nov 7, 2009 9:22 pm

[28] So Harper thinks that both Joba and Hughes should be in the pen and Madden thinks they should trade Montero.

They are offensively stupid and should not be able to continue to steal money by writing about baseball.

31 monkeypants   ~  Nov 7, 2009 9:24 pm

[28] From that article, we learn: the NY Daily News's Bill Madden agrees that Lackey is unlikely to become a Yankee. Madden thinks the team could look to the trade market for a starter instead, perhaps making catching prospect Jesus Montero available.

Is Bill Madden an idiot?

32 monkeypants   ~  Nov 7, 2009 9:29 pm

[30] Beat me to it!

[29] Ah, some hot stove stuff to chew on!

I agree with regards to Pettitte. WHat he does will go a long way to shaping most other rotations decisions.

Molina is gone, not only to make room for Cervelli but also, possibly, for Montero (I doubt he sees MLB time, and he will likely never catch, but his bat COULD play at the ML level next year, and he could step in as the #3 C).

Hairston v. Peña is neither here or there to me. Frankly, Hairston brings more to the table overall, so I would opt for him---especially if they carry 12 or 13 pitchers again. With ashort bench, Hairston is the superior super-sub.

Bruney will be gone. That experiment has sailed (mixed metaphor alert).

I predict that Wang will be traded.

Matsui and Damon---that's the tough one. I predict MAtsui comes back and Damon signs a 3- or 4-year deal with someone else.

33 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 7, 2009 9:30 pm

[31] Actually, idiot is too high a praise.

34 monkeypants   ~  Nov 7, 2009 9:34 pm

[33] "Hanging's too good for him. Burning's too good for him! He should be torn into little bitsy pieces and buried alive!"

-- Hanover Fiste

35 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 7, 2009 9:35 pm

I would not give Damon or Matsui more than one year.
.... AGREED. I love these guys but we MUST get younger,

They need to get the Pettitte issue settled quickly so that they will know if they have to pursue Lackey or some other option. My guess is Pettitte will be re-signed for about $10 million guaranteed.
.... AGREED... if he wants to play

I would let Hairston go. Pena can do what he can do for a lot less money.
.... Pretty much agree but what is JHJr getting paid? He's a good dude.

I would let Moliina go. Cervelli is a better, cheaper option.

[32] Oops... Guess I agree on all counts except maybe Bruney. It Phil and Joba start, we could still use BP bodies.

I hope they can work something out with Wang, perhaps a mL deal.
.... Rumor has it the Yanks will ket him go. At best, he will miss a month or more from 2010

I would not offer Bruney arbitration.
.... How much would that cost. When Bruney was on, he was very good. If we sign him, he also has decent trade value.

36 monkeypants   ~  Nov 7, 2009 9:39 pm

[35] I think we forgoet sometimes how truly atrocious Peña is with the bat, plus his OF is still experimental at best. Hairston has extensive experience in the OF (even if he's not great out there). I would try to keep Hairston, and keep Peña stashed in AAA.

37 Rich   ~  Nov 7, 2009 9:44 pm

Madden, in the referenced NYDN article, implies that it is the Yankees who believe that Montero is tradable:

...which is why the Yankees, who have a surplus of catching talent in the system, feel they can afford to move him in the right deal.

Linceum or King Felix even up? Otherwise, I call BS. You certainly don't trade him for Hallady given his age. Anyway, I want to see that he can't catch or play the OF worse than Adam Dunn first.

38 Rich   ~  Nov 7, 2009 9:48 pm

[35] Bruney made $1.25 mil this season.

He could probably get at least $1.5 in arbitration.

39 monkeypants   ~  Nov 7, 2009 9:50 pm

[37] Madden must have it wrong---or the Yanks are fools. If they have a "surplus" of catching talent, and does anyone really have a surplus of catching?, they would look to trade Cervelli (or even Romine), not Montero. His bat will play at the ML level, whether he is a C or 1B or RF or full-time DH. They have NO other bats in the system like that. there is no way, NO WAY, they trade him, unless it is straight up for a super-stud, as you say.

40 monkeypants   ~  Nov 7, 2009 9:51 pm

[35][38] The amount of money Bruney makes is hardly an issue. Rather, do they waste a spot on the 40-man roster?

41 NYYfan22   ~  Nov 7, 2009 9:57 pm

[29] I would not give Damon or Matsui more than one year.

I don't think they're going to re-sign both Damon and Matsui. I would prefer Damon for 1 year, although his agent is going to be asking for more. As Cliff pointed out, Abreu already set the pricetag for Damon/Mats. Will Damon take a 1 year deal? I hope so. Or maybe a 1 year deal with a buyout for the club.

Probably be able to snag Matsui for a 1 year deal.

[40] Depends on if Joba and Phil are both starters in 2010, which I think they should be.

42 monkeypants   ~  Nov 7, 2009 10:07 pm

[41] Depends on if Joba and Phil are both starters in 2010, which I think they should be.

Not trying to be argumentative, but what difference does it make? Whether starters or relievers, Hughes and Joba will both be on the 40-man roster. Thus, no matter what role they fill, the Yankees still have to decide whether to spend a 40-man roster spot on Bruney (an ongoing project), or if they have other players whom they wish to protect.

43 rbj   ~  Nov 7, 2009 10:15 pm

At least there's an Arizona Fall League game on.

I would like to see the OF get younger, but I don't think Gardner is going to develop into a young Damon. Not sure there's anyone else in the minors ready to step up.

I'd like to mostly use the DH spot to give guys a half day off.

Damon for a 1 year, + 1 option. Matsui to Seattle.

44 NYYfan22   ~  Nov 7, 2009 10:18 pm

[42] Well, I'm assuming that if one of them are in the BP, then the Yanks picked up another SP. Sorry, I didn't make that clear.

[43] hehe.. I was chatting with Cliff the other night and suggested the same fate for Matsui. He pointed out that Matsui has clashed with Ichiro in the past.

45 RIYank   ~  Nov 7, 2009 10:18 pm

Ivan Nova is probably the next bullpen experiment. He pitched well in the International League playoffs and has a 0.5 ERA in the Dominican winter league.

46 monkeypants   ~  Nov 7, 2009 10:34 pm

[44] OK, I see what you're saying. I suspect that the decision to keep Bruney or cut him lose will be independent of the future roles of Joba/Hughes. Either they feel that he is worth working with, or they will hand him off to someone else to tantalize. If anything, the the return of Marte and the rise of Robertson may do more to make Bruney expendable.

[43] I think, personally, that it is a dangerous strategy to see the DH as primarily a platoon for aging players who need to rest. The better approach is to pencil in a full-time DH and then use the position as needed throughout the year---inevitably injuries will change plans anyway, and I would rather have a legit DH on the team.

47 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 7, 2009 10:39 pm

What about Nady? Is he on the team next year?

48 monkeypants   ~  Nov 7, 2009 10:41 pm

[47] FA, no?

49 RIYank   ~  Nov 7, 2009 10:49 pm

[47] [48] Yes, he's a free agent.

The more I think about the OF free agents, the more I like the idea of signing Damon for another hitch.

50 monkeypants   ~  Nov 7, 2009 10:54 pm

[49] I have long preferred signing him to Matsui, but I think that he will command to much (too many years and dollars). How long of deal would you offer? Three years?

51 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 7, 2009 11:23 pm

[49] For 2010, maybe. For 2011? 2012? Is it time for us (and the Yankees) to look past THIS year?

My guess is everyone here would go for JD for one year. Some might go for 2 years, although not me. My guess is JD can get 3/$21-24 and will got for it. The guy wants to pile up some numbers.

Matsui will take 1 year. He's wants to be on the Yankees, as does Japan. He knows he is limited, and going back to Japan is probably his ultimate destination, so I don't think 2 years with a non-contender is that attractive to him.

52 a.O   ~  Nov 7, 2009 11:33 pm

Damon would be a terrible signing, even for a year. He is a poor outfielder and mediocre offensively. He is fragile and unlikely to be able to play everyday all year. They need to sign someone significantly younger.

53 monkeypants   ~  Nov 8, 2009 1:00 am

[52] and mediocre offensively

You're selling Damon's offense short, I think.

54 monkeypants   ~  Nov 8, 2009 1:04 am

[52] He is fragile and unlikely to be able to play everyday all year.

After his rookie partial season, he's never played fewer than 141 games in his career; he's averaged 144 games/year with the Yankees. Unless he suffers a major injury, he's pretty much a lock to give you 140-145 games.

55 a.O   ~  Nov 8, 2009 1:27 am

[53, 54] I just think you get out before the steep decline begins, and I think it is coming soon. Whether it's a more serious version of his constant calf problems or just his continuing to slow, I think he is not a good bet. Especially when you consider the poor defense. Time to go with someone younger and let another team take the risk on a multi-year deal.

56 monkeypants   ~  Nov 8, 2009 1:48 am

[55] I agree that hey should get out sooner rather than later; but it is only fair to recognize that Damon has been a solid offensive player (esp. for the Yankees) and a durable one. The problem with going with someone younger is...who?

I actually think that Damon is the ideal player to keep as a part-time LF, part-time DH. And for what it's worth, I don't think that he slowed down much (let alone is "continu[in] to slow"). Rather, the problem is, as you intimate, that he will probably get offered a longer term deal elsewhere, one that I would not want the team to match.

57 Rich   ~  Nov 8, 2009 1:53 am

I would have interest in Cameron in CF for one year.

58 monkeypants   ~  Nov 8, 2009 2:07 am

[57] Maybe, but a 37 y.o. CF? He would (probably) be an improvement over Melky/Gardner---at best they will probably hit around 100 OPS+, and Cameron will produce about 105 OPS+. But that still leaves a whole in LF.

59 NYYfan22   ~  Nov 8, 2009 2:52 am

[55][56] I agree with you guys about getting out sooner than later.

But keep in mind what JD did at the end of his contract with the red sox. They wanted to talk 3 years, and he refused, instead persuing a 5 year deal. The shit shook down and he wound up here with a 4-year worth, what was it, 52M?

Now, since then, he's said numerous times that he likes playing in NY, and says he wants to stay on with NY. So, it's possible that he might say okay to an incentive-laced 2 or 3 year deal with only 1 year guaranteed. If he really wants to stay, and really thinks he'll stay healthy, then he'll do it. But if another team offers him a 3-year 25M guaranteed contract, then we'll just have to see.

I bet he gets that offer from another team and takes it. And the Yanks will have Matsui on a 1-year 8M contract as a full-time DH for 2010.

But I'd rather have Damon.

60 thelarmis   ~  Nov 8, 2009 5:21 am

[57 & 58} i thought of all this too, after milwaukee traded for carlos gomez. cameron was essentially getting $10mil per. not gonna happen now. i always follow him, 'coz of my intense interest in the 300-300 club. cammy is only 5 stolen bases from 300 and sits 37 homers away. he pretty much averages around 20-25 HR/yr, so in two years, he should join the exclusive club. we've had interest in him before...

of course, he's getting older, strikes out a ton and has the drug charges against him. i could see him being a $5 mil. one year stopgap for A-Jax.... he'll prolly play good defense and be a good samaritan in the clubhouse. not sure how well his power would translate to the new ballpark. i'm a fan, but don't think he's essential or really what we need at all next season...

[59] i agree that we'll have Mats back for another year, as the primary DH, 'coz Damon gets a long term deal elsewhere. i also agree, that i'd rather a have Jonnny back for a year (or even two...). but i do think he'll bolt. not only 'coz of Bore-ass, but 'coz he wants a guaranteed long-term contract.

i don't doubt for a second that JD loves NY and the Yankees and wants to stay. in fact, i think it prolly means more to him winning in NY than it did in beantown. everybody thinks his "image" was because of boston, even though all the 'hair' was borne out of the collision/concussion with damian jackson.

anyway, Johnny's gunning for 3,000 hits, possibly 300 HR, and has stated he can finish top 10 in Runs. there are plenty of other active players that are gonna score a ton of runs, making that difficult, but he'll still finish, at least, in the Top 25 in Runs, methinks, which is the ultimate reason to play the game....

with the media attention nowadays, winning a WS with both the shit sox and Yankees, could help propel him to the HoF. i'm sure he's thinking of this. if he's not, bore-ass, is...

but, johnny plays a TON of games every year and very rarely goes on the DL. Pale Hose are already interested in him, have a need for him, and play in a hitters' park. that organization is rogue enough to give him a 3-yr deal + 4th yr option. that might be optimistic, but they'll almost certainly give him more than we'll offer.

i guess we'll see what plays out...

just for the record - i'm willing to play ANY position for league minimum! ; )

61 RIYank   ~  Nov 8, 2009 8:21 am

But Damon in decline is going to be better than Cameron (and much, much better than Gomez). The available outfielders aren't good, or else they're going to command bigger money and more years than Damon.
Of course, last year Cashman surprised everyone by acquiring Nick Swisher. Maybe there's some similar move on the horizon.

[60] just for the record – i’m willing to play ANY position for league minimum! ; )

I could see you playing first bass.

62 Paul   ~  Nov 8, 2009 10:03 am

Loved the video. Thanks for that.

I say if it ain't broke don't fix it. But there's something important to keep in mind. The Yankees need lefty bats. And the best ones out there are the one already on the team. With Montero and A-Jax coming along, as righties, they don't help either.

1) Re-sign Damon for two years @ $20 million. Give him an Abreu contract but with a bit more upfront money and without the option.

2) Re-sign Matsui for one year @ $8 million with a team option for a second and a nice buyout otherwise. Sometimes you just swallow and throw the money at people who deserve it. Matsui is that guy. And they know how to keep him healthy and productive.

The chances are both Damon and Matsui won't be healthy all year. That's where A-Jax and Montero step in. The youth is in the system. Damon gets hurt they give A-Jax a chance. Matsui gets hurt, they give Montero a chance or slide Damon to DH and give A-Jax his chance. Basically signing both Damon and Matsui gives insurance and backup to bring Montero and A-Jax along slowly.

The only alternative I see is trading for a guy like Dunn or Hawpe. But at best they replicate the production of Damon and Matsui. So why bother giving up prospects too?

3) Re-sign Pettitte for one-year @ $12 million. He's done everything asked of him and more. He won each deciding game of the post-season. Give him his money and hope for the best.

63 Paul   ~  Nov 8, 2009 10:07 am

Maybe there’s some similar move on the horizon.

I was really hoping that Hermida, as a lefty bat, was going to be that guy. Now of course I hope he's awful ;-)

The back of the rotation is tougher. What do they expect from Joba and Hughes? Both can be better and are cheaper than Lackey. But that's far from certain. Why not sign both Duchscherer and Wang and hope one pans out?

64 Paul   ~  Nov 8, 2009 10:12 am

The important point I glossed over: Both Damon and Matsui have shown they can still be very productive. So the only risk is that they get hurt. But that's where the Yankee farm is best able to help. So why bring in anyone else when they have everything they need? Current production and future production in case of injuries.

That said, I could be convinced to sign Bay (four years and $70 million) and one of Damon/Matsui. If you can hurt the Sox while helping your club you spend the extra money. Still, that's much more scratch.

65 The Hawk   ~  Nov 8, 2009 10:13 am

[62] Story checks out

66 Paul   ~  Nov 8, 2009 10:31 am

One other point on Damon: He worked out really well as the two hitter behind Jeter. If Cano's not ready to fill that role, they need a (lefty) bat who is.

Also, re-signing Damon for two and Matsui for one means they'll be well-positioned for the 2011 class (Werth, Hawpe, Dunn).

67 ms october   ~  Nov 8, 2009 11:01 am

good points paul - the yanks need to make sure they don't get too rh - which is funny considering how lh they were just a few years ago.

also, i would prefer the yanks not give any of the old goats incentive laden contracts. if they are not performing or are banged up a bit, they need to have the freedom to sit them without having to worry about the implications of them losing playing time.

68 Paul   ~  Nov 8, 2009 11:30 am

[67] Agreed about the incentives. Just pay them. Even if the breakdown is $18 million/year for two years for both Damon and Matsui what are the chances they lose both for any extended period of time? They lose one and they still get production that would most likely replicate their histories.

The most likely scenario is they get 1.5 players for both years. Considering the cost and output of Bay or Holliday, that's a bargain. You get the same production but in two lineup spots and the other half player is A-Jax or Montero.

69 Evil Empire   ~  Nov 8, 2009 2:02 pm

Evil's basic roster construction:

1. Re-sign Andy Pettitte; Joba and Phil to the rotation; Melanon/Robertson/Marte primary bridges to Mo; and IPK is a starter in AAA and waiting in the wings. (Maybe go get Lackey but I like getting cheaper and younger with our kids. If they get Lackey then either Joba or Phil can stay in the pen, probably Joba BUT Phil's got less innings to play with next season than Joba does).

2. Let Damon walk. Replace him with Chone Figgins. Johnny is 35 years old with a lifetime .355 OBP. Figgins is 31 with a lifetime .363 OBP (.395 last year). Yes we give up 20 homers, but I don't think we'd be giving up runs AND Chone has to have a better arm than Johnny.

3. Re-sign Matsui for 1 year as a DH only. He can keep the position warm for Jorge Posada for Monter or Romine in 2011.

4. Bring back Hinske and/or Hairston (I think they're FA's). They're good bench players. Hinske may see himself as a starter though. There's probably fungible bench players available not named Morgan Ensberg who'll be available shortly. I like Hinske and Hairston because they play all over the field.

5. Keep Melky in CF for now with Gritner as the backup and AJax in the wings. Maybe AJax will be ready next year sometime, or maybe 2011. Of course, Figgins could play CF, but it's been a few years for him at that position.

6. I would stay away from Holliday and/or Bay mainly because of the huge expense. If I get either it's Holliday who had a 125 OPS+ in the AL with Oakland, albeit in 98 games, though Bay's been solid and his loss would weaken Boston significantly. They may think Jeremy Hermida is the answer, but only if the question is "who gets hurt a lot and hasn't lived up to his potential?"

70 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 8, 2009 4:20 pm

I'd almost bet the farm the Sox sign one of Bay/Holliday. With Papi and Lowell on the outs/decline/injured, they absolutely need a big bat. Plus they have TONS of money and an imperative to compete with the Yankees. They spent almost nothing last year. Hermida is a low risk/high reward gamble. They will not count on his bat unless/until he proves he has one.

Paul.... every article I read from Yankee MiLB blogs were very emphatic that NEITHER Montero or AJax is ready for 2010. They both have raw talent, but it was said they both have a ways to go on the learning curve. Maybe a cup of coffee in Sept, but nothing we should bank on.

If we sign JD for 2, think about the ages of our players in 2011. Jeter, ARod, Posada, JD and maybe Mo. Those 4 guys had a great 2009. Maybe they will do in again in 2010. But in 2011? We will need a full time paramedic in the dugout. JD's defensive numbers are falling fast and drastically. I truly love and respect the guy, but (unlike the 2002-2008 years) we must bring in 1 or 2 young guys a year. With Po needing a lot of DH time in 2011, and ARod and Jeter needing some, you can't put JD there. I would trade JD's .850 OPS for an .800 OPS with a glove and an arm.

I will say Paul, you are a very generous guy with George's money. You want to pay 38 year old Andy MORE money then he made this year (because he met almost all his incentives) and bank on him not being injured? And where is Andy going to go? If he plays in 2010 it will ONLY be for the Yanks. $7m plus 3 or 4 in incentives ir more thn enough.

I do believe Bay and Holliday will be expensive. But it's still a depressed market and I believe the Yanks have re-established themselves as the team to go to, to win, as well as actually being a fun and quality team/organization to play for. To finish his career here Holliday (30 yrs old) might take a front loaded deal like 5/$80m. I would try it at least.

Can't go wrong with Matsui for 1 year.

While the Rays don't want to help us, Crawford for some quality/young/cheap farm talent might fly. TB must always be open to trade 1 expensive player for 2 or 3 cheap guys with upside.

If I am another AL team, I see the Yankees as very strong for at least another year or 2. In 2012, Mo and Po are gone, Jeter and ARod are 39, JD and Mats are gone. Teams like Toronto and Baltimore may be better off reloading with young talent for runs in 3 years rather then trying (and failing) to compete with the Yanks for the next 2 years.

Once the core 4 are gone/in decline, and as ARod ages, it will be a challenge for the Yanks to maintain being the top team.

Lastly... I'm all for rewarding guys who have been loyal and productive for us. Give them cash, a car, a front office job, some hookers... BUT NOT a spot on the roster. You can not denigrade the team to pay guys back for past loyalties/services.

71 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Nov 8, 2009 8:44 pm

Hot Stove! Lemme have a seat!

Monkey and others are right on about Damon. I have no idea how the idea he's fragile got traction or that he's 'mediocre' as a bat. He's durable and - especially in the Bronx - a very good bat. He is within a hair either way of Abreu, and will almost surely get 2 for $20, I agree. I also bet he'll earn it, somewhere.

I'm not sure I agree with all the 'logjam at DH' arguments. I really don't see playing Alex/Tex/Po/ even Damon if we sign him as DH's very much. Many teams have a steady DH. We'd be one with Matsui, and his production is very good. The key here is the knees, obviously, and some sense of how often he can afford to have them drained. But I'm not bothered by a full time DH.

Someone wrote of Montero: "You certainly don’t trade him for Hallady given his age. " Disagree as strongly as a man basking in a WS can! If the Jays ever did this, and Roy was signed for 4 years I'd be all over something like this! Halladay will be pitching excellent baseball at 38, I am willing to bet. That'd be a FIVE year contract. But it won't happen - from the Jays end. They'd want a pitcher, too.

But having said this I need to be consistent and say I'd happily do Lackey for free and pay about the same. They will get better-than-AJ money, though.

I would be astonished AND gobsmacked if the BoSox do not give Jason Bay close to whatever he asks. They have nothing behind him in left. His numbers last five years are terrific. Not a great fielder at all, but has shown (unlike Holliday) he can handle the AL East (and Boston) just fine.

72 Rich   ~  Nov 8, 2009 8:55 pm

I’m not sure I agree with all the ‘logjam at DH’ arguments. I really don’t see playing Alex/Tex/Po/ even Damon if we sign him as DH’s very much.

It's not about next year, it's about 2011. How many games do you think Posada can effectively catch at 40?

Someone wrote of Montero: “You certainly don’t trade him for Hallady given his age. ” Disagree as strongly as a man basking in a WS can! If the Jays ever did this, and Roy was signed for 4 years I’d be all over something like this!

It was me, loud and proud. If you think it's wise to watch Montero be an all-time great hitter for another team in the division for 15 years in exchange for four or five years of Halladay, that's your right. I think it's beyond ill-advised.

73 monkeypants   ~  Nov 8, 2009 9:06 pm

[72] Worry About Posada in 2011 in...2011. As a roster-construction philosophy, I do not believe in leaving the DH spot as a rotating platoon position to rest aging players. It's simply too valuable an offensive position. They should sign a player to be the primary DH and worry about dividing the ABs later. What's the harm in 2011? Too many bats on the roster?

74 monkeypants   ~  Nov 8, 2009 9:10 pm

To continue, there is a reasonable chance that a verging on 40 y.o. Posada will not hit well enough in 2011 to warrant using up the DH spot. In fact, his career 124 OPS+, while spectacular for a catcher, is not all that impressive for a DH (or 1B). In 2011, it may make better sense simple to rest him entirely on days when he does not catch.

75 Raf   ~  Nov 8, 2009 9:27 pm

[73] Exactly. A lot can happen between now and 2011. Besides, even if there is a "logjam" the MLB season has a way of clearing things out through injury or ineffectiveness.

For example, Chili Davis was signed to be the primary DH in 1998. That wasn't the case

76 Paul   ~  Nov 8, 2009 9:34 pm

What’s the harm in 2011? Too many bats on the roster?

I'm totally with you here. The Yankees have the money.

As for A-Jax and Montero, I not saying to bank on them in 2010. But they're not bad insurance to have in case of injury to Damon and Matsui. Sign both and have the youngsters in AAA.

Sign Matsui and Damon for $18 million/year for two years. They get two very good bats at best and 1 very good bat at worst. Likely it will be something in-between.

Then if they have the at-bats available, the kids (Miranda too) will get a shot. If not the kids have more time to develop.

Win-win. And better than dropping twice as much cash for twice as many years on Bay or Holliday. Though if Bay is signed, I won't be complaining. Still, in that case, make Damon the DH for 2 years.

It ain't my money. The Yankees have plenty of it. Ticket sales alone net them >$200 million.

77 Paul   ~  Nov 8, 2009 9:35 pm

Doesn't anyone remember the Yankee OF logjam in 2009? Me neither. Probably because it didn't last through Spring Training.

78 monkeypants   ~  Nov 8, 2009 9:38 pm

I'd like to see Miranda get a shot as a bencher/PH next season.

79 Rich   ~  Nov 8, 2009 10:40 pm

Worry About Posada in 2011 in…2011

Like it isn't foreseeable that a catcher who has already sustained a significant defensive decline won't continue to decline at 40?

It's not about being worried. It's merely about prudent decision making.

It's questionable whether he can continue to catch 100 games in 2010.

The issue isn't too many bats. The issue is too many aging bats belonging to overpaid players that are past their prime.

80 Rich   ~  Nov 8, 2009 10:41 pm

Doesn’t anyone remember the Yankee OF logjam in 2009?

There was only a logjam to people who thought that Nady was anything more than a league average hitter and a below average fielder who lacked plate discipline. He would have played his way out of the rotation even if he didn't get hurt.

81 Rich   ~  Nov 8, 2009 10:43 pm

[74] If Posada doesn't hit well enough to DH and then he won't hit well enough to catch, because the only reason that he can still catch is because he can still hit.

82 monkeypants   ~  Nov 9, 2009 12:17 am

[81] Not necessarily. He can hit well enough to carry his defense at C (say, a .770 OPS, which would still represent very fine offense for a catcher) but not hit his position at DH (the average AL DH last year hit .780 OPS). In such a case, it would be preferable to play him for 40 or 60 or 100 or 110 games at C and simply sit him the rest of the time---leaving DH for a real DH, who would give the Yankees a greater offensive advantage at the position.

In other words, how many games Posada can catch (in reference to [79]) is an issue independent from whether they should sign a full-time DH (i.e. a very good hitter who's penciled in to DH most days). It would be highly imprudent, in my mind, not to carry a big bat to play DH on the thought that a one (or several) player(s) on the roster should DH some of the time in future.

The issue isn’t too many bats. The issue is too many aging bats belonging to overpaid players that are past their prime.

I don't understand what you mean by this. The solution to aging bats past their prime being overpaid is NOT to reserve the DH as spot to rotate them into and out of.

83 Rich   ~  Nov 9, 2009 12:53 am

[82] A .770 OPS may be "very fine offense for a catcher" if that catcher can actually play the position well, but Posada really can't. He is bad at framing pitches and even worse at blocking pitches in the dirt.

The only reason that he would even be on the roster at that point is his contract. Cash thought it was dumb to give him four years at the time that contract was signed and that's why he opposed it.

Which proves my point: length of contract does matter because it has consequences about how much a player will play.

I don’t understand what you mean by this. The solution to aging bats past their prime being overpaid is NOT to reserve the DH as spot to rotate them into and out of.

What is the solution? They aren't going to cut them.

The solution, imo, is to stop signing players whose defense is declining to multi-year contracts.

84 Raf   ~  Nov 9, 2009 9:06 am

length of contract does matter because it has consequences about how much a player will play.

No it doesn't. There are plenty of examples of a younger rookie pushing aside a higher salaried, less talented veteran

85 Paul   ~  Nov 9, 2009 9:23 am

[82] I'm with you on Posada too. He'll be a catcher or he'll sit. There's no need to worry about giving him substantial ABs at DH just to put a guy like Molina or Cervelli behind the plate. Jorge isn't great, but he manages the running game. And unless there's something physically wrong with A-Rod or Jeter, they should be fielding their positions too. It does little good to move them to DH for any more than a few games if it means putting a bat like Pena or Hairston into the lineup.

The Yankees no longer have any players (Giambi, Sheffield) forced into the field because the DH spot is taken. Damon is getting there and he probably will be sometime in 2010. Still, I'd rather have one bat too many than one too few. And if both Damon and Matsui are healthy they'll be productive. If not, the Yankees have young options. It's not like there's an obvious alternative on the market.

There was only a logjam to people who thought that Nady was anything more than a league average hitter and a below average fielder who lacked plate discipline.

You mean like the manager and the GM?

The Yankees can afford "logjams". And more often than not they work themselves out just fine. There was also a logjam for the Yankee rotation this year.

Which proves my point: length of contract does matter because it has consequences about how much a player will play.

How does a hypothetical "prove" your point? Jorge is still a well-above average player at his position. Whether he will be in two years remains to be seen. Since when has "framing pitches" been a measurable skill? And he's never been good at blocking pitches. Catchers are usually forced from the position because they can't throw out runners. That hasn't been an issue for Jorge yet. The big worry is that Jorge gets hurt and misses significant time again. But if you plan on Jorge being an underpowered DH, and he does get hurt, you wind up with two weak bats in the lineup - the "defensive" catcher and a backup DH.

Jorge is a catcher like Jeter is a shortstop. Their value is so tied to their position it makes no sense to plan otherwise. That said, having a quality bench becomes extremely important.

The solution, imo, is to stop signing players whose defense is declining to multi-year contracts.

If you really think this we aren't that far apart. The Yankees signing Damon and Matsui for two years, at most, is the best of the possible outcome in this dimension. It's decent money on short contracts. The alternative is either signing Bay/Holliday for more money and years or trading for a guy like Dunn or Hawpe. Why give up prospects when they can get the same production for fewer dollars and no prospects on the free agent market?

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