"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Submit Your Nominations For Our Next Dead Horse

First off all, something interesting: last night many people (including me) were eager to jump on the Cliff-Lee-took-less-money story, embracing the idea that here was the rare athlete motivated by something different, and therefore in some way admirable. Well, beware of easy storylines. It now seems that Lee may not have taken much less money at all. Our old friend William argues, at his blog and The Yankee U, that when you include the Phillies’ vesting option for a sixth year, the difference is negligible; he gets into the details of things like tax rates and interest rates which I am wary of diving into myself, but it does at least seem clear that while Lee may have taken less money, it was not near the $50 million less that was being thrown around last night. (Of course, I would love to get paid in a year what Cliff Lee will make in an inning, so it’s pretty much all magic-fun-numbers anyway at this level).

None of this really changes my reaction, which could be summed up as “probably for the best down the road, and if you need me in 2011, I’ll be on the floor, curled into the fetus position around a bottle of Laphroaig.”

With the drama of days and days of fevered speculation behind us, what’s next? The Yankees are already beginning to move on, making the non-inspiring but likely harmless move of signing Russell Martin to a one-year deal. To me, this doesn’t say they’re necessarily planning to trade one of their catching prospects (though of course that’s a possibility), but rather that they really, really do not think Jorge Posada can catch much anymore. Will the catching situation be the new dead horse upon which we release our impatience and frustration?

I’m taking suggestions, but I would like to preemptively oppose further debate on the Joba-as-starter idea. Yes, it makes sense to me too… but apparently it doesn’t to the Yankees, and there’s no meat left on that bone. He remains, for now, the World’s Most Famous Mediocre Middle Reliever.

Also, anybody who so much as whispers a word rhyming with “Pavano” gets slapped with a fish, Python-style.

55 days ’til spring training…


1 rbj   ~  Dec 14, 2010 2:03 pm

Not if I get to that bottle of Laphroaig first! Actually, I'll share it with you.

How about this horse: Nova vs. Mitre as #5

2 Jon DeRosa   ~  Dec 14, 2010 2:05 pm

emma, i think it is andy pettitte-central around here for the time being. two gaping holes in the rotation, no obvious solutions outside of pettitte and nova.

i think we spend our time pining for pettitte and constructing implausible trade scenarios to get impossible pitchers.

3 dlaik1   ~  Dec 14, 2010 2:11 pm

Here is my nomination. How about a 29 year old starting pitcher with a career ERA of 3.50 and has thrown over 200 innings 5 times. One that we can get by mainly just exercising our financial resources, one who after the All Star break last year was 8-0 with nearly a K/Inning pitched and whose best success came with our new pitching coach. Oh and he also comes lugging a giant barrel full of crazy. Yes, I nominate The Big Z, Carlos Zambrano...

4 thelarmis   ~  Dec 14, 2010 2:23 pm

[3] RI Yank will 2nd that nomination!

5 Emma Span   ~  Dec 14, 2010 2:26 pm

[1] If we're debating Nova vs Mitre, make it two bottles. That's not even a dead horse, that's more like a mutilated goat.

[2] Yes. If I lived in Texas I'd wander drunkenly under his window Brando-style yelling "AAAAANNNDYYYYYY!"

[3] Well, it would be highly entertaining. He'd cost an arm and a Montero though, I'd have to think, and maybe that still wouldn't get it done...

6 Shaun P.   ~  Dec 14, 2010 2:29 pm

[0] Not trying to start debate, but just curious: did anyone directly ask Cashman today if Joba was going to be an option for the rotation?

He said earlier this offseason that the answer was no - but this is the man who once declared, "Bubba Crosby is our starting centerfielder." Things change.

7 Emma Span   ~  Dec 14, 2010 2:32 pm

[6] People have asked, and he said something like "not considering it at this time". Granted, that does leave some wiggle room, and you're right - things do change. No one I've seen quoted from the Yankee organization though, by name or anonymously, has indicated that they're seriously considering it...

8 vockins   ~  Dec 14, 2010 2:36 pm

[5] [item 3] I'd read "Who Is The Most Famous Mediocre Middle Reliever" posts for a coupe of weeks.

9 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Dec 14, 2010 2:39 pm

Don't forget the "what-hole-does-Jeter-bat-in" horse.

That Zambrano idea has me scratching my chin with cautious appreciation. Among many other things it's lacking, the rotation is definitely at a low ebb on the crazy-O-meter. If they're going to blow up this year, let's at least make it watchable.

Add one part Jack McDowell, one part Boomer and one part Armando Benitez, then sprinkle with a dash of Randy Johnson-on-a-midtown-sidewalk... that's entertainment...

10 RCK   ~  Dec 14, 2010 2:43 pm

I count 62 days to spring training. Aren't pitchers and catchers reporting 2/14?

December: 17
January: 31
Ferbruary: 14

Adds up to 62.

Not to depress anyone further.

11 Emma Span   ~  Dec 14, 2010 2:52 pm

[9] Yes and yes.

[10] Umm. It's entirely possible that I can no longer count...

12 51cq24   ~  Dec 14, 2010 2:53 pm

i think it would be silly to avoid talking about how joba should be given another chance as a starter. if the yankees don't seem willing to do that, all the more reason to talk about it.

what organization doesn't give their best pitching prospect a real chance to start? unless they know something about his shoulder that we do not, there is no good reason for them not putting him back in the rotation in spring training.

13 ms october   ~  Dec 14, 2010 3:24 pm

[12] i agree . and once they internally made the decision to relegate him to middle relief, why not trade him while his value was pretty high?
the joba chronicles continue to confound me.

i do however nominate the wandy rodriguez suggestions as a topic that shall not be discussed further!

14 RIYank   ~  Dec 14, 2010 3:56 pm

[3] [4] Seconded!

Mmmm, Laphroaig.

15 Just Fair   ~  Dec 14, 2010 4:01 pm

Fire Girardi. ; )
Zambrano and Posada. That is one Red Ass Battery!

16 Sliced Bread   ~  Dec 14, 2010 4:03 pm

this talk of dead horses got me thinking about Trojan horses, but now I'm thinking Trojan Centaur.
Follow me here. There's a plan.
We call the Phillies front office. They say, "Hello, Philies front office." We say, "Hi, um, Alex Rodriguez on the line. I'd like to come by Citizens Bank Ballpark this afternoon to, um, talk. You know, to say congratulations on having the best pitchers and everything, and then we could talk about anything else you'd like to talk to me about, see?"
Then, they say, "Is this really Alex Rodriguez?"
and we say, "Oh, sure. Absolutely. You wanna talk to Cameron Diaz?"
oh shit. and when they say, "Yeah, put her on the line" We say, "Oh, she's making a movie at the moment. She'll have to get back to you. But I assure you, this is Alex Rodriguez. Let me stop by the ballpark this afternoon and you'll see it's me in the flesh. Well, not so much flesh, as we Centaurs have hide."
anyway, this goes back and forth until they accept the "fact" that Alex Rodriguez is coming by this afternoon, see?
So here's the good part. When nobody's looking, we roll a giant Trojan Centaur to the executive entrance of Citizens Bank Ballpark. We ring the bell. When security comes to the door, we burst out of the Trojan Centaur, and storm the stadium. We get to the infield, and we - I dunno, we do something hostily inappropriate. We spill beer, and pee on the grass. Stuff like that.
But here's the trick hidden inside the trick. We don't dress up like Yankees fans. They'd arrest us in a second.
No, we dress up like Phillies fans, and say "Ah, we wuz just celebrating the arrival of Cliff Lee, you know? Cut us a break. Go Phillies," and all that.

And they let us skate, see? Pee and spilt beer is just another day at the ballpark in Philly, right?
So who's with me?
C'mon. You know you wanna do this. I've already got the Trojan Centaur in my driveway (don't ask why), and can be down there in 2 hours.

17 cult of basebaal   ~  Dec 14, 2010 4:09 pm

unless they know something about his shoulder that we do not, there is no good reason for them not putting him back in the rotation in spring training.

You think?

Maybe, just maybe?

Or, otherwise, they might just think he might not be cut out for starting.

Now, they with several hundred combined years of baseball experience, might be wrong ... but then again, *they* might just be right ... and *we* might just be the one's chock-full-of-shit ... no?

18 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 14, 2010 4:55 pm

What? Only 55 da -- oh, well, 62, then we have time! Emma scared me. How we find a mediocre starter in less than 2 months?

I admit I worry about the Waiting for Pettitte process. Not because I don't want him (do,do!) but because it would worry me to label him OR Hughes as #2 for 2011. Both showed lots of good stuff for parts of last year (Andy might have kept doing it) but in the AL East I think we just need a reliable 2/3 arm and then we only hope ONE of AndyPhil is at that level.

I also note that some serious money is being thrown at middle relievers, as in 15 million for three year deals. We've been there. Downs is likely to prove worth it, Gregg would not be, to me. Is Kerry Wilson now priced up there for 3? Looks like it. Or more if he gets a closer slot somewhere. I hope we sign him. And maybe one more. No faith in Joba. None.

19 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 14, 2010 4:57 pm

[9] Don't we already have an injury prone, inconsistent nutjob in AJ Burnett?

20 Yankster   ~  Dec 14, 2010 6:05 pm

[16] Damnit. I don't want to but now that you've put it out there, I'm in on the condition that we bury a cursed jersey under their pitchers mound. Can you arrange that? Maybe a Jersey with Lee spelled backward on it: EEL. That should do it. Make that fifth year a catastrophe.

Joba the Hut is in my top five yankees because baseball is a soap opera and Joba is a soap opera star. Just look at his background, seems like a tough one. If he goes out there and pitches to a 4.65 ERA as the fifth starter, what's the big deal? The lineup should still mash.

21 Greg G   ~  Dec 14, 2010 6:22 pm

The Yanks just signed Mark Prior. Not Big Z, but close.

22 51cq24   ~  Dec 14, 2010 6:32 pm

[17] if they thought he wasn't cut out to be a starter, why let him "compete" for the job last year? what evidence might they have found in 4 or 5 spring training starts to come to that conclusion? there is no statistical evidence that he cannot handle being a starter. or at least very little. and whatever evidence there is, there is at least as much evidence that he is "not cut out" to be a reliever.

23 Simone   ~  Dec 14, 2010 6:33 pm

If Joba's isn't physical, then I don't see that the Yankees much choice, but to try to work with him to help him be a good starter.

I have always been a Zambrano fan so if the Yankees can get him and not give up too much, I would like to that happen.

One of the ESPN baseball guys just claimed that a friend of Greinke said that he was a competitor and would love to come to the Yankees. But I can't imagine how the Yankees can gamble on giving up tons of prospects for a guy suffering from anxiety.

24 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Dec 14, 2010 8:10 pm


Oh my God, sliced, that was brilliant! OMFG!


25 Sliced Bread   ~  Dec 15, 2010 8:17 am

[24] yo, thanks, weeping. I could have used your help rolling that Trojan Centaur into position, but it worked!

26 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 15, 2010 8:27 am

[25] Sliced, I wish you'd seen my "Jeter's Pissed-Off Revenge" movie treatment from a few days ago; a labor of love at best, but AB and Raf saw it, so I still feel honored >;)

27 Sliced Bread   ~  Dec 15, 2010 8:34 am

[26] got a link?

28 hiscross   ~  Dec 15, 2010 9:00 am

So we didn't get Lee. He rather play in Philly. No big deal. I get a kick out of all the fans who think the Yanks are done in 2011. In 2003 we got A-Rod and the loser red sux fans all but threw in the towel for 2004. Well, we all know how that turned out. Baseball is played on the field by players, Not Fans. Fans sit in the stands for One reason, they can't play or are not good enough. Lee is a fine pitcher, who has come into his own the past 3 years. He has been with 4 teams the past 2 seasons and Lost 2 WS games to SF. He also started last season on the DL and lost his 1st game with Texas. The Yankees have a very good team. they need to get going mid-to-late August and not get concerned about the season before then. Remember, In early August of 2009 they had already lost every game they played against the Red Sox. On August 8 they won their 1st game (I was there), sweep the RS and went on the win the WS. SF did the same this year although they started their run in September. Players win games, Fans watch games.

29 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 15, 2010 9:30 am

[27] Here ya go... start with comment 5 >;)

30 Sliced Bread   ~  Dec 15, 2010 2:38 pm

[29] HA! Whack, Whack, Whack, dude. Especially loved the Waldman "GOODNESS GRACIOUS" bit. Excellently done, sir.

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