Jul
14

This team isn’t one move away…

By

What piece do you think is the most important for the Yankees to add in the next 16 days? Should the Yankees be adding players at all? These are questions we’ve been discussing for the past few months, and become ever important right now. The Yanks hit the break at 50-45, though things could have been a ton worse. With the injuries and general ineffectiveness, the team could have just as easily been five games under .500. With Tampa Bay faltering, and the Red Sox looking at least a little vulnerable, the Wild Card and AL East are still within sights. Clearly, though, something has to change over this three-day vacation.

Problems with the offense

When your starting left fielder and starting DH hit the shelf, there’s not much you can do to compensate. Sure, you can swing a trade or sign a free agent, if a very good one still exists on the market. Given the nature of these injuries, though, such a move could cause a logjam, kind of like we saw at the end of 2006. Except this logjam would figure to become an issue far before that.

Johnny Damon should be back before the end of the month. Hideki Matsui has been taking BP, and could be back on a similar timeframe, though his ability to hold up over the duration of the season is in far more doubt. Still, it appears as though both will be back in the lineup at some point. Meaning that if the Yanks swing a trade for someone to replace either, they’re stuck with 10 guys filling into nine slots. While some of the vets could use a day off here and there, this would make the roster a bit crowded.

What do you do with the lineup if, for instance, you go out and sign Barry Bonds, and then Damon and Matsui come back healthy? You could institute a rotation, but is that really the answer? I’m not sure myself. I just think that with those two coming back in the reasonably near future, making another offensive acquisition makes little sense. Unless we’re talking Richie Sexson, who would occupy mostly a platoon/bench role. If he even wants to sign, that is.

Then again, the Yankees woes against lefties is overstated. They hold a .257/.338/.394 line against southpaws, versus a .271/.338/.422 against righties. So while adding a lefty masher like Sexson could be a strategic advantage, it’s not going to completely turn around a lackluster offense.

Problems with the pitching

When Wang came up limping in Houston, we knew we had a problem. At the time, I don’t think many of us imagined it would be as large as Sidney Ponson. While fattie has produced decent results thus far, you know he’s not going to sustain it. Getting him, and even Rasner, out of the rotation is of necessity if the Yanks want to contend in the second half.

The problem is, there’s not much help on the horizon. Kennedy is still working his way back, and cannot be counted on to be better than Ras/Ponson. Hughes is out until at least August, though he could probably benefit from an extended rehab stint. Wang we won’t see until September, if at all. Alan Horne has been injured much of the year. Igawa is a trainwreck in the majors. Etc., etc.

Of course, the problem with buying a pitcher is that not many are available. A.J. Burnett is the most attractive name on the market, though you have to wonder how willing J.P. Ricciardi is to send a veritable Yankee killer to the very team he kills. I’ve mentioned in the past that given Burnett’s opt-out likelihood after this year, the Jays might be more willing to deal him to the highest bidder, regardless of division. The exception, upon further thought, might be the Yankees. So we can safely forget about him for now.

So who can they add? There don’t appear to be many names to fill that void. The road ahead is going to be awful rough with 2/5 of the rotation composed of Rasner and Ponson. With a high-powered offense, they might be able to compensate. As it stands, though, they’re not going to win those Rasner/Ponson starts frequently if they’re scoring two to three runs per game.

Offense from within

The problem, as has been noted thoroughly this season, is hitting with runners in scoring position. As a team, the Yanks are hitting .254/.337/.376 in those situations. Puh-thetic. Worse, they’re hitting .220/.302/.318 with runners on first and second. They’re far better off with no one on, as the team hits .265/.335/.421. Though, as you can notice, OBP is a huge issue in all regards.

The team can try to add players, but a huge part of the problem is with the current starters who will not, under any circumstances, be replaced. You’re not getting Derek Jeter‘s .345 OBP out of the 2-hole or, for now, the leadoff spot. First, because Girardi would never do that, and second, because there aren’t many guys on the team who are doing better. If Jeter has his career-average .386 OBP, the Yanks are likely a ton better off.

Robinson Cano and his horrible OPB skill aren’t going anywhere, either. while his batting averages have been better since his abysmal .151 April, he has yet to exceed .300 in any month. While he might end up with an OBP around .300 to .320 over the final months of the season, that’s still below an acceptable level for a starter. He’s going to need to bring up his batting average, which isn’t always easy for a guy like Cano, who hack and hacks away.

Bobby Abreu has a career OBP of .405. That is what the Yanks signed up for when they traded for him from Philly. This year, he’s at .345. While that’s one of the higher marks on the team, it is not befitting of Bobby. It’s tough to ask more of one of the few guys producing, but in order for the Yanks offense to succeed in the second half, he’s going to have to be the .390 – .420 OBP Bobby we were used to seeing.

The list goes on. The only players with OBPs above .350 are Giambi and A-Rod, and their respective marks have come down in recent weeks. Damon and Matsui both sit well above the .350 mark, and we’re sorely missing them from the lineup.

The overall point, though, is that you’re not replacing some of these guys who aren’t performing the way we’re used to. You can talk about adding Bonds all you want. The bottom line is that his playing time would cut into that of Damon and Matsui, two of the guys who were already shouldering a good portion of the offensive load. The problem is with Jeter, Abreu, Cano, and Melky, none of which, it seems, will be replaced anytime soon. Not that they necessarily should be. It’s just that they need to up their game to normal levels.

The hitting with runners in scoring position won’t be fixed by adding a player, either. We know this team can hit in those situations. They hit .293/.378/.451 with RISP last year, which was consistent with their numbers with no one on (.828 OPS) and with any number of men on (.830 OPS). The overall numbers are down this year, and the discrepancy is greater. The team OPSs .755 with no one on, .745 with runners on in general, and .317 with runners in scoring position. Once again, puh-thetic.

So no, this team is not just a move away from turning it around. The guys currently on the roster, and who for the most part cannot be replaced, are going to have to start hitting like they’re capable of in the second half. If they can’t do that, you can add as many OF/DH/1B types you like. They’re not replacing poor production in premium lineup spots.

Categories : Hot Stove League

169 Comments»

  1. Ivan says:

    Cashman has said it all the time, that the solutions are here and he’s right. To be honest I don’t see a move unless it’s huge that’s gonna put this team in a better position. Guys have been hurt, others underperforming. I still think they are dangerous in the second half but right now they need to improve the OBP and RISP.

  2. nolan says:

    To solve our pitching woes I think we should go after either AJ Burnett or Eric Bedard.
    Our offense is pathetic. I think we should trade for Matt Holiday and Fuentes of the Rockies. Move Gardner to CF.

    • whozat says:

      You must have missed the 80′s. That’s exactly what those teams would have done, and moves like that are the reason that they were so consistently terrible for that whole decade.

      • Rich says:

        I was hoping that the guy is being sarcastic, but who knows.

      • mustang says:

        I lived the 80′s and I don’t understand how you can make this comment without knowing what the Yankees would give up on their end. Yes, if they are giving up Hughes, Jackson, etc I can see your point, but lets say your talking IPK, etc for Matt Holiday and Fuentes how do you not do that.

      • Sidney El Panson says:

        my god…..an intelligent person with an acutal memory on here! quick, let’s get him away from our Melky-hating children.

  3. daneptizl says:

    Burnett and Bedard would be bad to horrible acquisitions.

  4. Bruno says:

    Amen Joe.

    I’m still VERY ticked by Morneau over Giambi in HR Derby.

  5. daneptizl says:

    Why do we need Fuentes? Because our bullpen is horrible? Except it isn’t?

    • whozat says:

      Because Big Names are what the Yankees need to win, obviously. Any prospect that is not an immediate ROY candidate must be traded for someone with at least one all-star appearance on his resume, no matter how long ago it was.

    • B says:

      Cause we need a lefty reliever! I hear that Colorado likes Kennedy!!!

      • Ivan says:

        Unless Brian Fuentes is the lefty version of Mo, I am not trading Kennedy for him.

        • B says:

          Honestly, anything is better than Kennedy.

          • swo says:

            So you’d rather not take a chance on Kennedy’s potential (he didn’t win MiLB pitcher of the year for nothing) and add a good-but-not-great cog to an already fantastic bullpen?

            Ingenious.

            • B says:

              Kennedy’s chance has expired! And should have been traded in the offseason. MiLB is not MLB, Kennedy will prove that he is no better than Sean Henn(he had potential too) at the MLB level but great at the MiLB level.

              • Ivan says:

                Like John McEnroe said “You can’t be serious”

              • B says:

                Because I don’t like Kennedy? Whatever, we have better prospects than him.

                • whozat says:

                  Perhaps. But it’s idiotic to say that a guy’s a bust because he didn’t succeed in his first two month in the majors — in his second season of pro-ball. Especially if he’s 23, and destroyed every level of the minors in his first crack at professional baseball.

                  It’s also idiotic to compare Kennedy ‘s career path to that of a guy who lost 6 MPH off his fastball as a result of TJ surgery.

                • Jon says:

                  Whozat, are you calling Kennedy a bust?

                • whozat says:

                  If by “calling Kennedy a bust” you mean “telling B how wrong he is for calling Kennedy a bust”.

                • Jon says:

                  I read this thread and not once did he use the word bust. you did.

                • whozat says:

                  “I read this thread and not once did he use the word bust. you did.”

                  Yes. In the sentence “it’s idiotic to say that a guy’s a bust because he didn’t succeed in his first two month in the majors”

                  In response to B saying “Kennedy’s chance has expired! And should have been traded in the offseason.”

                • B says:

                  Thank you! I didn’t call Kennedy a bust. I just said I didn’t like him!

                • B says:

                  Whozat, you must have selective reading because I also said that we have better prospects than him!

                • Sean Henn went to McLennan Community College (because no real college baseball program was impressed enough with him to offer him a scholarship of any substance) and was drafted in the 26th round in 2000. He never dominated at any level and only moved through the system because he was a lefty. If Henn was a righty, he probably would have ended up in Indy ball 5 years ago.

                  After a dominant high school career (in his junior year he had a 0.38 ERA – five earned runs in 90 2/3 innings and 168 strikeouts while batting .373 with seven home runs and 31 RBI), Ian Kennedy was drafted in the 14th round by the Cardinals, but he didn’t sign because he was offered a scholarship to USC, one of the premier baseball schools in the country. After being the ace of the USC staff, and possibly one of the best pitchers in the history of a school where Randy Johnson, Mark Prior, Tom Seaver, and Barry Zito all went to school, we drafted him with the 21st pick in the draft and paid him a 2.25M bonus. In 33 career minor league games, he’s got an ERA of 1.96 with 194K in 176 IP and a 0.97 WHIP.

                  Look, I’ve got some doubts about IPK becoming a dominant ML starter… we all do. But to suggest that 56.2 major league innings means that we can write a death requiem for IPK is foolish ,to say that he had equitable potential to Sean Henn is laughably ignorant, and to argue that Henn’s failure foreshadows any facet of IPK’s career is incredibly dumb.

                • B says:

                  I don’t care what he did at college! Look at what Pete Incaviglia did at college, and what did he do at the MLB level?

                • whozat says:

                  “Whozat, you must have selective reading because I also said that we have better prospects than him!”

                  So? What does that have to do with your point about Kennedy?

                  You said the guy’s chance is over and he should be traded. You also compared him to Sean Henn. Arguing that you didn’t use the word “bust” is pointless haggling over semantics.

                • Jon says:

                  Will all of you just shut the hell up! Who cares, Kennedy is in the minors and most likely will be staying there the rest of the year! Now SHUT UP!

                • whozat says:

                  What the hell? It’s not like your webbrowser grabs focus and reads our posts to you in a loud Fran-Drescher-voice every time we hit “Add Comment”.

                  Why do you care?

                • Jon says:

                  Sick and tired of hearing and reading about the same garbage over and over! Its like the garbage with Brett Farve and the Packers!

                  You always have people who wouldn’t touch Kennedy with a ten-foot pole always argueing with the people you can’t remove their lips from his a$$. Crist, would like to hear something different once and a while. Get over it!

                • whozat says:

                  So go read other comments in this very thread. It’s not that hard.

                • Jon says:

                  OMG. Guess your the type that always has to be right and have the last word.

                • ChrisS says:

                  No, but I am.

      • A.D. says:

        The need for a lefty reliever is a modern baseball fallacy, under that thinking just having Traber on the 25 man roster would make the team better, even though he might be the worst reliever on the team

        • JeffG says:

          Having a lefty helps – just not when they suck like Traber or the other recent losers Cashman has brought in.
          When a power hitting lefty (with bad splits – and a lot of them do) that comes to bat in the late innnings and you have someone in the penn who can neutralize him that is huge.

          • whozat says:

            There are plenty of righties that get these power-hitting lefties out all the time. Just give me quality pitchers. If you can find one with good splits against lefties, great.

  6. raymagnetic ®™ says:

    The pitching doesn’t really concern me. I can live with 2 or 3 more 5 inning 4 run starts from Rasner and Ponson.

    The offense is what worries me. Who would have thunk that the team may score 200 less runs this year? Nobody saw this coming. I close my eyes when I watch the team hit nowadays, that’s how scary ugly the offense looks. Jeter’s been hot in July hopefully he can continue his hot streak. Hopefully Cano has a hot streak in him. Hopefully Melky has another April in him. And hopefully Alex has another April of ’07 in him. Other than that I don’t know what they can do.

    • B says:

      If the way Rasner has pitch in his last ten starts hasn’t made you scream for some concern then you really need to look closer.

      Yes if an offense doesn’t produce then you have no chance of winning a game but if the pitcher cannot hold someone else’s offense then we have no shot whatsoever. You can’t expect to always out score opponents by 5-10 runs every game. Moves need to be made for both a pitcher and a hitter, otherwise we can pack up this season and wait until next year but considering that this is the last year in Yankee Stadium, I would go for it and not give up!

      • raymagnetic ®™ says:

        Darrell Rasner is the fifth starter on the team. Last year number 5 starters had an ER well north of 5.

        I never said that Rasner should be here the rest of the year. I said I can live with another 2 or 3 games where he pitches 5 innings and gives up 4 runs.

        In his last five starts he’s pitched 5 innings giving up 2, 7, 2, 6, and 4 runs. He basically gave the Yankees a chance to win in 3 out of his last 5 starts. Again, he’s the fifth starter. Those are the kinds of numbers a 5th starter will give you.

        • JeffG says:

          If Rasner is the fifth starter then that makes Ponson number four… a team can not carry two fives and expect make up too much ground. Probably looking at a 50/50 record at best.

      • whozat says:

        “but considering that this is the last year in Yankee Stadium, I would go for it and not give up!”

        This isn’t a world-series team unless a lot of guys who aren’t going to get replaced get it going. “Going for it” could cripple the organization for years to come. Doing so just because they’re moving next year would be incredibly foolish.

        • B says:

          My term “go for it” is make a trade or 2(ala david Justice type) not something that will ruin the team for years to come. Sorry I should have been more clear with that. My bad.

          • whozat says:

            “My term “go for it” is make a trade or 2(ala david Justice type) not something that will ruin the team for years to come.”

            Tell me two worthwhile trades that could be made without losing Hughes, Montero, Melancon and Jackson. They don’t really need bullpen arms. So, it’s gotta be a starter that’s more useful than Kennedy and not a two-month rental. And a bat at a position where the guy’ll actually get playing time. Read: CF. Maybe 2B if you think they’d bench Cano for a while. 1B or OF against lefties.

            I’d be looking at Bobby Kielty pretty hard right now. He’s been released, plays all the OF positions, and has always crushed lefties. Swap him in for Justin Christian and Sexson for Billy Traber.

            • B says:

              I’m not including Hughes in any trades! And I never said a bullpen arm was needed more than a rotation guy. But Honestly, I do not see any starters available right now that I would want to take a chance on.

  7. Scott of 3 Kids Tickets says:

    Personally, I think while we could use a starter it doesn’t have to be a HUGE name. Wheta we’re missing is that bench guy. Strawberry, BIG DADDY Fielder, Chili Davis, Tim Raines. How about a David Justice type trade? They need one guy who can jump start this offense and we’ll be ok!

    -BINNER

  8. Scott of 3 Kids Tickets says:

    You beat me to it Raymagnetic

    -Scott

  9. Geno says:

    If we must make a trade, I’d look into getting Harang and Dunn from the Reds.

    • steve (different one) says:

      pretty sure Harang is headed toward TJS.

      Dunn would be a very nice rental, but have no idea what the price would be.

      • A.D. says:

        Right now everyone says that no one is looking into Dunn, so maybe not that much, but there’s also a reason no one is looking into him

    • TurnTwo says:

      so we should add a pitcher with elbow problems and another hitter who strikes out too much, and cant play any position well defensively?

      • I’m not as anti Adam Dunn as I once was.

        Did you know that Dunn has slugged .569, .540, .490, .554, and .538 the past five years (including 2008)? That even with all those strikeouts, he’s only had one season with an OBP lower than .380, because he draws a ton of walks? That if he’d driven in 8 more runs in 2006, he’d be working on a stretch of four straight 40 HR / 100 RBI / 100 BB / 100 R? That he’s only 28 years old? That he’s done all that playing in a ballpark that, unlike Yankee Stadium, doesn’t favor lefties?

        J. P. Riccardi might shoot me for this, but for the right price, acquiring Adam Dunn wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

        • Todd says:

          Dunn to play where? If he is in Left, Damon and his D is in Center. We already have a left handed slugging first baSEMAN WHO PLAYS NO d. wHY DO WE NEED TWO? (sorry about the caps)

        • Geno says:

          Exactly. Dunn strikes out a lot, but he still manages to be extremely productive. Having a gold glove in LF isn’t a prerequisite for winning the World Series. Besides, next year he could DH.

          I’d take Harang and get him the surgery he needs ASAP. Once he’s healed up, I think he’ll go back to what he was before – one of the better pitchers in the game.

  10. Ivan says:

    When looking at this team, this team has alot of core go to guys struggling. Jeter, Abreu, Cano, Giambi is less than .200 hitter RISP, A-Rod has strugled with RISP, Posada has struggled as well. There is nothing the GM or manager can do there. Yankees are not going anywhere unless those guys step they game up period.

    Another thing, it’s funny how people are killing the yanks for not having a back up plan for Hughes and Kennedy. You know what is the back up plan, Hughes and IPK. Hey it’s not like the yanks stash AS players in the minors. Seriously people need to STFU about that (Including you Steve Lombardi)

    Hey I,ve said before, this is a season where stuff that could went wrong went wrong. That’s bad luck period. Add the fact that guys are underperforming, it has been a tought season. Nevertheless, if we can get healthy and the core guys produce, we certainly not only win the WC but also the division.

    • whozat says:

      “Another thing, it’s funny how people are killing the yanks for not having a back up plan for Hughes and Kennedy. You know what is the back up plan, Hughes and IPK.”

      They DID have back-up plans. Joba’s pending move to the rotation was a backup for one slot. Horne was an option with more upside than any free agent option. Rasner and Karstens were replacement-level backup plans. Guys like McCutchen and Marquez were more backup plans that could have been ready by mid-season. Would having a guy like Livan Hernandez have made Hughes, Horne and Kennedy not get hurt?

      • Ivan says:

        Exactly. Unfortunately people don’t wanna see it. Besides the yankee brass was gonna basically ride or die with Hughes and Kennedy.

  11. Ivan says:

    Stop with the knee jerk/second guessing reactions.

  12. Add one hitter and one pitcher, cross your fingers on Wang/Hughes/Kennedy/Pavano/Bruney/Horne/Damon/Matsui, and go to war with what we’ve got.

    I like Bonds and Sexson because they can fill holes while we get healthy. I acknowledge the above fact that once Damon and Matsui are healthy, they become expendable. However, we don’t know when Damon or Matsui will become healthy, if ever, and it’s far from inconceivable to assume they’ll get injured or sore again. We’re currently carrying 13 pitchers, three catchers, and three of our four outfielders are interchangeable backups, for all intents and purposes. We could easily send Billy Traber, Chad Moeller, or Justin Christian back to Scranton indefinitely to make room for Bonds or Sexson, who would cost us nothing. And if Damon and Matsui do return to health and productivity, Bonds/Sexson can be cut as easily as they were signed. Little to no risk, potentially high reward.

    The same tack works for the starting staff. The goal is not to get another ace, the goal is to have only one gaping hole at the back of the rotation instead of two. Paul Byrd and Randy Wolf aren’t pretty, but they eat innings and they’re better options than Raz and the Fatman. And, neither of them should cost much.

  13. daneptizl says:

    The answer is Justin Upton.

    • daneptizl says:

      (I’m just dreaming here.)

      • Geno says:

        I’d gladly trade a few of our quality young arms for someone like Upton. The flip side is that trading someone like Kennedy for someone like Fuentes is just inviting trouble and years of regrets.

        • B says:

          Years of regret…How?

          • Geno says:

            Well, maybe you don’t consider giving up a promising young starter for an aging reliever a chance for regret, but I do. In a year or 2, Fuentes will be out of the league, while we watch Kennedy win 14-18 games per year for another team.

            If you’d take your head out of wherever you have it, you’d see things with a little more clarity, B. You usually just come off sounding like a clown.

            • B says:

              Oh good for you, everyone wants to insult the 15 year old kid in this forum, take a number! I’ve seen every game Kennedy has pitched in the majors and I’m telling you right now if you think that Kennedy has a spot in our rotation in 2-3 years your sadly mistaken! He’ll be lucky to have a spot in our rotation next year!

            • B says:

              Oh and yes, I don’t see the Yanks getting Sabathia in the offseason. It would be nice but just don’t see it happening!

      • bobtaco says:

        Matt Kemp for Abreu and Kennedy

  14. mustang says:

    As read the thread and some of the comments that followed it’s the same old argument on the site: The youth movement vs. lets try to win now.
    What I don’t understand is why you can’t have both. There are some players on the trade market that might help this team and yes you will probably have to give up some young talent, but we are not talking about trading the farm.
    The “logjam” that might be created by any addition only makes them strong on the back end image having Matsui type as late inning pinch hitter. It worked great with Boggs in the 1996 World Series for example.
    One commenter here I think put it the best “The pendulum of acquiring talent through free agency, the draft, and trades should never be swung all the way to one extreme.”

    • Casper says:

      Interesting, but you failed to discuss the need to trade for David Justice.

      • steve (different one) says:

        i am sure Justice is available. you wouldn’t have to trade for him at all.

      • mustang says:

        The David Justice move I think was the best trade Cashman ever made. I don’t remember any other Yankee trades that help the team as much as that one did. That’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about they give up Jake Westbrook, Zach Day and Ricky Ledee.
        I miss when Cashman made trades like that and just wasn’t fixated on one thing.

        • steve (different one) says:

          if the 2008 Yankees were one bat away from a World Series team, he would make a trade.

          but the 2008 Yankees are probably 2 bats and 2 starters away.

          the irony in all of this? after years of listening to everyone bitch about the bullpen, the Yankees finally have a pretty good one.

          • mustang says:

            I respectfully disagree. Look at all the hits this team has taken and look where they’re at now. I think this team needs a lot less then everyone thinks especially with the excellent point you just made about the bullpen. I think that a good bullpen is key for playoff run, but only if you can hit.

            • steve (different one) says:

              fair enough.

              but they do need a bat, and right now, i just don’t know where that bat would come from.

          • A.D. says:

            Hmm right after Torre left, coincidence?, I think not

      • I have two words for you: Chili Davis.

        He was already 74 when he played for us the first time… his skills can’t have slipped that much now that he’s 82.

    • whozat says:

      “There are some players on the trade market that might help this team and yes you will probably have to give up some young talent, but we are not talking about trading the farm.”

      Such as? And let’s not forget that the point is not to limp into the post-season. If there are a set of moves that can turn this team into a world series contender without hobbling the organization for ten years, ok. If there aren’t…what’s the point of trading anything interesting for guys like Paul Byrd or Rand Wolfe?

      Basically, the big hitters need to show Cash that they’re worthy of getting some help. If Bobby and Derek were getting on base like they were supposed to, and Jason, ARod and Posada were cashing them in at a rate commensurate with their talent…then I could see an argument for shoring up the 2008 Yankees. But…if that’s not happening, they’re not going to win anything. So why trade interesting pieces just to limp into the first round?

      • mustang says:

        I don’t want to get into names because we could go all day. But what did the heart of this team show vs. Boston and Tampa?
        While your waiting for your “interesting pieces” the years keep coming off the championship core of this team. I rather limp into playoff and have a chance (refer to the Tigers and Cardinals of the recent past) then to sit round and think about my 2009 draft pick spot.
        This is not what I want to get into the same old argument about youth movement or not. All I’m saying is that there is middle and I wish our GM went more to it.

        • whozat says:

          “While your waiting for your “interesting pieces” the years keep coming off the championship core of this team. I rather limp into playoff and have a chance (refer to the Tigers and Cardinals of the recent past) then to sit round and think about my 2009 draft pick spot.”

          My point is that the “championship core” isn’t playing like one and hasn’t all year. What’s the point of flipping useful pieces for rentals if the non-replaceable pieces aren’t performing anyway?

          I’d rather use my interesting pieces to build a real powerhouse in the future rather than use them to try to patch a leaky ship.

          • mustang says:

            “My point is that the “championship core” isn’t playing like one and hasn’t all year. ”
            You mean Mo, Jeter, Posada and Pettitte maybe I’m watching the wrong team.
            All I’m saying is that I see guys out there that can both help this year and support in 2009 (Nady and Marte for example). It’s doesn’t have to be a 2 month rental and they don’t have to give up the farm. I’m talking about like what the Twins and Rays did this winter.
            Back again tommiesmithjohncarlos comment ” Brian Cashman wasn’t the sole architect of those WS teams… Bob Watson and Stick Michaels were there first. And they did two things: 1) build the farm system up and then 2) trade away SOME of our prospects for valuable, core veterans, like Cone, Tino, O’Neill and the like. The pendulum of acquiring talent through free agency, the draft, and trades should never be swung all the way to one extreme.”
            I guess it’s about how bad one thinks this team is I just don’t think there that bad.

  15. E-ROC says:

    Did anyone read the article by Jayson Stark ripping into A-Rod for not participating in the homerun derby? I didn’t think that activity was that serious, though I would like to see a Yankee participate. I think it would be hilarious to Derek Jeter participate.

    As for improving the Yanks, there isn’t much CashMoney can do. Maybe try to sign Richie Sexson and trade for upgrade over Ponson and/or Rasner.

    • I have to agree with Jayson Stark’s criticism of ARod for not participating in the Derby. It’s an event the fans love to see, and ARod is an icon. He should have acquiesced to the fans who clamored for him to be in it.

      Contrast his selfishness with Dustin Pedroia – the fans wanted to see him in the derby too, but unfortunately he will be busy negotiating a ceasefire in Darfur, overseeing the revote in Zimbabwe, having group sex with Marisa Miller, Jessica Biel, Zoe Saldana and Selita Ebanks, and grooming his Faustino-beard. He’s got four good reasons for skipping the Derby, and ARod, by my count, has none.

      For Diamond Cutters, I’m Peter Gammons, ESPN.

  16. steve (different one) says:

    sometimes a team just has to take their lumps.

    even good teams, SMART teams, with good ownership and good management, can succumb to injuries and (gasp!) miss the playoffs for a year.

    it would have been great (for the Yankees) if the Red Sox traded Buccholz or Lester in 2006 at the deadline trying to get their team to the playoffs, but they didn’t. they licked their wounds, got healthy, and spent like crazy in the offseason.

    i expect the Yankees to do the same thing.

    if i polled the people here BEFORE the season and asked them who the best GMs in baseball were, what would people have said?

    Shapiro? Towers? Dombrowski? Epstein? Beane?

    all of those GMs have disappointing seasons (within the last 2 years) on their resumes. it happens. and at the heart of all of those bad seasons were injuries. lots of injuries.

    do you guys really think that having signed another veteran starter like Colon or Wolf or Livan Hernandez would have this team in 1st place?

    people keep railing on Cashman for not having a backup plan for the young pitchers, but that isn’t what has sunk this team. it’s been the offense.

    over and over. the offense has been a HUGE disappointment. and it simply wasn’t supposed to be.

    that’s been the story of the year, and honestly, since they aren’t going to sign Bonds for an assortment of off-the-field reasons, there just isn’t much the yankees can do.

    if they miss the playoffs, i’ll get over it. it’s been 13 years. we’ve had it pretty damn good for a long time. and hey, the Giants won the Super Bowl. so it’s already a good year.

    they’ll re-tool in the off-season and be right back in the thick of it next year.

    • raymagnetic ®™ says:

      I agree with everything you wrote here.

    • Sidney El Panson says:

      i agree as well.

    • Count Zero says:

      Well said.

      The only option I seriously considered (once Bonds was relegated to the “no way” pile) was Milton Bradley — because he helps now, and even if Damon comes back healthy, he could replace Melky’s impotence. But since it looks like MB has knee problems of his own…I wouldn’t do that either.

      At this point, I am content to stand pat, let the Rays have a shot to make the playoffs for a change, and shed some contracts at the end of the season. Next year’s rotation brings a healthy Wang and Joba (hopefully), a reinspired Hughes, and maybe a Sabathia or other quality starter. And a lot of options regarding FAs. The only real weakness is position players in MiLB — outside of AJax, no one is even on the radar yet.

      Whatever they do, I hope they don’t get stupid just to stay in contention with a roster that couldn’t possibly win a WS. Face it fans — Girardi isn’t getting #27 in the final season no matter how crazy you get before the trading deadline.

  17. Joey H says:

    Okay joe, what reason do we have to believe that ponson is going to be horrible to deal with. i get rasner is awful, its the yankees organization’s fault for making him a starter starter and not a fast fillin but he was over used. i remember he was 3-1(shoulda been 4-0) with a 1.80 era. and then give him 1 bad start and send him down. every start he gets you hear kay and kenny saying oh this is the last start of rasner if he cant get it together. thatss been the story for 5 starts now. SO o nthat note. ponson have given us no reason to believe that he wont be good. he wasnt released cause he was bad as we all know by now. he got tattooed by a highly potent rangers offense. he walked ithink 4 with the mets start but im sure that was all adreneline, first subway series start. his stuff is nasty, its a matter of him and eiland keeping him on top of his game. and not getting into that automatic, i cant do anything wrong state. his stuff is nasty, hes a model citizen in NY. and thats all. RASNER MUST GO.

    • steve (different one) says:

      the problem is that if they get rid of Rasner, who takes his place?

      the Wang injury was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back (if they do indeed miss the playoffs) for the season.

      very few teams can withstand the loss of their best starter.

      if Wang were healthy, the Yanks could let Ponson, Rasner, Kennedy, Igawa, whomever battle it out for the #5 spot. they could skip that spot every time they have an off-day. they would be fine.

      but when your #4 starter sucks too, that’s a problem. can’t skip your #4 starter.

    • Joseph P. says:

      “Okay joe, what reason do we have to believe that ponson is going to be horrible to deal with.”

      How about the fact that he hasn’t been good since 2003.

      • Joey H says:

        12 innings, the rays and the mets, hes allowed 10 hits 1 run. striking out 8, walking six. sure thats high. thats not bad if you ask me. hes 5-1 3.96, you can say pettite has been awful this season, but in essence ponson has been better,. the real problem with this yankees staff is that they lack an ace pitcher, and NO tthat isnt wang, you can say soon, that will be joba but we need a guy like the old roger clemens or like beckett, who goes out there throws 95 and blows away hitters. that is an ace, to me an ace needs to dominate. wang doesnt strike me as a dominant pitcher.

        • TheLastClown says:

          Wang is the kind of starter that could toss a perfect game with under 100 pitches.

          Obviously that’s not super-probable to happen, but he has taken a perfecto into the ninth with an obscenely low pitch count. When he’s on, that’s what he does.

          Contrast that to “dominant” starters that blow people away with the 95+ gas, who end up w/ 11K after 6 IP, and 110+ pitches.

          I’m not saying I don’t love hard throwers, or I don’t think Joba will be the ace, just saying I think that CMW is a different kind of ace, and a different kind of dominant, and that kind is sometimes a lot more useful than big gaudy K numbers.

    • ChrisS says:

      Rasner is a 5th starter. Boo hoo. I like what he does. He’s not going anywhere at his price. Cashman could trade him for a couple of low A kids easily enough, but you’d still have to replace his modest contribution to the team. Serious. You know how many teams would love to have a guy like D-Raz (2:1 K:BB)to help them out with pitching depth? What keeps him from being very good is that he gets hit a little too hard, but he’s the 5th starter for crissakes. His job is to go out and eat some innings while keeping the Yankees close. Rasner is not the problem with this team.

      • I think that everyone would agree with you that Rasner is not the problem on this team, if he’s the 5th starter. Problem is, he’s the 4th starter. Some teams can survive having one bad starter every fifth day, but if you have two bad starters every fifth day, that’s a bigger problem. Especially if your offense is also struggling through injuries and slumps at the same time…

        • ChrisS says:

          Well that’s a problem with injuries, and not much the Yankees can do about. Paul Bryd or Randy Wolf or Greg Maddux or any 5th starter out there is going to do much better than Rasner has done. Except cost prospects. Oh, so instead, Cashman should go grab a Bedard or Burnett. Hmm. The Mariners shipped an exciting CFer to Baltimore for him, I wonder what who they’ll demand from the Yankees? The Jays will certainly ask for Hughes+ for Burnett, especially in a trade to a division rival.

          Tim Redding or Odalis Perez could probably be had. but I don’t see how either helps the team win more games even if they only give up 4 runs/9IP while the Yankees continue scoring 3 R/G.

          I just don’t see the point of people whining about Rasner like he’s the reason the Yankees can’t score runs.

        • Joey H says:

          Okay hes not the problem with this team? lets be honest guys, when you have 3 potientally 4 starters aside fron rasner that go 6 innings tops in Joba, Moose, ponson and sometimes pettite, you can NOT have a guy who comes out and pitches 5 innings and gives up almost 5 runs every game! especially when you have a rotation that averages less than 6 IP per start. sure, you can make the argument that the bullpen has been absolutely GREAT but that is just sheer luck that we are benefitting from.

  18. giselle says:

    I think the yankees will try to pry damaso marte and xavier nady from the pirates. I read on yahoo fantasy that the yankees are interested in nady. not sure what the price is, though.

    • whozat says:

      Depending on the price for Nady, that’s an interesting move. He’s a solid bat, and he’s on the right side of 30. He could be a solid stop-gap while we see what Austin Jackson can bring to the table, and someone who could be kept around for his prime years if we want. And he can play some 1B as well. If the Rays want him, though, it might be WAY too expensive (in terms of prospects) to try to beat them out. They can afford to trade a LOT of good parts.

      • giselle says:

        Yea I was trying to think about what the pirates will ask for or what would be a fair trade, but i really don’t know. i’m guessing it starts with melky + an ML ready pitcher (kennedy/Horne/Melancon/McCutcheon)? What do you think they will ask for if Tampa Bay stays out of it?

        • whozat says:

          I’m not sure the Pirates want Melky. They have Pearce to slot into RF, in addition to Melky having been crap since April.

          The Pirates confuse me. They had what looked like a solid stable of young starters, but they kinda all tanked this year…

          Hm. I figure they want upside. They’re not going to contend any time soon, so they probably want guys they can control for a while. Basically…no idea :-)

    • B says:

      I’ve read a report saying that the Pirates like Ohlendorf.

  19. Sidney El Panson says:

    I’d shore up the bench for this season, but that’s it. Our real moves should be in the off-season. I’m willing to see how far this group gets us.

  20. dan says:

    I’ll say it again: Greg Maddux, number 4 starter. If he waives his NTC, tell me why not?

  21. mattbucher says:

    I believe Roger Clemens and David Wells are available (jk, lol, etc.).

  22. E-ROC says:

    What about a talent for talent trade similar to what the Rays and Twins did last winter?

    • whozat says:

      Those are really rare. And guys usually have to have established themselves a little. Let’s say Horne had done solidly in a couple of months of MLB time this season…then, we probably could have packaged him and a guy like Gardner or Gonzo for some useful young bat. Though, the Twins are probably not so pysched on their end of that deal right now, huh?

  23. Steve S says:

    I think the question becomes can one move spark some of these existing guys. Last year it was some of these kids who sparked the team. A couple of years ago it was Bobby Abreu. I think they need to do something, whether it be by trade or by promotion. But the post is dead on the offense is what it is. They have to bet that it will turn around which isnt the worst best in the world. And the names that are out there are really not worth anything of value.

    I have to be honest, the Rasner/Ponson combo is ready to collapse. I hope they consider using Kennedy, Marquez or McCutchen down the stretch. Id rather see them struggle than Rasner or Ponson be inconsistent.

    All that being said everyone keeps on talking about next year. I see some glaring holes. I assume Giambi will be gone and Matsui will assume the DH role. Damon in left. Abreu gone. And the corner outfielder market doesnt seem that attractive. I know Texiera is out there but I said this before I dont know if first baseman are worth 10 year contracts and thats what he might command when you combine Boras with the potential teams that can use him.

  24. A.D. says:

    The thing with making trades at the deadline (if you are buying) is generally to make your 25 man roster better on paper, the issue for the Yankees is that’s very difficult except for the back of the rotation. Essentially the Yanks are in a situation where they can pick up a OF/Dh, or a DH/1B to improve their bats. Otherwise you’re not going to find someone with a better historical track record to replace who’s playing there, and thus improve your team on paper.

    With the back end of the rotation, best case your replacing Rasner/Ponson for a slightly better version of Rasner/Ponson, is it really worth prospects for Paul Byrd? I don’t think so. In reality the 4th & 5th starters won’t matter if the bats get going, and they won’t matter if they don’t. It comes down to the team hitting like they should and hitting in the clutch. If Ponson falls apart & Rasner continues to pitch poorly then give Aceves & McCutchen a shot, IPK a shot if he pulls it together, and Hughes if he can come back healthy.

    The answers aren’t likely from outside, I’d say look to pick up a Sexson, who’s low risk and potential reward he can DH & always play against lefties, and give Aceves a shot in the rotation if he continues to succeed and gets back to full strength.

  25. dave says:

    how about signing freddy garcia?

    we wouldnt have to give up any prospects and im sure he wont cost a ton

    very low risk, the yanks can afford it. hes proven and presumably better than igawa, rasner, and ponson

    thoughts?

    • ChrisS says:

      Garcia isn’t supposed to be ready until late August. He would give the Yankees 4-5 starts, at most.

      And unless he can hit lefties and play a corner OF position, I don’t see the point of bring him on board.

    • whozat says:

      He’s coming off shoulder surgery and hasn’t faced any hitters. And won’t be ready until the end of next month.

  26. ChrisS says:

    There’s not much that can be done for this team this year. If they can get anything, I’d say look for a replacement for Abreu, and not just a rental.

    • Mike A. says:

      Mil-ton Brad-ley clap clap clapclapclap

    • Jon says:

      If we are gonna look for a replacement for Abreu we can wait until the offseason. Here is a good link to a list of 2009 Free agents.

      http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....ree-a.html

      • whozat says:

        Yeah, we can…but if one’s available now in trade…it might be a good move to make for this season AND the future.

        The free agent market for RFers this offseason is HORRENDOUS. Which might be another good reason to let Bobby go. He’d be the best of a weak field, and thus likely to decline arbitration and net us some draft picks.

        • A.D. says:

          Yeah the issue is that outside of Holliday (which I imagine the asking price is quite steep) and maybe Jason Bay (but I don’t think the Pirates are as keen to move him now) there isn’t that much available, unless somehow the Yankees could put together a package that made sense to pull Kemp from the Dodgers.

          Young outfielder is more likely to happen in the off season where teams have depleted need (like the Brewers and starting pitching) and where it’s less about getting teams to overpay

          Abreu will probably have money thrown at him this off season, and it might just be from Los Mets, and I’ll look forward to enjoying out draft picks.

          • whozat says:

            “and where it’s less about getting teams to overpay”

            It’s always about that. If a team knows the Yanks are looking at Melky Cabrera starting in RF with Gardner in CF, they’ll drive a HARD bargain.

            It’s a tradeoff. Look to deal now when you can walk away from the table and not be screwed…or look to deal in the offseason when your competition is less desperate and there’s less time-pressure. I dunno.

      • ChrisS says:

        Yikes, the FA list in general looks horrible.

        • whozat says:

          Yah. Juan Rivera? Xavier Nady? What other trade targets make sense?

          • ChrisS says:

            My one concern with Nady is that he doesn’t walk much at all.

            Juan Rivera, we already had, and he doesn’t walk either.

            And neither are making up for the weak OBP with a .600 SLG.

            All I know is that Cashman has his work cut out for him.

            • whozat says:

              It’s true. But there aren’t any all-stars RFers that we can go get. Anyone who gets on base better and plays a solid RF? Preferably a righty…

      • B says:

        Vlad Guerrero could be a possible FA? We should of signed him a few years back.

  27. jsbrendog says:

    how about in the offseason trying to do some sort of cano and upper tier pitchign prospects for kinsler form texas?? eh?

    eh?

    eh?

    come oon!

    • A.D. says:

      then your trading a talented 2B for a talented 2b, and giving up a pitcher, doesn’t really make sense. Plus Cano is having a down year, last year Kinsler hit only .263, if anything Texas should be giving us prospects in that deal

      • ChrisS says:

        And Kinsler still managed to out OBP Robbie, steal more bases, score more runs, and hit more home runs.

        I really think Robbie is going to break out, but I’d deal him if Texas offered a straight-up swap.

        Robbie’s numbers are on par with last year, and his LD% is up, his BABIP is just abysmal. He’ll draw just about as many walks this year as last year and he’s on pace for the same number of doubles. His HR rate is down, but his strikeouts are way down. Why he’s been seemingly scuffling is an enigma.

  28. whozat says:

    Braves offered Tex for Youk and Craig Hansen. Sox are expected to continue talks with them.

    I can only assume that they’d move Youk or Lowell in this deal, or in a related deal. If they do trade for Tex.

    Interesting.

    Also, they’re looking for an SS. I think that’s strongly indicative that all the pundits telling us Lowrie could stick at SS were wrong, no?

    • whozat says:

      Though, MiLB.com lists Lowrie as on the “Reserve list”

      What the hell is that?

      • A.D. says:

        Lowrie is in the majors, he played yesterday

        • whozat says:

          Oh. That’d explain it.

          Still, if the word on the grapevine is that the Sox are looking to trade for an SS, it seems to mean that they don’t think Lowrie will stick there long-term.

    • E-ROC says:

      Thats it? I think the Braves can get a little bit more, maybe even a lot. Craig Hansen sucks so it’s basically Youkilis for Tex. And Youkilis has a habit of limping through the second half.

      • whozat says:

        That’s what the offer was reported to be. Keep in mind the contract statuses…Youk’s on board for 2.5 more years, Hansen’s a power arm with upside under control for several more seasons — though he’s struggling right now. Tex is a rental.

        I guess it depends if you think Youk’s swoons will be a yearly thing and cannot be hedged against by giving him more rest.

        It’s a deal whose merits can certainly be debated. Here’s the question…who’s giving more for a Tex rental? The Mets don’t have more to give…what other contenders have a 1B opening? The Yanks sort of do, but this is a deal I don’t see them making. Phils, no. Rays, no. Brewers, Cubs, no. Dbacks? Maybe? ChiSox?

        Angels, maybe?

    • raymagnetic ®™ says:

      Whozat,

      The Red Sox would be silly to make that trade no? Unless they plan on moving Lowell to first next year and make Lowrie the third baseman? I can’t see them spending 120M to resign Tex. Youkilis will start to make real money next year but he’ll still be relatively cheap.

      • whozat says:

        They declined that offer, but supposedly talks will continue. I can’t really see a reason to make that deal unless they believe that Youk’s 2nd-half slides are a given.

        As for getting Tex at all…if they believe Ortiz won’t come back strong, and that they can grab another title this year…I could see it. If they could move Lowell NOW, put Youk at 3B and Tex at 1B…that could make sense.

        • raymagnetic ®™ says:

          That would make more sense to me than a Youkilis for Tex swap. Must be why they declined the offer.

          • A.D. says:

            It may make more sense for the sox but Lowell is 34 with a new 3 year contract. Youkilis is 29, and is under team control w/arbitration for 2 or 3 more years. So Youk has a whole lot more value in a trade than Lowell

            • raymagnetic ®™ says:

              Sorry if I didn’t clarify my statement but I was saying it made more sense for the Sox. There’s no way that Atlanta trades Tex for Mike Lowell.

    • ChrisS says:

      Theo will end up waving his hand and saying that these weren’t players you were looking for and then trading Coco Crisp and Manny DelCarmen for Tex and Schafer.

  29. JeffG says:

    Where is Pavano when we need him?

  30. E-ROC says:

    What about a trade for Rich Hill? I know I am probably reaching with this, but I thought I should throw it out there.

  31. Stephen says:

    I know everyone says it can’t be done, but this team needs to sell. It is not moving forward this year, and it has too many attractive options that won’t be here next year.

    Giambi — they’re not picking up his option, and they’re not offering arbitration because it would cost way too much (due to minimum salary cut). He’s attractive to a number of other teams with the season he’s having, and he’d most likely be willing to waive no trade if (a) the yanks let him know they were selling and (b) he had a chance to win world series. It’s a win-win to trade him

    Mussina — who even thought he’d be in the conversation? Sell, and sell soon, before he decides to become cranky mussina again. In the National League, he could really dominate.

    Pettitte – He’s a guy you could trade to an AL team in a heartbeat (since his “clutchiness” is so pimped on ESPN). Again, you’re not getting compensation picks for him in the offseason.

    Farnsworth — hey, he’s been decent for the last month or so. Trade him before he shoots someone that he mistook for a deer.

    Matsui/Damon — frankly, neither of them are the answer for this team, and if you can get something back for them, it wouldn’t be a bad idea. Posada will become a more regular feature at DH next season, and carrying Damon & Matsui is impractical.

    Where does that leave the team? Well, it won’t make the playoffs. Then again, barring a miracle, this current team won’t make the playoffs. At some point, the guys will need a fire lit under their butts, and a firesale might just do that. Plus, it forces the team to audition a number of minor leaguers (is Gardner a pro, or a 4th outfielder? etc).

    • Jon says:

      We are closer at this point now than last year. Why would you sell?

      • whozat says:

        Because, unlike last year’s team, there’s no indication that the Yanks are unlucky. Last year, the number of runs they’d scored vs the number of runs they’d allowed suggested that they were due for a correction and that more games would start going their way. This team, on the other hand, is exactly where they belong given their performance.

        If Abreu starts getting on base like he should and Damon and Matsui come back, AND Jason and ARod and Posada start hitting with men on base…they have a shot. Getting Xavier Nady, or even Holliday isn’t going to fix this team.

    • Count Zero says:

      I don’t really disagree with the logic but…

      a) Pettitte will never agree to a trade.
      b) Damon just had his rehab schedule pushed back two days. No one is going to give you anything for Damon or Matsui given their current physical condition.

      I think you might be able to trade Giambi and/or Mussina and get them to go along with it. Maybe. If such an opportunity occurred I would take it. But I don’t think it’s all that likely.

  32. dan says:

    From MLBTR:

    “The Pirates have their eye on the Yankees’ Ross Ohlendorf, if the Yanks become buyers for players like Damaso Marte or Xavier Nady.”

    It also said the Yankees have zero interest in Burnett.

    • whozat says:

      Interesting. I can only assume that’d be as a complementary piece. The thing with Nady is he’s having a career year and I can only assume he’ll regress to the mean next season, which is only a bit above average. They’d be very average offensively in the entire outfield. Of course, right now they’re average in the OF as well.

      He’d not be a bad piece to have, I figure.

    • ChrisS says:

      Probably Ohlie for Marte.

      Nady will command more.

      • Jon says:

        Do we all forget that Ohlendorf was the key prospect in the Randy Johnson deal a couple of years back? (Before anyone says anything yes I know it was because we couldn’t get Owings) I’m not willing to trade him for someone who is a possible 2 month rental in Marte!

  33. Joseph M says:

    The position players as a group are too old. Nine position players are over the age of 33 (by the end of July), this is about 75% of the team’s available non-pitchers. The players in their prime include Cano, a big upside but a real underachiever who may never put it all together; Melkey, who has been a disappointment this year; Gardner who needs more time but doesn’t look like much of an impact player; Wilson Betemit, little more than a role player.

    The hope here is that Melkey gets his ship righted,replacing a centerfield would be no easy task (again I don’t think Gardner is an answer).

    I’d look to move Mussina to a contender for a young position player. I would also try to trade Abreu (although I don’t see getting alot back).

    I would not renew Cashman, I think he could have done a better job and I think it is time to move on.

  34. RustyJohn says:

    Wow, surprising little in the form of proposed solutions on here- can it be agreed upon that the pen is in fairly good shape, particularly with Bruney and Britton coming back and the minor league guys working their way up? Yes, we need help in the rotation but there is no one realistically out there who will have a major impact and not cost an arm and a leg.

    That leaves the offense- Damon and Matsui are out for who knows how long. In addition to Sexson there is Raul Ibanez in the last year of his contract who can play left/first and dh. He has good numbers against lefties this year and with RISP. Who knows what Jorge’s injury status is, but we can’t be giving away the 8 spot with a .200 hitting catcher. Finally, what center field options are available?

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