On historic night, Pavano displays some irony


We all know the Carl Pavano Story by now.

Coming off of a career year, an overrated pitcher attracts a lot of attention and signs a four-year, $39.95 million deal with the Yankees. Said pitcher makes 17 mediocre starts, hits the disabled list and can’t get healthy for the next two years. He’s in weird car crashes, hurts hits buttocks during Spring Training and has surgery. Said pitcher than starts Opening Day 2007, has one decent and one good start and then opts for reconstructive surgery.

By the time September 3, 2008 rolls around, said pitcher is on the verge of making his 23rd start for the Yankees. So far, Pavano has made $1.7 million per Yankee start, and the end of his contract is near. On Wednesday, Pavano faltered early, and with the Yanks up 6-3, Joe Girardi yanked that short leash with no outs in the fourth. Pavano’s line wasn’t terrible — 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K and 47 of 79 for strikes — but his post-game comments were truly hilarious.

“I feel like I cheated my team tonight,” he said. Well, better late than never, I guess.

In the end, it would matter little. Edwar Ramirez bailed out Pavano, and he combined with Phil Coke and Brian Bruney to throw four scoreless innings. By the time Jose Veras gave up a run in the ninth, the Yanks had an 8-3 lead and were able to coast to their third straight victory.


It would not be a game without controversy courtesy of one Mr. Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez. In the ninth inning with the Yanks up 6-3 and Bobby Abreu on base for the third time, A-Rod blasted a home run clear over the left field foul pole. There was only one problem: Was it fair or foul?

So an A-Rod blast in the ninth inning of a three-run game became the very first home run call to be subjected to baseball’s new instant replay rule. After an interminable delay that slowed down the game so that it went on well past midnight a wait of just over two minutes, the umpires gathered to announce that the ruling on the field was stand. While the umpires said that the replay may have clouded the issue, nothing they saw convinced them that the ball was not a home run.

And thus A-Rod passed Mike Schmidt for sole possession of 12th place on the all-time home run list, and the Yankees held on for another day, seven games behind Boston for that last playoff spot, ten behind Tampa and with just 23 left to play.

Categories : Game Stories
  • Alberto

    Pavano’s line tonight IS horrible…..

    This obsession with bad pitching/spot starters while trying to hit your way through wins since 2003 has got to stop. Cashman needs to be FIRED immediately. He is allergic to good pitching.

    • Ben K.

      /Not touching this one with a ten-foot pole.

      • BigBlueAL

        I feel ashamed I have the same first name….

        • Alberto

          Both of you, name me ONE good pitcher brought in by Cashman…if you need to go through and research it, you’ve proven my point…..thank you

          NYY TEAM ERA
          2004- 4.69
          2005- 4.52
          2006- 4.41
          2007- 4.49
          2008- 4.34

          you guys think Pavano was great tonight? That’s a 7 era if he does that every time out. 3 good innings and “only” one bad one? Guess what, the worst pitchers to ever play in the major leagues have done that too. Not saying he has been bad for 3 starts, but YES and the general public is ALREADY raving about him. WAKE UP, this team needs pitching desperately. MORE than CC is needed….

          • Ben K.

            What’s that guy’s name? Max Mooseena? He’s not bad. Brought in by Cashman.

            If you’re telling me that a potential rotation of Sabathia/Wang/Chamberlain/Hughes/Pettitte/Mussina/whoever is more than what we need for next year and moving forward, I will have a hard time taking your conclusion — but not your argument — seriously.

            • Alberto

              Mussina has been good but inconsistent throughout his Yankees career…in 7 years (whatever years Cashman has been here), Mussina is the best you can come up with? He has been good here, but far too inconsistent year to year and pretty much can’t be counted on as anything more than a #3 on a good team or a #4 on a great team on a yr to yr basis.

              Mussina era since 2001: 3.15,4.05,3.40,4.59,4.41,3.51,5.15,3.39 (not bad, but not great either and we still dont win a title with him)

              • Ben K.

                I’m sorry, but Mike Mussina is probably a Hall of Famer, and you’re skeptically asking if that’s “the best [I] can come up with”? Yes, it’s a shame that Cashman can’t reanimate Walter Johnson or turn back the clock on Whitey Ford’s arm. But your standards are ridiculous.

                On another note, stop posting the same off-topic Cashman/pitching rants in every thread. We know your position, and we’re sick of hearing it ad nauseum day in and day out. We don’t like to ban people, but we respectfully ask people to keep comments new and on-topic. That’s not happening here.

                • Alberto

                  Yes, Moose is a borderline HOF but his best work came during his tenure with the Orioles. My standards are ridiculous? I am asking for too much by hoping our team era is better than just average for once? Am I asking for too much by hoping for once we don’t use 50 starters and patch it up with waiver wire guys while blaming the offense for everything? I can fill an entire book listing out the number of failed pitchers Cashman has brought in. Out of all of those, ONLY mussina has been good.

                  I am extremely frustrated at how accustomed we have grown to watching horrible average middle of pack average pitching day in and day out. What frustrates me more is that we seem to accept it more and more and think it is normal. Meanwhile it is common knowledge pitching and defense is a basic requirement for October baseball and we pass on top flight starters in favor of spot starters. This is done CONSISTENLY every single year. Some spot starters even come back in different season, and he has been garbage his ENTIRE career. (never an ERA better than 6 in 5 yrs)….I dont wish to be banned but I want to make my message heard. I do respect your site so I will honor your request.

                • Alberto

                  I forgot to mention who I was describing, I was talking about SIR SIDNEY PONSON

            • Chris

              Joba’s pretty good too, and Cashman brought him in.

            • Alberto

              Yes, i agree that lineup of starters you laid out there has a chance to be good/great but I wish for once we could have at least 2 sure top flight starters instead of a bunch of #3 starters…..

              • Chris

                Wang CC and Chamberlain are all top flight starters.

                • Alberto

                  Wang allows too many hits to be considered a #1 top flight ace….his numbers are in line with a derek lowe/david wells (back in the day)…..yes, thanks to the prolific offense of recent years, he has been able to accumulate 19 wins each season….CC would easily be the best starting pitcher we’d had in a long long time and would be a welcome addition but he’s not on the team yet so we can’t come him in this (also, I’m sure most of you agree we are going to seriously overpay this guy if he becomes “the highest paid pitcher ever”)……I still believe CC would need to be the #2 starter on the team so we could be incredibly set up for an october push….Santana is the guy I CANNOT believe got away from us last winter (I am still suffering from that stupid decision, the best Hughes can ever be IS Santana, why couldnt we go after the sure thing, big mistake…..Joba has only had 12 starts, we gotta see more in order to count him as a #1……the better quality pitching you have, the better….its not like you “only need” one #1

          • BigBlueAL

            One thing I totally agree with you, Pavano was definitely far from good tonight let alone great. Besides Moose, that Wang guy and some kid named Joba are decent. Oh and if you are only talkin about FA’s, John Lieber did very good in 2004 and as much as a fluke it was cant take away what Aaron Small did in 2005, plus say what you will about Big Unit he did win 34 games in 2 years and if I recall correctly had a great record vs Boston in those seasons.

            I agree with your point about needing to improve the pitching obviously, but I for one am hoping Cashman stays.

            • Alberto

              Yea, Pavano was bad tonight but YES network is always fast to credit pitcher for a couple of scoreless inning and blame the offense for everything under the moon….yes, the runs scored is about 100 runs less than last year but the NYY pitching NEVER changes from average and its something almost generally accepted by the front office, media, fans, players.

              Yea, add Joba to the list although I’d like to see a full season from him. Those other guys you named are successes on the short term. I’m talking about someone brought in and had good seasons enough to bring our team era lower than 4.50 for once….The Aaron Small’s and the Chacon’s add to the pitching problem when you consider we saved pitching spots for them the next season….

              • Steve

                Pitchers brought in by Cashman who have worked out well.

                Domestic Free Agents
                Mike Mussina
                Tom Gordon

                Int’l Free Agents
                Orlando Hernandez

                Minor League Free Agents/DFAs
                Brian Bruney
                Jose Veras
                Edwar Ramirez

                Draft Picks
                Joba Chambermain
                Phil Hughes

                I would remind you that he’s only had control of the baseball ops for about 3 years, so it will take more time to see if his rebuilding of the farm has worked out or not.

                So far, we have Joba and a completely rebuilt bullpen via the farm. Not bad, considering we didn’t develop a pitcher before then since Andy Pettitte.

            • Brad Kraus

              Aaron Small. Your not using Aaron Small as a pro Cashman argument are you?

  • http://deleted Randy

    i know this is absolutely ludicrous, but has anyone given thought to the fact that possibly its the rays that might start falling back to the pack? i know the size of the lead and it probably won’t happen, but its not like the rays have looked good the last two days. they were also saying during the telecast that their play recently has inspired the local media to start questioning if they were ready for september baseball. they’ve had a great run but maybe things start to change a little. just a thought that popped in my head.

    • Ben K.

      I half-jokingly said something along those lines to Joe tonight toward the end of the game. But right now, it’s a matter of time. The Yankees have just 23 games left and Tampa has 25. If the Yanks improbably go 20-3, Tampa could go 12-13 and the Yanks would still be one game behind them. It gets harder from there.

      If — and that’s a huge IF right now — the Yanks are to have any hope for October, they’re going to need to win a lot and beat the Red Sox at home during the last weekend of the season. It’s implausible but not quite yet impossible.

      • http://deleted Randy

        i feel like anything can happen. all you need is a big winning streak to coincide with a big losing streak. september, pennant race baseball is a beast. you start losing some games and things can get away from you fast again, its something that is highly improbable, but if they sweep the rays you never know. plus, i don’t think the rays are gonna win the east. boston is coming on and i think will overtake them at some point so these games may have a larger meaning in the next few weeks. we can always look at the mets and rockies as examples of fluky events taking place. its not over yet.

      • BigBlueAL

        Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble here, but one thing is for sure Boston will not miss the playoffs. In fact Tampa will probably fall back to the pack, as in they win the WC and Boston wins the division.

        I want the Yanks to win as many games as possible so at the least there will be a good vibe heading into 09 instead of a horrible end to the season like it seemed couldve happened a week ago (and technically still could but they are showing signs of life and dont seem to be quitting at all). But please everyone here stop thinking the Red Sox can be caught. You guys sound like Red Sox fans from 1996-2006.

        I HATE the Red Sox as much as anyone, but maybe since Im old enough to remember when the Red Sox almost always won the AL East or at the least finished in front of the Yankees (1986, 1988-1991, 1995) I am not as shocked or dont know how to handle/admit the Red Sox being better than the Yankees. I mean they have won 2 WS titles since the last time the Yankees even made a WS as painful as it is for me to type this.

        As much as I and everyone here hates to admit it, we have to give Boston their due and acknowledge the fact that for the 2nd straight year they will have a better record than the Yankees and God forbid even win another championship as much as I will be rooting against them in the playoffs….

        • http://deleted Randy

          i thought we were talking about the rays possibly falling back not the sox. i think the sox are gonna win the east.

        • Chris

          Why is it a given that the Red Sox make the playoffs? They have a ton of injuries, their rotation is a mess, and they’re currently 3 games behind the Rays.

          • Ben K.

            ….They’re five games up on the Twins for the Wild Card.

            • Chris

              I was more curious as to why they were a lock, but the Rays apparently aren’t. Obviously, the safe money is that they both make it, but the Sox are much more likely to miss the playoffs of one of them does.

              • Ben K.

                Ah, yeah. I see what you’re saying.

                I’d have to believe that both teams are near locks to make the playoffs. But I stopped hoping and clinging to that little shard of a chance, I’d just be a Met fan.

              • http://deleted Randy

                because they have all those injuries, a messed up rotation and they don’t seem to lose much in recent times. they’re getting some of their guys back on friday and they have been through this numerous times. i’m sure both teams will make it, but i think the sox should get the respect that they have earned over a team that until this year never had a winning record in the history of the franchise.

    • Alberto

      the Rays have lost way more than just 2 games in a row this season…it’s all part of a full baseball season no matter how dominant you are….the week before the all star break, the Rays lost all their games that week….

      • http://deleted Randy

        its certainly in them to have another losing streak. they’re defense, which is normally a stalwart for the, was pretty bad tonight. but if kazmir goes out tomorrow and completely shuts us down than this might all be a moot point.

        • http://deleted Randy

          them not the. sorry.

  • Bonos

    2004- 4.69
    2005- 4.52
    2006- 4.41
    2007- 4.49
    2008- 4.34

    I for one found it funny that the rant on pitching showed that this year they were better than the last four, that’s with the one, four, five starters hurt or sent down.

  • Alberto

    Mussina has had the season of his life…with only ONE great starter this year, we have a better era than the previous years, shows you how BAD exactly the other years have been with people barely noticing, it has been the cause for easy first round exits…….Santana was basically there for the taking and now we are going to overpay CC way more than Santana and STILL lose prospects considering CC is a type-A free agent……

    season is not over yet, they can in fact bring it up to 4.50 but as it is now, IT IS STILL AVERAGE, 16th in era in MLB…….seems to be a well kept secret by Boston (lol) to make sure it doesn’t get publicized so that we don’t notice and in turn, never improve the rotation….sounds silly but I can’t believe more people don’t notice the atrocious pitching on this team…..hitters have made a career out of hitting of Yankee pitching this decade

  • Alberto

    ATTENTION EVERYONE: What we’ve learned this year is that UNLESS we score 950-1,000 runs every single season and finish 1st or 2nd in runs scored,we CANT win 95 games because we flat out REFUSE to improve our average pitching. We refuse to ever have a team era better than 4.50 (middle of the pack).

    • Geno

      ATTENTION EVERYONE: Alberto is exceedingly annoying with his ALL CAPS and specious arguments!

  • Patrick T

    You miss the point of how teams come up with great pitching staffs in this environment. Taking the years you considered the AL ERA Leaders were:

    2004: Minnesota – 4 prospects who came through the system through either the draft of trades where they were acquired with little to no ML service time & 1 bargain bin FA made up the rotation.
    2005: Chicago – 2 kids + 3 reclamation projects come good.
    2006: Detroit – 4 of 5 starters saw their 1st major league action as Tigers, the 5th was Kenny Rogers.
    2007: Boston – The exception, 4 of 5 starters acquired as established pitchers via either FA or trade, the 5th was Dice-BB.
    2008: Toronto – 4 of 5 starters drafted by the organization.

    The best pitching staffs are homegrown, and then augmented with the odd veteran FA/Trade. Yet everyone around here wants to shoot Cashman and his kids because they struggled this year. Roy Halladay sucked as a rookie. Bonderman and Robertson were terrible their first couple years. Jon Garland was hammered his first season, Radke had an ERA over 5 his rookie year, Santana was very average coming out of the pen for two years before he took off.

    Sure there’s guys like Verlander who were awesome from day one, just like there’s guys like Joba. More oft than not though, they struggle a la Hughes and Kennedy before they make it. The difference is, all those teams have fan bases who don’t expect to win the World Series every year. In Yankeeland, one bad month and heads must roll. Hey, I want to see the Yanks win it all every year too. But I’m excited we finally have someone in control of the organization who doesn’t believe the farm system exists only to be traded for veterans. In my lifetime, that strategy has been tried twice. In the 1980s, the Yanks gave away the better part of an All Star team worth of prospects for the veteran quick fix of the month and wasted the career of the second best 1B in team history. Then, from ’97 on, they neglected our farm system til Cash took control in 2005, which is why we’ve got an ancient roster looking up at two teams with a bunch of homegrown talent.

    The one time in my lifetime we trusted the kids, we built a dynasty by slotting in smart trades and FA acquisitions around a core that came up through the system. I’m willing to miss the playoffs a couple of times to actually win it all again.

    • Alberto

      I’m well aware of that. Accumulating prospects while crossing your fingers a couple of them pan out while going through growing pains is the oldest method in the book. However, is this not possible to do WHILE also taking a chance on some outside top-flight pitching talent? Do we really need to go into season with WANG as the #1? Should we really spend a full season hoping Joba can be the #1,2? The way we used to do it (how the red sox are doing it now) is easing in the young unproven pitcher in the 5th slot and counting him as the 5th starter only. We are a team of $200+ of resources yet our #1 starter earns 400K? Wang, during our championship years would be our #3 at best. Why can’t we try to allocate some money and attention to the top of the rotation? We hadn’t tried to do that since acquiring Randy Johnson and unfortunately it did not work out but WHY did we stop going after the #1? After all, it is the top of your rotation is the most important part of your team (especially in October). Most of that $200+ is spent on hitters, our team is designed to OUTSLUG the opponent every single season. Another example of this is this year’s detroit tigers. All star lineups CANNOT get you wins unless the pitching is there.

      I hate using the Red Sox as an example BUT if you focus on another big market like the red sux, look at the attention they pay to their starting rotation. They give away their top prospect among others for Beckett (even though he had a injury issue). They go have Thanksgiving dinner with Schilling and his family to bring him in after losing game 7 in 2003. They go to Japan, blinding pay a HIGH posting fee, bend over a table to acquire Matsuzaka. (notice these are all proven postseason pressure pitchers at the time they acquire them, Matsuzaka even won WBC MVP under pressure) Now look at how much attention they pay to their offense. They have no problems getting rid of Ramirez. They have no issues using the kind of lineup they have this decade going back to the days of mueller and millar to recently.

      Bottomline, if you are trying to be a winning team, you worry 90% about your starting pitching and bullpen. If you need a recent example, look at the AL EAST, Rays cant score but they can pitch and are dominant…..O’s cant pitch but they can hit and they are in last place (this used to be the rays last yr)

      • Colombo

        “Wang, during our championship years would be our #3 at best”

        can we stop for a moment and think why he would have been number 3?

        Oh yeah, bc guys named Cone and Clemens were numbers 1A and 1B.

        The simple fact is, this year, our offense was not up to par. We were horrible with RISP. The pitching staff has kept us in a lot of games we shouldn’t have been in.

        As for spot starters, injuries happen. Would the season have turned out differently if Wang was making these starts instead of Rasner or Ponson? Absolutely. but do you know how rare it is for the five guys in your opening day rotation to make every start the rest of the way?

        It is quite improbable to have a staff made up of 3+ ace starters. The only two examples I can think of is Smoltz-Maddux-Glavine in Atlanta circa 1990′s (remember, we beat them) and Hudson-Mulder-Zito in Oakland (we beat them too!!). Two teams with 3 bona fide aces in their rotation, winning championships every two years and making the WS every year and…wait, no, that doesn’t sound right…

        Oh yeah, those two teams combined for one title…funny, bc the starting pitching should have won it all for them…

    • Alberto

      I haven’t given up on Hughes or Kennedy either, nobody should. However, the decision that was made last winter was a joke that made no sense then, now, and in the future if Hughes or Kennedy turn dominating.

      Even in the unlikely even Hughes becomes a Santana-type pitcher, it is a horrible gamble. It is like trading in your $95 million winning lottery ticket because you think you can win the $100 million dollar winning ticket. It made no sense then, now, and in the off-season when Sabathia becomes the highest paid pitcher in history. Chances are (and were) that the best thing Hughes could ever be IS Santana. How is this a fair gamble? You would save about 6yrs difference of youth and some money, that’s it. For a team that has starved for pitching for soooo long, Santana was by the far the most sure chance of dominant pitching ever waved in our faces (once in a lifetime opportunity). The young pitchers were on pitch counts and inning counts (150IP) to start the season and were/are major gambles for the first few years. The math never even made sense there, for those 2 to get to 150IP for the season they would need to pitch NO MORE than 5 innings PER start. Keep in mind, this is 40% OF THE ROTATION! This is on a team that brought out Latroy from the bullpen in the early going. Furthermore, the kids will always have that chance of NEVER ever panning out. Tooo much of a gamble if you ask me. Now as it turns out, we are about to make Sabathia (lesser pitcher to Santana) the highest paid pitcher in history. Steinbrenner is ALREADY setting him up to be a major disappointment. If he does not pitch like the best in baseball, then he won’t be worth it in the eyes of Yankee fans and the MLB world. Sabathia has been great but is not even close to being or having been the best in baseball (except for the past month or two). How are you going to feel when Sabathia earns $25 per year with us? When we claimed we could not afford Santana at $22M? Over the course of the contract, we will have paid Sabathia MORE than we would have paid Santana. INCREDIBLE

      • Patrick T

        You pay Santana essentially the same you pay Sabathia, and you get to keep your prospects. Even if Hughes only ends up a #3 starter, you get a #3 starter cost-controlled for 3 years, and under a reasonable contract for 6. This allows you to spend for something else you need. Its something the Yankees HAVE to do to compete. You cannot buy every player on your roster.

        As far as Santana being better than Sabathia, CC is better this year, was better last year and is 2 years younger. Not saying Santana isn’t a great pitcher, but I’d put money on CC being great in 2012 over Johan.

  • Patrick T

    Also, for what its worth, had we simply scored 820 runs this year with our current runs allowed of 630, we’d have a pythagorean record identical to Tampa Bay’s. I don’t think anyone you polled in Spring Training would have thought that the Yanks wouldn’t have scored that much.

    The pitching has been hit by injuries and underperformance, but the offense is the reason that we will most likely miss the playoffs.

    • Alberto

      THIS is the notion I am trying to get rid of. That the runs scored is the main problem is simply NOT TRUE.

      What we’ve learned this year is that UNLESS we score 950-1,000 runs every single season and finish 1st or 2nd in runs scored,we CANT win 95 games because we flat out REFUSE to improve our average pitching. We refuse to ever have a team era better than 4.50 (middle of the pack).

      Yes, we would be in contention if we were 1st or 2nd in runs scored AGAIN. However, we would AS prepared as we have been the past few years in the playoffs with no true #1 or #2 starter.

      Common knowledge holds that you cannot hit your way through October. Near impossible. You get the other team’s ace/aces every other game. Thats why

      • Bonos

        No # 1 or 2 starter, give me a break. Joba, Wang and Hughes say hello. Shit happens, all three got injured. Total cost for the three, about 6 million. The safest and cheapest staff is home built. How did Vazquel, Weaver and Contreras make out in NY? The Yankees lost over 50 mil last year, they couldn’t afford the risk on Santana at 40 mil a year.

  • Bonos

    Hey most knowledgeable fans have known for a long time, probably since 2004. Cashman has been patching since then. But he has been hamstrung with the huge payroll and the law of diminishing returns. Since 2005 which is two years and change, the pitching pipeline is full bore. You saw Coke today, a LHP at 95, Dunn is another at AA and De La Rosa is at A ball. Veras and Bruney are reclamation projects, Melancon should challenge next spring. At catching we have Cervelli at AA and so on. The problem with Drafts is it takes at least two years or more to come to fruition. Losing Wang, Hughes, Joba and Giese to injuries as well as Posada’s offense was too much this year. Cashman gambled and didn’t pull it off, but at the Nady trade we were very close. The problem has been that all these years, the team was almost good enough, just not quite. It’s like the sqauwking about Girardi. Damon is having his best year in quite a while. The BP is developing nicely, he got productive years from Abreu and Giambi, Moose’s rebirth probably owes some to Molina. It takes time, you can’t compete, transition and develop without some pain and mistakes.

  • Manimal

    Hes coming off surgery, give him some time to get in a consistent rhythm for christ sakes. Yeah thats right, I am defending Pavano.

  • Phil McCracken

    I sent this in as a discussion topic to the guys, but I’ll post my thoughts here because we just had a Pavano game.

    Going into next year, we’re going to need 4 starting pitchers. Wang is the only one who is coming back for sure to the rotation. Hopefully Joba is back in the rotation, and if Mussina doesn’t go looking for a multi year deal he should be back on a 1 year deal. Pettitte is probably leaning towards retirement. Hughes and Kennedy aren’t ready to make up 2/5ths of the rotation.

    Obviously we need Sabathia, but we’ll need another free agent pitcher. I’d prefer that the Yankees look away from injury plagued pitchers like Sheets and Burnett. These guys are so risky. Sheets is great when he’s healthy and Burnett seems to dominate just the Yankeees and is a mediocre pitcher against everyone else. In my opinion, the Yankees should consider picking up Pavano’s 1 year option. Yes its 13M, but its a low risk for 1 year, plus Pavano would be pitching for a new contract.

    Nobody has to like Pavano or what he’s done to this team over the past 4 years, but he’s a better option than giving Sheets or Burnett a 4-5 year deal.

    • TurnTwo

      ha!! oops, didnt scroll down far enough, and you beat me to the punch.

      funny, though, that we’re on the same wavelength as far as Pavano is concerned.

    • Reggie C.

      Your concern over going after that 2nd FA starter is legit. Yanks cant tell their fans that we’d be contenders in ’09 with both Hughes & Kennedy in the rotation. We’re not falling for that agan.

      But its not gonna be Pavano. Its simply not gonna be. Its a silly idea that takes away from a rather good argument. Cashman may like Pavano on a personal level, but how do you tell the fanbase that Pavano is worth more to this team than Moose OR Andy over a period as short as 1 year?? Andy isn’t a 2/3 anymore, but he’s an acceptable 4/5. Moose may have pitched his way to a 2 yr offer from a West Coast team, but he genuinely likes this ballclub and i think he takes a 1 yr guarantee + 1 yr team option offer.

  • TurnTwo

    ok, here’s a question… perhaps a little premature yet, but would you rather

    A) extend to Moose a 2 year/$20 million contract after the season is over in hopes he can duplicate this year for another couple seasons?

    B) or, if Pavano can get his feet wet here, continue to show improvement and prove he’s healthy, do you let Moose walk, take the draft picks and pick up Pavano’s 1 year/$10 million option?

    ill be honest… i am very happy for Moose and his success this year, and thankful because he’s been the best pitcher on the staff this year, but i’m incredibly wary that he can come close to this level of performance again.

    not saying i’d definitely bring either of them back, either, but i might be more tempted to pick up the 1 year commitment rather than give Moose 2 years.

    • Reggie C.

      Picking up Pavano’s option is straight ridiculous especially in light of the fact tha Andy has already stated publicly that he wants to pitch next season.

      • pat

        I think we learned this year that you really cant have too much pitching. i think its silly to let emotion get in the way of a baseball decision. A healthy carl pavano would actually be a very intriguing commodity. I say we pick up his option, obviously make him earn his spot in the rotation in the spring, let him pitch until joba is ready to come into the rotation then trade his ass to some national league team during the season while his calue is peaking.

        • Reggie C.

          a healthy carl pavano? pavano has made 3 freaking starts!! 3 starts!! Please.

          Either Moose or Pettitte is a more solid choice for that bottom of order spot on a 1-yr deal. I’d prefer it to be Moose , and he should get a team option for the following season in that contract.

          • Phil McCracken

            Pavano is also coming back from Tommy John.

            His velocity isn’t back yet. He’ll be a much better pitcher in the Spring when he’s closer to pitching at 100% velocity again. Right now he’s relying on location to get his outs.

            While its a good training exercise for him right now to work on his control, you can’t use what you’re seeing right now as any type of indicator of what type of pitcher he’ll be at full velocity

      • Phil McCracken

        Have you been watching Pettitte’s starts? He doesn’t have much left in the tank.

        Honestly I’d only bring back Mussina on a 1 year deal and I’d be skeptical bringing back Pettitte at all. I think he’s the type of player who would rather go out with some dignity instead of coming back for the money and humiliating himself.

    • Geno

      It’s no coincidence that Mussina’s having this season on his walk year. I’d sign him on fat one-year deals to keep his motivation up.

  • WillNY

    If the Yankees are foolish enough to once again depend on Pavano, they deserve their fate. For his his career, Pavano’s ERA+ is 100, and now he is likely past his prime. So, even if healthy, you are looking at an upside of league average. The risk/reward balance with Pavano is so out of balance that the Yankees would be insane to even consider bringing him back.

    • cult of basebaal

      well, probably true, but picking up the option might not be totally nuts. if pavano pitches well down the stretch, picking up the option and then flipping him for a prospect might be worthwhile. obviously we’d have to eat some of the salary, but we might be able to package him (with another arm) to an NL team for a hitter/hitting prospect.

      • pat

        People are too angry at pavano to see what a good idea that is.
        See above.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        I thought about that idea (keeping Pavano and trying to flip him for prospects, Gary Sheffield-style), but in order to get even a C+/B- prospect in return for a guy with an injury history as scary as Rich Harden’s, but with barely a tenth of Harden’s stuff, we’d have to eat ALL of that 13M contract. Not some of it, ALL of it. Nobody is giving up anything of value for Carl Pavano unless he’s at or near the ML veteran minimum.

        I don’t see us eating 13M to get a Melky/Gardner level prospect. If we’re picking up the option, it’s to keep him.

        And while he’s not the worst option in the world, I’d rather let him walk and offer him an incentivized one-year with options olive branch contract for half the price. If somebody else gives him a better deal, more power to him and give his back-end-of-the-rotation starts to Hughes/Kennedy/Aceves/Victor Zambrano/Eric Milton or whatever other cheap wildcard debris falls on the offseason market.

        (Odalis Perez? Kris Benson? Randy Wolf? Jason Jennings? Josh Fogg? … we could probably get two of those crapshoot pitchers for the cost of one crapshoot 2009 Carl Pavano.)

  • pounder

    cult of baseball says
    “well, probably true, but picking up the option might not be totally nuts. if pavano pitches well down the stretch, picking up the option and then flipping him for a prospect might be worthwhile. obviously we’d have to eat some of the salary, but we might be able to package him (with another arm) to an NL team for a hitter/hitting prospect.”

    Intriguing idea,even for mere draft picks,it is some sort of return.

  • Cupz

    While Alberto is a nutcase, I do feel that he is, to a degree, correct. Great teams are fundamentally built on starting pitching, and until we get there (which we aren’t currently, although we are getting better, and have a VERY bright future), we’re going to have to rely on the offense to be #1 in the league in runs/game every single year, which is definitely not a guarantee.

    While this is all dandy and true, I feel that the Yankees made a good decision in stepping away from Santana, simply because I feel that much more invested in a team that has home-grown, non-bought players. Our willingness to go out and throw money at people is maybe-kinda-sorta why we’re in the position that we’re in. The simple fact is, Hughes is our guy, just like Joba is ‘our’ guy, in the sense that they both are full blown Yankee stars, who may or may not end up working out in the future. But that’s a gamble that has to be done, but it has to be done in an organization that has for too long griped on the here and now, which is a reason that millions of Yankee fans are wringing their hands in agony. Our impatience has caused us a great deal of heartache, and I feel that our impatience has too often led us to deal away our future for the sake of an arm or a bat that may end up (and often does) not working out. Thus, to the Yankee brass, and specifically to Cashman, all I can say is ‘thanks’ for having the patience to try to retrieve the glory of a home-built team and refuse to kowtow to the Yankee fan who feels that Sabathia or Santana is the god given right of a financially bloated baseball franchise. The future is bright. We will rebuild the rotation anew just like we did the bullpen (and we won’t again make the mistake of Hawkins or Traber).

    (Also, to those who would refuse to resign Mussina, you are effectively saying that a near 20-game winner is not good enough to be at least a #3 starter in your rotation. Simply crazy talk.)

    (Also, woe to those who would like to overpay a massive amount of money to A.J. Burnett, who might become the highest paid worst pitcher in modern baseball)