Oct
23

World Series Game 2: Phils @ Rays

By

$260,000.

The Braves offered more, but after spending time in the Yankees’ complex in Tampa, that’s all the money it took to get Dioner Favian Navarro into the pinstriped pipeline way back in 2000. The switch hitting catcher wowed onlookers first in the Gulf Coast League, then South Atlantic League, then the Florida State League, and before you knew it, he was making his Major League Debut for the Bombers on September 7th, 2004 against (who else?) the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Named the Yanks’ top prospect by Baseball America prior to the 2004 season, Navarro was coming off a season in which he hit a ridiculous .321-.375-.469 while catching 110 games as a 19-yr old between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. Dubbed “Pudgito” because his stocky build resembles Ivan Rodriguez, the Venezuelan born backstop was poised to assume backup catcher duties behind incumbent Jorge Posada in 2005 after hitting .429 during his September call-up. Navarro was Posada’s successor, and the changing of the guard was ready to begin.

Then George Steinbrenner stepped in.

Steinbrenner’s affection for Randy Johnson had been well-known, and on January 11th, 2005, a deal was completed to bring The Big Unit to the Bronx. Heading to the desert was Navarro (amongst others), his Yankees’ career over after 356 minor league games and seven big league plate appearances. Navarro was traded again less than 24 hours later, this time to the Dodgers as part of a package for Shawn Green. Eighteen months later he was traded again, this time to baseball purgatory for Toby Hall & Mark Hendrickson.

Navarro struggled in his first full season as a Major League catcher last year, hitting just .227-.286-.356 in 119 games. The highlight of his season came at Yankee Stadium (of course) on July 20th, when he hit a monster grand slam through the rain drops into the right field upper deck off Edwar Ramirez. Navarro was hitting a Major League low .179 coming into the game, but the Rays kept running him out because they believed he was their catcher of the future and needed the playing time to develop.

Blossoming as a 24-yr old this year, Navarro earned his first All-Star berth and was second amongst American League catchers with a .295 batting average & .349 on-base percentage. He delivered a crucial walk-off single against the Red Sox on Sept. 16th, breaking a tie atop the AL East. The Rays never looked back, taking the division by two games over the BoSox. One month later, Pudgito is starting in the World Series.

Following prospects is a fun hobby. There’s nothing like imagining what a player can become, hoping they can figure out how to hit a breaking a ball or command their fastball, and envisioning them carrying your team to the World Championship. No one knows what would have become of Navarro had the Yanks not traded him. Maybe his development would have stalled behind Posada, maybe he would have gotten a piece of advice that turned him a player rivaling Matt Wieters. But watching Navarro for the Rays this postseason has been a personal victory; a return on all the time and faith I put into following his progess, hoping he’d one day lead the Yanks to the promised land. For now though, I’ll settle for watching Navarro do his thing for the Rays.

There’s simply nothing better than watching a prospect make it.

Philadelphia
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Jayson Werth, RF
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Pat Burrell, LF
6. Shane Victorino, CF
7. Greg Dobbs, DH
8. Pedro Feliz, 3B
9. Carlos Ruiz, C
- Brett Myers, P (10-13, 4.55)

Tampa Bay
1. Akinori Iwamura, 2B
2. BJ Upton, CF
3. Carlos Pena, 1B
4. Evan Longoria, 3B
5. Carl Crawford, LF
6. Cliff Floyd, DH
7. Pudgito, C
8. Rocco Baldelli, RF
9. Jason Bartlett, SS
- Jamie Shields, P (14-8, 3.56)

Categories : Game Threads

261 Comments»

  1. vinny-b says:

    Navvaro hit .227 in his first full year.

    yet people want to throw Gardner in the trash can.

    Gardner have been successful at every stop, in the minor leagues. Case in point.

  2. LC says:

    Speaking of Yankees catching prospects…I just read this on Yesnetwork.com…

    “Jesus Montero is a slugger but isn’t expected to reach the Majors with his tools of ignorance.”

    What does that mean? Do you agree that he won’t reach the Majors? Not even at 1B?

  3. Steve says:

    ” maybe he would have gotten a piece of advice that turned him a player rivaling Matt Wieters.”

    That’s something I often wonder about. So many prospects have so many tools and yet so little Baseball acumen. All the skills in the world but never make it in the bigs. Then you look at guys like Manny, John Kruk, etc who have average athletic ability (or less) and become good to great players.

    What is it? Good coaching? Internal, never ending drive to hone your craft? Or as Mike suggested a piece of advice that sinks in and turns him around? I would imagine there’s no easy answer, that each case is different.

  4. Jamal G. says:

    I’ve often wondered, what were the prospects that you guys first learned about when you got into the whole prospect scene? Like the very first guy you learned about and started to follow.

    For me it was Jose Tabata. I had a real sinking feeling when I learned of his name being involved in that Pittsburgh trade, but after looking over the deal as a whole, I realized it was for the better of the Yankees (especially if the Yanks can net a couple first round picks when Damaso Marte is allowed to walk following the 2009 season).

  5. Mike A. says:

    Given the way he blasted Manny and called it despicable that he quit on his team, I sure hope Tim McCarver plans on mentioning that Brett Myers beat his wife. It’s only fair.

  6. Ivan says:

    Just watching this WS, just lets me dream of the yanks being here next season, with their own guys like Joba, or Hughes or Cano and etc.

  7. Mike Pop says:

    Hate the sox but this is pretty funny

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6zs5xbGWyQ

  8. Mike A. says:

    What, no Backstreet Boys tonight? Was O-Towns available?

  9. Ivan says:

    Anybody saw that new Black Berry Storm? Majority of the device is touch-screen and features are fantastic.

  10. Mike Pop says:

    I wish Matt Stair would DH

  11. A.D. says:

    Why can’t they just actually start the game at 8

  12. Jamal G. says:

    I’m not going to bother linking to it, by why is Steve Lombardi such a fucking asshole when it comes to the subject of Brian Cashman?

    Brian Cashman:

    “How Andrew does what he does, I couldn’t tell you. Coca-Cola doesn’t give out its secret formula. But whatever he’s doing, it’s working.”

    Steve Lombardi:

    So, who knows…maybe someday, say, around the year 2018, Friedman will be talking about Cashman’s replacement in New York…saying that he wished he knew how that guy was doing it? (This assumes the Yankees, by then, get some guys with a scouting background and let them call the shots for a few years…)

    Honestly, what was the point of that? I usually never read this dude unless someone points out something amazingly idiotic he said, but I checked him out on my own this time and I was none too surprised.

  13. Ivan says:

    Hey Mike you won the Stanley Cup on that NHL game you’re playing?

  14. A.D. says:

    These “keys to the game” are awful

    Where is Ryan Howard??

    NOT a key

    I don’t want to go Philly down 0-2

    seriously, TB going to will a win cause they don’t want that.

    McCarver must come up with this shit on his own

  15. Mike A. says:

    What a play by Mrs. Tony Parker.

  16. A.D. says:

    Shields looking good so far

  17. Jamal G. says:

    If you can’t remember your chicken sandwich and you are having a conversation with a paper bag, there’s nothing wrong with your chicken sandwich. There’s just something amazingly right with your chronic.

  18. E-ROC says:

    Hey, it’s Chucky!

  19. Mike Pop says:

    Man walking the first batter.. forgetttaaaboutit this game is ovaaa

  20. Ivan says:

    Is Myers still with his wife after that incident?

  21. Jamal G. says:

    “One of the top five Curves in the game”? Really? Says who?

  22. Mike A. says:

    Bossman Junior’s in the hoooooooooooouse.

  23. A.D. says:

    Werth almost “baited” him if the throw was on the bag

  24. Mike Pop says:

    Brett Myers has great stuff no ? But he just cant put it all together

  25. Mike Pop says:

    Frank Wren said today he still will not give up top prospects.. Peavy could land somewhere else eh ?

    • Jamal G. says:

      I wonder if Brandon Wood still has enough hype to be the centerpiece of a package from the Halos. I also wonder if they can get a deal done without including Howie Kendrick. I’m sure they would include either Ervin Santana or Joe Saunders in a package with Wood to start discussions for Jake Peavy.

      • Ivan says:

        Boy if Im SD why take Wood who won’t stay at SS, has suspect plate disipline and the one thing he does very well at will be negated in Petco.

        • Jamal G. says:

          I’ve read that the Friars aren’t exactly enamored with Kevin Kouzmanoff, so Wood’s inability to stick at Short Stop for the majority of his career wont exactly be a breaking point. Also, I don’t think he’s that bad where he can’t hold down SS admirably in his physical prime.

          You’re right about the park effects of Petco, but wouldn’t that ring true for any and every positional player that is discussed in a potential deal?

          • Ivan says:

            Well I read some where they wanna move Kahil Greene. Greene hasn’t develop as well as they would like. Im somewhat surprise they don’t Kouzmanoff.

            Wood has power but he did hit in the cal league which is a notorious hitter’s league. So his HR production might be misleading.

            What worries me about Wood is the plate disipline and all those K’s.

            • Jamal G. says:

              I don’t think there’s any reason to question Wood’s California League production anymore, not after his 2008 showing in Triple-A Salt Lake. He had 54-XBH which included 31-HR.

      • Mike Pop says:

        I think Wood is a stud and I think Wood and one of those starting pitchers should be able to get discussions started and go into real serious discussions maybe add adenhart.. Padres are greedy if they want more than that..

      • steve (different one) says:

        i’m not sure trading Santana for Peavy accomplishes all that much.

    • Ivan says:

      Really I think he stays in SD. The best trading partner would be the Dodgers but that most likely will never happen.

      • Steve says:

        Would YOU trade the Ace of your staff to a division rival?

        • Ivan says:

          That’s tough. I mean if they have the best package and it’s a good one, and my job as a GM is to help my team get better long term, then maybe yes you make that trade.

          • Mike Pop says:

            If thye could get Kershaw and McDonald in the same deal with some positional talent TOwers has to take that seriously

          • Steve says:

            It may surprise you, but I happen to agree. If a rival is willing to give me a superior package, I wont turn it down. But I will charge them more than I would any other team.

      • Mike Pop says:

        Why don’t the Padres deal Chris Young too ? They are trying to rebuild, maybe they hope he has a good first half without injury and deal him ? Cuz when on Chris Young is awesome but than again its the injuries..I loved when Young and Derek Lee got into it at Wrigley

        • Mike A. says:

          He’s had some injury troubles, not including the line drive to the face. He’s signed really cheap, so they’re probably better off letting him build up his value for one more year in Petco before trading him.

          Plus they need someone to start Opening Day.

    • Steve says:

      Maybe, but ATL is still the best fit. There’s really no rush, you cant make deals until after the WS, and most feel this deal wont happen until the winter meetings.

  26. Jamal G. says:

    Nice job, Victorino, first-pitch swinging and all.

    • Steve says:

      Sometimes that’s the best one you’ll see. The “get me over” fastball.

      I’ve never understood that complaint. Yanks got killed for first pitch swinging this year against guys like Halladay and Burnett. But when you look up their splits, you realize that’s the best chance you have against guys like them. Once they get ahead of you, you’re dead.

  27. E-ROC says:

    Instead of Mike Cameron, Roco Baldellli?

  28. E-ROC says:

    Kirwan Danley sucks

  29. Mike A. says:

    Oh man, Myers didn’t like that call. His wife is going to get it.

    • Steve says:

      3-0.

      If I were her, I’d hide under the bed.

    • E-ROC says:

      Morbid yet hilarious.

      • Steve says:

        There’s a pic of a Philly fan holding what might be the greatest fan sign ever

        “HIT THE MITT-NOT THE WIFE!”

        Google “Brett Myers”-its on the NYTimes piece, halfway down the page. I tried posting it 3 times but it keeps getting caught in the spam filter.

    • Jamal G. says:

      I don’t know if my moral sensibilities are shot to hell, but I never think these jokes go too far.

      Oh, The Offspring’s “Americana” is fucking awesome. Like every song on that album I can just get hype to, it’s nuts.

  30. A.D. says:

    One would think swing, no swing wouldn’t be that difficult

  31. E-ROC says:

    Alas, Anne Hathaway is free from the clutches of her ex-boyfriend who will be serving up his asshole for 4 1/2 years.

  32. E-ROC says:

    Why would test Werth’s arm? Should’ve just kept the inning going.

  33. A.D. says:

    Baldelli = toast

  34. A.D. says:

    Why does McCarver have a tall chair?

  35. Mike Pop says:

    Man Buck is giving head to McCarver during commercials you see how high his chair is compared to Bucks lol

  36. Jamal G. says:

    Take your pick: Logan Morrison or Michael Stanton?

    Personally, I’m going for Morrison. He cut his K% and increased his BB% in his bump to High-A. I know he had a .377-BABIP*, but he did have a .070-IsoD. Let’s see how the more advanced pitchers at the High-A level expose Mike Stanton’s swing before we go ga-ga over those thirty-nine dingers.

    *-I’ve often wondered, how much credence should be paid to the BABIP statistic at the Minor League levels? When you consider the field conditions of Minor League ballparks and the sub-par defenders, I think we can safely assume this stat (at the Minor League level) doesn’t hold much weight, if any.

  37. Mike Pop says:

    Stanton better overall hitter in my opinion. Stats show it too

  38. E-ROC says:

    Dobbs looked lost.

  39. Steve says:

    This guy Shields will never make it. His fastball is only around 91 MPH.

  40. Mike A. says:

    Does anyone think Pedro Feliz scares Jamie Shields with runners on 1st and 3rd? That’s what playing the AL East does for you.

    • Mike Pop says:

      David Ortiz was a nobody but playing in the AL East made him a man….maybe or was it that guy with the long hair ?

  41. Jamal G. says:

    Good, I believe Jeremy Bleich is scheduled to pitch for the Waikiki Beach Boys in the next three-and-a-half hours. Can’t wait to see what he has as an encore after his superb performance on October 17th (6.2-IP, 3-H, 0-BB, 5-K).

  42. Jamal G. says:

    GritDisease by Rocco Baldelli.

  43. Mike Pop says:

    Man TB dominating this game

  44. Jamal G. says:

    Jeez, I’d never want to play Joe Maddon in a game of The Show. What a cheese…

  45. Jamal G. says:

    Anybody else thinks that Joe Maddon should have had Andy Sonnanstine start his lone game in Tampa? A guy with a career 1.08-HR/9 and 1.31-WHIP does not sound like an ideal fit for a postseason start at Citizen’s Bank Bark. He already has served up two Home Runs in his two postseason starts already.

  46. E-ROC says:

    Werth smoking that oooweee.

  47. Steve says:

    What a douchebag.

    Imagine walking to the dugout after that dumbass move.

  48. Jamal G. says:

    Heh, the Rays’ 1B Coach was about to kick Carlos Pena in the mouth if he didn’t get up.

  49. Kevin says:

    Apparently, Dice-K thinks the Rays cheated: http://tinyurl.com/5v7y8p
    The funny thing is that the red sox won that game.

  50. Mike A. says:

    Nice work by Shields.

  51. E-ROC says:

    Phillies, by all means, hit with runners in scoring position. It helps your chances to score.

  52. UWS says:

    I love Rocco, but this constant harping on his disease is reaching Lesterian proportions.

  53. A.D. says:

    Rocco Baldelli & his mitochondrial disease is going to replace Lester & the cancer since the Sox are out of it

  54. Mike Pop says:

    This game should not be 4 0

  55. Mike Pop says:

    Moyer doesnt have a ring right ? Hes gonna dominate game 3

  56. E-ROC says:

    Geez. Rollins.

  57. Mike Pop says:

    Go Deep baby

  58. Mike Pop says:

    Cant believe the Knicks wont give D LEe an extension hes the best guy to watch on that team… They shoulda took Bayless or Gordon in the draft but thats a whole nother story

    http://basketball.realgm.com/s.....extension/

    • pat says:

      dude that teams in shambles theyre on the 3 year plan plus they already have 3 pgs nasty nate starbury and now duhon on the team they needed an athletic bigman to run the floor. But not giving lee an extension is weak

      • Mike Pop says:

        Bayless, Gordon, or DJ Augustin is still a better pick espexcially with Dantoni running the show

        • pat says:

          nah I agree, one of those PG was a better pick than danilo, especially since euros dont always fare so well in the NBA I wanted augistin from texas but they’re in complete rebuild mode, they have a surplus of PG and no big men to run in d’antoni’s system

          • Mike Pop says:

            Of all franchises the Knicks should know this.. They drafted Frederic Weiss after he said he wasnt coming to the NBA cuz he had a girlfriend in France or w.e. They coulda had Ron Artest with that pick who publicly stated he wanted to play for the Knicks and he could be the hometown hero but they took Frederic freakin Weiss with the 15th pick and Artest went to Chicago with the 16th. Not to remind you this is when the Knicks were good and Artest coulda been a huge force with Ewing and Camby that year they made the finals (1999).. but no they took this guy……………………………………..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGNY79Au8nM

            • Mike Pop says:

              here

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGNY79Au8nM

              this guy never played a game for the knicks by the way, they wasted thier pick, but they did manage to trade for patrick ewing jr for the rights to this guy

              • Mike Pop says:

                Look at how high VC got !!!! God damn thats athletic man.. dude got old but he can still play hes so much fun to watch when hes on his A game

            • pat says:

              i loved artest dude I wanted him too, his whole St. Johns team was nasty my favorite player from back then was bootsy thornton

              • Mike Pop says:

                I cant believe they passed on him still., he was a stud and stated he wanted to play for you.. hes like the hometown hero every team wants.. but the rockets are gonna be nasty with him yao and tmac hopfully tracy and yao can stay healthy and they will be a force in the west

            • A.D. says:

              what’s funny is thats a good case why not to draft him, before getting to the fact that he probably wouldn’t have been very good

        • Ivan says:

          First off Gordon is a not a PG whats so ever. He struggles with his ball handle and is a limited passer. He’s a score first player. A SG. Bayless, yes is a PG but he’s a shoot first pass second PG. He wouldn’t fit well with D’antoni.

          Gallinari really might be better than all three of those guys in 5 years.

          • Mike Pop says:

            Id bet ya a dollar hes not

            • Ivan says:

              He’s a better prospect than Gordon. He shoots better, hndles the ball better, passes better, and has better feel for the game.

              Gallinari had some of the best skills in dat draft with his shooting, ball-handling, and passing. and he’s 6’10.

              • Mike Pop says:

                Gallinari is fragile, already has a slipped disc after one quarter in a preseason game. He was just cleared to play a few days ago. I dont think hes going to be that good, hell I hope he turns into Dirk 2 but I highly doubt it

                • Ivan says:

                  He’s much more tougher than most european player fsrom many scouting reports. Yes he has been injured but if he can be Hideo T. or Kukuc 2.0, that’s pretty damn good.

                  He needs to be stronger physically though.

      • Steve H says:

        isn’t it to keep cap room clear for a run at Lebron?

    • E-ROC says:

      Bayless wasn’t what the Knicks need; neither is Gallinari for that matter. The Knicks need leaders on that team. They already have the athletes but no floor general. Pass first point guard should be number one on their agenda.

      • Mike Pop says:

        Bayless and Augustin are leaders. One of them or Eric Gordon should be on the Knicks right now instead of Italia

        • E-ROC says:

          Augustin, yes; Bayless, no. Bayless is a shoot-first point guard who is a terrible passer. Even though Bayless wasn’t what the Knicks needed, I would’ve chosen him and put him at point guard because of his potential. Also, Knick fans need to see results right now and Bayless’s results would come quicker than Gallinari. Augustin is a pass-first point guard who can score if need be. He would be perfect for D’Antoni’s offense. As for Eric Gordon, I think he is a better version of Ben Gordon.

      • Ivan says:

        DJ Augistin can ball but his D is suspect, his small, and ya small you betta be a damn great athlete which he isn’t.

        Gallinari skill set was one of the best in the draft and he’s 6’10.

        • Mike Pop says:

          When hes in the D-League this season sucking it up you will realize he was the wrong pick for this team, god i hope im wrong but i dont believe he will be that good

        • E-ROC says:

          Gallinari has Dirk’s skillset and potential, but who is going to run the offense? Robinson? Marbury? Crawford? Augustin is small but he is what the Knicks needed and he’ll put the players in the right position to score.

          • The instant Gallinari suits up, he’ll be the second worst defensive player in the league. His scouting report said he had a problem with movement.

            I know that D’Antoni doesn’t play a ton of defense, but this could be brutal. The “Big Cock” sounds like a sieve.

            He’ll basically need to drop like 30 a night to make up for what he gives up on the other end (just like Eddy Curry.)

            • Mike Pop says:

              Wow im glad you got in this argument, keep backing me up son and we will bring down Ivan together

            • Ivan says:

              Yes Gallinari D is questionable but you cannot deny the overall skill set. His shooting, ball-handling and passing and feel for the game at his size is quite unique.

              • I agree that Gallinari is a great offensive player who will cause matchup problems.

                However, he’s a massive defensive liability who all but offsets those matchup problems with the fact that he’s a perfect matchup advantage on the other end.

                It adds up to a quality player, but in no way the 6th pick in the draft. For a team that’s trying to slash and burn the forest to make room for Bron-Bron, the player we took in this draft will join with Wilson Chandler and (possibly) David Lee to become the core of the team that Bron is coming here to play with.

                If I’m Lebron, as much as I love NY, I don’t really want to play on a team where the second best player on my team is Danilo Gallinari.

                • Ivan says:

                  Yes I know the D isn’t good but it can be worked on to be at least average. The guy can be a wonderful player on offense. He does things at his size you can’t teach.

                  Plus, I don’t really wanna consider Lee a core guy. He’s a marginal starter with little skill, and does his work with hustle plays. Chandler is iight but he has to prove more.

                  Again, to me with the 6th pick with the other options of players, he was the best player arguebaly left.

  59. pat says:

    yesss more price

  60. Mike A. says:

    0-2 on Howard? Throw him four straight sliders off the plate.

  61. A.D. says:

    The great David Price reliever/starter debate

  62. Mike Pop says:

    Howard is Price’s bitch now.. Howard has to wear a skirt game 3 now

  63. pat says:

    ok nerd alert I just got the game spore and its awesome

  64. Mike A. says:

    What was that? I’m sorry Joe Buck, did you say the core of these two teams was built through the draft? That’s preposterous, we all know the only way to win is to sign free agents to long term, big money deals after they’ve already played their best baseball for someone else.

  65. Mike A. says:

    Can’t say I saw that coming.

  66. Mike Pop says:

    This kid doesnt have what i takes to be a starter at the major league level

  67. Mike Pop says:

    You know that kids a bandwagon fan

  68. Jamal G. says:

    That kid looked like a flamboyant neo-Nazi.

  69. You know what I keep thinking of every time I see David Price? (Besides how filthy he is?)

    That Phil Hughes is nearly a full year younger than him.

  70. E-ROC says:

    Kirwan Danley is deaf.

  71. A.D. says:

    staying interesting

  72. E-ROC says:

    At least take a damn pitch, Howard.

  73. Mike A. says:

    I didn’t even have to time to type “so how with Ryan Howard fuck this up.”

  74. Mike A. says:

    “They have the second lowest payroll in baseball, but the Rays were money tonight.”

    Oh snap, Craig Sager.

  75. Jamal G. says:

    The Tampa Bay Rays have won a World Series Game. This never stops being amazing.

  76. A.D. says:

    22 LOB, thats Yankeesque

  77. Mike A. says:

    Heh, all the ESPN hacks are starting to realize that hey, the Rays are pretty good. They’re all blasting Philly after predicting they’d coast in the series.

  78. Baseballnation says:

    James “big fucking game” Shields

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