2000: The year the blog forgot

Bobby Abreu's uncertain future
When Jon Heyman's headline says one thing and his piece says another

When comparing the top of the 2008-2009 free agent class, the first year that comes to mind is 2000-2001. A-Rod, Manny, Hampton, Mussina, and Juan Gone to this year’s Teixeira, Manny, Sabathia, Burnett, Lowe. After browsing through some New York Times articles from November 2000, I’m wondering how Yankees fans would have reacted on blogs back then, had blogs existed.

On November 7 of 2000, Buster Olney reported that the Yankees had “an either-or interest in Mussina and Ramirez, who figure to be the most expensive free agents who are not named Alex Rodriguez.” I wonder how fans would have reacted in the comments if we linked to this article. After all, the 2000 Yankees finished with just 87 wins. They could have used the upgrades both at the plate and on the mound.

Like the speculation this year about a backup plan in case CC doesn’t sign, the Yankees had alternatives in mind if Mussina re-upped with Baltimore.

So Plan A for the Yankees seems to be this: Sign Mussina, and bring back Paul O’Neill to play right field for another year. Plan B: Sign Ramirez to play right field and another pitcher who would cost less than Mussina, such as the left-hander Denny Neagle or the right-hander Kevin Appier (whose agent has been contacted by the Yankees).

Neagle would have been a disaster, worse than signing Jon Garland. After posting a 5.81 ERA with the Yanks in the second half of 2000, he went out to Colorado and wasn’t very good. Though he did post a 5.38 ERA in 2001, which was just a few points above the league average ERA of 5.32. Damn you, Barry Bonds. Damn you.

Ponder this, too. According to Murray Chass, the Yankees actually coveted Mike Hampton more than Mike Mussina.

They really preferred Mike Hampton to Mussina. Hampton is four years younger and left-handed. But they determined that Hampton didn’t want to play in the American League.

Think Cashman would still have a job today if they signed Hampton instead of Mussina? Who knows, though. Maybe he fares better away from Coors Field. History could have written a different story for Mike Hampton had he decided to continue pitching in New York.

I can only imagine the arguments we had if RAB was around back then. Good times would have been had.

P.S. Don’t pay any mind to this. It means nothing.

Bobby Abreu's uncertain future
When Jon Heyman's headline says one thing and his piece says another
  • Lanny

    It’s always better to gamble on offense in the FA market with these 5-7 yr deals. But you got to pay for premium pitching.

  • dan

    Don’t let Lombardi see this. He’ll criticize Cashman for the moves he almost made.

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

      Speaking of which, the thread he posted about Phil Hughes’ AzFL numbers has to be the most pointless thing I’ve ever read in my life; his main points were as follows:

      1. Phil Hughes’ AzFL numbers are comparable to his career marks at the Double-A and Triple-A level.

      2. The jury is still out on whether Hughes can translate his Minor League success to the Major League level.

      3. Nobody knows for sure whether Hughes can translate his Minor League success to the Major League level.

      http://waswatching.com/2008/11/20/the-hughes-wait/#comments

      • Ivan

        Forget about Lombardi, wait til Hughes starts kicking ass in the MLB, he probably come up with some BS as well.

        • TurnTwo

          it seems to me that WW prob doesnt even care one way or the other about Hughes… its just that one day he wrote something negative on Hughes or about him, etc, and got so much attention for it that now its like a running gag on the website to rile up the masses.

      • dan

        Yea I read that. I usually check there once a day just to look for the train wreck of a post. Like the people who watch NASCAR for the crashes, I read WW for a similar reason.

  • Alan

    Wow, Kevin Appier and Denny Neagle. Way to bring back some names from the past. Isn’t Neagle in prison?

    • radnom

      I don’t know anything about Neagle being in jail, but remember Ugeth Urbina got put in jail for murdering someone with a machette or something absolutely nuts like that?

  • Ivan

    History tends to repeat it’s self uh?

    Nevertheless, I was quite surprise that the Yanks viewed Hampton more than Mussina in the 00 offseason.

    Lets be real here, if this blog was in 00, we might of wanted Hampton over Moose.

    • radnom

      The people who would have wanted Hampton = people who want Burnett.

      People who would have wanted Manny over Moose = people who want Tex over CC.

      People who would have been for Apier = Lowe supporters this year.

      Juan Gonzalez advocates = Manny supporters this offseason.

      (Alright the last two are a bit of a stretch…but look what happened with Hampton all you Burnett Lovers!)

      • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

        not for nothing, but Hampton was a 27 year old lefty coming off of 4 consecutive 200+ IP seasons with the following ERA+

        104
        122
        154
        142

        he was no where near the pitcher the Moose was, but given their ages and his left-handedness, i could see why the Yankees would be intrigued.

      • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

        (Alright the last two are a bit of a stretch…but look what happened with Hampton all you Burnett Lovers!)

        this sentence would make just as much sense, probably more sense, if you substitute “Sabathia” for “Burnett”.

        Hampton and Burnett have almost nothing in common except they are both pitchers.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          Juan Gonzalez and Manny Ramirez have almost nothing in common except they are both hitters.

          Even at 5 years older, 2008 Manny Ramirez >>>>>> 2000 Juan Gone

        • radnom

          You guys are taking this way more serious than I meant it

          • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

            sorry, it’s early. coffee machine is busted, yada yada.

  • radnom

    Gah this was such a cool post….and you were doing so well until that very last line.

  • TurnTwo

    can you imagine if Hank said that instead of Hal?

    people might be jumping off the GWB this morning, or burning Hank’s effigy while protesting down River Ave.

  • Shamus

    Interesting rumor:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/extramustard/specials/morning_jolt/2008/11/21/morning-jolt/index.html

    Should the Sox trade Big Papi instead of Lowell or Youk to make room for Tex.

    Sox are going to move on Tex.

    Ugh.

    • Mike P

      Given that they openly admit they have no information in saying Ortiz might be shopped, I wouldn’t take anything else that article says seriously.

    • Chip

      The Sox would get pretty much nothing for Ortiz. I mean the guy’s OPS+ dropped about 50 points and he was also hurt. If those two things don’t mean “aging slugger who is about to fall off a cliff”, then look at Travis Hafner’s numbers from ’06 and ’07. The OPS+ fall is nearly identical as well as the homerun drop. The next couple seasons could really be ugly for Big Papi.

      That being said, nobody’s going to take Lowell unless the Sox pay almost all his salary (which I imagine the commissioner’s office wouldn’t be happy about) and they wouldn’t dare trade the Greek God of Walks (although I’d be happy if they did) who not only the fans love but pretty much broke out last year and carried this offense at times.

      I doubt they’re seriously in the running for Tex

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

        I agree with everything you said in the first two paragraphs.

        And I DON’T doubt they’re seriously in the running for Tex.

        • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

          really, you think the Sox wouldn’t get anything for Ortiz?

          you don’t think the Twins or the Blue Jays would love to stick Ortiz in their lineup?

          i mean, i agree with Chip’s reasoning. i just think the allure of “Big Papi” would still generate interest on the trade market.

          and i also think Lowell is movable.

          • Chip

            I think the Twins would love him to be in their lineup but I don’t think they’d want to pay him to do so. And I agree that Lowell might be movable but at what cost?

            Also, their fan base would go insane if he were moved within the division.

            If this were 2007, I think they could get it done but it’s becoming very obvious what happens to steroid-era sluggers in their mid-30’s these days

            • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

              yeah, very good point about the in division trading. that was pretty dumb on my part.

              i think Lowell would be movable with the Sox picking up about $6M.

              with Utley out until June, i could see the Phillies trying to upgrade at 3B.

              • Chip

                I agree that it’s completely possible but it would seem to me that they would just wait a year and see if Lars Anderson can take over the job rather than blocking him for 7 years

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                  Or, in a few years, when both Ortiz and Lowell are long gone, they can move Youk back to 3rd and split up 1B/DH between Anderson and Tex.

  • Bill

    “worse than Jon Garland”- Would Garland really be that terrible of a signing? The guy puts up a mid 4 ERA with about 200 IP every year of his career. He’s a prototypical #4 starter and he’ll cost at least 5M per year less than both Burnett and Lowe and he is still in his 20’s.

    • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

      yes, he would be an awful signing.

      it doesn’t make sense to spend $10M on a Garland, b/c there is a pretty good chance the Yankees have a reasonable facsimile of Garland in their system for free.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

        If you throw pieces of spaghetti named Phil Hughes, Al Aceves, Ian Kennedy, and Phil Coke against a wall, one of them will give you Jon Garland-level production.

      • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

        here:

        http://www.replacementlevel.com/

        SG thinks Burnett will be worth about 2 wins more than Garland. 2 wins is worth about $10-12M.

        • Chip

          I think that says more about how good Burnett isn’t than how good Garland is

          • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

            huh?

            this says Burnett is pretty damn good.

            • Chip

              My bad, but it still says the difference between Garland and Burnett is exactly the same as the difference between CC and Burnett

              • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

                sure, i was just responding to Bill who said Garland at $10M might be better than Burnett at $15M.

                i don’t think that’s the case.

                you’d get much more bang for the buck from Burnett.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      The difference between Garland and Ponson this year was 1 ER every ~64 IP and 1 baserunner every 10 IP. And he wasn’t even in the AL East. Why pay $10-12M per year on a multi-year deal for that?

      • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2000/01/18/jeter_ap/index.html steve (different one)

        plus 75 pounds.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          …75 pounds of alcohol.

      • Bill

        This was the worst year of Garland’s career. His career ERA is 4.47. Not great, but not bad either especially when you consider he pitches 200 innings in the AL every year. However in this past year despite his struggles Garland still posted 18 quality starts and 14 wins.

        As a points of reference AJ Burnett had 19 quality starts and started two more games than Garland. Derek Lowe had 20 quality starts in the NL West (in Dodger Stadium) and started two more games than Garland. Andy Pettitte had 18 quality starts and started 1 more game than Garland. Both Lowe and Burnett had one of their better years while Garland had one of his worst (as did Pettite).

        Garland is a guy that you can depend on in the bottom of your rotation. I’m not sure how much money he’ll get, but if its a reasonable deal 10M per or less over about 3 years that may be a better investment than Burnett or Lowe.

        And for those that think we can get 200 IP with about a 4.5 ERA and about 18 Quality starts by just throwing spaghetti at the wall; in 373 IP in 2008 from unproven starters (Ponson, Ranser, Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves, Igawa, and Giese) we got 25 quality starts with an ERA of 5.45.

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