Sep
23

The return of Godzilla

By

Get your pencils ready; it’s time for a quiz. Who has the second most home runs on the Yanks? Third most RBIs? Third highest OPS? And who has done this in 495 plate appearances, fewer than all but Jorge Posada among Yankee regulars? By now, of course, the answer is clear: Hideki Matsui is having a season, for him, for the ages, and in doing so, he is going to force the Yanks’ hand in November.

Matsui’s season wasn’t on pace to end up this way. June 28 marked the Yanks’ last Interleague game, and Hideki Matsui pinch hit against the Mets. That wrapped up a month of irregular play and little success for the once-mighty Yankee DH. He was hitting .246/.345/.463 with 10 HR and just 28 RBIs. Unable to play the outfield due to his very creaky knees, Matsui seemed to be on his last legs.

Since then, however, Matsui has been every bit the force in the Yankee lineup that the team expected him to be. Over his last 261 PAs, Hideki is hitting .310/.396/.588 with 18 HR and 60 RBI. He leads all Yankees in home runs and slugging over that stretch and is one of the key movers behind the Yanks’ run toward the best record in baseball. His home run last night was an unsung moment in the game, a blast well into the high porch in right field.

Matsui is also heading toward free agency, and the Yankees are going to have to decide if they want to bring him back as their full-time DH. Over the course of the season, the Yanks have intimated that, with their aging team, they would prefer to keep the designated hitter spot open for its veterans. They can rest Jorge Posada without losing his bat. They can cycle Derek Jeter, A-Rod and Johnny Damon — if he returns — through that spot. With Matsui limited to DH duties, the Yanks would have more roster flexibility without him. They would also have fewer wins.

I’ve briefly touched upon this idea in the past, but Matsui’s value to the team’s offense cannot be understated. Few teams have a DH as good as he is. In fact, among full-time designated hitters, Matsui’s .905 OPS ranks him second. While the league’s DHs are averaging a .255 BA with a .781 OPS, the Yanks are far outpacing that figure thanks to Matsui.

From a value perspective, Matsui has a 32.1 VORP and a 2.5 WAR (wins above replacement). If the Yanks go with their rotation DH plans, their lineup would include a subpar hitter nearly every day. Ramiro Peña has a 1.1 VORP and a 0.3 WAR. Jose Molina’s and Franciso Cervelli’s respective offenses both put them below replacement level on the VORP scale. Molina’s WAR is 0.2, and Cervelli’s is 0.1. Faced with a very competitive Red Sox team, the Yanks can ill afford to let Matsui’s 2.5 wins simply walk away unreplaced.

As the Yankees head into the playoffs, Hideki Matsui will anchor this offense. He can hit lefties; he can hit righties; and apparently, he can hit in Anaheim too. He may be old; his knees may be frail; but he can hit with the best of them. The Yanks should look to bring him back next year on a one-year deal. Unless they can find a suitable replacement, the team will miss his bat if it isn’t there.

Categories : Offense

159 Comments»

  1. Ed says:

    While a rotating DH spot clearly hurts the offense due to the weak replacement fielders, what’s the defensive impact?

    Replacing Damon with Gardner is a huge swing in defensive value – maybe enough to overcome the offensive loss?

    You probably can’t make that argument at any other position though. In past years you might’ve been able to with Jeter, but not this year.

    Maybe one possibility is to find a really good utility guy (like what Figgins was a few years ago) and then go with the rotating DH spot. I have no idea who might work in that role though.

    • Replacing Damon with Gardner is a huge swing in defensive value – maybe enough to overcome the offensive loss?

      Eh…I doubt that. Unless Gardner can OBP .360+ and steal 40 bases while playing fantabulous defense, he’d probably be a net-negative in LF thanks to the bat. I’d rather play a big bat in left and keep Gardner in CF, where he doesn’t need to be anything better than he is right now on offense as long as he plays good defense, which we know he can.

      • emac2 says:

        “Unless Gardner can OBP .360+ and steal 40 bases while playing fantabulous defense”

        Given a full season as a starter I would expect this to be about right.

  2. Tripp says:

    I was hoping for Chone Figgins to replace Damon in Left and then placing Damon in the DH hole for a majority of the time.

    But resigning Matsui for another year is fine by me as well.

  3. Jake H says:

    Godzilla has been a force.

  4. The Three Amigos says:

    I think we can easily keep Matsui and do the same thing we have this year. Let him play 120 games, rest him during interleague, and give him ample days off to give half days to Tex, cano, Arod and Jeter.

    Plus, the season is so long that you still need to give Arod and Jeter full days off. You see how much better Arod plays with some rest every so often. That shouldnt stop.

    Alternatively is getting someone like Mark DeRosa so then having that rotation is easy… but that means no Matsui.

  5. Kevin M. says:

    Where and whave have the Yankees “intimated” that they’d likley cut Matsui loose after this off-season to go with a rotating DH? I think it’s been 100% outside sources to assume this….I don’t think any Yankee official has ever said or even hinted at such a thing.

    I think a lot of people are going to be surprised when we re-sign Matsui this offseason. He’ll be a steal at 1 year, $8 million.

    • Well, they can’t just come out and say, during the middle of the season, that they don’t plan to bring back Matsui. We’re all relying on the anonymous sourcing along with Girardi’s stated desire to get more rest for his veterans. Numerous reporters at a variety of outlets have speculated that the Yanks will bring back either Damon or Matsui with a preference for the former. I’m not convinced that’s true or that the Yanks should follow that path.

  6. Jamal G. says:

    I really don’t understand the notion that the Yankees need the DH spot to regularly rest their veterans – 12 of the 14 AL teams have had a batter garner 400-plus plate appearances as a DH, in other words, the vast majority of the AL teams do not follow that strategy.

    To be honest, I don’t see the wisdom in filling out a lineup card with a below-average hitter just to give follow a DH-a-day strategy.

    • “I really don’t understand the notion that the Yankees need the DH spot to regularly rest their veterans – 12 of the 14 AL teams have had a batter garner 400-plus plate appearances as a DH, in other words, the vast majority of the AL teams do not follow that strategy.”

      Yeah, but at the same time, name another AL team with (all ages pegged to 2010 season) a 35 year old third baseman with hip problems, a 36 year old shortstop, a 36 year old left fielder (if they bring back Damon) and a 39 year old catcher, all of whom are key offensive cogs? You can’t compare this Yankees team to the rest of the AL in this context.

      To be honest, I don’t see the wisdom in filling out a lineup card with a below-average hitter just to give follow a DH-a-day strategy.

      Even though I think most of us think that the Yankees need to get some of their aging regulars some in-season rest, I think you’re just seeing a conversation evolving on this topic as opposed to a well-thought out conclusion being advocated. The discussion has lasted months and has changed thanks to both the normal evolution of a conversation and Matsui’s strong performance in 2009. I think now most people think the Yankees can re-sign Matsui and still achieve their goal of getting the regulars more rest, I don’t think those who think the Yanks need to rest/DH their regulars still think that’s contingent on letting Matsui walk.

      • Jamal G. says:

        “Yeah, but at the same time, name another AL team …”

        Good point, everything is relative.

        “… I don’t think those who think the Yanks need to rest/DH their regulars still think that’s contingent on letting Matsui walk.”

        You’re probably right, in that my perception is outdated. The thing is, it is difficult for me to acknowledge how one can prioritize the resting of the Yankees’ regular players whilst keeping Hideki Matsui on the 2010 team.

        • I didn’t mean to say that your opinion is outdated, I was just making the point that opinions have changed, and are changing, on this topic. A lot of us took for granted, earlier in 2009, that this would be Matsui’s last year as a Yankee, partly because the Yankees would use the DH slot differently moving forward. But I think as the conversation progressed, it became clear, when comparing different options, that the Yankees can have a DH on the roster and still get rest for their other regulars (especially if that DH is someone like Matsui who actually benefits from being rested also).

          I think you’re right, I think the Yankees can have a good bat in that DH slot, but I still think they need to get their regulars some rest by using them in the DH slot a little more often. If they think Matsui can hold up another season being used similarly to the way he was used this season, I think they have to put some serious thought into bringing him back for another season. It’ll be interesting to see where the chips fall this offseason.

    • Ed says:

      They don’t need the DH spot for that, but it’s an interesting option.

      It’s fueled by a couple of things. A-Rod can’t play everyday and legitimately needs time at DH, at least for this year. Damon has had a lot of minor injuries the past few years and rarely takes time off for them, so DH time would help him out a little. And a lot of people are irrationally convinced that because Jeter and Posada are old for there positions, they’re going to break down at any moment, so they should be used often at DH to prevent it.

      It really only makes sense if you’re convinced that players past the age of 32 or so will get injured often while playing the field, or if you have an above average bench. The reality is that while older players are more likely to get hurt than younger players, these are top athletes who keep in shape, so the odds of them getting hurt isn’t that high*. And currently the bench isn’t good enough to justify it.

      * Matsui is an exception, as he has an injury history that suggests he will never recover to 100% and will have recurring issues.

      • “And a lot of people are irrationally convinced that because Jeter and Posada are old for there positions, they’re going to break down at any moment, so they should be used often at DH to prevent it.”

        That’s a ridiculous thing to say. What’s more irrational – that a 39 year old catcher needs no rest, or that a 39 year old catcher will be more effective, and less injury-prone, with more rest? Just because he’s healthy now doesn’t mean he’s likely to be healthy as a 39 year old catcher. And the same goes for Jeter. Nobody’s saying that these guys are about to fall off a cliff, but what’s irrational is thinking you should treat a 36 year old shortstop and a 39 year old catcher the same way you’d treat either guy if they were 30.

        • Ed says:

          You just completely missed what I said. I was arguing against the claim that those guys needed so much time at DH that we shouldn’t have a regular DH on the roster. If you read my comment just a little further, I acknowledged a higher injury risk while downplaying the gloom and doom “they’re going to break down at any time” comments that are popular around here. I’m not saying they don’t need some rest, I’m trying to put it into perspective.

          • No, I read and responded to the words you posted on the page.

            You said “a lot of people are irrationally convinced that because Jeter and Posada are old for there positions, they’re going to break down at any moment, so they should be used often at DH to prevent it.”

            Your words. Quoted, again, just like I quoted them above in my first response to you. If you want to backtrack and explain that those words don’t accurately capture your opinion on this matter, that’s fine, but don’t act like I misquoted you.

            You said think it’s irrational for people to think that Jeter and Posada are old for their positions, you think that people who think they are old for their positions also think they’re about to break down, and that’s the reason why those people think Jeter Posada should see some time at DH.

            My response was, as I wrote above, that it’s not irrational at all to think that Jeter and Posada are old for their positions and that it’s probably best to rest them a bit more as they get older, and that I think it’s actually irrational to think the opposite (that they won’t need a bit more rest as they get older).

            And you’re also arguing against a straw-man when you say people who think Jeter and Posada are getting a bit old and could probably use some more rest moving forward necessarily also think those guys are “going to break down at any moment” (again, your words as you posted them on the page). I, and others here I’m sure, think they could use more rest moving forward, but I don’t necessarily think they’re about to break down or fall off a cliff or anything.

  7. YankFanDave says:

    I would love to see Matsui return. But the Yankees are expected to go out this off season a either trade for or sign a free agent outfielder; I suspect Damon would then be next year’s DH leaving Matsui an ex-Yankee. However, if they don’t, signing Matsui would be the thing to do. They cannot have an outfield combination of Swisher, Melky, Gardner, or Jackson. That would be not be enough run production. And, the idea of a rotating DH slot would, as said, weaken the offense too much. To me the question should be, is Damon or Matsui your DH next year?

  8. Makavelli says:

    Why can’t we sign Damon and Matsui for a low number of years and cheaper money?? I still don’t understand why it presumably would be one or the other and that’s it…

    Matsui + Not playing the field = Healthier and more productive Matsui which = Yankee wins.

    Damon + YS3 RF Wall = lots of Home Runs and RBI…which = Yankee wins.

    Picking only one of them and replacing them with not as high of a guarantee = LESS Yankee wins.

  9. Makavelli says:

    Also,

    Carlos Beltran was handed a hefty contract majorly due to his display in the playoffs the post season before it.

    If Matsui has an abysmal post season…how much do you think it will hurt his chances of coming back…significantly? Even with his incredible regular season?

    • Makavelli says:

      You can ask the same question substituting Damon in there as well…

    • K.B.D. says:

      Carlos Beltran was a 28 year old defensive wunderkind who OPS’d .915 that year. Maybe his post season performance jacked his value a little, but he was getting paid either way.

      I don’t think a bad post season or a good post season will significantly affect his chances of coming back. It might make the Yankees think a little more, but I’d bet they make the same decision they would have without a post season from Matsui.

    • jsbrendog says:

      a poor post season would only mean that

      a) they might be abl to squeeze him for less money

      b) it shows he was tired and needed mroe rest throughout the year so that you rest ihm and put other guys at the dh as neccessary and matsui only plays 5 or 6 days a week…..

      c) it doesn’t mean anything because it is a sss

      d) (which i think we can all agree on ) he is japanese

  10. Bo says:

    We’re also forgetting one big thing thats non baseball related. How much being in the Japanese business means to the Yankee brand. Now i could see getting rid of Matsui if he wasnt playing well or was shot. but he clearly has something to offer. And he really does help in the Far East.

    • Makavelli says:

      I’m sure they do get a lot of advertising rights due to him being on the team…he’s one of (if not) the biggest star to come from Japan…

    • Makavelli says:

      That being said, I don’t think they overpay for him just based on that. You do what’s best for the team as a whole. Although I’m sure this may play some sort of a role in their decision.

    • leokitty says:

      My sister goes to grad school in Japan and two of her classmates who don’t watch baseball came to visit New York and made it a point to go see Matsui play.

      They picked a good game to go see him, it was was this one: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....=290916110

    • Stryker says:

      am..i..agreeing..with..both..bo..and..makavelli?!

      both points are well made and i do think, from a business standpoint, that matsui adds great value. i can’t remember if the new stadium has one, but i distinctly remember a HUGE yomiuri giants advertisement on the OF wall. i can only imagine the revenue the yankees get from tapping into the japanese market – ESPECIALLY when the yanks play a team with other japanese players (boston, seattle, etc.)

  11. croma01 says:

    I’d almost be inclined to let Matsui walk just so we can get some roster flexibility. Matsui’s bat is big plus this year and it looks like being a full time DH is his future. However, I’m almost inclined to say let him walk and keep Damon as your part time LF/DH. Than we have the ability to either play Melky when Damon needs to DH ahd than start Gardner in CF. Plus, Austin Jackson might be ready next year too. If anything I’d want the Yankees to go after a cheaper utility guy (i.e. Mark DeRosa type or Rick Ankiel) to add depth in the OF. The Yankees are getting older and guys like Posada, ARod, Jeter, and Damon will need to rotate into that DH spot periodically next year. So roster flexibility is pretty much a necessity.

    • Makavelli says:

      Mark DeRosa is roughly the same age as Matsui. And Rick Ankiel’s numbers this year are worse than Melky Cabrera’s by a lot.

      I don’t understand this philosophy. I give it two thumbs down.

      -1

      • croma01 says:

        DeRosa doesn’t have a bum knee and we can probably get Ankiel on the cheap because his year was a wash due to injury. I’m all for signing guys on the cheap and counting on a bounce back year. Similar to the Swisher move that Cashman made. I think that one worked out.

        • Makavelli says:

          Matsui is still “cheap” by means of his production due to his bum knees and age. Perhaps not AS cheap as Ankiel…but when you weigh the price and production…

          Matsui’s “Cheap” >>>> Ankiel’s “Cheap”

          • croma01 says:

            Granted Matsui’s bat is better than Ankiel’s. That’s no doubt. However, I think a Ankiel’s production could be nearly as good as Matsui’s. I think Ankiel’s left-handed bat is tailor made for the way the new Yankee Stadium plays and I think he’s expendable in St. Louis. St. Louis is probably going to go hard to keep Holliday and will make due with Rasmus in CF. Plus Ankiel is a PLUS defensive outfielder with a great arm.

            • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

              Well, he has a 10.0 UZR/150 in LF this year, so he has played plus LF this year. But his UZR/150 is well below zero in CF and RF, and if you’ve watched him out there, there is real potential for a Damon-like dropoff.

              To me, Ankiel is the kind of guy non-contenders sign to fill out a lineup. He’s never had 500 at bats in a season, and even in his “good” year last year, his OPS was a solid .843, or close to what Matsui was OPSing when everyone wanted him gone.

              I just don’t think Ankiel adds anything to the Yanks, and he would be a huge drop off offensively from Matsui.

            • Makavelli says:

              After Ankiel’s performance this year…

              Matsui’s bat both at home and on the road > Gambling on Ankiel’s bat for home games

              • croma01 says:

                To me Ankiel would be a Plan C or D option. I’d prefer the Yankees’ solution in LF be Plan A Holliday or Bay…and Plan B Mark DeRosa or Chone Figgins. If that fails…then we can start looking at other options like Ankiel.

                • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

                  I really, really, really hope the Yanks don’t drop a huge contract on Holliday or Bay. That has Vernon Wells-type disaster written all over it. Both are past 30, and Holliday struggled in the A.L. (certainly not performing at the level to justify the contract he will get).

                  Figgins, as Ben pointed out, is a speed-dependent 31-year-old player coming off a career year, and a guy who hasn’t played the outfield in years. Whoever forks over the big bucks to him will be regretting it very, very soon.

                  DeRosa is fine, but, as Ben noted, his OPS is more than 100 points lower than Matsui’s. That’s a lot of lost production.

                  And, as I noted, Ankiel and his sub-.700 OPS this year shouldn’t be allowed in the Bronx.

                  None of those options would equal the production of this year’s Damon/Matsui combo.

                  Sure, there could be a deal out there that makes sense (like the Swisher deal last year). But of the “obvious” options, all would be a downgrade from this year.

      • Don’t be so quick to dismiss that idea.

        Mark DeRosa may only be a year younger than Matsui, but he has Matsui beat in two ways – he has two fully functioning knees and is a very versatile fielder.

        • Makavelli says:

          We still have Melky AND Gardner as Co-4th OF’s though.

          And

          Matsui + Hairston Jr > Mark DeRosa

        • Matsui’s OPS is nearly .130 points higher than DeRosa’s.

          • Oh Matsui is clearly the better offensive performer, no doubt. But DeRosa’s a decent hitter, he’s healthy, and he can play a number of different positions. The guy can definitely play RF/LF/3B/1B, and can be used at 2B or even SS in a pinch. So if, for example, A-Rod is DH’ing one day to get some rest, DeRosa can slide right in at 3B, and voila, Ramiro Pena’s bat isn’t in the lineup. DeRosa’s versatility is definitely worth something.

            In addition to the defensive versatility… As much as we hate to think about this, Matsui’s knees could go any day. We can’t deny that there’s a pretty substantial amount of risk attached to relying on Matsui.

            I’m not saying I’d sign him over Matsui, I’ve been involved in these conversations all year and for a while now I’ve been advocating re-signing Matsui. I’m just saying, DeRosa isn’t an option that should be dismissed to quickly. He has a lot of value.

            • Makavelli says:

              Agreed. But turning 35 next year DeRosa is no lock to stay healthy all season either…nobody is. Sure Matsui has more of a chance of getting injured because of recent history…but old is old. Bad knees and DHing at 36 with bad knees is only slightly worse than platooning every position in the book at 35…when considering injury possibilities…

              But like anything else…you take your chances and gamble

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

      Matsui’s bat >>>>>>>>>>> Ankiel’s bat (his OPS is .684).

      I wouldn’t allow Ankiel in Yankee Stadium next year, even if he bought a ticket.

      When “roster flexibility” means a huge drop off in offense, as Ben pointed out in the post, I think that’s something we can do without.

  12. Geoff says:

    Anyone thought about signing Thome? I would love Matsui back, but Thome might be the safer bet.

    Now I see he’s three years older than Hideki so I’m less convinced, but I wouldn’t mind Thome manning the DH slot at all…

  13. I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

    Wait, I’m confused. Wasn’t Matsui DFAed in June?

    Oh, no, right, that was just the idiotic demands of a bunch of people here. Never mind.

    Even when Matsui was having “little success” back in June, his OPS was still over .800 and above the average at the time for DHs. I have so enjoyed his increased output the rest of the year. I knew (and wrote) at the time that giving up on him was idiotic. I’m glad Matsui proved it.

    • Makavelli says:

      Everybody let’s have a round of applause for I Remember Celery Sanchez…

      • Were you calling for Matsui to get DFA’d back then?

        • Makavelli says:

          Nope. I’ve been a big Matsui fan for quite some time…

          Although, I don’t see how it matters either way.

          • I think it’s interesting to know who was calling for Hideki Matsui to be released earlier this season. I think that’s relevant when we’re having a discussion about Hideki Matsui.

            • Makavelli says:

              Maybe to you. I don’t see how knowing who was calling for Matsui has any baring on anything at all in the discussion. I’m pretty sure Sanchez was saying it rhetorically. I don’t think there is a witch hunt for people who called out Matsui at the beginning of the year. The reason being…once and if they are found…what happens then? An “I told you so” to each individual and then what else gets accomplished? I’m just saying…I don’t think it’s necessary…but to each their own I guess.

              • Mak, I never said everyone in the entire thread has to say whether or not they called for Matsui to be released earlier this year. I just asked because IRCS made fun of those who wanted to release Matsui, and you responded with what I took to be a sarcastic comment, so I was wondering if you were one of the people he was referring to. That’s all. There’s really nothing to get so sensitive about, here.

      • Makavelli says:

        This was a mere joke by the way. No disrespect to Sanchez. Just a friendly joke.

    • Ace says:

      You are wicked cool and smarter than everyone alive.

      • Nah, just smarter than you, apparently.

        (I keed, I keed.)

        • Makavelli says:

          Are you this guys bodyguard or something? You’re taking responses to his posts pretty personally…

          • It was a joke, and I even acknowledged that it was a joke in the original comment.

            I don’t understand why you seem to be so obsessed with me, Axl.

            • Makavelli says:

              lol. This is ironic. If you notice, you never reply to any of my posts that other people agree with (i.e. Ben or whoever) but if you see a crack in the clouds and notice the littlest thing you can argue with me about…you pounce on it.

              Listen, I have nothing against you…it’s just funny if you think about it.

              • Makavelli says:

                An example is above. We were engaged in an argument…going back and forth…Ben responded to you with something similar to what I said…you disregard our conversation and respond cordially to Ben’s. It’s just funny I guess I dunno…I’m over it though.

                • Mak… I responded, cordially, to you in that conversation above, 25 minutes before I responded to Ben’s comment in the same conversation.

                  If this supposed slight you’re referring to is the fact that you and Ben both responded to my comment at the same time and I happened to respond to Ben’s comment and not yours… Dude, I just found his comment more interesting and felt like responding to it. My response to his comment was a clarification of my own position, so I felt like that was an important thing to get on the page. The fact that I responded to Ben at that point in the conversation and not to you wasn’t an insult to you.

                  In fact, the fact that you took offense to my responding to Ben while not responding to you is just more evidence that you have some sort of obsession with me, Axl. I’m not sure why you’re so sensitive about who I choose to respond to, and I wish you weren’t so sensitive about my choices of response because I feel bad that you take offense to it and it gets you down. Chin up.

                • Makavelli says:

                  In fact, the fact that you took offense to my responding to Ben while not responding to you is just more evidence that you have some sort of obsession with me, Axl.

                  In the same breath, I can say the fact that you won’t let this go is a reason for why you’re obsessed with me. Either way, I don’t care. I notice it because it’s my conversations, topics, posts, etc. You can put on a show for everybody and pretend everybody loves you and use my reputation against me to prove your outrageous accusations…but the fact of the matter is…I really don’t care either way. Like I said, I think it’s funny.

                  But just watch your routine the next I write something. If you disagree with it and everybody else does, you quickly get condescending in your responses…and if people agree with me…you either ignore it or settle down. It’s quite a site to see.

                • “In the same breath, I can say the fact that you won’t let this go is a reason for why you’re obsessed with me.”

                  In the same breath, I can say the fact that you won’t let this go is a reason for why you’re obsessed with me. That comment’s kinda pointless because it works both ways, you know? And I’ll add to that the fact that you’re complaining about me not pumping up your ego by agreeing with your comments and complaining about this imagine insult of me ignoring your comments (which, again, didn’t actually happen).

                  “Either way, I don’t care.”

                  We wouldn’t be having this conversation if you hadn’t complained about my comments.

                  “You can put on a show for everybody and pretend everybody loves you and use my reputation against me to prove your outrageous accusations…”

                  I don’t pretend anyone loves me, nor am I using your reputation against you. I’ve said nothing about the past in this thread. You know who brought up your reputation? You.

                  “But just watch your routine the next I write something.”

                  How about this – Check out my “routine” above, in the conversation we actually just had today about Mark DeRosa, instead of pointing to some hypothetical. I did none of the things you claimed I did. I was never less than cordial in my response to you (and I did respond to you, I didn’t ignore you).

                  “If you disagree with it and everybody else does, you quickly get condescending in your responses…and if people agree with me…you either ignore it or settle down. It’s quite a site to see.”

                  Point out ONE instance in this thread when I was condescending in my response to you in our conversation earlier today. You can’t, because it didn’t happen.

                  Again… I’m sorry you feel so bad about my comments and I wish this didn’t trouble you so much.

                • Makavelli says:

                  In the same breath, I can say the fact that you won’t let this go is a reason for why you’re obsessed with me. That comment’s kinda pointless because it works both ways, you know?

                  That’s the point. I guess it’s kind of a microcosm for this entire argument. It’s neverending…while also pointless.

                  We wouldn’t be having this conversation if you hadn’t complained about my comments.

                  I care about defending myself from your responses. I don’t, however, care about your “routines”.

                  I don’t pretend anyone loves me, nor am I using your reputation against you. I’ve said nothing about the past in this thread. You know who brought up your reputation? You.

                  Who says you have to bring up my past in order to use it against me? Arguing 90% of my comments in a condescending manner seemingly in order to “round the troops” together is still easier because you know people don’t like me on here where most like you.

                  Again… I’m sorry you feel so bad about my comments and I wish this didn’t trouble you so much.

                  It’s over with. I really don’t have anything against you. I noticed something from my point of view (not yours) and I commented on it. I continued to reply in order to defend my statements. That’s all. NOT because I’m obsessed with you…unfortunately for you.

                  Now can we please end this? I truly hope you consider this option.

                • We can end it as soon as you stop crying. I truly hope you consider that option.

                  (I keed, I keed.)

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

        Yeah, that’s just what I was saying …

        No need to be a dick about it. My obvious point was that way too many people were demanding his release back then, not that I was right.

        Oh, wait, I guess it’s YOU who think you are wicked cool and smarter than everyone alive.

        • Makavelli says:

          I was joking with you above…I’ve said certain things and bragged about them later too…it was just all in good fun. Didn’t mean for it to come out nasty or anything. I can’t speak for Ace though…

  14. Ace says:

    I was one of the people who was down on Matsui early in the year. Boy was I wrong. I guess that’s why I work in music and am not the GM of a Major League Baseball team.

  15. TLVP says:

    How about bringing Matsui back on an incentive based contract?

    If Damon, Jeter and A-Rod DH once every 10 games and Posada 3 out of 10 games you’d have Matsui starting 4 out of 10 games and we’d have an awesome pinch hitter to come off the bench in the other games – he can hit just about everybody everywhere. He might still pick up 350 plate appearances.

    If he breaks down, he breaks down, but it might well be a good risk reward

    • Makavelli says:

      It’s nice to start with that offer possibly…but Seattle will respond with a guaranteed contract and he’ll jet in no time.

      • TLVP says:

        Depends on – if he gets a ring this year i’d agree with you but I’d think he knows that Seattle will not get him a ring

        I’d think that when you’ve acheived as much as Matsui and made as much money winning the ring will rank higehr than a guaranteed contract.

        Andy Pettitte doing it for this year might well make it seem more acceptable for Matsui to go down that route

  16. emac2 says:

    I like Damon and Matsui but don’t want to resign both if it means we are “forced” to start Damon in the outfield.

    It’s nice to have two free agent options for DH however and whoever is cheaper is a worthy choice though I prefer Damon bacause of the speed.

    Maybe offer arbitration to Damon and sign Matsui if Damon declines?

    Maybe Matsui is OK with being a part time player? I would love to have him as a pinch hitter and part time player but I’m not sure he is ready to accept that role.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

      Damon’s UZR/150 in LF this year is – 10.3 which is, admittedly, pretty bad. But, it’s not bungle every ball that comes his way bad. It takes a whole lot of defense to compensate for losing a much better bat. My point is, if, say, they go with a Gardner/Melky combo in CF/LF rather than sign Matsui (I just cried a little inside), the increased defense wouldn’t make up for the offensive drop off from Damon (.863 OPS this year) or Matsui to Melky (.746 OPS) or Gardner.

      I think defense is important, but we have to put it in perspective.

      • TLVP says:

        i think that it is important that whoever you sign to be a part time DH has roven that he can be a good pinch hitter. Some players don’t have the mindset for it – Matsui is

        .346/.438/.938 as a PH

        Damon however

        .176/.267/.522

        Small sample warning 32 vs 61 PA’s but it’s a warning flag and it tied in with my expectations before i looked up the numbers

    • Makavelli says:

      So who do you replace Matsui’s bat with then???

      He’s 2nd on the team in home runs, 3rd in RBI, and 3rd in OPS…

      You just kick him to the curb, put Damon at DH…throw both Melky and Gardner in the outfield and assume they make up for his absence?

    • I agree, but the problem is, if we only keep one of the two (presumably Damon since he’s healthier and offers better positional flexibility) it necessitates adding an imported LF from the market (since AJax isn’t ready yet and Melky and Gardner are a fine tandem CF but should not both be starting simultaneously) to replace the one who leaves.

      I think all of us would likely be in favor of dumping Matsui and moving Damon to DH/occasional LF if we could find a good buy-low, Swisheresque candidate to replace Damon as the primary LF, but there doesn’t seem to be such a candidate. All there are are two guys who are bound to get wildly overpaid and require too massive a contractual outlay (Holliday and Bay), guys that would require a significant prospect outlay via trade (Crawford, Upton, etc.) or guys who represent a likely HUGE step down from Matsui’s production, even when you factor in the defensive negative that Matsui’s presence at DH creates by forcing Johnny back to LF (i.e. Ankiel, Byrd, Jones, etc.)

      In the absence of a good “Hey, let’s get this guy to replace Johnny in LF and move Johnny to DH and dump Hideki”, we’re probably best off reupping both of them for a year and kicking the can down the road.

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

        +1,243

      • TLVP says:

        Damon + Matsui will cost less next year than either Holliday (who can’t hit in AL) or Bay (who’s bat is only marginally better than Matsui’s this year).

        The problem is whether you can get them on 1 year deals or not. If you could get them on 1 year deals it probably makes sense to bring both back but would you give Damon 16m for 2 years?

        • The problem is whether you can get them on 1 year deals or not. If you could get them on 1 year deals it probably makes sense to bring both back but would you give Damon 16m for 2 years?

          Good question. Here’s what I’d do:

          1.) Win the World Series
          2.) Go pussytubing
          3.) Tell Hideki and Johnny that we want both of them back to go defend our World Series Title
          4.) Offer them matching 1yr/8M with plate appearance/days on the active roster incentives to push it up to 12 or 13M, both with club options that are roughly the same (8-13M range) for 2011
          5.) Win the WS again in 2010
          6.) Go pussytubing again
          7.) Give the 2011 starting catcher job to Jesus Montero, move Jorge Posada to DH, sign Carl Crawford to a 4yr/44M deal to be the starting leftfielder, thank Johnny and Hideki for their service with a hearty handshake, decline their options, and retire them to stud
          8.) Go pussytubing again
          9.) Have a steaks and blowjobs party to celebrate the fact that the Yankees, Jets, and Knicks (lead by LeBron) are all the reigning titleholders in the three major North American pro sports leagues simultaneously

      • Agreed. For lack of better options elsewhere (to our knowledge), I say bring back Damon/Matsui if they can be had on relatively affordable, short-term contracts.

  17. E-ROC says:

    There is always Nick Johnson, though he might cost a bit more than Matsui. Connor Jackson might be non-tendered, and signing him would be up the Yanks’ alley because he can play multiple position and is young. I wouldn’t mind having Hideki Matsui back, but the Yanks seem adamant about wanting to get younger. There is always Xavier Nady, though he wouldn’t come close to Matsui’s production.

    • Makavelli says:

      Nick Johnson is just as injury prone as Matsui though…

      And if he’s more expensive…it kind of doesn’t make sense I guess

      • And he doesn’t hit with the same power. I like Nicky J. but he’d be a back burner option.

        • Yeah. Nick’s got great OBP skills, but he’s young enough that someone will give him a multi-year deal.

          I like the idea of giving Hideki the DH a one year deal (or a 1+1) more than the idea of giving Nick Johnson a 2-4 year guaranteed deal, especially when we already have 1B locked up for the next 7 years.

          The best DH’s are:
          1) great hitters
          2) disposable at a moments’ notice, in case you ever need to move one of your aging everyday position players to DH permanently when the wheels inevitably fall off (I’m looking at you, Urine-Hands.)

    • leokitty says:

      Conor Jackson would be a flier signing, not someone to rest your laurels on.

      I like him as much as anyone but his illness is no joke and he’s lost significant weight from being sick for so long (poor guy).

  18. jsbrendog says:

    i would love to see the dfa matsui fan club now….

  19. CapitalT says:

    I think Branch Rickey said it best when he said its better to get rid of a player a year early than a year late. Granted that was during the non FA period so getting any value in trades was more important.

  20. mryankee says:

    If the price was right and that is a big if-I would look to trade for Adam Dunn-if the Nats want premier prospects for him, I would pass and either resign Matsui or and this is a question-is Vlad Guerrero’s contract up this year? I know Vlad cannot run and he is not a ptent hitter but if the Angels dont bring him back-

  21. Jian says:

    If the Yankees don’t sign Matsui, then I see three teams really going after him. The Red Sox, Angels and the Mariners.

    The Red Sox can’t possibly risk another season of David Ortiz’s current production. Dice-K will do some recruiting.

    The Mariners need hitting and Griffey is done.

    The Angels are in contention if they don’t resign Guerrero…

    Matsui can’t sign national league, so…

    I definitely don’t want to see him with the Red Sox.

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