Nov
23

Open Thread: Building a team with up the middle players

By

The late 90s Yankees were blessed with incredible talent in up-the-middle positions. Those teams are a testament to the strategy of developing pitching and up the middle players, and using trades and free agency to fill in the other positions. It’s just not easy to find players like Jorge, Jeter, and Bernie on the free agent market, or even in a trade from another team.

Part of the reason the Yankees succeeded in 2009 was that they had excellent talent up the middle. Jorge Posada is one of the best hitting catchers in the league. Jeter is near the top, if not at the top, for shortstops. Cano is one of the better hitting second basemen, and Melky Cabrera hits league average, which is above average for center fielders. The Yanks appear ready to reload, too, as their two top prospects are a catcher and a center fielder.

Over at Baseball Prospectus, friend of RAB Tommy Bennett looks at the up the middle free agents. As expected, the class isn’t all that inspiring. Thankfully, the Yankees have a superior player at every position except maybe center field (Mike Cameron), but even in that case they have a young player who has shown promise. He’s easily an acceptable alternative to Cameron.

Unfortunately, the article is subscriber-only. This is Tommy’s takeaway line, with which I fully agree. “The lesson to be drawn is that if you’re looking to add more than one of these players on the open market, you might want to take seriously the possibility that you’re not going to be competitive this year.” This is true in most years, and 2009 is no exception.

That said, this is your open thread for the evening. Treat it well.

Categories : Open Thread
  • http://www.blueseatblogs.com Dave

    More importantly, let’s end this stretch of horrible hockey.

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

      I’m not counting on it.

      • http://www.blueseatblogs.com Dave

        So much for that…

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

          Good grief, I didn’t turn it on yet.

          • http://www.blueseatblogs.com Dave

            You don’t even want to know.

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

              I have it on. I wish I didn’t.

              • http://www.blueseatblogs.com Dave

                Awful defense. Both were guys wide open in the slot.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    Anyone know if the Detroit writer who voted for Cabrera over Mauer was the same douchebag who voted for Verlander over Grienke, because “he saw Verlander and didn’t see Grienke as much”

    • Lanny

      It was a Seattle writer who voted for Miggy.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        OK, then it wasn’t the same guy.

    • Jack

      I thought it was a Seattle writer.

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

      You can only vote for one award a year, so it couldn’t have been the same guy.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        You mean to tell me there are actually TWO batshit crazy sportswriters in this country?

        • Lanny

          Going to be interesting to hear how the guy who voted for Miggy defends that decision.

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

            I suspect no one will make a big fuss because he’s Japanese. It’s just the way it is.

          • http://sports-odds.com/images/stories/yankees-arod-teixeira.jpg JobaWockeeZ

            Because he didn’t use his spreadsheets and watched his player with his own eyes.

            • Lanny

              Well its obvious he didnt use his own eyes since he would have seen Miggys team collapse down the stretch because he didnt come thru like an MVP should.

              Considering his team didnt even make the playoffs. So no he didnt use his common sense.

              • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                Let’s say that the stretch run happened exactly the same exact in the final tiebreaker game the Tigers LF’er doesn’t misplay the ball into a triple and the Tigers win. Is Mauer MVP? Remember that his team didn’t make the playoffs.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  Sorry, typo. exact=except

                • steve (different one)

                  yes, he still would have won.

  • Salty Buggah

    I have been noticing for a while that on SportSpyder.com, it says weird things for the author of some articles. For the Twins site article on Mauer’s MVP, it said “By: objective and subjective measure.” On the Rosenthal article on his thoughts on MVP results, it said “By: a hair”

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

      Heh.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      I still can’t figure out how the “IT IS HIGH, IT IS FAR, IT IS CAUGHT” site got linked to SportsSpyder. It sticks out like a sore thumb with all the newspapers/serious blogs that get linked there.

      • Salty Buggah

        Well, a lot of pointless blogs that only repost the news (that everyone can get from the newspapers themselves and don’t do analysis like RAB get linked there so its not that bad.

    • Salty Buggah

      The Twins site article: http://i47.tinypic.com/2ec2puh.jpg

  • http://sports-odds.com/images/stories/yankees-arod-teixeira.jpg JobaWockeeZ

    Can’t wait for the Radio Show. When do you think we can expect it?

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

      It’ll be up tomorrow at 11:30am. Joe didn’t have time to edit and upload it this afternoon.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    Dodgers “Long Shot” To Land Halladay
    By Howard Megdal [November 23 at 5:28pm CST]

    Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers are a “long shot” to land Roy Halladay, while Los Angeles GM Ned Colletti indicated an unwillingness to add Chad Billingsley into any Halladay deal.

    It doesn’t take much of a leap to think the former is a result of the latter.

    Colletti refused to discuss Halladay specifically, but said of his desire to improve the pitching staff, “We would like to improve our pitching, especially starting pitching. I don’t believe we can subtract from it in order to improve it.”

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....laday.html

    So I guess that stuff about Coletti wanting to dump Billingsley was bogus. It never made sense to me.

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

      Seriously. Selling low on a guy like that can be career suicide.

    • http://sports-odds.com/images/stories/yankees-arod-teixeira.jpg JobaWockeeZ

      Look, the Yankees aren’t the only team “in love” with prospects and young players. Go figure.

      • Lanny

        And thats whats called negotiating.

        What team would ever say its down on a player especially a pitcher like Billinglsey???

        They want to keep his stock propped up and make it seem like hes valuable. Even when his team felt so bad about him they didnt start him in the playoffs and let Kuroda start games for them.

        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

          What team would ever say its down on a player especially a pitcher like Billinglsey???

          A)A team that wanted to motivate him, thinking he didn’t give his best effort last year (See Yanks w/Cano last year)

          B)A team that wants to test the waters and see what offers they get, without actually putting him on the market.

          BTW-On that same topic, I’m still not 100% convinced the Yanks wouldn’t trade Swisher. His value is high, he has his limitations as a player, and he’s due to have serious money kick in over the next few years.

          • Jack

            I don’t think anyone has said they wouldn’t trade Swish. It really depends what they can get for him and who they can find to play RF.

  • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

    I think all of you will find this amusing:

    http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/node/3381278

    Click on the link. You know you want to.

  • JMK aka The Overshare

    I think RAB should do more guest posts. How awesome would it be to have a Lanny/Bo post followed by a mryankee the next day? That’s change I can get behind.

    • Lanny

      We’re all eagerly anticipating your love poem to Joba the 4 inning Starter.

      Dont keep us waiting.

      • JMK aka The Overshare

        Give me twenty minutes!

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      I’m still waiting for Pat’s guest post, myself. That one just might get the site closed down by Federal Investigators.

  • Salty Buggah

    Olney: “Heard this: Teams are being aggressive in pursuit of Randy Wolf, who is one of the best of FA starters not named Lackey.”

    Is this year’s class of FA pitchers so bad that Wolf is one of the best pitchers available?

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

      Yes, yes it is.

      • Salty Buggah

        Wow, that’s just sad.

    • vin

      Why did I think Randy Wolf bounced around more than he did? Probably because he’s signed 3 consecutive 1 year deals.

      He’s a solid enough NL pitcher, but I wouldn’t want him anywhere near the AL East.

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

    Can Gaborik play 40 minutes a night?

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

      Holy crap. I’d say that timeout was effective.

      • http://www.blueseatblogs.com Dave

        Wow. What a comeback.

        • http://www.blueseatblogs.com Dave

          WOW! What happened to the Rangers? Six in a row!

          • http://and-that-happened.blogspot.com Evan

            I want what he said to the team on mp3.

        • http://www.blueseatblogs.com Dave

          The Rangers just lit up Columbus. Wow.

  • Bryan

    Hey so I got my Nike Yankees poster I got from Posterburner.com. Its really high quality paper, but the images are a bit fuzzed, which is to be expected. The original image was pretty small.

    Here are some pictures:
    http://tinypic.com/r/jsemb7/6
    http://tinypic.com/r/33fakh0/6

    • Salty Buggah

      How much did it cost you?

      • Bryan

        I think it was about 42 dollars.

        • Salty Buggah

          Kinda costly but I guess its worth it.

        • http://theyankeeway.mlblogs.com/ Keanu Reeves

          42 dollars is a rather fitting price…

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

    300 pages and counting.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      I’m working on my 2nd book, but it keeps getting delayed. I haven’t finished coloring the first one yet.

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

        I’m just too good.

        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

          I’m amazed at the negative reaction I got for suggesting the Yanks pick up either Rafael Soriano or Mike Gonzalez today. Are people that shell shocked over Kyle Farnsworth that they’ll NEVER give up a draft pick again?

          • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

            Ooops, this was supposed to be a new comment.

    • ColoYank

      Just finished “Olive Kitteredge” and “Let the Great World Spin,” which just won the Natinal Book Award (the REAL “NBA”) for fiction.

      Those are the two best things I’ve read this year.

    • Accent Shallow

      Jorge Luis Borges never wrote a novel, only short stories, essays, and poetry.

      Quality, not quantity!

      (That said, best of luck!)

    • JMK aka The Overshare

      I’m on page six of my children’s book. “Your Parents Got Divorced, And It’s All Your Fault!” is the title. Slow progress, y’know?

  • ColoYank

    Is Ajax considered up-the-middle talent? Is he a for-real center fielder?

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

      For sure.

      • John Adams

        Any guess when will we see Ajax and Montero in the big leagues ?

        • ColoYank

          I would say toward the end of 2010 for Ajax, maybe September. A year later for Montero if all goes well.

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

          Both next year, second half.

          • Salty Buggah

            Montero too? You’ve got me all excited now

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        Would a good MLB comp be Curtis Granderson? Above average fielder, good pop, strikes out a bit too much.

        • ColoYank

          That’s the comp I always saw.

          Another interesting comp was Z McAllister and Kevin Millwood.

          • John Adams

            what about a comparison for Jesus Montero ?

            • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

              KLaw said Frank Thomas. Too big and stiff to field a position well long term but a natural born hitter with patience and power.

              • ColoYank

                A scout quoted (don’t have the link, sorry) on a blog said Montero doesn’t get enough credit for his catching. I wonder if maybe he’s not the absolute stiff back there we’ve all been told about.

                • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

                  Piazza was a complete stiff, and he’s heading to the HOF (assuming the steroid suspicions don’t get proven).

            • ColoYank

              Wow … dunno if there is one. Roy Campanella?

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

    Michael Del Zotto is unimpressed by Steve Mason’s Calder Trophy.

  • ColoYank

    When are the college basketball rankings revised each week? Where is the easiest place to find them?

    Beating Cal and North Carolina on the same weekend must have done wonders for Syracuse’s ranking, and I was trying to find it. I went to ESPN’s and to AP’s sites, but they must not be up yet.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

      They’re up.

      ESPN/Coach’s Syracuse went from 24 to 9, AP they went from unranked to 10.

      GO ORANGE

      • ColoYank

        WooHoo!

        Thanks, Rebecca. (I’m a devoted fan. Of yours.)

  • Salty Buggah

    Best Yankees players at each position for this decade?

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

      That’s kind of easy, no?

      C: Posada
      1B: Giambi
      2B: Cano
      SS: Jeter
      3B: A-Rod
      LF: Matsui
      CF: Bernie
      RF: Sheff

      • Salty Buggah

        Haha yea, thats why I just changed it.

      • DP

        DH: Karim Garcia!

        • vin

          Weren’t you paying attention earlier? Juan Miranda!

          /didn’t actually read the post

    • Salty Buggah

      Actually, some positions are too easy so lets add in year, like 2007 A-Rod for 3B

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

        C: 2007 Posada
        1B: 2002 Giambi
        2B: 2006 Cano
        SS: 2006 Jeter
        3B: 2007 A-Rod
        LF: 2004 Matsui
        CF: 2000 Bernie
        RF: 2004 Sheff

        • Salty Buggah

          Agreed on all. Imagine how many runs that offense will score.

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

            7.35 runs per game, or 1,190 over a 162 game season.

            Never doubt the awesomeness of the internet.

            http://tinyurl.com/ybffy7a

            • vin

              Kind of interesting that the best lineups all have Posada leading off and Jeter hitting 9th.

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

                It’s the OBP. A-Rod’s hitting fourth all the time because of his SLG.

          • Jack

            Imagine how many runs that offense will score.

            All of them.

            • Steve H

              IETC.

        • Jose

          Why not 2009 Jeter?

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

            2006 Jeter: .343-.417-.483
            2009 Jeter: .334-.406-.465

            I didn’t consider defense.

            • Jose

              Gotcha. Defense factored in pushes Jeter’s 2009 season as better then his 2006 season in my opinion.

            • Jack

              He also put up identical 132 OPS+’s those two years.

              • Jose

                There is definitely a difference in offensive production those two years though.

                2006 wOBA: .399
                2009 wOBA: .390

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

      Fuck me. Um.

      C: Jorge
      SS: Jeter
      1B: Hmm. Teixeira, honestly. But Tino in October.
      2B: Canó, we’ll ignore 2008
      3b: Nails.
      LF: Gotta be Damon, no?
      CF: Still gotta go with Bernie
      RF: Paulie, but I love Swish
      DH: Matsui

      RHP: Moose
      RHP: Wang, before mid ’08
      LHP: CC
      LHP: Andy
      SU: Hughes ’09
      CL: Rivera

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Fuck me.

        Nah. Too easy.

        • radnom

          Hey now, we’re talking about Rebecca here, not her mother.

    • radnom

      the 2000s?

      Individual years, or overall?

      Lets go with 1 year at a time:

      1: (SS) 2006 Jeter .343 avg .900 OPS
      2: (CF) 2001 Bernie Williams 26hr .917 OPS
      3: (1B) 2001 Giambi .314avg 41 hrs 1.034 OPS
      4: (3B) 2007 Arod 54 hrs 1.067 OPS
      5: (C) 2007 Posada 20 hrs .970 OPS
      6: (RF) 2004 Sheffield 34 hrs .927 OPS
      7: (Lf) 2004 Matsui 31 hrs .912 OPS
      8: (2B) 2006 Robinso Cano 342 avg .890 OPS (just beat out Soriano, could go either way here)

      • radnom

        BTW I turned it into a DHles lineup just because it was so unstoppable.

      • radnom

        Axia – we independently came up with almost identical lists, but I think. Giambi’s first year with NY was his best.

        Bernies early 2000′s were hard to pick from they were so consistent.

        • vin

          Giambi was still with Oakland in 2001. He was a beast that year, though.

          • radnom

            Yeah I just caught that…I was looking at (and listed) his 2002 stats I just messed up entering my comment.

        • radnom

          I clearly typed the wrong year, Giambi starting in 02, not 01.

          The lists are more similar than i originally thought.

    • vin

      It’s tough to balance years spent with the team vs. overall production (ie Giambi vs. Teixeira, Mussina vs. CC), but I’ll try…

      SP – Mussina (4 very good years, 2 average, 1 clunker)
      RP – Mariano (did you expect Jose Veras?)
      C – Posada
      1B – Giambi (1 great year, 4 very good years, 2 clunkers)
      2B – Soriano (3rd place MVP in his second year)
      SS – Jeter
      3B – Alex
      LF – Matsui (4 very good years ['06 would've been a 5th])
      CF – Bernie (3 great years, 2 good years, 2 clunkers)
      RF – Sheffield (2nd and 8th in mvp voting, fwiw)

      DH – Giambi (kind of a revolving door)

  • ColoYank

    Just look at the lineup now. Except substitute Bernie for Gardbrera.

    • ColoYank

      Dang. Wanted to reply to salty-guy there. Sorry.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    I’m amazed at the negative reaction I got for suggesting the Yanks pick up either Rafael Soriano or Mike Gonzalez today. Are people that shell shocked over Kyle Farnsworth that they’ll NEVER give up a draft pick again?

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

      It’s not that. It’s that spending big money on free agent relievers isn’t smart because they’re so damn volatile. Even the best are unpredictable. That’s why Mo is so amazing.

      Plus both Soriano and Gonzalez have injury histories, and you know someone will pay them to close. They won’t come to NY to set up out of the kindness of their hearts.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        Both have set up in recent years (Gonzalez this year and Soriano last) and the closer thing is really a money issue, which can be worked out. Also, you could dangle the possibility of closing down the road, since Mo is 39.

        But don’t be so sure they’ll insist on closing. The Atlanta beat writer linked on MLBTR today was questioning how badly Soriano wanted to even pitch (much less close), and said Gonzalez is a ‘consummate pro’ who’ll do whatever is asked of him. I’d pursue both of them, and see which one bites first.

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

          Why (over)pay a guy for a task he isn’t performing? It’s not Farnsworth, it’s BJ Ryan and Steve Karsay. Two good years out of nine years they were paid to pitch.

          • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

            Everyone knew BJ Ryan was a bad risk the day JP signed him. Farnsworth had a history of blowing up in pressure spots and Cash just dismissed it, and was wrong to do so. He should have done more homework on Farnsy. Karsay just didn’t work out, but that happens with prospects as well.

            As far as paying guys not to perform, we did the same thing with Big Unit, Javier Vasquez, Jaret Wright, Carl Pavano, and a few other guys I’m sure I’m forgetting. Should we have stopped signing starting pitchers, too? Where would we have been this year if we did?

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

              Starting pitchers are far more important to a team winning than relievers. You know that.

    • Accent Shallow

      Those guys both aren’t bad, but I’m very reluctant to pay free agent relievers that aren’t great, great pitchers. Both those guys don’t have elite walk or home run-rates.

      (My standards may be a little high. The only free agent relievers I’d be willing to pay are Mo-type, like ’03 Gagne, ’07 Papelbon, etc etc)

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    http://nomaas.org/blog/wp-cont.....shman1.jpg

    I wonder what ever happened to Elian Gonzalez?

    • ColoYank

      Actually, I hadn’t been, but thanks for the pic. I lol’d.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        A machine gun AND a sack of money. Brian leaves nothing to chance.

    • radnom

      He was sent back to Mexico if I remember correctly.

      • radnom

        Wow, I’m a douchebag.

        Cuba.

        Cuba.

      • TheLastClown

        Joke? He was Cuban…

        • TheLastClown

          Haha. We caught it at the same time it seems.

  • Stan Van Jeremy

    Teixeira finishing 2nd in the balloting might be one of the biggest jokes of the whole voting process. Obviously the moron who voted Verlander in the Cy Young, and moron who voted Miggy 1st in the MVP are bigger jokes, but Teixeira was probably only the 3rd most valuable player on his own infield, let alone 2nd most valuable in the AL.

    Mauer, Zobrist, Jeter, Longoria, ARod, Youkilis, and Miggy were all better choices than Teixeira.

    “But he had 122 (!) RBI!!!”

    • Salty Buggah

      Well, not really A-Rod since he missed 6 weeks and slumped for a month. If he played all year, probably.

      • ColoYank

        You can make a case, salty, that ARod is a true MVP contender for what he and the Yanks accomplished after he returned. It shows his value in high relief. I have to agree with Stan Van.

        • Salty Buggah

          Yea, I guess you can. I’m sure thats why he ended up in top 10 again. But I still think Tex was more valuable because he played all year.

        • radnom

          If you were a Boston fan you would be one of those people who argues that Tom Brady is a better QB than Manning purely because of what his team accomplished.

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

            Come to think of it, I actually do think Brady is better than Manning. I’m not arguing who had the better season, just who’s the better player. I’d take Brady.

            When the Colts and Pats play they play great games.

            • radnom

              Fair enough, I completely dissagree but I’m not trying to say that its not debatable..

              But saying “hey, just look at the superbowls” is not a good argument. Unfortunately it is a very common one.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          I disagree. A-Rod helped us a lot when he came back, no doubt. But that doesn’t take away the fact that his numbers were worse than Tex’s.

          Look at it this way: What if Tex were gone a month, but A-Rod was still there, and then Tex came back and ended up putting up the same numbers that he ended up with at the end of the season?

          Now what if A-Rod was here all season and he ended up putting up the same numbers that he ended up putting up after missing a month?

          Looked at that way Tex is far more valuable than A-Rod.

      • Stan Van Jeremy

        If memory serves, the Yankees were 13-15 when ARod returned on the fateful day in Baltimore in May. He didn’t play in every game after his return, obviously, but from that date the Yankees won 90 games, and lost only 44.

        Another thing to signify ARod’s value, imo – it was during his really bad slump in June where the Yankees nearly went in the tank. They got swept in Boston, won 2 of 3 from the Mets based on the luckiest play in baseball history (only slight exaggeration) lost 2 of 3 from the [b] NATIONALS [/b], and 2 of 3 from Florida. After ARod finally started hitting again (which was that magical 6/24 game in Atlanta, where everything came back together – the offense, the fight from the team, and ARod especially) the Yankees never looked back.

        That June 24th game is definitely one of those true “turning points”. We all remember how listless the Yankees were, and how the frustration amongst the fans rose. The 6th inning of that game may have very well changed the course of the entire season.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          I think the turning point of the season was the A-Rod first pitch HR.

        • TheLastClown

          Look, Tex is historically a slow starter, and the bullpen was also in shambles at that point IIRC.

          I’m not saying A-Rod’s not immensely valuable, just that you can’t attribute the teams ultimate success to him. Or even mostly to him.

          He played a big role, but not an MVP role, he waited for the DS & CS for that.

          Aside from the obvious issue of the 28 game “Arodless” sample vs. the 134 games afterward, SSS alert, it doesn’t help anything but narrative to try & boil down a team’s success to a single thing or even game, a “turnaround” event.

          This is a great team, & A-Rod is a great player on it. Maybe he’ll contend for MVP next year, but he didn’t deserve it this year.

          • Evil Empire

            A-Rod got something better than MVP this year, anyway. But I’m not talking about his World Series ring. I’m talking about Kate Hudson.

    • Jack

      Mauer, Zobrist, Jeter, Longoria, ARod, Youkilis, and Miggy were all better choices than Teixeira.

      I agree with most of these, but I think I’d vote for Tex over Youk and Miggy. I think he’s better defensively than both of them (though Youk is close) and you could argue that he was better offensively than those two.

      Tex: .292/.383/.565 (149)
      Miggy: .324/.396/.547 (142)
      Youkilis: .305/.413/.548 (145)

      But yeah, he shouldn’t have been runner-up.

      • Moshe Mandel

        I think yo can make an argument for him ahead of A-Rod, Longoria, Miggy, and Youk.

    • steve (different one)

      hey, i can type “fangraphs”!

  • JMK aka The Overshare

    Lanny asked me to do a Joba love poem. Well, it’s not exactly that, and I stink at poetry (never went through an emo phase), but here goes:

    Oh Joba, oh Joba, we tithe our love to thee
    The 41st prize from the land of corn, meth and football
    Your graces are the most controversial of The Big 3
    To The 8th the Diabetic Coma Diet Cokes shout,
    He’s not a Starting pitcher, that kid’s got bullpen clout!
    He’s got one-inning composure, he’ll shorten the game!
    Holy bridge, Mosanna in the highest, the Holy Throne he’ll someday claim

    Beneath the bright lights in the blighted Bronx, fastballs fuck the wind
    He’s a starting pitcher, the brass says, one day, he’ll be our ace king!
    In the year of our Mo, 2008, he’ll move to the rotation, the crowds will hiss.
    Standing ovation.
    Ks left and right, 1-2-3, Joba’s doing great, look at that, DCOKE, now do you see?
    In deep trial, under strain, the shoulder pops, the dark of August! Not this game!
    The season was over, how could this be? Oh Joba, oh Joba, please return, return to thee!

    A new season begins–how many innings, the velocity, how will the bullpen be?
    Why, oh why, why is he at 90-93? Bring back the magic, to the 8th, he’ll hit 103!
    He lumbers–great, then good, then bad, then great. For there is no consistency.
    Ablaze in the sky is who we knew he could be. Look at the kid pitch
    Aces shooting down the stars right after the ASB! But it was not to hold.
    Extended rest, 7 days, 10, two weeks, maybe Thursday, can I grab anyone some drinks?

    Has he hit the wall, they say. He’s done, you can’t mess with the starter mentality!
    But the playoff’s fair game, his arm can fall off, at this time we have no shame
    4th starter in the playoffs? Not this time! Back to the 8th, his progeny
    Now without limit for 2010, it is time, oh Joba, oh Joba!
    Tip your straight cap and show us what you can be!
    Oh Joba, oh Joba, we tithe our love to thee.

    • Jack

      If you were a woman, I’d kiss you.

    • radnom

      I see this here but refuse to read it.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      [Golf clap]

    • http://sports-odds.com/images/stories/yankees-arod-teixeira.jpg JobaWockeeZ

      You actually did it. Wow. I’m impressed.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      What is it about this blog that attracts guys like you and TSJC?

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

        Me.

        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

          Well, yeah of course, but besides that.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Nope, that’s it. Nothing else. Just Rebecca, and UWS, and yankeegirl49, and Kiersten, and Riddering. That’s it.

      • JMK aka The Overshare

        I can’t speak for TSJC, but for me, this is why:

        Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:
        November 23rd, 2009 at 5:23 pm

        Did you really just write that JMK is one of your favorite posters because he has the ability to masturbate?
        (edges away slowly)

        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

          OK, I’ll buy that.

    • Steve H

      /speechless

    • Salty Buggah

      Late push for post of the year. I’m speechless. That was so great

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Bravo.

    • Accent Shallow

      Meter and rhythm isn’t your strong suit, huh?

      Still, A+ on the effort.

      • JMK aka The Overshare

        I tried for a limerick on the first go and then Word freaked out and shut down. So I figured, fuck it, I’m not going to bother with meter and rhythm. I wrote that freehand in five minutes.

    • Evil Empire

      Dude that shit was fucking awesome. Congratulations, that must’ve taken a long time to do. I don’t know shit about poems even though I had to learn about it by fuckfaces like John Donne (who is actually pretty fucking cool in a 17th century religious kind of way) back in high school, but you seemed to do a good job at faking a classical style … unless you actually knew the fuck you were doing, in which case I am legitimately impressed.

      Nonetheless, its good to know this poem exists. The universe is a little more complete with its creation.

    • Charlie

      awesome dude. “fastballs fuck the wind” hahaha. great work

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Well done.

    • DCBX

      IETC to death:

      “Holy bridge, Mosanna in the highest, the Holy Throne he’ll someday claim”

      The rest kind of stank up the joint, but I admire the effort.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

    This House episode is way too fucking depressing.

    • Steve H

      Just re-read the Joba poem, guaranteed depression cure.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    Help me out, folks. Name me some good hitting Catchers who’ve retired in the past 10 years or so. Piazza, Javy Lopez, Mike Stanley, and. . . .?

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

      Lieberthal had a nice little run. Hundley, Charles Johnson.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        Thanks. I’m trying to see how many of these guys had soft landings as they aged and if there was a relationship with their K/BB rate.

    • Steve H

      Pudge. Since he retired from steroids he’s stopped being a good hitting catcher.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        Got him already. Technically, he’s still playing.

        • Steve H

          I consider him to be two different players though, the good one retired once he put down the syringe.

    • Jack

      This might help:

      http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/UMVWp

      “Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1980 to 2009, Played 50% of games at C, (requiring At least 3000 plate appearances), sorted by greatest Adjusted OPS+”

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        Gracias. Besame mucho.

        • Jack

          Be much same?

          /High school Spanish teacher wasn’t very good.

          • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

            Thank you, many kisses.

            • Salty Buggah

              I think besame means kiss me so you said “thanks kiss me a lot “

          • JMK aka The Overshare

            “I can get you a green card if you’re willing to sleep with me,” I believe.

            /also did poorly in Spanish (but very good in Latin!)

            • pete

              and very poorly in english!
              /adverb nitpicking’d

      • vin

        How do you share your play index search? I’m assuming a copy/paste of the URL wouldn’t do the trick that neatly.

        • Jack

          At the top of the table, click “Share”.

          • vin

            I knew it would be right in front of me. Thanks.

    • vin

      Retired catchers, who played from 1990-2009 with and OPS+ over 100:

      Piazza 142
      Javy Lopez 112
      Hundley 102
      Lieberthal 101
      Macfarlane 101 (retired after 1999)
      Steinbach 100 (retired after 1999)

      Not much there.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Seth McFarlane?

    • Mike HC

      Benito Santiago

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Jim Leyritz.

  • Mike HC

    I need 11.5 points out of Kevin Walter in a .5 per reception league.

    I need a miracle.

  • AndrewYF

    The Yankees were certainly competitive when they had Bernie at CF and Miguel Cairo at 2B in 2004. They even had Mr. 95 OPS+ himself, Tony Clark, at first base that year. I’m actually having a really hard time believing that offense actually scored 897 runs.

  • Mike Pop

    The Islanders.

    • Mike Pop

      win the game!

  • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

    Anybody else hear anything about Craig Counsell? From Buster Onley’s twitter:

    “# Craig Counsell has attracted interest from 12 teams. Possible he will leave Milw. for a multi-year deal. Possible fits: NYY, Boston. 8:51 AM Nov 16th from web ”

    I like the lil guy and his grit and hustle and decent on base percentage, but do we really need an old Craig Counsell on a multi year deal? I do not see the need. He would be a great bench player for a one year but what kind of $ would he get for a multi?

    • Jack

      Every time I hear his name I think of this:

      http://www.theonion.com/conten.....g_counsell

      Seriously though, I’d pass. He’s just not very good.

      • Mike Pop

        That’s awesome.

      • Steve H

        Yeah, no use for him. At all.

      • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

        I do not like the Onion usually. But I laughed at that. I may be old or something but I don’t dig anything on the fake news tip. Usually reminds me too much of the corny SNL news desk stuff from back in the day but less funny. But this one was pretty good and I laughed out loud.

        Always laughed at the look on Counsell’s face. I am sure he can not help it but he looks like a clean cut version of somebody who should have been an extra on Raising Arizona.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      He’s gritty, gutty and has spunk coming out of his cleats.

      • Jack

        . . . and has spunk coming out of his cleats.

        Ewww.

        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

          It’s a clubhouse hazing ritual. He just liked it so much as a Rookie that now he requests it.

          • Steve H

            This explains why the dirt sticks to his helmet like no one since Trot Nixon.

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            pat’d

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Meh. He’s Jerry Hairston w/o the flexibility. Hairston, plz.

      • Mike Z

        Yes, Hairston > Counsell

      • Steve H

        You’re giving him too much credit.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        +1

  • Teix is the Man

    Serious question….people are up in arms about Teix getting second place in the MVP voting– understandably so. However, he had a very good year statistics wise.
    My question is this; by the logic of some people, what qualifies a first baseman to win the MVP (I’m not being snarky, just genuinely confused)?

    • Jack

      Pujolsian levels of awesomeness or a really down year at all the other positions.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Be Albert Pujols, basically. A first baseman REALLY has to tear the cover off of the ball to win MVP.

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

      Don Mattingly levels of doubles and a glove smooth as silk. Plus a bad ass mustache.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        I enjoyed this comment, DBHOF. Well done.

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

      It’s not just first base, it’s most of the corner spot. You really have to hit the snot out of the ball to be the MVP at a position known for offense. If a C/2B/SS/CF has a big .300/.380/.500 season with real good defense, they should probably win.

  • Accent Shallow

    What do we think about Phil Hughes’ ability to translate his success this year to next? It sure seemed like half his PAs this year looked like this:

    Fastball down and away, called strike
    Fastball up and away, swinging strike
    Fastball middle up, swinging strike

    All 93-96. As awesome as it was to watch, it was a little worrying, like watching a non-obnoxious version of Papelbon — he can’t sustain that amount of whiffing, can he?

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Well, it probably won’t be as high as it was as when he was relieving, but Phil could definitely rock out a K/9 between 7.5-9.0. He may not be blowing dudes away with the FB, but if he can mix in the deuce and change, he’ll be able to be effective.

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    Okay so I went to a pizza place during my break at work today, right? I walk in and ask the girl behind the counter for a slice of regular. She proceeds to tell me that the place is out slices. Seriously. Out of slices. How in the fuck does a pizza place run out of slices?

    • Steve H

      Wow.

    • Moshe Mandel

      Out like there some pies in the oven, or out like come back tomorrow?

      • Steve H

        Or out like, “We can only make full size pizzas, not slices.”

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        It seriously didn’t even look like there were pies in the oven. The only thing I could see close to resembling pizza was three pieces of dough sitting vaguely near the oven. The guy who looked to be the cook was napping in the seating area.

        • Steve H

          Do you take lunch at a (very) odd time?

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            This was at about 5:40 PM. I was working from 3-8 and had a break from 5:30-6:00.

  • Jack
    • JMK aka The Overshare

      My mom lives in a garden apartment?!

  • Evil Empire

    http://www.boston.com/sports/b....._shop.html

    Isn’t it ironic that Lowell turned down 4 year deals to sign with the Red Sox? That’s why you go for the money every time, its not like the team actually gives a shit about you.