Dec
22

Open Thread: Images of Melky

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Earlier this morning the Yankees shipped Melky Cabrera and two prospects to Atlanta for Javy Vazquez and a store brand lefty reliever. It’s no secret that the three of us at RAB weren’t Melky’s biggest backers, but that certainly doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate his four-plus years of service to our beloved Bombers.

As frustrating as it was to watching him swing at pitches over his head, Melky had a flair for the dramatic and his energy was refreshing to watch on a team that got too corporate at times. He filled in admirably when Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield went down with injuries in 2006, and since then he’s done a fine job while playing all three outfield positions. Whether he was robbing homers at the wall or walking off with wins, Melky was a fan favorite and he’ll be missed.

Instead of a written word tribute, let’s honor the Melkman with some images. After the jump, a collection of our favorite Melky moments. Be sure to add yours in the comments. Otherwise, here’s your open thread. Also, make sure to check out the content from our heavy afternoon:

Yanks looking to trade Gaudin or Mitre
Prospect Profile: J.R. Murphy
Damon, Bay, or Holliday would break the budget
Minor league notes, with a tidbit about Jesus Montero, plus a minor league signing.
You’ll never guess who the Yankees third baseman of the decade is…
Javier Vazquez by the numbers

Melky 1
Red Sox Yankees Baseball

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Melky 26

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ALCS Yankees Baseball

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Red Sox Yankees Baseball

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White Sox Yankees Baseball

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Yankees Blue Jays Baseball

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Yankees White Sox Baseball

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Melky 20

Categories : Open Thread

269 Comments»

  1. Drew says:

    Love it.

    http://riveraveblues.com/wp-co.....lky-11.JPG

    This one is awesome, robbing Manny and watching Damon’s reaction.

  2. pat says:

    Almost brought a tear to my eye.

  3. JackISBACK says:

    I wish Melky all the luck. I remember when he came up, there was some hype around his numbers in the minors. He was a useful fourth outfielder type for us.

    I just never liked his offensive game just because there really wasn’t one area you could look at and say, he is dangerous there. Not a high BA, no real power, not a high OBP guy, defense in CF was average at best, had a decent arm that got overplayed because he followed Bernie Williams and Damon in CF, and Damon alongside him in LF. I preferred Gardner over him just because of the speed and defense.

    But saying all that, Melky did have a flare for the dramatic, and as you said had a lot of good energy.

  4. Salty Buggah says:

    The pics from his cycle are pretty funny.

  5. Tom Zig says:

    I’ll miss his “mama huevos” shouts whenever he does something good.

  6. Salty Buggah says:

    I’ll remember how he always played umpire when involved in close plays and the thing he did with his hands towards the end of the year and in the postseason.

  7. JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

    “Suck my balls,” Melky reportedly told reporters after the trade.

  8. Bryan says:

    just watched cash on hotstove on mlb network and he made it seem as if they were pretty close to signing a player to play left field. Guys on the set took it to mean either DeRosa or Dye

    • Kristen says:

      Cashman’s comments were pretty illuminating for the continuing plan for the remainder of the off-season. Close to signing someone for LF, but it’s not going to be Damon.

      I love that Harold Reynolds asked for Cashman’s ninja secrets, but Cashman won’t give it away :)

    • Salty Buggah says:

      Noooooo for Dye!!!! Ugly defense, 103 OPS+ in a hitter park that will get worse in the righty limiting pitchers park that is Yankee Stadium

      • Drew says:

        I don’t want Dye either but it’s possible last year was just a down year. It’s also possible his career is over.. heh

        I’d be shocked if it was him, unless it’s for like 2 or 3 million.

    • Evil Empire says:

      While I watch Hot Stove just about every night, the guys on the set don’t even know what the fuck WAR or UZR are. Dye is not being considered for a spot in left field, I’m certain.

      You know how I’m certain? Because Brian Cashman is an intelligent human being that knows baseball and makes good personnel decisions. Signing Dye would be the opposite of the kind of calls Cashman has been making since he’s been given more control.

  9. Who will be the RABbi’s new favorite whipping boy?

  10. madeline says:

    omg i will miss him so much wow cant belive they traded him instead of gardner shocked i wish him luck melky

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

      Though lacking much analysis, I agree with your basic conclusion and would like to offer you an invite to a fancy restaurant like Wendy’s. There we can discuss the topic at hand, and other exciting issues like who’s on the latest cover of Tiger Beat, my irregular back hair appearance (now fashioned to look like rail road tracks with a station on the side!), and the prospective inflation problems regarding the possible transition of a country moving from a peg of the dollar to the Euro and liberating capital markets in economies where the primary revenue source is an inelastic, finite resource.

      I’ll bring roses. What say thee?

  11. Mike, I have a hypothetical question for you. I think it’s easy, but I want you to answer it.

    You’re Brian Cashman. Braves GM Frank Wren says he wants one of Zach McCallister or Arodys Vizcaino to complete the Javy Vasquez deal. McCallister has a lower ceiling but is far more polished, Vizcaino has a big upside but is much further away.

    Your choice, which one do you deal and which one do you keep?

    • Jake H says:

      I’m not Mike but you keep Arodys.

    • Charlie says:

      i personally dont think its that easy. but i’d deal zmac. the yankees are more likely to fit a potential #1 or 2 starter into their rotation someday than they are a back end starter. and while the chances of arodys getting to the majors are lower, it is much harder to find an ace

    • Accent Shallow says:

      McCallister, since he doesn’t actually exist! (His name only has one ‘C’)

      (Seriously, I’d try and keep Vizcaino, due to the high ceiling. I know you can never have enough depth, but the Yankees seem to have quite a bit)

    • Angelo says:

      Id give up McAllister without thinking about it twice. Arodyz might not pan out, but he’s a potential number 2 starter, while McAllister is at best a back end 4 or 5 innings eater type starter. Both are nice comodities, but you clearly want to keep Arodyz, although he is a lot more of a risk.

    • Evil Empire says:

      Keep Z-Mac. Easy call.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

      I’m going to have to agree with EE ^^. My heart says Viz-kid, my brain says Z-Mac. If we hadn’t traded IPK and had a bit more depth in 6-10, I’d say keep Viz. Unfortunately, we’re pretty thin there, so I’d rather have the guy with a good chance of being effective this year and next THAN a guy who could, but isn’t likely to be great in five years.

      Super high-upside guys four years away aren’t by any means a frequent commodity, but guys that are likely to be #3 (or back-end) starters, really close to ready, and cost-controlled, are probably less likely and more valuable given the team’s current needs.

      Tough call, though.

      • Evil Empire says:

        I dunno. Some guys see a kid with two plus pitches with a ton of potential. I see a 19 year old who has yet to pitch in AA. So many things can happen to that kid.

        Z-Mac is a much surer bet, and he’s like a year or less away from pitching in the Bigs. A groundball pitcher (extra useful in YSIII) who should be good for 200 IP? Yes, please. We need that kind of pitcher.

        • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

          I wouldn’t get too crazy expecting him to throw 200 IP. Let’s see him in the majors before we prescribe an innings expectation.

          That said, yeah, he’s the surer bet and is closer along. If we were a different type of club I’d say you keep Viz, but with our construction and needs, Z-Mac makes more sense.

          Still, you can see a 19-year old who hasn’t pitched in AA yet, but don’t discount the value of having a guy that far along for his age with that high a ceiling. While I agree with your conclusion and some of your premises, I don’t think it’s that easy a decision.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      I’d keep McAllister. It’s easy to be mesmerized by Arodys’ ceiling, but he’s so far away he might as well be in high school.

      • Jake H says:

        I would have said Zach but the reports of his lost velocity are scary.

      • Thaaannnk yooouuu.

        On this Yankee team, it’s a really easy call. For the reasons you stated (Arodys is still a lottery ticket) and also because it’s not like we lack high-upside guys either in the system or on the MLB staff. We still have the Brackman’s and Betances’ of the world, and have guys like CC and AJ in the rotation. If we were this year’s Twins, where you have a staff filled with 3′s and 4′s and he was the only high upside guy you have, then maybe it would be harder to do.

        Mcallister could help this team this year, he’s a few rotation injuries away from getting some big league starts. He may not be ace material, but he’s likely to provide some value to us this year and beyond. Much safer bet.

    • Dela G says:

      i’m gonna miss tha melkman

  12. Victor says:

    I was always a backer of melky and I was really sad to hear the news this morning.Dont get me wrong, I was happy to hear we got javier for him, but I well miss the melkman for sure.

  13. Charlie says:

    wow, what an awesome idea with the photos. i’m gonna miss the melkman.

  14. Lanny says:

    The Melkman was a vital cog in helping get a ring. But his value will never be this high again. And with Granderson in CF his value as a fulltime player in LF or RF isnt as high. Plus hes about to start becoming expensive for a 4th OF.

    Hes a nice example for the system finally turning around and developing talent.

  15. morrison says:

    I’ll miss the Melkman very much. Can only hope he has a very successful career… I foresee many walfoffs against the Mutts next season ;-) Thanks for the memories Leche :-)

  16. ecksodia says:

    Love the pictures. The one with A-Rod and Cano, lol.

  17. Angelo says:

    Gonna miss Melky. I hope Gardner is as good as all of you guys hope him to be because if anyone doubts Gardner’s ability to play full time and be successful it is definetily me. Id take Melky over him anyday. Just liked the guy, sucks that he’s gone.

    Maybe the Yankees pull another trade or sign someone to a cheap deal to take over in left/right field. Hinske? Maybe Derosa if hes willing to come cheaply. Just cant imagine the Yankees sticking with Gardner and Hoffman in left field. If Gardner/Hoffman are stuck in the left field then i wish them the best. Either way I wish Melky a lot of success in the NL.

  18. TJ says:

    Sucks to see him go. Glad he got a WS ring out of his time with the Yankees.

    He should do well in the NL East.

  19. Jake H says:

    While Melky had his moments his career OPS+ was 88, his WAR over the last 4 years is 3.9. Now He did contribute 14.1 million in value and only cost the Yanks 2.3 million.

  20. Charlie says:

    i know we’ve been giving up a lot of young players, but if one of them will be stuck in the pen, I’d personally want to trade joba or hughes. i’m not really sure for what, but unless they’re gonna start in AAA, which they seemingly wont be, then they are more valuable as trade bait

  21. Drew says:

    I wish I could see/hear first hand what exactly Cash said.

  22. Andrew says:

    man i really wish we traded someone other than arodys. from what i hear the kid really has upside. plus a 96 mph fb at 18.

    • Jake H says:

      He touched 96. Sits mostly 90-93. Keep in mind he will be 19 and will start in Low A. Also he had a balky back last year. His innings high was 44. Now I’m sure he got some innings in instructional league and such but he is pretty far away.

      Also his change up is very far from even being average. A plus to stay in the rotation.

  23. Oye mama huevos.

    Nothing will beat that.

    EVER.

  24. ultimate913 says:

    I am dissapointed, Mike. How could you not post the pic of Melky riding Kurt Suzuki?

  25. Evil Empire says:

    Melky is a good guy, it’ll be fun to see how he does as a Brave, probably batting a bit higher in the lineup.

    I’ll be forever grateful that he somehow managed to become the centerpiece of a trade for Javy Vazquez. He must’ve been doing something right.

    He really should improve next year though, probably have one more spike in power. But I doubt this trade is ever regretted by the Yankees, JV is a fucking awesome middle of the rotation guy and will contribute way more to the team in 2010 than Melky would’ve.

    • Yeah, I’ll be following a few ex-Yankees on other teams next year. I’ll be rooting for Melky, IPK and A-Jax to all do well.

      Phil Coke . . . . is someone I’m eagerly awaiting the Yanks having a chance to hit against. Preferably late in a game where they’re down a run or two.

  26. joemomma says:

    gardner should have left =[

    melk has more power, better arm and semi clutch

    gardner is just speed =[

  27. Anyone else think Cano will have a huge year without Melky keeping him out all night?

    BTW-Can’t wait for TMZsports. That should be fun.

    • Tom Zig says:

      those jerks stole my initials again

    • Salty Buggah says:

      Meh, I dont think Melky’s departure will have much to do with Cano’s performance. If anything, he will struggle due to depression

      (obviously I’m kidding in the 2nd sentence.

    • Evil Empire says:

      I do think Cano will have a huge year, but I don’t think it has anything to do with Melky one way or the other. It has to do with Robinson Cano being, y’know, really good at baseball.

    • johnny says:

      yup. because a 27 year old with a shit ton of money can’t go out partying in NYC without a sidekick.

  28. Victoria says:

    Great pictures. I especially love the ones where he’s sticking his tongue out (I didn’t know that was his thing…) and when he’s walking arm-in-arm with A-Rod. Adorable. The trade makes a lot of sense for the Yanks, but I’ll miss Melky for the almost child-like enthusiasm that he and the other young guys brought to the team especially in ’09–I think he helped make the fans more enthusiastic too and just made the game more fun to watch all around.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

      I especially love the ones where he’s sticking his tongue out (I didn’t know that was his thing…)

      My guess is he stuck his tongue out not out of excitement or the thrill of the moment, but rather, because of his perplexing relationship with Mary Carey. It’s likely that some bacteria had settled on the region, occasionally forcing Melky to cool it with the soothing, semi-polluted breezes of the NY metro area.

      Also, “child-like enthusiasm” can land you in jail in some cases. Take my word for it.

  29. pete says:

    Truly the ideal 4th outfielder – average offensively and defensively in center, passable offensive fill-in for right or left, great D in left, good enough arm and speed to play great D in right (though UZR says he has not, thus far). Fun guy to watch, presumably fun guy to have on the team. I wish him nothing but the best, and if he ever plays in the Stadium again, I’d bet he gets as big a cheer as anyone ever has. I’m very happy he won a world series with us.

    Now on to more important matters…who are they getting for left and WHY? 1-8 is great offensively, Gardmann plays great defense and can hit at least at replacement level, and probably closer to league average, and gardner has great speed on the basepaths. I really don’t think that there is a better all-around solution (incorporating fiscal considerations, of course) than that combination for LF right now. All of the potential acquisitions seem to have cons that are at least equal to the pros:

    DeRosa: defensive downgrade, marginal offensive upgrade (when baserunning/stealing is considered), more expensive, costs money and player(s)

    Dye: big offensive upgrade, bigger defensive downgrade. Dye is, at this point, purely a DH. Considering him anything else would be absurd.

    Damon: huge offensive upgrade, big defensive downgrade, huge increase in fiscal commitment (regardless of what his price comes down to, it will be wayyy above Gardner+Hoffman, and almost certainly include 2 years), likely to experience drastic decline in road stats soon

    Holliday: simply too much money. of course we don’t know how much the yanks are willing to spend, but adding matt holliday would put them over $210 for sure for 2010, and the long-term contract would hurt them in the future. cash has also suggested on numerous occasions that he will not be inking Holliday

    Bay: same as holliday, except he, unlike holliday, is unlikely to even come close to being worth the money he gets. and again, cash has basically said no way

    I might be forgetting some guys, but on that list, the only guy who represents a really significant upgrade is Holliday (Bay and Damon will both be much much better offensively, but they are also probably the two worst left-fielders in the game (at least of those who will actually play left field next year)), yet all of them require a bigger financial commitment than Hoffner. Why not take the moneyball approach and let your first 8 hitters do the talking while you simultaneously maximize the production you get from your pitching staff?

    Oh and picture this late-inning OF: Gardner-Granderson-Hoffmann…tantalizing. And hoffmann’s supposed to have a terrific arm, too. I love the additions of Granderson, Johnson, and Vazquez. And at this point I think I should just trust in Cashman. But it’s going to be hard for me to warm up to the idea of trading for Mark DeRosa when we have cheaper options in-house that can approximate his overall production. If by june neither of those guys is hitting a lick, then you make a trade. But right now there is no reason to believe that those guys can’t contribute.

    • Charlie says:

      Mark DeRosa is a FREE AGENT

      • pete says:

        oh. my bad. still not worth the money, imo

        • Charlie says:

          probably not. if his price came down to a one year deal though i’d go for that

          • pete says:

            my point was more along the lines of:
            1. Left field in YS is huge, so there is quite a bit of defensive value available there
            2. Gardner and Hoffmann are both exceptional defenders in Left
            3. DeRosa is not
            4. Gardner+Hoffmann+Girardi could feasibly amass a speed-adjusted wOBA+ 100
            5. Mark DeRosa’s likely speed-adjusted wOBA+ would be around 105, with a 110 best-case scenario
            6. Therefore, all things considered, Gardner+Hoffmann = DeRosa, production-wise, and that’s being conservative.

            Adding DeRosa could certainly strengthen the team, but only if he is viewed (and therefore payed) as a super-sub, melky-esque player. There is no way that DeRosa should be the “pencil-in” LFer for 2010, when the yankees have Gardner and Hoffmann on the team already.

    • Teix is the Man says:

      DeRosa is a free agent.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

      Mark DeRosa eats pine cones.

  30. ADam says:

    I am going to miss the melk mans antics… however we sold high and got a terrific starting pitcher… He Earned a lot of my respect as a fan when he went down to winter and worked on his game and won the CF job back…. God Speed Leche…..

  31. Jake K. says:

    Let me preface this by saying I think the Yankees “won” both the Granderson and Vazquez trades and that I like the Nick Johnson signing. That said, though, I wonder if this was the right strategy for the offseason.

    Essentially, the Yanks lost Matsui, Damon, Melky, Coke, Dunn, IPK, Ajax and Arodys.

    And we added Granderson, Vazquez and Johnson.

    Seems like we improved our outfield defense, potentially downgraded our offensive production from CF and LF (depending on where Gardner plays), we lost a couple useful but ultimately replaceable relief pitchers, and our farm system took a major hit.

    Couldn’t the Yankees be just as strong today by having resigned Damon, one of Matsui or Johnson, and signed Sheets or Duchscherer? That wouldn’t have hurt our long-term flexibility, would have kept our payroll in the same range, and would have left our farm system in much better shape.

    So while I think Cashman is to be commended on these trades in vacuum, I’m not convinced trading was the way to go this offseason. Curious what people think.

    • Charlie says:

      well said, and i agree for the most part. we did give up a shitload this offseason but we did get some good players. But i would have been more than fine with what you proposed though.

    • Drew says:

      We added Logan as well.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      This isn’t entirely correct.

      The Yankees also added Jamie Hoffman and Boone Logan.

      Now, while Melky has a huge edge in MLB SS, for all intents and purposes, Jamie Hoffman = Melky Cabrera. A fringe starting/4th outfielder. In fact, Hoffman should have the edge in overall athleticism, speed and defense. Be that as it may, Hoffman cancels out Melky.

      Boone Logan = Phil Coke. Again, Coke has the edge in MLB numbers, but it seems his past franchises foolishly allowed him to pitch to far too many RHB; a mistake the Yankees will not make. They both sport a fastball in the low 90′s touching 95mph or so with a good slider as their out pitch. Logan cancels out Coke.

      Some were enamored with Dunn, and though the velocity was intriguing, I was not one of those people. His BB/9 was just too much for my liking….waaaay too much. Whether he put it together in the next couple of seasons or not, he is the definition of and expendable bullpen arm; easily replaceable.

      So when we look at it this way (as I believe we should), it looks more like this:

      Yankees lose – Matsui, Damon, Ajax, IPK, Arodys.
      Yankees added – Granderson, Vazquez, Johnson.

      Granderson > Damon & Ajax
      Vazquez > IPK & Arodys
      Johnson > or = Matsui

    • Evil Empire says:

      If the team stopped making moves today, here’s how I’d think of the overall changes the team made:

      Starting pitching: Upgraded in both quality of top 5 starters and quality of depth (assuming Hughes is your #6 and there is willingness to convert him from a reliever to a starter if there is need more than just a spot start)

      Offense: Push. I think the 2010 versions of Granderson and Nick
      Johnson will outproduce the 2010 versions of Matui and Damon, but there’s a negative difference in what Gardner/Hoffmann will give you compared to Melky.

      Defense: Upgraded. As it stands right now, Gardner-Graderson-Swish will be the best defensive outfield I can remember this team having in a long time. Nick Johnson gives you a smidge of flexibility since he plays a good 1B, but so does Nick Swisher so its almost irrelevant

      In regards to the farm, meh. We saved almost all of our best prospects. Its the Yankees, they don’t need all of their good prospects and don’t have enough roster space for if they all pan out … some of them are destined to be traded. A-Jax was one of the main pieces that got you Granderson, so I mean, fuckin’ A, right? IPK was the other main piece and he was the most painful one to lose in that deal but still, he’d end up being no less than #7 in the rotation depth this year as you look at it in the light of Vazquez deal. Plus you’ve got Nova/Z-Mac as other near ML-ready pieces that could very well be just as good or better than IPK. So fuck it. It was worth it for the huge upgrade Granderson represents.

      For Vazquez vs Sheets, there’s a decent argument to be had that Sheets was the better bet, but I agree with the move. We got Vazquez for CHEAP trade-wise, and if there’s one thing Vazquez is not, its a gamble. He will give his team 200 IP+ and 175+ Ks every year. He will also give you two nice draft picks when he hits FA as a Type A. He peripherals suggest he could very well be better than AJ or Pettitte next year.

      • Tank the Frank says:

        A-Jax was one of the main pieces that got you Granderson, so I mean, fuckin’ A, right? IPK was the other main piece and he was the most painful one to lose in that deal but still, he’d end up being no less than #7 in the rotation depth this year as you look at it in the light of Vazquez deal.

        This. Although IPK maaaaybe would have made it into the Yankees rotation some day…it’s not likely. He was trade bait all along.

        I’m of the opinion that the Yankees are trying to draft and develop top-of-the-rotation pitchers. See Joba, Hughes, Brackman, Betances and even Cole; although they didn’t sign him. He would be a stud in our system right now IMO. Everyone else is just trade bait to land, well, a top-of-the-rotation pitcher, or perhaps a bat at a premium position. See McCutchen, Karstens, Ohlendorf, IPK, Coke, Dunn etc. All of those guys are expendable back-end starters or relievers. They never would have factored into the Yankees plans the way they are doing business. Arodys is the only guy in recent memory that had top of the line stuff.

    • bonestock94 says:

      Well, there is a big assumption here that Damon and Matsui will produce as much as they did this past season. We were all basically expecting Matsui to have a stint on the DL last offseason, but we lucked out. Damon wants the same amount of money that he got 4 years ago despite his horrific defense.

  32. claybeez says:

    Great tribute to Lechecito. An ideal choice considering that the RAB community has probably discussed Melky more than any current Yankee.

    I’m definitely saddened to see him go, weaknesses and all. Kid brought a lot of good energy. From robbing Manny to the walkoffs, he sure brought excitement to the team and stands. I was looking forward to seeing him try and define himself as the every day LF. Hopefully, he gets that chance with the Braves or wherever he ends up.

    Good luck Melky!

  33. Current Lineup

    1-Jeter
    2-Johnson
    3-Tex
    4-A-Rod
    5-Posada
    6-Cano
    7-Swisher
    8-Granderson
    9-Gardner

    Is Gardner really that big of an issue? Does anyone care if he hits with the rest of that lineup? Since he’s a better defensive CF than Grandy, you could simply have Gardy play CF and Grandy play LF and be better defensively and still have the same lineup, a lineup which is clearly the best in all of Baseball.

    Put another way, for the people who are worried about Left Field, if we were to sign Holliday/Bay or even bring back Johnny Damon that would mean CURTIS GRANDERSON would be our #9 HITTER!

    • Teix is the Man says:

      This

    • Charlie says:

      i’ll be fine with it if gardner is in center. I think that’s a big point though. You’ve got to utilize his defense to the fullest if you wanna get value out of him.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

      The goal of every team should be having a 25-man roster resembling that of a video game. WE WILL DRINK THEIR BLOOD!!!

    • pete says:

      there’s really no way of knowing at this point (from our standpoints as fans, that is) if gardner is in fact a better defender than granderson in center or if that is a product of small sample sizes and year-to-year fluctuation. We also have no idea if granderson is as good a LFer as he is a RFer, whereas we know that Gardner plays a superb defensive left field. It’s not unreasonable to assume he would be, but I’m quite comfortable letting the coaches/scouts make that call. Remember there is a lot of defensive value in LF in yankee stadium though, as it is such a big left field. This isn’t Fenway.

    • Left Fielders on Late 90s championship teams

      1996-Gerald Williams
      1998-Chad Curtis
      1999-Ricky LeDee
      2000-Ricky LeDee
      2001-Chuck Knobloch (who was finished)

      Don’t need an All Star at every position. The 98 team was one of the best teams that ever played.

      • Chris says:

        Not to nitpick, but I don’t believe the 2001 teams was a championship team. Although I have no recollection of game 7 that year so I’m not sure.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      Is Gardner really that big of an issue? Does anyone care if he hits with the rest of that lineup?

      No.

      In fact, I’m excited to see what the kid does with this opportunity. Some times that’s all it takes. At the very least we’ll see about a dozen Web Gems or so. Also, (this point has already been made) an average or slightly above average outfielder should be relatively easy to get during the season should Gardner flunk out.

    • Evil Empire says:

      If Gardner can keep puttin’ up them purdy UZR #s, get on base 33% of the time, and have a SB success rate of 85% or higher, I will be happy.

      But I’d like to see how Hoffmann does, too. He looks like he could be the more well-rounded player based on the prospect profile.

  34. Mike HC says:

    Nice tribute. He will fit in nicely with the NL. Maybe even thrive. Wish him best of luck.

  35. JobaWockeeZ says:

    IPK and Melky are gone! No more trade proposals with them! At least each of them separately got us something to help out the team.

  36. Alex S says:

    Melky Cabrera is the Piano Man

  37. Muel says:

    As someone who never liked melky, these photos make me appreciate the man as I haven’t before.

  38. Steve H says:

    Question for all of the “we should have traded Gardy” people:

    Don’t you realize the Braves probably preferred Melky, as opposed to the Yankees preferring to keep Gardner?

    • Accent Shallow says:

      Just show them their UZRs, Gardner is obviously the better player!

      /joking
      //defensive statistics as religion

    • A.D. says:

      Yup they “have always liked Melky”

      Basically if you buy into Melky having more potential left, then he’s the better guy. If you think they are what they are, Gardner is probably the better 4th outfielder because of the speed & defense boost.

  39. Melky Cabrera would be miss but not that much. Remember that the Yankees acquired outfielder Curtis Granderson and they still got Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher. newly draft Jamie Hoffman can also compete in the outfield spot.
    The Yankees can still look on the free agent pool to fill the hole vacated by Melky. Johnny Damon and Mark DeRosa are rumored to fill that spot.

    And lets not forget that the Yankees got a good starting pitcher in Javier Vazquez. Their starting rotation is now complete.

  40. Accent Shallow says:

    Minor point: not thrilled about losing both Coke and Dunn — I’d much rather have either of them than Logan or Kroenke as the second lefty in the pen or in AAA.

    Of course, I doubt Detroit would want Kroenke over Coke, and I’m assuming Melky + Vizcaino isn’t enough to get Home Run Javy.

  41. Rest of AL East should just give up now

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/s.....-up-122209

    I take it Ken likes the Yankee off season thus far.

    • Evil Empire says:

      “He had an ERA of nearly 7.00 after the All-Star Game that year and was brutal in the playoffs, but the Yankees were not discouraged by the relatively small sample. ”

      ROSENTHAL USES THE SSS ARGUMENT?

      :::head explodes:::

    • pete says:

      Baltimore and Toronto, sure. Tampa? no

      Are the yankees absolutely sick on paper right now? yes
      Are the Sox almost as good on paper right now? yes

      But consider tampa’s rotation: Shields, Garza, Neimann, Sonnanstine, Price, Hellickson, Davis, McGee. Not at all a guarantee, but damn, there’s some serious upside there, and while there’s no legit “ace” on that staff (as of now, anyway), the lack of dropoff from 1-8 is insane. Basically, the rays will not be significantly affected by any injuries they suffer to their starting rotation. But yeah, it sucks to be toronto or baltimore right now.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      You should read ESPN. They’re still neck deep up Red Sox Nation’s ass.

      I love the poll questions. Today’s is/was: Which AL East contender landed the better pitcher?
      - Yankees: Javy Vazquez
      - Red Sox: John Lackey

      They had a poll up before the Nick Johnson signing that went a little something like this: Which team has had the better offseason?
      - Yankees: Curtis Granderson
      - Red Sox: John Lackey, Mike Cameron

      Obviously, in both cases, voters chose the Red Sox (although the pitching question is debatable). I sure as hell don’t see a “Which team has had the better offseason” question now that they Yankees have picked up Johnson and Vazquez. I love how they pick and choose which questions to ask and when in order to get the response they’re looking for.

      It doesn’t matter I guess, the Yankees have RAPED this offseason and continue to dominate baseball.

      /ESPN rant over

      • Zack says:

        Jerry Crasnick said on the 6pm Sportscenter that Red Sox STILL have a better rotation than the Yankees. Because they have THREE #1s while Yankees only have CC. But then he said that Lackey has to show he can provide more than 170IP and DiceK needs to be healthy all year. So basically he admits that Red Sox dont have the better rotation..

        /ESPN rant continued a little bit

        • I agree with Crasnick. I think that’s exactly right. THe Sox rotation is better, but 3 of the 5 have serious injury concerns. If they miss time and the Yankee rotation stays healthy, then the Yanks should outperform them in the regular season. But in a short postseason series, they’ll have an edge most of the time.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      But I guarantee you, their outfield next season will not be Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner.

      Meh, not so fast you little munchkin.

  42. Drew says:

    I’ve been against signing Holliday for a while now. Mainly because of the 5+ year deal that would be involved. Every time I warm up to the thought of signing him, I look at his Home/Away splits and laugh.

    351/420/632

    284/353/454

    Those are two vastly different players that share the same name…

    • Plus, it’s smart to leave LF open with some of the aging players on this team like Jeter and Alex. Provides a landing spot if/when they can’t play the infield anymore. Montero’s a possibility out there as well, though he’ll probably get traded if he cant stick at Catcher. 1B is a more natural move.

      • A.D. says:

        I doubt Montero is traded, if he hasn’t been this offseason, the Yanks probably hold onto him, unless something happens. If he doesn’t stick at catcher he’s still a special bat, at any position, so we’ll see him at 1b/dh/lf. When you see him in videos he doesn’t look like a non athlete, thus hopefully he could hold out at LF for awhile, after all Miguel Cabrera did (although not that good of one).

    • Evil Empire says:

      I’d like to see Holliday signed, but pretty sure the Yankees will not sign him due to payroll issues.

      And also the team is really fucking stacked as it is.

    • Chris says:

      Here are his 2009 Home/Road splits:

      Home: .326/.408/.574
      Away: .299/.379/.451

      Considering that he played no home games in Coors in 2009, I wonder what causes the severe splits.

      The other thing to consider with Holliday is that he plays very good defense in LF.

  43. Dela G says:

    i’m gonna miss melky

  44. Tank the Frank says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipy58SaIRhs (NSFW)

    I cried when I saw this…and then I said YASSHEAH!!
    Sorry in advance to any Creed fans this may offend.

  45. RickRoneRonneRonnRon says:

    http://drunkathlete.com/wp-con.....rman_2.jpg
    “The Milk Man Delivers”

  46. Chris G. says:

    I’m surprised no one’s posted this little gem, which will always be my lasting image of the Melk man:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TmtpcgRv7k

    Also, where’s the shot of him stealing that homer from Manny while Damon watches?

  47. Teix is the Man says:

    Does anyone think that Hughes and Joba will be getting starts next season? I sure hope so.

  48. nycornerstones says:

    sign rocco bald deli

  49. Riddering says:

    I’m going to miss the littlest Melkman but the Yankees must be strong and try to thrive in his absence.

    Oh, and IPK is now bitter that he didn’t get a RAB pictorial sendoff.

    Craziest comment on the trade I’ve read so far: “I’d give up Joba ten times over instead of Melky. Hands down.” All I could do reading it was cry laugh.

  50. mike jones says:

    I kinda wish they swapped melky with gardner and threw in another prospect instead

  51. Bay or Holliday says:

    Here’s some Washington post cvoerage of the Tex drama last year
    http://voices.washingtonpost.c…..ht_be.html
    My fav part: (Oh boo-hoo that Melky is gone, hello another free agent signing)
    “I have been told the Yankees can’t afford both Sabathia and Teixeira (together, they could cost upwards of $300 million) — which is one reason they made a pre-emptive strike by trading for Nick Swisher, whom they would be happy to have as their regular first baseman next season. But maybe they could afford Derek Lowe and Teixeira, or A.J. Burnett and Teixeira. In other words, if Sabathia chooses to go somewhere else, it is entirely possible the Yankees could seek to use that money to upgrade their offense. Hello, Mark Teixeira. This, at least, is Boras’s dream scenario.”
    Little did they know that the dream scenario for the Yanks would be to sign as they did. The article was trying to figure out how much the Yanks could afford and what combo they would go for. In other words, the Yanks do whatever the hell they want when they want.
    The Yanks don’t look to this rag of a blog or any other A-hole on here to determine what they will or won’t do. They get the players they want if they can and don’t care what the public thinks. Good! They will continue to do this and so get ready for more. So, the shopping list for the Yanks looks like this (nice credit card they get to use by the way, the Bank of Yankee Gold Card)
    SP (Yes, we always could use more, Yawn I’m Booooored again)
    Aroldis Chapman (he’s theirs if they want him. If he’s as good as they say, they’ll get him)
    Perhaps Sheets? Don’t know depends on how much they value him or think that Joba will do. Maybe they keep Joba or deal him for an OF.
    Assuming they don’t just sign Holliday or Bay of course. Maybe they sign Johnny Damon.
    Personally, I think (and that’s all any of us can do, even you know-it-alls that know nothing but will claim to know- BUT DON’T) I think the Yanks will:
    Sign Chapman (who we will see in make spot starts in August, he IS that good)
    Keep Joba for the number 5 (who also IS that good and will do great with a year under his belt)
    Grab Bay to Play LF
    Keep Hughes as the #8 and
    Re sign Jerry Hariston Jr. (as they should)
    Out of money they say?
    HA
    HA HA
    HA
    I Say!

  52. nycornerstones says:

    am i right when i say the milkman was the heart of the yankee clubhouse ? could cashman atually have made too many moves here? imean if its not broken dont fix it chemistrys been toyed with here thanks for hustle milkman!!!!

  53. A.D. says:

    Why no reports of any news off the MLB Hot Stove Cash appearance?

  54. Tom Zig says:

    The Mets countered our acquisition of Javier Vazquez by signing R.A. Dickey…be afraid, be very afraid!

  55. I got all my final grades today. I finished my Data Structures class with an 89.62 and my professor gave a B+. Words cannot describe how much I dislike that man right now.

  56. So one of the women at my work tonight was convinced hamsters don’t have bones.

  57. dalelama says:

    It has to be unusual for a World Series winner to dump three non pitching starters in the following offseason. I wonder when that last happened ? Also how come no mention of Carlos Delgado as left field replacement ? Too expensive ? Horrible Defense ?

  58. The 19th Century Short Porch says:

    Is anyone else concerned about the Nick Johnson signing? I was thinking about how quick these other deals became official Andy/Grandy/Vaz and because of that im worried there might have been something wrong with his physical. I hope not because he’s great for our lineup.

  59. Crazy Eyes Killa says:

    Gonna miss the MelkMan. It’s been a while that he’s been a regular on the NYY, the better part of 4 years. He may never have an above avg. bat at a corner, but he is a class individual. I sincerely hope he takes his game next level in the NL and scratches out a nice career.

  60. RollingWave says:

    man, that’s pretty much half of the 06-09 Yankee highlights. one can definately say that Vazquez is a dramatically less fun person than Cabrera.

  61. DSFC says:

    Leche had more personality than game but he had his moments and contributed to a world champion. Whatever happens from here, no one can take that away from him. Hope he has the breakout season in Atlanta that eluded him as a Yankee.

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