Apr
06

A year of living dangerously

By

Photo credit: Mike Carlson/AP

Brian Cashman has been the Yankees’ GM since February 3, 1998. Since then, the team has reached the playoffs every season but one while taking home four World Series rings and six total AL titles. Still, the Cashman doubters always believe he has something to prove. Anyone could win with the money, they say. It didn’t take a baseball genius to sign CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira, they claim.

In one sense, that criticism isn’t far off. The Yankees, with their league-leading $200 million payroll, don’t need a genius in the Front Office. They just need someone who won’t mess things up. That is, in the world of New York baseball, easier said than done.

For a few years in the mid-2000s though with George Steinbrenner‘s baseball people in Tampa fighting it out with Cashman and his braintrust in New York, the team didn’t take advantage of its financial edge. They traded players with impunity, acquiring Javier Vazquez in a good deal one year only to see him depart the next. They dumped heaps of money on the old +- Randy Johnson – and the injured – Jaret Wright. They drafted poorly and seemed destined for high-priced mediocrity.

Then, after 2005, Brian Cashman put his foot down. Give me control of the team or I’ll walk, he threatened, and with George Steinbrenner’s health on the wane, Cashman had his team. Since then, the Yankees have reassembled their organization from top to bottom. They have prospects who aren’t going to flame out; they have put money into key big-name free agents who won’t be (too) overpaid. They have a development plan in place for young kids while maintaining the Steinbrenners’ win-now philosophy. Even with Hank Steinbrenner’s somewhat ill-advised decision to give A-Rod a blank check after 2007, the Yankees are on the right track. As Joe wrote in the preview, they have a plan.

In 2009, the plan paid off. The team won the World Series with contributions from the organization’s long-term projects and the team’s high-priced free agents. After winning, though, Cashman didn’t rest on his laurels. Faced with what passes for a payroll cap in Yankeeland, he retooled the team in his vision. He traded one of the team’s outfielders and a high-ceiling 19-year-old for Javier Vazquez, the piece that got away from 2004. He sent one of the team’s highly-touted position players and another Major League-ready arm to Detroit for Curtis Granderson. He let the World Series MVP walk; he let the All Star left fielder walk after a dysfunctional effort by Johnny Damon‘s camp to land a better deal than the market said he could get.

When the Yankees opened the season in Boston on Sunday, the team looked primed to play. They scored seven runs, and only a bullpen meltdown helped them snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Despite the outcome, it was a promising start for an overhauled lineup.

This year, though, is truly Cashman’s year, and while it won’t determine his immediate future with the organization, it will showcase his talents as a GM. Did the Yanks make the right move in moving Robinson Cano to the five hole? Sticking Joba back in the bullpen and entrusting a starting spot to the youngest guy on the team? Letting the chronically injured Matsui walk in favor of the chronically injured but younger Nick Johnson? Bringing back Javier Vazquez for one year?

Building a baseball team is always a gamble, and the Yanks’ moves were relatively conservative. They didn’t dump heaps of money on Ben Sheets. They kept the pieces they thought could contribute most and still have strength and depth in the minors if and when they need to make the trade. They also bear the imprint of Brian Cashman, and this year, we’ll see what full autonomy means. The pieces he assembled from 2006 onward are paying dividends now. This team is his, and his approach is now, for better or worse, under the microscope of New York and its baseball-obsessed fans.

Categories : Front Office
  • Rose

    A year of living dangerously
    By Benjamin Kabak

    Casino Dealer: 17.
    Number Two: Hit me.
    Casino Dealer: You have 17, sir.
    Number Two: I like to live dangerously.
    Casino Dealer: [Hit for four] :21. Very good, sir.
    [to Austin]
    Casino Dealer: :5.
    Austin Powers: I’ll stay.
    Casino Dealer: I suggest you hit, sir.
    Austin Powers: I also like to live dangerously.
    Casino Dealer: 20 beat your 5 sir. I’m sorry, sir.
    Austin Powers: Well I must admit, cards aren’t my bag, baby.

    • Thomas

      You who the dealer is in that scene . . . The Soup Nazi.

      • Rose

        haha yes he was…he enjoys playing roles in which he is either a clerk or manual labor guy of some sort…and/or a dictator of some type (also played Saddam Hussein in an episode of Arrested Development)

    • Nigel Bangs

      That wasn’t Austin Powers, it was Richie Cunningham.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size
        • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

          That pic is NOT safe…for my heart.

          • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

            It’s racing…racing, I tell ya!

  • pat

    IMO his biggest accomplishment is the reorganization of our minor league operations and a greater emphasis put on acquiring amateur talent through Rule4 or the International market. In the 90′s and early 2000′s our farm was a barren and dare I say, uninspiring place. Now we have good, young, exciting, prospects at almost every position specifically targeted for their work ethic and their desire to get better, not just be good.

    As the late 90′s taught us, dynasties are built from the inside out, and thanksully, Cash knows this.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Agreed. And even if those guys never make the majors and are instead used as trade chips to improve the big league club, that was an asset they previously didn’t have.

    • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

      :: confused ::

      Who’s Sully? And why should we thank him?

      ;-)

      • pat

        Heh, yea I thought the same dang thing. Sometimes Firefox doesn’t correct my mistakes.

        • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

          :-)

  • Jersey Mike in LA

    Isn’t it 4 World Series titles and 6 pennants?

    • http://stateofmlb.blogspot.com/ Hangoverologist

      Nope. 3 titles and 5 pennants because he took over in 1998.

      • Jersey Mike in LA

        February of 1998.
        1998, 1999, 2000, 2009 = World Series Titles
        2001, 2003 = AL Pennants

        Am I missing something?

      • Rick in Boston

        1998, 1999, 2000, 2009. Or are we not crediting him with ’98 since he was only the GM from spring training on?

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Yes. You’re right. I counted wrong.

  • Mike HC

    Agree completely. This is a big year for Cashman’s GMing reputation. Like the comment I made in the last thread, he made a lot of decisions regarding relatively evenly talented players. Granderson, Matsui, Johnson, Damon, A Jackson (a little premature maybe) all have pretty similar skill levels. It is really impossible to predict who has the better years between guys that even.

    Cashman could have played it safe and brought back the same team from last year and nobody would have complained or blamed him if things went wrong. I mean, who could really blame him for bringing back a World (National) Championship team. I respect him for putting his head on the line and making moves he really did not have to make.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ pete

      eh, if Cashman had brought just brought back damon and matsui, I probably would have criticized him for putting too much faith into aging and chronically banged up players whose production levels was bound do decrease offensively and whose defense was a huge net negative. There’s obviously risk attached to both Granderson and Johnson, both both of them still figure to out-produce the guys who left this year, IMO.

    • CountryClub

      Actually, plenty of people would have blamed him. They already talk about how old this team is (even though it’s really not THAT old), imagine the stories if Damon and Matsui were stil here.

      Cash is in a no win situation. He tries to get younger and the media/fans say he got rid of the clutch players. But if he brought back the same team they would say the whole squad is a big injury risk.

      • Mike HC

        I mean, true. He would get criticized no matter what. You can’t win in a position like Yanks GM really. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

        I still think the “safe” play for his job security and personal interest would have been to keep the team intact. I think most people (maybe not as much at RAB) would not miss what we never had. It opens yourself up to criticism when you get rid of fan favorites like Damon and Matsui especially when they are coming off a championship.

        Definitely criticism both ways, but I think Cashman really put his neck on the line with the moves he made. And I respect him more for that, as do you, and probably most RAB readers.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ pete

          I respect him for making the right calls. If the less risky moves had been smarter, and he had made those, I would have respected him all the same. I think Cashman’s job is more secure than the media and fans would make it out to be, provided he doesn’t do anything that is actually dumb. If the fans/media don’t like a move he makes, but it is actually a smart move, then I have to hope that the folks upstairs would be able to see past the sensationalist writers and recognize the intelligence of the process through which Cash operates.

          • Mike HC

            Yea, I respect him for doing what he truly believes is best for the Yanks future and not what was best for his job security.

            Boras tried to strong arm him into signing Damon. Boras thought he had the upper hand and no way would Cashman let Damon walk. He was wrong and I love Cashman for holding his ground there.

            I don’t think Cashman made the popular moves, which would have been easier to do. Whether he made the “smart” or “right” moves remains to be seen in my opinion.

          • CountryClub

            I agree. I actually think Cash will leave on his own before he gets fired. I think he wants to eventually be a GM of a team that has a more modest payroll.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

              I think he wants to eventually be a GM of a team that has a more modest payroll.

              A.) Based on what?
              B.) Why?

              • mryankee

                This one I agree with the Country club guy. I have always thought Cashman wants to GM a small market team. I could probably point to coments he makes about the payroll and such but I have always believed that too. I do recall in 2000 when they signed Mussina and someone asked him about Ramirez he stated that he would not pursue Ramirez.

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

                  You should re-think your posistion when mryankee agrees with it.

                  Just in case, you know.

                  Oh, and: WTF does not signing the Man-Ram, in a year when they already signed Mussina, and there were questions about Manny’s makeup, have to do with managing a small-market team?

                  Nothing? Right. s’What I thought.

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

                  And I should watch those typos.

                  *position

                • mryankee

                  The point being Manny at that time along with Mussina could have been a huge coup for the Yankees. You can argue with his makeup but the Sox won two titles with him and he was a major part of that success and the Yankees did sign two major free agents this past year. So I am sure if Cashman had askes George Steinbrenner if he could sign Manny he would have been given a green light.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  What in the hell makes you think that? It was clear that the Yankees would only pursue one major free agent. They chose Mussina over Ramirez. There was talk, though, that if Mussina didn’t sign that then they’d go after Ramirez. This was when George was largely in charge, so if he was going to pay for both I’m sure he would have ordered it.

                • mryankee

                  Manny had not signed when the Yankees had signed Mussina so he was still available and all I am wondering is if Cashman thought about pushing for Ramirez as he did for Tex in 2009-

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  Manny had not signed when the Yankees had signed Mussina so he was still available and all I am wondering is if Cashman thought about pushing for Ramirez as he did for Tex in 2009-

                  Do us all a favor: Stop wondering.

              • CountryClub

                Oh, it’s just my opinion. But I have seen articles from the print media where Cash admits that he gets annoyed by the talk of GMing a 200 mil team being easy.

                Plus, before he signed his new deal he made a point of saying that he couldnt leave off of a yr where the team missed the playoffs. He wanted to change people’s mind about his “plan” not working.

                I just think, that if things go well the next couple of years, that he’s going to move on to a different challenge.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  But I have seen articles from the print media where Cash admits that he gets annoyed by the talk of GMing a 200 mil team being easy.

                  I get annoyed with ex-girlfriends calling me all the time because they miss my huge cock.

                  Doesn’t mean I want a small one…

                • CountryClub

                  I’m not sure this analogy works. haha

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  Alls I’m saying is, Cash complaining that
                  A.) people think his job is easier than it really is and
                  B.) his job has a crazy, borderline unrealistic expectation for constant perfection

                  … doesn’t mean Cash wants to have a different job where he has a smaller payroll and a less demanding ownership group. It just means he’s got valid complaints about where he’s at right now.

                • mryankee

                  He also is paid very well and he did not take less when his performance dictated so.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  He… did not take less when his performance dictated so.

                  The way your mind works, mryankee… it frightens me.

                  I fear for the future of the world.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ pete

    I never understood why people criticized cashman for spending so much money. If he had it and didn’t spend it, wouldn’t that be less smart than actually spending it, and doing so intelligently? Cashman has always done everything he could to improve the team, and his efforts in that area have, since taking over, been generally very effective, save for Kei Igawa (who I still think was a Steinbrenner panic sign)

    • Mike HC

      They are jealous and envious of the Yanks success. That is why they criticize.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ pete

        oh with other GMs/owners I get it (though it still sounds like whining to me). It’s the New York area writers who baffle me. I remember Steve Lombardi once said the Yankees should be able to win on about a “$114 million” payroll. Not only is that blatantly untrue for a team that can’t afford high draft picks and plays in the same division as the red sox and rays, which no other team in baseball does, but it’s also ridiculous to think that the Yankees, who clearly pull in enough cash to spend way more than that, shouldn’t spend more than that. Why not? What possible reason could there be for not trying to improve your team using all the resources you have?

        • Dirty Pena

          Steve Lombardi

          This is where logic and reason go off track.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

            (looks up (down?) from painting Sistine Chapel next to Leo DaVinci)

            What? Did you say something about me?

            Sincerely,
            Steve Lombardi

        • king of fruitless hypotheticals

          plays in the same division as the red sox and rays, which no other team in baseball does,

          the orioles and jays shed a single, solitary, shared tear…

          • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

            Jays, yes.

            I don’t think the orangebirds are crying this year, they’ve got too much to look forward to.

    • CountryClub

      There are plenty of fans that rip the Yanks for being cheap this off season. How dare they spend only 206 mil? It’s just laughable.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ pete

        The funny thing is they weren’t even being cheap, they just weren’t being stupid. Holliday was the only real A+ free agent out there, and the huge contract he would have commanded wouldn’t have been worth it for the marginal upgrade in team offensive production that his presence would have given us. And our payroll would have been a ridiculous $226 million this year had we signed him

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

          And it has a greater effect in that it limits flexibility in the future, too.

          • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

            /Preaching to the choir’d :-)

      • Mike HC

        hahah, good point. Very funny. Budget!?!?!? What fucking budget!!! THIS IS YANKEES!!!!

        • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

          have you watched the yankees? there is no budget

          \bo’d

          • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

            Nope.

            have u watched the yankees? theresno budget

            \REALLY bo’d

            • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

              Except I left out a few ???’s

  • Rose

    Cashman has his mistakes just like everybody else…he just has far more success than most which arguably is increased due to payroll. He’s quickly pulled the gun on guys like Javy (1st time around), Ohlendorf, etc. while bringing in guys out of their prime like Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson (granted he came off one of his best years), Roger Clemens (2nd time around), etc. and flash-in-the-pans Jaret Wright, Estoban Loiaza, Carl Pavano, etc.

    But he’s patched up the farm system and sneaks in there with Mark Teixeira deals steals from time to time.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

      while bringing in guys out of their prime like Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson (granted he came off one of his best years), Roger Clemens (2nd time around)

      I’d say (from my layman’s post) that the Clemens, Brown, and Big Unit acquisitions were like 10% Cashman and 90% Big George.

      Steinbrenner has ALWAYS, ALWAYS lusted after opposing team’s aces, especially when said aces beat us in a memorable head-to-head fashion. He’d had a well documented hard-on for Randy ever since the 1995 ALDS loss. I bet he’d similarly been pushing for Clemens and for Brown for YEARS before we actually pulled the trigger on those deals.

      *UNFOUNDED, UNDOCUMENTED SPECULATION WARINING*

      It wouldn’t shock me to learn that Big George wanted Cash to trade for Johnson or Brown, and Cash probably talked him into trading for Jeff Weaver as a better long-term option instead. When Weaver didn’t IMMEDIATELY pan out, Cash probably stopped fighting it and just made the Weaver-Brown trade. Just my hunch, based on what we know about Cash and Stein.

      • Rose

        Sounds as though that could be very accurate.

        His successful moves should vastly overshadow his (or Steinbrenner’s) mistakes though.

        Although his love for the NL-to-AL East kick has to relax a bit. Chan Ho Park is the latest mess (albeit SSS)…I just think he benefited quite a bit being on the best NL team in the game…facing mediocrity the entire year. Park’s in for a treat in the AL East this year…

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

          Although his love for the NL-to-AL East kick has to relax a bit.

          (confused)

          What is this that you speak of? Cashman doesn’t have any great proclivity for acquiring non-AL-East players. He just gets talent as it’s available, that’s it.

          • bexarama

            Seriously. I know there’s a difference between the AL (especially the AL East) and NL, but are we just never supposed to sign anyone from the NL ever?

            Most of the bad NL-to-AL moves were because the pitchers weren’t that good to begin with.

            • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

              Remember…

              Chris Hammond? Of the under-1.00-ERA in the NL East?

              You don’t remember him? Funny, neither does my girlfriend.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

              Most of the bad NL-to-AL moves were because the pitchers weren’t that good to begin with.

              Repeated for emphasis.

              • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

                Case in point: Chris Hammond.

          • Rose

            I guess. The Jaret Wright signing kind of stands out awkwardly though…and this Chan Ho Park signing (while again a SSS) seems to have potential for a similar build. Kyle Farnsworth and Latroy Hawkins could be thrown in there perhaps.

            I know he’s just acquiring necessary talent (in most cases) but you would think there would be better options at times…or if Chan Ho Park was all that necessary in the first place. Keeping Gaudin over Park would have made more sense, IMO.

            • JohnC

              Judging Park by 1 inning in the first game? Yeah thats smart.

              • Rose

                I’m not just judging park by 1 inning in the first game. I’m taking his age (37 in June) under consideration, the fact that most Asian pitchers begin to deteriorate around age 33-34 (albeit as starters), and the fact that the NL is really really mediocre aside from the Phillies which he just so happened to have pitched for (and never faced). There are a bunch of reasons for which I don’t care for the Chan Ho Park signing. To be honest, the last on my list might be his 1 inning of negative contribution the other day.

                My main point was that I didn’t understand releasing Chad Gaudin (who is 10 years younger with a better upside) for Chan Ho Park…to me it just doesn’t make sense that’s all.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  the fact that most Asian pitchers begin to deteriorate around age 33-34 (albeit as starters),

                  That’s ALSO a small sample size. Park’s “asianness” shouldn’t be a factor in this question. Chop isn’t an Asian pitcher, he’s a pitcher.

                • Rose

                  I think you misunderstood. This wasn’t a knock at their culture or anything of the sort. Despite the Asian nomenclature…their schedules, etc. are quite different where it has been proven to affect them over here.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  Yes, but CHoP has been in the big leagues for 17 seasons. His first season in the bigs was at age 21. He was signed out of South Korean college as an amateur free agent by the Dodgers, just like a regular prospect.

                  He’s not a Hideo Nomo, Hideki Irabu, or Diasuke Matsuzaka who came over to the bigs after 5-10 years in the NPB and had to adjust to a different style/pace of baseball. He’s a regular big league pitcher, just like Chien-Ming Wang or A.J. Burnett or Damaso Marte or anyone else.

                  The Asianness is irrelevant and misleading. Not only is the group of veteran Japanese pitchers who make the leap to MLB a small sample size that isn’t predictive, but Chop is Korean, not Japanese and not at all similar to those NPB vets.

                • pat

                  Dude, Park has been pitching in America since 1994. He’s been subject to American workloads and workout schedules since he was 21. He’s not like Dice-K who pitched a majority of his career on 5 days rest, and is now breaking down.

                • pat

                  What he said.

                • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Don’t most pitchers, Asian or non-Asian, begin to deteriorate around ages 33-34, though?

                  And even in the very SSS of Asian pitchers in MLB… And the even smaller sample of Asian relievers in MLB… We have examples of guys being effective in their mid 30s. Okajima for one, Saito for another (and he’s now 40).

                  I think the only reasonable conclusion here is that we don’t have nearly enough data to be able to look at Asian pitchers, and especially Asian relief pitchers, and draw anything close to a conclusion about them as a class.

                • Rose

                  I guess. All of that (misunderstood) Asian baseball wear and tear is only a part of it though. The 37 years old part is worrisome. Accompanied with his career of inconsistency and now being in the AL East at such an age means more IMO anyway.

                  Gaudin was 10 years younger in which one would think would be more potential.

            • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

              Fun fact:

              Kyle Farnsworth was actually offered more money to sign with the Rangers. He turned it down to sign with us.

              Unfortunately…

              • CountryClub

                I’m almost positive that the Sox offered Pavano more money than the Yanks signed him for too.

                • bexarama

                  Yup. =/ I think multiple teams offered him more money, but he really wanted to be a Yankee.

            • Mike HC

              To call that a small sample size is an insult to small sample sizes …

              (thinks for a second if that makes sense on any level … not sure, don’t care)

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

              I know he’s just acquiring necessary talent (in most cases) but you would think there would be better options at times…

              Sure, but those better options cost way more in terms of prospects via trade, if they exist at all.

  • steve s

    Even though he’s still a relatively young guy, I think if Cashman retired today he still makes the executive wing of the HOF so, in some ways, he’s playing with house money regarding his ultimate legacy. To produce a product that drew over 4 million for several consecutive years is an astounding result considering all the winning years prior to Cashman’s reign that Yankee attendance did not sniff those numbers. My guess is as soon as Cashman senses a Yankee decline for a couple of years (due to the age issue, or for economic reasons) he won’t stick around too long if he starts taking too much crap (internal or external) so that his legacy remains fairly untarnished. Only question is when the Yanks put up a plaque for him will they also retire a uniform in is honor with “$$$” on the back.

  • Thomas

    I love that picture of Cashman. It is like he is intentionally trying to hide his face so you can distinguish who it is.

    Sunglasses? Check
    Large cell covering half his face? Check
    Right hand covering part of face? Check
    Left hand covering part of face? Check
    All that he needs is a hat and maybe a bandanna.

    Dare I say it, the style is very FO ninja-esque.

    • Mike HC

      That is just the look Cashman will have every time he hears the news that Damon/IPK/AJax/Melky/Matsui hit a game winning homer, ha. Just messing around.

      • Rose

        Exactly.

        This is Cashman responding to a call telling him that Matsui just hit a mammoth bomb to help the Angels topple the Twins.

        Cashman: 401 ft, you say?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

          Cashman: “You found ANOTHER dead stripper in Matsui’s trunk? Son of a bitch. Okay, here’s what I want you to do. Call the Brooklyn Navy Yard, ask for “Steve in Accounting”. They’ll say he’s out; just tell them you’ll hold. Say that you’re his cousin from Poughkeepsie. When you actually get on the phone with him, he’s going to tell you where he needs you too meet–

          Wait a second, you know what? This isn’t my problem anymore. Don’t call me on this phone again. Reagins has to clean up his own messes. This isn’t charity. Fuck off.”

          … aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, SCENE!

  • mryankee

    Major mistake on Joba whether or not they screwed up the medical issue in 2008 and that is why he cant throw a decent fastball or they did not hanlde him properly. I would think there is some answering to be done there and the fact that this issue is never addressed is very annoying. I think most of the fans can see the problem so why they have not addressed the problem is questionable.

    • Mike HC

      The Yankees are to blame for Joba losing 3-5 mph on his fastball??? Doubtful.

      • mryankee

        Well they are the organization for which he works. Unless Joba refuses to throw hard anymore what else would you attribute the blame to?

        • Mike HC

          Joba/nature

          • Tank Foster

            I think it’s more like 5-8 mph, not 3-5. His trade value is probably plummeting now. It IS a problem, it’s a big problem.

            • mryankee

              If they knew his velocity would not improve they should have made the move on Halladay. Hallday-aj-cc-andy and phil I would have been good with that

              • Mike HC

                Joba alone would not have gotten it done. And the Yanks were not the only team to see his decreased velocity and very shaky performance as a starter. Many people saw him as a bullpen guy long term even before last year. He was not 21 either. He was 23, almost 24 last year. There is little reason to assume Joba would have gotten the job done to get Halladay.

            • Mike HC

              Not saying it is not a problem. Clearly he is an inferior pitcher sitting at about 93 and topping out at 95-96 rather than sitting at 94-95, topping out at 99-100 mph. I consider that 3-5 mph.

              But I still think the problem was unavoidable. Not the Yankees fault. The Yanks were careful with his inning limits, were conscientious of his injury history, and very quick to shut him down if there were any problems.

              Short of shooting the guy up with HGH, what did you want the Yanks to do when it became obvious he lost his heater?

              • mryankee

                Try to put him in the Hallady deal.

                • Mike HC

                  again. I bet you they did, and got denied. Neither of us know how the negotiations went, but I can bet you the Yanks were involved, and using hindsight on how they viewed Hughes and Joba, they obviously tried to unload Joba in the deal.

                • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                  So you want the Yankees to announce to the world that he’s injured, then trade him for Roy Halladay? Yeah, I’m sure the Blue Jays would love that.

                • bexarama

                  ietc

                  seriously, people seem to think we could have gotten Halladay for Joba straight up. That wasn’t happening.

    • pat

      Major mistake on Joba whether or not they screwed up the medical issue in 2008 and that is why he cant throw a decent fastball or they did not hanlde him properly.

      What the f*ck?

      • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

        Oh, I see what’s confusing you:

        he misspelled “handle”.

        What? That’s not what’s confusing you?

        Sorry, I can’t help, then.

    • Rick in Boston

      For the last time, if there was a serious issue with his shoulder the Yankees would have caught it, especially considering he’s gone through at least two complete physicals since that injury. There is nothing wrong with his shoulder; if there was, he’d be on the DL right now.

      • mryankee

        Ok then what is the other explanation and its not like I am the only one who notices. There is no way Joba can be an ace the way he throws now. Someone either had totinker with his mechanics or something for him to have lost his fastball like this? Yet no statements from the FO no explanations.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size
          • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

            I think you confused the poor boy, Tommie.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          Yet no statements from the FO no explanations.

          Do they owe anyone a statement on Joba’s velocity?

          • mryankee

            Would you not like ti know? My bigger concern is that they do not see it as a concern. They are going to allow him to pitch this way?

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

              It doesn’t matter whether I know or not. I want the Yankeees to win championships. I don’t want internal information they may or may not have, it has nothing to do with my enjoyment of the team.

              • mryankee

                I thought Hank was saying they would be more open with the public and keep the public informed. I think besidesyou there are those who would like to know what happened to Joba.

                • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                  Jose, is that you again?

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

                  Steve: IETCVM

            • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

              See below. And you have NO way of knowing whether…

              Oh Fuck it. I’m done with you.

              O:S

        • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

          I’m going to say this ONCE:

          There is not always a single easy explanation with young pitchers. They– and Joba, especially, because he was rushed and not allowed to slowly build innings and strength–often go up and down with their velocity. It comes with the territory: their bodies are still adjusting to the demands of pitching a full season.

          Sometimes they flash a higher velocity before settling in to a lower one. It happens.

          SSS also applies here: this is ONE GAME. And don’t tell me “but last year he was…”; last year was different: he was building his innings way past where he had ever been before.

          In short:

          WHY THE HELL IS MY BURRITO TAKING THIS LONG TO COOK IN THIS MICROWAVE???!!1!1!!1

          Relax and wait.

          • Tank Foster

            Can you give me some examples? Asking….not saying you’re wrong…

            Can you give examples of pitchers’ whose velocity jumped around and then settled lower, and went on to be aces? Or even just pitchers who performed at Joba’s ’09 type level for a couple of years and then went on to be aces?

            I don’t have the numbers to back this, but I don’t believe the oft-repeated admonishment that we have to be patient and reserve judgement on Joba. I think young pitchers who are destined to be staff aces may struggle early in their careers, but most of the time they are still overpowering batters at the same time that they are struggling with control, etc. Chamberlain looked like that kind of dominant pitcher when he first came up. Now he looks like someone who might develop into a 165-inning, back end starter at best.

            Seriously, how long do you give the guy before you expect him to be able string together a few good appearances….even a few good batters?

            • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

              Tim Lincecum re: velocity.

              Randy Johnson re: results. He had more wins in his 40′s than in his 20′s. Also: one of the Braves’ pitchers. Was it Maddux? Glavine? I don’t recall, but one of those three struggled greatly in his early years.

              The Lincecums wand King Felixes who have great results right from the git-go are EXTREME OUTLIERS.

              Relax and wait.

              • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

                damn typos.

                AND, not WAND.

                Also, as Steve H. said below: Halladay sucked for a good while. And Cliff Lee, like Doc, had to go back down to the minors.

                There are PLENTY of examples.

                • Tank Foster

                  Okay…..I’m off the ledge.

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

                  Good boy! ;-)

            • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

              Also: he’s pitched ONE GAME this year. Geez.

      • Tank Foster

        Maybe there is something wrong, but they can’t diagnose it. I’m a doctor….patients have things wrong with them all the time that can’t be diagnosed clinically, visualized on scans, etc.

        I agree that there has to be some problem with Chamberlain. Like I said below, either 2007 was the mother of all SSSs, or this guy has taken a significant hit in his ability to miss bats, at a time when he should be either improving or at the least plateauing.

        Can someone give an example of a pitcher who went on to be an elite starter who had 2-3 seasons early in his career where his performance was this mediocre?

        • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

          Randy Johnson.

          Feel better?

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            Roy Halladay through the age of 23 (and 231 innings): 5.77 ERA

            • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

              Cliff Lee.

          • Tank Foster

            Okay.

            Looked it up.

            You’re right.

            I’ve been talked off the ledge. (But I’m still pissed).

            RJ was 26 in his breakout season. At age 24 and 25, he had k/9 rates of 7-8, and a WHIP of 1.5

            JC last season had a k/9 of 7.6, and a WHIP of 1.54.

            And he was only 23.

            I guess he could still be great.

            Never mind.

            • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

              +1 for open-mindedness.

        • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

          Also: I do not consider Joba’s 2009 to be mediocre. Look at his ERA before the break, and before he hit the wall at his previous innings limit.

          Patience. It is too soon to make a determination that his velocity is permanently down. Let him build up innings and arm strength.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

          Can someone give an example of a pitcher who went on to be an elite starter who had 2-3 seasons early in his career where his performance was this mediocre?

          Sure, I’ll do that as soon as you show me the pitcher you’re talking about who had 2-3 seasons early in his career where his performance was “this mediocre”.

          Because Joba Chamberlain is NOT a pitcher who has had 2-3 seasons in his career where his performance was mediocre.

          Joba’s been a solid young starter. Through his first 43 career starts he’s got an ERA of 4.18, in the AL East, under the age of 24. That’s not “mediocre”, that’s “damn good”.

          • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

            THIS, TOO.

          • Tank Foster

            TSJC, I love your enthusiasm and staunch Yankee support, but come on. His pitching OPS+ as a starter is 113, which isn’t damn good. It’s mediocre. If you want to shave a few ticks off that for the AL east and say it’s pretty good for a 23 year old to be league average pitching in the AL east, then fine.

            But it isn’t “damn good.” Verlander is damn good. Felix is damn good. Lincecum is damn good.

            Joba might develop into a damn good starting pitcher, I guess, but he sure doesn’t look like it now.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

              A 22-23-24 year old starter with an ERA+ of 113 in his first 43 starts isn’t mediocre. It’s just not.

              It’s solid. Shit, saying it’s “solid” may be underselling it. It’s pretty damn awesome.

              Starters in their age 22-23-24 seasons aren’t supposed to have 113 ERA+s. They’re supposed to suck, like Jaret Wright did.

              • Tank Foster

                113 is below the league average….I suspect you know that.

                Go to baseball reference and look up Lincecum or Verlander. That is what “awesome” is.

                My original point was not to compare Joba Chamberlain to the average MLB pitcher. It was to view him in the context of a) his brilliance in relief in 2007, allowing for expected differences between starting and bullpen pitching, and b) the expectation, iterated many times over by Yankee brass, reporters, fansites, etc., that Joba Chamberlain is a high value, high ceiling prospect, expected to be able to be a “front line” starting pitcher.

                Viewed through that lens – perhaps too harsh a judgement, but that’s what we’re dealing with – there is no reasonable way one can conclude he’s “awesome.”

                But I agree about one thing: These discussions are boring, tiresome, fruitless, etc……why did I allow myself to fall into the bottomless, sinking shithole of the Joba Chamberlain Debates?

                • Tank Foster

                  * The 113 is Joba’s pitching OPS+, not ERA+.

                • bexarama

                  you mean OPS+-against?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  113 is below the league average….I suspect you know that.

                  By definition, a league average ERA+ is 100.

                  113 is ABOVE the league average. It means Joba’s 13% better than the league average.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  Ah, okay.

                  I thought you were citing a different stat. My bad.

                • Tank Foster

                  I believe the appropriate response is NOW THAT IS HOW YOU DEBATE!

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  Tank, you’re using the tOPS+ stat from his B-R split, right? I’m not sure it’s saying what you think it’s saying.

                  His tOPS+ allowed split as a starter represents how much higher or lower to *Joba’s* total OPS+ allowed that split is. Which means that Joba’s OPS+ allowed as a starter is 13% worse than his total OPS+ allowed in his overall sample. That tOPS+ has nothing to do with what the league average is.

                  Joba’s tripleslash allowed as a starter is .266/.351/.407 (.759). That’s not a 113 OPS+ allowed, it’s far lower than that. His starts all came in 2008 and 2009. For those two years, a raw OPS of .759 in the AL would be somewhere around an OPS+ of 97 to 99.

                  For instance, Melvin Mora’s tripleslash from 2008-2009 was .273/.332/.425, giving him a raw OPS of .757. His OPS+ was 98.

                  Joba’s tripleslash allowed as a starter is basically equivalent to turning all the opposing hitters he faced into 36-37 year old Melvin Moras.

                  For comparison, Marlon Byrd’s OPS+ from 2008-2009 is 113+, but that’s a raw line of .289/.351/.472 (.823), which is much better than what Joba allowed as a starter. Joba doesn’t allow nearly that much power.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  Now THAT IS HOW YOU DEBATE!!!

                • Tank Foster

                  Yes….looks like I misinterpreted tOPS+. The little pop up definition says it compares the OPS for that split relative to the player’s own total OPS.

                  So all the 113 shows is he’s worse as a starter than as a reliever, but says nothing about the rest of the league.

                  Still…..ERA+ is .90, and WHIP is 1.5-something, as a starter. To call that “awesome” is, well, sorta like you looking down and concluding that it’s a “large sample size.”

                  ;-)

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  Well, I didn’t call it awesome until I misread your statement (which was itself an error) that his ERA+ was 113 as a starter. That was the only thing I said was awesome. But yes, I retract that statement I made in error in response to the stat you cited in error.

                  Before that, all I said was “solid” and “damn good”. And yes, Joba the 22-23-24 year old starter in the AL with a career raw ERA and OPS allowed of 4.18, which translate roughly to an ERA+ of 107 and an OPS+ allowed of 98… yes, those things are solid and damn good.

                  Joba: not mediocre.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  Sorry, let me reword and emphasize that:

                  And yes, Joba the 22 and 23 year old starter in the AL East with a career raw ERA of 4.18 and an career raw OPS allowed of .759, which translate roughly to an ERA+ of 107 and an OPS+ allowed of 98… yes, those things are solid and damn good.

                • Tank Foster

                  Not even a nod to my excellent joke?

        • dalelama

          Sandy Koufax

    • Tank Foster

      Blogs are for speculatin’ and complaining, so I don’t blame you for, uh, blaming someone for Joba.

      I’m tempted to say “it’s too early to panic,” but I dunno….I’m pretty worried about him. We’re talking about a guy who threw 98…and now he’s just sort of a skoche above average.

      Either he was overthrowing in 2007 and hurt his arm, or some coaches have screwed him up, or it was the ultimate SSS. All I know is, that first season, almost nobody could hit his fastball, and the breaking pitches dropped off the surface of the earth. Now, he’s just ‘meh.’ And don’t give me the “bullpen v. starter velocity change” crap. We’ve seen him pitch enough in the last year or so to know, it ain’t the same Joba.

      He’s had flashes of that old stuff, but most of the time now, he’s Aaron Sele.

      • mryankee

        I always use the comparison of Jaret Wright who we all rmember fondly I am sure.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

          (thinks)

          You should stop doing that. It’s a useless comp. Utterly useless.

          • mryankee

            How? Wright came up with Cleveland and was throwing gas then he (after an injury) he lost his velocity and his ability and eventually his career.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

              Jaret Wright:

              NOT JOBA CHAMBERLAIN

              • mryankee

                That is you opinion I think their careers might take a similar path the way things stand now.

                • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                  So the Yankees are going to overpay for Joba down the road? Sweet!

                • mryankee

                  I hope not but you have to concede thier is a similarity there

                • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                  I hope not but you have to concede thier is a similarity there

                  No, I don’t

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

                  No. We don’t have to concede any such thing. Joba’s stuff is far superior. He is NOT Jaret Wright, who ccould not pitch effectively once he lost his velocity. And it is WAY too soon to say that Joba has permanently lost his. See my answer to your post above.

                  Your anger at Wright: just let go of it. You’ll feel better. I know I do.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  No, I don’t have to concede that.

                  Fun Fact: Through his first three seasons (ages 21-23, just like Joba), Jaret Wright had

                  A.) Never thrown a single pitch in the bullpen as a relief pitcher, majors or minors
                  B.) Had a career 5.08 ERA (91+), in the national league

                  Jaret Wright:

                  NOT JOBA CHAMBERLAIN

                • Rick in Boston

                  But they haven’t even had similar careers to the point Joba is at now:

                  Wright had 300+ innings in the minor before his debut

                  Chamberlain has a much better K/BB ratio then Wright had

                • mryankee

                  I hope your right but trying to say there is no problem with the kid is just wrong.

                • Rick in Boston

                  Tommie, I think you have the wrong Wright. You’ve got Jamey. Jaret pitched for the Indians at about league average from 21-23.

                • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                  Rick in Boston, you couldn’t be more wrong.

                  Jamey Wright=Jaret Wright=Joba Chamberlin=Chris Young=Josh Beckett (ie:all RHP are the same)

                  Sincerley,

                  mryankee

                • A.D.

                  It was part right:

                  5.08 ERA, in the AL, 95 ERA+

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  Yeah, sorry. The 91+ was a typo, should have been 95+.

                • A.D.

                  Oddly Jamey Wright did have a 91 ERA+ in the NL for his 21-23 seasons.

                • A.D.

                  Also nuts how the 1997 Playoffs made me remember Jaret Wright as being a redic young arm, when he posted 1 season with an ERA under 4.3 in his career.

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

                  SSS FTW!

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  Also nuts how the 1997 Playoffs made me remember Jaret Wright as being a redic young arm, when he posted 1 season with an ERA under 4.3 in his career.

                  Repeated for emphasis.

                  See also: Steve Avery.

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

                  Wait, so…

                  Tommie did, in fact, have the Right Wright?

                  /Over-Unger-Dunn’d

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

                  Feh.

                  Oveur.

                • bexarama

                  I remember the non-Yankee part of Jaret Wright’s career primarily from the 1998 playoffs, heh.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

                  Wait, so…
                  Tommie did, in fact, have the Right Wright?

                  I did.

                  Jaret Wright, 1997-1999:
                  http://www.baseball-reference......ing_simple

                • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

                  I did.

                  I guess you didn’t hear this:

                  http://www.instantrimshot.com

    • A.D.

      So lets say something is wrong with Joba and thus reason for velo change:

      “Addressing the problem”

      What exactly do you mean by this, are you expecting a press conference that explains whatever theory they have to Joba’s reduced velocity, i.e. saying he did permanent damage to his shoulder? If so why would they ever do this, I cannot think of a situation where a pitcher that has lost stuff has ever had some formal announcement of why, regardless of there being an obvious or non obvious reason (sometimes pitchers will note that coming back from TJS velo not all there yet, but that’s also more of a known fact). Additionally Joba is still a young commodity, if something is wrong with him it’s not in the Yankees best interest to announce to the world that it is true & what it is.

      Otherwise we know Joba got hurt in 2008, it was unfortunate, however doesn’t mean he was mishandled, injuries happen. Was Hudson mishandled and that’s why he needed TJS in is mid-30s? Has Christian Garcia been mishandled and that’s why he’s been constantly hurt for his pro career?

      Net in net, why would Joba’s reduced velocity ever be formally addressed? Tim Lincecum’s avg fastball dropped almost 2 MPH from 08 to 09, there was no press conference.

      • mryankee

        1-If Joba wins two cy young awards then I do not think his diminshed velocity would be an issue.
        2-If the team mishandled him medically then I would think Joba could sue for malpractice.
        3-The paying customers have a right to know why this issue is hurting his performance. I would think Joba would want to know.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          The paying customers have a right to know why this issue is hurting his performance. I would think Joba would want to know.

          In my best Dr. Cox: wrong wrong wrong wrong, wrong wrong wrong

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

            The paying customers have a right to shut the f#$% up, eat another hot dog, drink another beer, and watch the game.

        • A.D.

          If the team mishandled him medically then I would think Joba could sue for malpractice.

          Sure if there was gross negligence, which if that happened we’d probably hear about the suit, but I’d imagine with pitching shoulder injury that would be difficult, as there’s no perfect solution

          The paying customers have a right to know why this issue is hurting his performance. I would think Joba would want to know.

          1. Fans don’t have a right to know, we’re not shareholders, we have no right to know, you may want to know, but that doesn’t make it a right. Per notes above not in the FO best interest to release this AND Joba may not want his medicals thrown around, which again is up to him.

          2. Joba may very well know, doesn’t mean they need to tell anyone else.

          • YankeeMatt

            Really guys? We’re having this discussion?

            For starters, unless your in the club house, you really have no idea about the health of any of the players other than “they are feeling great and better than ever” which is what you hear on tv.

            Secondly, Joba broke into the MLB as a SETUP MAN pitching EVERY OTHER DAY! Of course he was going to throw heat. The second you stretch him into a starter and make him pitch 100+ pitches over the course of 5-7 innings, he IS GOING TO LOSE VELOCITY. You can compare this with Phil Hughes who GAINED VELOCITY last year entering the bullpen. Once Joba rejoined the BP last year in the playoffs, his fastball immediately went to around 95-96. I think it is perfectly reasonable to assume he’ll hit his numbers fine if the Yankees give him a plan to stick with and don’t mess with him.

            Finally, regardless of what happens to the players, the organization really does not owe you a single thing as far as an explanation. Get over yourself. You’re not that important.

            • Tank Foster

              Joba broke into the MLB as a SETUP MAN pitching EVERY OTHER DAY! Of course he was going to throw heat. The second you stretch him into a starter and make him pitch 100+ pitches over the course of 5-7 innings, he IS GOING TO LOSE VELOCITY.

              I think it’s a matter of degree.

              Look, although somebody probably follows things like this closely, I certainly can’t say from observation exactly how much velocity one can expect to lose in the transition from short reliever to starter.

              And I understand the need to be patient, the tendency for a good fan to look for the most favorable explanation for things, the vaguaries of radar guns, the ups and downs of athletic performance, etc.

              But you can’t tell me that Joba Chamberlain’s “stuff,” his ability to miss bats, his ability to dominate, isn’t significantly off from what he showed in 2007. When he broke in, he was hitting 98-100 routinely. He got LOTS of swings and misses, and when he threw his slider, it was 89-90 and the hitters swung at it alot.

              Now, he rarely hits even 94 or over on his fastball, many are 89-90. They foul off his slider or lay off it.

              As a comparison, Beckett threw 98-100 in 2003 with Florida. He’s well off that now, but he still throws 93-96 pretty consistently. There’s a big difference between 90 and 95, and between 95 and 100.

              He has had some dominant outings and innings, but he tends to negate them with other innings/batters where he walks too many, falls into predictable situations, and gets tagged for homers.

              Maybe it IS just his maturation, the fact that he was charmed for a few months in 2007, and this is his true capability.

              Fine….but if he’s going to throw an 89-93 fastball, and we want him to be a front line starter, he needs 1) a heck of alot better control, and 2) a sinker or something else that he can throw routinely for strikes that hitters can’t hit well or have trouble laying off when it’s out of the strike zone.

              • YankeeMatt

                Lol I agree with you there. Something definitely changed although I am not sure it is his “stuff” that has. I think it’s his confidence. Envision yourself going to work, and your boss switches your role every day while imposing limited resources. Meanwhile, there is a promotion “up for grabs by the most deserving.” Give me a break. We’d all be weary of that situation pretty quick.

                Also, I can’t help but wonder if many of us weren’t a little to quick to jump on the Joba bandwagon. Clearly he has some skill and is a talented young player. However, we might have been a bit premature in dubbing him an elite pitching talent. There is a chance that the league caught up to him as well. They are professional hitters afterall. Maybe his performance is reflective of his actual potential. Just a thought.

            • The Big City of Dreams

              “The second you stretch him into a starter and make him pitch 100+ pitches over the course of 5-7 innings, he IS GOING TO LOSE VELOCITY. ”

              but he threw hard as a starter in 2008 thats the thing thats weird. But it was all pre-injury so…

              “once Joba rejoined the BP last year in the playoffs, his fastball immediately went to around 95-96. ”

              but he wasn’t that good in the playoffs. There were moments when he struggled in the PS

  • YankeeMatt

    I think Cashman is pretty shrewd. I also think it is unfair of Cashman’s critics to down play his success because of the Yankees financial stregnth, and not credit him for dealing with Steinbrenner’s historically overbearing (and often times foolish) micro-managing. Moreover, for those who think anyone could do the job as capably, would you also be willing to concede that GMs such as Minaya, (ex GM) Philips, or Ricciardi would have success with the Yanks? Personally, the idea of having one of those fools calling the shots makes me cringe (regardless of the resources available).

    • JohnC

      I love how the idiots are quick to bash Cashman after exactly 1 game has been played. Everybody is a GM all of a sudden.

    • Tank Foster

      “…I also think it is unfair of Cashman’s critics to down play his success because of the Yankees financial strength…”

      Agree. Just because you have alot to spend doesn’t mean that you can afford to spend it foolishly. I give Cashman credit for not spending when the value wasn’t there, and for whipping out the AMEX BLACK and sparing nothing when the goodies were on the shelf.

      It’s so competitive now, teams are getting smarter at tying up good young talent, sabermetrics has made it harder to find bargains…I think he’s an effective GM. I want to see more MLB capable, above-average quality players come up from the minor league affiliates and actually play on the team, but certainly that situation is far better than it was 10 years ago.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        I give Cashman credit for not spending when the value wasn’t there

        See: Damon, Johnny

  • http://twitter.com/tafkasic the artist formerly known as (sic)

    Post about a game —-> opportunity to talk about Joba.

    Post about Cashman —-> opportunity to talk about Joba.

    Post about Zen Baseball —-> opportunity to talk about Joba.

    Enough about Joba fucking Chamberlain. Enough.

    /cant take another thread full of arguments about joba’d

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size

      It’s only one man’s fault, and that man is not Joba Chamberlain.

      It’s mryankee.

      • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

        mryankee’s an Ace– at hijacking threads.

      • http://twitter.com/tafkasic the artist formerly known as (sic)

        Well. It’s his fault. And it’s also the fault of everyone else who engages and responds.

        • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

          Which is why I said O:S above.

          And promptly broke it. Sigh…

          There’s just something about his posts that grabs hold of your brain and won’t let you not answer. And then, just as you disprove one hysterically wrong point, he switches tacks and tries another…

          …which is why I said this: http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....ent-817495

  • Tank Foster

    Jaret Wright does look a little like Joba….chubby face.

    • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

      And that’s the only similarity.

      :: shudders at the memory of one J. Wright ::

  • jason

    Anyone think Joba needs to focus more on the inner half than worry about increasing his velocity? sitting at 93,94 and topping out at 96 is more than fine. not the verlander lite that we saw in 2007/2008, but still great stuff. i think he pounds the outer half too much and hitters can sit on the outside half. makes it easier to lay off on the slider and tee up on the fb.

    look at hughes. his fb command is miles better and he spots it on both sides of the plate. i think that is the biggest difference between the two young guns.

  • The Big City of Dreams

    “It was to view him in the context of a) his brilliance in relief in 2007, allowing for expected differences between starting and bullpen pitching,”

    2007 was a yr under the original joba where he didn’t pitch with a runner on base until september. I maybe wrong but I read somewhere that in 15 of the total games he pitched the yankees had leads of 3 runs or more. The kid was put into a position where he couldn’t fail and as a result ppl believed it’s who he really was