Former Yankees on Opening Day

Introducing Zen Baseball
A year of living dangerously

On Sunday night we got to see the new Yankees in action. Nick Johnson and Curtis Granderson batted in the starting lineup, while Chan Ho Park pitched two thirds of an inning out of the bullpen. But what about the guys they replaced? Here’s a rundown of how former Yankees fared in their new team debuts.

Hideki Matsui: 2 for 4

Photo credit: Jae C. Hong/AP

Matsui made an impresion in his Angels debut. With runners on first and second with two out during a tie-game in the fifth, Matsui singled to right field to give the Angels a lead. That chased Twins starter Scott Baker from the game. Then, with the Angels holding a one-run lead in the eighth, Matsui led off the inning with a 401 foot home run to center field. Kendry Morales followed with a shot down the left field line, sealing the Opening Day victory for the Angels.

Johnny Damon: 2 for 5

In his first at-bat as a Tiger Johnny Damon grounded out to second. No big deal. In his second at-bat he flied out to right. He was facing Zack Greinke, so again, it wouldn’t have mattered if Damon went 0 for 4. He didn’t, though. Leading off the sixth, he singled to right off Greinke, advanced on a Magglio Ordonez single, and then scored on a third straight single, this one by Miguel Cabrera. Then, with Roman Colon in for relief the Tigers broke open the game, and Damon contributed by doubling home two, including Austin Jackson.

Austin Jackson: 1 for 5

The Tigers found themselves down 4-2 heading into the seventh, but luckily for them Greinke had left the game by that point. Scott Sizemore walked and Ramon Santiago, pinch hitting for Adam Everett, singled, setting up Jackson with runners on the corners and none out. He lined a double to left for his first major league hit and RBI. He scored his first run one batter later on Damon’s double. He struck out looking twice in the game.

Phil Coke: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R

Joel Zumaya pitched a scoreless sixth for the Tigers, and then came out to start the seventh. After allowing an infield single to Jason Kendall, Jim Leyland lifted him for Phil Coke, who came in to face the lefty troika of Chris Getz, David DeJesus, and Scott Podsednik. Getz singled, DeJesus popped out in foul ground to third, and Podsednik singled. Kendall, had he been a bit faster, might have scored, but Austin Jackson gunned him down at the plate.

Melky Cabrera: 0 for 5

The Braves rallied for six runs in the first inning on Opening Day, handing Carlos Zambrano yet another poor season debut. Melky got things started with a walk and eventually scored on a Chipper Jones single after going first-to-third on a Martin Prado single. Melky made the last out of that inning, and then made outs in his next four plate appearances. He was the only Braves starter, non-pitcher, to not record a hit, though his walk did set up the definitive inning for the Braves.

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Introducing Zen Baseball
A year of living dangerously
  • http://dontbringinthelefty.blogspot.com don’t_bring_in_the_lefty

    No fun for Melky in the 16 run outburst, eh?

    • bexarama

      He walked in the first and scored the first run =P

      He was the only Brave with an 0-fer yesterday, though.

      • http://dontbringinthelefty.blogspot.com don’t_bring_in_the_lefty

        Ah. I feel a little bit less sorry for him now.

  • Rose

    Matsui made an impresion in his Angels debut. With runners on first and second with two out during a tie-game in the fifth, Matsui singled to right field to give the Angels a lead. That chased Twins starter Scott Baker from the game. Then, with the Angels holding a one-run lead in the eighth, Matsui led off the inning with a 401 foot home run to center field. Kendry Morales followed with a shot down the left field line, sealing the Opening Day victory for the Angels.

    This one hurts the most. Matsui was such a poised potent bat in the line up. I actually preferred him up at the plate over anybody else in crucial situations for several years.

    I really liked Nick Johnson’s 2 walks and had Tex contributed it all the game probably could have had a different outcome…but Matsui is just the type of hitter you can’t explain. At the end of the year his line looks just above average but when you take a look back…it was always much more than that (or so it seemed).

    I don’t miss Damon nearly as much. He was a great catalyst in the 2 hole…but Nick Johnson did was he was suppose to do. His OBP was .400 – in line with his career average.

    And let’s face it…Damon got his hits against the Royal’s crappy bullpen (might even be crappier than ours! lol) and Matsui took Kevin Slowey deep. They weren’t exactly facing Josh Beckett and the Sox bullpen (albeit they have and have been successful).

    In conclusion, I’m happy for them…especially Matsui…because I’ve always had a soft spot for the guy. As long as the Angels don’t make a drastic mistake with ruining Matsui’s knees by playing him in the field often…I believe Matsui will see a line that’s pretty respectable.

    • Rose

      and Matsui took Kevin Slowey deep.

      Sorry, I meant Scott Baker…they’re all the same anyway…

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

        It wasn’t even off Scott Baker, though. He was long gone from the game by the time Matsui homered.

        • Rose

          Haha well Matsui chased Scott Baker away regardless with a hit. The point is that they got their hits off of mediocre guys.

    • Snakes on the mother effin Temple Of Doom

      One of Damon’s hits was off ZG…

      • Rose

        I stand corrected.

        • Rose

          Not that I didn’t read the post, I just wasn’t thinking when I was writing. I kept thinking solely about the double for some reason.

    • mike c

      hopefully a-rod has learned a thing or two about clutchness if last year was any indication

  • Snakes on the mother effin Temple Of Doom

    I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of this from Damon and Matsui all year. As long as we go 100-62ish the knuckleheads should more or less stfu.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      I’m not sure why. The Yankees never got to make an offer to Matsui, and then they offered the most to Johnny Damon.

      • Snakes on the mother effin Temple Of Doom

        You’re not sure why the knuckleheads would grouse? Simple – if Cash wanted those guys, he would’ve had them.

  • 20/20 Vision

    Let’s see, Matsui is too fragile to play DH so Cashman signs the Human DL Machine Nick Johnson.
    If you are keeping score at home:
    Matsui – 1
    Johnson – 0

    • Rose

      Yeah. Looking at one game usually makes up my mind about everything too…

      • Thomas

        Looking at one game usually makes up my mind about everything too

        You forget though that he is looking at it with 20/20 vision.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          Well in that case, I’m sold.

        • Rose

          Dr. Farthing: I know there’s really nobody to blame for this but myself, well, I don’t know, maybe the Buffalo Bills, the Boston Red Sox, or Mr. T or, or the Jets…

          Mitch: Wait a minute, Mr T.? Are you telling me that you bet on the fight in Rocky III, and that you bet against Rocky?

          Dr. Farthing: Hindsight is twenty-twenty, my friend.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Without the benefit of the DH, Nick Johnson made more plate appearances than Hideki Ripken last year.

      • Thomas

        That is a bit unfair, since Matsui played in more games than Johnson. Johnson was able to accumulate more PAs since he batted mainly 2nd in the lineup compared to Matsui at 5. Additionally, Matsui’s PA were limited, since he couldn’t start in interleague play for NL games (no DH and no other Yankee was going to sit) and the Yankees often sat him to allow A-Rod, Posada, Damon, etc to DH.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          I think the fact that Johnson had to actually play more than 50% of the game makes up for any unfairness though. Injuries certainly can happen in the field (see Johnson’s broken leg), and Matsui was spared those opportunities.

          • Rose

            Agreed…but NJ was signed to be a DH just like Matsui. We weren’t exactly looking for a backup 1B. It was kind of a bonus that NJ can do that…but we already have Nick Swisher who could do that too.

            They’re both DH’s this year regardless.

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

              Yeah, I’m just saying that as a 1B Johnson was healthy enough to compile a bunch of AB’s. His odds of matching that this year greatly increase by only having to DH.

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

              Yes and no.

              NJ wasn’t signed to be a DH just like Matsui, he was signed to be a table setting #2 hitter just like Damon (but better). The fact that he plays DH is secondary.

              We weren’t signing him to replace Hideki, we were signing him to replace Damon’s production in the #2 hole and make it possible to let Damon walk (since his price demands were ridiculously high).

              • JSquared

                Correctamundo.

              • Rose

                You may be right…but Granderson could have filled the #2 hole (or so a lot of people thought). We really don’t know for sure what the Yankees priorities of intentions were when signing – other than some of the obvious production replacement. But you certainly may be right.

                I still love the NJ signing. And I also think Cano is going to have a ridiculous year certainly capable of the #5 slot.

                I’m not going to let one game ruined by pitching (we certainly had some offense) make my mind up about a decision that was based on a season’s performance.

                I do miss Matsui though…

          • Thomas

            I agree completely. Matsui cannot play OF, while Johnson can play first very well. Thus, Matsui has been spared a lot of injury risk.

            The way I look at it, Matsui likely would have had to miss 20-25 games this year as a DH due to knee swelling from running and sitting on the bench to let other players DH/not playing in interleague. Johnson has yet to DH for a season, so we do not know if he will stay healthy doing (hopefully he will). My main fear with Johnson is that while some of his injuries came in the field (broken leg, bone bruise in his wrist), many have come while batting/baserunning. Johnson has strain a muscle in his hand checking a swing, fractured his cheek on a foul, injured his wrist on a swing, had a heel contusion avoiding a tag, and has had back problems (which I assume swing a bat is a cause). Hopefully, Johnson misses at most the same amount of time (including sitting so others can DH) as Matsui, in which case Johnson will likely be more valuable to the Yankees than Matsui would have been.

      • dalelama

        Factually wrong also…Matsui I believe had 2 more plate appearances in games that mattered….

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

          …in games that mattered…

          You keep using that phrase. What does that phrase mean?

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

            I do not think it means what you think it means.

    • kmarx

      I’m just glad that Nick Johnson won’t be trying to stretch any more spring training singles into doubles…

      • dalelama

        Includes post season…..

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

          Reply FAIL.

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

      Let’s see, Matsui is too fragile to play DH so Cashman signs the Human DL Machine Nick Johnson.
      If you are keeping score at home:
      Matsui – 1
      Johnson – 0

      Your math is off. It should be:

      Matsui – 1
      Johnson – 1

      Because since you’re talking about health, I can only assume the numbers refer to games played. Currently, Matsui and Johnson are tied at one game played (out of a possible one).

      You’re welcome.

      • thurdonpaul

        Ah, but you know what happens when you assume :)

        • Snakes on the mother effin Temple Of Doom

          pray tell

    • dalelama

      But hey Nick Johnson got 2 walks…..

  • mustang

    Out all these Matsui is the only one that really bother me. I know the difference in salary, but are Matsui knees really so bad that an injury-prone Johnson is that much better?
    I’m sure Johnson will be fine, but Matsui is so fucking clutch it was a little hard to watch the highlights.

    • V

      Quick answer: yup.

      Get back to me when Matsui sits out 7 games to have his knees drained, or has a grand total of 7 at bats in interleague play.

      • Thomas

        I would be quite surprised if Nick Johnson gets many more than 7 interleague at bats, considering there is about a 0% chance the Yankee let him start at first over Teixeira (Maybe he gets one game). Johnson will likely end up pinch hitting for the pitcher just like Matsui.

        You also could easily say get back to me when Nick Johnson hurt his back, wrist, knee, etc.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          You make a good point, but Matsui won’t be playing in interleague because he’s not physically capable. Johnson won’t be because he has an MVP in front of him at his natural position.

          • mustang

            “Johnson won’t be because he has an MVP in front of him at his natural position.”

            And because he would probably brake his legs running into a mascot coming out of the dugout.

            LOL

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

              “And because he would probably brake break his legs running into a mascot coming out of the dugout.”

              /friendly-helpout’d

              • mustang

                Thank you Sir.

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

                  No problemo.

        • whozat

          Yeah, except Nick doesn’t have a known, chronic health problem that required surgery on several separate occasions last season. The problem I have is people bringing up the health issues of one while completely ignoring the health issues of the other.

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

            “Yeah, except Nick doesn’t have a known, chronic health problem that required surgery treatment on several separate occasions last season.”

            Fixed.

            I’m not trying to diminish your statement about the significant injury risk of Matsui’s knees (I agree with it), but I don’t think he ever actually had surgery last season, unless I misremember.

            He had fluid drained and/or cortisone shots. Calling those procedures “surgeries” is a bit of an overstatement, IMO.

            • thurdonpaul

              Good call Roger.

            • Snakes on the mother effin Temple Of Doom

              Calling them surgeries isn’t an overstatement, it’s a mistake :)

        • dalelama

          Ouch abuse the “V”….

      • mustang

        Day 1 of Spring training already sitting.
        Catches cleats on the field.
        Fouls ball of knee.
        This is before opening day.

        Get back to me when Johnson is out for month because he slipped on a bar of soap in the shower.

        • whozat

          Aaaaand case in point. Why can’t you admit that a 35 year old with arthritic knees that have already required surgery several times is JUST AS MUCH of a health risk as Nick Johnson?

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            Yes, arthritic knees are a chronic condition that will not go away.

            Nick Johnson missing a year and a half (IIRC) because he collides in the field is not only a freak accident, but will not happen while he is playing DH. If that were any other player, their leg would have snapped as well.

          • mustang

            Why can’t you stop reply to my comments.

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

          Day 1 of Spring training already sitting.
          Catches cleats on the field.
          Fouls ball of knee.
          This is before opening day.

          And you know what? He played on Opening Day. All that stuff you mentioned that happened before Opening Day: irrelevant.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            He even fouled a ball off his foot on Opening Day, and stayed in the game.

            This is the new and improved Nick Johnson, takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

        • bexarama

          Matsui came to Spring Training and pretty much immediately said “Hey guys, my knees hurt.”

    • Spaceman.Spiff

      We will come to love Nick Johnson and his massive, massive OBP. When Teix and A-Rod start mashing, solo homers turn into two-run, three-run shots with guys like Jeter and Nick ahead of them.

    • pollo

      One thing’s for sure though, I’m going to be standing and clapping for every Matsui at bat when I’m at the games next week.

      Godzirra =(

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

      Out all these Matsui is the only one that really bother me. I know the difference in salary, but are Matsui knees really so bad that an injury-prone Johnson is that much better?

      My answer: Your question is moot. Nick Johnson wasn’t signed to replace Hideki Matsui, he was signed to replace Johnny Damon.

      Hideki Matsui can’t be a reliable table-setting #2 hitter who gets on base 40-45% of the time. Therefore, he wasn’t a consideration for the role that Nick Johnson was signed for.

      The moment we added Curtis Granderson, Hideki Matsui was eliminated from contention to return to the team. Granderson replaced Matsui and made HazMat needless (and risky) duplication.

      • dalelama

        Debatable, Matsui=DH and Johnson=DH

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

          No.

          Matsui = DH
          Johnson = 1B who plays DH for us because we already have an all-star 1B

          Furthermore,
          Johnson = #2 hitting table setter
          Matsui ≠ #2 hitting table setter

          • dalelama

            They are both DH’s…one has power the other doesn’t

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

              They are both DH’s…

              No, they’re not. Nick can still play at least one other non-DH position. Hideki cannot.

              one has power the other doesn’t

              And one gets on base 40-45% of the time, the other only gets on base 35-38% of the time. OBP >>> power.

              Futhermore, Matsui’s career ISO is .191. Nick’s is .174. Let’s not act like Nick is some punch and judy Brett Gardner slap-artist here. Nick has power. A .174 is solid.

              And he accumulated that .174 playing home games in some severe pitcher’s parks (RFK Stadium, Olympic Park, ProPlayerJoeRobbieLandsharkDolphinFieldStadiumYards, etc.)

    • mustang

      “I’m sure Johnson will be fine”

      Guys I just miss the big Dinosaur .

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

        We all do, ‘Stang, we all do.

        Doesn’t mean we’re not also happy that the team replaced him (and Damon) with younger players who are good bets to either equal or eclipse their production, though.

        I love and miss both Damon and HazMat, but their replacements are upgrades. Big ones.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          And it’s so much better to get rid of a player a year too early than a year too late.

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

            And it’s much better to get players entering their primes rather than leaving them.

            Especially in the post-PED era.

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

              Granderson hit his prime in his first AB as a Yankee, but was already a disappointment by the end of the game and is now past his prime.

        • dalelama

          I wouldn’t consider Gardner and Johnson big upgrades….

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            You wouldn’t.

            • dalelama

              Bottom of ninth, game tied, one out and runner on second, if i was a pitcher I would rather face Johnson and Gardner rather than Damon and Matsui….especially in the post season….time will tell

              • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                You’re not a pitcher. And it’s not Gardner and Johnson, it’s Granderson and Johnson.

                And since Granderson doesn’t cost you the run in the field that Damon did, it’s no longer a tie game, Yankees are up 1.

              • bexarama

                Ways not to decide whether new FAs will be valuable: highly hypothetical situations that may or may not ever happen

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

                  FACT: America may someday be faced with a ticking time bomb terrorist situation where we need to torture an Islamic militant to get information that could save an entire city from a WMD explosion.

                  Therefore, we should fill all our local police forces with guys that are really, really good at torturing Islamic militants. That way, we’ll be prepared. There will be no negative or unforeseen repercussions of this plan of mine, I guarantee it.

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

            2007-2009, wRC+ and WAR:

            Matsui: 125+/2.4, 114+/0.8, 133+/2.7
            Damon: 107+/2.3, 130+/3.7, 132+/3.1

            AVERAGES: 123.5 wRC+, 5.0 WAR (for the pair)

            Granderson: 142+/7.3, 130+/3.7, 107+/3.4
            Johnson*: 152+/5.4, 129+/1.0, 130+/2.5

            AVERAGES: 131.6 wRC+, 7.7 WAR (for the pair)

            Granderson and Johnson: Big upgrades.

            ———–

            *Nick’s three-year numbers are his 2006, 2008, and 2009 seasons since he missed all of 2007.

            • dalelama

              We shall see…..big stage and tougher comp for Damon and Matsui…Whitson and Pavano were supposed to be upgrades also

              • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                Well Scott Brosius was great* in the postseason, so they should bring him back, age be damned, to replace A-Rod.

                *not really, just believed to be true

                • dalelama

                  That is a false non-comparison other than that spot on…..

                • bexarama

                  Because your logic is constantly teh awesum

            • dalelama

              Also Gardner has replaced Damon not Granderson…i will concede Granderson is a big upgrade to Melky

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

                But if you concede it (the fact that the Melky-to-Granderson move is a GIGANTIC upgrade), then it’s pointless to keep bringing up Gardner in this discussion.

                Gardner is a red herring. He’s not part of this convo at all. It’s about Damon and Matsui for Granderson and Johnson.

                Gardner: irrelevant. Even though he plays LF, where Damon used to play. The positional roster configuration isn’t germane at all.

                • dalelama

                  Gardner has replaced Damon in left field, Granderson has replaced Gardbrera in center field, and Johnson has replaced Matsui as DH…those are the undisputable facts as of one minute ago..so they are relevant to the conversation

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

                  You think they’re relevant.

                  They’re not, though.

            • Tank Foster

              Now you’re overstating it, TSJC. I wouldn’t call them “big” upgrades.

              But I do agree that even the most pessimistic projection has to have the new players as equal to the old ones.

              One negative about the trade is that both Matsui and Damon were pretty good against lefties….so they’re giving something away there.

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

                But look at the numbers again.

                Even with Curtis’s big BABIP-fluctuation and lefty-struggles-induced down year in 2009, and even with Nick missing most of 2008, Grandy and Nick still contributed more offense and more WAR value than Damon/Matsui did.

                And Grandy and Nick are A.) entering their primes and B.) leaving pitcher’s parks and moving to lefty-power-friendly YS3.

                They’re big upgrades. I’d be surprised if they don’t significantly outproduce Damon and Matsui this year.

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

        Guys I just miss the big Dinosaur.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyef-BItce8 (safe)

  • ADam

    Good for Deki…

  • theyankeewarrior

    Could this season have started off in a more frustrating fashion?**

    First we got blue balls watching the Yanks play picture perfect baseball for half a game only to implode in the mid-to-late innings.**

    Then we got to sit around for 2 days watching every other decent team in MLB celebrate opening day wins, half the time with former Yankees playing major parts.**

    Now we get to look forward to watching Jon Lester blow away Curtis Granderson etc. and watch Jorge let 5 more balls get away from him with wild thing on the mound tonight.**

    ** These comments are brought to you by a spoiled, greedy and never-satisfied Yankees fan since 1995.

    • pat

      Heh, at least you can admit it.

    • dalelama

      But hey Nick Johnson will get two walks….

      • bexarama

        I love how derisively you say this, as if it’s a bad thing

        • dalelama

          I would rather have Matsui’s homer and rbi single…but walks are ok

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

            If the Yankee bullpen hadn’t imploded, nobody would be talking about Hideki’s homer and RBI single (off of two fairly “meh” Twins pitchers).

            They’d be talking about Curtis Granderson’s MAMMOTH homer to dead center off of Josh Beckett that spurred the Yankees to victory.

            • dalelama

              As my grand daddy used to say, “piss in one bucket and wish in another, and see which one gets filled first.” LOL….no seriously I think Cashman made some gutsy moves over the post season, will they pay off I don’t know. I am just playing devil’s advocate to those who state they were unsurpassed moves of brillance that can’t possibly back fire.
              As a Yankee fan since 1962 when I used to go see Whitey and Mickey at the old park I know what it is like to go 15 years without a title which makes me less inclined to bust up a proven winner. Giving up guys with proven track records in NYC and in the post season for two unproven guys, one who has difficulties hitting lefties and a guy who is hurt alot and I think may shirk when we need a hit and a walk won’t do, is certainly a big risk. I just don’t want to have to wait another nine years.
              To sum it up, last series we had only 5 guys who seemed to have any chance to get a hit and we got rid of two of them.

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

                I am just playing devil’s advocate to those who state they were unsurpassed moves of brillance that can’t possibly back fire.

                If that’s what you think you’re doing, you’re not doing a very good job of it.

              • bexarama

                I am just playing devil’s advocate to those who state they were unsurpassed moves of brillance that can’t possibly back fire.
                Huge strawman, nobody is saying that.

                To sum it up, last series we had only 5 guys who seemed to have any chance to get a hit and we got rid of two of them.

                Right. Sure. Except that’s not guaranteed to carry over to the next World Series we are theoretically in. Why can’t you get that?

                Also, we could have an awesome team and still not win the World Series. See: 2001, 2002, 2003. On the other hand, we could have a team that’s not great and win the World Series. See: 2000. Luck plays a big part.

                • dalelama

                  Never said guarantee…just prefer proven winners to those who haven’t won the big dance before…I place more emphasis on clutchness than some

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

                  But the point of what Bexy is saying is, placing more emphasis on clutchness than some other people do isn’t a wise decision, because playoff small sample sizes are notorious for being unsustainable and random.

                  The fact that Hideki and Johnny have performed well for us in certain postseason series does not mean they’ll continue to perform well for us in others. And the fact that Curtis and Nick haven’t played in many postseason series doesn’t mean they won’t perform well when they play in one for us.

                  Over time, a player’s postseason numbers tend to equal their regular season numbers as the sample size increases. Johnny and Hideki aren’t “clutch”, they’re just good hitters who have played in a ton of postseason games (so any SSS issue has been eliminated as their career playoff PAs increased).

                  Nick and Curtis are also good hitters (in fact, probably better hitters than Damon and Matsui, all things considered). As they play in more playoff games, they’ll also improve their postseason numbers and get more of that “clutchitude” that you love so much.

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

              Man, that ball was CRUSHED.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            So you’re basing your argument on one game against two significantly different pitchers and teams. Perfect.

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

              No, he’s also basing his argument on Carl Pavano getting injured and on Ed Whitson not being lights-out dynamite (even though his career ERA+ when the Yankees signed him was 101+, so the real question should be “Why the hell did anyone have any levels of expectation for Ed Whitson anyway?”)

              • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                Pavano’s career ERA+ when the Yankees signed him:102
                Wright’s career ERA+ when the Yankees signed him:91

                And they were both signed out of the NL. Epic fails……that have nothing to do with replacing Damon/Matsui with Johnson/Gardner.

                • bexarama

                  Well, Javy’s from the NL too. Though he’s clearly better than those other guys because he has very good peripherals and will give you a ton of innings and strikeouts, and he at least has some AL success.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            So by the same exact argument, you’d take Posada over Mauer, right?

            • dalelama

              I didn’t know Mauer had a hard time with lefties and was hurt alot. Reductio ad absurdum.

              • bexarama

                because saying you’d take Matsui’s HR and single WHILE FACING TOTALLY DIFFERENT AND LIKELY INFERIOR PITCHING wasn’t the original reductio ad absurdum.

                Also, Posada isn’t hurt a lot nor does he struggle with lefties. Unless you’re comparing him to NJ and Granderson, which I suspect you are, which has nothing to do with anything. You’re just bad at this arguing thing.

  • http://www.bronxbombersbeat.com Brian

    So glad to Austin Jackson get off to a good start. Was always looking forward to seeing him the show. Glad he is getting an opportunity earlier rather than later. He also threw a seed to gun out out Jason Kendall at the plate for his first outfield assist.

    • Mike HC

      Yea. Reading about how hard he worked and how great a guy he is, I really do want to see him succeed. Too bad it can’t be for the Yanks but I guess we can’t have everyone.

  • Mike HC

    This will be interesting for Cashman this year. Last offseason, he really only made additions. This off season, there were many subtractions and all of them very talented players (Melky excluded?). There is no way he will have made the correct decision in each case, so there will definitely be plenty of heat coming Cashman’s way no matter how well their replacements play on the Yanks. I don’t envy Cashman’s position.

    If I were GM, I would have kept Damon, Matsui and A. Jackson instead of trading for Granderson and signing Nick Johnson. I know it is not that easy considering Matsui and Damon probably wanted multi year deal from the Yanks. Whatever. I still love this team.

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

      “If I were GM, I would have kept Damon, Matsui and A. Jackson instead of trading for Granderson and signing Nick Johnson.”

      Yet you’re not bitching about the GM doing things differently. What a novel concept.

  • DSFC

    I had no problems seeing Matsui go – it was the right move. Just hate seeing him in that ugly Angels uniform

    • bexarama

      This. Red is not his color.

  • Tank the Frank

    Heh. Kendall looked safe to me. Looks like he got in there before the tag.

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

      Agree.

      Also, that “great throw” was from VERY short center, not far from second base–and it bounced off the mound.

      Methinks he got a little lucky there; the ball could have bounced any direction once it hit the mound.

      Just sayin’–it was still a good play.

  • Kered Retej

    I agree that letting Matsui go was the right move, but I will always have a soft spot for him. I’m happy to see him have a good debut with the Angels, and I hope he has a great season with them.

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

      This.

      As long as that “great season” doesn’t get them into the playoffs, aganist us.

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

        *against

  • Tank Foster

    We know Hit-Deki and Donny Jamon are both in the serious decline phases. Granderson and NJ should have at least 2 more plateau seasons. I would have kept the old guys for the right price. Damon (or Boras) decided the Yankees’ price wasn’t right, so what can you do?

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

      I would have kept the old guys for the right price. Damon (or Boras) decided the Yankees’ price wasn’t right, so what can you do?

      That.

      Way back in last September/October/November, I personally advocated for Damon and HazMat to be brought back. I did so because

      A.) I thought Damon would price himself appropriately
      B.) I didn’t think we could get a good price on Granderson via trade
      C.) I didn’t think Nick Johnson would accept a 1 year deal

      I was wrong on all three counts. Damon’s price point (for us) was ridiculously high, Nick’s was ridiculously low, and Granderson cost much less in a trade because the D-Backs were willing to take on Edwin Jackson and kick in prospects, lowering our cost on our end. It was the perfect storm.

      I wanted to bring back Matsui and Damon because I thought they’d be the lesser of many evils, but Cashman played the market perfectly (and lucked out with a market that unfolded the way he’d hoped) and better alternatives were discovered.

      • dalelama

        Actually I hope you turn out to be right TSJC. We may all argue but we all want that 2010 WS title.

  • 20/20 Vision

    Matsui 1 HR
    Johnson 0 HR
    You’re welcome