Jun
09

The Alfredo Aceves Mistake

By

(Photo Credit: Flickr user tedkerwin via Creative Commons license)

Last night’s loss to the Red Sox sucked for a million different reasons, and Al Aceves recording the final eleven outs was just salt on the wounds. He wasn’t great by any means, serving up singles to the first two men he faced before Derek Jeter* took the wind out of the Yankees’ sails with the bases loaded double play to end the sixth inning, but he was effective. We’re used to seeing that from Aceves following his stint in New York, and now ten weeks into the 2011 season, it’s pretty obvious the Yankees completely screwed up by letting him walk.

As you probably remember, Aceves’ final game as a Yankee came against the team he pitches for now, the Red Sox. The Yankees were in Fenway Park when he threw both a pitch and his back out all in one motion last May, an injury that kept him on the shelf the rest of the season. It was eventually diagnosed as a herniated disc, and two different attempts at rest and rehab resulted in setbacks. Then after the season, Aceves fractured his clavicle when he fell off his bike, an activity that may or may not have been against his back rehab regime. We have no idea and it’s unfair to speculate one way or the other.

That broken clavicle was supposed to keep Aceves on the sidelines for three months, meaning he would be a few weeks behind the other pitchers in Spring Training. The right-hander was non-tendered the very next day (relative to when we found out about the injury, not when it actually happened), and Brian Cashman explained the decision like so…

“Because of the back issue, we could not give him [a major league contract]. He was throwing off the mound for us and he always hit a wall,” Cashman said. “So we ultimately continued to fail throughout the entire process to get him off the DL and active. He had a lot of success for a period of time, but then ultimately we’d had to take steps back and we’d have to shut him down and re-do the treatment.

“We decided to non-tender him and offer him a non-guaranteed deal. But obviously when healthy you certainly know what he can do.”

Aceves sat in the free agent pool for a while, reportedly drawing interest from the Rockies, but it wasn’t until early-February that he signed a big league deal with Boston worth $650,000. He reportedly to camp completely healthy on the first day, showing that he was well ahead of schedule with the clavicle rehab, and he’s been healthy ever since. In 41 big league innings this year, he owns a 3.29 ERA and a 4.25 FIP. He also threw another eight innings in Triple-A.

I don’t know who it was and we probably won’t ever know for sure, but someone on the Yankees’ made a big mistake here. Maybe it was the medical staff that evaluated Aceves, maybe it was Cashman, maybe it was someone else we don’t even know exists or maybe it was all of them. Whoever it was, Aceves’ condition was misevaluated and the Yankees foolishly let an asset walk away. That he joined their biggest rival, both historically and with regards to the 2011 AL East title, just adds insult to injury.

The facts of the matter are this: Aceves was still in his pre-arbitration years (so the Yankees could have renewed his salary for something close to the league minimum), he had four years of team control left, he had two minor league options remaining, and he also had (has, really) a history of back trouble. Remember it kept him on the shelf a few times in both 2008 and 2009 as well. At that point of the non-tendering, the Yankees were still unsure about Andy Pettitte‘s status for 2011 and they still appeared to be the front-runner for Cliff Lee. But still, Aceves’ experience working both as a starter and as a reliever is nothing but a plus. I don’t put much stock into the whole “he can pitch in New York” thing, but we all knew he could do that as well.

The risk was minimal. We’re talking about a 40-man roster spot (and there were seven or eight open at the time of the non-tendering) and a six-figure salary, which is peanuts to pretty much every club, especially the Yankees. It’s not like they had to keep him in the show no matter either; he has options and could go down if he was performing poorly or something. That flexibility is something you usually something you don’t get from free agents. Instead of assuming that little bit of risk, they got cute and tried to bring him back on a minor league deal when they would have been able to sent him to the minor leagues anyway. It essentially boils down to the 40-man spot and the salary, which is a little ridiculous.

It’s not a massive, franchise crippling blunder or anything like that, but the Yankees absolutely screwed up by non-tendering Aceves. That he went to the Red Sox only makes it worse, but it would have been bad even if he joined those Rockies or another team. Even if he blows his back out tomorrow, the evaluation of his condition was obviously wrong and a potentially valuable piece was let go for nothing. With $19.15M worth of relievers on the disabled list and the likes of Amaury Sanit, Jeff Marquez, and Lance Pendleton in the bullpen, the Yankees really could use a multi-inning option with experience in the late-innings right now.  There’s no other way to put it, they straight up screwed the pooch by non-tendering Aceves.

* Brett Gardner gets an assist.

Categories : Rants
  • teddy

    to me this is a fireable offense on cashman, this is unacceptable. i starting to think yanks need a new gm too

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

      Really?

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

      Letting a good reliever go is not a fireable offense.

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

        If it were, every team would hire a new GM on an annual basis, because every team lets useful relievers go pretty much every single year.

      • teddy

        not just add that, the joba debacle, burnett contract is awful. i won’t rip for jeter deal, not on him. i don’t think he awful. wondering if the yanks can do better. granted i didn’t pist alot of examples in my arguement

        • Foghorn Leghorn

          what do you think of Bartolo Colon so far? That was a pretty good deal idea, bringing him in…

          • MannyGeee

            that was Tony Pena’s idea… Cashman had no say in that one

            /PissingOnYourPoint

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

              Cashman had no say in that one

              Yeah… no.

      • Ace

        If only THAT were Cashman’s only Bad mistake, he has a resume full.

        • Ted Nelson

          What GM doesn’t?

        • Stan the Man

          Stop bashing Cashman, every GM makes mistakes and for every mistake he has made he has made 2 good ones. That is how a team ends up with 87+ wins for the last 10 yrs. You don’t do that by being a bad GM.

          • Cali Yankee

            Cashman is a disgrace. Other GMs don’t have $200m to spend. We deserve far better.

      • Short Porch

        I think this was an emotional reaction. Players who (further) injure themselves doing non-baseball things just piss off the front office, and when confronted with such, they will be spiteful. It would have cost us nothing to keep him as a possible option, but ‘the front office’ (and not Cash!) was too busy blowing money on soon to be injured relievers. I blame Carl Pavano.

        Could be worse. Dolan or Wilpon could own the club. The arrogance and stupidity of the wealthy seems to know no bounds. Your average poster here could run the Yanks better than the Steinbrenners, and would have won more titles, so why kiss their *ss?

        • Ted Nelson

          “The arrogance and stupidity of the wealthy seems to know no bounds.”

          I don’t think the wealth causes them to be arrogant and stupid… I’d guess that just as many middle class Americans are arrogant and stupid as wealthy Americans as a proportion.

    • pat

      So what about the people on the Sox that said Russel Martin was unsignable? Should they be executed? Because I’d rather have Martin.

      • Ben

        YES they should!

        • Stan the Man

          They have plenty of catchers on their roster too batting .230 so they didn’t need to add another one.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      It was a bad move but not bad enough to be fired

    • Pasqua

      By that logic, your comment is a fireable offense.

  • It’sATarp

    3.99 FIP? Fangraphs has him at 4.25 FIP and a 4.83 xFIP (it was 4.54 Fip prior to yesterday and a 5+ xFIP)

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

      Close enough. I calculated it myself before going to bed last night, before all the stats were updated.

      • It’sATarp

        Ah i see

  • AndrewYF

    I just can’t really get all that upset at this. Yeah, it sucks that the Yankees have a billion relievers on the DL, but that has absolutely nothing to do with Alfredo Aceves.

    Cashman ‘absolutely screwed up’ by trading away Clippard, and Dunn, and whatever else. Guess what? It barely matters, because we’re talking about middle relievers.

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      Right…and many of the guys that the yanks traded were given ample opportunitie and didn’t get it done…Clippard, Kennedy, Mosely, Ohlendort…all of these yahoos are now pitching in the NL…a different world than the AL East.

      There are a limited number of roster positions so decisions have to be made. And, relievers are fickle…so many are up one year, down the next. Aceves pitched in 10 games last year and was not available when they really needed him on the playoffs. And then he breaks his collarbone riding a bike…

      • Stan the Man

        Clippard, Kennedy and the rest of them barely got a chance man. Your talking about less than 20 starts for the startes and less than 20 innings for the relivers and the Yanks traded them away.

        I have no problem with them making trades but it would be nice if they traded these guys for better players. Young players will get a year or more at AAA before moving up yet in Yankee land they get 10 innings at the MLB level to prove their worth otherwise they are traded.

        If they held onto them longer they could get more for them instead of getting nothing in return.

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

      Cashman got returns on Clippard and Dunn. Even if they weren’t great, the two weren’t just flat-out non-tendered for questionable reasons. I think this is a huge, huge whiff by the Yanks, especially considering their rotation heading into camp.

      • Ted Nelson

        I agree with difference between Clippard/Dunn and Aceves. However… huge, huge whiff on a guy who is barely above replacement even with an unsustainable HR/9 rate?

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

        I think this is a huge, huge whiff by the Yanks, especially considering their rotation heading into camp.

        1. CC
        2. Hughes
        3. AJ
        4. Nova
        5. Garcia
        6. Colon
        7. Millwood
        8. Noesi

        Meh, “huge huge” is an overstatement. It would have been nice to have Ace’s depth for the rotation or the bullpen, sure, but he would have been fairly far down on both depth charts and we’ve had lots of other options for both (and added additional options for both at virtually no cost) and they’ve worked out as well as Ace has in both roles.

        • MannyGeee

          Aceves is more servicible than 1/3 of that list, at least.

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

            I’d only put him solidly ahead of Hughes and Millwood, because they’re hurt and dead, respectively. Everybody else is either a push or a win compared to Ace.

  • mike

    something is a lil screwy with Ace…do i remember it correctly that he blew Arod away with a 96mph heater? even if the Yanks juiced the gun last night for AJ ( figuring no one would notice it with Wakefield pitching for the Sox) I dont remember him ever hitting that velocity as a Yankee.

    i would feel marginally better if Ace was throwing his 88-90mph junk ( a la Garcia ) and the Yanks let him go….but once he can hit mid/up 90’s that makes him a completely different pitcher, and once again Mr. Cashman makes a poor pitching decision.

    • CP

      Looking at the velocity chart, he threw a few pitches over 94, but mostly in the low 90s:

      http://www.brooksbaseball.net/....._type=.gif

      It also looked like his velocity dropped and leveled off in the low 90s. I would guess that adrenaline had a lot to do with that. Interestingly, though, he was more effective last night once his velocity dropped.

    • Cuso

      The ESPN gun did indeed say 95 when A-Rod k’d. And I’m 100% that it “said” it reached 94 MPH three other times last night.

      I, too, was shocked with the velocity I saw from Ace.

  • Ted Nelson

    It’s fun to use hindsight when it’s convenient for your argument, but most of the time argue that hindsight is unfair. Isn’t this a judging process instead of results blog? Here you’re decided to go on results, and basically ignore the real results. You’re also a big FIP guy… and here you seem to be both misquoting his actual FIP and ignoring his xFIP. Guy has barely been above replacement for the Sox.

    Maybe someone made a mistake in process, but maybe not. It’s completely possible that the Yankees made the decision that would have been right 3 out of every 4 times… but this was the 1 out of 4. Backs are a pretty tricky thing medically from what I understand.

    Is it frustrating that the Yankees were wrong on Aceves and he’s helping the Red Sox now? Sure. Does that mean it’s necessarily true that the Yankees made a mistake and didn’t just get unlucky? No. Is it responsible journalism to say someone definitely made a mistake in process? No.

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

      So saying he wouldn’t be back from the clavicle injury for three month only to have him show up to camp on day one isn’t a process error? Someone misevaluated there.

      • Mister Delaware

        Right. Saying we should have (of) held onto John Axford is misuse of hindsight. Saying someone likely screwed up when it came to reviewing Aceves’ medicals is not.

        • Ted Nelson

          If you have zero information about his medicals and zero medical knowledge… yes it is.

          • Ted Nelson

            If you have zero medical knowledge you cannot possibly be judging the process and are necessarily judging the results.

            • Ted Nelson

              Should say if you have no medical knowledge of the situation… you don’t have to be a Dr. to be briefed on the situation by one.

              • Mister Delaware

                Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one who gets bored of you.

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

                  Nope.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Whether you are bored or not you are wrong to say that with no evidence of Aceves’ medical conditions there was an obvious error in “medical process” with Aceves. It was wrong. Mike said it. You said it. I pointed out that it was wrong. It’s boring to me too.

          • Mister Delaware

            I don’t have zero medical knowledge. Most people who have reached my age have atleast some.

            • Ted Nelson

              Read my subsequent comments smart guy. What can you tell me about Aceves’ specific back issues and the probabilities of various levels of recovery over various time horizons?

              Without this knowledge you are necessarily judging the results.

              • Mister Delaware

                You need to stop. There is literally no opinion a sports fan can give that’s based on 100% perfect knowledge. Everyone fucking gets this but you.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Mike did not give his opinion… he stated a fact. Everyone else seems to understand the difference there besides you.

            • Ted Nelson

              And I don’t know what your age is, but every time someone points out that you’re wrong you resort to snipy little comments that little to do with the subject at hand, making you seem about 12. I don’t know too many 12 year olds with much medical knowledge.

              • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

                Hey, Ted.

              • Mister Delaware

                12 1/2.

                • Foghorn Leghorn

                  Doogie Howser?

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

        So saying he wouldn’t be back from the clavicle injury for three month only to have him show up to camp on day one isn’t a process error?

        Well, non-tendering him doesn’t mean the team necessarily thought he wouldn’t be healthy by spring training. It could mean that the team didn’t want to guarantee a 40-man spot and a full 2011 major league scale salary to a guy who may or may not be healthy by spring training.

        The Yankees didn’t tell Aceves to kick rocks, they told Aceves that they’d only be willing to give him a minor-league, nonguaranteed contract. There was a chance he wasn’t going to be healthy for 2011 (and obviously, a chance he would be fine), and someone made the decision that giving Aceves a guaranteed ML deal wasn’t a worthwhile risk given the circumstances.

        It’s not simply an evaluation of his prospects of beating his injury history, it’s an evaluation of those prospects weighed against the contractual/roster obligations of a guaranteed deal (and the likelihood of someone else offering a guaranteed deal).

        I’d say the misevaluation came not on the injury front end, but on the “Will anyone else give this guy a better offer than our nonguaranteed minor league deal?” end. Clearly, someone else was willing to front the risk. Perhaps the team misjudged that part.

      • Ted Nelson

        Or they made the diagnosis that would have been right 60, 70, 80, 90% of the time… but Aceves is in the minority or even a very rare outlier. Maybe Aceves was just being a bitch on the Yankees about the back and getting cut was the motivation he needed to suck it up. Maybe his back was a mess and made an unexpected recovery by the time he threw for the Sox. Maybe he took some sort of PED or got some sort of stem cell treatment the Yankees didn’t even know about. Maybe his .250 BABIP and 0.66 HR/9 would be higher on the Yankees (BABIP is actually in line with career… but HR/9 is not) and his results would be below replacement. Or maybe they just blew it.

        It’s absolutely possible someone made an error medically. It’s also possible that they didn’t. With no medical knowledge of the situation and I assume of backs in general… why make a definitive statement on the subject? It’s certainly questionable that Cashman and co. didn’t take the minimal risk on keeping Aceves around instead of Corona or some other crap 40-man guy as a just-in-case depth play even knowing (for example) there was a 90% chance he would never be healthy. If you questioned the decision while presenting some assumptions and speculation as such… I’d be fine with it. I just don’t see why there’s a need to be so definitive about a process we have little knowledge on.

        I agree that it ended up being a mistake, though like you say not an enormous one. I just don’t know if it was a mistake in procedure.

      • Tom

        Assuming a pitcher with constant back problems will stay healthy all year is a “process error”. The yankees didn’t need a reliever that can only last half of the season.

        It’s June 9th. Aceves is always healthy and pitching well this time of year. Then come August he’s gone and everyone (mostly negative blog writers like yourself) Cashman for having him on the roster at all.

        • MannyGeee

          actually, with Soriano Joba and Feliciano down for the count in the 1st 1/2 of the season, having Ace come back after 3 months could have been ideal.

          • Tom

            I’m not talking about him coming back… I’m talking about 2 months from now when he is not helping Boston win anymore games because his back is F’d.

    • Kevin M.

      Uh, no, they 100% screwed up and it’s not arguable. There was almost zero risk here and lots of reward, and now it’s biting them in the ass.

      This mistake, plus giving up on Melancon so quickly, plus the mind boggling decision to bring up Sanit instead of Kontos, Whelan, Norton and just about anyone else makes me question the overall competence of our GM/management. Maybe it is time for a change here.

      • Ted Nelson

        Great points… Letting a barely replacement level relief pitcher go and trading a relief prospect for a guy who is currently 2nd to Jose Bautista in wOBA for all of MLB were two HUGE mistakes. Those guys are total idiots whose team only makes the playoffs 15 out of every 16 years. Any non-idiot could make the playoffs 16 out of 16… duh!

        • Kevin M.

          Yes, because only a genius could make the playoffs with a $200+ million payroll. Great argument. And Berkamn was awful before we traded for him last year….but my point is that we could have gotten Berkman w/o giving up Melancon.

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

            but my point is that we could have gotten Berkman w/o giving up Melancon.

            Right.

            (rolls eyes)

            • Foghorn Leghorn

              Melancon wasn’t all that and a bag of chips…

              • The Big City of Dreams

                True he wasn’t while he was here but to be fair he wasn’t handled well

                • Ted Nelson

                  Based on what?

                  • It’sATarp

                    his gut

                  • Foghorn Leghorn

                    not sure what he based his comment on but mine was on the fact that every time Melancon pitched in a level above AAA he didn’t impress

                    • Ted Nelson

                      I meant based on what to the “mishandled” part of The Big City of Dreams’ comment.

            • Mister Delaware

              He’s right. We could have gotten Berkman for Hughes. Who would you rather have for the next (whatever constitutes the typical short attention span)s!?!?!?!

          • Ted Nelson

            There’s a huge difference between saying Cashman isn’t perfect or even going so far as to say he’s a below-average GM, on the one hand, and questioning his overall competence, on the other. Every GM makes mistakes… judging them all against perfection is silly.

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

          He has a VORP of 1.8 and he’s thrown fewer than 40 innings. That’s not “barely” above replacement level, and there’s a lot of value in a pitcher like that.

          • Ted Nelson

            You think Aceves will maintain a 0.66 HR/9 all season? You think his ERA/FIP/xFIP will continue at a 3.29/4.25/4.83 pace all season? How many wins do you think Aceves has really cost the Yankees?

          • CP

            And he as a fWAR of 0.2 – barely above replacement level.

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

      “It’s fun to use hindsight when it’s convenient for your argument, but most of the time argue that hindsight is unfair.”

      This would be true if nobody had a problem with letting Aceves go when it happened, but there were a million raised eyebrows when the Yanks let Aceves go.

      It’s not like the Yanks let some scrub go and nobody cared and then the guy took some magic pills and turned into Babe Ruth and the fans cried about it. This was a productive player who was let go for immediate health issues which turned out to not be immediate health issues. Nothing wrong with looking back at this one and calling it a mistake because it’s being called a mistake in analysis of the situation at the time the decision was made, not a mistake based on unforeseeable consequences.

      • Ted Nelson

        On the Cashman didn’t take the right risk angle that’s valid… but on the medical angle it’s not.

      • Cris Pengiuci

        … was let go for immediate health issues which turned out to not be immediate health issues.

        Was he let go fir immediate health issues or did the immediate health issues a compound the issue? There were still concerns about his back.

        I really don’t have too much heartburn over this. It would have been nice to have him back, with little cost risk and only a 40-man roster spot necessary to keep him. Then again, it’s not like that one position should be the difference between the Yankees making the playoffs and potentially winning the World Series and not making them. If they miss the playoffs or get knowcked out, it’ll be due to more than one middle reliever.

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

          Oh I don’t have much heartburn about it either – it’s a reliever/swing man, after all. It does bother me though, just because I never understood the downside to keeping him. He was under team control, it just seemed rash to cut ties with him.

          “Was he let go fir immediate health issues or did the immediate health issues a compound the issue?”

          While the back issues are clearly a long-term concern I consider them an immediate concern in this case, too. The Yanks apparently thought he wouldn’t be ready to help at the start of the 2011 season, and his back was a part of that conclusion, and they were wrong.

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

            I’ll add to this, by the way… All it’s going to take is a sudden injury or for his back issues to become a problem again and none of this will matter. Just because Aceves is healthy today doesn’t mean he will be tomorrow.

            Considering the guy was healthy at the start of the season, though, I still would have preferred it if they’d kept him around, I don’t get the rush to cut ties.

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

              Well, there’s a deadline to either tender or nontender contracts, and that deadline is before the start of the season. When Aceves was nontendered, he was not at that moment healthy and the team presumably didn’t want to be locked into a guaranteed deal without a greater likelihood of Opening Day readiness.

              There wasn’t as much a “rush” to cut ties as the calendar forced the team to make a yes or no decision, and they chose no.

    • Midland TX

      Well said. Thank you. This was a business decision based on a certain risk-to-reward assessment that the Yankees made with the information they had at the time. The risks may or may not have panned out, but either way, that doesn’t mean the process or the decision were mistakes.

  • Mike

    Aceves SUCKS ! . .lets not make him out to be the next Nolan Ryan . our bullpen is solid . Both Joba and Robertson have been more than good.

    • theyankeewarrior

      This isn’t the point. Aceves is better than at least 3 members of our current pen, and could have been on our team for next to the league minimum.

      The only thing the Yankees would have had to sacrifice to keep him around was a 40-man spot.

      basically, we would have had to release a reliever that is nowhere near as good as he is now.

      This move never made sense to me. And I think we all figured that he would perform well this season the second he was scooped up by our arch rival.

      If he never pitches again in the majors, his signing would already be justified. And we have Logan, Saint, Buddy, Pendelton, marquez in the pen.

      Sweeeeeeeeet!

    • Clay Bellinger

      If you haven’t heard, Joba is out for a few weeks.

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

    I think that motorcycle accident was the straw that broke the camel’s back (pun intended).

    He’d been having recurring back issues, was struggling to rehab successfully from that one, and then hurt himself again while engaged in a potentially dangerous and superfluous offseason activity.

    Cashman and the braintrust probably were pissed at that, and let that emotion cloud their judgment. Not an excuse or a justification, just a possible explanation. (Lingering memories of Carl Pavano’s car accident may have been another emotional trigger as well).

    It sucks, though.

    • theyankeewarrior

      I agree. I remember being really upset at him for messing around on a bike with his bad back.

      With that being said, you never release a guy like him unless he is finished. I mean, how many guys on our 40-man who were we really afraid of losing off our 40-man?

      This was just a really bad mistake. Too bad he didn’t get picked up by an NL club. Non-Phillies division.

    • steve s

      All of what you said is true but still would love to have had George around one more time last night screaming at Cashman regarding who spit the bit on Aceves.

      • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

        Yeah, that would’ve accomplished sooooo much.

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

          George Steinbrenner only screamed at his GM on seven occasions:
          During the 1977 season
          During the 1978 season
          During the 1996 season
          During the 1998 season
          During the 1999 season
          During the 2000 season
          During the 2009 season

          George Steinbrenner screaming = world championship. It’s science.

        • steve s

          It wouldn’t have accomplished anything but it’s part of the fun of being a fan having a team owned by a guy like George. As a personal aside while you seem to enjoy making snarky responses to stuff I’ve posted recently you seem to come out consistently on the side of seeming not to enjoy the irrational fan type of things (George yelling, or being ok with players fraternizing on the field; not retaliating, etc.). You should try being an irrational fan every now and then; its alot more fun than being snarky!

          • Foghorn Leghorn

            if you found it fun when george yelled, then you must not have been a fan prior to 1994 or you are not a yanks fan. george should’ve kept his mouth shut many a time

            • steve s

              I saw my first Yankee game in 1963. CBS was not a fun owner. George created the modern Yankee brand including all the dysfunctional parts and it was fun most of the time. Yankee fans who hated George and who would have wanted another owner are the ones missing the boat.

    • Kevin M.

      Except it was a mountain bike, not a motorcycle accident. Which he was probably riding at least in part to stay in shape in the offseason.

      Sorry, but these guys are human beings and you can’t wrap them in bubble wrap at the end of a season and open them up in spring training. Cutting him because he rode a mountain bike is stupid, petty and is now costing us wins.

      Great job Cash.

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

        Except it was a mountain bike, not a motorcycle accident. Which he was probably riding at least in part to stay in shape in the offseason.

        You’re right, my bad.

        Cutting him because he rode a mountain bike is stupid, petty

        I specifically said above that I didn’t agree with or justify the offseason bike accident being a valid reason to cut a guy. You’re not disagreeing with me.

      • Ted Nelson

        “Cutting him because he rode a mountain bike is stupid, petty and is now costing us wins.”

        Except that this is totally speculation by you guys and Aceves has barely been above replacement this season with a HR/9 that is almost 1/2 what it was most of his Yankee seasons.

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

          A.) It is totally speculation by me, which I stated in my post.
          B.) I didn’t use that speculation to draw any meaningful conclusions or call for any corrective action, since it’s just speculation and not evidentiary. I just lamented it IF it was what actually happened.
          C.) I never said losing Aceves “costed us wins”. Just Kevin. Don’t say “you guys”, it was only one guy who made that allegation.

          • Ted Nelson

            Agreed. I responded to Kevin’s comment, not yours.

            You both speculated that maybe this is why the Yankees let him go. You readily admit that. That’s what I said. I said that Kevin was drawing conclusions on you and his speculation. That is exactly what was happening.

            Take it easy.

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      I agree with this completely…if Aceves doesn’t have that accident, he’s probably wearing pinstripes right now.

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

      The outrage over Aceves riding a bicycle is ridiculous. It’s a fitness activity. 5 yr olds ride bicycles.

      For all the people upset with the Dante Bichette, Jr. draft pick…

      Dante Bichette, Jr.: “15 mile bike ride! Ahora!!

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

        Mondesi, I didn’t say I was outraged that Aceves was on a bike. I said I think the Yankee FO might have been outraged that Aceves was on a bike and that that outrage might have contributed to the non-tender decision.

        JMHO.

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

          And I didn’t say you said you were outraged over Aceves riding a bike, just commenting on the Aceves riding a bike thing.

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

            Copy.

            Fatty.

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

              (safe)

              Remember that? From the Guinness Book? I feel like everyone who grew up during a certain period knows that picture pretty well. All this talk of fatties and bikes reminded me of it.

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

                Raul Mondesi rode a bike like that once.

                There were no survivors.

              • Foghorn Leghorn

                i remember that and also the big fat guy that was so fat he had to buried in a piano..

                and that big ass tall guy from china that was like 8 and three quarters foot tall.

                i don’t think the issue was with aceves riding a bike as much as him doing it while he was hurt with another injury…whodafuck knows…all i know is aceves is not on the yanks.

  • http://www.cerealblogger.com Russ has a last name

    “the evaluation of his condition was obviously wrong”

    I dont know how you can make a statement like that. I’m sure the yanks didn’t think there was a 0% chance he could recover. I think you’re right that he was worth the minimal risk but let’s not pretend that his current health means he should never have been considered risky.

    • http://www.cerealblogger.com Russ has a last name

      Hmm, I see now that you have more of an issue with the botched recovery time for the clavicle.

      I suppose that’s a reasonable complaint.

  • Girardi Must Go

    sweaty freddy

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

      Sweaty Alfreddy?

  • pat

    It’s a long season. If they put him in the rotation I’d be willing to bet his back gives out again. Apparently Lackey conceded that he has some sort of structural damage to his elbow and he’s barely hanging on by a thread.

    John Lackey said on Tuesday that the right elbow strain that put him on the 15-day disabled list will get worse but is now just normal soreness, WEEI reports.

    “It’s going to get worse eventually,” he said after holding the Athletics to three runs in 5 2/3 innings on Sunday in his return from the DL.

    Lackey received a cortisone shot to help manage the pain, which he said got the swelling down. “(Now) things aren’t hitting against each other. That didn’t feel so good. It’s probably going to be something I have to stay on top of. The guys did a great job of helping me come back, so hopefully we can keep it where it is.”

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

      Why do the good pitchers for the Sox have to stay healthy and the shitty ones keep getting injured? Why can’t Dice-K and Lackey’s horrible awfulness stay in the rotation while Beckett and Lester get blisters and deader-arm?

      Summamabitch.

      • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

        To be fair, Beckett is not exactly the portrait of durability. He already had a blister flare up at some point. He has to continue being an injury red flag given his recent history, Boston will be thanking their lucky stars if he gets through the entire season without a DL stint.

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

          I’ll go get my voodoo doll.

          • Foghorn Leghorn

            kick it in the nuts for me…I have a hard time figuring out what red sox player I hate the most, but when i put my daily list together, Beckett is always in the top 5.

      • Foghorn Leghorn

        same with the lineup…Salty and Pedroia get hurt, but Agonz and Fat Papi have a clean bill of health.

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

    I think it’s particularly glaring right this second because of all the injuries leading to the craptastic array of arms occupying bullpen slots, and it intensifies the level of criticism for saying goodbye to Aceves seemingly too soon. But at the time the decision was made, I could understand it and was perfectly fine with it, because his back injuries seemed to be the particularly troublesome kind, and his other injury seemed to add to the case for labeling him “injury prone”. The frustrating part is he was still under team control and didn’t need to be non-tendered.

    But I still believe he won’t hold up, it seems unlikely that his back troubles would just magically go away as he continues to pitch and exert himself through the action that led to his troubles in the first place (pitching). Would it be nice to have him right now? Yes, but hindsight isn’t 20/20 and the team shouldn’t be reliant on having Al Aceves’ services to succeed right now.

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

      Agreed.

      If our bullpen was a healthy and productive Mo-Soriano-Feliciano-Joba-Robertson-Logan-Garcia, I doubt people would mind all that much that Al Aceves is healthy and putting up a 3.29/4.25/4.83 E/F/x for the Sawx. Missing Aceves only becomes annoyingly frustrating when Hughes/Soriano/Feliciano/Joba are all injured and our BP contains Opening Day options #9, 10, 11, and 12.

  • Rob

    I had no idea someone could produce that much sweat.

    i do wish we still had him though.

    on a positive note, for how horrendous the yanks have looked the past two games, if they can win tonight, they will be in first place

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

      I can’t imagine that was just sweat. It just … can’t be. He had to drench his head with a bottle of water or something.

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

        Aceves’s sweat is Beyond Baseball.

        • Foghorn Leghorn

          It’s not sweat…Its “Liquid Grit”

        • The Big City of Dreams

          Sounds like a new MLB commercial.

        • MannyGeee

          If Aceves were to sweat on Brian Wilsons beard, the world would explode. Please, for humanity’s sake, keep them on seperate coasts.

      • Rob

        You are probably right, but even his arms seemed to be dripping. And it seemed like it might have given him some control problems when jeter was up, fortunately for him jeter helped him out.

      • CP

        I agree that he had to dump water over his head, but why did it keep dripping? After a couple of minutes, you’d think it would have all dripped off.

  • bonestock94

    Maybe it was less about his health and more that he went out and injured himself doing non-baseball activities when he had just gotten over a back injury. Something like, “enough is enough, take this minor league deal or piss off.” Not that its much more defensible.

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

      Al Aceves plays by his own rules, nobody else’s, not even his own.

  • Charlee

    I’m afraid this will happen all over again next year, with Posada as a Red Sox.

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

      Where would the Sox use Posada? They’re locked in at 1B, and Ortiz’s resurgence means they’d pick him at DH. Posada would have no role in Boston.

      If Posada decides against retiring this winter (which is a declining possibility), he’s going to Oakland, or Baltimore, or Seattle, someplace like that where there’s a legitimate DH opening.

      But in all likelihood, his 2011 final line which in all likelihood will still be below league average will force him into retirement. Teams won’t be banging down Jorge’s door this winter.

      • Foghorn Leghorn

        if jorge is smart he’ll just retire. i’m sure he is going through a tough run here because he’s declining. I hope he realizes that and just quits…actually, I’d like to see him do it today.

        I like jorge but its time.

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

        Two “in all likelihoods”? Ugh, Tommie.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

        Ortiz supposedly wants a multi-year option. Not so sure Boston’s going to do that, even with his resurgence.

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

          But he’s producing, he’s a fan favorite, and he’s never ever ever ever taken PEDs and there’s no proof or evidence whatsoever.

          That’s a win-win-win.

          • The Big City of Dreams

            And everyone loves him – Kay

    • Monteroisdinero

      At least Aceves is not the “bridge” to Mo on the Sox this year. Now THAT would have been a bridge to jump off of for all of us.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    If Aceves is going to continue to be effective for the Sox then he can kiss my white ass

  • Will F.

    Yeah the whole Aceves situation is like a mini version of the Mike Lowell trade. This is why you have to be careful of who you let go in free agency/non tenders/trades. Oh Cashman! Your judgement and eye for talent are questionable!

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      you do realize that if you don’t give up someone you may not get what you want in return. and with limited roster spots you have to make decisions. some come back to bite you in the ass, but there’s nothing you can do about it.

      that being said, some deals are obviously bad, like the Angels picking up Vernon Wells or George signing Jose Canseco back in the day.

  • Will F.

    Yeah the whole Aceves situation is like a mini version of the Mike Lowell trade. This is why you have to be careful of who you let go in free agency/non tenders/trades. Oh Cash. Your judgement and eye for talent are questionable!

    • CP

      The Yankees currently have the best bullpen ERA in the AL, and the gap between them and the second place team (0.39) is more than the gap between the second and seventh place teams. And the guy who’s spot he would most likely have taken (long man/6th starter) currently has a 3.39ERA, 3.48FIP, and 2.98xFIP.

      Clearly they made a mistake in letting him go, but let’s not make too big a deal about the impact of a generic middle reliever.

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

        And the guy who’s spot he would most likely have taken (long man/6th starter) currently has a 3.39ERA, 3.48FIP, and 2.98xFIP.

        A very important thing to remember. Aceves likely would not have been in the Opening Day bullpen, because we had 7 guys who all were nominally better than he was in one way or another.

        Ace had options, though, so he could have been stashed in Scranton and he would currently be an upgrade over the Sanit/Pendleton/Carlyle grab bag we’ve used (but not a gigantic one).

        • MannyGeee

          this.

          the fact that he 1) had multiple options, 2) coulda been dropped on the 60 day DL if he was not right on opening day, 3) would be healthy RIGHT NOW if he was really gonna miss 3 months (which of course he didn’t…)

          those are stingers.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    listeing to joe and evan on the fan..

    they just stated that in 160 career games against the yanks, Ortiz has never been plunked..

    In nearly the same amount of games, the O’s have plunked him 8 times.

    what the fucking fuck!

    • CP

      In 237 games against the Red Sox Jeter has been hit 22 times and in 214 games against the Red Sox ARod has been hit 18 times.

      More importantly, though, Ortiz has not been hit more than 8 times by any team. A-Rod has been hit at least 10 times by every team in the AL East and AL West (except the Yankees) plus Kansas City. Jeter has been hit at least 15 times by every team in the AL East.

      I think it’s mostly a matter of how the Yankees pitch against him, and not some intentional desire to not hit him.

      • MannyGeee

        right. the book on Ortiz is to get him on a slider away. always has been.

      • Midland TX

        And as for Jeter, he dives out over the inside of the plate more often than he dives vainly for ground balls going into LF.

  • Dave

    There’s more to the Aceves thing. The powers that be felt that he had an El Duque-esque motivational problem. IOW, they didn’t like that he was a bit too comfortable being in perpetual rehab. Also, his bike accident didn’t help as that doesn’t seem like back-friendly activity.

    It doesn’t surprise me that he’s pitching well for Boston to get his career back on track. He seems visibly leaner to me as well. And remember, he was a free man for a long time before they picked him up. Obviously other teams had some reservations about him as well.

    • Ted Nelson

      “Obviously other teams had some reservations about him as well.”

      Yeah, that’s a good point. Not much use in comparing a GM to perfection, just to other GMs.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    It was a mistake letting Aceves go but this article makes it sound much worse than it actually was. This article is clearly a product of frustration from last night’s loss.

    • It’sATarp

      This article nit picks stats to make Ace seem better than he actually is

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    we wouldn’t be talking about this if Burnett could actually pitch well against boston or in big games.

    if you put your team in a 7-0 hole nothing else really matters…you’re asking for a lot from the rest of your team.

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

      we wouldn’t be talking about this if Burnett could actually pitch well against boston or in big games.

      Or if Rafael Soriano, Pedro Feliciano, Joba Chamberlain, and Phil Hughes were healthy.

  • Will F.

    Yeah the whole Aceves situation is like a mini version of the Mike Lowell trade. This is why you have to be careful of who you let go in free agency/non tenders/trades. Oh Cash. Your judge ment and eye for talent are questionable!

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

      Is there an echo in here?

      • MannyGeee

        echo…..

        echo…..

        kko…

        ko…

        oo…

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

          PINCH HITTING FOR PEDRO BORBON, MANNY MOTA!
          ota!
          ota!
          ta!
          a!

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Say it more than once it becomes true. You can’t tell me a couple of posters aren’t going to think you know what Will F has a point.

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

          Will F: Candyman.

  • Michael Kay’s Head

    Comic book guy says: “Worst loss everrrr”!

  • It’sATarp

    Aceve’s line in 40+ innings 3.29 era /4.25 FIP /4.83 xFIP .2WAR
    Ayala’s Line in 18+ innings 1.47 era / 3.58 FIP / 3.94 xFIP .2 WAR

    I’m crying over the fact we lost a pitcher who’s pitching worse than Ayala and has only given the same value in 22 more innings

  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

    Sure they prob should have signed the Mexican Gangster™, but I don’t think he would be the difference between making or not making the playoffs, and certainly not winning a title or not?

    Sure, right now he’d be super valuable, but I don’t know how much of a difference maker he is long term.

    I think Cash didn’t sign him to help out the clubhouse staff, saving them from the disgusting laundry and whatnot. He obviously has some sort of glandular problem with all that sweat.

  • Evilhubie

    Signing Aceves was a no-brainer. He’s proven to be a valuable Ramiro Mendoza-like piece of a pitching staff, and the Buddy Carlisles and Lance Pendletons have demonstrated that those guys don’t grow on trees. 78 pitches in a start on May 31st, 71 pitches four days later in an extra inning win, 58 pitches four nights after that for a save. That’s useful.

    2011 is a red herring in evaluating this decision. Would it have been worth it to spend $1.3 million to have Aceves rehab in 2011 only to be available in 2012? Absolutely. I hate to be a troglodyte about the sabermetrics, but the guy is lifetime 17-2 with a 3.23 ERA. Perhaps he’s just lucky, but he has a knack for keeping the other team off the board for multiple innings when his team needs it.

    Moreover, Aceves was a reliever that Girardi trusted. He would have been right behind Robertson and Joba in the pecking order, and perhaps his availability would have saved them an inning or two here and there. That matters when you’re going through a streak when Robertson is pitching or warming up every night and Joba is pitching three games in a row.

  • Hester Prynne

    We’ve made mistake after mistake after mistake. We let good pitchers like Acevez, Moseley, and IPK go and kept injury riddled Hughes, Joba, and the awful AJ. Could have kept IPK, saved $15 million a year and not signed AJ. Pavano, Randy Johnson, Igawa, all mistakes.

    • It’sATarp

      IPK’s below 90 fastball was not considered to be have fared well in the AL East by many management offices. He’s doing well in the NL west, but the NL west has made a terrible dustin moseley (you actually think he was good?!!?!?! Dear god) look good.And Hughes being riddled with injuries is just stupid since he’s 24 and hasn’t suffered anything chronic…This DL stint is more of a result of a innings spike tiring his arm than actual injury. Velocity loss is not new to pitchers who see an increase in workload.

      • The BIG 3

        Pettitte was, at worst, the 3rd best starter on this team his final years, and he didn’t throw 90. Mussina’s last year, which was one of his best, I don’t think his FB clocked in at 80.

        Kennedy isn’t pitching well because he’s in the NL, he’s pitching well because he’s a good pitcher, and his stuff would translate well in any league or division.

        • It’sATarp

          I’m not saying IPK isn’t good, i’m just saying what i read about the trade was that the FO involved and scouts all believe his stuff translated better in the NL west than the AL east. We don’t know how he would fare here but i’m giving the reason why he was traded and that pitching the NL west is helping his numbers.

          • The BIG 3

            Yeah, I agree with that. EVERY pitcher’s stuff would translate better in the NL.

        • It’sATarp

          Also why compare IPK to pettite who is a lefty and Mussina who is a HoFer…I’m just saying he was a unproven pitcher and throwing in the high 80’s, which is why scouts were weary of his ability to pitch in the AL east.

        • MikeD

          Your opinion is in the minority. Professional talent evaluators disagree.

          Also, Pettitte is a lefty and a borderline HOFer. Mussina is most likely a HOFer and one of the most skilled pitchers of the past few decades. Seriously, are you comparing IPK to those level pitchers?

          IPK also netted the Yankees the top CFer in the game.

          Other than that…

    • nsalem

      Can you point to any record of you suggesting we keep players such as Mosely, IPK and Ace before the season started or are you trying to impersonate an intelligent human being?

  • The BIG 3

    but it wasn’t until early-February that he signed a big league deal with Boston worth $650,000

    But he didn’t. He signed a split contract which had different price points based on if he was promoted or not. And he started the season in AAA.

    I’ll assume I was wrong for posting that he signed a minor league deal because he was added to the 40-man (is that what differentiates a minor or major league contract?), but all these posts indicating he signed with Boston because they offered him a guaranteed $650k deal are wrong.

    http://fullcount.weei.com/spor.....do-aceves/