Open Thread: Tony Womack


(Richard Perry/The New York Times)

The 2004-2005 offseason was quite ridiculous in Yankeeland. They (theoretically) reinforced the rotation with Jaret Wright, Carl Pavano, and Randy Johnson, brought back Tino Martinez, and thought they found someone to replace Miguel Cairo at second base. Seven years ago today, the Yankees signed Tony Womack to a two-year deal worth $4M, apparently mesmerized by his .307/.349/.385 batting line with the Cardinals in 2004 while ignoring the .262/.303/.352 he hit in the 2,193 plate appearances prior to that.

Predictably, Womack was terrible. He had three hits on Opening Day but then fell into a 14-for-55 funk that brought his batting line down to .233/.292/.283 on April 23rd. As an added bonus, his defense at second was rather atrocious. The Yankees needed just a month to pull the plug, moving Womack to left field and calling up Robinson Cano soon after the calendar flipped to May. Cano finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting with his strong rookie showing, and Womack finished the season by hitting .238/.257/.262 in his final 257 plate appearances, reduced to part-time duty.

Brian Cashman managed to turn Womack into two real live players after the season, trading him to the Reds for non-prospects Ben Himes and Kevin Howard. He was out of baseball a year later. The best thing Womack ever did in New York was unite Yankees fans, who hated him universally. No one liked the signing, no one liked him at second base, no one liked him in the outfield, and not one liked him at the plate. No one liked the guy at all. It was a beautiful thing, the united hatred.

* * *

Here is tonight’s open thread. All three hockey locals are in action, but that’s pretty much it. You can talk about whatever you want here, so have at it.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Kevin says:

    I have hatred for Womack not only for how bad he did here..but for one double he hit in a certain game in the desert in 2001.

  2. Plank says:

    I was looking at Kevin Appier’s career the other day. That guy was amazing he was one of the best pitchers of the 90s.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Oh yeah, he was very good for the Royals. No one noticed because he was on the Royals though.

      • nsalem says:

        His career didn’t end very well. Didn’t the Angels release him with a year in a half let on his contract?

      • Plank says:

        He’s in a group of hall of famers and near hall of famers (RJ, Mussina, Cone, Glavine, Smoltz, Brown, Pedro) vying for the title of third best pitcher of the 90s behind Clemens and Maddux, unless I’m missing someone obvious.

        He just fell off a cliff after the 90s though, unfortunately.

  3. Jesse says:

    I’ve been wanting to ask this for awhile now, don’t know why I haven’t, but IF Chris Carpenter didn’t sign his contract extension with the Cardinals and was a Free Agent instead, how much would you offer him? Honestly, I’d offer him a 2 year deal worth $12-$13M a year. May sound like a lot considering he’s 36 and would have to transition to the American League, but the guy is awesome when healthy.

  4. Ghost says:

    Tiny Womack in LF will forever scar my memory

  5. CJ says:

    Cash Ninja move.

    • nsalem says:

      Steinbrenner emotional move

      • Steve says:

        Every good move is cash and every bad move is ownership?

        • Jamey says:

          Cash hadn’t made his stance against the Tampa faction yet, if I remember correctly. So he was still making plenty of “The Boss says do it” deals.

          • Steve says:

            O I’m sure there is some validity to it and I love Cash as much as anyone but (lately especially) it seems like such a cop out for the most ardent Cashman defenders. Sheffield over Vlad? George. Kei Igawa? George. Soriano? George. Randy Johnson? George. Jaret Wright, Carl Pavano, Tony Womack, Contreras, and on and on. Any time a move works out it’s the Cash Ninja and when it doesn’t then the move was forced on him by someone in ownership

            • Jamey says:

              well Soriano was very obviously Levine. Steinbrenner absolutely also made the Sheffield signing happen. Randy Johnson I don’t think anyone could pin on just Steinbrenner, because Cashman clearly wanted him badly as well. Igawa is as much Cashman as anyone, no question.

            • nsalem says:

              Cashman like anyone else has in hindsight made some bad decisions, but Steinbrenner going back to the 70′s has made many short sighted decisions that did not benefit the Yankees. Steinbrenner’s decisions were often gut reactions and attempts to emulate the World Champions of the previous year.

        • CMP says:

          That’s the 2nd commandment of RAB.

          Dont be fooled by small sample size is #1 and blame all bad moves on the Steinbrenners and Randy Levine because Cashman is infallible is 2nd.

          • Jamey says:

            And the only commandment of Cash Trolls is that all evidence of an obvious nature are to be ignored & Cashman should be burned alive for not “trying harder” to sign Cliff Lee.

            • JobaWockeeZ says:

              I believe even Mike said the defending can get over the top. This is one of those instances.

            • CMP says:

              See what I mean.

              You could take a shot at Jeter, Arod, Girardi or pretty much anyone else in the organization but say something bad about Cashman here and you get attacked viciously.

              • Need Pitching says:

                Cash has made some bad moves in his career.
                There I said it.
                Let the attacking commence.
                Nothing … hmmmmmmm.

                Guess the attacking only comes in irrational attacks or overreactions to moves and non moves, but not to logical, reasoned critiques.

                • CMP says:

                  Again the tone of your post proves my point.

                  • Need Pitching says:

                    what point??? I did not in any way attack you for being critical of Cashman. I myself acknowledged that he has made some bad moves. My point is that the attacks don’t come from being critical of Cashman. The attacks come from being unreasonably over the top critical of Cashman, which is unjustified considering his record.

                    • CMP says:

                      I didn’t even have to say anything critical about Cashman to get you worked up. All. You Cashmanites are a sensitive bunch.

                    • Jamey says:

                      It’s pointless man, it only works one way with him. YOU’RE the irrational one. His ranting & crying is completely sound, it is the different opinions & only them which are wrong.

                    • Need Pitching says:

                      CMP – you’re completely lost in your ridiculous irrationality. I’m not a Cashman-ite. I think he is a mediocre GM. But your attacking people for disagreeing with you under the guise that they are just defending Cashman at all costs, which is completely untrue. Try getting a grip on reality.

          • Need Pitching says:

            I’ve never seen anyone on RAB argue that Cashman is infallible. EVER. Just not everyone completely overreacts and goes batshit insane over every move and non-move. Cash, like every GM, has made plenty of bad moves. He has also made plenty of good moves.

            • CMP says:

              You missed the whole point which was someone pointing out the growing narrative on RAB that all bad moves by the FO are a result of the Steinbrenners, Levine or the old “Tampa ” contingent meddling.

              I think Cashman is an average GM. I just find it humorous that out of all the players and front office people in the organization , RABers get totally defensive when someone is critical of him

              • Need Pitching says:

                And I’m disagreeing with that point. Not everyone gets defensive of Cash all the time. Many of the bad moves have been due to Levine, Steinbrenner’s, Tampa contingent. That is a legitimate point. I agree some here have overused that excuse, but very few have. Still I’ve never seen anyone here say Cashman has never made a bad move or is infallible. The defense of Cashman lately has been because of some people overreacting to reasonable non-moves. It’s not completely unreasonable to think $100M+ is too much to risk on a completely unproven pitcher. It’s not completely unreasonable to see CJ Wilson as not a good fit as a #2 going forward. These are debatable points, but as always some people go off the deep end on both sides of the debate.

                • CMP says:

                  Since no one on this site has direct knowledge of the inner workings of the front office, I don’t know how anyone could accurately determine which moves are Cashman’s and which aren’t so passing the blame onto Steinbrenner and Levine are just cop outs . To my knowledge the only move Cashman openly spoke out against was Soriano so everything else is just speculation.

                  • Need Pitching says:

                    If its based on reports and not just speculation, I think its legit to at least acknowledge the possibility that a move wasn’t Cash’s choice. For example, it was well known and reported that George wanted Sheffield while Cash wanted Guerrero. It’s been reported that the Wright signing was pushed for by the Tampa faction and not Cashman. Obviously no one on this site is involved in the inner workings, so we are left to go on the information that has been reported.

                    • CMP says:

                      I’m sure some of those bad moves were forced on Cashman but I’ll bet there have been some good ones pushed on him too that he got credit for but I never hear those reported.

                      I just think Cashman is average at his job and the Yankees success over the past decade is as much a result of their huge advantage in resources as it is Cashmans great acumen.

                    • Need Pitching says:

                      Absolutely. I think their success is almost entirely due to the resource advantage. I think Cash is a mediocre GM. Still doesn’t mean somebody disagreeing with somebody critiquing Cashman is just blindly defending Cashman. People who criticize any Yankee player, move, or personnel will draw an argument because most are debatable points, and others are irrational comments. There isn’t some great pro-Cashman conspiracy on RAB, despite what you would like to imagine.

              • Jamey says:

                and yet here you are getting all butt hurt when anyone says anything that is even slightly complimentary of him. But yeah, its all THEM, certainly not you. THEY’RE the irrational ones. It is allowed to bother you, not them.

  6. Gonzo says:

    Any news on Big Bad Bart?

  7. Jamey says:

    I remember my reaction at first was something like “Not a bad bench guy maybe” then shortly “Wait, he’s gonna START?!” We should be thankful for him though, had he been even somewhat respectable who knows where Cano is playing today. I believe he was part of the package The D-Backs turned down when The Yankees tried to make the deal during the 2004 season.

  8. Tyrone Sharpton says:

    It’s stuff like this that makes me sick. Why the united hatred? Cause of his skin color, that’s why. The guy was as fast as anyone could cum, in both senses of the word.I loved him and always will. Class guy too, from what I’ve heard

  9. Nathan says:

    I remember the signing of Womack and instantly thinking how terrible it was for anything more than a backup middle infielder and pinch runner. Thankfully he sucked right away and gave way to Robbie.

  10. Couldn’t read the post; too much vomit on my screen after seeing the title.

  11. Avi says:

    Ah yes Tony Womack the great. I used yell at the top of my lungs “Tony Womack waste of a uniform!!!” whenever he came up. Some people in my section gave me a look and one even asked me “how can you chant something bad about a Yankee”? But that’s how much I hated him. Good times.

  12. RobC says:

    Interesting though on MLB radio today…what about Prince Fielder to the Yankees for 2 yrs 60+ million.
    He gets to play on the big stage in NYC, make the big bucks and in 2 yrs he is a free agent again and only 29 y/o.

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

      He’d slot in behind Sabathia perfectly, wouldn’t he?

    • mbonzo says:

      No friggin way. When you’re in his situation you have to go for a long term contract. Maybe he gets injured, or sucks in New York, then what? You’re out $100m!

      I actually think the Yanks should be in on him, I know the idea of another big contract for a 1B/DH type player sucks, but the Yanks can afford it. If they can plug him into the DH spot they can trade Montero (along with others) for a cheap young ace.

      • Need Pitching says:

        “but the Yanks can afford it”

        It seems like they are trying to stay in the 205-215M payroll range, and adding Fielder within that budget would essentially prevent them from doing anything in regards to upgrading the rotation. Not to mention it would block Montero from getting AB’s unless he can quickly show he is capable at 21 of being a primary MLB catcher (extremely unlikely)

        I suppose one could argue the Yankees should and could expand their payroll beyond the 205-215 range, but really, they already have the highest payroll and should be able to find a way to win in that range. There does come a point in expanding payroll where the payroll advantage gets ridiculous and makes winning much less satisfying – for me anyways.

        • mbonzo says:

          Well my point was that, if they signed Prince to DH they could trade Montero for a cheap young pitcher. Put a package with Montero for a young #1 like the Mat Latos trade or Yovani Gallardo.

          • Need Pitching says:

            Not a bad idea if they actually could pull off a trade like that, though Fielder’s contract would still put them over their established payroll range, and if it was a long-term deal, I would really worry, given the possibility ARod ends up needing to be a DH in a few years.

            • mbonzo says:

              Its definitely not the most responsible option, but it certainly gives them an incredible bat, most likely better than Montero’s. It also blocks the DH spot, like you mentioned, should be open for guys like Arod and Jeter. When all is said and done though, there is a time and place to worry about the future, for something that might or might not happen. You lose prospects, but when you’re willing to give up Montero you’re gonna get back an incredible arm. Solves a lot of problems now, but creates some for the future. How much are you willing to gamble on the future for the now or vice versa for the plan we all expect them to take?

  13. RobC says:

    Yeah they do need pitching but with only a 2 yr comittment to Prince , he gets 60 Million plus NYC area media endorsements.
    Injury is always the risk.
    Montero at C would be a line up of ????


    Hate to be a pitcher with Gardner leading off 1st, your 1st baseman holding him on creating a hole for Cano….a FB to give your C a chance gives Cano something to drive then your looking at that next 4 hitters!

    I always wonder at what point does a team spend so much it cannot afford not to win? Spend so much and you need to spend more to make the odds of winning even more in your favor

    • CJ says:

      Agreed prince 8/185. Prince is ELITE. He is worth breaking the budget especially considering the angels and rays added to Texas and Boston.

      • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

        I gave away my PS3 a couple of months ago after the cooling fan went out. Too bad, since it was one of those first-gen models that are so hard to get nowadays. Wish I still had it, since maybe the idea of signing Prince Fielder would have made more sense on it.

  14. Matt DiBari says:

    And Womack wasn’t close to the worst signing of that off season

  15. Pat D says:

    I remember my dad telling me about this signing and the Jaret Wright signing at the same time. I still hadn’t forgiven Wright for the 1997 ALDS, even though they hit him in ’98, and I wasn’t convinced his one good year with the Braves would translate.

    But I really couldn’t understand why they’d ditch Cairo, who I thought did everything and then some for the team in 2004. At least Womack’s predictable failure brought us Robby all the sooner.

    In other news, The Dark Knight Rises trailer is pretty epic.

    • Craig says:

      I’m assuming Bruce Wayne is in some sort of jail cell with that older man in the trailer. While it won’t (and shouldn’t) hold up to The Dark Knight, I still think it’ll be the best movie this summer. One major difference will be the whole “good vs bad guy” narrative, however. The Joker was the Yin to Batman’s Yang; a battle of strength as well as ideals–while Bane vs Batman is most likely just physical, which could be a bit of a disappointment.

  16. bakekrukow412 says:

    Rumor has it Oswalt wants a 1 year deal now. Sounds like an interesting option…

    • MannyGeee says:

      Yes please. Especially with Kuroda apparently ruling Out the Yankees.

      $9M maybe?

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

      Sure. If the idea is a one-year veteran who’d hold down one rotation spot well while the team sees what they’ve got in the youngsters and allows the 2013 FA pool to play out, I’d say Oswalt would be a more injury-prone, but good option.

  17. sfly6844 says:

    While I know the Yankees and everyone else is focused on pitching and rightfully so, but I can’t help from thinking how the Yankees should be trying to exploit the probably one-time window that would realistically allow them to approach a team seriously about a Arod trade as he is from Miami and the Marlins could get no better draw for the fans there. Complicated?…yes, but doable and a possible win-win for all 3 parties as I can’t imagine Arod seeing anything wrong with finishing out his career in his hometown. If the Yankees got creative I can’t believe the Marlins would not at least listen to whats offered….thoughts?

    • MannyGeee says:

      Pipe dream of all pipes… But I’ll bite… How odo you suggest this thing goes down? What’s the trade proposal….l

      And what abut Hanley?

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      A-rod has a full no trade

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

      You will have to pry Yankee Stadium from ARod’s contract’s cold, dead hands. Can’t see it happening unless the Yankees eat a ridiculous amount of money, with a return not justifying it in the least.

      • sfly6844 says:

        If I’m the Yankees I would gladly send that same 50-60 million that alot of people wanted the Yankees to post on a unproven pitcher along with Arod to the Marlins to get out from under that onerous contract.

        • Mick says:

          I believe that $50-60M would still count toward payroll. Also, Arod won’t waive his no-trade agreement to go to the NL…no DH.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.