In what is clearly a city-wide construction trend, the new Metro-North stop serving the South Bronx and Yankee Stadium is suffering from increased costs. This isn’t a surprise, but it does tax the already-beleaguered MTA. While some board members want the Yanks to shoulder some portion of the increases, in reality, the transit agency and the city should have worked out the cost increases before building this stop. It does, after all, serve a far better purpose than simply providing more public transit to Yankee Stadium. · (3) ·
Earlier today Mike Ashmore posed a question that piqued my interest: If you had to make a 25-man roster using only Yankees prospects, what would it look like?
Well, let’s see. (h/t Rafi for the email)
C: PJ Pilittere – gets the nod over Cervelli because he’s more experienced
1B: Juan Miranda – not much competition here
2B: Kevin Russo - let’s hope the hot AzFL carries over
SS: Ramiro Pena – slick fielding is all he can offer
3B: Bradley Suttle – I’m pretty sure he could outhit Eric Duncan right now
LF: Austin Jackson – heads to left because he’s inferior defensively to …
CF: Brett Gardner - team captain
RF: Shelley Duncan - team mascot Edwar Gonzalez – next best option
DH: Jesus Montero – not ready defensively, but how could you ignore that bat?
SP: Al Aceves – seasoned vet was an easy choice for top starter
SP: George Kontos – good stuff, Double-A success … why not?
SP: Jeremy Bleich – pitching for Stanford in the College World Series is the closest thing to the big leagues the system has to offer
SP: Zach McAllister – pounds the zone and gets a ton of groundballs
SP: Eric Hacker – tough as nails with Double-A experience
CL: David Robertson – best candidate for the job
SU: Mark Melancon – don’t want to waste him in the closer’s role
LOOGY: Wilkins DeLaRosa – I’m sure he can come in an let it fly for one batter and survive
MR: Phil Coke – how could I not take him?
MR: Steven Jackson – he was the man for Scranton in the second half last year
MR: Jon Albalajedo – big league experience + throws strikes = on my team
LR: Ryan Zink – wildcard … it’s nice to have a sinkerballer that can give you length out of the pen
BUC: Frankie Cervelli – he always was destined to be a backup
IF: Justin Leone – still technically a prospect and can handle just about any position
OF: Colin Curtis - can handle all three spots and maybe even run into the occasional homer
UTIL: Justin Snyder – pest can play everywhere and put up a tough at-bat off the bench
As I was putting the team together I tried to build a squad that would be the most competitive group in the bigs right now. I didn’t just list the best prospect at each position, that’s too easy. I went the more advanced prospects in general, especially the pitching staff. Guys like Brackman and Betances would be in way over their head right now.
So do I think this team could beat the worst team in Major League Baseball right now? No, I think they’d get crushed like a bug hitting a windshield. We’re talking about established big leaguers against practically children. The Detroit Lions would splatter USC too.
The only time they’d have a remote chance of winning is when Aceves is on the mound, and even that’s not all that great. The bullpen is pretty good, so they could steal a few wins if they have a lead after say, five innings. In general though, there’s just not enough experience on either side of the ball and too many rookie mistakes to endure.
So what do you guys think? (make sure you show some love and post your comments on Mike’s site as well)
We know that the Yanks projected starting five in 2009 will be CC Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte, and Joba Chamberlain. Unless the Yankees have a Rays-esque run with luck, these aren’t the only five guys who will toe the rubber to start games this year. Chad Jennings lists the guys who are next in line for a call-up, and breaks down where they are now and what it will take to see some time in the Bronx.
This brings up an occasion to discuss the AAA and AA rotations. The question was raised in yesterday’s chat, and I couldn’t think quick enough on my toes to give a comprehensive answer. So, given what we know right now, on January 29, 2009, here’s how I see it:
|Phil Hughes||Eric Hacker|
|Ian Kennedy||George Kontos|
|Alfredo Aceves||Chris Garcia|
|Kei Igawa||Zach McAllister|
|Alan Horne||Ryan Pope|
Of course, plenty could change. As Jennings notes, Horne could start in Tampa or extended spring training because of his injury. The Yanks might want to start McAllister and Pope in Tampa as well. They might assign Phil Coke to AAA as a starter. Jason Jones might find a return ticket to New York in his Twins locker. Chase Wright might clear waivers. This list can and will certainly change as we learn more about the above-mentioned pitchers.
While I’m still waiting on my copy of The Yankee Years, one thing is clear about this whole Joe Torre dust: His reputation is in tatters. He broke the age-old code of writing about the clubhouse, and he will pay a price for it.
Exhibit A: Wallace Matthews reports, in a column to which Joe linked last night, that Joe Torre will not be welcome at the new Yankee Stadium. Torre was conspicuously absent during the closing ceremonies for the new stadium, but this is probably the final straw.
The Yanks can be rather petty too. Number Six will not earn its place among the retired numbers, and Torre won’t get the recognition from the team he deserves following the success he enjoyed over his twelve years in the Bronx. I’m not sure which side gets to claim the high ground here.
Exhibit B: Cooperstown. This is where I leave the debate up to our RAB readers. A quick scan of the headlines reveals stories similar to this one by John Harper. By opening his mouth, Torre has damaged his standing among the sportswriters who once idolized him, and it jeopardizes his Hall of Fame standing.
So a poll:
We’re having some serious issues getting the actual radio show up and running, so we’re going to be doing it old school style for the foreseeable future. If you have any questions you want us to answer during today’s show, email them in to Joe or myself via the links to the left. · (14) ·
The Week of Torre continues late Wednesday into Thursday. In this installment, we find out from Wallace Matthews that the Yankees want to include an NDA in future player and manager contracts. Instead of non-disclosure agreement, though, they’re going with a “non-disparagement” agreement “in order to prevent any more tell-all books.” So former employees can disclose parts of their tenure with the Yankees, so long as they’re not portraying the team in a negative light. Sounds like the makings of some compelling literature.
The Yankees only want former employees to write books which are “positive in tone.” Well, of course they do. No one in the Yankees front office is happy that Joe Torre wrote this book. It says some mean things about them. They’d prefer it if they could control that type of speech so they wouldn’t have to deal with the PR issues.
That doesn’t mean that Torre shouldn’t be able to write it. He lived it, supposedly, so why shouldn’t he be able to chronicle it and sell it to anyone willing to buy? That’s the point, isn’t it? People will buy it, so he and Verducci wrote it. That’s what they wanted, and that’s what they’ll get.
As we’ve seen over the course of the week, this has not been without fallout. Matthews tells us in another column that “David Wells will be named the team nutritionist before Torre is invited back to the Bronx.” The player reaction obviously hasn’t been positive. Even some fans are turning against the legendary former skipper. Everyone’s getting theirs, it seems.
Like an overnight post I did on Mark Teixeira back in December, this is my last post on the Joe Torre fiasco. Hey, when I said that about Tex the Yanks signed him the next day. Maybe something cool will happen today.
Tom Kasinski took a pass over Yankee Stadium this week and found the stadium awash in colors. From the WCBS 880 newschopper, he snapped the blue shot, above, and photos of the new home decked out in red, pink and green. Outside of the weird space ship effect, the stadium looks like it’s just about ready for the mid-February completion date. As much as I don’t like the idea of moving out of The Yankee Stadium, I’m excited to see the New Yankee Stadium up close and personal.
Earlier today it was announced that the Diamondbacks and free agent righty Jon Garland agreed to a one year deal guaranteeing him $8.5M, with a mutual option for a second year thrown in for good measure. Let’s take a quick look at how Garland compares to another recently signed free agent pitcher.
2008: 196.2 IP, 1.51 WHIP, 4.76 FIP, 4.12 K/9, 2.70 BB/9, 1.05 HR/9, 1.79 GB/FB, +1.9 WAR
Last Three Years (avg): 205.1 IP, 1.40 WHIP, 4.49 FIP, 4.38 K/9, 2.29 BB/9, 0.99 HR/9, 1.23 GB/FB, +3.2 WAR
2008: 204 IP, 1.41 WHIP, 3.71 FIP, 6.97 K/9, 2.43 BB/9, 0.84 HR/9, 1.80 GB/FB, +4.4 WAR
Last Three Years (avg): 211.1 IP, 1.43 WHIP, 3.90 FIP, 6.77 K/9, 2.75 BB/9, 0.88 HR/9, 1.65 GB/FB, +4.1 WAR
Holy schnikees. Pettitte’s got him beat in every category except WHIP and walk rate over the last three years, and even those are tiny differences. Of course, there is the little matter of Garland being seven years younger than Pettitte, but age isn’t much of an issue when talking about a pair of one year deals. Sure, the chance of Pettitte regressing is better than the lack of Garland regressing, but a full win regression? Not bloody likely.
So somehow, someway Jon Garland managed to get more guaranteed money than Andy Pettitte. I thought the Yankees were the ones that always overpaid?
(Oh, and as BtB points out, the D-Backs could have had Randy Johnson, who was worth nearly two more wins than Garland in ’08, for roughly the same amount of money. Ouch).
Here’s your Open Thread for the evening. The Rangers are in Pittsburgh while the Knicks and Nets are each in action at home. Also, I’m helping Dave out over at Blueseat Blogs, so make sure you check it out. You know what to do, just be nice.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks it strange that The New York Times Company owns a stake in the Boston Red Sox. It’s not only that, though. They own 17.75 percent of New England Sports Ventures, which also includes a stake in Fenway Park, 89 percent of NESN, and 50 percent of NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing team. This morning, NYTCo announced that they’ve hired Goldman, Sachs & Co. to “explore the possible sale” of this asset.
Hey, maybe this is where Mark Cuban gets his in… · (17) ·
As baseball rapidly approaches the two-week mark until Spring Training, a few potential impact players remain unsigned. One of them is a 29-year-old with a career OBP/SLG of .381/.518 who has hit 40 or more home runs five seasons running.
Among some Yankee fans, signing Adam Dunn would cap off what has been an excellent off-season. Today, Buster Olney chimed in:
Dunn might draw interest from the Yankees, a team for which he is perfectly suited, if they could shed the contracts of two of Xavier Nady, Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher. Abreu, Dunn and Varitek can go someplace and bust it for one year, and if they have strong seasons, they can hope the economic troubles will have less bearing on the market next offseason than they have this winter.
If that argument — that Dunn should wait a year — sounds familiar, that’s because iYankees pontificated on it last week. With the Yankee outfield picture unsettled beyond 2009, Dunn could land himself a deal from the Bombers in about ten months’ time.
Of course, Dunn’s defense raises some eyebrows, but his bat is not in doubt. The Yanks could probably move one of Nady or Swisher if they’re willing to take a less-than-ideal return. They probably can’t move the less-than-healthy Hideki Matsui, and they probably don’t want to move both Swisher and Nady. An outfield of Damon-Melky/Gardner-Dunn doesn’t inspire much confidence.
But Adam Dunn is a tempting target for the Yanks, and until he signs, he’ll be on the periphery of Yankee interest. If the price is right, they just might pounce.