Want to catch a glimpse of New York baseball history? Head on over this weekend to the Museum of the City of New York for their exhibit The Glory Days: New York Baseball 1947-1957. I went on Thursday, and it’s a fantastic exhibit. I’ll have pictures and a full post later, but I wanted to toss this up now because the exhibit closes on Monday. Check it out. · (3) ·
The list won’t hit the website until January 7th, but the good ol’ print edition of BA’s magazine showed up in the mailbox today. Here’s who they got for the Yanks’ top 10:
- Austin Jackson
- Jose Tabata
- Alan Horne
- Jesus! (montero)
- Jeff Marquez
- Brett Gardner
- Rock ‘n Rohlendorf
- Andrew Brackman
Personally, I wouldn’t have Marquez or Gardner in the Top 10, and I wouldn’t have Ajax ahead of Tabata, at least not until Tabata stops hitting .300 as a teenager. I’m stunned at how far Dellin Betances has fallen, the dude was ranked #3 last year, one spot ahead of Joba. Overall, it’s solid list, and I suspect the pundits at BA find numbers 2-6 pretty interchangeable. So what do you think? Did they get it right?
Jairo Heredia | RHP
Jairo was born in San Cristobal, DR, but grew up in Santo Domingo, the same Dominican town responsible for David Ortiz, Fausto Carmona, Albert Pujols, Aramis Ramirez, Melky Cabrera and dozens of other major leaguers. The Yanks signed him as a 17-yr old during the 2006 International signing period in early July, and forked over a $285,000 bonus. It was the fourth largest bonus the Yanks handed out last summer, behind Jesus Montero ($1.6M), Carlos Urena ($350,000) and Jose Pirela ($300,000). For some unknown reason he was originally known as “Hairo Heredia” after signing, but it was later corrected to “Jairo,” which is his true birth name.
Rich Lederer at The Baseball Analysts makes the Hall of Fame case for Tim Raines. By the time Raines arrived in New York, he was playing out the waning days of an excellent career, but he still be up some impressive numbers in limited playing time. During his career, he was often overshadowed by Rickey Henderson and should earn a spot in the Hall.
Over at the Lo Hud Yankees Blog, Peter Abraham this evening penned a piece with which we here at RAB clearly agree. Abraham wrote that the Yankees should just say no to Johan Santana.
Of course, we believe that. Hell, we’re even selling t-shirts for just that purpose.
But in the course of his argument, Abraham strays a bit from his analysis. He writes: “Santana could be great again. But he was 15-13, 3.33 last season and will be 29 in March.”
Now, as far as my reading of this statement goes, Abraham’s use of the “but” indicates that Johan Santana was not great in 2007 because he won only two more games than he lost. It’s a classic sportswriters mistake. Johan Santana didn’t win more games because the Twins’ offense was terrible. They were 25th in runs scored and 27th in team OPS.
Despite this poor offensive production, Johan Santana still managed to win 15 games. But that’s neither here nor there. Let’s look at some of the other stats the once-great Johan Santana put up. His 3.33 ERA was 7th overall in the American League, trailing John Lackey by 0.31 runs. His 1.07 WHIP was tops in the AL, and his 235 strike outs trailed Scott Kazmir by just four. His strike out-to-walk ratio was 4.52, good for fourth in the American League.
In a word, Johan Santana in 2007 was great.
Now, there are plenty of reasons — starting with Phil Hughes and ending with the luxury tax issues — for the Yankees to avoid a trade of Johan Santana right now. And if his agent were smart, he’d tell Santana to stay healthy for another year and cash in during a full-fledged bidding war in 2008. But we shouldn’t start pretending that Johan Santana wasn’t great in 2007 because of a poor won-loss record. Make no mistake about it: Johan Santana is one of the top pitchers in the American League. Stick him on the Yankees or the Red Sox, and his 2007 line would probably feature 20+ wins and another Cy Young Award. Greatness, indeed.
This is just weird. As per The Post’s Yankees Blog, Roger Clemens’ people are on the prowl:
Roger Clemens’ attorney has launched his own investigation into whether the Yankees pitcher used performance-enhancing substances as the Mitchell Report claimed.
“We are convinced the conclusions in Mitchell’s report are wrong and are investigating the findings ourselves,” lawyer Rusty Hardin told The New York Times. “At this stage we have uncovered a lot of logical people who we thought Mitchell was going to talk to but never talked to him or his investigators. That’s troubling.”
Who knows if this is all just for show? No one else in the Mitchell Report is doing much denying, and no one’s launching their own investigation. But no one else in the report is one of the top pitchers of all time with a Hall of Fame reputation on the line.
I hope Clemens’ people release their own version of the report, and I have to wonder if this will be a farce of an investigation or the thing that brings down the Mitchell Report. Either way, this is one surreal development.
Over on his personal blog, RAB favorite Keith Law has tallied up 48 HOF ballots he’s received or seen. You can check out the full list over there, but of note is that Goose Gossage is sitting on 90 percent of those ballots. As expected, Donny Baseball is on but one ballot. · (2) ·
According to Murray Chass’s column today, the Twins might be backing off their demands of the Yankees for Johan Santana. The two sides were stuck on Ian Kennedy, whom the Yankees refused to put in a deal along with Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera. Now, as Chass says, they’d be willing to substitute Jeff Marquez for Kennedy. I now expect a bevy of “We have to make this deal!” comments.
Remember, though, that Bill Madden said a while ago that the Twins would have accepted Hughes, Melk, Marquez, and Hilligoss for Santana, but were turned down by the Yankees. So this could be nothing new. Then again, we heard after the Marquez-Hilligoss rumor that the Twins were still demanding Kennedy, so who knows.
I still stand in favor of keeping Hughes. If he busts, you lose nothing except his potential. The investment is minimal, so even if he goes down in 2009, they wouldn’t have put too much into him. However, if Santana succumbs to injury, you’re out a whole shit-ton of money. Say what you will about the Yankees having unlimited funds, but there’s a limit somewhere, especially considering the hefty luxury tax bill they foot yearly. If they sign Santana to a long-term extension and he gets injured in year two or three, he will affect the Yankees ability to go out and get another pitcher. Whereas if Hughes goes down this year, next year, whatever, he will in no way affect the team’s ability to pick up someone else.
It appears that the Twins will soon be looking for the best, final offers from the Yanks or Sox — though we’re still not sure if the Yankees are putting anything on the table. We’ll see, though.
So instead of a comment thread full of “we should do this deal” or “we shouldn’t do this deal,” why don’t we make it more interesting? If you’re the Twins and you can either have the Sox package (Lester, Crisp, Masterson, Lowrie) or the Yanks package (Hughes, Cabrera, Marquez, Hilligoss), which would you take?