Sunday, September 28, 2008

No October Baseball For NY

The Mets have laid an egg in September for the second straight season and have given the Wild Card to the Brew Crew (Sabathia on short rest again went 9 innings)

Back to back choke jobs has to be a tough pill to swallow for our token Mets fan. Go easy on him this week.

Any ideas as to what changes are going to be made for the little club in Queens?



old professor said...

Only the Mets could choke for the second straight year and give their GM a new contract extension. Apparenlty the issue with the Mets wasn't Willie Randolph after all.

Glad to see Moose won his 20th. Class act that always answered the bell. Most are hinting he will retire. A decision coming in the next two weeks. (He will only play with two teams - Yankees or Baltimore).

After watching some of the callups over the last month. A couple of observations. Cody Ransom will replace Bettimet as the utility infielder. He showed he could play all of the infield positions and did it well. He was also able to do the little things - bunt when he was called on to do it, and hit behind the runner on hit and run. He also showed some pop in his bat.

While it might be advantageous to have a big name free agent at first, Juan Miranda showed he has the ability to do a smooth job fielding and could hit.

Cervelli, could also be an adequate defensive replacement for Molina (even though Jose is signed for one more year).

Gardner also played well in centerfiedld and his bat came alive (somewhat) with his September recall. Even Cano started playing well.

Off season should concentrate on pitching. Starting pitching has to be the priority. Wang is the only certain name in the lineup at this point and probably Hughes. Joba may actually find himself back in the pen.

The Scooter said...

You can't help but feel bad for 57. Even I have some sympathy for him.

Obviously the Mets need to blow up their bullpen and start from scratch. Santana was an absolute horse down the stretch for them. That was truly a great trade.

Somehow they will have to find a taker for Castillo and once again, they will need to search for an outfield bat. Other than that, their core is still relatively young so they should be in good shape for the future.

I've been away for a few days, but I really have to respond to this quote by my dear delusional friend Old Prof.

He wrote:

The economic problems we how face are directly tied to a president that never has had a clue how to run the government or be president. The people elected a good old boy and are now paying the consequences for their actions..."

Well Prof, if you are talking about Bill Clinton, you are absolutely right. This economic mess we are now in was born out of the bill sponsored by House Democrats and signed into law by the illustrious Mr. Clinton in 1998 which ultimately allowed for banks to offer (and then bundle and sell) these horribly risky mortgages that are now coming home to roost.

It wasn't only the lower income families that were offered these mortgages, but also the people who were buying $1-$3Mil houses that really could only afford $750K houses.

Combine that with some very poor decisions from top execs at places like Merril and Lehman Bros (all in the name of creating a "new product")and you have what we are facing today....chaos.

While I hate this bailout, I agree it is absolutely necessary to stabilize the markets....and it will.

My thoughts on the debate are that anyone going in who was an Obama supporter, remained and Obama supporter...and anyone going in as A McCain supporter, remained a McCain supporter.

I'm looking forward to watching Palin undress Biden (not literally...Jeesh) in the upcoming VP debate.

Crash said...

If I were the Mets I would go hard after CC Sabathia and Fransico Rodriguez.

Old Prof Gardner did hit down the stretch, not just somewhat. Check the splits, he was hitting .333 in September (a combined .305 for August and September).

The Good things from the Yankees this season...Mussina winning 20. It did take me the complete first half of the season to jump on that wagon. Phil Coke looked like the real deal (though Hughes and Kennedy did last year as well). Abreu was consistent. I think Gardner is the new CF going into spring training.

The bad too many to mention or rehash from previous discussions.

The Ugly: Injuries to Wang, Joba, Hughes, Kennedy, Posada, Jeter, Matsui, A-Rod. Did I miss anyone? There was a telling stat I heard yesterday, prior to Joba getting hurt the Yankees were something like 31-21, after he got hurt and went on the DL 12-14.

I know Scooter likes Joba in the rotation but I think a bullpen of Coke-Joba-Mo would be lights out. They need to make a couple of trades and maybe a signing or 2 to bolster that rotation. After Wang can you really pencil anyone in, Mussina may retire, Pettitte may retire, Hughes and Kennedy I think are big question marks at best, Joba would seem to have the same durability issues as this year.

Should be an active offseason for the Yankees. Don't think I'll be watching too much of the post-season, with the exception of Cubs v. Dodgers.

old professor said...

Scooter, while you appear to go after Clinton, it would appear the eight years of economic prosperity and growth that led to a budget surplus are all you need to know about his presidency. And I may be wrong, but I believe the REPUBLICANS were in control of the House and Senate in 1998. So in a bi-partisan move, Clinton signed a Republican Bill. Let's take a look at the Bush economics - budget surplus gone in two years of his first term, we are nearing a trillion dollar deficit which will weigh on your grandchildren.
It took this president a long time to respond to the current crisis.

While I don't like the bailout, I don't believe there are many options. But explain to me why the president acts when his rich crronies appear to be in trouble, but when the common person is in crisis over the foreclosure he basically says tough crap!!!

regarding the debate, the great hope can be that Biden goes first and puts everyone to sleep before Palin opens her mouth and shows her lack of experience and knowledge. (Please reference her responses in the Couric interview).

Crash, there is actually some thought out there to making Coke a starter. Apparently, he learned to throw a cutter along with his curve and fastball. The odd thing is that in the minors, his fastball topped out at 90-92, he has shown the ability to throw in the the 96 mph range since coming to the majors.

The Yankees are pinning their hopes on signing Burnett and/or Sabathia. However, Girardi made a pretty ominous statement - what if you go with the assumption of signing those two and they decide not to come to NY, you have to have another path of options to take.

While it would appear the bullpen could be set with Bruney, Marte, Coke, and Joba. I am not sold on Ramirez, Veras or Robertson. They need to do some homework on this area as well.

Mid said...

Glad Moose got his 20th

old professor said...

Just read an interesting article about the Yankees thinking next year and they appear to have interest in Casey Kotchman who Atlanta obtained in the trade with the Angels.

The view being he would be a "serviceable first baseman" that might be able to be had in a trade.

All of this is speculation until after the World Series which by the way next year the 7th game of the world series would occur on November 5th. That's right sports fans the world series would go into November.

Crash said...

Rivera is opting for surgery. Don't think this is a big deal.

Go figure, the make-up game between the White Sox and Tigers is dealyed by rain...

old professor said...

White Sox beat Tigers (no surprise their since the Tigers finished in last place - who would have thought that with the arms they had in the rotation and the offense they were supposed to generate).

Here's hoping the Twins can win the playoff game - tired of hearing Ozzie go off at a moments notice and everyone thinks its just Ozzie being Ozzie. He is a boring idiot.

Decision within the next week whether Cashman returns to the Yankees or goes in a different direction - both Steinbrenners have indicated a desire to bring him back.

I am not prepared for a long off-season. Go Cubbies!!!!!!!!!!

Crash said...

Ummm....actually I think everyone here, except I guess you, thought the Tigers were overrated, especially in the "arms" department. The only real surprise was that Verlander was as bad as he was for the whole season. The rest was pretty much as predicted and discussed here.

Old Prof, I couldn't agree more about the Twins/White Sox. I'm so tired of Ozzie.

If I'm pulling for anyone in the playoffs it has to be the Cubs. I think the Red Sox/Cubs WS would be great theater, but I don't know if I could stomach the Sox in another WS.

old professor said...

Crash, a Red Sox/Cubs world series is probably the only one that would generate any interest. Let's look at the possible scenarios: LA vs LA - only the west coast would watch. Twins vs LA - no. Twins vs. Cubs - only the midwest would be interested. Chicago vs Chicago - could be live with Pinella vs Ozzie?

Rays vs. Anyone - boring.

Now regarding the Tigers: The Yankees would have like a rotation of Verlander, Bonderman and Rogers versus what they had to deal with this year. Those three starters should have kept Detroit competitive. The bullpen for the tigers was non-existent.

The Scooter said...

Can't I get any love for Torre, Manny and the Boys in Blue?

old professor said...

Scooter, don't expect any love from me toward Torre or Manny and the boys from LA. Though there is some thought that Manny will be in pinstripes next year. (Think of the motivation he would have for at least 19 games against the red sox).

Middle Relief said...

Just read my preseason predictions.

Shot an o-for on the AL teams that I thought would make the playoffs:
Seattle, Cleveland, NY, and Toronto

Got 3 out of 4 in the NL: LA, Brewers, and Phills

The Scooter said...

NEW YORK (AP) -- Brian Cashman is staying on as general manager of the New York Yankees, agreeing to a three-year contract that runs through 2011

Crash said...

I'm glad they extended Cash. This makes me believe that the new era Steinbrenners actually believe his way to rebuild is the right way. By doing this, they are making a commitment to rebuilding the farm, while trying to win now. He needs to get to another World Series if he wants to keep his job beyond that, and they better make the playoffs next year or he, and his plan to rebuild from within, could be out the door much sooner than '11.

This year will be the Yankees highest draft pick in more than a decade. Plus with all of the contracts expiring they should receive some compensation picks too. Let's hope they don't give them all away because they go overboard with signing huge free agents.

old professor said...

The restocking of the farm system is important to insure the success of any team. Boston was able to overcome a number of injuries because of a good farm system. The Rays not known for signing free agents have built from within.

Cashman's new contract should mean the team continues to stock the farm and develop good talent. Hopefully the will bring in people who can scout talent appropriately.

The only problem with the current setup is it makes it incumbent upon the team to sign their top picks. The Yankees struck out on all three of their top picks this year by not signing any of them.

The Scooter said...

You're right, Prof. This year's draft was an unmitigated disaster. Scouting Director Damon Oppenheimer has to take the brunt of the blame for that, and I believe that is why Cashman and not Oppenheimer is the GM today.

Let's remember though that the Yankees still have an abundance of high ceiling arms down on the farm. Their team building strategy seems to be draft and develop as many good pitchers as possible and either sign free agent position players or trade for them using that pitching surplus. I guess we'll see if it works.

Hearing a lot about Casey Kotchman, who is arbitration eligible, to play first base.

Tell me what you guys think of this lineup:

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Nady RF
A-Rod 3b
Kemp CF
Kotchman 1B
Posada C
Matsui DH
Hudson 2b

Crash said...

If the Yankees could swing a deal for Kemp I would do it in a second. I would also go after Matt Holliday. The Rockies are trying to re-sign him, but are getting hung up on his request for a no trade clause.

This morning there seems to be a couple different reports that Jake Peavy is available for trade. Cashman and Kevin Towers seem to have a decent relationship, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Yankees in on those talks. But it will take 4-6 players to get him. Peavy is only 27, he's been fairly reliable so far in his career and he's under contract through 2012, with team option for '13. I would rather work a trade here than go after Sabathia. I think we know the players immediately available for the Yankees. I would not make Hughes a part of any deal yet. I want to give him at least one more year, if not more.

Crash said...

I was just reading that a trade of Cano and Hughes would be a possibility for Matt Holliday.

I certainly love Holliday, but would rather trade for pitching first.

The Scooter said...

Cano and Hughes better get us back Linsecum or Peavy

The Scooter said...

I know we are only one day in....but I smell Torre vs Francona.....Manny vs Yuke.....

How hard do you think Randy Levine is rooting for the Cubs?

old professor said...

Scooter I like the lineup you projected with a couple of questions. You pencil Hudson in at second base. I have not heard the Yankees express any kind of interest in him. In addition, Cano coming on at the end of the year may have preserved his spot for one more year.

It is also interesting that Matsui and Damon have both indicated a willingness to play some first base if it will help the team. Cashman is not really high on the offers indicating: "I see Matsui as a DH and Damon in the outfield. I would prefer a first baseman at first".

Regarding Peavy, why would the Padres want to trade a 27 year old stud pitcher who is under contract for a number of years? Could he be damaged goods??

Scooter the Yankees have an abudance of arms in the minors. Hopefully they don't empty the tank trading for someone who will only help them for a couple of years. Kemp and Holiday may be great additions offensively. But again pitching wins games. Good pitching will usually shutdown good hitting. If the Yankees had consistent pitching this year (Wang for the full-year and Hughes or Kennedy coming through for them), this season could have been different.

I don't see Hughes being traded, Kennedy may be another issue - while they have often said he is a younger version of Mussina, he appears to be a real head case (maybe Mussina comes back for a year and tutors the kid).

The Scooter said...

Prof, Hudson is the premier free agent at 2nd base. I believe it goes without saying that if the Yankees entertain trading Cano, that he would be on their radar.

Like I've said a hundred times, I like Cano and I think he has a chance to be a batting champion. That being said, he is the Yankees greatest trade asset. If they feel they can not go into next season with Melky/Gardner manning center field, then he may in fact be moved.

I never thought that the Padres would entertain trading Peavy either, but I read an article in which Kevin Towers said that he would be remiss if he did not at least listen to what the market was for him.. It went on to say that Peavy's contract called for large escalations as the years progress...I think he is owed $11 Mil next year and $16 Mil the following year. There is some question as to weather or not the Pads can afford those escalations. I guess they have a history of backloading contracts and trading the player when the big dollars start to set in.

While I agree that pitching (and defense) wins games, Cashman stated in his press conference yesterday that even with all the rotation problems they had this year, if the offense had been more consistent and clutch, the Y ankees would have made the playoffs. Maybe that gives a little insight as to what his plans are moving forward.

Crash said...

Peavy is not damaged goods it's strictly a money move. Here is the break down: 2009 $8M, 2010 $15M, 2011 $16M, 2012 $17M, 2013 is club option $22M or $4M buyout. Plus he has a no trade clause and will most likely need to be compensated for agreeing to waive it. Looking at those $'s, there will not be a lot of teams going after him. Yankees, Dodgers, Mets, maybe Cubs. Red Sox won't because they have to extend Beckett in the next year or so, and have Dice-K under contract through '12.

Can you pencil in 5 names for the Yankees rotation next year...I can't. It goes something like:

1. Wang

After that you got nothing but question marks. Is Hughes in the rotation, can/should Joba start, are they bringing back the old guys? I make the trade for Peavy, go after Burnett. This gives you 3 quality start guys. Allows Joba and Hughes to match up well against other teams #4 and 5. The other possible free agent pitcher the Yankees could add is Jon Garland, it seems he's been around forever, yet he's only 29. He could be a very serviceable middle rotation guy.

I send Cano, Melky, Kennedy and a prospect to Padres for Peavy. That prospect would not be Cervelli, Jackson, Malancon, Sanchez, or Betances. That would leave guys like Horne, Marquez, Rasner, Cox, etc.

old professor said...

Crash, don't look for the Yankees to trade Rasner, but to release him. He was not as serviceable as they had hoped and apparently shelfed his most effective pitch which was a breaking ball. Cox would not bring much on the open market. He has not put in a full year in the minors and when he has pitched it has not necessarily been effective. Again a former number one pick that may not be panning out. Horne is another interesting commodity. A high draft pick that has a lot of "potential", but spent a lot of time on the DL. (Does there seem to be a reoccurring theme here regarding top picks for the Yankees, they all seem to be brittle).

It will also be interesting exactly how Andrew Brackman fits into their plans. He had elbow surgery and sat out the entire year. Given the fact they drafted him number one in 2007 and gave him a lot of money knowing he needed surgery, would indicate he is definately in their future plans.

It does seem odd you feel Sanchez in untouchable. He had one brief appearance at the major league level and is still recovering from surgery. May be back to full strength next year - also appears to be one big mac away from a heartattack

Crash said...

I don't think Sanchez is untouchable. I just think the Yankees will want to realize any ROI from the Sheffield trade. The Yankees have already spent over a year rehabilitating Sanchez, I can't see them trading that away without first seeing if there's anything there.

Why release someone, Rasner, if there is someone out there willing to give you something in return. Despite struggling down the stretch and an ERA nearing 6.00, Rasner showed enough early on that someone may be willing to take a chance. I'm not saying Peavy for Rasner straight up, but you make him part of package and it works. I think if he gets the right coaching he could be very serviceable. Send him to St. Louis, if they can turn around Kyle Loshe, Rasner could prosper as well. He could win 12-15 games with that coaching staff.

Crash said...

It looks like Bill Madden of NY Daily News is reading our little blog...In his column today, he Yankees need to change and that means ship out Cano and Hughes and bring in Matt Holliday and Orlando Hudson...

Wow, we are that good.

old professor said...

The Yankees would have to unload more than just Cano and Hughes to bring in Holiday or Kemp. The consensus right now is there is a rather congested outfield in NY. Bringing in one or two more outfielders does not make sense unless you decide to unload a couple. Right now, it is questionable if the will bring back Abreu and Matsui will be the DH. That still leaves Damon, Melky Nady, Gardner, Justin Christian and you might as well through Shelly Duncan into the mix all are on the 40 man roster. Best guess - Damon stays to play left and Nady gets moved to Right. Duncan is history, Gardner gets to be the fourth outfielder, Melky hits the road, Duncan is toast. First things first, they need to concentrate on pitching. Unfortunately, nothing can happen until after the World Series (if anyone will watch).

Crash said...

Boy the Cubs and Brewers just look terrible. That has to be so frustrating in Chicago.

The Brewers are disappointing, but they spent everything just to make the playoffs. SO you kind of figured they were out after the Divisional Series. But Chicago was the best team in the NL, they had the best starting rotation going in, they had time to line up their rotation, they had the best bullpen, etc. Now they could be done in 3. It is possible to come back from an 0-2 deficit, the Yankees did against Oakland in the ALDS. But it don't look good.

old professor said...

When it comes to the playoffs, the team that has the hot hand normally wins. The cubs have cooled off the brewers put too much into making the playoffs and may have run out of gas. The Dodgers were getting hot and appear to be peaking at the right time.

The Rays have also made The White Sox look bad.

Crash said...

If the Angels don't win tonight they may as well not even go to Boston with Beckett pitching. It pains me to say it, but he is huge in the post-season.

Crash said...

Does a Red Sox/Dodgers World Series intrigue anyone? Manny vs. the Sox, Joe Torre vs. Terry Francona for a championship, not "just" the AL Pennant?

The Scooter said...

I've been calling for A Dodgers vs Red Sox World Series since the day the Yankees were eliminated, Crash....Jump aboard, there's [;enty of room on the bandwagon.

old professor said...

Forget baseball for a moment - how about those NY Giants. Undefeated and they blowout the Seahawks. Could there be a repeat in the offing??

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