Sunday, October 05, 2008

Joe Knows Baseball

Where would Joe Torre and the Dodgers be without ManRam? Who knows - and it doesn't matter. Torre has the Dodgers in the NLCS for the first time in about 20 years (right?) and you know with each win from here on in, the media is going to be using this story line to stick it to the Bombers front office that let him go.

Manny should be the NL MVP - when he plays - he's the best.

A Boston/LA Series would probably break modern ratings records for The Fall Classic.

It's what I'm hoping for.

(anybody mind that Cashman got an extension?)


Crash said...

Manny definitely carried the Dodgers to the playoffs, but you can't say he's the NL MVP. He didn't even play half the season in the NL. Same thing with Sabathia, I'm tired of hearing how he is the NL Cy Young, or even worse the NL MVP.

Pujols hands down is the NL MVP.

Cashman's extension is a good move. This means the farm is safe for at least another year.

Giants just dominated the Seahawks, and without their "star" receiver. I heard that Plaxico was fined by the team 40-50 times for showing up late to meetings, practice, etc. before he was suspended this time. If he was that much of a problem why would the Giants give him a big money deal.

Mid said...

G-Men are looking good, they've been doing it against punching bags though.

On paper, it looks like they've got two more gimme's, then business picks up with games against Arizona, Pitt, 2 Phillie, 2 Dallas, Washington.

Either they're good, or they may be one of those second half collapse stories.

Mid said...

I hear what you're saying about Pujols.

I just look at Manny's full year numbers, combined with what he did with the Dodgers, and the Dodgers in the playoffs - I don't think it is out of the question for some consideration there.

old professor said...

Mid, and MVP shows up all the time not just when it suits him to play. Manny should not be given one ounce of consideration for MVP. He will eventually wear out his welcome with LA. It will only take one instance in the playoffs or God forbid the world series of Manny being Manny for Torre to have a closed door meeting and then Manny will begin to pout.

The Giants may be for real. They will be 6-0 before getting into the meat of their schedule. They will beat Arizona and Pitsburgh. If they split with Dallas and Philly they win the East. (Best guess they finish 11-5 at the worst).

Speaking of teams, how about the Bills getting it handed to them - no word on 57's whereabouts yet. Mets collapse and now the bills getting murdered could have him looking at the skyway bridge in Buffalo.

Crash said...

Manny won't pull a stunt in October. He's focused on winning and having fun. Plus he's a FA after the season so LA doesn't have to put with him if they don't want to after that point.

By the way Mattingly looks very odd in a Dodger uniform. The TBS broadcast showed him a couple times in the dugout and I absolutely hated it. I hope he finally gets a ring, I just wished it was with the pinstripes.

Giants have a brutal 2nd half schedule. Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Minnesota, 2 with Dallas and Phili. San Fran and Arizona aren't push overs either. If they go .500 over the next 12 weeks, they should be good enough to make the playoffs (10-6) and if they can split with Dallas they should win the division and maybe get a home playoff game.

Mid said...

Just saw this on ESPN.

MMA - Kimbo Slice was supposed to face Ken Shamrock, Shamrock couldn't go and a skrawny guy with pink hair was the sub

- he knocked Slice out.

The Scooter said...

Mid, he knocked him out in 14 seconds...WITH A JAB!!! Kimbo weighed something like 245 and this pink haired dude came in at 205.

With the Angel's choking last night, we are one step closer to Dodgers vs Red Sox. Who do you think the Steinbrenner's root for if it happens?

Crash said...

I have to admit I want to see a Sox Dodgers WS, but I really want to see the Rays make it this year too. Rays v. Phillies may be the lowest rating WS in decades.

I didn't watch the Kimbo fight. UFC was airing a free replay of a PPV I missed a couple months ago (Griffin v. Jackson). I don't think you'll have to worry about Kimbo and EliteXc on CBS anymore. I think CBS will pull the plug, ratings have continued to go down hill and now their main attraction lost in 14 seconds. Elite Xc's biggest draw is now Gina Carano. She's a decent fighter but has a history of not making weight.

old professor said...

Good news on the Yankee prospects, Hughes had a strong outing in the Fall League as did Austin Jackson.

It is going to be a long off season if we are relegated to talking about mixed martial arts.

The Scooter said...

Could there possibly be anything to the rumor that is currently making the rounds????

Cano and Kennedy for Beltran!!!!

It actually makes too much sense to happen. It solves the Yankees CF problem for the next four years, and it "breaks up the core" of the Mets, which is something everybody feel s must be done.

Would the Yankees have to take Castillo and his horrible contract in any deal?

Crash said...

I like what Beltran did last season, who wouldn't (.284, 27 HR, 116 R, 112 RBI, 27 SB). But that was his first healthy season. He has always missed some significant time. He missed 11 games in '05, 22 in '06, and 18 in '07. His HR totals have been downward trending since he signed that contract (41 to 33 to 27). He is signed through 2011, he gets $18.5M each year. He has to waive the no trade clause.

If it means dumping Kennedy and Cano, I would do it, but I would rather see if that combination could be moved for a starting pitcher somewhere first.

The Scooter said...

Crash, I hear you on Beltran...but give me a center fielder (that is gettable) who puts up better numbers and is a better fit. OK...maybe McClouth....but I cant think of anyone else.

Maybe it has been just 2 bad weeks for him, but I have not seen anything out of Matt Kemp that makes me think he is an elite young player...He kind of reminds me of Jay Payton.

Crash said...

Kemp has definitely struggled in the post-season.

I don't mind Beltran, it does help CF, but I can't see adding another OF when you only have 3 starting pitchers in your rotation.

The Scooter said...

I really think the pitchers have to be got in free agency. You may not like it, but I think you will see 2 of the three out of CC, Burnett and Lowe in the rotation next year. Wang and Pettitte (or Moose)and Joba will round out the rotation.

I think they would like to see Hughes start at triple A along with Kennedy, Acevedes, Coke and maybe Sanchez. If they could swing that, it's pretty good depth. There will be no struggling to come up with a starter such as Ponson or Rassner next year.

On another note, I'm glad the Dodgers took one last night. Now it's a whole new series. They even showed some fight. They may just take this thing yet.

Have I said how much I hate the Red Sox, lately? When did Yukelis get so freaking good?

Crash said...

It pains me to see the Red Sox still doing well. Both Youkilis & Pedroia are monsters. This season Youkiis nearly doubled his HR total from last year and raised his AVG by nearly 30 points.

I was reading yesterday that Peavy would be open to a trade to the Yankees, however, any deal would cost the Yankees Hughes. If a trade isn't made then I agree with you 100%, Sabathia, Burnett, and probably Lowe. They go after all 3 maybe end up with 1 or 2. I would say Burnett probably signs, Sabathia stays in the NL (Mets or Cubs???) and Lowe could end up staying with the Dodgers.

A couple things I don't like about Lowe. 1. He's 35. 2. In a 14 year career he has had only 3 really decent years; in 2002 he was 21-8, 2003 17-7, 2006 16-8. Other than that he is basically a .500 pitcher. 3. His #'s are padded by a weak NL West. His ERA the last 2 years with the Sox were 4.47 and 5.42. He goes to the weak NL West and it's in the mid-low 3's. If the Yankees sign him they have to know that he's only going to win about 11-14 games with an ERA around 5.00. Putting that in perspective, they pulled Mussina from the rotation when he was doing that.

old professor said...

Scooter you want a more serviceable centerfielder who may be available - David DeJesus from the Royals. He would give the Yankees a young dependable centerfielder who can hit and play defense. There was a lot of rumblings the Mets overpaid for him. Don't look for the Yankees to pick up the big contract.

Crash said...

Old Prof., DeJesus is good defensively but offensively you could get the same (or close to it) with Gardner. DeJesus had a career year this year and it was a .300 avg with 12 HRs. He could continue to develop, but I haven't seen enough to where the Yankees would want to give up anything to get him. I would rather give Gardner his chance in CF. Gardner could hit .300, maybe not 12HRs, but he had more SB in 120 ABs than DeJesus had in 500, that usually equates to more runs.

On to more pressing issues...what the hell happened to the Giants last night???

The Scooter said...

I kind of like Dejesus, Prof. He would come a lot cheaper than the other guys we have been talking about.

Crash, do you really want to go into '09 counting on Gardner as your primary center fielder? I didn't think so.

Giants got mugged last night...Eli looked horrible and Spags defense appeared to still be enjoying the bye week. Look for a nice bounce back game against the 9'ers.

old professor said...

Crash, regarding the Giants, was it my imagination or did they concentrate on getting Burress the ball. They seemed very one dimensional and got away from what got them to being 4-0. The running game seemed to go well and then went on the self. Eli tried to force some passes. He only threw to Toomer once at that was at the end of the game (94 yard interception run back).

I am somewhat mystified by they have moved away from balancing the running among the three backs. Bradshaw did not even make an appearance at running back and the other running back did not make an appearance until the fourth quarter. Eli looked a little bit confused with the defensive schemes he was looking at.

They may have taken the Browns too lightly and paid the price.

old professor said...

Just read two items that many be of interest: (1) some of you were crying about Torre not being recongized during the ceremony at Yankee stadium, to which I asked the question, were any managers so recognized. I now have my answer - no there was not a video hi-lighting any of the Yankee Managers. (2) First coaching change for the Yankees - third base coach Bobby Meachem will not be back. Rumors are that Luis Sojo will be brought back. Some also think that Willie Randolph may find his way back to the Bronx (though I would think Joe G. would be uncomfortable with Willie back in a Yankee uniform).

Crash said...

I thought the video tribute had clips of Martin, Stengal and Huggins. But I could be wrong. I'll have to go back and watch it.

I can't believe the Dodgers are on the verge of getting bounced at home. I turned off the game in the 7th thinking there was no way the Phils could come back. As soon as the Cubs were bounced in the NLDS I think pretty much everyone (outside of Phili and Tampa) were hoping for LA/Boston series. Now it could be Tampa and Phili, yikes.

Crash said...

One last note; Juan Miranda is tearing up the AFL, batting .667. And Hughes has made 2 starts, 10IP, 0.90ERA, 10K, and 1.10 WHIP.

old professor said...

Unfortunately, the Yankees have probably made a decision to go through free-agency or a trade to bring in a first baseman, which means Miranda will be another Shelly Duncan.

Having a hard time with the idea the Red Sox will be bounced by the Rays.

The Scooter said...

Prof, If Miranda continues to tear the cover off the ball, maybe the Yankees go with a stop-gap or an insurance guy at 1st base...somebody like Kevin Millar. It would certainly free up some cash to go for the BIG pitcher or two that they need

Crash said...

I know Cashman has said he has a budget to work with in and we all know that the Yankees budget is a little more than say the Rays or Marlins. With all the $$ coming off the books this year, they realistically could get 2 starters and a 1B and still come in under $200M (god that sounds so ridiculous). I think they will keep clear of that situation only because they realize they need to build from the draft. Signing the big name guys means no draft picks.

To be honest there isn't a lot out there on the 1B market after Teixeira. One intriguing name...Nomar. Don't know if he would come back East or if the Yankees want to take a chance with his injury history.

Scooter I still like your trade for Casey Kotchman. He struggled with Atlanta after the trade (.237 2 HR) maybe that diminishes his trade value???

Crash said...

Another trade possibility is with the Pirates. Adam LaRoche is on a contract year next season. The Pirates would probably dump him at the trade deadline anyway. He'll hit .275 and has 30 HR potential. Wonder if the Yankees could swing that trade...maybe even a deal for Mclouth and LaRoche.

The Scooter said...


Would you do Mclouth and LaRoche for Hughes and Cano?

I think Casman would at least have to consider it.

old professor said...

Mid, your headline on this blog (which by the way is now several weeks old) screams "Joe Knows Baseball" - apparently he didn't know enough to get to the World Series AGAIN. We was a calming influence on a clubhouse that was at odds, got some players to play everyday and benefitted from Manny finally being Manny the Ballplayer.

The results, however, were once again the same - an early exit from the playoffs.

Next year will be a retooling year for the Dodgers as Manny follows the money and some of their rotation leave via free agency. Then Joe will have his work cut out for him.

Crash said...

Scooter I certainly would consider it, and I can see Pittsburgh making that their initial asking price. I would not have a problem sending Cano in that deal. I would really like to try to hold on to Hughes though. If that means sending Kennedy and another pitching prospect (or 2), I'm OK with that. The Yankees were trying to exclude Hughes from the Santana deal, so I can't see them wanting to send him in this deal. Plus, as of now Hughes is slated for the rotation (along with Wang and Joba). Trading him means you now have 3 holes in the rotation to fill. It's going to be hard enough getting the 1 or 2 you really want.

How about the Phillies moving on to the World Series for the first time in 25 years. Saying that makes you appreciate the Yankees drought of only 7 years a little bit. I was rooting for Joe and Mattingly, but the Phillies really took care of business. I hope the Rays can end it tonight. The only thing that can help mend my broken heart from a Yankeeless post-season would be to see a visiting team clinch the AL Pennant and celebrate in the middle of the field at Fenway Pawk.

Crash said...

Just saw Old Prof's post about the Dodgers having to rebuild a little after this season. They're in better shape than most. The rotation is pretty much set. Billinglsey and Kershaw were hit around a little this October, but they are young and will be top tier starters for a long time. Additionally they have Kuroda signed for next year, Brad Penny has a team option that will be picked up, and Jason Schmidt should be back next year as he was rehabbing from surgery this entire season.

Their problem is offense. But they have some big money coming off the books (Blake $6M, Nomar at $8.5, Furcal $13M, Kent has a $9M option that won't be picked up), so I could see them making some runs at free agents. I wouldn't be surprised to see Casey Blake re-signing. I think they need to sign Russell Martin to a long-term extension as he may be eligible for arbitration. They need to find a way to dump Juan Pierre's contract. He essentially became an $10M 4th OF.

The Scooter said...

I really don't think we can lay the Dodger's exit at Torre's feet. The Phillies are just the better team. Plus they are at the stage where you could consider them battle tested. I agree with Crash in that the Dodgers aren't in horrible shape moving forward. They MUST re-sign Furcal and they will make a legitimate run at keeping Manny. I like their young pitchers and Broxton is going to be a monster.

Now that the Dodgers are out, it would be a complete disaster if somehow the Sox were to come back and beat the Rays. Ughhhh, I can't believe I have to root for the Rays.

I just had a thought re: the Yankees outfield. Hear me out.....I would be willing to go into '09 with a combo of Melky and Gardner manning center field with Nady in Right, IF and only IF they could find a left fielder who could go .310 40 125...any ideas who that could be? How about ManRam? Four years 100 mil would get it done. Now I know at some point during that contract we will all HATE it, but it certainly gives them the best chance to win it all in '09.

OK...let the beatings begin...I'm prepared for it.

Crash said...

Ooops, my mistake. I stated the Phillies haven't been to the series in 25 years. That's obviously incorrect, they were there in 1993, but hadn't won it all since 1980.

Crash said...

Scooter...I love it. I have to agree we will all hate the contract, and probably some of Manny's antics, but you cannot argue with the production. If the Yankees were even considering bringing back Abreu for $16-18M why not go that little extra and bring in someone with Manny's offense.

I'm not going to bring up the locker room or team chemistry. Winning cures the "chemistry" problem. I think Manny will loosen up that clubhouse. Old Prof send down your negativity with this one. I'm dying to hear it.

The Scooter said...


I think 57 might even climb out of his hole for this one....can't you see him piping in with a...."Manny will be in Queens in '09"?

Crash said...

I was thinking that as well. C'mon 57 start drooling over the talk that Sabathia and Manny will be wearing Mets blue next season.

Not to deflate that talk but I just heard that Peter Gammons was saying that the Mets couldn't afford Manny. I immediately gasped at that thought especially since they are opening a new stadium and will generate a ton of new revenue from that place. Gammons further qualified his statement by saying the Mets want to stay under the revenue sharing threshold.

I was thinking that if the Mets want to trade Beltran to the Yankees, that frees up some salary room.

Crash said...

There's a report saying Pettitte wants to come back for 2009. That sets up a rotation of Wang, Pettitte, Joba, and Hughes. Even if they add a Burnett or Sabathia I'm not sure I like that rotation. It may make Hughes expendable though.

old professor said...

Scooter, Cashman has already indicated he is not interested in bringing Manny to New York. There was a good deal of discussion on ESPN Radio this morning and based on what was being discussed Manny's options may be very limited. Apparently he wants around $22 million per year and at least a 6 year deal. The Yankees aren't interested, the Mets won't pay it. The opinion expressed during the radio program was he would probably end up staying in LA.

Crash, with Hughes pitching in the Arizona Fall League like he is, I don't expect the Yankees to put him on the market. The learning curve for the Yankees is they need to give their young pitchers a chance to develop.

Rays collapse over the last three innings to had the game to the Red Sox. Sox could ride the momentum into the Series.

Crash said...

I was absolutely stunned to see that the Sox came back in that game last night. I was watching some of it, flipping back and forth between stuff, but turned it off after Papelbon gave up those 2 runs.

They can't do this again, right?

Middle Relief said...

Wow - sorry I've been out of commission, been busy building a panic room to spend some time in after Nov. 4.
Can't believe the Sox came back - that's the kind of thing that tends to tip a series No?
ManRam is a Yankee -

Crash said...

The Peavy trade talks are beginning. Padres have sent the preliminary names around to interested teams. This should develop over the next week or so I'll see if I can get names for the Yankees.

Saw a note on ESPN that the Braves are very interested in Peavy. A rotation of Smoltz, Peavy, and Hudson may be good enough to win the NL East next year. If Smoltz is in the bullpen, they need another starter on top of Peavy. I know we like to moan about the Yankees injuries but the Braves take the cake in that department. The Braves had 5 pitchers on the 60 day DL, 3 of them were their top 3 starters (Smoltz, Hudson, and Glavine).

The Scooter said...

Prof, have you ever heard the word "negotiate"? It would be silly for Cashman to fawn all over Manny at this point....especially with Boras as his agent. I'm not saying that it's going to happen, but lets wait untilt the landscapre reveals itself before we say the Yankees won't be players for him.

Mid, do you have any space in that Panic Room? And does it get the YES network?

Have I said lately how much I HATE the Red Sox. I feel like punching Kevin Youkilis in the face. I hope Joba puts one in his ear again, nest year.

Crash said...

Just throwing something to see if it sticks...Do the Yankees have enough to offer to attempt to get Jake Peavy and Adrian Gonzalez? The Padres are said to be looking for 2 young pitchers and a MLB ready CF for Peavy (Hughes, Kennedy, MelkY?)...what would it take to get Gonzalez.

Old Prof. just in case you're wondering Adrain Gonzalez is a young(26) 1B. He hits for power and average. Last year he finished at .279, 36, 116 RBI, 103 Runs. Gonzalez is signed through 2010 (only $4.5M) with team option for 2011 (at $5.5M) what a deal for the Padres...holy crap. Why can't the Yankees lock up players of this caliber to contracts like that.

Mid said...

I would throw in Cano and Damon

to get those two.

old professor said...

Regarding Peavy, he has submitted a list of teams he would be willing to go to, most of them National League. While not ruling the Yankees out, he apparently is not too excited about the prospects of playing in New York. He would still have to waive his no trade clause as well.

Regarding locking young talent up at a reasonable price, when was the last time the Yankees developed someone with Gonzalez's ability? They thought they had someone in Cano, signed him to a new contract and got someone who was willing to sit back a loaf.

It is time the Yankees take a good look at their scouting within the organization. With all of the draft choices they tend to sign, very very few eventually make it. In addition their top prospects tend to struggle (Hughes, Kennedy and Cox come to mind and in the past, Eric Milton, Brian Taylor can be added to the list). It also points to scouting when the Red Sox come up with Dice-K and Okijima and the Yankees end up with Igwa.

It is somewhat frustrating to see players like Masterson, Ellsburg, Lowry, make contributions to the Red Sox (and Pedroia)while it seems it takes forever for Yankee picks to even climb throught the system.

Crash said...

How about the Rays. I think in the beginning of the year we all knew the Rays were going to be good, but I think we can agree no one had them in the series this year.

Old Prof just to address some of your points...yes it looks like Peavy will be staying in the NL. That's too bad.

I have no idea who Ellsburg is, you may have meant Ellsbury.

Don't forget the core of the most recent Yankees dynasty came from within. Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Williams, Pettitte were at the foundation for the championships. Think about how frustrating that was for Boston fans to see our young players carrying the club to multiple championships. It's hard to believe that those guys are now "old" (Bernie's gone) and we are waiting/need the next wave of young stars. I still think we may have them with Hughes, Joba, Cano, Miranda, and Jackson. We all agree Kennedy and Melky have to go.

It's far more difficult to let young players go through the maturation process in NY bcz the focus is always win now. Pedroia was hitting .150 when he was first called up, Francona left him in and let him work through it and as a result he grinds it every day for his manager and team, he's an MVP candidate, and is just incredibly clutch. He would never have been given that chance in NY. Someone hits .150 in NY for the first 2 months and they're out of the line up, unless they're making $20M a season.

old professor said...

Crash, yes I meant Ellsbury. Your point is well taken with Pedroia. He was given more than an audition and proved he could play at the major league level. If you look over the Yankee history, they have never given their players time to produce instead they trade them for aging veterans who are past their prime or for a few months rent. Cases in point: Doug Drebeck (pitched for Pittsburgh after the Yankees traded him), Bob Tewksbury (pitched well in Minnesota after traded), Tippy Martinez (traded to Baltimore), Larry Gura (pitched for Kansas City),Dioner Navarro now catching for the Rays, and on and on and on.

It is becoming obvious that the ownership of the Yankees has no patience when it comes to younger players and that is unfortunate and may help explain why they don't have a first class scouting organization.

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