Sunday, March 08, 2009

WBC - The Good and Bad

The WBC is imperfect but is a net positive, and certainly more entertaining than pre-season baseball.

The Bad - the DR's loss to the Netherlands is only going to fuel the increasingly accurate stereotype that players from that island have a lot of talent - but low on desire and work ethic.

The Good - enthusiastic crowds. The crowd for the Cananada v. USA game at the Sky Dome was probably the biggest it had seen in several years for a game - and would dare say they were playoff lively. The Asian games have a lot of enthusiasm in them as well. Bernie Williams had a walk in PR's win on Saturday.

The USA lineup is hard not to watch. David Wright, Chipper Jones, Jeter, Youkilis, Rollins, Pedroia to name a few. It is a good team - and hope they beat the living hell out of the field.

The DVR is set, and plan on watching a bit more of these games.

Bombers Bits:

A-Rod to have surgery and will be out for at least two months. Probably won't be ready to join the club until late May or June. This could be a blessing in disguise. Perhaps this can be an opening for Cano to become a Yankee. With A-Rod out, it may mean a higher profile spot in the lineup for him, and if he can pick up some of the slack as a result of A-Rod being out, he can show us that he is ready to be a dependable MLBer and championship quality player.

I happened to catch both games Wang has thrown in so far. He appears to be the Wang that we knew before his season ending injury. . . at least that's what the 3 innings I saw would suggest.

Aceves appears to throwing just as good as he was last year. If Joba doesn't get his control down, perhaps he could be inserted as the #5 and Joba back to the pen - any odds takers on that?


Chris Iafolla said...

I agree with your assessment that the WBC is worth imperfect but a net positive. In 2006, the U.S. team was disinterested and uninspired. This year, after watching yesterday's game, it is clear the team is playing with a renewed sense of passion and pride. In the States, it may never equate to the magnitude it carries abroad, but the ABC is definitely worth tuning in to if you are a fan of baseball.

old professor said...

Here is a big negative for the WBC - Players leave their teams for an extended period of time, lose cohesiveness with the team, mis working with the teams trainers and getting into better playing shape. In addition, the WBC technically increases the season by three weeks for players with "meaningful" games for a countries pride. Let's see how this plays out for some of these individuals as we go into August and September.

Wang has looked good. In addition, Hughes has been outstanding and deserves strong consideration for the #5 slot. If Joba doesn't find his control AAA could be the next stop.

The Scooter said...

LMAO @ the Yankees sending Joba down to AAA

Prof, are you related to Lupica?

old professor said...

Scooter, the name of the game is performance. Last year, Hughes and Kennedy failed to perform - they were sent down. If the Yankees can't get Joba mechanically right, he needs to go down to get it right. The "show" is not the place to tinker with mechanics and delivery in the hopes of getting it right. The Tigers did it with Dontrell Willis, the Yankees may have to do it with Joba.

You cannot argue with the success Hughes has been having this Spring (I know that doesn't equate to success in the regular season) and based on his performance he should be given strong consideration to the number 5 slot.

In addition to Chamberlain's problem with location and command, his velocity has been down. The game I watched his fastball ran between 89-91 average at best.

The Scooter said...

Prof, I can't believe we are having this conversation after one bad inning by Joba IN EARLY MARCH!!!!

You said, "The "show" is not the place to tinker with mechanics and delivery".

Spring training is EXACTLY the place to tinker with mechanics and delivery.

If Teixiera goes 0 for 4 today, you want him to start off in Triple A too?

Opening day is a month away...Can you let Joba throw a few more pitches before you kill his velocity and location?

old professor said...

It is good to see that four of the five projected starters have had a positive start to their spring appearances as Girardi begins to get them into the spot they will have in the rotation.

Sabathia, Burnett, and Pettitte all had good first showings. Wang seems to be back in form with his two starts. The bullpen has even looked sharp.

It would also appear that Gardner is moving toward wrapping up the starting centerfield job with another strong offensive showing.

The Scooter said...


Joba had a pretty good outing.

Three innings; no walks; 3 k's; 1 earned run.

Want to give him the Cy Young?

old professor said...

Scooter, to paraphrase an earlier statement you made - it is Spring Training, let's see what happens in the long-run.

Having said all of that, I am impressed with the individuals they keep bringing out iin relief roles. Coke, Claggett, and even, yes, Igwa have been impressive. I believe Coke has giving up only one run this Spring and Igwa has not given up a single run. Maybe just maybe this will improve his trade value, or better yet, maybe he has finally learned how to pitch in America.

The Scooter said...

"Scooter, to paraphrase an earlier statement you made - it is Spring Training, let's see what happens in the long-run."

Prof, I was being "ironic"....or maybe being a smart point was that you don't get banished to triple A, nor get handed the Cy Young based on a couple innings in Spring Training.

Props to the Netherlands (I don't think I've ever uttered those words before) for disposing of the boys from the steroid capital of the world...Dominican Republic...we hardly knew ye

old professor said...

Anyone know the roster of the Netherlands? It would be interesting to see how many major leaguers are on the team. Second question regarding rosters, exactly how does a person qualify for the team? Last WBC A-Rod was on Team USA, this year he started with the Dominicans.

The Scooter said...


Here's a link to the Netherlands roster

I think guys like A-Rod can pretty much choose which team they play for, as long as they have some type of connection to that particular country.

Crash said...

I've been out of the loop for a little while and need to catch up and get some questions answered.

A-Rod: Had the hip surgery and is out till May/June. I think Cash is not making the knee jerk reaction and making a trade. Who is the Yankees 3B now? Is it Ransom?

Cano: Injured in WBC and having an MRI. Is this believed to be a serious injury? Will he be ready for Opening Day. If not who is the replacement if Ransom is already playing 3B?

Rivera: Has he been in a game yet?

Posada: Looks like he finally caught a game behind the plate and looked OK???

Gardner: Looking like the starter still? Any competition from Melky or Jackson?

old professor said...

Crash to answer the questions you pose: Cano and Marte will have MRIs on their shoulders today. First blush with diagnosis is Cano has Tendinitis and Marte inflamation.

Ransom will be at third (has had a pretty decent spring) unless someone else is brought in. Don't be surprised to see Angel Berroa (okay my spelling may be off) break camp with the team. I was surprised to see Melancon sent to the minor league camp. He has had an outstanding spring.

Gardner has continued to impress, however, the fact that Melky is out of options could play into the final decision.

Rivera made his debut and pitched well. Regarding Posada, no one ran on him to force throws. It will still be a wait and see proposition with him.

Rotation looks strong.

Glad you liked Mexico.

old professor said...

Okay, just to clarify, Melancon had a decent spring until the Pirates outing the other day when he gave up five runs in 2/3 of an inning.

Jose Tabata whom the Yankees traded to get Marte or Nady is also having a decent spring. He is hitting around .450 for the Pirates. Too bad the Yankees couldn't hold on to him.

Crash said... Kei Igawa the Yankees best pitcher this spring? Please tell me there is no chance this guy makes the team out of camp.

old professor said...

Crash, much to the dismay of most of us who participate in this blog, Igwa has had one of the best springs of any of the members of th staff. He pitched yet another three innings without giving up a run. He has yet to give up a run this spring and is locating his pitches extremely well.

No chance he breaks camp with the team - remember he is not on the forty man roster and there would have to be a release from their to enable him to break camp with the team. In addition if that happened, he may not be able to return to the minors without clearing waivers. You can't argue with what he has done.

The Scooter said...

Trade bait?

The Mets need a fifth starter

Crash said...

Igawa may be better suited for the NL or somewhere with a less demanding culture. How many pitchers just couldn't cut it in NY but were very successful elsewhere.

Crash said...

It was good to see Mo last night. CC pitched really well. Matsui had a HR but was still not running at 100%.

The US PR WBC game was great. I did notice a couple of ground balls that were up the middle that Jeter should have made plays on that he just couldn't get to. I think as Yankee fans we better prepared for quite a bit of those over the next couple of seasons.

Crash said...

I saw this link on RSB...sadly the deconstruction of old Yankee Stadium has begun. These are aerial photos from the WCBS chopper.

old professor said...

Crash, I am almost at a lose for words, YOU actually came close to saying that Jeter's range is not what it should be!!!!!

In a couple of earlier posts there was some discussion on Igwa. Cashman and Girardi have both indicated he has opened some eyes with his 12 scoreless innings and have indicated he actually is being given some consideration as a long man out of the pen.

Crash said...

Hughes started today's game. He went 4.3IP. He gave up 1R, and only walked 1. He must of been nibbling though the only reason you're pulling him in the middle of an inning is because his pitch count was to high.

Teixeira blasted a HR off of Joe Nathan. I think that was his 1st of the spring.

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