Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wrapping Up the Deadline Deals

Lots of smoke, very little fire. As opposed to every analyst on ESPN who is going completely apeshit for Boston's aquisition of Gagne, I'm glad the Yankees didn't mortgage the future for a guy who will throw at best 18-20 innings for the rest of the year. Now I know Boston is probably more interested in using Gagne in the post season, but they already had a good bullpen, and all Gagne does is take away opportunities from Delcarmen and Okajima. I don't think Boston improved all that much. Gagne would have been much more valuable to the Yankees, Brewers, or Mets, which makes this deal all the more strange.

Trading for Wilson Betemit is a good move. It's not splashy, and Torre probably won't play him very much, but at least now there's a better option than Miguel Cairo. Cairo needs to go. I know Torre will object, but with Betemit and Phillips, you have two guys who can play every IF position. Duncan can play first if needed, as can Giambi when he's back. The Torre loyalty needs to no longer extend to the bench, and Cairo needs to be DFA when Giambi is back. He can't hit and isn't needed defensively anymore.

Speaking of Torre blind loyalty, does anyone else get the feeling that maybe Cashman made the deal in order to take away Torre's favorite toy? Besides the fact that the abused arm of Proctor is likely to have a breakdown, Torre was using Proctor in ridiculous and unneccesary situations all season (and last as well) at the expense of other relievers who were not getting any work and then would be thrown into the fire once every two weeks and relegated to rot in the 'pen again when they (surprise!) didn't perform well after the layoff.

Having Proctor gone allows Chamberlain to get some more opportunities, so he doesn't turn into another Edwar Ramirez or Chris Britton or Sean Henn. I remember Torre saying they were "looking for an opportunity" to use Ramirez, and the following game he used proctor with a 5 or 6 run lead. If you won't trust a kid there, you never will. Same with his statement about using Duncan as the DH as long as he keeps mashing and then benching him for nearly an entire road trip.

I'm hoping Cashman recognized this and made the move in order to protect Torre (and the Yankees) from himself.

This should be evidence enough that Torre is unfit to manage this team, or any team without "veterans with pre-defined roles." Bring on Girardi or Mattingly in 2008. Something in my gut tells me that's been the plan all along, and a possible reason why Girardi turned down the Orioles.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 10:14 PM   0 comments







Deadline Day

There's only hours left until the (non-waiver) trade deadline, and my guess is the Yankees will pull off at least one deal, if not more. Obviously the target for improvement would be in the bullpen, and the most attractive prize out there is Eric Gagne. The question then becomes would the Rangers lower their ridiculous demands, or would they continue to ask for the moon in hopes of signing Gagne to an extension (remember, Gagne is represented by the anti-extension agent, Scott Boras).

Farnsworth certainly seems to have worn out his welcome. It's a shame. The guy has all of the talent in the world but never really has learned to pitch. A big problem that the Yankees have right now is that they have too many similar relievers, guys with good fastballs without a lot of movement who relay mainly on that pitch alone (Farnsworth, Proctor, Bruney). One of them is going to go, and interest in Farnsworth seems low. Cashman has had an interest in Wilson Betemit for a couple of years now, and while the guy certainly has potential, he's yet to really put together any sort of impressive campaign in the major leagues. Moving Proctor however would give the Yankees a better backup option than Miguel Cairo in exchange (although my guess is Torre would elect to keep both players for some reason) and free up a roster spot for Joba Chamberlain.

The Rockies supposedly have interest in Farnsworth. Perfect. A guy who throws a 100 mph flat fastball in Coors (humidor balls or no humidor balls). Can't wait to see the 600' HR Pujols hits off of him.

In a perfect world, when Chris Britton returns from injury and finally gets a long overdue promotion, the bullpen could shape up like this:
Rivera
Gagne
Vizcaino
Chamberlain
Britton
Bruney
Villone

Of course that would mean promoting the effective guys, going with a 7 man 'pen, and saying goodbye to Mike Myers. Villone stays because of all of them, he's the only one really capable of a long relief role (I don't think Joba should be used that way unless he's on a regular work schedule, ie. 3 innings every 3 or 4 days. Historically, Torre lets his long man sit in the bullpen for ages without use.) A more realistic option would have Britton toiling away in AAA, and Myers still on the big club (Joe's gotta have those crafty vets, you know).

Ian Kennedy stays in AAA as a starter. I suppose he's now the new "next in line" should an injury happen.

Besides Betemit, there are other infield options. Houston's Mike Lamb is available, and Cashman should certainly look into picking him up. He was a Yankee during spring training a couple of years ago, but lost the roster spot to Travis Lee. He's hitting .299/.378/.480 with an OPS+ of 123 and can play RF, LF, 3B, 1B, and 2B. For everyone who's fallen in love with Andy Phillips lately... well, he's a lot better than Andy Phillips, and has the versatility to move around the field when needed. In my oh so humble opinion, he is exactly the type of player the Yankees need on the bench at this point in time.

I'll be back throughout the day with updates as rumors become deals and deals become official.

Update, 8:15 AM PST: The Red Sox send Joel Piniero to St. Louis for some sticky ribs and a bucket of used baseballs. Pretty much a non-factor deal. I do love though how in every trade rumor I read involving Boston, they are said to be offering "a package involving Wily Mo Pena." Well, no shit. You don't want Pena, but neither does anyone else.

Update, 9:57 AM PST: It seems as if Proctor for Betemit is a done deal. I really don't know how big a fan I am of this deal because I still think Mike Lamb was a better option and now because of the glut of infielders that Joe Torre loves, there's very little chance of bringing him over. On its own though, I like the move. This seems kind of odd though:



The Yankees view Betemit as another first-base/DH/bench option for this year, and a potential third-base replacement for Alex Rodriguez next year.
Bench? Sure. First base? Ok, in the mix. DH? Why in the world would the Yankees need another DH when you have Jhonny the Homicidal Maniac and Godzilla in the field, and the zombie formerly known as Jason Giambi on the mend? There's no reason to DH the guy. The OPS+ of 116 is good, but I'm sure you'll hear a lot more about the .231 BA from the mainstream idiot media.

At least when Proctor's arm inevitably falls off, it will be up to Russell Martin (and not Jorge Posada) to catch the bloody stub.

Update, 10:36 AM PST: The San Diego Union-Tribune has a story in today's paper that the Padres may be interested in Kei Igawa, for whom they bid $10M this past offseason. It wouldn't be the first time the Yankees and Padres swapped a Japanese import. The Padres are still in contention for the Western Division title though, so probably wouldn't be willing to give up much in the way of major league ready talent. Add in the fact that they just traded away one of their relievers, and the likelihood of this deal going down just doesn't seem very high.

Update, 11:25 AM PST: The reports all say it's Gagne to Boston for David Murphy and Kason Gabbard. What makes no sense here is that by all reports I've read, Texas turned down offers of Clippard/Marquez and Clippard/Karstens and demanded Hughes and/or Chamberlain from the Yankees, and yet they accept this deal from Boston for what seems to be far inferior talent? I'm no conspiracy theorist. I'm not the type that thinks MLB conspires against the Yankees. However, Scott Boras is Gagne's agent. The one team in the mix of teams (Boston, Milwaukee and the New York clubs) that was on Gagne's limited no trade list was the Red Sox. In order to waive that clause, Boston will probably have to guarantee him the "closing" incentives in Gagne's contract, which add up to well over $3M for this year. Does it sound that ridiculous that Jon Daniels has a handshake agreement with Boras to get his client the extra $3M from the Red Sox in exchange for bringing Gagne back next year, or setting up another player's contract or extension? With Boras, this seems almost status quo, so this deal in retrospect isn't surprising at all.

Update, 12:28 AM PST: ESPN live chat line of the day:

Bob: In your opinion, who's the most knowledgable baseball guy for ESPN?

SportsNationJonah Keri: (3:22 PM ET ) Too many to count. Gammons, Stark, Neyer, Law, Caple, Neel, the always sharp Curtis Granderson...great bunch.

Alex (Toronto): Does Chris Berman not count as a baseball analyst? Or is he too busy with leather?

SportsNation Jonah Keri: (3:23 PM ET ) hehe






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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 7:46 AM   0 comments







 

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mike Lupica is a Jackass: Chapter Eight

Man, was I stoked to rip into the insecure, mean-spirited busybody today after reading this total piece of dog crap, but it seems I was beaten to the punch on the Lupica-bashing.

Thus, I direct your attention to Mr. Tremendous' take. No need to double up, when we pretty much have the same things to say.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 11:58 AM   1 comments







 

Friday, July 20, 2007

The New Math

The amount of games back the Yankees are is inversely proportional to the number of Sox trolls who post here.

Or, rather:

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 11:56 AM   1 comments







 

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mike Lupica is a Jackass: Chapter Seven

You knew it was going to happen, or you should have. After years of throwing Alex Rodriguez under the bus repeatedly, Mike Lupica is saying that A-Rod should leave town and opt out of his deal because of the way he's been treated in New York. By others. By people not named Michael Lupica. Usually I offer commentary throughout Lupica's articles, but this time I'm just going to post a few portions from it. Also, is that photo from 1995? Has anyone seen Lupica lately? Maybe it's his high school yearbook photo.

With all that's happened here, Alex would be wise to opt out
Thursday, July 12th 2007, 4:00 AM

Think about something else from A-Rod's point of view. Not mine or yours or Cashman's or even George Steinbrenner's:
Why would he stay?
This is a Yankee season nobody can blame on him, a season that has him right where he wants to be, which means pinstriped hero, at least for now. All he has to do is keep hitting. When the season is over he doesn't have to be bashful or phony this time, tell us it is all about the farm system the way he did when he went with the Rangers. He can just sit there while Arte Moreno of the Angels or the new Cubs owners or even John Henry start throwing money at him.
You think the Red Sox won't be in play if A-Rod is in play? Come on. They spent $51 million just to get a seat at the table with Daisuke Matsuzaka. Not only do they have the money in Boston, they have something else:
An opening at shortstop. A position Rodriguez gave up to come to New York and play next to a shortstop who sometimes seems reluctant to give A-Rod the time of day.
Scott Boras, A-Rod's bag man, is right: There is no reason for his client to negotiate with the Yankees right now. What's in it for A-Rod, except perhaps for the stroke of seeing the Yankees reverse their field and try to negotiate a new deal with him when they said they wouldn't do that for a pinstriped World Series hero such as Mo Rivera?
Maybe the Yankees think they have enough money to trump all the reasons A-Rod has for getting out of New York when the season is over.
And you better believe he has his reasons, whatever he says in public, and you better believe the Yankees know exactly what they are:



  • The treatment he feels he has gotten, up until this season, from an awful lot of vocal Yankee fans, all the ones who wanted to drive him to the airport after the way he hit last October against the Tigers and want to carry him out to Monument Park on their shoulders now.

  • The treatment he has gotten in the media, not just here and not just on the sports pages, but on the front pages when he got caught with that strip-club blond in Toronto. As A-Rod's stats get gaudier, by the way, his sidemen are now blaming his off-field problems on the tabloids for that. Right. The tabs did it! The Post must have fixed him up with the blond on Match.com.
    The treatment he got from Joe Torre in last year's playoffs when Torre batted him eighth against the Tigers. A-Rod can hire skywriters to say he and Torre have kissed and made up on that one. You know when No.13 will forget where he hit that day? On the 13th of Never.

  • Finally, there is the treatment he has gotten from Derek Jeter. You weigh in however you want on this relationship. But A-Rod thought that by agreeing to leave shortstop, even though he was on his way to being the greatest shortstop in history, he could get Jeter to forget the lousy things he said about him in Esquire magazine. He was as wrong about that as he was yelling at some backup third baseman in Toronto and thinking nobody would think it was a big deal.

Suddenly, without a single point added to his postseason average as a Yankee, A-Rod appears to be the one holding all the good cards. Suddenly, it is the Yankee variation of the old Bob Arum line: Yesterday I was lying, today I'm telling the truth. Yesterday they weren't negotiating. Now they are. It is easy to see how they can't let him walk without at least making him an offer.
But really: Knowing what we know about A-Rod, why would he stay?


I know, typical Lupica Yankee hatred/glee in Yankee failure/doom and gloom nonsense. Lupica is obviously wishing and praying A-Rod goes to the Red Sox so he can say what a coup it was for John Henry to land such a great player. Lupica, you moron, if A-Rod has problems with the press coverage in New York, why in the hell would he go to Boston, which is even worse to its sports celebrities? ("Oh no, Tom Brady is wearing a Yankees hat! On a street! National emergency, front page news!")


Lupica rails against the "tabloids" as part of the problem (specifically mentioning, of course, the Post and the blonde woman in Toronto while ignoring the Daily News' continual front page stories about how Alex went to a poker room and played poker, which wasn't illegal).


Mike Lupica shows precisely in this column why he's a two-faced jackass: he's saying shame on you to everyone for driving Rodriguez out of town while he was the one driving the bus. Anyone remember the congratulations and praise Lupica gave A-Rodthe day after he won the 2005 AL MVP?


Bonus Lupica action:


Former ESPN.com Page 2 columnist Jason Whitlock on working with Lupica:


Q: In one of your most memorable appearances on The Sports Reporters, you got into a tiff with Mike Lupica and Mitch Albom when you said sports was just ‘entertainment.’ Lupica told you to go work on ‘Entertainment Tonight.’ You haven’t appeared with either of them since. Have the three of you kissed and made up?
I don't have a problem with Mitch Albom. Lupica is an insecure, mean-spirited busybody. He's upset because I put a clown suit on him on that show and in a follow-up column I wrote for ESPN. His little disingenuous overreaction to an opinion I'd stated previously on the show was staged to try to put me in a bad light. I guess no one had ever informed Mike that the E in ESPN stood for Entertainment. The Little Fella probably won't let the producer (Joe Valerio) have me back on the show again. That's cool. They're mostly upset that I wouldn�t participate in their Barry Bonds witch hunt and help them single Bonds out as the creator of steroids. Lupica doesn't like to be disagreed with, and he's spoken so abusively to that producer for years that the producer probably doesn't realize people are allowed to disagree with Lupica. I enjoyed my time on the show. But if the price of admission is stepping to Lupica's drum, I'm more than happy to go without.

Right on, big man. Right on.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:23 PM   0 comments







 

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Most Boring Sports Day of the Year

No MLB. No NFL. No NBA. No NHL. No drafts, no trades, no ball being played.

But hey, ESPN is starting their broadcasts of the 2007 World Series of Poker, so at least there's that. Tonight is the $5,000 World Championship mixed hold 'em event (replay from last night). Don't bother if you're only looking to see big names though, it's mainly fresh faces.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:49 PM   0 comments







 

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

**WARNING**


This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
fuck (8x) fucking (4x) shit (3x) bitches (1x)


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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 7:09 PM   1 comments







 

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I Don't Know is on Third

Oh wait, I do.



It would seem the injury wasn't too serious, especially since he's not only in the lineup, he's playing the field (insert NY Post joke here).

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 2:11 PM   2 comments








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