Forget about Joba Chamberlain being in the rotation - he needs to go back to the bullpen. From Day 1 of spring training. No ifs, ands or bugs.
With a top three of Sabathia, Burnett and Wang, and with Pettitte on the back end, Joba is most needed in the bullpen now, especially since Mariano Rivera is coming off shoulder surgery.
This way the Yankees New York Yankees can keep Joba's innings under control, and if Rivera needs a little extra time to be ready for the season, Chamberlain can be the emergency closer. If Rivera is right for the start of the season, then Chamberlain has the eighth inning and the Yankees are that much more of a force.
An eighth-inning dynamo is much more important to the Yankees now than a back-end starter, and besides, the Yankees have candidates for that fifth spot, including Phil Hughes and Alfredo Aceves.
There are some people in the Yankee front office who are convinced Chamberlain is best-suited for the bullpen anyway because of his emotional makeup and arm. Many scouts I've talked to say the same thing. In some ways, Chamberlain is like Jonathan Papelbon in makeup and talent. He lives for the competition every night.
When you are a starter, you have four days to kill between starts. When you are in the bullpen, you have to be ready to go every game.
This way Chamberlain can basically be a two-pitch pitcher, slider and fastball. He can mix in the curve, but he does not have to depend upon it as much as a starter, who needs three pitches to work the lineup, and this would mean less stress on his shoulder.
Chamberlain can just roll out of the bullpen and be that Raging Bull that Yankee fans have come to love. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow, and when you step back and look at the situation now, Chamberlain looks great in the bullpen.
The Yankees should plan on it now. Joba is the perfect fit for this bullpen.
I'm not going to go off on the same rant again about how you should have your best pitchers throwing the most number of innings, etc etc, but it's the mentality of "that's what we saw him do!" that causes these sorts of ridiculous reactions. Nobody would have considered putting Roger Clemens in the bullpen to be a setup guy in his prime, would they? Why did the Twins move Johan Santana out of the bullpen? Who is more valuleable to a team: vintage Pedro Martinez, or vintage Scot Shields?
Stop with the comparisons to Papelbon. Joba can be emotional as a starter - it worked for Clemens and Pedro.
Let me give you another couple of examples:
A restuarant is in need of an emergency line chef for a night, and thus picks a recent graduate of a prestigious culinary academy to fill in and make soups for an evening. The soups are a great hit, and even though the chef studied for years and was well known as a classical french chef, the only job he is ever offered is making that same soup every night because heck, we know he can do that.
Rembrandt agreed to paint his cousin's house with him. All of the town agreed this was the finest painted house in all of the burgh, and wished Rembrandt to paint their houses for them as well. Rembrandt let them know he was an artist, not a house painter, but the townsfolk all agreed they would never buy his paintings because they wanted him painting houses.
Of course these examples are ridiculous, but so is the suggestion that Chamberlain is best used in the bullpen.
Is This Where the Torre/Rodriguez Relationship Went Wrong?
I was reminded yesterday of the SI article from 2006 (also written by Torre co-author Tom Verducci) and mentioned on this blog where Verducci does a rip job on Rodriguez, so I decided to revist it and look at what it had to say in light of the recent book story.
As it turns out, if A-Rod had a frosty relationship with Torre, he had every right to be upset with his manager.
Case in point:
Alex Rodriguez still was weak from a throat infection that had confined him to his Seattle hotel room for the New York Yankees' game the previous night -- not to mention forced him to cancel a recording session for his ringtone endorsement deal -- when he walked into the visitors' clubhouse at Safeco Field on Aug. 24 and was told to go to manager Joe Torre's office. Torre asked him to close the door, then motioned to the blue leather couch in the smallish room. "Sit down."
The richest and most talented player in baseball was in trouble. Rodriguez could not hit an average fastball, could not swat home runs in batting practice with any regularity, could not field a ground ball or throw from third base with an uncluttered mind and cooperative feet, could not step to the plate at Yankee Stadium without being booed and could not -- though he seemed unaware of this -- find full support in his own clubhouse.
Torre hit .363 with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1971 and .289 the following season, giving him a deep understanding of the ebb and flow of performance. With veteran players especially he operates like an old fisherman checking the tide charts, believing that the worst of times only means the best is to come. Rodriguez will hit, he thought, and he kept telling his third baseman exactly that.
In Seattle, Torre looked at Rodriguez squarely and said, "This is all about honesty. And it's not about anybody else but you. You can't pretend everything is O.K. when it's not. You have to face the reality that you're going through a tough time, and then work from there."
It was as close to a tongue-lashing as the low-key Torre ever gets. When the manager comes down on a player, he will mix in the occasional profanity, but his voice remains even and there are no threats. Here his hammer was in the rebuke that Rodriguez's unwillingness to address his slump head-on was letting himself and the team down. Torre told him he needed to show some fight, some anger even, rather than continuing to act as if he were doing just fine.
Rodriguez maintained eye contact while Torre spoke and nodded repeatedly. His only sign of discomfort was that he kept twirling his wedding ring around his finger. When Torre was done, he asked A-Rod if he understood what he had just told him. "Yes, 100 percent," Rodriguez said firmly.
Verducci wasn't at that meeting, and it's obvious Rodriguez didn't give up the information of what transpired between closed doors of a supposedly private meeting. Torre sold him out to his pal Verducci who then wrote what is essentially a hit piece on Rodriguez and made Torre out to be a wise sage (again).
Can anyone blame Alex for not trusting a manager who runs to tell the press what happens in private meetings (ring twisting and all) so they can write negative articles about him?
It was all a tease. It's like I'm a freshman in high school and the cute girl I had a crush on said she'd go to the dance with me.
Then she changed her mind.
While notorious cock-tease Bob Raissman reported that the firing of Joe Morgan and possibly Jon Miller from Sunday Night Baseball was imminent, it turns out he was incorrect.
Instead, ESPN will add Steve fucking Phillips to the broadcast booth. This is the same Steve Phillips who was a complete failure as Mets GM and then was asked by ESPN to hold mock press conferences as the GM for every other club. This is the same Steve Phillips who hates OBP so much that he calls players who walk a lot "selfish." This is the same Steve Phillips who has made it a habit of being wrong on Baseball Tonight for about four years now.
What the hell is ESPN ownership thinking? At the very least just throw in Rick Sutcliffe and a bottle of cheap gin instead.
Also sorry I've been absent most of the last week. I came down with bronchitis, but it seems to be getting better now.
Here's the link if you want to check it out. It's also posted below.
We’ve heard squawking from some team owners recently, jawing and complaining about the Yankees’ spending this past off-season. What, this is new? Despite the fact that the payroll for the 2009 season is lower than that for 2008, some such as Houston’s Drayton McLane and Milwaukee’s Mark Attanasio are crying for a salary cap, or anything to artificially inflate the price of the franchises that they bought for less than what Mark Teixeira received.
Well, be prepared for more complaints. The Yankees’ financial advantage isn’t going anywhere but up. The people in charge of the franchise have finally learned how to truly exploit the market.
In 2002, the Yankees (or rather, a company now known as “Yankee Global Enterprises, LLC,” which incidentally now also owns the Yankees baseball club) founded the YES Network, and has reaped huge financial rewards from it. Cable companies were paying the Yankees millions of dollars per year for the rights to broadcast games, and yet were still making huge profits on the product. The Yankees realized that by starting their own network, those profits could be theirs as well and the rest is history, culminating in the new ballpark across the street — the House that YES Built.
The new ballpark opens new avenues for revenue beyond luxury boxes and ticket price increases, which I’m sure we’ve all heard enough about. An aspect of profit most may not think about that the Yankees are about to exploit is concessions.
Every major league ballpark has concession companies bid for long-term contracts in order to provide services for the fans: food, beverages, souvenirs, restaurants, etc. Of the 29 other MLB teams, 28 are serviced by either Aramark, Centerplate, Delaware North Companies Sportservice, or Levy Restaurants (the Marlins fall under a contract that Dolphin Stadium already had with Boston Culinary Group). Rather than follow the tradition route of bringing in an outside vendor, the Yankees instead are following the blueprint they laid out when founding the YES Network. They’re doing it in-house by founding Legends Hospitality Management with partners CIC, Goldman Sachs, and the Dallas Cowboys.
Don’t think there’s a lot of money to be made in this industry? Let’s look at the examples given above. Annual sales (2007) for Aramark, Delaware North, and Levy were $12.4 billion, $2.0 billion, and $610 million respectively.
Centerplate, which ran the concessions at the previous stadium, earns $740 million in annual revenue. However, Yankee Stadium was their largest source and generated approximately $70 million per year. With the new amenities, restaurants, shops and bars at the new stadium, expect that $70 million figure to rise starting in 2008. Why would the Yankees decide to share $80, $100, $150 million in sales revenue with another company when the team itself could reap the profits?
The value of the new ballpark to the team goes far beyond new ticket prices, synergistic YES marketing, naming rights, partnerships, and advertising deals. It’s yet another chance for the Yankees to truly flex their financial muscles and reap as much benefit as possible from their brand.
As long as they continue to sink it back into the team on the field (and – through luxury taxes – the rest of MLB) then count me as satisfied.
Mets blog The 'Ropolitans details the newest Yankees' wives and breaks down their... hotness. Here's my take:
Karen Burnett is gorgeous, but sort of in that Hooters girl kind of way. John Hughes movie role: the rich stuck up girl who dates the guy Molly Ringwald is secretly in love with.
CC's wife is... intimidating. I'd be more frightened of her than him in a dark alley. I'm sure she's sweet but she looks like you wouldn't want to cross her. John Hughes movie role: the best friend and shoulder to cry on for Molly Ringwald's character who gets together with someone who seems an odd match for her (small and skinny and bookish Anthony Michael Hall) unexpectedly at the climax of the movie.
Given a choice, I'll take Leigh Teixeira in a heartbeat over the others. John Hughes movie role: Molly flippin' Ringwald.
Either your Brains or your Signature Will be on the Contract
Andy Pettitte is being ridiculous. Based on his performance of last year and the recent previous years, he doesn't deserve more than $10M/yr for what he's projected to produce. Who would be more valuable to a team in 2009, Milton Bradley or Andy Pettitte? Bradley signed a 3 year deal for $10M per. Just because the Yankees did Pettitte a huge favor in 2007 when they picked up his $16M option for 2009 despite the fact that the Mitchell Report had just come out and named Pettitte for HGH use does not mean they have to do it again.
Face it Andy, the Yankees did you a huge solid last year and overpaid you and helped you out when the best you could have hoped from the rest of the league was a possible invitation to camp. You don't turn around and slap them in the face the following year.
"I still don't have a good feel about their club," one former Yankees player said. "They'll have a great statistical club, but I still think they're so away from what made them great. They don't have enough down-and-dirty guys like (Scott) Brosius, Tino (Martinez) and (Paul) O'Neill."
Those comments can also be translated as "I know they have great hitters now who will put up great statistics, but since this is the Yankees that's not enough. They need True Yankees like the guys with whom I used to chase skirts."