Here’s one: http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/neyer_rob/1415695.html
Thursday, July 31st, 2003
Jeter’s chances are definitely reduced due to the strikeout pitchers. But even adjusted for that, and I think that Rob Neyer on espn.com wrote a really good column to this effect, Jeter sits at the bottom of the charts. It is simply a misguided notion, driven by what I can only imagine is hometown PR or prejudice, that Jeter is a good fielder. He is not. As for being a great leader, an excellent hitter, and a really good baserunner, and I guess a relatively clutch player, there’s no argument. He’s a potential hall-of-famer, just not a good fielder. What’s so big about admitting that?
The Sox have done extremely well for themselves. Suppan is an excellent pickup. IMHO, pulling Kim from the pen would be a mistake. His natural position seems to be setup. As a starter, he may work temporarily, but the history of side-arm starters is poor and we all know what a success he is as a playoff closer. Your analysis of the Boone deal seems on the money. Gabe Paul–hard to say what his effect will be. With Lieber and Contreras in the wings, Claussen was definitely expendable. That said, perhaps they would have been better off dealing Weaver, who presumably has even higher value, for a starter like Ponson and either some help in right or at third. Jeter: Is it possible that his chances are reduced because he has 2 of the top strikeout artists in the league in front of him and an inexperienced 2x-play partner at 2nd? His range isn’t great, but the proposition that he’s one of “the worst defense shortstops in the last decade” is completely insane–even coming from you.
Posted by YF on 7/31/2003 06:26:47 PM
Nice move by the Sox, getting back Suppan. They might as well have re-signed Nomar at the same time, now that his heir is off to Pittsburgh. The big question is, now that Lyon is back (can he pitch though?), do the Sox add Kim back to the rotation, letting Sauerbeck, Embree, or others (Burkett? Can he be trusted?) set up for Williamson? A rotation of 1. Pedro 2. Lowe 3. Kim 4. Suppan 5. Wakefield with Sauerbeck, Embree, Burkett, Todd Jones, Mendoza, and Williamson closing isn’t so bad. The rotation also at this point doesn’t look too bad against Moose, Wells, Rocket, Pettite, Weaver (though I still give a pretty nice edge to the Yanks, on paper). The Red Sox have the benefit of a staggering offense, so the pitching staff gets that much better because of the lineup. I just want them to figure a way to take the burden off Burkett, but maybe being a fifth or spot starter will do it. As for the Yanks, I don’t know how much Boone helps, though he doesn’t hurt a bit. He runs, he hits, he plays hard, but he is switching leagues and displacing a defensive stalwart at the hot corner. Losing Claussen doesn’t mean much unless he’s Barry Zito, and don’t you think you would know more about him if he was? I can’t see the move being a push over the top for the Bombers, but they will get two sandwich picks next year if they tender Boone, and that will help keep their system stocked. And really, won’t the Yankees just be a buyer for the best available 28 year-old mature starter when the season is over and Clemens is gone, and not have to rely on guys like Claussen to step in unproven? As for Jeter, it’s not a “sad comment”, just an observation. The guy is probably going to be a hall-of-famer, but it ain’t gonna be for his defense (one play against the Athletics notwithstanding). He’s one of the worst defensive shortstops of the last decade – his positioning isn’t good (he gets fewer chances than anyone) and his range stinks. Be happy and grateful that he’s a leader, a smart hitter (though he strikes out a bit much), a great baserunner. That’s a pretty good combo – no need for Yankees fans to hurt their credibility by also claiming he’s even an average fielder. I’d take him on my team any day for all sorts of reasons, but I wouldn’t start anywhere near him if I was building a defensive wall. I honestly think moving him to third and slotting in ARod at SS would be a daring and brilliant move – Jeter would probably be a heck of a third baseman. They can afford to try it, if ARod is available. Imagine how that would make Mets fans feel, as well.
A-Rod a Yank. Just imagine it: price of a hot dog would be $23. Maybe they can get Bonds also and put Matsui in right. On the subject of Bonds, we would be remiss in not noting here, for posterity, his knocking out a window during bp in Chicago yesterday.
Posted by YF on 7/31/2003 02:59:48 PM
My enthusiasm with Ramiro’s recent performance appears to have been misguided. His last 2 starts have been atrocious (14.54 e.r.a) and he’s taxed the pen. I actually don’t see how they leave Kim as the closer if he makes one more bad start and the Sox don’t move on another proven thrower. Two closers seems like a luxury the Red Sox don’t need and can’t afford, especially if their 4 and 5 starters are lost causes (I have zero faith in Burkett, unlike you). If I were them, I’d move Freddy Sanchez or others (excepting Kevin Youkilis) + $$$ to prize Javier Vazquez from the Expos. Getting Vazquez would allow them to keep Kim as a closer, and also act as insurance for Pedro and/or Lowe when they are ready to bolt in 2005 – they might be able to lock him up for under market at this point (though he is making 6M this year).
More rumors: Aaron Boone and Gabe White to the Yankees for Brandon Clausen and $3 million. Also: Freddy Garcia to the Sox in possible three way deal with Seattle. What will tomorrow bring? Good night to own stock in MCI, Verizon.
Posted by YF on 7/31/2003 12:21:31 AM
Wednesday, July 30th, 2003
Yeah, it’s a big problem and it begs the obvious question of how the Yankees failed to arrange some kind of multi-team deal to acquire him yesterday when they were looking to dump Mondesi, leaving an open outfield slot in the Bronx. The Sox really don’t need him. I hope CashMan has something else on the cooker. Is there anyone left to play in Cincinnati at this point? By week’s end their outfield’s going to be Lupus, Engelberg, and Tanner. Paging Kelly Leak!
Posted by YF on 7/30/2003 05:39:07 PM
Read between the lines: “Two million in cash pays for a lot of bs, and Raul is in his contract year so we really only need to deal with him for 2 months. Plus, my father is really a Dodger, and I figure that by screwing over my own team I’ll be doing his a big favor. So it’s all Freudian.”
Posted by YF on 7/30/2003 04:44:16 PM
From the “why is this guy running a ballclub?” category: In Arizona, GM Joe Garagiola Jr. was thrilled that Mondesi practically fell into his lap. “This was an opportunity we could not pass up,” Garagiola said in a statement released by the Diamondbacks. “Any time you can add a player of Raul Mondesi’s caliber for the stretch run, you make that deal. Raul has been one of the most coveted players on the market and we’re thrilled to have him.”