I ask for a moratorium on calling Alex Gonzalez "A-Gon", or "A-Go", or anything with "A-" in the nickname. There’s only one guy who deserves that, and it’s that Rod down in New York.
So, any suggestions for our new shortstop? ("Steroid Boy" is already taken, YF, coincidentally also by a Yankee…)
by General Baseball · 31 comments
at 9:46 pm in
Alex Gonzalez better be a vacuum cleaner, because he hits about as often as Johnny Damon shuts up: never. Historically, his stat line is eerily reminiscent of Rey Ordonez’. I recall going to several Mets games way back in the glory days when Ordonez was on the squad and positively marvelling at some of the balls he got to and how easy he made moderately difficult plays look. I also remember thinking that he should have been hitting ninth, the pitcher eighth, so bad was the man with the bat. The Red Sox’ lineup and the DH should offer some shelter to Gonzalez, but it’s imperative that he perform exquisitely with the leather. This could be an experiment that lasts about sixty games, but at least they signed him for just a year and at modest dollars. Another new face – welcome, Alex.
[edited for spelling]
by General Baseball · 60 comments
at 7:17 am in
‘I remember my first day with the Red Sox and I could not believe how boring the team was, how boring the clubhouse was and how miserable everybody was,’ said Damon. ‘I like to think that I helped change how fans looked at the team, how the media looked at the team and how the team got together and it was different. How the players stopped being afraid of failing, which I think was why we were able to accomplish something that hadn’t been done in a very long time. Now I want to bring that attitude to New York"
Johnny Damon calls the Yankees afraid of failing, boring, and miserable, all in one quick interview with the Eagle Tribune. And he wasn’t just discussing A-Rod. Can’t wait for Dull Gary (as Sheff is known to those in the clubhouse) to get a hold of the new guy to his right. Should be an interesting year.
(via dirt dogs)
by General Baseball · 5 comments
at 10:26 am in
There was something magical about the Yankees 1998 campaign; indeed, it seemed special long before they clinched the division with their astonishing 114-48 record, and long before they steamrolled through the playoffs on an absurd 11-2 run. From the very beginning of the year they seemed blessed. They won all the time. They came from behind. When they needed a bloop hit to win, they got one. A homer or a strikeoout or a defensive play? Those came, too. Their greatness took on an almost moral dimension: they had no single star, no dominant player—here, finally, was the team that was indisputably greater than the sum of its parts.
Or maybe it was just all luck. That, at least, is the suggestion of a facsinating new study by Phil Birnbaum in SABR‘s Baseball Research Journal. Factoring in a number of criteria (cumulative ERA, runs created, etc.), Birnbaum has calculated just how much luck—and we all know there is luck in baseball—has played in Major League seasons from 1960-2001. Among his conclusions: the 1998 Yankees were the second luckiest team in that span (he calculates their luck-adjusted record at, gulp, 92-70). The luckiest team of all? Lou P’s 2001 Mariners. (Yeah, they were lucky, and it showed in the playoffs.) Also extremely lucky: Bill Mazeroski’s 1960 Pirates, who Yankee fans know were lucky indeed. The greatest team in this period, with luck is adjusted out? The 1969 Orioles, followed by the team the 1996 Yanks beat in the WS, the Braves. The unluckiest team? The 1962 Mets. Now that’s adding insult to injury.
Make of it all what you will. This much we know: lucky or not, 1998 sure was fun.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This post originally appeared with 2 awful factual inaccuracies, those being that the Yankees went 11-1 in their 1998 playoff run, and that the team they beat in the WS was the Braves, and not the Padres. We apologize for these gross errors. We know better. It was a long day. Thanks to Dave Pinto for pointing out the mistakes, which we dutifully acknowledge and have repaired.]
by History · 14 comments
at 11:36 pm in
No, it’s not a thread about the new Ron Jeremy film. Rather, by request I provide an official thread devoted to all things Coco and all things shortstop-related. Have at it.
by General Baseball · 30 comments
at 2:54 pm in
In case you haven’t heard, the Devil Rays will be changing their team name. And not because of their history of suckdom. No, it’s because the word “devil” has a “negative association” with fans. We’d assume this was some kind of April Fool’s gag, but it’s still January, and they are, um, the Devil Rays. At least for the moment.
Feel free to post name alternatives here. (Our friends at Deadspin suggest “Yankees.”)
by General Baseball · 17 comments
at 3:21 pm in
Black Table, we will miss you. May its esteemed progenitors continue to darken furniture across the Intersphere.
[Off topic, yeah, but whatever.]
by General Baseball · 0 comments
at 1:58 pm in
Neil DeMause, author of the essential Field of Schemes has called bullshit on Andrew Zimbalist’s NYT defense of George’s Folly, both on his own site, and in the Voice. Dr. Z’s math is all wrong, says deMause. This is the kind of argument that can make eyes glaze, but the issues are important, especially for Yankee fans. We prefer to focus, instead of on the math, on the fact that one of America’s great public spaces is slated for destruction, and at a net loss for the public in terms of seats available at reasonable prices. Those issues, I’d say, we can all relate to. Plus, um, it just might be a boondoggle.
by General Baseball · 28 comments
at 10:10 am in
It’s been a slow couple of weeks. And with attention diverted this guy has just made another clever move. Billy Beane, somehow, still manages to operate under the radar, and he’s building one very dangerous machine out there over the Bay Bridge. Come October, they might just apply a Big Hurt on the rest of the AL.
PS: Covelli’s flight to Boston still in a “holding pattern.” Maybe permanently.
by General Baseball · 2 comments
at 9:47 am in
The Yanks kept Aaron Small from arbitration yesterday, signing him for 1 year at $1.25 million. Small had asked for $1.45. The Yanks offered $1.025. Seems fair. (Though $110 grand per win is just a wee bit less than Randy pulls.) Next up: Chacon. He wants $4.15. The Yanks are at $3.1. Anyone else out there think this might end up at $3.6, with some reasonably attainable incentive ladders?
This whole GM thing isn’t really that hard now, is it?
by General Baseball · 7 comments
at 9:27 am in
Harvey Keitel’s famous oral nondirective to Jules and Vincent after their efforts cleaning out the car seems right on after this saccharine press release from the Red Sox. Hopefully it closes the book on the whole saga. Now what about Covelli?
by General Baseball · 1 comment
at 8:57 pm in
No. Seriously. He’s straight. Also, according to Newsday, Mike Piazza would like to be a Yankee. Over at Bronx Banter, Cliff Corcoran thinks it’s a good idea. But don’t get Steve Lombardi, at Was Watching, started.
Our take: Brokeback is fine. Broken down not so good. Pass.
by General Baseball · 6 comments
at 5:53 pm in
Mark down May 19 & 20 on your calendars, friends, and make sure you top off the balances in your checking accounts. The occassion? The auction of some 1,000 items of Joe D. memorabilia, including the record-breaking ball from his 56-game hit streak. It all goes down in the heart of Times Square, at the Marriot Marquis. Because Joe was all about class, baby, and Toots Shore’s is long gone. Us? We’ll be upstairs, monitoring it all from The View. Joe would have wanted it that way, and that’s how we
by History · 3 comments
at 10:10 pm in
I don’t know exactly what this webpage represents, but it appears that someone named Karen Caldicott’s got a big-ass pile of clay, friends who are art directors, and way too much free time.
Somewhere in England Nick Park trembles with fear.
by General Baseball · 9 comments
at 1:41 pm in
According to an op-ed in today’s Times by the indepentent economist Andrew Zimbalist, Yankee Stadium II is, indeed, a good deal for the city: “The Yankees are proposing a fair financial deal to the city,” says Dr. Z, who notes the current stadium generates a large annual repair bill. and that while there will be considerable public spending, about 75 percent of the project cost will be borne by the team, and most of the public spending will directly benefit the community. Also, the area gets back more park facilities than it has now, and they’re improved.
We remain skeptical, if not about the costs, than about the design, and the need to replace one of the city’s great public spaces, and destroy one of just 3 active ballparks dating to baseball’s halcyon era. Plus, need we remind, there will be dramatically fewer seats.
by General Baseball · 0 comments
at 10:41 am in
We don’t necessarily trust Tony Masarotti, but if he’s right (and ESPN’s not as unequivocal), Coco’s on his way. Some things we do know: Mixed feelings abound at SoSH. He switch hits (on the field, that is). He’s young. He can’t be a free agent until 2009. He’s cost-controlled, for the most part, and he’ll end up at least $25-30M cheaper than Johnny D over the next 4 years. He had a very nice year in 2005. His offensive trends are mostly positive, and comparable to if not better than Damon’s at the same point in his career. He doesn’t seem to walk enough for a leadoff hitter. He whiffs maybe a little more than we’d like. He’s better than Adam Stern. He makes the milk taste really good.
Things we don’t know: Will Coco continue to improve? Will he be able to play well in center? (so far, the sample size is way too small) Is he worth Marte+? Who else is involved in the deal? Will the Sox be giving up even more or getting back a prospect? What number will he wear? How many other Sox blogs will put up pictures of breakfast cereal? How many ways will Yankees fans find to tear down this (possible) trade? Is Theo in favor of the tr–er, scratch that. Can Coco play shortstop too?
Lots to find out.
by General Baseball · 128 comments
at 10:07 am in