A Word A Day

Pyrrhic victory: a victory achieved at great cost. Jim Baumbach offers the small consolation that the shoving match at Tuesday’s book signing wasn’t ARod’s fault, and wonders at the ability of Alex to continue to end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Yankees vice president Billy Connors on Kei Igawa: "Jeter has been already kidding
him . . . teaching him a new word every day. He’s going to be fine. It
just takes the time to get adjusted."

I truly wonder what words and phrases Jeter is teaching him.  Let
the games begin.

Igawa is scheduled to start throwing off the mound on Monday according to the AP article in the Post. Connors goes on to laud Igawa with praise such as "he throws a heavy
ball," which has a cadence eerily similar to "he hits with an accelerated.."
well, you know the rest.

Meanwhile, Jeter says that as a Yankee, you can not
escape the ALDS loss to the Tigers, not even when you are in Europe.

In the New York Times, Tyler Kepner writes “The Clock Is Ticking” for Bernie Williams.  That’s true for us all, to paraphrase Vin Scully.  However, Kepner reminds us that Bernie was a better hitter than Giambi against lefties in 2006.

Giambi (127 AB) .213/.356/.472 9 HR
Williams (133 AB) .323/.387/.549 7 HR

Hmm.  Let’s check Melky’s split against southpaws.

Cabrera (126 AB) .286/.359/.365 1 HR

Eesh. How about that pile of guys competing to play first base while
Giambi gets over $20 million each of the next two years to crush

Mientkiewicz (62 AB) .274/.375/.419 1 HR
Phillips (82 AB) .195/.233/.244 1 HR
Phelps (2005: 46 AB), 217/.294/.326 1 HR

Maybe the idea of going into spring with only one reserve outfielder
and Mendozing the DH slot every time the Yankees face a lefty needs
more thought.

11 comments… add one
  • We’re talking about roughly 130ABs. Actually, that brings up a question – if you factor in plate appearances instead of ABs, what are Giambi’s splits? The man walks. A LOT.
    That being said, Bernie did mash LHP last year. He might do it again this year (then again, he might lose his last skill to age this year). The opportunity to do this in the DH role is limited to about 130ABs. As a pinch-hitter, Bernie has historically been awful. He has no defensive value, nor is he of use as a pinch runner.
    Whose spot is he going to take? Philips/Phelps are there to fight for the RH first base job, right? Unless Bernie can play 1B… I don’t see it.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) February 8, 2007, 12:46 pm
  • One more thought. You say only one reserve outfielder (Melky). True, but Bernie is *not* a reserve OF anymore. He cannot play the OF. It’s sad, but it’s true. If you want a 5th OF, his name is Kevin Thompson.
    In fact, Kevin Thompson hits LHP pretty well, IIRC. And he can, like, field and stuff.
    I love Bernie, I really do, but enough.

    Anonymous February 8, 2007, 12:50 pm
  • Giambi’s OBP is still just .356 against lefties. Mighty small considering his prodigious overall total. Something tells me he might see Hideki Okajima a lot this summer.

    Paul SF February 8, 2007, 12:51 pm
  • True. Giambi is not that good against LHP. If Bernie was to play 1B, then I could see a role there… but to have a spot on the 25-man roster for a DH-against-LHP-only guy?

    Anonymous February 8, 2007, 12:54 pm
  • That was me, above. And that means, btw, that we’re discussing 130 PAs, not 130ABs. Nitpicky, I know.
    Regarding Kevin Thompson, his weighted mean PECOTA is .271/.339/.427. He’s a righty and I do believe he’s better against LHP as most righties are. So his stats would be likely be better (though sample-size flukes are always a possibility). He can play the OF. He can pinch-run. These are things Bernie cannot do.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) February 8, 2007, 12:58 pm
  • Last comment on KT – he’s not a prospect, but he’s also 26/27 years old. This is right about the time to expect the best production of his career. That production will never, ever, rival Bernie’s peak, but it could well surpass Bernie’s last gasp.
    So, if one wants a second reserve OF, he’s your man (in the org). If you want a 1B who can mash LHP, Phelps is supposed to be that guy, though I’m dubious. If Bernie can handle 1B, he could be that guy. AP doesn’t look like he can do it.
    If you want a right-handed DH whose sole purpose is to hit LHP, well, I question the use of a roster spot on such a player. Maybe if you want to carry 11 pitchers? That leaves… Mike Myers off the team? I might be ok with that. But do you see Torre doing that?

    Rob (Middletown, CT) February 8, 2007, 1:06 pm
  • Rob, I agree with you in that there is not room on the Yankees for Bernie or any other player to be so specialized an offensive role player, and should have been more clear in my post. I was more speaking to the point about how atrocious the Yankees mentioned above are at hitting lefties and was thinking about the depth of the outfield. KT crossed my mind; I didn’t know about his splits against lefties. I thought that was what Guiel was really for last year. Giambi’s penchant for walks has the downside that he is such a clog on the base paths.

    attackgerbil February 8, 2007, 1:43 pm
  • There’s obviously no way to know what to expect from Josh Phelps (I don’t expect much), but his career line vs. lefties is .292/.357/.500. Using 46 ABs from 2005 isn’t particularly instructive. For example, in 2004, he punished lefties to the tune of .976 OPS in more than three times as many ABs.
    Plus, Bernie’s 2006 line could be a fluke; vs. LHP in 2005, he went .231/.305/.286 in 182 AB. I’m actually shocked at how horrid that is. Really, they should have given Bernie a first baseman’s mitt years ago. Then they could probably justify carrying him in the Philips/Phelps role, but it’s too late now.

    Amsterdam YF February 8, 2007, 2:19 pm
  • Everything comes at a great cost buddy.
    When for 51 million dollars i get can more than talking with a guys.

    andy February 8, 2007, 8:41 pm
  • Day 1: A Rod
    Day 2: You
    Day 3: Suck

    TJ Sox Fan February 9, 2007, 11:18 am
  • That’s a beautiful sentiment TJ, really it is. Spot on also, he surely is terrible.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 9, 2007, 2:50 pm

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