“I’ve Danced With The Devil”

Giambi_alaska_2As Paul noted over the weekend, Carl Pavano may be the Yankee’s starter on opening day, and Mark Feinsand in the Daily News has more on the story.  Torre’s mum on the topic until later this week, but Feinsand says it sounds like some of his teammates are behind him.  "This is a big chance for him," Jason Giambi said. "I know what it’s like to have to come basically back from hell. I know what it’s like; I’ve danced with the devil a few times down there."

That’s a fairly candid statement from Giambi without actually saying anything, akin to his non-specific apology to fans a couple years ago.  His performance on the field (well, in the box at least) has won a good number of Yankee fans over, though I know there are many that think Giambi "got away with it" and will be forever tainted by whatever that thing was that he was sorry about but wouldn’t give a name.  I don’t think that Pavano is the kind of pariah that Giambi was; he’s more a long-running bad joke, and his path to redemption is much shorter.  In the spirit of forgiveness (or more honestly, necessity) I hope that Jason is right about Carl in this case, and there is good reason to be confident, as it certainly will not the first time that Pavano has escaped the icy clutches of the ninth circle.

42 comments… add one
  • Nice AG.

    bloodyank78 March 26, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • Nice AG.

    bloodyank78 March 26, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • sorry for the repost.

    bloodyank78 March 26, 2007, 12:31 pm
  • I should have credited Paul’s earlier story that I totally missed that covered the topic of Pavano starting.

    attackgerbil March 26, 2007, 1:02 pm
  • You forget that Pavano’s “escape” coincided with the arrival of the Sox’ own Messiah of sorts: Pedro Martinez.

    SF March 26, 2007, 1:27 pm
  • Arod just CRUSHED a shot over the scoreboard in left-center. Yanks 3-0.

    bloodyank78 March 26, 2007, 1:38 pm
  • SF, I thought about mentioning that, but I decided to be totally self-serving and leave that juicy nugget out of the joke. Pavano and Tony Armas for one of the most awesome hurlers of my lifetime. Not a bad shake.

    attackgerbil March 26, 2007, 1:38 pm
  • Matsuzaka on the one hand is dominating the Reds. Five innings, no hits, six Ks.
    On the other hand, five walks. Wow.

    Paul SF March 26, 2007, 2:46 pm
  • and hansen comes in to make me wonder if he’s ever gonna find it.

    sf rod March 26, 2007, 3:24 pm
  • Yeah, Matsuzaka doing his best Dock Ellis impression…probably without the acid, though.

    Devine March 26, 2007, 3:38 pm
  • Hansen, though.
    Mmmmbop, mmbop, *hit* bop, doo doo dah *walk* bop, dooo *hit batter* yeah yeah!!!

    Devine March 26, 2007, 3:43 pm
  • those hason chicks were hot.

    sf rod March 26, 2007, 3:52 pm
  • cnn has a “Science examines unhittable Japanese pitch” video up on the front page under latest news.

    sf rod March 26, 2007, 3:54 pm
  • So, what do you say, who wins the “Japanese pitcher import” battle of the day? Matsuzaka shut ’em down for 5 innings, with 6 strikeouts, but walked 5. Igawa went five, gave up a run, 2 hits, 3 walks, and 4 Ks.
    I guess the slight edge goes to Matsuzaka!
    And is anyone paying attention to Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals? He’s having an amazing spring. No question he’s in the rotation, even if Isringhausen gets hurt. I really only care because I have him on most of my fantasy teams.

    Andrew March 26, 2007, 4:05 pm
  • i don’t know who won the battle of the day, but i just put in a posting fee for the 12 year old in the cnn video.

    sf rod March 26, 2007, 4:10 pm
  • Each with five baserunners, Matsuzaka with more Ks and fewer runs. Daisuke the winner! :-D

    Paul SF March 26, 2007, 4:34 pm
  • Hehe, although Igawa’s the one that gets the technical Win :)

    Andrew March 26, 2007, 4:46 pm
  • I watched a lot of the game today and the Reds batters were bewildered to say the least, he had some control issues today, but there was head shaking and in some cases laughing. I don’t think a single batter made real solid contact all day and not a single fast ball was touched beyond getting a tiny piece of it.

    LocklandSF March 26, 2007, 4:57 pm
  • “I watched a lot of the game today and the Reds batters were bewildered to say the least, he had some control issues today, but there was head shaking and in some cases laughing. I don’t think a single batter made real solid contact all day and not a single fast ball was touched beyond getting a tiny piece of it.”
    Well, if you think about it, if the pitcher doesn’t know where the ball’s going, the batters sure as hell don’t, either.
    Combine that with a whole lot of movement, and that’s how you get no hits, 6 Ks, and 5 walks out of 5 innings and 100 pitches.

    Steve March 26, 2007, 5:17 pm
  • “Effectively wild” I think is the term. Of course, if those runners were allowed to score it would have been just “wild”.

    Andrew March 26, 2007, 5:21 pm
  • Andrew,
    Kei gave up 3 hits and 2 walks, not the other way around. This is worth mentioning as control has been his biggest issue this spring.
    BTW, most Yankee fans are not expecting Kei to perform at DMat’s level. If Igawa could get 15 wins with an ERA in the low to mid 4’s I’d be happy.

    Whatever March 26, 2007, 5:34 pm
  • Woops, I knew that, I guess I wrote it wrong.

    Andrew March 26, 2007, 5:41 pm
  • WE: “15 wins.. ERA ~4-4.5”
    Yeah, I am thinking I would be happy with that result from just about everyone not named Mussina, based on the pessimist in me. Okay, maybe I expect better from Wang.

    attackgerbil March 26, 2007, 5:49 pm
  • From boston.com’s extra bases –
    “After Brandon Phillips flied to center, Ken Griffey Jr. fouled off what may have been a gyroball.”
    “What may have been a gyroball.” I love it. Keep them guessing, Dice-K.
    Also from boston.com –
    “Pineiro on the market?
    The Red Sox would not have difficulty finding a trading partner for pitcher Joel Pineiro now that the team has filled its closer position, according to the Herald’s Jeff Horrigan. Several teams have been scouting Pineiro, and the Cincinnati Reds seem like the best fit, according to Horrigan. The righthander is currently signed to a one-year, $4 million contract.”
    I’m not sure what Piniero could bring, and whether teams would be looking at him as a starter or reliever. Personally, I’d like to hold onto him because I get the feeling he could be pretty good reliever, and I can’t think of any holes we have that the Reds could fill. (How about Piniero and Hansen for Homer Bailey? joking… Piniero and Pedroia for Brandon Phillips and a prospect?) It doesn’t make sense to be shopping a possibly effective relief arm, since we always seem to be scrambling to find decent relievers in June and July. That said, if he stinks, then we’ll be stuck with him and his $4m, and his trade value won’t be going up anytime soon.

    Tyrel SF March 26, 2007, 6:26 pm
  • No comments on Bill James’s Red Sox projections in the Globe? I’d give many of the Sox better numbers than he did — are his numbers usually conservative? JD Drew’s going to hit .283 and have 82 rbis?
    In the pitcher projections (not by James), Beckett’s going to have 13 wins, Schilling 12 and Wakefield 8? That’s good news for the Yankees if it’s true. The Sox would need 57 wins from the rest of the staff just to get to 90.

    john March 26, 2007, 7:47 pm
  • Didn’t Schilling make some comment a month or so ago that he was capable of 24 wins this year?
    Who wrote those pitcher projections in the Globe? Dan Shaughnessy? Heh.

    Anonymous March 26, 2007, 7:57 pm
  • That was me.

    Whatever March 26, 2007, 8:00 pm
  • I think .283 is fine for Drew, as long as he’s still getting on base at a .390+ clip.
    The win projections are low if you ask me, but then again, I’m not Bill James.
    The only pitchers I’d put in the “clearly capable of 20+ wins” category are Santana, Halladay, and, uh…well, that’s about it.

    Steve March 26, 2007, 8:03 pm
  • Put Kazmir on a good team and I’d probably put him somewhere up there, too.

    Steve March 26, 2007, 8:04 pm
  • John, I did a piece a while back when James first released his projections. I saw the link on the Globe and figured it was more of the same. It might be interesting with Drew and Lugo changing teams, etc. He’s also incredibly conservative on wins (no starter with 20, for example, only Santana with 19, only Carpenter with 18).

    Paul SF March 26, 2007, 8:30 pm
  • I can’t see Schilling having a 3.50 ERA and only 13 wins. Likewise Beckett 12 wins with a 3.67, and Wakefield at 8 wins with a 4.14. The projectors were either anticipating a dismal offensive performance from the entire team, or they were done before we had a closer and they anticipated scads of blown saves.
    I’m not saying I agree with the ERAs, but if the ERAs are correct I think they’d each win 15-plus.
    And in regards to the 57 wins, Dice-K is good for AT LEAST half of those, right?

    Tyrel SF March 26, 2007, 8:31 pm
  • I guess I missed that Paul.
    From LoHud — the spring stats for Igawa and Dice-K:
    17 13 5 5 12 19
    17.2 9 5 4 7 19

    john March 26, 2007, 9:05 pm
  • Jesus – is everyone really going to be comparing Mats and Igawa? Not to be a Yankee apologist, but they’re simply not the same pitcher. Of course, comparisons are likely if they are doing similarly, or if one really stinks and the other does good. But I really don’t want Sox fans coming up to me and gloating about how THEIR Japanese import did better than OUR Japanese import so ha-ha.
    Of course, if our Yankees’ Japanese import does better then the Sox’s Japanese import, well…

    Andrew March 26, 2007, 10:25 pm
  • I just got some terrible news! According to the link over on Lohud, I share a birthday with Bucky Dent. I won’t even say what year I was born. ugh.

    Brad March 27, 2007, 10:34 am
  • Sorry to hear that, Brad…Guess 1978 wasn’t all bad for your family, eh?
    I apparently share a birthday with Mickey Mantle, Juan Marichal and….Rudy Seanez!

    yankeemonkey March 27, 2007, 11:09 am
  • Andrew, I’d point out that that was a comparison brought up by Peter Abraham on a Yankee blog. The tone of the post, which really irked me, seemed to be, “Hey, look, our Japanese import has done almost as well as Boston’s at a much better price!” Why does it bother me? Because if you extrapolate those numbers over an entire season, the two pitchers aren’t even close; Matsuzaka ends up with a sub-1 WHIP and Igawa with a WHIP over 1.4 and a much worse K/BB, and there’s no way the two would compare in ERA if that were the case. So the comparison itself was stupid, using spring stats to compare two players is never a very good idea, and in this case the numbers didn’t even make the point he wanted them to make.

    desturbd1 March 27, 2007, 11:36 am
  • In fact, he actually wrote a whole article about it today. I usually like Abraham, but this is pretty asinine. If I were a YF I’d be at least a little optimistic about Igawa’s spring, too–although his walks would scare the crap out of me–but there’s no real need to bring up Matsuzaka unprompted. Not until a few months into the season, at least.
    Again…I know he’s avoiding any grandoise predictions about Igawa outperforming Matsuzaka, restricting himself to the “bargain” line of reasoning, but I still don’t really like it. And if these stories keep up, I fully reserve the right to giggle if Igawa does his best 06 Shawn Chacon impression while Matsuzaka wins 10 before the break. :-)

    desturbd1 March 27, 2007, 11:47 am
  • Heh, that would be at the far end of best-case-for-the-Red-Sox spectrum, although you can’t deny it’s possible. Wang’s and Cano’s emergence and Mussina’s resurgence, to go along with Beckett’s bomb(after bomb, after bomb…) along with the flops of Crisp and Varitek, culminating in the massacre were on the pretty extreme side of the best-case-for-the-Yankee spectrum.
    It’s unfair for Matsuzaka and Sox fans, because he has to do significantly better than Igawa to avoid the would-be (somewhat justified) ‘overpriced’ or ‘Igawa is a bargain’ articles. The only way articles won’t come is if the expected happens – Matsuzaka does well and Igawa bombs.

    Andrew March 27, 2007, 12:52 pm
  • Brad and YM: I was happy to discover I share a birthday with Kei Igawa. That’s great news, because now I can stop sending cards and voice mails to Yadier Molina and his brothers, asking to be invited to his birthday shindig. Maybe they will now remove that inconvenient and totally misunderstood restraining order. Who doesn’t like surprise-visit clowns? It took hours to get the face paint right. The family of Stan Coveleski, my sole HOF birthday-brother, did not much appreciate my kerchief out-the-nose-of-the-dearly-departed trick at his funeral either, come to think of it.

    attackgerbil March 27, 2007, 5:05 pm
  • You’re a mess.

    Brad March 28, 2007, 12:07 am
  • I just realized I share a birthday with Hall of Famer Jesse Haines. I also share a birthday with Sparky Lyle and Doc Cramer, the obly two former Red Sox readily apparent to me on the list…

    Paul SF March 28, 2007, 12:20 am
  • Brad: beyond redemption.

    attackgerbil March 28, 2007, 1:29 am

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