Masters

Claiming Manny Ramirez off of Waivers: $50,000
Signing Curt Schilling to 3-year deal: $38M
Carrying a Squad full of Prima Donnas: $183M
The Look on Alex Rodriguez’ Face while the Sox Celebrate in Yankee Stadium: Priceless

22 comments… add one
  • You know that’s pretty funny, for a sox fan, but for a yankees fan … I think it’s pretty shallow to say that the yankees are prima donnas because if thats true the prima donnas beat you for 86 years. LETS GO YANKEES!

    Lena Badr October 21, 2004, 8:19 am
  • Nah, they’ve only been prima donnas for the last 2-3.

    Mimiru October 21, 2004, 8:40 am
  • Trying hard to come up with some objective observations/commentary re the series and I’m finding it very tough. There’s a lot to talk about, and I’m sure it’ll all eventually be hashed out on this blog, but right now, I’ve got major brain freeze. As a Broncos fan, I certainly remember what it was like to get seriously humiliated on the most public stage possible (before we finally sent Elway out the way he deserved), but those Super Bowl blowouts pale in comparison to the last four nights. I’m completely stunned.

    Spidey October 21, 2004, 9:52 am
  • It took him longer than I expected, but Steinbrenner’s gone and filled the team with overpriced blowhards once again. Hey Kevin Brown, F.U. and your $15 million. You should give it away to charity you numnutz, you didn’t earn a cent. Hey Sheff and A-Rod, get a hit with men on base you overpriced hacks. Tony Freakin’ Clark, WTF, Tony Freakin’ Clark? Vazquez, you’re young, grow some cojones, there’s still time. Sox fans call Mendoza the embedded one, yet was there anyone who did more to help their old team than Tom ‘Benedict Arnold’ Gordon. Here’s genius at work for you, let’s get a good RP whith great regular season stats who just happens to fold like an accordion in the postseason, why the F*** didn’t we just keep Armando Benitez if we wanted a gutless loser to blow games in the playoffs.
    God I hate David Ortiz, rollie-pollie MF. And who the F*** decided to resurrect Jesus Damon. Schilling is a mercenary hypocritical blowhard prima-donna, yeah just like A-Rod and you know it Sox fans, but the difference is he pitched his ass off when they needed it, still I hate that F***ing guy.
    Hey George Steinbrenner, the man who proves you don’t have to be smart, hell you don’t even have to have common sense, to be filthy rich, why don’t you go out and pay $20 million a year for Pedro now. Hell he’ll fit right in, he just good enought to go 19-9 in the regular season and then lose all his starts in the postseason.
    Am I pissed, hell yeah I’m pissed. You can’t win’em all. I’ve seen them lose since 2000, why is this different? Because its the MF Red Sox.
    Congratulations Sox fans, good luck, however you know I’m gonna be rooting for Clemmens and the ‘Stros, right? Is there any chance Pettite will pitch for them if they make it to the WS?

    Joe (YF) October 21, 2004, 9:57 am
  • Jeez, now there’s losing with some class. A couple of thoughts on Joe’s understandable anger at the Yanks and some misplaced anger at the Sox:
    First, Ortiz took below-market to stay in Boston this year, so I think it’s only fair, in impugning “mercenary blowhards” to tip the cap to a player who isn’t that. As for Schilling, he may be a mercenary (most guys in professional sports are), and he may be a blowhard (also, a common trait to most athletes), but he is also pretty honest and, as you imply, tough as a 2-dollar steak. He’s the guy the Yankees didn’t devote the right time and effort to getting, and for that their front office deserves criticism.
    As for the Sox, though this series was incredibly satisfying, historic, and sweet, it isn’t the big prize, and here’s hoping the extra day off gives our men in red and white the chance to enjoy this win, and also gives them a chance to realize what the Yankees didn’t last year, that the pennant is just a stepping stone to greater glory.

    SF October 21, 2004, 10:35 am
  • Let’s all take it easy on the Yankees. They lost. They should have won? Were they wrong to pass on Schilling? In retrospect it’s a nice argument, but let’s keep in mind just how fine we all thought the addition of Vazquez was way back last winter. He was the top young pitcher on the market, and the Yankees got him. No one expected….this. The Kevin Brown deal also looked brilliant. That, too, a flameout. And let’s not forget the smooth moves that got the Yankees to the position they found themselves in: Lieber, Duque, and Olerud–all picked off the junk heap. And let’s also save the Tony Clark bile. He had a fine year, and is a class guy by all accounts. Is it his fault Jason Giambi, Travis Lee, and Olerud all went down?
    Examining the shortcomings of this Yankee team is necessary to build for the future. But let’s not turn on our heroes so quickly.

    YF October 21, 2004, 11:17 am
  • I’m less upset at the players than I am at the management. Torre’s complete lack of trust in anyone that wasn’t one of ‘his guys’ blew it. I love Bernie, and he hit pretty damn well for us, but to use him in center when you have a better option available in Lofton was stupid. Then, not using Lofton off the bench at all? And great job by Torre to use Gordon in the 19-8 blowout, leading to using him 3 days in a row. Golly, he was ineffective? Duh.
    Torre made some great moves early on in his Yankee career, but he’s become stuck in a rut. Where was Karsay? Halsey?
    Sigh.
    120 days. 19 hours until pitchers and catchers report to spring training!

    Clay October 21, 2004, 12:36 pm
  • I think the Sox are gonna get pounded in the World Series. Congrats on the AL win.

    Anonymous October 21, 2004, 12:43 pm
  • I agree with YF that we should lay off Clark, and even Vasquez. I mean, sure, Clark needs to put a bat on that last pitch from Foulke in Game 6, but for the most part, he gave us everything that we wanted out of him this year. Who the hell knows what’s wrong with Vasquez, but there’s no denying that he still has the stuff to come back and become a solid starter for us in the future (if the recurring nightmares of Johnny F–kin Damon don’t destroy him mentally).
    OTOH, I feel Joe’s rage at Kevin Brown, and I disagree with YF when he says that picking him up was a brilliant move, and here’s sorta why. If there’s one thing that this series made absolutely clear to me, it’s the distinction between this team of Yankees and the teams of just a few years ago (as Mimiru pointed out), the teams that got it done. SF is NOT off the mark when he points to some of these Yanks as primadonnas, and wall-puncher Kevin is probably the most obvious and worst of the lot. (Let’s not forget Quantrill’s comment during the pre-season [but before the KB signing] when he said that the best part about getting picked up by the Yanks was that it allowed him to get the hell away from Kevin Brown. In this respect, KB was a known quantity.) Not all of the members of this team are that way, of course, b/c there’s still the core of Jeets/Bernie/Jorgie/Mo/Joe, plus you have to appreciate what guys like Cairo and Matsui bring to the team, but it’s hard to refute that other key members of the team–ARod, Brown, Lofton–fit the primadonna mold. Who among the 2000 Yanks could you have pointed to with that same criticism? Okay, Clemens, for sure, but even he toned down the me-first sorta outlook as a member of the Yanks (in the same way that Sheff seemed to do this season). The Olerud pickup looked great b/c Olerud, despite being maybe a bit past his prime, is exactly the kind of modest fundamentals-first player that could’ve helped get the Yanks back to where they once were in terms of team chemistry. We all saw how he did help, and what all of a sudden NOT having him in the lineup did to the squad. But I think the big problem with the primadonna player is that during crunch time, everything is reduced to “Am I gonna be the hero or the goat?” The focus is taken off making the small contributions, and, well, we all know that it’s the less obvious contributions that get you the tough wins. And so witness the results: when the chips were seriously down, with the screws put to us, Brown posts an ERA over 20, Gordon admits that his main concern on the mound was not going after hitters but ‘keeping balls in the park,’ ARod can’t sacrifice fly home a crucial insurance run late in Game 5 and is eventually reduced to pathetically slapping the ball out of Arroyo’s mitt, and Sheff is walking up to the plate over the last three praying for a 4-pitch walk. Hell, LOFTON showed more character than those guys, and that’s saying something. I don’t know.
    I know that the Yanks have had championship teams in the past that were self-serving maniacs from head-to-toe. But not under Torre. That’s not the kind of team that Joe wants to field, and rightly so. I suppose it can be summed up this way for me: When the Yanks lost in 2001, I felt extremely sad for all the guys on the team. And Joe/Mel/Zim/et. al. And this year, I find myself feeling for about half of the guys. I don’t know if this means I’m selling out my team or not.
    But credit where credit is due, and the Sox really played their hearts out to steal this one from us.

    Spidey October 21, 2004, 12:55 pm
  • First of all I didn’t call Ortiz a mercenary, I just said I hate that F***ing guy, Schilling is the F***ing mercenary. He ain’t no F***ing hero and he ain’t got no F***ing class, Randy Johnson is the calss act who saved his ass in the 2001 WS. You don’t hear RJ preening for the cameras, Schilling is an RJ or Roger Clemmens wannabe. Second, Steinbrenner in all his wisdom let players with proven heart like Pettite walk and he brought in those overpriced clowns (mainly Brown). You have to give credit to the Sox they beat the Yankees, for the most part the Yankees fought to the end. But there were a lot of players unconfortable with the pressure and the spotlight. What would make the Yankees think that Gordon would perform any differently than he has in his career to this point. He has always had good regular seasons, and then folded in the postseason. I don’t care what anybody says, there are good players in the postseason and there are others that can’t take the pressure. When did the Yankees forget this? It’s time to let some of these guys go and to start accumulating the right type of player. And the right type ain’t Pedro. How we all tend to forget the 1979 – 1993 years when George was a huge dumbass. Do we think that’s changed? Or were we lucky that he was out of it for those few years and the people running the Yankees brought in the nucleus that accomplished what it did from 1996-2001? Read Buster Olney’s book. I hate to sound pessimistic, but we’ll see how the offseason goes. Right now the Yankee minor leagues are in poor shape especially pitching wise. And God knows what dumbshit George the Boss is gonna do.
    You can’t always choose what team you end up rooting for, I’ve been a Yankee fan since the first game I can remember watching (Guidry’s 18 K game against the Angels), and I don’t think I could stop rooting for them even if I wanted to, but I sure as hell can stop going to the games. I haven’t been to a Yankee game all year, made up my mind when they let Pettite go. Don’t know when I’ll be back to the Stadium. I won’t waste my money on Steinbrenner its bad enough he can affect my emotions I ain’t gonna pay him for it.
    As for turning on my heroes, there are evry few players left on this team worth rooting for.
    There’s Mo’ (who didn’t have a bad postseason, only one of the blown saves was his fault he was 12.3 IP 1 ER)
    There’s DJ who struggled but had 6 RBI and played with more Heart than anybody.
    There’s Bernie (10 RBI’s vs Boston, 10!) and Jorgie. Jon Lieber was a surprise. Tanyon Sturtze has guts. Moose may have had a bad regular season but he gave his team two very good gutty starts. Matsui was great. Olerud had heart. Cairo kept up the tradition of the plucky Sojo. El Duque did just fine he gave them a chance to win his game. Heredia surprised althoug we didn’t see him much, as did Loaiza. I would bring Loaiza back before I would bring Brown back that’s for sure. Quantrill was injured and he tried his best and he wasn’t scared.
    Arod is on the fence, has there ever been a more talented player that just always seems to rub you the wrong way. It’s just tough to root for him. Sheff would be great if he would just shut the F*** up. One thing I couldn’t stand about some of the Sox players is that they always had their mouths running and before they had actually accomplished anything. The exact opposite of why I loved the Yankee team, they were pounding everybody and all anybody could say was what a bunch of classy guys. They never talked shit. I think that’s one of the reasons they hated some of the Sox players. So now I gotta root for Sheff and ARod and they can’t keep their yaps shut or back it up on the field. I don’t think so.
    As for Tony Clark, he sucks. Its not anywhere near his fault that the Yankees lost. While he may be the type of class guy I like to have on the Yankees, he sure as heck shouldn’t be on the roster next year. So if you like Tony the Tiger I can understand and I apologize.
    If I sound angry, Its because I am. We had an all-time great team, possibly one of the greatest teams of all-time in 1998, that was classy and likeable. And now what?
    BTW Spidey, I just read your post, very eloquent, couldn’t have said it better myself even if I had the chance to calm down.
    I also will still be rooting very hard against the Sox. Regardless of what all those homers at ESPN.com say, when they get Tom Brady’s d*ck out of their mouths long enough to write, these Sox are not lovable. Yes there are exceptions, Ortiz is a stud and by all accounts a very good guy. But outside of Boston, and most of New England, who can root for Martinez, Princess Schilling, “I’ll play if I feel like it” Ramirez, and “I haven’t done sh*t, but I’ll still talk sh*t” Arroyo. I’ll be rooting for the ‘Stros (the Killer B’s) and even the Cards before I hope for the Sox to win. All these Sox fans on the Horny Sons of Sam blog, and all these Brady Fellatioers at ESPN.com complain about the arrogance of Yankee fans, and some probably were, although win your team wins that’s how it’s gonna seem, anybody like the Patriots fans? I’ve never seen a group of fans that derive more enjoyement from hating a team (The MF Yankees) and its players than they did from watching or rooting for their team. They were more proud of being Yankee haters than being Sox fans. Am I exaggerating, just check out their blog (http://p086.ezboard.com/bsonsofsamhorn). I never liked the Sox, nor did I ever hate them either, until the last few years with their new players and since I’ve read their blog.

    Joe (YF) October 21, 2004, 1:14 pm
  • BTW, Tom Gordon, you did your boy Stephen King proud.

    Joe (YF) October 21, 2004, 1:16 pm
  • Clay: Halsey and Karsay? Please. Lofton over Bernie in center? Defensively it’s a wash (Bernie acquitted himself well) and offensively Bernie is a lot more dangerous. The question was at DH–Sierra vs. Lofton–and it’s hard to fault Joe for not going with the hot hand/bigger bat.
    Spidey, Joe, and SF: Enough with the smearing of the Yankees as prima donnas. It’s misplaced and it’s demeaning, Aside for Kevin Brown, this team has conducted itself, for the most part, in an entirely professional manner. The Yankees didn’t fail because of their personalities.

    YF October 21, 2004, 1:21 pm
  • The Yankees are not a team full of prima donnas, but they are a team with prima donnas. And some world-class ones. Your attitude of denial, YF, is hard to take, especially considering that Kevin Brown, one of the biggest PDs, was awful, and awful partially as a result of being a PD.
    And you know, it’s fun to see the bile being thrown at the Red Sox by the likes of Joe and other Yankees fans. Really, it’s tremendously enlightening to see that Yankees fans are just like Red Sox fans with their “hating”, that my sense of Bombers fans’ own sense of entitlement is spot-on. God forbid another team should piss in the Yankees’ cornflakes. The world has stopped rotating, down is up, left is right, the Red Sox are evil. We’re not that different, us Sox fans and Yanks fans, 26 titles or otherwise. Neither of us is immune to irrational insults and over-emotional baiting.
    As for bad decisions/strategic mishaps, how about looking at Joe Torre, and not for tactical errors within the series, but during the season? Quantrill, Gordon, and (to a much lesser extent) Rivera were all close to shot by the playoffs, and that’s the fault of Stottlemyre, Torre, and Cashman/front office, not picking up another arm to shore up the setup staff before the deadline. I think this has been overlooked, the heavy reliance on these three guys from April-August, hurting them in October. Additionally, where was the magical Mel in helping work through Vazquez’ mechanical problems? There’s plenty of blame to spread around on the Yankees, and it’s not because they are prima donnas, or because they were mismanaged, or because Giambi got a pituitary problem, but everything adds up. And remember, the Sox won as much as the Yankees lost. One team bucked up, the other folded. The Sox deserve as much credit as the Yankees deserve blame. It’s a two way street.

    SF October 21, 2004, 1:46 pm
  • That post is so full of hypocracy and warped logic I don’t even know where to begin. Are there prima donnas on the Yanks? Yeah. On the Sox? Yeah. This matters, why, exactly?
    As for Torre overusing his bullpen and Cashmman not filling it; that’s a legitimate argument, but also a tenuous one. Rivera looked fine during the postseason. Blaming Mel for not magically fixing Vazquez seems Steinbrennerian.
    When it comes to bile, you haven’t heard any “hating” from YF. But here’s SF calling the Yanks a bunch of primadonnas and variously impugning members of its staff. So much for gracious winning.

    YF October 21, 2004, 2:04 pm
  • Huh? The Sox have primadonnas too. Every team does. Athletes are, by their nature, mostly PDs. Spidey nails it, though, and I will (mostly) defer to his eloquence. This Yankees team was not the same as the 1996-2000 squads, and I can say this even as I hated those teams with a passion. If YF can’t see this, then there’s no point in having this discussion.
    It is inarguable that both teams really wanted to win. But it is arguable that the Yankees were less cohesive as a group of guys as the Red Sox are now. Whether this was a big factor, a little tiny factor, or no factor at all is subjective, though we have some empirical results off of which to base our subjective thoughts.
    As for winning graciously, I don’t recall posting anything ungracious except in response to some other posts. My most recent thread clearly has some tongue embedded in cheek. If you can’t detect it, I guess your sense of humor has been temporarily relegated to the same place as the Yankees season…

    SF October 21, 2004, 2:16 pm
  • Yankee fans who wanted a quality lefty in the bullpen? Here are some stats for two Yankee pitchers versus left-handed batters:
    Heredia: .216/.333/.405 AVG/OBP/SLG, 5.30 BB/9, 7.23 K/9, 7.71 H/9
    Halsey: .143/.219/.250 AVG/OBP/SLG, 2.08 BB/9, 8.31 K/9, 4.15 H/9
    Halsey never even got considered I bet. He wasn’t one of Torre’s guys, so to the scrapheap he went. I can’t even begin to explain Torre’s lack of use of Steve Karsay. Unless Karsay was still injured, Torre skipping over him to keep going with a less and less effective Quantrill is amazing.
    Regarding center, I would have liked to see Lofton in the field and Bernie DHing, with Sierra off the bench as a pinch hitter. Seriously, I love Bernie. He’s one of my favorite Yankees. But, I like winning more, and I think we could have fielded a better team with both Lofton and Bernie playing, and I think Lofton’s defense is better than Bernie’s.

    Clay October 21, 2004, 2:30 pm
  • All teams are unique in their personalities. This Yankee team did not win; that is the primary difference between it and the glory years squads. There were no shortage of prima donnas on those older teams, but it’s convenient to forget them (and the Yankee hagiography machine encourages this). Had this team won, the stories about personality would be entirely different.

    YF October 21, 2004, 2:36 pm
  • Hagiography? Smearing? What are you talking about, YF? A smear is a fabrication. Can you name a guy on those earlier teams that broke his hand punching a wall after a game? Or who yapped about the state of the opposing clubhouse before going 1-17 w/ 6K over the final four crucial games in the ALCS? None of us is saying that the attitudes of many of the current Yanks is the single reason why they lost (although it wouldn’t be unreasonable to see a relationship to their obviously tight play). What we’re expressing is why we find it so hard to back some of these guys in defeat. Think what you want, but just for comparison’s sake, had this blog existed back in ’01 after the crushing loss to the DBax, you would have seen none of this sort of commentary, and you know it.

    Spidey October 21, 2004, 3:09 pm
  • Again, every team has PDs, but the 1996-2000 Yankees fell far short in this category – it was one of the most frustrating things about rooting against them, their lack of complete unadulterated assholes. Besides the petulant O’Neill (an admirably intense but somewhat bratty player), the bit player Leyritz, and the idiotic Boggs (a total PD, but well past his prime and not a key cog) there weren’t many PE#1s on those teams. It was hard to seethe at guys like Mo, Bernie, Brosius, no matter that they were evil killers on my least favorite team. Can you equate any key players on those teams to the key likes of Gordon (a selfish, pompous dick), Lofton (actually not really a key, but still a clubhouse cancer), Brown (two starts in the ALCS), Sheffield (see SI interview), and A-Rod (the best player in all of ball)? Who would those key PD components on the 90s teams be? Leyritz? Knoblauch? I am struggling here to justify your equivalency.

    SF October 21, 2004, 3:13 pm
  • Obviously you start out with Wells and move down from there. But this is a ridiculous discussion. Compare any team to the 98 Yankees and you’re going to have an unfavorable outcome. And who could criticize the 01 team, after what they pulled off, and what they had been through (personally and collectively). But the Yanks had, what, 65 comebacks this year? That doesn’t seem like a team without guts. When Mo made his emotional return to the bullpen for Game 1 and was embraced by the entire bullpen and a cheering stadium, was that fake?
    There’s no excuse for Kevin Brown. But I’m not out to judge personalities. Pick on A-Rod. Pick on Sheff. Whatever. They’re not in a popularity contest. Bottom line: the Yanks lost. End of story.

    YF October 21, 2004, 3:37 pm
  • Nobody is accusing the Yanks of being fake, or of not caring. Obviously they wanted to win. But that’s a different argument than whether the makeup of the team affected their performance over the last week.

    SF October 21, 2004, 3:41 pm
  • All this nonsense about team chemestry is just that. Nonsense. The Yanks had tons of it. They missed out winning the Pennant by one run. Over 4 games. They had a brilliant regular season with all the problems they had, to win as many games as they did was amazing. And althought there are a couple of PD’s in the roster, but I don’t think ARod is one of them. I think they had plenty of guts and chemistry. If they won and the Red Sox lost everyone would be saying what chemistry they lacked. And they were essentially one run from that.

    bronxborn October 22, 2004, 1:50 am

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