Minky Is Coming; Roger…Not Quite Yet

Great stuff from Peter Abraham today, who reports that Doug Mientkiewicz is on his way to New York for a physical, and will sign a one year deal with the Bombers as a platoon first baseman. In our opinion, this deal became a lot more desirable for the Yanks the moment they signed Andy Pettitte; with two ground-ball intensive starters, an excellent glove at first is going to be all the more important for this team, and they should be able to compensate for the less-than-inspiring offensive production.

Abraham also speculates that Clemens will not decide on where to play (the choices being NY, Bos, Hou) for some time, and that the fortune of the season may determine where he goes. “Clemens will probably want to do what he did last season: Hang around spring training with his kid, play some golf, make a comeback in May and pitch in June. If Houston is contending, the Astros will be the team to beat. If not, it’ll be a fight between the Yankees and Red Sox.” Abraham suggests Clemens would pick Boston, all things being equal, out of a sense of history. Who knows. He presumably still has that Yankee Hummer. Another interesting point: the Astros can get away with offering Clemens all kinds of special privileges, but Joe Torre is a lot less likely to be so lenient, especially when he has so many other superstars on the team. Still, you’d expect guys like A-Rod and Mo and Jeter to handle this properly. But if Roger gets all kinds of dispensations in Boston….different story.

Anyway, with Minky and Pettitte, the NY tabloid spell checkers will have to be extra vigilant.

46 comments… add one
  • Doug “It’s my ball!” Mientkiewicz is a solid defensive pickup I think. Nice low risk move by the Yankees.
    The Clemens thing, well, I’m sick of it already, would love to have him back, but I don’t want to have to read about it until freaking June.

    LocklandSF January 4, 2007, 10:38 am
  • me either. it’s driving me nuts. just pick a team already.

    m.g. yanks fan January 4, 2007, 11:10 am
  • loretta seems to be headed to houston.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2719795
    interesting.
    i am undecided on doogie and hope that clemens disappears or plays for houston.

    Yankee Fan In Boston January 4, 2007, 11:11 am
  • What’s Wang going to do when Minky fields the ball at first then runs off the field and puts it in his locker instead of handing it back?

    Paul SF January 4, 2007, 11:49 am
  • I don’t like this move. Even though DM (ha) was decent with the bat (.283 43 RBI) last year for KC, I can’t forget how little he hit for the Mets and Sox.
    If he can get the ball back though, maybe it can be hung up, a la Mussolini, at the Stadium. I, for one would certainly like a crack at it :)

    Andrews January 4, 2007, 12:15 pm
  • Solid move. Having a guy who can actually field at 1B is big to me. He is in the top 3 of defensive 1Bmen in the game. If he hits .260 in a platoon with either Phelps or Phillips and plays gold glove type defense it’s a win. Plus his OB% is always decent (.350+) and he has good patience and bat control.

    Triskaidekaphobia January 4, 2007, 12:34 pm
  • The ticket to Mink is letting him play everyday. Platoon situations clearly don’t work for him, and if you’re not counting on him to be a threat with the bat anyhow, what’s the problem with letting him field his position like a champ everyday?
    I’m sure he’s going to get better if they do actually let him swing four or five times a game, day in and day out.

    Brad January 4, 2007, 1:15 pm
  • i also think this move is ok. not great or anything, but it fills a hole for a year. and it’s relatively cheap. the posters at bronx banter are having a hissy fit though. they expect way too much.

    m.g. yanks fan January 4, 2007, 1:18 pm
  • “if they do actually let him swing four or five times a game, day in and day out.”
    This won’t happen, and yes his numbers drop significantly when he platoons, like the partial year in boston, or his year with the mets. I seem to remember him being a pain in the ass when he was used as a late inning defensive replacement by the sox.

    Andrews January 4, 2007, 1:27 pm
  • I also woory about whether he will be anything close to the same player after back surgury in August

    Andrews January 4, 2007, 1:45 pm
  • A lot of cringing in Yank sabermetric circles on this one; Minky as the IB equivalent of Womack on offense, and with a declining glove.
    Jury’s out.

    YF January 4, 2007, 1:51 pm
  • What are the options out there? I guess I’m indifferent, but I don’t think it’s a Womackian move.

    Nick-YF January 4, 2007, 1:54 pm
  • there aren’t any other options really. unless you want to trade and give up some of the farmhands… i personally don’t think that the need is that severe. why not get an average (or better, according to some) glove? perhaps hitting in the yankee lineup can help him to see better pitches? i’m reaching on that one, but you’re supposed to dream big in the winter months.
    …this IS a winter month, right? i can’t tell…

    Yankee Fan In Boston January 4, 2007, 1:59 pm
  • “Womackian”
    I like that, I’m going to use it, it sounds so official.

    LocklandSF January 4, 2007, 2:00 pm
  • His numbers are not as bad as Womack’s, sometimes you guys go a little nuts. Giambi can’t play 1st….Who would have been better then DM? He will be fine, we don’t need 9 All world hitters.

    Triskaidekaphobia January 4, 2007, 2:09 pm
  • Not Sure if anyone has read it but there is an interview with Kei Igawa on SI.com….This dude seems VERY serious…Something tells me he and Damon aren’t going to be car pooling!

    Triskaidekaphobia January 4, 2007, 2:44 pm
  • jody wants doug to play everyday. jody doesn’t like it when doug platoons. jody thinks if doug played everyday he’d be the next olerud. don’t cross jody, jody doesn’t like to be crossed.
    it was classic how much doug fought to hang onto that ball, he put up no fight what so ever when jodi took away his other two.

    sf rod January 4, 2007, 2:49 pm
  • That makes four members of The 25 who have since joined the Yankees.
    Damon, the most famous; Embree, after he was released; Myers, as a free agent; and Mientkewicz.
    Mientkewicz is the only one not to make the leap directly. I wonder what, if any, reaction he’ll get at Fenway. Since he already played there with the Royals (presumably), it might be a non-issue. I don’t remember how he was received last season, what with the ball stuff and all.

    Paul SF January 4, 2007, 3:04 pm
  • don’t forget mark bellhorn paul. remember….it was murders row plus mark.

    sf rod January 4, 2007, 3:15 pm
  • Man, I did forget all about that.
    Embree and Bellhorn. Both sucking so bad that they were dumped by the Sox after playing heroes’ roles in ’04, and inexplicably picked up by the Yanks.

    Paul SF January 4, 2007, 3:19 pm
  • that igawa interview is hilarious, triskaidekaphobia.
    wow. mindblowing. i hope he can pitch as well as he can spit out dry responses to questions. i will be rooting for him even more now.
    “quest”

    Yankee Fan In Boston January 4, 2007, 3:35 pm
  • YFIB, I actually thought for a minute that it was a spoof interview….This guy’s personality is dryer than a saltine! The 2 japanese players seem to have gone to the correct teams…Dice K and his “Man Fur” to the Sox and those easy going guys and Kei to the business as usual no nonsense Yankees….I wonder if that played any part in the bids? LOL

    Triskaidekaphobia January 4, 2007, 3:45 pm
  • i was hoping that igawa was pulling an ali g type of prank on the interviewer, but the more i ponder it, the more i don’t care either way. i love it.

    Yankee Fan In Boston January 4, 2007, 3:52 pm
  • I-95 is a two-way street. David Wells, David Cone, Ramiro Mendoza….need we go on? Players move around. Nature of the game.

    YF January 4, 2007, 3:53 pm
  • I thought I read an interview that Kei Igawa was your typical Japanese nerd who happened to be extremely talented at baseball.
    Something I remember: “He used to play remote-control car, but it broke. So when he signed his contract with the Tigers, he now plays remote-control airplane.”
    I’ll be rooting for him because he reminds me of me, if I were Japanese and a really good pitcher.

    Andrew January 4, 2007, 3:56 pm
  • Kei to the business as usual no nonsense Yankees…
    Or, he has a personality disorder. I can’t think of the thread, but another depiction of him has him constantly playing with video games, remote control toys, and never combing his hair.
    I wonder which is true about the guy – is he a no nonsense type of ballplayer, or is he a 14 year old trapped in an adult body?
    Whichever, this is definitely not the guy who I envisioned when I first saw this:
    http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/2006/11/the_legend_of_k.html
    Wonder which it is?

    Brad January 4, 2007, 4:01 pm
  • Yankee Fan In Boston January 4, 2007, 4:02 pm
  • “SI: Do you have a secret ambition?
    Igawa: That’s secret.

    SI: And your motto?
    Igawa: Quest.”
    Hahahaha, I love it. And apparently he loves pitching to free-swinging power hitters. Wonder if he’ll change his tune once he faces Ortiz.

    Andrew January 4, 2007, 4:02 pm
  • John Flaherety……..

    Triskaidekaphobia January 4, 2007, 4:02 pm
  • olerud, ruth…

    Yankee Fan In Boston January 4, 2007, 4:05 pm
  • randy is gone.
    according to WFAN, the yanks get viscaino, gonzalez, ohlendorf, and jackson from the d-backs.

    Yankee Fan In Boston January 4, 2007, 4:30 pm
  • Ortiz: Not so free-swinging, what with the 119 walks last season.
    Pena: Very free-swinging.

    Paul SF January 4, 2007, 4:32 pm
  • Which Gonzalez and Jackson who??

    Triskaidekaphobia January 4, 2007, 4:35 pm
  • steven jackson (MiL pitcher) and i believe alberto gonzalez (SS).
    this is what i’m reading in unsubstantiated reports.

    Yankee Fan In Boston January 4, 2007, 4:43 pm
  • I almost had a heart attack, I thought you meant Conor.

    Triskaidekaphobia January 4, 2007, 4:45 pm
  • triskaid…., check this out. there are some links to info here:
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2007/01/johnson_trade_c.html

    Yankee Fan In Boston January 4, 2007, 4:47 pm
  • Paul, you’re right. Adam Dunn is a lot more in the mold. Although I never really thought Ortiz was a very patient hitter, I think a lot of those walks were from pitchers realizing what he can do to the ball, and thus either giving up first base (23 IBB) or simply pitching around him, something I remember a lot when Manny just inevitably doubled or homered. Something I wish(ed) during July Fausto Carmona could have done. I still get angry thinking about it.

    Andrew January 4, 2007, 5:08 pm
  • True, Ortiz benefited this year from a ton of IBB. But his walk numbers have increased over the years, as well. I imagine it goes hand in hand — you walk a lot when you start winning games once a week. But you don’t get pitches to hit if you don’t lay off the baddies.

    Paul SF January 4, 2007, 5:10 pm
  • or unless you face people like Josh Beckett or Fausto Carmona, who I guess think can blow major league hitters away with pure ‘stuff’. Or are just idiots. I hate Fausto with a passion, and have added him to my list of people I will never forgive for what they did to my heart.

    Andrew January 4, 2007, 5:21 pm
  • What did he do, Andrew? I know he managed to blow two saves in consecutive games to the Sox, with one of those being Papi’s three-run jack on ESPN (fond memories). What else?

    Paul SF January 4, 2007, 5:22 pm
  • That’s it. I was in Cape Cod at the time, and fully enjoying what was to be a Sox loss on NESN, then Fausto and Ortiz met. And then he came back the next day and fucked up again.
    It doesn’t take much to get on my shit-list. Luis Gonzalez is also on there, for obvious reasons.

    Andrew January 4, 2007, 6:16 pm
  • Wow, LuGo beats the Yanks in a WS, and Fausto Carmona blows a regular season game to the Sox for the INDIANS and they are on the same list? That’s like putting the fry guy at McDonald’s on the same deathlist as a guy from Taco Bell, even though all the guy at McDonald’s did was oversalt the fries, while the dude at TB gave you E.Coli.
    .

    SF January 4, 2007, 6:24 pm
  • You must have a long list. Besides, all Carmona did was help my fantasy baseball ranking (wasn’t high enough to pick him off waiver) and gave the Sox a few games.. I guess so they can fend off 4th ;)

    Lar January 4, 2007, 6:29 pm
  • I remember Carmona doing his best impression of being a deer peering into oncoming headlights as he stared in at Ortiz. Everyone watching that game — the fans, the players, the viewers, the announcers — knew that Ortiz was about to win the game.
    The next day, that look was even worse. I felt sorry for him then. It’s a tough way to be introduced into the majors, and I remember Eckersley just laid into the Cleveland manager for allowing the kid’s confidence to be destroyed like that.

    Paul SF January 4, 2007, 6:45 pm
  • menky is a placeholder for the yanks until they can acquire tex…

    dc January 4, 2007, 9:17 pm
  • “Mientkiewicz won’t need to look much farther for familiar faces in the Yankees clubhouse. He was a teammate and friend of third baseman Alex Rodriguez at Westminster Christian High School in Florida and should only further endear himself to A-Rod with each scoop at first base.”

    Maybe that’ll help ARod a little bit..

    Lar January 5, 2007, 1:30 pm

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