Wallace Matthews Hates Your Players

Not that we’re trying to turn this into Fire Joe Morgan, which does a fine job on its own. But the off day must have really driven those New York columnists crazy. YF did the honors for a Sox-related column, now allow me to note Wally Matthews — winner in my eyes of the unofficial "worst columnist in America" award — in today’s Newsday:

During the previous three seasons, the Yankees’ third baseman has averaged 40 home runs and 119 RBIs and batted just about .300. Two seasons back, he won the AL MVP, and this season he has a great chance to put up the best numbers of a career that already is a first-ballot ticket to Cooperstown.

And with him, the Yankees have won precisely nothing.

It will be worth remembering this at the end of the year when general manager Brian Cashman is faced with the agonizing choice of burning more cash on Alex Rodriguez or bidding him a fond farewell.

The crux of Matthews’ column: With subpar production out of third base in the late 1990s, the Yankees won a lot of World Series. Since A-Rod came aboard, they’ve won nothing. Therefore, A-Rod=Loser. Or something like that.

To be fair, Matthews says the Yankees could better spend A-Rod’s $25 million (apparently the Newsday headline writers don’t know that the Yankees aren’t actually paying all that money) on "dozens of Mike Stantons and Jeff Nelsons and David Weatherses" because relief pitching was the reason the Yankees won all those championships. Relief pitching.

What’s most amazing is this comes in the midst of a season that would be definitvely over for the Yankees if it weren’t for A-Rod — no matter how many great relievers they had in his place.

Not only that, but it follows a column, already tackled by FJM, in which Matthews says Jason Giambi is the reason the Yankees have won nothing since 2000, and credits Giambi’s absence for making everyone in the lineup hit better — even when they haven’t actually been hitting better.

So without two of the most potent offensive presences in baseball over the last five years, the Yankees would have won a lot more World Series. Gotcha.

8 comments… add one
  • I guess Wally missed yesterday’s game.

    YF June 12, 2007, 10:16 am
  • I agree about the relief pitching to a point, but hey, you can’t fault Cash for not trying – we’ve gone through so many relief pitchers (most of which were at least suppose to be reasonable good). It happens.
    Also, ARod sells jerseys, etc etc, enter old arguments here.

    Lar June 12, 2007, 10:18 am
  • gotta agree with you paul…i read this article earlier today and i’m still scratching my head trying to find one shred of logic in the guy’s argument…i agree that the yankee teams since 2000 have lacked something, but talent isn’t one of them…i’m not smart enough to identify what the yanks are “missing”, or i’d be on the phone right now with cashman instead of typing this…it’s too easy to say “better pitching”, or a “better OBP from the leadoff hitter”, or “abreu and cano need to keep hitting the way they are lately”…no duh, but how does that happen?…sometimes things just come together for a year or 2 with the right combination of players and circumstances…

    dc June 12, 2007, 10:25 am
  • “even when they haven’t actually been hitting better.”
    Damon, Melky, Abreu and Cano ARE hitting better – Damon and Melky’s rise could be attributed to Giambi’s absence – Melky gets more ab’s and Damon gets to rest his aching legs by DHing.

    Andrews June 12, 2007, 10:37 am
  • dc, I disagree somewhat – (’02’s ambush by the Halos aside) since ’00 the Yankees simply have not had enough good pitching late in the year to put them on top.

    Andrews June 12, 2007, 10:40 am
  • Everyone always says what an awful, terrible signing Jason Giambi was. Those same people fail to notice that, since 2002, Jason Giambi has been the most valuable (in terms of net production) member of the Yankees.
    In time, that will be Alex Rodriguez’s spot, if he stays on 3 more years.
    Every single one of these “The Yankees have won nothing” writers also fail to realize that the Yankees came very, very close in 2001, 2003 and 2004 (What? You really think the Yankees would have lost to the Cardinals?). There are several reasons that teams tend to not repeat as World Champions, and why dynasty teams like the late-90s Yankees and the Big Red Machine are so rare and so amazing. Bloop hits and a bad throw destroyed the Yankee’s 2001 season. A vastly inferior Marlins team shut down the emotionally drained Yankees in 2003. An extremely rare bad outing from the greatest postseason pitcher of all time brought the 2004 season to ruins. Let’s not talk about 2005 and 2006.
    In any case, the Yankees have been in the postseason each and every year since 1995 (and they were well on their way in ’94). They had one of the greatest all-time runs from 1996 to one out away from the end of 2001. Despite all their flaws, they came very, very close after that. But, I guess, it’s not good enough for these guys.
    The Yankees break my heart sometimes, but it’s only because they’re so good. Some people I guess can’t forgive them for that.

    AndrewYF June 12, 2007, 11:16 am
  • There so many stupid things going on when Matthews puts pen to paper it’s amazing. What’s spectacular about this offering is that he is 100% completely wrong. Here’s one little thing: Does Matthews think the Yanks have been cheap when in terms of bringing in relief pitchers? He does know that they’re paying Kyle Farnsworth $17 million. Right? What non-closers would he have suggested breaking the bank for these past off-seasons? Okajima was a coup for the Sox. But he wasn’t expensive. The Yanks wanted BJ Ryan but he wanted to close. There’s no accountability in Matthews columns. Ther’s no suggestion on what realistically could have been done. He just thinks things just happen magically I guess.

    Nick-YF June 12, 2007, 11:30 am
  • Andrews, read the FJM link. Matthews credits Giambi for making Matsui hit better, even though he’s actually hitting two points worse since Giambi’s absence.

    Paul SF June 12, 2007, 4:26 pm

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