Wide World of Blogs: Theo, and Melky’s Future

I’m waiting for this Yanks-Angels series to end before I continue watching baseball again. Chone Figgins and company find a new way to beat the Bombers every time they play. Let’s just assume that today will be no exception. In the meantime, the bloggers continue to talk:

  • In Theo We Trust Doubt: Sean Holland at Fire Brand of the AL writes the following about Boy Wonder: "I love this team, just like I have since I was young. But I’m afraid
    that the brilliant young GM we’ve hired has gone two years without any
    noteworthy moves, wasting the primes of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez.
    Until we find a GM who can use performance analysis to sniff out the
    Renterias and Clements of the world, or one with the ability to decide
    whether to go for the now or wait for the future, we’ll always be
    second fiddle in the AL East." Since 2004, the Sox have been caught in a difficult position, trying to field a competitive championship caliber club each year while rebuilding much of their roster with young players. I don’t think these these goals are mutually excusive or necessarily detract from each other (the recent Yanks’ dynasty is a good example of how a mix of veteran and home-grown talent can lead to big things). However, one has to wonder a bit about whether Theo and his partners have lost their Midas touch when it comes to performance evaluation. It’s early yet but, despite what Paul says in his convincing piece below, Coco is looking like a light-hitting corner outfielder, Beckett is not the #1 or #2 they thought they were getting, Clement is Clement, Edgar was an unmitigated disaster, etc. I don’t think you have to be the Curly Haired Boyfriend to call into question Young Epstein’s performance since 2004.
  • The Young and The Old: Melky Cabrera has outperformed expectations this season and Yanks fans are thrilled. Certain fans are also concerned about what role he’ll have on the team when Matsui comes back full-time in 2007. Should the Bombers trade Hideki for pitching talent since Melky’s doing an admirable job in his stead? Some fans are suggesting that course of action. Steve Lombardi at Was Watching puts the kibosh on that talk. He suggests making Melky a fourth outfielder and parting ways with Old Man Bernie. Which leads me to think about the possibility of Bernie wanting to return next year. What do you do if you’re Cashman and Bernie Williams, a player who has meant so much  to the franchise, tells you this off-season that he wants to play for the Bombers another year? We’re all arm-chair general managers and it’s easy to say that you always should make the move that’s best for the team in terms of winning. But things like loyalty and being a human being complicate these matters.
20 comments… add one
  • Absolutely keep Melky, and sad to say, it’s time to let Bernie move along. With Damon, Matsui and Abreu in the OF next season, you’ll need to rest/DH liberally (especially Damon and Matsui. It’s easy to see how Melky, who can play all 3 positions, get 300+ ABs. When Abreu’s contract is up after next year, Melky slides in to RF, a great spot for him and his AL-leading OF assists right arm.
    Not to say that this team doesn’t badly need another starter…

    YFinBeantown August 27, 2006, 2:19 pm
  • “Rumors of our deaths have been greatly exaggerated,” Messrs. Sheffield & Matsui.
    As fond as I am of Melky, _if_ Hideki and/or Sheff get clearance to play by the end of this season and show them to be within 90% of their normal ability, I would take either of them as a lineup starter over Melky at this point. That’s a big if.
    Melky will still get plenty of playing time this year simply because even if Matsui comes back strong, Melky will spell him in left. Guiel and Wilson? Not so much. Bernie certainly will get much more time in the field, as Torre has so often displayed loyalty that seems blind to statistics.
    I’m not certain about Bernie coming back for another go-round, but my gut says I hope that Bernie rides away proudly into the sunset. It is not tenable to carry Bernie on the roster, especially if the situation occurs where Sheff and Giambi platoon at 1st/DH.
    All this talk about the outfield and what to do when two all-stars return to the field is a pleasant distraction from my deep concerns about the _entire_ pitching staff outside of Wang and Rivera, and the horrifying thought of any situation that takes Posada out of action for an extended period of time.

    attackgerbil August 27, 2006, 2:50 pm
  • The Yankees are frankly lucky that the AL East below them is incompetent.
    Just had to say it, not sure if it’s even relevant to Nick’s post.

    SF August 27, 2006, 3:02 pm
  • The Yanks are lucky that Beckett hasn’t turned out to be the front-of-staff starter that everyone (YFs included) thought he would be. As scary as their lineup is (even on nights where Guiel is playing), their starting pitching is 6th best in the league – I’d put MIN, CWS, DET, ANA, and OAK all ahead of them.
    As great as it was to go into Boston and whip their ASSES last weekend, I fear that we’re looking at a reprise of the 2005 playoffs.

    YFinBeantown August 27, 2006, 3:49 pm
  • What, no game thread? Jeez guys, you’re not supposed to actually have lives outside of this blog. :P

    Laura August 27, 2006, 4:17 pm
  • I am glad Theo didnt trade any of the top prospects, I would rather lose this year then to spend the next 15 years watching Lester, Hansen, Delcarmen Pedroia or any of the others have the kind of careers Schilling, Bagwell and others had after being traded away for 2 month rentals.

    TJ August 27, 2006, 4:37 pm
  • The lack of game threads is something of a relief.

    Hudson August 27, 2006, 4:48 pm
  • yeah, Hudson, but I’m watching the game anyway, so I may as well have people to talk to the game about. Not going so well right now though, so maybe you’re right.

    Laura August 27, 2006, 4:54 pm
  • Reason #24442 why I think all this Theo bashing is annoying, particularly if you spend a decent amount of time looking at SoSH:
    Jeremy Reed.
    This guy was the “must pursue” if not necessarily the “must get” guy to replace Johnny Damon. And he’s, to put it bluntly, sucked. So if a decent amount of Sox fans, particularly a decent amount of those over at SoSH, had their way, we’d have a guy playing center who makes Covelli look like Willie Mays.

    SF August 27, 2006, 5:02 pm
  • attackgerbil – you don’t like proctor? you think dotel won’t come back? you think moose is washed up? for the rest, there are problems, but cashman seems to solve those problems through numbers, and some of the kids look alright.
    yf in beantown – i think being surrounded by sox fanatics night and day is affecting your memory — there was plenty of questioning of beckett among yankee fans, even when he was doing so well his first time through the league. we have experience with can’t-miss nl guys and marlins not making it, not to mention the problems of weaver and contreras. good stats don’t prove you’ll make it in boston and new york. you have to prove it on the field in fenway and the stadium.
    nick-yf – re the recent yanks dynasty: it’s not that recent. cashman has done an excellent job of using payroll to win in the regular season every year (it’s not that easy, look at teams like this year’s blue jays and sox – i know you agree). but it was stick’s home-grown, much lower payroll teams that were the dynasty, not cash’s teams, because “dynasty” implies more than the division title.
    i have no complaints about cash – it’s very difficult to win the division every year, and his teams have done it. his name, cash man, is ironic, though.

    anonyf August 28, 2006, 7:52 am
  • anonyf on beckett:
    “you have to prove it on the field in fenway and the stadium.”
    i was at game 6 in 2003. he proved it.

    YFinBeantown August 28, 2006, 8:05 am
  • Definitely cut bait with Bernie. He was a dubious signing this year, and would be even more so next year. Consider it this way: as hard as it might be to part with Bernie in the offseason, imagine how horrible it would be to have to cut him midseason (!!) if/when he’s absolutely terrible next year? The thought makes me sick to my stomach.
    Let Sheff walk as well. OF would be Matsui/Melky in LF, Damon in CF, Abreu/Melky in RF (Melky = 4th OF). Though if the deal was right, I wouldn’t be totally against a Matsui trade… but I can’t see how the Yanks would get value for him, since he’s expensive and has just suffered a major injury. If anything, such a trade might be doable in the 2007/8 offseason (provided Hideki plays reasonably well in ’07).
    The main worries I see for next year are:
    -pitching
    -everyone is a year older, which is bad except for Cano and Melky. In particular, how much longer does Posada have? The drop-off from him to a backup is huge.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) August 28, 2006, 10:24 am
  • But Rob, how dare you suggest the Yankees be disloyal to Bernie Williams!

    Paul SF August 28, 2006, 11:33 am
  • “But Rob, how dare you suggest the Yankees be disloyal to Bernie Williams!”
    But isn’t this a real issue that a GM of a franchise has to face? Isn’t a company man deserving of loyalty from management? Maybe it’s backwards thinking (it certainly isn’t thinking that leads to more wins) but the issue of resigning Bernie this year and (hopefully not) next year is influenced by the loyalty issue. And call me a sentimentalist or a sucker, but if Bernie were to be resigned for next year, I wouldn’t exactly be pissed at the front office. I rooted for this guy and he came up big during that great championship run. I mean it would be a bad move that would hurt the team on the field but it wouldn’t be like signing Tony Womack (except that Bernie from the left side is basically Tony Womack).

    Nick-YF August 28, 2006, 11:44 am
  • I said that because someone a ways back — either lp or Bozo, I think — criticized the Sox for being disloyal to Nomar, and said that the Ynks would never do that to Jeter. If anyone rivals Jeter as the face of the Old Franchise (late 90s), it’s Bernie Williams, yet “being disloyal” is exactly what the Yanks must consider doing. It’s not their fault. It’s the way of the game.
    Besides, the only reason Williams is still in a Yankees uniform is because the Red Sox were the main suitors during his free agent year. The Yanks weren’t so loyal then until Steinbrenner decided he couldn’t bear to see Williams in the crimson hose.

    Paul SF August 28, 2006, 11:48 am
  • that’s exactly tru., Paul. It’s amazing that it took the Sox to point out Bernie’s value to George, but then again the Boss hasn’t always been the greatest evaluator of talent.
    Ken Phelps, Raul Mondesi, David Ortiz- er, strike that last one.

    Nick-YF August 28, 2006, 11:52 am
  • Did Big George want Papi? I didn’t know that one.
    As for Bernie – I don’t think not resigning him would be disloyalty. Carrying his ass for the past two years is loyalty enough, and this year’s $4m contract was, in my opinion, the equivalent of a golden handshake. We can’t be in a situation where a player’s obstinacy holds a franchise to emotional blackmail. By that logic, the Yanks should keep resigning Bernie even when he’s 50 simply because he wants to keep playing.
    At some point you have say enough is enough, and nominate Melky as the 4th OF/OF of the future as and when either Matsui or Abreu leaves.

    Sam August 28, 2006, 12:12 pm
  • I’m pretty sure Bernie is getting $1.5 million this year, not $4 million.
    His fielding has regressed to awful, and he can no longer hit lefty. This restricts his usefulness to that of a DH or pinch-hitter against LHP. That’s a VERY limited role.
    If I had absolute 100% faith that the rest of the roster would be contructed properly, and further that Torre would use Bernie only in situations where Bernie was likely to be successful… ok, maybe one more year. But I don’t have that faith.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) August 28, 2006, 12:50 pm
  • “you don’t like proctor? you think dotel won’t come back? you think moose is washed up?”
    AnonYF: I like Proctor just fine, but he has already thrown 84 innings (most by a non-starter in the Majors) and appeared in 64 games (most in the AL) this season; does that mean he’s overworked? I don’t know, but he certainly has worked.
    I do not think that Moose is washed up, but he is injured right now.
    Dotel is an unknown at this point; what is known is that he has allowed 7 hits and 4 walks in 3.1 innings.
    These are all concerns.

    attackgerbil August 28, 2006, 1:39 pm
  • I said,
    i think being surrounded by sox fanatics night and day is affecting your memory
    SYF in Beantown said,
    i was at game 6 in 2003. he proved it.
    Beckett’s record against the Yankees since then: 1 – 2, 12.21 era, 14 innings, 20 hits, 20 runs, 4 home runs, 11 bb
    His overall era is 5.21
    ’nuff said

    anonyf August 29, 2006, 12:04 am

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