Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

First base: Where Yankee offense goes to die

Pardon me while I hop on the Steve Goldman memorial soapbox for a second.

In all the back and forth regarding whether or not the Yankees are still in the Johan Santana sweepstakes, a far more pressing issue -- one that has dogged the Yanks for several offseasons now and that Brian Cashman seems to have zero interest in resolving -- continues to rear its ugly head and yet receives very little media attention: who's on first?

While Cashman appears content with a three-headed monster (possibly four, depending on how non-roster invitee Jason Lan fares in spring training) of a broken-down 37-year-old Jason Giambi, and not-ready-for-prime-time players Shelly Duncan and Wilson Betemit. Don't get me wrong; I think the latter two make fine bench ornaments, but let's be honest here: neither one is a passable starter on a Major League Baseball team, unless your franchise calls western Pennsylvania home.

Giambi had that feel-good comeback season in 2005 and remained a threat the following year, but in 2007 he was pretty mediocre in limited duty. Anyone with reasonable vision can see that Giambi -- barring another miraculous rejuvenation -- is on the downside of his career, and while he should be good for a .375-plus OBP if healthy, that's probably a little optimistic. Giambi's 108 OPS+ in 83 games last year, his second-worst in the last 10 seasons, along with the fact that he's an absolute butcher with the glove should have Yankee fans praying he stays at DH and discovers some sort of legal performance enhancer or the fountain of youth.

In even less game action than Giambi in 2007, Shelly Duncan posted an 128 OPS+, which screams small-sample size. Duncan's a nice reserve, but it's highly unlikely he'll ever maintain that level of productivity as an everyday player.

In 37 games as a Yankee, Wilson Betemit had an OPS+ of 80. For those of you unfamiliar with OPS+, 80 is bad. For those more comfortable with less advanced metrics, Betemit's OBP was .278. That's Alvaro Espinoza territory.

As you can see, the Yankees' current first-base solution truly is a disaster, and they'd never have found themselves in this mess in the first place if they'd just held on to good ol' Nick the Stick and his OBP domination.

Phil Hughes has a blog!

In the coolest news ever, Phil Hughes himself has started his own blog.

Let me be the second to say welcome aboard, Phil! In case you couldn't tell by the title of this blog, I'm a pretty big fan.

I couldn't be happier to see my favorite player develop his own web presence and I look forward to his commentary as he leads the Yanks to multiple championships over the next decade-plus.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sounds like Hankenstein may have finally gotten my memo

From "Yankees may give up on Johan Santana" [NY Daily News] -

"Steinbrenner added that opinions offered by several unspecified Yankees during the course of conversation in recent weeks have contributed to his change of heart.

'I'm growing more and more comfortable with what we have, and the veteran players I've talked to seem to be pretty comfortable with what we have. But we'll see what happens,' said Steinbrenner."

Listen up, Hank. You're happy with what we have? I'm a rabid die-hard Yankee fan, and I am absolutely unabashedly fucking elated at what we have.

Just check out our starting rotation once someone wises up and demotes Moose to AA:

Wang
Pettitte
Hughes
Chamberlain
Kennedy

All homegrown, biatch. When the hell was the last time the Yanks had an all-homegrown rotation? I'm guessing the answer is right around never.

Sit back, relax and get ready to drool, Yankee fans.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Screw steroids, MLB should be cracking down on whatever the hell Carlos Delgado is smoking

Carlos Delgado claims Mets were best team in baseball in '07 [ESPN]

"[2007] was very disappointing because we know that we had the best team. And I believe that we still have a great team," Delgado said Thursday on a conference call.

The Mets had the 8th-best OPS in all of baseball last year. Higher than four of the eight teams that made the playoffs, including two of the National League entrants. The Mets were certainly a very good team in 2007.

But the best? Remember how Boston throttled the ever-loving shit out of Colorado back in October? In addition to the the Rockies OPSing the hell out of the Mets, the Religious Nuts' Rockies' pitching staff, surprisingly enough, slightly out-WHIPed the Mets'. The Metropolitans posted a better OPS against, but now we're just splitting hairs.

The fact is, none of these numbers are remotely close to what the Red Sox did in 2007. The BoSox were far and away the most well-rounded team in baseball last year. Additionally, even if the Mets had made the playoffs and advanced to the World Series, they almost certainly would've folded like a house of Cardinals, because for whatever reason NL teams are obsessed with rolling over and dying when it comes to playing Boston in the Series.

However, as ridiculous as it is how overmatched NL squads look against the Sox, it's actually almost kind of endearing, like watching your son's terrible little league team show up to play the best team in the league. You know they're gonna get crushed, but they still look kind of adorable during the decimation.