Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Joba! Joba!

Crazy game tonight. Except for Mo blowing the save, it was a lot of fun. Wang had a so-so outing, settling down after his awful first. And of course when we took the lead right back from them, it was comforting. Everyone's talking about the youth movement and of course on the post below I talked about the massive savings we could have next year by not resigning or trading Abreu, Giambi, and Clemens (and Mussina?). (Plus the A-Rod issue.) Like everyone else, I think a team of All Stars is a recipe for flatness. And I haven't expected the Yankees to win the World Series at any time in the past seven years (icluding '01 when they almost did). But putting chemistry aside, it's just more FUN to cheer for a team filled with veterans, rising stars like Cano and Melky (who the geniuses in the front office had riding the bench at the begnning of the season) and young guys getting a taste of the show, guys like Joba and Hughes and Duncan and Betemit and my boy Phillips. They're likable and easy to root for, just like the Dynasty of the nineties that even our enemies admired.

At the game tonight, fans wen batcrazy when Joba took the mound at Yankee Stadium for the first time. And when he notched his final out with a strike out, the noise was post-season intense. Huge enthusiasm for Duncan too, just like they used to go wacky for Bubba -- not because we think the guy is the second coming but because it's FUN and maybe the kid could hit another home run and let's see how long his streak lasts and darned if Hughes and Joba ain't the real thing. Fun. Home-grown fun at that.


chucksax said...

I don't think I agree with your sentiment about cutting the payroll so drastically. Besides, out of the regulars this year, almost all of them were either brought up from the minors by the Yankees (not necessarily drafted by them, incidentally) or traded for with Yankee prospects (Rodriguez, Abreu, Vizcaino, Procter, Clemens - way back, for David Wells, and if you count Pettitte as a Yankee farmhand, Clemens has almost as much of a claim, as he was the product of a trade & not a free agent, much like - say - Roger Maris), including Bobby Abreu.

If you let Abreu go, who's going to play right field? PLEASE don't put Melky there & let Damon play Williams-esque defense in Center. I also do not think that Kevin Thompson is the answer, nor is Shelley Duncan. Duncan, maybe, but I don't think he's a full-time player.

If you let A-Rod go, who's going to play third? Eric Duncan? Wilson Betemit (who's been league-average at best)? Miguel Cairo? Any of those names - heck, smoosh 'em all together into one giant player - is a steep dropoff from a twice-in-three-years MVP. $30 million is a lot of money, but - who cares? It's not my money, and the Yankees can afford it.

I love when the minor leaguers come through. I'm excited as all heck that Joba & Hughes are doing well, and I loved getting a taste of Clippard & Wright earlier in the season. (Wow, that sounded bad. Sorry.) I would just think carefully about Cashman's failure to develop positional prospects (Cano notwithstanding) before letting two all-star level players go.

DasNootz said...

I agree with Chucksax... if you take away ARod, Abreu, and Giambi from this lineup it looks drastically different.

Say you replace ARod with Betimit, you've still taken a big step back at 3rd. Now replace Abreu with Damon or Duncan in right... another step back. Then replace our current DH with Duncan (wash at best). Who's coming off the bench to pinch hit in late innings?... Cairo?

As it is, I think that Molina was brought in to hedge our bet with Posada saying he wants to test Free Agency.

If there aren't better free agent options in the mix, to replace Giambi and Abreu, I think we NEED to hold onto ARod, even at an increased cost.

We could very quickly become mediocre offensively. Luckily our pitching seems to be coming into it's own at the same time.

Michael in New York said...

I don't knwo if a payroll at about $180 mil constitutes cutting it drastically. We're at $15 to $220 and if we cut $60 mil and added one or two big ticket players, it would easily be $180 mil next year, stil the highest in the majors probably. Hardly economizing. Giambi is no loss at all. The team has come together and played great precisely when he was injured. I hate DHs in general of course. But he's a cheat and a home run or nothing player. Even if he walks, he's so slow it's like placing a roadblock on the bases. The Yankees won in the 90s and will win again with small ball, not by having huge home runs. We've got several prospects in the minors who could play right. I'd rather have some new kid platoon with Damon (assuming we can't dump an injured aging player) and seque into full-time with Melky in center and Matsui in left. You're right, Duncan is not the answer -- terrible fielder, just a fluke probably at the plate. We def need a long-term catcher, someone to platoon with Posada next year (surely he'll drop off at some point,and I'm guessing it'll be next year after he re-ups). Third base? Saving $30 mil sves you a lot of money to go out and get a third baseman with say $15 mil over for more pitching. You ain't gonna replace a-rod's bat, but that's a lot of money. And yes, the lineup wil be very diff without Giambi, Abreu and A-Rod -- it'll be like the smart, run-producing team of the 90s. With good pitching again, we won't need to score 10 runs a game.

Michael in New York said...

Thanks for commenting! You both gave good points -- even if chuck was taking a taste of Clippard & Wright. Hey, don't worry. We're tolerant here.

priv8pete said...

I'm all for dumping Giambi. I like using the DH as a way to rest guys throughout the week and having him gone would open that up again.

As for A-Rod and Abreu, I'm torn. I'm not sold on the platoon idea in right, so you'd have to find me a rightfielder I'd prefer over Abreu. A-Rod may be a bad fit with the team chemistry-wise, but I still need you to find me a replacement I can live with.

And Chuck's point about Cashman's dirth of position player development needs to be addressed in this as well since we don't have any players destroying AAA at the plate.

Michael in New York said...

Well, with a crop of very promising pitchers, I'm willing to cut Cashman a little slack. I know you like Abreu Pete and he has been better than expected. But having four or five guys jostling for playing time in the outfield seems crazy (let's not forget their original plan was to have Melky ride the bench). I only want Damon platooning if we can't get rid of him (which I doubt). He's a fine DH, leadoff, right-field guy while we try out some rookies to see who can make it in right.