a blog for fans of old school Yankee baseball
Good fielder, good power, should help against lefties, and he's cheap. In short, you should be SUPER happy they signed him because that means they will likely stay away from Bonds now.
But explain to me again why they dumped Andy Phillips, who could play multiple positions? Is Sexson a good fielder? Certainly no batter -- well below .250 or around it most of his career and just a home run slugger and you know that I hate home run sluggers and we've got a ton of 'em piled up like planes at LaGuardia.
When they dumped Phillips they didn't know that Matsui, Damon, and Posada would be battling injuries all season. That being said, Sexson is a better hitter against lefties than Phillips.
A utility player that can fit in on numerous positions, bats quite well and plays first base better than anyone they've used in the last three years. Oh, and he costs nothing. Absolutely no excuse to dump him. People always get injured and they should have wanted him at first over Betemit et al anyway. Plus pretty fast on the bases.
If you're talking about utility players, Betemit is waaaaaaaaay better than Philips. Phillips might be slightly better at first, but Betemit is better at 2B, SS, and 3B -- three positions for which the Yankees don't usually have another backup.Also to say that Phillips bats quite well is a bit of a stretch. If he was that good he'd be a starter somewhere else. He couldn't even make it in Cincinnati...a team that has had tons of injuries and an inconsistent offense.In fact that's even more of a stretch than saying he's fast on the bases...3 career stolen bases vs. 5 caught stealing.To answer your other question...yes, I believe Sexson to be a better fielder. And a better hitter.I know you like Phillips but guys like him are a dime a dozen. There are probably five guys at Scranton that could do exactly what he does for the team.The bottom line is Sexson and Betemit, when properly used, add something to the team...something more than Phillips.I have nothing against Andy...I've always appreciated his contributions, a la Bubba, but neither is the caliber of player that helps a team win a championship.
Fantasy league is different from reality. Andy Phillips performed IN NEW YORK. He was very successful and got on a serious hitting streak, played very good first base (name someone better since Tino left who has played for the Yankees) and did it IN NEW YORK. Lots of guys may ahve better stats in triple a or do better on other teams and Andy clearly isn't setting the world on fire anywhere else. But players are not interchangeable. For whatever reason, he succeeded in New York and the second he got an injury (not a recurring, problematic injury) the Yankees dumped him for no good reason. Soriano is finally contributing somewhere else (I still wouldn't want him) but he was NOT growing as a player here, acting as if he'd already succeeded by being a Yankee. He needed to leave to get better. Other players do great elsewhere then come here and flop for no reason (and nothing that could be predicted in their stats), lke Randy Johnson or Kenny Rogers or a zillion fielders. There is NO predicting how someone will do when they come here (or to any club, but especially in NYC) so when they do come here and succeed decently, it's foolish to dump them. How they do after they leave is not necessarily a reflection of how they would have done if they stayed. Numbers lie as every statistician will tell you.
This is fun...let's parse..."Fantasy league is different from reality."True. I defy you however to show where I state or even imply otherwise. To be perfectly honest you've thrown this line at me a bunch of times now, and though it gets a little more annoying each time, it still means nothing with regards to the arguments I am making. I use statistics to bolster my beliefs. I do not base my beliefs on statistics unless its to begin forming an opinion on a player that I am not familiar with."Andy Phillips performed IN NEW YORK. He was very successful and got on a serious hitting streak, played very good first base (name someone better since Tino left who has played for the Yankees) and did it IN NEW YORK."He was SERVICEABLE AT BEST. HE WAS AN AVERAGE BACK-UP. He was not 'very successful'. He played a good first base which just so happens to be the easiest position on the field. And you can't say that he did it in NY -- its not like he was under the same kind of media pressure that guys like ARod and Jeter are. Guys like Phillips practically operate in a vacuum no matter where they play. They go on the road and the other team's beat writers get them mixed up with the batboys. "Lots of guys may ahve better stats in triple a or do better on other teams and Andy clearly isn't setting the world on fire anywhere else."Glad you agree."But players are not interchangeable."Some are. For example, Andy Phillips. Some are not. For example, Derek Jeter."For whatever reason, he succeeded in New York and the second he got an injury (not a recurring, problematic injury) the Yankees dumped him for no good reason."To say he succeeded is an overstatement. He was adequate. At best. And they dumped him because they had a guy in Betemit that is better and more versatile which allows them to carry another outfielder or pitcher. They also decided that Shelley Duncan had more upside. To say they dumped him because of an injury is just plain false. They dumped him because he's not that good and at his age he's not likely to get any better."Soriano is finally contributing somewhere else (I still wouldn't want him) but he was NOT growing as a player here, acting as if he'd already succeeded by being a Yankee. He needed to leave to get better."Not really sure what that has to do with this, especially the emphasis on 'finally' since he's been contributing from Day 1 regardless of what team he's on. Just because the Cubs have a winning record now does not mean anything changed with Soriano. It just means the rest of the players are better. "Other players do great elsewhere then come here and flop for no reason (and nothing that could be predicted in their stats), lke Randy Johnson or Kenny Rogers or a zillion fielders."Agreed. Those are the big name players that can't seem to handle the pressure of big contracts and constant media attention. Neither of which would be relevant to a backup infielder. Also, those players were OLD when the Yankees got them...that also plays a role. A better example would be Kenny Rogers who pitched a zillion times better in Detroit and Texas than he did for the Yankees or Mets. Of course that could be related to the 'roid rage."There is NO predicting how someone will do when they come here (or to any club, but especially in NYC) so when they do come here and succeed decently, it's foolish to dump them."I agree. However, you are still overstating Phillips' contributions. The bottom line is WHAT MAKES THE BEST TEAM?!?!? If Betemit is a better hitter (and he is), a better fielder (he is), a better baserunner (he is), and allows you to carry one less player...plus his contract is similar...why on earth would you keep Phillips? Answer: They wouldn't."How they do after they leave is not necessarily a reflection of how they would have done if they stayed."That's true to a degree, but a guy that gets released by the lowly Reds does not set my heart a flutter."Numbers lie as every statistician will tell you."But they also tell the truth if you know how to process the information. And in this case, the numbers back up what my EYES can see...Andy Phillips is a mediocre baseball player. That's not a knock against him. That's a knock against anyone that thinks he's more valuable than he actually is. He seems like a good teammate and an easy person to root for, and I wish he was better than some of the jerks out there. But he's not, and acting otherwise is foolish.
First off, I would think a guy with the name "Sex son" would be right up your alley...Anyway, I want to take aim at your attacks on Sexson's abilities as a hitter. His batting average is low, but I think we all agree that to score runs you need guys on base. Whether they get on by hits, walks, or beating out the throw on bunts, it's easier to score runs when guys get on base.In Phillip's best year for the Yanks (2007 when he hit .292) his OBP was .338 (both considerably higher than his career averages or even averages with the Yankees). Sexson's career OBP is .344 so in Andy's best year he wasn't even as successful at reaching base as Sexson. The big difference is that even in his best year, Phillips only had a paltry slugging percentage of .373 while Sexson has a career SLG of .507! Now, Sexson has definitely struggled against righties the last 2 years. Blame that on age or getting off the juice or sleeping on an old mattress, but the Yankees have the luxury of using him only against lefties where he has been embarrassing pitchers. Just this year he is hitting .338 against lefties with an OPS of 1.029!!! Those are David Ortiz/Albert Pujols numbers.And they both have very similar fielding percentages (Sexson .994 and Phillips .992). So, I am definitely happy with the move and while Phillips was a fun player to root for (since he was called up and had a little success) his age and his ability ultimately made him expendable. I would also bet that after last year he was out of options and so keeping him would have meant even less flexibility to the Yanks.
Pete, thanks for the Sexson jibe. I do enjoy saying his name. Phillips was an everyday first baseman (or could have been) while Sexson is not considered one. So comparing Andy's performance against Sexson's ideal matchups against righties only seems misleading. If Sexson played against lefties and righties, boom, his stats go way down. He is not a replacement for Phillips. He's a platooner for Giambi. Phillips could play every day (and should have). Mind you, Sexson has been a lot of fun to watch. I'd rather see him play every day and dump Giambi but that's my funny old habit of not wanting low down dirty cheats on my team. More to come.
My point is that we wouldn't have needed Sexson if we'd stuck with Phillips. Betemit ISN"T better than Phillips. He's riding the bench while Sexson and Giambi play. Phillips, I'll say it again, was as good an everyday first baseman as anyone since Tino. Period. Some may have been just as good (Sexson, who can only play against righties or Betemit when they bother to play him) but they're not BETTER. So we didn't need them if we stuck w Phillips. I didn't want Phillips for the next ten years. I wanted Phillips every day with Giambi the cheat riding the bench (screw his numbers; he's a cheater and if you're happy to win the pennant by using a cheat go right ahead - I'm not). And then wait till you find a really good young first baseman in the system or sign them early from another team. You don't need superstars at every positon. And swapping in and out decent first basemen lke Phillips and Betemit and Sexson is a waste of time and dangerous. More to come.
Joe, I'm glad the "fantasy league is different from reality" stings. I mean it as a general complaint against EVERYONE who blithely throws up endless sabremetric stats from this player on this team in this situation nd says they're clearly so much better than that player on that team in that situation. I would be a very patient manager. Is Melky in a slump? Yeah, but he stil hustles in the outfield and is an energetic, fun presence in the clubhouse and I believe he'll improve in the stretch. Mind you, if he stays subpar through he end of the year, I'm very ready to bring n some young stud from the farm system. Melky isn't my center fielder of the future forever (unless he starts living up to his potential again in the second half and sustains it next year). What I WOULDN'T do is trade him the second he stumbles in exchange for some fat, aging superstar I have to pay through the nose and must give up a lot of chips to obtain. Melky is fine. No superstar (the way it surely looks like Cano can be a superstar, especially with his bat and especially if he can wake up in the first half of the season down the road). But Melky is fine and a good part of the mix who can have his game raised by the other players. He's not a gaping problem and certainly not someone I'd dump for an expensive, superstar short term solution. Because Melky CAN play his position decently in new York City and that's been proven, even when he's slumping at the plate and that's no given for anyone you bring in, no matter how great their stats are. NYC screws with people's heads. In short, a decent bird in the hand is worth a great (unproven) bird in the bush that hasn't performed on this stage.
And Soriano has NOT contributed everywhere from day one, unless by contributed you mean be a pain the ass, prima donna, horrible and poisonous influence in the clubhouse. He's a classic fantasy league player who can get to the All-Star Game but will never be a positive influence on his teammates as far as winning games and getting to the post-season. Mind you, his personal stats are just dandy because that's all he's really concerned with and he's proven it a million different ways both at NYC and everywhere else by his lack of professionalism and zero work ethic.
My definition of contributing to a team: playing baseball as well or better than your peers in a way that gives your team an advantage in terms of runs scored vs. runs allowed.An example of a contributor: someone that runs and hits better than 99% of their peers. I.e. Alfonso Soriano.So I get that you don't like Soriano's attitude. But where do you get off commenting on his work ethic? Do you think someone can be as good as he is at hitting a baseball without working at their craft? I say its impossible. But since you have this magical in depth knowledge of his work ethic I guess I shouldn't question your similar knowledge of his "poisonous" clubhouse presence. By whose account do you come up with such a statement?P.S.Using my aforementioned way of ranking baseball players, I would go like this:1. Wilson Betemit2. Richie Sexson3. Andy PhillipsReasoning: Betemit has talent and versatility...Sexson does a few things very well (hit right handers and field), and Phillips is average at BEST and doesn't have a single skill that makes him stand out over the other two.The bottom line...and you should get this...is that you build the best team you can. At the beginning of the year, Phillips did not fit the construct of what the Yankees were doing because he was blocked by Giambi, Matsui, Damon, Posada, Betemit, etc. With injuries the need for a power hitting right hander arose and Sexson fits that need perfectly. Andy Phillips is not, has never been, and will never be an everyday first baseman. He is a 31 year old career .247 hitter with very little power, speed, or ability to draw walks. The fact that we are still having this conversation drives me crazy because there is nothing in his profile that says he can be a contributor to a world champion team. If you want a team of nice guys that you can root for that's fine...but this isn't a frickin charity and if you can't play you don't belong on the Yankees.
Not that Michael's not fired up enough by Joe's retort, but reread my comments regarding Sexson v. Phillips. In Phillips' best year he was worse at getting on base than Sexson's career average and Phillips is nominally worse in the field. However, since the Yanks will certainly only Sexson primarily against lefties I think that it's important to see how he fares against them.If Sexson were to play first everyday, I believe he would be more productive for the Yankees than if Phillips played everyday. I based that on their past ability to play baseball which has been recorded as "statistics." We understand that you loved rooting for him just like you loved rooting for Spencer, but that alone does not make either of them a quality, everyday player. We also loved rooting for them and cheered a little louder at their success than we do for the likes of A-Rod and Giambi, but that doesn't change the fact that A-Rod and Giambi have more talent at playing the game of baseball.
Michael, you're a Shane Spencer fan? Don't you know that veterans like Paulie often excoriated him for his lack of worth ethic? I'm appalled!
I don't excuse Shane for not showing up at that "optional" workout during the post-season. He never won back Torre's trust. And if Jeter is there, you should be there. Also heard about his partying ways. But mostly he seemed followed by a little black loud of bad luck -- freak injury, heart murmurs, etc. Of course, if it wasn't for his off-target rushed throw, we wouldn't have had a chance to see Jeter's greatest play ever. So definitely flawed guy.
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