Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Bronx Block

I am now writing for The Bronx Block over at Check it out at

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Andy Pettitte Confesses

Many of my fellow Yankees fans have spent the last few hours questioning the Mitchell Report, alleging bias by Senator Mitchell and pointing out that the report contains little in the way of tangible evidence. Most of this was clearly to justify the conflicting emotions they continue to feel about homegrown hero Andy Pettitte. To be entirely forthright, I would be remiss if I did not include myself among those fans. I savaged the report among my friends, stating that its ridiculously low standard of evidence was irresponsible, and would eventually serve as its downfall. Although I continue to feel this way, this defense no longer provides any support for the case of Andy. Early last evening, he confessed to his mistake. He corroborated the testimony of Brian MacNamee, his longtime trainer, concurring with the assessment that he had taken HGH on two separate occasions regarding one injury in 2002. Now, there are a few questions to consider.
How does Pettitte look? Compared to most of the other big name players implicated in the report or by previous criminal investigations, I would suggest that he comes out of this looking fairly good. Regardless of whether the mainstream media accepts the veracity of his story, he comes off as the first major player named in this report willing to admit his error and seek the forgiveness of the baseball public. He is immediately placed in stark contrast from Roger Clemens, who continues to proclaim his innocence in the face of significantly more damning evidence.
Who does this hurt? Clemens, obviously. Roger claimed that MacNamee was an unreliable witness, pressured to provide names so as to avoid criminal prosecution. To be honest, many writers and columnist agreed with Clemens, most notably Jayson Stark (notable because he was the only writer at The Worldwide Leader who did not accept the report as gospel). However, MacNamee seems fairly reliable now, being that one of the troika of players that he accused came forward and corroborated his claims. Clemens may be forced to go to court and win in order to restore his reputation.
Is Pettitte telling the truth? I am inclined to believe him. He has always seemed like an honest man, and many of my friends from Boston have found him to be the only decent likable Yankee during the dynasty run. Even MacNamee testified to Andy's motive, stating that Andy had told him, in confidence, that he wanted to try HGH to heal his elbow, and only used it during that one stretch. For all those who were so quick to believe MacNamee in the first place, it would be hypocritical to now ignore other portions of his testimony to serve the ends of further vilifying and pillorying a decent man who made an incredibly stupid error. The one idea that I will not buy is the concept that HGH was legal in the game in 2002. As Andy himself stated in his apology, he knew he was doing something wrong, and therefore stopped. If Pettitte knew at the time it was wrong, who are we to contradict him and suggest that he was really not culpable of any crime? Yankees fans must accept that one of their favorite sons committed a crime against the game, even if it only occurred once. However, fans of other clubs must see that Pettitte confessed to his mistake regardless of the weak nature of the evidence against him, thereby rightfully positioning himself as a sympathetic and honorable (at least more honorable than Clemens, Bonds, McGwire, etc..) figure in this sordid tale.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pettitte and Clemens implicated in Mitchell Report

Pettitte hurts, but even he started after the last Yankee title in 2000. Clemens is the big fish. I have no alleigance to Roger, but he gets killed by this. I have read a few analysts stating that Clemens may be the greatest right handed pitcher of all time. This highly impacts his legacy. I still think he gets into the hall of fame, but it will definitely not be on the first ballot. Otherwise, the report is dissappointing. Anyways, I am back, and will give my predictions on the 2008 stats for various Yankees tomorrow.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lack of Updates

I know what you are thinking. I go and bookmark this guy's blog, and he basically disappears for weeks. Here's the scoop. I am taking the LSAT on Monday, so I have been busy. After that, I am doing nothing for the rest of the year, literally, and will put plenty of time into this blog. Next week, I will address all the Santana rumors, as well as any other rumors that crop up at the winter meetings. I will also begin my feature predicting the 2008 performance for various players who are either young or had poor seasons in 2007. So, be patient. I promise that you will not be disappointed.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A-Rod Wins MVP

As expected, Alex Rodriguez won his 3rd MVP award. There is not much else to say, as the only surprise was that it was not unanimous, as Magglio Ordonez garnered 2 first place votes from his hometown writers. I can not be too upset about that, as Ordonez did have a big year, with many clutch hits, and was the obvious second place candidate. Still, you had to be ignoring everything outside of Detroit to really pick Mags over Alex. Anyways, it should be interesting to hear what Alex has to say about his negotiations with the Yankees during his conference call.

Quiet Weekend

Since the ARod news broke, not much else has happened to the Yankees. For that matter, it seems that this free agency period is going to move very slowly across the league, as the weakness of the free agent field has teams reluctant to make large commitments to marginal players. It seems that the trade market may prove to be far more interesting. Anyways, it seems that Alex and Mo will be back, and the roster is starting to take shape. In the upcoming weeks, I will be running a feature called "What to expect from..." where I will attempt to predict the 2008 numbers for various players, mostly those that did not perform according to their track records in 2007 or are too young to have a track record. I will probably have the first one up by Wednsday.
In the poll that was rendered moot by Alex resigning, Scott Rolen and "other" (probably Tejada, who I neglected to put on the list) were in the lead for a while, until the ARod news broke, pushing Rodriguez into the lead. Anyhow, there is a new poll up, vote and then leave comments here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

ARod Redux?

There is a story that came up on Lohud Blogs in the comments section a few days ago that has now taken on some steam. It seems that ARod has reached out to the Yankees through back channels, behind the back of Scott Boras, and is attempting to make a deal to return to the Bronx. I know I said I would not take Alex back and felt the team could benefit from being built in a different manner. However, a friend of mine put it well to me this morning. The Yankees biggest need is a third baseman and a power right-handed bat, and ARod meets both needs. The only way he can be accepted back, however, is if he meets two criteria. Firstly, he must come back at a discount to allow the Yankees to explain their about face. If he takes a cut to make up for the Texas money, both sides save face. Secondly, he must do this without Boras, at least on the surface. If he ditches Scott and takes less money to return to New York, that will go a very long way towards winning back fans who considered his opt out unforgivable.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Posada Resigns for 4 Years

Late last night, it was revealed that the Yankees have inked their homegrown backstop to a 4 year, 52.4 million dollar deal. The extra .4 million at the end of that figure makes Jorge the highest paid catcher in history, averaging 13.1 million a year, .1 more per year than the previous high by Mike Piazza. Posada actually met with the crosstown Mets yesterday, and lo and behold, hours later, the Yankees had added a year to their offer.
There are those fans that disapprove of the length of the deal, being that Jorge is 36 and plays a physically demanding position. While I concur that optimally, Posada should not have gotten more than 3 years, I understand that the team really had no choice, and I applaud the club for biting the bullet and giving Jorge what he wanted. Losing ARod and Posada in one month would have been catastrophic for the offense, and losing Joe Torre and Jorge (and possible Pettitte and Rivera) in that span would have been equally problematic from a public relations standpoint. After this past season, in which he posted a magnificent year, there is no reason to suggest that Jorge will not be worth the terms of his contract for at least 2 years behind the plate and another season with the bat (maybe at 1st or DH?). If the last year of the deal is a lost cause, it still will have been worth keeping Jorge in the clubhouse and at the plate for the next three seasons. All in all, good news for Yankee fans, and finally some stability in a tumultuous off season.

Friday, November 9, 2007

State of The Yankees

I was sick this past week with tonsillitis, so I figured I would catch up on the state of the team since I last blogged. Rivera and Posada are still unsigned. Reportedly, Mariano has not responded to the Yankee offer. I am not sure what to make of that, but most pundits seem pretty sure that he will be a Yankee. The Yankees are raising their offer to Jorge, hoping to entice him to forgo free agency and remain with the club. Andy Pettitte declined his option, but this was not as much a decision as it was a delay, as he stated that he needs more time to decide his own fate. Brian Cashman said that he was unlikely to trade any of the big three prospects, and tons of third basemen were brought up in the rumor mill. Bobby Abreu had his option picked up, a logical move when you consider the production they would have lost in the middle of the lineup, letting ARod and Bobby go. Also, being that the team's top prospects are outfielders, it is logical to make a short term commitment to someone who is essentially keeping the position warm until Jose Tabata and Austin Jackson are ready.
In our poll, it seems most of you liked the choice of Joe Girardi as manager. In this weeks poll, you get to choose the third baseman.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Do We Take A-Rod Back?

The question rolling around the blogosphere today is an intriguing one. Scott Boras is clearly trying to make a case that Alex did nothing wrong, and that the Yankees should just treat him as another free agent available to fill the third base hole. So the question is, now that he has already opted out, and that ship has sailed, do we get involved in the A-Rod sweepstakes? More specifically, what if A-Rod finds no one to give him 30 million a year, and returns to the Yankees asking for 8 years at 28 per, for 224 total, which is 16 million less than what the Yankees were supposedly ready to offer. This would mean that the opt out cost the team only 5 million. Do we take Alex back?
I would not. He is obviously the best 3rd baseman on the market, but we have been down that road before and not succeeded. I believe that the Yankees have been afforded a fantastic opportunity by Alex's decision. They can now shift the focus of the team from one built on big boppers to one focused on pitching and timely hitting. Consider the following plan. The Yankees use Melky as a trade chip to obtain starting or relief pitching, being that the teams' best two offensive prospects are outfielders (AJax and Tabata). That helps bolster a staff already on the upswing due to the injection of top young arms. In the field, imagine adding Hunter or Rowand to play Center, a Lowell type at 3rd, and a Casey Blake or Ben Broussard at 1st. A lineup such as Damon, Jeter, Abreu, Posada, Lowell, Cano, Hunter/Rowand, Matsui, Blake/ Broussard, provides a group of consistent hitters who will score plenty of runs. I think that team is better than last year's Yankees in the field and on the mound, and does not have a major drop off at the plate. For that reason, I say we turn our backs on A-Rod and never look back.