Post #12 Topic: If A Rod falls outside the
As a Mets fan, I can admit for the first time since I can remember I am actually interested in what the Yankees are going to do over the off-season which typically involves no more than a combination of expensive free agents, talk of prospects who don’t fit into the next year’s lineup and questions over where Joe Torre will be managing come March.
This year, for the first time since the Yankees glory run in the late 90’s those questions actually bear some relevance. Starting with the last:
Joe Torre: If I were making the decision Joe Torre would be back; reasoning which is best supported with an awesome analogy. Did Phil Jackson ever really coach Michael Jordan??? Although I lack the actual answer to this question, I am still confident in my opinion that the answer is no. That is not to say that Michael Jordan was uncoachable, rather, Michael Jordan did not need to be coached. The only coaching Phil Jackson had to do during the bulls 6 championships was instructing Pete Myers and Jon Koncak on how to get the ball to Jordan (along with the occasional subliminal message to Scottie Pippen letting him know that it was Jordan’s Bulls, not Jordan and Pippen’s bulls). Joe Torre faces a similar problem. Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu, Jason Giambi, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettite, Mike Mussina, Johnny Damon and the rest of the Yankees all-geriatric team need not be coached. They are amongst a class of players talented and proven enough so as to not require coaching (Bobby Abreu is questionably a part of this group but Bobby Abreu has little to no talent anyway so he CAN’t be coached (stats only tell a part of the story)). Therefore, when the Yankees lose, it is not Joe Torre’s fault; not winning the world series this year was a criminal offense, but to be guilty of a criminal offense requires proof beyond all reasonable doubt, and I still think the ghost of Don Zimmer is haunting this franchise and has something to do with their flaccidness. Instead, it is a clear cut case of players not doing what it is they are paid to do… WIN.
The other day I got into an argument with a friend about the demands associated with being a baseball manager. I argued that coaching football was harder. He said baseball. I said, “but in baseball every play, every pitch is independent of the next, whereas in football plays are always part of a related sequence”. He told me that, “baseball has hit and runs, and steals and fielding position”. Not feeling like arguing with him anymore I “accidentally” spilled my coke on him and considered our discussion dead. But as it once was, so shall it be. Baseball managers have a hard job as far as managing primadonnas goes, but beyond that baseball managers are free to labor over each sunflower seed (peeling sunflower seeds in one’s mouth has to be a born with trait because no matter how hard I try I can’t help but become frustrated and spit the whole wad out of my mouth. On that note, if I had to choose an in-game snack it would be sour patch kids, because every time you bite into a new one you make that weird sour face that makes everyone who doesn’t know youre chewing sour patch kids wonder what the hell is wrong with you, and that scares people).
Hey Joe, if the moon were made of spare ribs, would ya eat it? Would ya? This ain’t rocket science, just say yes and we’ll move on! And move on Joe should. In fact, if I was Joe I would be on the next Fung Wah out of town. Although joe hasn’t won a series in years, his consecutive streak of
playoff appearances is pretty damn impressive. People seem to ignore that the Yankees early-season lack of effort named slump lasts farther into the season each year. This isn’t Joe’s fault. If Alex wants to play he can play and the same goes for the rest of those impostures undeserving of the uniform that Mickey sowed.
Next year’s Yankees roster will include some prospects… If uncle George is wise. Melky should start in Center (leaving Johnny Damon to RF… more on this in a tit). Phil Hughes and Joba should be in the rotation. Cano will be back at 2nd. Truthfully beyond that I don’t know much about the Yankees farm system. But what I do know is that the current recipe is not working, which indicates time for a change. Of course making such change is difficult in NY, where fans expect championships every year. But management must be strong… for the investment in prospects always pays off in the long run (just look at the Mets and Rangers success and the Knicks’ failures).
This leaves the question of the roster and what will eventually be left of it. As the Yankees GM: Giambi is gone: he’s still effective but not worth his salary and can be replaced by a younger more explosive and defensively responsible 1B (wish you hadn’t made that Nick Johnson trade???). Abreu is gone: he gets on base and has a cannon but see Giambi… not worth the money. Johnny Damon: This one is interesting. I don’t think his salary allows you to hit him DH, and I think the step he lost moves him to RF… That is of course unless the Yankees can secure Torri Hunter (or even Aaron Rowand), moving Melky back to Left, in which case Johnny is gone as well.
This leaves a potential hole in LF, which I think can be filled perfectly by MOISES ALOU. He has leadership, he’s quiet, he gets on base, plays good D, and will bring a much needed change of attitude to a Yankees roster lacking humility (and mets uniforms). For 1B the Yankees should look to Sean Casey. He is another role player that will exceed his salary. Plus Casey is one of the best defensive 1Bs in the league… He will likewise bring some base to an otherwise acidic lineup.
Andruw Jones and Barry Bonds must be ignored at all costs. Let them go somewhere else and be under-productive and generally disappointing.
As for 3B… It is my firm belief that Alex will be gone. Yes he is still the best player in baseball, and yes business and baseball wise he is worth every dollar. But no, he is not a fit for the Yankees roster. He needs to go somewhere that will pad his offensive numbers, where he is the star, but has a roster strong enough to compete now and for years to come. By process of deduction, the following is where I see A-rod landing and not landing.
Teams that Can’t afford A-Rod:
White Sox – This team is still competitive, and can challenge with minor changes
Dodgers – Too many prospects that are going to need contract extensions. Jason Schmidt doesn’t help
Cubs – Get a lot of talk in the A-Rod sweeps but should be concerned with signing KERRY WOOD
Marlins – Marlins owner 0 – MSG 3
Nationals – need to build within before they get the fan base necessary to sign a star… see Alfonso
Tigers – With a handful of pitchers nearly due for a raise, and Pudge returning there are no funds
Cardinals – Have to re-sign Eckstein and have Rolen (hopefully) – plus need more pitching depth
Phillies – I hate to admit it, but the Phils are 1 pricy pitcher (not named Eaton) away from competing
A’s – Such ridiculous spending is not within the team’s culture
Brewers – Too much money, plus no need to break up a good thing which the Brewers certainly are
Twins – Riiiiiiiiight!
Reds – See Twins
Teams with no room for A-Rod
Red Sox – too clogged with big salary players and need to secure Lowell
Mets – Many other areas need addressing + have Wright/Reyes for years. Plus A-Rod/NY = water/OIL
Indians – Is there any weakness on this team? Every position is stacked and healthy.
D-Backs – See the Yankees (and the reason for their early post-season exit directly above)
Teams A-Rod would be unlikely to be willing to play for
Orioles – This team is too far from contending… A-Rod or not
Astros – This franchise is in shambles… Poor MVP candidate Carlos Lee and scapegoat Brad Lidge
Blue Jays – Playing the Yanks 18 times a season would not = getting out of the big apple
Rangers – A-rod needs a hitters park…+ this experiment went awry once (although they still pay him)
Royals – Interesting. I think the Royals are on the verge of a Tigerish turn-around… but in 3-4 years
Pirates – I wouldn’t play for the Pirates for a billion dollars (figure of speech but
Giants – With Bonds gone, this team needs a new face (and ace), and has a good fan base/tradition
Braves – With Andruw Jones gone there is room. And A-Rod would like great b/w Chipper and Mark
Padres – Are they ready to commit to winning? They have the pitching and are missing only a slugger
Rays – Young team with stars in the outfield and Pena at 1st and Kazmir at the mound… not definitely
ready to compete yet but could be very close. If I’m A-Rod I go there and open their new park as the FACE OF
Helton at 1st is a horse, and with the surrounding new talent Helton’s shoulder’s shouldn’t hurt quite as much. Helton makes 16 mill a year but I can not imagine he wouldn’t be unwilling to defer some of that money if it meant not having to leave his career long team and retiring with a ring (or 5)
Kaz is at 2nd. He had a good year and showed some promise. But he’s had 1 good year and isn’t in line for a terribly large raise from his current 1.5 mill. Plus as a fringe player, he should be thrilled to stay on a competitive team where the fans actually like him (never come back to NY Kaz)
At SS is
3rd can easily be opened by trading young Garrett Atkins who can return top notch pitching prospects from a team in need of a 3B (Yankees anyone???)
In the OF you have Matt Holliday, the soon to be NL MVP and Brad Hawpe who quietly posted 30 HR’s and 120 RBI’s. If Willy Tavarez can get keep his OBP above .360 then this team looks nasty with AROD.
Not to mention they have a young ace (Jeff Francis), two capable young starters, a good closer in Manny Corpas and more trade bait in Brian Fuentes.
Seemingly, this is the perfect place for A-rod to land. They’re competitive, they have money, they have room, they have a chance to win, and can cement A-rod’s position as the most prolific hitter in Baseball’s history. And although the increase in payroll is a stretch, A-Rod pays for himself in merchandise sales, and for the 81 sellouts his 81 Home Runs are likely to bring.
Now obviously A-Rod will be back with the Yankees for 35 mill per season. The Yankees will re-sign their cast of cast-aways and be no better off. Meanwhile, the other teams in their division improve (Rays and Jays drastically) and the Yankee’s record falls below that ever-increasingly important wild-card cut off.
My words carry life like stretchers… Ya Dig?
Peanut Butter and Jelly is so delicious. I could be in the library, doing my taxes, with my hair falling out, my hemorrhoids acting up, my rascal engine stalled, in the year 2045 eating a PB&J and still feel young.
Its amazing to me how many law-schoolers play video games during their classes. Maybe if the school had a class on video games the students in it would read law books for other classes (genius).
Quick, staring contest, me and you. AHHH, you win again, you always do.
If you don’t know what beef jerky is, chances are everytime you see it in the store you are turned off by the name. Imagine the potential sales figures if Beef Jerky was actually called Beef Indulgence, Beef Ecstacy, and was made by the “Be all you can Beef” smoked snack company (registered trademark, patent, all that stuff).