Postgame Spread
You guys hangin' out? I'll hang out.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


So I was all ready to post a full diatribe about the David Wells' Assian size idiocy of firing Torre and dumping doRA to the lowest bidder, when news comes down that neither is going to happen, at least not yet.

Ok. Disaster #1 averted- the utter panic move. Bravo, gents. Issue #2, what to do with picking up club option (read: Sheff) will be discussed in a post to come sometime before winter meetings.

There is one situation under which I would accept a Torre firing, and another under which I would be ok w/ a doRA trade, but I won't tip my hand just yet as to what they are, for fear of jinxing them. Suffice it to say that, in both scenarios, a lot of premiere young talent is in motion, and that fire and brimstone is falling from the sky.

Side note- i spent game 4 at a wedding reception, seated next to a fellow Junkees fan, who was getting text updates of the game on his cell. After the game, he was adamant about kicking both Torre and doRA to the curb. As it was the first time meeting the guy, and a wedding, I didn't have it in me to argue and cause a scene. Score 1 for responsibility, and 0 for Alex's nuts. I suck.

But wait... HEY!
The Rangers are in first place!


  • Don't hide that hand. Shoooooow me your haaaaaands!!!

    Also, the guy at the wedding is right to hate A-Rod. All the A-Rod backlash is perfectly understandable, albeit a little much. The anger at Torre, however, is jaw-dropping. How any self-respecting Yankee fan (all 12 of them) could ever think that is beyond me. No manager has ever been a more perfect fit for a franchise. Phil Jackson and the Lakers, Belichick and the Patriots, Gibbs and the Redskins, Torre and the Yankees. End of story.

    Firing Torre = being incredibly stupid. (That's why I recently had my fingers surgically crossed.)

    By Blogger Jeff, at 9:36 AM  

  • OK, jeff, here's the hands:
    Firing Torre scenario- It comes out that he's been secretly arranging for false drug tests for Giambi, Sheff, et. al, and the added scrutiny of the playoffs created a paranoid atmosphere in the clubhouse, under which they were doomed to fail.

    Trading doRA scenario- The Angels GM gets really baked one night and decides to offer up Scot Shields, Jered Weaver or Ervin Santana, Howie Kendrick AND a AA pitching prospect, AND take on $10M/year of doRA's salary (leaving the Yanks paying about $6M/year of it). That scenario is probably less likely than the Torre one.

    By Blogger Alex, at 11:07 AM  

  • Do what, now? If he's arranging drug tests, that would relieve stress, because the guys would have nothing to worry about.

    That Angels scenario of yours is actually a lot less far-fetched. And weed wouldn't be required. Anaheim is clearly biased towards free agency and veteran pickups, so why not make a play for A-Rod? (Well, provided their play for Manny falls through.) The West isn't going to be any easier to win next season; they'll need another hired gun just to compete against a healthy Oakland, a Showalter-free Texas, and an improved Seattle.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 11:21 AM  

  • You're missing the point, Keaton.
    In the scenario, Torre could no longer fake the tests come October, cause there was more scrutiny by MLB officials in the playoffs. Thus the paranoia.

    Oh, and for the record, if the Angels offered that trade, I do believe I would take it in a New York minute, provided that scouts tell me that Kendrick or Cano can be moved to 3B.

    By Blogger Alex, at 11:56 AM  

  • No, I didn't miss any point. I think your premise, i.e. that testing in October is more stringent, is suspect. If the tests can be faked in June, they can also be faked in October. I could be wrong; it's possible that MLB has stronger checks for the playoffs and I'm just not aware of it. But I'd be extremely surprised. Doesn't matter anyway, Torre's not getting fired and nobody's catching Giambi or his syringe this season.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 12:23 PM  

  • I believe doRA's been "catching" Giambi's "syringe" for quite a while, thank you very much.

    By Blogger Alex, at 4:19 PM  

  • Obviously, nothing about Torre or A-Rod is *the* problem with the Yankees. Any worrying about who to blame for the Yankees' early exit that doesn't recognize the biggest culprits were Kenny Rogers and Jeremy Bonderman (with a lot of help from Randy Johnson, Jaret Wright, and pretty much the whole Yankee bullpen) is foolish.

    But I think there are hints here that the current group isn't really working that well, and I think that has to include Torre. Jim Caple's little thought exercise is clearly an impossible one for any number of reasons, but his point #5 really has me thinking. Clearly, A-Rod's struggles are his own fault, but it's hard for me to feel like Jeter didn't fail in a big way to remove a major distraction by coming to A-Rod's defense. And that also means that Torre couldn't (or wouldn't) make him do it.

    Of course, Jeter will retire a Yankee and I think everyone involved deserves nothing less. I feel much the same way about Torre--though I think his inability to get Jeter to help out with this A-Rod situation is potentially worrying down the line, I can't imagine it would make a big enough difference to really matter. With those constraints, I think you have to look at maybe trading A-Rod--if you can actually get enough value for him (which would be damn hard). If it's not helping you build a dominant pitching staff, trading him makes no sense.

    But how much is the right value? How much has A-Rod's defense declined? Is he actually a liability at third? Could he really still play SS? These aren't actually easy questions. And while you might expect me right here to reiterate my case that A-Rod, statistically speaking, is a better playoff performer than Jeter, I'm not going to.

    It's true, but you have to wonder if something broke inside the man during that 2004 ALCS. His numbers in that Sox series were a lot better than Jeter's overall, but since the Red Sox really started storming back (say, game 5), he really hasn't done anything good. He's a vastly more talented baseball player than Jeter, and most any way you slice his overall clutch numbers, they stack up at least as well. But in the playoffs, since the karate chop, he has been a complete and unmitigated disaster.

    From our perspective as fans, with a sample size that small, there's just no way of knowing if it's permanent or mostly random chance. That makes the decision to trade him or not pretty terrifying. Still, his regular-season contributions are probably well-worth his whole contract--so unless the package knocks your socks off, I think you have to keep him. But I'm glad I'm not the one making that decision.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 2:37 AM  

  • I have to believe that the Jeet not standing up for doRA was a conscious decision, made at the highest level (or at least the result of a conversation between Jeet and Torre). It might have been viewed as coddling him too much. Honestly, the man should be able to stand up for himself if he wants, or ignore the media if he wants. Fans would have seen Jeet making a statement like Caple suggested as an older brother coming to the defense of his helpless little brother, which could only hurt doRA's public image.

    In a way, I've always been impressed by athletes who clearly don't give a shit about their public image, and behave accordingly (see: pre-BALCO Bonds). He was of the opinion, "Boo me? Fine. Trash me in your column? Fine. I'm still going to go out and succeed because I'm the baddest MF in the game." And it was precisely that confidence/egomania that allowed Bonds to be the best in the game (well, that and a hell of a lot of talent). If doRA could get to that mindset, his game would be fine. Of course, if he were of that mindset, his entire career arc would look different.

    By Blogger Alex, at 1:33 PM  

  • I hear what you're saying, but I disagree. Although, I should say, if you'd asked me at the time I probably would have agreed with you, so maybe the fact that it looks like the wrong decison now (to me) is just hindsight. But something isn't right in that relationship.

    How about Torre failing to support A-Rod on that call at third? In fact, the whole team didn't care at all that he was saying he got that guy. That's weird. It doesn't feel right to me.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 4:03 PM  

  • Man, the whole A-Rod thing is a melange of emotions. I'm gonna have to get up at 6 AM every day and do deep-kneed ESPN thrusts just to keep up with this crap.

    I didn't see the play in question. Was it like the infamous Slap, where he was totally full of shit, or does he actually have a point? I'm amused by the mere thought of him having been right, but nobody believed him b/c of his Bronson Arroyo bullshit. Ha ha ha.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 4:14 PM  

  • A-Rod tagged somebody out at third in the Detroit series. It was close and a reasonable call, but he was right. I think the guy scored. It might have even mattered, I don't know.

    The relevant thing was that no one gave a damn or supported him in any way. I don't even think Torre stood up. Unless he was already standing, in which case he didn't move.

    Yes, people probably didn't believe him because of the slap and/or other shennanigans. But it is the frickin' playoffs. If your guy says he got him, you go out there and complain. I'm not saying he had to get kicked out, but the utter apathy was pretty startling.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 4:29 PM  

  • I agree on that- Torre should have argued. The Great Bullfrog Don Zimmer would have been riding Torre's ass all the way out of the dugout.

    The more I think about it, the more it does feel like doRA and Torre's relationship is going down in flames faster than Cory Lidle's Cessna.


    what, too soon?

    By Blogger Alex, at 5:08 PM  

  • This a cute old interview with Lidle. My favorite part? [Do you have a favorite] Holiday movie?

    Lidle: "Bad Santa" for obvious reasons. What a movie.

    What obvious reasons are those? Is he referring to something that somebody, like maybe his teammates, is/are supposed to get? If so, I shudder to think what it would have been. The jokes about the Yankees all dying in a plane crash are definitely a little less funny to me right now, though.

    I wonder what Arthur Rhodes is thinking right now. If you'll recall, the actual quote was:

    "He is a scab. When he started, he would go 5 1/3 innings and (the bullpen) would have to win the game for him. The only thing Cory Lidle wants to do is fly around in his airplane and gamble."


    By Blogger Jesse, at 5:35 PM  

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