Still in the hunt for Big Tex?
IDLE MUSINGS FOR A
SLOW NEWS DAY
The A.J. Burnett signing continues to be controversial. My
Neyer summed it up as “Too many dollars, too many years.” If reports
that the Yankees are still in on Mark Teixeira prove to be something more than
the usual hot air to bid up the real buyers, I’ll be willing to chalk the whole
thing up to the team placing a bet on the roulette wheel with money which,
after all, they are free to gamble with as they wish. If, on the other hand,
this expense is used to justify the fielding of a degraded offense, it will be
much harder to swallow.
In regards to that offense, Neyer notes, “Yankee Stadium is
(or rather, was) a pitcher’s park. Considering only road games, the Yankees
finished third in the American League in OPS last year. Maybe that doesn’t
qualify as ‘excellent,’ but it’s certainly somewhere between ‘good’ and ‘excellent.’
Granted, everybody’s a year older and we might expect a slight decline next
year. So yes, the Yankees should try to improve their offense … and I’m not at
all convinced they can’t still afford to do exactly that. Has Brian Cashman
suggested that he’s finished spending money? If he has, I missed it.” Taking
the last thing first, Cashman didn’t say he was done, but almost every writer
on the beat seems to have come to the conclusion that the Yankees are out on
the major position players. Sure, they could be wrong, things could change, but
one assumes (perhaps incorrectly) that their conclusions are actually sourced.
Yeah, I know. I’m naïve. As for last year’s offense, with Jason Giambi and
Bobby Abreu deleted, it’s not next year’s offense, and comparisons don’t really
One other thought about the various Yankees moves thus far
this winter, one that seems to have occurred to many others around the hot
stove: if the Yankees stop now, have they done enough to pass the Rays and the
Red Sox? It’s a difficult question to answer because those teams aren’t done
either, but we’ll try in tomorrow’s Pinstriped Bible.
I love Jamie Moyer’s new two-year contract with the
Phillies, if only because I’d like to see him follow through on his expressed
wish (threat?) to pitch through age 50. As long as Moyer is still pitching, I
am not old. I am less sanguine on the champs’ signing of Chan-Ho
Park, a pitcher who has been around
for 15 years and has never pitched well outside of Los Angeles. His Dodgers career ERA is 3.77
in 275 games. In 103 games with three other teams, it’s 5.63. Career ERA at
Dodger Stadium, 2.96. Everywhere else: 5.16. As for new general manager Ruben
Amaro, Jr.’s decision to buy Raul Ibanez for three years and $30 million, it is
daft. As well as Ibanez has hit in his second stint as a Mariner
(.291/.354/.477), that’s in good-not-great territory, he’s a defensive
liability, and they’ve just bought themselves ages 37 through 39, not usually a
player’s best years. Adam Dunn is a defensive liability too, but he’s more
productive and, at 29, will remain that way for longer. Hell, they could have
gone in on Teixeira and then traded the fun but limited Ryan Howard. You can
see where the Phils might not want to replace a high-strikeout hitter like Pat
Burrell with another high strikeout hitter, but just because the ideal
candidate isn’t available isn’t an excuse to sign a bad one.
JUST A REMINDER ABOUT
I’m reading ‘em, so keep ‘em coming. I’ll be bringing some
of them up on the air later this week.
MORE FROM ME
After a slow week of being imprisoned on the BP annual (not
that I’ve been paroled), I’m back at work at Wholesome Reading, including the first two
parts of a planned multi-part series on Public Works. Baseball or government,
infrastructure strategy excites me. As always, Warning! Politics!