Security behind the plate
SO, HOW WAS YOUR VALENTINE’S DAY?
My unscientific polling sample of local types was evenly split between couples who believe it’s a cynical holiday manufactured by the greeting-card companies and those who make something of it. I tend to fall into the latter camp, if only because I like an excuse to get my wife a present or two. I don’t buy greeting cards, though. Those are evil, with soul-crushingly banal inscriptions, like:
My Dearest Love
Let me tell you all the ways,
On this special day of days
How you fulfill me in every way
In spite of that disfiguring mark
In the middle of your forehead
That I so easily overlooked when you were 20
But can bug the heck out of me now that we’re older.
Why don’t you get that thing fixed, anyway?
We can finally afford it
Now that we’ve had that bequest from your uncle.
I never thought he would stop kicking
While we held him down
With the fluffy cat pillow
I guess that’s why I think I love you
Oh, cripes, not “I think,” I mean, “I do.”
Please don’t make a big thing of it.
I wish you wouldn’t cry like that.
You know how I feel better than I do.
You’re always telling me how much I–
Oh, forget it. I can’t talk to you right now.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY.
On the rare occasions I’m forced to buy a card, I shoot for the blanks and fill in my own inscription. You really don’t want to be going for a lowest common denominator sentiments when expressing yourself to a loved one. That’s lazy, and perhaps, a bit dangerous. No doubt we’ll return to this topic on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. I was going to crack that on the former the players swing pink bats and on the latter they just hit you with them, but that would make a wider generalization about fathers than would be fair, including to my own, including myself. It’s all comedy folks, it’s just comedy.
RANDOM THOUGHT ON SOUVENIRS AND FEELINGS OF SECURITY
Remember the stuffed Kirby Puckett dolls the Twins used to sell? Think the Yankees might license something similar for CC Sabathia? I know if I were a kid, I wouldn’t be afraid of the dark if I had a stuffed CC in my room. Mr. Scratch comes out of the closet, CC will bean him with a 95-mph fastball. Take that, Ultimate Evil! This tot knows security! You could save thousands in fees to the child psychologist …
PUDGE, AS PLAYERS STRETCH AND PLAY CATCH
You’ve probably seen the latest from Ivan Rodriguez, who is still out there looking for a job. While I don’t believe Pudge has a lot left (PECOTA says .263/.301/.364), the Yankees would be very foolish not to give him another look. If you believe, as many have suggested, that Jorge Posada, even if ready to start the season, will probably sit for a quarter of the games, then you also have to be praying that the AL East race is not a close one. Simply put: if Jose Molina and Kevin Cash play 40 or more games and the race is at all close, the Yankees will lose it.
The more one considers this possibility, the more stunning it is that the Yankees went through the winter without trying to upgrade at the position — Cash doesn’t qualify; in 557 Major League plate appearances, he’s batted .184/.248/.285, a fair representation of his offensive abilities. I characterized it this way in my most recent chat when I was asked about the possibility of Rodriguez returning:
Eli (Brooklyn): Should the Yankees make a run at Pudge Rodriguez or did him running over Joe Girardi’s dog close that avenue?
Steven Goldman: One of the really disturbing things that Yankees fans will see coming out of Spring Training — well, let me correct that. There are two scenarios, both equally disturbing: (1) Posada is healthy enough to catch, but the Yankees feel nervous enough about this durability that they carry both Jose Molina AND Kevin Cash, or (2) Posada isn’t ready to start the season, so the Yankees start the season with Molina and Cash as their catchers. As such, YES! YES, THEY FREAKING SHOULD BRING IN ANYONE BREATHING! YES!
… I actually raised this point on last night’s Hot Stove show on YES, though somewhat inarticulately: Brian Cashman’s biggest gamble last season was not relying on young pitching, but in going to war with an old catcher and assuming his (to that point) incredible durability would carry them through another year. That he has decided to double up on that bet is really disturbing and will reflect very poorly on him should Posada not be ready to go.
I should have said that it will reflect very poorly on him “should Posada not be ready to go, or if he requires substantial rest to stay healthy — and the latter seems to be inevitable.”
SOME THINGS WORTH READING
? A good MLB.com article on the PECOTA prediction system, which I often site in these here pages and is the backbone of that book I spent the winter editing. How does Bill Pecota feel about inspiring PECOTA? “Hey, any pub is good pub at this point … I definitely didn’t do enough on the field to get people to notice me, so if they’re noticing me now, that’s awesome.” Thank you, Bill. Feel free to come by a book signing. We’ll spot you a copy.
? Sorry for bringing up bad memories, by Joe Posnanski conducts a thoughtful “steroid symphony.”