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  • Mattingly
    replied
    http://yesnetwork.com/yankees/pinstripedbible.asp

    Steven Goldman’s Pinstriped Bible appears weekly on YESNetwork.com. "Forging Genius," Steve’s new biography of Casey Stengel is now available at Amazon.com and a bookstore near you, as is "Mind Game," about the intellectual conflict between the Yankees and the Red Sox. More Steve is available on YESNetwork.com in the Pinstriped Blog, and the Baseball Prospectus Web site. If you missed any edition of the PB dating back to November 2002, click here. Your questions, comments, suggestions welcomed at [email protected]. The opinions stated below are solely those of the author and should not be attributed to anyone connected in an official capacity with the YES Network.

    TUESDAY, June 6, 2006
    THE FUTURE (PRODUCED BY GORDON JENKINS)
    Today, draft Tuesday, the Yankees will be under a great deal of pressure to get it right, to choose as well as they did last year when they added C.J. Henry, J.B. Cox, Brett Gardner, Austin Jackson, and other promising players to the organizational roles. The Yankees need depth in two flavors: They need a high number of good picks to fill out the shallow parts of the organization — pretty much everywhere, especially catching and the infield — while also seizing on some players who may develop quickly enough to have an impact in the near term.

    This is a tall order and given New York's draft position (21st in the first round) and the paucity of top position prospects in the high school and college ranks, probably impossible. Yet the Yankees need to have a good draft if they're going to win the American League East this year. It sounds nonsensical — what do players who might not surface in New York until 2009 have to do with the 2006 division race? Everything, because until the Yankees rebuild their farm system they can't afford to deal their few prospects for the help that they need this year.

    As well as the Yankees have done to this point in the season, they are an old team. Even Derek Jeter, who turns 32 later this month, has more baseball behind him than he has in front of him. For the most part, the Yankees of today won't be the Yankees we'll be seeing two years from now. The question that remains is where their replacements are going to come from.

    The free agent market is not sufficient to resupply the Yankees. That's said with only limited foreknowledge of future free agent classes will look like. What is more relevant than specifically who will be available is that the Yankees have been here before and tried to go the no farm/all vet replacement approach and it didn't work. The 1979-1981 Yankees, while still very good teams, with one division winner and one pennant winner, were rapidly aging. The 1980 team, which won 103 games, had just three regulars under the accepted "peak" age of 27: Willie Randolph (26), Ruppert Jones (25), and Bobby Brown (26). The pitching staff had just three main contributors under 30, Tom Underwood (26), Ron Davis (24), and Goose Gossage (28). Many of the most important players were well over 30, including Bob Watson (34), Graig Nettles (35), Reggie Jackson (34), Lou Piniella (36), Bobby Murcer (34), Tommy John (37), Rudy May (35), Luis Tiant (39), and Gaylord Perry (41).

    These were excellent players in their day — Jackson and Perry are in the Hall of Fame, and Gossage, John, and Tiant may get there someday. Nettles should arguably be there, too — but that didn't change the fact that most of the team was old. The Yankees' practice at that time, and for many years thereafter, was to burn their first round picks on free agents and trade whatever players they managed to develop for veterans. Among the most famous examples of this was the 1976 multi-player trade that sent Scott McGregor and Tippy Martinez to Baltimore, the 1982 Willie McGee for Bob Sykes deal, Jim Deshaies for Joe Niekro, Doug Drabek for Rick Rhoden, Bob Tewksbury for Steve Trout, Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps, and so on.

    The problem with trading youth for experience, and then further adding experience by signing 30-year-old free agents, is that it doesn't retard the aging process, it accelerates it. Worse, because even the Yankees can't monopolize the free agent market, they were not certain of getting the best available talent (collusion had something to do with this as well). Add in predictable errors of judgment on certain players — the Tony Womack-style overestimations that even smart baseball men make from time to time — and problems can multiply quickly. The Yankees started with an old and expensive team, and by means of incredible expense and exertion ended with an old an expensive team, just one with a different cast. And while the Yankees of 1982-1993 were very good at times, they never were able to win their division. Neither the free agent market nor their failing farm system could supply them the last pieces of the puzzle — one more starter, one more reliever, a shortstop, a right-handed third baseman to platoon with Mike Pagliarulo, a catcher after Butch Wynegar became dispirited.

    That the Yankees are now patching injuries with "young" players like Kevin Thompson, Bubba Crosby, and Andy Phillips, strongly suggests the state of their farm system, as do the replies of opposing general managers to trade entreaties from the Yankees, most of which reportedly devolve into something that could have been an Abbott and Costello routine:

    YANKEES: We would like to know who you want for Adam Dunn.

    REDS: Hughes.

    YANKEES: Adam Dunn. I told you.

    REDS: And I answered you.

    YANKEES: Who?

    REDS: That's right.

    YANKEES: What's right?

    REDS: Hughes is the one.

    YANKEES: That's what I'm asking.

    REDS: And that's what I'm telling you.

    YANKEES: You want who?

    REDS: That's the first thing you've said right all day.

    YANKEES: I don't even know what I'm talking about!

    And so on. But the Yankees can't afford to trade Phillip Hughes, because he's the most likely impact player in the organization, a pitcher who might be able to front a rotation someday. If not for the Mike Mussina renaissance, they wouldn't have anyone who meets that description right now. If the Yankees aren't going to spend 2007 waiting for the miraculous return of Carl Pavano, Hughes has to remain part of the organization.

    The same thing is true of longer-term prospects like Gardner, Jackson, and Jose Tabata. The Yankees can keep pretending that Bernie Williams is a viable player until he's 48 (or 84), or they can keep these players in the organization for future use. Third option: the 2007-2008 free agent equivalents of Mel Hall and Gary Ward. That way lies hell.

    The Catch-22 is that despite Monday's offensive outburst, the Yankees may not be able to win this season without making some kind of deal. Some fascinating names have been bandied about for the team's injury-induced outfield vacancies: Craig Wilson, unhappy and unappreciated in Pennsylvania; Bobby Abréu, ditto; Junior Griffey, expensive but on a team in contention; Reggie Sanders, possibly as dead as the Royals at age 38.

    Any of them might out-hit Bernie Williams, a replacement for whom was needed even before the big-ticket outfielders hit the infirmary. Yet, it is unclear which of these teams will part with a hitter at a price the Yankees can afford. It may depend in part on how many Eric Duncan believers still populate front offices. Duncan is batting .209/.279/.255 at Triple-A Columbus. Just 21, Duncan has a couple of years to go before he deserves to be called a bust, but it is safe to say that his career to date has not been as the Yankees envisioned it when they made him their top pick in 2003. New York stardom might prove to be a bridge too far.

    ROLL OUT THE DRAWING BOARD
    Through the third round of the 2006 draft, the Yankees have taken three pitchers, so the hoped — for repopulation of the farm is probably not to be. Again, this is not just an idiosyncratic strategy on the part of the Yankees, but due to the quality of the players in this year's draft. Judging by information provided by various draft mavens, first round pick Ian Kennedy seems like a long shot to make a big splash in New York, being a 21-year-old right-handed finesse pitcher. More intriguing is sandwich pick Joba Chamberlain out of Nebraska, a righty who throws a bit harder than Kennedy but is, at an official height and weight of 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, a very big man who has struggled not be a bigger man. We can all identify with that.

    Late note: with their pick in the fourth round, the Yankees took Arizona State outfielder Colin Curtis. At last, a position player.

    IT'S NOT EASY BEING LONG
    (GREEN WOULD HAVE BEEN TOO EASY)
    The New York Post reports that the Yankees have called up former Devil Rays utility infielder Nick Green to give them team some infield depth until Derek Jeter's thumb stops looking like an Underdog balloon. Green is about the same hitter Miguel Cairo is, or even a little worse. The Rays released him because he opened the season in a 3-for-39 slump, but that's not representative. He's bad, not hopeless.

    To free up space on the 25-man roster for Green, the Yankees designated Terrence Long for assignment and decided to keep Kevin Thompson. It took three weeks too long realize that T-Long has nothing left to contribute.

    Leave a comment:


  • KCGHOST
    replied
    I really like Steve Goldman's stuff and I check his blog everyday. The blog has a link to the Bible.

    http://www.yesnetwork.com/yankees/pi....asp?print=yes

    Leave a comment:


  • Mattingly
    started a topic The Pinstriped Bible

    The Pinstriped Bible

    It used to be on yankees.com. I haven't kept in touch with it in awhile so I'm just refamiliarizing myself with it.



    THE PINSTRIPED BIBLE
    Steven Goldman’s Pinstriped Bible appears weekly on YESNetwork.com. "Forging Genius," Steve’s new biography of Casey Stengel is now available at Amazon.com and a bookstore near you, as is "Mind Game," about the intellectual conflict between the Yankees and the Red Sox. More Steve is available on YESNetwork.com in the Pinstriped Blog, and the Baseball Prospectus Web site. If you missed any edition of the PB dating back to November 2002, click here. Your questions, comments, suggestions welcomed at [email protected]. The opinions stated below are solely those of the author and should not be attributed to anyone connected in an official capacity with the YES Network.

    TUESDAY, March 21, 2006
    ABRUPT CHANGE OF PLANS

    The topic of today's column was going to be the grand showing by Yankees pitchers of late, but the Mike Mussina Show derailed what would have been a buoyantly optimistic opening about how the pitchers were rounding into shape and all was right with the world. Then it became Moose season — not the drunkenly lustful Moose mating season you read so much about, where Vermont motorists must be on their guard against hormone-drunk furry humvees with antlers stumbling into their cars. In that scenario, the moose does the damage. This time, the car got the Moose.

    Mussina won't always be this bad, but as we've discussed in the past, age and injuries have taken just the slightest edge off of his very fine control. Now it's Very Fine Control Minus. That difference accounts for a lack of Mooseish consistency from start to start. Some days he's the old semi-Cy Young candidate. On others, he gets undressed like Charlie Brown pitching to the 1927 Yankees.

    So Mussina's a buzzkill, because in the previous days even creaky old Randy Johnson had looked more like creaky young Randy Johnson. Pitching remains this club's weakness, because Johnson and Mussina have aged past consistency, Chacon and Wang might be one-hit wonders, and Pavano and Wright might already have registered for membership in that category. As for the bullpen in front of Mariano Rivera, who knows? Designing a bullpen on paper is a bit like designing the Freedom Tower. The conceptual work is easy, but in reality, the end product may prove to be unlike your expectations.

    Fortunately, help exists. The scout-heads consider Matt DeSalvo — love to be the sign of an unorthodox fool, and PECOTA doesn't like the right-hander either. Yet, let us joust with this particular windmill, for it may yet prove to be a giant. (Note: Let's not oversell. Call him a serviceable giant.)

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