Tag Archives: Mussina

Once again, time to strip the HOF ballot from some BBWAA members.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

As the Baseball HOF ballots are being counted (and new, if any, members are to be announced January 24) once again we see that the BBWAA should seriously consider stripping voting privileges away from some of its members.

This year’s case in point (so far): Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer who only voted for two ex-players: former Indians Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel.

If he wants to skip over known and suspected steroid users like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Manny Ramirez, that is one thing.

But what about others who may need every vote they can in order to receive the 75% it takes to get in? Ex-players like Mike Mussina, Trevor Hoffman, Vladimir Guerrero or Edgar Martinez?

If someone like Mussina winds up with 74.7%, they don’t round up. Hoffman missed by only a handful of votes last year.

And, if someone like Mussina just misses, he has a legitimate gripe against voters like Livingston.

Voters like Livingston (and others who vote for candidates clearly not HOF worthy just to give them a vote—maybe they were drinking buddies with that player?) should have their voting privileges revoked.

Advertisements

Yanks make more minor deals to set 40-man roster, get more $$ for Ohtani.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks made more minor deals today to free up more 40-man roster space and also got a little more international money that they could put towards Shohei Ohtani.

In one deal, they dealt Ronald Herrera, 22, to the Rangers for pitching prospect Reivar Sanmartin. Herrera was 0-1, 6.00 in 2 games, 3 IP, for the Yanks this year. Sanmartin, 21, is a LHP who had a 2.45 ERA at A ball. If the Yanks lose Herrera in the Rule 5 draft they can lose him for nothing, and they wanted something back. They also had people they wanted to protect on the 40 man roster who they felt were better than Herrera.

In another deal, they dealt Garrett Cooper and Caleb Smith to the Marlins. Cooper, a 1B, played in 13 games for the Yanks this year, going .326-0-6, and Smith was 0-1, 7.71 in 9 games, 2 starts. They got some international bonus $, which they could use toward Ohtani, and pitching prospect Mike King, 22. King had a 3.14 ERA at low A.

As for Ohtani, MLB extended the posting deadline to reach an agreement with Japan 24 hours. It is expected that if Ohtani is posted, the Yanks would be the heavy favorite to land him.

If they do, then they probably wouldn’t need to re-sign CC or go after Alex Cobb. Peter Gammons thinks the Cubs and Yankees are the favorites for Cobb, but if the Yanks get Ohtani, then they don’t need Cobb or CC.

Cobb, 30, is 48-35 in his MLB career, all with Tampa Bay. ERA 3.50, ERA+ 111.

With the minor deals, the Yanks were able to add to the 40 man roster Gleyber Torres, Albert Abreu, Domingo Acevedo, Thairo Estrada, Billy McKinney and Jonathan Loaisiga. I am a bit surprised Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield aren’t on the 40 man. The additions of Abreu, Acevedo and Loaisiga over Adams and Sheffield surprise me.

Hideki Matsui joins Johnny Damon, Kerry Wood and Andruw Jones as newcomers on the HOF ballot who once played for the Yankees. I don’t expect any to make it this year. All may be close but no cigar.

Matsui presents a special case. Are they judging him by just his MLB career (175 HR) or by his Japanese and MLB careers (507 HR)?

Damon had over 2700 hits and over 400 SB in his career, Jones over 400 HR with 10 Gold Glove Awards.

They join Mussina and Clemens on the ballot.

 

Mother Nature plays cruel April Fool’s Joke

It’s a good thing the Yanks got the game in yesterday (better yet, a victory). As far as the Lehigh Valley goes, as of 9 a.m., it’s snowing. Granted not much is sticking, but being 100 miles from NYC and 60 from Philly, this is not baseball weather. I wonder if the Phils will get their opener in today.

A new profile is up on Bronx Baseball Daily. It’s on the person who threw out the first pitch at the Stadium yesterday, Mike Mussina.   

Congats to all-time Yankee Don Mattingly, who won his first game as a manager last night when the Dodgers beat the Giants 2-1. 

Profiles of ex-Yankees at Bronx Baseball Daily.

Besides this blog, I am also writing profiles of ex-Yankees for the Bronx Baseball Daily blog. Miller Huggins is the new profile up today.

With Mike Mussina throwing out the first ball tomorrow, a profile will be going up on Mussina tomorrow.

Upcoming profiles will be on Mel Stottlemyre, Spud Chandler and Snuffy Stirnweiss. There is a link to Bronx Baseball Daily on the right of this page. Feel free to go over there and check out the profiles. 

So who is Fast Freddy Guzman?

Ok, the Yanks are thisclose to securing a postseason berth. Magic number for at least a wild card is 4.

So who is on the postseason roster? Here is a guess.

C: Posada and Molina
1B: Teix 
1B/OF: Hinske
2B: Cano
SS: Jeter
3B: A-Rod
Ut: Hairston
DH: Matsui
OF: Damon, Melky, Swisher, Gardner and Guzman.

That’s 14. It looks as if Ramiro Pena could be joining Francisco Cervelli in Tampa as players “just in case.” Working out in order to be added should the Yanks suffer an injury.

But you are probably wondering…who is Freddy Guzman?

Not this Freddy
Nope, it’s not this Freddy…

Guzman’s MLB resume isn’t earth-shattering. OF. 5’10”. 165. Switch-hits. 19 for 89 in his whole MLB career. That’s .213. 1 HR. 6 RBI. 5 for 8 in SB. OPS+ a sad 47. 28 years old. 38 MLB games. Doesn’t sound like anything, right?

We turn to the minor league stats. 3 leagues, 2002 Padre system. 89g, 69 SB.
2003, 3 leagues, SD system. 90 SB.
2004, AA/AAA SD system. 65 SB.
2006 AAA, SD/TEX 42 SB
2007 56 steals for Tex AAA (Oklahoma).
2008 Tigers, AA/AAA, 71 SB
2009 4 teams, AAA. Boston/Balt./Sea and Yanks 45 SB.

He’s only a .270 hitter in the minors. 20 minor league HR in 784 minor league games. 443 SB.

Basically, he is there as a PR. That’s it. If Melky starts, Gardner and Guzman provide two pinch-runners off the bench. Also two defensive replacements so that you have a speedier OF. You wouldn’t want Guzman hitting (although, to be fair, the postseason does make strange heroes…after all, Brian Doyle in 1978? Jose Vizcaino getting 4 hits in Game 1 of the 2000 WS?) and he won’t. But Guzman…and Gardner…could get a big steal just as Dave Roberts did for Boston in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS. Just don’t get picked off. (See Washington, Herb, …below).

In other words, Guzman could be to the 2009 Yankee postseason what Herb Washington and Allan Lewis were to the Oakland A’s.

Lewis got in 156 games with the A’s. 29 MLB at bats. You read that right. 29 ABs in 156 games. He was used mostly to PR. He went 6 for 29, 1 HR and 3 RBI in his career. 1967-1970, 1972 and 1973 A’s. 14 SB for the 1967 KC A’s. 44 in his career. The Panamanian Express.

Charlie Finley then took the Lewis PR idea to the extreme. He then got Herb Washington, who played in 105 games for the 1974-1975 Oakland A’s. Washington never got an at bat. Ever. He stole 29 bases for the 1974 A’s, two more in 1975 before the strictly…and I mean strictly  PR….was let go.  In case you are wondering, Washington never took the field either. … and yes, the 1974 A’s won the WS even though they were “short-handed” for the entire season, having one player on the team who never hit and never took the field! PR only.  

Oh…Washington’s claim to infamy? Getting picked off by Mike Marshall of the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 1974 WS.  

At least Guzman is a player, even though he can’t hit much, he actually plays the field (that’s on the field…I obviously wouldn’t know about off!) (For the record, Lewis, unlike Washington, actually took to the field in 10 games as well as have those 29 at bats).

So for this postseason, Guzman may be the Yankees’ Lewis or Washington. Good for the postseason or the expanded September roster, but you wouldn’t want it for the regular season…no way.

As for the pitching staff, if the Yankees go with the extended series and just three starters in the ALDS, I could see it shaping up this way:

Starters: CC, AJ, Andy (that shoulder better be getting that rest, Andy!)
Long men: Aceves and Gaudin
7th inning: Robertson (get that elbow healthy, David!) and Joba (think about that….Joba in the 7th, then Hughes and Mo??)
8th: Hughes
9th: Mo
LOOGYS: Marte and Coke. (Lefty One Out Guy)

Mitre goes to Tampa, just in case. So does Bruney. The question becomes, Marte or Bruney on the team? Marte has to show me more, but there are already all those righties…Ace, Hughes, Robertson, Joba (for round 1 in the bullpen, starter afterward, and if just one start in the ALCS or WS, Joba could also relieve an inning in those series should the Yanks advance), Rivera, Gaudin… Girardi may decide to go with the two loogys.

As for Joba, Game 4 starter in the ALCS and WS if Yanks advance. Could he give an inning of relief in Game 1/2 and/or 6/7 as well as start Game 4? Why not? 

See Mussina, 2003 ALCS and Turley, 1958 WS for examples. There are more, but there’s your starting point.

Searchin’

With apologies to one of the greatest two-sided 45’s ever, although the Yanks would love “Youngblood” in the #5 spot, they are still “Searchin’.”

With Mitre at a 7.50 ERA after four starts, the Yanks yesterday signed Russ Ortiz to a minor league deal. Ortiz was 3-6, 5.57 (13 starts, 10 more games in relief) for the Astros this year, ERA+ 75. For his career, the 35 year old is 113-88, 4.48, ERA+ 94. He had a nice stretch from 1999-2004, and won 21 for the 2003 Braves, but since 2004 is 10-28.

Meanwhile, Ian Kennedy (remember him?) hopes to get in a few minor league games before the season ends. He will be pitching in the Puerto Rican Winter League this winter. Kennedy started four games for SWB this year and was 1-0, 1.59 before going down with an aneurysm in his pitching arm. Kennedy turns 25 in December. He is 19-6, 1.95 in his minor league career, but 2010 will be a huge year for him. He needs to bounce back and show that he can do it on the major league level (MLB 12 starts, 1 relief appearance, 1-4, 6.14).

Lastly, the “Truth,” Josh, wonders what might have happened had Mussina decided to come back this year. Surely he’d be better than the combined 5-8, 8.20 that we’ve received from the starters trying to fill that #5 spot, right?  

Boston is in for four games. Time to get revenge for the zero for eight against the Red Sox this year. Joba vs. Smoltz. Time to remind Smoltz that he is 42. Open a bit of a cushion, Yanks.

Game 95. A’s @ Yankees. 7th straight for Yanks, 6-3. 2.5 game lead.

After rain delays of 2 1/2 hours, you never know how teams will react. You can say that they are professionals, but they are also human.

A few years ago (2007?) it seemed like Mike Mussina had a couple of delays in the course of the season. You would think that someone who pitched as long as Mussina did and who won as many games as he did (270) would be able to adjust. Yet he had trouble.

So far tonight, CC has had trouble. 2 runs given up in the 2nd, another in the 4th.

The Yanks have come back with 4 in the 4th. Teix hit #24, a 2-run shot.   

Gardner got SB #20 earlier in the game. For people who knock Gardner, I ask this. You know he won’t give power. He is giving .277 and is on course for about 34 SB. That is what he is good for. .277 and 34 SB from a platoon CF? Isn’t that good enough considering what he can and cannot do?     

CC isn’t sharp. Just wondering. Mo is probably out of the equation tonight. Aceves and Hughes have split games since the break. Robertson and Melancon haven’t been used since the break, I think. This might be a game where they have to earn their pinstripes.

Teix gets another rbi—via double—in the 5th. Posada tacks on a run. 6-3 Yanks after 5.

This is the way it’s going for the Yanks right now. I was somewhere tonight where people were commenting that the Yanks were down 3-0. I mentioned three things: 1) it was early in the game 2) that the Yanks had won six in a row, and sooner or later a loss was inevitable and 3) you can’t live game to game in baseball. It’s a 162 game season. 3 out of 5. That is all. 3 out of 5. It doesn’t sound like much, but it translates to 97-65. People who go game by game don’t get it.

Put it this way. A team goes 4-3 in the course of a week. It goes 4-3 EVERY SINGLE WEEK over the course of a season. Nothing spectacular. Just 4-3. Do you know what you get?

92-69 with one game to go. Which will make the playoffs probably 95% of the time, right?

Now this is interesting. I backtracked to a previous post of mine.

Veras in. A walk (remember the KC game?) Double for Victor Martinez. 2nd and 3rd, no one out. I’m down on Veras. I can see Dave Robertson taking his job…. and soon.

And I can see Melancon taking Edwar’s job soon too. Just saying.  

I think the bullpen has options in case someone falters. Meaning Robertson and Melancon for Veras and Edwar.

Ok. It turns out to be Hughes and Aceves instead of Robertson and Melancon. Funny thing is, do you know when I wrote the above? April 16th. During the first game at the new Stadium. Um…not to toot my own horn, but did I call it?

He isn’t “on” but CC is battling. He goes into the 7th. A 6-3 lead.  

7 for CC. 3 R, 9 H, 0 walks and 4 K.  He battled.

…and the 8th inning guy is in. For those of you not paying attention, that is Hughes. 0.81 in relief this year. This is a team that has had surprising people step up and be valuable. Cervelli isn’t Posada, but what a job he did. What a job Hughes and Aceves are doing.

1-2-3 for Hughes in the 8th. He’s making it look easy.

…and a 1-2-3 in the 9th. Too easy.

7 in a row for the Yankees. They now have a 2 1/2 game lead. 20 of their last 25.

10-6, 3.61 for CC. Hughes ERA down to 3.51 as he picks up his first MLB save.  Six up, six down for Phil.