Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 12, 2006
BASEBALL: No Sheffield, No Matsui

Hideki Matsui joins Gary Sheffield on the DL with a shattered wrist, probably for several months and perhaps for the year. As I noted before the season, the Yankees tried to stem their twin vulnerabilities in the everyday lineup - age and a lack of depth - by loading up on guys who have been insanely durable over the years (Matsui, Sheffield, Damon, Jeter, A-Rod, and - by catcher standards - Posada). But age and freak accidents can spoil that. Now the Yanks have Melky Cabrera and Bubba Crosby holding down outfield corners and a washed-up Bernie as DH. With Randy Johnson shaky and Carl Pavano still out, the Yanks need a powerhouse offense to win; they may not now have one.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 1:18 AM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)

plus Mo looks like he's lost velocity

Posted by: Ironman at May 12, 2006 9:56 PM

Hey Crank. I love you but come on. Sheffield should be back soon. Lets see what Cabrera does and oh yeah George has a bottomless pocket book, so maybe a Tori Hunter is in our future. Now personally, I wish the Yanks went back to what won in the Torre era
I would not take pick up Sheffield's option for next year. I would sign Zito and Hunter, Move Damon to RF and do everything I can do get rid of Wright and Pavano. That is for starts

Posted by: dch at May 13, 2006 12:31 AM

BTW, you are a Met fan, what's your position on Miledge for Zito? I think the Mets should do it. They are made to win now. Two years from now Pedro and Glavine both could be gone, they would still have a Zito who would only be 30. That couple with a Wright, Beltran, Reyes core would serve them well.

Posted by: dch at May 13, 2006 12:36 AM

We'll give you Abreu for Mussina. You'd gain a little salary, I think (Bobby's at 13 mil) but you get a premiere offensive player-better than Matsui.

I have been authorized by Pat Gillick to propose this deal.

Posted by: John Salmon at May 13, 2006 2:37 AM


But how about a Reyes-Wright-Beltran-Milledge core?

John Salmon-

Every Phil fan I've ever met is sorta down on Abreu. Why is that?

Posted by: Mike at May 13, 2006 9:54 AM

Mike, it's because most Philly fans are morons and are notoriously influenced by WIP, which is the most popular sports talk radio show in Philadelphia. A lot of Phillies fans think David Bell is a great player because his jersey is always dirty and he's "tough". Meanwhile Abreu is just great without seeming to risk life and limb so he's "soft". Again, they're idiots.

Posted by: Ted at May 13, 2006 9:26 PM

John-Milledge is a great prospect. Zito would arguably be the 2nd best pitcher after Pedro on the Mets staf and could be the piece the gets them to Worls Series this year. In 2 years Pedro and Glavine night be gone, but if the Mets sign Zito to say a 5 year deal he would still be anchor of the staff.

Posted by: dch at May 13, 2006 10:04 PM

1. Damon neither hits nor throws enough to play RF. He's a good bat with good legs and no arm in CF, love him for what he is.

2. Trading for Zito in 2006 has nothing to do with employing him in 2007. He's in his walk year. And no, he's not good enough to be worth Milledge for a part-of-one-season rental.

3. The Phillies can't be stupid enough to deal Abreu. Abreu doesn't get his uniform dirty, but neither do Andruw Jones or Beltran. Neither did Joe DiMaggio. Were I them, I'd offer Dellucci to the Yanks - he's more suited to stopgap duty.

Posted by: The Crank at May 13, 2006 11:40 PM

I'm not really down on Bobby, it's just that he makes a lot of money which potentailly could be turned into some pitching. The fans dislike him because, as the Fielding Bible (RSV edition) noted, Abreu was a singuarly undeserving Gold Glove winner last year. He plays it safe out there, although he can certainly cover ground and has a good arm. But after Aaron Rowand put himself on the DL crashing into the fence, playing it safe doesn't look so bad.

Posted by: John Salmon at May 13, 2006 11:45 PM

Of course trading for Zito would be conditional on being able to sign him. Lima is the secondd worst pitcher in MLB history, acc. to one measure. Trachsel is mediocrity in cleats, so is Bannister. You're an old team...the Mets could be below .500 next year, easy. Got to trade for Zito.

Posted by: John Salmon at May 13, 2006 11:52 PM


1. The Phillie fans have been down on Abreu for years. Not only does he have a clean jersey, but he's got a great career OBP. The Phillie fans don't deserve Abreu. I'll take him off your hands for Jose Lima; he's got "character" and "plays with passion." Deal?

2. One thing everyone keps ignoring in these Zito debates is the fact that since his Cy Young season (was that 1897 or 1898?), he just hasn't been a very good pitcher.

Posted by: Mike at May 14, 2006 10:13 AM

I would only suggest the Mets trade for Zito if they can sign him long term. His numbers would probably improve in NL, like most former AL pitchers.

Posted by: dch at May 14, 2006 3:03 PM

How about the Royals will give you mark redman and Joe Mays and we will even throw in Luke Hudson for Abreu. We'll even take his whole salary.

Posted by: maddirishman at May 14, 2006 4:38 PM

Crank and the rest, I thought you guys might be interested in this as there have been a few threads about it. Just something I ran into at my paper's sports blog:

The Giants have scored 40 of their 160 runs following a Bonds walk. They've scored 25 runs after his 15 intentional walks. In the last 16 games, San Francisco hitters are 8 for 13 with 2 homers and 10 RBIs immediately after Bonds walks.

So much for my "make someone else beat you" theory. Obviously in this case if you do that...they beat you.

Posted by: Dwilkers at May 14, 2006 5:09 PM

The idea, generally, is to retire batters, not allow them to reach base safely.

If walking Williams, Hornsby or even Ruth wasn't a good idea in their primes, let alone *Pujols* at this point, why is it good to walk 42 year-old Bonds?

I mean, when are managers gonna wake up to this?

Posted by: Mike at May 15, 2006 12:49 PM

The Yankees likely won't make a move to deal with their outfield situation. Sheffield will be back in the next couple of weeks and until the arrival of Matsui leftfield was manned by the likes of Ricky Ledee and Shane Spencer. The Yankees don't have enough prospects to deal them for stop gap guys and no one really wants anyone who is currently on their roster. The Yankees clearly are going to need to deal for pitching at some point in the season especially if RJ continues to suck pond water. I bet they let Cabrera, Williams and Crosby play the spots for now. They have so much offense anyway that losing Matsui, while it does change the nature of their line-up, is not as important a position to replace as finding an arm in July or August.

Posted by: jim at May 15, 2006 1:07 PM

I do think Zito may be more tempting as a player than it first appears. From June 1-August 31 last year he was 11-4 with a 2.55 ERA, 7.13 k/9 and 15 quality starts in 18 total starts. He is only 28 and he's left-handed. He's pitched in playoff atmospheres and in the playoffs themselves. Bronson Arroyo is killing in the NL right now. I agree that the contract situation makes it nigh well impossible to give up a lot for him. However if that could be worked out in advance that might make him worth a top prospect. I think, in general, baseball teams with huge resources do not need to be as married to their farm system as other teams. Certainly it helps to have young guys in the minors that can come in and play (Papelbon) but if you are the Mets and you need to win sooner than later and you can sign Zito to a reasonable deal as a part of the trade...I would find it difficult not to pull the trigger. Martinez, Glavine and Zito in a 7 game series. You could do way worse.

Posted by: jim at May 15, 2006 1:43 PM
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