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If I ever run for office, I will make sure that Lincoln and Washington's birthdays are separate holidays again here in the states. President's Day my a--. But this holiday is more than just celebrating famous U.S. presidents like Abe Lincoln and FDR; it's also about celebrating some of the medicore ones, like Fillmore and Taylor, Ford and Hayes -- or Harrison, who died in 40 days.

There are some people, regrettably, who do not get Monday off. For them I am truly sorry, for either their company is too stingy, or they have not found the greatest person in the world -- my wife -- to support them while they search for their place in the universe. (Keep away; she's mine.) For some people, though, I am not sorry. I like to call those people "major-league baseball players." Yes, finally, for some teams, it's the start of spring training. Like every Bauxite, I view this news with great joy; I am tired of speculation and rumor: let's get it on already.
Hijack Central: President's Day Bonanza | 153 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Joe - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 07:57 AM EST (#78586) #
Er—are there really companies out there which are in the habit of giving their employees days off for holidays which don't occur in their country? If so, I should be working for one: the Feast of Maximum Occupancy is coming up, after all.
_Ryan - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 09:20 AM EST (#78587) #
From the Ryan-Is-Being-Silly-Again Department, the Space Needle was arrested for helping al Qaeda, and it turns out our very own Chris Gomez is actually a 33 year old mother of three.
_Andrew Edwards - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 10:01 AM EST (#78588) #
Just so totally off-topic...

Does anyone know anything about applying to MBA schools? If so would they mind me emailing them?

My GPA was good-but-not-great, but I've got 4 years work experience, good references, I do well in interviews, and I'll score highly on the GMAT when I take it in a week and a half. I'm currently thinking of applying to one premium school, one good school, and one 'safety'. Something like:

1) Chicago
2) York
3) Alberta

I'm thinking maybe I schould add one more between York and Chicago. Or maybe I should do Rotman or Queens instead of York. Or maybe I should apply for another second-tier Canadian school, just to be sure. Argh!
_Ryan - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 10:11 AM EST (#78589) #
The University of New Brunswick has a real good finance program (I graduated from their BBA finance program). They have a CFA prep program and they were working on an FRM prep program as well (I'm not sure what the status is on this one). If you're interested in the investment side, UNB is a good choice. Feel free to E-Mail me if you have any questions.
Pepper Moffatt - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 10:22 AM EST (#78590) #
Andrew: I'm at Ivey, so if you're considering going there and have any questions, feel free to e-mail me. I probably can't answer a lot of them myself, but I'm sure I can find people here who can.

Why not apply to Rotman and Schulich and Ivey?

IMHO, applying to 3 "good" schools is probably a better idea than applying to one good and one "safety". But then again, I'm not the one who has to fill out all the forms.


_DS - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 10:23 AM EST (#78591) #
We Canadians could only dream of having a holiday between New Year's and Easter.
Craig B - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 10:32 AM EST (#78592) #
IMHO, applying to 3 "good" schools is probably a better idea than applying to one good and one "safety". But then again, I'm not the one who has to fill out all the forms.

I agree wholeheartedly with Mike. Figure out the places where you want to go, and apply there and there only. Don't bother applying to places you don't want to go to, because - I promise you - you will hate it and draw nothing from the experience.

If worst comes to worst, and you don't get in, try again next year. It's not like MBA programs are a dying breed. :) Trust me, they want/need your money a lot more than you need them for anything.
_Dean - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 10:39 AM EST (#78593) #
In Alberta we have a holiday in February and it occurs on Feb 16 and it is called Family Day. Not bad for a bunch of red necks. Enjoy your jobs on Monday.
Pepper Moffatt - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 10:41 AM EST (#78594) #
Trust me, they want/need your money a lot more than you need them for anything.

Heheheh. Why do you think I'm promoting Ivey? I want a new flat screen monitor for my office! :)

In all seriousness, it's a fun place to be. I love it here.


Craig B - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 10:44 AM EST (#78595) #
In Alberta we have a holiday in February and it occurs on Feb 16 and it is called Family Day. Not bad for a bunch of red necks. Enjoy your jobs on Monday.

Wow, you guys copy the Americans in everything, don't you? I suppose the next thing will be moving Canada Day to the Fourth of July. :)

I'm still damn jealous.
_benum - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 11:02 AM EST (#78596) #
Monday is "Family Day" in Alberta. A holiday for most (all Govmnt).

I think it's in honour of "The Family Guy" but I'm not sure.
_benum - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 11:03 AM EST (#78597) #
Must refresh before port...
_Spicol - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 11:08 AM EST (#78598) #
Andrew, what's your undergrad degree in?

As an employer who has seen hundreds of MBA resumes come across my desk, let me say that very few of the people who completed their MBA should have even bothered in the first place. And unless you're going to go to a good school, you should probably forget about it. It's not that the curriculum will be astoundingly different from school to school but the faculty and most importantly, the students, will be. You want to surround yourself with people who will challenge you and can offer you a different perspective. Alberta is a good school in a lot of ways but you're probably not going to get that from their MBA program, at least not to the same degree as the big schools. As far as Canadian Us are concerned, stick to Schulich (York), Ivey (Western) or McGill with Rotman (UofT), Queens and UBC making up the second tier but still good.

I'm not familiar enough with any American schools but the big ones and I wouldn't feel comfortable giving you potentially life-altering advice on something I know little about.

Just promise me that if you go to Ivey you won't get that Iveytude. ;)

You can email me if you want to discuss this further. (COMN)
Pepper Moffatt - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 11:21 AM EST (#78599) #
Just promise me that if you go to Ivey you won't get that Iveytude. ;)

Hey, can we help it if we're smarter, better looking, and snappier dressers than everyone else? :)

Having spent five years at UWO, I'd like to point out that the Western attitude isn't just isolated to Ivey. It's part of what gives the school its charm!


Pistol - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 11:33 AM EST (#78600) #
I usually don't read Griffin, but he was linked at Primer and I like Conan. At the end he had this blurp:

Ash admitted satisfaction with his role in helping Halladay reach where he is, especially the decision to send him down in spring 2001 to rebuild his delivery when his career was in spiral.

"It was a risk," Ash recalled. "There were scouts and others who thought we should trade or get rid of him. I know a lot of people are talking about what part they played in where he is today, but the reality is that it was the player, himself. He went down and he worked for it."

Among those Ash may be chiding are former Jays pitching coach, Mel Queen and sports psychologist Harvey Dorfman.

So let me get this straight:
"Ash admitted satisfaction with his role in helping Halladay reach where he is"

"I know a lot of people are talking about what part they played in where he is today, but the reality is that it was the player, himself."

The other funny thing is the chiding comment. I can't speak about Queen, but I'm certain that the last thing Dorfman wants to do is promote himself.
Mike Green - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 11:37 AM EST (#78601) #
Pistol, "blurp"- a combination of blurb and burp, or just a typo? The former doesn't seem too out of line, in the circumstances.


Mike G
_Matthew E - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 11:43 AM EST (#78602) #
On Blue Jay Way, Darryl wangled an interview with Bob Elliott of the Sun. It is not without its points of interest. COMN.
robertdudek - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 11:52 AM EST (#78603) #
I think what Ash meant was that he made the right decision (to send Halalday down) and he's pleased about that, but at the same time he thinks Roy should get the credit for actually working his way back and, even more, for becoming a dominant pitcher. I think he is shortchanging those other guys a bit, but he's not being inconsistent.

It's obvious to me that others played an important role in what Halladay is today, just as Wilt Chamberlain's high school basketball coach probably helped him. But talent and hard work are always the main ingredients to sporting success.
Gitz - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 12:45 PM EST (#78604) #
Er—are there really companies out there which are in the habit of giving their employees days off for holidays which don't occur in their country? If so, I should be working for one: the Feast of Maximum Occupancy is coming up, after all.

Well, Joe, I DID qualify it by saying "here in the states." Perhaps I wasn't clear enough, but of course I didn't expect Canadians to have the day off.

And I'm in favor of holidays for non-national events. Somehow I don't think there will ever be a Guy Fawkes day in this country, but if it ever happened, I'd be thrilled.
robertdudek - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 12:49 PM EST (#78605) #
I nominate November 11th. Not only is it a very important day in Canada, it's also the most important non-religious holiday in Poland (Independence Day).
Pistol - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 01:16 PM EST (#78606) #
"blurp"- a combination of blurb and burp, or just a typo

A typo, although I like the sounds of blurp in that context.
_Matthew E - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 01:53 PM EST (#78607) #

Anybody else see the commercial for Ronald McDonald House that's out now? I will parasummarize:

(A stocky little kid is addressing the camera.)

SLK: Just after I was born, I went into a coma. The doctors said I wouldn't live to my first birthday.

When I was one year old, the doctors said I'd never walk.

Now I'm nine years old, and they were right about one thing at least . . .

(Cut to the stocky little kid at bat in a little league game. He takes off to first after hitting what looks like it's going to be a fly ball to left.)

SLK: . . . I'm never going to walk!


So I'm watching this, and my only reaction is, kid, you're never going to make the major leagues with that attitude. OBP is key!
_Cristian - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 02:59 PM EST (#78608) #

I did the good school, average school, and safety school thing when applying to law school. Strangely enough, I also had Alberta as my safety school. Even stranger was that Alberta was the only school that didn't grant me admission.
_Cristian - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 03:02 PM EST (#78609) #
From the Griffin article:

I have begun to figure out the Svengali-like effect Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi has upon fans. It starts to make sense, witnessing the insane (over)reaction by citizens of this city to the visit of very funny, but pedestrian, late-night talk-show host Conan O'Brien.

Yet another reason to dislike Griffin: he probably prefers Jay Leno over Conan.
_David Armitage - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 03:32 PM EST (#78610) #
This is barely news, but sometimes broadcaster and former Jays pitcher Tom Candiotti fails badly in his attempt to qualify for the PBA tour. Now he'll have more time to provide insight to Rob Faulds. I wonder if he used the same grip on a 14 pound baseball as he did in the majors. (COMN)
_David Armitage - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 03:33 PM EST (#78611) #
that should read bowling ball.
Pepper Moffatt - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 03:43 PM EST (#78612) #
former Jays pitcher Tom Candiotti fails badly in his attempt to qualify for the PBA tour.

He had a 202 average.. I wish I could fail that badly! I can only break 200 once every 10 games or so, which given how much I get out, is like twice a year. :(


_Ryan - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 03:44 PM EST (#78613) #
At least Candiotti still has his $20 phone calls to fall back on.
Craig B - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 03:48 PM EST (#78614) #
I can only break 200 once every 10 games or so, which given how much I get out, is like twice a year.

Over the line, Mike. Mark it zero, Dude.
_Andrew Edwards - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 05:16 PM EST (#78615) #
Thanks for tha advice, all.

FWIW, my undergraduate degree is Political Science. I've been working in marketing for almost 4 years now, and, frankly, I'm getting a little bored. I'm not learning anything new anymore.

So I want to get out and explore strategy, finance, etc. I've been trying to kick down the door into management consulting, with some successs but no job so far. I'm going to keep trying.

But the other obvious approach is to go get an MBA, to round out that side of my knowledge. So I guess I'm doing it for the right reasons.

I've also started to hear of companies who just flat-out won't hire anyone without an MBA. Kraft, apparently, is an example. I'd hate to be penned down later in my career for not having an advanced degree.

The advice 'good school or go home' is something I've heard elsewhere, too. Maybe I'll drop Alberta from my list and add another top school.

Thanks all. Any further suggestions don't hesitate to email me (COMN).
_Rob - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 09:11 PM EST (#78616) #
I'm not sure how old this is or if anyone has seen it, but the poll (COMN) has two choices: Should the Jays re-sign or trade Delgado?
I'm sure everyone here can tell me why the "trading for prospects" will not happen, but why did 35% vote for it anyway?
Gerry - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 09:44 PM EST (#78617) #
Congratulations to all Bauxites for ignoring the trolling by Griff this am.

No you don't need to look, it's the usual doggie do.
Coach - Friday, February 13 2004 @ 11:33 PM EST (#78618) #
why did 35% vote for it anyway?

Because it was the only other option. TSN, which should know that Delgado has a no-trade and isn't on the market, could have given "make him a qualifying offer and get the draft picks" as a realistic alternative, and the same 35% would have chosen that, even if they didn't have a clue what it meant. If "appoint him Ambassador to Mars" was an option, people would select that too.

Ricciardi-mania's lack of post-season bling

Sorry for feeding the troll, Gerry, but I just had to point out that Griffin will be one of the very few disappointed people in Toronto if the Jays do make the playoffs this year. He'll be out of ammo for cheap shots.

In his iron-willed determination to resist the "Svengali-like effect Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi has upon fans," Rich has apparently become blind to what is happening all around him. Maybe he should talk to some of us, who can point out the differences between the 2004 club and the 2001 model. Our "reverence" might be less of a head-scratcher.
_Matthew E - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 12:13 AM EST (#78619) #
I just had to point out that Griffin will be one of the very few disappointed people in Toronto if the Jays do make the playoffs this year. He'll be out of ammo for cheap shots.

No, he won't. He could just give Ash all the credit for the win, because it was Ash who brought in Halladay and Wells and all those guys. Obviously, we'd all be suckers for thinking Ricciardi had anything to do with it, when Ash might have delivered a playoff appearance a year earlier. For that matter, even Ricciardi might have, if only Rogers had given him the money to do so.
_Ryan Day - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 12:34 AM EST (#78620) #
In the admittedly unlikely event of the Jays making the playoffs, Griffin can also point out that while the team may have been good, it didn't steal any bases or bunt and so therefore isn't as good as the 1961 Yankees. And of course, anything short of a World Series win will be totally unsatisfactory.

Just out of curiousity, though: Did Ricciardi have any sort of "cult following" prior to being hired by the Jays? I knew DePodesta's name, but can't say I'd ever heard of Ricciardi before he was interviewed for the job.
_Matthew E - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 12:22 PM EST (#78621) #
I don't think so. I hadn't heard of him either.

In Jeff Blair's Globe column (COMN) today he refers to 'the fawning affections of the season subscribers' and 'the cult of J.P.'. I guess it's something of a new thing for fans to be so conscious of the identity and activity of the general manager, and for the GM to be such a focal point in public discussions of the team. For someone who's been covering baseball for a long time, this must be a little bemusing, and maybe it's one reason why Richard Griffin reacts to Ricciardi the way he does.
_Spicol - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 01:15 PM EST (#78622) #
ARod to the Yanks? COMN to see it.

The best part is when it is suggested that ARod would concede SS to Jeter and move to 3B. Sophisticated defensive metrics everywhere are cringing at the thought.

It's a fun rumour though. Maybe they could then pick up Nomar to play 2B.
_R Billie - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 01:32 PM EST (#78623) #
At least the Yankees would have one good infielder. Unfortunately they'd be keeping the lesser one at a more important defensive position.
_Rob - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 02:26 PM EST (#78624) #
Looks like Doug Creek is going to the Cards (COMN). Any reason they'd want him?
_Brent - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 02:50 PM EST (#78625) #
At least the Yankees would have one good infielder. Unfortunately they'd be keeping the lesser one at a more important defensive position.

Someone already mentioned this over at Primer, but if the Yankees aquire A-Rod and shift him to 3B, this will be the tell-tale sign that the Yankees believe that Jeter is a good fielder and that they seem to be blind to the criticism that almost everyone I've talked to agrees with: that Jeter is a terrible, terrible defensive SS.

Looks like Doug Creek is going to the Cards (COMN). Any reason they'd want him?

It's only a minor league deal, so I guess it's not that bad. If there are some significant injuries on my staff, I'd throw Creek out there to stop the bleeding. However, if this were a major league deal, I'd be pooh-poohing this one all the way to Friday.
_Jordan - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 02:53 PM EST (#78626) #
I have a theory on the "cult of JP." Yes, Ricciardi is charismatic, intelligent and well-spoken, which helps enormously in a town where his GM competition is the likes of John Ferguson and Glen Grunwald. But I think a lot of Jays fans have bought into Ricciardi because (a) he articulated and implemented a clear vision and organizational culture for the team, which no one has done in this city (for any sports team) since Pat Gillick, and (b) he's almost 0% bullsh*t -- he rarely dissembles, he's as straight about players' and coaches' performances as he can be, and he gives the strong impression of having nothing to hide. I think that kind of (sometimes painful) directness has impressed fans who are used to tired cliches, vague promises and annual disappointments. Ricciardi is a natural leader, and people are hungry for leadership these days. Granted, I'd be less impressed with this leadership had the Jays lost 90 games last year -- but they didn't, and success breeds confidence in the plan (and the planners) that produced it.

I don't see A-Rod going to New York, at least not just for Soriano. If the Yanks still had Brandon Claussen, that might have tipped the balance in favour of a deal. At the same time, I do think A-Rod will eventually get himself dealt out of Texas -- which will be short-sighted, because in just a couple of years, the Rangers could be very, very good. Prediction, free of charge: the 2007 Rangers will outperform the 2007 Yankees, regardless of where A-Rod is.
_Lefty - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 03:16 PM EST (#78627) #
Oh boy. I wouldn't be to quick to disregard this A-Rod rumour. His agent Boras is usually pretty chirpy and didn't have a great offseason for his clients. He offered no comment on the rumour. Cashman admits he approached the Rangers but says %99 of his trial balloons are pricked.

With the low cost of Soriano's contract this yr. and next, if he is the key player in the exchange it gives the Rangers some pretty fair financial flexibilty in the conclusion of the A-Rod contract.

And then there's George, Cashman could not have approached the Rangers if George didn't want this to happen. It was earlier thought that the Yanks would enter the season without a replacement level player for Boone but this rumour tells me that Cash has been over-ruled.

We'll see.
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 03:21 PM EST (#78628) #
The Breaking News mini bottom line on The Score reports that an A-Rod for Soriano deal has been agreed upon.
_Steve Z - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 03:32 PM EST (#78629) #
Here's a link to a report (from Newsday) of the deal that is already agreed upon "in principle" and will be "finalized within days".
robertdudek - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 03:58 PM EST (#78630) #
This deal, if it happens, is just sickening.

Salary cap, salary cap, where for art thou, salary cap.
_Brent - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 04:04 PM EST (#78631) #
The Yankees are expected to send a minor-league pitcher along with Soriano to Texas to complete the deal.

This is really a kick in the mean bean machine. Not only is A-Rod going to New York, but the Rangers couldn't squeeze Contreras or Dioner Navarro into the deal. I'm guessing the minor leaguer in question is DePaula or Proctor.
_Brent - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 04:05 PM EST (#78632) #
...but I guess I should wait until the deal is finalized until I get all in a tizzy.
_Dr. Zarco - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 04:12 PM EST (#78633) #
Aww hell. The Red Sox and Jays fans are together on disliking this deal. For just Soriano and some minor league throw in (speculation, yes)? So who's playing second? Does Lamb shift over or is it Enrique or someone yet to be acquired (why don't they just go after Bret Boone)?
Mike D - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 04:26 PM EST (#78634) #
This deal, if it happens, is just sickening.

I agree, Robert.

The Yankees provoke such strong emotions in most baseball fans that nuance and perspective are especially important. And just as it is inappropriate to make alarmist sky-is-falling predictions each time the Yankees take on too is it insane to say that this deal would be somehow good for baseball or good for its competitive ecology.

Even if a team gets a stadium built for it by some sucker municipality, even if they market the club intelligently and sell out every ticket, even if they strike a good TV other franchise will ever be able to amass a $220M payroll in 2004 dollars. Not unless a new financial center emerges and/or the West Coast decides that it's going to get really, really passionate about baseball.

Of course it doesn't guarantee the Yankees a leg up on the field. But it sure does tend, very strongly, to give them an on-field advantage...
_Rob - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 04:39 PM EST (#78635) #
COMN for the story. If this goes through, aren't the Yankees just shifting their hole from third to second? What's next, trade for BBoone or Jeff Kent or Vidro? How many minor leaguers can New York trade?

Somebody take away Brian Cashman's cash.
_Shane - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 04:54 PM EST (#78636) #
If this deal actually goes through, I can't wait to hear what certain peoples perspectives are going to be on how this truly influences the AL East/WildCard, from the Bauxites on down to Prospectus, Ricciardi, Primer, Neyer even. You wouldn't think this can be so good for the game.

My new favorite Yankees to "root root root" for will be: Brown's bulging disc's, Vasquez' right shoulder, Contreras' flighty control, Bernie's gimpy legs, and Giambi's degenerate knee, and come-on poor defence up the middle.
_Matt - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 04:59 PM EST (#78637) #
I still don't get how a gold-glove SS is pushed to 3B. Just sounds kinda ridiculous... Is that indicative of the yank organization kissing up to jeter so as to keep up team morale???

This whole thing is ridiculous.... I'm goin back to bed.
_Dr. Zarco - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 05:02 PM EST (#78638) #
I think this hurts the Jays a lot more than it hurts the Red Sox. Yeah, yeah, the Sox were the ones who got oneupped for ARod, but they'll be just fine. The Red Sox were the team to beat in the AL East. The Yanks were second with the Jays nipping on their heels. The Yanks would be the team to finish 3rd if the Jays somehow snuck into a playoff spot.

This changes things. The Red Sox will still make the playoffs, whether it's winning the division, or losing out to the Yankees (again) and getting the Wild Card. Now the Jays face such an uphill battle this year to catch either of those teams. Certainly not impossible (and as Shane pointed out, most of the Yankees have the possibility of breaking their hips from old age), but definitely more difficult than it was yesterday.
Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 05:10 PM EST (#78639) #
If Selig is interested in competitive balance, why doesn't he just void this deal? Given the amount of money that will be changing hands, he'd be well in his rights to do so.

If Selig allows this transaction to go forward, it proves that the commissioners office has no interest in competitive balance. Thus their attempts at getting a salary cap put in place will have been solely in place to extract money from the union. Of course, Selig cares so much about competitive balance, this deal won't pass.


_NDG - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 05:13 PM EST (#78640) #
Over at Primer they're discussing this trade and the long term implications. It's interesting that most Yankee fans already think its a foregone conclusion that Carlos Beltran will be their starting center fielder next year.

The thing is I believe it. The Yankees seemed determined to fill anything resembling a hole with the best possible option available. Scary.
_Robbie - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 05:21 PM EST (#78641) #
Scott Miller of CBS Sportsline has confirmed it. Damn.
9COMN for link)
Coach - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 05:32 PM EST (#78642) #
They were advertising Red Sox jerseys with A-Rod's name and number on not so long ago, that deal was such a sure thing. In other words, I'm still clinging to hope that it falls through, but if Alex becomes a Yankee, that's a tremendous blow to the Jays.

I've felt all along that the Red Sox had moved to the forefront of the division and the league. Their record-setting offence, and the additions of Schilling and Foulke, made them look unbeatable. I believed that the Yankees were vulnerable even before Boone went down, which gave the Jays at least a slim chance to finish second. I'm not as convinced as some that Anaheim is a powerhouse, so I'm presuming the wild card will come from the East.

Obviously, the mountain will be a lot higher to climb if this happens. A-Rod's presence in the lineup and the clubhouse will restore an air of invincibility in the Bronx. It wouldn't surprise me if George does add Vidro, but even with Miguel Cairo (hell, even with Homer Bush) at second, they will be very, very tough to beat.

Shane's right. All the rest of the league can hope for is that injuries and up-the-middle defence will stop the NY juggernaut from within. If Pedro stays healthy and happy (there's still a chance that he'll insist on a big extension and pout when he doesn't get it) both the Yanks and Red Sox could win 100 games. The Jays looks vastly improved too, but that doesn't guarantee they will win more than 86 games against this awesome opposition, and it will take a great deal of luck to finish anywhere but third.

Bad for baseball? Not really. It looks a lot worse from Toronto, Baltimore, Tampa and Texas than from anywhere else. Everywhere the Yankees go, they will be on the front page of the sports section, playing to packed houses. If they end up meeting the Red Sox again in the ALCS, it might be the most-talked-about, most-watched series in the sport's history.
_Rob - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 05:47 PM EST (#78643) #
The Red Sox have even more reason to hate Aaron F. Boone now. First the homer, now he paves the way for A-Rod.
Let's just hope that this deal goes away. The Manny/A-Rod one did, after all.
_A - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 05:48 PM EST (#78644) #
The hole A-Rod fills in the Yankees offense will definately make a difference (I assume he'd bat 3rd?) when keeping up with the BoSox. But even though he isn't playing SS and Jeter is still a liability up the middle, Rodriguez will take significant pressure off the defense too. It means Jeter won't have to play balls that go into the deep hole since Rodriguez does have impressive range. In theory this would permit Jeter to cheat a little more towards the middle of the field.

A few questions...
Who do the rangers play at SS now? Wouldn't this make Anaheim, Oakland and Seattle's season far, far easier (increasing their chances at the Wild Card)? Statistically speaking, if both the Yankees and Red Sox were to win 100 games, what are the chances the Jays could win 90 games?
Craig B - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 06:01 PM EST (#78645) #
Who do the rangers play at SS now?

They could do worse than trying to play Mike Young there. I bet he could handle the position, maybe have an issue with arm stength but I'd love to see him try. He'd probably become the AL's fourth-best shortstop overnight, right?

1. Nomar
2. Jeter/Tejada
3. Tejada/Jeter
4. ??

I guess Berroa occupies the fourth spot right now.
_Steve Z - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 06:09 PM EST (#78646) #
This is all sounding eerily similar to the Manny/A-Rod Deal-That-Wasn't. COMN for the ESPN report:

However, ESPN's Jayson Stark reports that, according to a baseball official with knowledge of the negotiations, it's not a done deal quite yet. The official said "issues remain" that still could stand in the way of the deal being completed.

Terming Newsday's report "inaccurate," the source said, "Is there a deal yet? No. Could it happen? Yes."

So "premature" might be the most accurate way to characterize the Newsday story. Since Friday, the trade has gone from a gigantic long shot to well within the realm of possibility, the official said.
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 06:13 PM EST (#78647) #
*IF* this deal goes through, I'm still picking the Sox to win the division (based solely on the rosters as of the minute the deal goes through. Not accounting for further moves and injuries).
Mike D - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 06:17 PM EST (#78648) #
Bad for baseball? Not really [...] Everywhere the Yankees go, they will be on the front page of the sports section, playing to packed houses.

Respectfully, Coach, I don't buy this argument one bit. The Yankees are already a great road draw. Nobody's going to suddenly recognize that the Yankees are a talented and controversial club because of this deal. And who, exactly, is going to become interested in a Sox-Yanks series that didn't give a damn about it before today?

There are problems with the way the NFL and NBA have addressed competitive balance, but I think that it's great for the sport when Green Bay-Jacksonville will sell out no matter where the game is played, and when a powerhouse veteran club can be built in Sacramento. Does anyone think that the NFL would be more popular if the Giants and Jets could sell their own TV and spend whatever they wanted on stars?

The problem is not the possibility of a Clash of Titans series. It's that the more concentrated the total league payroll becomes in one or two franchises, the more likely it will be for other franchises to become irrelevant -- and the more often a regular season series between two such teams truly won't matter.
_Kristian - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 06:20 PM EST (#78649) #
I hope the Rangers get at least a decent pitching prospect or 2 out of this deal. Young can play short and I think he would be the 4th best shortstop in the AL. Getting Soriano is better than getting Manny Ramirez in my opinion especially when looking at their positions, contracts and age. I also think it hurts the Yankees to have their best shortstop playing 3rd and they might be one Kevin Brown temper tamtrum away for telling Jeter he has to move to 3rd. IF the deal goes thru the Yanks still have many questions:

1. Lofton and Williams in Center?
2. How does Vasquez handle New York, Does Browns back hold up, Can Jose Contreras fullfill his promise for a whole year, Can Jon Leiber be the 2001 Jon Leiber?
3. How does Jason Giambi hold up playing first full time?
4. How do they handle the fact that Jeter is by far the inferior shortstop to Arod and if this becomes evident bet your bottom dollar that George will want them to switch.
_Tassle - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 06:21 PM EST (#78650) #
1. Nomar
2. Jeter/Tejada
3. Tejada/Jeter
4. ??

What about A-Rod?
_S.K. - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 06:27 PM EST (#78651) #
A-Rod is evidently about to become a third baseman.
Craig B - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 06:35 PM EST (#78652) #
A-Rod is evidently about to become a third baseman

So that he will cease to be arguably the best shortstop in the history of the AL and immediately become arguably the best third baseman in the history of time.
_Robbie Goldberg - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 06:46 PM EST (#78653) #
IF the deal goes thru the Yanks still have many questions:

Let's not kid ourselves, the "questions" that the Yankees have are hardly questions at all. No team and no player in particular is a defenite lock for resounding success, but these questions are no different than any other team in the league faces, and in most cases, hardly likely to affect the Yankees to the point that they'll take a severe drop in the standings, never mind to the point that they'll fall into third place. Just as one could question Brown's health and Giambi's defensive abilities, one can equally question Martinez' health, Ramirez' defense, Prior's inexperience or Clemens' age for other teams that see themselves making it to the postseason. To say that the Cubs or Red Sox won't make the postseason because of this "possibility" of things going wrong is just as crazy as making the same assertion for the Yankees. This is a lineup that has 7 all-star calibre players (Assuming the deal goes through: Rodriguez, Sheffield, Giambi, Jeter, Posada, Williams, Matsui), an incredibly deep bullpen (Rivera, Gordon, Quantrill, Karsay, Heredia) and a pretty damn solid rotation of Mussina, Brown, Vasquez, Contreras and Lieber. But most of all, as this A-Rod deal demonstrates, the most important thing the Yankees have going for them is the financial wherewithal to almost instantly upgrade ANY of those players should ANYTHING go wrong. With that combination, not even the most optimistic Jays fan could realistically suggest that there's any chance for making the playoffs this year, and even next year. And this really troubles me.

(I realize you all know the Yankees team but am including all of these names for emphasis.)
_Jordan - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 07:01 PM EST (#78654) #
I don't see A-Rod going to New York

I've always believed that if you're going to be wrong, be wrong early and often. But as others have noted, this is still unconfirmed by more than one source, and Newsday is not the Manchester Guardian. So all of what follows is written with the still substantial assumption that this deal will happen.

Maybe it's the cockeyed optimist in me, but I'm still not willing to concede the World Series to the Yankees. A-Rod is obviously an enormous acquisition, but there are only so many games you can win, the Yanks are still in a very tough division, their overall defence still isn't great, and their starting staff beyond Vazquez and Mussina is still questionable (yes, that includes Kevin Brown). That said, it's also obvious that the Jays will not be sniffing the post-season this year -- but that's okay too, since that wasn't really on their schedule, regardless of Carlos Tosca's enthusiasm. The Red Sox and Yankees will be the two best AL teams this year -- though Anaheim will give them a serious run for their money. No real surprise there.

The larger issue, of course, is what does this mean long-term? Yes, the Yankees have themselves a great third baseman. But he's out of position, and the guy he moved out of position to accommodate is a terrible defensive shortstop who's getting worse, and A-Rod knows it. Rodriguez may he a team guy, but no way that does not grind on him -- especially since he's giving up his chance to be the Greatest Shortstop Ever. Moreover, that left side of the infield is going to cost the Yankees $38M next year, a figure that will keep rising every year till 2010, when 36-year-old Jeter and 35-year-old Rodriguez will together make $48M. This doesn't include the aging first baseman, either, the one who'll pull down $60M from 2006 to 2008.

The conventional wisdom is that this doesn't matter, that the Yankees will always be able to buy the players they need, that the rest of the world is their farm club. Because of that, their minor-league system can run dry and their development program can rust away. But that is true only so long as two things remain the same: baseball's salary structure remains unchanged, and George Steinbrenner is always around to sign the cheques. It would be unwise to assume either of these things going forward.

In the first place, the disappointment and frustration reflected here is being mirrored elsewhere, and not just on fan Websites and among columnists who'll be frothing at the mouth in tomorrow's editions. It's being mirrored within the industry, where the Yankees are probably disliked as much as the players' union by now. Nobody in baseball ever thought they'd see the day of the $200M annual payroll; they're seeing it now, and it's because the best young player in the game is joining the Yankees -- a franchise that many respected in the late '90s, but no longer. I believe that the Yankees have finally gone too far. I think they've done what nobody ever thought they could do: provide sufficient grief among the owners that the game's landscape might actually change. Sure, there are numerous team owners who just want to make money off their clubs, and they don't care who wins the Series -- but there are others, increasingly among the new buyers, who actually want to win, and this trade must sicken them. You think John Henry isn't on the phone to his friend Bud Selig right now? Or Arte Moreno? Or all the potential buyers of the Expos? If A-Rod goes to New York, the landslide begins. We all know the game's salary structure is rotting, unsustainable and under tremendous pressure. When it snaps -- and that could be starting right now -- it's going to be violent, and it's going to bring change.

Secondly, George Steinbrenner is in the sunset of his term as Yankees owner. We all know he had a heart episode earlier this winter, and he will not be around forever. Say what you will about George, but he actually took all the money that this franchise produced and poured most of it right back into the team, the way good owners are supposed to. Someday, George will sell the Yankees -- or his estate will, or he'll transfer the team to someone before then. Will that person be as willing to spend whatever it takes to win? Maybe -- maybe not. And if the salary structure actually does change as a result of this move, then what do you do, as an owner, in the latter part of this decade with three players in their 30s who make $65M a year? Even a team as profitable as the Yankees might not be able to overcome that.

The last time people said the Yankees were unstoppable because of George Steinbrenner and his penchant for purchasing the best players in baseball was the early 1980s. Not coincidentally, that was when George first began ignoring his baseball people, just as he's doing now. Of course, no sane baseball man would advocate against a Soriano-for-Rodriguez deal, not in a thousand years. But I have a feeling that something may have changed today, and while the short-term outlook may be bleak for the Jays and many other teams, I think the long-term outlook got better.

One last thought: they make you play the games for a reason. Nobody has yet won a World Series in February.
_Jordan - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 07:04 PM EST (#78655) #
immediately become arguably the best third baseman in the history of time.

Craig, I know what you're saying, but I'd need to see at least three years of Rodriguez hitting 50 HRs and winning Gold Gloves at third base before I consider taking that title from Mike Schmidt. Not saying A-Rod couldn't top Schmidt, but that's a tall order.
_Jordan - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 07:24 PM EST (#78656) #
A few thoughts on the Rangers too, again assuming the trade goes through. There's talk of the Yankees throwing in a minor-league pitcher, but since there's nothing in that system worth having, it's not a big deal. Soriano by himself is clearly not equal to A-Rod, and the Rangers are unquestionably worse off on the field after this trade.

That said, Texas is putting together a really interesting offensive unit. Consider: in a year or so, the Rangers will have an infield that includes Hank Blalock, Michael Young and Mark Teixeira, and outfield featuring Soriano, Laynce Nix and Ramon Nivar, and Gerald Laird behind the plate. That's powerful and relatively inexpensive, and very nice combination (though Soriano is arbitration-eligible, I think). The pitching is, of course, the problem: Colby Lewis may be better off in the bullpen, Ben Kozlowski and CJ Wilson both had TJ surgery, and other pitching prospects haven't yet panned out (though Juan Dominguez could be interesting). Lucas and Mick are the Rangers experts here, so I won't go any further afield than I already have, but while Texas could've gotten more for A-Rod, they still have some very promising young talent and will now have the money to go get the pitching they actually need.
_JayFan0912 - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 07:26 PM EST (#78657) #
I don't think it makes the yankees as good as you all think it does. First of all, soriano's productions was amazing and he is still young. Second, the yankees have no leadoff hitter right now, and they are much slower on the bases.

They are definately better, but not by much, basically their lineup is filled top to bottom with sluggers and only one of them is a plus defender. The defence on right side of the infield and in the OF is suspect, and their pitching is still a health concern. Last year age showed on the yankees... and this year it is going to get worse... and they just traded their last bargaining chip. Short of paying the full contract of their expensive players, there is no possible way they can obtain the likes of vidro, kent, etc.

To finish my thought, baseball is a team game. The attitude around the clubhouse is very important. Last year against the marlins, they were not hungry to win anymore. You could see it in their play, and in their attitude. I was getting the impression they are a bunch of millionaires who don't care about anything else but money.

But, with this trade, the playoffs are out of the question this year for the local 9.
_Shane - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 07:40 PM EST (#78658) #
Perhaps, there was a slight miscalculation along the way...

For a couple years now I think the groupthink projection across the board, from the SABR-media & fans had been that as the Jays built up a strong sustaining farm system coupled with excellent management etc, the Yankees nucleus would be gradually on it's down slope and their entropy would seque with Toronto's rise.

How ever, it would appear the height to which Stienbrenner will spend seems to have been missed by everyone. I think it was pretty much assumed the Yanks would have an eventual lull - I don't think we can count on that any longer. In all seriousness, he's already blown everyone's expectations away of how much he'd spend, so can he really be expected to finally pull back the reigns at 200 million per season when you've got a Vidro on the market at the All-Star break? Or when the Chavez's, Glaus's, Beltran's, Hudson's ilk hit free-agency? Seems like a useless assumption at this point.

Maybe this doesn't change much from the Jays org's point of view at all. They/we already knew we were in the Beast of the East division, and whether you're competing against the Yankees or the 'Yankees Overkill' it's still just tough competition. At least we all enjoy the underdog role, and if the Blue Jays do make the playoffs in years to come, it should be twice as sweet.
_Steve Z - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 08:02 PM EST (#78659) #
The Jays' chances of making the playoffs in 2005 (and onward) just got greater, IMO. The most logial offshoot from this trade is a change to the playoff structure in the near future, allowing for at least 2 more WCs from each league. If the chances of that happening were 50% yesterday, I'd say they're close to 90% now. One can only hope on days like today...
_Shane - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 08:13 PM EST (#78660) #
I was just thinking some of the same stuff Steve. How can MLB best truly showcase the best it has to offer come time for playoff competition when you have 90-100 win teams coming out of the ALWest, three 90-100 win teams kicking the snot out of themselves in ALEast and a representative from the competively challenged 80plus wins club sneaking out of the ALCentral?
Leigh - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 08:49 PM EST (#78661) #
In honour of Valentine's Day, here is the dialogue that took place between myself and my partner at approximately 4:25 pm atlantic, today:

Leigh (jaw on floor): ARod got traded
Melissa: To what team?
L: The Yankees
M: For who?
L: Soriano
M: Soriano!?! So now they don't have a secondbaseman?
L: They'll just buy one later, babe
M: How is Jeter going to feel about moving to third?
L: Actually, ARod is going to play third
M: But isn't Jeter a terrible shortstop?
L: Yes.
M: So Jeter stays at short; is it because he has an ass that could sell jeans? [this is how she often describes Jeter, because one day last summer she - out of sheer boredom, I can only assume - picked up my copy of Moneyball and read the part about how the A's drafted Jeremy Brown because they were trying to draft guys who can play ball, not necessarily guys who could model jeans].
L: I suppose.
M: Do we still have a chance next year? Is this fair?
L: I don't know, but I hope that Soriano hits 70 homeruns next year.
_Steve Z - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 09:07 PM EST (#78662) #
"Why don't we just mail in the ------- season?" grumbled one source with another American League East club Saturday after hearing the news. "Why the hell are the rest of us showing up? ..."

Scott Miller has some more interesting commentary. COMN
_Shane - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 09:19 PM EST (#78663) #
"Why don't we just mail in the ------- season?" grumbled one source with another American League East club Saturday after hearing the news. "Why the hell are the rest of us showing up? ..."

If to guess...profanity clues...probably didn't have much of shot at the division in the first 'bout Lou Pinella?
_Ben - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 09:57 PM EST (#78664) #
It makes me sick to hear this. ARod is going from being the best player on the team to perhaps the 2nd or 3rd best on the Yankees. This is utterly ridiculous that there can be a 200 million dollar team out there. I'm against a hard cap but even this is getting bad. An interesting thought that I was talking about with some other people is what will happen if the Yankees miss or lose the World Series? Torre is gone and Cashman would probably be fired but most likely King George would burst a vein and die on the spot. Also since the other contest is over shall we see who will be playing second base in September for the Yankees? I got dibs on Vidro
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 10:58 PM EST (#78665) #
Did I misunderstand yet another post or did I just read that A-Rod would be the second or third best player on the Yankees? Behind who, Ben? I'm thinking he's second in major league baseball behind Barry Bonds... and that's a stretch if you consider defense and position (and even more of one if age comes into play).
_Young - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 11:06 PM EST (#78666) #
Arod can't be the best player in Yankees history! What about Babe Ruth?
_Warse - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 11:23 PM EST (#78667) #
Just a question for those more enlightened than myself....

What type of luxury tax are the Yankees looking at this year,
and assuming their payroll remains at the 200M range, what can
they expect to be paying in future years?
_Alex - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 11:34 PM EST (#78668) #
Arod can't be the best player in Yankees history! What about Babe Ruth?

Hey! What number would A-Rod wear?
Gitz - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 11:46 PM EST (#78669) #
Jordan, I'm wondering why it is the Yankees aquiring Alex Rodriguez -- if it happens -- makes you think they've gone too far? How is this the tipping point? It seems that with Mussina, Giambi, Sheffield, Matsui, Karsay (not the player but the idea of paying a middle-reliever $6.5 per), et al, you've got enough evidence that they have already gone too far. It is really hard to believe that this was my favorite team up till two years ago. For 20 years I bled pinstripes -- years that went beyond the success of the Torre clubs, but also ones that included Steve Kemp, Brian Fisher, and Cecilio Guante. But now I can't stand them. I utterly can't stand them, and the moderate difficulties I encountered when they played the A's -- who were, until now, my second-favorite team -- are an event that seems to have been hundreds of years ago.

But, honestly, can you blame the Yanks? They are operating in a system that not only allows them to do it, but also virtually makes it impossible for them NOT to do it -- i.e. one with no salary cap, no real revenue sharing, etc. Luxury cap? Not a problem, because they have so much money, what is another $10 million, or even $50 million, in taxes? Point the blame at Bud Selig if you will, but don't point it at the Yankees; given the way the game is set up, every team in baseball would do the same, and they wouldn't even think twice about it. I don't like to mix politics with baseball, but does Comcast really need to buy Disney? Does Clear Channel have to own 1200 (and growing) radio stations and control 70 percent of billoard advertising? These are profitable companies -- very profitable companies -- that would do fine if they never expanded one bit. My knowledge of business is limited, but I have never understood this Giant Mentality: why does a company that is already hugely profitable have to corner a market? But why wouldn't they do it? It's built into the free market system: make as much as you can, however you can. Sure, there are laws and government watch dogs around to monitor things, but they are as impotent as a Nevada boxing commision. There are myriad compelling reasons to dislike Clear Channel and Disney, but we can't blame them for trying to make as much money as they can; we can hate them for it, even protest against them doing it, but that's not the same thing as blaming them.

The Yankees will do what they do for as long as they can do it. We can all sit here and moan about it, but that's not going to change anything. We are, regrettably, going to have suffer through it until someting happens at the top. And, given the current state of the commissioner's office and the strength of the players union, that is not likely to happen for some time. In the meantime, as BP said last year in their book, teams can either bitch about it or they can get on with it as best as they can -- as the A's are doing, as the Blue Jays are doing. I don't count the Red Sox, because of their payroll advantage, but the A's and Jays, while not low-income, are not juggernauts either. Yes, I rail against Beane and co. a bit, quite a bit. But that is only because I think the praise he deserves -- and he deserves plenty of it -- has reached a fever pitch that is not quite justified (or is misplaced), and I have come to be wary of the "If Oakland does it, it must be right" mentality. But they're my favorite team now, and they are better off with Beane than without him; I'm darn lucky to have my team in the hands of BB.
_Mick - Saturday, February 14 2004 @ 11:51 PM EST (#78670) #
OK, first, as Jordan has been careful to note, despite Newsday reports and second stories (behind the fact that there's this bizarre thing called "snow" coming from the sky today) on local DFW newscasts, this deal hasn't happened yet.

Second, just for the record, as a baseball fan (not a Dallas resident, not a Yankee fan), I don't like the deal from any perspective. It paints the Yankees as buying a pennant (not inaccurately) and paints John Hart as a lying sleazebag (well, OK, 2 for 2 there).

Speaking of "second," as in "base," yes, Mike Young will slide over to short and Soriano will play second. Very likely the best young DP combo, at least offensively, in the majors.

As for the Yankees, their second baseman is going to be Boone ... not Bret, Aaron, when he's healthy. In the meantime, Almonte or Wilson or someone will fill in. Lamb and Houston can't play 2B, but Almonte+A-Rod tops out Soriano+HoustonLambWhoever any day.

Gotta think Mike Lamb is one of the most ticked off free agent signees of the past 20 years right about now.

A-Rod would immediately become the best third baseman in the history of the Yankees (sorry, Graig Nettles). And Jeter, despite his shortcomings, is already the best SS in franchise history. Does any other non-1990's-expansion team have two positions currently filled by the best player in team history at that position?

The Jays have Delgado and possibly Wells in that argument (as well as 75 years less history than the Highlanders-Yankees) ... I haven't thought this questions through at all. I just bring it up because it seems unlikely, particularly for any team, much less the most successful franchise in the sport's history.
_albatross - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 12:59 AM EST (#78671) #
CF Lofton
SS Jeter
3B A-Rod
1B Giambi
LF Sheffield
C Posado
DH Williams
RF Matsui
2B Anybody

I know we all know their lineup, but just looking at it...yikes!
_MatO - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 01:01 AM EST (#78672) #
I believe I heard in December that the Yankees paid about 11M in luxury tax and about 48M in revenue sharing for the past season. In effect that would make their payroll at least 260M if this deals goes through. How much revenue do they take in???
_S.K. - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 01:02 AM EST (#78673) #
Mick - did the Giants ever have a 2B better than Kent? Because I think that might answer your question.

And the Mariners had A-Rod and Griffey at the same time... hm.. I have to think about this more.
_Spicol - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 09:13 AM EST (#78674) #
OK, first, as Jordan has been careful to note, despite Newsday reports and second stories (behind the fact that there's this bizarre thing called "snow" coming from the sky today) on local DFW newscasts, this deal hasn't happened yet.

"It's about flexibility," Texas general manager John Hart said Saturday night. "We're trading the best player in the game and we're getting tremendous financial flexibility."

If John Hart is letting himself be quoted about it in this article, I think we can assume it's pretty damn close.

Speaking of "second," as in "base," yes, Mike Young will slide over to short and Soriano will play second. Very likely the best young DP combo, at least offensively, in the majors.

Unless Texas was really comfortable with Lance Nix, who really should be a corner outfielder and not the only centerfielder on the roster, I suggest Soriano in CF, Mike Young at SS and Eric Young at 2B.
_Robbie Goldberg - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 09:28 AM EST (#78675) #
From Steve Simmons' Column:
Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca was telling season ticket holders he won't be satisfied if the Jays don't make the playoffs this season while general manager J.P. Ricciardi is telling baseball writers it'll be difficult to win 86 games again. Don't these guys work together?

Right now, I think Ricciardi is far closer tot he truth. (and not just because of the impending trade
Pistol - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 09:30 AM EST (#78676) #
Re: Luxury Tax

This year the Yankees will pay 30% of any amount over $120.5 million. If there payroll is $200 million, they would pay approximately $24 million.

In 2005 & 2006 the Yankees will pay 40% of any amount over $128 and $136.5 million respectively.

And all of that is on top of revenue sharing.

The Rangers are apparently throwing money into the deal. I'm not sure if that lowers the amount that goes into the Yankees luxury tax calculation, or if they have to include the entire $25 million. I suspect they only are charged for what they pay.
Pistol - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 09:41 AM EST (#78677) #
If the report I read is correct, the Yankees will only have to pay A-Rod $16 million/year, and are deferring some of that amount so the real value will be less.

I can't believe that no other team would be willing to do this.

If this were December 2004 I think it would have made a lot of sense for the Jays to get A-Rod. If you assume that it would cost you Vernon Wells, I still think it's something you could do (especially since Rios could play center).
_Shane - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 09:43 AM EST (#78678) #
Perspective from J.P. Ricciardi:

"A-Rod is a big, big get for the Yankees. Listen, before this I thought the Red Sox had the best offseason of any team in the league.

"Acquiring Schilling and Foulke are two two gigantic moves. But now you're talking about one of the top one or two players in the game. From our point of view, it doesn't change much. We thought it would be Boston and New York that we had to find a way to beat. And that's still the same climb for us.

"You've got a team spending, what, $200 million? Another team that's $125 million? It seems the Red Sox do have a limit. But it just looks like the Yankees have no limits."

Source:Boston Globe/Gordon Edes/click above for link
_NDG - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 09:58 AM EST (#78679) #
I kind of thought the same thing about the Jays getting A-rod, but this year. I figured on giving up Rios and a couple of mid-level pitching prospects. For that the Rangers pick up half of A-rod's contract. Obviously this creates havoc with TO's payroll but marginal value of adding A-rod must come close to offsetting this increase. It's a good trade for both sides but I never thought the Rangers would pick up that much salary. But it seems like they would have considering the $70mil they are willing to send the Yankees way.
_Robbie Goldberg - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 10:11 AM EST (#78680) #
Perspective from J.P. Ricciardi

I know this is really a sidetrtack, but I think it's comments like this that really infuriate guys like Griffin and Baker. It is a vicious cycle where RG slanders Ricciardi and then Ricciardi refuses to talk to RG and then the cycle continues again. But I think Griffin and Baker had a valid point in their interview with Da Box that Ricciardi has no respect for the Canadian media. I'm sure that writers from the Star tried to contact JP last night to ask him about the move, but I guess only guys from the Boston Globe could get a hold of him. It's not surprising to me that things like this would have some influence on the tone of Griffin's articles and his attitude towards Ricciardi.
_okbluejays - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 10:56 AM EST (#78681) #
My hopes for the Jays have always hinged on us getting great production from cheap players, while getting value for money with our big expenditures. But in all my thoughts what I assumed was that the Yankee payroll would eventually reach SOME limit, and then they'd be stuck with old, injured players whose performance paled in comparison with their salary and a minor league system that provided no help whatsoever. I don't think Soriano is as good as some fantasy-leaguers would think he is, but I think he gets underrated in real baseball simply because he doesn't walk (i.e. his OBP is low) and steals aren't considered as valuable as they once were. So I don't think the addition of A-Rod and the loss of Soriano provides a HUGE boost to the offence. But what irks me about this deal is that it suggests that my assumption that the Yankees would have SOME limit might be wrong. Granted, Texas is picking up a big chunk of the money, and granted, Soriano would have made considerable dollars on the open market once he reached it - so it's not like the financial committment the Yankees are throwing out is astronomical. But, there seems to be this attitude whereby if there is any weakness, any whatsoever, money is not to be considered in devising a solution.

How's about this for a scary 1 through 9 (if healthy):

Wilson (?)

And on a closing note, Jeter seems to me to be a classy guy, and a guy who cares about how he is perceived. Also, he and A-Rod are friends. I wouldn't be shocked if this offer by A-Rod to play 3B is a bit of a smokescreen to show the Yankee faithful that he really wants to be there. After the euphoria dies down I wonder if Jeter "offers" to move to second base to let A-Rod play short. Then, Jeter looks like the ultimate team player, and A-Rod can graciously accept. Such a scenario would, no doubt, please the front office, and I won't be surprised if it happens.
Mike Green - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 10:56 AM EST (#78682) #
It's funny, but Win Shares doesn't see this as that big a deal. Rodriguez as a third baseman would have had about 29 Win Shares last year. Soriano had 27 as a second baseman, and would probably have 24 or so as a CF. Soriano's younger than Rodriguez and so the likely difference for this year between the two amounts to probably about 3 Win Shares per year or 1 game.

Subjectively, there's more to it than that, and the Yankees would, if the deal goes through, have the air of invincibility. For what that's worth. I still see the Red Sox as the favorites in the division.

Assuming that the Yankees pick up $16 million of Rodriguez' salary in 2004 and more later, the Rangers have done very, very well IMO.
_Shane - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 11:30 AM EST (#78683) #
Myself, I don't bother to look at this deal as it effects the Yankees roster today Sunday February 15. For me, I don't go: 'well add this guy subtract that guy and it isn't that much of a difference'. In the months to come Rodriquez will be placed at a position where he'll succeed, Jeter will end up at some position for the betterment of the team and where ever the hole is remaining the Yankees will fill it too with a highend talent. It's not going to be 8 current & former all-star talents and Miquel Cairo. Not for the glorious Yankees. Not when they're playing the role of the casino, playing to dominate, playing to remove every element of chance and competition as can possibly be done without stepping onto the field.

Somewhere along the line, in comes someones Chuck Knoblauch, whether his name is Vidro or Beltran or Glaus. It'll be someone, and while Soriano's running rudderless in Texas, swinging at curve balls in the dirt, Yankee fans and talking heads will be saying "Soriano who? Check please."
_Scott - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 12:06 PM EST (#78684) #
Just a couple of questions/observations for you guys:

If Rodriguez's salary with the Yankess is $16M per season with Texas picking up the rest, does this impact what Delgado would sign for? Does it lower the bar for everyone else? Or is this a special case?

Given that the Jays are now looking like perennial third-place finishers, does that hurt the Jays chances of re-signing Delgado?

How does Jeter play shortstop knowing that each time he makes an error, everybody in Yankee stadium knows the guy to his right could have made the play and should be in that position without looking like a selfish athelete.

Who do the Yankees now trade mid-season if they have to pick-up a pitcher/hitter for an injured Giambi/Brown or the like? Navarro is about all I can think of at the moment. All the players on the major league roster (now that Soriano and Johnson are gone) due to salary are untradeable.

How do two teams with $320M in salary between them end up with significant holes at second base?
Pistol - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 12:22 PM EST (#78685) #
JP last night to ask him about the move, but I guess only guys from the Boston Globe could get a hold of him

Well, maybe it's because it's more of a local call to Worcester.

It's funny, but Win Shares doesn't see this as that big a deal.

I saw similar things with VORP. About 25 runs over the course of the year.

But I can't imagine ARod being so brutal in the playoffs like Soriano was last year. Of course Soriano in future playoffs could have been back at normal levels, but ARod is better overall and since there's no payroll restrictions on the Yankees it doesn't matter that ARod isn't $10 million better than Soriano.

If the Yanks payroll is $200 million, the AVERAGE player is making $8 million.
_MatO - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 01:01 PM EST (#78686) #
I get the Yanks actual paid salaries in 2004 to be about $150 million not including ARod/Soriano or backup players. Is the $200 million that people are writing about based on average salary over lifetime of contract? A lot of the Yankee deals are back loaded.
_Young - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 01:14 PM EST (#78687) #
The luxury tax contributions are based on the average payout of salaries to players. So Arod's contract, according to Dugout Dollars would be 24.08 million.

I do not believe that the commish takes into account of money contributed by other teams to that salary, but I could be wrong.
Mike D - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 01:18 PM EST (#78688) #
Mike Lupica weighs in from the New York Daily News.

Hard to argue with his final analysis:

The rich get richer. The Yankees don't care how much anything costs. They don't care that their luxury tax and revenue-sharing costs were more than the Marlins paid for a world championship team. Again: There has never been another economic culture in the history of professional sports where one team can outspend everybody the way the Yankees do and nobody can stop them.
Mike D - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 01:19 PM EST (#78689) #
In case you're wondering if the entire New York media is down on the deal, rest easy. The Post has basically take a "screw the rest of the industry and celebrate" position.
_peteski - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 02:06 PM EST (#78690) #
Obviously, it's going to be tough to beat the Yankees, but who exactly do they have now that has any trade value to any other team. Soriano was the last reasonable cost player the yankees had. Obviously, they can sign free agents in the offseason, but the only guys they can trade are guys that have contracts people want to dump. I'm not sure they'll be able to fill their holes very easily if people get injured.

I remain optomistic. A-Rod is probably the best player in baseball, but Soriano is a very talented player even with all the strikeouts. The Yankees have improved, but not that much and I still think much of their team is old and injury-prone and like I say, I'm not sure if they're going to be able to fix any of their problems via trade. Don't count out the Jays yet. A lot has to go right, but I still believe.
_Cristian - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 02:30 PM EST (#78691) #
The Yankees may not have any prospects in case they need to fill a future hole but they can still offer "financial flexibility" to any team that needs it. This is what the Yankees always offer. They may add in a Soriano or a Scott Wiggins (remember him?) but as long as the Yankees can take on salary, they will always find trading partners.
_Steve Z - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 02:46 PM EST (#78692) #
It's 100% official. I think it's finally time this blockbuster gets a thread of its own!
_Donkit R.K. - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 02:59 PM EST (#78693) #
What a bast**d that is!
Mike Green - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 03:06 PM EST (#78694) #
Steve Z has the CBS Sportsline account. The (COMN) account has both Dioner Navarro and Jose Contreras going Texas' way, as well as Soriano. If that is in fact correct, the Rangers made out like bandits.

Herewith are Rodriguez and Soriano's 3-year road stats:

Soriano: .305/.346/.543
Rodriguez: .278/.375/.564

When you strip away the park effects, Rodriguez is a better hitter, but not a hugely better hitter. What makes him so much more valuable than Soriano is that he is at worst an above-average defensive shortstop or the best in the league, depending on one's perspective, while Soriano is a modestly below-average defensive second baseman.
_Robbie Goldberg - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 03:33 PM EST (#78695) #
The Post has basically take a "screw the rest of the industry and celebrate" position

I don't think this move "screws" the rest of the industry. If anything it's good for the industry --- it continues to build up and create more subplots in what is the greatest rivalry in professional sports. It also arguably puts baseball's most marketable player in its biggest market. Whether you hate the Yankees or not, come October, when the Yanks are battling the Sox for the AL champonship, you too will also be watching. I hate the Yankees and am very much disgusted with the deal and its implications on the Jays, but as Rob Neyer stated in his December 19 column, the ONLY teams this is bad for are the Blue Jays, Orioles and D-Rays.
_the shadow - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 03:39 PM EST (#78696) #
Oh to be in the American Central Division now that spring is here
_Fozzy - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 03:46 PM EST (#78697) #
What really irks me is that in two years Soriano will be a Yankee again. There's not much doubt in my mind he'll be a superstar by then, and depending on how the Rangers are doing by then, they might not have the dough to spend on him. I call dibs on him being in pinstripes again by the start of '07.

How could the commissioner's office allow a trade like this to just happen, especially one that hsa been forced to spend less on 'his' team than the Yanks' bullpen? Sick.

On the plus side, we'll probably get to see Homer Bush again on the telly :)
_Donkit R.K. - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 04:10 PM EST (#78698) #
I hope the ESPN account is correct, and Navarro and Contreras are included. Then, I think, it *almost* looks like a baseball trade. It'll still be sick, just not as nauseating as it could have been.
_Robbie Goldberg - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 04:15 PM EST (#78699) #
ESPN didn't say that Navarro and Contreras are included --- there's just one little sentence lower down that says that the New York Post reported yesterday that those players are included. At the top of the article, and according to all other sources, it's just A-Rod and a ML pitcher.
_Nolan - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 05:04 PM EST (#78700) #
Hey S.K., you asked whether jeff Kent could be considered the Giants best second baseman ever and I think you'd have to put Frankie Frisch of the New York Giants at least into the regards to a team having the two best players at two positions playing at the same time: Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux; Tony Fernandez and Dave Steib; maybe Matt Williams and Barry Bonds...
_Matthew E - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 05:08 PM EST (#78701) #
as Rob Neyer stated in his December 19 column, the ONLY teams this is bad for are the Blue Jays, Orioles and D-Rays.

Actually that's not what Neyer said - he just said it was bad for the Jays and Rays. It seems like Neyer thinks that Baltimore's deep pockets give them a brighter future than the Jays have.

Obviously, it's going to be tough to beat the Yankees, but who exactly do they have now that has any trade value to any other team.

The problem is that the Yankees have an ability that I've just come to realize existed - the power to make bad trades. When I say 'bad', I mean 'bad for the other team'.

Money aside, would you trade Rodriguez for Soriano and spare parts? Brown for Weaver? Even Mondesi for Wiggins? I think you would not. The Yankees, however, can take a trade that would never go through in any decent fantasy league and pile on money until it happens anyway.

I used to think that aging patterns, injuries and an empty farm system would bring down the Yankee dynasty for a few years. I'm not so sure anymore. Not now that I've seen how Steinbrenner can wave his wallet around and get the Dodgers and Rangers to grease up, bend over and grab their ankles. As long as teams are willing to donate their best players to the Yankees, I don't see why they'd ever lose their grip on first place.
_Matthew E - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 05:13 PM EST (#78702) #
Interesting poll on They're asking people for their opinions of the trade, and here are some results as of my vote:

1) Who should the Yankees move to third base?

63.6% Alex Rodriguez
36.4% Derek Jeter

2) Who is the better defensive shortstop?

68.9% Alex Rodriguez
31.1% Derek Jeter

So there are people out there who think that Rodriguez is a better shortstop than Jeter, but Jeter should be the shortstop anyway. I don't understand.
Mike D - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 05:35 PM EST (#78703) #
If anything it's good for the industry --- it continues to build up and create more subplots in what is the greatest rivalry in professional sports. It also arguably puts baseball's most marketable player in its biggest market.

Once again, I have to dissent. The real advantage here is for A-Rod, who should be able to become an endorsement megastar. But for the sport?

Whose interest will be energized in baseball? Put differently, who in New York was indifferent about the Yankees until this trade? Yankees fans are fanatical ticket buyers, TV viewers and merchandise wearers. This makes them happier, but does it really win any new fans?

Who would ignore the Sox-Yanks series if A-Rod wasn't involved, but would follow it enthusiastically now that he is?

Meanwhile, since the Yankees have a better team, doesn't it follow that Toronto, Baltimore, Tampa Bay and whomever else is chasing the wild card is less likely to linger in playoff contention, and therefore less likely to energize their fan base?

Bottom line -- how is this net positive for baseball? What's the gain that outweighs the loss for the other four East clubs?
_Matt - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 05:40 PM EST (#78704) #
I truly love how the yanks final exhibition game on april 4 pits the current new york yankee team against 'yankee future stars'.... Who's that gonna be? The entire rest of the league????

Seriously though, our good friends the yanks are not your 2004 ws champs yet... The entire starting rotation, along with the entire team fielding pct. leaves me with question marks surrounding my head about this club.... Vazquez and Mussina should be solid, but I wouldn't call either of them simply unstopable... Brown is an injury liability and that is for sure... Lieber, let's face it is washed up, he's doubtful to finish with anything beyond a sub-par record and as for Contreras, we haven't seen him put for a whole year yet... we have no idea how good he is... perhaps once his div foes figure his stuff out then the lack of velocity that he throws with could catch up to him... This is not exactly a starting five that can send shivers of fear through anyone's spines... Furthermore, the bullpen is still not completely unstoppable.... Rivera is past his prime, he's starting to become an injury liability as well... we have all mentioned brown already, but this bullpen is mostly injury liable veterans... I still consider the pen to be a strength of this team on paper but I do question their liability...

they will always be a threat with that lineup... but let's face it... this is all on paper... injuries happen, slumps and streaks happen... who knows what's gonna go down this year...

I'm not as upset as I was during the onset of this whole ridiculous trade. The yankees are just the yankees... the team everyone loves to hate... They will draw their opposition's a-game I think.... but all thoughts all ideas all talk aside... bring on the 162 games... I just wanna see if these al east juggernauts can drop the 1000 runs that they are supposed to... Let's see what actually happens... I'm looking forward to it...
_Matthew E - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 05:48 PM EST (#78705) #
Here's another nuance I just thought of. Someone was speculating about Selig blocking the trade 'in the best interests of baseball' . . . but here's the thing. The more the Yankees pay in salary, the more luxury tax they have to pay. And what happens to the luxury tax? It goes into a slush fund under the personal control of the commissioner. So it's in Selig's personal best interest (depending on how closely the use of this fund is monitored) that the Yankees raise their payroll as high as possible. Go ahead, Yankees; maybe you can pick up Bonds too. Bud needs a new pair of shoes.
_Matt - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 06:05 PM EST (#78706) #
Oh I would love it if the yanks traded for bonds... just bring back that article from 'the onion' and put it on the front page of the new york times....
_Matthew E - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 06:37 PM EST (#78707) #
I wonder if the Yankees could do that? Could they sign, say, Maddux to a contract tomorrow and pay him to sit at home, just so he couldn't pitch for anybody else? (I mean, they wouldn't, because he'd push Contreras or Lieber out of the rotation, but in theory.) What rule prohibits it?
_StephenT - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 09:47 PM EST (#78708) #
Matthew, I would think it's just the 25-man and 40-man roster limits that cover that (other teams get a chance to grab the player's contract if they aren't on the roster). Anyone who saw the Yankees bench last year knows they're nowhere close to overflowing these limits with quality players.
_Jordan - Sunday, February 15 2004 @ 10:22 PM EST (#78709) #
Jordan, I'm wondering why it is the Yankees aquiring Alex Rodriguez -- if it happens -- makes you think they've gone too far? How is this the tipping point?

Gitz, you raise a fair point, and one could well say that the Yankees crossed the "too far" line quite awhile ago. Nonetheless, I think this acquisition is different because of its symbolic impact. A-Rod is the most expensive player in the game and the best player not named Bonds. By gobbling him up, the Yankees have demonstrated in stark terms the ugly truth of the game: they can and will buy anybody. If they have a hole, they don't go get Mike Lamb to fill it -- or at least, not for long. It's a message to every other team: "You're only renting your best players. When they become too rich for you, we'll take them." I think that's what will finally drive enough owners to act.

That said, there is a strong argument against this being the tipping point: for all their money, the Yankees still haven't won the Series, for three straight years now. It seems the more they spend, the further away from a championship they get. Had the Yanks been coming off their eighth straight title, then you could almost guarantee action would be taken; but for the past few years, they've simply been high-priced runners-up. For my money, the Yankees' most fearsome acquisition this off-season was Javier Vazquez: a young ace who actually did fill a major hole on this team. A-Rod of course makes them better -- but Curt Schilling would've been a greater improvement. You know what, I still think the Red Sox will win the division this year. And I still think the Blue Jays have a very reasonable shot at playoff appearances from 2005 onwards. This acquisition, for all its fireworks and noise, has a hollow feel to it, and increasingly, so do the Yankees.
_bsh - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 12:25 AM EST (#78710) #
Anyone know if Gustavo Chacin is still with the team? I know he's nothing special but I don't see his name on the 40 man and don't remember him being traded/released.
_Shane - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 12:50 AM EST (#78711) #
Gustavo Chacin has been off the 40man roster for two offseasons now -- though he's still kicking around in the Jays org.
Craig B - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 08:59 AM EST (#78712) #
I got a thank-you letter from Steve Bartman yesterday, thanking me for an e-mail I sent him a day or two after the Cubs debacle.

If you're wondering what the guy has done with all the gifts he received from Cub-haters around the world - he donated it all to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in the name of Ron Santo.
robertdudek - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 10:59 AM EST (#78713) #
"Whether you hate the Yankees or not, come October, when the Yanks are battling the Sox for the AL champonship, you too will also be watching."

As big a baseball fan as I am, I pledge not to watch a single inning of a 2004 ALCS between the Yankees and Red Sox should it happen. It would hold as much interest for me as watching the old Soviet Red Army team play Moscow Dynamo for their league championship would.
_Shane - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 01:17 PM EST (#78714) #
DePodesta will beat out grampa Gillick for the progressive GM spot in LA, so says

click above.
_Young - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 01:47 PM EST (#78715) #
Hey, don't know how you guys feel about Neyer, but he thinks the best 5 2B in MLB right now are...

Al Soriano 26
Jose Vidro 29
M. Giles 26
Bret Boone 34
Jeff Kent 36
Or. Hudson 26

Good stuff.
_Jordan - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 02:20 PM EST (#78716) #
You know, I was about to make an argument in favour of Vidro over Soriano, but after some quick checking, I was fairly amazed to find that according to Range Factor, Zone Rating and Win Shares, Soriano is better defensively than Vidro, and not insubstantially either. Also, here are their career lines:

Soriano: .284/.322/.502
Vidro: .306/.367/.473

Vidro comes out ahead by about 25 OPS points -- but Alfonso is four years younger, steals more bases, and actually improved his BB/K rate last year. The Rangers really did get themselves a talent here
_Shane - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 02:38 PM EST (#78717) #
The Rangers really did get themselves a talent here.

Sure did, now over the next few years they'll paying through the you-know-what to keep him signed per-year and beyond. Mmmm, savings...And they may be having him take a go at centerfield, anyhow.
Mike Green - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 02:40 PM EST (#78718) #
Don't forget about the ballparks. Vidro's and Soriano's 3 year road lines:

Vidro: .292/.360/.454
Soriano: .305/.346/.543.

Yankee Stadium is rough on right-handed hitters, and Arlington Stadium is kind to them. If Alfonso shakes off his playoff failures, he could have a monster year.

Still, who precisely do the Yankees have that the Expos would accept in a trade for Vidro? At a point, you do run out of chips, and it looks to me like the Yankees might be there. And to think that they could have bought Kaz Matsui, and passed it up? What were they thinking? :>
robertdudek - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 02:45 PM EST (#78719) #
Navarro and De Paula.
_Shane - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 03:22 PM EST (#78720) #
Navarro and De Paula...Duncan would be available just after draft, plus NY has all those 1st/2nd round picks coming up -- they can load up some peace-of-mind depth right there.

Minaya did fine with his one-on-one deal with NY (non-El Duque deals), but I woudln't place my faith in the man to not trade Vidro come July if Montreal is not ligitimately in it. Got nothing of future for Colon. Nothing, not a even a pick for Guerrero. Vasquez, some young blood finally! Cabrera and Vidro FA eligible...not in contention...'05 season months around the corner? (Speaking as Minaya on the phone) "Sure, I don't have a catcher for the future. No ones offering me Maurer or Mathis or Quiroz. Navarro? Sounds good to me, he'll look nice with ______ and ______ that i'm getting from ______ for Cabrera. 2005 here we come".
_Jordan - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 03:31 PM EST (#78721) #
Navarro has potential, but it'll be 2006 at the earliest before he'll be ready for a big-league catching job, and that's assuming he finds his power stroke and improves his game defensively by then (though he is still just 20). DePaula doesn't look like much more than a middle reliever at this point. I just can't see anyone, including the Expos, giving up All-Star talent for that -- even if Vidro becomes too pricey for Montreal, there'll be other teams in the hunt with more to offer.
_Jordan - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 03:33 PM EST (#78722) #
The other thing to consider is that by 2005, the Expos will likely be in another city with another owner, one who won't want to start his regime by giving away his best player for next to nothing.
robertdudek - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 03:34 PM EST (#78723) #
I think Toronto can battle it out for the wildcard. All that's changed in that regard is that we'll have to finish ahead of the Red Sox and Angels, as the New Band of Mercenaries are beyond our reach this year.
Craig B - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 04:33 PM EST (#78724) #
Minaya did fine with his one-on-one deal with NY (non-El Duque deals)

Actually, the El Duque deal wasn't too bad in my book. It worked out horribly, but I thought Hernandez had a very good chance to be a top contributor for the Expos - he was coming off a good year and has never been a bad pitcher.
Mike Green - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 04:54 PM EST (#78725) #
COMN for Tango's perspective. Jordan, Navarro's closest offensive comp in baseball right now is Joe Mauer. Navarro isn't reputed to have Mauer's defensive skills, but he's pretty good. Plus, he switch-hits, and Mauer may have issues with major-league left-handed pitching. If Mauer is ready in 2004, there is no reason that Navarro couldn't have Texas' catching job in 2005 if he's the PTBNL.
_Jordan - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 05:39 PM EST (#78726) #
Navarro's closest offensive comp in baseball right now is Joe Mauer.

Mike, I don't know that I'd entirely agree. In three seasons, Mauer has compiled a .330 average and a 129/101 BB/K rate; in his first three seasons, Navarro is at .284, 91/137. Baseball America ranks Mauer the #1 catching prospect in the minors, Navarro #9 (Anaheim's Jeff Mathis is 2nd, Guillermo Quiroz 3rd). Granted that Mauer is a year older, it's still not expected that Navarro will develop the power that Mauer promises. Plus, Mauer threw out 57% of opposing baserunners last year, Navarro 36%.

Not that Navarro will be a bust: he has good bat control and uses the whole field, and Quiroz himself didn't look great after three minor-league seasons. If all goes well, Navarro will be a useful player, but I don't think he has star written on him and I don't think he'd be enough to pry Vidro loose. But I think you were referring to whether he'd be the PTBNL in the A-Rod deal; on that score, I couldn't say.
Mike Green - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 09:54 PM EST (#78727) #
Jordan, for players as young as Mauer,Navarro and Quiroz, it's safer to use one year stats. Mauer and Navarro had pretty much the identical path last year (half-season in FSL; half-season in EL). Their offensive stats were pretty much identical. The only difference was that Mauer really couldn't hit lefties (check out his splits on, whereas Navarro was good both ways. In the pre-Olympic tournament in the final game, Frank Robinson (whose judgment about hitting I respect tremendously) sat Mauer against a lefty. He took a lot of criticism from BA, but I prefer Robinson's assessment to BA's.

As for Navarro not having star written on him, I couldn't disagree more. At age 20, he hit .340 in the Eastern League with good strike zone judgment and some power. He's at least an adequate defensive catcher, and maybe a little better than that. I don't know what BA has against Navarro, but if there are 8 better catching prospects in baseball, I would be shocked. As far as I am concerned, there's not much to choose between Navarro and Quiroz as prospects, and both of them are ahead of Mathis.
_David Armitage - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 11:26 PM EST (#78728) #
I'm not sure if anyone knew this (I didn't), but Soriano's uncle is a scout for the Jays. This article has a pretty interesting history of his early career. (COMN, free subscription)

One thing that puzzles me is what happens now with Michael Young, who had a fairly good season last year. Do they shift him to SS or trade him?
_Matthew E - Monday, February 16 2004 @ 11:32 PM EST (#78729) #
I think they're moving him to short. (I've also heard that they're moving Soriano to CF.)
_R Billie - Tuesday, February 17 2004 @ 12:39 AM EST (#78730) #
As Shane pointed out above, lost in the shuffle of the ARod kuffufle is the confirmation that DePodesta will take his sabremetric leanings to one of baseballs most traditional franchises. They won 85 games without any semblance of offence. It will be interesting to see what Paul can make happen there. Of course he won't have Brown in the rotation and the previous GM stuck him with Encarnacion, a pricey OBP sink, in right field. But he's in position to do very well there.
Gerry - Tuesday, February 17 2004 @ 09:03 AM EST (#78731) #
I don't know what BA has against Navarro, but if there are 8 better catching prospects in baseball, I would be shocked.

I am not sure if it had an impact or not, but recent history has not been kind to Yankee prospects. Many of them receive major hype because of the New York media machine. Recently they have not panned out. I recall Rickie Ledee, Shane Spencer, Drew Henson, Juan Rivera. So I think experts are very cautious when it comes to yankee prospects. So has Navarro been hyped because of one good season or is he the real deal? Time will tell.
robertdudek - Tuesday, February 17 2004 @ 09:31 AM EST (#78732) #

None of those guys put up really good performance for age/level numbers; Navarro has.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 17 2004 @ 10:34 AM EST (#78733) #
The funny thing is that Navarro got almost no hype, and still gets relatively little considering his promise. In May or June of last year, he was tearing up the FSL as a 19 year old switch-hitting catcher, with reasonable defensive skills. The Yankee promotional machine was hyping Robinson Cano who was obviously substantially behind Navarro.

I don't remember Posada or Pettitte getting a huge amount of hype either. It seems that the Yankee machine does a lot of dodging and fainting when it comes to promoting their prospects.
_Shane - Tuesday, February 17 2004 @ 01:34 PM EST (#78734) #
I'm not taking a jab at the man when I say this, but, a key figure in the "machine" now works in San Diego, and won't be commenting on any more Yankee players publicly.

I don't remember Posada or Pettitte getting a huge amount of hype either.

I actually have a '94 or '95 BaseballAmerica AL East Top Ten that has, if I remember correctly, Rivera, Pettite, Jeter, Posada, Lowell, etc. in it. I was looking at it last June, and the writing styles between then and now seemed quite different, that and/or the Yankee prospects didn't get them all stemmy. Of course, no BA I ever bought back in early nineties ever had a mention of "plate discipline" or "controlling the strike zone" in it's palyer evaluations, so things have changed.
_A - Tuesday, February 17 2004 @ 04:26 PM EST (#78735) #
This morning on the Tony Cornheizer show (apologies for brutalizing a person's family name like that but some are far better said than spelled out...then again there's mine which is - comparitively - a helluva lot better on paper ;-) Theo Epstein was taking heat from the SportsCenter anchor over getting "out manouvered" this offseason. That is the most rediculous analysis from this past offseason. Don't they screen these guys before giving them a microphone?

If you'd like to read a Red Sox fan's take on this, Bill Simmons weighs in at Page 2 (COMN) with an unresearched but nonetheless amusing entry. He says the fact that A-Rod only had 10 win shares above Soriano makes him happier but admits he's got no idea what that actually means.
_peteski - Tuesday, February 17 2004 @ 07:21 PM EST (#78736) #
Don't trash Kornheiser (I'm pretty sure this is the appropriate spelling). He co-hosts Pardon the Interruption (PTI) along with Michael Wilbon. The show is sometimes on TSN during the week at 5:30. It has a distinctly American perspective (obviously) which means next to no hockey and lots of College football and College basketball coverage, but it is still the most entertaining half hour of sports talk you will find anywhere and it's not really even close. These guys may not be as knowledgable about baseball as some of the people here, but is that a reasonable standard to hold them to. I don't think so, especially when you consider they have to also be very knowledgable on every other sport people in America want to talk about. Besides, they still have a great deal of knowledge on baseball.

"Theo Epstein was taking heat from the SportsCenter anchor over getting "out manouvered" this offseason. That is the most rediculous analysis from this past offseason. Don't they screen these guys before giving them a microphone?"

Replace "Theo Epstein" with "The Red Sox" and what is unfair about this. By the way, I've heard nothing but praise for Epstein from Kornheiser on PTI (I can't vouch for radio). On PTI he has been blaming the Red Sox ownership and specifically Larry Lucchino, but I've heard no mention Theo Epstein. In fact, earlier in the offseason, he was talking about Epstein as the best GM in baseball. Anyway, the Red Sox had the chance to get A-Rod and they blew it. Shouldn't they be criticized especially now that this has allowed the Yankees to get him? It really is a pretty big blow to the Red Sox. If they lose the east to the Yankees, or heaven forbid, lose to them in the playoffs, who do the Red Sox have to blame but themselves?
_A - Tuesday, February 17 2004 @ 08:55 PM EST (#78737) #
Sorry for the lack of clairity, it wasn't Kornheiser, it was the guy who was doing SportsCenter highlights during his show. And I'm still not sure that "out-manouvered" works with blame to the Red Sox as a club either. They decided the price was too high, the Yankees just made the resources available, which is hardly being out manouvered.
_peteski - Wednesday, February 18 2004 @ 03:10 AM EST (#78738) #
Sorry, my mistake.
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