Tuesday, February 28, 2012

There Must Be A New Show Out Called "Valentines In Paris"...

(#Assclown.  Courtesy of The AP)

'Cause Bobby V is trolling me so hard right now.  And truth be told, I'd fine him if I had the ability to do so.  Today he decided to spout off about how "The Flip" wasn't that great of a play.

"We'll never practice that.  I think [Jeter] was out of position and the ball gets [Giambi] out if he doesn't touch it, personally."

"That was amazing that (Jeter) was there. I bet it's more amazing that he said he practiced it. I don't believe it.''

Fuck.  You.  I've made a conscious effort to not curse as much on here recently and to be more analysis/stats-driven instead of just spewing my thoughts into a post, but I won't stand by and let some self-absorbed, no-ring-having jerkoff speak ill of one of the greatest heads-up plays in sports history.  Not when that play was made by one of the greatest Yankees in history who also happens to be my favorite baseball player of all time.  Not happening, slapnuts.  Not on my watch.  Mind your manners, check your French, and shut your fucking mouth.

And on Cap'n Varitek retiring:

"He was able to beat up Alex... "

Get bent, bro.  Varitek left his mask on like a bitch because he was afraid The Horse was going to rear up and kick his teeth in.  That's truth right there.  Everybody knows that.

If this is how you want things to be this year, Bob, this is how they can be.  I need a new whipping boy with The Pitcher Who Shall Not Be Named in Pittsburgh.  I can roll up the sleeves and get dirty on you.  You wanna get nuts?  Let's get nuts!!!

The Art Of Hedging Your Offseason Bets

(The one man who could make it all happen)

All in all it was a pretty active offseason for the Yankees.  They completely remade their rotation, brought in lots of new options to fill the DH spot and bench, and added some potential depth to both this and next year's bullpens.  And they managed to do it all in a cost-conscious way, an approach not traditionally taken by the front office when Hot Stove season rolls around.  The formula for doing that successfully has been Cash's ability to hedge his bets on all the moves he's made.

The Michael Pineda trade was a risky move, no doubt.  The Yankees were giving up two young, cheap pieces of their 25-man roster including their starting DH, who also happened to be their number 1 hitting prospect, for a very young starting pitcher with a still yet to be determined ceiling.  You would only give up what the Yankees gave up if you knew you were getting a top tier starting pitcher back, and while the Yankees are hoping and planning on Pineda becoming just that, it's still too early to say whether or not that happening is a lock.  That bet on Pineda was hedged to a certain degree by him being a young, cheap player who will be under team control for years to come.  It was further hedged when Cash went out and signed Hiroki Kuroda, a veteran pitcher with consistent above-average career performance who should give the Yankees added depth and skill in their rotation.  This depth and skill will help ease the sting of any growing pains Pineda might go through as he attempts to evolve into a #1-#2 starter, and it also gave the Yankees the ability to pursue trading The Pitcher Who Shall Not Be Named.

That trade essentially became the way for the Yankees to hedge their bets on filling out the roster under their self-imposed budget constraints.  The argument can certainly be made that the penny pinching efforts in filling the roster this offseason were unnecessary, especially given the level of talent the Yankees were going after and the money involved in doing so, but that was the plan and credit has to be given for how they stuck to it.  The Yankees were covered no matter what the outcome of the trade efforts turned out to be.  They signed guys like Bill Hall, Russell Branyan, and Clay Rapada to MiL deals to give themselves Major League-proven options should the trade not go through and give them the money they felt they needed to sign the guys they really wanted.  Once the trade did go through, they went out and added the guys they wanted in Raul Ibanez, Eric Chavez, and David Aardsma, better options who got a little more money and guaranteed deals.

It was a masterful job of working within the confines the front office set for itself, and as a result the Yankees are sitting pretty this Spring Training.  They have the guys they always wanted (Ibanez and Chavez), and if they get hurt they've got cheap backups on standby (Hall, Branyan).  If those guys also happen to get hurt, or are just completely ineffective, the Yankees are still covered by their cache of in-house MiL depth (Brandon Laird, Ramiro Pena, Jorge Vazquez, Chris Dickerson, Justin Maxwell).  It was unfamiliar territory for us to watch the Yankees work under a strict budget this offseason, but they passed the test with flying colors.  Some of the moves they made were just as risky as the big-dollar free agent signings they're known for, but Cash and the front office did a great job of minimizing that risk by hedging their bets with other moves and making sure they weren't going to be lacking options when it came time to finalize the roster for this season.

Eric Chavez Is A Lucky SOB

("75 plate appearances?  Yeah, I think I got that in me." Courtesy of The AP)

I touched on this last night on the AB4AR Facebook Page, but Eric Chavez has himself a pretty sweet incentive deal in his new contract.  Sure, he's only making 900 thou in base salary, which is barely enough to get by in today's world, but thanks to his incentive package he could earn upwards of $3.05 million just for putting his batting gloves on, picking up a bat, and standing in the batter's box.

"Chavez would make $50,000 for 75 plate appearances, $100,000 each for 100 and 150, $200,000 apiece for 200 and 250, $300,000 each for 300 and 350, $400,000 apiece for 400 and 450 and $500,000 each for 500 and 550." (Courtesy of The AP)

50 grand for 75 plate appearances???  You've got to be kidding me!  That's like free money, even for a guy as injury-plagued as Chavez.  He spent the bulk of last season on the DL and still managed 175 PA, which would have netted him a cool quarter of a mil under these new terms.  It's highly unlikely that Chavez will reach the 200 or 250 mark, and next to impossible that he gets 300 or more, but to get that kind of money for doing the bare minimum of your job is a little ridiculous.  That's like me getting a 25% bonus on my paycheck every two weeks because I sat in on three extra meetings.  Didn't contribute anything, didn't take notes, just sat there.

This also sheds a little light on how confident or not confident the Yankees are in Chavez' ability to stay healthy this year.  I don't think they would willingly hand out $3 million if they thought there was a chance Chavez could reach these marks.  But still, a .294 wOBA in a season spent mostly on the DL last season and Chavez turns it into a new contract with bonuses not even tied to any kind of production.  I should have been a baseball player.