The Fall Of The Yankee Fan

The Seeds Have Been Planted, But Grass Has Yet To Grow On The Grave That Is The Yankees Dynasty.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Super Bowl Sunday

Alright, not to sound like a Yankees fan but the Pats are going to win... 34, 20

So I've decided to take a look at what's left of the free agency pool now that the last big name, Ordonez, has finally signed (with the Tigers???).

At first base:
Robert Fick - had a good year in Detroit and one in Atlanta
Brad Fullmer - not the quickest bat, you have to be pretty desparate at first.
Eric Karros - way past his prime
Travis Lee - the D-backs tried to build their team around this guy
John Olerud - the only respectable 2004 Yankee. Great reliable competitor
David Segui - I'm pretty sure he's done.
Todd Zeile - always turns out worse than expected. Expect less get more

At second base:
Carlos Baerga - has streaky years. prob on the juice, nevertheless good bench player
Mike Mordecai - good backup player who ends up a starter every season

At Short:
Barry Larkin - most likely going to retired but has a good year left
Ramon Castro - had potential in Oakland, but noplace to play

At third base:
Tony Batista - consistently mediocre, can steal some bases
Herbert Perry - has had good years but has hard times finding a place as a starter

At catcher:
Brook Fordyce - d-rays don't even want him. nearing end. midseason backup at best
Todd Hundley - hasn't played in over 16 months
Brent Mayne - Undefeated as a pitcher... not a very good hitter

Darren Bragg - bust his ass for the team. very inexpensive backup/60 game starter
Lou Collier - minor leaguer
Tom Goodwin - not worth his speed anymore
Rusty Greer - hard working platoon outfielder
Ray Lankford - also getting old, lost speed, all his numbers are done, may be cheap
John Vander Wal - never lived to expectations, still has potential - needs a good team

Shane Reynolds - deserves a #4 role somewhere, but is coming off injuries
Omar Daal - inconsistant, maybe worth the risk if your #4 or 5 gets injured
Rocky Biddle - not very good, made the big leagues on bad teams

The ones who don't suck:
Valerio De Los Santos
Mike Fetters
Adrian Hernandez
Kevin Jarvis
Curtis Leskanic
Al Levine
Robb Nen
Jason Simontacchi
Todd Van Poppel

Former Starters looking for pen roles:
Andy Ashby
Brian Boehringer

Everyone else:
Vic Darensbourg
Nelson Figueroa
Kevin Frederick
Franklyn Gracesqui
Ramiro Mendoza
Damian Moss
Scott Service
Lino Urdaneta

If I were to field a team of these free agents here are the guys I would take :

Catcher: nobody worth it (Hundley)
First Base: John Olerud is trustworthly, Travis Lee STILL has potential
Second Base: Baerga is worth a couple grand
Short: Larkin has a year left in the tank
Third Base: nobody worth it (Batista)
Outfield: Bragg & Greer are good gritty players.
Starters: nobody worth it (Reynolds)
Relievers: Valerio De Los Santos is streaky but has a lot of potential. Leskanic is a hardballer and I would go ahead and take the chance with Robb Nen for a discount.

Monday, January 17, 2005

NFL Predictions Update

Here were my bold predictions from last week:

Jets 20, Steelers 17
Patriots 30, Colts 27
Eagles 27, Vikings 17
Rams 20, Falcons 17

Okay 2-2 and this week but that I should have been on the money with that Jet's prediction, twice.

Eagles & Vikings scores were off by a field goal respectively... The Pats showed what they had and surprised even the strongest of Patriots fans with that game. And the Rams, well I like to dream... (ie. Broncos over Colts)

So here we go... now my predictions for the Conference Finals cannot stray very far as I live a mile from Foxboro in Mass... and a 20 minute subway trip from the Linc in Philly so I'm gonna entrust a lot in my scores... and yes I have the Eagles finally reaching the Super Bowl.

Eagles 27, Falcons 21

Patriots 23, Steelers 17

Patriots over Eagles 20-17... on a last minute field goal, what else is new ?

You have officially witnessed the two BIGGEST chokes in New York history... although this time I was actually pulling for the Jets. It's days like these I truly appreciate Adam Vinatieri.

Paolo DeVito
Back On Track In Philly

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Beltran Booted

We Ran Out Of Time.

That's All Houston Had To Report On #15. Of course with this news it looks as if the Rocket may also be blasting off out of Houston, as they will probably not be competitive without Beltran, but they didn't have him at the start of 2004 so I don't exactly see the logic there. Many believe that with Beltran's Houston deadline finally passing that the Yankees would jump into the bidding.

Of course this means I was heading into this weekend hoping that the Astro's would resign Beltran but the longer that he is on the market the more likely it is that the Yanks will jump back in. The Mets are still looking for their one big move to make for an outfielder, and signing Carlos Beltran would probably be the only move that makes them not look like morons (because we all know how the Mets like to make bonehead moves). They were looking to get Sosa, Manny, Giambi... they're just always desparate trigger-happy fools.

That leaves a free agent pool of...

Derek Lowe - close to signing with LA alongside Penny, Perez, Weaver & Ishii.

Carlos Beltran - Most likely a Met, they need to make the big move, but never count out the Yanks, Cubs if Beltran decided he wants to go short term deal after all.

Carlos Delgado - He's gonna be a BoSox, just you wait... maybe Baltimore.

Maglio Ordonez - Maybe an Oriole if they miss out on Delgado. Otherwise maybe Houston, Cubbies, or a Cali team.

Jeremy Burnitz
Ben Grieve
Raul Mondesi
Brian Jordan
Rusty Greer
John Vanderwal
Darren Bragg
John Olerud
Eric Karros
Tony Clark
Brad Fullmer
David Segui

Barry Larkin
Mark DeRosa
Rich Aurillia
Roberto Alomar
Carlos Baerga

Shawn Estes
Aaron Sele
Hideo Nomo
Esteban Loaiza

Rob Nen
Billy Koch
Valerio De Los Santos
Roberto Hernandez
Jose Jimenez
Jeff Nelson
Dan Miceli
Scott Williamson

Sidenote: NYY's Shane Spencer quietly followed Kapler to Japan.

My Gems Would Include Miceli & De Los Santos in the pen, & DeRosa backing up at 2nd base, he's still young - has a lot of potential and would likely come cheap... This rest of this list looks washed up.

Paolo DeVito
Packing For Philly

NFL Wildcard Saturday

Pair Of Upsets

Alright, So I was getting upset when I watched endless predictions and suddenly everyone started jumping on the Charger bandwagon, claiming they were the most complete team playing this weekend. They counted out the Jets defense... who of course allowed the occasional big play to L.T. or Gates. I think the Chargers were a great team but the Jets had the experience and the statement to make.

Back to my point, of about the 40 predictions for this weekend I saw maybe 35 of them claim that there would be no upsets, of course several claimed that Rams over the Seahawks would not be an upset, but everyone counted out the Jets.

My original statement for this weekend was a complete round of upsets... I know I sound crazy but I have to get this shit in print before it happens. The Vikings always give the Pack a helluva game. And the Broncos over Colts, well ya never know. I'll admit there's a very scarce chance that both these games could be upsets but it could happen. And I like the idea of playing the J-E-T-S, instead of the Colts next weekend (especially now that Law is official out of action).

Tomorrow's Scores:
27-24 Broncos... 28-24 Vikings...

So here we go with my predictions for next week:
If Broncos Win:
Steelers 20, Broncos 17
Patriots 20, Jets 10

If Colts Win:
Jets 20, Steelers 17
Patriots 30, Colts 27

If Vikings Win:
Eagles 27, Vikings 17
Rams 20, Falcons 17

If Packers Win:
Eagles 27, Rams 20
Falcons 31, Packers 17

I sometimes feel as if the announcers and sports analyists make their predictions based upon whether or not they can back up their facts on air and sound good and sometimes they miss the obvious.

...and then there were 10...

Paolo DeVito
Packing For Philly

Friday, January 07, 2005

Schilling's End

Quick Point Here In Response To Matt's Article.

With Schilling reaching the end of his contract (2006 is an option) it is very likely that the Red Sox are front runners to sign Sheets or Santana... They have the money opening up, but like Matt, i think, was trying to say, if the Yanks are at their last dollars now - than where are they going to get money NEXT year. Face it Yankees, this is your team for the next couple of years... some may see that as a good thing - but they're old... and they're unproven.

Just cuz I think it looks pretty I'll draw it out; All 25...

Derek Jeter - el capitan
Alex Rodriguez - it's A-Rod's team now, sorry Derek.
Hideki Matsui - streakt workhorse - maybe unbreakable, maybe not...
Gary Sheffield - quick bat but getting slower...
Bernie Williams - quick bat but getting slower
Tino Martinez - more of a leader than a hitter.... .260 average, can hit about 15 homers.
Jorge Posada - old...
Jason Giambi - old and off the juice
Tony Womack - one year wonder.... he'll definitely see some pitches though.

Randy Johnson - we'll see how long he lasts...
Mike Mussina - getting old, workmoose of the team. Big weight off shoulder with RJ #1
Carl Pavano - National League magic usually doesn't transfer over.
Jaret Wright - one year wonder...
Kevin Brown - old, and they don't have a #6 pitcher...

Sturtz - potentially has potential
Felix Rodriguez - one year wonder, waaaaaay overpaid.
Karsay - waste of money
Gordon - good bounce back, can only go down from here...
Stanton - didn't he already retire ???
Quantrill - he was already done, big risk
Rivera - no longer untouchable

So far their bench consists of Ruben Sierra, Bubba Crosby, John Flaherty, & Eric Duncan.

Paolo DeVito
Yankees Suck

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Could the Yankees have a budget?

As odd as it may sound, recent reports out of Yankee camp have said that the Yankees will NOT get into a bidding war over Carlos Beltran. What does this mean for the whole of major league baseball? It might mean something as little as Brian Cashman realizing that while Beltran is a bona fide offensive superstar, arguably the best in the game, the Yankees could have gotten someone like Carlos Delgado (Or a Steve Finley AND Steve Kline), Jeff Kent, and setup men so Flash Gordon and Paul Quantrill's arms don't fall off. But, if it means legitamately that, that the Yankees are simply reaching the end of their funds and spending what they can like they don't even realize, it could mean that within 3 years, the devil rays will be behind the red sox for #2 in the east.
the yankees will be close to a 100 win team next year. If they stay healthy, you'd have to be stupid not to recognize that. However, there are still 2 things wrong with that. 1) That means nothing in the playoffs. and 2) They have virtually no expiring contracts, outside of Jorge Posada.
If Jorge Posada comes off the books, who will the Yankees put behind the plate? They traded away their only near-catching prospect in the RJ deal. Who else is a noted catcher in the league that will be available? Kendall was just acquired by Beane. Tek is a Sox. Lo Duca looks to be thinking long term in Miami. If posada is not a Yankee next year, we could be looking at Piazza switching boroughs. Either looks to cost the Yankees about what they're spending on Posada now.
Where does that leave them next offseason? Say Giambi doesn't return to form, and Bernie Williams places a picture of his knees on the Hood milk cartons in an attempt to find where they've gone. They'll need a first baseman, and a center fielder. And if Womack doesn't work out? They'll be thinking 2. Sheffield mentioned the "R-word" last season. If he retires on Steinbrenner, its a salary off the books, but one they might have to spend near-comprably on to get equal production. At the very least, a Sheff replacement and 2nd base equals that money. And you still need a first baseman and a center fielder. All while commited to the same payroll as this year, along with an absurd amount of money commited to people no longer playing for you.
And what of the pitching? The Sox look to be sitting on prospects and cash in an attempt to run away with either midseason trades for, or offseason signings of next year's free agent class. And with Santana and Sheets headlining, are the Yankees just going to LET Boston pursue them? And what happens to the 8 million dollar men they just kick out of the rotation? Georgie would have to figure out how to do all this while working in what is apparently a 20-30 million dollar budget, if ignoring beltran appears to indicate.
One last thing to note is that while it is little known, baseball does have a hard salary cap of sorts. It changes from team to team, but the basic rule is this. You cannot spend more than you prove your team takes in. And while it's absurd to think that even with that payroll, the Yankees could approach that, there are a few things to note. The luxury tax for the Yankees for next year appears to be swelling to almost 40 million dollars. Furthermore, they need to accomodate for every single employee in the organization, including stadium workers. And perhaps most significantly, MLB has imposed a harsh financial penalty for the yankees, which could be as high as $50 mil for lying about profit intake from the YES network. When all is said and done, the Yankees could be looking at paying almost $400 mil next year. And while the sales of the Yankees cannot be in question, whether it outclasses the spending can be.
So what is the point of this article?Perhaps nothing. Perhaps this rumor is just that, and the Yankees aren't tapped for cash. But perhaps it means that gluttony is finally catching up to Georgie, and it may bite him in the ass. With more and more money tied up in veterans no longer playing for them, perhaps they'll, for once, have to learn to live with the team they have, with only modest improvements from year to year.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Sox Improve On 2004 Team

Okay so big mouth Cy Young winner Pedro Martinez is gone.

The Sox saved resigning Jason Varitek. Hear me out here, with the money we saved dumping Martinez & Lowe, $22 Million... the Red Sox went out and got veterans David Wells & John Halama, and unproven but promiseful hardballers Matt Clement & Wade Miller at a total of $16 Million. Using this at the base we can then move on to the salaries of Jason Vartiek & Doug Mirabelli, an increase of only $3 million from their 2004 salaries, the Red Sox upgraded their shortstop position from Cabrera & Garciaparra who were paid a total of $10 Million for Edgar Renteria, who will also make $10 Million. Now take into considerations the contract salary increases of Ramirez, Damon, Schilling, Ortiz, Nixon, Mueller, Embree, Timlin, & Foulke, collectively about a $5 Million increase. That leaves us with a remaining budget of $8 Million.

This leaves me with a new list of priorities:
1) Carlos Delgado
2) Pokey Reese
3) Rounding Out The Bullpen
4) Rounding Out The Bench

Okay, so the Carlos Delgado idea is still in the woods, and if the Yankees were smart they'd be persuing him to play first seeing how either way they should be having Bernie Wiliams (whether it be centerfield or firstbase) starting instead of Jason Giambi. Delgado would also be a sizeable discount as opposed to Beltran, but money is no option when it comes to the Yankees.

Now the Carlos Delgado idea has circulated very quietly amonst Red Sox Nation, but i is not completely out of the puzzle. With the $8 Million savings frm the rotation, and the money that the Red Sox have acquired through World Series revenue as well as the amount of money which they have saved finally getting contracts off the book (ex $5 Mil. to Mendoza, $3.5 Mil. to Williamson, $4 Mil. to Guitierrez) it looks like it would be an extremely available option. Also take into consideration the fact that they would be acquiring players of other needs for Doug Mientkiewicz & Kevin Millar, as well as likely cash considerations.

Of course signing Delgado would likely cost between $16 & 20 Million, in which case they could acquire Carlos Beltran for the same money, if not cheaper...

2005 Batting Order
Damon, Renteria, Ramirez, Ortiz, Delgao/Beltran/Millar/Meintkiewicz, Varitek, Nixon, Mueller, Bellhorn

Clement, Wells, Arroyo, Miller, Wakefield... Schilling (INJ)

Halama, Kim, Myers, Timlin, Embree, Mantei, Foulke

Okay now the bullpen and the bench still hasn't been rounded out (they could settle these in any moves including Millar and Meintkiewicz) and then there's the money that must be budgeted for midseason movement. I'm not taking away that factor, but truth is Theo has some serious money... April cannot come sooner.

Paolo DeVito
Back In Beantown

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Wade In The Wings

Only three shopping days 'til Christmas.

The Red Sox have offered a one year deal to starting pitcher Wade Miller who was a nontendered free agent and made available to the public Monday by the Houston Astros. The deal is a bargain at $1.5 Million with additional bonuses available.

It turns out the Dodgers were dicking around on Johnson the entire time... which isn't even the sweetest part, the fact is the Yankees are still missing a solid #2 pitcher and until the three-team trade news began to emerge the Yankees had seemed to be the front runner for left hander Eric Milton. Now that the deal has fallen apart, the Yankees have a lost a week's time and the Marlins are the front runners to sign Milton. In the past week's time they also missed out on the opportunity to resign Orlando Hernandez who decided to leave the Yankees for the White Sox earlier today. It would be a safe bet for the Yankees to acquire a quality 6th starter as you never know what you are going to get with Kevin Brown or Javier Vazquez. Others remaining on the market are Odalis Perez & Derek Lowe whom both have been looking at other options aside the Yankees already this offseason. Thusfar Milton is their best bet if the Johnson deal falls through but the deal would have to go through a whole lot sooner than later.

So just a point of attention here, I have seen a lot of comments from Yankees fans teasing Sox fans that David Wells with be opening day starters. Well here are just some points as of right now.

1) The Red Sox rotation is shaping up better than the Yankeees rotation.
Schilling will be well rested coming into a short season with an extra month off.
Let's review:
Schilling vs Mussina (season edge - push, post season edge - Schilling)
Clement vs Pavano (edge - push)
Wells vs Wright (edge - Wells, experience - Wright is a hardball one year wonder.
Miller vs Vazquez (edge - both coming off bad seasons but have great stuff whenever they find it). Arroyo vs Brown (edge - Arroyo, Brown has nothing left)
Sox - Halama, Kim, Wakefield.
Yankees - Halsey.

2) Here's a fact, the Red Sox lose on opening day every year. It's no big deal we're used to it. The team makes the playoffs, that's what it's all about -- championships aren't won in September. Frankly I don't mind if Wells starts opening day, but it's unlikely to toss a lefty out there anyhow.

3) The Red Sox don't open up against the Yankees, as a matter of fact, they play on an odd numbers day rest after their opening days so the rotations won't be set up to pitch evenly so the fact that Schilling is out will not matter.

4)Sox starting 5: less than $30 Million
Yankees starting 5: roughly $60 Million
But to a Yankees fan this means that the Yankees and the Red Sox are both offensively over paying compared to the poor teams in MLB, not realizing that the extra $30 Mil. would fund 2 Randy Johnsons for the Red Sox, try and imagine that one...

Paolo DeVito
Back In Beantown

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

A Bad Week's Start

Tom Brady has ruined my week.

It's only tuesday afternoon and Tom Brady has already ruined my week, and its only 4 days til christmas. Here is the biggest downside to Monday Night Football, Losing. Something I haven't come very accustomed to being a Patriots & Eagles Fan.

Now after a Monday night loss the whole week is just strange to me -- everything has been strange on sports radio, call in talkers just don't sound the same, hell we lost to the 2-11 Miami Dolphins and just about sure ourselves up at being the #2 with a win against 2-12 San Francisco week 17. This likely assuring that the Patriots will NOT the #1 seed in the AFC, and Tom Brady & Rodney Harrison played some of the worst football I have ever seen... and the only way to recover from such a terrible monday is to wait out a terribly boring week. Thank god christmas is this weekend.

The Pats lost to the dolphins monday, but at least they didn't lose their best player like the Eagles did. TO is taking a seat for the next six weeks....

The one upside to my Tuesday afternoon, the announcement that the Randy Johnson deal fell apart. Leaving the Yankees still scrambling for a solution to the number two/three slot. As for the sox they are exploring options for lefty Eric Milton who is being admireable by the Yankees for his experience. Wade Miller is also now available after the Astros didn't tender his contract. I would love for the Sox to get one of these players, especially Milton if the Johnson deal ends up not going through because it would stick it to the Yankees who wouldn't have many options remaining to fill out their rotation.

Paolo DeVito
Back in Beantown

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Sox Are Robbed In Roberts Deal

I'm so sorry to see Dave Roberts go.

Well the stories were bleeding out all over Red Sox Nation, Dave Roberts wanted out of Boston. This was not because he didn't love playing for the Fenway faithful... he just was not satisfied with his role on the team as the bench. With the departure of Gabe Kapler, the Red Sox were in need of right-hand hitting outfielder with some starting experience.

The deal resulted in a San Diego swap of 32 year olds, with the Red Sox acquiring Jay Payton, right handed career .285 hitter with starting experience on the Mets, Rockies, & Padres over the last few seasons. The biggest loss for the Red Sox will not just be the speed factor that Roberts brought off the bench, but also the chemistry that Dave brought with his glowing smile.

The fact is that Dave Roberts did want to go, he wasn't going to get many starts being a lefty hitter playing behind Damon & Nixon, and Theo had promised his ALCS hero that he would send him to a place that would satisfy him - so Dave is going back to Cali. In exchange the Red Sox recieve more of a power punch off the bench in Payton who hit 28 homers in 2003, thus crossing off my fifth priority of offseason workload - but adding a priority to add some more speed, but this is something the Sox could address in resigning Pokey, or in another platoon type speedy outfielder toward midseason.

Also changing uniforms in the deal is San Diego's backup infielder Ramon Vazquez as well as a minor league prospect pitcher in David Pauley. Vazquez provides another infielder to fight for the bench position behind Mark Bellhorn to start the season. He has 4 seasons of experience and provides a left handed bat off.

Overall in the swap, the Red Sox payroll increased only slightly in the exchange from Roberts to Payton as the Padres also included cash considerations. All sides in the trade were satisfied including the Red Sox organization, Padres, Payton & Roberts who were all interested in a scenary change, although Dave Roberts will never be forgotten for his involvement in one of the finest comebacks in baseball history.

Paolo DeVito
Back In Beantown

Revised Priorites

Since Roberts is gone the needs have somewhat changed.

1) Jason Varitek
2) Solid Starter
3) Answer To The First Baseman Question
` then distantly...
4) Bullpen
5) Backup Infield
6) Speed Off The Bench

-It has happened several times already where it has seemed very close that Jason Varitek would be resigned when another set back usually comes in last minute. Hopefully this is the final stretch before it gets done.

-My two first choices if the Red Sox were to remain active in seeking another starting pitcher are currently Eric Milton & AJ Burnett, but I'm not willing to give much for them at this point. Among the non-tendered free agents around the MLB is Astro's pitcher Wade Miller whom I would also be very satisfied seeing in a Red Sox uniform. Miller made $3.4 Million last season and it would be a bargain for any team to sign the young pitcher at that price, dispite the late season injury suffered by Miller last season.

-Theo can get things done, and if necessary either Millar or Meintkiewicz will be gone soon, and the dream of Carlos Delgado batting behind Manny & Papi will not cease until I see him in another team's uniform.

-The bullpen still needs to be filled out, but that will come in time.

- I would be satisfied with the resigning of Pokey Reese to complete both the #5 & #6 Priorities, in addition to the advancement of Hanley Ramirez & Kevin Youkilis.

Paolo DeVito
Back In Boston

Monday, December 20, 2004

The Renteria, Jeter Controversy

Alright this post isn't so much of my own making.

This one started on another blog page. You can click on the Title of this article, "The Renteria, Jeter Controversy" to view a conversation between Red Sox, Yankee Fans, & Myself.... Below I will post my end of the conversation but you will have to click on the link above if you want to see how it all started...

allitalian said...

Hey jackass, look up the meaning of the word "intangibles." Your quickness to be a douchebag just further illustrates your status as a Yankees fan.

That was the point of the post, to compare the numbers, and not the "great leadership" qualities of Edgar Renteria.... Derek Jeter has been to 6 world series (4 for 6) and Edgar has "brought," not necessarily led his team to one in Florida and one last year in STL. (You said he's had "many" teams, check your stats before you say dumb shit because he's only been with the two - I knew that off hand and I rarely follow the National League) That's pretty good for any player under 30 years old (which Jeter is not)...

Now this is a far shot in making a point here, but do you honestly think Jeter would have led the Texas Rangers to 2 world series over the last few years if he had to compete with the Braves or the NL Central, or for that matter the Yankees in his league each year ? Highly Doubtful - You have to remember he plays for the Yankees, the biggest stage in baseball, and the Yankees buy world Series tickets like Christmas presents after midnight on December 24th.

Anything can happen in the season and I'll admit this seasons pickups seem a whole lot more sensible than lasts.... Lofton was a dead duck, you knew Kevin Brown would have an injury stricken year (although the punch was self imposed), Gordon is a work horse, and Jose Contreras looked like a joke being the big off-season signing... well that is until Aaron Boone's freak accident.

The facts: Well I've stated my case on Wright, and Pavano is easily overrated, the second coming of Javier Vazquez with a little more confidence, we'll see how he holds up in NY... you can ask any real baseball fan how they feel about Carl. Now Randy Johnson will be dominant... for at least 4 more months, and it's just a matter of time before Mussina begins his downhill slide, at which point the Yankees will disrespect and betray him like they do every other pitcher. That leaves Hernandez or Brown who I wouldn't trust enough in the playoffs as much as I would trust Derek Lowe before the '04 Postseason.

By The Way, Championships aren't won in April so the Schilling news is no big deal. I'll take a #4 in Bronson Arroyo over Jaret Wright any day of the week.... now ponder this, is Wright worth 10 times the money than Arroyo for a 10 game winner? Wakefield is two years older than Mussina, you may get the impression he is older although because he has been with the team 10 seasons, a feat matched by no current Yankee pitcher. Mussina has the senior seat after only 4 seasons (excluding Rivera). Wakefield will be 39, Hernandez & Brown will be 40, Johnson will be 42.... One note, Wakefield throws knuckleballs, which doesn't wear on the shoulder – that was also a dumb comment calling Wake an old man.

You can blow that steroids bullshit out your ass, that's as much of a lame ass comment as you can make (isn't your first baseman Jason Giambi next season)... he didn't "explode" onto steroids, he simply grew up.... players do that, and they're not all as fast as Derek Jeter. But like the original post states, the numbers are from the last 3 seasons... Since he turned 24, the age in which most players finally REACH the majors... and Renteria IS a better fielder. Nobody is "crowing" him to be a savior - he is simply an upgrade from Cabrera and to the '04 Red Sox as a whole.

I would just like to point out the fact that you used in your post such queer Internet terms as LMFAO, LOL, BTW, and used the word “homer” in a derogatory sense, even though you're talking about baseball. I know it still fits but it just doesn't go over well with me as people with lives don't used words like that. Also, if there is one thing that I have learned from the Yankee fans over the years, it's that you are nothing until you have proven yourself. I'll say it once like I've said it a million times, only 4 Yankees still have rings from 2000... They haven't proved shit, that's exactly why the boss has gone out and gotten players like Wright, Stanton, and Womack, who have postseason experience. You aren't shit until you've won shit and the Red Sox are defending champions. You can hype up your 2005 team all you want but the season hasn't started yet and that's the truth. Learn to accept it you Bronx bums.

And Finally, Theo is not being outbid – he just refuses to be pushed around. The Red Sox have a lot of work to do and unlike Brian Cashman, Theo has what is called a “budget,” and you can look that one up too while you've got that dictionary open.

Paolo DeVito
Back In Beantown

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Controversy Comes First

So I Just Wanted To Get My Ideas On This In Print.

With the way the Red Sox hot stove has gone this offseason I would just like to get my opinions on the Red Sox first base controversy this offseason.

At a holiday event held the past week the Red Sox players were asked several questions on how they feel about the offseason moves thus far. Among the Pedro Martinez controversy was the situation at first base. Doug Meintkiewicz commented in a short interview that he does not feel comfortable limited to the capacity of a defensive replacement, and also stated that, "he knows he can still hit," and he would like to be a starter, if not for the Red Sox, than somewhere else.

Cowboy Kevin Millar has provided comic relief and a good change of pace toward the media over the last two seasons in Boston but it may still be in the realm of possibility that first basemen Carlos Delgado comes to Boston. This of course likely meaning that Doug Meintkiewicz would be shipped out of Boston, and Kevin Millar would likely follow. This unless he agrees to a position in the outfield backing up Christopher Trot Nixon.

Now this is the sort of deal that you would likely see in response to the Carlos Beltran deal to New York. It is an age old truth that whenever the Yankees make a mega-deal, the Red Sox counter with a slightly less mega-deal. Although, thus far this has shown to be an offseason where Theo has looked resiliant toward being pushed around.

Still, This sounds so appealing to a Red Sox Fan. Manny, Papi, Delgado... Quite possibly the greatest power punch in baseball history. Throw Damon & Renteria in front of those guys.... Varitek, Nixon/Millar, Bellhorn & Mueller in the rear and you've got yourself a baseball team worth bragging about. But what would the Red Sox be without Millar if he did in fact get shipped out.

The Red Sox feared losing identity after the Nomar deal but it was Kevin Millar who helped the team gel together, and who coined the term "cowboy up" during the 2003 season. This offseason has already seen Pedro Martinez walk away, but his bashing of the clubhouse and insulting of the fans helped the team ease any pain. The Boston Red Sox are not just another Yankees team that goes out and refaces each offseason, but because of the work the boss does it seems like that is the way the Red Sox will have to react in order to be competitive in the American League East. It's hard being on top.

Paolo DeVito
Back In Beantown

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Catching Up, Revised Priorities

Final Exams, No Not The SportsCenter Type.

I haven't been able to post much but there are several things I would like to acknowledge quickly. First off, Pavano is now a Yankee, and I am none the surprised, if Joe Torre called my house after hours I'd put pinstripes on too, maybe even dance around a bit, and it doesn't hurt that Pavano's grandmother is a Yankees fan. And here I was thinking that all the "idiots" were Red Sox fans.

I am a fan of Clement and he has a lot of potential, I don't have time to elaborate with stats or predictions but I am very happy with this signing. I'm not as quite satisfied now that Pedro is gone but only in the AL East are you required to possess more than one ACE. Matt Clement would be an astounding #3 Guy but a little unproven to be a solid #2.

John Halama, ain't nothing wrong with that. It's not like the Red Sox are paying him $8 Million and putting the name WEAVER on the back of his jersey. Too many Yankees fans are giving the Sox hell for this signing but it's just another Red Sox move much like the Bret Saberhagen or Pedro Astacio pick ups, it's always good to have these kind of guys on the roster... especially at the discount.

I am still mad about the Renteria signing, I'm sure I'll calm down eventually but the order of operations just kind of sets me back. As soon as Tek is back in red socks I'll be able to rest again. On the positive side he is a substantial upgrade at the plate from Cabrera and brings a glove rivaled by few in the american league, and the $10 Million price tag is a bargain considering the way the league average for short stops is rising, and the fact that Renteria is only 29 with playoff experience under his belt.

Pokey hasn't NOT been resigned, but I'll be sad to see him go... and Mark Bellhorn will likely start the season at second base with Hanley Ramirez beginning his position change in order to make the big jump to the big leagues.

January 8th is the deadline to sign now free agents Jason Varitek, Derek Lowe, Pokey Reese, Mike Myers, Dave McCarty, Pedro Astacio, and Orlando Cabrera - who is as good as gone now.

I'm not sad to see Pedro go, I was surprised to see the contract talks go as far as they did... just when you thought Pedro might return the Mets jumped in over a 48 hour period and swept Pedro away with a ridiculous offer. It may sound from previous posts that I wanted him back, I was just assuming he would return. I am glad to see him in New York - and I will admit that Clement & Wells isn't as tantilizing as Martinez & Lowe... but the offseason is still young. My next prediction would be either Milton or Burnett but until I see Varitek signed I'm not gonna do any pitcher hunting.

Tim Hudson would have been a fine fit for the duece slot, but now that he's gone to the NL it doesn't seem as much as they have missed out. I would have also liked Mulder but I figured he was off the market when Hudson was dealt. I never thought more than 1 of the Big Three would be traded this offseason. I'm just glad to see Bronson is still in a Red Sox uniform. A trade that still unpredictible is one that'll likely see either Doug Meintkeiwicz or Kevin Millar, or even both, leave the Red Sox. Reportedly the Beantown Bombers are sleeping giants in the Carlos Delgado sweepstakes. If Delgado is still available after Johnson & Beltran go to the Yankees, I can assure you that Theo will counter with this move for the right price.

So Here Are My Revised Priorities:

1) Jason Varitek 2) Solid Starter 3) Answer To The First Baseman Question
then distantly...
4) Bullpen 5) Backup Outfield 6) Backup Infield

So no more predictions... I'm just gonna wait for some more signings to make a post, and then throw some witting spins onto the results based on the stats from here on out....

I don't like to be wrong, I'm not a Yankees fan.

Paolo DeVito
Back In Beantown

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Boomer In Beantown, Pending Predictions

Dirt Dogs Love Company.

The Red Sox, a team known for their gritty attitudes on and off the field, made a move that began as a rumor and became a reality in less than 48 hours. David Wells, the one time New York Yankee is looking to join a rotation that will likely include veterans Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, and Tim Wakefield. The 42 year old Wells may look like a wash when it is compared to the other big names that are currently available at the winter meetings, but it gives the Red Sox team options in what they want to do with the remainder of the free agents that they have been courting this offseason.

Remaining a rumor is the Carl Pavano move to Boston. Pavano has claimed many times that Boston is his first choice in where he wants to play, but the money issue is one that could see him being landed by New York. When it comes to Pedro, the money he is being offered is right, it's just a matter of time before the news becomes official that he will return to the Red Sox -- in all actuallity I don't believe anyone wants to be a New York Met over a Boston Red Sox when the money is about the same. As for Varitek he too is having a deal dragged out, by his agent Boras, Scott Boras, who just seems to like all the attention.

Even before the Nomar trade to Chicago that brought us Orlando Cabrera, it was a fact that short stop would be one of the positions taking a pay cut this upcoming season. And up until a midseason injury, it was all but certain that the Pokey Reese era was set to begin in Boston. This is a guy that plays his heart out and is a fan favorite in Boston whenever the spotlight is on him. He is another gritty fit which allows the Red Sox to focus on their other tasks at hand. Reese is currently a free agent under arbitration by the Red Sox but likely a starter if he decides to return, and also at a reasonable price. You're not likely to see a long term Renteria or Cabrera deal because of prospect Hanley Ramirez who played much of last year in double-A Portland, ME, but is slated to begin his major league career in the 2005 season.

Wells' signing brings speculation that maybe Pavano is not going to be a Red Sox next season, but does not throw the idea completely out the window. Boomer is just another gritty dirt dog that fits well with the team and gives them more options for the winter meetings which also allows them to show that they are not going to be forced into any late offseason transactions -- in contrast to the Yankees who have a long shopping list left and seem to be waiting for December 24th to get any of their shopping done, at which time the market will likely be packed and the shelves will likely be empty.

My Red Sox Lineup Going Into Next Season:

SP - Schilling
SP - Martinez
SP - Clement
SP - Wells
SP - Wakefield
MR - Halama, Kim
LP - Embree
RP - Timlin
SUP - Mantei
CP - Foulke - one more veteran arm is likely to be brought in to relieve.

DH - Ortiz

C - Varitek, Mirabelli
1B - Millar, Mientkiewicz - one is likely to be traded by midseason or spring training
2B - Bellhorn
3B - Mueller, Youkilis
SS - Reese, Ramirez - Hanley Ramirez is almost ready, and if he becomes ready early it allows you to put Pokey Reese at 2B if Bellhorn ends up being a one year wonder, also allows you room to upgrade at midseason if necessary. Short stop is not currently a major concern for me, more focus on the pitching & Varitek. Renteria to Boston trade rumors are heating up but I would not be happy with this deal for many reasons which I have already stated.

LF - Ramirez
CF - Damon, Roberts, McCarty
RF - Nixon - Another outfielder at this point is a must -- an inexpensive back up signing is all that'll keep Adam Hyzdu from seeing action again in the outfield. Hopefully another Gabe Kapler comes around, but it's not often you find two of those...

My Priorities Are As Follows:
1)Jason Varitek 2)Pedro Martinez 3)Short Stop... (then distantly)
4)Bullpen 5)Backup Infield 6)Back Up Outfield

I'm just guessing here but I'd say a team payroll of about $140 Mil. by season's end. Not quite the Yankees, but 140 Million is not as high as it used to be -- many other teams are catching up. It's just a luxury that with the Red Sox victory that they have the money to spend...

Paolo DeVito
Philly's Own Fenway Faithful

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Winter Meetings Eve

One Night Until The Winter Meetings And Things Are Heating Up.

Well I've given up on my predictions, I have no idea what the Red Sox are doing, but as soon as news breaks -- I usually like it. Coming off the world series I was full of predictions of who would stay and who would go. What we would be looking for in the offseason. But the team with the largest shopping list for the winter meetings, the Boston Red Sox, is looking content on getting what they need, without being pressured into any high priced signings.

In weeks following the world series I was sure that Orlando Cabrera would return, as well as Jason Varitek... and that the Red Sox Carpet would be rolled out for Carl Pavano to enter, and for Pedro Martinez to pass on. But in the recent days it still looks like anything can happen. Refusing to be pressured into what is not necessarily overpaying Jason Varitek, but keeping him in a flawed contract -- is the first of several great non moves by the world champion Red Sox. I am almost positive that this is where Varitek wants to retire, but a no trade clause on a long term deal with a catcher just ain't gonna catch any interest in Beantown.

The Ramiro Mendoza experiment is finally over. The $7 Mil. that the Red Sox blew on Ramiro Mendoza the last two seasons was only enough to break the Yankees bank for $8 Million of which they spent on paying off Mendoza to play lousy in Beantown. You can't tell me that's not a sound theory -- no Yankee to Red Sox transition ever goes over smoothly and you just know that once a Yankee always a Yankee, or rather -- once on Yankee payroll, always on Yankee payroll.

One of the better relievers, and hopefully a much better investment, Matt Mantei has been signed to a one year deal for a very reasonable price, $750,000. He is expected to fill the hardball righthanded setup roll voided by Scott Williamson. Overall a sound addition to the pen that features Mike Timlin, Alan Embree, and Keith Foulke at the back end.

So heading into the night before the winter meetings, where the real wheelings and dealings are set to take place I've decided to take a look at the scorecards of the Red Sox & Yankees. Here are some points:

Yankees Additions:

Felix Rodriguez RHP to replace RHP CJ Nitkowski
Mike Stanton LHP to replace LHP Felix Heredia
Jaret Wright RSP to replace RSP Jon Lieber
Tony Womack 2B to replace 2B Miguel Cairo
John Flaherty C RESIGNED

Yankees Subtractions:

Kenny Lofton CF - Good move dumping contract and making space in center field, but took on a large F-Rod deal.

Esteban Loiaza RSP - Another experiment that went terribly wrong for the yankees, but it doesn't exactly break their big bank. Remember how Jose Contreras was the big Yankee signing (until the A-Rod trade) last offseason, oh how the Yankees can make us forget...

John Olerud 1B - This guy's a class act, one of the only guys on the Yankees I liked on and off the field.

Tony Clark 1B - Wait, who's going to play first?

Travis Lee 1B - This guy had star written all over him, a bit too injury prone.

Enrique Wilson 2B - Probably returning to the Yankees...

Arbitrated Free Agents:

Ruben Sierra OF
Orlando Hernandez RSP
Tanyon Sturtze RHP

all likely to return to the Yankees

Red Sox Additions:

Matt Mantei RHP to replace RHP Scott Williamson
Doug Mirabelli C RESIGNED

Red Sox Subtractions:

Gabe Kapler OF - Sayoonara Gabe

Terry Adams RHP
Ramiro Mendoza RHP
Curtis Leskanic RHP - The bullpen gets a face lift each winter, I've grown used to it.

Derek Lowe RSP -
His time of inconsistency has come to an end in Boston.

Ricky Guitierrez 2B - Filled in nicely for a week, but wasn't much of an impact otherwise.

Ellis Burks DH - Happy retirement Ellis, he finished where he started.

Arbitrated Free Agents:

Jason Varitek C
Pedro Martinez RSP
Derek Lowe RSP
Orlando Cabrera RSP
David McCarty 1B/OF/RSP
Pokey Reese 2B
Mike Myers LHP
Pedro Astacio RSP

The Red Sox have their work cut out for them in the upcoming days but have gotten themself into a much more favorable positions than the Yankees thusfar. The Bombers don't seem to have a game plan and have a very large void on the bench, center field, first base, middle relief, as well as on the mound to fill. The Red Sox are searching for a catcher, 2 starting pitchers, another reliever, and a short stop but have been actively searching reasonable options, as well as back ups to each of those options.

Like I have said before, I've given up on predicting what the Red Sox will do, but I will re-interate time and time again. I feel safe having the team in Theo's hands... With the GM spot in Arizona still open its been rumored to have Dan Duquette return to the league, and boy am I glad we're past those days.

Paolo DeVito
Philly's Own Fenway Faithful

Monday, December 06, 2004

Yankees Ink Flaherty

Yankees mirror the Mirabelli re-signing by inking their own back-up catcher.

One time Red Sox catcher John Flaherty was re-signed to pinstripes. While the fates of both the teams starting catchers remains uncertain as Jason Varitek's free agency remains up in the air and the clouds of trade rumors have begun to circle around Jorge Posada it is certain that both teams with have their trusted veteran back-up backstops back next season. While Doug Mirabelli is recieving roughly $3 Million from the Red Sox over 2 years the Yankees deal is simply a one-year contract worth about $800,000. Money well earned for both the respected back ups, Mirabelli has been a Red Sox since 2001, Flaherty since 2003.

Doug Mirabelli was acquired in a trade with the Texas Rangers during 2001 season and has been the back-up to Jason Varitek ever since, doing a great job with the staff and recently being most-known as the only man who can track down the Tim Wakefield knuckleball. As for Flaherty, not as much playing time in 2003, but still a veteran clubhouse presence who can fill in if ever a short time arises.

Could the Yankees have done better, of course -- they're the Yankees -- and this is not saying that I don't think they'll still not go for another number two if one so happens to arise for a good price, but overall a good move by the Yankees to resign Flaherty. The former Boston Red Sox catcher which i admired when I played little league as a catcher myself...

Paolo DeVito
Philly's Own Fenway Faithful

Sunday, December 05, 2004

The Yankee Despiser

So I've Been Reading This Guy's Posts For A While Now And It's About Time I Give Him A Shout-Out On My Page. He Updates A Lot More Frequently Than I Do So Check It Out.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I Was Actually At Games 6 & 7

Yeah I was there.

I was there alright, first base side, and what you saw as a momentary instance, followed up by what I can only imagine was a raid of Joe Buck & Tim McCarver replays, proclaiming A-Rod is the smarterst player in baseball... I saw it as a one time event, like a slow motion flash. I wasn't uspet when Derek Jeter crossed home with the tieing run, just confused. Confused as any baseball fan would be because I know for a fact that Alex Rodriguez should be automatically out, and as I stood silently screaming this in a crowd of ecstactic Yankees fans I thought only this, Wow, the Yankees get all the breaks !

Suddenly of course there was a second out on the board, one less Yankees run, and Derek Jeter was back on first. Now this was after several minutes, in which of course zero replays were shown in Yankee Stadium. Many of the Yankees fans did not know how to react, they were not exactly sure what had just happened, most of them being oblivious to the game of baseball as it is. When the call was finally made I stood up in disbelief of the Red Sox break, consequently taking the barrage of peanut shells and other Yankees fan-propelled items that went along with it, as the right call that was made on the field.

Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series.

Yeah, I was there, as any of you watching the 5 o'clock news on FOX25 in Boston may know, I was there -- bright and early, showing my support for the BoSox, that being only one of the several interviews that was aired featuring myself that day. It was my 15 minutes of fame that just happened to air before what was the greatest comeback in sports history.

I spent 48 of the greatest hours of my life in New York.

Within these 48 hours I listened to a lot of sports radio in the New York area and to my dismay there was no line-up predictions, no pregame analysis, no career pitcher versus batter statistics... just bickering. The break had finally rolled the Red Sox way and the Yankees were shocked, instead of a questionable line-up move conversation, every Yankees caller wanted to discuss the A-Rod ball-slap, not be confused, of course, with the A-Rod bitch-slap, that was seen in a Yankees-Red Sox game several months prior.

Even after game 7's conclusion there were some callers congradulating the Red Sox, but many of them just called to complain, and their main complaint, the "botchery" of the A-Rod call, and the fact that the Curse will not be broken until the Red Sox beat the Cardinals/Astros (which of course still has no chance of happening), and of course no fan left untouched the fact that the Red Sox conquest of the Yankees was simply a "botchery" in itself on part of the Yankees.

I still listen to Yankees radio, trying to find out exactly what it is the Yankees fans know about, or what they are passionate about, but their expectancy and their arrogance is one that upsets me as a sports fan. It was about a week later in New York sports radio that I was still hearing the fans calling in, complaining that it was a fluke, and shifting their attention to the fact that the Yankees have 26 World Championships (of course there was the occasional caller who claimed the Yankees had 25, or 27 championships but that type of knowledge is expected of Yankees fans) to the Red Sox now 6 World Series -- Yankees fans are of course not knowing it yet, but simply giving the Red Sox a new goal, one that may be a little tougher, and take a little longer to accomplish, but one that will of course need to be done to finally silence and bring a fall to the Yankee fan.

So here I sit in front of my computer, with a little piece of me still refusing to leave Yankee Stadium after game 7, no matter how much the security tells me to get down from the top of the Yankees $500 seats behind third base, still waiting for the Babe to come out of the dugout, and do his one last curtain call.

Yeah, I was there, and I still don't believe it.

Paolo DeVito
Philly's Own Fenway Faithful

Monday, November 29, 2004

Sayoonara Gabe

Gabe Kapler will be a Giant in Japan.

His time in Boston was spent as a outfield bench player, starting several games in place of injured right fielder Trot Nixon, and though he was never seen as a star in the Major Leagues, it is likely that the Yomiuri Giants will see him as godzilla playing outfield everyday.

As I always liked to call him, "Mr. Body Man," Gabe Kapler will be missed. Not only by the bombardment of single women who enjoyed his extreme body, but by the Red Sox clubhouse who will miss his personality. Gabe was one of the many men who contributed to the team chemistry that fueled the Red Sox through the 2003 & 2004 seasons.

Kapler's bat is one that likely could have found a starting home elsewhere in Major League Baseball, but following one of the greatest seasons in recent baseball history it is not completely strange to want to test the waters elsewhere for a while.

Gabe is the first of the 2004 World Champions to leave in an offseason that could see a clubhouse almost identical to that of last season or one that is completely radical to which. Either way in an offseason that includes many big name free agents it is not unreasonable to feel safe with Theo Epstein at the healm of the Red Sox never-ending rolling rally.

Paolo DeVito
Philly's Own Fenway Faithful

Friday, November 26, 2004

The Idea Of A Salary Cap

A salary cap in baseball?

The idea of a salary cap in baseball is one that has always been floated around in the months following the world series. As Red Sox fans we usually look at the Yankees and say, "of course they win - they buy all their players" well now that the Red Sox have won the World Series, the teams around the league are starting to say the same about the Sox.

Well if Scott Boras' belief that baseball teams have more money than they want to lead on is in fact true than a salary cap would be a plausible way to detect it. There are many teams across the league that fail to lang big money players because they don't have the money to compete with the southern california teams, Red Sox, or Yankees. A salary cap would hurt the teams who currently have big money players signed to long term deals but help the teams who are each year trying to land the one or two pieces they need.

With a now larger market for the Montreal Expos in Washington, one of the leagues smallest payroll may now see a sizeable increase, and as for the rest of the straglers, it will soon become convert or be crushed. If not for salary cap, gone are the days of the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates. Players salaries are constantly increasing and because the only teams with the money to cover the rising costs are the larger market teams, it is becoming ever unlikely that players are going to take any cut to play anywhere near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Now a salary cap could help drive down the every rising cost of big name players. This because they would have to accept less money in order for their team to compete. If Alex Rodriguez were thinking about his team he would have never accepted a deal to a team which devoted half of its payroll to himself.

I as a Red Sox fan am glad to see the Red Sox actively seeking players each offseason but this is because they have the money to do so. They are currently hovering around the luxury tax line and would most likely be able to field a very good baseball team if they were restricted to it -- as opposed to the Yankees who may not even be able to cover the costs of their 2005 bench & bullpen. I am sad each year to see Lou Merloni, to see Shea Hillenbrand, as now as well as Gabe Kapler leave Boston, because they are not suitable starters on a team that has to compete with the Yankees growing payroll year in and year out. The Red Sox must counteract on every Yankees acquisistion which has grown very tiredsome to me but that is just the way it has become since George Steinbrenner re-entered the game.

What I'm about to say is a slight theory and I'll admit it's a bit flawed but here we go. Many Yankees fans say the Red Sox are just as guilty offenders when it comes to payroll size as the Yankees but when checking ring-to-money ratio based on competition, the Yankees have only ONE team within $82 Million, and that being the team that beat them, the Boston Red Sox, at a $61 Million defficit.

Meanwhile, within $82 Million of the Boston Red Sox Are All But 6 Teams Listed Here In A Descending 2004 Payroll Order:

1) Cincinnati - who is currently building a team around several young under-payed studs.

2) Florida - who is once again rebuilding and saving up for their next world series.

3) Pittsburgh - oh boy, nobody wants to play in Pittsburgh -- Hey Jason Kendall don't forget the sunscreen.

4) Cleveland - who is also rebuilding around many young stars.

5) Tampa Bay - who has the cash to spend but just doesn't do it well.

and finally...

6) Milwaukee - who I don't know what exactly they're trying to prove, but they do well with what they have... good for them.

Now that I've finished that rant, that leaves 23 teams in competition with the Red Sox as closely as the Yankees are with their ONE competition. It's funny though because I don't seem to see the Detroit Tigers or Colorado Rockies coming back against the Red Sox down 3-0 in a best of seven series.

Money well spent New York.

Money spent all for the assurity of arriving in the world series each season. If only they could do so without the $80 million advantage... maybe a salary cap is the answer. You won't find any Red Sox fans against the cap because they know that eventhough it will hurt the team it would also help the team in ways, as well as help the rest of the league. Even if this means the Red Sox don't win it every year.

Paolo DeVito
Philly's Own Fenway Faithful

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

New England Is Anew Since The Red Sox Won It

Four weeks since what New Englanders waited for years to see.

A Red Sox World Series Championship.

Okay, I'll admit it -- it finally sunk it, but that doesn't mean I'm willing to give up my first born child and all my worldly belongings that I had once promised. The three Patriots super bowls that I would have traded for one Red Sox championship -- well luckily I'm not in charge of those kind of things... The Red Sox won the World Series.

28 days later...

We now know that George W. Bush will be our president another four years, beating out a New Englander. The die-hard Red Sox fan, John Kerry, who refused to fly out to an Arizona debate during a Red Sox playoff game. Oh the avid fan John Kerry, there will be a lot of free agents leaving the Red Sox this off-season but one can be sure that Manny Ortiz will still be in the lineup -- he plays goalie, right?

Here are just a few points to think over:

The Patriots winning streak is over...

Fred Hale of Maine, the world's oldest man at 113 years, as well as the world's oldest Red Sox fan, past away...

They're still not going to play hockey...

I have gone through 2 TV sets in my living room and 4 of my fish have died, a result of the Red Sox winning the world series? Well the 2 of them happened simultaneously during the post game show of game 4 in St Louis, so you be the judge.

Listen I'm not trying to point blame in any direction here but there are a lot of people who are going to have to come clean with their promises or else God is gonna be pissed -- start take away all else that is holy in Red Sox Nation. I'm not saying I wouldn't still trade it all away to see the sox win the next 3 years straight to shut up Yankees fans once and for all... Hell, I may be willing to trade a kidney to see that...

Well actually, we'll see when it happens...

Paolo DeVito
Transplanted Red Sox Fan

Friday, November 12, 2004

Big Farm, No Tools

Maybe not the sharpest tools in the shed, but definitely the most expensive.

A big-money contract is what sometime seems to become synonymous with Yankees players, and eventhough the player may not be the best player when they arrive in New York, they are expected to shine when they put on those Yankee pinstripes. It seems that the Yankees are more flash than substance, overly concerned with the immediate production of an aging player than the potential long term benefits of a young player coming into his prime.

While one could debate the pros and cons of prospects versus established players for an eternity, the simple fact of the matter is that this debate is now irrelevant when referring to the Yankees. The Yankees have virtually no developed farm system, and instead seem to be treating Major League Baseball as some sort of video game fantasy league, where if you don’t have the right pieces you need for a trade, you simply trade away one of your own players for those pieces, then sign a free agent to take his place. You need to look no further than the off-season rumors swirling around Jorge Posada, once a staple of the Yankees franchise, and the potential trade needed to acquire Randy Johnson. Though I will not debate that, especially for this Yankee team, Randy Johnson is far more valuable than Jorge Posada, the simple fact that they need to trade a man who is potentially the third or fourth best catcher in the league to acquire him speaks volumes about the state of the Yankee Farm System, especially since the Diamondbacks were willing to practically give Johnson away, assuming he waived his ludicrously elite no-trade clause.

The simple fact is, gone are the days of Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettite. The Yankees Farm System has been stripped bare, and salted by the ownership of George Steinbrenner. When was the last time you saw a Yankee Minor Leaguer move onto success, with the Yankees, at least? George is so wrapped up with his auto-response mechanism to any Sox move that he is gambling away the future of the Yankees, especially with the dearth of free agent pitching on the current market.

You only need to look back to the 2003 season to find an example of the foolishness of the Yankee front office. The Red Sox, in an effort to boost their bullpen and starting pitching, October Essentials, acquired Jeff Suppan, Scott Sauerbeck, and Scott Williamson. The Yankees, however, opted to trade Brandon Claussin, arguably the first minor league pitcher the Yankees have had with “ace” potential for Aaron Boone. And while one swing of Aaron Boone’s bat may have given him a place among the then-ghosts of Yankee Stadium, the long-term benefit seems scarce. The Yankees went on to lose in the World Series to the Marlins, a team built on young pitching, and Aaron Boone went on to injure himself in a pick-up game of basketball.

When analyzing the current Yankees Farm System, you see very few, if any, majors-ready prospects, and even fewer majors-ready arms, usually the key figures in prospect trades. Many of the Yankees’ top prospects remain two or three years out of the majors, not an enticing prospect to teams such as the Diamondbacks or Expos, who are trying to bring along rookie and sophomore prospects to escape the turmoil of mediocrity as quickly as possible. As such, the Yankees will continue to strip their own lineup bare to find trading chips to offer these teams, and the Yankees will get progressively older, slower, and less athletic. Their salary will balloon to as high as $250 million in the next 4 years, as they will eat current players salaries (i.e. Javier Vazquez, Kevin Brown, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada) in exchange to move them for tradeable prospects.

Meanwhile, the Yankee fans will grow less and less attached to these aging veterans brought in to replace the others. How will Yankees fans grow attached to any player when the Yankees could experience 80% roster turnover every 3 years? Steinbrenner will sign players to short, expensive contracts, and when the long-term players start to sag in skills, he will simply eat their contract in an effort to repeat the cycle.

It’s quite sad, the condition that the Yankee System is in. If the Yankees had kept some prospects, you wonder what would have been. Would the Yankees have needed to trade for Aaron Boone if they had kept Mike Lowell for a year or two longer? Would the Yankees have lost the series to the Red Sox if they had young and athletic Willy Mo Pena chasing down those little flairs, instead of dumping him for Danny Neagle? Do any of you doubt that Ted Lily, who absolutely baffled the Red Sox earlier in the year, would have done better than Kevin Brown or Javier Vazquez in Game 7?

The Yankees Farm System will be completely irrelevant and utterly useless to the organization for the next few years. The only thing that will matter are the depths of George’s wallet and who he finds useful to trade on his major league roster, to replace with an expensive free agent. If I were a Yankees fan, I would not be happy with the current direction of my franchise, and I’d find myself wondering how long before Derek Jeter was traded to snag some extra middle relief and a decent shortstop. Only this time, I wouldn’t expect a “Thanks, Beautiful” ending.

-Matt Kordis
-Paolo DeVito

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

A Clean Shaven Nomar In The Future

A-Rod, Jeter... Nomar?

Anthony Nomar Garciaparra may be the next player to join the New York Yankees. Thanks to the large number of slums on the Yankees payroll, one of the only positions in which they will be able to make any serious improvement is second base. The position occupied by Miguel Cairo this previous season.

Now it is almost a certainty that the Yankees will claim Carlos Beltran, hence moving centerfielder Bernie Williams to the DH spot, if not to a position where he may be sharing ground balls with Jason Giambi at first base. Setting up maybe the most prestigious infield of all time.

If you had asked anyone 12 months ago who the 3 greatest shortstops in baseball were, many of them would have answered: Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra, & Derek Jeter -- but would anyone have ever imagined that the three of them could be playing for the same team?

The New York Yankees have been rumored to be actively seeking a second basemen in Nomar Garciaparra. Now the 31 year old shortstop is coming off an injury-plagued season in which achilles and wrists issues have limited his playing time as well as his range as a shortstop. Well the next logical move would likely be to third base, but when a chance to play for the Yankees comes up, second base suddenly becomes a plausible option.

How will Red Sox fans react to seeing Nomar in Yankee pinstripes?

We were all sad to see him go but we all knew it was for the better, and to the Chicago Cubs, a team that many Red Sox fans previously shared a common bond with -- their inability to win it all. But this is different: now he could be heading to the hated Yankees.

New York seems like the best option for a free agent Garciaparra who will be looking for a short term contract hopefully above the 12 million dollar level, and there may not be many teams willing to pay such a bill for the questionable Garciaparra, whom of course rejected the 15 million dollar contract extension offered by the Boston Red Sox before the 2004 season.

Nomar Garciaparra will already be recieving a World Series Champion ring from the Boston Red Sox, and there would be no better time to accept it than April 11th at Fenway Park as a memer of the opposing New York Yankees.

This could be just another page in the rivalry that is unmatched.

Paolo DeVito
Transplanted Red Sox Fan

Friday, November 05, 2004

A Rocky Road For The Yankees, Legacy

Yankees fans seem to be so stuck on the Yankees of the late nineties, which in reality -- it took these Yankees 16 years, until 1995 (the year after the strike mind you) to reach the world series again... which also included a 13 year streak without reaching the playoffs. Now this all of course changed when George Steinbrenner returned from his MLB suspension and began using his gambling winnings to buy up players.

Now I will hand it to you on the great Yankees teams of 1996, 98, 99, 2000 (and maybe 2001)... those guys had heart, but it's as Jeter stated during the historic American League Championship Series of 2004, it's a "different team" now.

The only remaining Yankees wearing rings from that 2000 team are:
el Capitan Derek Jeter, an old Bernie Williams, who let's face it will be fighting Jason Giambi for playing time, Jorge Posada who's numbers continue to drop steadily, and side note; looked as if he had lost all motivation to play the sport during the 2003 & 2004 playoffs, and finally the "untouchable" (also aging) Mariano Rivera.

Now back to the legacy of the Yankees...

So called Yankees fan speak of their rich legacy as if they have stood by it throughout all these years, when in reality how many of them stood by their Yankees through their 16 year stretch like the Red Sox fans did with their "cursed" teams.

Between 1963 and 1994, the Yankees won 2 World Series, consecutively in point, and I think we all can recall what happened in the 1978 season, as well as the 1977 season... the red sox won 97 & 99 games in these seasons, to sit at home and watch the Yankees carry home the hardware.

Now anyone who claims to be a Yankee fan since before 1963 has to be... let's say 55, to be nice to the old timers out there who might actually still remember when they were 10 years old.

That brings me to the "Mantle" years... now every fan of baseball in the world respects Mickey Mantle, but not every fan in the world is a soul selling bandwagoner.

Okay, that may have been wicked harsh.

The Yankees won 7 out of 12 World Series during Mantle's Years. (1951-1962, excluding 63-68) Then before him was the greatest Italian, that I believe, has ever lived (next to the fictional Italian Stallion -- Rocky Balboa); Joe DiMaggio who played up until the Mick's rookie season, hence, passing the torch.

He won 10 World Series in his 16 seasons. Now before I start sounding like a history report, and before I start talking about Babe Ruth's impact on the Yankees, here's my point:

I loved those Yankees teams too, hell I even shared an applause to the 1996 Yankees, especially seeing Wade Boggs finally get a ring... but those guys were likeable characters -- The Paul O'Neills and the Jimmy Keys, David Cones... Scott Brosius, David Justice & Luis Sojo.

That Dynasty Is Over.

Now the Yankees fans of recent years have had exactly two things to boast about to Boston, aside from the never-ending acclamation that Derek Jeter & Mariano Rivera are the greatest baseball players on the planet -- those 2 things are as follows: one being the fact that they had always beaten the Red Sox, well that one is over. And the second being they had won more world series than the Red Sox, well there are only 3 spans that in my mind as a Red Sox fan that kill me, the first is the late 1920 early 1930s when Babe Ruth was there (wasn't there a depression or something in that span too - oh well I'm sure that's not relative), also the 1977-78 seasons that Yankees edged us out, and finally, the great dynasty teams of the late nineties. Other than that, the Yankees need to come down from their thrown -- realize that it has been 4 years, and the team is different, in fact heading in a downward direction as the Red Sox are in many ways heading upward. The nineties don't matter anymore; Bill Clinton is no longer our president, the Macarena is out, and MTV is no longer playing music videos...

Legacy is not going to win you a championship, and most of the Yankees fans out there today running their mouths, in actuality, were not around when the legacy of the Yankees all began... And my apologies to the old-timers who remember the Mick from when they were children, but you're not the ones chanting 1918, and I commend you for that.

To the rest -- It's time to step off the bandwagon, to shut your traps... It's time to watch the great sport that is baseball. This sport doesn't consist of simply picking up a newspaper box score once or twice a month before heading to a Yankees game, at which you look silly at when you fail to name the starting lineup or 3 of the 5 men currently in the pitching rotation. It's a commitment, and for those of you who aren't ready for the rocky road ahead, a culture shock to the young generation of Yankees fans, whom I have nothing but pity for, because they're about to miss a whole lot of great baseball when you simply tune out.

Maybe, just maybe, it's time to root for the Mets.

Paolo DeVito
Transplanted Red Sox Fan