Archive for the ‘“True Yankee”’ Category

Who gave this guy a national column?

January 31, 2008

And why? 

I live in Michigan now, although a grew up a Yankee fan in New York, and I had the discussion with a friend the other day about how there really isn’t one good sports columnist in the entire state. Michael Rosenberg, who writes for the Detroit Free Press, is proof of that. Here goes:  

So if you’re Brian Cashman, what is the worst part of this?

Nick Shlain: That the Tigers and Indians, teams the Yankees might be fighting for the wild card with, won’t have to face Santana this year? Na, that’s too logical of an answer.

That somebody else got Johan Santana?

That the Red Sox got Santana? Nope, didn’t happen…. Why is this bad again?

That the somebody else in question was the cross-city, tabloid-headline-seeking rival Mets?

tabloid-headline-seeking rival? What? There is another team in NY? Who cares about the chokey-Mc-choke-choke Mets?

That Hank Steinbrenner, who wanted Santana, will get increasingly agitated as Santana dominates the National League?

This makes no sense at all. How does Santana dominating in the Junior Varsity NL East prove anything? That in no way, shape or form shows that he’d do just as good in the AL East and that he’d be worth Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and Melky Cabrera and  like $200M.

That you’re in the last year of your contract?

This didn’t all of a sudden happen. Even without the Johan trade he’d be in the last year of his contract. Sure, he might not be a Yankee next year, but there are 29 other organizations that would love to have a baseball mind like Brian Cashman’s around.

The answer is … none of the above.

Damn! 

No, the worst part for Cashman is that people will claim he should have gotten Santana, and they will be right.

Just like he should’ve traded for Eric Gagne at the deadline last year, right? The people who say Cash should’ve traded Hughes, IPK, Melky for Johan are morons. You don’t give up that kind of young cost-controlled talent for the right to pay a guy $200M. You just don’t do it.

Cashman could have had Santana. He should have had Santana. And he might really, seriously regret this.

No, he seriously won’t.

Johan Santana is the best pitcher in baseball. He is in his prime. He would have been well worth the price that Cashman would have had to pay, and here is why:

Oh boy, I’m giddy.

The Yankees, as you may have heard, spend a lot of money. Their 2007 payroll was $218.3 million. Some perspective: that is more than the combined payrolls of the Cleveland Indians, Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres. The Yankees will spend more on the left side of their infield than Florida or Tampa Bay will spend on their entire major-league rosters.

I think that’s more of an indictment of Florida and Tampa Bay than the Yankees, but point taken, they spend money like none other.

This is not another woe-is-baseball, why-do-the-Yankees-spend-so-much-and-can’t-we-have-daytime-World-Series-games rant. It’s their money. They can spend it.

Okay, what’s your point? That if they would’ve made this deal, you’d be writting a woe-is-baseball all-the-yankees-do-is-buy-championships column?

My point is that that kind of cash can buy all sorts of goodies. It virtually ensures that the Yankees will have one of the best lineups in baseball every single year. It means they can take a $40 million mulligan on Carl Pavano. It allows the Yankees to sign a setup man for closer-type money.

….So?

But that money cannot give the Yankees the most valuable commodity in the sport: a true ace. Not just a No. 1 starter, but an elite No. 1 starter — a guy who contends for Cy Young Awards more often than not. There are only a few of them out there, and they rarely become available before they hit 30. Santana turns 29 in March.

Hey Mike, the way to get those ‘true ace’ guys is not by trade or through free agency because then you have to pay way too much, like is the case here. The way to do that is scouting and the draft. Thanks to Brian Cashman and Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees already have Chien-Ming Wang in the majors contending for Cy Youngs along with two studs that project as number ones: Phil Hughes, who you are suggesting the Yanks get rid of, and Joba Chamberlain, perhaps you’ve heard of him?

Santana instantly would have been the most valuable player on the Yankees roster. Yes, more valuable than Alex Rodriguez, the best position player in the game.

WARP3 from 2004-2007

ARod 44
Johan 42

It’s close, but I wouldn’t say Johan.

Here is why: if Rodriguez left the Yankees, they would at least have a shot at making up for his production by improving at other positions. If A-Rod had left as a free agent, the Yankees could have signed, say, Mike Lowell, then used the leftover cash to upgrade another position. It wouldn’t have been ideal, but the Yankees could still put together a playoff-quality lineup that way. But there is no way to replace a No. 1 starter. You can’t just improve the rest of your pitching staff; it’s not the same.

What does Mike Lowell having a contract year have anything to do with ARod vs. Santana? Really how fucking off topic is Rosenberg right now? This column is supposed to be stupid reasoning about how Brian Cashman doens’t know what he’s doing, not an idiotic debate peice on Santana and ARod where the only criteria is other free agents. Jeez.

The Yankees should know this. The key to their 1996-2000 championship stretch was … drumroll, please … an abundance of TRUE YANKEES!

 Add the True Yankee tag. Done.

No, I’m kidding.

Damn, he’s not as dumb as I thought, but he’s close.  

The key was great starting pitching and dominant relief pitching.

Did it help that the Yankees never scored under 4.99 R/G in a season over that time? I thought the key was good starting pitching, dominant offense and Mariano.

In last year’s American League Division Series, nominal Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang gave up 12 runs in 5.7 innings over two starts. That, more than the infamous midges or Derek Jeter’s struggles, is what doomed the Yankees. Two miserable starts in a four-game series are almost impossible to overcome, especially against a great team.

Yeah, Wang was the biggest reason why the Yankees lost. But, it’s not like he’s some terrible pitcher the Yankees had to make their ace because their pitching sucks so bad. He has posted ERA+s in the 120s two years in a row.

Santana, meanwhile, has not give up 12 runs in any two-start span since April 2000.

Santana is better than Wang, so the Yankees should give away all of their prospects and all of the gold in Switzerland for him.

Santana is also a proven postseason pitcher; in his last three starts, going back to 2004, he has a 1.35 ERA. Over his career, Santana’s second-half numbers are significantly better than his first-half numbers.

Santana is very good, but he isn’t worth the price for the Yankees.

And why did the Yankees withdraw from talks? Because they didn’t want to trade Philip Hughes.

Yes, correct, bingo.

Now, odds are good that Hughes will turn into a consistent starter. He might be a top-of-the-rotation guy. But the chances of him being as great as Santana are extremely slim.

I wouldn’t say extremely, but that’s not the point any way. Hughes is a young player with 6 cost-controlled years left for the Yankees. So is Cabrera and so is IPK. The chances of Santana being worth the money (likely in the neighborhood of $150M) and the prospects given up are slim.

It would have been well worth it for the Yankees to use Hughes in a package to get Santana.

No it fucking wouldn’t.  

It should have taken Cashman 0.004 seconds to throw in Melky Cabrera, a nice player who is quite replaceable.

Who is going to replace Melky? He’s so damn replaceable that you didn’t name one damn replacement. 

I don’t see Brett Gardner as a regular on a playoff team, he’s not going to make the Yankees out of camp anyway. Mike Cameron is signed elsewhere. Johnny Damon is a disaster on defense. Hideki Matsui can barely still play left. I don’t even want to mention Bernie Williams. Brad Wilkerson is a free agent… Uh… Turns out Melky isn’t as replaceable as you may think.  

And since the Yankees’ farm system is deeper than the Mets’ by almost any measure, Cashman could have come up with a more attractive package than what the Mets offered.

Yeah and I’m sure he did, but the Twins weren’t willing to listen unless Phil Hughes was in the mix and the Yanks wanted no part of that, rightly so.

Yeah, they would have paid Santana a lot of money — a lot more than Hughes or Kennedy would get. So what? They are the Yankees. Hank Steinbrenner washes his armpits with hundred-thousand-dollar bills. The benefits of having a very good, cheap, young player are diminished for a team with such a high payroll.

You just poo-pooed spending $150M with a very disturbing image involving Hank, armpits and large quantities of money. Gross, please stop.

The Yankees are built to take their best shot at the World Series every single year. There is no better weapon in that quest than Johan Santana.

That is where you’re wrong. The Yankees aren’t built to take their best shot at a WS every year. They are built to take *a* shot at the WS every year while keeping the future in mind at the same time. Anyone who knows how Brian Cashman works would know this. A random national columnist who is bored, doesn’t understand/pay attention to baseball prospects and wants to take pot shots wouldn’t.

Thanks for playing Mike, I hope Johan gets hurt and Phil wins the AL Cy Young just for your sake now. Oh, and that Fox sports.com takes back the money you’ve been stealing from them the last few months.

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From the vault: Don’t quit your day job

November 12, 2007

The following is an insane column about ‘True Yankees’ (the dumbest sports phrase ever) from comedian turned sports columnist Jay Mohr, who wrote this for SI.com in August of ’05. I googeled ‘true yankee’ the other day and found this heavy load of nonsense.

True Calling

Some guys are meant to be Yankees and some guys aren’t  

I grew up a Yankees fan.

Nick Shlain: I wish you were a Mets fan.

I watched Bobby Murcer hit a grand slam to beat the Orioles in the bottom the ninth inning when I was 8 years old. Ever since then, from Reggie to Tino, I have been hooked and hard. I am frequently asked who my favorite teams are, and I always give the same response: “Yankees, Knicks, Jets and screw hockey.”

NS: I also do not follow hockey.

Lately, however, I’ve had a difficult time claiming the Yankees as my favorite team. I have been leaning towards the Angels in the American League and the Marlins in the National League. Since the Mets were wise enough to hire a Yankee as their manager, I’ve even been rooting for them.

NS: Thank you for taking time out of everyone’s day to tell us what teams you tell people you root for. Who cares you bandwagon hopping asshole?

This is equivalent to heresy in the tri-state area but it is something I can no longer ignore. I needed to figure out why I have become so blasé about my once-beloved Yankees.

NS: Dumb, dumb, dumb, who cares?

I never minded George Steinbrenner spending obscene amounts of money to put the best product on the field. I’ve always laughed at people who believe the Yankees “bought” their championships. Spending money to make money — and more important, champions — is a fine way to run a business. The smaller teams that cry poverty, wouldn’t be doing so if they simply paid their own players to stick around. Imagine a Royals outfield of Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye and Carlos Beltran! Mix in Mike Sweeney with that crew and even you and your friends could pitch them to a pennant.

NS: I’d bet my friends and I wouldn’t be able to pitch that team to the pennant considering none of us can throw over 70 mph. Regardless, what does this paragraph have anything to do with the Yankees?

When the Yankees failed to re-sign Andy Pettitte, my stomach got a little queasy and I sensed a changing of the guard. Pettitte, to put it simply, was a Yankee. You don’t trade, waive or fail to re-sign guys who were born to be in pinstripes.

NS: My stomach also got a little queasy when Pettitte signed with the Astros, but it wasn’t because of all this “born to be a Yankee garbage.” It was becasue Pettitte was really good at pitching (1 ER in 15.2 WS IP in ’03, his last year with the Yankees).

I realize now that the reason I don’t like the Yankees anymore is because the men they pay to wear the trademarked interlocking “NY” are simply not Yankees. They dress like Yankees, they play their home games in Yankee Stadium and get introduced by Bob Sheppard, but they never will be TRUE Yankees.

NS: I don’t think I’ve ever heard more nonsensical bullshit all at the same time before. But just to sum up, Yankees aren’t Yankees? 

Roger Clemens is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but you won’t find a Yankees fan worth his weight in Cracker Jacks who doesn’t know he’ll always be associated with the Red Sox.

NS: I don’t know if I’m worth my weight in Cracker Jacks, but then again I don’t know what that even means. Clemens did win 2 WS with the Yankees, but then again who cares which team he is associated with?

Wade Boggs won his only World Series ring with the Yankees, but he will never be half the Yankee Scott Brosius was.

NS: What? Is there a scale that says how much of a Yankee you are? What does any of this garbage mean? How can one guy be more of a Yankee than the other when they both played for the Yankees? More importantly, who cares?

David Wells is wearing the dreaded “B” on his cap these days but he will always be a Yankee to those of us in the know.

NS: Those of us in the know? Actually, those of us in the know would never write a rambling incoherent column about how some players on the Yankees aren’t really Yankees.

Some men are just not cut out to play in the Bronx.

NS: Right, there are those certain players who are overwhelmed by the big city (like Ed Whitson).

Many thought Tino Martinez was on the express train to this list after his first two months trying to replace Don Mattingly in 1996. Now, after stops in St. Louis and Tampa Bay, a true Yankee has come home.

NS: This is soooo fucking stupid. Yankee fans dogged Tino after his bad start in ’96, but he didn’t have some magical eppifany that made him a true Yankee. He started playing baseball better.

Jason Giambi could hit 80 home runs this year, win a World Series and the MVP award, but he will never be a true Yankee.

NS: Uh, why not? I know the true Yankee thing doesn’t exist, but lets play this stupid game for a second.

If Giambi, who mid-season in ’05 was called by Baseball Expert Jay Mohr “not a true Yankee”, hit 80 HRs, brought home the WS trophy and won WS MVP, would he still not be considered a true Yankee? It makes no sense. How is this different than the Tino situation? Bad start, then plays well and contributes to a WS team. I don’t see much change.

Kevin Brown (Yech!) could win five straight Cy Young awards and it wouldn’t make him a true Yankee.

NS: Again, this shit doesn’t exist, but it would.

True Yankees are born, not made, and for some, such as Paul O’Neill, they just happened to have had a long layover in another city before realizing their true calling.

NS: True Yankees aren’t born or made. They are thought up by fucking idiots like you.

This is a conversation that is not applicable to any other Major League franchise. No one sits around wondering if David Justice was a real Brave. Bronx Bomber fans, however, know he was never a true Yankee.

NS: Actually, this is not applicable to all intelligent humans who like baseball. I’m a Bronx Bomber fan and I could give less of a shit about who is considered a true Yankee.

I doubt if anyone in Chicago is wondering if Joe Girardi was a true Cubbie. Yankee fans won’t have to think twice while reading this because a synapse has already fired off in their brains reading out “Yankee.”

NS: I doubt if anyone smart ever wondered about declaring some Yankees ‘true’ Yankees and others ‘not true’ Yankees.

When Joe Torre arrived in New York he was fortunate to join an organization that had a knack for picking up wayward and lost Yankees and bringing them home where they belonged.

NS: Wayward and lost Yankees? This is a whole new side to the story!

Also, I doubt people saw Darryl Strawberry in ’95 (before he had ever played for the Yankees) and said there is a ‘wayward Yankee.’

Now, sadly, that same Yankees brass is throwing money at some real imposters.

NS: Like that ARod asshole.

In recent years, general manager Brian Cashman has acquired too many guys who shouldn’t be in New York.

NS: Like that Jason Giambi douchebag. What is he doing with his Yankees career OBP at .395? 

Here is a list of players who are not Yankees compared to guys who were born to be Yankees:

NS: Dear god.

2B Tony Womack — should have been — 2B David Eckstein

NS: They both suck. What’s the difference?

3B Alex Rodriguez — should have been — 3B Eric Hinske

NS: Yeah, I’d trade ARod’s 9.7, 12.9, 7.1 and 13.7 WARPs for Hinske’s 4.7, 3.4, 2.8 and 1.6. Yeah, how great would it be to replace ARod in both of his MVP season for WARPs of 3.4 and 1.6? 

OF Gary Sheffield — should have been — OF Juan Pierre

NS: Carrer OPS: Sheff .919, Pierre .722. You’ve got to be kidding.

SP Randy Johnson — should have been — SP Pedro Martinez

NS: They were both old and not the pitchers they once were. Randy didn’t miss any significant time, like Pedro did in ’06 with the Mets.

There are other guys floating around the bigs who don’t realize yet that they have the potential to be “True Yankees.”

NS: Ooo, some ‘wayward Yankees.’

Let this article serve as a memo to John Lackey, Coco Crisp, Chris Capuano, Jason Bay, Ryan Drese, David DeJesus and Dontrelle Willis. Your invitations are waiting, we have the money and you can thank me when you are all trying on your rings.

NS: None of those guys are worth having beside Lackey and he was never availible.

Anyway, Jay Mohr is a moron and should become a Met fan immediately.

Stark deems A-Rod a True Yankee

August 18, 2007

Run production is what men like A-Rod are paid for. And if he’s outproducing the entire population of living baseball players, past and present, he can probably cash his next few paychecks with a clear conscience. Now if he can just get himself proclaimed an official True Yankee … (Source)

ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, who said Magglio Ordonez was the MVP at the All-Star Break, said it’s time for A-Rod to be “proclaimed an official True Yankee.”

Yes, A-Rod is finally ready to be proclaimed some stupid, unofficial, made-up title. I can’t tell you how happy I am. This isn’t the mob. A-Rod isn’t getting Made. This is the dumbest thing ever. I can’t believe that even in his 2nd MVP season as a Yankee we have to hear “True Yankee” crap. This is a joke. Stark needs to get a clue.