See You Next Year

Remember when you were in elementary school, and the 'cool' teacher used to say that the last winter break? Then you grow up and go back to find out that the very same teacher is a card carrying tool bag? Kids are so impressionable and dumb. That's why they are so easily lured by pedophiles.

Anyways, there will be a break in the action here at The Fowl Balls. Posting will resume on January 5th. Lots of surprises coming for a big 2009!!!!1!!11!!!!


Merry Christmas from The Fowl Balls

With CC, AJ, and Tex already under the tree, what more could you ask for?

PS - to John Henry and the Red Sox;
Happy Hannukah!


Our Christmas card from Brian Cashman

Dear Jimmy Dugan and The Fowl Balls,

Go f*ck yourselves, you have no idea what you are talking about. Happy Holidays and see you at the Stadium.


We reiterate

3 years of Manny > 8 years of Teixeira.
The Fowl Balls has spoken.


Permission to freak out?

Some Spanish newspaper is reporting that the Yankees are close to (or have already executed, depending on how well you read Spanish) a three year, $75 million deal with Manny Ramirez.
Source: http://www.impactodeportivo.com.do/?op=displaystory&story_id=4836&format=html

Although Brian Cashman has already denied this rumor to MLB.com's Brian Hoch, Impacto Deportivo does have a track record of breaking a story here and there, so who knows.
Source: http://bombersbeat.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/12/cashman_manny_375_report_not_t.html

Due to the marginal believability of this rumor, the Jimmy Dugan Boner Meter stands at "half mast".


...all the way to the bank

Courtesy of the LoHud Yankees blog, this picture represents 243,500,000 reasons that the Yankees can not miss the playoffs in 2009.


CC You in April

Tip of the cap to Peter Abraham for posting this pic, provided by the Yankees. Although the baggy attire is probably helping, Mr. Sabathia does look especially slim. Another pic was released of CC in a hard hat, but he looked too much like one of the village people to post it here. A.J. Burnett was also scheduled to take pictures in the new stadium, but apparently he never made it out of the training room.

Manny Threat Level = ORANGE

According to Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News, the Yankees are "going hard" after Manny Ramirez (that's what she said". This is sure to send beat-writers, bloggers, and fans into an uproar. We at The Fowl Balls, however, recognize that Manny is the only viable candidate to protect the increasingly fragile Alex Rodriguez in the lineup that is not named Mark Teixeira. So, everyone who is against the signing of Manny is dumb and we are smart. We take Manny for two years, $50 million over Tex at eight years, $160 million every day of the week, and twice on Sunday. I don't even know what that means.
Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2008/12/16/2008-12-16_source_sees_yankees_pursuit_of_manny_ram-1.html


Report: There is a Major League team run by morons

According to SI's John Heyman, Andy Pettitte's agents claim that they have received a three year offer for $36 million from another team. Apparently, they are also selling a bridge. Needless to say, the Yankees offer still stands at $10 million or go bang yourself.

Source: http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/hot_stove/posts/32601


As first reported by ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, the Yankees signed AJ Burnett to a five year, $82.5 million contract. Color us baffled. Making a five year commetment to a 32 year old pitcher who has made 30+ starts two twice in his career (once in a contract year) is an overextension. We would have been happier with the lesser of two evils; giving a four year deal to the older, yet much more predictable Derek Lowe. As of this moment on December 15th, the Yankees rotation looks like this:

1 - Sabathia
2 - Wang
3 - Chamberlain
4 - Burnett
5 - Aceves/Hughes/Kennedy/Ponson/Kameneicki/Militello

It looks as though the Yankees are convinced that Andy Pettitte will accept the $10 million offer that they have put before him, but as we have found out in the past nothing is a lock.

Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3765754


Winter Meetings: Day 4

Mike Cameron - This trade was off, then on, then off, and is now on again. With Cameron and Melky being the center of the deal, the teams are now haggling over money and possibly another pitching prospect from the Yankees. Brewers GM Doug Melvin said to Brewers beat reporter Tim Hardicourt that there is a "strong possibility" that the trade goes down, which is GM speak for I have no fucking clue what is going on.
Source: http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/35999269.html

AJ Burnett - The Yankees are by all accounts the front runners, putting up 5 years and $80-85 million. The Braves are still involved, meaning there is still a chance that this albatross-in-the-making has a chance to fall through (our fingers are crossed).
Source: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081211&content_id=3714587&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy&partnerId=rss_nyy

Derek Lowe - ESPN's Jayson Stark reports that the Yankees would not rule out signing Lowe if they agreed to terms with Burnett.
Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=3762149&type=blogEntry

Manny Ramirez - There has been limited talk linking Ramirez to the Yankees yet. However, we think that if Manny is still ahnging around in January, the Yankees could and (should) throw a big one or two year offer at him.
Source: None, because I made it up.

Mark Teixeira - Apparently, the Yankees have thrown their hat back in the ring on Big Tex, according to John Heyman at SI. We can't see this as anything but an attempt to drive up the price on the Red Sox, but it is fun to dream.
Source: http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/hot_stove/posts/31261-yankees-back-in-teixeira-sweepstakes


Thoughts on the reported Mike Cameron deal

Though we are not doing backflips about it, this is a good trade. The Yankee organization had given up on Melly Cabrera, and Brett Gardner was not going to be the everyday centerfielder.

Cameron adds good defense and pop that could net him 25+ home runs. He strikes out a ton, but he will still put up an OPS+ in the low 100's. Long story short Cameron is an upgrade, but the team cannot be done improving the offense.

So, what should come next, you ask? The next moves to make this team work would be trading Matsui and signing Manny Ramirez. This would allow for a Damon/Manny platoon at LF/DH. We have seen a lot of media outlets endorsing Adam Dunn, but the signing of Cameron as a high strikeout risk negates that point.

So, in short, Cameron is a solid stopgap as the team awaits Austin Jackson but more needs to be done for this team to make a run at the division.

Mets make a shocking acquisition

According to Ken Rosenthal:

Under terms of the deal, the Mets would get Putz, outfielder Jeremy Reed and reliever Sean Green. The Mariners would receive reliever Aaron Heilman, outfielder Endy Chavez and first baseman Mike Carp from the Mets. They'd also get Franklin Gutierrez from the Indians and minor leaguers. The Indians would get reliever Joe Smith from the Mets and infielder Luis Valbuena from Seattle.

According to reports, Omar Minaya is working frantically to flip Putz to another team to acquire another 2-3 players of Latin descent.

Winter Meetings: Day 3

CC Sabathia - Done. Here's some more details.

Source: nypost.com/seven/12102008/sports/yankees/how_the_sabathia_deal_was_made_143549.htm

Derek Lowe - Reports of his signing were pre-mature, but the Yankees are continuing in negotiations. Gordon Edes says that Lowe is not, in fact, on the verge of signing.
Source: sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ge-loweupdate121008&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Mike Cameron - WFAN in New York is reporting that the Yanks have acquired Cameron for Melky Cabrera. Good move defensively, but still leaving some to be desired with the bat.
Source: http://www.wfan.com/

AJ Burnett - The Yankees are in active discussions with Burnett also, according to Ken Rosenthal. ESPN radio reported that it was possible that the deal was appraoching $90 million. For a guy that has made 30+ starts twice in his career. TWICE. Wow.

Source: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8922020/Wednesday-MLB-winter-meetings-blog

Ben Sheets - No new news here.


"Hey Mister, what's your name?"

According to the New York Post, the Yankees have called the Cardinals about Roy Hobbs, er, Rick Ankiel.

Source - http://www.nypost.com/seven/12102008/sports/moresports/ankiel_shows_up_on_bombers_radar_143473.htm

Report: Derek Lowe now a Yankee

Accordnig to WFAN, Derek Lowe has agreed in principle to a deal totaling four years, $62 million.

Update: Yet another innaccurate rumor is shot down, and we look like a monkey fucking a football over here. We are done reporting these things.

Can CC Play Centerfield on Off Days?

Now that theYankees have acquired (arguably) the best pitcher in baseball and appear to be on the verge of signing up to three more pitchers, it's time to turn our attention to what they will do about the offense. It is clear that a Melky/Gardner centerfield is not what championships are built on, so what is the plan? The Fowl Balls wants to hear from you. Who completes the offense? Dunn? Cameron? Teixeira (HA!)? Manny?

Use the comments section to make your suggestions, seeing as though we have already established that the Yankees are reading...

Winter Meetings: Day 2

CC Sabathia - This is the biggest news in all the league today. As reported here earlier, Joel Sherman broke the story at abuot 4:30am - CC has accepted the offer. This comes after Newsday reported that Cashman blew off his media time to fly to San Fran and meet with Sabathia and his family. This is a big day for the Yankees, as they have gotten their man. In listening to fan feedback, many felt that the Yankees have been made to look bad during the process, but honestly, who cares? This is exactly what they needed; an ace in his prime. This is the first time that the team can say that since Ron Guidry in the late 70's, so get over it.
Source - http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-spwebyanks1210,0,3840560.story

AJ Burnett - John Heyman over at SI reports that the Yankees have topped the offer set forth by the Braves. God help us all
Source - http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/hot_stove/posts/30781-yankees-may-consider-fifth-year-for-burnett

Derek Lowe - In that same article, Heyman suggests that the Yankees are working on a four year deal for low worth over $65million. This sits a lot better with me than the $80 million+ that they are throwing at Pavano v2.0

Ben Sheets - It seems as though the team has offered Sheets a two year deal worth around $26million, according to Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News
Source - http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2008/12/08/2008-12-08_yankees_brewin_up_multiyear_offer_for_fr-2.html

Mark Teixeira - No source here, but in my own estimation the Yankees are out on Teixeira after offering approximately $300 million to three pitchers. Although I have heard ignorant Yankee fans suggesting otherwise.

Report: CC is a Yankee

Joel Sherman of the NY Post reports that the deal is done. More to come.


Winter Meetings: Day 1

Here is the latest news on the Yankees' activity at the Winter Meetings, with links included:

CC Sabathia - There seems to be reason piling up as to why CC does not want to play in New York, with the most recent being that he wants to train in Arizona according to SI's John Heyman. However, the Yankees seem to be confident that the 140,000,000 reasons that they will land Sabathia will be enough. Also, according to Peter Abraham, the Yankees have met with CC twice since the meetings started.
Sources - http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/hot_stove/posts/30144-brewers-open-to-upping-efforts-to-keep-cc, http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2008/12/08/update-from-the-suite/

Robinson Cano - Somebody is lying here. First there was a report by Fox's Ken Rosenthal that teased our collective penis that the Dodgers had re-opened discussions about Cano and possibly Melky Cabrera for Matt Kemp, and about ten minutes later Dodgers GM Ned Colletti stated that he hadn't spoken with the Yankees since July.
Sources - http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8912072, http://www.yankees.lhblogs.com/

AJ Burnett - Lots of buzz around the injury-waiting-to-happen today. Heyman reported that the Yankees are aggressive, and about to make an offer. Ken Rosenthal also reported that Burnett reached out to training room buddy Carl Pavano to ask about the Yankees. I wonder how that conversation went...

AJ - Hey Carl, what do you have to say about the Yankees?
Carl - They have a beautiful facility in Tampa.
AJ - What about playing in New York City?
Carl - I heard it is wonderful.
Sources - http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/hot_stove/posts/30383-yanks-ready-to-top-braves-offer-for-burnett, http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8912072

Mark Teixeira - Though Cashman flew to DC to meet with Teixeira last week, there was no offer made according to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.
Source - http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/08/yanks-meet-with-sabathia-again/

Andy Pettitte - Abraham says that the Yankees have no meeting scheduled with Pettitte's agents.
Source - http://yankees.lhblogs.com/

Ben Sheets - In maintaining the "pitchers that are a strain away from a career ending injury" theme, the Yankees met with Sheets, and are about to extend an offer.
Source - http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2008/12/08/2008-12-08_yankees_brewin_up_multiyear_offer_for_fr.html

Derek Lowe - Not a whole lot on Lowe today, except that his "priority is winning" when searching for a new team according to Ken Gurnick of mlb.com. This may be an advantage for the Yankees, unless they fail to make significant improvements before spring training.
Source - http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081206&content_id=3704514&vkey=hotstove2008&fext=.jsp&partnerId=rss_mlb

Check back tomorrow for a recap of Day 2, and keep checking http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/ for information. Tim Dierkes is doing one hell of a job compiling information on the Yankees and the rest of the MLB, totaling over 70 posts today.


Winter Meetings Coverage

Though The Fowl Balls was inexplicably excluded from the proceedings in Sin City, I will be updating nightly during the event. Beginning tonight, I will do my best to search out and compile all the news pertinent to the Yankees. Maybe I would even include some Mets rumors for good measure. Probably not though.


Third Baseman or Wide Receiver?

Ok, its not odd to see a man with a beautiful face, frosted hair, an undersized vest, and a scarf in Miami watching a Madonna concert. But then again, its not always your All-Star cleanup hitter.

Hall of Fame Moose?

Si's Tom Verducci, a favorite of The Fowl Balls, has provided this excellent argument for the induction of Mike Mussina. I have to say, I was not fuly convinced of the worthiness of Mussina, but this article makes it very clear that Moose belongs with the best.

Some things to keep in mind when weighing the Hall of Fame chances of Mike Mussina:
• He pitched his entire prime in one of the toughest environments ever for pitching: in the American League in the steroid era. He did more than just survive the onslaught of the greatest extended era of slugging. He thrived. From 1994 through 2003, among all pitchers, not just AL pitchers, Mussina won more games and threw more innings than everyone except Greg Maddux.
• He pitched in the same division as the World Series champion eight times. He was 3-8 in 16 games against those eventual champions.
• Mussina finished in the top five in ERA eight times -- more than such greats as Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan, Juan Marichal, Whitey Ford and Bob Feller. Of the 34 pitchers to win 270 games, only seven pitchers had more top five ERA finishes than Mussina.
• His "failure" to win 20 games prior to this season needs explanation. He won 16 games in 1994 but lost nine starts to the strike. He won 19 games in 1995 but lost at least one start to the strike. He won 19 games in 1996 but watched Armando Benitez blow his 20th win in his final start by giving up a tying home run with one out in the ninth to Toronto third baseman Ed Sprague -- the same Ed Sprague who hit a career-high 36 home runs that year and later admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in his career.
• He finished among the top three winners in his league five times - more than Ford, Gibson, Ryan, Phil Niekro, Gaylord Perry, and Don Sutton and just as many as Marichal, Jim Palmer and Tom Glavine.
When you judge Mussina against his peers, he never had the peak of Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson or Roger Clemens. But his durability and elite consistency in a hostile environment makes him worthy of Cooperstown.

Source: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/tom_verducci/12/02/verducci.shortstops/index.html?eref=T1

Yankees Universe > Red Sox Nation

Yankees #1 in out-of-market- brand loyalty amongst the teams in the 4 major sports, Red Sox third.

Though this is quite an achievement, the Red Sox were much more proud of earning the distinction of "Least Diverse Fanbase".Source:http://bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2657:yankees-the-king-of-out-of-market-brand-loyalty&catid=30:mlb-news&Itemid=42

The New York Post: Almost a real paper

Yankees beat writer Joel Sherman accused Andy Pettitte of being a "phony" if he decided to take an offer from any team but the Yankees in his column this morning. We here at The Fowl Balls urge our loyal minions to read this article, then proceed to urinate on it.

Let us break this down for you:

In the article, Sherman cites a source telling him that the Yankees have offered Pettitte a one year deal worth approximately $10 million. This would represent a roughly 38% pay cut from Andy's $16 million salary in 2008, which may or may not be relevant. Regardless, this offer is probably about $2-5 million below the market value for a 200+ inning left handed pitcher.

Now, lets add in the variables. Pettitte's camp has said that he could be looking for a two year deal. So if another team say, the Dodgers, were to offer a two year contract at the low end of Andy's market value, that would equate to approximately $24 million over the next two seasons.

It somes down to simple math. Even if it were only a one year deal offered by another team, Pettitte would still be forfeiting at least $2 million dollars to stay with the Yankees in 2009. In the event that he was offered the two year contract he is seeking, that would mean Pettitte leaving upwards of $14-20 million on the table. How do you ask any man to walk away from roughly 15% of his life's earnings in the twilight of his career?

The point is, the New York Yankees need Andy Pettitte a whole lot more than he needs them. The smarter move would have been to offer arbitration and , if need be, paying Pettitte the $16 million+ that he would have been awarded upon acceptance. Even if he declined to sign elsewhere, the Yankees would recover a draft pick. This is a business, Mr. Sherman. Stop playing fanboy.


We don't need no stinking arbitrator

According to Friend of The Fowl Balls Peter Abraham, the Yankees have not offered a single player arbitration. As Pete Abe put it, it "came down to economics". At the beginning of the offseason we were proponents of offering arbitration to Abreu with hopes of recovering draft picks for the Type A free agent. Apparently, as the entire economy has gone in the crapper, the Yankees would not take the risk of having to pay an offensively declining, defensively inept outfielder $16-17 million for a year. Fine. We will accept the fact that the draft will not be as strong, especially after the Yanks hand their first round pick to the Brewers, so long as the rest of our demands are met.

Source: http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2008/12/01/the-yankees-offer-nobody/

I also read another great article at http://www.nomaas.org/. Now that multiple teams have declined to offer free agents arbitration, there is increased appeal to those would-be Type A free agents. Now the market can look at players differently, including NoMaas favorite and OBP machine Adam Dunn. Although we at The Fowl Balls would stil prefer an All-Time great in left field like Manny Ramirez, Dunn presents an interesting idea. He would be considerably cheaper, and would not cost the Yankees a draft pick. Hmmmm....


Screw You.

This ravishing man is Murray Chass. You can go on Wikipedia and read about how relevant he was during the 1970' as a sportswriter. On his website, which for some reason I link to below, Sean Connery here denounces all baseball blogs claiming he "hates them". He has also been very public about his disdain for statistics based analysis, claiming that the use of numbers ruins the enjoyment of the game. In his free time Mr. Chass plays shuffleboard and shoes the neighborhood kids off his property.

Murray retired from the New York Times in May 2008, and for good reason; the game had passed him by. There is a place for us in the game, just like there is for everyone. Baseball is the American Pastime; it allows for the young, the old, the smart and the dumb to gather in one place and find something about it that appeals to them. For some its numbers, for others the showing of sheer athleticism, some just like the peanuts. It's old, stubborn, crotchety pricks like this that make me appreciate the voice that the fans have been given via the internet.

Thanks for retiring to your "this is not a blog" website that no one visits. Now you can sit back and talk about the year you graduated high school with Bob Sheppard.

Source: http://www.murraychass.com/?page_id=23



Courtesy of Larry Dobrow and CBS Sports, the following link is an inside perspective of the new Yankee Stadium. We highly reccommend this article, though we admit it really isn't like The Fowl Balls to direct our readers to other, lesser sites.

Link: http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/11132422

Hollywood Schnoz?

Apparently, Joe Torre has been talking to Andy Pettitte throughout the offseason about the possibility of pitching for the Dodgers. Though we had been perfectly content with letting Andy skate from the Yankees at the beginning of the offseason, that was before the retirement of Mike Mussina. As our good friends at NoMaas have pointed out, 200+ inning lefties don't just grow on trees. Ken Rosenthal cites Pettitte's propensity to leave when he "doesn't feel wanted", so the Yankees better step up and make an offer to Andy Pettitte before he takes his gigantic nose to the West Coast. One can't help but wnder how good Andy would be in L.A., given it's proximity to Tijuana.

Source: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8845170?MSNHPHMA


8 (or so) Questions: Sensei John Kreese of NoMaas.org

Originating in 2005, NoMaas.org has evolved from "that site with the funny Photo Shop pictures" to one of the most respected analytical Yankees sites on the internet. That evolution has been in no small part due to Sensei John Kreese, the founding father of our favorite baseball blog. The Sabermetrics freak took some of his valuable time to sit with Jimmy Dugan to talk Hot Stove, Phil Hughes, and reveal some nasty fetishes.

Jimmy Dugan: Will Hank really let the fear that AJ Burnett ends up with the Red Soxmake him sign the injury prone pitcher? Would they take the chance that Burnett becomes "Pavano Jr." over the chance that the Red Sox sign him and he goes 12-9 with them (his career best record before the contract year of 2008?
Sensei John Kreese: Fortunately, it looks like Hal is the real boss, so hopefully Hank's delusions don't have to be taken as seriously by the fans. Burnett is a good pitcher. He had the best K/9 (9.39) among AL starters and that's pretty impressive considering he faced Boston, New York, and Tampa 457 times this season. He's much better than Pavano in ability, so I wouldn't compare him to that Olive Garden lover. However, like you referenced, his injury history is ridiculous and signing him to a long-term deal is a mistake waiting to happen. To me, this would be a signing that is similar to the mistakes of the past. Too much risk for too much money.

JD: 2009 Yankees rotation: CC, Wang, Lowe, Joba, Pettitte – Am I far off?
SJK: That would be a very formidable rotation. I'm not a huge fan of Lowe because of his age, but I'd rather sign him than Burnett. In regards to Pettitte, I don't know what the Yankees are waiting for. How many 200 inning pitchers do you know that will sign up for 1-year?

JD: Mike Mussina: Hall of Famer, or just a grade A p*ssy?
SJK: 3500+ IP with a 123 ERA+. There are only 18 pitchers in MLB history who have pitched more than 3000 innings with a higher ERA+. Send him to Cooperstown.

JD: They guys at noMaas.org were big proponents of trading for Matt Holliday. Considering the package that it would have required to land him, why were you not more troubled by his career home/road splits?
SJK: No, because his park-adjusted numbers showed that he was a very good hitter. Plus, he's improved his hitting on the road every season. In 2008, he had .892 OPS on the road. Also, according to several defensive metrics, he's a good left fielder also.

JD: In recent news, the Yankees have left some relatively big namedprospects unprotected for the Rule V Draft. The most shocking to me were JB Cox and Alan Horne. Does Shelly Duncan deserve a spot on the 40-manmore than these two guys? Could they help a major league team right now?
SJK: Shelly Duncan isn't a professional baseball player, so I don't know why hewas protected. Cox surprised me, but he was pretty terrible at AAA lastseason. Horne won't be selected. He was hurt for most of last season andhe was also terrible at AAA when he did pitch.

JD: What can Yankee fans reasonably expect from Nick Swisher? In youropinion, has the Swisher acquisition dashed all hopes off seeing Mark Teixeira in the Bronx?
SJK: The Swisher acquisition was robbery. Love it, love it. He was incredibly unlucky last season, especially if you look at his line drive rates. He has great plate discipline, sees a ton of pitches, and has good power. I wouldn't be surprised to see a .260 /.370 /.490.
Cash has been hinted that they can't afford both Sabathia and Teixeira, regardless of who they acquire, so I don't know if Swisher affects that.

JD: Knowing full well that AFL numbers mean nothing, what can be said aboutthe progression of one Phil Hughes?
SJK: Oh, our little Phil. The AFL is a big hitters league, so if a pitcher puts up good numbers there, it's very encouraging. Now, I've seen reportsthat he pitched against some of the worst hitting teams in the AFL. So who knows. I do believe he should start '09 in AAA. He needs to showthat he can command his fastball. What made Hughes such an amazing prospect was his ability to spot his fastball wherever he wanted. Pinpoint control.

JD: If you were to come across Ian Kennedy, and he was in flames on thestreet would you urinate on him to dispel the blaze, or continue on your merry way?
SJK: Some people are into that type of stuff. I'd probably continue on mymerry way and then look for two girls and one cup.

JD: What are your feelings on mercy?
SJK: Mercy is not something which appeals to me.

We would like to once again thank Sensei John Kreese for his time. His site has been a large inspiration for us, and a great contributor to the success of The Fowl Balls. If you haven't yet checked out NoMaas.org, you may be mildly retarded.



We love Brian Cashman. To commemorate his ten years as Yankees General Manager, The Fowl Balls wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the ten moves of Cash's career(and no mention of Pavano or Igawa).

#10 - Drafting Shelly Duncan - 2001
Just because he looks like sloth.

#9 - Acquiring Chuck Knoblauch for Christian Guzman, Brian Buchanon, and Eric Milton
The first move of Cash's career. Though this wasn't the biggest steal of all time, with Guzman and Milton both playing large parts at the big league level for the Twins, Knoblauch provided the steroid-driven leadoff hitter that the Yankees had been missing.

#8 - Signing Chien Ming Wang for $1.9million - 2000
A highly touted international signing, the Wanger was somewhat of disappointment until he learned the ridiculous sinker that we have all gone on to know and underappreciate.

#7 - Claiming Jose Canseco off of waivers - 2000
The second steroid related acquisition on the list, this move had absolutely no significance to the Yankees roster. What it did do was rob the Red Sox of the right handed power they were hoping for. F*ck them.

#6 - Not re-signing Tom Gordon - After the 2005 season
Though this is technically a non move, it could prove to be the most important one of Cash's career. A Type-A free agent, Gordon's signing with the Phillies provided the Yankees with two draft choices in the compensatory round of 2006; Joba Chamberlain and, less fortunately, Ian Kennedy. If Cashman can manage to trade Ian Kennedy for something remotely valuable, this could be the move he speaks about at his Hall of Fame Induction.

#5 - Acquiring Bobby Abreu and the late Cory Lidle for assorted minor league garbage - 2006
Though this isnt a move that led to a World Series title, it does fall into the 'steal' category. Brian Cashman straight prison raped the Phillies here.

#4 - Signing Doug Mwerjgfjbhnjervhujn478ghfjdkcz - 2007
For no other reason but I enjoy flailing on the keyboard.

#3 - Acquiring Aaron Boone for Brandon Claussen and 2 other minor leaguers - 2003
Providing the Yankees with one of the greatest moments in league history.

#2 - Paying someone to Jeff Gilhooly Aaron Boone's knee that very same winter
Providing the Yankees with the greatest player in league history.

#1 - Acquiring David Justice for Ricky Ledee, Jake Westbrook, and Zach Duke - 2000
Arguably the most significant trade-deadline deal in the league's history, Justice hit the ball harder than Halle Berre as a Yank.

Baby Hitler attends Phillies victory parade


Thank You.

Thanks to our loyal followers, The Fowl Balls has eclipsed the all-time Major League hits record previously held by this ravishing gentleman. We are humbled by your willingness to sacrifice productivity to stop by every day.

Report: Moose to hang up his antlers (We are such hacks)

Ken Rosenthal of foxsports.com reports that Mike Mussina is going to retire. We at The Fowl Balls will respect his privacy and not publicly comment until he has made his announcement to comment further, but in the meantime, I will ask you, our loyal followers; is Mike Mussina a Hall of Famer?

Source: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8818830/Yanks

Because the world doesn't have enough t-shirts

The Fowl Balls proudly presents our newest original contribution to the world: T-shirts! OMG! You so need one! Click on the link in the margin to be the envy of all idiot fanboys!


Hop on my poll

We at The Fowl Balls want to hear your opinion. On the left, you will find our first ever, official http://www.thefowlballs.com/ poll. Select whomever you think would be the most important free agent acquisition*.

*Bear in mind that selecting AJ Burnett will immediately delete your hard drive and all of its contents. That means you, Brian Cashman.

The Yankees continue to do what The Fowl Balls tells them

According to reports, the Yankees have extended a massive offer to CC Sabathia spanning six years for $140 million. This is the exact offer thet The Fowl Balls suggested on October 7th.

Proof: http://www.thefowlballs.com/2008/10/every-man-has-price.html

With this additional evidence that Brian Cashman is a fan of ours, we implore the organization to hire Jimmy Dugan as a consultant at a paltry $1 million salary. My first order of business will be to pull the ridiculous five year offer to AJ Burnett off the table before he tears a rotator cuff attempting to sign it.

Source: http://www.nypost.com/seven/11182008/sports/yankees/yankees_prepare_a_j__offer_139209.htm


Breaking News: Texeira is a Yankee

Kanekoa Texeira, that is. Apparently, he is a minor league pitcher from the White Sox' minor league system. The main part of the trade is the Yanks acquiring Nick Swisher. So far the cost is minor league pitcher Jeff Marquez, who was not listed in Baseball America's recent list of the top ten Yankees prospects. Even though he is coming off of a dismal offensive year, I like the pick up; Swisher will make a solid defender at first base, can spot in the outfield, and has shown plus power from both sides of the plate. This should also dispell any talk of the team signing Mark Teixeira, allowing them to give enough money to CC Sabathia to buy his own Twinkie factory and still have money left over for Manny Ramirez and another starting pitcher.

Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3700869

This press release is direct from the Yankees, via http://www.yankees.lhblogs.com/

This release from the Yankees


The New York Yankees announced today that they have acquired switch-hitting first baseman/outfielder Nick Swisher and right-handed pitcher Kanekoa Texeira from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for infielder Wilson Betemit and right-handed pitchers Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez.

Swisher, 27, batted .219 (109-for-497) with 86 runs, 21 doubles, 24 home runs and 69 RBI in 153 games with the White Sox in 2008, leading all American League switch-hitters in home runs and ranking second in RBI. He made 69 starts in center field, 47 starts at first base, 16 starts in left field and 11 starts in right field, combining for a .990 fielding percentage (7E, 675TC), including a .996 mark at first base (2E, 481TC).
The Oakland Athletics’ first pick (16th overall) in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, Swisher has appeared in 611 career games, batting .244 with 117 doubles, 104 home runs and 324 RBI. Since 2005, his 334 walks are tied for third-most in the American League while his 102 homers are the fourth-most among Major League switch-hitters. He has also recorded at least 20 doubles and 20 homers in each of the last four seasons. Swisher was acquired by Chicago on January 3, 2008, in exchange for left-handed pitcher Gio Gonzalez, right-handed pitcher Fautino De Los Santos and outfielder Ryan Sweeney.

“We’re excited with the addition of Nick Swisher,” said Yankees Manager Joe Girardi. “We feel he has a ton of upside. He’s a patient switch-hitter, adds versatility at a number of defensive positions, including first base and the outfield, and will be a positive presence inside the clubhouse.”

Texeira, 22, was 6-3 with 21 saves and a 1.33 ERA in 51 combined relief appearances with Single-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham, ranking second among White Sox minor leaguers in saves. He was selected as a Carolina League mid- and postseason All-Star, posting a 3-1 record and a 0.93 ERA with Winston-Salem, while recording 20 saves in 23 opportunities. Over his final 22 appearances with the Single-A club (23.1IP), he did not allow an earned run and held opponents to a .176 batting average (15-for-85).
A native of Maui, Hawai’i, he was originally selected by the White Sox in the 22nd round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft and entered 2008 with the organization’s best slider, according to Baseball America. In 113 career minor league appearances, he has a 12-7 record with 40 saves and a 2.24 ERA, striking out 149 batters in 144.1IP.

Betemit hit .265 (50-for-189) with 13 doubles, 6 home runs and 25 RBI in 87 games with the Yankees in 2008, making starts at all four infield positions. He was acquired by the Yankees from the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31, 2007, in exchange for right-handed pitcher Scott Proctor.

Marquez was 8-8 with a 4.47 ERA in 19 combined games (18 starts) with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the GCL Yankees and Double-A Trenton in 2008, missing nearly two months (June 19 – August 12) with a right shoulder strain. Selected by the Yankees in Compensation Round A (41st overall) of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, Marquez led Yankees farmhands in wins (15) and innings pitched (155.1) in 2007 while with Trenton, and owns a career record of 43-40 with a 3.60 ERA.

Nunez, acquired at the 2008 trading deadline from the Washington Nationals in exchange for infielder Alberto Gonzalez, owns a 21-18 record with a 3.26 ERA in 93 career minor league games (64 starts). He appeared in eight games with Double-A Trenton following the acquisition, going 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA and striking out 26 batters in 19.1IP.


Yankees Re-Sign Damaso Marte

Three years, $12million for the bullpen lefty. That is a large commitment to a non-closer, but if it prevents the Yankees parading out pitchers that I have never heard of before, and will never hear of again (fucking Wayne Franklin?!?!?!), so be it.


I know the rumors are 99% bullshit, but...

How great are these two??

Firstly, Peter Abraham reports that their has been a scenario that has been kicked around the organization that would slide Robinson Cano's lazy ass to first base, with the team signing Orlando Hudson to play second base. This sounds relatively feasible, given Cano is still in Pinstripes come opening day.

The second rumor that grabbed my interest involves the always elusive three team trade. The speculation has Hideki Matsui headed to Seattle and a whole bunch of other crap happenning; Cano to the Rockies, and throw in some young players back and forth, and at the end of the day the Yanks end up with Matt Holliday and Ryan Rowland-Smith. This is the type of rumor that probably has little-to-no hard factual basis, but I have to say that I am soaked just thinking about it.


In their latest commemorative effort (read: marketing play to get me to buy another $200 worth of their shit), the Yankees will sport a patch on their sleeves for the 2009 season.


There is no god

Source: Brian Cashman mulling wild pitch to bring back Carl Pavano

DANA POINT, Calif. - When Carl Pavano walked off the mound on Sept. 25, most people assumed it would be the last time he would ever wear a Yankees uniform.
Not so fast.
Pavano, one of the biggest free-agent busts of all-time, could wind up back with the Bombers this winter as the Yankees look to fill three spots in their starting rotation.

If you have been reading this blog in the past, I dont feel it's necessary to waste my time typing whether we support this move or not, so I will take this time to show post a picture of a delicious chocolate chip cookie.


Brian Cashman Must Read The Fowl Balls

Manny Ramirez doesn't fit the Yankees' desire to get younger and more athletic, but several industry sources believe the Yankees will make a serious push for the free agent to play right field next year. Though GM Brian Cashman says the top offseason priority is starting pitching, he did not rule out interest in the 36-year-old Ramirez. (New York Post)

If this is true, The Fowl Balls Offseason Plan has officially been launched. Please refer back to our brilliant, if not genius Hot Stove map here: http://www.thefowlballs.com/2008/09/looking-toward-2009.html


110 Days to Spring Training

...and perhaps more importantly, 10 days to free agency.


Why must you make this so difficult?

Every time my dad says A-Rod is not a clutch performer, he promptly steps up to the plate and strikes out with the bases loaded when the Yankees are down 2.

Now, every time my dad calls A-Rod a homo, he will have this video to solidify his claim:

Pink shirt. Underwear. 3 other men. I hope Kobe raped him in his trailer. Unbelievable.

Thanks but No Thanks

According to New York Post beat writer George King III, our defacto favorite New York Post writer, says that potential Carl Pavano v2.0 AJ Burnett would 'consider' playing for the Yankees. With Pavano coming off the books, the team does not need to start paying another pitcher to throw bullpens in Tampa.

Source: http://www.nypost.com/seven/10262008/sports/yankees/bronx_bummer__burnett_may_not_want_to_be_135304.htm

What about Joba?

As part of Bill James' second release of the "Young Talent Inventory", he lists the top 25 young players in major league baseball. The following list has earned him the James Moxon Award for the Goddamned Dumbest Smart Kid We Know:

1. Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers first baseman, age 24
2. Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins shortstop, age 24
3. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants pitcher, age 24
4. David Wright, New York Mets third baseman, age 25
5. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers left fielder, age 24
6. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox second baseman, age 24
7. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder, age 23
8. Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels pitcher, age 26
9. Jose Reyes, New York Mets shortstop, age 25
10. Nick Markakis, Baltimore Orioles right fielder, age 24
11. Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals pitcher, age 24
12. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals third baseman, age 23
13. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher, age 24
14. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies shortstop, age 23
15. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners pitcher, age 22

16. Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox pitcher, age 24
17. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman, age 22
18. John Danks, Chicago White Sox pitcher, age 23
19. Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres first baseman, age 26
20. James Loney, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman, age 24
21. Stephen Drew, Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop, age 25
22. Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves catcher, age 24
23. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers first baseman, age 25
24. Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians center fielder, age 25
25. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds first baseman, age 24

Though this list seems to be composed of players well deserved of this distinction, I must say that the inclusion of Matt Kemp, John Danks, and Joey Votto, while omitting of one Joba Chamberlain is diplorable.

Also of note concerning the list, it should be pointed out that of the twenty-five players listed, exactly twenty- five are older than Phil Hughes. It is for this reason that articles like this one, ttp://www.nypost.com/seven/10262008/sports/yankees/yanks_decision_looking_bad_135306.htm, by supposed Yankee insider Joel Sherman make me want to bludgeon a kitten. The fact that this man makes a living evaluating talent for a (relatively) major newspaper is ridulous. We here at The Fowl Balls once again support keeping Phil Hughes, and allowing him to undergo his caterpillar-to-butterfly-like transformation in pinstripes. On the other hand, we implore the Yankees front office to do whatever it takes to rid the team of the unfounded, self-important, douchy smirk of Ian Kennedy.


What I will do with my long offseason

By: Alex Rodriguez

I will be busy trying to create a medical miracle.

Is Jake Peavy an ace?

With the recent speculation that a trade for Jake Peavy may interest the Yankees, The Fowl Balls decided that it was time to weigh in.

A trade for Peavy would undoubtedly include names like Hughes and Kennedy, and possibly a player like Austin Jackson. Peavy has been viewed as an ace, and seemingly there is basis for the Padres to be demanding that type of haul for a pitcher of Peavy's caliber. But upon further review, we are very disillusioned with a move to acquire him.

To look at Jake Peavy's numbers from 2008, one cannot help but be impressed; a sub-3 ERA and less than a hit per inning makes for a solid track record. However, his K/9 were significantly down, and he made only 27 starts due to injury. Though they might be red flags, these numbers were hardly our greatest concern, most alarming were his home/away splits. As is common knowledge, Petco Park takes up nearly 3/4 of the land in Whale's Vagina, California. Peavy's ERA away from Yellowstone National was a hefty 4.28; a far cry from "ace" status.

That being said, 27 year old pitchers are allowed to have off years, aren't they? Yes, they are, but that doesn't make them valuable enough to rape the Yankees already deteriorated farm system. We here at The Fowl Balls reiterate our reccomendation for the Yankees to throw whatever amount of currency it takes to sign CC Sabathia.


Bobby Meachem 0 for 2 as a Yankee

Failed prospect becomes failed third base coach as Bobby Meachem is fired.


Happy trails...

According to rotoworld.com, Yankees right fielder Bobby Abreu is seeking a contract of at least three years. No thanks. According to speculation, Abreu is being mentioned as a possible fit for the Cubs outfield. After watching him shy away from a padded wall for over two years, I can only speculate what hilarity will ensue watching Abreu negotiate the brick in Wrigley.


Every Man Has a Price

Screw California - 6 years, $140 million puts CC in pinstripes.


Red Sox Win?

"If this had happened to the Yankees or Red Sox, it would be the equivalent of Watergate" - Dave "Soup" Campbell on Mike and Mike this morning, regarding the tag that Captain Intangible botched on Reggie Willets last night.

What I will do with my long offseason

by: Edwar Ramirez

This offseason I will be on tour, promoting my album.


And the offseason starts with a productive move

The Yankees have re-signed Brian Cashman to a 3 year deal, keeping him in the Bronx until "at least" 2011, according to a statement released by the Steinbrenners. Now lets get down to business.


No Sh*t.

From the "its about time department", the Yankees are not making the playoffs, and Clay Aiken is gay.



After numerous annoyances via email and other outlets, I have one thing to say to my loyal readers: KISS MY ASS.

The Yankees took the entire season off. I miss a week or two and have to hear you whine? I don't think so.

Back later in the week with big updates including a super secret interview, and merchandise will soon be available with the "FB" logo emblazened all over it. Also, please note that the blog now has an OFFICIAL domain name. Going forward, please navigate to the page using the URL http://www.thefowlballs.com.


Looking Toward 2009

On a topic that will be the subject of much debate over the next few months, the Yankees look poised to make some substantial moves in the rapidly approaching offseason. In classic if-I-were-GM fashion, the following is a list of moves that The Fowl Balls feels will benefit the club going forward.

Sign CC Sabathia
Regardless of the push for a low-cost youth movement, the Yankees will forever be a team with a payroll in the stratosphere. Over the course of his career, CC has proved to be a durable, innings-eating pitcher that consistently performs at an elite level. On those merits alone he seems to be a good fit for the team, and when added to the fact that he is left handed this makes him a must-have acquisition. The team has a load of payroll coming off the books (roughly $88 million) and have plenty of room to add a superstar pitcher, even if they will be forced to grossly over pay for him.

Trade Robinson Cano
The more one watches Cano play, the more one becomes frustrated. Mark my words; Robinson Cano will win at least one batting title in his career. Unfortunately, he will also have seasons like this one, where is arguably one of the worst full time players in baseball (thanks to Melky Cabrera FINALLY given the Fredo treatment). On talent alone, it seems that Cano could be moved for a young, talented pitcher that is more proven than the young, talented pitchers that the team already owns. Names like Zach Grienke have been thrown around as potential matches in a Cano trade, and only a fool would turn down such a player at this point. After yesterday's game, Robbie's OBP fell below .300. Alfonso Soriano was run out of town after a much more productive season, and I expect the same for Cano.

Offer Bobby Abreu Salary Arbitration
Personally, I hope he declines and the Yankees are awarded compensation as he will be a Type A free agent. However, there are worse things that could happen than Abreu accepting and playing right field for another season.

Sign Orlando Hudson
Obviously, this is contingent on trading Cano, but I can hope. The Yankees would do well to add Hudson, a Gold Glover, to the mix on a defensively inferior club. He is also a speedy, switch-hitting, contact hitter that can handle the bat that the lineup could benefit from.

Don't Sign Mark Teixeira
Great fielder, good hitter, and I am sure he is a hell of a nice guy, but whoever gives him the 8-10 year contract will be pulling their hair out by year 5.

Move Damon or Matsui to First Base, attempt to Trade the Other
I know, I know. I am sure that I will get flack for this based on the infamous Gary Sheffield Experiment from a few years ago, but hear me out. Both players, especially Damon, are superior athletes to Sheffield at the time the Yankees attempted to move him to first. Given an entire offseason and Spring Training to prepare, I feel that either of these players could provide serviceable defense at a higher level than Jason Giambi has provided this season. Also, these players both have some type of value on the trade market; Matsui as a DH, and Damon as an everyday player.

Move Derek Jeter to Left Field
What blasphemy is this you ask? Derek Jeter, though marginally improved this season, is a terrible fielder. If Abreu declines arbitration, which we hope he does, Xavier Nady would then become the everyday right fielder, leaving a void in left when Damon or Matsui is moved to first base. The time has come to think of the team, and not just Jeter's legacy. I found it tough to swallow when the team acquired the best shortstop in baseball history, coming off of his second gold glove, and moved him to third base. Even though Alex Rodriguez would no longer be able to play the shortstop position, there are better options on the free agent market including, but not limited to, Rafael Furcal, and our personal preference, Orlando Cabrera.

Trade for Gerald Laird
Acquiring a younger option at the catcher position can only help. This season proved the perceived risk of signing Jorge Posada to a long term deal was a very real concern. The Yankees could deal from a position of strength by using their glut of young pitching to make this deal (PLEASE take Ian Kennedy!).

Re-sign Mike Mussina, Send Andy Pettitte to Pasture
While Moose has learned to pitch with the garbage that he has left, Andy has looked terrible this year no matter what the Yankees Propaganda Machine feeds us about him being a big game pitcher. Using Mussina as a #4 starter is a solid option on any contending squad.

Stick With Phil Hughes
Hughes is NOT Ian Kennedy, and will, at some point, be a very good Major League pitcher. Hughes was dominant the other night in the AAA playoff, going 8 shutout innings on only 94 pitches. It took Cliff Lee a trip to the minors to figure it out too.

Promote Mark Melancon and Austin Jackson From Day 1
The answer that the Yankees were looking for in their bullpen was right under their nose all season, but they were afraid to rush Melancon after TJ surgery. A career closer in college, Melancon can handle the high leverage innings that the Yankees will need him to. As for Jackson, he is still raw, but could provide a serviceable first season a la Adam Jones in Baltimore. The rest of this lineup should be able to cover for a player like Jackson who, even now, is a much better option than both Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera.

Don't Sign AJ Burnett
He is a guy with phenomenal stuff that cannot stay healthy. We don't need an older version of Joba, thank you very much. Plus he has been bitten by the curse of Alyssa Milano.

Sign Manny Ramirez
In what would have to be the shove-it-up-your-ass move of the century, the Yankees would have to make this move to protect ARod in the lineup. Though he may seem like a pricey option at approx. $15-17 million, the guys flat out produces when happy. Case in point: he is batting .407 since his move to the west coast. With Manny in the DH slot batting third, this lineup once again becomes formidable with the uncertainty surrounding Jorge Posada. Paired with an improved pitching staff, this team could be deadly.

So, without further ado, your 2009 Yankees Opening Day Lineup after the perfect offseason:
P - CC Sabathia
C - Gerald Laird/Jorge Posada
1B - Johnny Damon
2B - Orlando Hudson
3B - Alex Rodriguez
SS - Orlando Cabrera
LF - Derek Jeter
CF - Austin Jackson
RF - Xavier Nady
DH - Manny Ramirez

Now Chasing Toronto...


Yankees to "Future Stars": "Rot in Scranton"

The Yankees initial September call-ups did not include anyone names Hughes, Kennedy, or Cabrera.


The Last Time the Yankees Missed the Playoffs...

...the NBA was still relevant (although hockey wasn't)

...this man was their starting Shortstop

...Bill Clinton lifted the ban on gays in the military

...Michael Jackson was accused of dittling a 13 year old boy - the first time

...River Phoenix died from what amounts to 'natural causes' for a 23 year old actor

...Joe Carter effectively ended Mitch Williams' career

...a stamp cost $0.29

...Rodney King became a movie star

...Jesus returned to his people in Waco, TX

I guess nothing lasts forever.


It's About F@#*ing Time

Melky Cabrera has been optioned to AAA Scranton. Although it may now be too late, hopefully this is the wakeup he (and possibly Cano) needed.


Yankees All-Nighter Ends with Two Big Rods and a Hit of X

After Mariano Rivera faultered in a save situation for the first time all year, ARod, IRod, and Xavier Nady come up big in the 12th inning to secure a Yankee victory.


Steinbrenner: The Next Generation

In an interview with the Associated Press today Hank Steinbrenner actually sympathized with the current Yankees team, citing injuries as a reason for the teams struggles.

"I think it's very simple, we've been devastated by injuries," Steinbrenner said. "No team I've ever seen in baseball has been decimated like this. It would kill any team. Imagine the Red Sox without [Josh] Beckett and [Jon] Lester. Pitching is 70 percent of the game. Wang won 19 games two straight years. Chamberlain became the most dominating pitcher in baseball. You can't lose two guys like that." (Source: http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080812&content_id=3297917&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy)

Although he did state that he is not "writing off the season", this is the closest thing we have seen to a white flag out of the Steinbrenner family since they took over. As someone who watches every game, I have also witnessed the plight of the team as they have plodded along this season. And, don't get me wrong, I understand that injuries have a lot to do with their current standing. But what is this world coming to? Since when do the Yankees, more specifically the Steinbrenners, empathize with mediocrity?

Still only a handful of games out of the Wild Card race, the Yankees are still in the thick of a postseason run. Call me crazy, but I am still of the mindset that a $200 million+ payroll should equate to a team that is devoid of excuses. The Red Sox have had injury problems. The Ex Rays are dealing with potentially crippling injuries right now.

At the end of the day, a lack of performance has done this team in. Derek Jeter is a shell of his former self. Melky Cabrera is not a good baseball player. The Kennedy-Hughes experiment has been a bust. The team has not hit with runners in scoring position. Still, with all of these issues, this team is still only four games out of a playoff spot. Although injuries may be enough to convince Hank that an early offseason is acceptable, this writer finds it a little harder to swallow.

Red Sox obtain Paul Byrd

One question: HOW?

How the hell does ANY starting pitcher make it past the Yankees on the waiver wire at this point? On top of the fact that DARRELL RASNER starts again tomorrow, a serviceable starter will now be helping the Red Sox in their stretch run. Byrd has turned his season around of late, and could potentially fill a hole left by the imploding Clay Bucholz.

I know I will get emails about this, because Paul Byrd sucks. I know he sucks, you know he sucks, and his mother knows he sucks. But if he goes 4-2 in a pennant race for the Red Sox while the Yankees could have had him for a player to be named later and $37 cash, somebody's ass is getting fired.


Joe Girardi Stricken with Joe Torre Disease

Let me get this straight: the Yankees are basically in must-win mode for the rest of the season, right? So PLEASE explain to me how Melky Cabrera, aka the worst every day player in any pennant race, is getting the start in center field.

Upon further review, I must retract my previous statement. Among AL center fielders with more than 400 at bats this season, the Melk Man is only second to last in VORP, coming in marginally higher than Carlos Gomez, but still representing negative value. For those unfamiliar with VORP, or Value Over Replacement Player, it represents the number of runs contributed beyond what a replacement-level player at the same position would contribute if given the same percentage of team plate appearances. VORP scores do not consider the quality of a player's defense. (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/). And before everyone jumps on the "Melky is a great defender" bandwagon, let us put that in perspective. According to this calculation, he has cost the Yankees 3.4 runs in his 430 plate appearances. His spectacular arm has thrown out just 6 runners trying to advance this season, and his range is just not as exceptional as the YES Network would have you believe.

Meanwhile Johnny Damon, a .292 hitter against left handers, sat and watched this evening as the Yankees were shut out on only four hits, wasting a gutsy performance by Sidney Ponson. Luckily, he looks to have enough gut to go around.

This Kid is a Moron

Ian Kennedy needs to be locked away from the media. As noted at nomaas.org, IPK made some startling comments concerning his lackluster performance in a critical, series opening game on friday night in Anaheim.

"“It’s the first bad outing I’ve had in a long time, since the All-Star break,” Kennedy said. “I’m not going to look much into it. I felt like I made some good pitches. I’m just not too upset about it.”

Ian failed to mention in that quote that these magnificent starts he was speaking of took place at AAA. Now he has done a half hearted job of retracting his statements, with this quote via the New York Post:

"It came out wrong. I was very disappointed with myself. I always want to do well," Kennedy said. "I had seven innings to think about it. I hate losing but I wasn't going to let it ruin what I had done recently (at Triple-A)."

You're right, pal. Why let the fact that you can not get outs at the big league level ruin your lofty Minor League resume. Enjoy the flight back to Scranton.

Read the whole article right here: http://www.nypost.com/seven/08112008/sports/yankees/demoted_kennedy_sorry_for_postgame_faux__123974.htm

It Finally Happened...

Joe Girardi finally let his gut take over, and left the best relief pitcher in the history of the game sit in the bullpen in favor of Damaso Marte in a tie game in the 9th inning. After realizing his mistake with one out two men on, it was just too late. Chone Figgins hit a ground ball with eyes off of of Mariano Rivera, earning the Angels a win and a sweep of the Yankees.



Even though this is a baseball-centric blog, I felt kind of left out being the only media outlet in the galaxy not to report on this. Also, being a Jet fan, this picture is like Viagra to my system.

BRETT FAVRE IS A JET, albeit 17 years later than we had hoped.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Yankees programming.


Andy Pettitte Misremembers How to Pitch

Last 2 starts: 10 1/3 innings, 17 hits, 14 runs, 2 catchers


Ex-Prospect Report

Chase Wright - P

You may remember Chase Wright. On April 22, 2007 he became the answer to a trivia question by giving up home runs to 4 consecutive batters at Fenway Park. Apparently he has rehabbed what had to be a very severe neck injury, and is pitching his way into consideration for major league innings. With the potential loss of Joba Chamberlain for an elongated period, Chase Wright (yes, that Chase Wright) could be the answer in the Yankees rotation. Still only 25 years old, Wright has put up solid numbers in the minors this year. The lefty has given up only 92 hits in 110 2/3 innings at three levels including Triple-A. His K:BB is less impressive at 67:39, but he has held opponents to a .228 average overall.

Although he is relatively low on the depth chart (he wasn't even included in our post on potential Rasner fill-ins), Chase Wright's name could be in play very soon. All of the pitchers ahead of him have significant question marks. Whether it be health (Phil Hughes), overall effectiveness (Ian Kennedy and Alfredo Aceves), or the legality of starting a female in a major league game (Carl Pavano), each starting pitching option has at least one quality that instills doubt in Yankee fans. So in short, if all else fails, it couldn't hurt to give Chase a shot. Just not at Fenway.

Kei Igawa - P
Igawa sits in the same boat as Wright at the moment; solid numbers in the minors, but a major league track record that makes the prospect of them pitching for the Yankees terrifying. In 22 apprearances at Scranton, Igawa is 12-5 with a 3.38 ERA. However, his GO/AO sits at .66, eading me to believe that he is still pitching up in the zone. When last we visited Kei, he was leaving his 88 MPH "heat" letter high and getting powdered by major league hitters. Our reccomendation? Find a trading partner or let him continue his pursuit of the Scranton Yankees all-time wins record.

Jose Tabata - OF
This time last year Jose Tabata was the best positional prospect in the Yankees' system. What a difference a year makes. Run ins with management, ugly play and a complete lack of power proved deadly for Tabata as he was shipped to Pittsburgh as a part of the Xavier Nady/Damaso Marte deal. After hitting just 3 home runs in 294 at bats at Trenton, Jose hit two jacks in his third game in the Pirates system. Did Jose pull a Manny Ramirez after he was surpassed by Austin Jackson in the pecking order?

Regardless, he still doesn't turn 20 for a week and has a very high ceiling. Hopefully he develops to the point where the Pirates can send him to the Yankees in a deadline deal for 30 cents on the dollar like they did with Nady and Marte.

Support the Turn 2 Foundation

Derek Jeter grounds into is 18th rally-killing double play of the year.


Note to John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman

We get it. Xavier Nady likes to have the 'X' pronounced in his name. Thank you again for repeating it every at-bat.

Potential Rasner Replacements

Stand up if you are starting against the Angels Friday. Not so fast Darrel.

As of today, it looks like Darrell Rasner has officially worn out his welcome as a member of the Yankees' rotation. Once again he spotted the opposition his signature 5+ run lead. There are other servicable options in the system, even without dealing for $14 million albatross Jarrod Washburn.

Ian Kennedy - IPK has been strong of late in AAA, and looks to be the candidate that is most ready to step in. He has allowed just 4 earned runs in his last 27 innings at Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Although he is yet to win a Major League game in 2008, the smart money would be on him to toe the rubber on Friday. Ha. I said 'rubber'.

Alfredo Aceves - I must admit that I don't know much about Aceves, aside from the fact that I love the taste of his creamy sauce (that's what she said). However, by the numbers, Aceves has been impressive. While cruising through three levels in 2008, 'Fredo has allowed only 90 hits in 118 1/3 innings, walking only 20. Unlike Kennedy, Aceves has not been as sharp in his last three outings, placing him second in our pecking order.

Phil Hughes - Even though he looks to be at least 2 minor league starts away from the bigs, Hughes is getting rave reviews thus far in his rehab. According to information obtained by Peter Abraham, Hughes was 'hitting 95' in his last start. He has not shown that type of velocity as of yet in the big leagues, which is encouraging. Barring another hangnail or menstruation period, he should be back in the next two weeks or so.

Carl Pavano - This is the last time that I will mention this vag as a candidate for anything while with this team. I have had enough of this.

Also, the Yankees have made a habit of signing guys that either can not pitch anymore, or never really could in the first place. While they are 'low risk', pitchers like Eric "Whiplash" Milton and Victor "I was a part of the worst trade in baseball istory" Zambrano will not likely produce a return.

The Haunting

On the day that new Yankees catcher Ivan Rodriguez hit his first home run in pinstripes, Kyle Farnsworth found a way to screw the Yankees one last time. In a breakdown that Fowl Balls has long awaited, Joe Girardi's boyfriend coughed up 3 runs to hand the Ex Rays a win. Thanks for the memories, douche.


Round Mound of Rebound Comes Up Empty

Sidney Ponson bounced back with 7 shutout innings against one of the hottest teams in the major leagues on the same day that Livan Hernandez was released by Minnesota (extra motivation?). Unfortunately, he was not awarded a victory due to the offense's inability to push a SINGLE run across, followed by Mariano Rivera's twin brother Steve making his 16th appearance. Every time Steve Rivera enters a game, he proceeds to hand the Yankees a loss in a tie game. Honestly, these splits are inexplicable.

Non-save situations:
16 games, 21 innings, 18 hits, 7 runs, 3.00 ERA.

Save situations:
26 games, 27.1 innings, 12 hits, 1 run, 0.33 ERA.

Is it time to pitch Edwar Ramirez in late inning tie situations? Something has to turn this around as the Yankees are now forced to scratch and claw at the possibility of a series split with the Angels.

Final Assesment

Yankees give up:
Jose Tabata
Ross Ohlendorf
Dan McCutchen
Jeff Karstens
Kyle Farnsworth
Alberto Gonzalez

Yankees receive:
Xavier Nady
Damaso Marte
Ivan Rodriguez
Jhonny Nunez

All in all, this was an impressively engineered trade deadline for the Yankees. Brian Cashman not only filled the necessary holes in the lineup and bullpen, but in acquiring Pudge and Richie Sexson he has succeeded in building the greatest fantasy team of all time, circa 2001.


Red Sox Reach Tentative Agreement to Miss the Playoffs

As seen on http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/, via The Palm Beach Post

Marlins get: Manny Ramirez, cash, prospect from Red Sox
Red Sox get: Jason Bay, John Grabow
Pirates get: Ryan Tucker, Jeremy Hermida, one prospect from Red Sox, perhaps another prospect from Marlins

Long story short; Manny, 2 prospects and cash for a downgrade in Left Field and a servicable left handed reliever. Thanks Theo.

UPDATE - As per Peter Abraham, this is how the trade works out:
Red Sox get: OF Jason Bay.
Pirates get: RHP Bryan Morris and INF Andy LaRoche from the Dodgers, RHP Craig Hansen and OF Brandon Moss from the Red Sox. Maybe another Dodgers prospect, too.
Dodgers get: Manny Ramirez and $7 million from Boston.
The team options were taken off Manny’s deal. He also will agree to decline arbitration so they can get draft picks when he becomes a FA.

So, final tally for the Red Sox looks like this; Manny, Craig Hansen, Brandon Moss and $7 million for Jason Bay and...nothing. Enjoy your elongated offseason boys.

Why is This Man Smiling?

Because he just got away with grand larceny. The Yankees have added Pudge Rodriguez to the mix, allowing the league's best backup catcher to do just that. At what price you ask? KYLE FARNSWORTH. Straight up. You read that right. After 2 1/2 horrific seasons, Cash spun 8 effective innings into a starting catcher worthy of a championship run. Please extend this man.

Even Red Sox Whore #1 Has to Recognize

"A group of Red Sox watched the Yankees take early batting practice Friday, and they complimented the way Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Abreu and Johnny Damon show up every day. 'Say what you want about A-Rod,' said one, 'but he plays every day and he plays his behind off.'" - Peter Gammons


One good thing about tonights game...

Even though the Yankees were pummeled by Baltimore in the quintissential let down game after a hard fought Red Sox series, at least I was not forced to hear John Sterling describe Mike Mussina's shutout innings as "Moose Eggs". Note to John: Moose do not lay eggs. They are mammals. Much like you, you whale.

8 (or so) Questions: Tim Dierkes of mlbtraderumors.com

If you aren't familiar with Tim Dierkes website, http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/, you are way behind the curve. The site delivers information pertaining to Major League transactions and provides detailed analysis and commentary. Tim took a few minutes out of his busiest time of year to answer some of our questions.

Jimmy Dugan - What was your first impression of the (final) trade setup between the Pirates and Yankees?
Tim Dierkes - It may just be that media reports leading up to this trade led us to believe the Pirates would get more. But my first impression was that the Pirates didn't do too well. Not a huge Tabata fan.

JD - What is the latest on the potential Jarrod Washburn deal?
TD - The Mariners are now waiting to see if the Yankees will give them Brett Gardner or Melky Cabrera.

JD- Are the Yankees actively pursuing a catcher?
TD - It doesn't seem that way.

JD- Is there any substance to the Brian Bannister-melky rumors?
TD - Bob Dutton does good work at the KC Star, so I'd say yes.

JD- Why on God's green earth are the Mets plastered on the back page today making a move for Manny?
TD - Not a good fit, they couldn't really give the Red Sox an impact bat back in return. And I doubt they'd part with Fernando Martinez.

JD- Did Sidney Ponson crapping himself at Fenway add to the urgency to add a starter, or does Brian Cashman truly believe this team can contend by promoting from within?
TD - I wouldn't imagine one start changed Brian Cashman's plans at all. He still seems likely to add Washburn or someone similar.

JD - Would you have traded your snack pack for billy madisons half eaten banana?
TD - I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Thanks to Tim Dierkes for giving us some time. Again, loyal followers, I implore you to utilize http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/ to keep up with the rumor mill.


Au Revoir

Ground breaking French relief pitcher The Troy Hawkins' storied Yankee career comes to a triumphant end as he is DFA'd by the organization. In other roster news that surprised absolutely no one, Kei Igawa cleared waivers and is likely on his way back to Scranton-Philly-Intercourse-Wilkes-Barre to continue stealing money from the Yankees.

Congratulations, Goose Gossage

A Personal Note to Theo Epstein:

Trade Manny Ramirez. Team chemistry is much more important than a hitter with a career .999 OPS to protect Big Fati.


The clock is ticking for the Yankees to acquire Jack Bauer, er, Jarrod Washburn to start tonight vs. the Red Sox, thus avoiding the inevitable Sidney Ponson nuclear meltdown.
UPDATE - Washburn started in his normal spot this afternoon for Seattle in Toronto. Here comes Sidney.
UPDATE #2 - Here's the line on Washburn: 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. Meanwhile, Sir Sidney's line, as we projected, looked more like a soiled diaper. If you think the Yankees don't need a more reliable 5th starter, you need not look farther than this evening's box score. I hope Cashman holds steady in his offer of a marginal prospect and an offer to eat Washburn's contract, and watches the Mariners succumb by Thursday.



Miscast Set Up Man Dominates Red Sox

7.0 Innings
3 Hits
0 Runs
0 Earned Runs
1 BB
9 K

*Ball Thrown at Kevin Youkilis' Head


The Yankees have acquired OF Xavier Nady and RP Damaso Marte from the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jose Tabata, Ros Ohlendorf, Phil Coke, and George Kontos.

Jimmy Dugan's Take - At first glance, this looks like a lot to give up for a couple of 'band-aids', but I like this move. Both Nady and Marte could be a part of the 2009 roster, with Nady under contract, and the latter having a $6 million option.
As for what the Yankees are sending to the Bucs, yes, they are giving up some value. Tabata has loads of potential, but his downside has become more evident in 2008. Not only has his power continued to disappoint, his attitude is now in question. Ohlendorf is at best a servicable reliever. Kontos and Coke are similar as they both have solid minor league numbers, but are not considered in the Hughes-Kennedy-Horne-Melancon or even Marquez level of Yankee pitching prospect.

UPDATE - Coke and Kontos have been replaced by minor league pitchers Daniel McCutchen and Jeff Karstens. While most experts have McCutchen rated higher than both Coke and Kontos, Karstens is a spare part - and horribly ugly to boot. Still a good trade.

8 (or so) Questions: Ed Price of the Newark Star Ledger

Ed Price is the Yankees beat writer for the Newark Star Ledger. Always insightful, Ed took the time to speak with Fowl Balls about the upcoming trade deadline, amongst other things.

Jimmy Dugan - You have been right on top of the Jarrod Washburn story since it broke. What is the latest? Also, is Washburn really the answer?
Ed Price - I have nothing new today on Washburn, but it's pretty warm if not hot. He's not "the answer" but he's an upgrade from Ponson or Rasner (if one doesn't consider the salary).

JD - You just broke a story linking the Yankees to Randy Winn. What does this mean? Is he considered a potential corner outfield answer, or does this open the door to move Melky to Seattle for Washburn?
EP - I could definitely see Winn coming in and playing CF if they move Melky for Washburn. Or playing LF if Posada has surgery and Damon is the DH.

JD - Now that ESPN has blown it completely out of proportion, how serious was the Yankees' consideration of Barry Bonds?
EP - Never serious. Hank told an Associated Press writer he'd bring it up. He did. It was shot down quickly.

JD - Play Brian Cashman for a minute (like we all wish we could): Is it smarter not to make a move based on the lack of difference making players available, rather than 'rearranging lawn furniture"??
EP - It's always smart not to overpay. If there's someone who can push you over the top - Sabathia - then you go for it. A championship now is worth giving up someone who has only potential.

JD - If no move is made, do you think that the Yankees have the answers internally to make a run at the division? World Series?
EP - I think they could use another starting pitcher. If the top 6 hitters hit to form and the bullpen stays the way it is, they have a chance.

JD - How will Jorge Posada's potential move to first base affect the Yankees pursuit of Mark Teixiera?
EP - My guess is the Yankees were never hot on Teixeira to begin with -- as a trade now or free agent in the winter.

JD - How much confidence does the organization have in Wang to be a reliable number 1 upon returning after the playoff collapse of 07 and erraticness of mid '08. How much will that determine moves beyond bullpen, rotation backend, and righthanded bat? Are they banking on Joba's development to fill that "ace" role?
EP - Well, I don't know that right now you have to choose between Wang and Joba as the first-game playoff starter. But they aren't worried about Wang's 07 playoffs because they seem to feel they know what caused it -- as long as he fixes it. He isn't a classic #1 -- but Joba could be once he gets his pitch counts down

JD - Is Derek Jeter's haircut now out-dated enough that it could be considered 'retro'?
EP - I think he wishes his slugging percentage was retro.

Thanks to Ed for taking the time to speak with us. Please check out the Newark Star Ledger Blog at http://www.nj.com/yankees/.


Futures Game Wrap Up

Fowl Balls was in attendance for the Futures Game (as well as the Celebrity Softball abortion)and aside from the fact that some Asian guy from the Red Sox system won the MVP, there was a lot to take away concerning the future of the MLB.

Who Impressed Us:
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates CF - Although very little of it will show up in the box score, this guy showed all of the tools to be a star. He moved over to left in deferrence to Rockies prospect Dexter Fowler, but McCutchen takes a back seat to very few prospects. Much like a Ferrari, he has that 'you-know-he's-fast-even-though-he's-standing-still' look about him. To go with his blazing speed,, he also drove a ball into the upper deck in LEFT FIELD, sailing about 10 feet fowl. He isn't as big as other prospects that he has been grouped in with, like Cameron Maybin, but this kid has Keny Lofton-like potential.

Jesus Montero, Yankees C (for now) - Ok, it's a bit of a homer thing to say, but this kid just LOOKS like raw power. Large and imposing, and contrary to prior reports, he doesn't look completely retarded behind the plate (only slightly). Here's to hoping he can stay there.

The Oakland A's System - No matter who they trade away, they are just keep churning out pitching. Trevor Cahill, and Brett Anderson pitched well, but the star of the day was Henry Rodriguez. The slightly-more-than-half-full stadium ooooh'd and aaaah'd as he hit 101 on the gun (on the display in CF, meaning he was probably sitting at about 87 or so).


Deepest Apologies

Big updates coming shortly, including Fowl Balls' trip to the Futures Game, the State of the Yankees, and our reccomendations for moves to be made at the trade deadline.