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.