Results for tag: Johnny Damon
Posted by: Pinstriped Bible on May 11, 2010 at 03:33:09 PM

Judging from the coverage, you’d think that the only thing that happened in Monday’s game was Johnny Damon’s home run. There is this weird element of “Ha! You see? This very flawed Yankees team that is on a pace to win only 110 games has been hoist with their own petard!” This is a fact-free storyline, but it’s fun, so what the hey, let’s go with it.

As we’ve discussed in this space previously with regards to Hideki Matsui, retaining Damon was not just a question of respecting his abilities or not. On a purely philosophical level, there can be little doubt that the Yankees appreciated what Damon had done for them in the past and might do for them again in the future. The issue was one of money and the way the player perceived

Posted by: Pinstriped Bible on Apr 26, 2010 at 08:45:53 PM

Credit Joe Girardi for coming clean in a way that was uncomfortable to watch in the aftermath of Sunday’s non-intentional walk to Kendry Morales. The good news for Girardi’s conscience is that the blast didn’t lose the game, it simply put it out of reach. The question is why he second-guessed his decision in the first place. Marte used to be the kind of lefty who could do more than spot work, but that doesn’t seem to be the case after his injuries. Morales, a switch-hitter, is a better hitter from the left side than the right, and normally you would want to turn him around. The forgoing should be inoperative when turning him around means letting him face a lefty who is no longer prepared to retire right-handed hitters regardless of their

Posted by: Pinstriped Bible on Feb 12, 2010 at 05:13:01 PM

After the 1988 season, the Yankees decided that they were done with second baseman Willie Randolph. He had been with the team for 13 seasons, playing an exemplary second base and doing a fairly consistent job offensively with a skill set that was broadly similar to Luis Castillo’s, except that Randolph had fewer steals, more walks and better defense. Yet, there were a few knocks on him. He had always been prone to injuries, missing 20 to 40 games a year. With just a little more durability, he might have had at least a small-c case for the Hall of Fame; primarily a leadoff or number-two hitter, Randolph never scored 100 runs in a season. Part of that was due to the 1970s being a low-offense era, part to the missed time. Randolph could have had a half-dozen 100-run seasons if he had

Posted by: Pinstriped Bible on Feb 11, 2010 at 06:49:27 PM

Yesterday, the New York Post’s George King wrote a piece headlined, Yankees Outfield Not Doomed without Damon. Maybe I haven’t been listening to enough sports talk radio lately, but I totally missed the signs of panic in the streets over the departure of the ex-caveman. “You listen to the negative noise about the Yankees’ outfield without Johnny Damon and you wonder if Bubba Crosby, Karim Garcia and Raul Mondesi have slipped back into pinstripes,” King wrote.

The issue isn’t really who has slipped into pinstripes but who has slipped out of them and hasn’t necessarily been adequately replaced. Still, the difference between what Damon gave the Yankees and what they might get this season is not that large. Damon generated about

Posted by: Pinstriped Bible on Jan 29, 2010 at 06:06:16 PM

Sometimes, a team just can’t fill a position for more than a few years. For the White Sox and Mets, that position famously was third base. The former team had little of lasting value at the hot corner between Willie Kamm and Robin Ventura, a span of decades. The Mets couldn’t keep a player on third from 1962 until Howard Johnson emerged as a regular in 1987, although Wayne Garrett was a better hitter than he was given credit for being at the time. For the Yankees, that position is left field. Regardless of the ultimate allocation of playing time for the position in 2010, with Johnny Damon moving on, the team will be continuing a tradition that has lasted over 30 years. Now, this isn’t an excuse for violin-playing, because unlike the White Sox and Mets -- who had to live

Posted by: Pinstriped Bible on Jan 28, 2010 at 11:20:00 AM

Of all the possibilities for the Yankees to sign to bolster their outfield depth, Randy Winn is possibly the worst. He doesn’t complement the skills of the outfielders the Yankees currently have, and he doesn’t give them the platoon advantage in games against left-handed pitchers. As of last season, the soon-to-be 36-year-old could still run and retained his strong defensive skills, but his bat died an ignoble death, a key cause of the Giants’ failure to leverage their terrific pitching into a postseason berth.

Before we get to what Winn did last year, let’s talk about his overall capabilities. He’s a career .286/.344/.418 hitter, which is about league average. He’s been distinctly better than that exactly twice: in 2002 with the Rays and 2005 with the

Posted by: Pinstriped Bible on Jan 25, 2010 at 07:55:16 PM

Over the weekend, reports emerged that the Yankees had kept the Johnny Damon door open, though there was some question as to whether there was a deadline attached to their offer. Today, Buster Olney tweets that the A’s have interest in the ex-caveman. If Damon signs with the A’s due to more generous financial terms than the Yankees are willing to offer, then he is being pennywise and pound foolish, because if he does, his career will almost certainly end this year.

The simple reason for this is park effects. The Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, or whatever they’re calling it these days -- I have stopped paying the slightest attention to these constantly changing corporate-sponsored appellations -- is a far more difficult place to hit than New-Age Yankee Stadium. It eats home

Posted by: Pinstriped Bible on Jan 21, 2010 at 02:59:38 PM

My daughter is taking care of a family of four hermit crabs. Sometimes during the day, when she’s off at school, I wander into her room to see what the crabs are up to, but of course they’re nocturnal, so they’re nowhere to be seen, sheltering within some of the bric-a-brac in their crab-quarium. Later, in the evening, after my daughter has gone to bed, I might go check on her and turn off her stereo—she likes to fall asleep with tunes blaring—and look in on the crabs. Nothing. Ghost town. I shrug, go back to whatever it is I was doing. On some nights, my wife will beat me to it. When she comes back downstairs, I’ll ask, “Did you see the crabs?”

“Yes,” she’ll say. “They were eating, bathing, digging up a storm of

Posted by: Pinstriped Bible on Jan 8, 2010 at 04:21:46 PM

Garret Anderson: Personally killed the Braves last year.

Rick Ankiel: Too impatient to serve as a regular in this man’s army, but I’d love to have him as a fourth outfielder/platoon type.

Rocco Baldelli: Someone should platoon him with Ankiel.

Endy Chavez: In the land of the blind, the defensive outfielder is king, or something like that.  Too bad the fifth outfielder lost the Darwinian competition with the third left-hander.

Ryan Church: A fourth outfielder with pretensions.

Jermaine Dye: Since he’s the same hitter as late-career Andre Dawson, he should be in demand, right?

Brian Giles: A great hitter long suppressed by Petco, but coming back from a 55 OPS+ at 39 seems unlikely.

Jonny Gomes: A baseball

Posted by: Pinstriped Bible on Dec 17, 2009 at 12:03:18 AM

A few quick thoughts on the balance between offense and defense prompted by a comment on Tuesday’s entry, specifically, how can Melky Cabrera and Jacoby Ellsbury be assets in left field despite bats that are clearly too weak for the position?

Part of the difference is in defensive expectations. As Johnny Damon showed when he initially relocated to left field, a defensively stretched center fielder can really look overqualified when placed in a corner. Damon didn’t have the arm to make the big heave from the fence to the plate, or even the cutoff man, but he had a center fielder’s wheels.  Another player who comes to mind is Barry Bonds, who came up as a center fielder. Had he remained in center he probably would have been pretty good for awhile, but the Pirates had