Larry Mahnken and SG's

Replacement Level Yankees Weblog

"Hey, it's free!"

The Replacement Level Yankees Weblog has moved!  Our new home is:

Larry Mahnken
Sean McNally
Fabian McNally
John Brattain

This is an awesome FREE site, where you can win money and gift certificates with no skill involved! If you're bored, I HIGHLY recommend checking it out!


Disclaimer: If you think this is the official website of the New York Yankees, you're an idiot. Go away.

April 7, 2004

Devil Rays 9, Yankees 4
by Larry Mahnken

Am I pissed off? No. Am I worried? Hell no. Am I frustrated? A little.

The games at the beginning of the season count just as much as the games at the end of the season and in the middle of the season, so losing two of the first three games isn't a reason to worry, even if it is against the Devil Rays. Of course, I'm naturally inclined to get pissed off when the Yankees lose, but I think I'm going through a bit of a honeymoon period right now, just overjoyed about baseball being back.

Perhaps one could worry about Mike Mussina, who has looked poor in his first two starts, but then there's legitimate excuses for his poor performance. He didn't respond very well to the time shift during the Yankees' trip to Japan, and while jet lag probably had much less effect this time around, having six days off may have hurt him as well. I'll give Mussina another couple of starts before I start wondering if he's losing it.

Joe Torre's managerial decisions yesterday weren't my cup of tea, either. I'll leave the Kenny Lofton as leadoff hitter arguments to other people (it could be worse--Jimy Williams is batting Adam ".320 OBP" Everett second in Houston), but batting Jorge Posada 8th? Maybe Joe's worried he's trying to hit Home Runs...

The lineup game was fun to play last year, especially with Soriano batting leadoff, Matsui batting fifth, and Nick Johnson batting at the bottom, but it's a little easier this year. Still, Joe did manage to screw things up last night. Go figure. Here's my ideal lineup:

3B Jeter
DH Williams
SS Rodriguez
1B Giambi
RF Sheffield
C Posada
CF Lofton
LF Matsui
2B Andy Stankiewicz (Hey, better than Enrique Wilson)

I put Lofton in front of Matsui so he could steal and avoid some DPs. There is merit to batting Lofton ninth, though, in that it makes the lineup alternate between lefties and righties every at-bat, which makes LOOGYs strict OOGYs--a potentially crucial deterrent with Kenny Lofton at the plate.

On the other hand, I don't think anyone's going to be afraid of having a lefty pitch to Enrique Wilson, so they might just bring in the LOOGY for Matsui and keep him in for three batters. This year, the lineup game isn't that much fun, because there's no really obvious mistakes going into the everyday lineup (except for Posada last night, that is).

ESPN is putting the Yankees on trial, saying that they're destroying the game. I see that they put Dershowitz on the side that's preordained to win this time, as you know that the jury's going to find against the Yankees, and say that baseball needs a salary cap, because fans are usually pretty stupid about these things, and the defense lawyer probably is going to argue the wrong case. I bet if you stuck me up there in his stead, I'd win. Well, maybe we should just wait and see how badly he screws up...wait, I'm not watching that! Sorry, Erik. Not that you get a comission or anything...

So, I'm back. My Yankees preview went up on the Hardball Times yesterday, and it's something I'm very pleased with (which is unusual for me). Because of my internet troubles, I didn't get a chance to contribute to the staff's preseason predictions, so here's mine:

AL East    AL Central AL West
Red Sox    Twins      Athletics
Yankees    Royals     Angels
Blue Jays  White Sox  Mariners
Orioles    Indians    Rangers
Devil Rays Tigers

NL East    NL Central NL West
Phillies   Cubs       Giants
Marlins    Astros     Diamondbacks
Braves     Cardinals  Padres
Expos      Reds       Dodgers
Mets       Pirates    Rockies

AL Wild Card: New York
NL Wild Card: Astros

AL Divisional Playoffs: New York over Oakland in 5, Boston over Minnesota in 4
NL Divisional Playoffs: Chicago over San Francisco in 3, Houston over Philadelphia in 4

AL Pennant: New York over Boston in 7
NL Pennant: Chicago over Houston in 6

World Series: New York over Chicago in 6

AL Cy Young: Johan Santana, MIN
NL Cy Young: Mark Prior, CHC

AL MVP: Alex Rodriguez, NYY
NL MVP: Albert Pujols, STL

AL ROY: Joe Mauer, MIN
NL ROY: Kazou Matsui, NYM

AL MOY: Ken Macha, OAK
NL MOY: Bobby Cox, ATL

And remember, if the actual results are different, I'm not wrong--reality is.

Two final things: I've added the PayPal donation button to my sidebar, and this is the only time I'll EVER mention it in the blog. If you donate, I'll send you a thank you email, but I won't mention it on the blog (unless you give me a LOT of money, like a few hundred dollars), and I won't solicit donations. I've featured the link about as prominently as I can, and that's as much soliciting as I think is warranted in my case.

The other thing is the Magic Number counter. That's done by hand, so it might not get updated every day, but it will be accurate. And no, I won't take it down, even if they get eliminated from contention.