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September 2, 2004

The Sound and the Fury: Crafting the Postseason Roster
by Sean McNally

With a three-and-a-half game lead in the division and a seven game lead in the Wild Card, it's probably safe to think about who the Yanks should take into the postseason ... Sean and John debate this point in the first of a possibly, sort-of regular series, "The Sound and the Fury."

Sean McNally: The Yanks have 25 spots to fill for the second season... who's on the bubble?

sjohnny: The givens are ARod, Jeter, Cairo, Posada, Sheffield, Lofton, Bernie, Matsui, Brown, Moose, El Duque, Vazquez, Mo, Gordon and Quantrill. I guess Flaherty and Wilson are givens too.

SJ: That's 17 there, we need 7 more.

SM: That's all well and good, but you have no first basemen. Plan on playing Flash Flaherty behind the plate and Posada at first?

SJ: You have to pick two of three. Flaherty will have to be on the roster, right?

SM: It's 8 more, Math boy.

SJ: Riiiiight.

SM: Anyway, first the first baseman - Giambi's really the x-factor here. If he's healthy, he should make it. But if he's not 100%, I'd rather have Clark and Olerud.

SM: And if Torre does take Giambi, who do you leave home - the well-oiled Clark or the formerly ancient Mariner?

SJ: Would you carry all 3?

SM: No way in hell.

SJ: Giambi won't be 100%, but what "percent" does he need to be to be greater than Olderud or Clark?

SM: My gut says 10% of Giambi is better than Tony Clark... but I'll say mid-to high-80s.

SJ: I would say 70%. Earlier in the year, pre-diagnosis, pitchers were getting Jason out on fastballs over the plate. As long as that isn't happening in the two weeks prior to the playoffs, I take Giambi.

SM: I'll buy that for $20 million a year.

SM: So in our scenario, is that happening... we have to make a decision.

SJ: I leave Olerud home.

SM: Any real reason, or do you just hate his ice cream bowl-type helmet?

SJ: Clark is a switch hitter, with power potential. Clark can also go from first to third on a triple, barely. Olerud can not.

SM: 180 feet is far... if I had to cover that distance, I'd drive, or get one of those Segway thingies.

SM: Speaking of power, we taking Ruben?

SJ: Heh, yeah, I forgot to add him.

SJ: So that is the hitters right, that is 12? Five outfielders, two catchers, five infielders.

SM: Yes that's 12, now how many pitchers do we need to get to 25?

SJ: Andy Phillips or Bubba Crosby? Who gets the last spot?

SJ: 25-12? Let me get my excel spreadsheet.

SM: (aside) I'm not so sure he's kidding about this...

SJ: That is 13 pitchers, too many, we need to add a batter.

SM: Well, you need to go get rid of your chubrock for Andy Phillips. He's lucky to be getting a AAA paycheck, and he's certainly not gonna get on the postseason roster.

SM: So, it’s Bubba Crosby.

SJ: Crosby? Isn't that like 9 outfielders?

SM: You're being nice to Ruben by calling him an "outfielder" aren't you?

SJ: Crosby had 40 big league ABs.

SM: That's at least 39 more than he'll have in the postseason.

SM: He's on the team to be legs if Bernie and Lofton are already in the game. It's one more reason not to give Enweaque playing time.

SJ: Phillips can do that.

SJ: Twice this year, Gary Sheffield has played 3B.

SM: So let's count him as an infielder, just make the number more equal.

SJ: What happens if Captain Dreamboat hurls himself in front of a vehicle to save a box of kittens? And Sierra bats for Wilson? Who plays third?

SM: If Jeter did that, the kittens would go sliding right past him into traffic.

SM: Why don't we take all the first basemen then, assuming Giambi's healthy enough?

SJ: That still doesn't solve the Jeter/Kitten scenario, but I can accept that.

SJ: Just give Phillips a shot these last two weeks, that is all I ask.

SM: Bigger infatuation - you with Andy Phillips or me with a certain Padre farmhand?

SJ: I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I think Phillips went .600/.800/1.400 at AAA this year.

SM: Well, I do have his AAA numbers in front of me and they are -- .383/.564/.947

SJ: Phillips > Sliced Bread > Crosby > WNBA > Enrique Wilson.

SM: You are high like Dock Ellis.

SJ: Well, I wasn't that far off.

SM: Yeah, only 500 points of OPS, or roughly the difference between Barry Bonds and No. 2 in the NL.

SJ: Well, I was estimating.

SJ: He is still a better option than Crosby.

SM: So we've got Posada and Flaherty behind the plate, Wilson, Jeter, ARod, Cairo, Olerud, Clark and Giambi on the infield and Matsui, Sheffield, "Sierra," Lofton and Bernie in the outfield. That's 14... How many to go?

SM: Need an abacus?

SJ: That's 11 pitchers.

SM: So with El Duque, Brown, Home Run Javy and Moose, plus QuanGorMo -- that's seven... four left.

SJ: Lieber is the long man.

SM: That's three... do you take Karsay?

SJ: This is where it gets iffy.

SM: I agree, the middle of the pen is the soft underbelly of the staff.

SJ: Karsay, Halsey, Proctor, Prinz, Sturtze and Heredia are the candidates.

SJ: The outer crust of the staff is pretty soft too.

SM: Yeah, yeah... well let's do this the easy way -- who are we least comfortable with?

SJ: I say lets see how Karsay looks. If he even gets one batter out once, we take him. I take Karsay, Halsey and Proctor.

SM: You are least comfortable with them?

SJ: No.

SM: OK, so no Sturtze, no Run Fairy, no Prinz?

SJ: Well, if you give Sturtze to Torre, he may use him. So that cannot happen.

SM: Good point, same for Heredia.

SJ: Halsey is a starter, so I would like to see him work some out of the bullpen before I commit to him.

SM: Fat chance of that happening.

SJ: He has to use him at least a couple times. But if it comes down to the final pitching spot, I am more comfortable with Heredia than Prinz or Sturtze. And I can not believe I just wrote that.

SM: That's like saying you're more comfortable with the drunk as your cabbie than the junkie.

SJ: So that’s the team?

SM: Well, we could take Padilla, but the DFA'ed him.... asshats.

SJ: Padilla isn't special.

SM: He's specialer than Proctor.

SJ: Proctor throws cheese.

SM: Hey, what about Come to Jesus?

SJ: CJ should be dropped now.

SM: C'mon now, with Warner under center, it’s been a great summer for hardcore Christians in New York - Maybe Chad Curtis should get a look by Torre and Cashman?

SJ: And Bean should be given his spot. Seriously, if you were Colter Bean, why wouldn't you quit?

SM: You like paychecks?

SJ: I just reread Moneyball on my plane trip, his numbers are exactly what Beane and DePo were looking for, why wouldn't they take him in the Rule V?

SM: Boston did... and threw him back

SJ: But Boston took him in the second round.

SM: I think he should get a shot, but I'm just a schlub with a computer.. what the hell do I know.

SJ: or maybe third round, anyway, everyone passed on him. So predictions?

SM: *Mr T voice* I predict pain. Seriously, the Yanks should win the division and home field, which is key

SJ: I think that squad beats Texas in the first round, loses to everyone else they may play.

SM: That's funny, since Texas isn't making the playoffs. It'll be New York, Minnesota, Oakland and Boston just like last year. New York beats Minnesota and Oakland finally gets through the first round. After that, it’s a coin flip.

SJ: But Texas has BUCK!

SM: What, he's gonna have Ryan Drese throw 147 pitches? How's that gonna help?

SJ: No, Texas isn't making it, I just meant that’s the only favorable match up.

SM: I think healthy Brown, good Moose and non-home run Javy make any of those match ups good.

SJ: Yanks are a coin flip with Team Orange County, Minnesota and Oakland. They are not the favorite against Boston, unless Kevin Brown rights the ship.

SJ: Non-home run Javy is like Santa Claus. I am not sure he exists.

SM: Oh he does, but he only comes around a couple times a year.

SM: You are drinking the kool-aid my friend. You really think the Sox are going to continue .933 baseball?

SJ: No, but break down the pitching match ups, and I give it to Boston in seven.

SM: It is too late to get Aaron Boone back?

JM: Yanks 1-3 in the Pedro and Schilling starts, 2-1 in the Arroyo and Wakefield starts. Before you get pissy, I left Lowe out as a joke

SM: Either way, I think we're getting ahead ourselves... let's win in the first round first.

SJ: Deal.