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April 23, 2005

Sunk Costs
by SG

Fortunately for me, I did not get to watch last night's game. I did listen to most of it on the radio, and as Kevin Brown gave another crappy performance to start the game, one thing that John Sterling said really got on my nerves:

"Brown's in the rotation, you have to pitch him."

I understand that Kevin Brown is making $15 million this season. However, if every time he starts he is putting his team in a 5 or 6 run hole to start the game, then the Yankees need to view him as a sunk cost.

From Wikipedia, here's what a sunk cost is:

In economics and in business decision-making, sunk costs are costs that have already been incurred and which cannot be recovered to any significant degree. Sunk costs are sometimes contrasted with incremental costs, which are the costs that will change due to the proposed course of action. In microeconomic theory, only incremental costs are relevant to a decision. If we let sunk costs influence our decisions, we will not be assessing a proposal exclusively on its own merits.

I'd swear that could've been written about Kevin Brown.

It's too soon to give up on Brown, it's only two starts, but if someone from the minors shows some consistency (Tiger Wang or Ramon Ramirez perhaps?), then I'd hope the Yankees wouldn't keep throwing Brown in the rotation strictly because they are paying him. That salary is gone, it's not coming back. You can't keep trying to justify it while costing your team wins. I guess I don't trust the Yankees to make that kind of decision, but perhaps an injury to Brown will make it for them.

Brown wasn't helped by a less than stellar offensive performance. The bullpen was strong again, especially Mike Stanton in a shocking peformance where he struck out all four batters he faced. I've basically accepted that the team will not leave April above .500 at this point, but as long as they win more than they lose going forward, I'll hope for a 15 game tear where they go 12-3 or something to get their record back up to respectability.

In other news, the latest on Ruben Sierra is that he will miss 4 to 6 weeks, and Andy Phillips has been called up. Shockingly, he got an AB yesterday. I'd like to see Torre give him some playing time, and hope that he can get some big hits so that Torre will play him ocassionally. Also, Tanyon Sturtze played catch yesterday and felt fine, so expect him to be back when his DL time is up.