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October 13, 2005

Unfair bashing
by SG

The Yankees loss to Anaheim was frustrating, and disappointing. Naturally, rather than accept the fact that the Yankee were perhaps outplayed by a better team, people instead chose to blame a scapegoat.

Here are the facts. The Yankees won 95 games this year. If they lost 2 fewer games, they may not have even been in the postseason. The biggest reason they made the playoffs was their third baseman, Alex Rodriguez. However, due to 5 bad games that were not that bad, people want to run him out of town. It's short-sighted, it's unfair, and it's just plain stupid.

The Angels were clearly afraid of Rodriguez in this series, and pitched him very carefully. Rodriguez's OBP was .435. He was walked 6 times in 5 games. He stranded a grand total of 6 runners. If you want a scapegoat, how about Gary Sheffield, who hit .286/.318/.286 and stranded 17. If not Sheffield, how about Hideki Matsui, who hit .200/.273/.400 and stranded 14? How about our $16 million ace, Randy Johnson, and his horrendous start in Game 3? How about Joe Torre and his love for the hit and run in Game 5 against a wild rookie who had just come into the game?

Rodriguez did not play well, but let's face it, he was far from the only problem on this team in this round, and the use of selective endpoints to make his Yankee postseason career seem worse than it is is the weakest kind of argument from people.

Here's another fact, the Yankees are paying Derek Jeter more per year than Alex Rodriguez. They're paying Randy Johnson more per year than Alex Rodriguez. They're paying Mike Mussina and Jason Giambi more per year than Alex Rodriguez. Why do I have to keep hearing about his 10 year, $252 million contract when he's a) already played 3 years of it for another team, and b) his remaining salary is being subsidized by his former team?

Anyway, I just had to get this off my chest.

In other news, from the NY Post by way of Sankei Sports in Japan, the Yankees "are poised to offer Hideki Matsui a three-year deal worth $35.5 million."

My first thought is that this is an overpay, based on Matsui's age and fielding issues. However, it's not that egregious of one, and being only 3 years it has little likelihood of being a bad signing. It would be an even better signing to me if the Yankees would entertain the thought of playing Matsui in center, but putting him in left with a stop gap like Jay Payton or Dave Roberts may also make sense. Neither is much of a hitter, but both are good defensive players who would help the Yankee pitching staff immensely.

I also think the Yankees should make a push for B.J. Ryan, but other than that I have not really spent much time thinking about how the Yankee offseason should progress. I guess it makes sense to wait and see if Brian Cashman is still around before trying to figure out what the Yankees are going to do.