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Blessed are the Yankees castoffs, for they shall inherit the Pennant

Mike:
So if the White Sox go on to win the World Series, is it like the formah vengeful Yankees cap wearing God has decided to kick ovah the money changahs tables and staht spreading that victory wealth to the formah have nots?

 

Bill:
Seriously. How does a Supreme Being compete with last year's Miracle of the Greatest Comeback in the History of Sport? Oh, how 'bout getting a team into the World Series for only the second time since they pissed everyone off by playing Judas in 1919?

 

Mike:
One things seem evident, a certain club seems to have fallen into disfavah with the Almighty. I mean we had the glory of the up 3-0 demolition with the Red Sox in '04, now we have the White Sox as the first club since the '56 Yankees to throw 4 consecutive complete games.

 

Bill:
Amen. It's Yahweh or the highway, baby.

 

Mike:
The Yankees fall from Grace is quite a story, and, with the clarity of hindsight, the whole Contreras dealio from December 2002 might have been the first fissure in the wall of the Bronx Jericho.

 


Mike:
But after all that Contreras gets off to a good staht yet anything but stellah in the Pinstripes, particularly when facing the Red Sox, so they ship him to Chicago for Esteban Loaiza at the deadline last year.

 

Bill:
And now Contreras is the "Titan of Bronze" again on his way to one of the greatest postseason pitching performances of all time, but not with the Yankees.

 

Mike:
And don't forget El Duque, anothah Yankees castoff.

 

Bill:
And what about Pettitte and Clemens?

 

Mike:
What do Jose Contreras, Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens all have in common? Answer: They all had better ERAs than any pitcher in the Yankee rotation this season. Heh.

 

Bill:
'Tis easiah for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich ownah to buy a pennant it seems.

 

Comments

Did anyone hear of the rumor that Contreras was tipping his pitches while with the Yankees? The story I heard was that you could see Contreras's fingers wiggle in his glove when he would gear up to throw a fastball, and that the Red Sox actually picked up on this and that's why they were able to blast off against him. When he went to the White Sox they noticed it and got him to wiggle his fingers for all his pitches and fixed it.

I also heard on the rumor front that Epstein went into the Contreras negotiations knowing he wouldn't win, and his whole effort was to simply bid up the price to make the Yanks pay the most. That doesn't jibe with the lowell sun story, but it does jibe with what I remember hearing at the time (that Contreras wanted to go to New York above all other clubs).

Sheesh. White Sox in the World Series. The end is nigh.

If the Astros are in, then I want them to win.

If the Cardinals are in, then I want Chicago to win.

My levels of respect go:

Clemens > Guillen > Pujols > any other factor.

There are articles in the Chicago Tribune that mention Contreras tipping his pitches and Don Cooper correcting his delivery. I believe that I heard an interview on the radio with Cooper (but I might have read it) where he said that it was so obvious. It would have been dealt with quickly in the minor leagues, but since he came from Cuba, he wasn't getting proper advice. The implication was that he was surprised that the MFY (not his words) had not picked up on it.

Agreed with Kaz. Astros, best option. Cardinals, worst option. But I'm from Texas, and one of my best friends really loves the Astros, so that's part of it.

As pathetic as it is, I'm glad the White Sox mopped up the Angels. At least we didn't get swept by a team that immediately faded into nothingness (they get one more chance to do that, though).

Red Sox win World Series. White Sox in World Series. Biblical storms upon our Sodom (New Orleans). If Gomorrah (Las Vegas, I guess) gets wiped out, I'm heading for a mountain top.

Yes, it would be fine and dandy if the great Andy Pettitte was still with the Yanks. And man, our Yanks sure could've used Clemens, and Contreras and El Duque, too, especially Duque.

But let's not forget a few things about these ex-Yankee pitchers:

-Clemens walked away from the Yanks. Steinbrenner would have given Rocket anything he wanted to stay, but Clemens wanted nothing other than to "retire" to Texas. Let's also not forget how the Red Sox shamefully ran Old Man Clemens out of Beantown. Who's to blame for that one, Mr. Brachen?

- The Yanks let Pettitte go due to concerns about his left elbow. Well-founded concerns, too since the hinge blew out, requiring surgery in the middle of Andy's first season with the 'Stros. Still, Andy would've been better than Randy for the 2005 Yanks. No question.

- Contreras was an endlessly frustrating project for Mel Stottlemyre because he couldn't obey Yankee pitching commandment #1: Thou shalt beat the Red Sox. Nor could he obey Yankee pitching commandment #2: Thou shalt not walk the leadoff hitter every damn inning. I'm rooting for the great Contrarian and his ChiSox now.

- Duque's the one I really wish was still with the Yanks (and he didn't even play in the ALCS!) ChiSox signed him for something like 7 million over two years (why didn't Theo jump on this?!)Chump change in Yankeeland, especially given Duque's postseason pedigree. Imagine Duque coming out of the Yankee bullpen instead of Sturtze. Now imagine Sturtze trying to shut down the Red Sox the way Duque did at Fenway (which was just so beautiful to behold. Heh.)

And since we're talking about "the ones that got away," how many of you in RSN believe your beloved BoSox might still be playing if castaways Pedro and Lowe weren't discarded? Let me put it this way: Pedro would have made sure your championship reign was not swept away.

By the way: "Yahwey or the highway, baby"... classic "soxaholix."

Of course any Red Sox fan in his or her right mind would have loved to see Pedro on this year's team. D-Lowe I could do without, especially for the money the Angels paid him. I think Clement was an upgrade there, even given his problems down the stretch and during the post-season.

But unfortunately, the four-year deal the Mets gave Pedro was not chump change in RedSoxland, and so Theo had to decide between signing Pedro and signing Varitek. I know it's impossible for Yankee fans to comprehend the need to make such a choice, but Theo made it and I think he chose wisely. And even if they had kept Pedro, they probably would have been lucky to win 95 games without a healthy Schilling and Foulke. Meanwhile, they got a lot of wins out of Clement, and Wells, while Miller may be able to give them some next year. And they still have money left over on what they would have had to pay Pedro.

Plus, Pedro may not have had the year in the AL at Fenway that he had in the NL and at Shea Stadium, where he had a 2.90 ERA. I think he still would have been great, but not quite as lights-out as he was with the Mets.

Bottom line: I have thoroughly enjoyed watching all the ex-Yankees compete in the post-season. It's fine by me if you throughly enjoy imagining what might have happened if the ex-Sox Pedro and D-Lowe had gotten there.

As for Clemens, he has never been Mr. Clutch in the post-season, not with us and rarely since he left us. I also agree with Bill Simmons the Sports Guy that if he had stayed in Boston, he would have overeaten and underperformed his way into an early retirement. He only decided to pay attention to his diet and conditioning after he left. But that still didn't do him much good when the pressure is on in October.

Excuse me: I meant to type D-Lowe I could do without, especially for the money the DODGERS paid him... The LA Dodgers of Chavez Ravine, that is...

Glad you liked the line. Seeing it repeated in the comments made me realize I'd mistyped Yahweh. All fixed now.

As for missing Pedro, sure, Lowe, not exactly, but it's not a good comparison since both Pedro and Lowe are not still playing, as with the Yankees former pitchers. Pedro's under a mango tree and Lowe's probably under some chick's panties.

OT but I gotta say it: Timmy just dipped into my wallet for three bucks. Or was it the Doc and her 'hesitates' that snagged me? Can't tell for sure, so keep them both. They'd make a great sidebar mini-series.

"And don't forget El Duque..."

Hehe, yeah, forgot about that guy. Is he on the White Sox?

The baseball gods gave us GBY fans the next best thing - a Red Sox sweep and a chance to see some of our old favorites in the WS. It'll be fun to watch, and even more fun if Andy and Roger make it.

There's a sad story on ESPN about A-Rod. His uncle who raised him died on September 30. That was the last day of the regular season.

Let's also not forget how the Red Sox shamefully ran Old Man Clemens out of Beantown.

Far be it for me to defend Dan Duquette, but in this case I can't really fault his judgement. Clemens had given absolutely no indication that he was anything but washed up: in the four years prior to his departure, his cumulative record 40-39, a number which included the only two loding seasons of his career. As soon as he gets a fat new contract with Toronto, he miraculously loses 30 pounds and turns back the clock to 1986. Odd coincidence, no?

And as for missing Pedro: Nobody here wanted to see him go, it was simply a matter of whether to take on a huge contract to do so. Had they been able to sign him for two years, I would've been all for it, but once the Mets dangled four years and 50+ million in front of him, the game was over. They would've been crazy to sign a guy his age, with his injury history, to a deal like that.

As for Lowe: he went 12-15 in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the majors, so no, I don't miss him at all.

Interestingly, I was having a conversation about how I would (if I were the GM of the Sox) go for a straight trade for Vlad for Manny give the difference in speed, arm and fielding. Did my dad ever give me shit...(and this is why you should listen to members of the 'Greatest' generation)..Vlad goes not seem to have 'it' for the post-season. I am just glad Theo is the GM. I'll stick to things I know.

BTW, I was listening to the local ESPN station (from western CT) and they had this sound bit from some MFY post-game show where some MFY host said after they lost to Angels on Slappy McBlue Lips double-play ball, "With every Yankee fan counting on him, the highest paid player in the history of baseball hits weakly into a double-play.A-Rod has cemented his reputation with the Yankees as a 'dog with fleas'!" Enough said.

Good points all, Pops.

However, you state that Yanks fans might find it impossible to comprehend having to choose between two quality players over money(i.e. 'Tek or Pedro) -- but that's pretty much what happened with Randy and Beltran last winter.
Yanks gave the big bucks to old man Johnson then got all uncharacteristically frugal with Carlos Beltran (despite his remarkable performance in last year's postseason)
I'm not sure why Beltran wilted on the Mets last season - but for his glove alone, my MF Yanks would have been wiser to invest in him than Johnson... and that's coming from a Bernie Williams fan.

Ack!

PS - since I have to remember this is a RED SOX site, do you guys see Damon back in center next season? Will he take a 3 year, 30 million deal? or does he find a sucker named Steinbrenner to guarantee 4 years, 40 mill, and a monument? As we all know, Steinbrenner does not share Demi Moore's appreciation for younger men. So, center field will definitely be an expensive repair in the Bronx.

While we're on the subject of who wasn't signed for the right and wrong reasons -- I agree that the Red Sox letting Clemens go at the time was the right call.

I also think letting Contreras go was alright, but even with Pettite's potential injury, he absolutely should have been wrapped up. The Yankees really blew it with him, for a few reasons. For one thing, he was so solid in the postseason. For another, guys like him and Bernie and Derek and Tino made up the heart and soul of that team. And another - the guy deserved thanks and respect from the team. They balked at making him offer before the deadline and insulted him by making an offer afterward. He didn't deserve that, after all he had done for the team. So he left, and, like I've said, the good thing that came out of that is that Roger extended his career.

Of course, I didn't want Soriano to be let go either, but what can you do?'

I love this time of year when we can speculate about next year's lineups. I wonder if Manny is going to be satisfied by his meeting with the Red Sox management, or if he's going to ask for a trade.

Yeah, but choosing between whether to sign Randy Johnson away from the Diamondbacks or Beltran away from the Astros is not the same as having to choose between two players on your own roster, is it?

As for Damon, what can I say? If George wants him badly enough, and Johnny wants the huge money badly enough, George will probably get him. If that happens, I hope the Sox will use the money wisely to fill the gaps in the outfield and pitching rotation. I don't know when Rocco Baldelli is a free agent, but he might be more affordable than Johnny Damon, and he's younger too.

I'm just hoping that Johnny remembers that if he goes to the Bronx and doesn't win it all, there will be no monuments built to him anywhere -- unless he spends some of George's money to build one to himself.

I'm so tired of people bitching about Clemens tanking the last 4 years. This is his page on baseball reference: http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/clemero02.shtml

In case you don't feel like clicking on that link, I'll recap what Clemens did during those final four years, 1993-96. In 1993 his ERA was 5% better than average, 94 was 77% better, 95 was 15% better, 96 was 42% better. In his only postseason start during that time period against the 95 Indians he threw 7 innings of 3ER, 5 SO, no decision baseball. Keep in mind the 95 Indians scored more runs than everyone else that season. There is plenty of other information on that page to show that while year to year he might have been inconsistent, and he might not have always pitched to ace levels he never was washed up during that time. To say otherwise is just uneducated bitterness that he was a jerk who ended up playing for the Yankees. There is a difference.

Loved that Demi Moore comparison BTW.

So no Yankees fans are speculating about the biggest coup George could make -- signing Theo Epstein as Yanks GM?

Oh, man, Clemens was a jerk long before he donned the pinstripes.

Re: Theo. It's an interesting thought, and if Cash leaves I could see George strongly considering that. I wonder whether Theo would be interested.

Someone pointed out that with a limitless bankroll, it doesn't really matter who's in that spot, but there's obviously more to the job than signing checks.

Theo's cute but you can keep him.

I imagine clueless King George holding court with his Tampa toadies at this moment:

"Who is this Theo Epstein? Is he better than Tom F@#king Gordon? Is this Thee-o a closer? Eh, what's that? He's the Red Sox GM... I know this. Fine fellow, good man, I shall meet Theo Epstein at once! Money is no object! At once, I say, AT ONCE!!"

Thanks for the kind words re: Demi, Mr. Brachen. I thought I might receive an acrimonious "cease and desist" note from you for "stealing" Susan's miracle baby, and putting him in the safety of Evil Esq., the hated Marty. (Like when "The Others" stole the kid on "Lost")

Strange how the (almost) nadir of my Yankees fortunes (Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS) inspired one of the funniest lines I've ever read (even as it was at the expense of my MF Yanks): "The baby just kicked." classic!

Ugh. The Theo to the Yankees idea just scares the living crap out of me. Bad enough to lose Theo, because he's the guy that I'll give the lion's share of the credit to for revamping the farm system and giving us a bright future...but the bigger blow would be delaying the reign of Billy Connors in NY. The lead minion of the Tampa contingent, and the brains behind such brilliant moves as "Don't worry about that failed physical, Jaret Wright, just sign the contract," I'm absolutely praying for the day when Cashman decides not to re-up, and Connors takes over as GM.

Sorry I didn't make it clearer. I knew he was a jerk all along. But in the four years he supposedly tanked he was never below average and twice pitched at an ace level or real close to it. Him being an overweight jerk who eventually played for the Yankees doesn't change that. And a completely misleading stat like a pitcher having a losing record on an awful team doesn't either.

Yeah, but look at his record in the post-season. Dave Stewart was his master. And except for one year on the Yankees, when he was surrounded by arms that were arguably equal to or better than his own, he has been unable to be the dominant pitcher that his teams have needed him to be. Some guys who are sub-par during the regular season seem to rise to the occassion in October. Clemens has never been one of those. Maybe this year he will turn it around; but I wouldn't bet on his team in a Game 7 he starts.

Add Randy Johnson to that list of guys who can't seem to step up when needed.

Looks like Woonsocket's own Rocco Baldelli has ditched Scott Boras and started talking about an extension with the Devil Rays. Maybe Johnny Damon should take a hint...

"Add Randy Johnson to that list of guys who can't seem to step up when needed."

Except in games 2, 6, and 7 in '01.

And recent history: AL East clincher, ALDS Game 5. Sure he blew it in game 2, and his 3.79, 17-8 year was subpar, but I definitely want this guy on my team.


h.b., the 2001 World Series would like a word with you:

R. Johnson, 3-0 in 3 games (one of those was a 3-hit shutout, Game 2), 1.04 ERA through 17.1 innings with 19 K and 3 BB. Only 9 hits and 2 ER for those 17+ innings.

The Yankees saw him 3 times in 9 days and couldn't figure him out for any of them.

RJ has stepped up when needed. He also floundered miserably this year. I just don't think this year's performance overwrites what he's done before in my mind.

At least we got to see the White Sox's bullpen. In 5 games against the Angels they threw 7 pitches. I knew Ozzie was old-school, but "Bullpen? What's a bullpen?" is ridiculous. If this series goes 7 games, a game on October 29th can be a bit nippy in Chicago. Snow is not impossible.

"Yeah, but look at his record in the post-season."

Doesn't look that bad. He's had some clunkers, but he's also come through. He's 10-7 with a 3.54 ERA in the postseason. 3-0 with a 1.90 ERA in the World Series.

My memory is that Schilling was the hero from 2001, BUT I didn't watch it.

And I read something recently, I think it was in a t Boswell column, but it very may well have been somewhere else, that was saying such about Johnson.

I'm willing to stand corrected.

Throw out the '86 stats and the ERA climbs. Most of those post-season wins also did NOT come in must-win situations. Like I said, maybe he'll turn it around this year, but I'd MUCH rather have Pedro, Schilling, Randy Johnson, Petitte, Contreras or David Wells in a Game 7 must-win situation. Clemens is lights-out on opening day however.

Yeah, Randy and Curt were co-MVPs of the World Series that year, and that probably made sense, but Randy wrapped up Game 7.

Randy started two games, won 3 by coming in game 7 that Schilling had started, and posted a 1.04 ERA in 17.3 innings.

Schilling was 1-0 in 3 starts, with a 1.69 ERA, 21.3 innings pitched.

By the way, Clemens started that Game 7 for the Yankees. He gave up one run in 6 1/3. Stanton finished up the seventh, and Mo came in the 8th, and blew it in the 9th.

I still have nightmares about that game and I haven't returned to the bar where I watched it.

Sox fans should be glad that our offseason hasn't turned nearly as fratricidal as what is going on down heah in NY. Hey Billy Mahtin, you were right -- Reggie Jackson really is a born liar! "Overheard in the Yankees' clubhouse after they lost to the Angels... Reggie to A-Rod: "I'll trade my past for your future." - Newsday

A-Rod's future includes $25 million a year. Reggie could stir a lot of drinks with them straws... No lie.

I about split my gut over the Yahweh or the highway comment. Hilarious.

Of course, the kicker with Contreras is that the Yankees are paying a good chunk of his salary for the White Sox, this year and next. The Chicago Sox got Contreras for essentially a two year, $12 million dollar deal. And they didn't have to pay anything in 2004.

All for Esteban Loiaza. Classic.

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