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Zip It Up Damon
Last week, Tampa Bay minor leaguer Elliot Johnson ran over Yankee minor league catcher Francisco Cervelli at home plate. The result for Cervelli was a fractured wrist that requires surgery and an 8-10 week stay on the disabled list.

Reasonable minds can disagree about whether or not the take-out collision was “clean” or warranted or in compliance with “the unspoken rules” of MLB’s Spring Training Code.

Not surprisingly, the Yankees believed the play crossed the line and was “dirty” and the Rays felt the play was “sound” and completely acceptable.

During Wednesday’s Yankees/Rays game, Shelley Duncan stood up for his fallen teammate, Cervelli, by sliding into second base “spikes up” in the director of Akinori Iwamura. The “spikes up” slide resulted in a gash to Iwamura’s leg and prompted both benches to clear in anticipation of an on the field brawl that never materialized.

If I am Francisco Cervelli, I am grateful to Duncan and applaud his efforts in standing up to the Rays in the name of his fallen teammate. If I am a veteran Yankee player, I am grateful to Duncan for his intensity and for his commitment to the team concept.

Apparently, not all Yankee veterans appreciate Duncan's aggressive efforts in standing up for his fallen teamate. And not all Yankee veterans are appreciative of Duncan’s display of intensity and commitment to the team concept. Johnny Damon, speaking for the “old guard” and acting in the interest of enlightening those who aren’t familiar with the “unwritten rules” of MLB’s Spring Training Code has aired his disapproval of Duncan’s actions to the NY media.

Says Damon: “A lot of veteran guys have talked to him,” Johnny Damon told the Post yesterday. We are telling him to keep playing hard, but keep the spikes down and the shoulders in (when sliding). This way people see you are playing hard, but no once can question you.”

What Damon intentionally fails to acknowledge is that Shelley Duncan knows how to play the game the right way. His “spikes up” slide was not intended to be a “clean” play but was intended to serve as a response to what was perceived to be an “unclean” take-out slide of Cervelli from last week. Duncan was standing up for his teammate and Damon knows this.

Damon’s refusal to recognize the play for what it was- A teammate sticking up for his teammate- is Damon’s way of avoiding confrontation and potential future bean ball wars and brawls. While Duncan is willing to stand up for a teammate and in the process risk future retaliation from the Rays, Damon is not.

Not surprisingly, Shelley Duncan is a fan favorite for his blue-collar mentality, toughness and underdog status. Johnny Damon is not.

Instead of criticizing Duncan, Damon should be taking notes and doing what he can to become a tougher competitor and a better teammate. But instead, he criticizes Duncan to the New York papers on behalf of the “old guard”. Zip it up “old guard”. Zip it up Damon.

Posted by David Martorano at 3/14/2008 12:50:00 PM
Comments (8)

Worst Trade Ever?
The Mariners finally pulled the plug on Horacio Ramirez. The trade that brought Ramirez to Seattle for Rafael Soriano was described in the Seattle-area papers Thursday morning as "one that could only be considered a failure" and "a trade [GM Bill] Bavasi won't be putting at the top of his résumé" and one of "the worst trades in Seattle history." All true, yes, but far from encompassing the magnitude of the Ramirez-for-Soriano debacle.

The trade was not just one of the worst in Mariners history, but one of the worst in baseball history, perhaps the worst trade ever. Hyperbole, you say? Crazy, you say? Well, consider for a moment what this trade wasn't:

1. a win-now deadline deal (Astros trade for Randy Johnson)
2. a free-agent-to-be incentivized deal (Mark McGwire traded by A's)
3. a bad-in-hindsight deal (Ernie Broglio for Lou Brock)
4. a reasonable-idea-that-just-didn't-work-out deal (Freddy Garcia for three top prospects)
5. a firesale (take your pick)

The above scenarios allow one to at least justify a trade. There's no justifying trading Rafael Soriano for Horacio Ramirez. Not now, not then, not ever. It was never even a reasonable idea. The only thing notable about Ramirez's career prior to the trade was that he had undergone both Tommy John and rotator cuff surgeries. His career K/BB was 248/200. He was never a top prospect, not in 2000, 2001 or 2002 before his 2003 rookie season. The only way you'd take on Ramirez after his 4.48-era, 37/31-K/BB 2006, would be on a low-risk/one-year deal just to roll the dice.

And we haven't even gotten into the high-upside merits of Rafael Soriano. When Ramirez's struggles last season became too much to ignore, the Mariners began peddling rumors that the front office forced the trade because Soriano was a bad seed. Even if true, that doesn't justify trading him for Horacio Ramirez, as I pointed out here.

Show me a worse trade that doesn't fall under the above scenarios.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 3/13/2008 6:50:00 PM

Comments (27)

MLB Notes
There isn't anyone getting consistently overdrafted more than Javier Vazquez. I've always liked Vazquez's stuff, dating back to his days as an Expo. However, the fact remains 2007 was the first season he finished with an ERA under 4.42 in four years. He's always a help in WHIP, and the strikeouts are legit, but Vazquez is an extreme flyball pitcher who plays in one of the most homer-friendly ballparks in baseball. Last year, his groundball/flyball ratio actually decreased from the season before, when he posted a 4.84 ERA. The glaring difference? His strand rate jumped from .640 in 2006 to .720 last season. I wouldn't count on it happening again.

I view Jeff Francis similarly, as prospective fantasy owners are focusing way too much on last year's 17 wins and too little on the underlying peripherals when overdrafting the left-hander. Coors Field is still a very undesirable place to pitch, and 4.22 ERAs are rarely accompanied by 1.38 WHIPs. Expect him to finish this year with something resembling his second half numbers from 2006. He's not a top-60 fantasy starter in my eyes.

I'd like to apologize to Rocco Baldelli, my personal whipping boy ever since he killed numerous fantasy teams of mine over the past couple of years. There's a joke somewhere to be made regarding the fact his career is over due to "fatigue," but I've made enough at his expense. The guy's life may be in jeopardy for crying out loud. Farewell, Rocco Baldelli.

I really don't understand why catchers aren't more heavily targeted. There is a clear-cut top-4, and then a precipitous drop off. If you are playing in a 2-C league, there are some pretty awful options if you wait too long, whereas even the 80th outfielder can produce decent enough stats. This is the one clear position that needs to be addressed early based on scarcity.

I always preach not to draft based on last year's stats, but if anyone's 2007 is under the radar, it's Mark Ellis'. Here's a second baseman who basically finished with a line of .275-20-10-80-80 while missing more than 10 games. I doubt he'll do it again, but as one of the game's best defensive players, he's pretty valuable to the A's. Aaron Hill also had a very effective and under the radar season last year.

Conor Jackson is one of my favorite mid-to-late round targets. Slated to bat third in the Diamondbacks' lineup, Jackson has a very favorable home park and quietly hit .308/.371/.555 after the All-Star break last season. He doesn't have light-tower power, but eight homers over his final 130 at-bats in 2006 suggest it's developing. His 50:53 K:BB ratio last season also portends a future .310-.320 type hitter.

Shane Victorino has to be one of the first 25-30 outfielders taken in drafts. While most speedsters contribute very little in the power department, Victorino can chip in 15 bombs, and his remarkable 90 percent success rate (37-for-41) on the basepaths last year means plenty more running should be in his future. The only real difference I can find between Carl Crawford and him is about 25 points in batting average.

If Michael Cuddyer finds himself batting between Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Delmon Young, he's going to end up as a serious bargain in fantasy leagues. Part of last year's drop in slugging can be blamed on injury, and yet he still finished with respectable numbers despite missing 20 games. He's also 11-for-11 on stolen base attempts over the last two seasons, so he could probably swipe 15 bags if he wanted to.

Billy Butler is an excellent end-game pick, especially those who play in Yahoo leagues, as he's first base eligible. Butler's power is still developing, and he certainly needs to improve against right-handed pitching, but he more than held his own as a 21-year-old in the majors last season and could really break out in 2008. He's a legitimate .300 hitter and eventually all of those doubles are going to turn into homers.

I've developed an unhealthy man-crush on Lastings Milledge. It's simply impossible for me to draft this guy too high. In fact, I recently picked him in the 12th round of one league. I guess I have a soft spot for head cases, but this is a pretty unique talent with both legitimate power and speed. One should largely ignore spring stats, but I've stupidly been fixated by his line of .389/.476/.583 with five steals in 36 meaningless at-bats.

Posted by Dalton Del Don at 3/13/2008 3:59:00 PM
Comments (17)

Are We Clear? ...Yes Sir. Are We Clear? ...Crystal.
Billy Crystal will play for the New York Yankees Thursday afternoon against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Does anyone care? Is this a publicity stunt to give baseball some positive press? Bud Selig has given his blessings. Is it a bad idea? If you were Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm, how would you pitch to the 60-year-old comedian? Finally, would you rank Crystal ahead of Rocco Baldelli, given Crystal's ability to stay alive and healthy for six decades? Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by Topper at 3/13/2008 8:51:00 AM
Comments (8)

Yahoo! Friends-and-Family Draft
The full results from the draft will be up on Yahoo later this week, I presume, but here's my squad from Monday's Yahoo Expert League, where I had the fifth pick (standard 5x5, 12-team mixed league).

1. (5) Matt Holliday OF
2. (20) Ichiro Suzuki OF
3. (29) Carlos Guillen 1B,SS
4. (44) Robinson Cano 2B
5. (53) Justin Verlander SP
6. (68) Carlos Pena 1B
7. (77) Chipper Jones 3B
8. (92) Aaron Harang SP
9. (101) Jorge Posada C
10. (116) Chad Billingsley SP,RP
11. (125) Edwin Encarnacion 3B
12. (140) Jason Isringhausen RP
13. (149) Jeremy Hermida OF
14. (164) Kazuo Matsui 2B
15. (173) Joey Votto 1B,OF
16. (188) Todd Jones RP
17. (197) Brandon Lyon RP
18. (212) Billy Butler 1B,OF
19. (221) Rich Harden SP
20. (236) Scott Baker SP
21. (245) Tom Gorzelanny SP
22. (260) Johnny Cueto SP

Cueto isn't listed in their system yet, so I just used a placeholder for that spot. I'm mostly happy with the result here, with the exception that I fell behind the closer runs and missed out on my targets there. I still believe in waiting past the first closer run, but then I waited a little too long. But in a 12-team mixed league, those bottom spots on the roster are going to be pretty fluid anyhow.

Posted by Jeff Erickson at 3/12/2008 11:06:00 AM

Comments (7)

Why I Think Kerry Wood Can Win the Closer Job
According to manager Lou Piniella, there's a three-way race for the closer job in Chicago between Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood and Bobby Howry. At this point, Piniella hasn't tipped his hand too much, and most pundits believe that Marmol, who had an ungodly strikeout rate late year, has yet to be scored on this spring and who struck out the side today, will win the job. Marmol's been drafted earlier in every league I've been in, and Wood, despite pitching a scoreless inning today, is sporting a 5.20 ERA this spring.

But I think Wood is the savvier play at this point because he'll come cheaper, and as long as he holds up and pitches well, there are several reasons to think he'll win the job:

(1) It's a great comeback story, one that could inspire a team that has seen its two great pitching phenoms fall apart over the last several years (Mark Prior is trying to come back with the Padres sometime in April). To have Wood pitch well in a prominent role would salvage some of that lost promise.

(2) Wood, unlike Marmol, is a veteran, and so he's got seniority - first dibs on the more prominent role if it's close. (Bobby Howry actually has the most closing experience of the three, and is also a vet, but his early season struggles last year and his bad spring, in my opinion, make him a distant third).

(3) Wood touched 98 mph on the gun earlier this spring and is feeling healthy.

(4) Marmol's 2007 numbers were aided by a low hit rate and an especially low home run rate. Like Howry he gives up too many fly balls, and he walks too many batters.

(5) The only reason not to anoint Marmol the closer right now is to wait and see how Wood holds up and how his command is. Wood is really the only unknown in the equation - Howry is who he is, and Marmol is a fireballer with unhittable stuff - when he can locate it. Wood's health, command and ability to pitch on back to back days is unknown. Why else wait to name the closer unless they were waiting on Wood?

(6) Wood has the right demeanor to be a closer. He's a big, tough, competitive pitcher that comes after hitters.

(7) If Wood does get the job and gets hurt or fails, it's not the end of the world - they can just plug in Marmol at that point, i.e., the downside of trying Wood out is fairly minimal.

I'm not saying Wood will definitely be the guy - but I do think that if he pitches well over the next 10 days and shows he's completely healthy, the Cubs would be inclined to give him the first shot. And given where the two players are going in drafts, I'd rather invest in Wood over Marmol.

Posted by Chris Liss at 3/12/2008 12:51:00 AM

Comments (6)

Fantasy Focus Wednesday: Tom Kessenich
Tom Kessenich from the NFBC and Krause Publications joins us. We'll be talking a lot about the NFBC the next two days.

Posted by Jeff Erickson at 3/11/2008 6:55:00 PM
Comments (2)

Brian Roberts to the Cubs?
I don't know much about this from the Orioles' end, but a possible reason this deal didn't get done a couple weeks ago is that Mark DeRosa was hospitalized with a heart condition.

You might think that was a reason to do the deal in that case, but it probably wouldn't play well for the guy undergoing heart surgery to lose his job, while in the hospital. (Trading for a backup in that case would be fine, but not someone to take DeRosa's job).

Now that DeRosa seems okay, they could do the deal, but Orioles' backup Freddie Bynum is dinged up. Our most recent update says that a deal before the season starts is unlikely for that reason, but I can't imagine Bynum's injury could really hold it up.

The Orioles have no chance in a stacked AL East this year where even Toronto and Tampa Bay are fielding far better teams, while the Cubs have a huge payroll and are committed to winning now. This is a natural fit, so I'd probably take even money that Roberts is a Cub before Opening Day. (In theory, that is - not opening up the RW sports book with this post). DeRosa's seen more as a supersub than a starter, and it probably comes down to what it would take to get Roberts. I'd imagine Eric Patterson and Sean Marshall would be fair. Maybe the O's would prefer Sean Gallagher. Just speculation here, but there's a good fit.

Of course, the Cubs might want to make a move for a center fielder, too, if Felix Pie (once his nuts are back to normal) can't convince them he's ready.

Posted by Chris Liss at 3/11/2008 12:37:00 AM

Comments (8)

Back to the Future - 1986 Strat-O-Matic
Remember baseball before the steroid era of the early 1990's? We may be heading back there with stricter drug testing and actual suspensions for violators. (Or we may not and the players will continue to find more advanced methods to enhance their natural talents.) There is now a way to experience the way things used to be.

The Sporting News runs an online version of Strat-O-Matic. Jeff Erickson, Joe Sheehan and myself have competed in an expert's league called SOMBOE on TSN based on the previous seasons stats. After losing in the finals with my Toronto Kimosabes last year I was eager to try out some new strategies. So when I saw that TSN were offering a free game, Strat-O 1986, based on the 1986 season, I had to give it a shot. In my opinion, 1986 was the absolute best year for playoff drama. You had great NLCS (Mets - Astros) and ALCS (Red Sox - Angels) with lots of last minute comebacks and extra inning affairs. And then a memorable World Series to boot.

I am not sure how long it is going to be free, but I jumped in with a few friends of mine from the Strat Fan Forum to give it a try. The way it works is you draft your team and prioritize your claims. You are not guaranteed to get everyone on your list, but if you miss out on someone you are given a player with a similar Strat card. Everyone has the same amount of money to spend, you just need to spend it wisely and build a team that compliments each other offensively and defensively while also playing well in the park you have selected.

I choose Dodger Stadium, which back in 1986 was a pitchers park. In the current time it plays as a slight offensive park, but back then there was more foul territory and it was tougher to hit home runs. The team I have will be much different after going through all my claims. But some of the interesting players on my team include:

Bert Blyleven - He gave up 50 HR's that year. How will he do with Dodger Stadium instead of the Homerdome.

Bob Welch - My man crush with Welch started when he struck out Reggie Jackson in the World Series. This was a great year for him.

Gary Carter - A stud defensively, let's see how he does with Dodger Stadium as his home ballpark while he still has some gas in his tank.

Alan Trammell - One of the few shortstops (Cal Ripken being the other) that actually have some pop in their bats. Solid defender as well.

Ken Phelps - Very good .926 OPS for the Mariners in 1986. He will be my cleanup hitter.

Donnie Moore - I had to grab the troubled California Angels closer. His demise, after having the Angels within one strike of the World Series, was a sad tale.

It should be a fun season. The games are played a series (three games to a series) a day. So if you are looking for a way to re-live the past then go and give it a try. Free is the magic word!

Posted by Dennis Crowley at 3/10/2008 11:01:00 PM

Comments (0)

Fantasy Focus Tuesday: Steve Moyer and Eric Hinz
Segment 1: Steve Moyer (Baseball Info Solutions - Bill James Handbook)
Segment 2: Eric Hinz - Faketeams.com

Posted by Jeff Erickson at 3/10/2008 9:20:00 PM
Comments (1)

Is Joe Torre a Good Manager?
On the surface, Joe Torre appears to be a great manager. He managed the Yankees from 1996 to 2007 and during this time, the team won four World Series Titles and went to the playoffs every single year.

Last week, several sportswriters pointed out the tremendous shape that Yankee players like Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu and Johnny Damon arrived to camp in. The articles seemed to suggest that each of these players had arrived to camp in 2007 in terrible shape and their disappointing seasons could at least be partly attributed to that fact. The articles seemed to suggest that the players understood that things would be different under Joe Girardi and that they needed to arrive to camp in great shape or risk losing playing time to less established Yankees. The articles also seemed to suggest that players like Giambi, Abreu and Damon took advantage of Torre’s "soft" side and did not push themselves because they knew there would be no consequences for failing to do so.

I found the articles significant because I always questioned whether Torre was a great manager or simply a product of circumstance. Torre had a losing record during managerial stints with the Mets, Braves and Cardinals but immediately began enjoying tremendous success once he became manager of the team with every advantage imaginable- The New York Yankees.

I would consider Torre’s strengths as a manager to include: his ability to be liked by his players; his ability to handle superstars; and, his ability to handle the media. I would consider his main weaknesses to include: his mediocrity as an “in game manager”; and, his soft side, which was sometimes taken advantage of by his players.

Maybe it’s unfair to assume that players regularly took advantage of Torre’s "soft" side. Maybe he had simply worn out his welcome in New York and his players had become too familiar and too comfortable with Torre and had begun taking him for granted. Or maybe Torre has gotten “soft” in his old age and is no longer able to demand as much from his players as he once did. Maybe change was exactly what the Yankees and Joe Torre needed and maybe both parties will benefit from their divorce.

I am fairly confident that the switch to Joe Girardi will turn out to be a great decision for the Yankees. He seems to demand excellence from his players and this could lead to “bounce-back” seasons from players who might have needed a little push (Abreu, Damon, Giambi). His demanding personality could also play a major role in getting the most out of the younger players who might otherwise have lost focus due to immaturity and/or a lack of experience (Hughes, Kennedy, Chamberlain).

I am not so sure about how good of a fit Joe Torre will be for the Dodgers. If I were general manager of the Dodgers, I would look to hire a disciplinarian type of manager to lead my team full of rookies and young players. I would look to hire a manager who demands excellence and a certain level of professionalism from his players. I would not hire Joe Torre.

I think this upcoming season will tell us a lot about Joe Torre. If he leads the Dodgers to the playoffs and the Yankees fail to reach the playoffs, a strong case can be made that Torre is a great manager. However, if The Yankees reach the playoffs and the Dodgers miss the playoffs, a strong case can be made that Torre was a product of circumstance and is nothing more than a decent baseball manager. There is also the chance that the results could be mixed; making it hard to take a solid position along either end of the spectrum. It will be interesting to see how everything plays out.

Posted by David Martorano at 3/10/2008 2:47:00 PM
Comments (4)

Willful Ignorance
It's one thing not to be able to understand everything that Baseball Prospectus or Bill James writes about. It's an entirely different thing to be willfully and proudly ignorant of all sabermetric concepts, as demonstrated by Paul Daugherty in the Cincinnati Enquirer today.

I wanted to tear apart this article line-by-line, but of course, the good folks at Fire Joe Morgan already have.

I understand why there's a divide between old media and new media when it comes to baseball analysis. Sabermetricians can be too snarky for their own good, scouting is often improperly denigrated, etc... But then I see excrement like this column, or hear a radio show where the host brags about not knowing what OPS is (really, how stupid is that? It's two basic elements - on-base percentage and slugging percentage. I can understand not wanting to know about DIPS or even VORP, but come on - please show me that you have at least one cell in your brain that's capable of learning still.).

I suppose there's just a generational divide, and that mindset isn't going to fall into the vast minority in the media until that generation passes on. Until then, we just have to keep pressing on.

Posted by Jeff Erickson at 3/9/2008 9:43:00 PM

Comments (9)

MLB Notes
I'm not sure what's more surprising, that some of the media think the recent claim that Derek Jeter is a poor fielding shortstop is untrue, or that these people find this theory new. Jeter has frequently finished worst in Major League Baseball in putouts from the position and has long been overrated thanks to timely big plays in October. Now that Carlos Guillen is off the position, Jeter might very well be the worst fielding shortstop in all of baseball.

If one could buy stock in a baseball team, I'd be all over the Tampa Bay Rays right now. The price would have to be seemingly low playing in that division, and I'm not sure I've ever seen a franchise loaded with this much pitching talent. Scott Kazmir and James Shields are elite talents right now. Matt Garza isn't far away, and David Price, Jacob McGee and Wade Davis are three of the top-10 pitching prospects in baseball. It doesn't end there, as Jeremy Hellickson and even Jeff Niemann have legitimate upside down the road as well. The organization has some pretty decent young hitters too.

In quite possibly the worst analysis I've ever read, The Dallas Morning News' Tim McMahon recently predicted Julius Jones will rush for 1,700 yards next season because he has averaged 155 rushing yards at Seattle's Qwest Field during, get this, two career games. He does realize Jones will be playing for the Seahawks and not against them, right?

Looking over the odds to win the World Series is always entertaining this time of year. Since going with the favorites is never fun (or fruitful), let's take a look at some of the longer shots who have a decent chance at going deep this season. I have no clue why the Cardinals (40/1) are favored more than the Reds (50/1), who at least have some upside in young arms. Then again, Vegas probably weighted the Dusty Baker factor heavily. I wouldn't mind throwing a couple bones on the Brewers (30/1), Braves (30/1) and/or the Dodgers (25/1).

If J.P. Riccardi could have persuaded the gullible Brian Sabean into the Alex Rios for Tim Lincecum (or Matt Cain) deal that was floated around during the offseason, I would have picked Toronto to win the AL East this season. This team has one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball even without the deal. Too bad that still leaves them as only the third best squad in its own division.

I had no idea John Henderson and I had so much in common. This is the same exact way I prepare for every RotoWire article.

Chad Billingsley might very well win a Cy Young award someday, but for this year, I think he's being drafted too highly. The stuff and the strikeout rate portend big things to come, but last year's 3.92 BB/9 IP suggests growing pains are likely in store for 2008. He's going to be a negative in WHIP, and that's going to reflect in his ERA in the short-term as well.

Johnny Cueto is one of my favorite end-game picks and has to be drafted in all but the shallowest of leagues. The debate whether Homer Bailey or Cueto will be the better long-term bet is far from decided, but short-term, Cueto is more prepared to contribute at the big league level. Of course, Dusty Baker has to agree, something pretty unlikely. Still, it's better to go with Cueto's upside than a boring veteran guaranteed playing time when you reach the later parts of your draft.

Anyone looking for a deep sleeper saves candidate should consider Taylor Tankersley. Most pundits consider Matt Lindstrom the likely replacement behind incumbent Kevin Gregg (who will probably be moved at the deadline), and there's nothing wrong with that, but Tankersley was the early favorite to close last season and was once the franchise's first round draft pick. The fact he's a lefty probably hurts his chances, but his numbers after the break last year (1.48 ERA, 12.3 K/9 IP) suggest he'll be a valuable middle reliever at worst.

Posted by Dalton Del Don at 3/9/2008 8:45:00 PM
Comments (10)

Yanks-Rays: Not A Quiet Spring

Don't know if you've heard the latest from the Grapefruit League, but there was a play at the plate in the ninth inning of Saturday's Yankees-Rays game. There was a collision between Rays baserunner Elliott Johnson and Yanks minor-league catcher Francisco Cervelli; Johnson scored and Cervelli suffered a broken wrist on the play.  This incident did not get a whole lot of play in the Tampa Bay press, other than the unfortunate nature of Cervelli's injury. However, the New York tabloid press, in their typically reserved manner, had lots of fun with it:

http://blogs.tampabay.com/rays/2008/03/zimmer-dumbfoun.html

http://www.tboblogs.com/index.php/sports/comments/zim-maddon-surprised-at-girardis-stance1/

Even though Cervelli, the injured party, felt it was a clean play (calling it "part of the game"), Yankees manager Joe Girardi went a bit ... no, _quite_ a bit over the top, arguing that running into the catcher was against spring training protocol: "I don't understand it ... I've always known that you don't do it." Upon being relayed Girardi's comments, Rays manager Joe Maddon said he had "never read that rule before ... it was a good hard baseball play. We have to play the game one way all the time. That's the way we do things." Girardi didn't back down from his stance on Sunday morning, saying that on a play like that "there is no memo needed." Girardi also brought up a collision from Wednesday's Rays-Astros game, where Carl Crawford ran into Houston's Humberto Quintero, as "evidence" the Rays are unnecessarily reckless in spring games. (However, Quintero had no problems with that play in post-game comments, and Crawford said he ran into the much larger Quintero only because a bat had been left in the box, limiting his sliding options.)

My take on this? If Joe Girardi really means what he said here, then Girardi's a wuss, plain and simple. Pitchers throw inside in spring games; teams try to pick runners off in spring games; runners try to score in spring games, including trying to go through the catcher (a play that usually isn't the smartest move for the baserunner, BTW, whether the game takes place in March or October). It could be Girardi is trying to build a fire in the Yankee clubhouse, and if so, he's entitled to do so. However, if Girardi is already whining about other teams actually trying to beat the Yankees on March 9, then it's gonna be a long summer in the Bronx for everyone except the tabloid guys, who are going to get lots of ink out of Girardi this year.



Posted by Gus Papadopoulos at 3/9/2008 10:36:00 AM
Comments (3)

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3/9/2014 - 3/15/2014
3/2/2014 - 3/8/2014
2/23/2014 - 3/1/2014
2/16/2014 - 2/22/2014
2/9/2014 - 2/15/2014
2/2/2014 - 2/8/2014
1/26/2014 - 2/1/2014
1/19/2014 - 1/25/2014
1/12/2014 - 1/18/2014
1/5/2014 - 1/11/2014
12/29/2013 - 1/4/2014
12/22/2013 - 12/28/2013
12/15/2013 - 12/21/2013
12/8/2013 - 12/14/2013
12/1/2013 - 12/7/2013
11/24/2013 - 11/30/2013
11/17/2013 - 11/23/2013
11/10/2013 - 11/16/2013
11/3/2013 - 11/9/2013
10/27/2013 - 11/2/2013
10/20/2013 - 10/26/2013
10/13/2013 - 10/19/2013
10/6/2013 - 10/12/2013
9/29/2013 - 10/5/2013
9/22/2013 - 9/28/2013
9/15/2013 - 9/21/2013
9/8/2013 - 9/14/2013
9/1/2013 - 9/7/2013
8/25/2013 - 8/31/2013
8/18/2013 - 8/24/2013
8/11/2013 - 8/17/2013
8/4/2013 - 8/10/2013
7/28/2013 - 8/3/2013
7/21/2013 - 7/27/2013
7/14/2013 - 7/20/2013
7/7/2013 - 7/13/2013
6/30/2013 - 7/6/2013
6/23/2013 - 6/29/2013
6/16/2013 - 6/22/2013
6/9/2013 - 6/15/2013
6/2/2013 - 6/8/2013
5/26/2013 - 6/1/2013
5/19/2013 - 5/25/2013
5/12/2013 - 5/18/2013
5/5/2013 - 5/11/2013
4/28/2013 - 5/4/2013
4/21/2013 - 4/27/2013
4/14/2013 - 4/20/2013
4/7/2013 - 4/13/2013
3/31/2013 - 4/6/2013
3/24/2013 - 3/30/2013
3/17/2013 - 3/23/2013
3/10/2013 - 3/16/2013
3/3/2013 - 3/9/2013
2/24/2013 - 3/2/2013
2/17/2013 - 2/23/2013
2/10/2013 - 2/16/2013
2/3/2013 - 2/9/2013
1/27/2013 - 2/2/2013
1/20/2013 - 1/26/2013
1/13/2013 - 1/19/2013
1/6/2013 - 1/12/2013
12/30/2012 - 1/5/2013
12/23/2012 - 12/29/2012
12/16/2012 - 12/22/2012
12/9/2012 - 12/15/2012
12/2/2012 - 12/8/2012
11/25/2012 - 12/1/2012
11/18/2012 - 11/24/2012
11/11/2012 - 11/17/2012
11/4/2012 - 11/10/2012
10/28/2012 - 11/3/2012
10/21/2012 - 10/27/2012
10/14/2012 - 10/20/2012
10/7/2012 - 10/13/2012
9/30/2012 - 10/6/2012
9/23/2012 - 9/29/2012
9/16/2012 - 9/22/2012
9/9/2012 - 9/15/2012
9/2/2012 - 9/8/2012
8/26/2012 - 9/1/2012
8/19/2012 - 8/25/2012
8/12/2012 - 8/18/2012
8/5/2012 - 8/11/2012
7/29/2012 - 8/4/2012
7/22/2012 - 7/28/2012
7/15/2012 - 7/21/2012
7/8/2012 - 7/14/2012
7/1/2012 - 7/7/2012
6/24/2012 - 6/30/2012
6/17/2012 - 6/23/2012
6/10/2012 - 6/16/2012
6/3/2012 - 6/9/2012
5/27/2012 - 6/2/2012
5/20/2012 - 5/26/2012
5/13/2012 - 5/19/2012
5/6/2012 - 5/12/2012
4/29/2012 - 5/5/2012
4/22/2012 - 4/28/2012
4/15/2012 - 4/21/2012
4/8/2012 - 4/14/2012
4/1/2012 - 4/7/2012
3/25/2012 - 3/31/2012
3/18/2012 - 3/24/2012
3/11/2012 - 3/17/2012
3/4/2012 - 3/10/2012
2/26/2012 - 3/3/2012
2/19/2012 - 2/25/2012
2/12/2012 - 2/18/2012
2/5/2012 - 2/11/2012
1/29/2012 - 2/4/2012
1/22/2012 - 1/28/2012
1/15/2012 - 1/21/2012
1/8/2012 - 1/14/2012
1/1/2012 - 1/7/2012
12/25/2011 - 12/31/2011
12/18/2011 - 12/24/2011
12/11/2011 - 12/17/2011
12/4/2011 - 12/10/2011
11/27/2011 - 12/3/2011
11/20/2011 - 11/26/2011
11/13/2011 - 11/19/2011
11/6/2011 - 11/12/2011
10/30/2011 - 11/5/2011
10/23/2011 - 10/29/2011
10/16/2011 - 10/22/2011
10/9/2011 - 10/15/2011
10/2/2011 - 10/8/2011
9/25/2011 - 10/1/2011
9/18/2011 - 9/24/2011
9/11/2011 - 9/17/2011
9/4/2011 - 9/10/2011
8/28/2011 - 9/3/2011
8/21/2011 - 8/27/2011
8/14/2011 - 8/20/2011
8/7/2011 - 8/13/2011
7/31/2011 - 8/6/2011
7/24/2011 - 7/30/2011
7/17/2011 - 7/23/2011
7/10/2011 - 7/16/2011
7/3/2011 - 7/9/2011
6/26/2011 - 7/2/2011
6/19/2011 - 6/25/2011
6/12/2011 - 6/18/2011
6/5/2011 - 6/11/2011
5/29/2011 - 6/4/2011
5/22/2011 - 5/28/2011
5/15/2011 - 5/21/2011
5/8/2011 - 5/14/2011
5/1/2011 - 5/7/2011
4/24/2011 - 4/30/2011
4/17/2011 - 4/23/2011
4/10/2011 - 4/16/2011
4/3/2011 - 4/9/2011
3/27/2011 - 4/2/2011
3/20/2011 - 3/26/2011
3/13/2011 - 3/19/2011
3/6/2011 - 3/12/2011
2/27/2011 - 3/5/2011
2/20/2011 - 2/26/2011
2/13/2011 - 2/19/2011
2/6/2011 - 2/12/2011
1/30/2011 - 2/5/2011
1/23/2011 - 1/29/2011
1/16/2011 - 1/22/2011
1/9/2011 - 1/15/2011
1/2/2011 - 1/8/2011
12/26/2010 - 1/1/2011
12/19/2010 - 12/25/2010
12/12/2010 - 12/18/2010
12/5/2010 - 12/11/2010
11/28/2010 - 12/4/2010
11/21/2010 - 11/27/2010
11/14/2010 - 11/20/2010
11/7/2010 - 11/13/2010
10/31/2010 - 11/6/2010
10/24/2010 - 10/30/2010
10/17/2010 - 10/23/2010
10/10/2010 - 10/16/2010
10/3/2010 - 10/9/2010
9/26/2010 - 10/2/2010
9/19/2010 - 9/25/2010
9/12/2010 - 9/18/2010
9/5/2010 - 9/11/2010
8/29/2010 - 9/4/2010
8/22/2010 - 8/28/2010
8/15/2010 - 8/21/2010
8/8/2010 - 8/14/2010
8/1/2010 - 8/7/2010
7/25/2010 - 7/31/2010
7/18/2010 - 7/24/2010
7/11/2010 - 7/17/2010
7/4/2010 - 7/10/2010
6/27/2010 - 7/3/2010
6/20/2010 - 6/26/2010
6/13/2010 - 6/19/2010
6/6/2010 - 6/12/2010
5/30/2010 - 6/5/2010
5/23/2010 - 5/29/2010
5/16/2010 - 5/22/2010
5/9/2010 - 5/15/2010
5/2/2010 - 5/8/2010
4/25/2010 - 5/1/2010
4/18/2010 - 4/24/2010
4/11/2010 - 4/17/2010
4/4/2010 - 4/10/2010
3/28/2010 - 4/3/2010
3/21/2010 - 3/27/2010
3/14/2010 - 3/20/2010
3/7/2010 - 3/13/2010
2/28/2010 - 3/6/2010
2/21/2010 - 2/27/2010
2/14/2010 - 2/20/2010
2/7/2010 - 2/13/2010
1/31/2010 - 2/6/2010
1/24/2010 - 1/30/2010
1/17/2010 - 1/23/2010
1/10/2010 - 1/16/2010
1/3/2010 - 1/9/2010
12/27/2009 - 1/2/2010
12/20/2009 - 12/26/2009
12/13/2009 - 12/19/2009
12/6/2009 - 12/12/2009
11/29/2009 - 12/5/2009
11/22/2009 - 11/28/2009
11/15/2009 - 11/21/2009
11/8/2009 - 11/14/2009
11/1/2009 - 11/7/2009
10/25/2009 - 10/31/2009
10/18/2009 - 10/24/2009
10/11/2009 - 10/17/2009
10/4/2009 - 10/10/2009
9/27/2009 - 10/3/2009
9/20/2009 - 9/26/2009
9/13/2009 - 9/19/2009
9/6/2009 - 9/12/2009
8/30/2009 - 9/5/2009
8/23/2009 - 8/29/2009
8/16/2009 - 8/22/2009
8/9/2009 - 8/15/2009
8/2/2009 - 8/8/2009
7/26/2009 - 8/1/2009
7/19/2009 - 7/25/2009
7/12/2009 - 7/18/2009
7/5/2009 - 7/11/2009
6/28/2009 - 7/4/2009
6/21/2009 - 6/27/2009
6/14/2009 - 6/20/2009
6/7/2009 - 6/13/2009
5/31/2009 - 6/6/2009
5/24/2009 - 5/30/2009
5/17/2009 - 5/23/2009
5/10/2009 - 5/16/2009
5/3/2009 - 5/9/2009
4/26/2009 - 5/2/2009
4/19/2009 - 4/25/2009
4/12/2009 - 4/18/2009
4/5/2009 - 4/11/2009
3/29/2009 - 4/4/2009
3/22/2009 - 3/28/2009
3/15/2009 - 3/21/2009
3/8/2009 - 3/14/2009
3/1/2009 - 3/7/2009
2/22/2009 - 2/28/2009
2/15/2009 - 2/21/2009
2/8/2009 - 2/14/2009
2/1/2009 - 2/7/2009
1/25/2009 - 1/31/2009
1/18/2009 - 1/24/2009
1/11/2009 - 1/17/2009
1/4/2009 - 1/10/2009
12/28/2008 - 1/3/2009
12/21/2008 - 12/27/2008
12/14/2008 - 12/20/2008
12/7/2008 - 12/13/2008
11/30/2008 - 12/6/2008
11/23/2008 - 11/29/2008
11/16/2008 - 11/22/2008
11/9/2008 - 11/15/2008
11/2/2008 - 11/8/2008
10/26/2008 - 11/1/2008
10/19/2008 - 10/25/2008
10/12/2008 - 10/18/2008
10/5/2008 - 10/11/2008
9/28/2008 - 10/4/2008
9/21/2008 - 9/27/2008
9/14/2008 - 9/20/2008
9/7/2008 - 9/13/2008
8/31/2008 - 9/6/2008
8/24/2008 - 8/30/2008
8/17/2008 - 8/23/2008
8/10/2008 - 8/16/2008
8/3/2008 - 8/9/2008
7/27/2008 - 8/2/2008
7/20/2008 - 7/26/2008
7/13/2008 - 7/19/2008
7/6/2008 - 7/12/2008
6/29/2008 - 7/5/2008
6/22/2008 - 6/28/2008
6/15/2008 - 6/21/2008
6/8/2008 - 6/14/2008
6/1/2008 - 6/7/2008
5/25/2008 - 5/31/2008
5/18/2008 - 5/24/2008
5/11/2008 - 5/17/2008
5/4/2008 - 5/10/2008
4/27/2008 - 5/3/2008
4/20/2008 - 4/26/2008
4/13/2008 - 4/19/2008
4/6/2008 - 4/12/2008
3/30/2008 - 4/5/2008
3/23/2008 - 3/29/2008
3/16/2008 - 3/22/2008
3/9/2008 - 3/15/2008
3/2/2008 - 3/8/2008
2/24/2008 - 3/1/2008
2/17/2008 - 2/23/2008
2/10/2008 - 2/16/2008
2/3/2008 - 2/9/2008
1/27/2008 - 2/2/2008
1/20/2008 - 1/26/2008
1/13/2008 - 1/19/2008
1/6/2008 - 1/12/2008
12/30/2007 - 1/5/2008
12/23/2007 - 12/29/2007
12/16/2007 - 12/22/2007
12/9/2007 - 12/15/2007
12/2/2007 - 12/8/2007
11/25/2007 - 12/1/2007
11/18/2007 - 11/24/2007
11/11/2007 - 11/17/2007
11/4/2007 - 11/10/2007
10/28/2007 - 11/3/2007
10/21/2007 - 10/27/2007
10/14/2007 - 10/20/2007
10/7/2007 - 10/13/2007
9/30/2007 - 10/6/2007
9/23/2007 - 9/29/2007
9/16/2007 - 9/22/2007
9/9/2007 - 9/15/2007
9/2/2007 - 9/8/2007
8/26/2007 - 9/1/2007
8/19/2007 - 8/25/2007
8/12/2007 - 8/18/2007
8/5/2007 - 8/11/2007
7/29/2007 - 8/4/2007
7/22/2007 - 7/28/2007
7/15/2007 - 7/21/2007
7/8/2007 - 7/14/2007
7/1/2007 - 7/7/2007
6/24/2007 - 6/30/2007
6/17/2007 - 6/23/2007
6/10/2007 - 6/16/2007
6/3/2007 - 6/9/2007
5/27/2007 - 6/2/2007
5/20/2007 - 5/26/2007
5/13/2007 - 5/19/2007
5/6/2007 - 5/12/2007
4/29/2007 - 5/5/2007
4/22/2007 - 4/28/2007
4/15/2007 - 4/21/2007
4/8/2007 - 4/14/2007
4/1/2007 - 4/7/2007
3/25/2007 - 3/31/2007
3/18/2007 - 3/24/2007
3/11/2007 - 3/17/2007
3/4/2007 - 3/10/2007
2/25/2007 - 3/3/2007
2/18/2007 - 2/24/2007
2/11/2007 - 2/17/2007
2/4/2007 - 2/10/2007
1/28/2007 - 2/3/2007
1/21/2007 - 1/27/2007
1/14/2007 - 1/20/2007
1/7/2007 - 1/13/2007
12/31/2006 - 1/6/2007
12/24/2006 - 12/30/2006
12/17/2006 - 12/23/2006
12/10/2006 - 12/16/2006
12/3/2006 - 12/9/2006
11/26/2006 - 12/2/2006
11/19/2006 - 11/25/2006
11/12/2006 - 11/18/2006
11/5/2006 - 11/11/2006
10/29/2006 - 11/4/2006
10/22/2006 - 10/28/2006
10/15/2006 - 10/21/2006
10/8/2006 - 10/14/2006
10/1/2006 - 10/7/2006
9/24/2006 - 9/30/2006
9/17/2006 - 9/23/2006
9/10/2006 - 9/16/2006
9/3/2006 - 9/9/2006
8/27/2006 - 9/2/2006
8/20/2006 - 8/26/2006
8/13/2006 - 8/19/2006
8/6/2006 - 8/12/2006
7/30/2006 - 8/5/2006
7/23/2006 - 7/29/2006
7/16/2006 - 7/22/2006
7/9/2006 - 7/15/2006
7/2/2006 - 7/8/2006
6/25/2006 - 7/1/2006
6/18/2006 - 6/24/2006
6/11/2006 - 6/17/2006
6/4/2006 - 6/10/2006
5/28/2006 - 6/3/2006
5/21/2006 - 5/27/2006
5/14/2006 - 5/20/2006
5/7/2006 - 5/13/2006
4/30/2006 - 5/6/2006
4/23/2006 - 4/29/2006
4/16/2006 - 4/22/2006
4/9/2006 - 4/15/2006
4/2/2006 - 4/8/2006
3/26/2006 - 4/1/2006
3/19/2006 - 3/25/2006
3/12/2006 - 3/18/2006
3/5/2006 - 3/11/2006
2/26/2006 - 3/4/2006
2/19/2006 - 2/25/2006
2/12/2006 - 2/18/2006
2/5/2006 - 2/11/2006
1/29/2006 - 2/4/2006
1/22/2006 - 1/28/2006
1/15/2006 - 1/21/2006
1/8/2006 - 1/14/2006
1/1/2006 - 1/7/2006