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Off Base
A Few New York Minutes

June 2, 2005

And just a few. Gotta show the brethren we care now and then.

Good for the Yankees for righting their season, when they just as easily could have oozed into the Hudson. And good for baseball. But Brian Cashman is going to be scouting for another team come November, anyway.

Joe Torre is amazing, Derek Jeter is practically God, and Tino Martinez is exactly what the Bombers needed. But the Yanks are still missing something. While he might not be able to put his finger on it, any good New York fan will tell you. They’re not as good as those 90s Yankees teams. And memories of the 2004 ALCS linger.

It’s still boggles my mind how little credit Bob Watson gets for putting that 1996 club together. You know, Wade Boggs, Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez, Paul O’Neil, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Bernie Williams. That club. Watson is the guy, not Cashman.

A .295 lifetime average for Watson, btw. And .371 in the postseason…

I Don’t Like Spam!! Don’t you have anything without any Spam in it?!

Actually, I did get one I liked. The subject was “The Big Unit.” I fell for it because, well, this is a baseball site, after all. That’s the excuse I’m sticking with. I figured some enterprising young writer had submitted an article about Randy Johnson. Sure, Randy Johnson, “The Big Unit.” Uh, guess again. Let’s just say the message had nothing to do with baseball, and hit a notch below the belt…

Seems like just about every year around this time, we hear that a Dodger general manager isn’t concerned. If Paul DePodesta is being forthright, and really isn’t concerned, he’s the only one…

Can we please, please, please put the “Vladimir Guerrero is a five-tool player” cliche to bed now, finally? “Five-tool player” is a tired line to begin with, applies to next to no one, and most especially shouldn’t be associated with Vladimir Guerrero.

First of all, that was a retarded slide; thoroughly misguided and badly executed. Tell me you weren’t thinking Pedro Guerrero. Vlad may run well, but a great base runner he isn’t.

Ditto in the field. Fine, he can hurl the pill a long way. BFD. Guerrero is below average defensively. Witness, 96 errors in eight seasons. 96! That’s an absolute ton for an outfielder. Steve Finley has 67 miscues in 16 years. For you math buffs, Fins has muffed 2/3 the plays in double the action.

So, we’ve established that Vladimir Guerrero cannot run the bases, throw, or generally play the field worth a damn.

OK, that’s an exaggeration. What isn’t is this: Guerrero is a two-tool player; a superior hitter for both average and power, who performs in the clutch. He’s a remarkable hitter, in fact, just not a five-tool guy. The expression ought to be reserved primarily for Willie Mays, but until that can be arranged, let’s just remove Mr. Guerrero from the list…

Emmett from “The Andy Griffith Show” was a five-tool player. Now there’s a five-tool player…

Hey, dig this. A reader in Japan emailed, wondering if I would ship an item of Dodgers memorabilia to Tokyo.

We exchanged notes and in ten minutes it was a done deal. In your wildest dreams, can you imagine a request like about a piece of Angels history?

Oh by the way, you can consign your unique baseball art and collectibles with BaseballSavvy.com. This is how it works. Drop me a note about your item (we’ll even take Giants stuff, if it’s demeaning in some way, like say, an ashtray). Hang onto the piece until it’s sold, we’ll get you a great price, and take a cut of the proceeds. There’s a small fee, and if you like, we’ll handle an eBay listing too…

I wonder what Walter O’Malley would think about his old team televising its entire home schedule, while selling out half the games…

Oh joy. More lip from Curt Schilling…

Investment Inquiries Welcome: Don’t be shy. Please inquire. Scott Boros couldn’t get you a better deal…

Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues, so please scroll down to the photo below and vote yes on 32…

Remember, glove conquers all….

 

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