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Shades of Guidry, Keeping Beltran, Chi Sox Fire Sale, Revenge on Bruce



By Mike Silva ~ July 27th, 2011. Filed under: Morning Digest.

Many thought CC Sabathia was headed to a perfect game last night. Thoughts of David Cone‘s perfecto in 1999 had to come to mind since it was under a similar scenario where the performance was delayed by rain.

When it was all said and done, maybe a more appropriate comparison was June 17th, 1978 when Ron Guidry struck out 18 in a win over the Angels. The Yankees wound up tying the record as a team, but it was Robertson and Rivera with the final four.

If not for the rain delays it would have been nice to see if Sabathia could break Guidry’s Yankees record. The second one wound up doing him in.

***

You can’t call the Mets “contenders” since they haven’t reached five games over .500, still trail the Wild Card by more than five games, and have three teams between them and Atlanta. With that said, I would hate to see Sandy Alderson settle for a “quantity package” in exchange for Beltran.

I believe interested clubs saying they won’t give up any of their best prospects for Beltran is just posturing. For example, I understanding Brian Sabean balking at Zach Wheeler or Brandon Belt, but Gary Brown? You can’t put every B+ and above prospect off limits and expect to make a deal for someone of Beltran’s caliber.

Why are teams overvaluing prospects? I believe the pressure that comes from an increasingly vocal fan base is part of it. Just a decade ago fans would know maybe one or two top prospects. Today, you have fans following these kids on the internet from draft day until their big league debut. They become connected to them in the same way they do with the big league club. Sometimes they pay more attention to the future than the present. No team wants the wrath of the fan base because they pulled a “Kazmir for Zambrano” type of deal.

You also have the cost controlled aspect of the kids. It becomes more expensive every year to field a championship team. Stars are now moving to the $20 million dollar a year level. If you are a mid-market team like San Francisco or Atlanta you need as many high upside homegrown players as possible to field an affordable roster.

With that said, what is the price of a pennant? If teams are not willing to part with a Mike Minor or Gary Brown, then perhaps it’s time for Alderson and company to consider holding on to Beltran through August. They could still deal him away, but the consequence is a team claiming him off waivers and taking away all leverage. Alderson can just pull Beltran back or let him walk for savings. If he is serious about keeping the offensive core of Reyes, Wright, and Beltran together for the rest of the season he may be able to make some noise. If he is within striking distance of the Wild Card, that could provide him the leverage he needs post July 31st.

Brian McCann went down with an injury the other night. The Braves have great pitching, but have shown they can be beat even with him in the lineup. His injury, an oblique strain, is something that can linger and hamper performance the rest of the season. Pittsburgh? Arizona? The Mets are right there with those flawed teams.

I am not suggesting a change of attitude towards the Mets as contenders. I am just suggesting that instead of giving into the demands of these contenders who are “crying with prospects serving as the proverbial bread under their shoulder,” see if this group can put together a streak that would make them contenders. They have two more in Cincinnati, three in Washington, and then come home for a ten game home stand.

With Beltran I could see the Mets going 10-5, which would put them at 62-56. What would that mean with respect to distance between them and Atlanta? It can’t be much more than the 7.5 right now. It probably could get them to within about five games.

In the end I would like to see the Mets use a Beltran trade to build for the future. But I don’t want to see them just give him away for a quantity haul. Alderson is not there to help another team win a pennant. Force them to really put their money where their mouth is, and walk away from the best hitter on the market because they can’t justify parting with a couple of “maybe’s.”

***

Perhaps the Yankees can finally find a team willing to be reasonable with their demands in Chicago. Reports indicate that White Sox owner Jerry Reisendorf wants to trim payroll.

Players who could be moved in a fire sale are Carlos QuentinMatt ThorntonEdwin JacksonJohn Danks, Juan Pierre, Gordon Beckham, Gavin Floyd and Mark Teahen.

The Yankees inquired about Quentin already as a righty bat who can be their designated hitter. He is controllable through the end of next season so he wouldn’t be a rental. He is hitting .268 with 20 homers and 62 RBI. He also has an OPS over .900 against left handed pitching.

Lefty Matt Thornton is a name you hear connected with the Yankees as well, and I know they have been talking with Kenny Williams about starting pitching for months. Either Gavin Floyd (8-9, 4.11) or John Danks (3-8, 3.92) would be upgrades to their rotation. Thornton isn’t having as good as season as last year when he struck out 12 per nine and made the All Star team. He didn’t grab the closer role as many predicted, and his splits against LH batters are nothing special. There is more upside with Thornton than Boone Logan. At the very least he moves Logan into the second lefty role where he belongs. Danks or Floyd aren’t Ubaldo Jimenez, but they are very solid middle of the rotation starters. Arguably, both are better than A.J. Burnett.

What would the cost of a Quentin, Thornton, and Floyd or Danks package be?  It would save Chicago about $15 million dollars, so I would make Betances and Banuelos off limits. But what I could do offer names such as Montero, Nova, and Warren.

***

The last two night’s Tim Byrdak has come in to strikeout Reds outfielder Jay Bruce in a big spot. Although both were huge for the team, it was also a measure of personal redemption for Byrdak.

On Monday he came on in the seventh with two on and two out to earn a hold. Yesterday, he was brought in with Bruce representing the tying run in the ninth and struck him out to earn the save.

Both these K’s were huge for the Mets as they try to stay on the peripheral of the Wild Card race. For Byrdak, the personal redemption made up in a small way for Bruce hitting the NL Central clinching home run last September.

***

Why won’t we see anyone taking the catching job away from Russell Martin anytime soon? Because the pitchers love throwing to him, and Martin has done an outstanding job behind the plate.

John Dewan of Acta Sports tells us that Martin has a 93% Catcher Block Percentage. This stat is tabulated by video scouts who record when a catcher blocks a ball in the dirt with runners on base. Only Yadier Molina and Matt Wieters have a higher percentage than Martin.

Offensively Martin has been just as disappointing as he was the last two years in Los Angeles, but he is more than serviceable in the powerful Yankees lineup. Give me a catcher that calls a good game, blocks pitches, and throws out base runners and I can live with the offensive shortcomings.

It’s not like there are many offensive receivers like Mike PiazzaJohnny BenchRoy Campanella, or Yogi Berra anymore.

***

Before I get to the silliness of the YES booth, why is it that Michael Kay constantly has information that contradicts logic and what everyone else in the mainstream media is reporting?

Michael Kay reported on his ESPN show yesterday that Seattle will trade Felix Hernandez if the price is right. This is after Jack Zduriencik made this comment:

“You can say nine guys,” Zduriencik told ESPNNewYork.com. “You could say 12 guys. What does it matter? The deal is we have a guy who we relish. We want to get to a point where we are competitive and as good as any club in baseball. To get to that point, you have to have top-of-the-rotation starters. We’ve got it. Your best asset, you ought to keep, and that is what we intend to do.”

Sometimes I think Kay just makes things up because 1) no one listens to his show so it doesn’t matter and 2) he uses his pulpit to drive fake debate and outrage.

If Kay paid attention to NYBD he would have known that Seattle television broadcaster Dave Sims told us earlier in the month that King Felix wasn’t going anywhere.

This is levels of inaccuracy hasn’t been touch by the King of All Errors, Mike Francesa.

As for the YES Network, check out this great post by Can’t Stop the Bleeding that photoshopped the Text Poll from this weekend’s game.

Personally, I think Kay should be played by Baghdad Bob, the former Iraqi Information Minister.

Somehow, I don’t see Brad Pitt signing up for this one.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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1 Response to Shades of Guidry, Keeping Beltran, Chi Sox Fire Sale, Revenge on Bruce

  1. Tom

    Can’t be completely sure, but I’m basically certain that the Guidry game was the first ever that featured the crowd standing and cheering each time he got two strikes, trying to urge him on for the strikeout. The trend still going today began that night.

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