Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

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Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:46 am

Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl
The reason behind the Giants getting virtually no chance to win is based on Super Bowls of the past 37 years regarding Defense allowing points and Offense scoring points as statistics show in the regular season prior to the SB

If you look at Super Bowls since the 1970 Merger there have only been 8 teams that have won the Super Bowl that have NOT had both the offense and defense BOTH ranked in the top 10 in the regular season - It is rare when a team does not rank in the top 10 in both offense and defense and wins such as the only teams to do so since the 1970 merger as follows...

The only 8 teams 37 years to have won the Supr Bowl without being top 10 in offense and defense but has had at least 1 of offense or defense ranked in the top 10

1976 - Raiders 4th on offense 12th in defense
1982 - Redskins 12th in offense 1st in defense
1983 - Raiders 3rd in offense 13th in defense
1990 - Giants 15th in offense 1st in defense
2000 - Ravens 14th in offense 1st in defense
2002 - Bucs 18th in offense 1st in defense
2003 - Patriots 12th in offense 1st in defense
2006 - Colts 2nd in offense 23rd in defense

Now the reason why the Giants need a miracle to win based on these facts is that this year the Giants are NOT in the top 10 in offense OR defense,they are ranked 14th in offense and 17th in defense and have one of the worst combined rankings in Super Bowl history which means the Giants have to do something no other team in NFL history has done before and win with those rankings -

Thats 0-37 folks - even though its just stats and things can happen,an 0 for 37 stat does not bone well for the G-mens chances next sunday.

In fact I don't think it will be close and don't forget New England has not had a close game when the temperature was above 50 as thier last blowout was in the final week of October when the temps got a bit colder thus the games got closer.

Expect a blowout and a boring super bowl next sunday- Boring for non-patriots fans that is.

I think there are a good number of reasons the Patriots should win, and I believe they will, but this is not one of them.

This factors in games early in the season, which may or may not be completely meaningless when it comes Super Bowl time. Do an analysis of how teams were playing coming down the stretch (including the playoffs) and then present that. I think there is something to the adage "hot at the right time", however I do do also believe superior talent should win out (see 2007 World Series)

The patriots rank #1 in offense and 4th in defense points allowed this season meaning they are more than qualified among the majority of SB champions

If those stats mean anything then the Giants may be one of the worst teams in terms of offense and defense to ever play in Super Bowl history

This all adds up to smell like blowout city

The Patriots with those 2 rankings are in the top 3 best ranked of all teams ever as a SB participant.

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:07 am

White Sox GM Williams the center of debate
Catches earful for not signing Rowand or Hunter, fights back



http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/cs-080125-ken-williams-chicago-white-sox,1,4648418.story

By Mark Gonzales | Tribune staff reporter
12:10 AM CST, January 26, 2008

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By the time general manager Ken Williams answered his first question Friday at SoxFest, most of the fans' emotions were already spent.

The first 15 minutes of the fans' question-and-answer session were devoted to an exchange between two fans and announcer Ed Farmer in dialogue reminiscent of the combative style of the late talk-show host Morton Downey Jr.

"We want answers," declared one fan among a crowd that swelled to about 150 during the first day of the fans' gathering.

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GM Williams' work far from done

"You don't have a starting center fielder" and "somebody's got some explaining to do," were the other declarations at the start of a scheduled 30-minute session that was extended to 65 minutes.

But Farmer, not Williams, intimated that the Angels overpaid for free agent center fielder Torii Hunter, that the Sox were better off not giving Aaron Rowand $65 million—$5 million less than what the Giants will pay the former Sox fan favorite—and questioned why Minnesota wouldn't re-sign Hunter.

As for Williams, he reiterated he could continue to take chances that mirrored the hard-core Sox fans who have "an aggressive personality that is driven and appreciates hard honesty. We took those approaches, got those kind of players."

"I will take a risk on a high-ceiling players and jeopardize my reputation if I think that player fits into the equation and leads us to a championship if things go the way we think they will," Williams said during a five-minute reply that finished with applause.

"If you leave here today, understand this: every move, every decision we make is in an effort to win a championship."

Williams, whose deliberate tone seemed to calm the crowd, was less expansive about losing out on Hunter.

"I don't care about Torii Hunter," Williams said after Farmer elaborated on the former Twin. "He's a great guy. I love him as a person, but I prefer to talk about what we have, not who's not here."

Williams told fans the White Sox had an improved bullpen and were more balanced. He thanked the fans for their support that has enabled the team to expand their payroll from about $50 million when he took over the GM duties before the 2001 season to their projected 2008 payroll that could reach $110 million.

Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen, however, reiterated the team is far from set.

They said the toughest battle in spring training will be at second base between Danny Richar, Alexei Ramirez, Pablo Ozuna and Juan Uribe.

Guillen admitted he would have a tough time keeping Uribe motivated after he lost his starting shortstop job to Orlando Cabrera.

"As long as he shows up with the right attitude, we will give him a shot to play," Guillen said.

Guillen added he's considering moving Jose Contreras from the third to the fourth spot in the rotation between John Danks and Gavin Floyd.

Williams added that Contreras, who lost 17 games, "will be the key to the rotation. The kids will be fine."

As of now, Guillen said Josh Fields would get the nod at third base because he's uncertain about the health of Joe Crede, who is recuperating from lower back surgery in June.

Crede, who likely will be traded this spring, currently is working out in Phoenix and feels fine, according to a team source.

Guillen didn't rule out Jerry Owens becoming a full-time center fielder if he handles left-handed pitchers as well as right-handers.

"That will be dictated in spring training," said Guillen, who added Ozuna or Carlos Quentin could be in the lineup against tough left-handers.

"We got better, no doubt, in my mind," Guillen said. "I don't care what people say."

mgonzales@tribune.com

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:11 am

Mike Mayock's draft prospect rankings (updated Jan. 19)

By Mike Mayock | NFL Network

Offense Defense
Mayock's top 5 QBs:
Rank Player College
1.
Matt Ryan

Boston College
2.
Chad Henne

Michigan
3.
Brian Brohm

Louisville
4.
Andre Woodson

Kentucky
5.
Joe Flacco

Delaware
Wild card
Dennis Dixon

Oregon

Mayock's top 5 DEs:
Rank Player College
1.
Chris Long

Virginia
2.
Vernon Gholston

Ohio State
3.
Derrick Harvey

Florida
4.
Phillip Merling

Clemson
5.
Calais Campbell

Miami (Fla.)
Mayock's top 5 WRs:
Rank Player College
1.
Mario Manningham

Michigan
2.
Malcolm Kelly

Oklahoma
3.
Limas Sweed

Texas
4.
Devin Thomas

Michigan State
5.
Donnie Avery

Houston

Mayock's top 5 DTs:
Rank Player College
1.
Glenn Dorsey

LSU
2.
Sedrick Ellis

USC
3.
Kentwan Balmer

North Carolina
4.
Letroy Guion

Florida State
5.
Marcus Harrison

Arkansas
Mayock's top 5 TEs:
Rank Player College
1.
John Carlson

Notre Dame
2.
Fred Davis

USC
3.
Dustin Keller

Purdue
4.
Martellus Bennett

Texas A&M
5.
Jermichael Finley

Texas

Mayock's top 5 ILBs:
Rank Player College
1.
Curtis Lofton

Oklahoma
2.
Jerod Mayo

Tennessee
3.
Spencer Larsen

Arizona
4.
Jolonn Dunbar

Boston College
5.
Philip Wheeler

Georgia Tech
Mayock's top 5 RBs:
Rank Player College
1.
Darren McFadden

Arkansas
2.
Jonathan Stewart

Oregon
3.
Rashard Mendenhall

Illinois
4.
Felix Jones

Arkansas
5.
Jamaal Charles

Texas

Mayock's top 5 OLBs:
Rank Player College
1.
Dan Connor

Penn State
2.
Keith Rivers

USC
3.
Erin Henderson

Maryland
4.
Ali Highsmith

LSU
5.
Geno Hayes

Florida State
Mayock's top 5 OTs:
Rank Player College
1.
Jake Long

Michigan
2.
Ryan Clady

Boise State
3.
Jeff Otah

Pittsburgh
4.
Gosder Cherilus

Boston College
5.
Chris Williams

Vanderbilt

Mayock's top 5 CBs:
Rank Player College
1.
Leodis McKelvin

Troy
2.
Mike Jenkins

South Florida
3.
Patrick Lee

Auburn
4.
Jack Ikegwuono

South Florida
5.
Aqib Talib

Kansas
Mayock's top 5 interior OL:
Rank Player College
1.
Brandon Albert

Arkansas
2.
Roy Schuening

Oregon State
3.
Steve Justice

Wake Forest
4.
Mike Pollak

Arizona State
5.
Chilo Rachal

USC

Mayock's top 5 Safeties:
Rank Player College
1.
DaJuan Morgan

N.C. State
2.
Kenny Phillips

Miami (Fla.)
3.
Thomas DeCoud

Auburn
4.
Marcus Griffin

Texas
5.
Tyrell Johnson

Arkansas State

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:35 am

Canberra Teenager bound for the New York Yankees




http://canberra.yourguide.com.au/news/sport/other/canberra-teenager-bound-for-the-new-york-yankees/1169797.html

The latest Canberra teenager bound for the big US baseball leagues is expected to sign a seven-year deal with the New York Yankees today.
Kyle Perkins, 16, joins the world's most renowned baseball club after being spotted by a Yankees scout during last year's under-18 national championship in Western Australia.
The 16-year-old Daramalan College student was told a fortnight ago to expect an offer from the baseballing powerhouse. And today it arrives.
Perkins, who is in Year 11, will join the club roster as a catcher in 2010 after he has finished school.
Until then he is expected to follow a rigorous training regime and a strict diet and put in a lot of hard work.
Perkins has been recruited by the Yankees along with Victorian teenager Nathan Aron.
"This is a life-changing event," Perkins said yesterday ahead of his Australian Provincials debut last night in the Claxton Shield match against Queensland. "I look at this as though it is the opportunity to start another journey."
Perkins' manager Stuart Hanrahan was approached by a Yankee talent spotter, who then told the teenager's parents their son's life was about to change.
They decided to keep the news to themselves until after the nationals - which Kyle's father admitted was tough.
Since hearing the news the ACT baseball community has thrown its support behind Perkins.
US Minor League player Michael Collins, who plays with the Bandits in Canberra, has taken Perkins under his wing, throwing with him and offloading all his experience on to the young talent.
"People can tell you as much as they want, but you never know how hard it's going to be until you get there," Perkins said.
The Woden Rebels catcher turned to baseball after trying softball at school.
ACTAS realised his talent three years ago and recruited him into its program. Perkins hasn't looked back.
Academy of Sport assistant coach Brent Phelan said he was proud of the US-bound talent and said it was great news for Canberra ballplayers.
"He's a young kid with a lot of potential," Phelan said yesterday.
"Three years ago we put him in our junior program, which we planned to be for future scholarship players.
"[Perkins] was an athletic kid whose body, we thought back, then would get big."
Phelan, himself a scout with the Chicago Cubs, said the talent leaving Australian shores for the US leagues was a great thing.
"There'll be a lot of kids in Canberra, there's usually about a kid a year ... and the Yankees is awesome.
"It's a great organisation with a great history."
Perkins is likely to get his start in the rookie leagues with the Gulf Coast Yankees based in Tampa, Florida.
But he doesn't care, as long as he's over there.
"I just thought that it would have been great to have an offer, but the fact that it was the Yankees made me feel even better," said Perkins.





Teen signs with Yankees

Here's an article on Nathan Aron that Yankees sign also



http://www.moorabbinkingstonleader.com.au/article/2008/01/21/28218_msv_news.html


DINGLEY Village teenager Nathan Aron has signed a contract with the famed New York Yankees after a solid performance for Victoria at baseball's Under 18 national championships.

The 16-year-old infielder/outfielder and his parents met with a Yankees' scout following the tournament in Perth last week and, after listening to the club's offer which included a signing bonus, put his name on a contract.

``We are all still blown away, it is very exciting,'' mum Heather Aron said.

``We knew there were scouts watching, but didn't know there was anyone from the Yankees. Nathan has always wanted to be a baseballer and he has a golden opportunity to live his dream.''

Aron still has two years of school ahead of him.

He turns 17 in May and will go to a Yankees' instructional camp in the US next year in-between stints at the Australian Baseball Academy in Queensland.

His first spring training camp with the Yankees in Florida is likely to be in February, 2010.

The Yankees - widely regarded one of the most successful and well known sporting teams in the world - selected the 185cm, 84kg Aron as an outfielder and believe he'll develop into a power hitter.

Aron has been a member of the Cheltenham Rustler Baseball Club since Under 12s and steadily developed into a top player.

He plays doubleheaders each Sunday, in the morning for the Under 18 State League team and in the afternoon for the top side.

Last year he joined the Victoria Institute of Sport's baseball program.

Aron is the sixth Cheltenham player and the first positional player to be drafted by a major league club.

Travis Blackley made it to the major leagues in 2004 with the Seattle Mariners.

Others signed to deals are Adam Blackley, Tom Ellis, Kable Hogben and Andrew Gribbin.


Last edited by on Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:06 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:49 am

Teen signs with Yankees


http://www.moorabbinkingstonleader.com.au/article/2008/01/21/28218_msv_news.html


DINGLEY Village teenager Nathan Aron has signed a contract with the famed New York Yankees after a solid performance for Victoria at baseball's Under 18 national championships.

The 16-year-old infielder/outfielder and his parents met with a Yankees' scout following the tournament in Perth last week and, after listening to the club's offer which included a signing bonus, put his name on a contract.

``We are all still blown away, it is very exciting,'' mum Heather Aron said.

``We knew there were scouts watching, but didn't know there was anyone from the Yankees. Nathan has always wanted to be a baseballer and he has a golden opportunity to live his dream.''

Aron still has two years of school ahead of him.

He turns 17 in May and will go to a Yankees' instructional camp in the US next year in-between stints at the Australian Baseball Academy in Queensland.

His first spring training camp with the Yankees in Florida is likely to be in February, 2010.

The Yankees - widely regarded one of the most successful and well known sporting teams in the world - selected the 185cm, 84kg Aron as an outfielder and believe he'll develop into a power hitter.

Aron has been a member of the Cheltenham Rustler Baseball Club since Under 12s and steadily developed into a top player.

He plays doubleheaders each Sunday, in the morning for the Under 18 State League team and in the afternoon for the top side.

Last year he joined the Victoria Institute of Sport's baseball program.

Aron is the sixth Cheltenham player and the first positional player to be drafted by a major league club.

Travis Blackley made it to the major leagues in 2004 with the Seattle Mariners.

Others signed to deals are Adam Blackley, Tom Ellis, Kable Hogben and Andrew Gribbin.

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:52 am

Teen signs with Yankees

Here's an article on Nathan Aron that Yankees sign also



http://www.moorabbinkingstonleader.com.au/article/2008/01/21/28218_msv_news.html


DINGLEY Village teenager Nathan Aron has signed a contract with the famed New York Yankees after a solid performance for Victoria at baseball's Under 18 national championships.

The 16-year-old infielder/outfielder and his parents met with a Yankees' scout following the tournament in Perth last week and, after listening to the club's offer which included a signing bonus, put his name on a contract.

``We are all still blown away, it is very exciting,'' mum Heather Aron said.

``We knew there were scouts watching, but didn't know there was anyone from the Yankees. Nathan has always wanted to be a baseballer and he has a golden opportunity to live his dream.''

Aron still has two years of school ahead of him.

He turns 17 in May and will go to a Yankees' instructional camp in the US next year in-between stints at the Australian Baseball Academy in Queensland.

His first spring training camp with the Yankees in Florida is likely to be in February, 2010.

The Yankees - widely regarded one of the most successful and well known sporting teams in the world - selected the 185cm, 84kg Aron as an outfielder and believe he'll develop into a power hitter.

Aron has been a member of the Cheltenham Rustler Baseball Club since Under 12s and steadily developed into a top player.

He plays doubleheaders each Sunday, in the morning for the Under 18 State League team and in the afternoon for the top side.

Last year he joined the Victoria Institute of Sport's baseball program.

Aron is the sixth Cheltenham player and the first positional player to be drafted by a major league club.

Travis Blackley made it to the major leagues in 2004 with the Seattle Mariners.

Others signed to deals are Adam Blackley, Tom Ellis, Kable Hogben and Andrew Gribbin.

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:10 am


http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/features/265405.html



By John Manuel
January 7, 2008
E-mail Print

Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible. Ages are as of April 1, 2008.

TOP TEN
PROSPECTS
1. Joba Chamberlain, rhp
2. Austin Jackson, of
3. Jose Tabata, of
4. Ian Kennedy, rhp
5. Alan Horne, rhp
6. Jesus Montero, c
7. Jeff Marquez, rhp
8. Brett Gardner, of
9. Ross Ohlendorf, rhp
10. Andrew Brackman, rhp
BEST
TOOLS
Best Hitter for Average Jose Tabata
Best Power Hitter Jesus Montero
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Brett Gardner
Fastest Baserunner Brett Gardner
Best Athlete Austin Jackson
Best Fastball Joba Chamberlain
Best Curveball Joba Chamberlain
Best Slider Joba Chamberlain
Best Changeup Edwar Ramirez
Best Control Ian Kennedy
Best Defensive Catcher Francisco Cervelli
Best Defensive Infielder Alberto Gonzalez
Best Infield Arm Marcos Vechionacci
Best Defensive Outfielder Austin Jackson
Best Outfield Arm Seth Fortenberry
PROJECTED 2011
LINEUP
Catcher Austin Romine
First Base Jesus Montero
Second Base Robinson Cano
Third Base Alex Rodriguez
Shortstop Derek Jeter
Left Field Brett Gardner
Center Field Austin Jackson
Right Field Jose Tabata
Designated Hitter Bob Abreu
No. 1 Starter Joba Chamberlain
No. 2 Starter Phil Hughes
No. 3 Starter Chien-Ming Wang
No. 4 Starter Ian Kennedy
No. 5 Starter Alan Horne
Closer Mark Melancon
TOP PROSPECTS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Position 2007
1998 Eric Milton, lhp Reds
1999 Nick Johnson, 1b Nationals
2000 Nick Johnson, 1b Nationals
2001 Nick Johnson, 1b Nationals
2002 Drew Henson, 3b Out of baseball
2003 Jose Contreras, rhp White Sox
2004 Dioner Navarro, c Devil Rays
2005 Eric Duncan, 3b Yankees
2006 Phil Hughes, rhp Yankees
2007 Phil Hughes, rhp Yankees
TOP DRAFT PICKS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Position 2007
1998 Andy Brown, of Out of baseball
1999 David Walling, rhp Out of baseball
2000 David Parrish, c Pirates
2001 John-Ford Griffin, of Blue Jays
2002 Brandon Weeden, rhp (2nd) Out of baseball
2003 Eric Duncan, 3b Yankees
2004 Phil Hughes, rhp Yankees
2005 C.J. Henry, ss Phillies
2006 Ian Kennedy, rhp Yankees
2007 Andrew Brackman, rhp Yankees
LARGEST BONUSES
IN CLUB HISTORY
Hideki Irabu, 1997
$8,500,000
Jose Contreras, 2002
$6,000,000
Andrew Brackman, 2007
$3,350,000
Wily Mo Pena, 1999
$2,440,000
Ian Kennedy, 2006
$2,250,000
YANKEES
LINKS
Yankees' Team Page
Yankees Top 10 Scouting Reports Premium
Last Year's Yankees Top 10 Prospects
2007 Draft: Yankees (Basic Database)
2007 Draft: Yankees Premium (Advanced Database)
2007 Draft Report Cards: American League Premium
Complete Index of Top 10 Prospects
Pre-Order the 2008 Prospect Handbook
New York Yankees

For all the back-page news the Yankees made in 2007, the biggest story was the cold, hard fact that they no longer are the preeminent franchise in baseball.

The Red Sox passed them in 2007, winning the American League East—the first time New York hadn't won the division since 1997—and then winning their second World Series of the decade. It's a decade in which the Yankees have yet to win a championship despite consistently maintaining the game's largest payroll.

The Yankees' 2007 season included 94 victories and rallying from a 21-29 start to make the playoffs. It also included superlative individual performances by the likes of BA Player of the Year and AL MVP Alex Rodriguez, a career year from 35-year-old catcher Jorge Posada and the dynamic major league debut of Joba Chamberlain, the organization's No. 1 prospect.

But 2007 also included a 4.49 team ERA for New York, a figure that ranked just eighth in the AL. The team had to turn to 44-year-old Roger Clemens when injuries and a slow start jeopardized the season, and Clemens proved to be no savior. A four-game defeat to the Indians in the Division Series marked the third straight first-round playoff exit for the Yankees, who have gone 4-13 in the playoffs since taking a 3-0 lead on Boston in the 2004 AL Championship Series.

The string of playoff disappointments, plus the ascendancy of brothers Hank and Hal Steinbrenner to prominent roles in the ownership group as their father George continued to fade into the background, helped shape the franchise's immediate future. Club officials insisted the younger Steinbrenners already had become more involved in recent years, and one went so far as to say it was "business as usual around here," but events say otherwise. Manager Joe Torre was ousted after 12 seasons when he rejected a one-year extension, and the Yankees turned to Joe Girardi, their former catcher and color analyst on the YES Network, and the 2006 National League manager of the year with the Marlins.

Girardi's Florida team was built around young pitchers such as Josh Johnson, Scott Olsen and Dontrelle Willis, and he'll have more young talent to work with in New York. Staff ace Chien-Ming Wang is coming off consecutive 19-victories seasons and is still just 27. Also, the Yankees are counting on Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy to claim rotation spots. That trio has undeniable talent, but also just 16 starts and 116 innings in the big leagues between them.

The farm system has made significant strides in the last four years, with improved talent allowing the system's domestic affiliates to combine for four first-place finishes, two league championships and a collective .597 winning percentage, the best mark in baseball. Scouting director Damon Oppenheimer, who started running New York's drafts in 2005, has the budget to pick aggressively, and the Yankees regularly pay draft picks more than MLB's bonus recommendations.

That was true more than ever in 2007, when they went over slot for five picks in the first 10 rounds and spent $8.03 million on the draft, more than any other team. They also were as active as any organization internationally, adding high-priced, high-ceiling talents led by Dominican outfielder Kevin DeLeon, who signed for $1.1 million.

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:15 am

Theo and Cash at William Patterson University

By EJ Fagan | January 25th, 2008
http://mvn.com/milb-yankees/2008/01/25/theo-and-cash-at-william-patterson/#more-555

So, I spent the night listening to Theo Epstein and Brian Cashman talk to a crowded theater about baseball, life, and being a young person while running a baseball team. It was an interesting experience. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use a tape recorder inside the theater, but I’ll share with you what I’ve got in my notes. I have to say one thing first though - Theo Epstein knows how to make the crowd laugh.

It was clear from the start that Cash and Theo were really good friends. They talked about their mutual admiration for each other. They met through mutual friend San Diego General Manager Kevin Towers. Of course, they are the two GMs in baseball who could never talk trades together, although Theo said “In my first year I was naive and threw out a [trade] proposal to him. Yeah, I’m still waiting to hear back.”

Theo said that aside from winning the World Series, his real goal is to “Build organizational identity to sustain success. To have an infrastructure that’s built to last.” He wants to create a lasting juggernaut that will remain in place even after he leaves the organization.

Brian Cashman said that he never wanted to be a General Manager. In college, his dream was to make the big leagues (he played for Catholic University), and the Yankee job came across him by chance. Even when he was assistant GM, “I’d look at myself and say, I never want that job“, seeing how Steinbrenner treated his General Managers. His rise through the organization can actually be attributed to how tough of a boss Steinbrenner is, “Things kept opening up because people kept getting fired.”

On the pressures of being the General Manager of the win-now Yankees in the insane city of New York, Cashman gave a very astute answer. He said, “When you try and build something, you have to build long term. I’m willing to walk through the fires of [the fans reacting to a losing season] to build long term.” Good news for fans of this blog.

Theo said on the Yankee-Sox rivalry before he arrived, “In the past, I think we were too concerned with what te Yankees were doing… an inferiority complex.” Of course, he also said of Cashman, “Every once in awhile I’ll try and make a deal, watch it fail, and realize that he blocked me some how.”

The conversation moved to talent evaluation and scouting. Cashman said, “One thing we got away from… we’re a baseball franchise. Our research and development is our farm system. We built teams that had success that way. We redid our scouting department after 2004. New York is such a tough place to play that playing anywhere else is like Club Med. When you import players [from other places] who’ve had success, they don’t always transfer that success here.”

Epstein was asked when the right time to promote a player was, and he said, “Performance is important. Tools are important, but if a minor league player isn’t outperforming their competition at any particular level, why bring them up? In addition to performance, these are young men… even the collegiate players… we’re not just developing minor league players into big leaguers, we’re putting them in the middle of a pennant race.”

“Three times a year, we outline a player’s strengths and weaknesses for them. We tell them that when they move all their weaknesses to the strength column, they can be promoted.”

Cashman mentioned the program that the Yankees have used over the past three years, bringing up players to New York in September to show them the ropes. He mentioned basic things like teaching them how to get to the stadium, where the entrances are, who the traveling secretary is, and how the pre-game routine works. He mentioned that the program had given them some very positive feedback.

They declined to talk much about Santana, because he was still another team’s property. Cashman did say though that “My strong recommendation is that we stick with our young pitching staff“. However, talking about the free agent market, Theo said “We consider just staying out of the free agent market this year a victory.” and “These days, the free agent market has gotten so crazy with supply and demand dynamics. [Our goal is] not to have to make something out of nothing.”

On Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman was very stern. He said, “One of the biggest challenges is that our players are used to a different style of managing and there will be adjustments. They knew Joe as a player and as a coach, but now they will have to get to know Joe as a manager. He’s very methodical. He gravitates to the same way of player evaluation that the front office does. He’s tough.”

The audience then got a chance to ask them questions. I got in line. He was asked about the difference between former players becoming Basketball General Managers while executives rise to the top in Baseball. Cashman said that “Basketball is very different, especially the draft and farm systems. Baseball is more international, and more complex with our farm systems. You have to understand more components of business and law.”

Asked about the adjustment for players who come to the major leagues from Asia, Cashman said “It’s hardest for pitchers. Everything is different - the schedule, the seams of the ball, the hardness or softness of the mound.” Theo pointed out that the idea of work or failure is drastically different for Japanese players - they sometimes work too hard to compensate for failure.

Theo was asked about the time when he walked away from the Red Sox. First off, he decided to do so on Halloween (the last night of his contract), and his friend happened to have a Guerilla suit. The press was camped outside one section of the offices, so he got into the Guerilla suit and went out, asked the press “What’s all the fuss about?“, and walked away without anyone knowing. He decided to leave the organization because, “It had evolved into something that I couldn’t believe in. When you’re doing this job, you have to be all in.”

Asked about Girardi, Cashman said that Joe was clearly the better option. “In all my years, Joe Girardi was our best coach. It was an easy call.”

Brian Cashman’s first reaction to the Joba Chamberlain bug incident was that “the umpire would call the bug spray a foreign substance.” Epstein had the line of the night, remarking [in response to the questioner] that “It took a lot of money to get those bugs from Africa to Cleveland, trust me.” Brian Cashman was not so funny, saying that the “The Yankees were not mentally strong enough to play through it. You didn’t see the other guys swatting at flies so much. It was unfortunate.” Subtle shot at Joba Chamberlain, or at the Yankee infield?

On the Yankee retired numbers, Cashman said that they were trying to come up with some kind of uniform standard over the next couple of years. The Yankees will have a lot of beloved, successful players, but “We’re seriously going to have players playing this year with numbers in the 70s. In the regular season.”

Cashman wasn’t so rosy about Bernie Williams. He seemed to imply that he was spending too much time recording music over the last 3 years of his career. He was playing poorly, and he felt that Torre was giving him too much playing time over Melky. The original plan all along had been for Bernie to retire after 2006, but Williams complicated things by deciding that he wanted to play one more years. “If we had done that, Shelley Duncan would never have emerged because there wouldn’t have been a spot for him.”

I then asked them about the growth of blogs on the internet. It’s a subject very close to me, obviously, and Peter Gammons’ article about blogging last week was in my mind. Theo responded that “I read a lot of blogs. Mostly political blogs, but sports blogs too. I generally support them, but one phenomena bothers me. Sometimes some rumor will come out and the blogs will take it and run with it, with no fact checking or anything.” Of course, I’d argue that the mainstream media is pretty irresponsible with the rumor mill too, but I agree generally with Epstein. Hopefully, we’re better than that at Pending Pinstripes. Cashman went to answer my question, but the moderator had already moved on to the next one. He looked eager - I’m interested as to what he was going to say. Brian Cashman seems to me like the kind of person who might read quite a bit.

Cashman mentioned point-blank, “Damon wasn’t in shape. That’s why he had a terrible first half.” He also said that Johnny would be in shape coming into this season and that he’ll be our primary left fielder, and the Yankees are expecting a rebound year. He said that he had a “Long term relationship with Hal Steinbrenner.”

Theo told an interesting story. He was traveling on the road in 2006. Tim Wakefield had just thrown 6 passed balls and 3 wild pitches to Josh Bard. Players came to him talking about how the clubhouse was being torn apart, people were nerve-wracked, and “Bard’s in the corner in the fettle position sucking his thumb.” He made the trade for Mirabelli that night - and got fleeced in a moment of panic. He’ll never make a trade from the road that quickly again. He also said that Jon Lester is finally healthy and will make a big contribution in 2008.

Asked about the Yankee pitching crunch, Cashman said that “Joba will definitely have an innings cap. The young pitchers - all of them - are going to have to earn their way. They’ll get ticketed for Scranton if they don’t earn it in spring training.” He’s counting on a lot of innings out of Mike Mussina. He also said that Jeff Karstens and Kei Igawa will be in the mix with Kennedy, Chamberlain, and Hughes for the pitching spots. It seemed to me like he implied that 1 or 2 of the Big 3 will start the season in the minors, for innings purposes.

That’s about it. It was a good night. Cashman came off as very hard-nosed to me. No B.S. Theo might be the most charismatic man in baseball right now. The emphasis was all night about building a team from the farm system. Cashman made it clear that he didn’t have complete say over all things, but he makes very strong recommendation that are pro-farm.


#

Brian Cashman said that he never wanted to be a General Manager. In college, his dream was to make the big leagues (he played for Catholic University)

Isn’t Cashman jewish? lol Anyways that sounded pretty good, thanks EJ. Especially like the Bernie stuff and the quote on Damon. Also I could be wrong, but it seems like he is glad Torre is out of there, and that Girardi was his choice over Donnie baseball all along. Good stuff. EJ what was your question?
# EJ Fagan says:

January 26th, 2008 at 12:12 am

“I was wondering what your opinion is on the growth of blogs as a form of media.”
# EJ Fagan says:

January 26th, 2008 at 12:14 am

And yeah, he gave a line about how good of friends he and Torre were, but the words for Girardi seemed to imply that Torre wasn’t a good manager.
# Ashish Skaria says:

January 26th, 2008 at 12:24 am

EJ, this is an excellent post. At the end of the day, who do you think is the better GM: Cashman or Epstein.
# frankie due says:

January 26th, 2008 at 12:25 am

Thanks EJ, that was a very enjoyable and interesting read. If Cashman was allowed to answer your question, I think he was going to say that his favorite blog is Pending Pinstripes.
# Ashish Skaria says:

January 26th, 2008 at 12:28 am

Question mark at the end of my comment. Smile
# EJ Fagan says:

January 26th, 2008 at 12:31 am

Frankie: I was hoping for that damn it!

Ashish - I think that Epstein is the superior GM. I think he’s my favorite in baseball. Of course, it’s hard to judge Cashman because he doesn’t have complete control. The Red Sox are absolute behemoths right now and will be for some time - he’s building a dynasty. The Yankees, in order to compete, have to fight back with a similarly well-built team. That’s why I’ve been against the Santana trade from the start.
# Rich says:

January 26th, 2008 at 12:50 am

Thank you, EJ.

I thought it was interesting that Cash mentioned that he had a long term relationship with Hal, and not the always loquacious Hank.

btw, Not that it matters, but Cashman isn’t Jewish.
# dan says:

January 26th, 2008 at 1:04 am

Thanks so much for this EJ, I would have loved to be there in person.
# RollingWave says:

January 26th, 2008 at 3:31 am

QUICK CALL THE FEDS AND INVEST THE BUG INCIDENT! …. oh wait they’re still busy finding Chuck Knoblauch…
# Brian says:

January 26th, 2008 at 7:11 am

What’s with the comment about PP?
# Pablo Zevallos says:

January 26th, 2008 at 9:25 am

on Cashman–if I remember correctly, I read an article in the paper almost three years ago talking about how he was a Catholic…lol it doesnt matter
# Manhattan United says:

January 26th, 2008 at 11:09 am

Great article EJ I’m forwarding it to all my dogs in Jersey.
# Jesse B says:

January 26th, 2008 at 11:31 am

EJ, this is some great reporting on your behalf. Thanks for sharing it.
That was an interesting quote about the Japanese pitchers. Do you think this is an indication that the Yanks won’t pursue Asian pitcher with as much zeal as in the past? Or is he saying that we (both the organization and fans) have to be patient with guys who struggle while adjusting? Maybe a young guy like Wang is better off than an Igawa b/c Wang could adjust in the calm of the minor leagues, while Igawa was thrown right into the fire…of course it didn’t seem to bother Okajima.
# EJ Fagan says:

January 26th, 2008 at 11:38 am

Jesse - Do I think that the Yankees will be gun shy? Yes. Of course, that could all change if Kei Igawa has a lot of success this year.

I don’t think that comparing Wang and Igawa is a good way to do things. The Yankees signed him at the age of 20 out of Taiwan, and he spent 7 years adjusting to America. Igawa was thrown right in. I think that Igawa will give us the same lesson that we’ve learned from Cuban players - sometimes you have to start these guys in the minors first.

Where Igawa fits in is really an interesting question.
# stefan says:

January 26th, 2008 at 11:39 am

Yep, Cashman is an Irish Catholic. I actually remember a friend of mine doing a report about Irish culture and noticing that “Cashman” was a prominent family name in County Cork. Random, huh?

Regardless, thanks for the reporting, EJ. It’s cool to hear these things from the mouths of the people involved. The Josh Bard debacle was particularly entertaining, though that may just be the Boston-hater in me :-P
# daneptizl says:

January 26th, 2008 at 11:47 am

EJ, if Cash doesn’t return next year, who do you think are some possible replacements.
# daneptizl says:

January 26th, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Also, around where did Hughes’ command rate on the 20-80 last year(06)?
# Billy says:

January 26th, 2008 at 12:12 pm

EJ - thanks for the article. It was a great read. I’m still super mad that I left before it started Sad Sad

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:21 am

Things to read
http://emedia.thetimes-tribune.com/Blogs/SWBYankees/tabid/552/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/2597/Things-to-read.aspx

First and foremost -- and thank you to Baseball Think Factory for the link -- the Yankees are apparently on the verge of signing a young Australian catcher. And apparently that young man pictured on the left is him.

I realize Graeme Lloyd and Dave Nilsson don't say much as the best Australian big leaguers, but Brad Harmon is a solid Australian prospect in the Phillies system, and I've always like Glenn Williams. Australia is hardly a baseball hotbed, but the place is worth checking every once in a while for talent.

Also, I really wish I wrote in Australia so I could use the word "fortnight."

Another link comes from Joe Sheehan at Baseball Analysts. He posted a study of first-pitch variations that looks into which pitches are thrown most frequently, how often hitters swing at those pitches and all sorts of other information. I have no idea how it will affect your day-to-day life, but it's pretty interesting.

Over at Bronx Banter there's this well-written run down of the moves the Yankees have or have not made this winter. While I'm not in the anti-Jason Lane camp, my favorite line from the Banter post was this one: "Frankly, the Yankees would have been better off with Nathan Lane, who can, at the very least, sing and dance." What can I say, it made me laugh.

While I'm posting links, here's a link to Mike Ashmore's Trenton Thunder blog. Certainly worth a spot in your bookmarks.

Now I'm going to grab a sandwich and start trying to figure out the best case and worst case scenarios for right fielders. Figuring out the pitchers might take a fortnight.

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:10 pm

I think Pats will try to exploit The Defense is Giants Safeties. The Giants' weakness is their safeties.


Matt Light versus Osi Umenyiora is going to be one of the biggest matchups on the field. Umenyiora is an extremely gifted pass-rusher who can use his strength to bull-rush an offensive lineman or speed rush against the high shoulder of a lineman, and use his spin to get free and cause havoc in the backfield.

I also The Patriots realize how dangerous Umenyiora is and will try to get Light help as much as possible. They will keep a running back to his side to chip him or use the same playbook they used against Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, sending a tight end or wide receiver in motion and using that player to chip him.

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:17 pm

Giants top receiver thinks teammates match up well with Moss and company

Associated Press

Updated: January 26, 2008, 4:21 PM ET

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Plaxico Burress has made some amazing catches.

And this amazing statement:

His Giants may have better receivers than the Patriots' very deep group of Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Donte' Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney.

Plaxico Burress

Burress

The response from New England? No laughter, no putdowns, no he-said-what?

Just check out what happens on the field.

"The good thing about the National Football League and I think in life, you have opportunities," Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said, "an opportunity to make sure that comes to light. So we'll see."

The wide receiver advantage belongs to New England as it prepares for the Super Bowl against New York next Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.

Moss set an NFL single-season record with 23 touchdown catches, one more than Jerry Rice. Welker tied for the league lead with 112 receptions. Stallworth made catches that gained at least 30 yards in seven of the Patriots 18 games. And Gaffney scored six touchdowns, including an 8-yarder in the last minute to give New England a 27-24 victory at Baltimore and a 12-0 record.

That's pretty tough to keep up with.

Harrison, a 14-year veteran, said the group "is the best I've ever been around."

By comparison, the Giants production falls short.

Burress was outstanding with 70 catches for 1,025 yards and 12 touchdowns. Amani Toomer was solid, catching 59 passes for 760 yards and three scores. After that, the numbers fall off.

The tight end matchup is more even.

New York's Jeremy Shockey caught 57 passes for 619 yards and three touchdowns but was sidelined for the season after 11 games. New England's Benjamin Watson had 36 catches for 389 yards in the regular season, but six went for touchdowns. He added two scoring catches against Jacksonville in the divisional playoff game.

Burress, though, is very confident, no matter what the numbers say.

"We have guys that can go out and do things just as well or maybe better than some of those guys," he said last week.

In the Patriots 38-35 victory over the Giants in the final game of the regular season, the 6-foot-5 Burress caught two touchdown passes from Eli Manning. He also burned 5-9 cornerback Ellis Hobbs for a 52-yard completion.

"He's got such long arms," Hobbs said. "A normal throw from Eli that is too high for an average receiver is like normal for" Burress.

In last Sunday's NFC championship win over the Green Bay Packers, Burress overwhelmed 6-foot-1 cornerback Al Harris and set a Giants postseason record of 11 catches, picking up 151 yards.

"Plaxico is a really good receiver. I know him personally," Stallworth said. "He's a great player and he's out there to make plays for his team, just like we're trying to do for our team. We're not playing against those guys. I'm not going to be covering Plaxico or anything like that any time soon, so comparisons don't mean anything right now."

Tom Brady and his receivers were the main reasons why New England set an NFL single-season scoring record of 589 points. New York had 373.

The Patriots also led the NFL with 295.7 yards passing per game. The Giants averaged 197.1, ranking way back at 21st in the league.

But Moss had a total of just two receptions in the Patriots' two playoff games as Jacksonville and San Diego guarded him with two or three defenders.

"It's not about catches and stats," Harrison said. "It's all about wining. Coach Belichick, whether you're a free agent, a draft pick or a guy that's been here for five (or) eight years, he tells you (to) check your ego at the door, and that's what Randy's been doing."

Stallworth has done that, too. A deep threat, he's usually the third or fourth option when Brady surveys the field for his tempting choice of wide receivers.

But there's some consolation in Stallworth's belief that he's part of the best receiving corps he's played on in his six NFL seasons.

"Obviously, when you have a guy like Randy, and Wes is being able to work the slot really well, and Jabar," Stallworth said. "We wouldn't be able to do what we're doing if the guys up front weren't giving Tom a whole lot of time, and, obviously, Tom getting us the ball, so it's not only receivers. But talent-wise, we're pretty deep."

Burress, though, ranks the Giants' receivers in the Super Bowl right up there with Moss and his partners who have helped Brady set an NFL record of 50 touchdown passes in a season.

"I don't see why not," Burress said. "We're both going to be on the same field."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:19 pm

# raymagnetic January 26th, 2008 at 4:43 pm

“Why? That’s a big kid, but far from shocking.”

Whozat, he’s the size of a grown man at 16 years old. When I was 21 I was 6′5 216 and I wasn’t skinny. To be 6′1/185 and 16 is a bit shocking to me, but kids nowadays are getting bigger.
# i miss bernie January 26th, 2008 at 4:44 pm

2014
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez told the crowd at today’s ticker-tape parade that it not just another World Series ring to him. ” I cant even cover my whole hand, Jeter’s what like a hundred of them puppies?” Arod said as Jeter sheepishly smiled behind him.
But make no mistake about it, Arod is not just another World Series hero. His scintillating .436 average in 4 World Series appearances puts him among the best of all-time. His record 13 homers in the 2010 World Series may stand for all-time. His 3 World Series MVP awards are another record. And thats not to mention his 7 regular season MVP’s or his 822 career homers.
No, he’s not just your ordinary World Series Hero.
# whozat January 26th, 2008 at 4:52 pm

“Whozat, he’s the size of a grown man at 16 years old. When I was 21 I was 6′5 216 and I wasn’t skinny. To be 6′1/185 and 16 is a bit shocking to me, but kids nowadays are getting bigger.”

How big were you when you were 16, if you were 6′5″ at 21?

I dunno…the kid’s what, a year, maybe two from being done with puberty? He might be near-full-grown already, or he might just eventually be a huge dude.
# whozat January 26th, 2008 at 4:55 pm

I mean…I wear the same size suit coat and dress shirts I wore when I was 16. My shoulders and chest are the same size as they were then. I probably grew another inch taller and two wide in the waist in the last eleven years, but other than that…I’m not that different dimensions wise.
# raymagnetic January 26th, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Whozat when i graduated high school at 17 I was 6′4 165lbs. I was skinny not anorexic then, but if I weighed 185lbs I probably would have looked normal for my size I guess.

I guess you’re right though, he’s not that big. I just looked up Jesus Montero and at 16 he was 6′3 220.
# GreenBeret7 January 26th, 2008 at 5:03 pm

Outback Ollie
January 26th, 2008 at 4:37 pm
I’ll bet a cool Foster’s Lager that Graeme Lloyd gave Damon Oppenheimer a heads up on this Aussie laddie.

=======================================

They have some pretty good ballplayers from the Canberra area. I went there and watched quite a few of the games from a couple of the leagues in Australia when I was there last year…including the league that Dave Nilsson owns. There are a couple of leagues in the Brisbane-Sidney-Canberra-Gold Coast areas. I’d guess they’re equivalent the the Mexican Leagues (AA). Pat Kelly is scouting over there and has been for years. He was living in Australia and scouting for the Dodgers and is now scouting coordinator of the Pacific Rim for the Mariners.
# whozat January 26th, 2008 at 5:03 pm

“I guess you’re right though, he’s not that big. I just looked up Jesus Montero and at 16 he was 6′3 220.”

Now THAT is a big kid.

A guy I work with is a big dude, and his eldest kids are girls. The second oldest is maybe 15, over 6 feet tall, and could easily kick my ass. The oldest is also almost 6 feet tall, but less, um…physically imposing.
# i miss bernie January 26th, 2008 at 5:12 pm

2014
yanks sign FA santana
the yankees today annouced the signing of LHP Johan Santana to a 2 year 12 million dollar contract. The Yankees did not say whether they planned to use the 2 time cy young award winner in the bullpen or in the rotation. Santana, at one time almost traded for the Yank’s 3 ty cy young winner Phil Hughes went 10-8 for the Met’s before the trade deadline deal that sent him to the Cubs where he finished with 16 saves for the team that missed the playoff by 1 game last year.

Santana’s notorious trade from the Twins for 5 players who played a total of 86 major league games was followed by the Mets signing him to a 6 year $125 M contract that they have regretted almost ever since. Santana, slowed by injuries did produce one 16 game-winning season in 2010, but overall he went 72-67 in his Met’s career.

Santana may join the Yankees crowded bullpen led by 53 save powerhouse Joba Chamberlain, or could join Hughes, Marquez, Horne and Kennedy in the Yanks rotation.

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:24 pm

Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry Wears Suits

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/sports/baseball/27araton.html?_r=1&ref=baseball&oref=slogin


The general managers of the Yankees and the Red Sox form a striking couple, though mainly for their contrasts, which seem to capture the respective stations of their ball clubs, in addition to outside perceptions of their executive standing.

Smaller in physical stature than, Theo Epstein, his Boston counterpart, Brian Cashman tends to speak with an earnestness and an eagerness to explain himself fully, and with the permanently furrowed brow of a man regularly dealing with vocational stress.

With careful grooming and impeccable posture, Epstein comes across as more spit-shined with the self-assurance of a young master of his universe, and with the glint of realization that the joke is never on him.

At least not since he has presided over two curse-eviscerating World Series titles in the last four years, a span in which the Yankees have failed to advance beyond one round in the postseason.

“I didn’t have to have to clear it with Hank either,” Epstein snapped after Cashman was asked if he had sought Hank Steinbrenner’s permission to partner up with the chief architect of the Yankees’ sworn enemy for a lecture program Friday night at William Paterson University.

No note of consent from the new boss was required, Cashman assured us. But who would argue that Steinbrenner doesn’t aspire to become the singular voice of the Yankees — having already replaced his once-loquacious father, George, Cashman and eventually perhaps John Sterling, Michael Kay and Bob Sheppard —and wouldn’t have preferred the lecture gig for himself?

That is, if Steinbrenner wasn’t already busy writing a column for The New York Post as a celebrity commentator on the Super Bowl, which happens to be the sport George Steinbrenner was infamous for referencing back in his prime as the Yankees’ self-appointed motivational mastermind.

Until Friday night, Cashman in recent months had seemed to disappear into a Yankees witness-protection program, while Hank Steinbrenner provided round-the-clock updates on everything from matters within the ownership realm to Joba Chamberlain’s role in 2008.

After hearing Steinbrenner tell a reporter, “I’m not going to waste Joba as a setup guy, period,” what general manager with one year remaining on his contract would have believed it career-advantageous to play the public contrarian?

Cashman acknowledged Steinbrenner’s “active role with the press,” but also said, not referring exclusively to the Chamberlain decision, “I don’t feel that I have to necessarily reinforce that position.”

In other words, he didn’t make the climb from intern to general manager and survive for almost a decade by being a yes (or YES) man. Cashman and Epstein, 31 and 28 when they ascended to their current positions, have proved to be savvy beyond their years, and more than the sum of their abundant organizational resources.

A crowd of almost 1,000 jammed the university’s Shay Center to hear them discuss the rivalry that is biding its time, allowing the Giants and the Patriots another week to settle their own regional hostilities. Then it’s back to the Roger Clemens and Johan Santana watches, pitchers and catchers, Yankees and Red Sox.

No question, the Super Bowl in general, and this coming one in particular, dwarfs anything baseball may respond with as a national event. But for sheer soap-operatic drama from central New Jersey to northern New England, Yankees-Red Sox will not soon be supplanted, as long as both teams remain at or near the top of baseball’s revenue-generators and don’t make calamitous spending decisions.

Along those fault lines, Cashman and Epstein addressed the difficulties of resisting the temptations of immediate gratification (without mentioning Santana by name) and the desire to hold to the blueprint more than make moves for the sake of keeping up with the other.

Granted, Cashman said, sustaining a championship-caliber team is even more challenging than building one. Epstein agreed, admitting he consulted the Patriots after the World Series in 2004 for advice on how to meet the challenges of success.

“If you don’t manage it properly, things can get away from you, even if you have the same type of talent,” Cashman would have told Epstein, if there weren’t subjects that are off-limits between the respectful rivals. “It’s a dangerous, slippery slope.”

On top of the baseball world and especially the Yankees, Epstein is pretty much where Cashman was at the turn of the century, with three straight Series victories (and four in five years) before the team-first philosophy that created the core of championship players was abandoned.

Cashman made his share of personnel blunders, especially in the acquisition of starting pitchers, but did he really have an alternative to overpaying and praying when the mandate from above was to win now, yesterday and tomorrow?

While Hank Steinbrenner has said that he supports the developmental plan Cashman embarked on a couple of years ago after he won a power struggle with the people surrounding George Steinbrenner in Tampa, you wonder how long he will fight the urge to meet Minnesota’s steep price for Santana. And how much self-control he will exert if Epstein’s Red Sox are having their way.

New owner. Same family. Old meddling habits?

“Frankly, I wish they were doing things the way they were five years ago,” Epstein said, referring to the rash of signings that brought the Yankees many big names and no World Series titles, the funniest joke of all in Boston.

E-mail: hjaraton@nytimes.com

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:01 pm

MLB scout eyeing ex-Ateneo varsity Zialcita

By Rick Olivares, Business Mirror

Season 69 was perhaps the Ateneo men’s baseball team’s best chance to compete for a University Athletic Association of the Philippines title. They stood atop the standings in the first round until things fell apart in the second round that resulted in the overturning of their victories this, owing to the incomplete papers of star rookie Justine Zialcita.

It’s almost a year now since that forgettable season that resulted in the ouster of longtime coach Alex Estipular and the installing of local baseball legend Randy Dizer as manager for the blue and white. But life has gone on for both Ateneo and Zialcita.


The Blue Batters still have slugging power entering Season 70 (where UST is still the prohibitive favorite to defend the title) but are suspect pitching-wise.

For his part, Zialcita is wearing the Cardinal red and gold of the Pasadena City College Lancers. And he’s no longer a pitcher and instead, has played shortstop and second base. “I’m living the dream and I would like to see where it takes me,” says the huge LA Dodgers fan. “It was also a partial fulfillment to play in the UAAP and for Ateneo, but things just didn’t work out. I’m a little scared of failure here, but this is what it’s all about … the opportunity to play in the major leagues.”

Pasadena City College, the third-largest community college in the US, is perhaps best known for being Jackie Robinson’s alma mater. That Robinson was a Dodger makes Zialcita’s choice for Pasadena even better.

Benny Agbayani is perhaps the best-known Filipino player in the Major League Baseball. The Hawaiian-born Agbayani played five seasons in the pros but served most notably with the New York Mets (he also suited up for the Colorado Rockies and the Boston Red Sox).

This early, a scout for the Seattle Mariners has taken an interest in Zialcita. But Lancers coach Evan O’Meara advised Justin to wait out a year because by then he’ll get better offers.
“I wasn’t even sure if I was going to start or be red-shirted,” he says excitedly. “But I’m just grateful for the opportunity to play.”

During his ILLAM [International Little League of Manila] and Ateneo days, Zialcita could smack the ball silly as he played clean-up. Opposing pitchers at times would walk him just to get to the next batter.

With the Lancers, he has been made to play a lot of defense and switch from slugging to bunting. “It’s more of being a complete player,” he says. “Bunting helps the team advance runners into scoring position and so anything to help at this point is fine with me.” In a league tailor-made for pro scouts, Zialcita had five bunts for infield singles.
The regular season for the Pasadena Lancers begins this January in the South Coast Conference which is considered one of the most competitive and toughest in America. Yet, Zialcita is undaunted.

“The training and conditioning program is tough. We train twice a day. So the only way to go from here is up. If nothing else, I’ll have a good education and get a decent job. But for now it’s all about fulfilling a dream.”

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:09 pm

Am I the only one worried about James Butler


I have this feeling he will get burnt in this game cause the Patriots will go after him

I hope he proves me wrong


I have a feeling the Patriots are going to go after him too
And I have a feeling there going to go after our LBS in the middle in coverage

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:13 pm

How about that Herald?

I figured the best way to stop you all from bashing me is to give you someone else to bash.

So, I give you, served up on a platter, The Boston Herald.

I think one of you linked to it earlier, so you may have already read it. In case you haven’t, here’s how it begins:

New England Patriots fans are smarter, classier and healthier and own pricier homes than the riff-raff who root for the New York Giants - and now we’ve got the research to back it up.

OK, ready? Set? Go …

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:14 pm

A Giants 'fan' tests passions in the den of the Patriots faithful

http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2008/01/26/a_giants_fan_tests_passions_in_the_den_of_the_patriots_faithful/



By Matt Viser

Globe Staff / January 26, 2008

To anyone who believes two World Series championships and three Super Bowl victories in six years have mellowed Boston sports fans, about New York, about success, even about life, Jarrod Fonfield has some choice words.

more stories like this"Oh, you've got to be kidding me," he seethed.

Fonfield, a 29-year-old construction worker and die-hard Patriots fan, happened to be taking a lunch break outside a Downtown Crossing convenience store yesterday. He wasn't speaking to anyone in general, but to a man passing by dressed in a New York Giants cap and a XXXL Eli Manning jersey.

"I don't like New York, period," Fonfield muttered contemptuously. "Giants, Jets, Knicks, Yankees, I don't care. I don't approve of it."

Neither did a lot of others. To test a theory that local sports fans are getting complacent in victory, entitled with all their success, a Globe reporter put on the full colors of next Sunday's Super Bowl opponent and wandered from the crooked streets of downtown to Copley Square and Commonwealth Avenue, from the bowels of the Green Line train stations to the silent stacks at the Boston Public Library.

Drivers rolled down windows to hurl expletives, pedestrians wearing Patriots garb stopped in mid-step to point, yell, and snicker at the loser in the jersey.

"Take that off!" yelled one man wearing Patriots gloves, hat, and coat.

"[Expletive] you!" said a man outside Boston University, pointing, smiling, and chuckling with glee as he climbed into his silver sedan.

One woman simply made eye contact, then stuck out her tongue. A cheery-faced man trying to collect money for a children's charity on a Downtown Crossing street corner avoided shaking hands, saying only, "Giants? Giants?"

The first mission of the day, though, was to find some Giants gear, which was not an easy task.

"You're in the wrong city," said a man dressed like a referee at a downtown Foot Locker.

"We focus on the local teams," said an employee at City Sports around the corner.

Only the Champs Sports at Downtown Crossing, which also carries Yankees jerseys, had some Giants left among Brady, Moss, and Maroney. But all that remained were sizes large enough for a linebacker.

Immediately after the reporter exited the store, expressions from passersby changed. Some people whispered from behind. Others broke out in condescending, knowing smiles.

There was outright disdain not just for the Giants quarterback, but for his entire family.

"Eli Manning sucks! Peyton Manning sucks! Even Archie Manning sucks!" yelled one man about 100 feet away from the store. "That's right. You heard me."

"What bet did you lose?" asked Scott Smith, a 31-year-old construction worker from Dorchester who has Patriots season tickets. "You're lucky I don't have any drinks in me."

Near Copley Station, a truck window lowered and out came, "Giants suck!"

"You got a quarter, bro?" asked a panhandler outside of Wendy's in Copley Square. "Hey, Eli Manning sucks!"

There were looks of disgust in the hallways Boston Public Library's McKim Building. There were distrustful eyes on the inbound Green Line train, as if the guy from New York was about to pick someone's pocket.

Still, the vitriol for the Giants - the only remaining obstacle to a historic undefeated season for the Patriots - does not appear to approach Boston's level of loathing for the Yankees. The Patriots and Giants are in different conferences and don't face each other often. The underdog Giants, who haven't won a Super Bowl since 1991, are a team that some locals quietly respect. Others remember rooting for the Giants before the Patriots came to New England in 1959.

"The Giants, I like them," said Mike Miselman, a 62-year-old cabdriver who remembers pulling for Mel Triplett, Frank Gifford, and Dick Lynch. "They were our adopted team before we got the Patriots. A lot of New Englanders feel the same way."

Though the rivalry with the Giants is barely a rivalry at all, it fits into the larger feud between the Capital of the World and the Hub of the Universe. Boston has always had a chip on its shoulder, sporting victories aside.

"We just want respect," Bryan Puglia, a 23-year-old tuxedo salesman from Wakefield, said near the steps of the Old South Meeting House. "People should respect what we've done - and Spygate has nothing to do with it. We've proven we can go 18-0 without cheating. We're the team to beat, we're the elite."

Dwight Logan, leaning on his cane outside a downtown Borders bookstore, a cigarette dangling out of his mouth, has seen all the rivalries during his six-plus decades watching sports. "Because it's New York, there's hatred," he said. "But it doesn't have the legend of the Celtics-Knicks, Yankees-Red Sox, or Bruins-Montreal. This is new. But it's intense."

Matt Viser can be reached at maviser@globe.com.

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Re: Why the Giants have virtually no shot to win the Super Bowl

Post  RedMagma on Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:41 pm

I've heard the Mets and Twins have finalized a deal for Santana and it may be announced soon. Just for the record, I like the idea of the Yanks bringing along the young pitchers, I also like the idea of having enough (more than two) good pitching prospects so a couple of them could be used in a trade for.....lets see.....a Cy Young caliber lefthander still in his prime ! Congratulations Yanks, by "dropping out" of the Santana trade talks, and Cashman running his mouth about how he wants to stick WITH ALL of the young pitchers, the Mets snuck in and got the best lefthanded in baseball with just ONE good outfield prospect and bag full of # 3-4 projected young pitchers. Lets hope Phil Hughes is the real thing and gets his 94 mph fastball back, and avoids pulling hamstrings and twisting ankles. ugh
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The only real question was - not if the Mets are getting Santana - but at what price. The Yanks and Redsox did squash any leverage the Twins had by cooling off their trade talks. Primarily the Yanks, because once they dropped out - the Redsox didn't have to pursue him because of obvious reasons. Nice move by the Mets, with Santana, they should be favored to win the N.L. pennant.

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