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Post  RedMagma on Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:45 pm

Chat with Rob Neyer




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Welcome to The Show! Rob Neyer is stopping by Friday at 1 p.m. ET as part of our ongoing Hot Stove Heaters chats! Check back each day for a new topic and a new chat! Take it away, Rob!

Which manager is a better fit with his new team, Joe Torre or Joe Girardi?

Both managers arrive with high expectations. Torre's Dodgers are the National League's winningest franchise since moving to Los Angeles in 1958, and they're loaded with young talent. Girardi's Yankees are the greatest franchise in American sports history, and have reached the playoffs in 12 straight seasons. But questions abound. Can Torre, now 67, succeed with a sub-$200 million payroll? Can Girardi handle the voracious New York media for eight months? Conventional wisdom suggests that both managers will do quite well with their new teams. But is one a better fit than the other?

The Case for Joe T.
Torre's detractors will argue that he did little in New York that most managers couldn't have done, considering the Yankees' financial advantage. In 2007 the Yankees spent more money on player salaries than any other team in the majors. And the Dodgers? They spent more on salaries than any other team in the National League. So while the Dodgers' advantage certainly can't match the Yankees', Torre certainly doesn't have to worry about beating teams better-heeled than his own.

In a similar vein, Torre's detractors also will argue that tutoring young players isn't a strong suit, perhaps because in New York he's rarely had to. Well, it's certainly true that the Yankees simply bought most of their best players during Torre's tenure. But not all of them. Derek Jeter was a fine prospect when he arrived in the Bronx, but without Torre would he have become a future Hall of Famer? Similarly, while Jorge Posada may not wind up in Cooperstown, since joining the Yankees for good in 1997 he's become the third- or fourth-best catcher in franchise history. And more recently, both Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera have played key roles for the club. To be sure, Torre doesn't have a substantial ledger in this regard. But he hasn't been asked to build one.

What the Dodgers have lacked in recent years is stability. They've changed general managers, they've changed managers, and few players have been in place for more than a few seasons. Last year the old players were peeved at the young players and vice versa. What Torre brings is a firm guiding hand. He'll turn 68 shortly after the All-Star Game, but if he's still got the energy for job he might be exactly what the Dodgers need.

The Case for Joe G.
The Yankees are the only team in major league history to earn postseason berths in 13 straight years (and no, the Braves don't count; they missed in 1994 and might have missed even without the strike). Torre was their manager for the last 12 of those years. So it might seem strange to say the franchise needed to make a change. Except maybe it did. After all, despite their massive financial edge, the Yankees haven't won more than 97 games since 2004 -- and we're now 10 years removed from their last truly awesome season (1998). And of course they haven't won a World Series since 2000. So perhaps it really was time for a change.

Joe Girardi, though? Well, after the 1960 World Series the Yankees fired 70-year-old Casey Stengel, who'd managed the club to 10 American League pennants and seven World Championships in 12 years. Stengel was replaced by an ex-Yankee catcher, only 41 years old, named Ralph Houk. He'd managed a few seasons in the minors, but otherwise had little experience. But in Houk's three seasons as manager of the Yankees before being promoted to general manager, the Yankees averaged 103 wins per season. The organization had been watching Houk; just as the organization has been watching Girardi, an ex-Yankee catcher who's now 43 years old.

Even when Girardi was still playing for the Yanks, he was mentioned as a future manager. The Yankees continued to watch him as he guided the 2006 Marlins, who were supposed to lose more than 100 games, to a 78-84 record. And they really watched him in 2007 when he worked as an analyst with the club's YES Network, and always seemed like the smartest man in the booth. As the Yankees finally commit to younger players -- and particularly younger pitchers -- Girardi's experience with the young Marlins will be exceptionally useful. And at 43 he should have the energy for yet another tense summer and fall in the Bronx.

So what do you think? Is one a better fit than the other? Or will we perhaps be watching Torre's Dodgers and Girardi's Yankees in the World Series next October.

Vote: Which manager is a better fit for his new team?

Archive: Hot Stove Heaters

SportsNation Rob Neyer: Let the Battle of Javas ... begin!

Patrick, Morristown, NJ : Rob, I think both Joes will do an exceptional job at the helm of their respective teams- but which manager do you think will do a better job managing the pitching staff in the postseason? I love Joe Torre, but I think Andy Pettitte should have been the #1 starter, not Chien-Ming Wang. Your take?

SportsNation Rob Neyer: I got no problems with Wang; the guy pitched excellently for two whole seasons. I do think Torre's faltered occasionally with his relievers, but we won't know if Girardi's any better until he's actually there.

Tony Rochester, NY: Rob, how important is it that Torre as the ability to mesh the old with the young on the dodgers vulnerable team and how far do you see them going in his first year in what is in my opinion the toughest division in baseball?

SportsNation Rob Neyer: The NL West should be an absolute war, but the Dodgers have some serious upside with all that young talent. I haven't run any numbers yet, but I suspect that the Dodgers and Diamondbacks will project to 88-92 wins with the Padres and Rockies a few games behind. Obviously, if Torre can get the kids into the lineup and keep them productive the Dodgers will be tough.

JP, Forest Hills NY: Best fit has to go to Girardi. With Cashman successully being able to retain Hughes, Chamberlain, and Kennedy going into the season a large portion of the Yankees success will depend on what their young pitchers contribute throughout the course of the season. Given the fact that Girardi has caught and worked closely with pitchers within the last 10 years and already worked with a young staff recently, I think he's the better choice for the particular make-up of this rotation. Additionally, the Yankees offense has relied to heavily on power in clutch situations in the past several years. Girardi brings a fresh National League mentality (as did Torre back in '96, but slipped away from..) that will help the Yankees offense reach it's true 1000+ runs scored potential.

SportsNation Rob Neyer: Well, I don't think you're going to see the Yankees steal 200 bases. In fact, I think Girardi's smart enough to know that he can, for the most part, just wind up the hitters and let them go. The key's going to be that young pitching, much of which is out of Girardi's control. But one does figure his experiences will be useful.

Andrew (Fairfax, VA): Don't you think we overstate the effect of managers on their ballplayers' performance just a little bit?

SportsNation Rob Neyer: No question about it.

Dave (Ft Walton Beach, Florida): As a Yankee fan, I am excited to Joe Girardi steer the ship. He's intelligent, well spoken, understand the NY press, and can relate and develop young players. He is a leader in the Jeter fashion. In all Yankee seasons there are peaks and valleys. If Joe can keep his head when the all those around him lose theirs he will most definitely succeed.

SportsNation Rob Neyer: I think that's right (except for the "definitely" part, as there's no definitely in baseball). Girardi's patience and his temper will be tested plenty of times from March through September and (perhaps) October.

Craig (Great Neck, NY): To be honest, I feel sorry for Dodger fans. Torre has such a well-known preference for veterans, I'm afraid it will stunt the growth of Dodger prospects. You know he'll go for Nomar over LaRoche, Pierre over Kemp, etc...He's so afraid to mix things up. Plus, poor Scott Proctor's arm may finally fall off this season.

SportsNation Rob Neyer: Perhaps, but how many young players did he have in New York that really deserved to play? Perhaps he should have gone to Posada a bit earlier than he did, but Jeter and Cano both jumped right into the lineup. Alfonso Soriano, too. I have to think Torre will quickly recognize the talents of Kemp, Ethier, and LaRoche.

Scott Boston: We saw in the NFL back a bit that coaches got old, overstayed in the league too long, and were out of touch with players and systems. Do you think there is a danger of that with Torre, who is in his 70's, trying to manage kids barely out of their teens?

SportsNation Rob Neyer: Torre's actually 67 and could pass for 57. I would have been more concerned 30 years ago, but we've seen Felipe Alou and Jack McKeon do well as managers at this age. I'm not saying that being a senior citizen is a *positive* ... but in Torre's case I'm not sure it's a negative, either.

MJ (edmonton): Isn't Girardi at least partly to blame for the arm troubles of Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, and Anibal Sanchez. I seem to remember a story about how he left Johnson in a game after a lengthy rain delay and Johnson got hurt not long afterwards. Shouldn't that be a strike against Girardi?

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Post  RedMagma on Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:42 pm

Johan Santana-S-Twins Feb. 1 - 6:33 pm et

http://rotoworld.com/content/home_MLB.aspx

The New York Post is reporting that the Mets and Johan Santana have agreed to a contract extension.
No terms yet. Now only the physicals is standing in the way of the five-player deal.
Source: New York Post

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Post  RedMagma on Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:47 pm


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Post  RedMagma on Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:56 pm

Noble1 on 1/31 wrote:
He's supposed to be in NY tomorrow afternoon. I got an email saying the deal is essentially done pending the physical. Supposedly the Mets got their way and its a 5 year extension for less than $20 per on average.

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Post  RedMagma on Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:57 pm

Quote:
…Update…6:44 pm…
…i have reason to believe the deal is for a guaranteed six years, and $137.5 million…i can’t confirm that with people connected to the team, though...


~Metsblog

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Post  RedMagma on Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:05 pm

Quote:
The deal is believed to be for $148 million total -- $135 for six years on top of the $13 million for 2008 his Twins contract called for.


and in the same article:

Quote:
That expected new $20 million salary for '08, and the six additional years at $22 million, would bring Santana's total haul to $152 million.


Wonderful reporting!

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Post  RedMagma on Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:14 pm

Comments from Stinkin Braves Fans

http://www.braves-nation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8264&page=27


broke
"Braves need to figure out how to beat Oliver Perez. Hoped this deal would fall threw.......wishful thinking."


BravesfaninNC

"So let's see the Mets pay 22Mill a year to guy who in 6year will be 35years old soon to be 36.In other word the mets over pay him.What makeing me mad is the fact that the Stupid Twins trade away there best player on there team and maybe the best pitcher in the game today.And they don't get back = value .Anyway as we sow Santana last year the guy might be the best pitcher in the game today with that said he beatable"



GrandMasterB

LOL, finally...

The NL East should be fun to watch this year, at least at the top with Atlanta, New York and Philadelphia.


Chief Knockahoma

this deal just makes me anticipate the season even more!


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Post  RedMagma on Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:21 pm

Yankees fans should be glad team didn't get Santana


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/baseball/mlb/01/31/corcoran.santana/index.html
By Cliff Corcoran, SI.com

In yet another sign that times have changed in the Bronx, the fact that the Mets have agreed to a trade that will bring the best pitcher in baseball to Queens has been received as good news by the Yankees and their fans. The Yankees had been in discussions with the Twins regarding Johan Santana earlier this offseason, at one time offering a package centered around right-hander Phil Hughes and center fielder Melky Cabrera, but the negotiations hit a snag regarding which additional prospects would be sent to Minnesota, as the Twins were reportedly asking for either right-hander Ian Kennedy or a combination of minor leaguers in starter Alan Horne and outfielder Austin Jackson.

Even in not making the trade, the Yankees managed to accomplish two of their primary goals which had previously seemed mutually exclusive: keep their own top prospects in pinstripes while keeping Santana away from the Red Sox.

Trading for Santana would have paid tremendous short-term dividends for the Yankees, possibly giving them the extra push they've needed to get back to the World Series, but given their young pitching talent, the team's long-term outlook is actually much brighter now than it would have been had the traded gone down.

The Yankees are a pitching-rich organization with a trio of ready-now starters, two of whom, 22-year-olds Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, are potential aces who will be in the major league rotation this year. According to Baseball Prospectus prospect guru Kevin Goldstein, the Yankees' collection of pitchers under age 25 is the second best in all of baseball, trailing only the Tampa Bay Rays.

Chamberlain and Hughes are projected to establish themselves as a dominant 1-2 punch atop the Yankee rotation, while 23-year-old Kennedy, who should also see time in the major league rotation this year, is expected to settle in as a mid-rotation starter. With two-time 19-game winner Chien-Ming Wang still several years away from free agency, and the 25-year-old Horne slated to start the year in triple-A, the Yankees have the makings of an entirely homegrown and cost-controlled rotation that could be among the best in the major leagues as early as 2009.

Parting with more than one of those pitchers as well as one or even both of the team's top centerfield prospects for the privilege of spending more than $20 million a year on a pitcher who is asking to be signed through is mid-30s was something Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was wisely unwilling to do.



While it's certainly optimistic to believe that Hughes could become an equal or even superior pitcher to Santana over the next five years, it's still possible, particularly since that Hughes was considered the top pitching prospect in baseball a year ago. With all else being equal, the exchange of Hughes' potential for the sure-thing of Santana would have been a no-brainer, but with the other players involved in the trade, it became a far more dubious proposition, and that's before factoring in the expense in dollars.

The trade between the Twins and Mets is contingent upon the Mets and Santana agreeing on a long-term contract extension. Though we don't yet know the years and dollars the Mets will be forced to commit to Santana in order to consummate the deal, it's generally assumed that the resulting contract will be the richest ever given to a pitcher.


Our own John Heyman speculated about a five-year extension with an average annual salary of $24 million. Another figure that's been tossed around has been an annual average of $25 million over six years, a total of $150 million. Even with Heyman's lower estimate, the Mets would be paying $120 million for Santana's age-30 to -34 seasons on top of the $13.25 million he's owed this season in the final year of his existing contract. In contrast, the Yankees will have Hughes under team control for the next five seasons at ages 22 to 26 for no more than arbitration prices. Even if Hughes makes $10 million in his final two arbitration years, the Yankees will likely pay him less over the next five years than the Mets will have paid Santana after just the first year of his extension.

Though the Yankees have never been a miserly organization, their payroll has remained largely stagnant since the 2004 season, hard evidence that the stories that circulated after the team's 2004 ALCS loss about the organization nearing the break-even point were likely true. Though the Yankees have a lot of big contracts coming off the books the next two offseasons, the massive deal they gave to Alex Rodriguez, along with the above-market contracts given to Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera and the fact that Derek Jeter will likely want to be treated equally after his contract expires following the 2010 season, will keep the team's payroll among the highest in baseball.

It's all the more important, then, for the team to save where they can in order to make the necessary replacements that will be required in short order in the outfield corners and at first base. With regards to the latter, the savings from having Santana land elsewhere can be repurposed toward an offer to current Atlanta Braves first baseman Mark Teixeira in November, or for a deal like the one the Yankees just gave their own second baseman, Robinson Cano, that will keep their emerging young core together with the goal of producing yet another pinstriped dynasty.

For the Yankees and their fans, the disappointing part of the Mets acquiring Santana is not that the Yankees didn't get him and not that he went to a supposed rival -- the Yankees likely care much more that he's out of the AL than that he is in New York -- but that they won't be able to use some of that savings to make an offer to Santana after the season. The best case scenario would have been for him to remain a Twin and then join the Bombers as a free agent for the 2009 season. With Hughes, Chamberlain, Wang, Kennedy, and Horne still in place, however, the Yankees should be just fine without Santana and will do better to spend their money on filling out the heart of their 2009 lineup.

For all of these reasons, Santana to the Mets is good news in the Bronx. However, the most important may be the simplest of all: the Red Sox didn't get him.

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Post  RedMagma on Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:32 pm

"It's not like he's unbeatable," Hudson said of Santana. "He did get hit around last year. If you put Smoltz up against him or me up against him, it's a toss up. Obviously, he can go out there and dominate games. But so can some of the pitchers on our club."

i mean, it's not that far from a toss-up, but smotlz's shoulder together with wild turkey and duct tape, and hudson had one good year. i just don't know why they'd want to do anything to stir up the best pitcher in baseball. i hope he shits down their throats.

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Post  RedMagma on Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:38 pm

From Jets and Mets fan
FC2Mikey Post #1: 7:35 pm Quote | Report Violation
Total Posts: 364


I just wanted to say that I hope that Johan can put us over the top in the NL and we can face Boston in the 2008 World Series in rematch of the 86 series. Beat the Yankees!

Also, Good luck to the undefeated Patriots this sunday in the Super Bowl....make the AFC East proud once again for the 4th time in 7 years. Long live King Brady.

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