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Thursday, March 08, 2007

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Sweet! Thanks YFSF!

Great read...Thanks again!

That's an interesting interview. Maybe Bostonians knew that about Beckett, but being a Yankee fan, I didn't.

Interesting website and links too. I think it was Jay Jaffe who wrote this for Baseball Prospectus during the season, when the Yanks were 50 and 33. Seems like a long time ago.

A classic half-full/half-empty first half. In the first cup, you've got a team that's four games ahead of last year's sluggish pace, ranked fourth in the AL in scoring (5.57 R/G) despite big boppers Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui missing a combined 110 games, ranked fifth in the league in run prevention (4.72 R/G) despite a horrible first half from Randy Johnson, pumpkin chariot crashes from last year's saviors Shawn Chacon and Aaron Small, a no-show from Carl Pavano, and an expensive enigma in the bullpen in Kyle Farnsworth. In the second cup, you've got a team three games behind the Red Sox but six back in the Wild Card chase, no guarantee of useful returns from either Matsui or Sheffield (further exposing a catastropically lousy Plan B in the outfield, one that's been reduced to scavenging the Royals), a shallow farm system ill-equipped for upgrade chits, a bullpen that already looks threadbare, and an overreliance on exploding Pinto Jaret Wright, their third-best starter. This may not be Cashman and Torre's finest team, but if it can overcome such obvious flaws, well, what do you expect for $200 million?

john,
Well, if it was Jaffe that had that rosy assessment of the Yanks around the break last year, somebody here should have pointed out these comments, asked how an expert like himself could end up being out in left field with how the rest of the 2006 season actually played out, and then asked him if he wanted some ice cream on his humble pie.

I don't understand the criticism here, if one is intended. That analysis was spot on at that time. Most writers had the Yanks dead and buried at that point, with Papi hitting walk-off game winners every other night. I don't think anyone saw Melky coming on as he did, and no one could have known Abreu would be acquired for a song. At that time, the minors WERE bare in terms of providing serious use to the ML roster. And, um, Jaret Wright. How'd he do against the Tigers?

The Sox had a better record at the time, but Jaffe / Baseball Prospectus had the Yanks one place ahead of them in the power rankings, presumably saying that the Yanks would be overtaking the Sox.

Hey all,

First off, thanks to YF for inviting me to participate in this forum. I apologize for not having Part II up today; I just got back from Philadelphia for the start of Baseball Prospectus 2007's promotional season and didn't finish my homework. The remainder of the questions will be posted on Monday.

Second, and contrary to YF's intro, I did not cover the Yankees for Baseball Prospectus 2007; that job fell to editor and YES columnist Steven Goldman, while I covered the Dodgers and Red Sox.

Finally, I did write the above first-half assesment of the Yankees in the July 9 (All-Star Break) Prospectus Hit List, and I don't see what Whatever's gripe is at all. Both YF and John have the right idea: the Yanks to that point were flawed but hardly out of any race despite stooping to the level of gainfully employing Terrence Long. The second half saw them capitalize on some nice developments such as the maturation of Melky Cabrera, the Abreu trade (for exactly none of those missing chits) and a Bosox collapse of biblical proportions that allowed them to overcome said flaws and take the division. I'm willing to eat humble pie when it's deserved, but this particular slice is not mine.

Thanks for the clarifications, Jay, and thanks a ton for contributing to the site.

Part II is now up here for anyone who wants to keep this crazy train rolling...

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