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Thursday, January 25, 2007


With the rotation as deep as it is this year the bullpen shouldn't be needed as much as it has been in the past years. That should take allot of strain off Gordon's shoulder. This is why I agree with Rollins, This is the team to beat in the East.

Rev, the Muts are the team to beat until they're beaten. It's that simple.

Rev, unless you expect the Phillies pitcher to suddenly amass over 100 complete games this year, that's a ludicrous argument. The starters might be of a higher overall quality and might go deeper into games on average - but it is rare when any starter begins the ninth inning, even in a low-scoring game. It stands to reason that no matter how the starters fare, Gordon will get the same amount of work as he always does.

I have no doubt that Gordon is good to go. What worries me (and everyone else) is how he'll hold up through the summer.

This in from Buster Olney on

"A contingent of executives from the New York Yankees will fly to China next week with the hope of concluding ongoing negotiations on a working agreement with the China Baseball Association. This could lead to the Yankees dispatching coaches and trainers to work with players in China, and perhaps, in years to come, beginning a baseball academy."

Why can't the Phillies ownership be this visionary? The answer is probably the same on that has gotten us one playoff appearance in the last 23 years.

The Phillies new international focus is on Panama and Nicaragua, according to a recent story in Baseball America. There is a general fear that signing Venezuelan talent is about to get more difficult.

it's not exactly fair to compare the Phils with the Yankees w/r/t such an enormously capital-intensive (both financially and diplomatically) effort like establishing an academy in China. the Phillies are by no means a small-market team, but they don't have anywhere near the resources of the Yankees.

(not to mention the fact that the Yankees have a big head start in a Taiwanese star pitcher who finished second in Cy Young voting last year.)

i'm with rsb re flash. he's fine to start the season, but scary to finish it. with that said there hasn't been a better closer contract signed this year or last.

Panama and Nicaragua - fine. But others are there also - competition. My question is fellow trekkies, why are they so reluctant to go where no man has gone before? They don't have to make the same financial commitment as the Yankees, but at least try to develop and scout talent somplace.

And why do they always have to be followers instead of leaders? It's the vision thing.

One of the interesting things about starting up a baseball academy in China is trying to figure out what the Yankees expect to get out of it vs what they put into it.
Sure, it looks very visionary. Teach the game, identify some potential major league talent and then... what?

First, if we think the Japanese posting system is suspect, wait until you have to post with the Chinese government to negotiate with the Chinese government for a Chinese player.

Second, you won't really 'get' the player anyway. He'll be loaned to you, much as the Chinese basketball players are. He will still be part of the Chinese baseball establishment, and be required to meet all commitments to play for them when he is asked. The Yankees needs will always be secondary.

This program could be a major financial drain on the Yankees, depending on it's scope, with every official up and down the ladder having his hand out.

The really interesting question is why the Yankees need/want to provide this? Why isn't the Chinese government hiring the Yankees to do this? China is not poor. They are perfectly able to build a baseball academy and hire trainers and coaches. And they would be the primary beneficiaries of having professional baseball players sourced from China.

Perhaps that is what they are in fact negotiating. The Yankees simply establishing a relationship by making a few coaches and trainers available makes a lot more sense.

Cholly needs to 1) trust another pitcher to finish a game when the Phils have a 4 or 5-run lead in the 9th, and 2) refrain from using Gordon in a non-save situation just because he "needs the work".

CM overused Wagner in those situations just as he overused Gordon last season. Not coincidentally, both closers spent time on the DL.

Hopefully, Cholly uses Flash in save situations only. He may not be quite as sharp after a week between appearances, but I'd rather take my chances with a little rustiness than risk losing Gordon to the DL in August.

George S. - my entirely baseless assumption is that the Yankees want to negotiate some kind of exclusive or partially exclusive arrangement with China (providing their scouts/trainers as an incentive). having first/only shot at Chinese prospects would be a big advantage.

your point about the loaner aspect is good though - Steinbrenner has been very reluctant to allow Yankees to participate in the WBC etc., which would seem like a bad fit for a relationship with China.

VOR, disagree. You can't let a guy sit for 5-7 days and then bring him into a save situation all rusty.

I'm sorry RSB, but the whole "needs work" notion is silly in my opinion. If he needs work, let him pitch out in the bullpen and do some side sessions. No need to bring him into an actual game and wear him out. You and Chris Wheeler must agree on a lot.

I'm going to split the difference between RSB & Carson. Some pitchers, particularly those who rely on breaking balls, MUST have lots of in-game work to thrive. Others must be babied and used only when absolutely necessary. The manager and pitching coach know which is which and use them accordingly.

Where this falls apart is when injuries strike and pitchers' roles get switched around or when someone fails in their role (i.e. Rhodes as setup man last year) forcing a heavier burden on others, including the closer.

AWH: From previous thread. Your logic is bizarre. You say we should keep crappy pitchers like Sanches and Condrey on the roster because Cholly will be less tempted to use them as setup than Alfonseca, who's far better, but would be overmatched as setup guy.
How about this: We take the best 11 pitchers north and trust the manager not to do anything stupid with them. And if Cholly can't handle that task, fire him.

I think it could be rediculously bad for a Chinese player and a Taiwanese player to be on the same team. Which is to say it would be great cause it's the Yankees. Nothing like an argument in Mandarin about the sovereign status of Taiwan to get the clubhouse fired up!

Clout- I agree with your assessment of the "needs work" logic. I still think the phrase is overused by Wheeler, and that Charlie is a moron when it comes to deciphering which pitcher indeed needs work, but your logic makes sense.

I don't agree with the needs work thing. I would love to see cholly use Gordon like Wickman was used in Cleveland (and now ATL)

Wickman is strickly for saves, and he has been very durable and productive, despite not having the greatest "stuff" out there.

Biggest issue with Gordon that no one has pointed out was that he was the never same after the outing in July when he came in the 8th after Rhodes blow it. Gordon wound up pitching more than 50 pitches and wasn't the same afterwards all season.

I am most worried about Gordon being used in consecutive multiple appearance (3 games in a role) and being brought in the 8th for more than an inning.

Gordon needs to be handled with kids' gloves this season and that really limits the bullpen. Ideally, Gordon only pitches an inning at a time and less than 30 pitches. Otherwise, I think he will end up on the DL.

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