Thursday, July 22, 2004

Disjointed Thoughts

Re: Jose Contreras

I've spent too much time thinking, hoping, praying that Jose's turned a corner.  There's simply no predicting what this guy's going to do, so I'm not going to bother.

You're right that Jose's been unbeaten in his last 5 starts (since his not-so-bad loss in L.A. a month ago) , but that also forgets Home Run Derby day at Shea, when Jose got a no-decision despite giving up seven runs in 5 innings.

If the Yanks didn't have an 8 game lead over Boston, the idea of Jose Contreras and Tanyon Sturtze starting two out of three games at Fenway would be horrifying.

Re: The Yankees Training Table

Again, an 8 game lead helps stave off lots of worries that might normally turn our hair gray.  Jeter's got a broken hand; Crazy Eyez Killa still isn't back from his bad back and case of worms; Moose is still suffering a stiff elbow; Gary Sheffield's shoulder is still killing him (not that his pain stopped him from unleashing big flies against the Jays last night); Giambi's still feeling weak, to the extent that he's worried he might have cancer; Kenny Lofton and Bernie Williams are never quite 100%.

It's a double-headed problem.  If the Yanks can just glide into the postseason, the highest priority has to be getting no-nonsense diagnoses of these guys, with an aim of having everybody healthy for the postseason, and getting replacements for anyone who will not be healthy in that time frame.  If the whole roster was actually healthy, I don't think that the Yanks would need to make any major improvements to the roster -- Cairo's performing well enough to be the weak link in the lineup, the Yanks would have 6 starting pitchers, 3 ace-type guys.  

If making the playoffs, or even winning the division, turned into a dogfight, the need to bring in some depth would be more apparent.  Which brings us to the next topic...

Re: Randy Johnson

Do I want the Unit in pinstripes?  Yeah, the same way that I want to spend the night with Jessica Alba.  Jessica Alba is flat-out gorgeous, probably pretty well-heeled, and ... she's flat-out gorgeous.  If you got a 2:00 AM phone call from Jessica Alba -- and if you're a heterosexual male -- you have to at least consider answering the phone.

Do I go sending Jessica letters, ask her out on dates, do the stuff that would generally get you thrown in jail for stalking?  No, of course not because 1) I'm in a great relationship with a girl I love very much, and 2) I don't feel any need to do anything stupid in pursuit of a less-likely-than-Lotto pipe dream (and, of course, a stalking conviction is a real pain in the butt).

But it's the same covetous nature that leads us to look longingly at Ms. Alba that leads us to fantasize about Randy Johnson in pinstripes.  He's the best lefthanded pitcher I've ever seen.  Unlike the righties, where you can have a decent-sized argument between Clemens and Maddux and Pedro, there really isn't much competition for the Unit: Tom Glavine gets in the picture, but is clearly inferior.

The question is Johnson's availability.  The Diamondbacks really shouldn't trade Randy Johnson -- it's virtually impossible, at this point, for them to get equal value in return.  Jerry Colangelo may balk at Johnson's contract, which is huge, but he's not exactly poor, and having Johnson on your team is not exactly something of "no value".  I'd hope that Arizona fans make it out to the ballpark in order to see one of the best pictchers ever, even if his teammates suck.

The biggest reason that the Diamondbacks would want to trade Randy is because the expectation has been put in the air that Randy Johnson is available.  Enough reporters ask about a trade, sooner or later you start to feel like you must make a trade.  It's a lousy situation.

Now if the expectation becomes reality, and the D-backs decide they must trade the Unit, I want the Yankees in there, and I'd rather he wind up in pinstripes than anywhere else in the American League.

But right now, as things stand, I'd rather Randy just stay where he is: safely on a last place team, neither pitching for us nor killing us in the playoffs.


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