Thursday, October 24, 2019

Hot Stove! Pay no attention to that outfielder under the knife...

...I'm sure HAL has suckered Lloyd's of London into a huge policy guaranteeing the money.

(Just what goes on at Lloyd's anyway?  Your New York Yankees must account for half of their losses on an average year.  What's the annual meeting of the board like?

"And once again, I am sorry to report, our American sports division has left us deeply in the red.  I would like to call now on our division representative, Mr. Lloyd George Steinbrenner, to report on it. Mr. Steinbrenner?")

Anyway, let's do this in proper ORDER, as Mr. Bercow would holler, speaking of the English.

Today we're talking about first base, where our contenders for 2020 are:

Greg Bird (believe it or not)
Luke Voit
Mike Ford

Well, as Casey Stengel once said, when you got five first basemen, you got no first baseman (No, really, he actually did say that!  Spring training, 1949.)

Believe it or not, some Yankee bloggers are actually excited about Bird, the man who has not hit so as .200 since 2015, maybe coming back.  They picture him regaining his game in the winter leagues, and coming back to be the crucial, left-handed batter in the Yanks' lineup that ALL-CAPS and I always dreamed he would be.

But we all know better.  Sadly, Bird is much more likely to become the first man ever to be infected with malaria, yellow fever, and dengue hemorrhagic fever from the same, single mosquito.

We can only hope that The Parrot Man is gone, too, after this postseason.  And Various?  Well, since he can't play the outfield, it might be an idea to give Giancarlo a first baseman's glove. doubt, he would pull a hamstring, wrench his knee, and tear his Achilles tendon the first time he was required to touch the bag with his foot.

Andujar might be a prospect for the first sack, too, depending on how he mends from his own throwing arm injury.  But we'll get to him when we hit third base.

Which leaves the lefty/righty versions of exactly the same player, Luke Voit/Mike Ford.

Voit, the righty, had 21 homers, 62 ribbies, and a .263/.378/.464/.842 slash in 118 games last year.
Ford, the lefty, had 12 home runs, 25 ribbies, and a .259/.350/.559/.909 slash in 50 games.

Ford is 27, Voit 28.  Ford walked 17 times and struck out 28; Voit, walked 71 times, and struck out 142.

What I would do:  All undue influence from the soon-to-be-independent nation of Scotland aside, I think Ford is an easy call.

The man has been an on-base machine his whole career, and seems to be growing into his power.  Plus he and Voit are not QUITE the same player.  Ford strikes out much, much less often than the (slightly) older Voit.

I like Luke Voit, a gamer who has done a lot for us.  But ultimately, I would go with Ford and see what Voit might bring on the market, which is likely to not be nothing, particularly if he recovers well and looks good in spring training.

WWCCD:  Voit going under the knife might, just might convince Cashman to take a real look at Ford next spring.  But don't count on it.

Even though there is a long and admirable tradition of Ivy Leaguers in the majors—Lou Gehrig, Eddie Collins, Ron Darling, Gene Larkin, etc.—and even though Mike Ford looks more like a truck driver than a scholar—baseball men inevitably feel uneasy around people who have more book l'arnin' than they do.  They always assume that smart college boys "think too much," and aren't tough enough.

There's a reason why Coops would not even take a real look at Ford until he was absolutely forced to this summer.  Look for him to deal Ford for next to nothing, while hanging on to Voit..."core muscle" problems or not.

And look for Ford to pop up soon thereafter on the World Series roster of a truly smart organization such as the Cards or—heaven forfend—the Boston Red Sox.


13bit said...

Count on Cash to do the wrong thing, the unimaginative thing, the safe thing, the thing that is not bold or clever. Count on Cash to buy the retread tire to save 10 bucks, then shrug when he gets a blowout fifty miles from home. Count on Cash to think he's the smartest guy in the room. Remember, the guys who THINK they're the smartest guy in the room are NEVER the smartest guy in the room. Count on Cash to whisper into Hal's ear the things that Hal wants to hear. Cash is addicted to being Brian Cashman, GM of the legendary Yankees. Except that, under his watch, they have become the Bronx sluggards who never win. Nobody seems to have told him yet. That's what happens when you have a court filled with sycophants and jesters, but no hardened old fighters. Fuck you, Brian.

ranger_lp said...

Mike F. on the FAN the other day mentioned that the Yanks presently have 5 DHs...Stanton, EE, Andujar, Voit...I think the 5th was Ford. They have to look at that logjam and get rid of a few...too many right-handed hitters...

13bit said...

Hal and Brian sitting in a tree,
K I S S I N G.
First comes money, then comes baggage
Then comes Booney in a baby carriage.

Anonymous said...

It's strange but for most of my baseball fan life it seemed like 1B was an easy position to fill. Now not so much.

You had your "real 1B men" like Chambliss, Mattingly, Tino, and Tex. (and way before my time Gehrig)

and your "not real 1B men" Like Mantle, and Giambi.

All good ways to go.

Now our choices are, as you said,

Greg Bird
Luke Voit
Mike Ford

Stengel is right. We have no one.

EE is not coming back. Nor should he.

Greg Bird is... If Jacoby didn't exist we'd be calling the EL the "Bird Cage" Sort of like the Cooler. As in" Voit? Lat Strain. 60 days in the Bird Cage."

Voit and Ford are lug nuts.

Like you, my preference is Ford. He is a throwback to the pre-adonis game where out of shape guys were allowed to play the game.

But neither of them is a Giambi (great hit/questionable field. Or a Mattingly (Great hit / Great field.)

They are "adequate" at both skills at best.

Oh, we left out DJ. There's a good hit good field guy. If we resign Didi (and I'm not sure we will) then he's the first baseman.

We could look "outsdie the box" and not sign Didi and look for a new second baseman.

New guy
Urshala / AnDUjar

Doug K.

Retired Stratman said...

I think they should give Andujar a serious look at first base. He’s got a good glove, it’s just his throwing that sucks. After what we’ve seen from Urshela at third, there’s no sense in wasting any more time trying to get Andujar to fix his throwing woes. The only throws a first baseman ever makes are on the 3-6-3 double play and his sidearm throws are tailor made for that play. He even hits like a first baseman.

HoraceClarke66 said...

The only thing I would differ on with any of you is Doug K.'s assertion that Ford is only "adequate" at the plate.

Sure, his final stats were just that on the 2019 season. But he did seem to really be developing down the last month, and I think he could easily become a terrific major-league hitter.

A great fielder? No. But he could be an OBP machine with power. In other words, maybe Giambi without the juice.

Anonymous said...


"maybe Giambi without the juice".

That would be cool with me. I like the guy. And I like even more that he seems like what David Wells would be if he were a position player.

Doug K.

Scottish Yankee fan said...

What I would do: All undue influence from the soon-to-be-independent nation of Scotland aside, I think Ford is an easy call.

I surprisingly agree :D

On both counts

The upper class entitled chinless wonders that run the UK from London make the Steinbrenner's look like dirt poor ragged arse trousered street urchins. Sooner we leave the better.

FREEDOM for Scotland and Mike Ford.

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