Outtakes 2007: Jeters and ARods
by Ken Arneson
2007-11-08 3:52

The GM meetings are going on right now. How is Billy Beane approaching this offseason? My thoughts about 2008 always boil down to this: the following five-man rotation, if healthy, is probably the best rotation in baseball:

  • Dan Haren
  • Rich Harden
  • Joe Blanton
  • Chad Gaudin
  • Justin Duchscherer

With a rotation like that, your rivals could have two Derek Jeters and three ARods, and you could still compete with them.

 

But if your rotation is mostly this:

  • Dan Haren
  • Joe Blanton
  • Chad Gaudin
  • Lenny DiNardo
  • Dan Meyer

You better hope your rivals don’t have too many Jeters and ARods, because you’re not going to win 95 games.

 

Right now, there’s only one superstar slugger in the AL West, and that’s Vladimir Guerrero. None of the four teams have particularly imposing lineups. Pitching and defense win this division. So maybe you take a chance and see how well Rotation A can hold up in 2008. If it holds up for at least half the season, you still might be able to win the division, even if you need to resort to Rotation B for the other half.

But suppose the Angels sign ARod and Barry Bonds? Now, you pretty much need Rotation A to hold up the whole year, don’t you? And how likely is that? With Rotation B, the Angels can match you pitcher for pitcher, and their lineup blows yours out of the water. In which case, it’s probably best to just blow up this team and rebuild, because the Angels will win the division in 2008.

Of course, Billy Beane understands this:

Oakland GM Billy Beane said he will decide in the next month whether to supplement the core of his team or break it up. Beane said he is monitoring the health and rehabilitation status of several key players, including Eric Chavez, Justin Duchscherer (whom Oakland intends to convert to a starter), Rich Harden and Mark Kotsay. "That’s why we’re at a fork in the road," Beane said. "We’re either going forward and going for it or cutting it down and rebuilding. There is no middle ground in our market. When we hit the bottom, small market teams like us don’t bounce." Beane said he would decide a course of action by the start of the winter meetings Dec. 3.

Comments: 7
1.   dianagramr
2007-11-08 06:50

1.  The photo makes perfect sense ...

A-Rod specifically wanted $252 million because it was exactly twice at much as the next largest pro sports contract at the time.

Having Jeter cloned would allow him to (finally) have some decent range to his left.

2.   Philip Michaels
2007-11-08 12:05

2.  Not to deflect attention away from the sagacity of Ken's analysis, but is anyone else as bothered as me by the sight of Yankee fans wearing jerseys with actual names on the back? "People might not know this Yankee No. 2 jersey is, in fact, the one worn by Derek Jeter," I imagine they said. "I should probably make sure to get one with his name on it just to drive home the point that I'm not wearing a Frank Crosetti jersey or one honoring Dale Berra." Why not just go the full nine yards and get a jersey with the name "Jeter, Who Is In Fact The Yankee Shortstop" on the back?

And nice to see a group of fans boldly showing their support for the downtrodden and unheralded like Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. Wonder what the name of their little gang is? The Shameless Frontrunners would be my guess.

Weird things set me off, apparently.

3.   yankz
2007-11-08 13:11

3.  2 Nameless jerseys are pretty hard to find, and the authentic ones are even more expensive than the ridiculously expensive ones those dudes are wearing.

4.   KJC
2007-11-08 13:11

4.  2 I'm with you. "Incorrect" jerseys are a pet peeve of mine. (Those Jeters and A-Rods should at least be road jerseys.) What drives me nuts the most around Fenway (I'm a Sox fan) are the Red Sox #9 jerseys & shirts with "WILLIAMS" on the back...

5.   Philip Michaels
2007-11-08 13:38

5.  3 You can't put a price on style.

6.   Ken Arneson
2007-11-08 13:49

6.  2 I am more bothered by the fact that nobody who buys these shirts ever tucks them in.

7.   standuptriple
2007-11-08 15:58

7.  2 You can buy these ones and with a very small pair of scissors remove the name from the back. It totally bugs me too, but I just glance disaprovingly from my high horse. I wear a #5 around at A's games and only about 1/20 who comment actually get it. Much respect for those that do though.
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