Mandel’s Musings – Summer of Discontent, Baseball Trading Deadline Approaches

Published on: 24th July, 2011

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david-stern
Mandel's Musings - Summer of Discontent, Baseball Trading Deadline Approaches  | read this item

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New York — You have to give the commissioners of such multi-billion dollar sports leagues as the NFL and the NBA a lot of credit. David Stern and Roger Goodell, effectively the CEOs of their respective businesses, are screaming about how mismanaged their businesses really are. How they are losing millions of dollars, how they can’t seem to get on the same page to run an efficient operation.

If CEOs of other global brands from Fortune 500 companies were to go public with similar stories of fiscal and organizational failure, do you think the board of directors of those firms would keep these failing CEOs in their jobs? Yet, Stern and Goodell remain firmly entrenched as the leaders of businesses they claim are failing miserably under their stewardship.

Only in America, folks.

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The Yankees are 5-6 since A-Rod went down. Other than the 17-run explosion two days ago against the Triple A Oakland Athletics, the Bombers are averaging less than four runs per game since Rodriguez left the lineup. Just saying.

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Maybe Jeter still has a little gas in the tank. With his 3 for 4 today, he’s now 6 for his last 10 at bats, boosting is average to .272. He also stole his 11th base today, putting the 37-year old shortstop on pace for another 20-stolen base season. He’s not the same guy from five years ago but I’m not convinced a team couldn’t win a championship with him at shortstop.

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A.J. Burnett is now a five inning pitcher? Girardi doesn’t trust him going past 100 pitches in a game. It would be interesting to see the Yankee manager let the veteran righty work himself out of trouble instead of calling for the bullpen so early in games. It might fix what ails the Yankees number 2 starter in the rotation, mentally.

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The Mets have to make the Carlos Beltran trade a good one. This type of asset, with Beltran having an excellent season offensively and defensively, cannot just be a dump job. Given the condtion of their minor league system with its paucity of major league prospects, it’s crucial Sandy Alderson wrangles a young and talented player from Beltran’s next team.  Yes, I know Terry Collins is doing wonders with this year’s team and has leaned heavily on youngsters like Josh Thole, Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy, and Justin Turner, all of whom played in the minors last season. The jury is still out on each of these players as useful, long-term major leaguers but they are certainly chipping in this season, particularly with Collins carefully mixing and matching them beautifully to put them in position to succeed. But, the Mets have to receive back for Beltran, much more than a useful role player or borderline major leaguer as the above-mentioned young Mets appear to be. They need a stud who can either eat up innings as a starting pitcher or play everyday in the lineup, preferably as an outfielder.

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It’s interesting that the Yankees best minor league prospect, Jesus Montero, is not being rumored in trade talks this year nearly as much as he had been last season. His everyday play at Triple A Scranton-Wilkes Barre this year has not only exposed his defensive deficiencies as a catcher but shockingly, as a hitter, too. His batting average, .282, and his seven homers in almost 400 at bats are not projecting as an elite major league hitter. Yes, maybe he’d be a decent to good hitter for a catcher but his mediocre defense will have major league pitching staffs refusing to throw to him. The problem is, his batting stats aren’t of star quality for a major league first baseman or outfielder and, he’s too young to be primarily a DH. This may be a case of waiting too long to trade an asset while his value was high. The Yanks should have pulled the trigger on this kid a year ago.

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