Dec 23, 2006

First-base. The only question left.

Who will play the most games at 1b for the 2007 Yankees?

Why not Hideki Matsui? (I know the reason why, but it makes no sense.*) Instead of signing a sub-par hitter like Mientkiewicz or Loretta, put an excellent hitter there in the form of Matsui. Not only does it fill that need with a great hitter (as long as he can learn the position this winter), but it allows the OF defense to improve, as Melky takes over in LF for Matsui (the worst OF in the lineup). More on it here.

* The reason is Joe Torre. He thinks Matsui's ego would be hurt with the move. Respect is huge in Japan. Torre knows how to manage personalities, and he doesn't want Matsui to 'lose face' in his homeland. Not only could it make him unhappy, but it could also effect his hitting. And don't forget, Matsui was so highly regared in Japan that he played CF! Anyway, moving him would improve the team, but unfortunately Torre succumbs to 'babying' players at times.

And another good Prospectus article (detailing the greatest seasons ever). Guess who's #1?


roc23 said...

It seems like Matsui is not even an option at first base. It really should be. The lingering memories from the Sheffield experiment could still be fresh on their minds; they're probably gunshy about making such this move.

But I certainly agree that Matsui at 1B and giving the Melk-man the everyday job at LF is probably the most efficient way to go.

But also remember that Torre is still there, so this move is too logical for his liking.

roc23 said...

Yup. That whole saving face nonsense is another reason why he's still in the outfield.

Prior to that, it was the consecutive games played streak that seemingly held the team hostage. Boy, it would'be made so much more sense giving him a day off once in a while when he was mired in one of his Groundzilla slumps.

Can't wait till Joe's contract is done.

Travis G. said...

The thing about Sheffield, from my pov, is that he actually did a decent job at 1b, considering the extremely condensed time-frame. given a whole off-season Matsui should do a fine job, certainly better than Giambi.

I dont hate Torre, but i wish his 'personality-managing' skills could be combined with a great 'game' coach.

Matsui's streak handcuffed the Yanks. But it was 10 times worse for Ripken. He was dying for a day off near the end. Every game was centered around him. Matsui's broken wrist might be a blessing in disguise.