It’s a thread

Today, “The All-Prospects Traded Away By The Yankees During Their Stupid Years Team, or Why Brian Cashman Doesn’t Want to Deal Phillip Hughes”:

C Mike Heath or Don Slaught
1B Fred McGriff
2B Damaso Garcia
3B
SS Greg Gagne
OF Willie McGee
OF Jay Buhner
OF Hal Morris or Otis Nixon or Dan Pasqua or Stan Javier or…
SP Jose Rijo
SP Doug Drabek
SP Bob Tewksbury
SP Al Leiter
SP Scott McGregor
RP Jay Howell

As far as I can tell, they never traded away a third baseman of note, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

138 thoughts on “It’s a thread”

  1. Didn’t Willie McGee come up as a 3rd baseman? I think they put him there because he was so ugly, any time an opposing player would round second base, they would turn around and go back because they saw Wille standing there. That was mean – I hope his mom doesn’t read this site.

  2. Or in a little better definition, from when Gabe Paul left because he got fed up with Steinbrenner to when the owners got fed up with Steinbrenner and he got banned from baseball for awhile. So 1979-1990, the period when Steinbrenner was in day-to-day control of the team. The Yankees had, I believe, the best record in baseball during this period, but won only two division titles and pennant (in the split-season strike year), both at the beginning of the period, and no World Series.

  3. Lots of old timers getting their due these days. I was gratified to see that the death of this pioneer was so widely reported on (although it was disappointing to hear that he’d evidently become a misogynist rapper in his dotage).

    And now, having made that joke twice, I’m officially retiring it. You’re welcome.

  4. But if it took Hughes to get Santana, why wouldn’t you do that? It’ll be years if ever before Hughes becomes as good as Santana is now. Adding Santana would instantly fix the Yankee’s biggest problem and at least get them even with Boston if not pass them.

  5. #11-Interesting. I wonder where Torre will be batting. Did you know he and Andruw were team mates? That article is so bad.

  6. Is it just me, or does Will Ohman’s picture on the Braves website make him look a lot older than 30?

  7. …the fifth ballplayer in the league to receive the highest average pay

    LMAO – that is just plain dumb. I think she means 5th highest paid player in history…

  8. His transfer, Associated Press reports said, would bode well to improve his performance and recorderd baseball statistics.

    I don’t even know what the hell to make of that…

  9. Then there’s this…

    The 30-year-old player last year refused a no-trade clause in last year’s contract offer by the Dodgers.

    The whole article has the feel of something that’s been translated through about five languages.

  10. 21 — which would make it sound like something my students wrote. (beginning Italian, compositions due next week) heh heh.

  11. Are the Giants still serious about trading away Lincecum for a bat? Are they still serious about letting Sabean run the club?

    I know Lincecum has a funky delivery and so if you were hedging bets then you’d figure he’s a little more likely for arm trouble. But he’s been fine so far… and he has tremendous potential. Do you really want to trade that away for an OF spot?

  12. I was hoping that the Giants would have signed Druw. Then they would have had both Zito and Druw at $18 mil per year. Money spent wisely!

  13. what will his cost be? know anything about him?

    Five Teams Interested In Alexei Ramirez
    ESPN’s Enrique Rojas checks in with the agent for Cuban defector Alexei Ramirez, Jaime Torres. Torres says he met with five teams on Ramirez and another two are scheduled. The message is now that Ramirez “can play second base or outfield.” The original message was that he could play shortstop and center field.

  14. I guess we’re high on him…

    Jair Jurrjens, who was acquired with Gorkys Hernandez from the Tigers in exchange for Edgar Renteria in October, has definitely drawn interest from other clubs. On Wednesday, three different teams inquired about the 21-year-old right-hander’s availability and quickly learned that he’s not available.

  15. Seeing as I’m too young to remember most of that era, could anyone post some of the players the Yankees traded for during their “stupid years”? Just so I can have a frame of reference. :-)

  16. Boy, recalling the Dum-Dum Era of the New York Yankees really makes me smile.

    After I moved to NYC in the late spring of 1990, I spent much of the summer sitting the bleachers at Yankee Stadium. Back then, the Yankees were in last place, Stump Merrill was the manager, Kevin Maas was the up-and-coming “star” & you could buy a bleacher seat for $4.50.

    I’ll never forget being at a Yanks-Tigers game when the announcement was made that Generalisimo Steinbrenner had been suspended by the commissioner for the Howie Spira Affair (look it up—it’s freakin’ amazing in its stupidity).

    People heard the news on their radios & they actually got up & cheered about it. I remember that Cecil Fielder hit a HR that night, I don’t recall who won, but I clearly remember thinking, “That was a very weird night at the Stadium.”

    Of course, with Steinbrenner gone, much of the knee-jerk player decisions ceased, Gene Michael essentially ran things & before you knew it, he made one of their greatest trades (Roberto Kelly for Paul O’Neill) & finally refused to deal their top prospects (Jeter, Rivera, Mendoza, Pettitte, Posada) for the Ken Phelps of the world. We know the end of that story.

    Too bad Steinbrenner got busted.

  17. I like ububba’s stories. You should compile your stories on this blog and make it into a book. I’d buy it.

  18. Mac, I think a better contest would be, “great Yankees prospects from the late 80’s early 90’s that were supposed to bring the Yankees to the promised land.” You could make a similar list for the Red Sox. I never believe Red Sox/Yankees/Mets prospects are as good as they are. I know Hughes/Chamberlain/Kennedy are supposed to be pretty good, and have shown flashes. I just have seen too many Kevin Maas, Hensley “Bam Bam” Muelens, and Sam Militelo’s over the years to not get so excited about Yankees prospects in particular.

  19. For example, from Baseball America:

    TOP PROSPECTS
    OF THE DECADE
    Year Player, Position 2006
    1997 Ruben Rivera, of White Sox
    1998 Eric Milton, lhp Reds
    1999 Nick Johnson, 1b Nationals
    2000 Nick Johnson, 1b Nationals
    2001 Nick Johnson, 1b Nationals
    2002 Drew Henson, 3b Out of baseball
    2003 Jose Contreras, rhp White Sox
    2004 Dioner Navarro, c Devil Rays
    2005 Eric Duncan, 3b Yankees
    2006 Philip Hughes, rhp Yankees

    Those names really knock your socks off. Yankees prospects have historically been overvalued due to the NY media. If you extended that list, Derek Jeter would probably be the only “top” prospect that panned out for greatness. I know they have had some good home grown players over the years (Posada, Pettitte, Rivera, etc.), but if you can get Santana for whatever “prospects” the Yankees can throw out there, and money is not an issue, including Hughes, I would do it in a heartbeat.

  20. Going back even further to the 60’s and 70’s, the Yankees were always annointing someone as the “next Mickey Mantle” first it was Roger Repoz then Steve Whitaker. Anyone who hit a few HRs in their first season was the new Mantle. Sadly for Yankee fans they all flopped.

  21. Zane Smith was probably the ugliest guy I’ve ever seen in a baseball uniform. That guy could have used 5 dentists.

    I didn’t think that McGee was ugly but the air intake nostrils did give him a unique kind of look.

  22. Nick Johnson actually swings a great stick, but he’s so injury-prone he makes Milton Bradley look like Andruw Jones. Also, Jose Contreras doesn’t really count as a prospect.

    Johnny, you didn’t think McGee was ugly? Man, Willie McGee was so ugly he made Don Mossi look like Derek Jeter.

  23. Look, a team that at one time had Zane Smith, Craig McMurtry, AND Rick Mahler pitching for them at one time or another, has no room to speak of other ‘ugly’ players.

  24. Well, considering Rick Mahler has been deceased for a few years, I feel guilty remembering him as ‘ugly’ but yeah, he was ugly.

    Still, Zane Smith is so ugly I actually think the hillbilly character (he has a hillbilly wife & kids) on “The Simpsons” reminds me of Zane.

    Though I am guessing the ‘Simpson’ hillbilly is probably closer, personality-wise, to Chuck James ;-)

  25. These guys might be ugly but what do their wives/girl friends look like? Do ballplayers automatically get good looking women regardless of what the players look like? Does making millions of dollars make a difference?

    It always amuses me these days when Yankee fans invoke the sacred history of the Yankees (“26 World Titles”) as exemplifying the class of the franchise, as if there was a direct line from Joe McCarthy to Joe Torre and conveniently forget the late 1960s and the 80s and early 90s. Right now, you would have to say that the Yankees are so 20th Century.

  26. I’ll have to concede that McGee is/was ugly. You sure didn’t want to be in his face if he sneezed hard. The high speed booger could put your eye out.

    Alex, my wife used to look at ole Zane and just be exasperated. ‘Why can’t someone thats rich DO something about those teeth?’ she would say.

  27. OKay, I don’t remember Zane Smith and I just cannot find a picture of him on the web. Somebody please help me find this ugly man?

  28. Well, considering Rick Mahler has been deceased for a few years, I feel guilty remembering him as ‘ugly’ but yeah, he was ugly.

    I can’t stop laughing at this line.

  29. Zane Smith actually looks like that guy who turned into a rat in the “Harry Potter” movies and books.

  30. Julian Tavarez looks far worse than that guy. Placido Polanco has to be up there, he has the biggest head Ive ever seen

  31. Blauser was ugly but he’s not even in the same league as guys like Zane or yes, Julian Tavarez.

    Mac and I (over the years) have affectionately referred to Tavarez as both ‘pizza face’ and ‘prison face’.

  32. #56 and #57-

    Thanks – my wife would have known that right away (she’s a huge Harry potter nut) but I just remembered ‘ugly guy that turned into rat’.

  33. Don Mossie, anyone?

    You find a lot of ugly ones if you google ugly baseball players.
    I know, I have too much ime on my hands right now. Then again, almost weekend.

  34. The all ugly team

    C-Charlie O’Brian
    1B-McGwire
    2B-Dave McKay
    SS-Alfredo Griffin
    3B-Chris Sabo
    OF-Otis Nixson
    OF-Willie McGee
    OF-Michael “Bug Eyes” Tucker
    SP-Randy Johnson
    P-Zane Smith
    RP-Rod Beck

  35. JESUS

    Chris FREAKIN’ Sabo

    that’s a name i haven’t heard about in a long long long time…and jesus…

    he ran through the ugly forest and hit every tree on the way out…

  36. Murph was a handsome devil, but then again anybody would look good standing next to these guys:

    Mahler
    McMurtry
    Z. Smith (all as mentioned)

    (but don’t forget about)
    Benedict
    Horner
    Camp
    Harper
    P. Perez
    Garber
    Burroughs
    Oberkfell
    Gerald Perry

    It was hard to believe some of these guys were professional athletes — we always had several fat players, more than a few sporting ridiculous facial hair. And a few were just plain ugly. If they were around now, they’d probably be known as “Wal-Mart America’s Team”.

  37. Mac…wow on that Mossi picture.

    He looks like the former “Get Smart” star Don Adams, had Adams been beaten savagely by some Mafia goons.

    As for Ezekial Astacio, he’s the reason why maybe we DON’T need High Def Televisions. Could someone please point that man to an acne doctor in Houston?

  38. re: Paul Johnson

    Well, Johnson is a master at taking far lesser athletes and talent and making them competitive.

    He will have a plethora of less talented athletes to choose from at the ‘Trade School’.

  39. Johnson is a good hire, I wonder how the Michigan people feel now that a guy at Rutgers told them no thanks! Same with Arkansas and the Wake Forest guys

  40. ububba,

    I initially thought you posted this link to show us how ugly Raissman was. He does look like a guy who would wear a pirate outfit at the circus.

  41. nice list Mac. Anybody else remember the seinfeld episode where Mr. Costanza berates George Steinbrenner for trading away Jay Buhner? Makes me chuckle just thinking about it.

  42. Alex,
    No, I just get a kick out of Raissman & all the goofy nicknames he gives to people.

    But, regarding his looks, before he went with a more modest approach & sheared off most of his hair, Raissman used to rock the Gene Shalit Jewfro.

    And Rob,
    Thanks. Believe it or not, the stories work better in a bar with a pint of Guinness in front of me & $5 worth of my tunes in the jukebox.

  43. Dix,

    Not sure why I clicked on that link right before walking downstairs to get lunch. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

  44. thanks for the all-ugly team contributions. good laughs. then i felt bad. then i laughed some more.

    but listing the entire braves club from the early 80’s just isn’t fair. there was a different aesthetic then.

    nah– they’re all ugly.

  45. Mac,

    We’re now picking on another dead guy!

    And yeah, he’s ugly, but not in the same league as the likes of Tavarez, Astaciao and Zane Smith.

    On the flipside to this discussion, the Braves decided yesterday to not bring back the guy that most women would argue was the prettiest Brave, Javy Lopez.

    I had a former colleague at my last job here in the DC area that made her husband take her to extra Orioles games just so she could look at Javy. My wife liked Javy too.

  46. Derek Bell has not improved since he began Operation Permanent Shutdown.

    ” alt=”Look away!” />

    Bell is so ugly that he doesn’t even look worse in a mugshot.

  47. for what it’s worth, my wife thinks chipper is ugly.

    but she didn’t grow up watching some of these other Adonises either.

  48. Murphy-

    Yes, if you’re wife had grown up watching the 80’s Braves, she wouldn’t be ripping Chipper. She’d still have nightmares instead about Zane, Mahler, et all.

    Speaking of Braves 80’s pitchers, one of my favorite childhood memories was the constant jokes Letterman used to make back then about Terry Forster’s weight problems…and Forster’s goodhearted response by going on Letterman and cooking with him. I remember just really liking Forster a lot for the gentlemanly and fun way he responded to Dave.

    I think in today’s politically correct, a culture, a comedian can’t even pick on a David Wells now for that.

  49. I always thought Jose Oquendo from the ’80s Cardinals had a unique look—eyes a little too close & his cap a little too small.

    Can’t find a pic that accurately portrays my memory of him, but think Luis Guzman from “Boogie Nights” in a Cards uni.

  50. Luis Guzman – that’s a perfect call, ububba.

    And Guzman was hilarious in “Boogie Nights”.

  51. I can’t believe noone has mentioned Delino Deshields. Yikes!

    He always looked like he was really scared of something.

  52. Was at a Braves game several years ago and Randy Johnson was pitching. They did a promotion in between one of the latter innings and when they asked one of the contestants for his answer, he blurted out over the loudspeaker as Johnson was warming up between innings “Randy Johnson looks like a wet rat!”

    No question, he did with that long haired mullet and face full of pock marks.

    We used to call Willie McGee “ET” because of how his head protruded from his neck with those googly eyes.

  53. Mac, I can’t believe Derek Bell is “only ” 38. Seems like he retired a long time ago. It does look like Operation Shutdown is going well for him.

    I was aware of his recent crackpipe arrest but did not know of his solicitation charges in 1994, what a guy.

  54. Alex R.,
    I also thought Letterman’s kidding of Forster was pretty funny. My favorite was when Letterman apologized for being so hard on Forster for his weight problems. He went on to say that there are many professional athletes that are fatter than Forster while he played a clip with Summo wrestlers.

  55. td-

    yes! I remember the sumo thing. Hilarious.

    bwarrend-

    I’m glad they brought up Aaron Harang. I openly admitted over the Summer here on Bravesjournal that one of the biggest reasons I had a hard time coming around on Harang being a legit #1 starter was because he looked like an idiot stoner guy.

  56. Oh my goodness, how we left this guy out:

    It’s like Howdy Doody went insane, and then became a lefthander for the Giants.

  57. He’s not a baseball player, so excuse me for going outside the parameters of this discussion, but this face deserves to be on any list of the athletic yet unsightly:

  58. Tennessee Brave-

    Great pick – plus he went to an ugly school. Just saying.

    And going outside the athletic parameteres a second to a guy who maybe the ugliest man in America:

  59. That’s Rueter’s ‘I can’t believe I can get guys our with this crap’ face. We couldn’t believe it either Kirk! 190 innings with 56 Ks in ’03. Amazing.

  60. Forgot about Erig Serge Gagne (That’s what happens when you are born in Canada). He looks like Screech on steroids.

  61. It’s only fair that since we’ve been looking at ugly people in Baseball all day, I should counter that with someone who’s extremely pleasant on the eyes – plus, she was my single biggest childhood crush growing up in the 80’s:

    http://alyssa.mlblogs.com/

  62. I loved this:

    Dear sports media world,

    I have never dated Josh Beckett nor was he ever an “ex-flame”. Please fact check. You are journalists, not bloggers.

    Thank you,

    Alyssa Milano

    Peace,
    Love,
    AND BASEBALL,
    Alyssa

    Fact check? Do you publish a list? Which is shorter the ‘have dated’ or haven’t dated’ list?

  63. Robert,

    She maybe hot, but there’s no question she’s hooked up with several players (including Carl Pavano and Barry Zito).

    Since Beckett is kind of a fishin’ and huntin’ good ole boy, I can’t imagine he’s her type.

  64. Forster was more irked I believe that Letterman said his ERA was 3.8something rather than calling him a ‘fat tub of goo…’

    And Terry cooked Dave some chicken tacos on the show the night he appeared.

  65. In a single thread, Braves Journal posters have:

    (1) taken great pains to point out just how ugly some people are;
    (2) honored the memory of those lost at Pearl Harbor; and
    (3) gawked at and then publicly questioned the virtue of Alyssa Milano.

    What a day.

  66. Stu,

    Gawking at and then questioning the virtue of a smokin’ hot celebrity is uniquely American.

  67. There are relatively few smokin’ hot celebrities that whose virtue is utterly unimpugnable. Then again, my virtue isn’t unimpugnable, and frankly if I had a chance to impugn my virtue by hooking up with Alyssa Milano, I’d take it in a second.

    So there’s that.

  68. I can envision the celebration that would ensue if Alyssa and her beau were fans of team won the World Series.

  69. Hey Mac, how about an all-disabled list team? I’ll start.

    C Joe Mauer
    1B Nick Johnson, Mo Vaughn
    2B Marcus Giles
    SS Bobby Crosby
    3B Scott Rolen
    OF JD Drew
    OF Griffey Junior
    OF Juan Gonzalez
    SP Mike Hampton
    SP Mark Prior
    SP Kerry Wood
    RP Eric Gagne
    RP Octavial Dotel

  70. I’m not buying the fight, but I’ll watch when HBO rebroadcasts it.

    Hatton is a great story (I always get a kick out of the Manchester accent), but how does anyone pick against Floyd?

  71. Time for a rare high school football vent:

    So I went to the Georgia Dome today because my alma mater Chamblee made the state semis for the first time in school history. They played undefeated Carver/Columbus. And while it’s been a quarter-century since I was the Blue & Gold sports editor, I was compelled to go and check it out.

    With eight minutes left in the game we were up 24-6 and had just pinned Carver deep in their own end of the field. Satisfied, and wanting to beat the crowd to the MARTA train, I leave.

    About 30 minutes later, I’m pulling into my driveway and the WABE local guy says the final score was 26-24 Carver. AAARRRRGGGGHH

    It was televised — was anyone watching? What the hell happened?

  72. Ok. Is it creepy that Alyssa Milano was a child star when I was a young adult and now I find myself gawking at her as an older adult?

  73. at least you arent Lance Armstong dating one of the Olson’s…I think there is something wrong with that

  74. The AJC says “story to come”. “Carver-Columbus’ Jarmon Fortson (1, right) eludes Chamblee’s Dakarai Penn (1) in the GHSA Class AAA semifinal Friday at the Georgia Dome. Fortson and the Tigers pulled off a brilliant rally to notch a trip to the finals.”

  75. Sounds like the Carver QB turned into Vince Young in the 4th quarter.

    Carver always had good players (not to be confused with good teams) when I was growing up in Columbus. They had a guy named Herman Archie, who played for Georgia in the early ’80s, plus a few more future Dogs over the years.

  76. Yeah, their QB was something else. Looks like he’s headed to Auburn next year — I imagine they recruit pretty well in Columbus.

    Oh well, if this was Hoosiers, Chamblee was definitely Hickory.

  77. have the yankees had a third baseman of note in between the pre-braves graid nettles and a-rod?

  78. it seems like some teams really struggle to come up with a third baseman who can hang in there as an above average player………….with obvious exceptions, check the history of the mets, cubs, tigers and red sox…. in the spirit of the season,i wont mention the braves in the pre chipper years ( oberkfell, pressley} and even lesser lights……oooops couldnt help myself

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