by Mike on July 16 at 5:23PM

Do you know who holds the MLB's all-time highest career batting average?

How about the number of points scored by the NBA's all-time leader Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

Know who scored the most touchdowns in NFL history?

Maybe you do and maybe you don't, but one thing is for sure, those players and their numbers aren't on the tip of your tongue like Hank Aaron's record 755 career homers.  It's a number that has stood as baseball's benchmark for power and consistency for 33 years and its days at the top are numbered.

Cause for celebration?

Well . . . 

In theory, that would be the case, but we don't live in a world of theory.  After all, in theory communism works -- in theory.

So, Barry Bonds' march toward history is being treated like a scabby band-aid -- let's just rip it off and move on -- and that's really a shame.  People should be rushing to their computer screens or newspapers to see if Bonds homered the night before.  Bonds' current home run status should be burned into our consciousness (he's at 751 as I scribble this).  Baseball fans should be planning get-togethers once Bonds ties the mark in hopes of witnessing baseball history.

But they aren't.

And really I can't blame them.

 Major League Baseball didn't create the problem of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport, but they sure weren't chasing Frankenstein's monster as it ran amok along the countryside.  You combine that black cloud with a man who was considered a jerk the minute he stepped onto a professional diamond and MLB has their version of the perfect storm -- the most hallowed record in sports is about to be broken by an unlikeable science project.  

Hey, life never turns out the way you plan.

Depressed Fan wrote a great post on his feelings toward Bonds and I'm really fighting myself on this situation.  On the one hand, Bonds didn't engage in anything a slew of other players didn't also do (allegedly) over the years.  Is it Bonds' fault that his "flaxseed oil" gave him god-like powers?  Then again, just because "everybody else" was using their bodies as chemical factories, should I just look the other way and forget about it?  No matter how much you Febreze this thing, it still stinks to high heaven.

Really, I'm just saddened for the sport.  No, I'm serious.  Sports are supposed to be an escape from the ugliness and tragedies of the world.  You should be able to open up the sports page (or click onto your favorite site) and read about achievements and failures on the field.  Who won?  Who lost?  How did it happen?  Those innocent times are gone forever.  Now, every player and his accomplishments are under suspicion.  Is it fair?  No, but nobody wants to play the role of fool again.

So, how to handle this?  First off, there should be no asterisk.  It's simply impossible to gauge what every other player in baseball was doing for the last 20 years.  Bonds may be a jerk, but he shouldn't be singled out because he's breaking a record.  Secondly, Bud Selig MUST be in attendance when Bonds brakes the record.  If he's not, what does it say for the drug policy he has enforced as the commissioner of baseball?  Everybody knows it sucked, Bud, but you're the "leader" of baseball.  Get your ass in a seat and take it like a man.  As for Aaron -- he dealt with enough when he was breaking The Babe's mark, he shouldn't have to be dragged into this circus.

As for me, I'll be watching, but with a heavy heart.  It's always special when you get an opportunity to witness a record-breaking event.  I wasn't a big Mark McGwire fan, but I felt "the chills" when he hit number 62 in 1998 (hey, how is Big Mac these days?) and I'm sure I'll feel the same when Bonds cracks 756.  It's just unfortunate that it can't just be about baseball anymore.

Oh, and here are the answers to the questions 3 at the top:

Ty Cobb is Major League Baseball's all-time career hitter with a .366 average.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (aka Roger Murdoch) scored 38,387 career points in the National Basketball Association.

Jerry Rice scored the most touchdowns in National Football League history with 208.

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UPDATE: If you check the comment thread below, you’ll see that El Lefty Malo, has posed the first question of the roundtable: Should there be an asterisk next to the record when Bonds breaks it? My answer: Absolutely not. I now leave it up to my fellow bloggers and all ye commenters to discuss.

Just in case you’ve been asleep for the past 18 months or so, Barry Bonds is closing in on the all-time MLB home run record. Hank Aaron’s 33–year run as the home run king is about to come to an end, and Blogs By Fans is going to take a look at the man who will dethrone the Hammer.

Let me start this roundtable by saying, emphatically, that I do not hate Barry Bonds. If anything, I admire Barry the player. Barry the person, I could take or leave. I hardly think about him.

Bonds has played his entire career in the National League, and seeing as how I root for the Yankees (and the Yanks have never met a Bonds-led team in the playoffs) his on-the-field achievements have never influenced my team directly. This is important to note because so many people seem to hate this guy, and a great deal of them don’t have a personal reason to do so.

Here’s what I mean. I’m one of those fans who hates certain players. I mean I really hate them. I want to spit whenever I hear their names. My blood boils when I see them make All Star teams. I refuse to draft them for my fantasy teams. The criteria for my hatred is pretty clear:

  1. Over-rated-ness: Made up word, but who cares. These are players who are not as good everyone makes them out to be, in my mind. (Classic example: Patrick Ewing). By no stretch of the imagination can you put Bonds in this category.
  2. Jackassery: These are players who may be good, but are just such giant assholes that I can’t see past it. (Classic example: Ron Artest). Bonds probably falls in this category, but one category alone isn’t enough.
  3. Direct impact: These are players who have killed my team. They may be great players, they may be the nicest guys in the world, but on the field, they’ve caused me great pain by beating my team. (Classic example: David Ortiz). Bonds has done zero damage to the Yanks.
  4. Sabotage: These are players who played for my favorite teams and through either the above-mentioned jackassery or just plain horrible play, ruined the team. (Classic example: Terrell Owens). Again, Bonds scores a zero on this scale.

Continue reading "Barry Lamar Bonds: Love Him or Hate Him?" »

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With the Heat riding a winning streak, the Knicks doing their best bubble team impersonation and the Sixers clinging to the very last shred of playoff viability I have to admit, the tone of posts around Blogs By Fans is skewing too much toward blind optimism these days for my tastes. I realize I'm the main culprit, so this edition of "Round Tables" has only one rule...nothing positive about your team. I want to know who your worst player is, how he's killing your team, and why he's worse than everyone else's worst player.

We need to start this discussion somewhere, and though I don't see how anyone can argue against his stats, I thought it would be fitting to start this St. Patrick's Day discussion with Willie Green.

Willie's Stats (from 82games.com): I've been tracking Willlie's statistical futility for a couple of weeks now, and even during the Sixers winning streak, his affect on the team's performance was remarkable. Through 3/15, the Sixers were -241 points in the 1392 minutes Green was on the floor, and +45 points in the 1762 he was on the bench. Stark, but it gets even worse.


Effective field goal percentage: With Green, 46.4%; Without Green, 49.3%.
Effective field goal percentage allowed: With Green, 50.9%; Without Green, 49.6%.
Assisted field goals: With Green, 53%; Without Green, 59%

 

You get the picture. With Willie on the floor, the Sixers are considerably worse on offense and defense. They don't move the ball as much.

Stating Willie's Case: I'm sure you're going to hear names like Nate Robinson, Gary Payton, maybe even Antoine Walker mentioned by the other BBF bloggers. All horrible players in their own right, but none of them have as much of a negative impact on the game as Green does. Green has somehow made his way into the Sixers' starting lineup, plays heavy minutes, and Green's play dictates the outcome of games. There's something horribly wrong when you can honestly say, "As Willie goes, so go the Sixers." The worst player on your team should not dictate the outcome, but for the Sixers, there are absolutely nights when he does.

Throw Your Remote Through Your TV Moments: Willie definitely leads the league in these. You know what I'm talking about, Green comes in off the bench, heaves up 5 shots in the first 3 minutes, gets called for a charge and throws a pass into the stands, a ten-point lead suddenly turns into a deficit. Or, how every single friggin game the opposing team's announcers say something like "Wow, that Willie Green sure can light it up." Or how we have to constantly be reminded that they named a locker room after Willie at Detroit Mercy. Who f'ing cares? Watching Willie play has taken weeks if not months off my life, can any of you guys say that about your team's worst player?

I defy you to top "Garbage Time" Green.
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by Brian on February 14 at 10:00PM

So the first Yankee Roundtable has completed its circle, and the ball is back in my court. Be sure to check out parts 1-4.

- Part 1
- Part 2
- Part 3
- Part 4

And now for the questions from Stop Mike Lupica:

1. Who do you see as the biggest threat to the Yankees in the East next year? Alot of people in the media want to play up the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, but don't you think the Blue Jays are the real threat? Or do you think the Sox can make up the ground they lost to the Jays last season?

I don't know if you'd consider this short-sighted, cynical, realistic or stilted, but until a team other than the Red Sox finishes ahead of the Yanks, or is at least within arm's length in September, I'm not going to consider them a threat. It's been 10 years since any of the other teams in the A.L. East has put a contending team on the field, and I don't think that's going to change this year. The D-Rays are a joke, and probably will remain so for as long as they exist. The Orioles ownership and front office have no idea how to compete in today's game and while Toronto is somehow coming up with resources, I don't think they're making smart moves with that money. Halladay's a stud, Wells is too, they overpaid for B.J. Ryan, even though he turned out to be a good acquisition, and the A.J. Burnett signing was disastrous up to this point. Glaus is basically this generation's Rob Deer. I like Reed, I don't like Rios, Catalanatto would be a nice guy to have off the bench, but this year he's going to have to play the field I guess, cause there's no way Frank Thomas is going to play the field on turf. Speaking of Thomas, that money was thrown down the drain. I will be beyond shocked if he puts up numbers anywhere near last year's, in fact, I'll be shocked if he doesn't go down with a leg injury by the All Star break.

In a nutshell, if the Yanks have a threat in their division it's the Sox, but this year I think Boston has more question marks than they did last year, and I'm expecting them to sputter and flop.

2. What would you do to improve this season's team? What do you feel are the weak spots that need to be worked on?

Right off the bat I'd put Matsui at first, and Melky in left, and I'd leave them there. First base is not a difficult position to play, Matsui can handle it, and Melky makes this lineup much more dynamic (hit and run, bunt, run), he's the Yanks best outfielder, and he brings an enthusiasm to the lineup that just isn't there when he's on the bench. I really think the biggest reason the Yanks sputtered against the Tigers is that Sheffield and Matsui were shoehorned back into the lineup for the playoff run. The Yanks played their best ball when Melky was in there.

Unfortunately, I think there are a lot of weak spots on this team. We can begin with starters 4&5. I have zero confidence in Pavano, and who knows what to think of Igawa. There was nothing more painful than watching Jaret Wright waddle out to the mound every fifth day last year knowing the bullpen was going to get killed even if he pitched his best game. Now, the Yanks are going into the season with potentially two guys at the back of the rotation who are going to do the exact same thing. Beyond Proctor and Farnsworth, who is Torre going to trust in the bullpen? Where's the bat off the bench? Look at the teams that won the rings, you had Strawberry, Chili Davis, Rock Raines, Glenallen Hill or Jose Canseco coming off the bench in key situations. Does Andy Phillips strike fear into an opposing pitcher? Of course, there really isn't anyone but the first basemen to pinch hit for, but it's still an issue.

And the last issue is Purple Lips himself. The situation with A-Rod is beyond repair as far as I'm concerned. The fact of the matter is that the next 8 months are nothing but 240+ days for A-Rod to be criticized and there's absolutely nothing he can do lessen it until next September/October. It's only going to get worse, and he cannot handle it. I will be shocked if he doesn't opt out after this season, and this story is only going to gain momentum as the season wears on.

3. Where do you see Cashman taking this team in the long-run? Is he (re)building the foundation of the team, and, if so, is he betting the future of the team on these young prospects (Hughes, Sanchez, etc) or is he going to go out and get a free agent after the season, like a WIllis or a Zambrano?

I'll answer the second part first: I pray to God the Yanks don't go out and sign either of those guys, but especially Willis. D-Train pitches in one of the best pitcher's parks in the majors, in the National League, in front of zero fans, with zero pressure. He doesn't strike people out, and he will not succeed against American League lineups. Zambrano's got good stuff, but he's pitched for pitiful Cubs teams basically his entire career, in a "who cares if we win" atmosphere. And if he becomes a free agent the price is going to be way too high for him.

What I think Cashman is doing, is following the Stick Michaels play book on building a champion. The core of the team will come through the farm system, and free agent signings will be good players who fit a need, like Knoblauch was (before he self-destructed), not the best available players every year for the most money. The difference between the Yanks now, and where they stood in 1995 is that Cashman has Jeter, in the prime of his career as his main building block. In 1995 Mattingly was on the way out, so the team had to start from scratch.

By no means am I saying this team cannot win. What I am saying is that the key additions they need to make to do it this year should come from within. Hughes, Sanchez whichever ones progress the most in the early season should be up, with this team cementing themselves as the future of the franchise. They do not need to go out and trade any of their chips away for a middling national league pitcher. I'd rather they finish out of the playoffs than go down that road. With all of that being said, there is one guy I would LOVE the Yanks to go after when he becomes a free agent, Carl Crawford.

OK, that's going to wrap up Blogs By Fans' first roundtable discussion. In the coming weeks we're going to launch a new a new conversation called "The Vault." This stems from something Brandon and I have been doing for years. Everyone is going to make predictions on the upcoming season and they're going to be kept in "The Vault," at the All Star break we'll take them out and see who was on the money, and who was thinking with his heart, rather than his head (I'm looking at you Mike), then we'll have a postmortem after the season to compare our predictions and ridicule Mike for picking Piazza as comeback player of the year. Stay tuned.

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This is part 4 of the Yankees Roundtable here at Blogs by Fans. See part 1 at depressedfan.com; part 2 at behindthebacksports.com; and part 3 at greenpinstripes.com

Before we answer the questions posed to us, here are some other thoughts on previously discussed Yankee-related topics:

On the starting rotation: Mussina will be the opening day starter on April 2nd, provided he is healthy. Torre always goes with the veterans; even if the fans now perceive Wang as the "true" ace of the staff, Mussina and Pettite will go before him in Torre's rotation (assuming health). Speaking of assuming health, at the four-spot: Pavano. And, provided he doesn't completely bomb in camp, at the five-spot in the rotation... Kei Igawa. Note: Pavano and Igawa could flip spots, if Igawa has a solid camp. From what I've heard, his stuff isn't too impressive; but alot of lefties can get by with unimpressive stuff if they know how to pitch (see Jimmy Key).

Favorite Jimmy Key-related story: I was hanging out with Ill Will once, and described a lefty as Jimmy Keyish.

SML: You know, he throws crap but gets away with it. He throws his change-up alot.

Will: If you throw it all the time, is it really a change-up? Should it be called a same-up?

That still cracks me up.

As for Philip Hughes, I love the future, but he won't be in the majors any earlier than June, and then only if there are injuries. And even then, I don't think he will be needed... the Yankees only got rid of Randy Johnson because they must think they have the inside track on Roger Clemens come July.

Questions about Pettite are unnecessary. Assuming he is healthy, he has thrown for over 200 IP the last two years; yes, it was the NL, but his homefield was a hitter's park, and he had an amazing 2005 (17-9, 2.39 ERA). I don't think he'll do that, but I think a 14-16 win season with a 4.20 ERA is likely.

On to the questions from greenpinstripes:

1. The Yankees strength is their offensive firepower, but outside of the top of the order (Damon and Jeter) and the number 9 slot (whoever is on first), what would be the best way to fill out the everyday lineup?

The problem the Yankees have had the last three to six postseasons has been that they can't manufacture a run in a close game. The rely too much on power, and especially the last three years, they have had too many power hitters in the lineup - that's great in the regular season, when you can rely on Giambi to carry the team for a few weeks when he's hot, A-Rod for a few, etc; but in the postseason rarely, if ever, can a hitter really carry a whole team. You are now facing top pitching every night - you'll never see so much as a team's fourth starter, and you won't see much middle relief in a close game - only the top pitchers.

The Yankees (from 1996-2001) used to be able to hit and run, or have someone lay down a bunt in a critical situation. When was the last time you saw the Yankees bunt, or sacrifice, in a playoff game? How do you ask Sheffield, or A-Rod, or Giambi, or Damon, to lay down a bunt?

The inability to manufacture a run cost the Yankees in game 4 and 5 against Boston in 2004; they had opportunities, but could not score a run from second with less than two outs. We saw it again last season against Detroit - they lost game 2 by a 4-3 score, and let Detroit back into the series. We saw in 2005 against the Angels.

The Yankees need less power in their lineup, which is why, even though we love Sheffield we knew he had to go. Giambi is still untradeable, and has a great eye. So, too does Abreu. With Cano, Damon, and Jeter, and whoever is playing 1st (watch for Josh Phelps, he has an outside chance), the Yankees now have a team that can better manufacture runs - speed, contact hitters, guys with good eyes. I would go with Damon, Jeter, Abreu, Matsui, A-Rod, Giambi, Posada, Phelps/Mientkiewicz, and Cano, in that order.

This off-season saw the Yanks trade Gary Sheffield and Randy Johnson for young arms. Will any (like Humberto Sanchez or Ross Ohlendorf) make an impact on the Yankees in 2007 or will Philip Hughes be the best bet to make the claim as the Yanks new young gun this year?

Both have a better chance of making the team than Hughes; whereas Hughes is 20 years old and never pitched above AA, Sanchez is 23, Ohlendorf is 24, and both have some (minimal) experience at AAA. Sanchez is 6'6 with a power arm and a tender elbow - I could see the Yankees going the bullpen route with him, and in that role he would be my bet to have the most impact on the 2007 Yankees. I don't see Hughes getting a significant amount of time in the majors, unless Clemens signs with the Red Sox and forces the Yankees' hand. Ohlendorf is the oldest, so if something happens to the rotation (with Pavano, Pettite, and Mussina, that's almost certain), he could be used to spot start or fill an injury, but Sean Henn and Jeff Karstens have dibs on that role. He could be tradebait (see next question).

What do you expect out of Carl Pavano this season? Also, if he has a strong Spring Training, should the Yankees consider trading him while his value would be at its peak?

If Pavano can avoid injuries, he will be a decent fourth - his stuff never wowed me, but he'll be better than Jaret Wright last season. Put him down for about 12-9, 4.40 ERA. He won't be an ace, nor will he have to - as long as he can do a decent job as a fourth starter, he has done his (overpaid) job. As for trading him - if you trade out of camp, even if he looks great during camp - you are going to get undervalue for him. I don't see Cashman going that route; if anything, I think he would let him show his stuff for a few months, then trade him in July when Clemens comes in. If the rest of the rotation - Mussina, Wang, Pettite, and Igawa - are doing great, then it makes sense - Clemens can take Pavano's spot, the Yankees save $10 million next season, and can get back some prospects or some bench depth.

One last thing to watch for, in the event Clemens doesn't sign with the Yankees - look for a possible move for Dontrille Willis or even Carlos Zambrano, both free agents after this season. The Marlins are not re-signing Willis, so he should be available; Zambrano is a different story but it depends on how the season goes in Wrigley. With the newly restocked farm system, I could see Ohlendorf or Sanchez getting traded for one of those guys.

Questions for Depressedfan:

1. Who do you see as the biggest threat to the Yankees in the East next year? Alot of people in the media want to play up the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, but don't you think the Blue Jays are the real threat? Or do you think the Sox can make up the ground they lost to the Jays last season?

2. What would you do to improve this season's team? What do you feel are the weak spots that need to be worked on?

3. Where do you see Cashman taking this team in the long-run? Is he (re)building the foundation of the team, and, if so, is he betting the future of the team on these young prospects (Hughes, Sanchez, etc) or is he going to go out and get a free agent after the season, like a WIllis or a Zambrano?

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by Mike on February 13 at 10:44PM

This is the questions portion of the Yankees Roundtable here at Blogs by Fans.  See part 1 at depressedfan.com, part 2 at behindthebacksports.com and part 3 was right here at greenpinstripes.com.

Here are my questions for our cleanup blogger, Stop Mike Lupica or SML at http://www.stopmikelupica.com/:

1.  The Yankees strength is their offensive firepower, but outside of the top of the order (Damon and Jeter) and the number 9 slot (whoever is on first), what would be the best way to fill out the everyday lineup?

2.  This off-season saw the Yanks trade Gary Sheffield and Randy Johnson for young arms.  Will any (like Humberto Sanchez or Ross Ohlendorf) make an impact on the Yankees in 2007 or will Philip Hughes be the best bet to make the claim as the Yanks new young gun this year?

3.  What do you expect out of Carl Pavano this season?  Also, if he has a strong Spring Training, should the Yankees consider trading him while his value would be at its peak?

Remember to check out the answers to these questions and more at http://www.stopmikelupica.com/

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by Brandon on February 12 at 8:35PM

This is part 2 of the Yankees Round Table here at Blogs by Fans, see part 1 at depressedfan.com.

Question No. 1.

Let me start by saying that your love affair with Philip Hughes has got to stop. I have never heard someone talk so much about a pitcher they have never seen pitch. This guy will hopefully stay in the minors all year until the September call-ups. The less I see of Hughes, the better. If he's the Yankees' future, like you and a lot of the local media types claim, than I don't want to see the guy rushed up to the majors.

I'm going to guess that on opening day, Torre is going to start Wang. It will probably be the only move that Torre will make all year that I will agree with.

Torre's starting five in order will be Wang, Pettitte, Mussina, Pavono and Igawa. Based on what I currently know, I'm going to have to agree. I will say this though, I'm expecting a big year out of Pavono (15+ wins) because no man can possible be as worthless as he's proven so far. And I'm expecting Pettitte to be a HUGE bust. This isn't the NL. This isn't the same media that covered the Yanks when the Yanks could do no wrong, and he was never that good to begin with. So I wouldn't expect that starting rotation to be the same come September.

Question No. 2.

This is kind of a tricky answer, but I really don't believe there is anyone on the Yanks that can handle the pressure that surrounds the team on a regular basis. That's right, not even Jeter!

Buster Olney was right when he wrote "The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty", it's over. The Yanks aren't going to be able to get back to it's winning World Series ways anytime soon. The pressure from the fans, media and players themselves have taken on a life of their own. It's a much different atmosphere than what surrounded the team during the 96'-00' run. Pettitte's about to find that out. Back then there was hope. There was admiration. Pride.

That's all gone now. First place isn't good enough anymore. 100 wins isn't good enough. Division Champions aren't good enough. All that matters is a World Series Championship. When your entire season is based on the ultimate prize, you can't win.

Question No. 3.

To Bernie,

I have hated you from day one when you showed up on the baseball diamond wearing glasses. I want you to know that you are a heartless, emotionless, selfish, most over-rated artist/robot that has ever played the game and no one outside of the Tri-state area even knows who you are. Go die!

Part 3 

Alright, Mike. You are next. See if you can answer these questions three.

     1. Tell me why Joe Torre should be coaching this team after going six years without a championship, and will he be back next year?

     2. If this current team is missing something (i.e. player, manager, GM, intensity, youth), what is it?

     3. For the last several years, the Yankee/Red Sox rivalry has reached an all time high. Especially after the 2004 choke job by the Yanks that reversed the curse. Is the rivalry still as strong as ever? Are the Sox still the Yankees' number one competition. If not, who is? Finally, does the regular season even matter anymore?

Check out the answers to these questions and more at greenpinstripes.com

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by Brian on February 12 at 3:30AM

It's a few days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training at Legends Field in Tampa, and it's also time for all of our Yankee bloggers at Blogs by Fans to get ourselves in shape for the upcoming season.

Because we're a New York-centric network, we've got 4 bloggers covering the Yankees, and because the Mets are a second-rate organization, our Mets blogger has yet to pop his cherry, but that's neither here nor there. The important thing is that we've got 4 Yanks bloggers, all with different outlooks and opinions, and we're going to hear from all of them.

I'm going to kick off the discussion with a couple of questions for the band-wagon Heat fan, Brandon. The only team he follows with any consistency is the Yanks, and he's our resident Bernie/Mussina-hater. In fact, I'm not sure he likes any Yankees now that Tino Martinez is gone, but I digress.

Brandon, here are your questions, readers, check out Behind-The-Back Sports for Brandon's answers, and waiting in the hole is Mike over at Green Pinstripes:

1. Out of Wang, Pettitte, Mussina, Pavano, Igawa, and let's throw Philip Hughes in there just for kicks, who will Torre start on opening day? Who would you start on opening day? Take it a step further, give me the full rotation coming out of spring training 1-5, your version and Torre's version.

2. OK, that first one was a softball, here's one you're going to have to think about: The only players left from the Yanks dynasty years are Jeter, Mo, Posada and now Pettitte (sort of), besides those guys, who on this team has the same kind of fire that propelled the Yanks to those rings? Who has the the intestinal fortitude to come up with the big hit in the playoffs? Do any of them? And who brings the toughness to this team that's needed when their backs are against the wall? I think, beyond everything else, that's what's been missing from this team. Seeing Paul O'Neill freak out when made an out had to scare the other players on those teams and make them afraid to fail. Does watching guys laugh it off or shake their heads, talk to their shrinks and cash their checks have the opposite effect?

3. OK, I'll give you a fun exercise to end this, write a two sentence eulogy for Bernie Williams' Yankee career.

Again, check Behind-The-Back Sports for part 2 of the round table.

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