Tuesday, July 8, 2008

[N]ESPN Pulls Spygate Part II?

I had heard rumors about ESPN going above and beyond their normal dugout camera duties Sunday night. Using MLB.TV I went back and checked it out for myself.

While Brett Gardner led off the eighth inning, the ESPN cameras peered into the tunnel - which they're not supposed to do - and caught Bobby Abreu showing Alex Rodriguez how Manny Delcarmen tips his pitches.

As opposed to cutting the cameras and respecting the gamesmanship of the sport, the cameras inexplicably continued to roll. Immediately, Joe Morgan said, "I don't think we should have showed that," and he was right. Morgan then promptly explained what Abreu and Rodriguez were doing.

Over the past few years, baseball fans have been jokingly calling the world wide leader [N]ESPN to make fun of the channel's love affair for the Red Sox. I had always considered it to be conspiracy theory at best, and merely ESPN showing love to a team who had won two World Series over the past four years.

However, that Sunday night expedition into the private confines of the Yankees dugout tunnel makes me think twice before dismissing the [N]ESPN theorists. Now this wasn't an ALCS game or anything, but revealing to one of Boston's key late-inning relievers how he tips his pitches is absolutely inexcusable. Imagine if Abreu and A-Rod had been talking about Jonathan Papelbon's tell - those kinds of advantages can determine who wins or loses a tight game in the late innings.

There's no doubt in my mind ESPN understood that they were breaking the rules in filming such a discussion. And it makes you laugh considering I've never seen such a scene captured in the Red Sox dugout. Next time ESPN wants to use an in-game dugout cam, the Yankees should chuckle and reply no thanks.

If a reliever is tipping his pitches he will in all likelihood eventually realize that the hitters are picking up on something. But it is completely ridiculous for a tv network to literally broadcast that pitcher's mistake so he can then make the adjustment. Looks like Boston got the benefit of Spygate II - and nobody even realizes it.

This Better Be Just A Rumor

As we all know, the Yankees [and several other teams] have a mancrush on Brian Fuentes and hope to add the hard throwing lefty to their bullpen. According to Ed Price of the Star Ledger, the Rockies have begun scouting the Yankees farm system and have their eye on Mark Melancon.

Not that Melancon has proven anything at the major league level, but I firmly believe the current lights-out Trenton Thunder closer [who should be pitching at AAA] may very well surpass Fuentes in terms of effectiveness within the next couple years. Remember, Fuentes is 32, a whole nine years older than Melancon.

Giving up a talent like Melancon for a guy like Fuentes would be discarding a potential high-caliber closer for the next decade in exchange for a very good lefty reliever who could sign elsewhere this offseason.

This is not to marginalize the current Colorado closer's career, but there is some question as to whether he could even handle New York and he had been relieved of closing duties due to ineffectiveness in the past.

I'm all for acquiring an arm as talented as Fuentes, but only if it makes sense. You don't give up a 23 year-old closer type knocking on the big league door who, in the very near future, could be as good or better than the player you're trading for.


Mark M. said...

That was some absolute garbage. Me and my buddy were watching the game and when we saw what they were showing we literally looked at each other and we were like, "What the hell are they doing showing that???"

You are not the only one who noticed.

Bronx Liaison said...

Your right - I think a lot of fans noticed, but it seems like the media did not.

I remember hearing Miller & Morgan talking about the situation and when I actually went back and saw the whole thing I was shocked.

This isn't an all star game where you want to capture a bunch of rival superstars yucking it up. This is a real game with real strategy taking place in the dugout.

That's like putting a camera in a Wall Street office and pulling some insider trading.

Yankee Stadium Crew: said...

Melancon is s stud and will be a fixture for years in the yankee pen!!!


Tom Beck said...

Well, Melancon pitched pretty badly last night for Trenton. His stuff is scary fast, but kind of straight, and he either struck people out or gave up some sharply hit balls right up the middle. Came in with the Thunder down only 1 and promptly gave away the game.

I don't know that he's going to be a big star in the majors, but I didn't know anything about Fuentes either. The Yankees surely need a lefty out of the pen, and at some point they should consider cashing in a few of their prospects for proven big league players. But, as you say, only if it makes sense.

Bronx Liaison said...


Thanks for the comment, but I have to disagree with you. While Melancon's 4-seamer CAN be straight at times, his sinking 2-seamer is absolutely sick in terms of movement. The catchers who have caught him say they cannot believe the natural bend he gets on that pitch.

Regarding last night, I think the kid is entitled to a bad night or not having his stuff on one occasion.

Remember that Melancon has completely outclassed AA-Ball and is probably getting very frustrated that he hasn't yet been moved to AAA.

Right now, I am under the belief that the only reason Melancon isn't in Scranton is because the Yankees want to be sure his arm can respond well to working on short rest or back-to-back days. In the previous months Melancon has been pitching multiple innings every 2 or 3 days - and this may be his last test before a brief stint in AAA [as long as continues to dominate].

NJDEX said...

Tom you know Melancon was going for THREE INNGIN SAVE right??

This isn't the 70s, we don't need Melancan to be Goose Gossage, and he probabyl shouldnt have even come out for the ninth.. his third inning of work.. which was the only time he gave up runs.

Look waht Mike Ashmore wrote:

"Coke out after six, Melancon allows one hit but nothing else in the 7th. 3-2 Altoona, B7.

3-2 heading into B8.

Melancon’s coming out for the ninth, so it would appear he’ll be finishing the game…assuming Trenton can’t put together a run in the bottom of the frame.

Does it qualify as breaking news that Mark Melancon’s human? He’s allowed two runs here in the 9th. One might argue that he shouldn’t have come out for the third since guys have been getting loose in the pen…"