According to Dahlan, it was Bush who had pushed legislative elections in the Palestinian territories in January 2006, despite warnings that Fatah was not ready. After Hamas—whose 1988 charter committed it to the goal of driving Israel into the sea—won control of the parliament, Bush made another, deadlier miscalculation.
Vanity Fair has obtained confidential documents, since corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war. The plan was for forces led by Dahlan, and armed with new weapons supplied at America’s behest, to give Fatah the muscle it needed to remove the democratically elected Hamas-led government from power. (The State Department declined to comment.)
But the secret plan backfired, resulting in a further setback for American foreign policy under Bush. Instead of driving its enemies out of power, the U.S.-backed Fatah fighters inadvertently provoked Hamas to seize total control of Gaza.
Daily Archives: March 3, 2008
Twenty three years old, and the Yanks were shopping him for anyone and everyone. I guess they knew he’s the only position player who has any value (A Rod is not a position player…he’s an untouchable god). His closest comparable hitter at age 22 is Sixto Lescano, not a bad player, and he’s like Chet Lemon, and Roberto Clemente, of all people, is on the list. I think the fact that they were shopping him shows one of two things: either the front office is staffed by idiots, or he just isn’t that good. I’m thinking it’s the former. Certainly he’s a decent centerfielder. So if he hits like Sixto Lescano or Chet Lemon, he’s a good player.
Projections: this guy is gonna get better. 12 HR, BA .290, OBP 350. The Yanks are average in CF, and they might be a little better than average, if he comes along quickly. Unless they trade him for another old first baseman.
Well, that does it for the position players. The disaster shaping up at first largely outweighs the superstar at third. And otherwise they are, on average, exactly average, and the injury potential is large.
Tomorrow: the pitching staff.
Geez, another 34 year old guy.
Sure, he’s been a nice player, but he’s also starting his slide. For a left fielder, he will be no better than average this year, at the plate and in the field. Not fast. Projections: 18 HR, 85 RBI, BA .265. Not bad, but, for a left fielder, not good either. Again, at this age, the injury thing is always lurking….
Will he even start? if he does the Yanks are in even worse shape than I thought. No point mincing words over this guy….stick a fork in him.
37 years old, no juice, no fielding, no baserunning, old, slow, geez. A subpar player, without question. I don’t know what his contract is, but if I’m Giambi, I wouldn’t be buying a condo in NY, if you catch my drift. And this Juan Miranda guy, 25 years old and ex-Cuba? Sorry, but even the rosiest projections are only average for a first baseman. Who else? Morgan Ensberg? just a journeyman, on the downslope also. Posada? is that an upgrade? Wilson Betemit? you’re kidding, right? Projections: hits .240, 12 HR, 60 RBI…yadda, yadda…..
First base is definitely below average.
How did the Yankee front office spend the winter? watching the Knicks?
Not much to be said. In the prime of his career, one of the best hitters of all time. Should continue to put up big numbers. What is it about him? well, he has done some pretty cheap stuff on the basepaths, for a superstar; or for any player. That’s one thing, but it matters only for real baseball nuts and for the players. His demeanor, all that, who cares? But his real issue as a player is that he just doesn’t hit good pitching nearly as well as he does bad pitching. That translates into a guy who just isn’t a clutch hitter. He will get his hits in the late innings, but by and large, when facing the ace pitcher (starter or reliever), he is just another guy. It isn’t so much choking, as just the quality of the pitcher. Now, there are hitters who are gonna hit, more or less regardless of who’s pitching. For example, Derek Jeter; and because he adjusts his swing, he is a clutch hitter. Of course, he’s starting to slide, but over his career, Jeter was a much better hitter in those situations than A Rod, and the reason is clear; Jeter knows what he wants to do against superior pitching, and that is go up the middle or to right field. A Rod only goes to right by accident. So against a pitcher with some stuff, who can carve the outside corner, A Rod looks like Alfonso Soriano. A lot like him.
I don’t expect A Rod’s numbers to look as good this year, just because he’s playing on an average team. His runs scored and RBI’s will suffer, and maybe his OBP, if he tries to do too much.
He’s an average third baseman, certainly not able to make up for a decline in Jeter’s range. Why the Yankees let him steal bases I have no idea. He’s gonna be losing a step pretty soon, so that may stop.
Overall, a Hall of Famer if he never played another game. Huge numbers will continue pretty much for another year.
Regression to the mean.
Posada’s year was at least as weird as the turnaround by Roger Clemens when he went to Toronto and somehow got big and strong. Here’s a catcher at age 35 who made a bid for MVP!! I mean, he is a switch hitter, and he has been, like Jeter and Abreu, very durable. But this is ridiculous. He needs to get a urine test.
“Regression to the mean” refers to that tendency of weird stats to become normal again. For whatever reason. For an old catcher (he’s 36, and has caught over 1400 games] like Posada, that could mean a real collapse. But let’s just go back to his 2006 numbers and resume the normal slide. He’s a decent catcher. He’s not getting any faster.
Prediction: BA .260, 14 HR, OBP .340 75 RBI. Miss 25 games. An average guy, overall, at his position. And that’s good for a guy his age.
Is there a pattern in my analysis? Well, yes, but that is because there is a pattern in the Yankee team. That pattern is a lot of players at key positions who are past their prime. Not every one of these older guys will sink, but as a group, they will….some more, some less. This is an average team with one superstar.
Cano is a good young player who hits lefthanded. He plays an average second base, and hits for power and average. He is not particularly fast. At age 25, his future appears bright, but if he continues to swing for the fences his strikeout totals will soar. And he is no longer under the radar. This year, without the protection of a loaded batting order, Cano may not achieve the lofty heights that some are predicting.
Prediction: 25 HR, 90 RBI, 100 strikeouts, 40 walks, BA .295. Definitely better than average for his position.
Jeter, like Abreu, is 34, and has been a valuable and durable player, but, also like Abreu, his fielding and speed and power are slipping. He is a below average shortstop in the field. Unlike Abreu, most of his batting numbers are still holding above average. He can live off that for another year, and he is the heart of the Yankees, at least in the eyes of the fans. Jeter will probably miss 15 games, hit .300, with an OBP of .350, but his strikeouts and GDP will climb, because, as in the case of Abreu, the pitchers aren’t going to be afraid of Jeter. HRs may be in the single digits, and most of them will be to the porch in right. The Yanks better have somebody warming up in the wings….the injury bug can bite a 34 year old….I wonder what will become of Jeter next year…?
All in all, Derek Jeter is going to be an average shortstop this year.