In George We Trust
A(nother) blog about the most storied franchise in sports
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Weekly Poll Results
It was a landslide in last week's poll question, as 14 out of 17 (82.4%) believe the Yankees payroll will never again be less than 9 figures. The new question is up, as always, thanks for voting.

Tyler Kepner of the Times has a good article in today's paper about JB Cox:

"Be patient, the Yankees are saying. If Cox is going to be the next Street, he is not there yet. As for calling Cox the man to replace Rivera, perhaps the most indispensable Yankee of the past 10 years, hold on.

"I'd hate to put that on a guy," Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees' amateur scouting director, said. "That would be horrible. You can't predict that. We didn't even know Mariano Rivera was going to be a closer until he got to the big leagues.

"That definitely isn't something you consider. You can consider what kind of stuff they have and their makeup and hope guys can fit a role. But you can't predict if a guy is going to be a closer. That's too tough."

For now, Mark Newman, the senior vice president for baseball operations, said the Yankees see the right-handed Cox as more of a setup man than a closer. Newman compared Cox to Jeff Nelson because of his sweeping slider and his deceptive delivery from a low-three-quarters angle.

"But it's very early to limit players to certain roles," Newman said. "We'll kind of let them emerge."

Toward the end of the article, AL Rookie of the Year Huston Street had to say this about Cox:

"It's [Cox shutting down opposing batters] almost a definite," Street said at the Athletics' camp in Phoenix. "The only reason I was the closer at Texas was because I got there before him. He's got electric stuff, great control and, most importantly, he has ultimate confidence in himself."

And finally:

"[Joey] Devine and [Craig] Hansen got to the big leagues last year, and J. Brent had more success in college than those guys ever had," Oppenheimer said. "You'd watch him against good teams and he would just shut the door on them, with a demeanor that he was going to be able to do it."

For those that haven't seen Cox's prospect profile, a comparison to Hansen and Devine is included.
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