Saturday, June 20, 2009

Benched My a**

Benched? Every major news site and newspaper screamed with the headline the Alex had been 'benched' for 2 games when the truth is that after surgery he needs a rest. A question - if the Sox gave any one of their regulars a 2 day rest do you think for a moment anyone would call it a 'benching?'

Another example of the media unnecessarily taking every opportunity to give a negative slant to any info on A-Rod.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Top Ten Prospect?

Jesus Montero was a much publicized signing as a 16 year-old.  There was talk of his power being an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. A possible once in the generation type of talent that also happened to play catcher.  The Yankees opened up their checkbook and signed the teen to a large contract.  

Since then all Montero has done is hit.  He is currently 19 playing high A and hitting the cover off the ball(.967 OPS!).  This is pretty impressive considering his young age and his position.  The question now is Montero becoming one of the top prospects in baseball? His defense is the
 sticking point and the only real difference between him and say uber prospect Matt Weiters but even if he is a bad fielding first baseman his numbers might warrant a little more attention then what he is getting. I know, hard to believe in New York that a prospect is being under hyped but check out his numbers against the first baseman ranked higher then him on the BA top 100 list;

At a younger age he is having more success then those ranked higher on the list from Baseball America.  There is also talk of him being promoted in the near future which will allow us to do a little more of a direct comparison against those in AA.  

If the call-up comes and he continues to hit Jesus should start to warrant Joba circa 2007 like attention.  

Friday, May 8, 2009

Swing and a miss

While I'm sure everyone reading this blog also checks in with the grand daddy of Yankee bloggers, Pete Abraham, as A-Rod will make his return tonight I thought re-printing Pete's post from today would be wise - 

As I read A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez by Selena Roberts, I thought back to an introduction to journalism course I took at UMass a long time ago.

The professor one day spoke about the difference between writing a story for a newspaper and a column. A story, he explained, contained only what you could prove. A column was what you thought.

The book is 246 pages of what Roberts thinks about Rodriguez. What she proves isn’t much of anything.

Because Roberts broke the story in February about Rodriguez having tested positive for steroids use, I wrongly assumed the book would include other revelations. Instead it’s page after page of “one teammate” suggesting Rodriguez did something wrong. Or “a player” insinuating that he did something else. “Friends” of Rodriguez paint him in unflattering terms.

In her postscript, Roberts acknowledges the use of 19 anonymous sources. But no explanation is given as to why these sources needed anonymity. It’s also unclear whether the 19 sources were used equally or whether one or two sources provided the bulk of the information. We’re supposed to trust her judgment, apparently.

Even those facts that could be documented are not. Roberts, for instance, reports that notorious Dominican trainer Angel Presinal was signed into major league clubhouses by security officers while attending to Rodriguez. But no dates or places are given.

Throughout the book, Roberts even places herself in Rodriguez’s conscience and writes as though she knows what he was thinking. In her version of his thoughts, Rodriguez is a weak-willed, narcissistic cheater and womanizer willing to do anything to succeed.

Given the completeness of the February story in Sports Illustrated, I expected more in the book, certainly more detail. But the book does not meet the standards of the magazine. It is, in essence, a 246-page column.

This is not to say that Rodriguez deserves the benefit of the doubt. He has admitted to using steroids from 2001-03 and it’s difficult to believe he limited himself to those three years. Roberts is able to prove he associated with suspicious characters and she is a skillful enough writer to lead you believe that Rodriguez probably did use PEDs at other points of his career. There are many layers of hearsay evidence.

But she doesn’t prove anything beyond that he’s not particularly well-liked by his teammates and says a lot of dumb things. That we knew. The rest is unfair to Rodriguez.

Roberts come close. But a good editor would have kicked the manuscript back and told her to come back when she more.

A-Rod might have a tough time saying the right thing; he might attract the wrong kind of spotlight too often. He is our player, though, and deserves and needs to get all the support we as fans can give him. We need him, and he needs us - let's not let him down.


It might be over

In the post game show tonight on YES, Joe Girardi admitted that Mariano Rivera's surgically repaired shoulder has been bothering him for a while now.

This could get ugly!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Manny Suspended 50 Games for PED Use

The LA Times has reported, and MLB has confirmed, that former Dread Sox and current Dodger hitting savant Manny Ramirez will be suspended for 50 games starting tonight for PED use. This brings to mind 2 things - 

1. It's amazing how once you leave the team owned by the author of the steroid report things start to 'come out.'

2. Hey big Papi and fag-a-tek...you're NEXT!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

WILL YOU GIVE THIS TO MY DADDY

I don't usually participate in viral emails, but I thought this was worth it -  

Last week I was in Atlanta, Georgia attending a conference. While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen.  Moving through the terminal was a group of soldiers in their camos. As they began heading to their gate, everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering.



When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for, it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red-blooded American who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families.  Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear or reprisal.



Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women, a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers. He kneeled down and said 'hi.'

 

The little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her.



The young soldier, who didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her Daddy. Then suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.

The mother of the little girl, who said her daughter's name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Marine and had been in
Iraq for 11 months now. As the mom was explaining how much her daughter Courtney missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up.


When this temporarily single mom was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second. Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military-looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it.

 

After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, 'I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you.' He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying 'your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon.'

The mom at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet, he saluted Courtney and her mom. I was standing no more than 6 feet away from this entire event.


As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act of selflessness, turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.

We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's good to be an American.

RED FRIDAYS ----- Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the 'silent majority'. We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers.


We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing. We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions. Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of
America supports our troops.


Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -
  and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that.. Every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar will wear something red.

By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the
United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers.

If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the
USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once 'silent' majority is on their side more than ever; certainly more than the media lets on.

The first thing a soldier says when asked 'What can we do to make things better for you?' is
  ...   We need your support and your prayers.

Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example; and wear something red every Friday.

IF YOU AGREE -- THEN SEND THIS ON.  IF YOU COULDN'T CARE LESS THEN HIT THE DELETE BUTTON --- IT IS YOUR CHOICE. I don't know if you've seen this, but I couldn't delete it.


WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE, ONLY BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE.
 
THEIR BLOOD RUNS RED
  ---- SO WEAR RED! ---

 

=

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Joba Hurt?

I know the results were good tonight and the radar gun even lit up 95 a couple of times but this is still not the Joba we saw last year. Here are the pitch fx numbers;

Avg fastball Speed - 92.76
Max Speed - 96.3

Not bad numbers but compare that to last years starts;

Best Avg FB Speed - 95.51
Worst ang FB speed - 94.57
Total Avg FB as starter - 95.00

Best Max Speed - 99.6
Worst Max Speed - 97.8
Average Max Speed - 98.86

So where is the other 2 mph? Those 2 are what take him from a very good pitcher to a once in a generation talent. His average FB as a starter last year would put him second in the majors behind only Justin Verlander while his 2009 average only puts him in the top 20. So the question that needs answering is why the drop in velocity? Is he hurt? Is it poor mechanics? Whats the deal with Joba?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Messiah Sighing

Sorry to my more religious friends, but the boy-wonder known to some as "Phil Phranchise" was dubbed "The Messiah" on this website (or simply TM) about 3 years ago and it's just tough to let it go.

Anyway, TM is making his season debut against el Tigros (is that right? I don't speak any Spanish) tonight in the land of unsold inferior cars. I for one, am really looking forward to it. In my opinion, Phil is still every bit the pending stud everyone dubbed him before last season's debaclous showing.

Why, you ask, am I still so high on Phil? How about these numbers so far in 2009 in SWB-

3 wins, vs zero losses
1.86 ERA
17 hits and 3(!!) walks allowed in 19 ip

And just as important as the above...he has yet to turn 23 years old!

I have no doubt that this kid is both the real deal and headed for stardom.

I hope it starts tonight!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Phil Hughes Update

Yankee phenom-in-waiting Phil Hughes pitched Wednesday at Triple-A, improving to 3-0 with 7 2/3 innings of one-run, six-hit ball in a 6-1 victory over Buffalo, walking one and striking out seven in the 105-pitch start.

With Wang looking like Hideki Irabu-redux, might be time for Phil to step in!

Papi on Joba

Via the Post - If young Joba Chamberlain misbehaves tomorrow night, he might face a spanking from someone else's Papi. With Chamberlain scheduled to start for the Yankees in the opener of a three-game series against the Red Sox, David Ortiz yesterday said the talented right-hander should avoid using Kevin Youkilis' head as a bull's-eye. "None of that, man — just play the game the way it's supposed to be, and that's about it," Ortiz said, referring to Chamberlain. "This is a guy, as good as he is, the next step for him will be to earn respect from everybody in the league. He's not a bad guy, but when things like that happen, people get the wrong idea." Considering he has fired four pitches either near Youkilis' head or behind Youkilis in the last 20 months, Chamberlain quickly has emerged as a villain to Red Sox Nation in this rivalry. There were the consecutive pitches to Youkilis — one of which sailed behind him — in August of 2007 that got Chamberlain suspended. Another close call occurred last July at Yankee Stadium, when Chamberlain threw high-and tight to Youkilis, nearly starting a bench clearing brawl. Chamberlain uncorked another fastball three weeks later at Fenway that sent Youkilis to the dirt. Angry glares were exchanged. Why always Youkilis? "I don't have an explanation," Ortiz said. Talking to reporters at his locker for about 20 minutes between games of yesterday's split doubleheader against the Twins — the Yankees' game against the Athletics was on TV in the clubhouse — Ortiz said this weekend will not feel like the normal Yankees-Red Sox circus. "This one is an easy one — they are missing A-Rod," Ortiz said.


Hey Papi, how about hitting a home run before telling other people what to do...just ONE!

You know what Joba...bean em both!

With Nady Out For Season - A Guest Post

Since the Yankees have officially lost Xavier Nady for the season probably due to Tommy John surgery( which is extremely unfortunate!) should the Yanks be looking for another right handed outfielder? I had written a post earlier in the year that the Yankees should have possibly traded for a young and upcoming center fielder such as Rasmus or Maybin, both of which would have cost an arm and a leg plus some more body parts! It now appears though that we need another player that can man the outfield and offer a right handed stick in my humble opinion. If not for all of his legal troubles and dark cloud over him I would suggest Elijah Dukes as a potential prospect considering his tremendous talent and youth, but all things considered I don't feel that is a good idea, especially placing him in a city such as New York where his troubles could multiply exponentially!!! I would still like to make a play for Rasmus with the Cardinals searching for pitching and having a surplus of outfielders, but that isn't going to happen either in my opinion unfortunately. Yet there is an option that most likely isn't that popular, and I am referring to Andruw Jones who is currently sitting in Texas where they have a surplus of young and talented outfielders. I don't think it would take much to attain him and I certainly don't see how it could hurt us to give him a chance. Perhaps I am wrong though, and I look forward to hearing your response.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

How bad has Chien been?

By the numbers

1 - Games before this year where he has pitched less then 4 IP
3 - Games this year where he has pitched less then 4 IP(out of 3 starts)

7 - Career worst game score(happened 2 times, both this year)

8 - Career worst ERs given up in a game for Wang(happened 2 times, all this year)

0- Times a NYY pitcher not named Wang has given up 7 or more runs in 3 consecutive starts

Historically bad

No Pressure at all on AJ today

Not only are we expecting AJ Burnett to pick up Chien-Ming Wang again, but we are praying that he saves us from the ultimate humiliation...losing to Carl Pavano!

Nah - no pressure on AJ today!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

X-man done for the year?

According to reports, Xavier Nady's previously 'Tommy John' repaired right elbow popped when making a throw against the Rays in Tuesday night's game and the surgery may need to be re-done keeping him out the remainder of the year.

Nady is a nice player. At worst he is a top 4th outfielder and excellent trade bait; at best Nady is a 280/25-30/100 producing corner outfielder.

I've heard many people say that his loss is a good thing in that it will insure Nick Swisher gets an everyday job. Let's not go overboard- Swish is on fire, and probably does deserve the everyday job. Saying, however, that the Yanks are better off without Nady is simply not true.

Not only is this extremely poor timing for the pending free-agent, but Nady was slotted to be a nice piece of the puzzle (whether starting or off the bench) that the Yanks will certainly miss as the season goes on.



Update- The guys over at RAB are reporting that Austin Jackson and Kevin Russo have been lifted from today's SWB Yanks game- not sure what that means, but an Ajax sighting at the Stadium Thursday would be fun to watch!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

WWWW?

Wow...2 starts and 2 unbelievably bad performances by the former Yankee ace Chien-Ming Wang. The question is, What's Wrong With Wang?

In addition to the a serious lack of velocity (89-91 instead of 93-95), Wang's signature sinker has had more lateral movement then downward tilt the last 2 games - essentially, the sinker ain't sinking.

A thigh-high 90 mph fastball with only a little in and out movement is gonna get hit hard - and has.

In the past, Wang as shown that he adds velocity as the weather warms. This season, it seems, the heat is even more lacking than usual. Having lost most of last season to injury, I believe that we will see the radar gun light more as Wang gains more arm strength.

As for the sink on the sinker, movement on a pitch is directly related to the amount of spin imparted upon the ball by the pitcher. If a pitcher is lacking arm strength he will usually 'muscle-up' in order to compensate and try and get more velocity. This restricts the free and easy release of the ball and squeezes some spin out of the pitch.

In other words, as we see Wang's arm strength increase I believe not only will the velocity return, but, as a result, we will start to see the downward dart of Wang's sinker return too.

Let's hope it happens sooner rather than later!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sour Grapes

From SI-

Boston Red Sox owner John Henry renewed his call for a salary cap on Wednesday after an offseason in which the New York Yankees added three free agents for $423.5 million.

Henry's call came exactly five years after he first proposed a salary cap in the wake of the Yankees' trade for Alex Rodriguez after the Red Sox failed in their attempt to obtain him from the Texas Rangers.

So let's see...Henry first called for a salary cap after the Red Sox were foiled by the Yanks in their efforts to land A-Rod. He now renews his call for a cap after an offseason during which the Yanks stole Mark Teixeira away from the Sox at the last moment.

He lost A-Rod and Teixeira for the same reason - he got cheap at the last moment. Henry was willing to go to $20+mm for Tex, but not $21mm; he was trying to force A-Rod to cut the value of his contract by $9mm over 7 years - and wouldn't budge.

These are 2 examples of Henry losing impact players over a petty amount of money.

Note to John Henry - Quit crying and trying to blame your incompetance on the Yanks. A salary cap won't cure idiocy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Take on Steroids, Arod and the Media

Sweeny was on the Fan earlier talking about the circus in Tampa awaiting the Arod news conference, and he said something to the effect that it's amazing how the Yanks made all of these great moves this offseason and all anyone wants to talk about is the Arod mess.

I think I speak for baseball fans everywhere when I say that we have no interest in continuing to discuss the Arod steroid controversy - the ONLY people that want to talk about is the media! If left to choose what the media was going to cover I guarantee that each and every true baseball fan would choose to be done with steroids, who did them, who supplied them, who tested positive and who didn't - and have the media instead focus on the game, our teams and the upcoming season. This is a prime example of the media trying to suck every dime out of a dead story by exploiting something that real fans have moved passed a long time ago.

I'm not saying that Arod didn't make a huge mistake by using; I am saying only that we know enough about it already and anything he says at this point is only to satisfy a media that will crucify him unless he plays their game.

One way that Arod could come out looking good in all of this would be to pay to have his blood tested once a week by an independent testing lab and have the results released to the public every week. That way we all know for sure that he is clean and anything he does here in is unaided.

As for the Hall of Fame and steroid users, I think that for the most part it is unfair to keep guys like Bonds and Clemens out. These guys were not only stand-outs within the steroid era, but were also hall of famers before their probable use of PEDs.

I do believe that there are circumstances, however where it should affect someone's election. A guy like Mark McGuire, for example, only garners HOF consideration because of the production he saw by using. McGuire 's '88-'92 season saw him hit 33, 32, 39,22, 42 (168 total) home runs; an average of 33 per year. After essentially missing the '93 and '94 seasons to injury, Mac came back to hit 284 home runs in the next 5 years, an average of almost 57 HR per year (with a high of 70 in '98). Without the 'roids Mac would have had a nice career; with them he put up numbers among the all-time greats.

As for Arod, I believe that he has enough playing time left to repair the damage done to his reputation and retire a sure-fire first ballot HOF'er. I think it would certainly help if he follows my advice to have himself tested weekly, but either way I think he should get in.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Arod

I don't care.

For the hard of hearing - I DON'T CARE!

Yeah, it sucks that the legacy of Arod is being draggen through the mud, but I really could care less.

It's not because he's a Yankee (though it doesn't hurt); it's because as more and more information comes out on the "Steroid Era" it has become obvious that pretty much everyone was doing it!

There are 103 unknown names on the 'tested positive' list, and countless others that were smart enough to get off before testing started.

Let's stop making each and every new name a news-worthy revelation and just concede that if the person played between 1998 and 2003 he was on the juice, ok?

I've been reading both the papers and the blogs and comments the past week or so and while it sure seems that most fans feel the same way as I do (a non-story at this point), the main-stream media keeps pushing and pushing the issue. The Super Bowl is over, spring training hasn't started yet, the Knicks won't be news-worthy 'till the King comes in 2010, and hockey...well hockey is just hockey - there's nothing else to write about!

I am sick and tired of steroid talk - we're 2 days from pitchers and catchers. Go Yanks!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What I want to know....

According to SI:

"at least 104 barreled ahead and peed into bottles when they knew there was a chance they would be dirty; reportedly, A-Rod was among those."

Where are the other 103 names? Leaking one person's name screams of someone having an agenda. Who leaked it and what is their agenda against A-rod?

I am not an A-Rod fan. His performance in the clutch and annoying insecurities make him almost impossible to root for. His steroid use is damaging to his legacy and the Yankees, but you have to wonder why his name was the only one leaked. Will the other 103 names be leaked? And why is A-Rod being targeted?

This is going to get ugly, but I hope the media swarm spends some of their 6 billion hours of coverage trying to get these questions answered. A-Rod's legacy is ruined but what I want to know who wanted to ruin it?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Can Jeet Start Acting Like The Captain?

“I’m just curious as to why people keep asking the same questions over and over. We’ve been down this road before. Alex is a teammate. I support him. Our whole team is behind him. We all support him. And we’re looking forward to a new season. To be quite honest with you, it’s old hearing the same questions. It’s something that’s been addressed before in the past. Everyone’s moved beyond it. And it doesn’t really need to be addressed again.”

Wow...could Jeter have been more tepid in his 'backing' of Arod? How hard would it be for him to remove the annoyed tenor and issue true support for his teammate? I get that he has a parental love for 'Mr. T", but Joe is gone and Arod is gonna be around for a long time.

Do your job as Captain, Derek, and support your teammate- even if you don't want to.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Andy Was the Better Choice

During the millennium-long negotiation between Andy Pettitte and the Yanks, all of us Yankees fans were looking at the availability of Ben Sheets and salivating at the prospect of adding him to our rotation. ERAs of 2.70, 3.33, 3.82, 3.82 and 3.09 over the past 5 years, 2 straight impressive all-star game appearances, and 'tools' and 'stuff' up the yin yang made the majority of us want to bid farewell to Andy and replace him with the flamethrower from Milwaukee.

I admit that I too was mesmerized by Sheets' potential. Signing him, however, would have definitely been the wrong move.

We already signed an injury question mark (AJ Burnett) this year. We signed an ace who lead both the AL and NL in complete games last year, and leads the universe in innings pitched the last 3 years (CC). We have a young pitcher who has never thrown more than 100 innings before in the majors already slotted into our rotation (Joba). We are counting on another starter who made only 15 starts last year (Wang). 

We NEED someone who we can count on to throw 200 innings, and who knows what pitching and winning for the Yankees is all about. Pettitte will be the guy that ALL of these pitchers can go to and that Joe G (and we as fans) can count on to take the ball and compete every start.

While Sheets was sexier, signing Pettitte was the right move.

Hip Hip - HOF

When asked about having concern for the health of Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera in 2009, GM Brian Cashman responded to the effect that a potential Hall of Fame catcher like Posada is impossible to replace. That got me thinking...is Jorge HOF worthy?

Let's compare Jorge with 4 catchers already in the Hall of Fame - Yogi Berra, Johnnie Bench, Gary Carter and Carlton Fisk.

Yogi Berra - over 19 seasons posted 285/348/482
Gary Carter - 19 seasons 262/335/439
Johnnie Bench - 17 seasons 267/342/476
Carlton Fisk - 24 seasons 269/341/457
Jorge Posada - 14 seasons 277/380/477

Over their respective careers, Jorge has posted a higher batting average, a higher on base percentage and a higher slugging percentage then Carter, Bench and Fisk, has a higher career OBP then Yogi, and compares very well with Yogi in BA and slugging.

Yogi - 9 times 90+ RBI 
Bench - 7 times 90+ RBI
Carter - 5 times 90+
Fisk - 2 times 90+ RBI
Posada - 5 times 90+ RBI

Assuming health and considering the Yanks' strong lineup, I see no reason Jorge won't equal Bench's 7 years of 90+ RBI, and currently is equal to Carter and beyond Fisk in this category.

Yogi - 358 HR (18.84/season)
Bench - 389 HR (22.88/season)
Carter - 324 HR (17.05/season)
Fisk - 376 HR (15.66/season)
Jorge - 221 HR (15.78/season)

While Jorge has plus power for a catcher, his HR numbers are not quite as good as Yogi, Gary Carter or Johnnie Bench. 

All things considered, Jorge either compares extremely well or surpasses the credentials posted by the 4 other Hall of Fame catchers listed here. Jorge is certainly no Yogi Berra, but his numbers are certainly every bit as good (better!) as Carlton Fisk and Gary Carter. Considering that Jorge currently owns 4 (and will shortly be fitted for his 5th!) World Championship rings, his induction 5 years after retirement should pretty much be a no-brainer.

Monday, January 12, 2009

GAK!

A quick question...

Why the hell is George King a panelist on the Yes Hot Stove show?

The guy is dour, dumb, and makes absolutely no contribution to the show. He is as dynamic as a houseplant and basically has no clue. 

Jay Mohr Knows Red Sox Fans


(h/t to Sliding Into Home)

Friday, January 9, 2009

100+

Thanks to RLYW for backing up my expectations of a 100+ win season with more nuts and bolts then I provided!

See the info here

How the Yanks Could Sign Manny

The potential problem with signing Manny to a 3 or 4 year deal is that you never know if he will pull another stunt like he did with the Red Sox and leave the signing team holding the bag for $50-$80 million. I have a fix for that-

Sign Manny to a 2 year deal for a guaranteed $40 million. Add an incentives clause based on top 15 MVP for an additional $5mm per year bring him to the $25mm per he desires. Then, add 2 vesting years based on 120 games played structured the same way as the 1st 2 years ($20mm guaranteed with $5mm per for top 15 MVP). This contract would allow Manny to attain the 4 year $100mm contract he desires, so long as he plays in more than 120 games per year, and is among the top 15 in MVP voting each year. Any player making $25mm per year had BETTER be in the top 15 in MVP voting! 

Manny has been in the top 15 in MVP voting in 9 of the last 10 years.

Manny has played in 120 or more games every year but 1 since 1995.

This contract would allow the signing team some degree of comfort that Manny would be motivated every year, and allow Manny to attain the contract he wants so long as he is as productive as he has been for his whole career.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Expectations

In my previous post I wrote that I expect the Yanks to push the 100 win mark in 2009. A reader very fairly commented that there are a number of potential pitfalls that could keep that number a good 5-10 wins below that 100 win mark. In response to that comment I thought I'd write about what I expect to happen in '09-

I expect:

Damon and Jeter to hit 300 and score 100 runs.

Tex to hit at least 285 with more than 30 hr and 100 RBI

Arod to hit at least 300 with more than 35 HR and 110 RBI

Matsui to be healthy and post in the area of 285/385/485

Posada to post numbers in-line with his career norms and catch 100+ games (270/380/485)

Nady to hit 275/20/85

Cano to hit +/-300/20/85

Melky/Gardner to stay above the mendoza line and play plus defense.

This is what I EXPECT- I hope for more. If all we get is the expected numbers, we should be comfortably above 900 runs scored for the year.

As for the starters, I expect:

Pettitte will have no problem at worst duplicating his 2008 numbers. Andy pitched the second half with a mild shoulder strain that kept him from properly finishing his pitches and he therefore was up in the zone from August on. While a 3.75 ERA might be too optimistic for a guy on the wrong side of 35, I believe he will do better than 4.54 he posted in '08.

I expect CC to get off to a slow start. Everyone knows Carsten leads the universe in innings pitched the last 2 years, and if you look at his splits he is a consistently slow starter. As the Yanks have said they plan to bring him along cautiously in spring training, I think that slow start is a given for '09. After May 15th, however, I expect he'll be the best pitcher in the AL.

I expect AJ to make 25 starts and post a 4.00 ERA.

I expect Wang to be Wang; the best #3 in the game, challenge for 20 wins and have a sub 4 ERA.

I expect Joba to make 20-25 starts and have an ERA under 4.

I expect Phil Hughes to make 20+ starts and have a 4-ish ERA.

I expect the Yankee pen to be very solid and build off of last year's success.

I don't feel that any of my expectations for '09 are unrealistic; they are pretty much based on the back of the baseball cards for each player. I don't expect 35 starts from AJ (though he could surprise), I don't expect a 2.50 ERA from Joba (though, again, it could happen)- everything above should happen, and might be too conservative.
Granted (as evidenced last year!) injuries are the potential fly in the ointment, but short of limiting Joba and AJ's starts there is no way to forecast them.

Therefore, and based on the above expectations, I see 100 wins.

What do you think? Are any of my expectations unrealistic?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Many Moves....But Are we Any Better?

Let's assume that the Yanks are pretty much done for the off season and we'll be going to war with the currently situated roster (including Andy as I still think that is a foregone conclusion). There is no doubt that we are a different team, but are we a truly better team? Many pundits and posts have forecasted that while the Yanks will be better, it will only be marginally so. Let's take a look at the new roster when compared with 2008 and see if we agree - 

2008 Line up-

Damon LF/DH
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Arod 3B
Giambi 1B
Nady LF/DH
Cano 2B
Molina C
Melky/Gardner CF

Our 2009 version features the following substitutions-

Posada for Molina
Teixeira for Giambi
Matsui for Abreu

The worst swap here is Matsui for Abreu, which is likely a wash. The other 2 swaps are significant upgrades.

The 2008 rotation saw the following (# starts/ERA)-

Mussina (34/3.37)
Pettitte (33/4.54)
Rasner (20/5.40) 
Ponson (15/5.85)
Wang (15/4.07)
Kennedy (9/8.17)
Hughes (8/6.62)
Pavano (7/5.77)
Joba (12/2.60*)
Geise (3/3.53*)
Aceves (4/2.40*)
Igawa (1/13.50)
(*combined starting/relieving ERA)

Of the 161 starts in 2008, 50 (31%) were made by either Rasner, Ponson, Pavano, Geise, Aceves or Igawa; OUCH!

For the rotation in 2009, if we assume that CC provides only the same season that Moose gave us last year (though he should provide more), and that Pettitte is exactly the same (though I expect better without the shoulder strain), we would be replacing all of the non-Moose/Pettitte starts with an additional 15-20 from Wang and Joba each, and 30+ from Burnett/Hughes. 

I might be dumb, but it sure seems that this is a massive upgrade to me!

We won 89 games last year and have made significant upgrades to both our lineup and our rotation - anyone who is looking for less then 100 wins in 2009 is not paying attention!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sign or Get Off the Pot

Let me start by saying I love Andy Pettitte. I think that by him coming back we would have the one thing we are currently missing form our rotation - someone who has won (and won big) as a Yankee before. Don't underestimate the importance of Pettitte's ability to play the 'been there...won that' card.

I also have developed a serious man-crush on Phil Hughes. I am expecting that by the 3rd year of CC and AJ's new contract they will both be slotted in behind Phil Phranchize on the depth chart.

That being said, we have to resolve our last rotation spot. Our offer to Andy has been gathering dust for a couple of months now and I think it's time to shake things up a bit.

Kernan of the Post suggests Oliver Perez - nah. If we wanted a young, immensely frustrating kid with huge potential we could have signed Daniel Cabrera for a relative bucket of balls.

No; there is only one direction to move in - Ben Sheets.

Take the same offer made to Andy, add a team option for 2010 and put it on the table as well to Sheets; the first to sign wins.

If we land Sheets we get a guy who has the 'stuff' and ability to be an ace. A guy who is every bit as good as the Boston god (he's a god according to the Gammonites, anyway) Josh Becket.

If it forces Andy to sign then we have the guy we wanted to begin with.

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