Oh Boy…

Well, its been a while since my last blog, and a lot of stuff has happened in such a short amount of time.

The only story of consequence is the re-signing of Any Pettite, which bolsters out starting rotation, and gives us one of the deepest rotations in the league (arguably). This was in the works for a while, and I think it was a good signing for the price.  It was better for the Yanks to get Pettite for a year @ 5.5 mil with incentives than to give, say, Ben Sheets a 2-year deal @ 7.5 mil/yr.  As it turns out, the Yankees would have had to plead with the MLBPA to even THINK of going outside the organization – which I don’t think anyone outside of the MLB knew until today.

The other big story was a certain book coming out by a certain someone….

No, not that one….. It was Joe Torre’s (and Tom Verducci’s) “The Yankee Years”.  The big problem that came from this book was the breach of the unwritten rule that “What happens in the club house stays in the clubhouse”… Now, having played baseball in college, I have seen this unwritten rule kept and broken all the same, and there are many people who do not observe this unwritten rule – mainly because it IS and UNWRITTEN rule… It is meant to be understood by everyone because the veterans instilled the fear of God in you if you ever broke that rule.  The people who normally break the rule are people who do not care about pissing everyone else off (see: Jose Canseco).  Honestly, from what I have heard about the book, it is not as bad as they are making it out to be, and most of the “outrageous” things about the book are really just inside jokes between teammates and friends. The only incriminating things are the passages about Brian Cashman & Joe Torre’s relationship as it pertained to the Yankees, where Brian Cashman was toeing the line of over-exerting his authority.

What do you think?

Projecting the 2009 Lineup

I have been trying to work up how I would set up the Yankees to make a run at the World Series Title in 2009.  With the latest news that Jorge Posada will not be ready for the start of Spring Training – but is scheduled to be ready for Opening Day – I start to worry.  We have 2 high ceiling catchers in the farm system in Jesus Montero and Austin Romine, but they are still a few years from being MLB-ready (I say 2-3 years for at least 1 to be ready, 3-4 for both).  This begs to question – Who is the Yankees Plan B?  Jose Molina is a good defensive catcher, but is non-existant with the bat… Francisco Cervelli is a 22-year old catcher, but his bat has not come around as well as many have hoped, leaving him the backup for Romine/Montero sometime in the future…. While there are no great #1 catchers on the free-agent market, there are a bunch of catchers on the trade market, but no true #1 catchers…. Because of this, I forsee the Yankees putting up with Posada/Molina/Cervelli unless one of the Rangers catchers can be pried from their hands OR if Montero or Romine surpass everyone’s expectations and progress to the Show this year (HIGHLY unlikely, but not impossible)….

Without any further ado, here is my projected 2009 lineup (No trades, with Posada 100%):
CF Damon
SS Jeter
3B A-Rod
1B Teixiera
C Posada
DH Matsui
LF Swisher
2B Cano
RF Nady

And my projected lineup without Posada at 100% (no trades):
CF Damon
SS Jeter
3B A-Rod
1B Teixiera
DH Posada
2B Cano
LF Swisher
RF Nady
C Molina / Cervelli

The main point of contention for most people is the logjam in centerfield, which – if there are no trades – is pretty much a moot point as Damon will HAVE to be used in CF or you will be sitting one of Matsui, Nady or Swisher to play Cabrera or Gardner, which is a definite downgrade in offense for a moderate upgrade in defense.
 
Now if the Yankees end up trading Nady or Swisher for a servicable Catcher to be a young spot-starter and have Molina as the true backup, then it will be okay, but this raises the potential that Romine or Montero will be stuck in the Minors when they are Major League ready…..
Please comment and provide your thoughts on this subject…

Gotta Love The BBWAA

Congratulations to Ricky Henderson and Jim Rice are in order, so Kudos to both of you!!!  In the same breath, shame on the 6% of the BBWAA that didn’t vote for Ricky’s bid for the Hall….. Ricky should have been the first player to have 100% of the vote, and you would be hard-pressed to find a REAL reason to keep him out of the Hall…..

Anyway, Have a happy week all, I will be updating a little more often when we get closer to when pitchers and catchers report, but please, bookmark the page and comment if you like what I have to say…..

Hello from NJ

Hello all, and welcome.  I was born a Yankee fan in 1983, and kept them with me ever since.  I remember watching some of the Yankee greats like Don Mattingly and Craig Nettles, and relished in the World Series victories with Joe Girardi and Paul O’Neill (my personal favorite player – maybe not my favorite sportscaster though). 

The latest debate has been what the Yankees should do in the outfield, since they have 6 players to fill 5 spots (LF, CF, RF, DH, Left Bench).  As of now, the Yankees are resigned to using Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner in CF and Left Bench, so that leaves Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Xavier Nady and Nick Swisher for the corners and DH.  With Hideki Matsui’s knees, he most likely cannot handle everyday use – relegating him to full-time DH, which leaves Damon, Nady, and Swisher for the corners.

The problem is, Damon fills the leadoff role for this year, has only 1 year left on his contract, and has been in the tail end of his carreer for a while now.  Because the potential to trade Damon now would HAVE to include the Yankees picking up a pretty big chunk of his contract, the Yanks are resigned to eat his contract and use him in LF (where his noodle of an arm doesn’t hurt as much). 

Now we are where everyone in the blogosphere is – Nady or Swisher for RF?  I will not bore you with the numbers that everyone has been throwing around, but I will give my 2 cents as to which player I think plays baseball the best. 

I watched Xavier Nady when he came up with the Mets and I liked him back then.  The problem is, he hasn’t really changed much from his Mets days to now.  He has become smarter as a swinger as a result of his ABs with the Pirates, but he hasn’t gotten better as a BATTER.  Let me explain – I was always of the mindset that a hitter gets MAYBE 1 pitch to hit in an at-bat, and if you miss it, you have to make due.  Nady does not currently have the patience to wait for his pitch – Johnny Damon and *gasp* Jason Giambi are notorious for this, as are many of the veteran Yankees players of the 1990s.  Nady currently will swing at a lot of pitches that are borderline and put them into play.  He does have enough bat control to put a pitcher’s pitch into one of the holes, thus bringing his BA up, but he does not have enough bat control – however – to foul those pitches off and wait for a pitch that he can drive. 

I have not watched Nick Swisher an enormous amount of times, so I cannot really comment on his plate dicipline aside from the stats that were compiled.  The most glaring stat: Nick Swisher had the highest Pitches per Plate Appearance in the MLB last year at 4.54 PPA – Jason Giambi’s was around 4.25.  This is a player who takes his time at the plate, and will make the pitcher work – forcing a manager to go to his bullpen earlier than he’d like, working his middle-releivers and short-releivers more than he’d like.  This has been the mantra of a LOT of Major-League teams as of late and I am a firm believer in it.

I think the Yankees Front Office must be tapped into my head, because it seems that they think the same thing I do😉

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