Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Realize You're Probably Tired of This, But. . .

The Reds are closing in on a deal for Orlando Cabrera. That may mean one less landing spot for Damon, leaving the Rays and the A's. It's not looking good for Johnny, but the longer he is on the market the more likely the Damon to Yankees speculation will arise again. Hell, it's already (re)started. Lupica still thinks the Yankees should make this happen. Why, you ask? Because, according to Lupica, the Yankees cannot win the World Series without Johnny Damon. That may have been true in 2009, but I hardly see why not having Damon precludes us from winning in 2010. It's not as though we lost Damon and didn't add any other players. What do you guys think?

Spring Preview: Right Field

Nick Swisher

2009 Stats: .249/29/82/.371

Nick Swisher is currently the only Yankees outfielder whose outfield position we actually know. The others may change, but this year, in right, will be Nick Swisher. Nickety Swish's most important contribution to the Yankees may be the more laid back atmosphere he brought into the clubhouse; and that despite his 29 home runs and 82 RBI. Prior to Swish's arrival, the Yankees did not allow music in the clubhouse before games. Swish didn't know that rule and took over DJing duties in Spring Training. It's mostly classical music, but still, it helped loosen up a clubhouse known for player interactions that were limited to passing the Grey Poupon from Rolls Royces (the main reason the new Yankees clubhouse is so large). Swisher's most important stat? .371. Swisher's OBP was 6 points higher than Johnny Damon's, and, considering he is an outfielder (and therefore faster than Nick Johnson), Swish may be the Yankees best fit in the number-two hole.

The most enduring image of Nick Swisher from the 2009 season came at the end of the World Series, when Swish marshaled a parade of Yankees while waving a giant World Series flag. Of course, this all turned to great controversy after the celebration. Swisher kept the flag, but the team claims the flag is theirs. There are ongoing negotiations over whether the flag will be returned to the team, or donated to the Hall of Fame.

2010 Prediction:

Nick Swisher will continue to hit for power from both sides of the plate, have 15 pitch at-bats, and get on base at an impressive clip. One day, a struggling Bobby Abreu will call Nick Swisher for advice. Nick responds, "Hey, remember that time I replaced you and then everyone forgot you were ever a Yankee?" Abreu weeps. Unbeknownst to Abreu, however, is that Swisher greets everybody that way.

Little Known Swisher Fact:

Swisher once grew a mohawk for charity. It was a pitiful creature, genetically engineered from the DNA of Mo Rivera and a hawk. Swisher learned that just because two things are awesome, doesn't mean you can combine them genetically and create a third awesome category. He never played God again.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Spring Preview: Catcher

Jorge Posada

2009 Stats: .285/22/82/1

Going into 2009, there were many questions surrounding Jorge Posada. How would he come back from shoulder surgery? How would he wear his hair? Would he kill AJ Burnett before the season was over? The answer to all of the above was, no. Posada had another strong offensive year for the Yankees, continuing to be one of their most valuable players. His batting average was 31 points higher than the league average for catchers. But his most important stat? 1. His total number of stolen bases. With that kind of speed, it will be easier for the Yankees to digest having the lethargic Nick Swisher in the number two hole. Posada has often been referred to as the soul of the Yankees, but the truth is he plays catcher. He has long been one of the 'enforcers' in the clubhouse. The Sonny to Jeter's Michael. Or maybe he's Clemenza. Either way, he's gangster, and the Yankees will need him to continue to play at the level he has if they are to continue their success.

2010 Prediction:

After a mysterious black eye appears on RHP AJ Burnett, and one of Hank Steinbrenner's horses goes missing, Posada becomes AJ's regular catcher. Posada then goes on to have another above average offensive year for a catcher. Half way through the season, a struggling Joe Mauer calls Posada for advice. Posada responds, "Try not being so tall, freak." Mauer weeps.

Little Known Posada Fact

Jorge Posada has super-human will power. How else do you explain his ever leaving the house with that wife of his?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Spring Preview: Third Base

Alex Rodriguez

2009 Stats: .305/30/100/0/1

Alex Rodriguez hit a home run in his first at bat upon returning from hip surgery. He managed to hit another 29 home runs in an injury shortened season. More impressively, all of those home runs came against the Red Sox and Angels, making A-Rod the most beloved and clutch Yankee to ever play the game. Alex then went on to carry the Yankees through the first two rounds of the playoffs. Although he only managed six RBIs in the World Series, like a coward. Perhaps Alex's most impressive 2009 stat: 0. The number of steroids he took that year. But the most important stat? 1. The number of hip surgeries performed on Alex Rodriguez in March. Clearly the key to A-Rod finally making something of himself was the hip surgery. It is in his best interest, therefore, to consider having the same procedure done again this Spring.

2010 Prediction:

Alex will hit 35 home runs. In one game. Against the Red Sox. On opening day.

Little Known Alex Rodriguez Fact:

One time, Alex helped save a Panda from extinction, by killing a Koala Bear. The man can't win for losing.

One Less Option for Damon?

Buster Olney is reporting via Twitter that Orlando Cabrera will today choose between offers from the Rockies and Reds. The Reds have been linked to Damon, but I wonder whether signing Cabrera, should he choose to accept their offer, would put the kibosh on a Damon deal being worked out.

Carton, of Boomer and Carton today brought up a good point. If Boras had a better deal out their for Damon, as he has claimed, why would he care whether or not the Yankees made an official offer or were prepared to move on to Johnson, Granderson and Vazquez? More specifically, why make such a public stink about it unless you realize the Yankees walking away also means you missed out on the best offer you could have gotten your client? You can never rule out Boras, but I don't see this ending well for Damon.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yankees Win Towers Sweepstakes

At the beginning of the winter there was some discussion of where former Padres GM Kevin Towers might end up, with the Yankees battling it out with the Mariners. Well, the Yankees won, and are expected to announce some time before Spring Training that Kevin Towers will be joining the Yankees.

Spring Preview: Shortstop

Derek Jeter

2009 Stats: .334/18/66/30

Did anyone stave off the effects of aging bettter than Jeter last season? After a dissapointing 2008 campaign, where he hit a measly .300, Jeter came back in 2009 ready to tear up the league. His inside out swing combined with a wind tunnel that leads balls to right field helped bring his power numbers up, but the most impressive thing to me was his 30 stolen bases. Jeter thrived at the leadoff position, and this year is a contract year for him. That should play heavily in how he performs.

Fearless Prediction:

Jeter wins an MVP. You heard it here first.

Little Known Jeter Fact:

In his last contract negotiation, Derek Jeter drafted, revised, signed and submitted his own contract, which the Yankees accepted without even looking at it. He's that gangster.

The Thing About Losing Damon

I realize many out there may be upset about losing Johnny Damon. I liked him a lot, personally, but there are two reasons why I don't mind losing him. The first is age. While I think Damon will still be productive next season, I can't guarantee it. The second and main reason, however, is that a big part of the reason we lost Damon is that we traded for Javy Vazquez, thus taking on his $12M contract, limiting our budget for Damon. No one, and I mean no one, has ever gotten bounced from the playoffs and said, "Left fielding determines championships and we just didn't have the left fielding."

Javy is a huge addition to what was essentially a three man rotation. He makes our pitching much deeper. Let's face it, we won the World Series with a three-man rotation only because the Phillies tried to beat us with a one-man rotation (Cliff Lee). One has to assume that we will play teams in the playoffs with more than one pitcher, and everyone knows pitching is what makes the difference in the post-season. Therefore, if having Johnny meant we were left with a three man rotation, one of whose members is pushing 38 and has struggled with tired shoulders late in the last two seasons, that would not be better for the Yankees. Yankees + Javy > Yankees + Damon. There, now you have mathematical proof.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yankees Continue Youth Movement

In another bid to get younger, the Yankees have shut the door on the possibility of signing 36 year-old outfielder Johnny Damon with the reported signing of 35 year-old outfielder Randy Winn. Winn is coming off his worse year ever, but the Yankees understand that younger players generally improve with time, while older players like Damon generally decline as they age even more. Perhaps Damon should think about never making the mistake of turning 36 again.

Spring Preview: Secondbase

Robinson Cano

2009 Stats: .320/25/85/5

Robinson Cano had one of his best seasons last year bringing his average up from his 2008 debacle, and hitting a career high in homeruns. The main issue with him was how terrible he did when runners were in scoring position. He would seemingly swing at garbage and ground out every time. And to prove it wasn't just perception, his average with RISP was .207. For comparison, when bases were empty his average was .376. He's a very talented hitter, and how he grows in this area will determine whether he will be seen as an elite hitter or just another really good hitter.

2010 Predictions

Facing the loss of his best friend Melky Cabrera, Cano will find an unlikely friend in pitcher Chad Gaudin. Chad teaches him how to hit with runners in scoring position, while Cano teaches Chad how to pitch against lefties. The two improve each other so much that Cano wins a batting title, and Chad gets a Cy Young vote...from Cano.

Little Known Cano Fact

Cano once high fived a bear and lived to talk about it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Nady Signs with Cubs, Yankees Respond with Greg Golson

It appears that outfielder Xavier Nady has signed a $3.3 million contract with the Cubs which has $2 million extra in incentives. In response, Brian Cashman quickly paused his Tetris game, and got on the phone. 15 minutes later, outfielder Greg Golson was on his way to the Yankees.

"I just wanted to upstage Nady's big announcement so I signed Greg Golson. Who the (expletive deleted) is Greg Golson?" Explained General Manager Brian Cashman.

Greg Golson is a triple A player who appears to have a lot of tools. Unfortunately, none of them are baseball related. Though he will be added to the 40 man roster, he has options which will basically ensure he stays down in triple A where the Yankees like to store outfielders.

"Its kind of like when you look in the fridge, and there's a Bud, Miller light, and Coors. No matter what you choose its going to suck, but since all the Sam Adams is gone, it will just have to do." Described Cashman.

Asked if he was still talking about outfielders, Cashman explained further:

"Remember that time I got Nick Swisher for Wilson Betemit? That was awesome."


Yankees Spring Preview: Firstbase

1B: Mark Teixeira

When Teixeira signed last off season, the first thing I thought was that we just added a 100 RBI, 30 homerun guy to our lineup. He is as consistant as they come, and last season was no different. Teixeira finished with a .292 average with 39 homeruns and 122 RBI. Though he didn't hit much in the post season, his bat was enough of a presence to keep pitchers honest. Further more, after years of seeing Jason Giambi stampede around first base, I had almost completely forgotten what a good first baseman looked like. Last season I was reminded as Teixeira turned in yet another gold glove performance. His defense was as advertised, and I still remember him throwing to second base and the ball reaching the secondbase man. I was stunned. It had been years since I saw a first baseman throw the ball to the second baseman and not have it land in left field.

Fearless Prediciton:

Last season was an adjustment year for Teixeira, next year the real Teixeira comes out, and the real Teixeira hits 50 homeruns and 130 RBI's. He will begin referring to himself as the Real Teixeira, and soon evolves into the Artist Formerly Known as the Real Teixeira, before he finally settles on Marky T by the end of the season.

Little Known Teixeira Fact:

Marky T swings logs at boulders in the off season to strengthen his swing.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Annual Spring Training Preview

Since we began this blog twenty years ago, we have taken the 25 days leading up to Spring Training to preview the Yankees expected 25 man roster. Normally my brother handles this task, as I'm usually too busy coming up with fake assignments to give Selena Roberts, but this year he decided to buy a house instead. As there are now only 20 days until Spring Training, and it just occurred to me that we hadn't begun our roster preview, some shortcuts will be necessary. Thus, today we will preview the entire starting rotation, which kills 5 birds with 1 post.

Starting Rotation:

Currently, our known starters are CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Andy Pettitte and Javy Vazquez. For the purpose of this post, I am going to assume that Phil Hughes will be the number 5 starter. This is not a commentary on Joba, it's just a guess that the Yankees will prefer to keep Joba in the 'pen.

The Yankees probably have the strongest 1 through 4 in Baseball. The BoSox certainly threaten for that title, but all their starters have as yet undiagnosed shoulder issues, which is going to be a big problem for them.

The Yankees, led by these five, can expect to win a little over 100 games.

Sabathia is your ace, taking the ball every fifth day and often giving the bullpen the night off. He's the point, the one expected to set the tone and lead the team. Burnett is the wild card. Will he throw towards home? Towards the backstop? You never know, and that's what makes him deadly. Pettitte is the grizzled veteran. He's seen it all, doesn't get flustered, and spends most of his time divying out words of wisdom to his younger compadres. Hughes is the rook. Very green, but he's got skills. The question is, will he be able to harness the raw talent or will his unrestrained cockiness put the whole mission in danger?

My Fearless Prediction:

The Yankees starting five will rescue the hostages, and not leave a single man behind.

Little Known Starting Rotation Fact:

One time, the Yankees starting rotation was stranded in a South American jungle. The Predator showed up, but he just asked for an autograph. Then, the rotation beat up Arnold Schwarzneggar, Carl Weathers, and Jesse the Body. It was awesome!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

For The Jets Fans

I know. It hurts. But think of it this way, the Yanks won the World Series and football is just a side show anyway, existing just to kill air time until Spring Training starts up again. If it makes you feel any better, at least they're not the Nets, or the Knicks for that matter. They went on an improbable run, and now the team that made that run possible ended it all. You lost to the best quarter back of our era, no shame in that. There's only one thing to do now: shake off the hangover, go to work, and look forward to pitchers and catchers.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Damon to Sign Soon?

Depending on who you believe, Damon either does or does not have a matter of days to accept a low offer from the Yankees before they move on. Damon himself claims he will have a new team within a week. Cashman is denying the deadline on a Damon offer from Rehab, were he sounds fairly irritable:

How long it’s taking certain people to wake up and smell the coffee, that’s what surprises me. When you get on the phone with agents, they tell you one thing, and certain agents can’t honestly believe what they’re trying to convey. Do they think I’m stupid? Source.

Being deprived of all Tetris and Tetris-based products will do that. Now, it remains to be seen whether Damon will be back in pinstripes or we will have some fourth outfielder type who, when attached to Gardner, we pretend equals a competent third outfielder.

Brian Cashman Enters Rehab

It has been widely reported that Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman will be entering rehab next week in order to confront a life-long, debilitating, addiction to Tetris. In recent weeks, reports had surfaced that Cashman had not been actively pursuing a left field candidate because he was too busy playing Tetris. Spurred by the love, concern, and support of his friends and family, Cashman made the decision Friday evening.

"He kind of hit rock bottom," explained one source close to the family. "He was busy playing Tetris in his den, when he managed to lose in like, level four, which is a level most horses can beat. His kids were like, 'You suck, Dad.' And that's when he knew. He did suck. He was throwing his life away for this game and he couldn't even get past level 9 anymore."

Dr. Drew Pinsky, an expert in addictive behaviors, explained why Tetris addiction is so debilitating. "When you first start playing you routinely get to level nine, ten, eleven even, before you die. But then, soon thereafter, you make it to level eighteen or twenty. The thing is, you can never get back there. You keep playing and playing, hoping to get that high again, but it doesn't happen. Before you know it, all you can muster is a measly level nine, or ten if you're lucky. Then it just spirals out of control. Eventually you start losing in earlier levels which just exacerbates the problem. You keep telling yourself it will only be one more game, and before you know it, your team has no qualified left field options."

The Brian Cashman/Rehab announcement follows on the heels of the revelation that Detroit's Miguel Cabrera recently completed rehab for alcoholism. "It's going to be great for him," stated Cabrera. "It's the first step, accepting you have a problem and that you need outside help. Hopefully, he can put the Tetris away for now."

The Yankees have removed all copies of Tetris and other games, such as solitaire and mine sweeper, from their office computers. They have also installed newer, stronger, online filters that will block all known versions of online Tetris, or Facebook scrabble.

The Yankees are standing behind their embattled GM. "We support Brian one-hundred percent," said one Yankees official. He's done a great job for us and we just want him to get better. A better left fielder would be nice too."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Brian Cashman Discusses Left Field

It had been a few weeks since we last spoke to everyone's favorite GM, Brian Cashman via satellite video phone. Since there is still a large, looming, ominous, question mark in left field, we thought it was time to call him up and hit him with our particular brand of RJG magic. The following is a transcript of what transpired:

BC: Hello?

RJG: Good morning, Bronny. How are you today?

BC: Fine until you called. Now I'd say that I'm mostly depressed.

RJG: Is that the Tetris theme I hear?

BC: No, I'm listening to the radio.

RJG: That's not the radio man, that's Tetris. I've played Tetris before, I know what the theme song sounds like, and I can see you playing Tetris on the satellite video phone. Right there, you just made a bad move.

BC: No, it's the New York Philharmonic covering the video game classics. I assure you I'm not playing Tetris.

RJG: What are you going to do about left field?

BC: Probably Gardner or something . . .

RJG: Will you pay attention?! Gardner wasn't good enough to be your regular center fielder, how is he going to be your starting left fielder when that is generally a much more offensive position than center?

BC: Well, we get above average production from center so left doesn't need a big block.

RJG: What?

BC: What?

RJG: You just said you don't need a big block in left.

BC: That doesn't sound like something I would say. Maybe you're hearing things.

RJG: How about revisiting Damon? I heard he's thinking about retiring. Why couldn't you do an incentive laden contract like you did with Pettitte last year in order to stay within your "budget."

BC: Yeah, we have a budget.

RJG: You're not listening to me are you.

BC: Uh-huh.

RJG: Bronny!

BC: What?!

RJG: What about Damon!

BC: I can't talk about other team's players.

RJG: He's a free agent!

BC: Nothing in life is free.

RJG: It's not all about you Bronny.

BC: Uh-huh.

RJG: I said, It's not all about you, Bronny!

BC: Oh, sorry.


There you have it folks. Brian Cashman remains hard at work searching for a better left field option.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Trophy Comes to Local School

The LoHud Blog is reporting that Yankees director of scoreboard and broadcasting Michael Bonner is bringing the World Series trophy to Queens on Wednesday, bringing it with him for career day at P.S. 166.

Clearly, the Yankees bringing a World Series trophy to Queens is the only way that would ever happen. The following is a predicted transcript of what will transpire that day:

Mrs Turner: Okay class, now Billy's dad, Mr. Bonner is going to speak. And he's brought us a special treat today!

Kids: Yay!

[Mr. Bonner stands up and walks to the front of the class, proudly clutching the 2009 World Series trophy.]

Bonner: Hey kids!

Kids: Hi, Mr. Bonner!

Bonner: I'm the scoreboard and broadcasting director for the New York Yankees, and this is the 2009 World Series Championship trophy for Champions. Any Questions? Yes, you.

Timmy: My dad says the Yankees suck and that they bought that championship trophy!

Bonner: Well, some people spend their money on championships and some people, like your father, I imagine, spend money on alcohol to make coming home to you more bearable.

[Timmy starts crying. Mrs. Turner stands to the side, completely stunned by what just transpired.]

Bonner: Anyone else? You.

Jimmy: So what do you do?

Bonner: Well, I manage the scoreboard and all the information that goes on it.

Jimmy: So you write the player's names and stats?

Bonner: No, a computer does that.

Jimmy: Do you put the pictures up?

Bonner: Noooo, a computer does that too.

Jimmy: Do you make the trains race? I like the D train, it's all like, choo-choo!

Bonner: That one's the computer as well. And it's a subway train, it doesn't go choo-choo.

Jimmy: So, do you fix the computers if they break?

Bonner: No, we have IT people for that.

Jimmy: Do you do anything at all? Why do you even have a job?!

Bonner: Well, I have a job so that I can pay taxes and subsidize your free lunch, Jimmy. So why don't you shut up now?

[Jimmy starts crying. Mrs. Turner is still stunned.]

Bonner: Anyone else? No.

Random kid in the back: I'm blinded by its awesomeness!

[The End.]

An Interesting Thought

One of our anonymous commenters mentioned in the previous post that Gaudin "gets hurt by lefties." I thought this was worth investigating. Through the course of various interviews with teammates, coaches, friends, and ex-girlfriends, it seems that Gaudin does indeed get hurt by lefties.

Recalled one anonymous first base coach, "I remember one time, A-Rod told Gaudin that his shirt didn't fit right, and Chad was all, 'Whatever A-Fraud!' A-Rod wept, but Chad didn't even blink. It just rolled right off him. Then Damon walked by and told him his shirt didn't fit right. I don't think Chad ate for a week. It's just different with lefties for him."

One childhood friend explained that Gaudin has always struggled with lefties, often getting hurt by them. "Chad never really had any luck with lefties. He dated a few righties, and when they'd break up, it was like he didn't care. He just went on with his life. He could almost never land a lefty. But one time, he dated a lefty, and when they broke up, I don't think he $#!% for a week. It was the weirdest reaction to a break-up any of us had ever seen. He definitely gets hurt by lefties. Bad! I think he still cries about it."

It would seem that Gaudin does get hurt bad by lefties, but the Yankees have decided to take a chance on him anyway, giving him a one-year deal worth much more than I make by paying endless attention to the Yankees. The Yankees, anticipating this signing, decided not to resign Damon in order to avoid Gaudin being hurt again by a lefty. Hopefully, the strategy pays off.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yankees Sign Gaudin and Logan

Looks like the Yankees avoided arbitration with Chad Gaudin and Boone Logan, signing the former for $2.95 million and the latter to a $590,000 deal. These are reasonable contracts for these players, considering that Gaudin made $2 million last season and Logan $427,500. With Mitre already signed to a $850,000 contract with incentives that can bring it to the $1.25 million range, the Yankees have acquired good rotation and bullpen depth for the low low cost of $4.4 million. And this got me thinking...What happens if come spring training Phil Hughes is pitching like the 2008 Phil Hughes, Joba's pitching like the 2009 Joba, and Gaudin is pitching like the 1892 Cy Young? Would the Yankees give Gaudin the 5th starter spot? Gaudin did pitch pretty good for us last season, though it was a small sample size, and the Yankees were not confidant enough to use him in the post season.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hairston May Be Going to Padres, Cashman Not Done Playing Tetris

A few interesting points about the Yankees: it appears that utility man extraordinaie Jerry Hairston Jr. will be going to the Padres. It also appears that he will make more than the $2 million the Yankees were willing to spend. When asked about losing Jerry Hairston Jr. Cashman did not look up from his handheld Tetris game.

"I was going to call his agent a week ago, but I started a game of Tetris instead and I haven't stopped since. It comes in the shower with me and everything. I've never gotten this far."

When asked about his strategy this off season Cashman responded:

"I have a few strategies that I put into practice. Mainly I like to stack the blocks until I get a straight line piece and knock down 4 rows at a time. I also like using the "T" blocks to fill in holes wherever they are."

When we specified that we were asking about his baseball strategy, Cashman explained:

"Baseball isn't all there is to life. There's also Tetris."

Has there been as slow a hot stove season in recent memory? Half the time we talked about the moves we made, then the other half we talked about next years hot stove season, and the worst part is, were still a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. When the Yankees sign a $2 million left fielder that will generate some buzz, but at this point, I'm just looking forward to the season opener.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yankees Sign Damon for 3 years, $6 Million

Okay, that's not true. But with very little to report, I figured I should give you some very exciting, albeit fake, news and then completely destroy your hopes by telling you it's not true. It hurts now, but it was exciting for a moment, and you'll appreciate that later when we sign some guy you never heard of to play left field every third Thursday.

Obviously, there's not much going on in baseball right now. The Yankees have been silent for weeks. Brian Cashman has been checking into work, playing solitaire for a solid 8-9 hours, then going home.

Meanwhile, Scott Boras is busily decoding Johnny Damon's DNA in order to show just how genetically durable his client is. That is the principle reason Damon hasn't signed yet. When teams call with offers, Boras say, "Wait! Not yet. Make me offers after I decode his genome." The effort is expected to take two years.

In other news, NBC has had an ugly late night fight on its hands that now threatens to cost them one of their biggest stars, Conan O'Brien. Rumors are that the YES Network is waiting in the wings, hoping to snatch up the late night host in order to replace color commentator David Cone. While the move may seem a little unorthodox, anyone who has ever seen rival baseball broadcasts on ESPN or Fox understands that in-game commentary is largely a joke now anyways, so it seems like a smart move.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Yankees Donate $500,000 to Haiti Releif, MLB Follows Suit

Yesterday it was reported that the Yankees would donate $500,000 to releif efforts in Haiti. I'm always impressed to see the amount of interest the Yankees show to different humanitarian efforts. When the Tsunami hit Asia a few years back, MLB made a million dollar donation that the Yankees matched. Later that year, the Yankees made another $1 million donation for the Katrina aftermath. It goes to show that having money doesn't necessarily make you greedy.

MLB has decided to donate a $1 million to the efforts in Haiti as well, and is encouraging fans to donate to UNICEF. From all accounts it is a catastrophe. One of the quotes from the article that stands out is from the Haitian Red Cross spokesman Pericles Jean- Batiste:

"There are too many people who need help," Jean-Baptiste said. "We lack equipment, we lack body bags."

It really doesn't sound good, and much like the Tsunami, rebuilding efforts will take a long time. So if you have some extra cash, or can make the sacrifice, we encourage you to follow the lead of the Yankees and MLB and make a donation.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

RJG on Mark McGwire, Video Edition

Just a few observations about the McGwire steroid admission. Sorry about the video quality. At some point soon, I plan to get either a better webcam or maybe on of those mini camcorders that are all the rage with the young folk. Enjoy!

Good Deal for the Melk-Man

According to a post at, Melky has inked a one year deal worth over $3M with the Braves, avoiding arbitration. Good for Leche.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mark McGwire Admits Steroid Use

The world learned yesterday what the world already knew: Mark McGwire used steroids throughout his career. Though all of us seemingly already knew that, the admission did take one person by surprise: Mark McGwire.

"I was kind of shocked to hear the admission." Explained the former Cardinals first baseman. "I mean I always suspected that I used steroids but was never sure. I saw myself before the congressional hearing, and I was like 'Man, I sound guilty.' but even then there wasn't smoking gun proof that I used. Then I came out and admitted it, and I finally realized that I used throughout my career."

Asked to elaborate, Mark continued.

"Well throughout the late 90's I was saying that I was on Creatine, and it made sense, but then I hit 70 homeruns, and I had to think that there's no way I was only using creatine. Then the Mitchell Report came out and I wasn't in it, so I thought maybe I didn't use, but then I thought back to my Oakland days and the vived memories of Jose Canseco jabbing needles filled with steroids into my butt, and I thought, boy I'm guilty, but I still had my doubts. Maybe it was creatine in those needles. Maybe it was flax seed oil or vitamin B12. Then when I admitted it last night, I finally realized that I did use steroids. Its crazy because I was my favorite player throughout the 90's, and now I feel like I let me down. My second favorite player, Derek Jeter, is now my favorite of all time."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Notes Around the Majors

It looks like everyone's favorite bachelor shortstop is ready to settle down. That's right Derek Jeter is allegedly set up to marry actress Minka Kelly. Its a strong move I beleive, seeing as Derek seemed to have a rebirth last season, playing up to his normal standards of greatness, while staving off the effects of age. However, this will be devastating to A-Rod, who recently became single to be more like Jeter.

Cuban phenom Aroldis Chapman has been signed by the Reds for 5 years and $25 million. Chapman is left handed and is projected to be a strikeout type pitcher. If this sounds familiar its because the Yankees also signed a lefty strikeout pitcher from the international market for 5 years and $20 million a few years back. His name is Kei Igawa. However, where the Reds have us beat is that they did not have to pay a posting fee for dozens of millions just to negotiate with him.

The Pirates are reportedly close to signing outfielder Ryan Church. Church played for the Mets last season before he was traded to the Braves. Church is a decent player who had a bad run with the Mets. Among his mishaps was a game where he scored the tieing run, but upon appeal it turned out he never touched third base, and was called out.

Lastly, if you noticed a decrease in my presence on the blog, its because I bought a house (aka RJG American Headquarters), and have been working tirelessly to put it in order. Once I have moved in, and settled down, I will be back to posting regularly. If you've noticed a decrease in the quality of my posts, its because I've been inhaling paint fumes from only the finest lead based paint available on the underground paint market. I do apologize.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

In Bold Change of Strategy, Rangers Get Older, Less Athletic

The Rangers have signed early retirement case waiting to happen, Vladimir Guerrero, to a one year deal worth about $5M. Cadillac Winchester, the Texas Rangers GM, has explained that the Rangers will no longer waste time developing young players just to see them sign elsewhere later.

"We've tried the get younger, cheaper, more athletic approach. It didn't work. Moneyball? More like waste of Moneyball. We've decided that our best bet is to get older, less athletic, less healthy, and more expensive. If this doesn't work, we'll probably just give up."

This RJG reporter thinks they already have.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Theo Gets Bored, Trades Kotchman

As best I can tell, the Red Sox either traded Kotchman to save a little money (after all, with Beltre signing and Youk still on the team, Kotchman wasn't exactly going to be seeing much time in the field, why pay him almost $3M?), or because Theo was bored and needed something to do. I'm leaning towards the latter, but this one has 'bored' written all over it.

When asked who he got in return for Kotchman, Theo responded, "I'm not sure. To be honest, I wasn't really paying attention. I was kind of bored."

Then there was this press release from the Red Sox:

Having nothing better to do the Red Sox have traded Casey Kotchman to the Seattle Mariners for something or other. We're kind of sure that this might certainly be a possibly good trade, but we weren't really paying attention. Do any of you have a deck of cards?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Yankee Notes RJG Style

It was reported yesterday that Sergio Mitre was signed by the Yankees for $850,000 with some performance incentives. The Yankees seem to be big believers in Mitre who pitched terribly last season but was coming off of Tommy John surgery. He did throw one quality start on August 29th against the White Sox, and it appears the Yanks saw enough in that one start to be avid beleivers.

Cashman said that he is looking for a right handed hitter for left field, so it sounds like the Yankees plan on platooning with Gardner. It also sounds like rule 5 pick Jamie Hoffman is not the solution despite his being a very affordable right handed batter. In some vaguely related news, right handed corner outfielder Eric Hinske just signed with the Braves. He may have been a good option for left considering his extremely average defense, but decent off-the-bench power. He's also right handed which would seemingly meet all of Cashman's criteria, but it wasn't meant to be.

Former Yankee, Randy Johnson officially retired a couple days back. We're late on reporting the news, but in fairness, his time here was largely forgettable. Despite this, Randy Johnson was a phenomenal pitcher, and his reaching 300 wins is evidence of that.

In other news, the hall votes were cast, and Andre Dawson was the only one who got in. Yes, Roberto Alomar, arguably the best second baseman of his era did not make the hall. Raines only got about 50% of the votes too. I really do not know what the hall voters are thinking.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sox Sign Adrian Beltre, Yankees Don't Care

The Red Sox have signed third baseman Adrian Beltre to a one year deal with a second year option. The move is interesting because it basically forces a trade of Mike Lowell. Beltre is an decent player. He was a consistant 20 homerun threat when he was with the Dodgers until his walk year when he hit 48 homeruns. He then returned to his 20 homerun status once he signed with the Mariners. He's a bit of a free swinger, and doesn't like to get on base without a hit, thus the reason for his 19 walks all last season. When healthy he is a gold glove player and that should be a boost for our rivals. Does this move better the Red Sox? Well, when Mike Lowell's healthy, they're very comparable players. Beltre has a little more power, but Lowell hits for a better average. Either way, Beltre should be a decent boost for them. A game changer? No.

So far, the Sox have stabilized several positions of need. Lackey gives them a strong starter, while Cameron and Scutaro bring a veteran presence to positions that were held down by rookie's for large parts of last season. They'll be more competitive, but I'm afraid the Sox picked a rough market to improve their team in. With the contracts they're handing out right now, I wonder how much of a presence they'll have in next years market. They have several contracts that are up next year, which could free up some dough for them, but they're also losing some key players including Becket and V-Mart. Could be interesting to see how next years market shapes out.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year

2010 looks to be an exciting year for baseball, if only because we're going into this year as reigning champs. There's been some turn over, some familiar faces gone, and some new faces coming in, but that's the ebb and flow of the sports world. The thing I'm most looking forward to this coming season is Derek Jeter. This is really the first time he'll be a free agent, which makes this his first walk year. Jeter had a very strong season last year, so its interesting to think what he may do next year. Its also interesting to think about how many years he'll sign for.

What are you all looking forward to this coming season?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Interesting Thought

In this Chicago Tribune column, a Mr. Rogers suggests that the Yanks and BoSox are saving up, not for next year's free agent class, but for the free agencies of Joe Mauer, Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez. He suggests that the Yanks have held onto Montero and Romine in order to entice the Twins when it becomes clear to them they can't afford to sign Mauer to an extension. It's an interesting idea that I've not seen anyone put forward up to now. The conventional wisdom is that the Yanks are probably saving up for next year's free agent class. It should be interesting to see what direction the Yanks go in in the next couple of years.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sorry for the Lack of Posts Today

I generally like to post at least once a day, but it's a little slow right now. The NY Post hasn't updated it's Yankees baseball news page since right before Christmas. The Daily News has only added Jason Bay coverage, which is about as interesting as House floor debates.

Hopefully soon, some sort of news involving the Yankees will break. Maybe they'll enter negotiations with a left fielder. Maybe Hal will get married and a week later get involved in a vicious divorce dispute with his now ex over who really owns the team. Maybe we find out that Howard Rubenstein is really an anagram for Steve Swindall (think about it), and that Steve has been running the team all along. Which brings me to an important point, why would you ever enter into business as partners with a guy named Swindall? That makes no sense.

So here's to news picking up over the next couple days. Who knows, maybe an Igawa for Zambrano deal is secretly being worked out as we speak, giving the Yanks the best 5 man rotation in the game, and giving us the best bullpen by allowing us to place Hughes and Chamberlain there. One can only hope.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The New Joe Mauers

Jordan has a shoe. Kobe has a shoe. Lebron has a shoe. And now, just in time for the 2010 season, Joe Mauer has a shoe. Presenting the new Joe Mauers:

Hey kids, want to play like your favorite catcher? Then you better throw away those old cleats, as they can't handle the heat of a Minnesota spring. In anticipation of Minnesota's new open air stadium, Bauer (TM) has teamed up with Joe Mauer to design the perfect on-field cleat. Combining an innovative single spike system with an unusually high ankle, these cleats, the official on-field cleat of the Minnesota Twins, make it easier for Joe Mauer to crouch, explode on his delivery to second, and swiftly round the bases. Remember, when deciding what cleats to buy, it's only Bauer for Mauer!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone out there in RJG land. Here's to another year of healthy respect for the gangster that is Jeter's. This last year saw a lot of growth for the blog, as we single handedly led the Yankees to another World Series championship. We also advanced computer generated cinematography with our first video blog, and first full length movie, Avatar. 2010 promises more growth, as we continue to expertly analyze every aspect of the Yankees year, both on the field, off the field, and in between the field and off the field. That is very comprehensive, and we're the only blog that is FDA approved for use during pregnancy. We continue to stand by our commitment to pre-natal safety so that Manny can continue to read us regularly. So keep on visiting the site and hitting the refresh button every few minutes for updates. Good friends of the blog like Yankees GM Brian Cashman will continue to drop by, and you don't want to miss out on their insider insight. So have a happy new year citizen, and don't forget to respect Jeter's gangster!