Saturday, December 29, 2012
In other news, the Yankees signed former Braves outfielder Matt Diaz to a minor league contract. The deal is worth $1.2 million guaranteed if he makes the big league club and $800,000 in incentives. The Yankees hope that Diaz will balance out their lefty-leaning outfielder. My guess is that Diaz will make it on the team to fill the role that Andruw Jones had last season.
In other baseball news, A.J. Pierzynski signed a one year $7.5 million contract with the Rangers. This is the type of contract that the Yankees should be all over, and I have to think that the fact that they let this one year deal go, indicates that they are committed to developing Austin Romine as their everyday catcher.
Monday, December 24, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
In the meantime, the Blue Jays just got a little bit better trading for knuckle-baller and Cy Young winner RA Dickey. The Blue Jays smell blood in the water as the Yankees and Red Sox are vulnerable. The Red Sox signed Stephen Drew to play shortstop for a season, and Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima signed with the Athletics a year after he turned down offers by the Yankees to play backup to Jeter.
Super exciting times in baseball.
Friday, December 14, 2012
In Yankees related new, the Yankees continue to close in on Ichiro, and it looks like it'll be the first multi-year offer they make this year. The report says that Ichiro had a 2 year, $14 million contract on the table from the Phillies, so the deal would have to at the very least match that.
Josh Hamilton has agreed to terms with the Angels on a 5 year $125 million contract. Reports now indicate that Nick Swisher is being heavily pursued by the Indians who recently traded outfield Shin-Soo Choo likely to make way for Swish. The Red Sox continued their off season frugal purchasing spree by signing Ryan Dempster to a two-year deal worth $26.5 million.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
With the Yankees closing in on Ichiro, we now need to consider which right-handed outfielder would best compliment Ichiro. Several names have been thrown out there, but I'm going to suggest Delmon Young. Let's look past the fact that he can't take a walk, strikes out way too much, isn't great on defense, and was arrested for becoming belligerent and yelling anti-Semitic slurs in New York last year. Delmon Young hit last post-season. He hit .353 and .357 in the ALDS and World Series last year, drove in 9 runs throughout the playoffs, and hit 3 homeruns. He was the antithesis of the Yankee offense. And because of everything mentioned before, he should be pretty affordable. Yes he has severe emotional issues, and he would have to prove himself truly repentant over that incident last season, but he may be a good balance for Ichiro's speed and contact type hitting. But then again, looking past his stupid comments is hard enough to do.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Now that Nix has been outrighted to AAA, I think we need to have a serious conversation about third base. Should we really be throwing $12 million at Kevin Youkilis? Put aside his face for a moment. Youkilis, if healthy, is a solid player and a gamer. A Paul O'Neill type if there ever was one. He's friends with Jeter and wouldn't be any sort of clubhouse problem. But $12 million?
Does anyone remember Scott Brosius? Do we really need a $12 million player at third to win a championship? Why not let Nix play? If we really need an upgrade after this season, we can think about it next year, and we wouldn't be in any different position than we would be if Youkilis accepted his overpriced one year deal anyway.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
With the Winter Meetings now over, it is time to reflect on the Yankees' comings and goings in Nashville, TN. Obviously, not much happened this week. Or is it so obvious? Was it really a wasted week?
No. On Tuesday, when Cashman arrived a day late because he was rappelling down a building in Connecticut, he had a steak. For lunch. We openly questioned his selection of a Caesar side salad, but felt he redeemed himself with his choice of amaretto digestif. Classy.
On Wednesday, Cashman was spotted at the hotel's gym. Treadmill? Really? We were hoping for some tickets to the gun show, but Cashman never even approached a dumbbell.
Thursday was more of the same. Power lunches, questionable sides, and uninteresting but sound workouts. I think it is fair to say that Cashman's performance at these Winter Meetings was lackluster, but consistent. Consistently nothing. I hate your face so much right now!
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Monday, December 3, 2012
The big news coming out of the Winter Meetings is that it takes a Hank Steinbrenner exactly one off-season in charge to completely derail the team's budget and infield. Now that A-Rod is having another hip surgery&mdashonly this time on the other hip&mdashthe Yankees can now shift focus from right field and catcher to third base.
There is also a vicious rumor that Jeter has gotten fat. There is even a picture they say. But anyone can look fat if they're photographed. When you close your eyes and picture Jeter in all his Jeterian glory, is he fat? Didn't think so. So stop telling your friends Jeter is fat. You know it's not true and this is how rumors start.
Back to A-Rod. Begrudgingly. The Yankees now need to find a third baseman. Let's face it, A-Rod is no longer our third basemen. He's now had surgery on both hips, and he had already lost quite a bit of pop since the last surgery. Since we insist on keeping Nunez as an infielder, can we at least shift him to third? Sure, he may still need to play short at the start of the season, but maybe he can play deep and cover both positions. He's got the erratic arm for it, and it would save us money on payroll.
Man do we need Ichiro already. Just give him a new bat humidor and be finished with it. This is stupid now. Oh, and just let Cervelli catch. You can trade for a first baseman with pop who pretends to be a catcher come the deadline, just ask the Mariners. Oh snap! I think Cervelli has had his dreams kicked around enough that the least we can do is humor him for a few months. Hey, maybe he'll surprise us.
A recent development is that A-Rod will need hip surgery again, and will miss part of the season. The good news is that perhaps it was an injured hip that accounted for his reduced offense last season, and a repaired hip could return his pop, the bad news is, this is his 2nd hip surgery in the last three years.
The even better news is that the winter meetings are underway, and this means that we could see some crazy Cashman trades or free agent signings soon.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Stay with me on this one. On Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets got into a fight with the Boston Celtics on the way to defeating the pride of the TD Bank Garden. You see, along with the Brooklyn aesthetic of the new uniforms, the newly located Nets have also adopted a bit of the Brooklyn attitude. Well, the old Brooklyn attitude, not the current hipster-defined "apathy" that pervades the increasingly pointless and ever faraway borough.
Wouldn't we love our Bombers to do a bit of the same? Wouldn't it be nice if they had some Bronx in them instead of always calmly explaining to the press how the eight hit Yankee batters in today's game were all likely unintentional? Wouldn't it be nice if we got a little mad when every at-bat in the postseason proved futile instead of simply blowing large bubbles with our big-league chew on the way back to the dugout?
All the Nets needed was to make Jay-Z a nominal partner, giving them an excuse to move the team to Brooklyn. But while Jay-Z may not make many of the business decisions, he brings a level of street-cred to the organization that they seem to be feeding off of.
If only the Yankees had some of that. You get the sense that rather than start a brawl, my kid has a thing later and the sponsors and whatnot. Even when Derek Jeter literally broke his ankle trying to make something of this postseason, the best we got was Nick Swisher saying the fans hurt his feelings. Why not tell the fans to go @#$& themselves, smack one of them in front of their mother, and then get a hit an inning later with a man on second? Why?
Oh, and Russell Martin just signed a two-year, $17 million deal with Pittsburgh. "Too rich for my blood," says Hal. Also, we were busy nailing down deals with two players who were unwilling to play anywhere else, so there's that.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
It was a brisk November evening when we met with a free agent player who's identity will remain anonymous out of respect for his on going negotiations. Sitting in a midtown cafe, this player revealed to us the real problem with the off season.
"Us players are scared of the fiscal cliff." He said.
"What?" We answered.
"No one wants to sign a multi-million dollar contract without knowing if it will be taxed at the Clinton era tax rates, or at the Bush era tax rate. Its keeping us all fearful of signing a deal."
Still confused, we pushed on.
"How will your decision be different if you're under the Clinton era tax rates as opposed to the Bush era rates?"
"How won't it be different? Here in the states, I could sign a deal for $13 million a year, but under the Clinton era tax rates, I'll be seeing much less of that. So if the Clinton era tax rates are instituted, I think I'll go overseas. I'll make about $10 million less, but at least I won't be taxed as highly for it."
"So you would take a $10 million dollar pay cut to avoid paying higher taxes?"
"Yes. You don't understand how hard it is. My oldest will be 18 soon. How will I afford to send them off to school in outerspace?"
"Yeah, you know, to study the universe. How else will they do it? With a telescope? Like some animal? Only in Obama's America."
It turns out this sentiment was widely felt throughout the baseball world. Non-free agent, but holder of the largest free agent contract ever, Alex Rodriguez, expressed his concerns on the matter.
"I understand why players are worried. You can't expect to increase taxes on us, and have us be okay. I mean, we're job creators. How will I keep creating jobs if I only get to hold onto millions of dollars instead of millions and millions of dollars? Its incredibly selfish."
Asked what jobs he was creating, A-Rod surprisingly gave some concrete examples.
"Just last year, my underperformance made the Yankees sign Eric Chavez. It also made them trade for Casey McGehee mid season. That's two jobs I created that would have never existed had I not been taxed under the Bush era tax rates."
Asked how the Bush era tax rates had anything to do with those two players getting brought to the Yankees, A-Rod answered:
"Well it happened under the Bush era tax rates, so there has to be a correlation."
So there you have it. The fiscal cliff is scaring free agents from signing contracts here in the states, causing the slowest hot stove season in recent memory.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
With the winter proceeding at a snail's pace, we decided it was time to call up good friend of the blog, Yankees GM Brian Cashman, to find what was going on. The following is a transcript of our conversation:
RJG: Good morrow, sir! How is the Bronniest of the Cashman's doing this fine evening?
BC: Fine I gue . . . wait, what?
RJG: How are you doing this fine evening?
BC: Yeah, I get that, but you just said 'good morrow'. Bid me. You just bid me 'good morrow'.
BC: Well is it morrow or evening?
RJG: Well, uh . . . hmm . . . you see . . . the thing is, we're in different time zones, so that's probably the cause of the confusion.
BC: I can see your area code on my caller ID, we're not in different time zones.
RJG: That's not really the point is it? I mean, seems like you're just being mean right now for no reason.
BC: I'm sorry. You're right. It's just that I'm frustrated with my Christmas gift ideas and I'm taking it out on you, which is unfair.
RJG: Christmas gifts, huh? I can help you with that. What do you got so far?
BC: Well, for my wife, I was thi . . .
BC: . . . nking . . . wait, what?
RJG: Ex-wife. For your ex-wife you were thinking.
BC: It's not final yet.
RJG: When the New York Post has a whole series of articles on your affair with a crazy woman, it's pretty final.
BC: Are you going to help me or not?
RJG: I can't help you if you won't be honest with me, and that starts with you being honest with yourself.
BC: For my WIFE I was thinking a 3D TV.
RJG: Seems expensive, but you can afford it. What's wrong with that idea?
BC: The 3D thing bugs me a bit.
RJG: Pray tell.
BC: Well, it's just a weird technology. Like, when you watch a movie at home, how often do you sit there and think, 'Man, if only I'd paid an extra $1000 for this TV so I could wear sunglasses while watching it?'.
RJG: How hungover am I?
BC: Like a standard hangover.
RJG: You're right, I never think that.
BC: You see?
RJG: Yeah, that's a dilemma. Well what else you got?
BC: Well, my daughter is a big Star Wars fan and I thought about the Blu-Ray set for her.
RJG: Sounds reasonably thoughtful. What's the issue with that one?
BC: Well, they wen't a little overboard with the extras.
RJG: Totally! I wish George Lucas would stop fussing with the originals and just leave them in the brilliant form we all remember from our childhood!
BC: No, I mean like the deleted scenes and stuff.
RJG: What's wrong with the deleted scenes? Fans love stupid $#!% like that.
BC: Yeah, but there's some weird stuff on there. Like, you know that scene in A New Hope when the guy loading R2 into Luke's X-Wing is all, 'Don't you want a new droid? This one's a piece of crap!' And Luke is all, 'No way man, me and that droid have been through a lot together'?
BC: Well, in the original scene Luke delivers that line and then knowingly looks at R2. Then they immediately cut to a flashback love scene between the two.
RJG: That's #%&@ing weird.
BC: Yeah, and then there's this really awkward scene where 3PO finds out about it.
RJG: I can see why you don't want your kids exposed to that.
BC: You see my dilemma? I'm pretty much nowhere with this stupid list!
RJG: I know what you can get! You can get Yankees fans a finished roster. Or something like that. You know, doing your job and the like.
BC: It's not all about you, RJG.
RJG: You do know my name isn't RJG, right?
Well there you have it folks! The Yankees' winter plans are in process and soon we will all have a team to be proud of.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
With Baseball news fairly limited at the moment, RJG has continued to visit local theatres in order to preserve our connection to broader cultural trends. Recently I saw Skyfall, the 103rd Bond film, and the third starring Daniel Craig in the title role (the two films in which he played the minor role of Ms. Moneypenny are less fondly remembered).
2006's Casino Royale introduced us to a different Bond, one not reliant on (encumbered by?) fancy gadgets and inexplicable acrobatic equilibrium. When a bad guy jumps through a small window in a building currently under construction, this new Bond simply crashes through the drywall paneling. No more grace. A blunt instrument.
Fast-forward to 2012 and Skyfall begins with an opening sequence that harkens back to the pre-Craig Bond films. Bond can do everything the bad guys can do in this film, only with more grace and skill. He can ride motorcycles on Turkish roof tops (oddly, the same roof tops that Taken's daughter ran along throwing grenades and evading bad guys just a couple months earlier). He can slide down the metal sided islands separating escalators, propel off the end, and land in a running sprint (not simply on his feet mind you). He can tear the back off a train with a bulldozer, jump onto the train from the bulldozer's arm, land on his feet, quickly adjust one of the cufflinks that helps complete a suit that cannot be stained by blood or dirt, and keep chasing a bad guy. Admittedly, that was awesome and beyond criticism.
This new, more familiar version of Bond, however, is a development of dubious welcome. By the end of the film, you have an M, a Ms. Moneypenny, and an M's office that all harken back to Dr. No. Hardly the new Bond audiences fell in love with in Casino Royale.
This return to the Bond of yore is in line with the film's central critique of a contemporaneity blinded by the promise of the democratizing force of new technology and its supposed promise to create entirely new economic arrangements that transcend prior economic relationships. Not so fast, cries Skyfall, even an online and service based economy will still rely on the 'antiquated' modes of production necessary for making actual things. You can't eat an app, or sleep in one, after all.
The central message of this Bond film is simple: old $#!% is great! Hence it ends the way we remember old Bond films beginning. But in its critique of technological idealism it seems to forget that while we may never be able to fully part with the old, we cannot remain in some sort of nostalgia-defined reality. Bond's not trying to hear that though. The most it will do to acknowledge changed times is engage the platitude that some of our best secretaries are black! (Ms. Moneypenny is now black, so racism is over). Everything else stays the same.
But this isn't the biggest problem with the film. The biggest problem is that Daniel Craig spends the better part of this film pulling a previously unnoticeable gun out of a very form fitting suit. Where the hell was he keeping that thing?
Friday, November 16, 2012
The Yankees seem headed for a winter of discontent, or at least mediocre acquisitions. With such gloom hovering over the future of the team, it was time to fire up the old satellite video phone and call good friend of the blog, Yankees GM Brian Cashman. The following is a transcript of our conversation:
RJG: Yes, hello, this is a courtesy call from your electricity provider. Is your refrigerator running?
BC: Um, why yes I believe it is.
RJG: Well [muffled giggling] then you better run after it. [uncontrolled laughter].
BC: Wha?! Huh?! Who is this?! I demand satisfaction!!
RJG: Relax Bronny. You've been drinking again. Why are you letting Toronto show you up so bad?
BC: While I am still furious, I will answer your question. What you have to understand is, the last couple of years have shown what happens when teams not named the Yankees try to throw money at their roster problems. Look at the Miami and Boston fire sales this past season. Toronto is just repeating an age old mistake at least two years old.
RJG: So far that seems a lucid explanation, but how are you going to build your own roster knowing you are facing a $189 million fiscal cliff?
BC: We have to rethink the game, streamline processes, make our roster more efficient.
RJG: Yeah, but you've already got like $150 million dollars wrapped up in seven players for 2014. How do you find a way to spread the remaining money to the rest of the 40-man.
BC: Well, there's a perfect example of an opportunity to rethink the game. 40-man? Why 'man'? Under federal law, if we hire women, we can pay them $.70 on the dollar. Or why '40'? Do we really need '40' players on the roster when you can never have more than nine on the field at a given moment?
RJG: It doesn't seem like you're taking this serious.
BC: Why do we need so many utility infielders? Why do we need so many infielders at all? With today's shifts, do we really need a second baseman? We have to rethink the game. Find inefficiencies, and exploit them to our advantage.
RJG: What have you been drinking and is it legal in my home state?
BC: Yes and no.
RJG: That doesn't make any sense.
BC: It isn't all about you, Respect Loser Pranksters.
There you have it folks. The Yanks have a strong plan for building their roster in the foreseeable future.
2013 - Sign aged veterans to one year deals.
2014 - Sign aged veterans to one year deals again.
2015 - Spend lavishly!
How does this work? Well basically, the Yankees mandate is to be under $189 million for 2014, and one of their key stars (Cano) is a free agent after next season. These two points are going to make the Yankees timid about signing any deals into the year 2014. Once the Yankees have picked up a ton of 1 year players for 2013 at a low cost, these positions will be open for 2014 when the Yankees will likely pick up a bunch of 1 year players at low costs again in addition to signing Cano. Then in 2015, after two years of mediocrity, the Yankees will strike! The luxury tax rate will be reset, and they'll be happy to start paying for some big free agents.
So there you have it. The long term plan, is short term deals.
Two days ago, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey won the Cy Young, and last night Miguel Cabrera won the MVP. Dickey, at age 38, can throw a 60 mph knuckleball, and an 80 mph version, the result of which is success at the major league level. Miguel Cabrera overcame alcoholism and a host of related personal problems to become the best hitter in baseball this season, and win the first triple crown since Yastremski. Some sabermatricians may have preferred Mike Trout, but Cabrera won a triple crown. Some prefer Trout's intangibles, but Cabrera won a triple crown. Some like Trout's hussle, but Cabrera won a triple crown. Are you following the argument?
Lastly, during the last off season, the Rays picked up something like 50 first and supplementary round draft picks because of free agents signing with other teams. That means that they had they were able to draft a ton of players in the early round of the 2012 players draft. Although this probably means nothing for this year, the Rays tend to draft and develop players well, so expect the Rays to have a host of hungry young players around the same year that we're expected to be under $189 million on our payroll.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
The Yankees have aimed to be under $189 million in 2014, but this number includes every player on the 40-man roster, not to mention all the benefits, travel expenses, health insurance premiums etc, that Cashman said was about $10-12 million, putting the effective payroll goal at $177 million. Payroll is decided on the average annual value of a players contract, so even though A-Rod is set to make $25 million in 2014, the average annual value of his contract is $27.5 million. The Yankees currently have 4 players signed into 2014:
CC Sabathia - $24.4 million
A-Rod - $27.5 million
Teixeira - 22.5 million
Jeter - $9.5 million (Player's Option)
Total - $83.9 million
In other words, nearly half of the projected payroll budget for 2014 is already allotted to 4 players. The Yankees also are interested in signing Cano to a long term deal after next season, and though no one knows how much he'll make, he's currently playing for $15 million. Signing Cano will give the Yankees 5 players that are making well over half of their projected payroll.
The Yankees currently have a whole host of openings that they're unwilling to spend big on. They can probably get around this by offering a lot of 1 year deals, but this really just pushes the problem off to next year. So in conclusion, Cashman either needs to pull off a Red Sox/Dodgers style salary dump trade of Granderson, A-Rod and Teixeira, or we'll be seeing a lot of names in our lineup that we're not familiar with.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
"What do you mean, 'swept'?"
The question punctuated the devastation in the room. No one was prepared for it. No one saw it coming. No one.
It didn't change the reality. The Yankees would not be the World Series champions.
For months experts had warned that the Yankees did not have the hitting with RISP to win the World Series. They scored runs, but not against elite pitching. The numbers didn't lie.
The Yankees, insulated by their own private media apparatus with a narrative of its own, assured us—or perhaps just themselves—that the 'experts' were wrong. The 'experts' weren't taking into account the return of Pettitte, explained the information bubble in which the Yankees had insulated themselves. The 'experts' didn't understand that a September of playoff-intensity baseball had given the Yankees the momentum necessary to carry them to a championship. They just didn't get that the Yankees were going to be the champions. Had to be.
It didn't change the reality.
There were rumblings that this loss would chasten the Yankees. That it would force them to rethink their power-heavy approach to building a line-up. Remind them that you have to welcome more diverse types of hitters into the roster.
“If you have a philosophy you believe in, that’s been tested, I have no problem with people asking about it, clearly trying to challenge it, trying to dissect it and tear it apart. But I am not going to turn myself into the Bronx Bunters because all of a sudden we didn’t hit for this week in October. That’s not our DNA. That’s not what makes us successful and that’s certainly not what’s getting us in the postseason every year but one year since I got here.” (Source).
Now the Yankees face a winter of uncertainty. They deal with an utterly reconfigured landscape. Other teams have power hitters too, and they're younger, and they also have pitching. The demographic advantage that once seemingly allowed the Yankees to buy up postseason appearances had faded.
For years, the threat of moneyball had been mocked. The Oakland A's, after all, never even won an ALCS. But now teams that had learned the lessons of moneyball, and had spent redistributed revenue-shared dollars—dollars that leveled the playing field and gave everyone a shot—smartly, were now in the ascendancy.
Will the Yankees compromise with their own legacy, or will they insist that the only path to a Championship is the one they remember nostalgically from yesteryear?
Only time, and at least $189 million, will tell.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Monday, November 5, 2012
Friday, November 2, 2012
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
There has been some speculation in the comments recently about whether RJG survived the greatest storm ever known to man. But RJG is not a man. It cannot die in a hellish blaze of rainy fury. RJG is an idea. Intangible. Immortal. It's like the soul. Only real. And funny.
But yes, we did survive the storm. And while our computer systems were seriously damaged, that is largely because we decided to test their sea soundness by affixing sails to our laptops and attempting to boat race them. Needless to say, the laptops sunk almost immediately, but I still say mine won.
Now all we can do is wait until the Yankees sign Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, Ichiro Suzuki, David Wright, Raul Ibanez, Nick Swisher, and BJ Upton. In about three more days, we should begin seeing movement on this front.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Yes they did. And, oh yeah, San Francisco won too. Ha! See what I did there? 'Cause the New York Football Giants also won yesterday. It's okay, I'll give you a minute to compose yourself.
Now that you're done basking in the glow of my genius (no, your screen's brightness settings have not changed), we can all focus on what is really important: in six days, the Yankees will be able to make stunning, we're serious about this, don't even bother trying to outbid us style offers to every big-name free agent on the market. Yes, what has come to be known as the Miami Marlins Protocol.
You might think to yourself, 'Wait. Didn't that plan fail miserably?' Yes. It did. But the Yankees do not play in Miami, and they have money, and it wasn't called the 'Miami Marlins Protocol' back then, a much cooler name that has replaced the plan's previous title, 'desperate to make Miami care about something other than the fact Castro is still in power'.
Now, once the protocol goes into effect, the Yankees line-up will look something like this:
1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Josh Hamilton, RF
4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Mark Teixeira, 1B
6. Alex Rodriguez, DH
7. David Wright, 3B
8. BJ Upton, LF
9. Mike Napoli, C
Our pitching staff will look like this:
1. CC Sabathia
2. Hiroki Kuroda
3. Andrew Pettitte
4. Phil Hughes
5. Ichiro Suzuki
6. Ivan Nova
7. Rafael Soriano
8. David Phelps
9. David Robertson
10. Joba Chamberlain
11. Boone Logan
12. Mariano Rivera
One name on that list of pitchers may surprise you, but Ichiro is not going to accept a bench spot, and with the outfield taken up by Granderson, Hamilton, and Upton, there will be nowhere on the field to put Ichiro. However, offering him a spot in the starting rotation would likely placate his ego, further fueling his desire to remain a life-long Yankee.
Our bench will be as follows:
1. Nick Swisher
2. Raul Ibanez
3. Eduardo Nunez
4. Miguel Cabrera (for whom we will trade)
With this team in place, the Yankees will go on to secure the best record in baseball by mid-June, only to blow it by late August, stumble across the finish line as division winners, and then, exhausted by having to keep some group of Johnny-come-latelies at bay, will falter in the early rounds of the playoffs.
You gotta admit though, that's an impressive line-up!
Friday, October 26, 2012
With the World Series standing in the way of our winter dealings getting underway, we here at RJG are forced to find other means of keeping ourselves busy other than baseball. You might be thinking, 'Shouldn't you get a job?' Maybe, but, frankly, the government should just give me money, food, healthcare, and housing, so I'm not going to do something they should be doing anyway.
I will go see movies however, and recently I sat through a private screening of Taken 2. It wasn't really a private screening, but because it was a matinee on a weekday, it felt like it.
The movie begins with a series of scenes that don't really make sense but set up the premise of the movie: Liam Neeson and his no longer annoying ex-wife are taken while vacationing together in Istanbul.
You might wonder, why are Liam Neeson and his no longer annoying ex-wife vacationing together? What about her loving, devoted, super-wealthy second husband? Well, don't worry about it. While you never see him, you're assured they're separated. They had a family trip planned which he cancelled last second, and Lenore (just remembered her name) is frustrated because all the communication is through lawyers now. This is somewhat weird since they're just separated, not divorcing, and had apparently planned a trip to China together, but apparently that was not done ex parte.
It doesn't matter though. Kim has a boyfriend now. That also doesn't matter, but the script writers decided we should know about it anyway.
What matters is they're all in Istanbul, hanging out, rekindling old flames, when the father of Marco from Trepoje shows up with like a million nameless bad guys in track suits and old man sweaters, and kidnaps Neeson and 'Lenny'. Oh yeah, she doesn't mind being called 'Lenny' at any point in this movie, which I found an odd character departure. Thing is though, you're supposed to like her in this movie, otherwise you wouldn't care that she gets kidnapped.
With both Neeson and Lenny in the hands of Albanian thugs, Neeson uses what looks like an iPod Shuffle to call Kim, who, it turns out, is quite adept at handling heavy munitions, running along rooftops, and navigating a foreign urban landscape with no clear reference points.
She gets a gun to Neeson (Brian is it?) and the movie finally gets underway, as Neeson kills a bunch of people and gets in some car chases with his daughter driving the car and him shooting.
The best part of this movie was the Skyfall trailer that was shown right before it. That movie looks AMAZING!
Taken 2 will satisfy your desire to see minor characters in whose destruction you're not invested get destroyed, but that's about it. A solid rental if you've been smoking pot all day and are in no position to process dialogue, plot, linear thinking generally, or stable cinematography (thank you Bourne trilogy for ruining every fight sequence ever). But seriously, go see this Skyfall trailer. It's worth it.
So in the future, if your significant other asks how you picked the Tigers to sweep the World Series, you can tell them that it was the experts! Then they'll love and trust your money management abilities and general life skills. There's no down side to this plan. None.
As always, A-Rod and his ridiculous contract will always bring him, well, ridicule. But its not his fault that Hank Steinbrenner was bamboozled. I blame that on Hal. I mean wouldn't you sign the largest contract in baseball if it was offered you? But now the Yankees need to commit to MLB Betting to best make up the difference on that deal. He's signed through 2017, and he'll be a .230 bench player, making $20 million. Fair? No. But it is the Yankee way. Just as selling ads to keep us posting in our spare time is the RJG way.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Mariano Rivera - $15 million
Nick Swisher - $10.25 million
Hiroki Kuroda - $10 million
Russell Martin - $7.5 million
Freddy Garcia - $4 million
Pedro Feliciano - $3.25 million
Andy Pettitte - $2.5 million
Andruw Jones - $2 million
Raul Ibanez - $1.1 million
Eric Chavez - $0.9 million
David Aardsma - $0.5 million
Some contracts that call for a pay reduction for next season:
Alex Rodriguez - $1 million
And some contracts that God willing, will be opted out of:
Rafael Soriano - $14 million
Assuming all of these things come to pass the Yankees will have $72 million coming off the books. However, this is offset by some pay raises:
Derek Jeter: $1 million raise
Robinson Cano: $1 million raise
Curtis Granderson: $5 million raise
And of course 7 or so arbitration eligible players who made a combined $14.2 million this year, and will get a pay bump for next season. The Yankees can limit how much goes to arbitration eligible players by dropping some under performers (Casey McGehee made $2.5 million this season, and would likely get a pay increase for next year. There are plenty more infield options available for cheaper!)
Further more, all those contracts coming off the books leaves the Yankees with a bunch of holes in their 25 man roster. The Yankees will be on the market for a right fielder, a catcher, 2 starters, a closer, possibly a setup man, a designated hitter, and possibly a couple of bench players or relievers.
So in short, there is about $72 million due to come off the books (assuming Soriano opts out), $7 million of that will go to pay raises to Jeter, Cano, and Granderson, and lets say an additional $5 million goes to settling arbitration contracts. That leaves the Yankees with $60 million, but the Yankees won't want to spend all of it because they're trying to reduce payroll. So if they pocket $8 million, and invest $52 million back into the team, what will that look like? Can you get 2 starters, a catcher, a right fielder, a closer, and a DH for that much? And if we rely on signing lots of 1 year contracts to fill these spots, what do we do in 2014 when we have to be under $189 million, and have to fill all these holes again?
Back on March 1st, Hal Steinbrenner explained how the Yankees would get under $189 for 2014:
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Rafael Soriano was paid too much money last season. Nick Swisher was paid too much money last season. Both contracts are coming off the books, which means that too much money is coming off the books. Doesn't it stand to reason that the Yankees should reinvest entirely too much money in their team? Of course it does. #$@& the luxury tax.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
This has been a topic of discussion recently, and so I thought it was time to move it to a post. The question is whether Kevin Long will be fired over the Yankees being swept out of the ALCS.
Note that the question is not whether Kevin Long should be fired, but whether he will be fired. Cashman's recent endorsement not withstanding, I think he will. Here are my reasons.
First, the Yankees' failure in the ALCS was completely offensive. Pitching and defense did not lose this series. Particularly glaring was the Yankees' inability to hit with RISP, a season-long problem that we heard over and over again the line-up would snap out of and never did.
Second, while a lot of anger has certainly been directed at the players, there is no clear way to scapegoat one of them. Cano, Granderson, and even A-Rod are unlikely to go anywhere. Even if the Yankees were to trade Grandy or A-Rod, it would likely come off more as a move to improve the team long-term and reduce payroll than it would as a move to send a message to a team that underperformed.
Third, while Long has been a defensible hitting coach, and he may not be responsible for the hitting woes, the buck has to stop with him. This is a season-long issue, and both Granderson and Cano seemed to regress as hitters. Let's not forget that the last person Long tried to remake, Jeter, completely ignored him. Then Jeter broke his ankle, which I can only assume was a result of Kevin Long trying to get rid of the leg-kick, which weakened the bone since it was no longer being strengthened from regular leg-kicking.
More importantly, Lonn Trost and Randy Levine are still loud voices in the organization. They are the reason we signed Soriano to my brother's favorite contract, and they are of the elder Steinbrenner school of thought. That means that someone must answer for the postseason failure, a failure of hitting, and the person most likely to bear that burden is Kevin Long, fair or not.
Fifth, coaches are always held to account for perceived failures far more than they are praised for success. Just ask Terry Francona.
Sixth, Cashman is unlikely to go anywhere and so is Girardi. The easiest person to replace if blamed and fired is Long. Pitching coaches, hitting coaches, bench coaches, first base coaches, and third base coaches are all imminently replaceable. If Trost and Levine decide someone must be made an example of, I have to believe it will be Long.
Seventh, Cashman assured us Long would not be fired. Pretty much every Cashman statement made prior to the Winter Meetings is a lie, or turns out to be, sometimes unbeknownst to Cashman himself (Soriano anyone?). The fact that Cashman vouched for him in public is as good as a pink-slip.
Monday, October 22, 2012
With the Yankees contemplating their future, it was time for us to give good friend of the blog another call. Last time got a little bit awkward, but we needed to make sure someone was being honest with Bronny about what a suck-bag of crap his team was. The following is a transcript of our conversation:
RJG: Hey Bronny, how's it hanging?
BC: Could you stop asking me that? It's kind of personal.
RJG: You're not going to get all sensitive on me again, are you?
BC: I have a right to express my emotions.
RJG: Whatever. Are you aware that your team is a suck-bag of crap?
BC: That's not a thing. It doesn't even make sense.
RJG: Your roster-building philosophy doesn't make sense.
BC: Watch it.
RJG: You used to be a ninja! The old Bronny Cash would have traded A-Rod, re-signed Ichiro and Mo, traded for Justin Verlander and lowered payroll by now!
BC: There is no way any of that could ever happen.
RJG: You know what, Bronny? You don't deserve to be called Bronny Cash. Your new nickname is Lyin' Crapman. What do you think about that?!
BC: It does rhyme with my real name.
RJG: You're not acknowledging my anger! Why won't you acknowledge my anger?!
BC: I find it's best not to play into the anger of others; it creates unhealthy relationship dynamics.
RJG: Signing A-Rod to a 10 year contract creates unhealthy relationship dynamics.
BC: How dare you! You know that wasn't my call!
RJG: Wasn't it?
BC: Why do you always try to hurt me? [soft sobbing]
RJG: I'm sorry Bronny. I didn't mean it. It's just that you're a bad GM who won't acknowledge my anger.
BC: It's not all about you, RJG. Ha!
There you have it folks, as we head into winter, the Yankees are determined to get better for next year.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
First Cano. There is no doubt that his defense is beyond reproach. As a hitter, Cano is like the low cost window cleaning solutions that Windex commercials warn us against: mostly streaks. While his work ethic has at times been called into question, it's mostly been unfair, especially in light of how he's produced over the years. That said, there have been moments where his focus seems to have parted ways with him. He recently failed to cover first base on a bunt attempt, and while his tendency to not run hard out of the box on grounders is generally harmless, occasionally it makes him look bad (e.g., balls that a fielder doesn't handle cleanly and his slow trot gives them time to recover and make the play at first).
No question that he was awful this postseason, but he does not have a history of always choking in the postseason, just of being streaky, as is his wont. That said, the Yankees can't afford another very expensive postseason disappearing act.
Which brings us to A-Rod. A-Rod's capacity for shrinking in the moment is more like a super-power than a tendency. It's like he was bitten by a radioactive Fredo, endowing him with the amazing capacity to do nothing right when it matters.
But I will give A-Rod this, while he can no longer hit, he can still make pitchers throw quality pitches. He doesn't expand the strike zone the way he used to, and so he at least helps contribute to wearing out pitchers, unlike Curtis Granderson, who on average sees -2.3 pitches per at-bat.
The biggest problem with A-Rod at this point is that a history of lower-body injuries more or less has deprived him of the ability to remain effective late into the season, let alone the postseason. This could be easily addressed by limiting A-Rod to DH duties, but that's a very expensive DH. Besides, he still plays a competent third base, but at this point you have to decide whether you'd rather have A-Rod the third baseman or A-Rod the power-hitter.
A-Rod also has a bad tendency to be a distraction, as his recent attempts to pick up women while benched has shown. But if the Yankees had swept the Tigers, no one would care. Sure, it would reinforce a perception we already have of A-Rod, but that's just the point, we already think A-Rod's an intolerable piece of $#!%, so he can't really further mar his reputation with on or off the field antics. All he can do is make us hate him as a player, which, except for 2009, we already do. So he really can't win.
The Yankees should never have extended him the way they did. Cashman knew as much, but it wasn't his call. So we just have to live with A-Rod, and if the Yanks can't trade him, they may have to think seriously about whether they should keep him in the field anymore. Occasional DH days are not enough to keep him healthy. Even with more than a month lost to a broken hand, his lower-body injuries caught up to him, slowing his bat and making it impossible for him to do anything more than accurately identify pitches he cannot catch up to.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
In the eighth, with two outs, Cano hit a ground ball that he could have made it to first on, but mercifully trotted too slowly out of the box to make it there before Fielder, Prince Fielder, could beat him with his mind-blowing speed. That lazy play ended the inning and avoided an unnecessary delay of the inevitable.
You could tell most of our hitters had given up in this series, but more than anything you could tell that this team is not the Yankees we like to remember. There's still talk of patience at the plate, and dangerous hitters throughout the line-up, but we must know in our hearts that isn't true anymore. It was true. A long time ago. The only player about whom that is still true played on a frayed ankle until it broke and somehow managed to be one of the most consistent hitters on the team. This is not a fight 'til you die, October is the only thing that matters team anymore. All the players know the mantra, but they lack any sense of the will or desire that makes it anymore than a platitude.
I realize they may have played well past their prime, but I miss guys like Bernie and Posada. Players so proud one of them hasn't even bothered to retire. Players that didn't swing meakly at balls out of the strike zone and then walk to the dugout like failure had been a foregone conclusion. We have good players on our team, but hardly any real gamers. Jeter, Ibanez, and late season rental Ichiro. That's it. Teixeira is the next closest player, but there are too many holes in that swing.
There was a rumor recently that the Yankees were in talks with the Marlins to trade A-Rod. It's not just that the Marlins showed this season that an attempt to spend like a big market team can't work for them, making such a trade highly implausible, it's that A-Rod is untradeable. Not without eating so much of the contract that you might as well DFA him outright and avoid the headache of trying to argue to another GM that they should be willing to take on more of that contract because of all A-Rod has to offer. Read that sentence again. Isn't the lie so profound it makes your soul die a little? You're welcome.
How Did We Even Score That Run
Not with a home run. Too bad we weren't donating based on the number of futile at-bats. There would be no childhood illnesses left had that been the case.
Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 3hr = $6
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 1hr = $2
Eduardo Nunez 1hr = $2
Total Postseason Home runs 7hr = $14
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
For these last three games, our big bats have largely swung and missed, breathed a sigh of resignation, and headed back to the dugout as though not hitting was what they were actually paid to do. There is a term grief counselors use to describe this: acceptance. As I think is clear, I have been mired in the anger stage the last few days, but I too have reached acceptance. It's good, and it's liberating. I can go on with my life. Watch other television programs. I had a good time this evening with a televised debate. I've moved on.
Did Nunez hit a lead-off home run in the ninth? Doesn't he understand we've reached acceptance? What the #$%& is his problem?! #$%& it, I'm back at anger!
How could you do this to me Ibanez? How? You were supposed to hit a home run! [Loud crying].
All We Have Left Is the Money
Nunez gives the kids $2 more.
Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 3hr = $6
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 1hr = $2
Eduardo Nunez 1hr = $2
Total Postseason Home runs 7hr = $14
RJG: Thanks for sitting down with us Joe.
JG: No problem. I've always admired the work you guys do. You are hands down the only thing worth reading on the internet, and possibly even ever, so thank you.
RJG: We appreciate that. After all, we do it for the kids. But let's get down to business.
RJG: Have you been going on about the need for replay as a way of shielding your players' performances from attention?
JG: That is a good question.
RJG: Thank you.
JG: My response requires some background. First, are you familiar with these secret agent movies, ones like the Bourne trilogy, and Liam Neeson's recent 'Unknown'.
RJG: Yes, we are well acquainted with these ouvres. But, what does that have to do with our question?
JG: Stay with me.
JG: So in all these movies the secret agent is a callous amoral killer who loses his memory only to regain it at some later point and juncture.
JG: So how come when they regain their memory, they don't regain their callous amoral killer personality?
RJG: You're blowing my mind right now.
JG: I mean, if you're the sort of person who has no problem killing for a living, why would you, on the moment you get yourself back, suddenly have a moral conscience? Wouldn't you be like, 'Oh, that's right! I don't give a $#!% about killing people! I'll stop being a p@$$y now.'
RJG: You're so f#%&ing right! These movies don't make any sense at all!
JG: So you see, these movies really don't make any sense.
RJG: This has been an amazing interview! Life changing really! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!
JG: No problem guys, thanks for having me.
By the time we realized that Girardi had completely bamboozled us with his brilliant film criticism, it was too late. We'd completely forgotten to point out to him how awful his team was and the order in which his players are pieces of $#!%. We spent a lot of time on that list! That brilliant, evil genius bastard!
Monday, October 15, 2012
My evening schedule should be much more open in about two more days. Also, it turns out Derek Jeter's ankle didn't break, it made a conscious decision to get away from this group of underperforming pieces of $#!%. It is always good when we take charge of our own lives. It's called empowerment.
Here's the only solution to the team's current problems: do not pick up the options on Swisher or Granderson, and don't re-sign Martin. Then, use all that money to sign Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli. Then, make sure Cano knows he's the next one to go if he doesn't learn to hit again.
The bullpen was not exactly stellar last night, but that wasn't the bullpen's fault. Because the offense has gone silent except in the ninth, the Yanks have been forced into a lot extra inning games, causing them to lean heavily on their bullpen. These guys are spent. The starters are doing their job to spare them, but the offense insists that these guys get in every game.
Was Nick Swisher crying about what the right field fans were yelling at him? What a @#%*ing @#$%*. How about get a hit that matters sometime this postseason.
Are They on Strike?
That could explain it I guess.
Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 3hr = $6
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 1hr = $2
Total Postseason Home runs 6hr = $12
Sunday, October 14, 2012
One of our commenters has noted that, with the way this team is playing, there are better ways to have fun in NYC than going to a Yankees game. I think this is true, and will now offer a list of things that are presently more fun to do in NYC then watch the Yankees:
1. Walk down 7th Ave. toward 42nd St behind a tourist family that has apparently never seen multi-story buildings or lightbulbs. Oh, and make sure you're late for something when you do.
2. Ride the subway and, wait for it, you're in a fight! Complete stranger. Never seen him before. Why is he so mad at you? Fun for everyone on the car!
3. Go rent a car on a week day around 5:30pm, and head anywhere. You'll love the driving experience!
4. Go to a park and watch mothers with toddlers in tow scream obscenities into a cellphone as though no one can see or hear them.
5. Go to a Mets game.
6. Go to any chain restaurant that you regularly visit in a smaller, suburban setting; order the same thing you always do without looking at the menu; and be amazed as you get a bill that is magically 15% higher than what you're used to for no apparent reason!
7. Go to any boutique in Manhattan, take the most hideous thing you see off the rack, and then attempt to buy it. Be amazed as your American Express Black Card gets declined for lack of sufficient credit!
Really, I could go on. All of these things are literally more fun than watching the Yankees whiff with RISP. I spend most of nine innings asking why 90% of the roster was even born. The broader implications for theodicy aside, I hate watching this team right now. But I will watch this team. I very much look forward to 4pm, when I can let everyone on the team know how much they suck.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Let's not bother with this one.
The Yankees wasted another clutch home run by Ibanez, managing not only to lose the game, but their captain in the process to a fractured ankle. The Yankees now have to face the rest of the postseason without one of the only players on their roster who consistently gets on base. This was a bad night.
Cano, Rodriguez, Granderson, and Chavez all went hitless tonight, and I blame them for the Jeter injury. These guys have to come through, not just swing through strikes. This is a game that should have never reached the twelfth. It did and we lost Jeter as a result. Chavez cannot keep getting pinch hit at-bats if he's going to be no more effective than A-Rod. This offense is awful, and I have to think that if the Yankees don't win the World Series, Kevin Long is gone as hitting coach. The Yankees have been failing with RISP too long for him to remain as hitting coach.
Still About the Babies
Home runs by Ichiro and Ibanez mean the kids still win.
Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 3hr = $6
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 1hr = $2
Total Postseason Home runs 6hr = $12
CC Sabathia continues to be the most dominant postseason pitcher since Mariano Rivera. Okay, maybe that's an overstatement, but he was dominant last night. A complete game, allowing only one run, and crushing twenty-five innocent baseball dreams in the process. Awesome.
Of course, the greatest highlight of the night came when Mark Teixeira manufactured a run. With his legs. What. The. F#&k?
Despite scoring three runs, this offense still looks pretty bad. Cano is pointless. Granderson is only good for tack on runs but never tying or go-ahead runs. To score our first run we had to rely on Mark Teixeira's base stealing abilities. Things need to turn around here. At least I didn't have to watch A-Rod whiffing all night, but I'm sure that will change tonight. Great.
The Yankees have to turn around and immediately begin a new playoff series against Detroit. The Yankees couldn't even get drunk last night because of this ridiculous scheduling. They had to say things like, "Good game," and then drive home and sleep. Is that what we've reduced our athletics idols to? Sober drivers? For shame, MLB, for shame.
How We Pay Such a Low Effective Tax Rate
Curtis Granderson's tack on home run means another $2 for the kids.
Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 2hr = $4
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2
Total Postseason Home runs 4hr = $8
Friday, October 12, 2012
Phil Hughes grew to the occasion of pitching in the post season throwing 6.2 innings of 1 run ball, and striking out 8 in the process. Jeter and Nix both had a single and a double in the game, and that pretty much describes the bulk of our offensive output.
Every year, there are guys who help get us a division, and then there's guys who help get us a world series. The guys who help get us a division are the guys who perform well during the season, put up good numbers, and drive in plenty of runs. The guys who help us win world series are the ones who grow to the occasion, and perform when it matters most. The Yankee lineup is full of the former. Just a quick glance at Swisher, Granderson, Cano, and A-Rod's performances, and you see guys who are all hitting under .150 through these 4 games. Granderson's average sits at .063!
Lets go through it:
-Granderson, who hit 43 homeruns this season, has gone 1-16 in the post season (a single), and has struck out 9 times.
-Swisher who hit .272 with 24 homeruns and 93 runs driven in, has gone 2-15, without a single extra base hit.
-A-Rod didn't do so well in the regular season, but Girardi is still batting him like he's a key contributor. He's gone 2-16, without an extra base hit and 9 strikeouts.
-And Robinson Cano, who went .313 in the regular season with 33 homeruns, 94 RBI's and a .379 OBP, has gone 2-18 in the post season.
Mark Teixeira's been batting well, but he's batting more like a number 2 hitter. Gets on base a lot, hits lots of singles, not exactly the number 3 guy we hope for.
Long story short, this team is incredibly dissapointing. Our pitching, which was seen as the weak link this year, has been amazing. But we keep playing like we're being fined for scoring runs. 1 run through 13 innings, with the offense that led the majors in homeruns? Really?
If the Yankees hope for a chance in winning this, we need Ibanez, Chavez and Gardner taking at bats for Swisher, A-Rod, and Granderson. I'd take Nix over A-Rod too. Nix was seeing the ball well yesterday, and we can't afford to pull guys like that out of the lineup.
Now we're going to game 5 with all the momentum swinging in favor of Baltimore. The Yankee offense is a joke, and Sabathia who has a history of choking in the post season, is getting the start. This is the exact scenario we wanted to avoid. If Sabathia pitches like he did in game 1, will the offense show up?
Will the Yankees Please Think of the Children?
Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 2hr = $4
Total Postseason Home runs 3hr = $6
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Ibanez continues to prove that Brian Cashman is the greatest GM of all-time, even if he's a little clingy at times. A home run to tie the game in the ninth, and the game winning home run in the twelfth, mean the Yankees just need to play .500 ball over the course of the next to games to win the Series. Kuroda put in a dominant performance and was awarded the no-decision for his efforts. Way to go offense!
Despite the win, this offense has looked very bad the last two games. This cannot continue if the Yankees intend to make a serious run at a World Series.
The A-Rod pinch hitting situation has obviously received its fair share of attention. A-Rod keeps saying he's seeing the ball well and that he expects to remain in the line-up, but here's the thing. He is seeing the ball well. He is not expanding the strike zone and chasing a lot of pitches in an attempt to do too much. What he's not doing is hiting the ball. He is consistently late on every swing he takes. The problem is not that he's not seeing the ball, but that he can't pull the trigger despite that fact. He needs to be knocked down in the line-up (and if this were any other player, he should probably be shifted to a part-time, bench role).
Spreading the Love
Ibanez's two home runs mean $4 more for the kids.
Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 2hr = $4
Total Postseason Home runs 3hr = $6
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
That was then. A-Rod was still a feared hitter. This is now. A-Rod can no longer catch up to a low 90s fastball. He looks like he gets beat by most off-speed pitches. Then he talks about putting together good at-bats.
Here's the thing, good at-bats that end with weak ground balls are bad at-bats. A postseason Major League lineup is no place for a guy who can't catch up to Freddy Garcia's best fastball. In fact, no Major League line-up is a place for someone like that. You know what is a good place for someone like that, though? The RJG blog offices.
Think about it. A-Rod could blog about the playoffs while competent players participate in it. He gets to feel self-important as millions of readers flock to his column, while simultaneously not suffering the embarrassment of hitting behind Eduardo Nunez.
There. RJG has solved the A-Rod dilemma. You're welcome.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Pettitte pitched a great game, keeping the Orioles within striking distance with 7 innings of 3 run ball. Jeter and Cano both drove in runs, and gave us hope.
Robertson had a great yet unorthodox outing. He basically only threw curveballs to the first two batters he faced, and they did not know what to do with that. And then on his third batter, Reynolds, he started throwing the fastball. All three batters were caught off guard.
That hope provided by Cano and Jeter was never realized. The Yankees continued to leave lots of player on base, and in scoring position. Swisher and Granderson came up in big spots and did nothing with their at bats. The problem is what we've been dealing with all season: the heart of our lineup is full of guys who can hit the ball far, but not when you need them to.
A-Rod needs to get back on the PED's quick! A-Rod struck out twice, including the last out of the game. A-Rod's bat looks like it can't catch up to major league pitching anymore. I'm hoping that he can start hitting, but these games matter a little too much to keep an underperforming bat in the 3-spot.
We Win With Homeruns
And we didn't hit any yesterday, so that means both the Yankees and the Children lose.
Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Total Postseason Homeruns 1hr = $2
$500 - Children's Health Fund Donations
$800 - Yearly Video Phone Payment (For Calling Brian Cashman)
$5,000 - Respect Jeter's Gangster Office Rent
$1,500,000 - Paid subsidy to the Yankees for A-Rod's contract.
So far this year, our yearly income looks like this:
$8.63 - Found in Couch.
So as you see, we've run a slight deficit. However, looking at the Yankees reminds us how bad it could really be. I mean, we could have committed to paying $114 million to A-Rod between 2013 - 2017. Or $14 million to Rafael Soriano for next year. Or $8.5 million for the next couple years towards a player who doesn't even play for us (Burnett).
Now that we feel better about ourselves, we now offer you these words from our advertisers: look at players rewards cards. Especially if you're into gambling online. If not, just remember how lucky you are to not have A-Rod as a line item in your budget. Unless you're Hal Steinbrenner. Then you should feel pretty awful.
Monday, October 8, 2012
CC Sabathia pitched the postseason game of his life, going 8.2 innings and allowing only two mercy runs. The Yankees absolutely pummeled Baltimore closer, Jim Johnson, whom they now call Dim Dumbson. He's still crying about that. Russell Martin continues to hit only if it matters, getting the go-ahead home run as the first at-bat of the ninth just as the TBS announcers had finished mentioning how impossible it was to hit Jim Johnson's sinker in cold weather.
After the game, Russell Martin described his home run by saying, "I put good wood on it." (Source). Damn Russell, think before you speak.
The mood in Baltimore was somber. It wasn't supposed to happen like this. The Orioles had magic on their side. Magic. They were supposed to beat the Yankees at home, using magic taught to them by the wise old wizard, Buck Showalter.
Could it be there was no magic? That there had never been any magic? Can the collective psyche of a team whose oldest player can't purchase Harry Potter tickets without an accompanying adult handle the possibility of a game determined by skill honed through practice rather than mythical forces?
The tears that cleansed the clubhouse floor suggested no. They could not go on without magic. They had to believe, or they had to let their season die. Miserably. Die like the aura surrounding a Jim Johnson sinker facing the number eight hitter in a line-up. At least the clubhouse floor was clean.
Postseason Home Run Count
Some people forget about the children once October comes around, but not the kind and beautiful souls at RJG. Kofi Annan has called us a "global force for Good." But we're just doing what anybody else would do. We're not anything special. Just because we put our pants on two legs at a time doesn't mean we're better than you. We're much better than you but it's for other reasons.
Russell Martin 1hr = $2
Total 1 hr = $2
Sunday, October 7, 2012
RJG: Hey Brian, it's me.
BC: Oh. I haven't heard from you in a long time . . .
RJG: Yeah, yeah. I've, um, been busy. The blog and the . . . ah . . . typing . . . you know how it is.
BC: No, yeah, it's just that, I thought I would've heard from you by now, I mean it seems like you have time to post updates . . .
RJG: Are you seriously going to do this to me right now?! The busiest time of year is coming up and I'm trying to talk to you and this is what you're going to do?! You're going to nag me?!
BC: First of all, the busiest time of year for you is the offseason, when you make up and then call me to suggest completely inane and stupid trades and free agent signings! Second of all, I know you've been responding to comments by Rich Mahogany! You don't think I read the comments section?! Do you know how embarrassing that is for me?! My friends read your blog!
RJG: This again?! Really?! I told you, I have to respond to Rich as part of my blogging duties! I can't keep having this conversation . . .
BC: Why don't you go comment about it to your whore?!
RJG: Whoa, that is not fair! Rich is a loving and decent human being! At least he comments on our blog! You've never commented! Never!
BC: How could you do this to me!
RJG: You're smothering me!
BC: I don't even know who you are anymore!
RJG: Look, I think I just need some space right now.
BC: You haven't talked to me since last March! That was over six months ago!
RJG: What are you, Tayler Swift now?! Are we never ever getting back together again ever?!
BC: How dare you demean my favorite contemporary country artist?!
RJG: I need to go . . .
BC: Fine, just go and comment with your little blog friends! See if I care!
RJG: Fine! See you in six months?
BC: Yeah, I'll be around. Good talk.
RJG: Yeah, this was nice.
There you have it folks! Brian Cashman feels very good about this team heading into the ALDS against Baltimore.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
As the Yankees begin their workouts in Baltimore, they prepare to face a formidable opponent: father time. When game one begins on Sunday, the median age of the New York Yankees, based on projected rosters compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, will be 64.1. It is too late to get younger, but the Yankees are relying on their combined 153 years of postseason experience to carry them past the younger, faster, more agile, and generally better looking Baltimore Orioles.
It is impossible to tell what this ALDS will bring, but it will probably bring at least three games of baseball. The world waits with baited breath as the Yankees' date with Baltimore approaches. Will they get along? Will there be a second date? We don't want to put too much pressure on it, but here's hoping.
Friday, October 5, 2012
For this year, the RJG will continue to donate $2 for every homerun hit to the Children's Health Fund, with the added bonus that for every homerun Jeter hits, we will donate $5! Jeter is known for his post season dramatics, and we're hoping some added pop will be apart of that this year.
We'll see this coming Sunday!
Thursday, October 4, 2012
There's a lot that can fall in this category, so lets start from the biggest and work our way down:
We Won the Division!
-The Orioles lost to the Rays giving us the division in the middle of the game, but the Yankees were already playing like the season came down to this game, which is a good sign for their post season prospects.
The Yankees Have Had to Fight the Last Few Weeks
-This is good because the team was extremely one dimensional. That one dimension was the long ball. They still rely on the long ball, but we've had some timely hitting, and quality pitching of late as well. Plus, Ichiro's presence in the lineup has added a speed element we've been missing all season. Although he's only been here since late July, he's already stolen more bases than any other player on this team. That should tell you something.
The Yankees Crushed the Ball Yesterday
-I know, we weren't facing a competent Boston team, but there's nothing like ending a season with an exclamation point. 2 homeruns from Granderson and 2 from Cano was a great way to end the season. Not to mention Kuroda's 7 innings of 2 run ball. A little bit of a confidence booster can go a long way.
Teixeira went 0-3 and felt left out of the hitting party that was going on. I mean even Gardner got a hit, and he didn't even start the game.
Activists gathered together outside of the clubhouse protesting against the greed and waste of the Yankees. "Just look at how much champagne they're spilling on the ground." Explained one activist. "That's enough to intoxicate an entire village in a third world country. Are we really that wasteful?"
Fitting End to the Season
4 homeruns, 2 each from Cano and Granderson led the blowout yesterday. We end the season with $490 worth of donations going to the Children's Health Fund. That's pretty amazing!
Raul Ibanez 19hr = $38
Nick Swisher 24hr = $48
Andruw Jones 14hr = $28
Derek Jeter 15hr = $30
Curtis Granderson 43hr = $86
Alex Rodriguez 18hr = $36
Robinson Cano 33hr = $66
Mark Teixeira 24hr = $48
Eric Chavez 16hr = $32
Russell Martin 21hr = $42
Jayson Nix 4hr = $8
Dewayne Wise 3hr = $6
Chris Stewart 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 5hr = $10
Casey McGehee 1hr = $2
Steve Pearce 1hr = $2
Eduardo Nunez 1 hr = $2
Chris Dickerson 2 hr = $4
Total 245 hr = $490