Saturday, February 28, 2009

Filler Post

There's not much to discuss in Yankeeland right now. Posada's surgically repaired shoulder hurts, confirming that he did indeed have surgery. A-Rod is about to meet with MLB investigators who will leave no stone unturned until they find out whether or not A-Rod used steroids. Oh, wait! If I was the investigator I'd just ask about Alex's relationship with Madonna and his thoughts on Obama's budget. Honestly, how pointless is this meeting with MLB investigators?

Hopefully Posada's surgery is not a serious problem, but it is certainly cause for concern. Though not nearly as much concern as the Mets have right now with regards to Johan. If Santana needs surgery, Cashman will look like a genius for passing on him two years ago. Santana is irreplaceable, and if he goes down the Mets will have choked three years in a row. It's okay though, I'm sure their six closers will make up for it.

Friday, February 27, 2009

RJG Has Another Run in with Selena Roberts

We reported a few weeks back that Selena Roberts had broken into our RJG headquarters and had taken a nap on our RJG couch. Well last night we had another incident with the famed reporter. While Roberto and I were going over Clemens' defense files, we noticed something in the window across the room. It wasn't moving, but we've had a history with people breaking in so we needed to go investigate. We walked over to the window to spook whatever was there, but when we got close up, it was just a cutout of Waldo from the "Where's Waldo?" book series. Figuring that someone was just playing a joke on us, we turned around to get back to work, and there was Selena Roberts asleep on our couch again. The Waldo cutout was just a diversion. I went over and shook her awake, and told her she needed to leave. She agreed, and got into a car whose driver looked a lot like the recently out-of-work Yuri Sucart. I didn't think much of it and went back up stairs. A couple hours later we heard a knocking in the basement, like someone was banging on pipes down there. We run down there and Selena Roberts is taking practice hacks against our water heater, and has a full load of laundry in the wash. I told her to leave and she said her clothes weren't finished. I told her to stop banging on our water heater and she said her clothes weren't finished. We called the cops who escorted her out, and we're now in the process of filing a restraining order against her.

So beware! Selena Roberts may be trying to break into your house next. Don't be surprised if she releases an investigative report on the RJG, but you heard it here first. Selena Roberts is a B & E master.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

That's More Like it

Today's game with the Rays features a lineup that looks more like what we'll likely be seeing throughout the season. I'm curious to see how the Teixeira/Rodriguez combo works out:

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Cano 2B
Nady RF
Posada DH
Molina C
Cabrera CF

Further more, Hughes, Coke, Marte, Albaladejo and Melancon will be pitching. I'm real interested to see how Coke and Albaladejo do this spring. Coke dominated in his short call up last September, and Albaladejo missed the majority of last season with an elbow injury. I'd like to see if Coke's amazing performance was just a fluke or if he's really that effective. They say Albaladejo looks fit and ready to pitch. I guess he really wants that job. I'm also curious to see where Hughes ends up at the end of spring training. With no starting job available, it really wouldn't serve him to keep him in the bullpen as a long reliever. He should end up in triple A, and build up his innings, though I'm sure we'll see him at some point this season. I haven't seen Melancon pitch but I've heard good things. I'm starting to get really excited for baseball.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Yankee Minor Leaguers Beat Blue Jay Minor Leaguers

It was an exciting first spring training game and the Yankees ended up the victors. Here are the highlights:

-A-Rod hit a homerun and drew a walk.
-Gardner hit a homerun.
-Jeter went 1-3 with a run scored.
-Swisher drew 2 walks including a bases loaded walk to drive in a run.
-Yankee prospects Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero got some late game action, both going 1-2 with Jackson hitting a double.
-RHP Brett Tomko pitched 2 scoreless innings. I was wondering where this kid came from, until I looked him up and realized that he's a major league veteran whose been pitching in the bigs since 1997. I totally missed that we had signed him a week ago.
-The Yankee pitching staff consisting of Tomko, Veras, Giese, Igawa, Garcia, Dunn, Jackson, and Robertson combined for 9 innings of 1 run ball.
-Kei Igawa had a scoreless inning!
-Yankees scored 6 runs off 11 hits, including 3 runs off rookie Rickey Romero, and 2 runs off of Jack Bauer.


Of the 8 pitchers who played today, the one with the most job security was the one who had the worst outing. Jose Veras went one inning, allowing the only run Toronto would score, while giving up a hit and two walks.

Now that we've defeated Toronto's minor league team, the Yankees are ready to take on former minor league team, the Tampa Bay Rays. The game will be on YES at 1:15pm. Word in the clubhouse is that Shelley's taking out their catcher whether he gets on base or not. Should be fun.

Delgado A Hall of Famer?

Tom Verducci, who was one-upped in his attempt to single-handedly destroy the Yankees by Selena Roberts, has written an interesting article for on Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado. The gist of the article is that Delgado, who has never been linked to steroids by Jose Canseco or anyone else, not even anonymous rumors, has pretty impressive numbers that were overshadowed by inflated, juiced numbers. Delgado, therefore, should be in the discussion for future Hall of Fame contenders, but his name never comes up.

The numbers Verducci discusses are pretty impressive, and the other players in whose company Delgado stands are either Hall of Famers or guys who would've been had they not used steroids (and been discovered). This is an interesting debate. Should Carlos Delgado be elected to the Hall of Fame when his day comes?

Bring the Cash

As there has been little to report of late, I figured it was time to give our good friend Brian Cashman a call. He's always excited to hear from us and we appreciate him answering our questions. Below is the transcript of our conversation:

BC: Hello?

RJG: What's up Bronny? How's the team looking?

BC: I'm happy with where we are at this point in the spring.

RJG: Great non answer. So . . . not much going on right now . . .

BC: I would disagree. The guys played catch, they did fielding drills, they played pool. Just the other day I walked into the clubhouse and one of the guys was shaving. Shaving! I tell you it never stops.

RJG: Good lord Bronny, are you on acid? How is any of that even mildly exciting. Observing the comatose is more interesting than that.

BC: What do you want me to do? It's week three of spring training. We haven't even played a game yet.

RJG: Uh-huh. Yeah. So Bronny, I know you're still really mad at A-Rod on account of you're petty like that, Tom Petty, that's your new nickname. But tell me why you hate him so much more than Giambi, or Pettitte, or the 103 other players on the list? Is it because he's good-looking? Bi-racial? Did you have a giant crush on Madonna or something?

BC: [Yelling] Don't you ever say her name! I loved her! We could've been so happy. [Seething] But he ruined it! He defiled an unblemished flower. He'll pay for this!

RJG: Unblemished? Are we referring to the same pers. . .

BC: How dare you, sir? I challenge you to a duel!

RJG: You're letting that ninja costume go to your head, Bronny. I'd punch you right in the face and you'd just cry about Madonna, wouldn't you?

BC: I'm sure I'd get into a defensive fetal position first. That's how I roll.

RJG: Did you do your taxes yet?

BC: No, I don't pay taxes. I hide my income through a series of untraceable off-shore accounts and Bermuda based limited liability corporations. In fact, legally speaking, I don't exist.

RJG: Damn! That's gangster!

BC: That's right [expletive]



There you have it folks. Brian Cashman doesn't exist anymore, and he has a very, very strange perception of Madonna. Seacrest out.

[We have just been sued by Ryan Seacrest Incorporated. Seacrest out.]

Spring Training Games Start Today

This is exciting news for those of us starving from a lack of baseball. The game looks to feature a lot of minor leaguers, but it doesn't matter. Its baseball, its the Yankees, and we've been long waiting for some semblance of the game to be played. Among the legitimate big leaguers are Jeter, A-Rod and Cano, all of whom will be taking some time off to go play in the WBC. Kei Igawa is among the pitchers who will pitch today, and is also the reason the game will not be televised.

Pete Abe is reporting that Joe Girardi has set the rotation and wants it to go like this: Sabathia, Wang, Burnett, Pettitte, and Chamberlain. This is good news for those of us who felt Wang was getting shafted by being placed as the 3rd pitcher. Its also a very good rotation set up. You have power lefty, sinkerballer, power righty, finesse lefty, power righty. The power players are broken up, and the lefties split the righties up well. The rotation looks amazing. Lets just hope that Marky T and the gang can mash some hits and drive in some runs. Lets not forget the year long anemia that was our offense last season.

All in all, I'm just excited for baseball. These spring training games will hold me over to the WBC, and the WBC should hold me over for the season. Now if I can only get my taxes done I'll be set for the spring.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Is Spring Training Always This Slow?

Maybe we were spoiled by A-Rod, but it seems that since last week's festivities have died down, there is nothing to report on. I keep seeing articles with titles like, "X player prefer coke over pepsi." Great, now if we could only get to the bottom of the preferred ice cream flavor of the major leagues we'd really be on to something.

There's not much to talk about as players start practicing, suffer minor injuries, and play pool. The WBC is around the corner and that should heat things up a bit. One hopes.

I'll call Brian Cashman in the near future. And maybe we'll check in with A-Rod to see how his crisis management team is doing. Peace to the out.

Yankees Play Pool

It was widely reported yesterday that manager Joe Girardi suspended practice for the day to take the team to a local pool hall. The players seemed to be thrilled with the idea, and all the photos coming from the event showed them enjoying themselves. What was not reported, was how Mariano Rivera sharked his newest teammates.

"I got to play Mo first, and he was really awful." Stated new Yankee addition Nick Swisher. "He pretended like he didn't know how to hold the pool cue, and kept asking what the numbers on the balls meant and stuff like that. So we were making fun of him a little until he said 'Well, let's bet on it.' I was like 'Absolutely.' but I should have seen it coming. He was taking shots with his eyes closed, behind the back, jumping balls, he even cut the ball in to the left side where he knocked in the 8-ball to win."

Swisher was not Mariano's only victim as Mark Teixeira was also caught by the shark.

"I really wish I hadn't bet my signing bonus, but I really thought I had this." Explained first baseman Mark Teixeira. "We start playing and he's terrible. He's scratching left and right, and then he's acting like he doesn't understand English. So I put a bet on the game, and he turned it on. I didn't get a single shot after that."

When asked about his reason for sharking his new teammates, Mariano was very candid:

"Sometimes, you need money."

There's a life lesson to be learned here: don't play pool with Mariano for money.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Yankees Staying Quiet

Its good to see that after the circus that was the first week of Spring Training things have by and large quieted down. Its good for the Yankees, but not so good for bloggers who need something to write about. I did read a good story in the NY Times about Joe Niekro's son, Lance Niekro whose learning the knuckleball, but alas, it doesn't fill my need for Yankees news. So in my search for Yankees news I went over to the Peter Abraham blog, and saw a poll on the right asking who we thought should be the center fielder this season with the options being Melky, Damon, Gardner, Swisher, and make a trade. To my surprise Gardner was way in the lead.

Now don't get me wrong. I think Gardner can really help the team, and I think he should have a roster spot. But people have lost their minds if they think Gardner is our best center field option. Now, considering that more than double the people voted for Gardner over Melky, I know I'm going to have to explain my point of view. Allow me to explain.

Most people don't want Melky because of the horrible season he had last year. Further more, Melky has yet to really have a distinguishable season. He has shined defensively, and has had some great moments in the past at the plate, but he hit .280 and .273 his first two seasons before having a major decline in production last season. Melky hit .249 last season, but the numbers that really concern the team are the .301 OBP, and the .341 slugging. Basically, the kid couldn't hit, couldn't walk, and when he did hit, it was rarely for extra bases. Now enter Gardner. Gardner impressed many last season with his speed and some walk off dramatics. A left handed hitter who could lead off in a pinch. That's certainly a valuable player to have. However, where many were concerned about Melky's lack of power, walks, and batting average, they seemed very willing to over look Gardner's .228 average, .283 OBP, and .299 slugging. Of course this was limited play, but I still didn't see anything that told me that this guy could out hit Melky. With a swing that only incorporates his upper body, we really cannot expect much power out of Gardner, but that doesn't really matter since his bread and butter is his ability to steal a base. However, he didn't show much of an ability to get on base either (30 strikeouts to 8 walks). Don't get me wrong. Gardner is still young, and could certainly fill the role, I also believe he can do better than his numbers from last season, however, I also know Melky can do better than last season, and given his three years of big league experience, his switch hitting ability, and his age (Melky's 24, one year younger than Gardner), I think Melky is the better player for the position.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What Would You Ask Sabathia?

The NY Post released an interview they conducted with CC Sabathia, and its pretty good. I always wonder what I would ask a player if I were to conduct an interview. There's some generic questions you feel you have to ask a professional ball player, but I was trying to think what I would really want to know about a ball player. So if you were to conduct an interview with CC Sabathia, what would you ask him? Some that I thought of were:

-If you were to spend a night on the town, what three players would you want to take with you?
-What was the greatest learning experience you had in the minor leagues?
-What player in all baseball history would you most want to face on the mound and why?

So how about you? What would you ask?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Twins Go Bargain Hunting, Dodgers Land Hudson

Its funny to think of how many free agents are still available despite the fact that spring training started a week ago. This is great news for teams like the Twins who can now cash in on the desperation and land some players for cheap. The Twins have been linked to both reliever Juan Cruz and third baseman Joe Crede. The biggest issue with Cruz has been his type A free agent status, which would cost any team that signs him a first round draft pick. Though no deal is official, apparently the Twins are negotiating a contract that the Diamondbacks will offer Cruz, and then once he signs, will trade him to the Twins for previously determined players. Its a smart move because that way the Twins know what they're giving up, and won't lost the draft pick. Crede has just been an injury case over the years, and he wanted a $7 million base salary with incentives building up to $11 million. I don't suspect he got it.

The Twins aren't the only team to go bargain hunting. The Dodgers just signed second baseman Orlando Hudson to a one year $3.38 million contract with $4.6 million in incentives. Hudson had been looking for a multi-year deal worth $10 million a year. Though Hudson solidifies second base for the Dodgers, he is not a huge offensive contributor. He hit over .300 last season for the first time in his career, but his season was cut short with a wrist injury that required surgery. This means the Dodgers are likely still in the Ramirez race, though no headway seems to be made on that front.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Damon and Nady Tap into Swiss Bank Accounts

Johnny Damon and Xavier Nady apparently cannot access their bank accounts because of the Stanford scandal investigation that has frozen all assets. If you're wondering what the Stanford scandal is, you're not alone. The basic story is that another banker ripped off a bunch of people, and is now being investigated. The good news is that Nady and Damon both had Swiss bank accounts per Derek Jeter's advice, and are now doing fine.

"I was getting worried because I couldn't put a down payment for an apartment." Explained Nady. "But when I first got here, Jeter told me about all these accounts he had in the Caribbean and in Europe. He said that in this economic climate it was much safer. So I opened one up and put $100,000 in there. I'm happy I did."

Damon gave a similar story: "I would always see Jeter making a phone call and speaking in French, then a couple days later a duffle bag full of money would be delivered to him. I finally asked him what he was doing, and he told me that the safest place to keep money is under your bed and in the Swiss alps. I dropped a couple million in there, and now I'm able to pay my bills. It was genius."

So, yes, you could call this a filler post, but there's not much going on. We're largely staying away from the steroid issue for now until the other 103 names come out. I suspect Bonds may be on there, but I can't be sure. I hope to hear more baseball news in the next few days.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Swisher vs. Nady: The Battle Continues

Since the Yankees are still holding onto both Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady, a big question to be answered in spring training is who will win the right field starting role. I've heard different ideas including a regular rotation of outfielders to keep everyone fresh, but if it comes down to it, Girardi will need to decide which of these players will play right, and which will play off the bench. Both of these players are every day players, and both are very talented. Let's see how their numbers match up.

Last season Nady hit career highs in several different offensive categories. He had a .305 average with 25 homeruns, and 97 RBI's splitting time between the Pirates and the Yankees. Swisher on the other had hit career lows in nearly all categories batting .219 with 24 homeruns and 69 RBI's. Nady strikes out a lot, and doesn't draw many walks while Swisher strikes out a lot, AND takes a lot of walks. Swisher is a career .244 hitter who averages about 25 homeruns a season. Nady has been consistantly growing as a player despite switching teams 4 times in the last 8 years. Last season was his first in the American league though not his first in New York as he had a stint with the Mets before being traded to the Pirates. Nady who is in his last year of arbitration, and will be a free agent after this season has all the reason in the world to mash the ball. Swisher, who has a few years under contract, is looking to bounce back from a dissapointing season. So who wins? If I had to guess, Nady will be our opening day right fielder, unless injuries say otherwise. Swisher will find playing time since injuries are pretty much a guarantee each year, and he can play both corner outfield spots as well as first base.

The most compelling idea I've heard with a rotating outfield I think came from Peter Abraham, but cannot really remember. The idea was to have a rotation between Matsui, Damon, Nady, and Swisher where one of them rests, while the others play. That way, each of them plays three days, and rests one day. When Matsui rests, one of them will get the benefit of DH'ing for a day as well. I think this sort of thing could work, but I doubt Girardi would adopt it. After all, if one of them gets hot you're not going to bench them for a game for the sake of a rotation.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

NY Post Wins Award

I'm by and large ready to move on from this A-Rod thing, and get to some baseball. I know more will be written about it, and different takes will be presented, but its basically over. Now that we've gotten to this point, its safe to award the newspaper that had the dumbest things to say about this steroid situation, and the award goes to the New York Post. A week ago I pointed out the article the Post ran about A-Rod going to the gym. I'm not sure what the Post thought they had there, but it was a complete waste of time. Today, I read one of the NY Post blogs on A-Rod talking about how Damon said that there were worst things A-Rod could have done, and that A-Rod's a super nice guy whose always been nice to him. The post ends with the following sentence:

"Well, it's just shocking someone so 'super nice' would even consider steroids."

Yeah, because if we know anything about steroids its that only jerks are allowed to take it. I've read some of the dumbest things about this steroid situation. It would be good for the field of journalism if they would collectively move on. This is not to say everyone is off base. In fact, the NY Post veteran beat writers had some decent takes on the issue. However, this situation has brought the worse out of beat writers everywhere, and as my brother has already pointed out, many of these same writers were all too happy to ignore this topic back in the homerun chase era. Well, the homerun chase was the big story then, and A-Rod's steroid use is the big story now. I say we all just move on.

Derek Jeter Used Gangster to Improve Performance

So much attention has been given to performance enhancers like steroids and HGH that very little attention has been given to performance enhancers such as gangster. If anything, gangster is what drives most players to use PED's. When you're waiting in line for the batting cage, and the player batting in the cage is really gangster, aren't you more likely to be jealous of them? And since gangster does not come in an injectable or tablet form, won't it drive you to use banned substances to compensate? Basically put, the most gangster player in the game, Derek Jeter, is the reason PED's became as prominent as they did. Jeter would run into the stands head first, and play way out of position to flip throw runners out at home, and do such awesome things that everyone in the league was forced to compete on his level. Since his level was far out of reach for them, they turned to substances they didn't fully understand. Until gangster comes in a needle, players will always be tempted to use something to compete with Derek Jeter. Unfortunately, all they'll do is hit homeruns and feel inadequate.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Attention American News Media: Bole = Primobolan

We know that A-Rod tested positive for the steroid primobolan from Sports Illustrated's big scoop of a couple weekends ago. Today Alex Rodriguez explained that his cousin told him of a drug called Boli or Bole. I have heard some comment that they don't know what drug Alex was referring to.

So for all you non-bilinguals, let me help you out. "Boli/Bole" is what you get when you shorten primoBOLan with a Spanish accent. I'm not sure Alex knew this back then, but Boli is pretty clearly just a Spanish corruption of the drug's actual name, which few roiders were probably that interested in even knowing.

Also, let me make a quick observation for all those people who think it's impossible A-Rod would put something in his body without totally knowing what it was or how to use it. I have a friend who is a former amateur body-builder. At that time in his life he used steroids. He was telling me and another friend about that period and my friend asked him if he cycled on and off of the steroids (as you're supposed to). He responded that yes he did, and that he made sure to do his research before beginning to take them. Apparently a lot of other body builders were also taking steroids but doing so improperly. These are people who get big for a living, and yet they don't necessarily know how to properly take steroids. So can I believe that a ball player getting supplement advice from his cousin might not use steroids properly? Yes, I can.

Preview of Jeter's Prepared Comments for Tomorrow

Derek Jeter has said that he will not address the media regarding the A-Rod steroid scandal until tomorrow. Our intrepid undercover reporters have acquired a copy Derek Jeter's prepared comments for tomorrow. Below is his opening statement.

"From 1996 to 2004, there often raged in baseball a debate about who the best shortstop was. Nomar, Alex, Tejada, and myself were all mentioned in this conversation. With Nomar being completely whipped and usually injured, Tejada pleading guilty to perjury, and Alex's admission of PED use, it is now clear that I am the best shortstop of my era. In fact, I'm the best shortstop ever. I'm also better looking than all of you, the members of the press, whose lives literally revolve around me, Derek [expletive] Jeter. Thank you very much."

Hard to argue with Jeter's logic on this one, or his gangster. It will be interesting to see whether he revises his statement before tomorrow, not that it's been leaked.

What We Learned Today

Alex Rodriguez had his long awaited press conference today and we learned three very important things. First, we now know that A-Rod has a Dominican cousin. I didn't see that one coming. I mean, I guess I always knew it was a possibility, but I wasn't being honest with myself, so how could I be honest with Katie?

Second, Dominican pharmacies are AWESOME! Who knew you could get stuff like that over the counter? You blow CVS, I'm going to DR from now on for my meds.

Thirdly, we learned the fate of Rip Fuel. I always wondered what happened to my favorite dietary supplement of the Seattle days, and now I know. It was a great moment of closure for me. Thank you for that A-Rod.

A-Rod Apologizes to Selena Roberts. Selena Roberts Gets No Such Apology From RJG.

It has recently been reported that Alex called Selena Roberts shortly after his interview where he said she stalked him and tried to break into his house, and apologized for making those allegations. However, the RJG is still waiting for an apology from Selena Roberts for trying to break into our RJG headquarters while small children slept upstairs. Not our children mind you, but there's a family unit above our headquarters. We also have police records saying that Roberts not only was seen coming through our back window, but she also ate one of Roberto's sandwiches that he was saving in the fridge, and then took a picture next to an RJG plaque we have on the wall. After that, she laid down on the RJG couch and took a nap, where we found her, before calling the police. After a brief 2 hour wait, the police arrived and asked her to leave, which she did. But then a week later we came in and there she was sleeping on our couch again. This time she finished my last Guinness, and used all the remaining eggs to make herself an omelette. Security camera's showed her taking practice swings with our Derek Jeter bats, before going to sleep. After we had police escort her out again, she started showing up at our gym in the middle of my Pilatte's class. I was like "Get her out of here!" but then I realized that she was probably signed up for the same Pilatte's class since I was the only guy there. Then I remembered that I wasn't signed up for any Pilatte's class and wasn't really sure what I was doing there, and then I realized that I wasn't even at my gym when I saw the giant "Curves" sign out front. It was really embarrasing. So, two times she broke into our headquarters and once I showed up at her gym and tried to get her thrown out. I still feel like she owes us an apology. Selena Roberts, just apologize, and please stop breaking into our place. If you want to hang out in the RJG headquarters, all you have to do is call.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Where Will Joba Find His Place?

Much has been said about the Yankees' decision to make Joba Chamberlain a starter. People generally love the idea, believing you ought to get 200 innings from a talent like that, while others believe he will break down and should be used as a reliever, where he dominates. The baseball world has long waited for RJG to chime in on this debate, understanding well that our intelligent, stat based approach to player projections leads the field. We know present the final say in the Joba debate: Joba should be . . . a first baseman. More specifically, he should be first baseman Jason Giambi.

We realize that we have just turned the baseball world on its head, destroying every a priori assumption you ever held dear. Your welcome. Let's look at the facts. Joba is a big guy. With his size, it can be safely assumed that he cannot run well. Thus he fulfills an important requirement for being Jason Giambi.

It is well documented that Joba likes to drink. He even discussed his drinking habits with a Nebraska state trooper, who then needlessly cited him for driving drunk. Thus, Joba fulfills another important requirement for being Jason Giambi.

Jason Giambi did not hit well last year. It is safe to assume that Joba, a career pitcher with little plate experience, would not hit well this year. Again, Jason Giambi.

Joba has never played first base, guaranteeing a defensive ability equal to Jason Giambi, of whom it is not clear how often he has played first base.

With these rock solid facts in hand, one cannot deny that Joba should be our first baseman, this year's Jason Giambi. With this shocking turn of events, the debate over Joba's future role with the Yankees is now closed. Thank you for reading.

Will You Be Watching?

Tomorrow at 1:30pm Alex Rodriguez will hold his press conference at Steinbrenner Stadium, formerly known by the much worse name, Legends' Field. Will you tune in? I'll probably listen to the audio on later that day, but I suspect I'll have better things to do tomorrow afternoon, like figuring out which supplements available at GNC could trigger a false positive for primobolan, but then deciding to just go with the primobolan anyway. We'll probably be doing another exclusive interview with Mr. Rodriguez in the near future, so stay tuned in for your number one Yankees' news source, Respect Jeter's Gangster dot blogspot dot com (we realize it's a long name, but it's not our fault).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Jeter Will Have Bounce Back Year

Usually an article talking about how a player will have a comeback year is followed by a stream of statistics and logical arguments that back the idea that the player will perform better than usual. In this case, we have none, and don't care. We're telling you right now that Jeter will have a great season. But if we have no facts how can we be so sure you ask? Well, lets break down the two opposing arguments.

Why He Will Do Well:

He hit .300 last season which wasn't bad, and his lack of power hitting seemed to be a result of a Daniel Cabrera fastball off his hand.

Why He Won't Do Well:

He's getting old, and has been declining each year.

Both arguments are good, but our reason for believing that he will absolutely own next season has nothing to do with either of these. The reason we believe he will do well is that he performs best in years that end in 9. Yes, you heard it here first. Since 2009 ends with 9, he will have a monster season. Consider this: in 1999 Jeter had career highs in average, homeruns, RBI's, and triples. That season he hit .349 with 24 homeruns, 102 RBI's and 9 triples. But the argument doesn't end there. In 1989, at the humble age of 15, Jeter hit .800 off high school pitching, and so dominated the high school league that they made a motion to illegalize his presence after several 'roided out high school pitchers balled up in locker room corners and cried after facing Jeter. In 1979, at the age of 5, Jeter also rocked the Tee-Ball league, hitting so many opposite field homeruns that they thought he had a corked bat, and after confiscating and seeing it was real, made him move to little league half way through the season. So Jeter will have a monster season, and all the cryers will cry tears of weakness. Go Yankees!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What I Love About the Yankees

In this Valentine's day, we at the Respect Jeter's Gangster blog would like to share what we appreciate and love most about the New York Yankees. So here are the top 10 things we love about the Yankees:

1. When most teams would be crippled by their top player being injured, the Yankees just go out and get another top player.
2. The way Jeter answers all questions without actually answering any questions.
3. The fact that they have Derek Jeter.
4. The way they're called the evil empire, and then buy up every major free agent to prove it.
5. I love the way they build a new stadium, despite the fact that it has obstructed views.
6. The way the Yankees always want it all, and then get it.
7. The way Jeter hits to the opposite field, even though we all know he has the pull power to hit 30 homeruns annually.
8. The way their owners have lost their flipping minds, and aren't afraid to show it to the whole world.
9. The way people can spend hours writing negative things about them, but only do so to hide their intense admiration and deep seeded desire to be a New York Yankee.
10. The way they're rivalry with the Red Sox out does any other rivalry in the continent.

There you have it. So what do you love most about the New York Yankees? Derek Jeter?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Derek Jeter Releases Statement About A-Rod to Respect Jeter's Gangster

Everyone's been waiting for Derek Jeter to address the media about the A-Rod situation, and he still plans to do so. However, Jeter wanted to do an advanced release about the A-Rod situation exclusively through the Respect Jeter' Gangster website. Here is his statement:

"I, Derek Jeter, would like everyone to know that A-Rod is my teammate. Thank you."

There you have it, Derek Jeter is A-Rod's teammate. Jeter also wanted to release a statement about his excitement for this upcoming season. Here it is:

"I'm very excited for this upcoming season."

So that will have to hold you over until he actually addresses the press in the near future.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Woe To You Baseball Commissioners, Hypocrites!

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig released the following statement regarding A-Rod's steroid use:

On behalf of Major League Baseball, I am saddened by the revelations concerning Alex Rodriguez's use of performance-enhancing substances. While Alex deserves credit for publicly confronting the issue, there is no valid excuse for using such substances and those who use them have shamed the game.

What Alex did was wrong and he will have to live with the damage he has done to his name and reputation. His actions are also a reminder to everyone in baseball -- under our current drug program, if you are caught using steroids and/or amphetamines, you will be punished. Since 2005, every player who has tested positive for steroids has been suspended for as much as 50 games. Eradicating performance-enhancing substances from the game of baseball has been my first priority over the past decade and it is important to remember that these recent revelations relate to pre-program activity.

A-Rod shamed the game? Please, Bud, spare me. I'm really tired of baseball officials, fans, and columnists and their feigned indignity. Let's go back to 1998. McGwire and Sosa chased Maris; Juan-Gone chased Hack Wilson; the Yankees broke the regular season wins record; so on and so forth. It was the year that saved baseball from the consequences of the 1994 player strike. It was the year steroids saved baseball, everyone knew it then, and I'm tired of them pretending they're shocked about it now.

Baseball needed a year like 1998. It had struggled to get fans back to the parks since the player strike and 1998 put baseball back at the forefront of the American experience. I was in high school in 1998, and I remember joking with my friends about how all these players hitting all these home runs were on steroids. We all suspected McGwire of 'roids. But we didn't care. Neither did baseball. Those players gave us a hell of a show. Steroids gave us a hell of a show, and we all loved it. We loved the 'Chicks dig the long ball' commercials on ESPN before the 1999 season. We loved that any year someone might hit over 60 home runs. Baseball didn't ask, players didn't tell, fans didn't care.

Now, all of a sudden, these "cheaters" have ruined baseball. The truth is, not nearly as many of us would be paying nearly as much attention if these players hadn't shot up and delivered one of the greatest single seasons in baseball history. Baseball needed 1998, and it needed steroids, and I don't blame it for turning a blind eye. I think that it's good that they instituted testing once baseball was on a stronger footing, and they did wait until baseball was on a stronger footing. I just wish all these people would stop acting like they didn't embrace the steroids era with open arms and that all these players have done us all a great disservice. They didn't sell nuclear secrets. They just made baseball America's past-time again.

People may not want to accept that, but it doesn't change the fact that steroids more or less saved baseball. If your team has a new stadium, thank steroids. And stop pretending these guys ruined the game as though you didn't cheer them on with full, if not confirmed, knowledge of what they were doing behind clothes doors. If me and my 16 year old buddies new what was going on, so did everyone else. That includes Bud Selig, all these columnists screaming for A-Rod's head, and just about anyone at all involved with the sport of baseball in general. So please, enough with the feigned indignity. If you didn't raise the issue then, I don't want to hear about it now.

Bronny C Gets A Call

A lot has happened over the last few weeks in the life of Brian Cashman. First, it was revealed that he betrayed Joe Torre in 2007. Then, a week later, it was revealed that his favorite free agent signing of all time was a steroid user. Then we found out about A-Rod. With that in mind, it was time to give our good friend Cashman a call. The following is a transcript of our conversation:

BC: Hello.

RJG: What's up playa playa?

BC: I'm pretty busy right now.

RJG: I can see that. So how do you feel about the fact that you've signed so many steroid users? Giambi, Sheffield, Clemens, Pettitte, and now A-Rod. What's your big obsession with cheaters?

BC: In fairness, not all of those guys were my call.

RJG: But you still signed them. Why don't you grow a pair and tell Hank to go F-- himself like Girardi did to Loria back in Florida?

BC: I think you catch more flies with honey.

RJG: Sounds like you catch more cheaters with anonymous steroid testing. So when Jeter refused comment, were you like, 'why does Jeter hate A-Rod so much?' or more like, 'I wish I refused to comment?'

BC: I'm not sure that question makes sense. Jeter didn't refuse comment. He refused to comment twice essentially, stating he wasn't going to answer questions now that he will have to field again in a week. He's gangster like that. He's like Clive Owen in Inside Man. "Listen very carefully to what I have to say, because I'm only going to say it once."

RJG: Your Clive Owen sucks. Is that why you couldn't make it in show business?

BC: I was never in show business.

RJG: But you were on steroids, right?


There you have it folks, B to the C is among the 103 yet to be revealed players who tested positive in 2003.

1 Day, 1 Player The Countdown Ends: Joba Chamberlain

Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.

Here we are, at the end of our 25 man countdown to spring training. We are finally, and mercifully, going to see some real baseball going down the stretch. But before that can begin, we have sir Joba Chamberlain to review. Joba had a great season last year despite beginning as a reliever and needing to transition to a starting role mid-season. Though it had been speculated that Joba would be sent to the minors to be stretched out for his starting role, the stretching actually occured at the big league level. Joba adapted well to being in the rotation making 12 starts before a sore shoulder landed him on the DL. Joba had some good games in there including a 7 inning shutout of the Red Sox. His final numbers for the season were a 4-3 record with a 2.60 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 100.1 innings. Joba returned in early September, but was used as a reliever. The big question for Joba, who is slated as the 5th starter, is whether he can stay healthy while pitching in the rotation, and how many innings he will be able to pitch next year. The suggestion is 130 innings, but even for a 5th starter, that's pretty low. Will Joba begin in the rotation and then be moved to the bullpen as he nears his limit? Its certainly possible.

My Fearless Prediction:

130 innings, I give him about 18 - 20 starts before he's pitching out of the bullpen. I could see him knocking out a mid-2 ERA again, with about a strikeout per inning pitched, and roughly 10-12 wins.

Little Known Joba Fact:

A man by the name of Ryan Ward impersonated Joba last year to score free bagels and drinks. In response, Joba impersonated Ryan Ward and robbed a bank leaving clues that led to Ward's house. Ward was arrested for the bank robbery and sentenced to 40 years in prison, but he escaped, leaving behind a note vowing revenge against Joba.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Manny Should Be Signed Any Time Now

Its long been speculated that with Manny's high contract demands, interested teams have been holding out using the abundant market of outfielders to shield them. Now that market has drastically changed. Both Bobby Abreu and Adam Dunn have signed contracts with the Angels and Nationals respectively. Abreu's $5 million 1-year deal is well short of the $16 million he made last year, but I'm sure he's releived to be signed. Dunn signed a 2-year deal with the Nationals for an undisclosed amount.

Now that those two are off the market, both the Giants and Dodgers could step up their efforts to get Manny, though I seriously doubt he will see the 4-5 years he's looking for. The other two prominent free agent position players, Orlando Hudson and Orlando Cabrera, just aren't on the same offensive level as Abreu or Dunn, not to mention Manny. So without their safety net, I suspect the Dodgers or Giants will be upping their offer to Manny. We'll just have to wait and see how this plays out, but it should happen sooner rather then later.

This From Ken Rosenthal

I don't know what it is about this A-Rod situation, but its making typically sound writers look like idiots. Consider this passage from Ken Rosenthals "Steroid Admission Just the Beginning for A-Rod" article:

"Rodriguez evidently believed the upside of trying to salvage his reputation was greater than the downside of any potential fallout from his ESPN interview.

Well, by 'coming clean,' he has compromised the other 103 players who tested positive in '03, putting pressure on them to be just as forthcoming if their identities are revealed.

But Rodriguez isn't worried about them, is he?"

Okay, so you're basically saying that A-Rod is selfish for coming clean since he didn't consider the imagined pressure it would put on the other 103 guilty players on the list. That. Jerk.

I typically like Ken Rosenthal, but this was stupid. I guess from Rosenthal's point of view, A-Rod should not have admitted to it, and perhaps even denied it to spare his fellow 103 PED users. Does Rosenthal think that anyone cares about protecting the people on that list?

This steroid issue is making typically good writers write dumb. I hope this passes by the time spring training starts in two days. I sure am ready to get back to some baseball.


I was reading the NY Post when I came across this article about a law suit against Roberto Alomar. Alomar is being sued by his ex-girlfriend Ilya Dall because apparently when they were dating, Alomar had AIDS and was having unprotected sex with her. However, the suit also states that Alomar did not know he had AIDS at the time, and also, his ex-girlfriend tested negative for the disease. She's suing for emotional distress. Is it just me, or is trying to cash in on an AIDS patient completely heartless? I didn't know that Alomar had AIDS, which is awful news, but what's even worse is that this woman is trying to sue him for it.

The suit gets really weird when Dall claims that Alomar had told her he was raped by two Mexican men in New Mexico after a ball game. I don't know if this is true or not, since this woman doesn't strike me as a reliable source, but it does remind me the importance of one of my life long rules: never visit New Mexico.

In other news, the A-Rod fallout is still spreading with every columnist, journalist, and free lance writer giving their opinion on what he should do, what he should have said, what he should not have said, and so on. Personally, I think they should all shut up. I'm not really sure why all these people feel the need to offer their advice. It wasn't asked for, and I for one really could care less what they would do in this situation. He admitted to it, that's all I wanted. Now, the biggest issue people are jumping on is that when asked if he used from 2001 - 2003, instead of saying "Yes" he said "That's pretty accurate." Is this really all there is to write about? However the award for most pointless article related to A-Rod goes to Julie Kay, Lorena Mongelli, and Dan Mangan for this NY Post article. The start of the article reads:

"It was back to business as usual for Alex Rodriguez yesterday - with the Yankees superstar acting as if massive headlines about his confession of past steroid use were no big thing."

The article then goes on to say that A-Rod went to the gym, then went to his ex-wife's home, and later to his real estate office. What exactly did they expect A-Rod to do? Confine himself to his home, and never come out again? He should be going to the gym, and taking care of business. Spring training starts in 2 days. All the article shows is that some or all of Julie Kay, Lorena Mongelli, and Dan Mangan followed A-Rod around, and then wrote an article about his day. Great work guys.

2 Days, 2 Players: Jonathan Albaladejo

Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.

As the Yankees look to round out their bullpen, I believe its going to come down to who they take between Jonathan Albaladejo and David Robertson. Robertson threw heat, but ended the season with a 5.34 ERA. His last 10 outings were not bad with a 3.46 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 13 innings. Last season was his first in the majors, so he has plenty of time to grow. That brings us to Albaladejo. Coming to the Yankees in the trade with the Nationals that sent Tyler Clippard to Washington, the Yankees hoped that Albaladejo would bring a quality arm to the bullpen. However, that arm was injured for the majority of the season. Albaladejo threw just 13.2 innings last season with a 3.95 ERA. Nothing spectacular, and too small a sample size to see how effective he can be. He played some winter ball in Puerto Rico, and it appears he's recovered from his elbow issues. It will come down to a battle between Albaladejo and Robertson, and it could really go either way. My money's on Albaladejo making the team if only because they traded for him, and will want to capitolize off their investment. Robertson will be on the big league club at some point as well.

My Fearless Prediction:

Albaladejo goes about 45 innings with a high 3 ERA, and strikes out the side in a close game with the Red Sox, which endears him to Yankee fans for years to come.

Little Known Albaladejo Fact:

Albaladejo ghost wrote Beyonce's "Single Ladies".

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Has the A-Rod Moment Passed?

They're still talking about A-Rod. A number of columns and and hours of sports radio coverage today have focused on picking apart A-Rod's mea culpa. What did he say? What didn't he say? What was true and what was a lie? Who cares? He used steroids for three years, get over it. He probably did know what he was taking, but does it matter? He took steroids, we know that. He didn't suggest, as some claim, that he tested positive as a result of a GNC supplement. He simply said that we (as in baseball players generally) were taking all sorts of stuff, some of which you can get over the counter, that today would result in a negative test. He's not going to say what he took, or who he got them from, because that throws someone else under the bus and it isn't important. He admitted the use. I'm sure the press will continue to parse his Gammons' interview, but how much longer can we talk about this? Is it just me or is time to move on?

3 Days, 3 Players: Jose Veras

Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.

Veras is an interesting bullpen piece for the Yankees since he's still developing as a big league player, and he throws heat. That he still needs to grow can be seen in the 29 walks he allowed in 57.2 innings last season, not to mention the 7 homeruns. Veras ended last season with a 3.59 ERA, a 5-3 record and 63 strikeouts, which is not bad by any means. It can be hard to guage a releiver by his season numbers alone. An example of how numbers can be misleading is say you have two pitchers who make 5 appearances lasting one inning each, one gives up 1 run in each of his appearances, while the other is scoreless in 4 of his outings, but gives up 5 runs in the final outing. Their numbers would be identical, but which of those pitchers gave their team more chances to win? An effective reliever in my opinion is someone who can take the ball from one pitcher and pass it to the next without a change in score. At this, Veras succeeded. Out of his 60 appearances last season, 46 were scoreless efforts. If Veras can figure out how to limit the long ball, he could really prove to be effective next season.

My Fearless Prediction:

Veras strikes out more, and gets his walks under control. Outside of that, his ERA will remain about the same, but I expect him to get more innings next season.

Little Known Veras Fact:

Veras used to sneak candy into the clubhouse in bags labeled "Granola Goodness" and "Tofu Bites". Girardi was none the wiser.

Jeter and Posada Say No to Drugs

In this NY Post article, Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter are both quoted as saying that they know they are not on that list of 104 players who tested positive. When asked if he was concerned with being on the list, Jeter replied: "Why would I worry about me being on that list?" Its a great question. As my brother mentioned yesterday, if he was using steroids he was not using them correctly, since his numbers seem to stay pretty consistant throughout his career. I got into a discussion last night with another Yankee fan who said that he does not want to know whose on the list. He said that if Jeter was on the list it would crush him. I feel the same way, but I still want to see the list. I think they should also reveal who was tested and passed. I would rather know for certain who is not on the list than to have a lingering doubt.

When asked about this whole situation the Post quotes Posada as saying: "I don't think I've put anything in my body that could be positive on one of those tests,....I have never tested positive. My first language is Spanish. I know English, but my first language is Spanish. I have wanted to make sure I have never taken anything. I'm as clean as a whistle."

Translation: "I didn't take any PED's, but after what happened to Romero, I can't be sure that the mixed berry protein shake I bought at GNC will generate a positive test. My first language is Spanish, which means that I don't know what things like "anaroxibolactyx" mean and therefore have it checked out before I take it, but since Romero also ran his substance by a specialist and was given the okay before testing positive, who knows what will generate a positive test any more."

So, we have two Yankee stars saying that they are clean. Of course, we heard this same thing from A-Rod about one year ago in the 60 minutes interview. I think it is not fair to 1000 or so clean players who were tested in that era to be bunched up with the 104 PED users that were tested then. Release the results!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A-Rod Did the Right Thing

He took steroids. Just kidding. In an interview with Peter Gammons, that will air tonight on ESPN at 6pm ET, Rodgriguez admitted taking banned substances throughout the three year period he played for the Rangers from 2001-2003. He did not claim he only did it once. He explained that he felt the pressure of his contract and he only blamed himself (at least that is the indication from the articles on and ESPN broke the story). This will go a long way toward helping A-Rod reclaim his place in baseball. Will he ever hold the same stature he did one week ago? No. But significant salvaging can still be done. This will be an interesting couple of weeks, but A-Rod, I believe, has done the right thing and this will not follow him all Spring, let alone all season.

A-Rod Update

Apparently A-Rod will be sitting down with Peter Gammons tonight to address the SI article according to Mike Francessa on the Fan. Should be interesting to see what happens.

I've been thinking about how crushing it would be if it came out that someone like Jeter used steroids. Not that I think that is likely, but if it did it would hurt. Not because he cheated though, but because he hit so few homeruns anyway. So if it ever comes out that he used steroids, he better have a very good explanation for why he is constitutionally incapable of hitting for power. It is a moot point however since I don't believe he ever used. Believe me, Canseco would have been all over that years ago if Jeter was someone he could call out.

Baseball is Still Happening. 4 Days, 4 Players: Making Up For Lost Time

Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.
The news that came out this weekend has derailed our player profiles, but its about time we get back on track. Here's for lost time. Despite all that's happening, Spring Training starts in just 4 days, the Yankees have a new stadium, and have brought in two star pitchers and a phenomenal first baseman. So here's our continuation of our player reviews: Brett Gardner, Alfredo Aceves, and Mariano Rivera.

Brett Gardner

Gardner made his big league debut last season, and impressed many with his one discernable baseball talent: speed. Gardner stole 13 bases in limited action last season, and many saw him as the replacement of Melky Cabrera. However, this was more reactionary than anything else. Gardner hit just .228 last season, with a .299 slugging percentage. Everyone gave up on Melky when he hit .248 with a .341 slugging percentage. That being said, this was Gardners first big league cup of tea, and it was exciting. He had a couple walk off hits, and his defense was great. He does not have much power, but with the speed potential to turn singles into doubles, who really cares? He does need to work on his hitting, since speed means nothing if you cannot get on base. He swings with his upper body, and I'm sure it makes Kevin Long cringe.

My Fearless Prediction:

Gardner will be used mainly as a bench player/defensive replacement. He'll trade time with Melky but largely be seen as a 4th (5th?) outfielder. Gardner will likely improve his batting average, but not substantially. Maybe a .250 average, with 20+ stolen bases.

Little Known Gardner Fact:

Gardner once out ran a rabid horse that was chasing him through the mountains of South Carolina. The horse was eventually captured and punched in the face by Hank Steinbrenner.

Alfredo Aceves

Aceves impressed many last season when he stepped into the big league rotation, and gave 4 quality starts seemingly out of no where. His 2.40 ERA was a boost for the club, but unfortunately it was too little too late. The team already sucked. His last outing of the season was against the Red Sox and he went 4 innings allowing 4 runs. The question going into next season will be if Aceves' run at success was just beginner's luck ala Ian Kennedy in 2007, or if his many years in the Mexican League have created a gritty veteran who will be effective against major league hitters.

My Fearless Prediction:

Aceves will be the long reliever/spot starter of the group, and will likely succeed at it. He doesn't have the best stuff in the world, but he has the know how, and will likely be effective against big league hitters. Apart from an occasional shelling, he'll be a very effective reliever next season. I would think at least 5 wins with an ERA in the mid 3's.

Little Known Aceves Fact:

Alfredo Aceves has a PhD in Mathematics and once discovered and solved an equation that would allow teleportation. He lost the equation however when Hank Steinbrenner's rabid horse broke into his lab and started a chemical fire that took 3 days to put out.

Mariano Rivera

One of the saddest things about last season was how the terrible performance of the team over shadowed the amazing performance by its closer, Mariano Rivera. After accepting a record breaking 3 year $45 million deal, many were curious how Rivera would perform. In 2007, he had one of the toughest seasons in recent memory with a 3.15 ERA, and seemingly losing the edge on his cutter. But 2008 proved that the cutter is as sharp as ever. Rivera posted a 1.40 ERA with 77 strikeouts in 70.2 innings. He saved 39 games out of 40 opportunities. He only walked 6 batters all season. Will Rivera enter the decline that all players eventually do? I thought he would after 2007, but 2008 gave me pause. The big question with Rivera is how he will respond to the shoulder surgery he had in the off season. Will this be an issue down the stretch? Will our precious closer see the DL next season? Obviously, these questions will have a huge impact on how the season goes.

My Fearless Prediction:

I don't think the shoulder will be a problem. With the exception of maybe Girardi not using him as much to protect him, I don't think we'll be seeing much of an impact from the surgery. He may have a hard time early on, but his cutter will be there, and it will have bite. I suggest 63 innings and a 2.40 ERA with about 40 saves.

Little Known Rivera Fact:

Mariano Rivera opened a steak house in New Rochelle called Mo's. At their grand opening, ninja's attacked the restaurant, and Rivera fought them off for three hours with a steak knife, until Hank Steinbrenner's rabid horse came rampaging through the kitchen, effectively violating about a dozen health codes, and shut them down for the next month. The ninja's were pleased.

And Right Back to A-Rod

My brother has done a great job covering the A-Rod news this weekend, as I was largely collecting myself after hearing the story. There are several things that as a Yankee fan I need to consider. Joel Sherman has already pointed out that the Yankees were free from A-Rod prior to last season, but then decided to sign him to a monster contract with incentives based on homeruns hit, even after they said they would not negotiate with him. But we really cannot fault the Yankees for this. His 2007 season was amazing by any standard, and he seemed to even thrive under pressure, which had been his biggest weakness. There was no better player to play third base for the New York Yankees at the time. With this new revelation however, this decision comes into question. It shouldn't. The question the Yankees and A-Rod need to answer is what they will do next. Many writers have given their opinion, and they largely say the same thing: he should come clean. But to me, it's a moot point. Coming clean after being caught is not as honorable as we make it out to be. It is however the wise choice. The Yankees gave A-Rod a large contract, and now have to feel cheated. The homerun clauses look very bad right now as well. The idea was that if A-Rod would go on a homerun chase, the media coverage and fan support for the last all-natural hope in baseball would be amazing and the Yankees would profit. Of course, if the Yankees profit, then the player should profit, and thus the $30 million in incentives for breaking the homerun record were added. How's that fan support and media coverage going to look now?

I agree with Reggie Jackson, and oddly enough, Curt Schilling when they say that the other 103 names should be made public as well. At this point, I'd rather know who used, then to always have that lingering question about every player in that era. Let's not forget that 1,198 players were tested that year, and 104 of them tested positive. That means there were 1094 players tested who were clean, and its not fair for all of them to be under suspicion, baseless as it may be, for steroid use. In fact, release all 1,198 test results. Let the fans see what was done.

Now some people are upset with Sports Illustrated for breaking this story, and some are upset with them for not revealing the other 103 names. This is unfounded. SI found out about A-Rod from several sources, and I'm willing to bet those sources did not reveal all 103 names to them. Basically, Sports Illustrated isn't sitting on all 104 names. They only had one, and they had this one because it was likely the most recognizable name on the list. Why would the source bother to name the dozens upon dozens of small time players that no one remembers who are likely on that list? If you had the list of 104 players and you saw a name as big as Alex Rodriguez, would you even bother to wade through the Tommy McThompson's and Fred Ferguson's that likely comprise 75% of that list?
This is going to be tough on us Yankee fans, because let's face it, we're stuck with him. We have 9 more years on this contract, and no other team will want to pay this kind of money after these revelations. Even if the Yankees pick up half his contract, they will still have trouble moving him. He's tainted and now the Yankees, and we the fans, have to find out how to cope with A-Rod for the next 9 years. Unless Cashman had the foresight to include a steroid clause in the contract that allows the Yankees to drop him, I don't see how we can get rid of him. But have no doubt about it, I want to get rid of him. All these years, we put up with the headache that was A-Rod because of the natural talent he was. Now that that's gone, were just left with the headache.

How's Manny Feeling Right Now

Apparently Scott Boras and A-Rod are holed up somewhere in Miami planning the public response to the steroids report. If I'm Manny, still unemployed Manny, I'm pissed. I need a job and my agent is busy doing media consulting for a guy with a $300M contract. That sucks. Should've taken that first offer from the Dodgers bro.

A Break From A-Rod

Can you believe this article in the New York Times from a few days ago? Apparently it would be really tough for executives at investment banks who receive federal bailout money to "make it" on $500,000 a year in Manhattan. Tell that to the countless people who have to make it on less than $40,000, and may lose their job and health care because these greedy pieces of $#!% needed a better quarterly earnings report. I try to stay away from politics here, but this is too much. Spare me the sob stories. I'll gladly find a way to "survive" on $500K.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

And the Award Goes To...

The award for most melodramatic take on the A-Rod roid scandal goes to Jayson Stark for this column on

I'll be the first to admit that this revelation hurts the sport, but come April 1st, I'll be watching baseball. Baseball will always be America's game because it's about more than particular players, statistics, or records. It's about catch with dad, your first trip to the ball park, catching a fly ball in the stands. So let's not lose it. Does it hurt? Yes. Will it make me care more about some other sport? No. Is this hockey's chance to gain some market share? No. Sorry hockey, you still suck. Just kidding. But seriously, no one likes you.

RJG Exclusive: Interview with Alex Rodriguez

Since finding out about the steroid allegations, Alex Rodriguez, warmly referred to as A-Fraud by everyone who knows and loves him dearly, has refused to speak to the media. RJG, however, is not the media. We're more like a media watchdog, catching all the major stories the liberal corporate owned right wing media ignores. A-Rod, consequently, agreed to sit down with us for an interview to discuss this latest controversy. Here is the transcript:

RJG: Welcome A-Rod.

AR: Thank you.

RJG: It's been quite a couple of weeks for you.

AR: Yes, yes it has.

RJG: First the Torre book, now the SI article. Now that you're a disingenuous cheating bastard, how do you think you will be received in the clubhouse?

AR: When I was younger, Jeter and I would have sleepovers, we'd hang out all the time, but we've grown apart over the years. It's just life.

RJG: My question wasn't about your relationship with Jeter.

AR: How do you think Jeter would've answered that question? Does this haircut make me look like Jeter?

RJG: A-Rod. You're being accused of failing a drug test for steroids use. Your entire legacy, many would say, has been flushed down the toilet. Don't you have any reaction to that?

AR: What do you think Jeter is doing right now? I wonder what he's wearing.

RJG: A-Rod! Please! Your whole career has been called into question. Every Yankee fan who ever booed you, and was subsequently criticized for not supporting their guy, was just vindicated! Jose Canseco now has more integrity than you in the eyes of ESPN analysts everywhere! Stop talking about Jeter for just one second and focus on the issue at hand! Did you or did you not take steroids in 2003?!

AR: If Jeter was a tree, what kind of tree do you think he would be? A maple? A pine? I think a mighty oak. That's what I think.

RJG: Good lord, Alex. You're like 'Single White Female.' Seriously. Everyone hates you. Stop talking about Jeter!

AR: Wait a minute, isn't your blog called 'Respect Jeter's Gangster?'

RJG: Yeah. So . . .

AR: And don't you write laudatory post after laudatory post about how gangster Jeter is?

RJG: I guess we occasionally laud him . . .

AR: And wouldn't you try to emulate Jeter if you got to share a clubhouse with him?

RJG: We're not on trial here A-Rod, you . . .

AR: [Yelling dramatically] I rest my case, sir!

RJG: A-Rod, did you or didn't you use steroids?!

AR: I said 'good day!'


[Alex Rodriguez then proceeds to get up from his seat and imitate Jeter's batting stance and Gatorade G2 commercials for the next fifteen minutes while our interviewer watched in stunned disbelief.]

There you have it folks. A-Rod really likes Jeter. If only Jeter really liked him.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

More on the A-Rod Roid Leak

All indications are that A-Rod did not know that he had tested positive as a result of the 2003 survey testing program. Presumably, however, he did know he was taking steroids during that time. The steroid he took was supposedly harder to detect and perhaps for that reason he didn't think he could get caught. Regardless, this is a big hit to a lot of us. I keep trying to figure out some way to spin this and write a funny post, but I suppose it's too early. It stings right now, I won't lie. It's not just that A-Rod took steroids. After all, it's not like he's a home grown Yankee. But he's our guy for the next nine years. Regardless of whether he breaks it, the all-time homerun record will still be tarnished. Worse for humanity, the person with the most integrity in baseball with regard to PEDs is Jose Canseco. Think about that. Jose Canseco, the douche of douches, is the person with the most integrity with regards to steroid usage in baseball. Not McGwire, not Palmiero, not Pettitte, and now, not A-Rod. Think of how many class act ballplayers are on the list of people we can't trust because they cheated, but Canseco is a beacon of honesty. That's outright crazy. That's how badly baseball has handled the steroid era. Want honesty? Ask Canseco, just pay him up front. Wow, MLB. Wow.


You've probably already heard, but Sports Illustrated is reporting that A-Rod tested positive for steroids in 2003, under a survey program that set the stage for MLB's current testing program. I guess when it rains it pours in Yankee land. First Clemens, then Pettitte, now A-Rod? Granted, A-Rod was with the Rangers that year and he has won two MVPs since testing was instituted (not to mention a 50 homerun season), but still. This is pretty damaging. I'm sure I'll be making fun of A-Rod in a few posts from now, but this one hurts. Especially since A-Rod has been a target for all Yankee-haters who love to talk about how we moved away from developing players and just overpaying for free agents. Now he's drug-enhanced. Not cool A-Rod. Not cool.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Jane Heller: Confessions of a She-Fan

As our feature interview, this post will remain at the top of our page for the rest of the week. Scroll below this post to view our new posts. Keep it gangster!

It is with great pleasure that we at the Respect Jeter's Gangster blog present our first interview of 2009 with author Jane Heller. Jane is set to release her first Yankees-related book Confessions of a She-Fan: The Course of True Love with the New York Yankees on Tuesday, February 3.

As a New York Times bestseller, Jane has written several romantic comedies, but with this project Jane turns her attention to her true love, the New York Yankees. Jane had sent us a copy of the book in advance, and the book is fantastic! The story itself is funny and brings back to life the 2007 season with all its difficulties and eventual victories. The best part is that it is written from the perspective of the fan. Its easy to relate to the emotions described in the book, from anger and sadness, to absolute joy. Its what a New York baseball season is all about.

Besides writing books, Jane maintains the Confessions of a She-Fan blog. Always witty, and full of baseball talk, we recommend you add this site as one of your daily stops in Yankee blog land.

And without further delay, here is our exclusive interview with Jane Heller:

1) You were a successful author before this book project, writing mainly romantic comedies. What made you want to switch to a sports-related, first person narrative like "Confessions of a She-Fan"?

I had written 13 novels in 13 years and was sort of burned out. I was dying for something different to write. I’d always been a passionate Yankee fan and watched every game on TV. When they had that miserable first half in ‘07, I was flipping out. So I wrote about that – how I wanted to divorce the Yankees for betraying me – and sent the piece to the New York Times. That led to the She-Fan book and a dream project for me.

2) One of the anecdotes in your book is about how you once got a date with Ruben Amaro, who played shortstop for the Yankees. If you had to go on a date with a current Yankee player, who would it be and why?

(Editor's Note: The correct answer is Derek Jeter)

LOL on your correct answer. But I have to say that I’d pick Mo. I LOVE Mo. He’s a little young for me, but look at A-Rod and Madonna? Mo’s my favorite Yankee because he’s an amazing pitcher, a great competitor and a classy guy. Oh, and have you checked out his eyes? They’re gorgeous.

3) The book began as part of a piece you wrote in the New York Times early in the 2007 season about divorcing the Yankees for mental cruelty. What were your feelings about the 2008 season?

The 2008 season was depressing, but I’d gotten all that divorce stuff out of my system in ‘07 and was much more rational about ‘08. I didn’t let it bother me the way I used to let every single loss ruin my days and nights. I had really, really wanted us to get Santana and I wasn’t all that shocked when Hughes and Kennedy didn’t pan out or when Rasner and Ponson didn’t go 10-0 like Aaron Small. Without pitching, we didn’t have a chance.

4) Picture for a moment that you were a Pirates fan, would you skip the divorce and go straight to murder?

Yeah, I’d go straight to murder. On the other hand, they haven’t raised their ticket prices in years. If you’re a Pirates fan, you can actually afford to go to games.

5) How many times in your book, do you refer to A-Rod as A-Fraud?

Never. A-Rod is a great player who’s got “issues.” He hit over 50 home runs and over 150 RBIs in ‘07 and, in large part, was responsible for the team getting into the playoffs that year. I expect another MVP season in ‘09. And by the way, he’s not the only player to ask a clubhouse attendant to do personal favors for him. They ALL do it. I’m not happy with Torre for putting that little gem in his book.

6) How do you feel the baseball public responds to female baseball fans, particularly ones who are knowledgeable and passionate about their team and the game?

My own experience is that guys are amazed that we actually know what we’re talking about. They think women are all about having a crush on Jeter. Some of us have been watching baseball for years and have earned our fandom. That said, don’t ask me about stats. My eyes glaze over when you guys start talking about percentages. Most women fans I show aren’t into sybermetrics or whatever it’s called. :)

7) You mention several unpleasant run-ins with Yankee Stadium security. Do you think the Yankees look for sociopathic malcontents, or power hungry napoleon complex types when hiring security?

I think they look for escaped convicts from prisons around the country – the kind that eat other inmates.

8) Of all the stadiums you visited, which one outside of Yankee Stadium was your favorite and why?

Camden Yards. It’s a beautiful park. It’s very Yankee-fan friendly. And Boog’s Barbecue has the best pit turkey platter I’ve ever had. The only bad experience I had there was when a guy barfed a few rows back from me. Bad, bad smell.

9) How would you define the perfect fan?

The perfect fan lives and dies by his/her team but doesn’t have to remind everybody every six seconds. I’m still learning how to be that fan. I’m also learning how to stop letting Yankee haters get to me. The minute I hear, “You choked in ‘04” or “You think you can buy a championship” or “Yankee suck,” I want to grab a sharp object and do harm. I need to get a grip.

10) As an experienced author, what advice would you give to amateur writers trying to get their work published?

Get a copy of “Writer’s Market.” It’s a reference book that’s available at libraries and bookstores. It lists all literary agents and tells you how to make submissions to them. Agents are key to getting published. So you just have to go through the list (it gives each agent’s specialties and interests) and send them your work. Tedious but worth it in the end.

11) On your blog, there have been mentions of a possible "Confessions of a She-Fan" movie. Where does this stand, and who will you get to play the Respect Jeter's Gangster's authors?

I have an agent in LA who handles all the movie rights to my books. Eight of the books have sold to Hollywood, so she’s been very successful. What we’re hearing from producers who’ve read the She-Fan book is, “Oh, but will a baseball movie sell overseas?” I remind my agent that baseball is big in Japan. She says, “Yeah, but it’s not like it’s ‘Dark Knight.’” She has a point. We’re trying to interest Penny Marshall in directing the movie, since she’s a Yankee fan and directed ‘A League of Their Own.’ But no news to report.

12) What kind of promotional events are you planning for the book? Any book tours?

I’m having a big launch party here in Santa Barbara on February 28th. Free beer and plenty of food and appearances by the Santa Barbara Foresters (independent league) and Tab Hunter, the movie star who played the lead in “Damn Yankees” years ago. If anybody reading this lives in CA, please come! I’m also going to Tampa for spring training. I’m signing at the Barnes & Noble Carrollwood store near Steinbrenner Field on Friday, March 6th at 1 pm and then will be at the game against the Tigers that night. Very excited. The national and NY publicity will happen in late March and April. Joe Torre stole my thunder, so we’re waiting until that story is over. I can’t believe his book and mine are being published on the exact same day! Oh, well. He’ll lose this battle. He may be doing Larry King and Letterman, but I’m doing Respect Jeter’s Gangster. Ha ha, Joe. The fans will have the last word!

13) You've now written several op-eds for the NY Times. Why do you suppose the NY Times won't publish our op-eds?

Maybe they’re not looking for articles about dinosaurs, but I could be wrong.

14) You have a very popular blog at How many times a day do you frequent the Respect Jeter's Gangster blog, and why is it your favorite site?

I’m on your blog every day – usually twice a day. I love the fact that it’s got the latest news (if there is any – this has been a SLOW period for bloggers), plus it takes a funny, lighthearted look at what’s going on. Some fans have no sense of humor. You guys are hilarious. The Bronny Cash phone calls are the best.

15) Lastly, what do you respect most about Jeter's gangster?

I respect everything about Jeter. The way he plays the game. The way he treats the media and the fans. The way he manages to stay humble (or at least seem that way). If the Yankees were high school, he’d win Most Likely to Succeed.

There you have it! Jane loves her Yankees and loves the RJG. On a side note, New York times will change their dinosaur policy, or we will change it for them!

We would like to thank Jane for taking the time to answer all our questions. If you would like more details about the book, check out Jane's official website at The book is out in stores tomorrow, so pick up your copy! Thanks once again Jane!

7 Days, 7 Players: Phil Coke

Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.

Phil Coke made his major league debut as a reliever last season, despite being a starter in the minors, and he readily impressed. Although he only pitched 14.2 innings in 12 appearances, he gave up just one run in that time. Coke was asked to prepare as a starter for next season, but it is unclear whether the Yankees plan to have him continue his development in Scranton, or include him on the roster as a left handed reliever. I lean towards his inclusion as a left handed reliever if only because he was so effective last season, and Marte was decidedly not.

My Fearless Prediction:

Coke will begin the season on the big league roster but eventually find himself starting in Scranton. They will want him to start since lefty starters are such valuable commodities, and he may not have that opportunity this season with both Aceves and Hughes waiting for a starting gig.

Little Known Coke Fact:

Phil Coke once threw a bat at an umpire and got suspended for 50 games, but what is not known is that at the moment Coke threw the bat, there was a swarm of killer bees swooping down on the umpire, and Coke was really just saving his life. Despite video and radar recordings that proved there was a swarm of killer bees, the arbitration board decided against Coke's appeal on the grounds that bat throwing is never appropriate, even when saving a life. The proper procedure is to file a complaint against the swarming killer bees, CC Donald Fehr, Bud Selig, and the New York Yankees on the appeal, write a petition to your local congressman, ask for the unions legal representation, get George Mitchell to begin an investigation on the matter, and then release the report naming everyone involved and requesting that Major League Baseball adopt more stringent killer bee policies to avoid future complications in the matter.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

8 Days, 8 Players: Chien Ming Wang

Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.

Chien Ming Wang has undoubtedly been the ace of the Yankees over the last few seasons, despite peoples feelings against his lack of strikeout power. Wang, had put up back-to-back 19 win seasons, but fell short in 2008 due to a freak injury during a game with the Astro's where his foot exploded. Wang left that game after going 5 innings and not allowing a run, thus securing the win in his last outing. Last season was generally shaky, but was beginning to improve for Wang before he was injured. Wang cruised through April, and even pitched a complete game victory over the Red Sox allowing just one run. His very next start, also against the Red Sox, amounted to 4 innings and 8 runs. Wang recovered however and gave one quality start after another until mid-May when he reached a difficult stretch. In 4 starts, Wang lasted 23.2 innings and gave up 23 runs. He recovered with a great game against the A's going 7.1 innings and allowing 1 run, and was on his way to a great game against the Astro's until the foot injury. So now, Wang is entering the 2009 season recovering from his second major injury since being in pinstripes. Let's not forget his 2005 rotator cuff injury. In any event, the big question is how he will show up to spring training, and how quickly will he get ready for the season. After all, he threw off a mound for the first time earlier this week, which can be a little concerning given that spring training is just 8 days away.

My Fearless Prediction:

I'll sign Wang up for another 200 innings and 19 wins next season. Maybe even 20 if the offense shows up.

Little Known Wang Fact:

Wang discovered the sinker after tinkering with a new pitch called the torpedo. After killing or maiming 4 of his teammates, Wang decided to give up the torpedo for the less dramatic sinker.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

In Honor of Our Interviewee, We Present: Bronny Cash

It's been a while since we called our good friend and mentor Brian Cashman, or maybe it hasn't, I haven't really been paying attention. Anyway, we decided that, in honor of our interviewee, we would give him a call regarding all things Yankees. Please find the transcript below. Seriously. Find it. It's literally the next line. Stop emailing and asking where the transcript starts, it's not that hard. Seriously.


BC: Hello?

RJG: [singing in a low voice] I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die...

BC: [sigh]

RJG: [still singing] and when I hear that whistle blowing, I hang my head and Broooooooooooooooooooonny Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaash! What's up Bronny, why the long face?

BC: You got my satellite video phone number again.

RJG: Yeah, you suck at hiding things. Seriously. So we're just calling because Jane Heller, you know Jane, she wrote a tell all book about how much you guys suck, you sucked last year Cash!

BC: Jane didn't write a book about how we sucked last year. She wrote about 2007.

RJG: Well, anyway, she refers to you as A-Fraud throughout so...

BC: No, she doesn't.

RJG: That's not really the point Bronny, she likes it when we call you so we're calling you in honor of her.

BC: But, I don't like it when you call me.

RJG: It's not all about you Bronny.


[high pitched beeping, ringing on other line]

BC: Hello?

RJG: Brooooooooooooooooooooooonny Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaash!

BC: How do you keep getting my number?

RJG: Let's just say you should spend less time at the office. But enough about me, when are you going trade one of our seven outfielders and sign Manny?

BC: We're not interested in Manny.

RJG: Look, if I wanted to hear that I would've called Omar so give me a real answer.

BC: Could you please call Omar?

RJG: No. I don't have his number.

BC: I'll give it you right now, it's...


BC: Look, we're not interested. Two GMs can both not be interested in Manny.

RJG: Are you saying you're colluding with Omar Minaya? Is this what collusion looks like? I knew it!


There you have it folks. Brian Cashman refuses to trade one of our 7 outfielders because he is colluding with Omar Minaya to keep Manny Ramirez out of baseball. You heard it here first.

9 Days, 9 Players: Edwar Ramirez

Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.

Edwar Ramirez provides a curious case for the Yankees. Anyone whose watched the Yankees last season knows how amazing his changeup can be, and yet how hard he can get hit. His fastball sits around 90 mph, with a changeup that has fooled hitters on more than one occasion. Last season Ramirez went 5-1 with a 3.90 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 55.1 innings. Those aren't bad numbers for a middle reliever, especially the more than 1 strikeout per inning he posted, but many think he is better than he shows. This could be the case. In his first 14 outings of last season, which amounted to 16 innings, Ramirez gave up 1 run. He also went the entire month of July without giving up a single hit. That's 11.1 innings of scoreless, hitless baseball. However, June, August and September proved to be difficult for Ramirez who posted ERA's of 7.36, 6.94, and 8.44 in those months. However, his issue is the big inning. In August for example, he gave up 9 runs in 11.2 innings, but 8 of those runs came in two outings. 11 of his August appearances were scoreless, and what hurt him in the other 3 were the long ball. If he can learn to limit damage he could be really effective. The measure of a middle reliever is how often they can carry the ball to the next pitcher without allowing any runs. In this Ramirez has succeeded more often than not. In 55 appearances last season, 45 of them were scoreless outings. That isn't to say they were all clean outings, but they were scoreless. In the remaining 10 outings, Ramirez allowed a total of 24 runs. Ouch.

My Fearless Prediction:

Ramirez harnesses the energy of his changeup, and complements it with better placement of his fastball effectively allowing him to have a monster year where he posts an ERA in the mid-2's, and strikes out Jason Varitek every time he faces him.

Little Known Ramirez Fact:

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is loosely based on Edwar Ramirez's life.

Monday, February 2, 2009

10 Days, 10 Players: Damaso Marte

Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.

When the Yankees acquired Damaso Marte along with Nady last season, they were hoping to secure a dominant lefty to help shape out their mostly right handed bullpen. Marte has been pitching in the majors since 1999, and spent the 4 seasons between 2002 - 2005 with White Sox, where he was both dominant and durable. Before he was traded to the Yankees at the end of July, Marte was being used as the Pirates closer, and if you know anything about being the Pirates closer, its that you pitch very rarely. Marte would go up to 8 days without pitching when he was with the Pirates. Once he came to the Yankees, Marte was called upon more regularly, and it seemed that where at some points he would be dominant, at others he would get shelled. He ended with a July ERA of 5.79, which ballooned to 7.71 for August. The Yankees began to use Marte less in September, either because they recognized that they had been over using him, or because Phil Coke was absolutely unhittable in his September call up. Marte posted a 1.35 ERA in September but only threw 6.2 innings, the fewest in any month last season. The Yankees believe in Marte and offered him a three year contract in November.

My Fearless Prediction:

Last season required an adjustment for Marte, and with ample time to prepare for AL hitters again, Marte is likely to succeed. I expect him to have an ERA in the mid 3's, and about 50 innings of work. Coke will take up the other lefty innings.

Little Known Marte Fact:

Damaso Marte started the Marte Brewing Company, which produced Marte Beer, but after several people went blind from its consumption and the lawsuits started pouring in, he was forced to close it down.

Exclusive Preview of Torre Tell-All

It has been widely reported that Joe Torre has written a tell-all book with Sport's Illustrated's Tom Verducci. Less well known is the fact that Torre also collaborated on a tell-all with RJG. Now that the Verducci tome has been released, our book has quickly plummeted on the pre-order list. In order to prop up declining pre-orders we will be printing exclusive excerpts on RJG from time to time. Here's a taste (careful, it's delicious):

Hi, I'm Joe Torre, I used to be a catcher. One time in 2007 I got a call from George Steinbrenner. He was all like, "Hey Torre, we want you to win more ballgames, I'm going to go make a sandwich." I thought it was weird, because the Yankees had fired me a week earlier. That's when I knew the old Boss was gone for good.

Hi, I'm Joe Torre, my wife's name is Ally. One time I was sleeping in the dugout, when suddenly Don [Mattingly] nudged me awake. Cano was arguing with the ump about a bad call so I came out to cool the situation. Then Don [Knots] was like, "that's the worse call I ever did see jee golly." I was like, "chill out, Mr. Furley, I got this." I got between a teary eyed Cano and the ump and explained in a calm and classy manner that if he disrupted my nap again, an unfortunate accident would befall his cat. The ump was all like, "I don't have a cat!" So I looked him dead in the eye. "Are you sure?" I said sternly. The ump averted his gaze and I had established my dominance. I walked back to the dugout.

11 Days, 11 Players: AJ Burnett

Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.

AJ Burnett had a dominating year with Toronto last season going 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA and 231 strikeouts in 221.1 innings. The biggest concern with Burnett has been his inability to stay healthy. He's pitched 200 innings 2 times before, and he followed both of those seasons with DL stints. The question is how well his body will hold up to this past seasons career high of 221.1 innings. He says that he's learned to take it easy on his arm and that will save him some time on the DL, but I'm not sold. The good thing about Burnett, which was different from Pavano, is that even though he's had injury problems, he's never missed an entire season, and has typically given his teams at least 120 innings in his injury years. The exception being the 2003 season where he lasted just 23 innings. Still, that's more than Pavano gave us in 2006.

My Fearless Prediction:

Burnett will stay healthy and give the first back-to-back 200 inning performance of his career. The third injury-prone Marlins pitcher from that era, Josh Beckett, was able to post 200 innings back-to-back for Boston, so there is hope.

Little Known Burnett Fact:

While pitching together in Florida, Burnett, Beckett, and Pavano all took a magical elixir that was meant to make them play at Derek Jeter's level. However, their bodies weren't built for that level of play, and thus started their legacy of DL and rehab stints.