Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cricket, Cricket

This has been one of the quietest off seasons in recent memory. Sure we signed some releivers, and that was cool for the 10 seconds it held our collective attention, but so far the off season has been about what we haven't done. No Cliff Lee, and now, the wide net that Cashman had set appears to have been so wide that he can't reel it in. A shame really, I was hoping that net had names like King Felix or Zack Grienke in it. But it is not meant to be. What we do have is 3 starters, one of which may or may not know how to pitch on any particular day. Our offense doesn't need an overhaul, but addressing the rotation was a huge need this off season. A need we haven't met. But alas, its close to New Years and we can't expect much to be done in the next few days. Do we enter the season with Sergio Mitre and Ivan Nova as our 4 and 5 guys? I doubt it. I have to agree that King Felix is the best option, but there's no telling if the Mariners would bite, even if we over pay. Here's hoping that now that Cashman's lost the ace up his sleeve he can still reach back far enough to pull out the king!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Brett Anderson

With the pitching market pretty much non-existant, its time we, as fans, get creative with our non-sensical trade ideas. To this end, I propose Brett Anderson. Who? You ask. Click on the link, I respond. Make me, you say. Make me make you, I retort. But the point is, Brett Anderson is a young left handed pitcher for Oakland who turned in a phenomenal season last year. Oakland, is a huge fan of prospects. A guy like Brett Anderson, who would be seen as a lower rotation upgrade for us, could be gotten for a sprinkling of our prospects. Cashman, I know you read this blog, look into this already! It may be worth it if the price is right, which it always is for the Yankees.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Brian Cashman Is a Genius

I think I know why the Yankees hired Larry Rothschild. Rothschild principal task is to fix AJ Burnett. We all know that's not going to happy. But, Rothschild prinicipal legacy is destroying Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. Rothschild will work his magic on Burnett, ending Burnett's career as a starter, and then the Yankees collect insurance on the remainder of Burnett's contract. Genius.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Concerns About Rothschild

The Yankees recently replaced pitching coach Dave Eiland with Larry Rothschild, formerly of the Cubs. I just read this article in the Daily News about Mark Prior, who along with Kerry Wood, was coached by Rothschild in Chicago. It seems then, in addition to having a lot of experience coaching pitchers, Rothschild also has experience destroying once promising phenoms. I can't say that what happened to Prior and Wood was Rothschild's fault, since clearly the manager has the final say in whether pitchers stay out there. Also, there has to be an organizational stance on protecting young pitchers, something clearly absent in Chicago during the first half of the last decade. But you still have to worry a little bit about Rothschild when you sport a rotation that may have two very young pitchers in Hughes and Nova in it, don't you?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from RJG

We at RJG would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a merry Christmas, a happy holiday, and a happy new year. Not much happening in Yankee land over the last week or so, and we can only hope Cashman returns from the holidays with a plan to fix our rotation. Until then, have a restful holiday everyone.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Andy Pettitte

Each indicator seems to suggest more and more that Andy is not coming back next season. So with three glaring holes in our rotation (I'm currently including Burnett in the glaring hole category) the question is are we heading for another 2008? 2008 proved to be a rebuilding year. Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, and Phil Hughes could not take us to another championship, and despite an incredible season by Mussina, we just couldn't make it to the playoffs. That off season, Cashman restocked with Teixeira, Burnett, Swisher, and Sabathia, and we won it all in 2009. The only issue is that the 2012 free agent market does not look so promising for pitchers. It has some hitters, but not really any pitchers. That means now is as good a time as any to do two things. One, we need to pull off a trade for an established big league pitcher, and two, we need to get one of these kids ready for a starting role on this level. Otherwise, it could prove to be a rocky couple of years.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

King Felix?

Many reporters, and by many I mean Joel Sherman, believes that the Yankees should now go all out for Felix Hernandez. Admittedly, King Felix would be an amazing addition. Sherman suggests opening our farm system and telling the Mariners to pick any five they want. The idea is that with Felix (whose about as old as Hughes) and Sabathia we are set to win some championships down the road. Keeping our top prospects, several of which may not even see a meaningful game in the big leagues, won't give us that. So the question is, what do you think? Open up the farm for Hernandez, or develop the babies to see if we got the next Hernandez in our system (unlikely)?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Much A-doings A-happening

Now that Grienke is off the market the Yankees have one less viable option for a premium starter. But those of us getting impatient need to chill out. The Yankees just signed reliever Luis Vizcaino. "Nobody beats the Viz" remember? Apparently the rest of the market forgot it, as we signed him to a minor league deal, but Cashman never forgets, and now our middle relief is set. The Yankee strategy is now confirmed. Sign as many middle relievers as possible to make up for a lack of starters. By signing Mark Prior, Pedro Feliciano and now Luis Vizcaino, among others our middle relief is now stacked. That means that our starters only need to last about 3 innings every start, and that will ensure that they can make 3 starts a week. No need for a 4th and 5th starter. The Yankees' plan is bulletproof.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Greinke to Milwaukee

Because nothing says "winner" like Milwaukee.

The $23 Million Question

Due to our abject failure and humiliation in failing to sign Cliff Lee, the Yankees now have $23 million lying around that they are not sure what to do with. I have come up with the perfect solution: a trade with the Royals. Now I know what you're thinking. Grienke will never make it in New York. But I'm not talking about Grienke. No. What I'm talking about is a very different kind of trade.

Everyone knows the Royals have one of the best farm systems in baseball; a function of residing in America's heartland (it sounds romantic but it's actually kind of a $#!%hole, unless you like Meth, then it's cool). The Royals have had one of the best farm systems in baseball for ages. You know how some prospects are spoken of as 'quadruple A' players? Well KC is quadruple A.

So here's the deal. We trade KC $23 million in exchange for their entire baseball development staff. I guess it's less of a trade than a purchase of all their development personnel, but it would probably be the best possible use of that extra $23 million. Think about it. Imagine we had Johnny Damon when he broke into the league at 22 (or however old he was, I'm not going to look it up). What if we develop the next Grienke? It's a golden opportunity to turn our team into the best player development organization in baseball in addition to being the filthy richest. Alternatively, the Yankees could just give the $23 million to me. That would also be an acceptable course of action.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Take a Gamble?

What if the Yankees looked to do a trade for Scott Kazmir? He did awful last season, he's owed $12 million in 2011, and you have to imagine he's still trying to work things out after recovering from his injury. But, its Scott Kazmir. If a trade could be worked out, and part of his salary swallowed by the Angels, should we consider making this move?

Russell Martin and This Years Hot Stove

When it was announced that Cliff Lee was signing with the Phillies, the Yankees looked to ruin baseball once more by trying to upstage this momentus occasion with their own free agent announcement of catcher Russell Martin. Martin was a catcher for the Dodgers, and a pretty good one until he injured his hip, and couldn't quite return to form. In an interview yesterday, he assured all of us that he hadn't felt pain in that hip for at least a month. Considering that he hasn't played baseball in over a month, I will withhold my jubilation for now.

This is a good signing. For $4 million (plus some performance bonuses that could add up to $1.375 million) the Yankees have a player who has hit well at the big league level, has caught well at the big league level, and could very well return to form after an injury. Worse comes to worse, he's this years Nick Johnson, and really Martin is a smarter signing than Johnson who cost us $5.75 million, and really just projected to be our DH. Martin projects to be our starting catcher, buying us more time for guys like Montero and Romine, and allowing a guy like Posada to focus on the DH role. More importantly though, it gives flexibility if we should so choose to trade either Montero or Romine.

The general consensus I get from Red Sox fans is that Boston is destroying the Yankees this off season. I concede this point, though as Red Sox fans always respond to me when I tell them about the Yankees off season exploits, winning the hot stove is like winning the primary, it sets you up to be embarrased for the next few months. But you have to give it to Boston. They've really restocked this offseason, signing Crawford, trading for Gonzalez, and the recent news of them going after Bobby Jenks, are all solid moves. They haven't addressed their rotation, which I think has bigger issues. Most Red Sox fans won't agree with this assessment but basically, Buccholz is going to come back down to earth, Lester's still good, Beckett sucks, Lackey sucks, Matsuzaka sucks, and Wakefields a million years old. The restocked offense should make up for some of this, but they would be better off adding a pitcher. But really, the best things to happen to the Red Sox this off season is that the Yankees did not get Cliff Lee. Player by player the Yankee offense is still better, but if the Yankees can't piece together a rotation, it won't much matter. Especially if A-Rod gets injured again, or Teixeira waits until August to remember how to hit again. Well, the hot stove is not over yet, and I for one am interested what the freed up $23 million or so that would have gone to Cliff Lee, can do for us in this market. I suspect a trade with an extension is in the works.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Can't Think of a Title

I think Mike Lupica has won me over. He's basically spent the last couple weeks berating the Yankees for even thinking about considering signing Cliff Lee. "The contract is too long!" said Lupica. "Too much money! Not enough payroll flexibility!" And you know what? He's right. Sure, it would be nice to have Sabathia and Lee at the top of our rotation. But will that be the case five years from now? Probably. But that's not the point. The point is that this is one less huge contract that limits us in the future.

We currently have about 7 or so players signed to long term deals, all of whom need to DH. That's not good. We can't keep living like this. Sometimes you have to look yourself in the mirror. Sometimes you have to be honest, finally stop lying to yourself, convincing yourself everything is alright. It's not. We all know it. Besides, pretty soon we'll be tying up Robinson Cano with a massive deal. We have to think about the future. Here's hoping Nova learns to pitch past the fifth inning. Here's hoping some of the kids down in Scranton show us something when they're not busy swimming around their infield. We need to get younger, faster, cheaper, more bionic.

It could be time to let more than one youngster play his way to the majors again. On our team. Not somebody else's. No more trade bait. We could sport a starting line up with Jesus Montero and a starting rotation with Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova next year. That's not a bad thing. Unless Nova blows it in April. Then I demand a trade!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reeling or Thieving?

Now that the biggest free agent pitcher is off the market, the Yankees find themselves in a precarious situation. They need a pitcher, but the means by which they fix all their problems (ie. throwing money at it) is no longer available to them. The next free agent pitcher available would be Carl Pavano, and we've already thrown plenty of money at him. So are the Yankees reeling right now? Maybe not. Cashman has already spoken of his wide net, and has also mentioned that right now the Yankees are going to be patient. Other teams smell blood in the water and are driving the price up on the Yankees, but Cashman's saying that they aren't going to bite right now. Instead, much in line with his ninja nature (Teixeira signing, did anyone see that coming?), Cashman could be planning a major trade. It may not get us a Grienke or a King Felix, but maybe some other solid starting pitcher that will make this team better. A steal could even be in the works. Remember when he got us Nick Swisher for Wilson Betemit? That was magic. So the Yankees may be reeling, or they may be planning the heist of the century either way we need to wait and see. Cashman did say that our team is good as is so we won't be impatient. But clearly he's bluffing seeing as we only have 3 starters right now. Pettitte would really help things out, but signing a solid number 2 guy would go a long way. Maybe we can convince Mussina to come out of retirement?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What Next?

Well I must admit I didn't see that coming either. Cliff Lee spurning both the Rangers and Yankees to go to Philadelphia for less money was just not on my radar of possiblities. Apparently, Lee really likes the liberty bell. But there's no sense in dwelling in the past, even if that past was just a few hours ago. Its best to live life in baseball like the main character in Memento. So what's next? Cashman has alluded to the fact that he has cast a wide net, and that he has a few tricks up his sleeve. We caught up with the GM to see if he would give us any insights into the Yankee strategy now that Lee is off the market.

"I'm not worried." Said an overly relaxed Brian Cashman. "I have more than enough cards up my sleeve to make this off season real interesting. I was kind of hoping Lee wouldn't sign, just so I could show the world my mastery of this work."

So what kind of tricks does Cashman have up his sleeve?

"Check this out." Cashman said, as he began showing me his hands to demonstrate that there was nothing in them. Then, with a quick flick of the wrist he was holding a card. "What card is this?" He asked me.

I replied: "It looks like an ace of clubs with Cliff Lee's picture taped onto it."

"Oh wait, really?" Cashman asked as he turned the card towards himself to glance it over. "Oh look at that, it is Cliff Lee. Okay that's the only trick I had up my sleeve. This is not looking fortuitous."

"Wait, is that really the only deal you had in mind for this off season?"

"No, of course not! No! Absolutely not! Okay, yes, yes it was. Did Pettitte retire?"

"Shouldn't you know that?"

"Do you think Grienke would play in New York?"

"Oh dear."

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Grienke's on New York's radar and hopefully Pettitte won't retire. Here's hoping we have the necessary pieces to make a Grienke deal happen.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Didn't see that coming did you. Cliff Lee turned down the Yankees to accept a smaller contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Clearly, living close to home was not a major issue. There must really be something to playing for Philadelphia since this is the second major pitcher they've been able to sign to a below market extension (Halladay was the first). It's an impressive coup, and it now forces the Yankees to either make a major trade for a starter, or try to develop some of their pitching prospects. If Pettitte doesn't return, next year might be ugly. Should be an interesting month and a half.

Clifftov Lee, Today Could be the Day

He's had a whole weekend to consider his options, crunch the numbers, weigh the pros and cons so will today be the day that Clifftov makes a decision? The options range from being boardwalk and park place with hotels rich to dinner at restaurants with no prices on the menu rich. Both are appealing, and both have draw. How do you choose? Plus, in one of the contracts the Yankees offered pizza parties for Lee and his friends for every game that Lee won, while another one offered ice cream cake on Lee's birthday and a trip to the zoo. The third contract would give Lee a gold star to put on his tote box every time he said something kind to a teammate. You have to weigh the pro's and cons.

The truth is the Yankees have the following in their favor:

-Money. They probably have the largest contract on the table.
-Contender. The Yankees are always in the mix for the post season, and when they're not, they make the moves necessary to get there. In the last 16 years, they missed the playoffs once. And the very next season they won the world series.
-Tradition. Its not just about money, the Yankees have history, and tradition on their side. Its a demanding place to play in, but that's because of all the greats who have played there. The competitive spirit wants to play in New York.

But there are benefits to playing in Texas too. He could be getting in on the ground level of a new baseball power house. With Nolan Ryan as team president, they are going to compete, and they're going to be making moves. Lee could be the anchor for that team, the defining face of the franchise. And lets face it, the Rangers aren't offering chump change either. Its also closer to his home in Arkansas. But there is risk here. The Rangers could turn out not to be the power house they hope to become. The Rangers prior financial problems could effect the team down the road more so than anticipated.

So lets see which way he goes, and here's hoping that we find out today.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Should the Yanks Be Cultivating a Greinke Deal?

Cliff Lee has not yet decided whether to accept one of the Yankees' offers for his services. Despite the guaranteed birthday pizza parties, Lee is still vacillating. He could simply be taking his time, but the delay suggests he may be seriously considering an option which pays him less but keeps him out of New York. After all, if money was the only consideration he'd simply pick the biggest contract and that would be that.

If the Yanks wait for Lee to decide before seriously getting involved in Greinke conversations, the Royals will be in a position to dictate a deal much more on their terms. It is possible that the Yankees pursuit of Russell Martin is evidence of an attempt to free up Jesus Montero for a potential trade. But a Greinke deal shouldn't be plan b. This should probably be a 'whatever comes first' situation.

If you're on the verge of a trade for Greinke, then Lee can't waste anymore of our time. You might even pull the Lee offer off the table. People don't like giving up a lot of prospects, and it will take a lot, but Greinke has the goods (granted, whether he can handle NY is a big question; but hey, if he can't, he's a hell of a trade chip). The Yanks have a lot of pitching talent in the minors; coupled with some of our position prospects, we may have the ability to pull off a trade with the Royals. Perhaps it's worth not waiting until we're in a position of weakness to begin serious conversations about Greinke.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winter Meetings Over, Bronny Gets a Call

The last time we spoke, Bronny got an earful about not having signed Cliftopher Lee yet. He promised to move on the matter, post haste, but has yet to deliver the coveted free agent to the blood thirsty New York masses. The Winter Meetings now over, it was time to fire up the old satellite video phone and give Bronny Cash another phone call. The following is a transcript, handwritten by robots (that's how internet text makes it onto your screen).

BC: Hello?

RJG: [Disguising voice] Um, yes, this is Darek, um, Brown . . . acre. I have a response from my client, Cliftopher Lee.

BC: Really?! Which of the three contract options did he accept?! Was it the one with the guaranteed pizza parties on his birthday?!

RJG: My client has opted to tell you to go #$&@ yourself!

[Distinct sound of whimpering on the other line]

RJG: [No longer disguising voice] Seriously? Crying? You're crying? There's no crying in baseball! Or the front office corporate baseball world you inhabit!

BC: I wasn't crying, there was something in my eye.

RJG: Something in your eye? Do you always whimper when there is something in your eye?

BC: Don't you?

RJG: Touche. Moving right along. Why haven't you signed Cliftopher to a contract yet?

BC: We've made three generous offers. The ball's in his court now.

RJG: The ball's in his court? Please don't sully our baseball conversation with basketball metaphors. Don't you think going with three contract offers might be a bit confusing. I mean, no offense, but the guy makes a living throwing a ball.

BC: But that's why these players have agents. And not just regular agents. Super agents! Darek will bring all our contract offerings to Lee and be all, "this one good, this one better. This one, Cliftopher no like."

RJG: Holy $#!%.

BC: Yeah. The best is when you're in a room together with the athlete and the agent. The player is all, "Me strong. Me throw ball for you or me throw ball at you!" And the agent is like, "What my client means to say is, he's open to playing in New York if the price is right." And I'm like, "Then why is he holding a ball and staring at me menacingly?" And the agent is all, "He's just trying to show you his game face. Very nice, now why don't you go play with your ball outside?" Then the player is all, "recess?" "Yes, recess." Literally, the first #$@&ing 30 minutes of every one of my meetings goes like this.

RJG: That's the craziest thing I've ever heard.

BC: Or is it?

RJG: You just blew my mind, Bronny Cash.

BC: You're welcome.

RJG: Holy $#!%.

BC: And my work here is done.

RJG: It's not all about you, Bronny.


There you have it folks. The Yankees are confident that Cliff Lee will be happy with at least two of the three contract proposals currently before him.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Quick Tidbits

The Yankees have made an offer to Lee.

The Red Sox may trade Dice-K to the Mets for Beltran. Please do.

I'm really happy not to be an Orioles fan right now.

Will Derek Bounce Back?

So now that Jeter is officially signed, the question moves on to how Jeter will do over the foreseeable length of his contract. These 4 years could be painful to watch, or he could age gracefully and surprise us all. To guage this contract we're going to have to wait until the 4 years are up and evaluate. But now the question is, how will Jeter do next season? Will he bounce back? I for one see him improving this coming season. Will he still be a singles hitter? Yes. But I actually think he will hit .300 again next season, before we start to see his real decline. This season could be the supernova of Derek Jeter. As a star dies, it explodes into a glorious, wonderful, gigantic supernova. A final glorious display of its power and wonder. In this same way, I think this year will be one of the last if not the last year we see Jeter playing the way he used to. A glorious display of his power and wonder. After this season, I wouldn't be surprised to see him decline, but a declining Jeter will still be more productive than most shortstops out there, and that's what we'll have to take comfort in. What do you think? Will Derek bounce back next year or is he doomed to continue the decline of this season?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cliff Lee Could Get 7 Years

Its being reported that Cliff Lee could be getting a 7 year deal. The Yankees do not seem willing to go that long on a contract, and just like that the Rangers have an in. There's no way the Rangers can compete with Yankees money, but under new team president Nolan Ryan, they are committed to spending on their team, and they have a legacy to protect, a legacy of overspending. So the Rangers may have their in if they are willing to commit to those 7 years, which the Yankees likely won't, and can remain competitive on the total dollar amount. However, the Yankees may consider including option years that become activated if certain performance requirements are reached. Hopefully, now that Mariano and Jeter are pretty much taken care of, the Lee front will start moving.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Maybe Not

According to this article, a Boston deal with Adrian Gonzalez is done.

Pen Found: Jeter Signed

It is official. Derek Jeter is signed for 3 years and $48 million with a 4th year player option, which could bring the total deal to $56 million if exercised or $51 million if declined. In addition, there are $9 million in incentives that could bring the total deal to $65 million dollars over the 4 years. This article has all the details.

In other news, the Adrian Gonzalez trade to Boston fell through as they couldn't agree on an extension. Further more, Jayson Werth has signed a 7 year, $126 million deal with the Nationals. That leaves just Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford as the biggest pieces available in this free agent market.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jeter, Yankees Almost at the Finish Line

It looks like Jeter and the Yankees are incredibly close on a new deal with wildly divergent potential parameters (1, 2). In fact, sources close to the negotiations have indicated that the deal would have been completed, but no one could find a pen.

"They had just finished polishing off the final details," explained one person who was in the room during the marathon negotiations. "Cashman's all, 'So it's settled, only aloe based soaps will be left in Jeter's hotel suites during road trips.' Then he slides the contract, which he had been typing out on an old school typewriter, to Jeter and Close. Jeter's like, 'Does anybody have a pen.' Cash goes, 'I brought the typewriter.' Close is all, 'I don't use pens. I have an iPhone. Plus, it's bad chi.' At that point negotiations had to be delayed until a pen could be git gotten."

The Yankees hope to acquire a pen, preferably blue and fountain, in order to complete the negotiations today.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pieces Falling Into Place

The two biggest pieces of news going into this Friday morning are that the Yankees have increased their offer to Derek Jeter, and that they are on the verge of signing Mariano Rivera to a 2 year $30 million deal. Although no one knows what the increased offer to Derek Jeter is, sources familiar with the negotiation have told the RJG that the increases are enough to buy him one hamburger, every day, for the next million years, assuming moderate inflation and that hamburgers and humans still exist a million years from now. In other news, the Yankees have not signed Cliff Lee yet.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jeter and Yankees Find Common Ground

The Yankees and Derek Jeter met recently to find some common grounds before moving forward in negotiations. The negotiations thus far have been less than stellar, with much of it carrying out publically like a bar brawl, that gets taken outside through the shattered window left broken from the bar stool that struck it moments before. But Jeter stepped forward, and as classy as ever, set up this meeting to establish common ground.

"I really appreciated the talk." Explained Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman. "We were able to find some common ground, and we feel confidant that we can now move forward."

What was the common ground they reached?

"Well we first agreed that the new Star Wars trilogy sucked, and that the originals were great, classics even. Once we were able to find this common bond, we were able to also agree that Jar Jar Binks ruined the first movie, and that the love story between Padme and Anakin had to have been written by a middle-aged guy who's never talked to a woman, at least not substantially. We came to some disagreement when we wanted to hold that the third of the recent trilogy was at least as good as Empire Strikes Back, but Jeter pointed out the poor dialogue and Darth Vader yelling 'Nooooooo!' at the end was more comical than dramatic. We had to concede this point. Then we agreed on how weird it was that Anakin was like 5 in the first movie while Padme was like 18, then in the second movie they're both the same age give or take a couple years. What was that all about?"

Did they find common ground else where?

"Oh yeah, we also agreed that Greedo doesn't shoot first. He doesn't shoot first! He doesn't (expletive deleted) shoot first!!"

We all agree.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Rays Are Going to Be Crazy in 2015

The Rays recently had 6 players decline arbitration, 3 of them type A's, and 3 of them type B's. For each type A free agent another team signs, the Rays will get that teams first round draft pick, and a "sandwich" pick between the first and second rounds (I beleive Joba was a sandwich pick back in the day). Each type B free agent nets the Rays a "sandwich" pick. That means the Rays are going to be praying that teams start signing these guys, and then will turn their prayers towards a strong draft year, because they could potentially end up with 3 additional first round draft picks, and 6 sandwich picks. 9 players drafted prior to the second round of the player draft.

This brings me to a discussion of the baseball players draft. I'm not going to say that we suck at drafting. Indeed, Phil Hughes was a product of the players draft, and so were other such notable Yankee players as...well...Phil Hughes...Oh! Gardner too. He's alright. Anyways, Derek Jeter was the first round draft pick back in 1992 and he became the face of the franchise. Over the past decade we've signed players like David Parrish, John-Ford Griffen, Bronson Sardinha, Jon Skaggs, Eric Duncan, Jonathan Poterson, Jeffrey Marquez, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, Andrew Brackman, CJ Henry etc. Some have made it up to the big league level, some made it there for other teams, but with the exception of Hughes and Chamberlain, we really have been pressed to find much success out of our first round draft picks. I'd like to say that that's just the nature of the draft in baseball, but the Rays have seemingly mastered the draft. Yeah, yeah, they always drafted first because they were so bad all these years, but so did the Royals and the Pirates, and they do not have nearly the same amount of success as the Rays. Over the years the Rays drafted several players who made it to the big leagues, many of which are still on the team. The list of players drafted by the Rays include this years MVP Josh Hamilton, Rookie of the Year and two time gold glove winner Evan Longoria, starting pitcher David Price who just posted a 2.72 ERA with 19 wins this season, as well as other big league players such as Jeff Neiman, BJ Upton, Rocco Baldelli, and Delmon Young (who had a breakout season for the Twins this year). Even their failed picks like Dewon Brazelton and Jason Standridge still maintained careers at the big league level. All I'm saying is that if you give the Rays 9 first round picks, in addition to the one they already have, they may destroy the world of baseball as we know it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Could Jeter Find Himself in Andy's Shoe's?

A couple winters ago, the Yankees offered Andy Pettitte what they thought was a fair contract for an old man who had shoulder issues down the stretch. The contract was for around $10M, but Pettitte refused. The Yankees then signed Sabathia, Burnett, and Teixeira to ginormous contracts. Andy, with no other viable options, was forced to take an incentive laden contract worth only $5.5M in guaranteed money.

Jeter is currently in a position similar to Pettitte's. He's been offered an, according to the Yankees, fair contract. He is stalling for more money. The Yankees are looking to sign a mega free agent target in Cliff Lee. Sure, that's one target, not three; but the ginormous contracts of those other three free agents are still on the books. Mo's contract is also looming and seems more likely to get done easily. Does Jeter risk a very public humiliation if he lets the Yankees wrap up too much money in other free agents before getting his share? Could he be looking at an incentive laden deal of his own? One would think not, but then one didn't expect Bernie Williams to be offered a minor league deal in his last days, or Pettitte to sign a contract worth $5.5M either, did one? I wonder just how "messy" things could get.

Vasquez got $7 million

If Vasquez can get $7 million with a full no-trade clause, what do you suspect someone like Cliff Lee will get? Well, according to drunks canvassed at the local bar, Cliff Lee is at least a hundred times better than Javier Vasquez. According to this view, Cliff Lee should be receiving $700 million per season to pitch. And what's a 100 times better than a no-trade clause? A no-trade clause for you and a hundred people of your choosing. That's right, Cliff Lee would be able to block trades for up to 100 people including himself. Given this sort of contract, Cliff Lee could essentially shut down all major moves in baseball, and within a few years even own a majority share of all of Major League Baseball. I suspect he will then usurp Bud Selig and become the first commissioner/dictator in Major League History. Do we want to give Cliff Lee all this power? The short answer is yes, but only if he wins us another world series to fulfill our insatiable taste for championships, if only for a little while.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Now The Yankees Are Being Greedy

Go to this article and scroll all the way down. The Yankees received over $1M from the Yomiuri Giants to release a pitcher they were never going to give a serious look in the Majors anyway. That's greedy. Plain and simple. That's like that friend who keeps hitting you up for that dollar he let you borrow that one time. You gotta let that go.

Now the Yankees are changing course and saying they hope to get a deal done with Jeter before the Winter Meetings. One has to assume that neither the Yankees nor Jeter expected their first offers to be accepted. Probably there is a middle ground that both would be happy with, but it may be that that middle will have to be closer to the Yankees' offer than Jeter's. Once Jeter's contract is out of the way, the Yankees can use all the money they saved by not paying Jeter for his legacy on Cliff Lee. Then everybody will be happy.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Now He's Making Me Look Bad

I know. It's not all about me. But a few days ago I wrote a post about how the Yankees were all in the wrong in the way they've handled these Jeter negotiations. I knew it. The Daily News knew it. Only the Post didn't know it. But then the News broke the story that Jeter has apparently completely lost his mind with an initial contract request of six years at $25M each. Close, Jeter's agent, then told the Post that this figure wasn't accurate. Then the News called back their "source" and revised their figure. $22-24M a year. That is just insane. That number is crazy. That number walks around yelling stuff about the end of the world and then asking you for change. The things is, all those people who were defending Jeter and mad at Cash now look like @$$holes. Why would you make all of us look like @$$holes? It's the Yankees you're mad at, not us. Why do you lash out at the ones who love you? Who care about you? I can't defend that number. I can barely even wrap my mind around that number. I understand you might feel like the Yanks owe you A-Rod money, but, and I hate to say this, you're not A-Rod. A-Rod missed not insignificant time due to old man injuries the last two seasons and still managed to hit 30 home runs in each. Despite that sort of production, A-Rod's contract is completely stupid. The Yankees gave him that stupid contract, but that doesn't mean they have to give you a stupid contract, especially since you're not A-Rod. It hurts to write that, but I'm just talking baseball right now. I can't raise the intangibles issue because A-Rod has emerged as a leader in that clubhouse. It was him who pulled Robbie Cano aside to impress upon him the importance of situational hitting. He's well liked in the clubhouse. Even you like him. So you can't say it's your leadership that merits that stupid contract. Besides, Posada's a year away from likely retirement. You're a year away from losing your muscle. It's lame duck season. You can ask for more money than the Yanks initially offered you, but $25M a year for six years? I love you Derek, but even I don't think you've got four years where you'll be worth $20M left in you, let alone six at $25M (or $22-24M). Maybe you figured that they offered $15M, I ask $25M, we settle at $20M. Please tell me it's that. Because if it's not that, I don't even know who you are anymore.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Thanksgiving Post

I know what you're telling yourself. "We already ate. I've more or less caught up with everyone or at least acknowledged their presence. I'll just quickly check my favorite blog of all time while there's a lull." It's okay, you're selfish. Checking the blog for Yankees news when you should be spending time with your family. For shame.

I know what you're telling yourself. "Didn't you take time away from YOUR family to write a whole blog post? How dare you judge me?!"

Fair enough. But let me ask you this: haven't you now wasted even more precious family time not only reading this blog, but getting indignant, swearing at me in your den, office, or bedroom, and then continuing to read the rest just because you can't help yourself? Check. Mate.

Besides, we at the RJG were raised by wolves, and wolves don't celebrate Thanksgiving. They can eat turkey whenever the hell they want, so bladow!

Now that you are thoroughly ashamed of yourself, let me just point out that nothing will happen today in free agent land. The Yankees may insult Jeter through the media again, as is their wont, but that's it. You know this. Why torture yourself, constantly hitting refresh at the Daily News, Post, or LoHud blog to check if maybe, by some miracle, something new and exciting has happened? It's not worth it. Go get drunk and yell at your family members for "what they did to you". That's what Thanksgiving was all about when the Pilgrims started it in 1532.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Jeter Saga

We've all heard by now about the war between the Jeter and Yankees camps in these negotiations. The real war, however, is between the Post and the Daily News. The former has largely sided with management, while the latter has chosen to respect the gangster. Lupica of the Daily News has emerged as the voice of reason. Reason. Like the kids used to have. But it is not hard to understand management's perspective. These are the New York Yankees, and New Yorkers are d*cks. Jeter will end up with either more money or more years than this first offer from the Yankees gives him, but the Yankees, being d*cks, have to act like d*cks first. Sure, they were nice to A-Rod and to CC and that's unfair. But New Yorkers are always nice to tourists. We act all polite around them and give them directions and hold doors. But if another New Yorker looks at us funny, or by accident, it's all "WTF is your problem?!" That's how we roll and Jeter, despite the complex he's building in Tampa, is a basically a New Yorker. He's not going to get the tourist treatment, he gets the 'I want to fight you on the subway for no reason' treatment. It's all a part of being a New Yorker. It is however, hard to watch. Jeter doesn't deserve to be treated like this. Brian Cashman had the gall to suggest the Yankees were upset with Casey Close of all people for going "public" with the negotiations. Are you $#!%%ing me?! Close makes one comment to Mike Lupica after Yankees brass has been talking $#!% in the press for weeks and Close is the bad guy? #@%& outta here! But mine is also a New York reaction. The rest of the people on the subway always think that guy starting the fight is a real jackass. We all condemn him, even though we're only one meaningless stare away from starting some $#!% ourselves. It's just that when you live in as fast paced an environment as New York, you have to find ways to exercise something other than self-interest, like empathy. Feeling bad for Jeter is one of the ways we do that. Which is what makes the Post's response to all this so "baffling." You're going to side with the Steinbrenner brothers and Randy Levine? Really? How #@%&ed up is Rupert Murdoch? Once again the Daily News shows why it's the local paper of choice. You might glance at the Post's Sports Section if someone leaves it on the subway, but you always try to put it back down before someone sees you holding it. But everyone saw you holding it. And they judged you for it. It's okay though. That's what we do. We're New Yorkers.

Domestic Violence Project Auction

Every year at the end of the season the clubhouse manager for the Trenton Thunder runs an auction of baseball items whose proceeds go to the Domestic Violence Project. Over the past two years, I've been able to win autographs from Phil Hughes, Jesus Montero, Reggie Jackson, not to mention an assortment of game used bats and the like. Its perfect for Christmas shopping! With the proceeds going to a great cause, bid with confidence. Just not on the items I'm bidding on.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Now That's What I Call Hardball

Mariano Rivera's contract negotiation has largely slipped under the radar this off season as Derek Jeter and Cliff Lee have taken the spot light. But not to be outdone, Mariano's camp is looking for a contract of 2 years at $18 million....per year. Yes, Mariano wants $36 million for the next two seasons. Its certainly a bold number, even an unrealistic number, but when you're sitting in the shadows and no ones paying attention, you might as well start acting crazy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Yankees Try to Hardball Jeter, Jeter Not Intimidated

Its been recently reported that Derek Jeter's agent Casey Close has been baffled by the way the Yankees are handling the contract negotiation. The Yankees have been very clear of late that this negotiation is a business negotiation between a team and a player. It is not a licensing deal, its all about a player filling a position for a team. A licensing deal is exactly what Alex Rodriguez got in what has to be one of the most ridiculous contract negotiations in recent memory. A-Rod's new contract not only overshadowed the previously highest paid contract (held also by Alex Rodriguez), but it included a $30 million marketing agreement where he would be paid $6 million for each of 5 different homerun milestones. This means that A-Rod's total contract could be valued at $305 million. Unfortunately, that marketing agreement doesn't look so pretty after the steroid allegations, but that's besides the point. The point is, Jeter isn't signing a marketing agreement. I guess my question is, why not? The first Yankee to ever have 3,000 hits isn't worth a marketing agreement? If he's healthy he would do that this year. But perhaps the argument is that A-Rod's contract was done by crazy Hank Steinbrenner, as opposed to cold calculating Hal Steinbrenner (who I really like). I don't think the Yankees should over pay for Jeter, but I do think a marketing agreement, which indicates an appreciation for what he has done in a Yankees uniform would help ease the tension of this negotiation.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Stuff That Happened

This wasn't the most exciting week in the history of the Yankees, but it was pretty close. The Yankees finalized a deal with Cubs Pitching Coach Larry Rothschild to become the new Yankees Pitching Coach. I have no idea whether this is a good move and am basically waiting for Joel Sherman to tell me whether or not it is. Considering the Cubs enjoyed so much success last season that Sweet Lou Piniella didn't even feel the need to ride out the whole season with them, I'm not yet convinced.

But signing a new pitching coach wasn't the only thing that happened. CC Sabathia didn't win the Cy Young. This marks the seventh year, third in a row, that Sabathia has pitched in the Major Leagues and not won the Cy Young. I mean seriously, why does this guy even bother to get out of bed in the morning?

Then, despite pledges not to carry out negotiations through the media, the Yankees leaked to the media their intention to offer Derek Jeter and insultingly low 3 year, $45 Million contract. The Jeter camp has not indicated what their response to the offer will be, but most insiders expect it will be swift and deadly.

The Yankees also completed a trade of Juan Miranda for Scott Allen with Arizona. It wasn't actually a trade, however. Every year at the GM meetings the GMs hold a white elephant Christmas party and bring throwaway gifts to randomly present to one another. Every now and again you get one of these embarrassing situations where more than one team gives away a player contract and then has to pass it off as a trade in the press. That's what happened here.

Lastly, the Yankees released Jonathan Albaladejo so that he may sign a contract to play in Japan. I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere but I can't think of it right now.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Straight to DVD Trade

Yesterday, Brian Cashman traded first baseman Juan Miranda to Arizona for pitching prospect Scott Allen. This isn't the blockbuster move we're all waiting for, but things are moving, and things are happening to at least hold us over for the Cliff Lee signing. Some of you may not know Scott Allen. We sure didn't. But as always the RJG set out on a fact finding mission to provide you, the readers, all the facts, without bias, or unnecessary opinion, just pure unadulterated facts.

Speaking with some Yankees scouts, we were able to uncover some valuable information.

"Scott Allen can throw. A ball." Said one scout speaking on condition of anonymity. "He can throw it in the general vicinity of the strike zone, and he can do it from 60 feet 6 inches away."

When told that he just described every pitcher in the league, the scout explained further.

"Well you know, this kid is special. He can throw a ball, at about 90 mph. Sometimes he misses bats, sometimes he doesn't. He can pitch, but he can't hit."

When told that he still just described every pitcher in the league, the scout expanded his scope.

"You see, this kid, Scott Allen, can throw at least two pitches, and one of them is a fastball. My scouting reports indicate that he is not a knuckleballer, though I'll have to cross check my notes with other scouts to be sure of that."

When asked if he even knows who Scott Allen is, the scout answered:

"No. I can't even spell Scott Allen."

In conclusion, Scott Allen is a pitcher, who can throw a ball at a relatively competetive level. We at the RJG wish you the best Scott Allen.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jeter Watch Begins

It looks like the first contract offer will be given to Jeter soon, and Joel Sherman is reporting that its around 3 years and $45 million. Jeter wants a 4th year, and he may get it. This first offer is more to create a starting point for negotiation. I don't expect him to accept this offer, and as Sherman alluded we may be seeing 4 years $60 million or some sort of club option with a payout in the 4th year. We will continue to wait and see.

In the same article by Sherman, he says that the Yankees are not close to making an offer on Lee because his agent is on a fact finding mission. What facts he is looking for is still unknown, but the basic point is that we shouldn't expect a Cliff Lee signing any time soon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Derek Jeter's Agent Working Hard

According to reports, Hal Steinbrenner has spoken with Jeter's agents "a couple times" since last week. This is good news as it suggests that the Yankees are still considering Derek Jeter for the open shortstop position, left vacant by veteran shortstop, Derek Jeter. Now the big question/concern about Derek Jeter is in light of last seasons paltry offensive numbers, what would a long term contract spell for Jeter? But the even bigger concern for most fans is that watching Jeter grow old, makes us feel vulnerable. Don't you remember when Jeter was that skinny, baby-faced rookie? He's now a better built baby-faced veteran, and that sort of thing freaks us out. Think about it. How many of us have aged as gracefully as Derek Jeter? How many of us have put on as much muscle? Maintained our youthful good looks or won a gold glove in our mid-thirties? None of us! We've all gotten fat, ugly, and boring. And now, if Jeter was to start declining in his late thirties, what does that mean for us who already started our declines in our mid-twenties? It means we're screwed. And that's what we fear. But fear not! Jeter will eventually decline, but barring a freak injury that knocks him out all season, I can assure you that next year will be a huge bounce back year for him. How do I know, you ask? Why don't you mind your own business, I respond.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Classic

Every now and then, when times get slow, we at the RJG like to check in with everyones favorite team owners brother, Hank Steinbrenner. Some may remember Hank as the more outspoken of the two, and we were honored to ask him some questions about the coming season. The following is the transcript for the interview.

RJG: Hank, thanks so much for meeting with us.

HS: The pleasures all mine.

RJG: So right now, you have Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Cliff Lee on your radar. Is there anyone else that the Yankees may be looking at for this upcoming season?

HS: Well since my brother changed the locks to the front office I don't really know what's going on with the Yankees.

RJG: What do you mean? You're no longer allowed into the Yankees front office?

HS: No, Hal's really gone mad with power.

RJG: Hal? He seems so even keeled.

HS: That's how he tricks you. The truth is, I'm only a shell of my former self.

RJG: I'm sorry to hear that Hank, that must be diffi...

HS: Why? This shell is far stronger and more impenetrable than my former self. My former self was hollow. My new shell is adamantium mixed with unobtainium. Its a scientific fact, I'm invincible!

RJG: Pardon?

HS: You live in this world and follow this worlds rules. I live in Pandora's box! Do you know what happens when you open Pandora's box? Open it and see what happens! (Hands RJG a shoe box) Open it!

RJG: I don't think I want to open...

HS: Open it!

(RJG opens box to find it empty)

RJG: There's nothing here.

HS: It reflects your mind.

RJG: Clever.

HS: I'll make it up to you. I managed to obtain one of the rarest forms of Johnny Walker. Its called Johnny Walker Platinum. (Hank pulls out flask with JWP initialed into it).

RJG: Scotch? Wait, is there even a Johnny Walker Platinum...

HS: Its very rare. You can only find it in thermometers.

RJG: What?

(Hank pours a glass of JWP)

RJG: That looks like mercury.

HS: Its Johnny Walker Platinum.

RJG: Okay I think that ends the interview.

HS: We're signing Cliff Lee!

-End Transcript-

So it looks like the Yankees will make a strong effort to sign Cliff Lee. That is welcome news for Yankee fans.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Epic

It's been a long time coming. Bronny hasn't heard from us in some time, and he has failed to immediately sign Cliftopher Lee to a long term deal. The time has come to confront our lolligagging GM and light a fire under his arse. The following is a transcript of our phone call. You may want to ask the kids to leave the room for this one.

BC: Hello.

Operator: You have a collect call from one Cliftopher Lee. Will you accept the charges?

BC: Of course! Put him through, post haste!

[Operator connects call]

BC: Hello? Cliff?

RJG: You #%*&@#% bastard!

BC: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. How did you get this number?!

RJG: Why haven't you signed Cliff Lee?!

BC: I don't owe you an explanation!

RJG: Yes you do! You owe all of us an explanation! We pay good money to go to your stadium and sit so far away from the action we're better off standing in the concourse and watching the game on one of the TVs in the concession stand! You not only owe me an explanation, you owe me Cliff Lee!

BC: You're right. How could I have been so blind!

RJG: Why haven't you signed Cliff Lee?!

BC: Look, these things take time. It's a slow dance. You have to schmooze. You know, like fly to Arkansas and pretend you're happy to be there. Say things like, "So, did you shoot that deer yourself or did you just buy a pre-stuffed one?" Stuff like that.

RJG: No Bronny! No! It's not a slow dance. It's a grind dance. You go out there and you dance like an 18 year old girl who just got away from her overbearing parents and is rebelling/making up for lost time. You grind on Cliff Lee. Bring back the butterfly if you have to. It doesn't take time. It takes money. Just grind and give him money!

BC: I think if I'm grinding he should give me money. Zing!

RJG: Good one, Bronny. Now go use that New York wit to land our next marquee free agent. And it better be Cliftopher Lee!

BC: Yeah, about that. I don't think his name is Cliftopher.

RJG: Well la di da. Listen to Mr. High Falutin' over here, with his intimate knowledge of players' first names. Here's an idea, why don't you go #%$@ yourself, and sign Cliff Lee already.

BC: Why do all your words have to hurt so much?

RJG: Why haven't you signed Cliff Lee?!


There you have it, folks. As Cashman prepares for the GM meetings, his number one priority is signing Cliff Lee.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Its Just That Slow

Breaking News: The Yankees have not signed Cliff Lee yet. More info to follow....

1:52pm Update: It still appears that Cliff Lee has not been signed:

"I would like to sign him." Explained Yankees GM Brian Cashman. "Contract negotiations take time. I have to go to the players house, talk about a contract, agree on figures, go fishing, things move slower down south. Everyone just needs to relax."

4:25pm Update: As of this update, Cliff Lee has not been signed. The good news is that no other team has signed him, meaning that the Yankees are presumably still in the runnings. The bad news is that he hasn't signed with the Yankees meaning that there are 29 teams presumably in the runnings as well. Okay who am I kidding, there's really like 4 or 5 teams, none of which can compete financially with the Yankees, but still.

Cashman was asked if a Cliff Lee signing would be done before 5pm Eastern time when many Yankee fans would be getting out of work. Cashman said "No". This would be fine if there was other news to keep us preoccupied, but there isn't. Just recycled stories about how Jesus Montero could compete for the catching role in Spring Training. The Cliff Lee watch continues.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gold Glovers Share their Words

As was reported yesterday, three Yankee players won gold gloves. They have all released statements through the Yankees largely speaking of how honored they are to receive this award. We at the RJG were able to intercept the original statements from the players that were later edited and released by the Yankees. Below you can see the pre-edited and edited versions of the statements:

Mark Teixeira

Pre-Edit: "My defense is untouchable. I'm an autobot!"

Edit: “As a player who works very hard on defense, it is an honor to win my fourth Gold Glove. I am blessed to play with great teammates, and it’s special to share this achievement with Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter.”

Robinson Cano

Pre-Edit: "Two years ago some of you said that I was lazy and had no hustle. I dedicate the middle finger of this gold glove to all of you. Bring back Melky!"

Edit: “Winning the Gold Glove Award along with my teammates Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter is an honor. It’s a great feeling to be recognized by managers and coaches for my defensive skills. This is an award I’ve worked for since becoming a Major Leaguer and will continue to do so each season.”

Derek Jeter

Pre-edit: "It is a tremendous honor to receive the Gold Glove Award, especially since this recognition comes from managers and coaches for whom I have a great deal of respect. It is particularly gratifying to be recognized for defense, as it is something I take a lot of pride in and am constantly working to improve.”

Edit: "It is a tremendous honor to receive the Gold Glove Award, especially since this recognition comes from managers and coaches for whom I have a great deal of respect. It is particularly gratifying to be recognized for defense, as it is something I take a lot of pride in and am constantly working to improve.”

No one dares edit Jeter's statements.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bring That to the Negotiation Table

It looks like Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and first timer Robinson Cano have all won gold gloves. For Cano, its his first and shows just how much he's grown in his defense. For Jeter, it gives some extra ammo to his side of the contract negotiation. For us fans, let us just be grateful for the three gold glove winners in our midst.

I'm Mad and You Should Be Too

So the Yankees "wasted no time" and contacted Cliff Lee's agent already. Already! Wow! Let's all be so impressed! The Yankees called Lee's agent, Darek B, to let him know they were interested. Interested. The team with seemingly limitless financial resources is interested in the top free agent pitcher that they just happened to have almost traded one of their most coveted prospects for just a few months ago. Interested.

Really? You called to say you're interested? If I was Darek B I'd be pissed that you wasted my cellphone minutes. The Yankees have not made an offer yet because apparently targeting a guy in free agency from late July simply isn't enough time to come up with some sort of year/dollar figure. WTF has Bronny been doing since July? Diligently scouring the waver wire market? There's no reason the Yankees shouldn't have had a number ready by now. They're just wasting time. That would be fine if something else was going on, but there isn't. The most exciting baseball news recently is that Joe Morgan won't be doing ESPN baseball broadcasts anymore.

Okay, I admit, that's big news. But I can't drunkenly celebrate it, because eventually people start asking questions about your motivations for drinking. The Yankees could've at least made an insulting offer and then said, "just kidding." That would be entertaining news and might have held me over until they made their real offer. If the Yanks could have a figure for Sabathia on the first day of free agency, they could have done the same with Lee. Anyone thinking Lee isn't a must get like Sabathia was in 2008 is delirious. We have one reliable pitcher in our rotation right now. Go ask Boston how awesome it was when Lester carried them all the way to third place in the division. Hopefully Pettitte comes back, but we still need Lee if we're serious about a World Series run next year. I think I owe Cash a phone call . . .

Posada Preparing to be a Starter Next Season

Attention has been given to who will be the starting catcher next season. Posada's bat is still a force, but his defense has deteriorated with age. Some have suggested Jesus Montero, or signing a veteran catcher for a year to take over the catching duties, but Posada is preparing to be a starter next season. He's preparing in the off season to have regular catching duty. And that brings me to the question, how do you prepare for a season of regular catching duty? Are there any baseball players out there who could explain what kind of routine a catcher must undergo to prepare for a season? I'd assume squats are involved, and maybe getting hit by small cars is factored in, but I just don't know how you prepare to be squating behind a plate for 9-innings a day almost every single day for 6 months. But that's besides the point. What do you think? Would you pick Posada, Montero, or veteran x for regular catching duties next season?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Top Ten Things Jeter May Do If He's Not A Yankee

Without a doubt, Derek Jeter will be signed by the Yankees next season, but some have questioned what Derek Jeter would do if he and the Yankees could not work out a deal. This is a fairly comprehensive list of the options available to Jeter should he not re-sign with the Yankees.

1. He could go play for the Giants. They're looking for a shortstop, and they just won a world series. Could Jeter be enticed to go west if a deal is not to be worked out in New York?

2. He could go play for the Japan. There has to be huge endorsement money to be made by moving to Japan. Maybe Jeter's image can make us regain confidence in Toyota made vehicles.

3. Jeter could start his own baseball league in another country. He's made plenty of money. Why not buy a team in Korea and play them into the world series of Korea? Maybe Jeter's image can instill confidence in Kia made vehicles.

4. Jeter could start a baseball team here in New York. Think about it, the Mets were never an appropriate consolation for losing the Dodgers and the Giants. I'm sure baseball will be ready to expand, or a team will be ready to be sold in the near future. Why not move them to New York, and give the city three teams again. Brooklyn, Staten Island, Harlem. I'm sure he can find a place.

5. Jeter could try to invent a fully functioning light saber. Its about time someone did. I suspect that the fact that there's no real functional purpose for a light saber has kept scientists from investing too many resources into building one, but Jeter could change that.

6. Jeter could become an actor. I never saw The Other Guys, but I don't have to to know that Jeter has movie star looks, and has had several movie star girlfriends.

7. Jeter could invent a new baseball bat, weighted perfectly for the opposite field swing. He can then use this bat to smash Cashman's car for not making a deal work out.

8. Jeter could turn his attention from baseball to his other life passion: womanizing. But considering that his success in the latter pursuit was heavily tied to his success in the former, it may not be a good plan for him.

9. He could join former Yankee Bernie Williams on tour.

10. We could just respect his gangster.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Who Will Our Catcher Be in 2011?

It seems predetermined that Posada's days as our regular catcher are over. Cervelli will not be trusted to replace him in the line-up and thus there is a question of who our new starting catcher will be. It is being widely reported that many in the Yankees organization believe Montero is ready. The only thing about that is, he's not. He's played in, if I'm not mistaken, exactly zero major league games and is still learning to catch. The Yankees are really going to trust their entire pitching staff to him? Romine is considered a better catching prospect but has yet to graduate to AAA. A name I've been seeing a lot recently is Toronto catcher John Buck. Buck had a "breakout" season in 2010, which means he played better than the year before. Buck could be the guy if he's willing to accept a 1-2 year deal. But he broke out, so he may be looking for more job security. The other option is Posada himself, but that's not happening. Bronny Cash will have to find someone to play in place of Posada, and Buck may be the best option available. That said, this speculation strikes me as really sudden. What might Bronny have up his sleeve? Only time will tell.

Friday, November 5, 2010

What About My Dream?

In this time of quiet news in the baseball world it was announced that former Yankee pitcher Dan Giese has retired. This announcement would seem to suggest that he will not be available as a free agent this offseason. He says that all he wanted to do was face one batter in the big leagues, but he was able to do more than that. He pitched for the Yankees in 2008 and pitched for Oakland in 2009 before he needed the good Ole' Tom's surgery. I always liked him as a releiver, but he was with the Yankees in the wrong year. For next year, we're likely going to have to look at some releif options, and the truth is, unless its a closer, we need to stop giving releivers multi-year contracts. Consider these multi-year gems Cashman signed:

Damaso Marte - 3 years. $12 million.
Kyle Farnsworth - 3 years. $17 million.

Kerry Wood is an intriguing option, but for what he could get from other teams, I would leave him alone.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sign an Outfielder or Let it Ride?

One of the looming questions this off season is that of free agents Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford. The Yankees managed fairly well with outfielders Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson, and Brett Gardner, but the idea of having an elite player at every position has always appealed to the Yankees, and both Crawford and Werth could fill that role. I for one have enjoyed having Brett Gardner, who is cheap, productive, and fast. But the idea of signing an outfielder could appeal to some. So what do you think? Stick with Gardner or sign either Crawford or Werth?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Exclusivity Window and WTF Moment

I hate the exclusivity window. I know it's only five days this year, but I still hate it. I don't want to wait four more days before we can start making ridiculous contract offers to players who will be entirely too old for the last few years of their contracts. Besides, there's already a built in exclusivity window in Major League Baseball. It's called the Regular Season. You want to keep a player real bad? Sign him to an extension during the Regular Season. Not sure you want to risk him getting hurt or diminishing in skills? Fair enough, sign him to an extension in September. Late September. Otherwise, go #@$% yourself.

Now, I just came across this bit of news at The White Sox have resigned Omar Vizquel, who will turn 44 next April, to a one year deal. How is this guy still playing? I have a feeling I'm going to be in a hospital one day awaiting a knee replacement or in need of hip surgery or suffering from osteoporosis and be reading about Vizquel's latest multi-year extension. The crazy thing isn't that he's still playing at age 44. The crazy thing is that he's still playing pretty well. The guy hit .276 last year. Derek Jeter couldn't manage to hit .271, but Vizquel, now in need of regular invasive prostate exams, hit .276. WTF?!

Cliff Lee Watch

The Rangers are busy scrambling to put together an offer Cliff Lee can't refuse. In five days Lee will be a free agent, so they have no time to waste. Problem is, the Rangers don't have "can't refuse" money. They have Rangers money, which is to say, they have money they owe A-Rod. At this point, the Rangers are better off using any extra money that have to signing Hamilton and Cruz to extensions (I don't know anything about what sorts of contracts those guys have, so that suggestion might not make any sense).

In New York, or Tampa, Cashman should be getting a budget of just how much he has to spend on Jeter, Rivera, Cliff Lee, and maybe, just maybe, Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon. They have track records. Now, there is no way to know for sure what that budget is, but it is safe to say that it will raise calls for a salary cap once more. In fact, this could be the year the Yankees break Baseball.

Meanwhile, in Arkansas, Cliff Lee's wife is complaining about Yankees fans and dropping subtle hints like, "It's so nice living close to home." This enrages Cliff Lee, a proud man. A man who throws a ball for a living. A man who throws hard. Lee is calling his agent, saying he will not accept any offer from Texas, no matter how ridiculous. Gotta love the institution of marriage.

Monday, November 1, 2010

World Series Update

I was without internet the past couple days because BT (British Telecom) has awful, just awful service. If you ever move to the UK, avoid them at all costs (though sometimes you won't have a choice).

Anyway, the Giants have since taken a 3-1 lead in the World Series. That's good for those of us who plan to pitch Sabathia and Lee in the first two games of next year's World Series. Hopefully, if we sign Lee, Pettitte will decide to come back for one more year. They should probably ask him to do a part year contract, even if he doesn't ask for it. Otherwise he's asking for it. And by 'it' I mean a groin or other nagging injury. Once upon a time, he could just HGH that up and get back out there. That sort of thing is frowned upon now, so a part year contract should be on the table.

Today the Yankees decide how ostentatiously rich to be this off-season. My guess? Very.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Giants Take Game 2

Is anyone watching this series? I was considering catching a game at some point, but I'm having a hard time gaining any sort of interest in this series. I'm way more interested in seeing what AL east teams will do in the off season, and the off season won't start until this world series is over. Therefore my only real interest in the world series is its end. That might not be great news for Bud Selig and the general interest of baseball as a sport, but it is what it is. My guess is that the Giants will sweep.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Clifftopher Lee

Bet you didn't know that was his name, did you? After his implosion in game 1 yesterday, it is time to discuss Cliff Lee. Three things immediately come to mind.

1. Cliff Lee is human. He's not always going to be lights out in the playoffs. Even Halladay had a bad day against these Giants and he was coming off a no-hitter. Bottom line, there is no team out there who is better off without Cliff Lee in October than with. Further, the Rangers can't win if Lee doesn't win his games (sorry Rangers). And if Texas loses the World Series they will be less of a contender for Lee during free agency than they will if they win.

2. The Giants were aggressive and were successful against Lee. We largely sat by and watched him strike us out a lot. WTF?

3. There is still the lingering issue of whether Lee's wife's experience at Yankee Stadium will sway his decision. The short answer: no. But I wouldn't be terribly upset if it did. I love going to games, but I'm always worried who I'm going to end up having to sit nearby. I will no longer even consider the bleachers as a result. If boorish fans cost us a major free agent, perhaps there'd be more of a willingness to police ourselves. I doubt it, but one can hope.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sabathia to have knee surgery, Yankee fans unkind to Lee's wife

A couple pieces of Yankees related news, it appears that CC Sabathia is going to have knee surgery to fix a meniscus tear in his right knee. This is when you start feeling a little uneasy about his weight, but we shouldn't jump to conclusions just yet. What people tend to forget is that CC Sabathia is a vampire. What else explains his super human tendencies, his enormous workload, his amazing strength, his thirst for blood, his pinpoint accuracy? I suspect Sabathia will be good and ready to play next season.

Also of interest, it appears Cliff Lee's wife was not all too impressed by Yankee fans who harassed her during the game. It doesn't surprise me that we would harass a player's wife, what does surprise me is that we were dumb enough to do it to Cliff Lee's wife. We can definitely write the bigger check, so the only thing that can work against us is anything that can be placed in the cons column to playing in New York. One of these cons is our amazing drunken vocabulary at postseason games, and our general disregard for feelings. I think a few extra million could go a long way in mending some fences.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Eiland First Off-Season Casualty

Dave Eiland was fired by Brian Cashman yesterday afternoon. Cashman had organized an elaborate birthday party in which a giant cake was rolled out for Eiland. When the crowd had finished singing happy birthday, Cashman jumped out of the cake and fired Eiland on the spot.

No reason has been given for the firing, but I suspect the Yankees are looking for a coach who might be able to fix AJ Burnett. Who that coach is, I don't know. That coach probably doesn't exist. But if the Yankees think they can find the pitching equivalent of Kevin Long, so be it. It can't hurt to try I suppose.

Cashman did make clear that Eiland was not being blamed for the Yanks postseason failures. That's possible, but Eiland is quite clearly the most responsible for the Yankees' lethargic play against Texas. He didn't play a single inning, he didn't have a single RBI or run scored. Nothing. He just stood in the dugout watching. What's that all about?

Back from Vacation

I made it back from an epic cruise around the mediterranean just in time to see the Yankees lose to Texas in the ALCS. I would like to say that I didn't see it coming, but the truth is the Yankees haven't had all that much fight in them since September. Sure they had some come from behind wins and such, but the general will to win seemed to be missing. But now we enter the best season of baseball, the hot stove season. Yeah the world series hasn't started yet, but no one cares about that. This is the time for speculation and convoluted trade ideas. As I've yet to really sink into the baseball atmosphere, and catch up on the news, I will for now hold off on my speculation, and just say that I am back, and I'm glad to see people have kept this site fun while I was gone.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Pettitte Question

The Yanks want Andy Pettitte back. Pettitte still wants to pitch, but he's been torn between commitments to the game and commitments to his family for some time. I've often wondered why the Yankees haven't considered doing a partial season deal with Pettitte the way they did with Clemens those last couple years when he was running on steroid fumes. Why not let Andy join the team in May or June rather than February for Spring Training? This would give him more time with his family and also help keep him fresher. He's not getting any younger.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Aw Shucks

Well, that's it. The season is over and the Yankees won't be champions again. That's baseball. Two months ago, would any of you have thought that an AL East team wouldn't advance to the World Series?

MLB must be busy readying emotionally charged montages that tell the story of postseason frustration in Texas and play up the potential for a first World Series for the Rangers. They better be, because no one cares about a Texas v. Giants/Phillies World Series. Yanks-Phils? Round two between the titans. Yanks-Giants? New Yorkers still mad about the Polo Grounds. Texas-Anybody Else? Who gives a $#!%. My guess is ratings won't exactly be great.

There are, of course, more important things to think about than the ratings right now. Girardi, Jeter, Rivera, and Cliff Lee are all up for new contracts in New York. The Yanks now have to decide by just how much to overpay all four.

Other issues have also arisen. It turns out that the warning track is like an ice rink; it almost killed Lance Berkman. Berkman, it should be noted, is an experienced figure skater. That should give you an indication of just how slick and dangerous that warning track is.

The Yankees also need to decide what to do about Kerry Wood. He may want another opportunity to close, but the Yankees would be wise to attempt to sign him to serve as Mo's set up man. Perhaps that will give them an opportunity to trade players like Robertson or Joba for some additional prospects.

Decisions, decisions.

Friday, October 22, 2010

It Has to be Said

I'm sorry, but this has to be said. Phil Hughes grew up in California. He has no excuse for the mullet he's got going in this picture of him (I won't post it here directly because it's hard to look at). It's bad enough that he's clearly well on the path of just completely letting himself go. At least cut your #*&@ing hair! You already cut the sides and the top, trim that $#!% in the back. Believe me, your barber isn't charging you less just because he's only having to do three of four sides. Cut it. Just cut it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Travel Day

It's not as bad as last year. On this date last year the Yankees were preparing for their two week vacation between games 2 and 3 of the ALDS. I'm pretty sure I was unwrapping presents under the tree as the Yanks were clinching the World Series. But travel days are always boring. No news. Pretending we care about the NLCS. It's awful. But that's what we do. We do it because we love baseball and we love baseball because the alternative for a national pastime is soccer. We're not about to love soccer, so we love baseball. It's nothing against soccer, it's just that, you know, it's soccer. It's cool when you're six and your mom is unsure about letting you play pee wee football, but after that. . .

At least it's just one day. Tomorrow is game six. Hughes is up, preparing to put his last start behind him. Technically it's already behind him, but Hughes doesn't experience time linearly, so he can't put it behind him until after tomorrow's game (assuming he doesn't suck). Hughes's legacy is on the line. I don't want to put pressure on the young man, but his whole career is staring him in the face right now. Let's hope he doesn't blink.

Will the offense show up? The plane charter suggests they will arrive in Texas, but that's no guarantee of on-field performance. Besides, the Rangers have a sports psychologist who tells them stuff like, "good game," and "go get 'em, sport." The Yankees will have to overcome this organizational disadvantage. The Yanks are currently without a sports psychologist, but Jorge Posada has volunteered to serve as clubhouse chaplain. Granted, his usual conversation starter of "what the #%&@ are you looking at?" isn't that inviting. We'll see whose method is superior over the course of these next two games.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Game 5, Change We Can Believe In?

Looks like the Yankees are the hope mongers now. The Yanks came out aggressive against CJ Wilson, a pitcher who was dominant against us in game 1 of this series. CC gave us six strong innings. Kerry Wood struck out Josh Hamilton just to make him feel bad. Mo closed it out. All in all, it was awesome.

But it raises some issues. The Yanks now have to take two games on the road. Not impossible, but difficult. It's do or die right now and the Yanks have no room for error. Hughes needs to come out and pitch like he's played this game before, or at least heard of it. He cannot repeat his game two performance. Even if the Yanks put up a nine spot in the top of the first, Hughes has to give us some reasonable length. We can't burn the bullpen with a looming game seven against Cliff "I Think I'm So Cool" Lee.

The key to the game will be winning. If the Yankees do that, they set themselves up well for a game seven.

Game 4, Damn

It's not looking good folks. At least we have CC on the mound today, but it's not looking great. We can't hit. We can't pitch consistently unless we're named Andy Pettitte (Pettitte...I rarely even know it?). We can't even try to bunt a few guys on to get a base runner on for Cano (who's ridiculous right now).

What can the Yankees do? I'm sure they've already filled out a blank check to present to Cliff Lee after the World Series is over.

They could call Bud Selig and apologize that the ratings for a Texas-San Fran World Series are going to be so awful. The series itself might be good, but it's kind of a tree falling in the woods situation. Nobody's there to give a $#!%. I'm pretty sure that's how it goes.

It's been a long season, but I would do some sit-ups if I was a Yankee right about now. You'll be on a beach soon and you'll want to look good.

I know, I know. I shouldn't just give up on the season. We're still in this thing. But this team hasn't exactly shown a lot of resilience as of late, so I'm prepared to let my mind drift to what trades and free agent signings we should make. Granted, if they move on to the next round, I'll be all Randy Quaid in Major Leagues, acting like I knew they would make it all along. The nice thing about having a comedy blog is that if someone says to you, "you literally wrote they should start in on their vacation plans," I just say, "It's irony a@$$hole."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Game 3, Ugly

I suppose it doesn't matter that D-Rob gave up five runs and recorded one out. When you score exactly zero runs it doesn't matter whether the other team scored one or a one million. The Yanks are now in a hole, and the Rangers are not letting up. If they take the next two games it won't really matter, but last night they blew the only great pitching performance they've received. I know Lee was on the mound, but you have to find a way. If you can't hit the guy, maybe try the occasional bunt. See if you can catch the defense off guard. The New York Times yesterday had a blog post on how you might beat Cliff Lee. One of them was to test Michael Young with the bunt, as he is one of the worst 3d baseman at fielding bunts. Sure, the Yankees aren't exactly small ball, but when all you've done is strike out, maybe switch it up a little bit. No such switching up was forthcoming. The Rangers then proceeded to hand us our own rear end. And in our own home! All I know is, it's Cash's fault. Lee would have been pitching game two for us if we'd only been willing to include Nova in a trade. So that's that.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Game 2, Bad

It was a very simple request. All I asked of Hughes was to go 8 innings and spare the bullpen. He went four, gave up seven runs, and didn't spare anybody anything. If you're like most Yankee fans you're probably thinking to yourself, "Why was I even born?" We need not go there yet, however. The Yankees now face Cliff Lee in game 3. We have to hope he finally has a game in which he doesn't go 8 or 9 innings, gives up 2 or less runs, then throws a rock through somebody's windshield just because he can. He can't be lights out every time out, and he's due for a simply decent outing if not a bad one. Pettitte's on the mound and has a way of rising to any post-season challenge. Unlike Hughes and Sabathia, Pettitte will probably benefit from the longer lay off than usual. The offense needs to come through if Pettitte hangs tough. Hopefully we have it in us.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Game 1, Good

I'm not really in the mood to do a full fledged game review. Obviously Sabathia did not give us quite what we wanted, but we came through with another come from behind win. All Hughes has to do is go 8 innings tonight and spare our bullpen, then we're good. You might say that's unfair to Hughes, but I'm not going to dignify that with a response.

The offense really came to life in the 8th, going a full seven hitters before giving up an out. The Texas bullpen did not exactly come through for their team, but they sure came through for ours. I think we should give them a hand of applause.

With Lee still a game away, this game was pretty important for Texas. Not only do they hand the ball over to someone not named Cliff Lee, they now have to deal with that "no lead is safe" feeling that is oh so familiar in Minnesota. This should be an interesting game 2.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Things to Think About

The Yankees have announced their rotation and it is as follows:


Now a couple of posts ago someone commented that it made sense to match up Burnett with Lee, since if we're going to take an automatic loss anyway, it doesn't really matter what Burnett does. This seemed pretty sensible, and I wondered why the Yanks didn't go that route. The main reason, I would guess, is that you want CC, Hughes, and Pettitte set up for games 5, 6, and 7. That may mean burning one of Pettitte's starts if Lee does his usual playoff thing of going 8 or 9 innings and giving up almost nothing, but it also means only having to start Burnett once.

Another issue is why pitch Hughes second. My guess is that the Yankees are aware of how much better Hughes has pitched on the road, and as good as he pitched at home in game three, why gamble?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Rotation

With the Yankees announcing that they will carry four starters in the ALCS, we can now discuss how we think the Yankees should line up their pitchers and who their fourth starter should be. One suggestion, made in the comments section of the previous post, was to line up Burnett with Lee or Price, so that it doesn't really matter what happens when he pitches. That seems a sensible plan, but I'm not prepared to accept that Burnett should be in the rotation over, say, volunteers from the crowd. I'd still line up that volunteer against Lee or Price, but I think choosing a fan at random gives us the best chance to compete. There will be no advanced scouting, and the Rays' hitters won't be used to the inevitably slower pitches. It will also give the bullpen an advantage, as their pitches will be harder to pick up after a few innings of having to swing at fifty-something mph pitches. As far as I know, there is no rule banning volunteers from the stands from starting a Major League playoff game. You can't do it in the regular season, but I think it's okay in the playoffs. Clearly, that is our best option.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Good Ol' Days

I remember the good ol' days. The smell of the fresh cut grass, pine tar placed expertly by the on deck circle, playing games that really mattered. It seems like a lifetime ago, but it was two days ago. If you're like me, you're already in withdrawal. The Yanks don't play again until Friday. We're still waiting for the rest of these no-talent, unable to sweep their opponent teams to finish their series so we can move on to the League Championships. This sucks. As much as I appreciate that our older guys can use the time off to nap, rant about hippies, and complain that us young'uns don't show them enough respect, this sucks.

As a public service I've decided to give some tips for how we can all manage through the malaise of six days without Yankees baseball. You're probably thinking I should write a game review instead. But I have writer's block right now and that's not going to happen. Besides, you should know by now how it all turned out. Unless, of course, you blinked and missed the entire series (way to put up a fight Minnesota). Just in case, I will give the following quick review: we won.

Now, most of us have jobs or other responsibilities to attend to during the day, so wandering around in a drunken stupor for a week is a no go. You could watch other teams play baseball. This will give you an advantage when yelling at the screen during Yankees' games against those other teams. You'll know the opposing players' names, some of their positions, maybe even some strengths and weaknesses.

Another option is to read a book. It's okay if it has pictures in it, and it will help kill time.

You could also spend inordinate amounts of time on baseball blogs leaving comments regarding your predictions for upcoming series. Granted, you're probably already doing that.

You could try writing the next great American novel. You won't succeed. In fact, you won't even get past the first two pages, but it will kill your week long wait real fast.

Now that you've got some good, nay, great ideas for how to spend the next week, go ahead and get hammered anyway. It's just easier.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I just wanted to post a quick note on the lack of game updates recently. My brother is away on vacation and my internet the last few days has been acting up. I rarely get more than a few minutes at a time of working internet, and so I will return to posting regular updates once the issue is resolved.

Uh-oh . . .

That's what I would be thinking if I'm any team that might have to face the Yankees after Pettitte's performance last night. With CC out front, and Pettitte back to form, the Yanks may be looking like front runners once again. It's funny how different this team looks in the playoffs. Assuming CC is CC and Pettitte continues to pitch like he did last night, we may have a date with Philly coming up. (And yes, I think Philly takes the NL).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Sabathia Factor

Much has been made about the Yankees desire to avoid Cliff Lee in a short series during the ALDS. But not as much attention has been paid to the Sabathia factor. Sure, everyone acknowledges he is our best pitcher, and probably our only sure thing in these playoffs. No one, however, has seemed to mention that Sabathia is about as close to a guaranteed ALCS appearance as one can have. In a short series, he almost guarantees you two of the three wins you need. That leaves one victory to be garnered by Pettitte or Hughes. Maybe we never get that victory, but I would not like to be the team that has to face Sabathia twice in a short series.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Three Amigos?

Many are suggesting the Yankees will go with a three man rotation in the first round. This year's playoff schedule won't be quite as amenable as last year's, which enabled the Yankees to use CC Sabathia on three days rest every single game of the playoffs and World Series, so the Yankees are going to have to be creative.

Clearly, in a short series you can't afford automatic losses, so Vazquez and Burnett are both out. That leaves Pettitte, Hughes, and Nova as potential starters behind CC. It seems the Yanks are inclined to go with CC, Pettitte, and Hughes, but I do think Nova deserves consideration. Sure, you have to limit him to no more than five innings, since he implodes late in games, but with AJ and Javy in the 'pen you should be able to get around that. I'm sure the Yanks won't risk Nova in the first round, but he should be on call in case Hughes struggles in his start, and on tap for the ALCS. He is clearly our best fourth option.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Public Apology and Red Sox Series Review

First off, let me apologize for the lack of game updates this weekend. My brother is now on a cruise and I have been fighting ninjas for the better part of the weekend. These scheduling conflicts inevitably happen and I apologize that you, the loyal reader, have to suffer for it. Here's the belated series review:

The Good

The best thing about this weekend is that we are now set up to play the Twins in the first round. Sure, home field would've been nice, but playing the Twins instead of the Rangers in the first round is nicer.

The Bad

I'll go with 1-2 record over the weekend. That said, I can't feel that bad. Not surprisingly, we split the double header. Both games went into extras and it's tough to win both games of a double header. Maybe we're more competitive on the last game if we don't play two the day before. No excuses, but for a team already guaranteed a playoff spot, you can't blame them for not killing themselves to win an essentially meaningless series in Boston.

The Ugly

Remember April? Remember how fresh everything was? Weather turning, birds chirping, AJ pitching well? Remember when AJ had his first bad game in five starts and everyone started writing about his inconsistency and I jumped all over them for getting on a guy who had pitched four straight really good starts and one bad one? Oh how sour those words taste now. AJ has been awful for pretty much the whole season. April and June were exceptions I suppose, but they don't make up for how poorly he's pitched overall. It's been, to say the least, ugly.

The Final Count

Cano and Swisher each had one home run in the weekend series. That brings the total home run count to 201, making for a $402 donation from RJG.

Posada 18hr = $36
Granderson 24hr = $48
Cano 29hr = $58
Swisher 29hr = $58
Jeter 10hr = $20
Johnson 2hr = $4
Rodriguez 30hr = $60
Teixeira 33hr = $66
Thames 12hr = $24
Gardner 5hr = $10
Winn 1hr = $2
Miranda 3hr = $6
Curtis 1hr = $2
Kearns 2hr = $4
Nunez 1hr = $2
Berkman 1hr = $2
Total = $402

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Yanks Rained Out

The Good

The visiting clubhouse at Fenway has a sound roof, and the Yankees were able to stay dry despite the rain.

The Bad

I'm sure every contending team loves a double header just days before the playoffs begin.

The Ugly

With an off-day between the Toronto and Boston series, many Yankees took the opportunity to go to their local cinema. At least one Yankee was not happy.

"I went to go see 'The Other Guys'," explained Jeter. "They cut all my best stuff out of the movie. Nobody cuts Derek Jeter! Nobody!"

Andy Pettitte was also less than pleased.

"I saw a preview for Tron Legacy," said Pettitte. "Apparently I'm supposed to care about a second Tron, but I'm pretty sure the first Tron's only Legacy is that you vaguely remember a brightly colored motorcycle race but don't actually have any idea what that movie was about."

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

No home runs during the rain out.

Posada 18hr = $36
Granderson 24hr = $48
Cano 28hr = $56
Swisher 28hr = $56
Jeter 10hr = $20
Johnson 2hr = $4
Rodriguez 30hr = $60
Teixeira 33hr = $66
Thames 12hr = $24
Gardner 5hr = $10
Winn 1hr = $2
Miranda 3hr = $6
Curtis 1hr = $2
Kearns 2hr = $4
Nunez 1hr = $2
Berkman 1hr = $2
Total = $398

Friday, October 1, 2010

Off Day Post

Tampa lost yesterday to KC and are now tied with the Yankees for first place in the AL East. The Yanks now head to Boston, while the Rays continue their vacation . . . I mean, series against KC. Personally, I hope the Rays take the division. I say this for two reasons. First, I'd rather play Minnesota in the first round than Texas. Second, I like the idea of the Rays wearing themselves out for a division title that is basically meaningless. We have playoffs now, not just a regular season and a World Series, so winning divisions only matters to the extent it gets you in the playoffs. Reaching the playoffs, however, is a non issue for both the Yanks and Rays, so if the Rays want to expend a bunch of energy for a prize they've actually already achieved (since what is important is the playoff berth, not the division), I say go for it.

These next three games in Boston will be played up because of what happened 6 years ago. Of course I'm referring to Bush's reelection, which was precipitated by Boston winning the World Series. Sorry, it had to be said. But it also must be said that what happened 6 years ago has nothing to do with this team. Every time we play Boston now we have to hear about the ghosts of 2004. But there are no ghosts. Boston is not in our head. They haven't dominated us or anything like that. And while there is still a rivalry there, you don't worry about how you're going to take a series from a team that in a few days will be watching you play from their luxurious leather sofas in some swanky condo or Vegas hotel room with whatever 18-22 year old company they've paid for for the evening. We've already failed to line up our pitchers just the way we want so the important thing right now is to rest our guys, especially those who have been hurt recently, and be prepared to enter the playoffs rested.

Sure, we need to worry about momentum. After all, you cannot play successful baseball without momentum. That's why if you even have the slightest of losing streaks, your season is over. Oh, wait. That's bull$#!%. Never mind. With a team this old, rest is a greater concern than momentum. These guys know how to win, but they don't know how to be 23 again.