Saturday, December 29, 2012

Matsui Retires, Baseball Mostly Quiet

Not much has gone on this week, but the biggest news is that former Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui has decided to retire.  Matsui was one of the great outfielders from the last decade, a great teammate by all accounts, and one of the guys you wanted up to bat in a tough spot.  He is now retiring from baseball and we at the RJG wish him the best in his post-baseball endeavors.

In other news, the Yankees signed former Braves outfielder Matt Diaz to a minor league contract.  The deal is worth $1.2 million guaranteed if he makes the big league club and $800,000 in incentives.  The Yankees hope that Diaz will balance out their lefty-leaning outfielder.  My guess is that Diaz will make it on the team to fill the role that Andruw Jones had last season.

In other baseball news, A.J. Pierzynski signed a one year $7.5 million contract with the Rangers.  This is the type of contract that the Yankees should be all over, and I have to think that the fact that they let this one year deal go, indicates that they are committed to developing Austin Romine as their everyday catcher.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas eve, and happy holidays everyone!  Since signing Ichiro, the a few more pieces have moved off the board officially closing any speculation.  Swisher is going to Cleveland on a 4 year $56 million pact with an option for a 5th year, and sadly, our best post season hitter last season, Raul Ibanez has signed again with the Mariners.  Effectively, the 2013 Yankees are now the same as the 2012 Yankees minus Swisher, Martin, and Ibanez on offense.  In other words, the 2013 Yankees, are the same as the 2012 Yankees minus some power on base percentage, and clutch hitting.  Despite this, some think the Yankees could win a championship next year.  The argument is valid but with one major flaw.  The valid part is that even without making a big free agent purchase, and even while losing guys like Martin, Swisher and Ibanez, the Yankees still have some great players.  Do we really believe that a team with Jeter, Teixeira, Cano, Pettitte, Sabathia, Kuroda, and Mariano are going to start playing like the Kansas City Royals next year?  The answer is no, until you factor in age and injury, and therein lies the flaw of the argument.  The Yankees farm system is ill-stocked at the top levels, meaning that any injured players are going to be hard to replace.  We can always hope for Pineda and A-Rod to come back strong, and for all our other guys to stay mostly healthy and mostly productive, but when has there ever been a season without some major injury?  We haven't been able to keep A-Rod healthy for a few years now, last year we suffered freak injuries to Mariano and Pettitte, and even in the post-season we lost Jeter to a broken ankle.  Injuries happen, and the Yankees have very little room for them this coming season.  And when we lose a guy, how will we replace them?  Eduardo Nunez at short?  Dickerson as our everyday outfielder?  Corban Joseph at second?  This is with Austin Romine and Francisco Cervelli likely to take up most of the time behind the plate.  The X-factor is what our minor leaguers will do next season.  Sometimes we get some surprises from the lower levels, and this may be the year to get those surprises.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Yankees Finalize Deal With Ichiro

It appears that the Ichiro signing is officially official.  Although the terms of the deal have not been disclosed, reports have indicated that it was for money, paid in the form of US currency.  This locks down right field for the next couple years, which makes the outfield all-lefty leaning.  An all-lefty outfield has been Cashman's dream since he was a child, and its great to see him achieve his life's ambition.  To ensure his all-lefty outfield is not polluted by a right-hander, Cashman is also in talks with outfield/DH option Raul Ibanez.  The 2013 Yankees are shaping up to be like the 2012 Yankees only 1 year older, and missing key contributors in Nick Swisher, and Russell Martin.  Should be really exciting!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

For Being "All Over" Ichiro, This Deal Sure Is Taking a While

The Yankees continue their aggressive pursuit of Ichiro Suzuki, as more pieces are coming off the board.  Apparently, the hold up on the Ichiro deal is that the Yankees want to pay Ichiro in gold instead of cash, in an attempt to keep Ichiro's contract off the books.  The deal was denied on the level of the commissioner's office.  The Yankees are now reworking the contract to pay Ichiro in shares of Disney and lobster dinners.  It is yet to be determined if the commissioner's office will accept this deal.

In the meantime, the Blue Jays just got a little bit better trading for knuckle-baller and Cy Young winner RA Dickey.  The Blue Jays smell blood in the water as the Yankees and Red Sox are vulnerable.  The Red Sox signed Stephen Drew to play shortstop for a season, and Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima signed with the Athletics a year after he turned down offers by the Yankees to play backup to Jeter. 

Super exciting times in baseball.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Last Day for Domestic Violence Auction

Today is the last day for most items on the ebay auction of Yankees memorabilia. This auction is run by the clubhouse manager of the Trenton Thunder, and all the proceeds go to benefit the Domestic Violence Project.  They have some pretty cool stuff in there, and all of it makes for a great gift for a Yankees fan.  Since we last mentioned the auction, they have added a number of new items, so give it a look.

In Yankees related new, the Yankees continue to close in on Ichiro, and it looks like it'll be the first multi-year offer they make this year.  The report says that Ichiro had a 2 year, $14 million contract on the table from the Phillies, so the deal would have to at the very least match that. 

Josh Hamilton has agreed to terms with the Angels on a 5 year $125 million contract.  Reports now indicate that Nick Swisher is being heavily pursued by the Indians who recently traded outfield Shin-Soo Choo likely to make way for Swish.  The Red Sox continued their off season frugal purchasing spree by signing Ryan Dempster to a two-year deal worth $26.5 million.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Oh. No.

Its official, Kevin Youkilis has signing with the Yankees.  I'm currently struggling between two considerations: on the one hand, Youkilis grinds out at-bats, and when healthy is one of the better hitters out there.  On the other hand, he's Kevin Youkilis.  I'm sure I'll get over the latter fact if he ever hits a walk-off homerun against the Red Sox, but for now I'm really struggling with this one.  I know I can't let emotions get in the way, but Kevin Youkilis?  Really?

With the Yankees closing in on Ichiro, we now need to consider which right-handed outfielder would best compliment Ichiro.  Several names have been thrown out there, but I'm going to suggest Delmon Young.  Let's look past the fact that he can't take a walk, strikes out way too much, isn't great on defense, and was arrested for becoming belligerent and yelling anti-Semitic slurs in New York last year.  Delmon Young hit last post-season.  He hit .353 and .357 in the ALDS and World Series last year, drove in 9 runs throughout the playoffs, and hit 3 homeruns.  He was the antithesis of the Yankee offense.  And because of everything mentioned before, he should be pretty affordable.  Yes he has severe emotional issues, and he would have to prove himself truly repentant over that incident last season, but he may be a good balance for Ichiro's speed and contact type hitting.  But then again, looking past his stupid comments is hard enough to do.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Yankees "All Over" Ichiro

According to recent reports, the Yankees are allegedly "all over" Ichiro, and a deal may soon be had.  This is good news for Yankee fans not because Ichiro solves our perceived offensive deficit, but because its the first interesting thing the Yankees have done this off season.  Well, losing a bidding war to the Pirates was interesting, but this would be the first interesting development in our favor.

Reynolds Goes to Cleveland...

Mark Reynold's has signed with Cleveland.  How does this impact the Yankees?  Well, Youkilis was considering an offer from Cleveland to play third, and if the Reynold's signing precludes Youkilis from playing in Cleveland, it may put the Yankees offer as the next best thing.  We'll have to stay tuned.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Who's on Third?

Now that Nix has been outrighted to AAA, I think we need to have a serious conversation about third base. Should we really be throwing $12 million at Kevin Youkilis? Put aside his face for a moment. Youkilis, if healthy, is a solid player and a gamer. A Paul O'Neill type if there ever was one. He's friends with Jeter and wouldn't be any sort of clubhouse problem. But $12 million?

Does anyone remember Scott Brosius? Do we really need a $12 million player at third to win a championship? Why not let Nix play? If we really need an upgrade after this season, we can think about it next year, and we wouldn't be in any different position than we would be if Youkilis accepted his overpriced one year deal anyway.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

RJG Reviews the Winter Meetings

With the Winter Meetings now over, it is time to reflect on the Yankees' comings and goings in Nashville, TN. Obviously, not much happened this week. Or is it so obvious? Was it really a wasted week?

No. On Tuesday, when Cashman arrived a day late because he was rappelling down a building in Connecticut, he had a steak. For lunch. We openly questioned his selection of a Caesar side salad, but felt he redeemed himself with his choice of amaretto digestif. Classy.

On Wednesday, Cashman was spotted at the hotel's gym. Treadmill? Really? We were hoping for some tickets to the gun show, but Cashman never even approached a dumbbell.

Thursday was more of the same. Power lunches, questionable sides, and uninteresting but sound workouts. I think it is fair to say that Cashman's performance at these Winter Meetings was lackluster, but consistent. Consistently nothing. I hate your face so much right now!

The Yankees Have an Offer Out to Youkilis

It looks like the Yankees have put a $12 million offer out the Kevin Youkilis.  This is a bit baffling, seeing as the Yankees were just outbid for one year of Chavez at $3 million.  Don't get me wrong, Youkilis has a high on base percentage, and when healthy can hit, but he hasn't been healthy for years, and he's the easiest Red Sox player to hate.  How is he worth $12 million?  We need a backup infielder, and we've already let some of those slip by for much cheaper.  We'll see how this unfolds.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Third Base Not Looking Great

Recent reports has Jeff Keppinger signing with the White Sox and Eric Chavez signing with the Diamondbacks.  That leaves Kevin Youkilis as one of the last standing third basemen the Yankees have looked into.  If they sign Youkilis, $5 says Joba pegs him in spring training just out of habit.

Holiday Shopping at its Best

Every year for the past 7 years, the club house manager for the Trenton Thunder has put on an auction of Yankees memorabilia that he collects throughout the season, and gives the proceeds to the Domestic Violence Project.  This years auction has autograph balls from Derek Jeter, Reggie Jackson, Andy Pettitte, Robinson Cano, and many more!  The beauty of this auction is that you can bid on great Yankees stuff, and call it Christmas or holiday shopping, and when your significant other protests your spending money on more Yankees stuff, you can highlight the fact that all the proceeds go to a great cause.  Its a win, win, win situation, and how often do you get those?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Did Jeter Get Fat?

The big news coming out of the Winter Meetings is that it takes a Hank Steinbrenner exactly one off-season in charge to completely derail the team's budget and infield. Now that A-Rod is having another hip surgery&mdashonly this time on the other hip&mdashthe Yankees can now shift focus from right field and catcher to third base.

There is also a vicious rumor that Jeter has gotten fat. There is even a picture they say. But anyone can look fat if they're photographed. When you close your eyes and picture Jeter in all his Jeterian glory, is he fat? Didn't think so. So stop telling your friends Jeter is fat. You know it's not true and this is how rumors start.

Back to A-Rod. Begrudgingly. The Yankees now need to find a third baseman. Let's face it, A-Rod is no longer our third basemen. He's now had surgery on both hips, and he had already lost quite a bit of pop since the last surgery. Since we insist on keeping Nunez as an infielder, can we at least shift him to third? Sure, he may still need to play short at the start of the season, but maybe he can play deep and cover both positions. He's got the erratic arm for it, and it would save us money on payroll.

Man do we need Ichiro already. Just give him a new bat humidor and be finished with it. This is stupid now. Oh, and just let Cervelli catch. You can trade for a first baseman with pop who pretends to be a catcher come the deadline, just ask the Mariners. Oh snap! I think Cervelli has had his dreams kicked around enough that the least we can do is humor him for a few months. Hey, maybe he'll surprise us.

Winter Meetings Under Way

The Yankees entered the winter meetings after locking down Pettitte and Mariano for next season, and losing a bidding war for Russell Martin to the cash-rich Pittsburgh Pirates.  You may be wondering how the Pittsburgh Pirates managed to out bid the Yankees, but if you really think about it, the Pirates haven't spent money on their team in about two decades, so they have a lot of savings in the bank.  Or maybe the Yankees just weren't that interested.  Either way, with the Yankees saving $7.5 million for next season the question quickly turns to who will play right field.  Ichiro is looking at offers from other teams, and the Yankees don't appear ready to sign anyone long term, so do the Yankees look to overpay Ichiro for one year to plug that right field hole?  Do we bring back Ibanez?

A recent development is that A-Rod will need hip surgery again, and will miss part of the season.  The good news is that perhaps it was an injured hip that accounted for his reduced offense last season, and a repaired hip could return his pop, the bad news is, this is his 2nd hip surgery in the last three years. 

The even better news is that the winter meetings are underway, and this means that we could see some crazy Cashman trades or free agent signings soon.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Maybe Jay-Z Should Buy the Yankees

Stay with me on this one. On Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets got into a fight with the Boston Celtics on the way to defeating the pride of the TD Bank Garden. You see, along with the Brooklyn aesthetic of the new uniforms, the newly located Nets have also adopted a bit of the Brooklyn attitude. Well, the old Brooklyn attitude, not the current hipster-defined "apathy" that pervades the increasingly pointless and ever faraway borough.

Wouldn't we love our Bombers to do a bit of the same? Wouldn't it be nice if they had some Bronx in them instead of always calmly explaining to the press how the eight hit Yankee batters in today's game were all likely unintentional? Wouldn't it be nice if we got a little mad when every at-bat in the postseason proved futile instead of simply blowing large bubbles with our big-league chew on the way back to the dugout?

All the Nets needed was to make Jay-Z a nominal partner, giving them an excuse to move the team to Brooklyn. But while Jay-Z may not make many of the business decisions, he brings a level of street-cred to the organization that they seem to be feeding off of.

If only the Yankees had some of that. You get the sense that rather than start a brawl, my kid has a thing later and the sponsors and whatnot. Even when Derek Jeter literally broke his ankle trying to make something of this postseason, the best we got was Nick Swisher saying the fans hurt his feelings. Why not tell the fans to go @#$& themselves, smack one of them in front of their mother, and then get a hit an inning later with a man on second? Why?

Oh, and Russell Martin just signed a two-year, $17 million deal with Pittsburgh. "Too rich for my blood," says Hal. Also, we were busy nailing down deals with two players who were unwilling to play anywhere else, so there's that.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cause of Slow Winter Found

If you have been paying attention to the hot stove season this winter, you've probably noticed that it has been going pretty slow.  Not just for the Yankees mind you, but for all of baseball.  Though a few players have signed here and there, and one blockbuster trade between and Miami and Toronto has been hashed, overall the pace has moved as slow as the discussions about the fiscal cliff.  RJG sent out its investigative reporting team to find out the cause of this slow winter.

It was a brisk November evening when we met with a free agent player who's identity will remain anonymous out of respect for his on going negotiations.  Sitting in a midtown cafe, this player revealed to us the real problem with the off season.

"Us players are scared of the fiscal cliff."  He said.

"What?"  We answered.

"No one wants to sign a multi-million dollar contract without knowing if it will be taxed at the Clinton era tax rates, or at the Bush era tax rate.  Its keeping us all fearful of signing a deal."

Still confused, we pushed on.

"How will your decision be different if you're under the Clinton era tax rates as opposed to the Bush era rates?"

"How won't it be different?  Here in the states, I could sign a deal for $13 million a year, but under the Clinton era tax rates, I'll be seeing much less of that.  So if the Clinton era tax rates are instituted, I think I'll go overseas.  I'll make about $10 million less, but at least I won't be taxed as highly for it."

"So you would take a $10 million dollar pay cut to avoid paying higher taxes?"

"Yes.  You don't understand how hard it is.  My oldest will be 18 soon.  How will I afford to send them off to school in outerspace?" 


"Yeah, you know, to study the universe.  How else will they do it?  With a telescope?  Like some animal?  Only in Obama's America."

It turns out this sentiment was widely felt throughout the baseball world.  Non-free agent, but holder of the largest free agent contract ever, Alex Rodriguez, expressed his concerns on the matter.

"I understand why players are worried.  You can't expect to increase taxes on us, and have us be okay.  I mean, we're job creators.  How will I keep creating jobs if I only get to hold onto millions of dollars instead of millions and millions of dollars?  Its incredibly selfish."

Asked what jobs he was creating, A-Rod surprisingly gave some concrete examples.

"Just last year, my underperformance made the Yankees sign Eric Chavez.  It also made them trade for Casey McGehee mid season.  That's two jobs I created that would have never existed had I not been taxed under the Bush era tax rates."

Asked how the Bush era tax rates had anything to do with those two players getting brought to the Yankees, A-Rod answered:

"Well it happened under the Bush era tax rates, so there has to be a correlation."

So there you have it.  The fiscal cliff is scaring free agents from signing contracts here in the states, causing the slowest hot stove season in recent memory. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

RJG Discusses Potential Moves With Brian Cashman

With the winter proceeding at a snail's pace, we decided it was time to call up good friend of the blog, Yankees GM Brian Cashman, to find what was going on. The following is a transcript of our conversation:

BC: Hello?

RJG: Good morrow, sir! How is the Bronniest of the Cashman's doing this fine evening?

BC: Fine I gue . . . wait, what?

RJG: How are you doing this fine evening?

BC: Yeah, I get that, but you just said 'good morrow'. Bid me. You just bid me 'good morrow'.

RJG: And?

BC: Well is it morrow or evening?

RJG: Well, uh . . . hmm . . . you see . . . the thing is, we're in different time zones, so that's probably the cause of the confusion.

BC: I can see your area code on my caller ID, we're not in different time zones.

RJG: That's not really the point is it? I mean, seems like you're just being mean right now for no reason.

BC: I'm sorry. You're right. It's just that I'm frustrated with my Christmas gift ideas and I'm taking it out on you, which is unfair.

RJG: Christmas gifts, huh? I can help you with that. What do you got so far?

BC: Well, for my wife, I was thi . . .

RJG: Ex-wife.

BC: . . . nking . . . wait, what?

RJG: Ex-wife. For your ex-wife you were thinking.

BC: It's not final yet.

RJG: When the New York Post has a whole series of articles on your affair with a crazy woman, it's pretty final.

BC: Are you going to help me or not?

RJG: I can't help you if you won't be honest with me, and that starts with you being honest with yourself.

BC: For my WIFE I was thinking a 3D TV.

RJG: Seems expensive, but you can afford it. What's wrong with that idea?

BC: The 3D thing bugs me a bit.

RJG: Pray tell.

BC: Well, it's just a weird technology. Like, when you watch a movie at home, how often do you sit there and think, 'Man, if only I'd paid an extra $1000 for this TV so I could wear sunglasses while watching it?'.

RJG: How hungover am I?

BC: Like a standard hangover.

RJG: You're right, I never think that.

BC: You see?

RJG: Yeah, that's a dilemma. Well what else you got?

BC: Well, my daughter is a big Star Wars fan and I thought about the Blu-Ray set for her.

RJG: Sounds reasonably thoughtful. What's the issue with that one?

BC: Well, they wen't a little overboard with the extras.

RJG: Totally! I wish George Lucas would stop fussing with the originals and just leave them in the brilliant form we all remember from our childhood!

BC: No, I mean like the deleted scenes and stuff.

RJG: What's wrong with the deleted scenes? Fans love stupid $#!% like that.

BC: Yeah, but there's some weird stuff on there. Like, you know that scene in A New Hope when the guy loading R2 into Luke's X-Wing is all, 'Don't you want a new droid? This one's a piece of crap!' And Luke is all, 'No way man, me and that droid have been through a lot together'?

RJG: Yeah.

BC: Well, in the original scene Luke delivers that line and then knowingly looks at R2. Then they immediately cut to a flashback love scene between the two.

RJG: That's #%&@ing weird.

BC: Yeah, and then there's this really awkward scene where 3PO finds out about it.

RJG: I can see why you don't want your kids exposed to that.

BC: You see my dilemma? I'm pretty much nowhere with this stupid list!

RJG: I know what you can get! You can get Yankees fans a finished roster. Or something like that. You know, doing your job and the like.

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

RJG: You do know my name isn't RJG, right?


Well there you have it folks! The Yankees' winter plans are in process and soon we will all have a team to be proud of.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

RJG Reviews Skyfall

With Baseball news fairly limited at the moment, RJG has continued to visit local theatres in order to preserve our connection to broader cultural trends. Recently I saw Skyfall, the 103rd Bond film, and the third starring Daniel Craig in the title role (the two films in which he played the minor role of Ms. Moneypenny are less fondly remembered).

2006's Casino Royale introduced us to a different Bond, one not reliant on (encumbered by?) fancy gadgets and inexplicable acrobatic equilibrium. When a bad guy jumps through a small window in a building currently under construction, this new Bond simply crashes through the drywall paneling. No more grace. A blunt instrument.

Fast-forward to 2012 and Skyfall begins with an opening sequence that harkens back to the pre-Craig Bond films. Bond can do everything the bad guys can do in this film, only with more grace and skill. He can ride motorcycles on Turkish roof tops (oddly, the same roof tops that Taken's daughter ran along throwing grenades and evading bad guys just a couple months earlier). He can slide down the metal sided islands separating escalators, propel off the end, and land in a running sprint (not simply on his feet mind you). He can tear the back off a train with a bulldozer, jump onto the train from the bulldozer's arm, land on his feet, quickly adjust one of the cufflinks that helps complete a suit that cannot be stained by blood or dirt, and keep chasing a bad guy. Admittedly, that was awesome and beyond criticism.

This new, more familiar version of Bond, however, is a development of dubious welcome. By the end of the film, you have an M, a Ms. Moneypenny, and an M's office that all harken back to Dr. No. Hardly the new Bond audiences fell in love with in Casino Royale.

This return to the Bond of yore is in line with the film's central critique of a contemporaneity blinded by the promise of the democratizing force of new technology and its supposed promise to create entirely new economic arrangements that transcend prior economic relationships. Not so fast, cries Skyfall, even an online and service based economy will still rely on the 'antiquated' modes of production necessary for making actual things. You can't eat an app, or sleep in one, after all.

The central message of this Bond film is simple: old $#!% is great! Hence it ends the way we remember old Bond films beginning. But in its critique of technological idealism it seems to forget that while we may never be able to fully part with the old, we cannot remain in some sort of nostalgia-defined reality. Bond's not trying to hear that though. The most it will do to acknowledge changed times is engage the platitude that some of our best secretaries are black! (Ms. Moneypenny is now black, so racism is over). Everything else stays the same.

But this isn't the biggest problem with the film. The biggest problem is that Daniel Craig spends the better part of this film pulling a previously unnoticeable gun out of a very form fitting suit. Where the hell was he keeping that thing?

Kuroda's Coming Back!

The Yankees are bringing back Kuroda on a one year $15 million deal that includes $1 million in incentives.  This is quite the lofty raise from last years $10 million deal and certainly confirms that he read the market right when he turned down the $13.3 million qualifying offer.  I get the sense that for proven starters entering the latter part of their careers, its better to sign one year deals.  Every year you're open to the highest bidder, and every year, teams need pitching.  Teams feel safe with a one year deal, so they're typically willing to overpay for that one year.  We saw this repetitively with Roger Clemens.  He basically wrote the terms of his contract, and handed it to Cashman to sign.  In other news, the Yankees continue claiming pitchers off waivers, which is smart.  Middle relievers are notoriously inconsistent year to year, and building a bullpen out of competition assures that the best performing pitchers will be on the big league roster.  The players they claimed on waivers have names, but I can't recall them right now, so I'll go with Mike and Doug, and maybe a Greg somewhere in there.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cash Gives Exclusive Interview, Explains Yanks' Strategy

The Yankees seem headed for a winter of discontent, or at least mediocre acquisitions. With such gloom hovering over the future of the team, it was time to fire up the old satellite video phone and call good friend of the blog, Yankees GM Brian Cashman. The following is a transcript of our conversation:

BC: Hello?

RJG: Yes, hello, this is a courtesy call from your electricity provider. Is your refrigerator running?

BC: Um, why yes I believe it is.

RJG: Well [muffled giggling] then you better run after it. [uncontrolled laughter].

BC: Wha?! Huh?! Who is this?! I demand satisfaction!!

RJG: Relax Bronny. You've been drinking again. Why are you letting Toronto show you up so bad?

BC: While I am still furious, I will answer your question. What you have to understand is, the last couple of years have shown what happens when teams not named the Yankees try to throw money at their roster problems. Look at the Miami and Boston fire sales this past season. Toronto is just repeating an age old mistake at least two years old.

RJG: So far that seems a lucid explanation, but how are you going to build your own roster knowing you are facing a $189 million fiscal cliff?

BC: We have to rethink the game, streamline processes, make our roster more efficient.

RJG: Yeah, but you've already got like $150 million dollars wrapped up in seven players for 2014. How do you find a way to spread the remaining money to the rest of the 40-man.

BC: Well, there's a perfect example of an opportunity to rethink the game. 40-man? Why 'man'? Under federal law, if we hire women, we can pay them $.70 on the dollar. Or why '40'? Do we really need '40' players on the roster when you can never have more than nine on the field at a given moment?

RJG: It doesn't seem like you're taking this serious.

BC: Why do we need so many utility infielders? Why do we need so many infielders at all? With today's shifts, do we really need a second baseman? We have to rethink the game. Find inefficiencies, and exploit them to our advantage.

RJG: What have you been drinking and is it legal in my home state?

BC: Yes and no.

RJG: That doesn't make any sense.

BC: It isn't all about you, Respect Loser Pranksters.

RJG: Really?


There you have it folks. The Yanks have a strong plan for building their roster in the foreseeable future.

We've Figured Out The Yankees Plan!

If you are looking for insight as to what the Yankees will do this off-season, look no further.  We at the RJG have figured it out.  The Yankees long-term plan looks like this:

2013 - Sign aged veterans to one year deals.
2014 - Sign aged veterans to one year deals again.
2015 - Spend lavishly!

How does this work?  Well basically, the Yankees mandate is to be under $189 million for 2014, and one of their key stars (Cano) is a free agent after next season.  These two points are going to make the Yankees timid about signing any deals into the year 2014.  Once the Yankees have picked up a ton of 1 year players for 2013 at a low cost, these positions will be open for 2014 when the Yankees will likely pick up a bunch of 1 year players at low costs again in addition to signing Cano.  Then in 2015, after two years of mediocrity, the Yankees will strike!  The luxury tax rate will be reset, and they'll be happy to start paying for some big free agents. 

So there you have it.  The long term plan, is short term deals. 

The Baseball World Is Happening

Earlier in the week, the Blue Jays and Marlins worked out a blockbuster trade, sending Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonaficio, and John Buck, while trading away Yunel Escobar, John Mathis, and a host of minor leaguers who's names are too many to write.  Does this change anything in the AL East?  Josh Johnson should be good, and Mark Buerhle can be effective, so adding two solid pitchers to your staff certainly can't hurt your chances.  Jose Reyes should also be an upgrade as a leadoff hitter.  All things considered, the AL East got a little bit better, but with the Red Sox running out the Pawtucket Paw Sox lineup, and the Yankees trying to cut payroll, it stands to reason that the AL East will not be as competitive as it once was.  So perhaps the Blue Jays just put themselves in position to strike.

Two days ago, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey won the Cy Young, and last night Miguel Cabrera won the MVP.  Dickey, at age 38, can throw a 60 mph knuckleball, and an 80 mph version, the result of which is success at the major league level.  Miguel Cabrera overcame alcoholism and a host of related personal problems to become the best hitter in baseball this season, and win the first triple crown since Yastremski.  Some sabermatricians may have preferred Mike Trout, but Cabrera won a triple crown.  Some prefer Trout's intangibles, but Cabrera won a triple crown.  Some like Trout's hussle, but Cabrera won a triple crown.  Are you following the argument? 

Lastly, during the last off season, the Rays picked up something like 50 first and supplementary round draft picks because of free agents signing with other teams.  That means that they had they were able to draft a ton of players in the early round of the 2012 players draft.  Although this probably means nothing for this year, the Rays tend to draft and develop players well, so expect the Rays to have a host of hungry young players around the same year that we're expected to be under $189 million on our payroll.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How the Yankee Postseason Will Continue

If you've been paying attention to the Yankee post-season, and have been listening carefully, then you've probably noticed that nothings happening.  We haven't signed anyone, not even the guys who want to play for us (Kuroda and Mariano I'm looking at you!), and we haven't pulled off a block buster trade.  The Yankees have been linked to Mike Napoli, but probably because Russell Martin is getting considerable attention from other teams.  So how will the Yankees proceed this winter?  Pretty much the way they have been thus far: by doing nothing.  Here's why...

The Yankees have aimed to be under $189 million in 2014, but this number includes every player on the 40-man roster, not to mention all the benefits, travel expenses, health insurance premiums etc, that Cashman said was about $10-12 million, putting the effective payroll goal at $177 million.  Payroll is decided on the average annual value of a players contract, so even though A-Rod is set to make $25 million in 2014, the average annual value of his contract is $27.5 million.  The Yankees currently have 4 players signed into 2014:

CC Sabathia - $24.4 million
A-Rod - $27.5 million
Teixeira - 22.5 million
Jeter - $9.5 million (Player's Option)

Total - $83.9 million

In other words, nearly half of the projected payroll budget for 2014 is already allotted to 4 players.  The Yankees also are interested in signing Cano to a long term deal after next season, and though no one knows how much he'll make, he's currently playing for $15 million.  Signing Cano will give the Yankees 5 players that are making well over half of their projected payroll. 

The Yankees currently have a whole host of openings that they're unwilling to spend big on.  They can probably get around this by offering a lot of 1 year deals, but this really just pushes the problem off to next year.  So in conclusion, Cashman either needs to pull off a Red Sox/Dodgers style salary dump trade of Granderson, A-Rod and Teixeira, or we'll be seeing a lot of names in our lineup that we're not familiar with. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

How The Yankees' Postseason Began

"What do you mean, 'swept'?"

The question punctuated the devastation in the room. No one was prepared for it. No one saw it coming. No one.

It didn't change the reality. The Yankees would not be the World Series champions.

For months experts had warned that the Yankees did not have the hitting with RISP to win the World Series. They scored runs, but not against elite pitching. The numbers didn't lie.

The Yankees, insulated by their own private media apparatus with a narrative of its own, assured us—or perhaps just themselves—that the 'experts' were wrong. The 'experts' weren't taking into account the return of Pettitte, explained the information bubble in which the Yankees had insulated themselves. The 'experts' didn't understand that a September of playoff-intensity baseball had given the Yankees the momentum necessary to carry them to a championship. They just didn't get that the Yankees were going to be the champions. Had to be.

It didn't change the reality.

There were rumblings that this loss would chasten the Yankees. That it would force them to rethink their power-heavy approach to building a line-up. Remind them that you have to welcome more diverse types of hitters into the roster.

Denial ensued.

“If you have a philosophy you believe in, that’s been tested, I have no problem with people asking about it, clearly trying to challenge it, trying to dissect it and tear it apart. But I am not going to turn myself into the Bronx Bunters because all of a sudden we didn’t hit for this week in October. That’s not our DNA. That’s not what makes us successful and that’s certainly not what’s getting us in the postseason every year but one year since I got here.” (Source).

Now the Yankees face a winter of uncertainty. They deal with an utterly reconfigured landscape. Other teams have power hitters too, and they're younger, and they also have pitching. The demographic advantage that once seemingly allowed the Yankees to buy up postseason appearances had faded.

For years, the threat of moneyball had been mocked. The Oakland A's, after all, never even won an ALCS. But now teams that had learned the lessons of moneyball, and had spent redistributed revenue-shared dollars—dollars that leveled the playing field and gave everyone a shot—smartly, were now in the ascendancy.

Will the Yankees compromise with their own legacy, or will they insist that the only path to a Championship is the one they remember nostalgically from yesteryear?

Only time, and at least $189 million, will tell.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Orioles in on Hamilton

According to this report, the Baltimore Orioles are in on Josh Hamilton.  And why not?  This year the Orioles made it to the playoffs, and that run of success had its financial benefits as well.  The Orioles sold 346,779 tickets over what they sold in 2011.  At an average MLB ticket cost of $26.92, that's more than a $9.3 million boost, not including concession sales, which I'm sure they make a killing off of.  It turn out, winning sells more tickets, generating more revenue.  It pays to win, and getting a premium talent like Hamilton could possibly boost those ticket sales even higher, earning them what it cost to sign him.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Considering the Free Agent Market

With the Yankees aiming to get under $189 million for 2014 it appears that they will not be a major presence in the free agent market this year.  So the hopes of landing Zack Grienke, Josh Hamilton, and Edwin Jackson as our set up guy are fading quickly.  However, the Yankees did free up about $65 million of their payroll and though they need to still settle arbitration contracts, they should still have a hefty chunk of cash in hand.  Add this to the fact that we're shy a right fielder, 2 starters, a catcher, a closer and a DH, along with a host of bench players, it would appear that the Yankees have to do something in the free agent market.  Assuming that they bring back Kuroda, Pettitte, Martin, Ibanez, Ichiro and Mariano, they've filled all these roles, but only one of those players (Martin) would likely be back for more than one year.  It would mean that the Yankees would go into 2014 with only Sabathia, Hughes, and Nova, as sure options.  It is for this reason that if the price is right, the Yankees should consider one Anibal Sanchez.  A solid 3 guy, who could bolster our rotation, will be 29 next season, and pitched well for the Tigers, posting a 1.77 ERA in 3 starts in the postseason.  A 4 or 5 year deal for a reasonable annual salary (maybe $13 million per year?) could be worth securing a starter beyond 2013.  He's had a history of injury, but has posted about 195 innings in each of the last 3 years.  He's entering that point in his pitching career where pitchers start pitching smarter not harder.  What do you guys think?

Friday, November 2, 2012

That's Classy

The Yankees announced earlier in the week that they are set to donate $500,000 to Sandy relief efforts.  The Yankees typically step up for things like this, and its always good to see a team that is generous.  This would be a good time to announce that after tallying up the post season and regular season homerun totals, the RJG is set to donate $504 to the Children's Health Fund, which is about $499,496 less than what the Yankees are donating to the Sandy relief efforts.  The Yankees are forever trying to eclipse us.  They've managed to succeed this time.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Day I've Been Waiting For: Soriano Opts Out

It was reported yesterday that Rafael Soriano opted out of his $14 million contract, to pursue a new contract as a free agent.  After the Yankees pay his $1.5 million opt out fee, they will officially be out of the second worst contract in Yankee history, the first of course being A-Rod's.  Some will argue that Soriano's performance last year merits the contract he got, but they would be wrong.  He missed most of 2011 due to injury and although he filled the closer role when Mariano stepped out, he was never worth the contract he was given.  Now that the Yankees have freed up $12.5 million from next years budget (That's $14 million minus the $1.5 million opt out fee), perhaps they have just enough to start working out Pettitte and Kuroda's raises.  The true mystery revolves around Mariano, who is still not sure whether he wants to return, and if he does, how much of a contract he will command.  How much do you give a closer who spent almost an entire year on the DL and ate $15 million worth of payroll in the process, and, by the way, happens to be the greatest closer of all time?  I suppose this year we will find out.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

RJG and the Storm

There has been some speculation in the comments recently about whether RJG survived the greatest storm ever known to man. But RJG is not a man. It cannot die in a hellish blaze of rainy fury. RJG is an idea. Intangible. Immortal. It's like the soul. Only real. And funny.

But yes, we did survive the storm. And while our computer systems were seriously damaged, that is largely because we decided to test their sea soundness by affixing sails to our laptops and attempting to boat race them. Needless to say, the laptops sunk almost immediately, but I still say mine won.

Now all we can do is wait until the Yankees sign Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, Ichiro Suzuki, David Wright, Raul Ibanez, Nick Swisher, and BJ Upton. In about three more days, we should begin seeing movement on this front.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Giants Win!

Yes they did. And, oh yeah, San Francisco won too. Ha! See what I did there? 'Cause the New York Football Giants also won yesterday. It's okay, I'll give you a minute to compose yourself.

Now that you're done basking in the glow of my genius (no, your screen's brightness settings have not changed), we can all focus on what is really important: in six days, the Yankees will be able to make stunning, we're serious about this, don't even bother trying to outbid us style offers to every big-name free agent on the market. Yes, what has come to be known as the Miami Marlins Protocol.

You might think to yourself, 'Wait. Didn't that plan fail miserably?' Yes. It did. But the Yankees do not play in Miami, and they have money, and it wasn't called the 'Miami Marlins Protocol' back then, a much cooler name that has replaced the plan's previous title, 'desperate to make Miami care about something other than the fact Castro is still in power'.

Now, once the protocol goes into effect, the Yankees line-up will look something like this:

1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Josh Hamilton, RF
4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Mark Teixeira, 1B
6. Alex Rodriguez, DH
7. David Wright, 3B
8. BJ Upton, LF
9. Mike Napoli, C

Our pitching staff will look like this:

1. CC Sabathia
2. Hiroki Kuroda
3. Andrew Pettitte
4. Phil Hughes
5. Ichiro Suzuki
6. Ivan Nova
7. Rafael Soriano
8. David Phelps
9. David Robertson
10. Joba Chamberlain
11. Boone Logan
12. Mariano Rivera

One name on that list of pitchers may surprise you, but Ichiro is not going to accept a bench spot, and with the outfield taken up by Granderson, Hamilton, and Upton, there will be nowhere on the field to put Ichiro. However, offering him a spot in the starting rotation would likely placate his ego, further fueling his desire to remain a life-long Yankee.

Our bench will be as follows:

1. Nick Swisher
2. Raul Ibanez
3. Eduardo Nunez
4. Miguel Cabrera (for whom we will trade)

With this team in place, the Yankees will go on to secure the best record in baseball by mid-June, only to blow it by late August, stumble across the finish line as division winners, and then, exhausted by having to keep some group of Johnny-come-latelies at bay, will falter in the early rounds of the playoffs.

You gotta admit though, that's an impressive line-up!

Friday, October 26, 2012

RJG Reviews Taken 2

With the World Series standing in the way of our winter dealings getting underway, we here at RJG are forced to find other means of keeping ourselves busy other than baseball. You might be thinking, 'Shouldn't you get a job?' Maybe, but, frankly, the government should just give me money, food, healthcare, and housing, so I'm not going to do something they should be doing anyway.

I will go see movies however, and recently I sat through a private screening of Taken 2. It wasn't really a private screening, but because it was a matinee on a weekday, it felt like it.

The movie begins with a series of scenes that don't really make sense but set up the premise of the movie: Liam Neeson and his no longer annoying ex-wife are taken while vacationing together in Istanbul.

You might wonder, why are Liam Neeson and his no longer annoying ex-wife vacationing together? What about her loving, devoted, super-wealthy second husband? Well, don't worry about it. While you never see him, you're assured they're separated. They had a family trip planned which he cancelled last second, and Lenore (just remembered her name) is frustrated because all the communication is through lawyers now. This is somewhat weird since they're just separated, not divorcing, and had apparently planned a trip to China together, but apparently that was not done ex parte.

It doesn't matter though. Kim has a boyfriend now. That also doesn't matter, but the script writers decided we should know about it anyway.

What matters is they're all in Istanbul, hanging out, rekindling old flames, when the father of Marco from Trepoje shows up with like a million nameless bad guys in track suits and old man sweaters, and kidnaps Neeson and 'Lenny'. Oh yeah, she doesn't mind being called 'Lenny' at any point in this movie, which I found an odd character departure. Thing is though, you're supposed to like her in this movie, otherwise you wouldn't care that she gets kidnapped.

With both Neeson and Lenny in the hands of Albanian thugs, Neeson uses what looks like an iPod Shuffle to call Kim, who, it turns out, is quite adept at handling heavy munitions, running along rooftops, and navigating a foreign urban landscape with no clear reference points.

She gets a gun to Neeson (Brian is it?) and the movie finally gets underway, as Neeson kills a bunch of people and gets in some car chases with his daughter driving the car and him shooting.

The best part of this movie was the Skyfall trailer that was shown right before it. That movie looks AMAZING!

Taken 2 will satisfy your desire to see minor characters in whose destruction you're not invested get destroyed, but that's about it. A solid rental if you've been smoking pot all day and are in no position to process dialogue, plot, linear thinking generally, or stable cinematography (thank you Bourne trilogy for ruining every fight sequence ever). But seriously, go see this Skyfall trailer. It's worth it.


Yesterday, I was watching the Giants vs. Detroit game, and I witnessed Detroit starter Doug Fister take a comeback hit off his head in the second inning, and still finish his start, throwing 6 innings of 1 run ball.  He even came up to bat in the second inning after the shot off his head, and put up a decent at bat, seeing 5-pitches, or approximately twice as many as Granderson ever does.  Seeing Fister's level of grit made me ask the question, when was the last time the Yankees were so gritty?  And of course the answer takes us back to the 1920's when our lineup, dubbed murderers row, actually had 4 players who were on death row for murder.  Our rotation, led by the Irishman Gritty McFiercen, and tall tale hero Lumberjack Strongarm, used to strike out 22 players a game, and then strike down 22 players in drunken brawls after the game.  That was around the time that our clean up hitter, the dutchman Doesntchoke Likearod, often known better by his nickname the Flying Drunkman, used to record 3 homeruns a night, all in the 7th-9th innings and only in close games.  That was back when chewing tobacco was for the weak, and chewing lead was the preferred option.  Pitchers threw 180 pitches a night, and pitched every day.  When the fans booed, the players charged into the seats and shut them up with their fists.  In fact, the 40 man roster was originally conceived to have 25 players, and 15 bareknuckle boxers to attack booing fans.  These were simpler times, when stealing a base resulted in bench clearing brawls, and stealing signs meant that the visiting team stole the advertisements posted on your outfield wall.  Players worked 18 hours in the factory, and 3 hours playing baseball every day.  Man, those were the days.

Keeping the Lights On Revisited Part 2

You may have asked yourself, how do I gamble on baseball like a pro?  Well, the RJG is always happy to provide help with these greater philosophical questions.  To this end, we point to Expert MLB picks, where you can get expert advice on who to gamble on, and then you can at least say you got advice before you blew your life savings.  Its kind of like when you spoke to your broker in 2001 and they told you about all these amazing bank stocks in Washington Mutual, Bank of America, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae that they assured you would make you a fortune.  Then to round out your stock portfolio, they said that Chrysler was a sleeper pick, and its always good to invest in mortgage insurance companies.  When you asked about Amazon, and Apple, they said that companies that begin with the letter A never do well.  And today, your left gambling on sports teams to make up the deficit in your retirement fund.  Its kind of like that.

So in the future, if your significant other asks how you picked the Tigers to sweep the World Series, you can tell them that it was the experts!  Then they'll love and trust your money management abilities and general life skills.  There's no down side to this plan.  None.

Keeping the Lights On Revisited

This is a great time of year, the World Series is on, the hot stove season is getting primed, and the Yankee offense has given us alot to think about over the next few months.  This hot stove season could see two major approaches: one, dump everyone, and two, keep just about everyone except Swisher and Soriano.  As infuriating as the ALCS was, the first option is a really bad idea.  We have a lot of cost controlled players, and by cost controlled I mean that their contracts are so large that their trade potential is controlled by it.  Plus, two of our players are playing for contracts next season: Granderson and Cano.  That could very well motivate them to go full force.  Though more intelligent discussions on this matter will be had, and re-had throughout the winter, the fact of the matter is, we would have a hard time getting anything of value for these guys because they're both under one year deals, and I don't know that we'll want to get rid of them when they could very well come back with something to prove.

As always, A-Rod and his ridiculous contract will always bring him, well, ridicule.  But its not his fault that Hank Steinbrenner was bamboozled.  I blame that on Hal.  I mean wouldn't you sign the largest contract in baseball if it was offered you?  But now the Yankees need to commit to MLB Betting to best make up the difference on that deal.  He's signed through 2017, and he'll be a .230 bench player, making $20 million.  Fair?  No.  But it is the Yankee way.  Just as selling ads to keep us posting in our spare time is the RJG way.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The State of the Yankees Budget Revisited

Recently, my brother wrote a very well researched and stringently fact checked article about the state of the Yankees budget.  As we all know, the Yankees are trying to get their payroll under $189 million by 2014.  This year the payroll sat at just under $210 million.  The problem is that the Yankees were at $210 million with a lot of cost controlled contracts.  For example, Swisher made $10.25 million, Granderson made $10 million, Kuroda made $10 million, Pettitte made $2.5 million, and Ibanez made $1.1 million none of which will be coming back next year without a pay increase, or in the case of Swisher, probably won't be coming back at all leaving a hole in right field with no immediate farm options to replace him.  Despite the pay increases, there are a number of contracts coming off the books:

Mariano Rivera - $15 million
Nick Swisher - $10.25 million
Hiroki Kuroda - $10 million
Russell Martin - $7.5 million
Freddy Garcia - $4 million
Pedro Feliciano - $3.25 million
Andy Pettitte - $2.5 million
Andruw Jones - $2 million
Raul Ibanez - $1.1 million
Eric Chavez - $0.9 million
David Aardsma - $0.5 million

Some contracts that call for a pay reduction for next season:

Alex Rodriguez - $1 million

And some contracts that God willing, will be opted out of:

Rafael Soriano - $14 million

Assuming all of these things come to pass the Yankees will have $72 million coming off the books.  However, this is offset by some pay raises:

Derek Jeter: $1 million raise
Robinson Cano: $1 million raise
Curtis Granderson: $5 million raise

And of course 7 or so arbitration eligible players who made a combined $14.2 million this year, and will get a pay bump for next season.  The Yankees can limit how much goes to arbitration eligible players by dropping some under performers (Casey McGehee made $2.5 million this season, and would likely get a pay increase for next year.  There are plenty more infield options available for cheaper!) 

Further more, all those contracts coming off the books leaves the Yankees with a bunch of holes in their 25 man roster.  The Yankees will be on the market for a right fielder, a catcher, 2 starters, a closer, possibly a setup man, a designated hitter, and possibly a couple of bench players or relievers.

So in short, there is about $72 million due to come off the books (assuming Soriano opts out), $7 million of that will go to pay raises to Jeter, Cano, and Granderson, and lets say an additional $5 million goes to settling arbitration contracts.  That leaves the Yankees with $60 million, but the Yankees won't want to spend all of it because they're trying to reduce payroll.  So if they pocket $8 million, and invest $52 million back into the team, what will that look like?  Can you get 2 starters, a catcher, a right fielder, a closer, and a DH for that much?  And if we rely on signing lots of 1 year contracts to fill these spots, what do we do in 2014 when we have to be under $189 million, and have to fill all these holes again?

Back on March 1st, Hal Steinbrenner explained how the Yankees would get under $189 for 2014:

“I’m a finance geek,” he said. “I guess I always have been. That’s my background. Budgets matter, and balance sheets matter. I just feel that if you do well on the player-development side and you have a good farm system, you don’t need a $220 million payroll. You don’t. You can field every bit as good a team with young talent.”  (NY Times)

Yes, that amazing Yankee farm system will field us every bit as good a team with young cost controlled talent. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The State of the Yankees' Budget

Rafael Soriano was paid too much money last season. Nick Swisher was paid too much money last season. Both contracts are coming off the books, which means that too much money is coming off the books. Doesn't it stand to reason that the Yankees should reinvest entirely too much money in their team? Of course it does. #$@& the luxury tax.

Mariano and Soriano

One of the questions the Yankees will have to answer this off season is how much money they want to give to the greatest closer of all time, Mariano Rivera.  Last season he made $15 million but missed the vast majority of the season with a torn ACL.  Prior to the injury, Rivera made every indication that he would retire at the end of the season, but since the injury, he has vowed to return.  The question is, what do you pay a dominant closer, coming off an injury that has cost him an entire season?  Mariano probably wants another $15 million contract, but I just don't see the Yankees giving him that (though they might because its just 1 season).  Then the question turns to what you do with Soriano.  Soriano can opt out, and it seems he will, which will free up $14 million that the Yankees had committed to him for next season.  Mariano will be back for one season.  So after 2013, who is our closer?  Do we sign Soriano to another multi-year deal for closer money knowing that we will need a closer for 2014?  Do we look for a closer within the organization (Dave Robertson?)?  Do we sign someone else to be a closer?  What do you think?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Will Kevin Long Be Fired?

This has been a topic of discussion recently, and so I thought it was time to move it to a post. The question is whether Kevin Long will be fired over the Yankees being swept out of the ALCS.

Note that the question is not whether Kevin Long should be fired, but whether he will be fired. Cashman's recent endorsement not withstanding, I think he will. Here are my reasons.

First, the Yankees' failure in the ALCS was completely offensive. Pitching and defense did not lose this series. Particularly glaring was the Yankees' inability to hit with RISP, a season-long problem that we heard over and over again the line-up would snap out of and never did.

Second, while a lot of anger has certainly been directed at the players, there is no clear way to scapegoat one of them. Cano, Granderson, and even A-Rod are unlikely to go anywhere. Even if the Yankees were to trade Grandy or A-Rod, it would likely come off more as a move to improve the team long-term and reduce payroll than it would as a move to send a message to a team that underperformed.

Third, while Long has been a defensible hitting coach, and he may not be responsible for the hitting woes, the buck has to stop with him. This is a season-long issue, and both Granderson and Cano seemed to regress as hitters. Let's not forget that the last person Long tried to remake, Jeter, completely ignored him. Then Jeter broke his ankle, which I can only assume was a result of Kevin Long trying to get rid of the leg-kick, which weakened the bone since it was no longer being strengthened from regular leg-kicking.

More importantly, Lonn Trost and Randy Levine are still loud voices in the organization. They are the reason we signed Soriano to my brother's favorite contract, and they are of the elder Steinbrenner school of thought. That means that someone must answer for the postseason failure, a failure of hitting, and the person most likely to bear that burden is Kevin Long, fair or not.

Fifth, coaches are always held to account for perceived failures far more than they are praised for success. Just ask Terry Francona.

Sixth, Cashman is unlikely to go anywhere and so is Girardi. The easiest person to replace if blamed and fired is Long. Pitching coaches, hitting coaches, bench coaches, first base coaches, and third base coaches are all imminently replaceable. If Trost and Levine decide someone must be made an example of, I have to believe it will be Long.

Seventh, Cashman assured us Long would not be fired. Pretty much every Cashman statement made prior to the Winter Meetings is a lie, or turns out to be, sometimes unbeknownst to Cashman himself (Soriano anyone?). The fact that Cashman vouched for him in public is as good as a pink-slip.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cash Gets a Call

With the Yankees contemplating their future, it was time for us to give good friend of the blog another call. Last time got a little bit awkward, but we needed to make sure someone was being honest with Bronny about what a suck-bag of crap his team was. The following is a transcript of our conversation:

BC: Hello?

RJG: Hey Bronny, how's it hanging?

BC: Could you stop asking me that? It's kind of personal.

RJG: You're not going to get all sensitive on me again, are you?

BC: I have a right to express my emotions.

RJG: Whatever. Are you aware that your team is a suck-bag of crap?

BC: That's not a thing. It doesn't even make sense.

RJG: Your roster-building philosophy doesn't make sense.

BC: Watch it.

RJG: You used to be a ninja! The old Bronny Cash would have traded A-Rod, re-signed Ichiro and Mo, traded for Justin Verlander and lowered payroll by now!

BC: There is no way any of that could ever happen.

RJG: You know what, Bronny? You don't deserve to be called Bronny Cash. Your new nickname is Lyin' Crapman. What do you think about that?!

BC: It does rhyme with my real name.

RJG: You're not acknowledging my anger! Why won't you acknowledge my anger?!

BC: I find it's best not to play into the anger of others; it creates unhealthy relationship dynamics.

RJG: Signing A-Rod to a 10 year contract creates unhealthy relationship dynamics.

BC: How dare you! You know that wasn't my call!

RJG: Wasn't it?

BC: Why do you always try to hurt me? [soft sobbing]

RJG: I'm sorry Bronny. I didn't mean it. It's just that you're a bad GM who won't acknowledge my anger.

BC: It's not all about you, RJG. Ha!


There you have it folks, as we head into winter, the Yankees are determined to get better for next year.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Robinson Cano, A-Rod

We've had some discussion of the relative merits of Misters Cano and Rodriguez recently so I figured I'd devote a post to them. With the Yankees having some impending decisions to make, I assume that my advice could only be invaluable.

First Cano. There is no doubt that his defense is beyond reproach. As a hitter, Cano is like the low cost window cleaning solutions that Windex commercials warn us against: mostly streaks. While his work ethic has at times been called into question, it's mostly been unfair, especially in light of how he's produced over the years. That said, there have been moments where his focus seems to have parted ways with him. He recently failed to cover first base on a bunt attempt, and while his tendency to not run hard out of the box on grounders is generally harmless, occasionally it makes him look bad (e.g., balls that a fielder doesn't handle cleanly and his slow trot gives them time to recover and make the play at first).

No question that he was awful this postseason, but he does not have a history of always choking in the postseason, just of being streaky, as is his wont. That said, the Yankees can't afford another very expensive postseason disappearing act.

Which brings us to A-Rod. A-Rod's capacity for shrinking in the moment is more like a super-power than a tendency. It's like he was bitten by a radioactive Fredo, endowing him with the amazing capacity to do nothing right when it matters.

But I will give A-Rod this, while he can no longer hit, he can still make pitchers throw quality pitches. He doesn't expand the strike zone the way he used to, and so he at least helps contribute to wearing out pitchers, unlike Curtis Granderson, who on average sees -2.3 pitches per at-bat.

The biggest problem with A-Rod at this point is that a history of lower-body injuries more or less has deprived him of the ability to remain effective late into the season, let alone the postseason. This could be easily addressed by limiting A-Rod to DH duties, but that's a very expensive DH. Besides, he still plays a competent third base, but at this point you have to decide whether you'd rather have A-Rod the third baseman or A-Rod the power-hitter.

A-Rod also has a bad tendency to be a distraction, as his recent attempts to pick up women while benched has shown. But if the Yankees had swept the Tigers, no one would care. Sure, it would reinforce a perception we already have of A-Rod, but that's just the point, we already think A-Rod's an intolerable piece of $#!%, so he can't really further mar his reputation with on or off the field antics. All he can do is make us hate him as a player, which, except for 2009, we already do. So he really can't win.

The Yankees should never have extended him the way they did. Cashman knew as much, but it wasn't his call. So we just have to live with A-Rod, and if the Yanks can't trade him, they may have to think seriously about whether they should keep him in the field anymore. Occasional DH days are not enough to keep him healthy. Even with more than a month lost to a broken hand, his lower-body injuries caught up to him, slowing his bat and making it impossible for him to do anything more than accurately identify pitches he cannot catch up to.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Inevitable

The Good

In the eighth, with two outs, Cano hit a ground ball that he could have made it to first on, but mercifully trotted too slowly out of the box to make it there before Fielder, Prince Fielder, could beat him with his mind-blowing speed. That lazy play ended the inning and avoided an unnecessary delay of the inevitable.

The Bad

You could tell most of our hitters had given up in this series, but more than anything you could tell that this team is not the Yankees we like to remember. There's still talk of patience at the plate, and dangerous hitters throughout the line-up, but we must know in our hearts that isn't true anymore. It was true. A long time ago. The only player about whom that is still true played on a frayed ankle until it broke and somehow managed to be one of the most consistent hitters on the team. This is not a fight 'til you die, October is the only thing that matters team anymore. All the players know the mantra, but they lack any sense of the will or desire that makes it anymore than a platitude.

I realize they may have played well past their prime, but I miss guys like Bernie and Posada. Players so proud one of them hasn't even bothered to retire. Players that didn't swing meakly at balls out of the strike zone and then walk to the dugout like failure had been a foregone conclusion. We have good players on our team, but hardly any real gamers. Jeter, Ibanez, and late season rental Ichiro. That's it. Teixeira is the next closest player, but there are too many holes in that swing.

The Ugly

There was a rumor recently that the Yankees were in talks with the Marlins to trade A-Rod. It's not just that the Marlins showed this season that an attempt to spend like a big market team can't work for them, making such a trade highly implausible, it's that A-Rod is untradeable. Not without eating so much of the contract that you might as well DFA him outright and avoid the headache of trying to argue to another GM that they should be willing to take on more of that contract because of all A-Rod has to offer. Read that sentence again. Isn't the lie so profound it makes your soul die a little? You're welcome.

How Did We Even Score That Run

Not with a home run. Too bad we weren't donating based on the number of futile at-bats. There would be no childhood illnesses left had that been the case.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 3hr = $6
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 1hr = $2
Eduardo Nunez 1hr = $2

Total Postseason Home runs 7hr = $14

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Yankees Have Reached Acceptance, And So Have I

The Good

For these last three games, our big bats have largely swung and missed, breathed a sigh of resignation, and headed back to the dugout as though not hitting was what they were actually paid to do. There is a term grief counselors use to describe this: acceptance. As I think is clear, I have been mired in the anger stage the last few days, but I too have reached acceptance. It's good, and it's liberating. I can go on with my life. Watch other television programs. I had a good time this evening with a televised debate. I've moved on.

The Bad

Did Nunez hit a lead-off home run in the ninth? Doesn't he understand we've reached acceptance? What the #$%& is his problem?! #$%& it, I'm back at anger!

The Ugly

How could you do this to me Ibanez? How? You were supposed to hit a home run! [Loud crying].

All We Have Left Is the Money

Nunez gives the kids $2 more.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 3hr = $6
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 1hr = $2
Eduardo Nunez 1hr = $2

Total Postseason Home runs 7hr = $14

Smoke and Mirrors?

The LoHud Yankees blog recently posed the question of whether Girardi was harping on about replay as a way to shield his awful players. We thought this was a fair suggestion and thought we would speak to Girardi to find out whether there was any truth to this theory. The following is a transcript of our conversation:

RJG: Thanks for sitting down with us Joe.

JG: No problem. I've always admired the work you guys do. You are hands down the only thing worth reading on the internet, and possibly even ever, so thank you.

RJG: We appreciate that. After all, we do it for the kids. But let's get down to business.

JG: Shoot.

RJG: Have you been going on about the need for replay as a way of shielding your players' performances from attention?

JG: That is a good question.

RJG: Thank you.

JG: My response requires some background. First, are you familiar with these secret agent movies, ones like the Bourne trilogy, and Liam Neeson's recent 'Unknown'.

RJG: Yes, we are well acquainted with these ouvres. But, what does that have to do with our question?

JG: Stay with me.

RJG: Ok.

JG: So in all these movies the secret agent is a callous amoral killer who loses his memory only to regain it at some later point and juncture.

RJG: Yes.

JG: So how come when they regain their memory, they don't regain their callous amoral killer personality?

RJG: You're blowing my mind right now.

JG: I mean, if you're the sort of person who has no problem killing for a living, why would you, on the moment you get yourself back, suddenly have a moral conscience? Wouldn't you be like, 'Oh, that's right! I don't give a $#!% about killing people! I'll stop being a p@$$y now.'

RJG: You're so f#%&ing right! These movies don't make any sense at all!

JG: So you see, these movies really don't make any sense.

RJG: This has been an amazing interview! Life changing really! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!

JG: No problem guys, thanks for having me.

By the time we realized that Girardi had completely bamboozled us with his brilliant film criticism, it was too late. We'd completely forgotten to point out to him how awful his team was and the order in which his players are pieces of $#!%. We spent a lot of time on that list! That brilliant, evil genius bastard!

Monday, October 15, 2012

#$%@ the Yankees

The Good

My evening schedule should be much more open in about two more days. Also, it turns out Derek Jeter's ankle didn't break, it made a conscious decision to get away from this group of underperforming pieces of $#!%. It is always good when we take charge of our own lives. It's called empowerment.

Here's the only solution to the team's current problems: do not pick up the options on Swisher or Granderson, and don't re-sign Martin. Then, use all that money to sign Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli. Then, make sure Cano knows he's the next one to go if he doesn't learn to hit again.

The Bad

The bullpen was not exactly stellar last night, but that wasn't the bullpen's fault. Because the offense has gone silent except in the ninth, the Yanks have been forced into a lot extra inning games, causing them to lean heavily on their bullpen. These guys are spent. The starters are doing their job to spare them, but the offense insists that these guys get in every game.

The Ugly

Was Nick Swisher crying about what the right field fans were yelling at him? What a @#%*ing @#$%*. How about get a hit that matters sometime this postseason.

Are They on Strike?

That could explain it I guess.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 3hr = $6
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 1hr = $2

Total Postseason Home runs 6hr = $12

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Better Ways to Have Fun in NYC

One of our commenters has noted that, with the way this team is playing, there are better ways to have fun in NYC than going to a Yankees game. I think this is true, and will now offer a list of things that are presently more fun to do in NYC then watch the Yankees:

1. Walk down 7th Ave. toward 42nd St behind a tourist family that has apparently never seen multi-story buildings or lightbulbs. Oh, and make sure you're late for something when you do.

2. Ride the subway and, wait for it, you're in a fight! Complete stranger. Never seen him before. Why is he so mad at you? Fun for everyone on the car!

3. Go rent a car on a week day around 5:30pm, and head anywhere. You'll love the driving experience!

4. Go to a park and watch mothers with toddlers in tow scream obscenities into a cellphone as though no one can see or hear them.

5. Go to a Mets game.

6. Go to any chain restaurant that you regularly visit in a smaller, suburban setting; order the same thing you always do without looking at the menu; and be amazed as you get a bill that is magically 15% higher than what you're used to for no apparent reason!

7. Go to any boutique in Manhattan, take the most hideous thing you see off the rack, and then attempt to buy it. Be amazed as your American Express Black Card gets declined for lack of sufficient credit!

Really, I could go on. All of these things are literally more fun than watching the Yankees whiff with RISP. I spend most of nine innings asking why 90% of the roster was even born. The broader implications for theodicy aside, I hate watching this team right now. But I will watch this team. I very much look forward to 4pm, when I can let everyone on the team know how much they suck.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Yankees Lose Game 1, Jeter

The Good

Let's not bother with this one.

The Bad

The Yankees wasted another clutch home run by Ibanez, managing not only to lose the game, but their captain in the process to a fractured ankle. The Yankees now have to face the rest of the postseason without one of the only players on their roster who consistently gets on base. This was a bad night.

The Ugly

Cano, Rodriguez, Granderson, and Chavez all went hitless tonight, and I blame them for the Jeter injury. These guys have to come through, not just swing through strikes. This is a game that should have never reached the twelfth. It did and we lost Jeter as a result. Chavez cannot keep getting pinch hit at-bats if he's going to be no more effective than A-Rod. This offense is awful, and I have to think that if the Yankees don't win the World Series, Kevin Long is gone as hitting coach. The Yankees have been failing with RISP too long for him to remain as hitting coach.

Still About the Babies

Home runs by Ichiro and Ibanez mean the kids still win.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 3hr = $6
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 1hr = $2

Total Postseason Home runs 6hr = $12

Yanks Take ALDS, Face Tigers in ALCS

The Good

CC Sabathia continues to be the most dominant postseason pitcher since Mariano Rivera. Okay, maybe that's an overstatement, but he was dominant last night. A complete game, allowing only one run, and crushing twenty-five innocent baseball dreams in the process. Awesome.

Of course, the greatest highlight of the night came when Mark Teixeira manufactured a run. With his legs. What. The. F#&k?

The Bad

Despite scoring three runs, this offense still looks pretty bad. Cano is pointless. Granderson is only good for tack on runs but never tying or go-ahead runs. To score our first run we had to rely on Mark Teixeira's base stealing abilities. Things need to turn around here. At least I didn't have to watch A-Rod whiffing all night, but I'm sure that will change tonight. Great.

The Ugly

The Yankees have to turn around and immediately begin a new playoff series against Detroit. The Yankees couldn't even get drunk last night because of this ridiculous scheduling. They had to say things like, "Good game," and then drive home and sleep. Is that what we've reduced our athletics idols to? Sober drivers? For shame, MLB, for shame.

How We Pay Such a Low Effective Tax Rate

Curtis Granderson's tack on home run means another $2 for the kids.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 2hr = $4
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2

Total Postseason Home runs 4hr = $8

Friday, October 12, 2012

Is It Me, Or Is This Offense Really Embarrasing?

The Good

Phil Hughes grew to the occasion of pitching in the post season throwing 6.2 innings of 1 run ball, and striking out 8 in the process.  Jeter and Nix both had a single and a double in the game, and that pretty much describes the bulk of our offensive output.

The Bad

Every year, there are guys who help get us a division, and then there's guys who help get us a world series.  The guys who help get us a division are the guys who perform well during the season, put up good numbers, and drive in plenty of runs.  The guys who help us win world series are the ones who grow to the occasion, and perform when it matters most.  The Yankee lineup is full of the former.  Just a quick glance at Swisher, Granderson, Cano, and A-Rod's performances, and you see guys who are all hitting under .150 through these 4 games.  Granderson's average sits at .063! 

Lets go through it:

-Granderson, who hit 43 homeruns this season, has gone 1-16 in the post season (a single), and has struck out 9 times.
-Swisher who hit .272 with 24 homeruns and 93 runs driven in, has gone 2-15, without a single extra base hit.
-A-Rod didn't do so well in the regular season, but Girardi is still batting him like he's a key contributor.  He's gone 2-16, without an extra base hit and 9 strikeouts.
-And Robinson Cano, who went .313 in the regular season with 33 homeruns, 94 RBI's and a .379 OBP, has gone 2-18 in the post season.

Mark Teixeira's been batting well, but he's batting more like a number 2 hitter.  Gets on base a lot, hits lots of singles, not exactly the number 3 guy we hope for.

Long story short, this team is incredibly dissapointing.  Our pitching, which was seen as the weak link this year, has been amazing.  But we keep playing like we're being fined for scoring runs.  1 run through 13 innings, with the offense that led the majors in homeruns?  Really?

If the Yankees hope for a chance in winning this, we need Ibanez, Chavez and Gardner taking at bats for Swisher, A-Rod, and Granderson.  I'd take Nix over A-Rod too.  Nix was seeing the ball well yesterday, and we can't afford to pull guys like that out of the lineup.

The Ugly

Now we're going to game 5 with all the momentum swinging in favor of Baltimore.  The Yankee offense is a joke, and Sabathia who has a history of choking in the post season, is getting the start.  This is the exact scenario we wanted to avoid.  If Sabathia pitches like he did in game 1, will the offense show up? 

Will the Yankees Please Think of the Children?

Not yesterday.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 2hr = $4  
Total Postseason Home runs 3hr = $6

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Yanks Take Game Three

The Good

Ibanez continues to prove that Brian Cashman is the greatest GM of all-time, even if he's a little clingy at times. A home run to tie the game in the ninth, and the game winning home run in the twelfth, mean the Yankees just need to play .500 ball over the course of the next to games to win the Series. Kuroda put in a dominant performance and was awarded the no-decision for his efforts. Way to go offense!

The Bad

Despite the win, this offense has looked very bad the last two games. This cannot continue if the Yankees intend to make a serious run at a World Series.

The Ugly

The A-Rod pinch hitting situation has obviously received its fair share of attention. A-Rod keeps saying he's seeing the ball well and that he expects to remain in the line-up, but here's the thing. He is seeing the ball well. He is not expanding the strike zone and chasing a lot of pitches in an attempt to do too much. What he's not doing is hiting the ball. He is consistently late on every swing he takes. The problem is not that he's not seeing the ball, but that he can't pull the trigger despite that fact. He needs to be knocked down in the line-up (and if this were any other player, he should probably be shifted to a part-time, bench role).

Spreading the Love

Ibanez's two home runs mean $4 more for the kids.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2
Raul Ibanez 2hr = $4

Total Postseason Home runs 3hr = $6

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

RJG Solves the A-Rod Dilemma

There has been a lot of talk about whether to drop Rodriguez in the line-up. This is a sensitive issue. We all remember that when Torre did it, A-Rod cried for so long that Torre had to write a book about it just to sift through all the unresolved emotions.

That was then. A-Rod was still a feared hitter. This is now. A-Rod can no longer catch up to a low 90s fastball. He looks like he gets beat by most off-speed pitches. Then he talks about putting together good at-bats.

Here's the thing, good at-bats that end with weak ground balls are bad at-bats. A postseason Major League lineup is no place for a guy who can't catch up to Freddy Garcia's best fastball. In fact, no Major League line-up is a place for someone like that. You know what is a good place for someone like that, though? The RJG blog offices.

Think about it. A-Rod could blog about the playoffs while competent players participate in it. He gets to feel self-important as millions of readers flock to his column, while simultaneously not suffering the embarrassment of hitting behind Eduardo Nunez.

There. RJG has solved the A-Rod dilemma. You're welcome.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Yankee Offense Losses Game

The Good

Pettitte pitched a great game, keeping the Orioles within striking distance with 7 innings of 3 run ball.  Jeter and Cano both drove in runs, and gave us hope. 

Robertson had a great yet unorthodox outing.  He basically only threw curveballs to the first two batters he faced, and they did not know what to do with that.  And then on his third batter, Reynolds, he started throwing the fastball.  All three batters were caught off guard.

The Bad

That hope provided by Cano and Jeter was never realized.  The Yankees continued to leave lots of player on base, and in scoring position.  Swisher and Granderson came up in big spots and did nothing with their at bats.  The problem is what we've been dealing with all season: the heart of our lineup is full of guys who can hit the ball far, but not when you need them to.

The Ugly

A-Rod needs to get back on the PED's quick!  A-Rod struck out twice, including the last out of the game.  A-Rod's bat looks like it can't catch up to major league pitching anymore.  I'm hoping that he can start hitting, but these games matter a little too much to keep an underperforming bat in the 3-spot.

We Win With Homeruns

And we didn't hit any yesterday, so that means both the Yankees and the Children lose.

Russel Martin 1hr = $2

Total Postseason Homeruns 1hr = $2

Keeping the Lights On Fiercely!

As some of you may know, we ran into some money issues when we mis-planned our budget for our website.  Currently, the budget for the website looks like this:

$500 - Children's Health Fund Donations
$800 - Yearly Video Phone Payment (For Calling Brian Cashman)
$5,000 - Respect Jeter's Gangster Office Rent
$1,500,000 - Paid subsidy to the Yankees for A-Rod's contract.

So far this year, our yearly income looks like this:

$8.63 - Found in Couch.

So as you see, we've run a slight deficit.  However, looking at the Yankees reminds us how bad it could really be.  I mean, we could have committed to paying $114 million to A-Rod between 2013 - 2017. Or $14 million to Rafael Soriano for next year.  Or $8.5 million for the next couple years towards a player who doesn't even play for us (Burnett). 

Now that we feel better about ourselves, we now offer you these words from our advertisers: look at players rewards cards. Especially if you're into gambling online.  If not, just remember how lucky you are to not have A-Rod as a line item in your budget.  Unless you're Hal Steinbrenner.  Then you should feel pretty awful.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Yanks Take Game One

The Good

CC Sabathia pitched the postseason game of his life, going 8.2 innings and allowing only two mercy runs. The Yankees absolutely pummeled Baltimore closer, Jim Johnson, whom they now call Dim Dumbson. He's still crying about that. Russell Martin continues to hit only if it matters, getting the go-ahead home run as the first at-bat of the ninth just as the TBS announcers had finished mentioning how impossible it was to hit Jim Johnson's sinker in cold weather.

The Bad

After the game, Russell Martin described his home run by saying, "I put good wood on it." (Source). Damn Russell, think before you speak.

The Ugly

The mood in Baltimore was somber. It wasn't supposed to happen like this. The Orioles had magic on their side. Magic. They were supposed to beat the Yankees at home, using magic taught to them by the wise old wizard, Buck Showalter.

Could it be there was no magic? That there had never been any magic? Can the collective psyche of a team whose oldest player can't purchase Harry Potter tickets without an accompanying adult handle the possibility of a game determined by skill honed through practice rather than mythical forces?

The tears that cleansed the clubhouse floor suggested no. They could not go on without magic. They had to believe, or they had to let their season die. Miserably. Die like the aura surrounding a Jim Johnson sinker facing the number eight hitter in a line-up. At least the clubhouse floor was clean.

Postseason Home Run Count

Some people forget about the children once October comes around, but not the kind and beautiful souls at RJG. Kofi Annan has called us a "global force for Good." But we're just doing what anybody else would do. We're not anything special. Just because we put our pants on two legs at a time doesn't mean we're better than you. We're much better than you but it's for other reasons.

Russell Martin 1hr = $2

Total 1 hr = $2

Sunday, October 7, 2012

As Game One Approaches, Bronny Cash Gets a Call

As the first game of the playoffs approaches, we at RJG decided it was time to give good friend and CFO of the blog, Bronny Cash a call on the good old video satellite phone. The following is a transcript of our conversation:

BC: Hello?

RJG: Hey Brian, it's me.

BC: Oh. I haven't heard from you in a long time . . .

RJG: Yeah, yeah. I've, um, been busy. The blog and the . . . ah . . . typing . . . you know how it is.

BC: No, yeah, it's just that, I thought I would've heard from you by now, I mean it seems like you have time to post updates . . .

RJG: Are you seriously going to do this to me right now?! The busiest time of year is coming up and I'm trying to talk to you and this is what you're going to do?! You're going to nag me?!

BC: First of all, the busiest time of year for you is the offseason, when you make up and then call me to suggest completely inane and stupid trades and free agent signings! Second of all, I know you've been responding to comments by Rich Mahogany! You don't think I read the comments section?! Do you know how embarrassing that is for me?! My friends read your blog!

RJG: This again?! Really?! I told you, I have to respond to Rich as part of my blogging duties! I can't keep having this conversation . . .

BC: Why don't you go comment about it to your whore?!

RJG: Whoa, that is not fair! Rich is a loving and decent human being! At least he comments on our blog! You've never commented! Never!

BC: How could you do this to me!

RJG: You're smothering me!

BC: I don't even know who you are anymore!

RJG: Look, I think I just need some space right now.

BC: You haven't talked to me since last March! That was over six months ago!

RJG: What are you, Tayler Swift now?! Are we never ever getting back together again ever?!

BC: How dare you demean my favorite contemporary country artist?!

RJG: I need to go . . .

BC: Fine, just go and comment with your little blog friends! See if I care!

RJG: Fine! See you in six months?

BC: Yeah, I'll be around. Good talk.

RJG: Yeah, this was nice.


There you have it folks! Brian Cashman feels very good about this team heading into the ALDS against Baltimore.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Roster Speculation Continues

With less than 24 hours before first pitch, Joe Girardi has yet to announce his roster for the ALDS. RJG has learned that Derek Jeter is expected to make the roster, despite lingering concerns about his 2010 season. Robinson Cano has not yet been told whether he will be on the team come tomorrow, but he has reported to Baltimore just in case. Future controversial second ballot hall of famer Alex Rodriguez has made the team, but is on a short leash. If he doesn't get back on PEDs, he may not be considered should the Yankees move on to the ALCS.

As the Yankees begin their workouts in Baltimore, they prepare to face a formidable opponent: father time. When game one begins on Sunday, the median age of the New York Yankees, based on projected rosters compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, will be 64.1. It is too late to get younger, but the Yankees are relying on their combined 153 years of postseason experience to carry them past the younger, faster, more agile, and generally better looking Baltimore Orioles.

It is impossible to tell what this ALDS will bring, but it will probably bring at least three games of baseball. The world waits with baited breath as the Yankees' date with Baltimore approaches. Will they get along? Will there be a second date? We don't want to put too much pressure on it, but here's hoping.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Jokes Aside for a Moment

On Wednesday, A's reliever Pat Neshek and his wife Stephanee lost their one day old son, Gehrig John Neshek. I can only imagine what it is to go through nine months of a pregnancy imagining and planning your future life with your new family only to have those plans and dreams shattered a single day later. Neshek now rejoins his team, an act whose bravery or strength will probably be largely touted over the course of Oakland's ALDS against Detroit. I just hope that as much as our well intentions may compel us to point out Neshek's bravery over and over again, that we also recognize that he probably needs room to grieve more than constant reminders of how brave he is. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Neshek family.

It All Begins

This Sunday the Yankees will begin the post season against the winner of the Texas and Baltimore wildcard game.  This is the best time of year.  The air is crisp, the games take on a higher meaning, and we see teams rise or fold against new challenges.  The biggest challenge for the Yankees will be consistency at the plate and in the rotation.  Sabathia hasn't exactly been the best post-season pitcher, and with Hughes pitching out of the 4th spot in the rotation, we really need to win the games Sabathia starts.  We've spent all season winning games with the long ball, and I don't expect that to change, but the Yankees may need to really buckle down in their at bats with runners in scoring position.  Those aren't times to swing for the fences, and strikeout.  Our ability to get timely hits will be key, and if we can get some quality starts, we should be in good shape.

For this year, the RJG will continue to donate $2 for every homerun hit to the Children's Health Fund, with the added bonus that for every homerun Jeter hits, we will donate $5!  Jeter is known for his post season dramatics, and we're hoping some added pop will be apart of that this year.

We'll see this coming Sunday!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Division Winners!

The Good

There's a lot that can fall in this category, so lets start from the biggest and work our way down:

We Won the Division!
-The Orioles lost to the Rays giving us the division in the middle of the game, but the Yankees were already playing like the season came down to this game, which is a good sign for their post season prospects. 

The Yankees Have Had to Fight the Last Few Weeks
-This is good because the team was extremely one dimensional.  That one dimension was the long ball.  They still rely on the long ball, but we've had some timely hitting, and quality pitching of late as well.  Plus, Ichiro's presence in the lineup has added a speed element we've been missing all season.  Although he's only been here since late July, he's already stolen more bases than any other player on this team.  That should tell you something.

The Yankees Crushed the Ball Yesterday
-I know, we weren't facing a competent Boston team, but there's nothing like ending a season with an exclamation point.  2 homeruns from Granderson and 2 from Cano was a great way to end the season.  Not to mention Kuroda's 7 innings of 2 run ball.  A little bit of a confidence booster can go a long way.

The Bad

Teixeira went 0-3 and felt left out of the hitting party that was going on.  I mean even Gardner got a hit, and he didn't even start the game.

The Ugly

Activists gathered together outside of the clubhouse protesting against the greed and waste of the Yankees.  "Just look at how much champagne they're spilling on the ground." Explained one activist.  "That's enough to intoxicate an entire village in a third world country.  Are we really that wasteful?" 

Fitting End to the Season

4 homeruns, 2 each from Cano and Granderson led the blowout yesterday.  We end the season with $490 worth of donations going to the Children's Health Fund.  That's pretty amazing!

Raul Ibanez 19hr = $38
Nick Swisher 24hr = $48
Andruw Jones 14hr = $28
Derek Jeter 15hr = $30
Curtis Granderson 43hr = $86
Alex Rodriguez 18hr = $36
Robinson Cano 33hr = $66
Mark Teixeira 24hr = $48
Eric Chavez 16hr = $32
Russell Martin 21hr = $42
Jayson Nix 4hr = $8
Dewayne Wise 3hr = $6
Chris Stewart 1hr = $2
Ichiro Suzuki 5hr = $10
Casey McGehee 1hr = $2
Steve Pearce 1hr = $2
Eduardo Nunez 1 hr = $2
Chris Dickerson 2 hr = $4  

Total 245 hr = $490