Sunday, March 30, 2014

Interview with Ken Singleton

I've been writing for a newspaper in Baltimore for a little over a month. Recently, I got to interview Ken Singleton about the decline in African-American participation in baseball. The first part of our Q&A is online and can be read here if you're interested.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The New York Yankees: Not as Crazy as the Tigers

Wow. $292 million. That's the new bar set by Miguel Cabrera. In fairness, the guy almost won the triple crown . . . in consecutive years. He did win it in 2012, and now he has triple crown money. Crowns, you see, cost money. Lots of it. As in crown jewel money. You can't put a price on that. Except $292 million.

With their inexplicably lavish spending, the Tigers have now shown just how much restraint the Yankees showed this offseason. Not only did they refuse to go beyond seven years for Robbie Cano, their seven year offer to the already injured Jacoby Ellsbury seems like a sound investment in light of what the Tigers just did.

Thank you, Detroit. Thank you for showing the rest of us how the one percent truly live.

Bet you weren't expecting to ever read that said about Detroit.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Yankees Finally Get Under Payroll....The Dodgers Payroll

For all of last season, we Yankee fans were subjected to non-stop declarations by the Yankees of their intention to get under the payroll threshold.  It was an established goal that became a loose guideline that the Yankees ultimately ignored.  However, the Yankees recently learned that they did get their payroll underneath that of the LA Dodgers who are now the top spending team in baseball.  Despite their best efforts this off season, efforts which included signing Tanaka, Ellsbury, McCann and Beltran, the Yankees could not keep up with the Dodgers spending.  So kudos to the Yankees for their fiscal restraint this year. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rotation Set

The Yankees starting rotation is now set, with Michael Pineda sliding into the five spot. This means that teams will have to face two very tall pitchers in a row if Pineda starts the first or second game of a series (assuming three games). This is a competitive advantage. In other sports anyways, less so in baseball. But still, we've got some tall pitchers. Nova's pretty tall too. It may not necessarily pay dividends, but if MLB decides to make the one-game sudden death playoff round a three-on-three half court basketball game, we'll be in good shape.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Our Pitching Might Not Suck

Sorry folks, I recently started writing for a newspaper in Maryland and I haven't had much time to update this blog, my once favored but now seriously neglected child. It's not that I stopped caring, it's just that I stopped paying for its food, clothing, and shelter. There's a difference.

But as the regular season is almost upon us, it is time to show up unannounced and expect to spend time with all of you again. To that end: I actually think we may have a pitching staff.

Hughes is gone, so that tremendously improves us over last year. Pineda looks like he'll pan out, as does Tanaka. CC may have figured out how to pitch with a high 80s fastball, and Kuroda is Kuroda. If he doesn't have to carry the pitching staff by himself for the first half of this year, he may even be fresh down the stretch.

While the offense has a lot of age related concerns, I think we have enough to put together a compelling season. Especially if the pitching shows up, which they should since they get paid to be here.

If the pitching doesn't pan out however, and the veterans don't hit, the Knicks just hired Phil Jackson and the Nets are playoff bound. Go Knicks and/or Nets!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pitching, Pitching Everywhere!

One exciting aspect of spring training is that the numbers are super misleading.  Every other prospect looks like an impact player, and the pitchers look like 20 game winners.  This year there are a number of pitchers on the team who may actually be real contributors.  Assuming that Sabathia, Kuroda and Tanaka are locks for the rotation, there are two open spots that are up for grabs.  The players competing are David Phelps, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, Adam Warren, and Vidal Nuno with Nova and Pineda projecting as the favorites.  That being said, Phelps, Nuno and Warren have all pitched really well this spring.  Nova has been erratic at best, though no one would question his stuff, and it would be wrong to ignore the year he had last year because of a shoddy spring.  It will be interesting to see how this rotation pans out.  The biggest thing the Yankees need out of the 5-spot is an inning eater.  Let's just be honest, Sabathia may be able to learn how to pitch with reduced velocity, but while he's figuring that out, we may be seeing some 4-inning starts out of him.  We really can't afford to have a pitcher in the 5-spot also giving us 4-inning starts, and taxing the bullpen on back-to-back nights.  It is exciting to think of a rotation where Sabathia, Kuroda, Tanaka, Nova, and Pineda are firing on all cylinders, but it's good to know that there are some talented players behind them ready to take a spot if one of them go down.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Might Derek Jeter Take Over the World?

Derek Jeter has expressed his interest in being a team owner, and now that he is in his final year as a player, the question now turns to whether he will make his dream a reality.  As mentioned in this article, there could be a compelling argument made for Jeter becoming an owner of the Tampa Bay Rays.  Jeter lives 25 miles from Tropicana Field where the Rays play, and in terms of major league baseball teams, the Rays have a relatively inexpensive franchise due to years of no one in Tampa Bay caring about them.  This has been true even as the Rays have fielded contending teams.  So you have a relatively inexpensive team, near Jeter's home, that has a high chance of fielding a contender.  Might Jeter be able to generate enough interest in this team to make them a successful franchise?  Maybe even get them a new park?