Monthly Archives: January 2011
I know it’s a slow news month for baseball, but this is absurd.
Mike Lupica must be a crazy person. How else could you allow your name to be tied to this crazy article and it’s associated nonsensical imagery. What was he thinking? The idea that Brian Cashman is trying to get fired a la George Costanza is the outright craziest notion I’ve ever heard put forth by a sports writer – and that’s saying something.
His lists of qualifiers is just as dumb as the idea itself:
- Cashman confirmed that he wasn’t behind the Rafael Soriano signing (which had already leaked, anyway – but he doesn’t suggest that Cashman was the source of the leak. Besides, Cashman had already said that he didn’t think signing an expensive relief pitcher was worth a draft pick, so when the Yankees signed him, it was pretty obvious it wasn’t Cashman’s decision.)
- Cashman dressed up like an elf and repelled down the face of a building for charity. I don’t know what to say about that one. Everybody in the Yankees organization is involved in some kind of charity in one way or another.
- Cashman took a hard line with the Derek Jeter contract negotiation and later said he expected Jeter to play in the outfield before the deal was over. Pretty much everybody on earth (with a level head) agreed with Cashman’s handling of the Jeter deal, and they still gave Jeter too much money and too many years, anyway.
- Cashman said the Red Sox are a better team than the Yankees are right now… Yeah, that’s true. Any fool can see that the Yankees need rotation help while the Red Sox rotation looks pretty stellar. The Yankees need more starting pitching and everybody knows it – it’s the weakest area of the team and in my mind, starting pitching might be the most important, so when that part of your team is weak, it’s a serious problem.
- Cashman wasn’t able to convert Cliff Lee… I don’t know what to say about that one, either… If you look at the deals closely that Lee was considering, the Phillies offered him an INSANE deal he’d be a fool not to take, and Lee is no fool.
And then there’s the poll question they have on the article:
Do you think Yankees GM Brian Cashman is trying to talk his way out of a job?
-Yes, his new-found honesty is alienating players and bosses alike
- No, he’s just trying to deflect attention from a lousy offseason
- Don’t know, but I’m loving every minute of this Costanza drama
As for the first option, Cashman has always been honest when possible and has never had a problem putting folks on notice. As for the idea that he’s doing a Costanza impression because the Yankees didn’t sign Cliff Lee or something is just crazy talk. And the last option includes the word Costanaza drama? Wow.
Here’s another clip from the article:
Sometimes you think this has turned into an old “Seinfeld” episode, a classic known as “The Millenium,” from May of 1997. George Costanza, working for the Yankees at the time, has been offered a better job – head of scouting – by the Mets. But the Mets can’t offer him the job while he’s still working for the Yankees.
George Costanza’s solution? Get George Steinbrenner to fire him.
Mike Lupica should be fired for writing this article. It’s filler nonsense, and if it wasn’t his idea, he should resign in protest and whoever made him write the article should get fired. I’ve never had to write the word crazy so many times in my life! I know the Daily News isn’t exactly the New York Times, but good gravy, man! If I could speak to Lupica directly, I would have to say, “You just referenced a character from Seinfeild that used to reference you. That in itself is a totally crazy thing to do. You need to go on vacation, ASAP, because you have lost it, sir. Go find it, and don’t come back till you do.”
Brian Cashman did the WFAN’s annual “Breakfast with a Champion” this morning, which is hosted by their afternoon guy and sports talk radio legend Mike Francesa. (I’m not a big Francesa guy, but there is no sense disputing his place in sports talk radio history – the guy is a pioneer.)
There is a shocking amount of coverage available about this all over the net already, but I guess that’s the way it goes in the age of the smart phone. I saw one picture of the event and nobody seemed to be eating breakfast – curious! A few things grabbed my attention:
Cashman doesn’t expect Derek Jeter to play shortstop for the duration of his new contract. That makes sense to me; I always envisioned him wandering out to left field at some point – hell, he practically played left field when Hideki Matsui was back there, anyway. I’m sure Jeter will be a league average left fielder, but then, in this age of personal trainers, I wouldn’t be shocked if Jeter stayed at short stop as the alternative to him may be far worse.
Cashman said something about Joba Chamberlain’s shoulder not being the same since he hurt it… whenever that was. I think it’s clear that his fastball and slider have both lost some zip since then and when coupling those facts with the team’s refusal to give him another shot at the starting rotation, this revelation doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
Cashman also said something about the team being one starter away from being in the World Series. I can’t say I completely disagree, but I will say that the Yankees are currently a playoff team and it wouldn’t shock me if a three man rotation of CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and AJ Burnett won the world series.
Cashman also apparently said, “The higher up the tree the monkey climbs, the more you see of his ass." I know it’s only January, but that’s probably going to be the quote of the year. Pretty sure this was in reference to how running one of the most popular sports teams in the world was reaching the heights of his profession, but certainly left him exposed to the media. Word, Cashmoney. Word.
A slow off season just got a little bit less slow as the Yankees finally concluded their negotiations with Andruw Jones to be the fourth outfielder and meanwhile the Rays apparently signed both Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez.
I’m really happy with Jones as the Yankees fourth outfielder (and I had to give my speculated 2011 roster another update), who will replace Marcus Thames in the roll. Now I love what Thames did with the bat for the Yankees, but lets face it – Thames just can’t field anymore. Jones, on the other hand, is still a good (maybe even great) fielder who can play all three outfield positions and, while he might not be what he once was, can defiantly still hit. Essentially, I think Jones will give a similar offensive performance as we got out of Thames last year while contributing infinitely better offense. It’s win freaking win.
Now as to the Damon and Ramirez signings for the Rays… I’m not sure I understand their thinking. I mean, they signed two outfielders who can’t play the outfield anymore, and they can’t both DH at the same time, right? Sure, they both signed at discounted rates (Damon for $5.2 and Manny for $2 million), but lets face it, it’s because nobody else would sign them for anything higher. Damon does have a home in Tampa, so I can see why Tampa is a natural fit from his perspective, but what is he going to do for Tampa, exactly? I guess he can still run (pinch run?) and sure, both he and Manny will both provide tough at bats, but it seems like they signed two guys for the same position… like each guy represents half a player and when you put them together, they make one serviceable bench piece. I don’t get it. I’d rather have Jones on the Yankees, and I’m glad we do. The one intangible both Damon and Manny bring to the Rays that Jones doesn’t really bring to the Yankees (and they don’t need him to) is name recognition. I wouldn’t be surprised if Damon and Manny put a few extra butts in the seats for the Rays, but nothing crazy. I don’t think this move necessarily hurts the Rays… unless somebody in their outfield gets hurt and they have to start playing one of these knuckleheads out their every day – then it’ll get ugly.
The New York Times ran an interesting article in today’s paper about the Polo Grounds and its history. They had a quote from one New York Giants fan (that’s old school baseball, not Football Giants) who said, “[The Polo Grounds didn't have] as much obstruction, although there were poles. And everything was a little cheaper.” Ha, so I guess the Yankees have been over-charging for concessions since the beginning!
It’s interesting to note that both the Yankees and the New York Football Giants both played at the Polo Grounds – and both moved to Yankee stadium. Babe Ruth played three seasons at the Polo Grounds… my understanding was that he helped the Yankees outdraw the Giants, which was pretty much the catalyst that got the Yankees kicked out of the Polo Grounds and led them to build their own stadium, complete with a short porch to right for that hot dog eating, beer guzzling, womanizing animal we all worship.
The Cleveland Indians’ Ray Chapman was killed at the Polo Grounds by a pitch thrown by the Yankees’ Carl Mays in 1920… a dubious moment in the Polo Grounds history – not to mention the Yankees and Indians. Still, when you mention the Yankees and the Polo Grounds, you can’t leave something like that out. I guess it’s also impossible to leave out The Shot Heard Around The World, but lets leave that to the fans of the teams involved, shall we?
It’s one of my great regrets that I’m not old enough to have visited The Polo Grounds. It’s dimensions, tenants and it’s history are something that the sporting world will never forget – and will never see again.
Now that the Yankees have signed former Rays closer Rafael Soriano, I’ll need to Revise my Yankees 25 Man Roster Speculation. The signing doesn’t throw too big of a wrench in my guessing, but it certainly creates some interesting question marks as we get closer to spring training.
CC Sabathia – LHP
Phil Hughes – RHP
A.J. Burnett – RHP
Sergio Mitre – RHP
Ivan Nova – RHP
Boone Logan – LHP
Pedro Feliciano – LHP
Mariano Rivera – RHP
Joba Chamberlain – RHP
Dave Robertson – RHP
Romulo Sanchez – RHP
My first instinct is to simply give the spot occupied by Sanchez to Soriano, but I don’t think it’s that simple. The first thing you have to consider is why the Yankees would side Soriano in the first place – probably because they have no confidence in Joba or D-Rob to be the setup man or to close when Mo is not available. But I don’t think this necessarily slots D-Rob and Joba to the 7th inning – well, maybe it does D-Rob, but I have to hope against hope that the statement ‘Joba Chamberlain will stay in the bullpen’ is as valid as ‘Bubba Crosby will be our opening day center fielder.’ I think this creates a unique opportunity for the Yankees to keep Sanchez – who is not great, but he throws hard, is young and is out of options, so the Yankees will lose him anyway – send Nova to AAA as the sixth starter and at least let Joba try to hold the fifth starter spot.
I like Joba’s stuff as a starter, and I don’t see why they don’t give him another chance – unless his shoulder is wrecked and they aren’t telling us. But, who knows what the Yankees are planning… I never thought the Yankees would sign Mark Teixeira, or Soriano, for that matter. Maybe they pan to package Sanchez and Joba in a trade for a crappy starter. I guess all questions will be answered soon enough… in the meantime, I’ll keep guessing.
The Yankees have signed former Rays closer Rafael Soriano to a three year, $35 million dollar deal. I didn’t see that coming.
Apparently, nobody else did either. I don’t know why; the Yankees could use a setup man – not that I don’t like David Robertson, because I do, but any time you can bring in a quality reliever for the back of your pen like Rafael Soriano, well, that’s not a bad thing. Now you could argue that 3 years is too long for a player this injury prone, and the Damaso Marte deal immediately springs to mind as a prime example of why this is not a good deal, but I digress – Rafael Soriano is a really good pitcher.
So I envision Rafael Soriano to function as the Yankees primary setup man as well as to be the closer should Mariano Rivera not be available, but more to the point, Rafael Soriano is Mariano Rivera insurance. Sure, Mo is still great, but he’s over 40 and could go down at any time. If Mo goes down at some point, Soriano is a fine replacement – although I weep for whoever has to ultimately take over for Mo – it’ll be like replacing Jesus with some guy named Steve. "Uhm, I know we used to have Jesus Christ take care of that, but now we have Steve. Now granted, he’s not as good as Jesus, but then, who is? Ha! Am I right? But yeah, Steve’ll do OK." I’m sure Soriano will do fine when he has to close, but I don’t expect him to be an immortal like Mo.
So while I would say that 3 for $35 is a bit much for a reliever, even one as good a Rafael Soriano, it’s not like this is an A-Rod deal that’ll choke the Yankees to death – not that A-Rod deal does, because they’re the Yankees and aren’t afraid of spending money. I’m glad Rafael Soriano is on the team – he makes the Yankees better immediately.
NOTES: The ESPN Sunday Night Baseball schedule for the first half of the season season came out, and over course, the Yankees are all over it. I hate ESPN, I hate their announcers, and I friggin hate, I friggin HATE Sunday Night Baseball! It starts too late and ESPN is too busy running commercials or pimping their other shiz to give the game the proper attention it deserves.
Well, there’s not a damn thing of consequence happening in the Yankees Universe – but here’s a few smatterings I found on the net to tide you over.
Joe Pawlikowski from River Ave Blues.com has a great post on the major difference in spending between the Red Sox and Yankees. Essentially, his analysis boils down to the fact that the Yankees spend a lot more to retain their own free agents than the Red Sox do, although admittedly, the Yankees have had better free agent players than the Red Sox have had during the five years during which the analysis occurs. The difference works out to $33.9 million more in free agency spending than the Red Sox, which is essentially A-Rod’s yearly salary. And if the Yankees don’t make a big splash before the season starts – and frankly, I don’t see them doing so; there’s nobody expensive left to get – the Yankees and Red Sox 2011 payrolls are going to be really close, and the Yankees will have their lowest payroll in years.
Everyone and their mother is writing about how the Yankees are pursuing Justin Duchscherer – probably because there is nothing else to write about today, or this week, for that matter. Duchscherer has been plagued by injuries over the last few years, so I don’t really expect much from him in 2011, but if the Yankees do get him, he’ll be cheap, so they will still have payroll room if a big trade becomes available as the deadline looms.
I wrote a post about what might have been discussed between Michael Vick and Howie Roseman over at my other blog, CreativeJamie.com.
Finally, be safe out there tomorrow (or stay in doors if you can) – greater NYC is getting more snow!
It’s only January, so there is still time for the Yankees and Brian Cashman to make some improvements here, but the Yankees 25 Man Roster is looking a bit short as of now. Maybe we’ll find Andy Pettitte under the Christian Orthodox Christmas Tree… one can only hope!
For now, here’s my projected Yankees 25 Man Roster for the 2011 Season.
Day to Day Lineup:
1) Mark Teixeira – 1B
2) Robinson Cano – 2B
3) Alex Rodriguez – 3B
4) Derek Jeter – SS
5) Russell Martin – C
6) Brett Gardner – LF
7) Curtis Granderson – CF
8 ) Nick Swisher – RF
9) Jorge Posada – DH
10) CC Sabathia – LHP
11) Phil Hughes – RHP
12) A.J. Burnett – RHP
13) Sergio Mitre – RHP
14) Ivan Nova – RHP
15) Ramiro Pena – IF
16) Francisco Cervelli – C
17) Eduardo Nunez – IF
18) Greg Golson – OF
Kevin Russo Andruw Jones – OF
20) Boone Logan – LHP
21) Pedro Feliciano – LHP
22) Mariano Rivera – RHP
23) Joba Chamberlain – RHP
24) Dave Robertson – RHP
Romulo Sanchez Rafael Soriano – RHP
I’m assuming Damaso Marte will not be available due to injury at the opening of 2011 because… well, the guy is always hurt. I threw Kevin Russo and Greg Golson on the bench because… well, you might as well put somebody in those two empty roster spots, right? the same goes for Romulo Sanchez (and he’s out of options, so if he’s not with the big league club, the Yankees will probably loose him to waivers), who I guess I’m envisioning as the long man out of the pen.
On a whole, the roster is very similar to that which the Yankees opened the 2010 season with – the biggest glaring omission is the absence of Andy Pettitte. I’m still hoping against hope that he comes back – I see him as the fifth starter in name only – or at least that they just shouldn’t use him in April as the team will rarely need five starters in the first month of the season – I think this could keep Pettitte healthy and fresh for the stretch, but what do I know.
Well, that’s the way I see the Yankees 25 man roster if we had to go to war today – thankfully, we don’t – and hopefully, Cashman will come up with something to solidify the bench and the rotation.
Also, check out a great post from An A-Blog For A-Rod.
After little turnover in the roster from the New York Giants 2009 to 2010 squads, I wasn’t expecting much, so when we didn’t get much, I wasn’t very disappointed – overall. There as plenty of disappointment in the margins, as anyone who followed my Giants blogging can tell you. I still believe the Giants need to beg, borrow or steal a number one type receiver for their team, but how they find their consistency and get in a groove, I have no idea. I’m pleased the Giants are retaining Coach Tom Coughlin, who I feel has done a fine job over all. If the Giants don’t make a few moves between this season and whenever the looming lockout ends, I don’t know if we can expect much more than a first round exit from the playoffs next season.
I only watched a few seconds of the Pinstripe Bowl; honestly, who can be bothered? Watching a bowl game is one thing, but watching a bowl game because of where it is played is quite another. Call me when somebody sets up a bowl game on the moon.
On the other hand, my girlfriend is a Stanford alumni, which made watching the Orange Bowl a necessity. The first half was close, thanks to Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor, or as I like to think of him, Michael Vick without the evil. Taylor can throw, scramble, and rush like nobody’s business, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he accomplishes big things in the NFL someday. Of course, Stanford’s quarterback Andrew Luck was on fire the entire second half, wheeling off touchdown passes with ease and the precision that I think will come to be the hallmark of his professional career, which I think will hold off until after his senior year, but I’m just speculating about that bit – it seems like what with the NFL’s current labor conditions, he’d be wise to wait a year. Besides Andrew Luck giving VT a hard time, Stanford’s running backs also unleashed a ton of fury. By the end of the fourth quarter, it was hard not to feel bad for VT and their fans as they finally dragged their sorry backsides off the field in painful defeat. As for Stanford, amidst their joy, they must have that loss to Oregon running through the back of their minds as what kept them from a National Championship game, but that’s life, I suppose – and it’s also a nationally televised sport without a playoff system.
The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!
A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,500 times in 2010. That’s about 6 full 747s.
In 2010, there were 102 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 40 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 37mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.
The busiest day of the year was October 4th with 50 views. The most popular post that day was Projecting Yankees 25 Man Playoff Roster.
Where did they come from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were mytristate.us, yankeeist.com, creativejamie.com, facebook.com, and search.aol.com.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for yankees, bomberbanter.com, small yankees logo, jody mcdonald, and stadium.
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
Projecting Yankees 25 Man Playoff Roster September 2010
Jody McDonald of 1050 ESPN Radio is clearly insane August 2010
College Football at Yankee Stadium November 2010
Do you think the George M. Steinbrenner monument is too big? September 2010