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Chill the F out man. Every time you turn on the radio, TV, or take to the Internet Yankee fans are screaming. They are worried. They say things like, we suck, we are terrible, Cashman is an idiot, Girardi needs to go so on and so forth. As a fellow die hard Yankee fan, seriously chill the F out. It’s May, not August. Yankee fans are more worried then Brad right before Jules eats his burger and shoots him in the chest.
The Yankees are still a game up in the Wild Card. Guess what that doesn’t even matter. Once again, it’s May. Seriously chill the F out man. The Yankees are beat up. Granderson, Posada, and Nick Johnson are all hurt. The Captain is slumping right now and Mo had two bad outings in like 10 years. It just so happens that they came back to back. They will get healthy, Jeter will break out, and the team will break out of this mini funk. They are just way too talented.
As for Cashman, cut the guy a break. He made some of the best free agent moves that the team has seen in a long long time before last season. They won the World Series. I am pretty sure he knows more about baseball and running a ball club then Lou from Brooklyn who calls WFAN every freaking day. Hey Lou, watch the game and shut up. For a team that wins every other year we have some cry baby fans. Toughen up. You could all be Cubs fans. Think of it that way.
In closing, hey Yankee Fans chill the F out.
CC Sabathia: 1000% chance he is the opening day starter. Something Good; CC is the Yankees number one pitcher. He was a 19 game winner last year including a ALCS MVP. He hurled 230 innings and seemed to always step it up in when the Yankees needed it during the regular season. Something Bad; I guess the only bad thing I can say about CC is that he is one more Subway sandwich away from being out of the league. Predictions; Yankee fans will see more of the same. 230+ innings, 20 wins, and some playoff magic. I see no other reason to think otherwise, unless of course he goes at another Sub.
A.J. Burnett: Burnett is the Yankees second starter and will obviously be on the opening day roster. Something Good; Burnett is coming off of two straight injury free seasons. Burnett was always hampered by injuries in the past. Burnett has one of the best curve balls in baseball and will be solid for the Yanks. Something Bad; Burnett is erratic at times. You never know which A.J. is going to show up. Is it going to be the guy who won 13 games and struck out 195 guys or the guy who had an ERA over 4 and has that one inning where he lets up 100 runs. Predictions; More of the same. Burnett will be up and down but is still has better stuff then anyone in the league when he is on.
Andy Pettitte: Andy is from the “old guard”. He will be the Yankees 3rd starter who performs like a solid number 2. Something Good; In a big game there is nobody the Yankees would rather have on the mound and that includes CC Sabathia. When the stakes are up Andy shows up big. There is a reason he is the all time postseason wins leader. Something Bad; Pettitte is 37 years old and at times looks it. He is going to let up 4 runs a game. If the bats aren’t going for the Yanks Pettitte is not going to rack up the wins. Predictions; Pettitte will do what Pettitte always does. He will 190 plus innings and keep his team in games. There is nobody better at giving their team a chance to win.
Javier Vazquez: The newcomer/retread will make the team and be an effective fourth starter that the Yankees were missing. Something Good; Vazquez strikes people out. He fanned 238 hitters last year in 249 innings pitched. Nasty. He is coming back to NY but in a new stadium that favors pitchers who can strike guys out. Something Bad; Well the Yankees have tried this before and it was a wash. Can Vazquez pitch in New York? Only time will tell.
Joba Chamberlain: I think Joba wins the job out of spring training for no other reason then Hughes is more valuable in the bullpen and Joba wants to start. Something Good; Joba has great stuff at times. He can throw gas. Hopefully as a full time no limit starter he can learn how to pitch and be more effective. Something Bad; Can he start? Can Joba be an effective starter in the big leagues? At times he showed he could. Right after the all-star break he had 3 amazing starts in a row. The big question is can he do that over the course of the year. Predictions; Joba is relieving by the middle of the season.
Phil Hughes; On the team and possibly starting after the break. Something Good; Hughes has found his niche. Despite his playoff woes he helped the Yankees get to the Playoffs and World Series. At this point he appears to be the natural successor to Mo. Something Bad; There are a couple things here to look at. One, does he have the mental ability to pitch late in meaningful games and the playoffs? Nobody knows right now. The second, are the Yanks wasting a first class starter? Predictions; He starts by the all-star break and Joba switches with him as the set up guy.
Mo Rivera; Yeah enough said.
Alfredo Aceves; Aceves will be on the roster opening day. Something Good; He showed that he can pitch in big spots over the course of last season. He can pitch one inning, four innings, or start in a pinch. That is value. Something Bad; He is never going to take over games on a consistent basis. Predictions; A valued member of the pitching staff both long relieving and spot starting if needed.
David Robertson; Robertson showed he had some great stuff towards the end of last season. He makes the team. Something Good; He has good stuff and showed he can pitch in some big spots when Girardi called on him. Robertson also strikes people fanning 63 in 43.2 innings. That’s filthy. Something Bad; It’s obviously his inexperience. He is young and is going to get belted here and there the question is how he handles it. Predictions; get used to Dave Robertson you are going to be seeing a ton of him over the years.
For the sake of brevity we are going to cut this short for now. We will be back with the rest of the pitchers later on! Spring Training is right around the corner so get excited Yankee Fans!!!
By Michael Genovese
Mark McGwire has come clean. He has finally admitted today that he has done steroids. This is like Cher admitting that she has had some work done. Nobody in the sports world is surprised that Mark McGwire did steroids. We were shocked when he denied it five years ago in front of congress because it was so obvious. We were disgusted when he hid from the public eye as the steroid drama unfolded in the form of the Mitchell Report, Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, and the list goes on and on and on.
Yet I find myself disappointed once again. Every time a name comes out about steroids another childhood hero is destroyed. Another guy I looked up to, and shed a tear for when his 62nd home run went over the wall in 1998 was really just a fraud. It’s good that McGwire is going to get back into baseball. He can teach guys how to be better hitters. It is also great for McGwire the man to move on and put this behind him. With that being said, no matter what when people look back on his playing days they know he cheated.
The issue really isn’t Mark McGwire or any of the guys already mentioned here, it’s about an entire era of baseball. The game of baseball is an extreme passion of mine. I was at game six of the World Series this year and I shed a tear at the end of that game. It was emotional for me to be a part of that great moment in America’s past time. Every time a another superstar falls from grace a fan like myself realizes that the moment that you remember, that lifted your heart and gave you an extreme amount of joy wasn’t real. It was manufactured in a lab and shot into the back end of these superstars with a needle. When Roger Clemens pitched his heart out in the World Series it wasn’t real. When Barry Bonds blasted number 71 over the wall it was a fraud. When Sammy Sosa hit 60 plus homeruns three season in a row it was a sham. When the Boston Red Sox ended their World Series draught they did it by cheating. It’s sad and it’s greatly disheartening.
I am glad that in today’s game we know who cheats and who doesn’t. I am glad that a guy gets a fifty day suspension when he tests positive the first time. I am glad that for the most part the game is cleaned up. However, a part of me will always feel betrayed by ball players that were suppose to be super heroes.
By Michael Genovese
According to Jon Heyman at SI.com Roy Halladay has been traded to the Phillies. The Seattle Mariners get Cliff Lee in the deal and the Blue Jays get prospects that have not been disclosed as of yet. The deal on paper appears to be a wash for the Phillies in the short term. The Phillies get Roy Halladay, a phenomenal pitcher (arguably the best in the game) who is 32 years old and will be 33 in May. However, they ship their ace and postseason giant to the Mariners. Cliff Lee pitched in five postseason games. He was 4-0 with two complete games and had a 1.46 ERA. Let’s just say that is pretty good, or you know a postseason performance for the ages. It appears the Phillies had to make the trade because Lee made it known he wasn’t going to sign an extension when his deal is up after this season. Either way I don’t see how this helps the Phils. They lose prospects and basically swap one ace for another. Their gains are minimal if any for 2010. The Blue Jays receive at least 3 prospects and should have pulled the trigger on this trade last season. They got much less then what they could have gotten before the deadline last year.
We will tell you it does help though, the New York Yankees. Halladay was 3-1 in 5 games with a 2.70 ERA against the Yankees. He also tossed three complete games. The Yankees are now facing an even weaker Toronto Blue Jays eighteen times a year. Without Halladay that could be four more wins against the Blue Jays and in the division.
Another reason that this works out for the Yankees is because the Red Sox didn’t get Halladay. The Red Sox were in on the discussions and ESPN even reported that they were aggressively pursuing Halladay. Suffice it to say the Red Sox loss is the Yankees gain. Instead the Red Sox have reached a deal with John Lackey. Lackey pitched in 27 games last season and only threw 176.1 innings. He also let up 177 hits in 176.1 innings. Not bad at all, but not Roy Halladay.
By Michael Genovese
Good news out of the winter meetings today. Andy Pettitte Made a quick decision to come back for a 16th season. The deal is for one year worth 11.75 million dollars. It is great news that the Yankees and Andy have decided to get back together for an encore season. If there was an MVP award for the entire playoffs Andy could have easily won it. He was 4-0 in 5 starts in the postseason with an ERA of 3.52. I for one think that without Andy next year the Yankees would have been in serious trouble. Their rotation is extremely bolstered by Andy’s return. He can give you 200 plus innings and keep you in every game. Not to mention he is a leader on that staff.
They made a dumb move is more accurate. The logic in this trade is absent. I just don’t understand why you send your best 22 year old center field prospect (best major league ready prospect in the Yankee farm system period), your best left handed reliever, and what you hope to be a starter this coming year and into the future for a .272 lifetime hitter who hit .187 against lefties last season. Granted he has a powerful bat and is an extreme upgrade defensively in center field but the Yankees didn’t even need help in the outfield. The platoon of Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner was good enough to win a championship. If Johnny Damon comes back and Nick Swisher stays put the Yankees were just fine in the outfield. Also all signs pointed to Joe Girardi making Gardner an outfield staple for the Yankees.
Austin Jackson on the other hand batted .300 in AAA Scranton last year. He was an all-star down on the farm and by all accounts major league ready at 22 years old. Why you trade him, your best left handed reliever (regardless of his postseason woes), and Ian Kennedy for a 29 year old center fielder you don’t really need just blows my mind. Of course I am aware that with the Yankee lineup will raise Granderson’s average and the rest of his offensive numbers will go up as well, but I still think it’s an awful trade. I am also not doubting that Granderson is an all-star center fielder and valuable. I just don’t see why the Yankees needed him.
What the Yankees really needed was starting pitching. The pieces that they had to trade for a guy like Roy Halladay are long gone now. This trade didn’t help the Yankees. It hurts them and it hurts them bad. The bullpen is once again suspect. Cashman might think that the Damaso Marte that showed up in the playoffs will be around for the whole year next season but I doubt it. He is often injured and I don’t see next year being any different. Now the Yankees are still missing that starting pitcher and the bullpen is up in the air. What do they do with Joba and Hughes? The only thing this trade did was raise more questions for next season then answers.
D- on this trade Cashman.
Newsweek is reporting that the Yankees Priority is Johnny Damon not Hideki Matsui. I am glad that these reports are coming out now. I love Matsui and what he has done as a Yankee. He had a monster World Series and has made his mark in the big leagues. However, it is time for the Yankees to part ways with him. Damon can still hit, steal a bag here and there, and play left field about 30-50% of the time. Matsui is strictly a DH. He is also a very streaky hitter. When his knees are off he can’t hit period. Matsui’s knees are off more times then they are on. It’s unfortunate because of Matsui’s outstanding postseason and championship run but he should be done in New York.
The Yankees can start to groom Austin Jackson to take over in the outfield and move either Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner to Left. The Yankees could bridge the gap with Damon. In order for the Yankees to get younger and more athletic which is a said priority of GM Brian Cashman Matsui needs to go.
By Michael “Genevosey” Genovese
The Al Cy Young was awarded this afternoon to Zack Greinke. Greinke is nasty without a doubt. He has lights out stuff and was basically unhittable all year. He only mustered up 16 wins and dropped 8 games but that is really not his fault. Wins and loses really depend on how well your team can hit and well, Greinke unfortunately plays for the Royals. Greinke posted a 2.16 ERA. In the American League that is just down right filthy. He also fanned 242 batters while pitching 229 innings through the course of the season. I believe that Zack Greinke deserved the Cy Young.
The real question is how long will Zack Greinke be in Kansas City? I doubt very long. He is currently under a 4 year 38M dollar contract. However, eventually they will have to pay him like a Cy Young award winner and they will claim that they can’t. Of course they can if they want, their powers that be will say they can’t afford him and ship him away but in reality they just want to make more money. That’s the case with most small market teams. If they broke the bank once in a while, put money into players, and put a better product out on the field in the long run they would fill more seats, sell more shirts, and make more money. It’s a shame that they cry poverty and decide to put inferior products out on the field. It’s a shame for fans that root for these mediocre teams that have no interest in competing. Fans put their heart and soul into their favorite clubs regardless of where their team resides. The truth is that owners in small markets would rather pocket all that revenue sharing money then put a good product out on the field. It’s a shame and the real reason that baseball has no parody. The Rockies, Rays, and Marlins seem to make revenue sharing work for them. Yet the Pirates and the Royals just refuse to do so. Last time I checked all the owners in Major League Baseball are disgustingly rich not just George Steinbrenner and Frank McCourt.
By Michael “Genevosey” Genovese
The American League and National League handed out their Rookie of the Year awards today. The awards were given to Andrew Bailey of the Oakland Athletics and left fielder Chris Coghlan in the National League. You can read all about it by clicking on the above link. I however am going to take a look at the people who I thought should have gotten the award.
Coghlan batted .321 with nine home runs and thirty one doubles in 128 games. That is worth a Rookie of the Year award if you ask me. However, JA Happ, who placed second had an outstanding season. He anchored a shaky Phillies lineup and helped propel his team into the playoffs. Happ was 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA. He also fanned 119 during the course of the year. Both guys are deserving but if I had a vote which I don’t I would have voted for Happ. Being on a winning team is a big deal for me as well.
Let’s switch gears to the American League, Andrew Bailey took home the trophy but who else was worthy? Elvis Andrus (Mike Rook’s personal fav) was a defensive giant and if not for Derek Jeter could have easily taken home the Gold Glove. In 145 games Andrus batted .267 with six dingers and 40 RBI. He also pitched in and scored 72 runs. Oh yeah he swiped 33 bags. He came in second in the ROY running. I like Gordan Beckham myself. Beckham was a stand out third baseman for the White Sox. He also pitched in at the plate may I add. He batted .270 with 14 homeruns and 63 RBI. He also slugged .460. Impressive to say the least. Ozzie Guillen says that Beckham is their third baseman of the future and I agree. I also think he should have gotten more consideration for ROY.
More awards will be handed out in the following week including AL and NL MVP’s next week. Stay tuned!
By Michael “Genevosey” Genovese
There are rumors swirling already over what the Yankees might do this offseason. Some of the latest rumors have Curtis Granderson coming to the Yankees in a trade. Others have Chone Figgins and Mike Cameron coming to the Bronx. Yet another has the Yankees parting ways with Chien-Ming Wang and him heading west to Seattle. However, those are just rumors. At this point that is all anyone is going to get. What I can do is examine what I think is best for the Yankees. I am sure once I give my opinions the Yankee brass will be able to sleep at night but either way here are my thoughts.
The Yankees first and foremost have to decide what to do with the three big free agents currently on their roster. Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, and Andy Pettitte are free agents and Brian Cashman has to decide what he wants to do. Cashman wants to go younger and more athletic all the way around and that doesn’t bode well for the World Series MVP. Damon has a loud mouth agent who is claiming Damon is like Pete Rose and Willie Mays late in their careers. Andy Pettitte is coming off one of the best postseasons in recent memory and is a member of the “core four.” Big decisions to say the very least.
If Cashman was smart which remains to be seen he would resign Damon for one year with a possible team option in the second year. My good friend Mike Rook is more excited about this second year option then I am. I would say offer a one year deal first, somewhere in the five to seven million dollar mark. If Damon’s agent Scott Boras Balks then come back with the second year option. Damon still has a really good bat and Yankee Stadium fits him perfectly. He can DH more next year and play left field less and less. As for Matsui, he is World Series MVP with out a doubt but his time in Pinstripes should be over. His legs are shot and next year it will be worse. This is the best opportunity to move him out and ease Posada into the DH role. Posada is going to have to move out from behind the plate as his lack of defense was apparent towards the end of last season. Which on a side note is exactly why Molina needs to be resigned ASAP. As for Pettitte, Cashman would be foolish to not resign him. Pettitte was 4-0 in the postseason winning the clinching game in every series. I think that he will for another one year deal. The only thing that will keep Pettitte from coming back for another season is Andy Pettitte. Pettitte will come back though and will have another solid third starter type of season. His ability in the postseason is invaluable.
Now that we have squared the current free agents away let’s take a look at the Market. I am in the minority but almost everything the Yankees need is already on the team. A ton of people say go get a Matt Holiday or Jason Bay and I disagree. Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner are perfect for this Yankee team. They are young and solid in the field. Melky was arguably the most clutch hitter the Yankees had during the regular season. Leave center field the way it is. What the Yankees need to do is go out and get a serviceable outfielder. A Mike Cameron or Chone Figgins. Figgins could spell Alex Rodriguez at third as well as spell Johnny Damon in left. Mike Cameron would be ideal. He is cheaper and can play center field. This can shift Damon to DH while Posada catches and Left can be played by either Gardner or Cabrera. Perfect fit.
The pitching is another solid aspect of this Yankee team. Phil Hughes has found a home in the bullpen but the Yankees see him as a starter. The same goes for Joba Chamberlain. I think Hughes could be an effective starter for years to come. As for Joba, he should stay in the bullpen. At the end of the postseason including his perfect inning in game 6 of the World Series he got his fast ball back. The fast ball was hitting 97 on the gun at that point. Hopefully the powers to be keep him where he belongs and that is bridging the gap between the starter and Mariano Rivera. If Wang can come back healthy and he has the go from Dr. James Andrews the starting rotation looks like this; CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Andy Pettitte (if resigned) Wang, and Phil Hughes. That my friends could be one of the best rotations in baseball.
Hopefully the Yankees will stick to their guns and continue to bring along young talent and find the answers at home. They can’t break the bank every year and expect that to work. When the Yankees do that most times they end up with Carl Pavano, Kei Igawa and Jaret Wright rather then AJ, CC, and Teixeira. Last year they hit gold with their free agents. This year they need to take care of the free agents they have on the current roster and say goodbye to the ones they no longer need. If they do that they could easily be looking at back to back world championships.
By Michael “Genevosey” Genovese