February 28, 2011

I can’t stand the red Yankees logo [Photo]

red yankees hat

Why are you wearing the color of the enemy?

Poll Results: Robinson Cano to finish in Top 5 MVP voting in 2011

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The majority of voters in last week’s poll said Robinson Cano will finish in the top 5 of MVP voting for the 2011 season. Twenty-five percent said he will win it, and just nine percent said “no chance.”

I wrote a bit about Cano earlier in the week, as I contemplated whether Cano should switch with Mark Teixeira in the lineup (Cano 3, A-Rod 4, Tex 5).

February 26, 2011

Jorge Vazquez shows power, Bartolo Colon pitches decently in ST opener

Jorge Vazquez made his mark on the Yankees in his first at bat of spring training by crushing a two-run homer to dead center field. He singled in his second AB and one blogger called him the next Babe Ruth.

Vazquez hits righty and is about 714 homers shy of Babe’s status, but he certainly made the first ST game entertaining. Full box score here.

Feels good to post the 1st Yankees lineup of 2011, even if it’s just spring training

Bartolo Colon will throw out the Yankees first pitch of 2011 at 1:05 p.m. today. Cole Hamels will start for the bad guys in this 2009 World Series rematch. The game is at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Phillies Yankees
Jimmy Rollins SS Derek Jeter SS
Ross Gload DH Nick Swisher RF
Raul Ibanez LF Mark Teixeira 1B
Ryan Howard 1B Alex Rodriguez 3B
Ben Francisco CF Robinson Cano 2B
Dominic Brown RF Jorge Posada DH
Jeff Larish 3B Curtis Granderson CF
Brian Schneider C Francisco Cervelli C
Wilson Valdez SS Brett Gardner LF

February 25, 2011

Angels sportswriter owned Russell Martin

This. Is. Hilarious.

You must check out how Sam Miller of The Orange County Register breaks down Russell Martin’s spring training history in regards to his health. From “reduced body fat” to MMA, Martin has quite the history.

Hat tip to Hardball Talk blogger Craig Calcaterra. Do yourself a favor and follow him on Twitter as well.

A-Rod: Mark Teixeira is gonna have a ‘monster season’

John Harper of the Daily News wrote this morning about the possibility of moving Robinson Cano higher in the order. I have pushed that idea ever since last season ended, but Alex Rodriguez gave me a reason to think otherwise.

“I can see why you might want to make the move,” Rodriguez said, “but we won a championship this way in 2009. We led the league in runs last year, too. And here's the big thing: Tex is going to have a monster season.”

The only more valuable source than A-Rod on the matter is hitting coach Kevin Long, and he agreed Mark Teixeira could have a big year.

Casey Stengel Featured Card of the Week

Casey Stengel. Where do I begin?

A player. A manager. A Hall of Famer. He did it all.

“The Old Perfessor” won 10 pennants as manager for the Yankees. He won it all seven times, and became the only manager to win five in a row (1949-53).

February 23, 2011

6 Yankees prospects listed in Baseball America’s Top 100, Jesus Montero 3rd

Behind Baseball America’s top-rated prospect Bryce Harper, six Yankees placed in the top 100. Jesus Montero, the Yankees’ top prospect, ranked third.

BA gave Montero a grade of 70 (out of 80), listed his estimated time of arrival for 2011, and said his best tool is power.

Other Yankees’ prospects in the top 100 include Gary Sanchez, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Andrew Brackman, and Austin Romine. See below for their details.

February 22, 2011

Bartolo Colon to start opener

Bartolo Colon will start the spring training opener, that is. (Sorry, it’s the spring, so I can have a little fun. I won’t try and deceive you like that when the games really count.)

Here, read these 10 hilarious reactions to Colon being linked to the Yankees in this past offseason to make yourself feel better.

Additional spring training rotation news via LoHud:

Ivan Nova will start the second game followed by CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia. First time through the rotation, Sergio Mitre will be available out of the bullpen.

Yankees: Don’t ever do what Knicks did

Let me start off by saying a trade like the Knicks pulled off last night would never happen in baseball because basketball is a completely different game.

carmeloA star like Carmelo Anthony makes much more of a difference in a basketball game than Alex Rodriguez can make in a baseball game. If Melo goes off for 50, the Knicks are winning — plain and simple. If A-Rod hits three homers, there’s no guarantee the Yankees’ pitching is going to hold that lead.

Yankees’ offseason wasn’t dismal [Storify]

February 21, 2011

Poll Results: Freddy Garcia favored to win final spot in Yankee rotation

poll results62 My latest poll results were pretty definitive. Freddy Garcia, despite his sub-90 mph fastball, will win the final spot in the Yankee rotation. (This is assuming Ivan Nova keeps his job as the No. 4 guy. It’s his job to lose.)

The other candidates aren’t attractive at all. Bartolo Colon is a giant, Sergio Mitre is the most inconsistent pitcher on the planet, and everybody else is just too young. (I hope everyone saw this news clip about Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances starting 2011 in Double-A.)

February 20, 2011

Derek Jeter is keeping the change in his swing from the end of last year

Derek Jeter this morning gave me a reason to believe he can have a comeback season in 2011. Jeter will continue to work at the swing adjustment he made last September — eliminating his stride — which helped him finish the season with a .342/.436/.392 hitting line in the last 19 games.

Hitting coach Kevin Long says the change is a result of the rising popularity of the cutter — especially with lefties like Jon Lester.

February 19, 2011

Albert Pujols will never be a Yankee, and that’s a good thing

Mark Teixeira told Joel Sherman he’s “not going anywhere” and I can assure you no team — even the Yankees — will spend $300 million on a DH. Teixeira is signed through 2016, so he’s the Yankees’ first baseman for the long haul.

Albert Pujols will be a free agent after this season because he refuses to negotiate midseason and he couldn’t reach an agreement with the Cardinals before he arrived at camp this week.

February 18, 2011

Bucky Dent Featured Card of the Week

Bucky Dent is most known in Yankeeland for his home run in the 1978 one-game playoff at Fenway Park. Because of his shot over the Monster, Boston fans call him “Bucky Bleeping Dent.”

As this card signifies, Dent also managed the Yankees. As manager for parts of the 1989 and 1990 seasons, Dent compiled a 36-53 record.

February 16, 2011

Best Mike Francesa segment I’ve ever heard

Rich in Hackensack is a Mets lover and he had a problem with Mike Francesa. This is how it went down. See below for my two favorite excerpts transcribed.

Only 327 views at time of posting. What a shame.

February 14, 2011

Yankees MVP: Most Valuable Pooch [Photo]


His name is Whitey, named after Whitey Ford, and if you are already in love you can apply now to adopt him.

Here’s the description posted on www.pawsct.org:

Our Whitey is an oldie, but a goodie, that’s for sure. This handsome, distinguished-looking, 48 pound senior looks as if there were some Samoyeds in his family tree. Adopted from PAWS of Norwalk back in 2000, his owner recently threw Whitey a curve ball when he returned him to PAWS when a new member of the family developed allergies. Whitey is feeling a little blue about being given up after 10 years, but we know there has to be some loving person out there who will give this terrific pooch a second chance at happiness. Whitey needs a home with no other dogs and no cats please. He keeps his room clean, always eliminates outside, and does not seem to be at all destructive. He would be content to spend quiet times in your home while you work all day. This low maintenance pooch is a real winner! For more information about Whitey, please complete a PAWS Dog Adoption Application available at www.pawsct.org or call PAWS at 203-750-9572 ext. 104.

Submitted by friend and follower Andrew Vazzano of The ‘Ropolitans.

Joe Girardi: Derek Jeter to hit leadoff

Joe Girardi dodged several important questions about the Yankees going into 2011, but then unequivocally said Derek Jeter is the leadoff hitter.

Why? Girardi said he felt Jeter was “back to being Derek” in September. It’s nice that he’s trying to instill some confidence in him.

But he must have been dreaming.

Jeter finished the year decently, but only relative to his awful  June, July and August — NOT relative to his Hall of Fame career numbers prior to 2010.

Why on earth would CC Sabathia opt out?

I have no idea. But CC Sabathia possibly opting out after this season — as his contract permits — is a hot topic on the day most pitchers and catchers reported to spring training. To cause the commotion, all CC had to say was “anything is possible in a contract.”

The Yankees are paying him $23 million annually to pitch until he’s 35 years old. The only pitcher who makes more money annually is Cliff Lee, but Sabathia’s seven-year, $161 million contract still is the highest ever in terms of total value.

Poll Results: Andy Pettitte borderline Hall of Famer

poll results61

Voters couldn’t reach a consensus in last week’s blog poll, as each option for Andy Pettitte’s chances at the Hall of Fame received similar results. A slight majority said Pettitte won’t make the Hall until his third year of eligibility or later, or that he’ll never make it.

Even though fans couldn’t agree on a clear, main opinion, I think collectively they got it right. Pettitte has to be considered a borderline Hall of Famer.

February 11, 2011

Larry Rothschild: A.J. Burnett will be different this year

New Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild told the Daily News he believes in A.J. Burnett and he’ll have a different mindset on the mound in 2011.

“We're trying to do a few things to make it a habit where when he goes out to the mound he can throw the ball instead of trying to govern himself to throw strikes. Hopefully, it helps him get back on the attack. Confidence will come from that, and the demeanor will be a little different.” - Rothschild

Rothschild had a lot more to say about Burnett in the article linked above. Remember, Rothschild visited Burnett at his home in the offseason to train, meaning they likely developed a good rapport.

Both Rothschild and Burnett want the same thing: success. Rothschild showed he was dedicated to achieving success by training this offseason and now he’s projecting confidence in Burnett.

February 9, 2011

Yankees notes: Swisher, Sabathia, Joba, Ayala, Chavez, Aceves

After an extremely busy Tuesday, I’m back with a quick roundup of Yankees notes. A few have arrived at the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa, and there are also a few notable transactions.

That’s it for now.

Jim Abbott Featured Card of the Week

If you’ve never heard of Jim Abbott, do you notice anything weird about this card? Abbott was born without a right hand, but still managed to pitch 10 seasons in the majors — two with the Yankees.

His greatest accomplishment with the Yankees was his no-hitter on Sept. 4, 1993. Pretty remarkable.

February 7, 2011

Twitter followers undecided on Andy Pettitte's Hall of Fame chances

Using a new social media tool called Storify, I’ve been able to aggregate your comments on Twitter easily and present them to the rest of my followers easily and elegantly.

I can also include Facebook comments, YouTube videos and much more. Pretty cool, I think.

Based on my several responses from Yankees fans, it seems Pettitte certainly is a borderline Hall of Famer. I think the key to his case is, unfortunately, his connection to HGH and the Mitchell Report.

Here are the responses:

Poll Results: Brett Gardner should hit leadoff

poll results60

The majority of my readers agree with me! I’m surprised only 25 percent stuck up for Derek Jeter to hit leadoff, but I’m glad to see people supporting Brett Gardner.

A family friend reiterated an important point in the comments of a post about this poll: Gardner led the Yankees in on-base percentage last season. That has to be a key statistic Joe Girardi uses in determining his leadoff hitter.

Video: Cameron Diaz feeds A-Rod popcorn at Super Bowl

This video of Cameron Diaz feeding Alex Rodriguez popcorn at the Super Bowl is excellent. Of course, it happened when I went outside to pick up the wings my friends and I ordered.


February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday makes me think baseball needs a one-game playoff

The most overblown annual sporting event is tonight, and I can guarantee you it wouldn’t be nearly as hyped up if the NFL champion was decided in seven games like baseball’s World Series. 

The idea of adding a second wild card to both the American and National Leagues would create an opportunity for a one-game playoff. The two wild cards from both leagues would square off in one game (ideally hosted by the team with the better record), and both winners would advance to their respective Division Series.

February 4, 2011

Yankees add Ronnie Belliard on minor-league deal

On the same day Andy Pettitte announced his retirement, the Yankees picked up a player who could help the team this season.

Ronnie Belliard and the Yankees agreed to a minor-league deal, according to Enrique Rojas, in which he can earn up to $825,000 plus incentives if he makes the Yankees.

Belliard will challenge Ramiro Pena and Eduardo Nunez in spring training for a backup infield spot on the Yankees roster.

Andy Pettitte: ‘I will not pitch this season’

The most important statement from today’s Andy Pettitte’s presser came about a quarter of the way through when he said very clearly, “I will not pitch this season.”

Here are some other noteworthy comments from the conference.

February 3, 2011

Andy Pettitte to retire tomorrow

After last season ended, many fans expected the Yankees to come back in 2011 with the best rotation in the majors, one that would feature CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Andy Pettitte, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes.

Now that the Phillies signed Lee and with Pettitte expected to announce his retirement tomorrow, Yankees fans are cringing at the sound of the team’s rotation.

Twitter: Derek Jeter shouldn’t hit leadoff

When I woke up this morning I was surprised by my blog’s poll results, which pointed to Brett Gardner hitting leadoff in 2011 instead of Derek Jeter. So I decided to sample my Twitter followers on the same question, and the result was no different.
twitter responses 2.3.11

I side with the majority: here’s the link to my latest lineup projection.

What do you think, is Jeter’s time as a leadoff hitter over? Or can he earn that spot back with a hot start to the season?

February 2, 2011

[Video] How a baseball is made

Here’s an in-depth video of how a baseball is made: all the way from the cork, to the layers of yarn, and finally to the leather.

In the factory featured in this video, there are 350 sewers who help produce 8,000-10,000 balls per day.

Brien Taylor Featured Card of the Week

The Yankees drafted Brien Taylor with the first overall pick in the 1991 draft. But after defending his brother in a first fight, he suffered a dislocated shoulder on his pitching arm and never reached the majors.

Only one other first overall pick has never reached the majors: Steve Chilcott in 1966 (thanks, Wikipedia).

If Taylor hadn’t injured his arm during that fight, maybe we’d be talking about Taylor debating retirement right now.

My dad has always said Taylor’s story would make a great book: stories of athletes with extremely high expectations who never lived up. I say it would be a cool book, but it wouldn’t sell because the common fan wouldn’t know the players in it. Your thoughts?

February 1, 2011

Yankees sign Freddy Garcia to minor-league deal + new 2011 rotation prediction

The Yankees added another rotation possibility to the mix last night, signing Freddy Garcia to a minor-league contract.

Garcia will make $1.5 million if he makes the team and could make an extra $3.6 million in performance bonuses.

The 35-year-old pitched 157 innings for the White Sox last season to the tune of a 4.64 ERA and 1.38 WHIP.

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