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  • Our Triumphant Return!
    By gormanb on November 30, 2011 | 1 Comment1 Comment  Comments

    After a year and a half hiatus, we shall return with the New York Yankees Blog.  Our first topic is, the Red Sox hiring of Bobby Valentine…

     

    The Red Sox have hired Bobby Valentine! 

     

    This means that they:

    -       Had an historic collapse to miss the 2011 playoffs

    -       Have lost Francona

    -       Have lost Epstein

    -       Have lose Papelbon, and

    -       Have hired the most notorious over-manager in recent baseball history!

     

    Oh Fortuna, you capricious sprite…

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  • A NEW CONCEPT – A HOME GROWN ACE
    By gormanb on April 15, 2010 | 3 Comments3 Comments  Comments

    The future of the Yankees arrived tonight, and his name if Philip Hughes.  It seems like we have been hearing about Hughes forever, and to some he has been a bust.

    Well, tonight he came into his own.  Five innings, three hits, two runs, and six strikeouts.  And one of the runs scored after he was out of the game.  Although he struggled a bit with his control, for most of his stint on the mound he appeared to be overpowering.  For the first time in memory, the Yankees have a young stud on the mound, a pitcher who can eventually lead the staff.

    Strangely, the Yankees have never been very good at developing top of the rotation pitchers.  The last one they grew was Ron Guidry, and Guidry was unexpected – he was considered a minor prospect, too small to be a number two, let alone a number one.  Before Guidry, you have to go back to Whitey Ford to find a number one starter who came out of the farm system.

    That sounds like an extreme statement, but think about it.  Andy Pettitte is a great Yankee, but even in his prime, he was never more than a number two starter.  The other pitchers of the last fifteen years – Cone, Wells, Clemens, Johnson, Key, Mussina – were acquired from other teams or through free agency.  El Duque doesn’t count; he was a star in Cuba before he defected.

    The champs of the 70s featured Catfish Hunter (free agent), Tommy John (free agent), and Ed Figueroa (trade with the Angels).  The team in the early ’60s was built around Ford.  None of the others were more than a number three (Jim Bouton, Bill Stafford, Al Downing), with the exception of Ralph Terry, who qualified as a number two for a couple of years.  And the teams of the mid fifties featured Ford, Bob Turley, and Don Larsen.  The latter two came from the Orioles in one of the biggest (in terms of the number of players involved) trades in history (something like 19 players).

    The great team that won five straight from 1949 through 1953 did include one home grown Yankee in Vic Raschi.   Raschi could conceivably qualify as a number one, but Allie Reynolds (from Cleveland for Joe Gordon) was the true ace.  In the ’30s and early ’40s, Red Ruffing, a refugee from the then moribund Red Sox, was the number one.  Before Ruffing, Waite Hoyt and Herb Pennock, both from the Red Sox, were the aces.  Happy Jack Chesbro, who won a record 41 games in 1904, came over from the Pirates during the bidding wars between the American and National Leagues.

    So Hughes has a chance to be something special for the Yankees – a home grown ace.  It should be fun to watch his progress.  But he’ll have to wait a while to be number one until the present ace, CC Sabathia (free agent), gives way.

  • SO FAR SO GOOD
    By gormanb on April 11, 2010 | 1 Comment1 Comment  Comments

    The Yankees could not have asked for a better start.  Okay, they could have won six straight, but four out of six on the road against the Red Sox and the Rays is damned fine.  Especially considering that they lost the first game of each series.

    High notes so far include the following.  First, Curtis Granderson looks great.  He has been the team’s best hitter so far, and he completes a mid-career core four with  Teixeira, Sabathia, and Cano.  Those four players give the team a solid base to build around as the original “Core Four” move into the twilight of their careers.

    Second, the pitching has generally been solid.  Vasquez looked awful Friday night, but it is way too early to panic about him.  CC, AJ, and Andy looked solid.  The bullpen is deep, and the incredible Mariano can still bring it at age 40.

    The hitters have not yet hit their stride, yet the team has pounded out runs.  The offense is demonstrably superior to that of the Red Sox, and the pitching looks considerably better than that of the Rays.  The Yanks remain the team to beat in baseball’s best division.

    Concerns.  First, the team has no left fielder.  Brett Gardner lacks the power necessary to play a corner outfield position, and he has yet to demonstrate he is a big league hitter.  Randy Winn and Marcus Thames are journeymen.  The Yankees clearly believe they can win this year with a hole in their line-up.  Hopefully, they can win the Carl Crawford sweepstakes next winter.

    Joba looked great in his first outing against Boston, but he looked sluggish today in Tampa.  Maybe the layoff hurt him.  If he can pitch as he did in 2007, the bullpen will be almost impregnable.

    Posada looks shakey again behind the plate.  His passed ball cost the Yankees the opener, and his deteriorating defensive skills have to be a concern.  I would not be surprised to see Jesus Montero appear in mid-summer.

    Phil Hughes has yet to pitch this year.  We will have to wait until Thursday to see how he does as the fifthe starter.

    But these concerns are minor.  The team has started strong, and hope springs eternal.  Thank God baseball is back.

    I hope you all noticed  that I have said nothing bad about Girardi.  Yet.

  • Mets need to get creative now
    By DSchwartz on December 15, 2009 | 5 Comments5 Comments  Comments

    With Halladay to the Phillies and Lackey to the Sox, the Mets need to get creative to improve their rotation. I’m not saying either of these Aces wanted to pitch for the Mets, but now that it’s a sure thing they won’t, the Mets need to react. Ben Sheets/Erik Bedard are great when healthy, but that may not be often enough for the Mets to compete, and I don’t think Piniero/Doug Davis is the answer either. I think they have to look the trade route. So to get creative, what about a deal with the Reds? They have two starters over the 10mm mark and could potentially look to unload that payroll (Harang & Arroyo). I know Votto is a fantastic, young 1b, and makes league minimum but would the following work: Joey Votto/1b, Brandon Phillips/2b, Aaron Harang/sp, Bronson Arroyo/sp for Fernando Martinez/of, Ruben Tejada or Reese Havens/mi, Luis Castillo/2b, Daniel Murphy/1b, Jefry Marte/3b, Mike Pelfrey/sp, and Moviel/Familia/Urbina -2nd tier SP prospect. Fair?

  • Phillies Deal… POV from a Mets Fan
    By DSchwartz on December 14, 2009 | 5 Comments5 Comments  Comments

    I’m more than content. Cliff Lee was lights out for the Phillies, they have less payroll flexibility for 4 years, and the Phillies could have had both Lee & Halladay leading that rotation together.

    Halladay; Lee; Hamels;  Happ; Blanton/Drabek/Moyer would have been Lights Out.

    Also I think some other moves fall into place now. The Mariners upgraded already this off season with the Figgins signing and another ace in Lee. I think they’ll next go with power in LF via Bay or Holliday, which then potentially forces the other to accept a little less money from the Mets/Giants/Red Sox/Yankees. However, with Cameron to Boston, the Sox are out of it, and in my opinion Damon (for 5-7 million and 3-4 years less than Holliday) re-signs with the Yankees. Therefore, either Holliday or Bay signs to a slightly less than expected deal with the Mets.

    No matter what, I fully expect the Phillies to take the NL East yet again – unlike the past 3 years.

    I truly wish the Mets were the 3rd team in the Yankees-Tigers-(D-backs) deal replacing the D-backs. I thought 0f a crazy, but interesting scenario that could have actually worked: Carlos Beltran, Ike Davis, Fernando Martinez, Wilmer Flores, Ruben Tejada or Reese Havens, and Brad Holt or Bobby Parnell from the Mets; Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes, Austin Jackson from the Yankees, and Edwin Jackson, Curtis Granderson, and Miguel Cabrera from the Tigers.

    Mets receive: Miguel Cabrera/1b, Robinson Cano/2b, Curtis Granderson/cf, Phil Hughes/sp (go on to sign a FA LF & another SP and their offseason needs would have been completed beyond expectations)

    Yankees receive: Carlos Beltran, Edwin Jackson, Wilmer Flores (and go on to sign Hudson or FA 2b + FA lf)

    Tigers receive: Ike Davis, Fernando Martinez, Tejada/Havens, Holt/Parnell, Austin Jackson (and get even more payroll flexiblity trading Miguel Cabrera for a decent haul). I of course understand the Tigers got a very nice haul of SP’s from the trade they actually did complete with the Yanks & D-back. I think if Scherzer stays healthy, Verlander through Porcello can still keep them toward the top of the AL Central.

    Do you think my proposed 3-way above is irrational, however? It completely depletes the Mets farm system, which isn’t great any way, but I think it instantaneously helps them compete with the Phillies.

  • Mets & Their Needs (c;1b;2b;lf;sp)
    By DSchwartz on November 10, 2009 | 9 Comments9 Comments  Comments

    I wrote on facebook: “Congratulations to the most spoiled fans in the world, however… Thank you…Becasue I hate the Phillies with a Passion” to which a Yankee friend replied, “But Dan, they’re are 3rd graders who haven’t seen this yet” to which I replied but there are 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th and 12th graders that have.

    Oh and I forgot to congratulate the Phillies and their fans 2 seasons ago – for their desire to have us hate them and take them seriously… Well done. Seriously though. Well done.

    The Mets have a sundry of needs that Omar Minaya or whomever else assumes GM needs to attend to: mainly c, 1b, 2b, lf, and sp. I say 2b because it seems they are attempting to trade Luis Castillo and then potentially offer a deal to Orlando Hudson, which scares me if the Mets have to provide another multi year deal to an aging 2nd baseman who was benched for Ronnie Belliard during the (p)lay-offs. I’ll stop assuming our prospects pan out and offer a scenario that lands the Mets a 1b,2b,lf,and sp. I also won’t propose trading 15 tier 3 prospects for 4 mlb all stars.

    Trade 1) NYM-Jankees: Carlos Beltran(cf), Wilmer Flores/Reese Havens/Ruben Tejada (preferably the later middle infield prospect), Urbina/Moviel/Familia(sp prospect) for Robinson Cano(2b) and Phil Hughes(sp).

    * I know the Yankees could have had Beltran for just cash prior to him signing with the Mets, but this provides the Yankees with an every day (when healthy) offensive centerfielder and then they can sign Chone Figgins or Orlando Hudson for 2b and use Flores/Havens/Tejada at ss or 2b when that contract or Jeter’s career is over.

    Trade 2) NYM-Brewers: Ike Davis(1b prospect), Fernando Martinez (of prospect), Mike Pelfrey(sp), Brad Holt (sp prospect) for Prince Fielder(1b).Maybe Angel Pagan(of) &/or Daniel Murphy(if-of) can also be involved in the deal for Carlos Gomez (cf) otherwise the Mets CF will come by way of free agency…

    Trade 3) NYM-Cubs: The already infinitely proposed deal (except straight up with cash consideration coming the Mets way), Luis Castillo(2b) for Milton Bradley(lf)

    Mets 2010 Free Agent signings: Mike Cameron(cf) if Carlos Gomez isn’t involved in the Brewers deal, Randy Wolf(sp), and Erik Bedard or Ben Sheets(sp) contingent on health reports and monetary demands.

    *I haven’t added monetary figures to this scenario but if you include the salary subtractions of Delgado, Wagner, Putz, Schneider, Sheffield, Tatis, and Cora the Mets would have a payroll at 10-15 million less than last year ( and that takes into account salary and arbitration raises). The Mets Lineup and Rotation (depth) would look as follows:

    1-Jose Reyes/ss

    2-David Wright/3b

    3-Robinson Cano/2b

    4-Prince Fielder/1b

    5-Milton Bradley/lf

    6-Jeff Franceour/rf

    7-Mike Cameron/cf

    8-Santos/Thole/Free Agent Catcher

    1-Johan Santana

    2-Randy Wolf

    3-Erik Bedard/Ben Sheets/John Maine

    4-Phil Hughes

    5-Oliver Perez/Jon Niese

    6-Misch/Stoner/Nieve/Figueroa/Mejia

    That’s an AL East competitor even, but so are the Phillies. The Mets must match up to them lineup spot by lineup spot and rotation slot by rotation slot.

  • Sox Land Hermida, Exercise Option on Martinez
    By BosoxDynasty on November 9, 2009 | 157 Comments157 Comments  Comments

    The Red Sox kicked off their offseason quickly, acquiring Jeremy Hermida from the Marlins just hours after the Yankees won the World Series (insert vomitingsound here). The Sox gave up minor league southpaws Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez for Hermida, the 11th overall draft pick in 2002. He hasn’t performed up to expectations for the Marlins, but a change of scenery and a different role could be just what he needs. Hermida had this to say about his first major career move: “I made some great friends and they treated me very well [in Florida]. On the other hand, I’m very excited to go to a city like Boston and a team like that. There isn’t a better team, in comparison. Just the history and the fan base that they have. I’m very excited to go up there and be a part of that as well.”

    In other hot stove news, the Red Sox picked up their option for catcher Victor Martinez, who was acquired from the Indians at the Trade Deadline. Martinez will return as the starting catcher in 2010, and a long-term deal may be around the corner.

    Boston had three more contract options to make a decision on today, none of which were exercised. Shortstop Alex Gonzalez had a $6 million option, though the Red Sox may have plans to re-sign him for less money. Captain Jason Varitek had his $5 million option declined, but he has three days to decide if he wants to exercise his personal $3 million option that would keep him in Boston for the 2010 season.

    Knuckleballer Tim Wakefild’s year-to-year mutual option was nullified by a new two-year deal for the longest-tenured member of the Sox. Wakefield is just 17 wins shy of the All-Time Red Sox record of 192 that is shared by Cy Young and Roger Clemens.

  • PEACE, JOE
    By gormanb on November 6, 2009 | 19 Comments19 Comments  Comments

    All season long I have excoriated Joe Girardi in this space.  I have repeatedly noted his numerous deficiencies.  That list included his incessant overmanaging, his tendency to tighten up in the clutch, his rampant insecurity, and his unwillingness to let the players decide the game.  I have called him incompetent, clueless, and just plain lousy.  And he was.

    But his team won 114 games and brought the world championship back to New York.  So much as I would prefer another manager (come home Joe Torre!), I have decided to give Girardi a pass.  He has my permission to return next year.  He can wear 28 instead of 27 and attempt to repeat the victory of 2009.

    And maybe he will succeed.  There certainly is sufficient precedent.  Casey Stengel managed the Dodgers and the Braves during the 1930s, and was considered a clown.  Yet when he came to the Yankees, he won ten pennants in twelve years, a record of success that may never be broken.   Joe Torre managed the Mets, Braves, and Cardinals without success, and was deemed a failure as a manager until he came to New York.  Indeed, when he was hired at the beginning of the 1996 season, the New York media referred to him as “Clueless Joe”.

    So great managers are made, not born.  Maybe Girardi learned something this year.  Maybe his many failures made an impression on him.  Perhaps he can learn to relax and trust his players to win the game.  Certainly the pummelling he took after the Game 3 fiasco against the Angels should have taught him something.

    Only time will tell.  I remain unconvinced that he will ever become a top flight manager; he just does not appear to have the right temperament.  But his team got the job done this year, and joy reigns in the Yankee Universe.

    So peace, Joe.  Come back next year and prove me wrong.  I hope you do it.

  • HOGWASH
    By gormanb on November 5, 2009 | 9 Comments9 Comments  Comments

    The Yankees are world champions.  Truth and justice have triumphed over evil.

    Actually, the triumph over evil occurred when the Red Sox were eliminated.  But now the Yankee haters in the media and in the hinterlands are once again attempting to belittle the Yankees’ victory.  Over and over the talking heads on ESPN, Yahoo, and other so-called pundits are bleating that the Yankees bought the championship.  There is a technical term for this argument.  That term is:  HOGWASH.

    Their theory is that the Yankees signed all the best players, thereby “buying” the championship.  A careful examination of the Yankee roster demonstrates the fundamental inaccuracy of this assertion.

    Granted, the Yankees signed Sabathia, Teixeira and Burnett last winter.  But aside from those three players, the Yankee roster contained only one other free agent signing – Johnny Damon, who was lured away from the Red Sox three years ago.

    The rest of the team was either developed in the farm system or acquired by trade.  Posada, Cano, Jeter, Pena, Gardner, Melky, Cervelli, Duncan, Guzman, Pettite, Joba, Hughes, Coke, Robertson, Aceves, and Mo all came up with the Yankees as rookies and, with the exception of Andy’s three year hiatus with the Astros, are life-long Yankees.  The balance of the roster came through trades.  Molina was sold by the Angels.  Arod was traded by the Rangers for Soriano.  Swisher came from the White Sox for Wilson Betemit.  Hairston came from the Reds, and Hinske from the Pirates.   Bruney was reclaimed off the scrap heap after Arizona let him go.  Marte and Nady were traded by the Pirates, and Gaudin by the Padres.

    Matsui was signed after a distinguished career in Japan.  You could argue that he qualifies as a free agent signing, but he was not an established major leaguer, and therefore is not in the same category as Sabathia and Burnett.  And let’s not forget that the Red Sox have incessantly raided the Japanes leagues.  Their roster includes DiceK, Okajima, and Tazawa.

    In short, the Yankees did not buy the championship.  Brian Cashman did a masterful job of assembling this panoply of talent in the traditional way – through player development and trades.

    But you would never know it if you listen to the mainstream media.  The so-called pundits play to the crowd, the crowd being the extensive anti-New York element that pervades the hinterlands.  I find it interesting that no one accused the Red Sox of “buying” the championship when they won with two free agent signings in the heart of their lineup.  Everyone conveniently forgets that David “Big Juicer” Ortiz and his pal Manny came from the free agent market.  And I noticed no one complained last winter when the Red Sox offered Mark Teixeira seventy million dollars to sign with them.  That was considered smart business.  But when the Yankees swooped in and stole Tex, they were “buying the championship”.

    What a load of HOGWASH.

    So get over it, Yankee haters.  The Yankees won fair and square.  They are the best team.  That’s why they won the World Series.  We are the champions, my friend.  Deal with it.

  • YANKS WIN WORLD SERIES; ORDER RESTORED IN THE UNIVERSE
    By gormanb on November 5, 2009 | 5 Comments5 Comments  Comments

    Tonite the Yankees won their 27th World Championship, besting a very good Phillies team 7-3 to win the Series in six games. 

    There are many reasons to have what one of my old teachers referred to as a Moment of Gloat.  (And we will.)  But for now, the feeling is one of tremendous gratitude.  To the baseball gods, and to the Game in general.  This was one of the best World Series matchups in a long time; not so much for the moment-to-moment excitement perhaps, but because you had two excellent teams that both looked and played like champions, never saying die, and pulling off amazing comebacks en route to the Big Dance.  (Kind of like that year where the San Francisco 49ers and the Miami Dolphins both went 14-2 and met in the Super Bowl for a showdown.  One team was better.)  This year the Yankees happened to be the better team.  And, as it happens, they were the best team. 

    As a Yankees fan who has watched this Class of 1995 play since they came up, the way the Yankees won tonite’s game was particularly special – with Andy Pettitte pitching strong; and Mariano coming on for the final 5 outs, with Posada and Jeter coming in to meet them when the final out was made.  While Hideki Matsui’s epic performance tonite was incredible, my favorite moment of this game – and of this Series – will be that moment in the 6th inning when the fans chanted Andy Pettitte’s name, to let him know how much he has meant to us Yankees fans, and how great it is to watch the Yankees win with him on the mound.  This makes the Yankees’ 27th championship as a franchise, and the Class of 1995’s 5th world championship ring as the nucleus of the franchise.  After 9 years of disasters and disappointments, and when it looked like this group might never hold the trophy high again, the words of Abraham Lincoln, our greatest president, ring proudly in my mind: “Thank God I have lived to see this day.”

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