Friday, November 23, 2007

RIP Joe Kennedy

I always hate it when I come upon these stories. It always puts me in a sour mood, regardless of who it happens to. Blue Jays pitcher Joe Kennedy passed away suddenly, shortly after passing out in his home. He was 28 years old. Tragic. Truly tragic.
Godspeed Joe.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Top 10

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd put up a list of the top 10 baseball-related things I'm thankful for this offseason. I did the same last year, some entries are repeats. Feel free to post your own.
10) Joba, Phil and Ian are the future of the Yankees rotation
9) MLB on XM Radio
8) A-Rod's in Pinstripes for the next 10 years
7) The Hot Stove, there's no better offseason in sports
6) Brian Cashman is the Yankee GM
5) This blog and everyone who reads it
4) I'm not a Red Sox fan
3) With each passing day, we're 1 day closer to pitchers and catchers reporting
2) Jorge and Mariano decide to stay home
and the #1 baseball-related thing thing I'm thankful for this offseason is,
1) I want to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee fan
.....and I'm especially thankful for my wife and son.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Band Is Almost Back Together

If you're a Yankee fan, you have to be pretty excited that the Yankees were able to retain the services of A-Rod, Jorge, and Mo. I've seen a lot of criticism being dumped on Cashman and the Steinbrenners for their continued big spending, mainly from non-Yankees fans. Hey, if this is what it takes to keep a perennial MVP candidate, the best offensive catcher in the game today, and the best closer of all time, you do it. The Yankees could not afford to lose any of these guys. The replacement options were less than desirable and losing any of them would have made things very difficult in 2008.
I for one am glad that the Yankees and A-Rod have renewed their vows. They truly are meant for each other. It was quite interesting how that all played out. I kind of had a feeling that the door was never slammed shut even though it looked that way. You knew nobody could give A-Rod the $$ the Yankees were reportedly offering before he opted out. A dealbreaker for me would have been if Alex didn't eat the lost subsidy from Texas. He made the effort to re-open the lines of communication with the Steinbrenners and I respect him going about the way he did. It was the right move. I guess now I can get the A-Rod t-shirt I wanted to get last year. The best player in the game on my team. Yeah, I can dig it. His relationship with his fellow teammates and with the fans is only going to get stronger. He's in Pinstripes for 10 years. I guess he does want to be here. If he really hated it as much as people wanted to think he did, he wouldn't have come back no matter what the dollars were. That's how I see it. I for one and am ecstatic he's back. I feel pretty good about their chances in 2008. I can't help but laugh when I hear people say Boston is on the verge of a dynasty. Chuckle chuckle giggle giggle.
A-Rod? Check!
Jorge? Check!
Mo? Check!
Come back soon Andy! You're the last piece of the puzzle.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cheap Yankees Merch

I hate to be a shill for websites or products but this is actually a deal that's worth checking out if you're a Yankees fan or a fan of any team really. I'm not even getting any kind of compensation for mentioning it. Hand to God. And believe me I don't really like beinga product shill. I've gotten many of requests to advertise on the blog and I don't really want to have a blog for those reasons. I blog for my own enjoyment, not to try and make money.
They're having a huge sale over at the A&E Store called the "Black Friday Baseball Sale." You can access the sale by clicking on the link above or by using the banner on the right side of the blog. Most of their top selling baseball DVDs are being marked down up to 50%. I had to order the Yankees Fall Classic DVD b/c it was only 40 bucks and I've yet to come across it for less. I also ordered a Billy Martin DVD, a Babe Ruth DVD, and a DVD about baseball parks. They also have the entire Yankeeography set for only 60 bucks, as well as many DVD sets for pretty much every MLB team! I'd hop all the Yankeeographys but I already have a few of the editions. To top it off it all ships for $1. I think I spent just under 90 bucks total, which I thought was a pretty good deal. Give it a look. If you do click on the link, and want to see more items, search by the word "baseball" and you'll see pretty much all they have to offer. The sale I believe ends on 11/26. I just thought I'd pass it along to any interested shoppers. And again, I'm not getting anything by sending you there.
Make sure to check back tomorrow. It should be a slow work day and I'm hoping to get in some blogging.
Peace, love and Pinstripes.

Monday, November 19, 2007

And Your Winner By Unanim, What, It's Not Unanimous?

It shouldn't be a shock to anyone that the runaway victor of the AL MVP award was none other than A-Rod. The shocker is though that 2 writers didn't see it the same way as everyone else, casting their first place votes for Magglio Ordonez. I'm sorry but there is no justifiable reason anyone can make for giving the nod to Magglio over Alex. There just isn't. Anyone that watched baseball in 2007 knows this. I'd like to ask why these guys voted for Magglio but I don't have to. both writers are Michigan based. Like last year, when the two Canadian writers voted for Justin Morneau over Derek Jeter, I'm calling shenanigans. It's ridiculous.
The BBWAA is getting almost as bad as the fans when it comes to voting for all-stars. As much as I hate fan voting, it's expected that a fan will be bias. Sports writers should be objective. It's overly obvious that it's not the case. Ridiculous. If only these guys could fix the system. I don't see it happening.
Some odd things jump out at me when I look at the overall results for the vote. How does David Ortiz get a 2nd place vote? Seriously? He wasn't even his team's MVP. How he finished right ahead of Mike Lowell is beyond me? JJ Putz gets the highest nod for all pitchers? Umm, what? Bobby Abreu got a 7th place vote? Odd. Very odd. What crack are you guys smoking?
Congrats to Jorge for finishing 6th and Jeter for finishing 11th.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Thoughts On Mattingly

This kind of hurts me to say but I'm a little irritated by the fact that Mattingly is going to be donning a Dodgers uniform in 2008. Let me stress the word "little" as I'm not totally devastated.
Mattingly is and will probably always be my all-time favorite Yankee. I grew up watching Donnie Baseball and like most Yankee fans that were around in the 80s, Mattingly was your guy. I wanted to name my first born son Mattingly, and at one time the wife was on board, but she later vetoed that suggestion. (Cute story: My father-in law used to own a baseball card store back in the hey-day of baseball cards, circa the mid-to-late 80s. Whenever my wife, who was probably 8 at the time, would get mad at her dad, she'd threaten to draw mustaches on all the Mattingly cards.) Where was I? Oh yeah, Mattingly is now a Dodger. And I'm a little ticked. Not a lot, just a little.
I can understand why Mattingly didn't want to stay with the Yankees after they turned him down for the position vacated by Torre's departure. Personally, I thought he was headed back to Indiana to chill with the family. But then Torre gets the LA gig, and Mattingly follows him out west. Here's my beef. The Yankees offered him a position on Girardi's coaching staff and he turned it down. And now he's going to LA to take on the role of hitting coach or bench coach. He could have done that in NY. My childhood hero is leaving the Yankees to become a Dodger. I can't picture him wearing any other uniform other. it's just weird. I can't decide if this makes him any less of a Yankee. Am I the only one that feels this way.? If he wanted to coach, stay on in NY. I kind of feel, again just a little bit, that he's turning his back on the Yankees to be part of another organization. Again, it's all strange.
Now, I understand him feeling a little slighted, but he said, "I don't feel any ill will. I'm not sitting here -- vengeance is not running through me at all. Trust me, I'm not all of a sudden going to start rooting for the Red Sox." This quote, makes me laugh. I love the part about "not rooting for the Sox," but it just makes it more difficult for me to accept. If you didn't feel any "ill will," why not stick around?
There is an answer tot hat question and I can respect it. It's the main reason why this only bothers me a little bit. The article also mentions that he said New York's decision "freed me up" to explore opportunities elsewhere. Adding, "I'm sure it's going to be something different for me. The easiest thing is to stay in the comfort zone. ... At some point you have to get to know new people. That point is exciting for me." I can respect that. It makes a lot of sense. But joining a coaching staff that is going to be made up of people you've previously coached with isn't really meeting "new people." He would have met more "new" people had he joined Girardi's coaching staff as it's looking like a total overhaul except for Long and Pena. You may meet a new mix of players, but in the course of the next few seasons we're going to see a totally different Yankees. We're already seeing it. I would've thought had he wanted to stay in coaching, in a non-manager position, it would have made the most sense to stay with the Pinstripes, especially if there truly is no "ill will." I just can't picture him in another uniform. It seems unnatural. Am I the only one feeling this way?
Regardless, I wish him (as well as Joe and Larry) all the best with the Dodgers. And who am I kidding? I love the guy. That's not going to change. It's just going to be really really really really really really really really really weird seeing him with an interlocking LA on his cap and not the interlocking NY that we all love so much.
Peace, love and forever Pinstripes

Monday, November 5, 2007

Andy Declines Option

I'll admit it. I'm a little shocked. I thought for sure that Pettitte wasn't going to decline his player option before the Wednesday deadline. I was looking forward to some good news this week. Guess that will have to wait.
This quote comes from Pettitte's agent, Randy Hendricks:
"I have spoken with Brian Cashman, who has reiterated what Hank Steinbrenner said about the Yankees wanting to give Andy all the time he needs to decide about next season. Accordingly, we are declining to exercise the option for 2008 and Andy will declare free agency in order to free up a roster spot for the Yankees. If Andy decides to play, I am confident we can reach an agreement with the Yankees within 24 hours. The only options, as Andy has stated, are the Yankees or retirement. He appreciates the Yankees' willingness to give him the time he feels he needs. I do not expect him to make a decision for quite some time."
I 100% believe Andy when he says it's the Yankees or nothing. And I do respect the fact that he needs more time to decide. The new regime hasn't exactly made the decisions easy for anyone. First they let Torre go. A-Rod opts out. Still no word on Posada and Mo. I don't want to read too much into this, but if AP is waiting to see what happens to Jorge and Mo, I'm thinking that maybe Andy knows something we don't? Maybe he knows that those guys have no intent on coming back and now he needs to decide if he wants to close out his career with a team whose future is clouded.
This quote comes from Brian Cashman:
"Obviously, we want Andy to stay with the Yanks and pitch for us in '08. In fact, I'd say I need him to. He's an important piece for us. ... We're hopeful that at some point that the marriage of the Pettittes and the Yankees can continue."
In my opinion this doesn't make Cashman's job any easier. If he's planning on playing the trade market, a lot of GMs are going to be asking for the big 3 in Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain. Without Pettitte in the fold, there's no way Cash can even entertain dealing any of those guys. Not that he should anyway. The 2008 rotation right now as I see it is Kennedy, Hughes, Chamberlain, Wang, and Mussina. If Mo doesn't come back, I'm pretty sure that the Yankees will have Chamberlain close. Without Andy, the rotation is down to 4 and there isn't anybody in the organization right now that can take that 5th spot. None that I want to see anyway. Like with the Hendricks comment, I don't want to read too much into this, but when Cashman says he "needs" him to come back, that worries me. Does Cash know something we don't? I'm beginning to think that maybe Mo is a goner, Cash knows this or has a feeling he'll walk, and he desperately needs AP to fill out the rotation. The last thing the Yankees need is to have AP take too much time in making this decision. It could limit the trade possibilities and could limit any potential free agent signings as guys continue to sign contracts with other clubs. I think Andy is a stand up guy. If it truly is the Yankees or bust as AP says it is, and he knows how badly they want him, he'll decide sooner than later. I really can't see him leaving the Yankees hanging.
Come on Andy. Let's renew those vows one more time.