Friday, February 1, 2008

Johan, Morgan, And The Moose

It's been about a week since my last post. I'm still having too much fun doing the "dad" thing which is why I haven't been around a lot in the offseason. But pitchers and catchers report in 2 weeks and I plan on blogging more regularly.
So Johan is virtually a Met. All I can say is Amen to that. I'm so glad that the Yankees held onto their money and their prospects. It made no sense to give up all those guys and then on top of it, drop $150 million or so on a pitcher. It made sense to me to roll the dice and hope that he hit the free agent market in 2009. Now he may be the best in the game today but you can't throw away all that money and all those prospects to pick up a handful of wins each year. Kudos to Cash for standing firm and getting the Steinbrenner boys to see the light. Most importantly, it means Phil Hughes is still a Yankee!
The Yankees signed Morgan Ensberg to a minor league deal? Why? I'm confused. I know he's cheap. I know he hit thirty-some-odd HRs 2 years ago. But why? The Yankees have plenty of candidates to play 1B/DH. I guess Ensberg is expected to be this year's Josh Phelps. Assuming he makes the team, I guess that would make Shelley Duncan the 4th/5th OF behind Damon/Matsui, Wilson Betemit the utility IF, and Ensberg the backup 1B to Giambi. I feel like I'm forgetting someone. The reason I don't think he's needed is because of the versatility of the backups. Duncan and Damon can play 1B in addition to DH'ing or playing in the OF. Betemit can play 1B in addition to playing in the IF. I guess they're hoping to hit lightning in a bottle. I just don't think bringing in a "flash in the pan" and moving him from 3B to 1B is the best move. If anything, they should go out in resign Doug Mientkiewicz. He's not the greatest hitter, but has decent pop and his glove adds so much value.
My friends and I had so much fun last weekend on our road trip to Mike Mussina's Fan Club dinner. It was a blast. The first hour was Mike fielding questions from the fan club members. He's quite funny. It was so cool to see Mike in his element. I asked him if he could pick any 4 guys that he's ever pitched with to join him in a starting rotation, who would they be. Randy Johnson was one of the answers and Moose added he wasn't one of the funnest guys to be around. He threw out Roger's name and then he got all cerebral on me, saying he's pitched with a lot of great guys, including in All-Star games and things like that. I had a follow up question and that was where Carl Pavano was on the list. that got a laugh from the peanut gallery. Moose replied that he wasn't and even cracked that Pavano was still on the team, making it sound as that was unbelievable, which it is. After the Q&A was dinner. The entree was some delicious chicken parm. It was so good. As dinner was ending they raffled off some prizes. They gave away 20-30 signed Moose baseball cards, 3 signed baseballs, a game model glove, a game model bat, and 2 tickets to Opening Day at The Stadium. There were probably 200 or so people there so i thought maybe 1 of us would win something. One guy at our table won the bat. Another at the table won the tickets. We struck out. After the raffle there was an auction. They gave away a game used hat, game used glove, game used bat, and 2 tickets to Opening Day. I had about $300 on me and thought I might have a shot at something. The hat was auctioned off first and that went for about 2 bills. I knew right then I had no shot at anything. The glove went for $1200. The bat went for $600. And the tickets went for $900. I may have my amounts wrong but they went for a lot. After the auction was the autograph session. Mike sat a table and signed up to 2 items for everyone. I had him sign a ball and one of the older batting jerseys with his # on the back. And that concluded the evening. We all felt it was well worth the $35 we dropped on the ticket. How often can you spend $35 to hang out with a major leaguer for 4 hours? I'm looking forward to next year's event already.
13 days and counting......