Friday, January 30, 2009

Joe Torre On Larry King

Just got done watching Joe Torre's interview on Larry King Live and all I have to say is man, Larry King looks a lot like a gargoyle. He's one creepy dude. As for the interview itself, I didn't get much out of it. I thought Joe did his best to answer the questions he was being asked without even answering them, specifically about breaking the clubhouse code. It also seemed like every question Larry asked was met with a somewhat contradicting response. Basically, not much came from the interview. Torre's main point was that we have to read the book to fully understand it and to get what he's trying to say. His goal in writing the book was to talk about his years with the Yankees, both the good and the bad. I can appreciate that and am still reserving judgement for when I actually read the book. I don't think this interview did anything to help Torre. If anything it hurt him a little bit but that's more the fault of CNN for not hammering him with tougher questions about people's perception of what's in the book. But that's Larry King for you. He may look like the thing from Tales From The Crypt, but he's far from scary.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Joe Torre On Larry King Live

Joe Torre's new book, "The Yankee Years", has been a hotbed of discussion amongst Yankee fans in recent days. Joe is scheduled to appear on Larry King Live tonight at 9pm EST. It should be interesting to see what Joe has to say for himself. I doubt Larry will ask him any tough questions. I'm inclined to think that all questions, whether they be from Larry, callers, or whoever, are going to be screened. As much as I'd love to see it, I don't see them backing the bus up over Torre. I hope it doesn't end up being a powder-puff piece but I have the feeling it's going to be. Only one way to find out and that's to tune in.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Moose Bashes Mo? Say It Ain't So

I was at work this morning, sifting through the comments on Jason's (from Heartland Pinstripes) guest blog at Pete Abraham's blog and a particular comment caught my eye. It mentioned Mike Mussina and it referenced comments he made about Mariano Rivera. It basically said that Moose said Mo isn't as good as he used to be. Unfortunately, some work came up so I didn't get to scour the net or the rest of the comments to find where that came from.

It was posted in an article at the NY Daily News. The article had to do with what else, Joe Torre and his book. Surprise surprise. The article was written by Mike Lupica, who I've never really liked. Moose comes into the story on page 2 of the article. I'm guessing the book talks about the collapse to the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS and it quotes Mussina:

"We were up 3-0 and Mo (Rivera) came in again with the lead and lost it. He lost it again. As great as he is, and it's amazing what he does, if you start the evaluation again since I got here, he has accomplished nothing in comparison to what he accomplished in the four years before. He blew the World Series in '01. He lost the Boston series. He didn't lose it himself but we had a chance to win in the ninth and sweep them, and he doesn't do it there. I know you look at everything (Rivera's) done and it's been awesome. I'll admit that. But it hadn't been the same in those couple of years. That's what I remember about the '04 series."

Let's break that quote down, my comments are bolded.

  • We were up 3-0 and Mo (Rivera) came in again with the lead and lost it. He lost it again. True.
  • As great as he is, and it's amazing what he does, if you start the evaluation again since I got here, he has accomplished nothing in comparison to what he accomplished in the four years before. Hard to argue with that considering the Yankees haven't won the World Series since 2000. Mo was invincible in that run and as Moose points out in the next part of the quote, Mo wasn't as invincible since Moose joined the team.
  • He blew the World Series in '01. He lost the Boston series. He didn't lose it himself but we had a chance to win in the ninth and sweep them, and he doesn't do it there. It's hard to argue with that. I know it's a team game but when Mo came in during the World Series run, the game was over. Mo did blow the lead in 2001, something he had never done. Mo also blew it in 2004.
  • I know you look at everything (Rivera's) done and it's been awesome. I'll admit that. But it hadn't been the same in those couple of years. That's what I remember about the '04 series. Again, it's hard to find fault with that statement. Mo was and still is awesome. But in 2001 and again in 2004, he wasn't the Mo from before Moose made it to NYC.

I know some people think I'm biased to Moose. But come on. If anyone out there really thinks Mike was bashing Mo with his comments, I'd like to know why. I definitely don't read it that way. All Moose is saying is Mo was automatic before the 2001 World Series and he hasn't been since. I don't think he's bashing Mo. He's merely stating his opinion, which I find to be deeply rooted in fact. Mo hasn't been as automatic since 2001. He did blow the 2001 World Series. He did blow game 4 of the 2004 ALCS. Pre-2001 Mo wouldn't have done that. That's all Moose was saying.

So, Moose bashes Mo? It ain't so.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Joe Torre Needs To Stuff A Sock In His Pie Hole

OK, maybe the title of this post is a little harsh, and to be completely honest with you, I don't really feel that way. The title was meant to elicit a reaction and pique your interest so you'd want to read it, which is pretty much what's been happening the last few days with Joe Torre's (and Tom Verducci's) soon-to-be released book, "The Yankee Years", available February 3rd at book stores everywhere. I don't put too much stock in anything that's been leaked. That's what happens. They leak a little bit of info to whet the appetite, everyone starts talking about it everywhere, and then it's at the top of the bestseller list.

Until I read it for myself and see exactly what's printed and in what context it's used, I won't have a real opinion on it. For all I know, I'm going to open it up, turn to the part where it mentions that some Yankees called Alex Rodriguez "A-Fraud" and find that it's used in a light-hearted context. Something like, "the guys used to tease Alex and call him A-Fraud because he had frosted blond tips." To me, that's not so bad. Now, I highly doubt that's what it says but again, haven't read the book, so how do I know? The book is 477 pages long. I guarantee that about 450 of those pages are all positive. I'm sure there will occasionally be a little nugget of negativity, but if you're expecting the book to be nothing but Torre ripping the Yankees, I think you'll be disappointed.

What surprises me the most about this is the timing. I'm a little surprised that Joe didn't wait until he was done managing for the book to come out. In all likelihood, this is probably his last season and maybe he doesn't give a crap. But if I'm a member of the Dodgers organization, whether it be on-the-field or off, I'd be scratching my head wondering if he's ever going to open up his trap about his time with the Dodgers. I'm also a little surprised that Joe is talking about what went on in the clubhouse. He always struck me as the type of guy who believed what happened in the clubhouse, stayed in the clubhouse. Isn't that pretty much how it goes? An unwritten rule maybe, but I'm pretty sure it's a code that most of them go by.

The book drops a week from today and I'm definitely going to buy it, likely the day it's released. I'll admit it. My interest is piqued and I want to read it for myself before i hear about it from everyone else. I can't wait to get my hands on it and see what Joe really has to say. I have a feeling I'll definitely be blogging a little about it.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, January 26, 2009

Pettitte Is Back In The Fold

In what could be the last move the Yankees make this offseason, the Yankees and Andy Pettitte have agreed to a 1-year deal, reportedly for a guaranteed 5 and a half million dollars plus incentives, which could bring the total deal up to about $12 mill.

I have mixed emotions about the signing, but only because of how long it took Pettitte to realize that he wasn't worth nearly as much as he thought he was. I am pleased that he's back at the terms listed above. $5.5 million doesn't impact the payroll too much and it will likely still come in under what it was last year. And if Andy can pitch like he thinks he can, he'll get the money he was looking for. I'm glad the Yankees are making him earn it. After his abysmal 2nd half last year, he needs to reprove himself, at least he does in my eyes. I still think a lot of the team's 2nd half meltdown had a lot to do with Andy. I know he only gets the ball once every 5 days, but what he did on the days he pitched didn't do anything to help the team. He flat out sucked.

This signing basically completes the rotation and pretty much puts an end to any other signings. We're looking at an Opening Day rotation of CC Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain, and Andy Pettitte. Not too shabby. I'd put it up there as one of the best in the league. You can never have enough starting pitching. The Yanks will have a few arms waiting in the wings in Phil Hughes, Alfredo Aceves, and even Ian Kennedy If they decide to go forward with having Phil Coke work out as a SP, he's an option also. That's a lot of depth and that's good. Joba isn't going to start 30 games so they'll need someone to fill those innings.

Pitchers and catchers in a little more than 2 weeks. Baseball is almost back folks. Baseball is almost back!

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pics Of Mussina Dinner Swag

Here are some pictures of the things I picked up on Saturday at Mike Mussina's fan club dinner. To read a recap of the dinner, check out my previous entry.
A 2009 magnet schedule
A Nike water bottle, napsack, and some sports bands

The table's centerpiece, a piggy bank full of candy

The bank's booty

The logo on the fleece pullover given to all fan club members

2 signed baseballs

The new gem of my collection, can't wait to have him add his induction year

The thank you note attached to the centerpiece.

No Mike. Thank you. It was truly a pleasure watching you pitch and I look forward to seeing you in Cooperstown.


Dinner With Moose

I'm back from my road trip to Williamsport, PA, where I attended the 16th and final Mike Mussina Fan Club Appreciation Dinner. Like last year, which was my first time attending, I had an absolute blast. A good time was had by all.

The day kicked off at 9am when I left Buffalo with my friends Dan and Joe. According to Yahoo Maps, we had about a 4-hour drive ahead of us. We made great time as we rolled into Williamsport at about 12:30. The doors to the dinner didn't open until 4pm, so we decided to go to our hotel to see if we could check in early. As we approached the hotel, I saw one of the most beautiful sites I had ever seen sitting in our hotel's parking lot, a Sheetz gas station. Aw yeah. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of visiting a Sheetz, it is one of the greatest places on Earth, solely because it has the best food on the planet. Anytime I pass one, I have to stop and grab something to eat. There is one in Scranton, PA and anytime I travel to the Bronx for a Yankee game, I stop there on the way down and on the way back. I love the food that much. So of course, we popped into Sheetz before checking in. I ordered a bag of fryz and a burger cordon bleu on a pretzel roll. It was absolute heaven. After finishing that glorious meal, I quickly began thinking about eating there again after Moose's dinner.

We checked into the hotel, an Econolodge, at about 1:15 or so. Dan hung out in the hotel lobby and took advantage of the free wi-fi. Joe hung out in his room. I hung out in mine and Dan's, watching reruns of iCarly, killing time until about 2:45, when we left for the Genetti Hotel, where the event was being held.

We got to the Genetti at about 3pm, an hour or so before we could even get in. There were already 4 or 5 people ahead of us. Seating at the dinner is first-come first serve, and the best way to ensure you get to sit up close to moose is to get there early. At about 3:15, there were about 40 or so people in line so we made it there at just the right time. We spent the hour chatting with an older couple that was in line just front of us. What's weird is that it was the exact same couple that was right in front of us last year. We remembered them. They remembered us. That made the time go a little faster.

4pm rolled around before we knew it and we quickly went inside and grabbed a table right up front, a little to the right of the head table. When you first walk in you get your first treat of the night, a little gift bag of sorts. This year's bag had in it a 2009 Yankees magnet schedule (with Moose and Molina on it), a Nike napsack, some Nike sports band, a Nike water bottle, and a picture of Moose, which is kind of like a custom 8x10 that they created. The head table was adorned with all sorts of Moose memorabilia. He had a ball from each one of his wins last year. He had the glove he used in each one of his wins. He had the ball from his last pitch ever in Fenway. He had the ball from his last strikeout. He had Jose Molina's glove, which was signed by Jose. He had a signed ball/glove that Jamie Moyer sent him in response to Hank Steinbrenner's comments about Moose after the 2007 season. For those that don't remember, Hank said Moose needed to learn how to pitch like Jamie Moyer. He also had his first ever glove used in the majors, the first jersey he ever wore as an Oriole, the jersey from his last home start in Yankee Stadium, as well as his Yankee Stadium clubhouse chair. The coolest stuff though were some of the t-shirts that Moose wore under his jersey throughout the years. My favorites were a Sanford & Son t-shirt, as well as a Captain America t-shirt, which Moose said he busted out for all big games. It was all very cool.

At 5pm, the event started, and it was kicked off by an introduction from Mike's brother Mark. Before he talked about Moose's season and his career, they showed a 3-minute clip of photos from Moose's career set to the song "My Way" by Frank Sinatra. The video was created by Shelley, who runs a Moose fan site/discussion board called the Moose Lodge. Shelley and Doris (a poster at the Moose Lodge), then presented Mike with a gift, a framed Wheaties box with Moose's photo on it and something else I couldn't make out. Moose was grateful and in return gave each one of his game-issued gloves. They were floored to say the least. His brother Mark then made his opening comments, then the mic got passed to Moose for a Q&A. Moose did a Q&A for about 45 minutes to an hour. Prior to the start of the Q&A, they asked a trivia question, where the winner would get a signed Mike Mussina bat. The question was: name all of the players Moose played with in both Baltimore and New York. People had until after dinner to submit their answers. I totally blanked and knew none. But more on that later.

The Q&A was pretty interesting. People asked all sorts of questions. Unfortunately, I don't really remember many of them. My friend Dan asked about what the conversation on the mound was like after he got hit by the line drive in his 19th win. Moose said he had to convince Gene Monahan to leave him in the game by letting him throw 2 pitches. The rest of course is history. Joe, a Moose dinner virgin if you will, asked what Moose's favorite road city was and why. Moose answered Chicago, but only after commenting that he seems to get that question every year. Some other answers that I recall are, he didn't take the flagpole, he's not really missing the game, and I kind of get the feeling that if he gets inducted into the HOF, he'd prefer to go in as a Yankee. At least that's what I took away from it.

The Q&A ended at about 6pm and it was time for dinner. Dinner was a nice healthy portion of chicken parm. It was good, but it was no Sheetz. As I mentioned earlier, they asked a trivia question to see who could name all of the players that played with Moose in both Baltimore and New York. People had until after dinner to submit their answers. Dan had put together a nice list of about 10 or so, but unfortunately had 1 wrong, and finished 1 behind a kid from our table who had 10. Lucky jerk. There were 11 players in total and they were: David Dellucci, Al Reyes, Karim Garcia, Sidney Ponson, Scott Erickson, David Wells, Buddy Groom, Armando Benitez, Jesse Orosco, Todd Zeile, and Kevin Brown. Dan didn't have Reyes and Groom on his last, but had Luis Polonia, which was incorrect. I thought he had it for sure and was a little irked we missed out.

Once that piece of business was out of the way, they raffled off a bunch of stuff. The raffle started with about 35 signed Moose baseball cards. We didn't win. After that, he raffled off about a dozen or so signed baseballs (all signed by Moose, all were Yankee BP balls. We again didn't win. They then raffled off a signed team ball, a signed ball by Reggie Jackson, and a signed ball by Mariano Rivera. We struck out there also. Lastly, they raffled off about 5 signed Moose bats. Swing a miss. For the second year in a row we came up losers. Last year, people at our table won a signed bat and also tickets to the home opener. This year, our table won 2 signed cards, the Reggie Jackson ball, and the trivia contest. 4 people at our table didn't win anything, 3 of which were us. Bummer. I did win the table's centerpiece. Every table has a centerpiece and they give it away every year. The winner this year was the person whose birthday was closest to Moose's 20th win. Last year, it was whose birthday was closest to Mike's. I won that also. This year's prize was a baseball bank that is about the size of a basketball. In the bank was about 24 different candy items. My pregnant wife was happy to hear that.

The evening concluded with an autograph session. Moose pretty much sat at his table and signed 2 autographs for each person there. So he probably signed about 500 or so autos. I think that alone took almost 2 hours. My friend Dan was only looking to get a ball signed so he used his 2nd ticket on a 3rd thing of mine. I ended up having Moose sign a Rawlings Gold Glove baseball (inscribed with 7x--which is the # of GGs he won), a Yankee final season baseball (inscribed with his career record of 270-153 and his record from last season which was 20-9). My third item, which has instantly become the gem of my collection, was a signed Yankees home jersey. He signed his name on the "5" and also inscribe some stats for me on other parts of the jersey number. It looks awesome. I'll post pictures of that and everything else I got from the event later. That reminds me. Every fan club member was also given a fleece sweatshirt, which was had a little something-something embroidered on the left breast. It was a pretty nice parting gift if I must say.

After we left, which was about 9pm, the three of us went into the hotel lounge and had some adult beverages. We hung out there for a few hours and then went back to our hotel. When we got back, Dan and I dropped our stuff off in our room and headed to Sheetz. Joe skipped Sheetz and went to his room. We took the Sheetz to go (I had a 6-inch steak sub and onion ringz) and when we got back, Joe was standing outside his room with the front desk clerk. Apparently, his door wouldn't open with his key or the master key. It was about 5 degrees outside so it wasn't the best night to get locked out of your room. The lock to the door had apparently frozen shut. The maintenance guy got it open by taking a blow torch to it for about 2 minutes. The hotel ended up refunding Joe the room cost. At least they made things right.

We left Williamsport at about 10am, stopping of course at Sheetz for breakfast. God, I love that place. This time I went with 2 breakfast burritos. They were so good. And that ladies and gentleman was my trip. It was definitely a great time. Much fun was had by all. If you made it thru this rather lengthy post, I applaud you. I'll post some pictures later of all the stuff. Feel free to check back. It should be up later tonight or possibly tomorrow.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Saturday, January 24, 2009

On The Road Again

Greetings from the road everyone. This post comes courtesy of my friend Dan's Blackberry, so forgive me if it's all whacked out.

Right now we're in a car travelling south to Williamsport, PA, headed to Mike Mussina's annual fan club dinner. Every year Moose invites his fan club members to his hometown for dinner, a Q&A, and an autograph session. Last year was my first time attending and it was a blast. I've been waiting all winter for today and am excited it's finally here! I'll be back tomorrow with a full recap so check back if you're interested.

Blogging on a Blackberry is tough. For some reason it's hurting my shoulders? Weird.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday Boogie Down

Please forgive my absence over the last week or so. I haven't really been in the blogging mood lately. I'm just not feeling it at the moment and that has more to do with the lack of Yankees news more than anything else. All has been quiet since the Teixeira signing. Spring Training is quickly creeping up on us so the regular blogging will pick up shortly. Pitchers and catchers report in just over 3 weeks! I could talk about the WBC but I was waiting for my tickets to show up before I got into that. If anything Yankee-related breaks between now and then, I'll definitely be here to talk about it.

Finally, happy birthday to me. It was 3 years ago today that this blog was born. Writing this blog has become one of my favorite hobbies and it's something I really enjoy doing. It's hard to believe it's been 3 years and some 1000 or so posts. It's still mind-boggling that anybody wants to take the time to read what I write. I hope everyone has enjoyed reading it as much I have enjoyed writing it. Thank you very much for your continued patronage. It is appreciated. If anyone has feedback, good or bad, about the blog, by all means, fire away. I'm always looking for ways to improve things, and a little pat on the back never hurts either.

As always, Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Hot Stove Is Cooling Off

It's been a pretty boring new year so far in terms of Yankee news. Andy Pettitte is still floating out there. I've discussed AP many times recently and won't be doing it again unless something breaks. The only other thing really floating around out there is the potential trade of either Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher. There have been some teams mentioned as having interest (I've seen the Reds, Pirates, Brewers, Braves, Nationals) but no names are being floated around in proposed or discussed deals. So there isn't really much to discuss there either and I can't even begin to speculate on who they should ask for in return. I wouldn't mind seeing them get Jeff Keppinger from the Reds. He's pretty versatile and I think he'd fit in well as the team's utility infielder.

I definitely think one of them will be dealt before the season starts. I've read reports that the Yankees prefer Swisher to Nady, which I agree with. I've always thought of Nady as a little overrated. He's also going to be a free agent at the end of the year while Swisher would still be under contract. From what I've read, most teams prefer Swisher to Nady so who knows what Cashman will do. There's not enough room at the inn. Someone has to go and it looks like it's going to be one of them.

Other than that, there really isn't much else going on. I have a colonoscopy scheduled for tomorrow morning. My Gastroenterolgist thought I should have one because of my diverticulitis, a problem which has caused me no issues since it was diagnosed. I'm really looking forward to the "prep" work I have to do today, which is basically, spending 6-8 hours on the toilet. Yay me!

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, January 12, 2009

The 2009 HOF Class

The votes are in!

Congratulations to Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice on being elected to the HOF. Congrats gentleman. I'll see you guys in July.

Andre Dawson and Bert Blyleven fell just short. Dawson was 44 shorts shy, Blyleven 67. Maybe next year fellas. I hope you get there.

Don Mattingly picked up 64 votes, which was about 341 shy of induction. I love Donnie Baseball, but I don't think he's a HOFer. I understand the argument, and i wish I could get behind it, but I can't. It just doesn't work for me.

As I expected, there were a handful of guys who received votes that shouldn't have. Jay Bell got 2 votes. Jesse Orosco got 1 vote. Mo Vaughn got 6. Surprisingly, Ron Gant, Dan Plesac, and Greg Vaughn didn't get any. I'm sorry, but whoever gave these guys a vote needs to get their credentials yanked. There is no way you can justify giving a vote to Jay Bell. And how does Rickey Henderson only pick up 94.8% of the vote. How is he not a unanimous selection? There were 539 ballots cast so that means 28 boneheads didn't vote for Rickey.

Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


The HOF Vote

We're moments away from finding out who will make it into the HOF. The question that I have isn't who will get in with Rickey Henderson, but rather who will receive votes that absolutely shouldn't? Every year there seems to be a guy, like Walt Weiss did a year or two ago. This year's list of the undeserving in my opinion are Ron Gant, Dan Plesac, Jay Bell, Jesse Orosco, Greg Vaughn and to a slightly lesser extent, Mark Grace and Mo Vaughn. Now that's not to say that I think everyone else on the ballot deserves to be voted for, but I can understand why people might think they are HOFworthy. But the above 7? They don't deserve even 1 vote in my opinion.

If I had the luxury of casting a ballot, I would have voted for Henderson, Blyleven, Rice, Smith and Dawson. If only I were that lucky.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Andy Pettitte Needs A Reality Check

Evening everyone. Hope the last few days have been kind to you. I've been swamped at work and since work is where I usually get my blogging in, I've fallen behind this week. I had to complete performance reviews for my staff of 22. They need to be complete by Sunday and I've known this for like 2 months, but that didn't stop me from waiting until the last 3 days to get them done. That's pretty much how I roll. But they're done, my schedule is clear, and I hope to get back to blogging daily. Let's catch up shall we?

For the most part it's been pretty quiet in Yankeeland. No major news to speak of. Andy Pettitte remains unsigned and I'm still fine with that. I read a few days ago at Ken Davidoff's blog that Andy wasn't too pleased with the Yankees. In my opinion, Andy needs to get over himself. Davidoff outlines 3 "grievances" Pettitte has with the Yankees, none of which have been mentioned by Pettitte himself, but rather from "people familiar with his thinking." So take these grievances for what they are, pure conjecture. Let's look at the supposed grievances:

1. Pettitte believes that the Yankees should display more appreciation for all that he has done for them.

Andy Pettitte has certainly done a lot for the Yankees. But why does appreciation have to mean paying him more than he's worth? In my opinion, the mere fact that the Yankees even offered him a deal is appreciation enough. They don't need him. They certainly can get by without him. But they're willing to bring him back anyway. Andy should be happy that he even received an offer.

2. While the Yankees are asking that Pettitte take a pay cut, the team clearly is not hurting financially, given its large investments in Teixeira, Sabathia, and Burnett.

Andy needs to understand that baseball is a business. As nice as it would be to give him whatever he wants, that's not how it works. Andy needs to realize that the Yankees don't need to sign him and that they have/had holes that they need/needed to fill and the dollars allocated to do that for the most part are gone. The goal of a business is to make money, or in the Yankees case, not to lose as much. It's doesn't make much sense to give away the farm just because you can. A point comes where it doesn't make fiscal sense to do a deal. That point is 10 million dollars. Take it or leave it.

3. Pettitte thinks that his 2008 season wasn't as bad as the Yankees are making it out to be.

I think Andy needs to get his vision checked, or maybe inject himself with a few more vials of HGH as it's rumored to help improve one's eyesight. Andy's season was by no means horrible, but by no means was it good. It was, by and large, average. He went 14-14, which is average. His ERA was 4.54, which was above the league average. Sorry, but a pitcher who loses as many games as he wins and has an ERA higher than the league average, DOESN'T DESERVE 16 MILLION DOLLARS! It's that simple. And besides, Andy's second-half performance was a huge factor in the Yankees finishing in 3rd place. The Yankess won their first 8 games after the All-star break and were within a few games behind the Rays and Red Sox. They quickly faded and Andy's 2-7 record in his last 11 starts did nothing to help the team's chances. His line over those last 11 starts was 65 innings pitched, 87 hits, 45 earned runs, 22 walks, 51 K, and a WHIP ratio of 2.03. His ERA was 6.23 over those 11 starts. Sorry Andy, but that is pretty bad. He's delusional if he thinks he's earned a 16 million dollar payday.

I think I'm most ticked because Andy said earlier in 2008 that it wasn't about the money and that he just wanted to pitch for the Yankees. It's starting to look like it is about the money and Andy is full of crap. I can't believe I'm so worked up over something that may or may not even be true, as again, this all comes from "people familiar with Andy's thinking." But I'm inclined to believe it because he would have accepted the Yankees' offer. I had planned to also write about the Yankees reported interest in dealing Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher, but my blood pressure is a little up after ranting about Pettitte, so I'm going to save that for tomorrow.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Little Bits & Pieces OF Yankee News & Notes

There are a few minor stories that broke today:

  • Andy Pettitte has apparently rejected the Yankees offer of $10 million. I understand trying to maximize your worth, but come on Andy, wake up and smell the roses. You're not worth $10 mill. The Yanks have the options to move on without you. If you really want to pitch here, accept the deal, sign the contract, and come back to the fold. If you're the Yankees, do you bump the offer up another million or two? I don't. It should be perfectly clear to Andy that $10 million is the offer, take it or leave it. They don't need necessarily need him. Sure, it doesn't hurt to have another veteran arm on the team, but if he wants to walk, let him. I hope the Yankees don't cave.
  • The Yankees DFA'd Shelley Duncan today. Oh well. There really wasn't any room for him anyway. Good luck Shelley. I'll miss your youthful exuberance.
  • According to Pete Abraham, via Sam Borden, the Yankees told 26 year old lefty, Phil Coke, to prepare to work as a starter during spring training. Don't read too much into that. It's more of an insurance policy than anything else. It's easier to prepare to be a starter and end up relieving than the other way around. This was the plan a few years back for Scott Proctor. If anything, it gives the Yanks another option for the 5th spot in the rotation. You can't go wrong with that.
  • Also according to Pete Abraham, again via Sam Borden, the Yankees signed RHP Jason Johnson to a minor-league deal. He's a bum with a career W-L record of 56-100 and a career ERA of 4.99. It might as well have been Sidney Ponson and Lord knows, we don't really need another Sir Sidney floating around. But again, Johnson is another option. The competition might be good for the other youngsters up for that 5th spot.
  • A couple of ex-Yanks found, or are close to finding, new homes today. The Giambino is all but back in Oakland. Giambi is about to ink a deal worth $4 million per year, far shy of the $23.5 mill he banked last season. That's quite the pay cut. I applaud Jason for realizing what he's worth and not trying to break the bank again. Jason has always been a stand-up guy. Kudos to him. And then there's Carl Pavano. He signed with Cleveland for a reported $1.5 million. As bad as he was for the Yankees, that's a steal if you ask me. A lot of the higher-paid starters get paid more than a million bucks per win. I'd have to think Carl can pull out two wins. It's a nice low-risk, high reward signing. Best of luck to the both of them though I hope Pavano falls flat on his face.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Mark Teixiera Press Conference

I've got the Mark Teixiera press conference playing on my XM Radio. Here are some things I took away from it, with some of my comments bolded/italicized.

  • Hal Steinebrenner said he and his family are committed to investing and reinvesting in the Yankees to guarantee they put the best possible product on the field. 1000 times thank you. God bless you guys for continuing to try to win year after year.
  • Brian Cashman presented Teixeira's wife, Leigh, with some roses. Aw, how cute.
  • Joe Girardi can't wait to pencil his name into the lineup. I can't wait either.
  • Mark's will wear #25. Order your jerseys now folks.
  • Mark is excited his family is close by and can come see him more often
  • He doesn't think he's reached his potential yet. I hope he's right.
  • Mark and his wife decided two weeks before Christmas that he wanted to play for the Yankees. He said his wife wanted him to be a Yankee. Maybe we should all send her roses?
  • He feels blessed to be a part of the first season of the new Yankee Stadium.

XM didn't broadcast the whole press conference. At least I don't think they did. They carried the 1st 20 minutes of it, which is about how long a segment is. So that's all I've got. I'm sure the conference will be broadcast in its entirety on the YES Network. Maybe they'll post the audio from it on the Yankees multimedia website. If they do, I'll link to it here.

Man, I can't wait until pitchers and catchers report!!

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, January 5, 2009

Back To The Daily Grind

Greetings my fellow Yankee fans and readers of the blog. Welcome to 2009. I hope you all had a great holiday season. I know I sure did. I took a rather long and well-deserved vacation from work. I'd been off since December 23rd. Today was my first day back to the grind. And I pretty much hated it. I know a lot of people would be bored out of their minds if they stayed home and did nothing all day. Not this guy. I love just sitting around and doing nothing. Well, I shouldn't say that. I love sitting around and not having to work. If only I could retire. I spent most of my downtime playing Rock Band 2. I don't have the full band game otherwise my wife would probably go crazy from the drumming. Strumming along on the fake guitar, that's OK. Wailing away on the fake drums into the wee hours of the morning? That wouldn't go over quite well. It's still a lot of fun.

I pretty much removed myself from baseball for the last week and a half. I figured there was no better time. Most of baseball shuts down for the last 2 weeks of the year anyway. I checked in online everyday to see what was happening and not much went down. I was excited for the launch of the 24-7 MLB Network. I could probably watch that station all day and all night once baseball season starts. Right now though there seems to be way too much Red Sox programming on. If I have to see the 2004 World Series film one more time I'll probably puke. All in all though, big fan. Two thumbs up.

Tomorrow, or today depending on when you read this, is the Mark Teixeira press conference. I'm still overjoyed that the Yankees pulled that off. I feel more confident about the Yankees chances to win their 27th World Championship this year than I have in quite some time. Everything fell right into place this offseason. The only real question that remains is what will happen with Andy Pettitte. There hasn't been anything substantial reported on Andy lately. Depending on who you read, you get a differing of opinions. Some say Andy's return is inevitable. Some say his return is unlikley. Personally, I like Andy and all, but the time has come to part ways. His glory days are behind him and I think the Yanks are best suited by giving the ball to Phil Hughes and/or Alfredo Aceves. The Yanks should be able to survive with that tandem filling the 5th spot in the rotation. Then again, most people said that last year about Hughes and Ian Kennedy and look where that got us. Though it's unlikely in my book, I suppose it's possible that Andy could have a bounce back season a la my man Mike Mussina. Again, that's unlikely. I think the Yanks should just hold onto their money, thank Andy for the years of service, and tell him they'll see him at Old Timer's Day. I think the roster is pretty good just the way it is right now.

Actually, now that I think about it. There's another question that remains: Which OF is on the outs? Nady, Matsui, Damon, Melky/Gardner, Swisher. 4 guys for 2 spots if you count the DH. I have to think someone will be gone by Opening Day. I'm not sure who I'd deal. Nady's salary is pretty low. Same with Swisher. Damon is in the final year of his deal but is coming off a pretty good season and is our best option for a leadoff hitter. Matsui swings a good stick and hits from the left side and provides good balance to the lineup. Eeenie meenie mynie moe, I choose.....I don't know. If you put me on the spot and demanded an answer, I'd say Swisher or Matsui. So much for making a decision, right? In my eyes, Swisher isn't yet a Yankee, if that makes sense? And I think Matsui's best days are behind him. We'll have to see. Maybe Cashman will stand pat and keep the lot of them. Your guess is as good as mine.

6 weeks until pitchers and catchers report. Baseball will be back before we know it.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Just wanted to take a quick second to wish everyone a safe, healthy, and happy new year. May it be everything you want it to be and more. It is shaping up to be a very prosperous year for we Yankees fans. Everything is in place for a serious run at #27. On a personal note, I'm extremely looking forward to the new year as my wife and I are expecting our second Boogie Down Baby at the end of April. It's another boy, which is what we were hoping for. We wanted Cooper, the first Boogie Down Baby, to have a brother as close to him in age as possible. Needless to say, we're all very excited.

Unless anything breaks over the next few days, I'll be back to regular baseball blogging on Monday.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,