Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Winn Is In, The Damon Is Out

I know I'm a day late on this. I had to be up at 5am today so I sacrificed a night of blogging for sleep. A lot going on in my neck of the woods. Job is getting busier. Trying to sell our house and build a new one. 2 kids 2 and under. Add that all up and I don't have a lot of free time. On to business.....

The Yankees have signed Randy Winn to a 1-year deal for $2 million bucks. And with that, the door on bringing back Johnny Damon, is officially closed. I'm a little bummed about that. I liked JD. I've met him a few times and I can honestly say he's one of, if not the, nicest players I've ever had the fortune of meeting. He always had a great disposition about him and would always take the time to sign some autographs and chat it up with the fans. He was a great guy. I'll miss him.

I totally get why the teams are parting ways. Johnny's salary demands just didn't make sense for the Yanks. I think JD still has a lot to offer but not at the $ figure he was looking for. Things might have been different if Johnny's agent wasn't Scott Boras. I think Scotty totally misread the market for Damon. It's going to be interesting to see where Johnny ends up and what his salary is. Sadly, Johnny is probably going to end up as the #1 loser on the offseason "winners/losers" list. He can only blame Boras for that.

At the beginning of the month, I talked about the Yankees need for a LF and one of the names I dropped was Randy Winn's. I listed the 18 LFs that were still on the market, and here's what I concluded after reading the list:

If I had to pick a guy, I'd go with Randy Winn, or maybe Jack Cust. I know Cust whiffs a lot, but he gets on base and he's a lefty with a lot of power. If Cust can hit 30 bombs in Oakland imagine what he can do with the short porch in the Bronx? But his defense leaves a lot to be desired. The Yankees offense shouldn't need that much of a boost. I guess I go with defense for LF. So let me change my preference to Winn or even Garret Anderson. I can live with one of them on a one-year deal. I'd take both over Brett Gardner, though Gardner starting in LF wouldn't be the end of the world.

So I got what I wanted. I like Winn. He's definitely on the downside of his career but for the money, he's a good fit. As I wrote above, the Yankees offense isn't in need of much. Winn isn't an offensive powerhouse, but he's adequate. He had a down year in 2009 and at 35-36 years old, I'm not expecting a resurgence. I prefer him because I think of him as a solid defender. It doesn't hurt either that he can play all 3 OF positions. I know some people doubt that Winn can be an everyday player. I have those concerns as well but I think he could pull it off. It's $2mm. That works for me.

Is it time for pitchers and catchers yet??

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The OF Problems Are Solved, The Yankees Make A Deal

The Yankees today acquired OF Greg Golson from the Texas Rangers. Umm, who?

I hope this isn't their plan for LF??

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


PS- I don't really think it's their plan for LF, but if it

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Johnny Damon, Chien-Ming Wang, And Yet Another Apology

What's up gang? In what's becoming a common theme this offseason, I again must apologize for the break between posts. It's been a pretty slow couple of weeks in terms of Yankee news and talk. I don't really have an opinion on much of what's gone down. There are 2 things I'm waiting on but there's not much movement around it. I'm really dying for Spring Training to kick off so there's more to talk about. You can bet if something went down I'd blog about it, but nothing has sparked my interest. As for those 2 things I'm keeping my eyes and ears open for:

1) Left field. It looks like it's going to be Brett Gardner. I can live with that but would prefer someone else in that spot. Johnny Damon is still on the market but his salary demands are probably out of the Yankees' range. I'm sure there's a salary point where they'd snatch him up but I doubt it will get that low. Damon can't be happy with how this offseason has played out. He reportedly had a 2-yr/$20mm offer from the Yankees that he (or Boras) turned down. I think he'll be lucky to get a 1 year deal for $8mm now. Damon could end up as the offseason's biggest loser. It would be nice if the two sides could come together, but I don't see it happening. But the longer Johnny remains unsigned, I would think the chances the Yankees resign him increase.

2) Chien-Ming Wang. I'm wondering where the Wanger is going to end up. I'd love it to be with the Yankees but based on the current roster, I don't think signing him would make a whole lot of sense. The rotation is pretty much set with Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, Vazquez and Hughes/Chamberlain. They've agreed to deals with Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre. What sense would it make to sign Wang when there's nowhere for him to pitch? There's no chance he signs a minor league deal with the Yanks. Some team will offer him a major league contract. The only way I can see this happening is if the Yankees put both Hughes and Chamberlain in the bullpen or possibly if they trade Mitre and/or Gaudin, or maybe a combination of the two. I wouldn't be surprised if the Yankees deal Mitre or Gaudin, but I don't think it would be done at the expense of dealing someone to open up a spot. I would love nothing more than to see CMW wearing Pinstripes. I think his struggles have more to do with how the Yankees handled him post-injury than anything else. The Wanger won 19 games in back-to-back seasons and was 8-2 when he hurt himself running the bases. He was reportedly told not to work out his legs so had to compensate with his arm, which didn't work and is probably the main reason why he needed surgery. If he's healthy, I have no reason to believe that he wouldn't pick up where he left off before the injuries. That's the real question. Is CMW healthy? The Yankees must not be willing to risk it. Again, I'd love for it to work out, but don't see it happening.

Pitchers and catchers in about 30 days. February 17th can't get here fast enough.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

There's Still Hope Girls. Derek Jeter Is Not Getting Married

I wrote the other day about a text alert I received from ESPN telling me that Derek Jeter was getting married on 11/5/2010. I was skeptical about the report because the reported wedding date was 1)on a Friday and 2)the day after what could be game 7 of the World Series. Surprisingly, the rumor turns out to be false, according to the NY Daily News. Didn't see that coming.

So congrats boys and girls. Derek and Minka are still on the market. There's still a shot.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, January 11, 2010

Cry Me A River

Mark McGwire did steroids. Shocking, I know. I was trying to catch the interview he did with Bob Costas but it fell at an inopportune time. Bed time for the little ones. Had I been thinking, I would have DVR'd it. Had I not wanted to watch last night's episodes of Chuck and The Cleveland Show, I would have tunes into the MLB Network after the kids went to bed because I'm sure they replayed it.

I did catch about 10 seconds of it. I tried to watch it but the littlest one (he's almost 9 months) just has to watch The Wiggles as he drinks his bedtime bottle. In the brief little bit I saw, Big Mac started tearing up and Costas asked him if he was OK to continue. Seeing him get teary-eyed made me want to barf. I'm glad I had to switch the channel, even to The Wiggles, because I probably would have thrown my kids bottle at the TV.

If anybody saw the interview, let me know what you thought of it. The PR Department @ the MLB Network e-mailed out some quotes from the interview but I didn't have a chance to go through and digest them. I'm not sure I want to bother. I'm not now nor ever have I been a McGwire fan. I remember rooting against him and Sosa back in '98. Even if you remove steroids from the equation, I don't think he's a HOFer. But that's just me. If you disagree, feel free to let me know why.

Wow. Who knew Jose Canseco was the most honest man in baseball?

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Captain Takes A First Mate?

Just got a text alert from ESPN. According to the text, it's being reported that Derek Jeter will marry his girlfriend, Minka Kelly, on November 5th in Long Island. Not sure how accurate the report is as November 5th would be the day after game 7 of the 2010 World Series. Something tells me that DJ wouldn't pick that day, but who knows? If it's true, congrats to the Captain on his impending nuptials. Minka Kelly? Lucky jerk.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Yanks Sign Sergio Mitre

The Yanks signed Sergio Mitre today. To quote Adam Sandler from the movie Billy Madison (I think it was Billy Madison--maybe it was from Remote Control), whoopity-do!

I'm not a Mitre fan. He shouldn't be pitching at the major league level. I'm really going to be disappointed if Mitre is on the roster and Chien-Ming Wang signs elsewhere. Especially if the difference between what the Yankees want to pay Wang and what Wang signs for is equal to or less than the amount of Mitre's salary. The time is going to come, like it does every season, where the Yankees truck out some piss-poor SP to start some games (see Sidney Ponson). It happens every year. I'd rather see those starts go to Wang than to Mitre.

Sadly though, Wang's days with the Yanks are likely over. Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, Vazquez, Hughes/Chamberlain equals no room at the inn. I don't see CMW signing a minor-league deal. So unless a spot opens up (trade Joba), I think we've seen the last of CMW in pinstripes.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I Can Only Say, Wow

The BBWAA has struck again. The baseball writers had a huge fail today, electing only Andre Dawson to the HOF. Wow. I thought for sure that Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar were shoe-ins. Both were close. And I mean close. Blyleven missed by 5 votes. Alomar missed by 8. Wow. I didn't see that coming. I'd have to think both are in next year, but with the BBWAA, you never know.

And as expected, some boneheads out there cast votes for guys that are so undeserving. Robin Ventura = 7 votes. Ellis Burks = 2 votes. Eric Karros = 2 votes. Kevin Appier = 1 vote. Pat Hentgen = 1 vote. David Segui = 1 vote. David Segui? Really? Wow.

It's a sad day for baseball. A sad day indeed.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


HOF Vote Announced Today

Later today, at 2pm EST, the BBWAA will announce who, if anyone, was inducted into the HOF. If I had a vote, I would have voted for the following:

Bert Blyleven
Andre Dawson
Roberto Alomar
Barry Larkin

I think Alomar is a shoe-in and I have a feeling this is Bert's year. I'm not sure Larkin will get in on his 1st ballot and I think Dawson is probably a year away. For my money, they all should be inducted.

As is the case every year, some writers will cast votes for guys that shouldn't receive any votes. If a writer casts a vote for any of the following guys they should have their voting privileges taken away:

Kevin Appier
Andres Galarraga
Pat Hentgen
Mike Jackson
Eric Karros
Ray Lankford
Shane Reynolds
David Segui
Robin Ventura
Todd Zeile
Andy Ashby
Dave Burba
Fernando Vina

Maybe Galarraga shouldn't be on that list. I wouldn't vote for him but I can see him getting a few votes, not enough to keep him on the ballot. Everyone else is a guaranteed one and done.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, January 4, 2010

Long Time, No Blog, Let's Talk LF

Greetings and salutations. I hope everyone out there is doing well and had a great holiday season. My apologies for not posting in a while. I basically shut it down for the holidays. It was nice to get a break. I certainly would have blogged had anything gone down but it's been pretty quiet out there in the Yankees Universe. Nothing is really going down. It's quiet. Almost too quiet.

I was expecting the Yankees to have signed a LF but I guess that's not a priority. I thought for sure Johnny Damon was coming back after the Yankees dealt Melky to the Braves. Now I think the odds of that are slim. It makes sense to me that Johnny hasn't signed with anyone yet. JD stands to make a little more dough once Matt Holliday signs as he'll be the best available player on the market. That should increase his value, albeit not by much. I'm curious to know if the Yankees have had any recent discussions with Damon and his camp about anything, or if that door is truly closed. I heard an interview with Cashman on XM Radio before Christmas and when he commented on Damon he kind of left the door open. When asked about Damon, Cash said something along the lines of, "we've had a good run so far." The quote isn't dead on but I distinctly remember him using the words "so far." That to me says the door isn't closed, though it's probably not open too wide.

Cashman has also said that the team isn't going to be sending any big money guys. That would rule out Matt Holliday. Mark DeRosa has signed with the Giants. Marlon Byrd is signing with the Cubs. The pickings are getting slimmer. MLBTradeRumors has a list on their site of the available free agents. There are currently 18 LFs still on the market:

Garret Anderson (38) - Type B, not offered arb
Marlon Anderson (36)
Emil Brown (35)
Jack Cust (31)
Johnny Damon (36) - Type A, not offered arb
David Dellucci (36)
Cliff Floyd (37)
Jonny Gomes (29)
Matt Holliday (30) - Type A, offered arb
Reed Johnson (33)
Greg Norton (37)
Wily Mo Pena (28)
Jeremy Reed (29)
Gary Sheffield (41)
Cory Sullivan (30)
Fernando Tatis (35) - Type B, not offered arb
Marcus Thames (33)
Randy Winn (36) - Type B, not offered arb

Not too many names that get me excited. I don't think the Yanks are looking to lock up anyone long-term. Carl Crawford hits the market next year and the Yanks are going to definitely be major players for his services. There are some guys listed above who I'm sure would be a suitable place-holder for 1 year. Again, none jump off the page at me. Whoever it ends up being, if it's anyone, has to be better than Brett Gardner. If I had to pick a guy, I'd go with Randy Winn, or maybe Jack Cust. I know Cust whiffs a lot, but he gets on base and he's a lefty with a lot of power. If Cust can hit 30 bombs in Oakland imagine what he can do with the short porch in the Bronx? But his defense leaves a lot to be desired. The Yankees offense shouldn't need that much of a boost. I guess I go with defense for LF. So let me change my preference to Winn or even Garret Anderson. I can live with one of them on a one-year deal. I'd take both over Brett Gardner, though Gardner starting in LF wouldn't be the end of the world.

So let's check the pulse. Who do you want in LF? You OK with Gardner? Want them to bring back Johnny D? Go big or go home and get Holliday? Play the role of GM. What do you do?

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


PS- If you've sent me an e-mail over the last few weeks I'll be getting to that shortly. Thanks for your patience.