Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nine More Outs Invades Pittsburgh

Some of you may remember way back when, April 3, 2009 to be exact, I shared with you a hilarious video from Nine More Outs. Quick recap: 3 friends go to a baseball game and pretend to be super-fans of the home team. They videotape their shenanigans and hilarity ensues. They refer to it as their Stadium Schmadium tour. Their first stop was Toronto. The 2nd leg of the tour took them to PNC Park in Pittsburgh. They say sequels aren't normally better than the originals. With these guys, the 2nd go around is better than the first.

My favorite part of this stop is the introduction of a new Pirates mascot, Pierre Belligerent Buccaneer. He's a , well, you'll have to see for yourself. Any mascot that drinks booze, grans butts, and picks fights with the other mascots is good in my book. I don't want to spoil any more of the video. You'll have to check it out for yourself.

Here's the clip, a link to it on YouTube, a link to their YouTube page, and a link to their Facebook page. FYI: It looks like their next stop is Fenway Park. Can't wait for that.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Running Low On Cash, Man

I've got to admit it. I am beyond baffled at the number of Brian Cashman haters that seem to be out there. No matter what he does Brian Cashman can do no right. I don't get it. Message to the haters: I don't think you get it. If any of you happen across the post, I'd love to hear some sound logical arguments for the anti-Cashman perspective. Again, I just don't get it. I'm a BC supporter and will continue to be one despite the backlash.

Here's the bottom line: Brian Cashman puts together a winning ballclub year after year after year. The Yankees are 1272-830 under his watch and only twice have they won less than 94 games (hat tip to River Ave Blues via Twitter for the stat). They've missed the playoffs once and have won 4 WS titles. If not for the greatest closer of all-time blowing the save in game 7 in the 2001 WS it might be 5 titles. If not for the ALCS choke in 2004, again at the hands of the GOAT (sort-of), it might be 6 titles. The GM's job is to put together a team that can win. It's up to the guys to play their parts and execute. As we all know it often doesn't work out that way. But again, bottom line, and this really can't be disputed, the guy puts winning teams on the field every year. If you want to dispute that, be my guest. You'll fail miserably.

I think a lot of people are jumping on the Bash Cash Bandwagon because this offseason hasn't been the greatest for the Yankees. I'd argue that the offseason has been fine and the over-reaction has more to do with Yankee fans being spoiled than anything else. If you really think that the Yankees are going to sign all the top free agents, like they did in 2009 when they signed Sabathia, Burnett, and Teixeira, then you don't know baseball. I think the expectations this offseason was that the Yankees were going to sign Cliff Lee and/or Carl Crawford. As nice as that would have been, it didn't happen. And if you're blaming Cashman for those guys signing with Texas and Boston respectively, you're nuts.

If you paid any attention to the Hot Stove this offseason then you'd know that Cliff Lee was never coming to New York. There was nothing Brian Cashman could have done to make that happen. The Yankees offered him the most $$ and Cliff took less to sign with the Phillies. As for Crawford the Yankees really didn't have any interest in him. Should they have? Maybe. Do they need him? No. Cashman somehow got ripped for those guys going elsewhere. In my opinion, not his fault.

Cashman took a little heat for Kerry Wood signing with the Cubs. Like with Cliff Lee, there wasn't anything Cashman could have done to get him to sign with the Yankees. Wood took a huge pay cut and turned down more money from several other clubs to go back to the Cubbies. Cashman took a little heat for that. I don't quite get why.

Cashman's latest move, signing Bartolo Colon, has also come with a little heat. If you're down on this move then I don't think you get baseball. It's a minor league deal. It's not meant to solve the Yankees problems. It's a no-risk signing. You hope for the best and if it doesn't work out it's no skin off their back. Think of the Red Sox signing John Smoltz a few years ago. It's a reclamation project. It's better to sign the guy and see what he has then to not even take a look.

It's apparently Brian Cashman's fault that the Yankees rotation is in shambles. It's not his fault that Andy Pettitte still hasn't decided if he's going to play or not. If he comes back then the Yankees virtually have the same rotation that took them to the ALCS last year. If Pettitte retires then there's a problem. But if you consider the 2011 free agent market there wasn't exactly a lot out there other than Cliff Lee. They reportedly made an offer to Carl Pavano for crying out loud. That's how bad it was. The only other option is to explore the trade market.

If you think Brian Cashman hasn't checked in with other teams on their top quality starting pitchers than I don't think you get it. Making trades in real-life is not like making trades on a video game. It's not as easy as that. Cashman has been smart not to mortgage the farm and overpay for major league ready talent. Listen, I'm all for trading prospects for proven talent, but only in a fair deal. It's not a wise baseball move to trade all of your top prospects for 1 guy. It's all about giving up fair value. I think people are quick to bash Cashman for some of the deals he hasn't made. Sometimes though, those are the best moves a GM makes. Just think, if Cash made all the moves people have wanted him to, the Yankees wouldn't currently have Phil Hughes or Robbie Cano. They'd also have Johan Santana instead of CC Sabathia. In hindsight, great job by Brian for not making those deals. And yes, not every move works out. That's how it is for every team though.

Yankee fans are spoiled. It's all about winning now and worrying about the problems next year. Who cares about the farm system? Trade them all and sign the big free agents. As we've learned this offseason you don't always get to sign the best players on the market. Uh oh. What do we do now? Turn to the farm and hope you either have guys that can fill in or guys that you can possibly deal for someone without overpaying. The Yankees farm system was just ranked the 11th best by Keith Law @ ESPN and 5th best by CBS Sports. Remember when the Yankees farm system was one of the worst? It wasn't long ago. Cashman gets no love for building that up while continuing to put a winning big league team on the field. Kudos to you BC.

Continuing to strengthen the minors is one of the reasons why he wasn't in favor of signing Rafael Soriano. Personally, I'm glad the team signed Soriano but I get why Cashman didn't want to. He wasn't signed to what I would call a very smart contract. There were a lot of RPs that signed for less and would have been equally as serviceable. This might be the one area I'd give Cashman a little heat for.

Recently, Cash has also taken a little heat for some comments he made at a radio-sponsored "breakfast" regarding Derek Jeter. Cashman basically said he'd be surprised if Jeter lasted the four years of his contract at shortstop and a move to the OF was possible. Personally, I see nothing wrong with the comments. Everybody complains that Jeter is the worst defensive SS in the game. Is it safe to assume that four years from now he's going to be even worse? Absolutely. It's logical thinking, from a baseball perspective, that a move to the OF is possible (see Robin Yount). I don't think Cashman was saying anything derogatory about the Captain and I think this is a non-story that became a story when it shouldn't have. I think a lot of it is open to interpretation and I question the reading comprehension skills of people that took it as a slam. That's my take on it.

Cashman has also gotten some heat from people for some off-the-field events he took part in. People bashed him for rappelling down the side of a building while dressed like an elf as part of a holiday event. Really? Why should that matter to anyone? What really blows my mind is that he gets trashed for tending bar at a charity event. Let me get this straight. The guy gives up his free time, for charity, and that's a bad thing? What the eff. That's a little ridiculous. I could go on and on about this but I'm going to let one of my tweeps, Chris aka SimplySmoov, do the talking for me over at his blog, The Gospel of Smoov. You can read his rant here. For another good pro-Cashman read, you can also check out a post that another tweep of mine, NYYEric, wrote as a guest post on a blog of another tweep, The Stace. Twitter. If you're not using it you're missing out.

Wow, that took a while to write. I think that this will hit home with the logical and smart baseball fans. The ones that get it. Brian Cashman has done a pretty damn good job as the GM of the Yankee in my opinion. I have 100% confidence that he is going to do everything in his power to build a winner. He does it every year.

Peace, love & Pinstripes,


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baseball & The Boogie Down Turns 5

It's really hard to believe that 5 years ago today I started writing this Yankee blog. My how the time flies. It certainly hasn't felt like five years that's for sure. It still boggles my mind that anyone wants to read my thoughts and opinions. Over the 5 years I've had visitors from 125 countries/territories. Unreal. There are a lot of Yankees fans out there to say the least.

What I find to be one of the craziest things is that when I started writing this blog I didn't have any kids and none were on the way. Now I have 3. Needless to say they consume a lot of my time and they're definitely the biggest reason I have such high periods of inactivity. I almost hung up my spikes a few times but I've kept plugging along. And that's what I plan to keep doing. I may not fire off post after post. But you can sure bet that if I have something to say about the Yankees, I'll say it.

I've said several times throughout the years that the one thing I don't want this blog to be is a source for news. You guys can get that anywhere. I typically won't post something unless I have opinions to go with it. I've see many a blog over the years that just mention something that happened, like a free agent signing, and that's it. There's nothing behind the post. Not that there is anything wrong with it but it won't happen here. I don't blog for the purpose of picking up page hits.

This blog may not be the best. It may not be the biggest. It may not be the most active. I have to think though that I'm one of the older, and still (somewhat) active, Yankee blogs out there. From what I remember, there weren't a lot of us 5 years ago. There was a decent amount but a lot of them have moved on. I have no plans to do that. Where was I going with that? Lost my train of thought. Anyway.....

Thank you to everyone who's taken the time to stop by and check the site out, send me an e-mail, or even follow me on Twitter. I appreciate, and will continue to appreciate, your time. Comments are always appreciated as well as any feedback on the blog itself. If you have thoughts on what you think could make the blog better, by all means please share. Your feedback and comments (unless it's spam) are always welcomed.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yankees Reportedly Sign Rafael Soriano, Call Me A Fan Of That

Greetings and salutations everyone. As usual, it's been awhile since my last post. It's been a pretty quiet offseason so I've been spending it with the fam. There are some things I could have blogged about but I don't want my blog to be a news source. There are enough of those sites around and I don't need to be one of those that just blogs what someone else reported on. If I have opinions and whatnot about the news, you can count on me to pop in and blog about it. Blogs, specifically fan blogs, in my opinion, should be much more than reporting news. Leave that to the pros. Having said that....

SI's Jon Heyman is reporting that the Yankees and Rafael Soriano have agreed to a 3 year deal with a reported $35 million. Based on my Twitter timeline (follow me here if you'd like) the signing comes with mixed feelings from Yankee fans. Some like the signing and some don't. I'm not overly crazy about it but I have no complaints.

Soriano gives the Yankees arguably the best back of the bullpen in baseball. Last year, Soriano and Mariano, or the "Iano Brothers" as someone, I forget who, dubbed them on Twitter, combined for 78 saves and a 1.77 ERA. Their combined line was 122.1 IP, 75 hits, 25 BB, 102 K, 0.82 WHIP and an opponents batting average around .170. Add that up and it equals lights out. If the Yankees take a lead into the late 7th/early 8th inning the game is over. It's kind of reminiscent of the Rivera/Wetteland tandem from back in the day.

They were each pretty darn good in 2009 also: 71 saves on 142 IP, 101 hits, 39 walks, 0.99 whip, OBA around .195, and an ERA of 2.41. The Yankees basically have two top of the line closers, one being the greatest of all-time, closing out their games. How could anyone dislike that?

As of now the Yankees need their bullpen to be a huge strength. Their starting rotation is in shambles and will be in shambles if Sergio Mitre is penciled in as the 4th starter. The Yanks are going to need all the help they can get in closing out games and strengthening the pen was the right move.

One of the biggest gripes I saw was about the money and the loss of the Yankees 1st round draft pick, which would have been pick #31. I have no idea why any Yankee fan would ever complain about the team spending money. It's been their M.O. for quite some time now. How can you complain about your team doing everything they can to win, including losing money year after year? And it's not like the team is broke or strapped for cash. According to a tweet from Heyman they still have about $20 million or so left in the budget. That's quite a bit to have left to spend this late in the game. Did they Yankees overpay for Soriano? Probably. But for the reasons stated above, no big deal to me.

As for the draft pick, I see the value in having it, but let's be real, a lot of first round draft picks are complete busts. Soriano is a proven talent. The undrafted prospect at #31 is just that, a prospect. It could turn out to be some bum that never sees the majors. It's been known to happen. I'll always go with the proven talent over the picks.

The most perplexing thing about this deal is the comments Brian Cashman made earlier this month about not losing the draft pick. That comment basically meant the team wasn't interested in Soriano. So the question is what happened and why did the story change? Was it a ruse by Cashman as to not tip his hand? Was he pressured into making the deal happen by Hal Steinbrenner or another high ranking official? Did Cashman finally awake from a long winter's nap and realize it was time to make a move? I'm not sure we'll ever now but I'm sure someone in the media is going to ask that question. Perhaps will know more about that in the coming days.

Another back-and-forth going on in the Twitterverse as a result of this signing is what to do with Joba Chamberlain? Some are advocating a return to the rotation. Others want him left where he is as a middle reliever. Some want him traded. I kind of fall across all 3 of those. If you read my blog frequently, and why would you when I post something once every 4-5 weeks, you know I'm not a Joba fan at all. But I'll take him over Sergio Mitre. I'm all for them swapping roles if that's the only option. If Mitre somehow gets squeezed out of the rotation by someone else (please Andy, come back) I'm all for leaving him as a middle RP or dealing him for someone with a better track record. If I had to pick one of the options I'd try and trade him. I'm just not a fan.

I'm really hoping that Andy Pettitte doesn't retire. My gut tells me he's not going to. If Heyman is right, and the Yankees really do have $20 million left to spend, who better to give it to the Andy? Come on Andy. It's yours for the taking. Please reach out and grab it. The team needs you.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, January 10, 2011

Get Your Authentic Yankee Cliff Lee Home Jersey

I'm home watching the kids today and have a little break in the action. I was looking through the MLB Extra Bases Rewards catalog online an came across something I thought was quite odd. Take a look........

It's hard to see. Sorry about that. If you can't make it out, it's a reward for an authentic NYY Cliff Lee home jersey. The item description says, "Pre-order your Cliff Lee jersey today! Jersey will ship with Lee's official # once determined by the club."
Someone was pretty confident when they added this listing, eh? I was a little perplexed when I came across it. I wonder how many people actually ordered it.
Thought it was funny. Thought I'd share.
Peace, love and Pinstripes,