What, Me Worry?…

Posada’s Shoulder

I have to admit that my biggest fear about the upcoming season is the health of an aging 37 year-old catcher’s surgically-repaired right shoulder. 

Jorge Posada sat out Saturday’s 7-3 exhibition loss to the Minnesota Twins due to shoulder soreness.  He downplayed the severity of the soreness after the game.  “I am not concerned at all.”  Posada said.  “I did something I wasn’t supposed to do and it’s sore.”

 

Courtesy Mad Magazine

Jorge is a competitive guy.  Once the regular season gets underway, he could either be tentative out of concerns for “over-doing” it or he could get caught up the heat of the moment and literally throw his shoulder out.  With Jorge’s competitiveness, I would suspect the latter to be a very real possibility. 

There is no Plan B.  Jose Molina is a good back-up but he has proven that he is not a starting catcher.  He cannot be depended upon over the long haul, nor is Kevin Cash a long-term solution.  There is hope in the farm system with Austin Romine and Jesus Montero, but neither guy is ready for major league action right now.  The Yankees need to develop a sound contingency plan for ‘what if’. 

There are other uncertain positions on the team, such as center field and right field.  But in those situations, the Yankees have choices.  If the first choice doesn’t work out, they can still fall back to the other option and should be okay.  But with catching, they have a front line starter with average, capable back up support.  Take away the front line catcher, and there’s not much left.

I am hopeful that Brian Cashman is actively working to identify a solution.  There’s is too much riding on this season to depend upon Posada’s health at this stage of his career.  Theo Epstein is in a relative similar situation in Boston as Jason Varitek’s skills are declining with age.  It will be interesting to see whether Cash or Theo is more successful at addressing their team’s needs by the the end of spring training…

Ron Gardenhire’s Comments

I saw the comments by Ron Gardenhire yesterday where he felt that the Yankees weren’t done yet.  It was an apparent, but unsaid, reference to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ inability to re-sign Manny Ramirez. 

I honestly do not believe that the Yankees will enter the mix for Manny regardless of what happens with the Dodgers.  I would really believe the Giants would sign Manny before the Yankees would.  Contrary to public opinion, even the Yankees have a budget and they’ve been affected by the poor economy like every other team. 

I think it is more imperative for the Yankees to figure out solutions for other current weaknesses on the team before they enter the fray for Manny Ramirez. 

Would I love to see Manny in the Bronx?  Absolutely.  But looking at the whole picture, it does not make sense and there are still too many shortcomings in other areas that need to be addressed.

Jim Bowden Resigns…

Jim Bowden has finally stepped down as the GM for the Washington Nationals, and it is about time.  Regardless of whether he is innocent or guilty regarding the federal government’s investigation into skimming signing bonuses, he had become too much of a distraction for the Nationals.

Haraz Ghanbari/AP

When I first heard that Jose Rijo had taken a leave of absence (later fired) regarding the bonus given to the “prospect” with the falsified age, I wondered why the GM was not being held accountable.  It seemed as though Rijo was being made the scapegoat, and that responsibility rested higher within the organization. 

It wasn’t that long ago Bowden was mentioned as a possible successor for Brian Cashman (before he subsequently re-signed with the Yanks).  Now, Bowden is most likely done depending upon how the investigation turns out…

It’s a sad situation for an organization that deserves better.

Re-tooling the Vikings…

Okay, I was a little disappointed to see the Vikings miss out on QB Matt Cassel, but I do still believe that Sage Rosenfels was an upgrade over Gus Frerotte.  Had Cassel been dealt to the Vikings, he would have been the clear starter.  Rosenfels, on the other hand, will enter camp in competition with Tavaris Jackson.  I have not heard much about John David Booty, so I don’t know how his development is coming along or if he projects to anything more than a career as a backup. 

Somehow, Vikings backup QB’s have a tendency to go elsewhere and find new life (i.e., Rich Gannon).  Tyler Thigpen, who started for the Chiefs last year, is another example, although he’s been relegated to backup status with the Chiefs’ acquisition of Cassel. 

Nevertheless, I am hopeful that the Vikings cash savings with Rosenfels (instead of pursuing someone like Cassel) allows them to re-sign C Matt Birk. 

On Saturday, owner Zygi Wilf flew a private jet to Seattle to pick up WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh who had been visiting with the Seattle Seahawks on Friday.  Although I don’t know how to say or pronounce T.J.’s name, he would be a great addition for the Vikings, and a perfect complement to WR Bernard Berrian.  T.J. would potentally give the Vikings their first 90-catch WR since Randy Moss.

Prior to the free agency period, T.J. had mentioned the Vikings as a possibility.  “If I can play with Adrian Peterson, can you imagine what I would do getting 1-on-1 coverage with Adrian Peterson?”, he said.  “I am going to win 98.6% of the time with 1-on-1 coverage with him in the backfield.”

T.J. has apparently indicated that he’ll decide by tonight whether to stay in Cincinnati or sign elsewhere.  Here’s hoping that he is wearing Purple and Gold in the not-so-distant future…

 

1 Comment

There seems to be too few quality catchers to go around. I guess this will be another battle that the Red Sox and Yankees will face. :-) I’m still coming to terms with the Patriots trading Cassel and Varbel for nothing more then the 34th draft pick. I guess I need to go and light a candle to make sure Brady is healthy and ready to play. It is making it a little difficult to “believe in” Bill.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

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