Well, new year but same old battles. With the first Yankees-Red Sox match-up scheduled for Friday, it’s time to begin my annual grudge match with Julia of Julia’s Rants. For the latest wager, the loser of Friday’s spring training game has to post a blog about the opposing team’s manager. For me, if the Yankees lose, I have to write a post about Boston manager Terry Francona. Conversely, if the Red Sox lose, Julia will be writing about Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
Of course, I have my doubts about making wagers on meaningless baseball games but I recognize that there is still pride involved for the fans associated with both teams. Alex Rodriguez may not care if the Yankees beat the Red Sox as he prepares for the season, but for the fans, it is important to win after a long off-season that saw Cliff Lee rebuff the Yanks to join the Philadelphia Phillies while the Red Sox were re-loading with the acquisitions of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez.
So, best of luck…to me! ;)
I was very pleased to hear today that A.J. Burnett‘s first outing was a successful one against the Houston Astros (he pitched two scoreless innings). Burnett is one of the keys for the season and his success or failure will go a long way toward determining the Yankees’ October fate. I really believe that new pitching coach Larry Rothschild will have a very positive influence on Burnett.
As much as I want Jesus Montero to make the Yankees as back-up catcher to Russell Martin, I am concerned what that decision would mean for current back-up Francisco Cervelli. I really enjoyed Cervelli’s energy last season. If Montero does make the Yankees, hopefully the Yankees can make a move that helps place Cervelli in his best-case scenario.
It’s been very reassuring to hear the strong impressions the young pitchers have made in camp (particularly Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos, and Andrew Brackman). While I do not expect any of the three pitchers to make the Opening Day roster, there’s no doubt that we’ll see one or more of the pitchers at some point during the season.
I hear the San Francisco Giants are looking for a way to dump starting pitcher Barry Zito. Of course, the Yankees get mentioned regarding the topic but I’d really hope that team avoids Zito at all costs. I don’t see how the Giants can cut Zito with three years and over $50 million remaining on his contract. Regardless of what amount of salary the Giants may be willing to absorb, Zito would not be worth the risk. I’d rather see Andrew Brackman or Dellin Betances in the rotation.
Hey Julia, are you ready to absorb your first loss of the season? You’re going down, my friend. Can I get some information about Joe Girardi for you?…