Results tagged ‘ A-Rod ’
Yankees sign top free agent…
Well, it wasn’t exactly Prince Fielder but I’ve felt all off-season that re-signing Andruw Jones was important for the 2012 Yankees. In this off-season of inactivity, I was concerned that the Yankees would let Jones slip away to a team like the Boston Red Sox or the Texas Rangers. There’s no question that Jones is NOT the player that he used to be (that’s a given), but he fills a valuable fourth outfielder role and I prefer him over Justin Maxwell, Chris Dickerson, or Melky Mesa.
When I read that the Red Sox were potentially interested in Jones, I was worried that it would drive up his price tag (which was probably the prime reason for the Red Sox “interest”). But the base salary of $2 million (with additional incentives that could push the package to $3.4 million) was very reasonable for Team Suddenly Frugal. The Yanks have a good outfield with Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher, but Jones allows the Yankees to play match-ups and move guys around. Plus, if any of the aforementioned starters spend any time on the DL, Jones is certainly a capable fill-in.
Wanted: Non-starting starting third baseman…
Now that the outfield depth has been filled, I am anxious to see what the Yankees do about the mandatory need to acquire a strong backup for third base. I remain in favor of the return of Eric Chavez, but regardless of what happens, the Yankees need a proven performer that does not weaken the team during the inevitable A-Rod absences.
Yeah, that’s the ticket…
It’s too bad that MLB teams don’t get a mulligan for bad contracts. They should give every team a one player exemption that could be called the “Stupidity Clause”. Given A-Rod’s $30 million annual salary with $5 million production, the Yankees could get a waiver for luxury tax on the bulk of A-Rod’s salary. Same goes for the Angels and Vernon Wells, the Cubs and Alfonso Soriano, or the Red Sox and Carl Crawford (although CC does have the ability to re-earn his money). It does stink knowing how much the Yankees will be paying A-Rod and Derek Jeter in several years in terms of the return. I remain hopeful that Derek Jeter will depart gracefully when he realizes that his performance is not equal to his compensation. But I know that A-Rod is into his contract for every undeserved cent.
Hats off to a rival…
In a statement of the obvious, I knew that Mark Melancon was not destined to be the closer for the Red Sox when they acquired the former Yank from the Houston Astros. This week’s acquisition of Andrew Bailey by the Sox from the Oakland A’s was a solid move. Bailey, a native Easterner, will thrive in Boston. He matches Jonathan Papelbon in ability, and exceeds him in character and integrity. The risk with Bailey is his health, but the Sox do have relievers with closing experience in Melancon and Bobby Jenks. While I don’t think that the Bailey acquisition is the big bold move I’ve been expecting from new Boston GM Ben Cherington, it is certainly one that improves the team.
Not looking forward to the day…
With the surplus of closer talent available this off-season, I hope that it is a similar environment when the ‘Greatest Closer Who Ever Lived’ decides to take his ageless arm and signature cutter home to Panama. I like Derek Jeter but I will be ready for the day when a younger, talented option becomes available. I will cry the day Mariano Rivera walks off the mound for the final time. I loved Goose Gossage as the Yankees closer, but it took so many years for an equal (or in this case, greater) replacement to emerge. There’s always been something so magical about a great closer. I grew up watching the wild antics of the Mad Hungarian, Al Hrabosky, in St. Louis, so the role of the closer became the “it” position for me at a very early age. There’s nothing better than a game-ending punch-out with high intensity.
Game plan: Success!…
Well, as 2011 comes to a close, I want to wish everyone a very Happy and Joyous New Year! May your dreams come true and your happiness reach heights never before imagined! It will be a fun and rewarding new year, and I’m glad you are here…
Life beyond 3,000 hits…
I hate to make any anti-Derek Jeter comments but I was fearful that the Yankees’ recent winning roll would get derailed by DJ’s return to the lineup. Sure, the recent losses are not his fault, but for whatever reason, the team fared better when he was out of the lineup. I didn’t like the errors made by Eduardo Nunez or Ramiro Pena, but Nunez in particular seemed to have a fresher bat.
Art by Scott Dalgleish, http://scottydal.deviantart.com/
I would like to see more batting orders in the second half of the season with Brett Gardner leading off. I suspect that will happen anyway, but Jeter is clearly the focal point of baseball right now as he approaches 3,000 hits.
Will he get those 2 hits that he needs today against the Tampa Bay Rays? He could, but I think it’s more likely that the 3,000th hit will come tomorrow. Of course, I could be completely wrong and DJ might go 0-4 both days.
Don’t get me wrong…I like Jeter and what he has meant to the organization. I will enjoy the day that they retire #2 and make the speeches at Yankee Stadium to induct a commemorative stone into Monument Park on his behalf. But as great as it is to see a player spend his entire career with one organization, I can definitely see the downside which is the deterioration of the player’s skills and ability.
Don Mattingly was in a fast decline when he retired after the 1995 season, however, I don’t think that I was mentally ready for his departure. Perhaps it was because I really wanted to see him win a championship. But with DJ, he has the championships and will soon be the only player in Yankee history with 3,000 hits. He has done everything you could ask for in pinstripes. My only request is that he steps away from the field when he realizes that his skills have eroded to the point that he is a liability. It’s not there yet, but the day is rapidly approaching. As the saying goes, time stops for no one.
A tear in the team’s hopes…
I just read that Alex Rodriguez might have a meniscus tear in his right knee which could require surgery. If Alex and the team decide now is the time for the surgery, it is speculated that he would miss a month. That’s definitely not good news as the Yankees have fallen behind the Boston Red Sox in the standings. I’d feel better if there was a healthy Eric Chavez on the roster but as it stands, it would be necessary for Eduardo Nunez to fill in at third. A-Rod’s loss definitely weakens the Yankees and it puts some pressure on GM Brian Cashman to find a replacement third baseman (in addition to his search for pitching).
I do not know the ramifications of A-Rod playing through the injury, but I hope that he takes the path that leads to good health by September. Of course, if the Yankees fall too far out, there won’t be an extended playing season this year.
What can we find at Nordy’s Rack?….
As far as moves the Yankees are looking at, it appears that there is a dearth of quality starting pitching available on the trade front. The Yankees are apparently looking at relief pitching, like many other teams. Reports have the Yankees interested in, among others, Sean Burnett of the Washington Nationals and Randy Choate of the Florida Marlins. I have liked what Choate has done since he left the Yankees as he became a very solid lefty option for the Tampa Bay Rays and now the Marlins. Burnett probably has the better potential at this point although I am not enamored by his 5.76 ERA. But ERA can be deceiving and I don’t know the reasons behind Burnett’s number as I don’t follow the Nats.
These are the times that I am appreciative that Brian Cashman is the team’s general manager. It is his job to find what ails the team and hopefully bring in the necessary chips to ensure that the team is playing meaningful baseball in October. I am full confidence in his abilities and I’d never underestimate the power of his network throughout baseball.
This month should get very interesting as the days go by…
A sad day in baseball…
I would be remiss if I did not mention the tragedy in Arlington, Texas where the fan reaching for a ball thrown into the stands by Josh Hamilton fell to his death. I have never caught a ball at a game, and I can remember as a kid how much I wanted to catch one during every visit to the old Busch Stadium in St. Louis. I can see how the ball would become your prime focus. The loss of the fan, Shannon Stone, was horrible by itself but it was made worse by the presence of his 6-year-old son. I lost my father as a child but I wasn’t there when he died. I simply cannot imagine how difficult it will be for Shannon’s son in the days and years ahead. I definitely hope that he and his family are taken care of by the Texas Rangers organization and Major League Baseball.
Now there’s talk the players could be barred from throwing baseballs into the stands (they’d have to hand the ball to a fan or hand it to an usher who, in turn, would hand it to the fan). While I am in favor of additional safety measures to prevent future unnecessary deaths like Shannon, I would hate to see the players lose the ability to toss a ball into the stands.
Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers (AP Photo)
No, really, I don’t want to go to Phoenix…
When the All-Star Team was announced, I was excited about the number of Yankees making the team. But it appears that many of them won’t be making the trip to Phoenix. First, Mariano Rivera pulled out, and now, both Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have withdrawn from the game. I am still surprised that CC Sabathia did not make the team, but then again, I am okay avoiding the added wear and tear on his arm. So, as it is, I will be cheering for Robinson Cano and Russell Martin. As for A-Rod, it is a bit ironic that his All-Star replacement would be Boston’s Kevin Youkilis. Former Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre (Texas) moves up to the starting position.
One week, everything can be coming up roses, and the next it is doom and gloom. I guess that’s just life as a Yankees fan…
Another wager, another victory!…
Yet again, my friend, Julia of Julia’s Rants, came up on the short end of our latest wager. After starting last year 0-8 against Boston, I was starting to wonder if the Yankees would ever beat the Red Sox. Since then, the Yankees have dominated the series. Regardless of the outcome of tonight’s game, the Yankees will have captured another series. Since the beginning of the season, the Yankees have only lost one series (versus the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim).
Saturday, in a nationally televised game, the Yankees beat the Red Sox 14-3. The game featured three home runs by first baseman Mark Teixeira (although I temper that somewhat by the fact that the last home run was off outfielder Jonathan Van Every who was brought in to save the arms in the pen).
CC Sabathia missed picking up the win by one out. While facing Victor Martinez, who could have been the third out of the inning, the game was interrupted by a rain delay that ended the night for CC. When the game resumed, Alfredo Aceves was on the mound and it was he who picked up the win.
The game marked several historic achievements. Teixeira is the first Yankee since Lou Gehrig in 1927 to hit at least three home runs in one game against the Red Sox. Also, catcher Francisco Cervelli, filling in for Jorge Posada, had 5 RBI’s, something that hasn’t been done by a Yankees catcher since the days of Yogi Berra.
Today, history was made in Oakland when pitcher Dallas Braden threw the first perfect game in A’s history since Jim “Catfish” Hunter did it in 1968. Given that I credit Catfish Hunter for being a Yankees fan (I rooted for the A’s as a child until Hunter signed with the Yankees as a free agent in 1974), it was rather bittersweet to see his A’s record matched by, of all people, Dallas Braden. Braden, president of the Anti A-Rod Club or so it seems, nearly walked the final batter as he worked a 3-1 count but a ground-out upheld the gem. The victory was especially sweet since it came against the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays. It was rather ironic that Braden would help the man he bitterly opposes. For the record, I was on Braden’s side of his beef with A-Rod, but Braden does need to let it go (as he made further comments about it this week). Nevertheless, congratulations to Braden for a very fine performance.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
The San Jose Sharks finally overcame their nemesis and advanced to the Western Conference Finals with a 2-1 Game 5 victory against the Detroit Red Wings. First or second round failures have become commonplace for the Sharks in recent years so hopefully the team has shaken its demons and is a collision course with the Stanley Cup. The team now awaits the winner of the Chicago Blackhawks-Vancouver Canucks series (Chicago leads 3 games to 2).
Josie Lepe/Mercury News
Back to the Yankees, they weren’t so fortunate in Boston tonight as Jon Lester was on his game and A.J. Burnett wasn’t. A.J. gave up 9 runs in 4 1/3 innings (8 earned), meanwhile, Lester went 7 innings and only gave up 4 hits and 2 runs, while striking out 7.
Bill Greene/Globe Staff
So, congratulations to Julia for her victories today (the Celtics also won), and she was right, the Red Sox avoided the sweep. But still the wager victory is mine and the series win goes to the Yankees, so until we meet again Julia! By the way, don’t you have some shopping to do?….
Somehow I knew that tonight spelled disaster with Chien-Ming Wang on the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays’ Scott Kazmir. Wang hasn’t been right for some time, and I was fearful that he’d crater in tonight’s performance…and he did…and then some…
This might be the worst Yankees performance that I’ve ever seen…well, Game 6 of the 2001 World Series was pretty bad, but still… Wang gave up a total of eight runs in one inning plus, and has a lofty ERA of 28.93.
I wonder if Brett Tomko would have given up that grand slam to Carlos Pena? Hey, it’s easy to second guess when you’re a fan!
The final score was Rays 15, Yankees 5. The 9th inning included a pitching stint by Nick Swisher, who had one of the better pitching lines of the night.
The Yankees played like little leaguers…
So, how much longer until A-Rod is ready to return? They really need to do something about third base. Cody Ransom is not the answer. Try Ramiro Pena, try Justin Leone, try Eric Duncan, try the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but Ransom’s got to go…
What can you say with a game like this? It is miserable to watch, and of course, you want to say that hopefully they’ll learn something from this impending defeat. But what? It’s a loss, and there is nothing they can do about it. The Yanks fell to 3-4, but at least Boston lost too. I don’t get mad with these types of games. The Yanks are notorious for throwing up a few clunkers each year, and this is just one of those times. You just turn around and walk away…
On the bright side, tomorrow is a new day…and A.J. Burnett will be on the mound!
DISASTERS HAPPEN IN 3′S
They always say that disasters happen in 3′s…
First, we lost promising Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart.
Now, two more legendary figures in Major League Baseball have passed away.
Shortly after lunch, word came that long-time Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas had died. He was in Washington preparing for the Phillies game against the Nationals and he collapsed in the broadcast booth. He taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Harry the K was also well known for his voiceover work with NFL Films. The name may be unfamiliar to some, but the voice was known by all. Sadly and much too soon, he’s “outta here!”…
Courtesy YouTube by Lahawk
For those who can remember 1976, who can forget the legendary antics of Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. With the curly blonde hair poking out of the Tigers hat, it became a familiar scene to see Fidrych talking to the baseball and the various other antics that he performed leading up to his pitches. None of it was contrived, and it was completely his free spirit.
Unfortunately, an accident at his Northborough, Massachusetts farm prematurely ended Fidrych’s life today. Shoulder and knee injuries prevented what could have been a great career, but for 1976, there were not many better players than Fidrych. He went 19-9 with 2.34 ERA, and had 24 complete games. That was a special season and he was so fun to watch. You didn’t have to be a fan of the Tigers to appreciate Fidrych.
The past week has been difficult, and we’ve lost three outstanding men that can never be replaced. They will all be missed…
A-ROD’S BACK ON THE FIELD
Alex Rodriguez reported to the Yankees minor league complex and participated in a 48 minute workout. He is looking to begin minor league rehab games in 7 to 10 days, and is taking one day at a time.
Courtesy The Star-Ledger
If I had hip surgery five weeks ago, I’d probably be in a little worse shape than A-Rod.
I am sure that his superior physical conditioning has aided his recovery. Hopefully, there will be no setbacks as Alex’s continues his march for the Bronx.
Mark Teixeira was also at the minor league complex receiving treatment for his sore left wrist. He had a MRI which revealed no major issues. He thinks it would be a disappointment if he’s not back on the field Tuesday night.
- The Associated Press is reporting that former Yankees pitcher David Wells has signed a multi-year deal to be an analyst for TBS. C’mon, David, tell us what’s really on your mind!
- Manny Ramirez is saying that he wants to play for the Cleveland Indians once more before he calls it a career? I bet that really endears him to the Dodger fans that have so fully embraced him despite his history in Boston. Nope, I’m not going to say it but I guess you could say that it is expected behavior.
- The speculation of Pedro Martinez to the Los Angeles Angels makes sense. When I heard earlier that he was going to sign with Baltimore, it seemed very foolish if true. Fortunately, it was not. Pedro has the luxury of picking his spot (to a degree) and he still has what it takes to help a contender. No, the years as an ace are long gone, but he’s still a competitor who knows how to win.
- Regardless of what he said about his hometown of Woodland, CA, Dustin Pedroia is not a jerk. Of course, I may feel differently after the Yankees play the Red Sox later this month. But for now, Pedroia doesn’t deserve death threats or the criticism that he’s received.
- Julia, to answer your question, Wally has been wondering what the odor is above his head! Hmmm, he had better get used to it!
The injuries have mounted for many teams this spring. We’re concerned about Joe Mauer in Minnesota (well, some of us more than others…LOL!) and Cole Hamels in Philadelphia. Justin Duchscherer of the A’s will start the season the DL after surgery on his elbow. There are too many injuries, both big and small, to count…
A review of current headlines show that the Braves’ Brian McCann is still hurting from getting hit in the ring finger by a foul pitch in yesterday’s loss to the Yankees…
…to Angels pitcher John Lackey’s stiff forearm.
We’ve seen Jason Johnson in Yankees camp be diagnosed with eye cancer in the Yankees camp, and of course both Damaso Marte and Robinson Cano came back from the WBC hurting.
But is the biggest injury in Yankees camp the hip surgery performed on A-Rod’s torn labrum earlier this month?
No, the most devastating injury in Yankees camp is…
…Derek Jeters’s pinkie!
Stop the presses!
Call the ambulance…quick! Emergency treatment is needed now!
Yankeeville hangs in the balance, awaiting news of DJ’s injured left pinkie…
Oh, he’ll play today against the Pirates?
Well, Nevermind!…as Roseanne Rosannadanna would say…
TEIXIERA AND THE YANKS
In an interview with WFAN, it appears that Mark Teixiera’s signing with the Yankees wasn’t so improbable after all. In words that are sure to infuriate both Angels and Red Sox fans, Tex clearly had the Yanks in his sights from the start.
It has been assumed that the Yankees came in with a late offer to swoop Tex away from the Red Sox. However, it appears that this was destined to happen from the start as the Yankees were apparently the only team that complied with Teixeira’s request to keep negotiations confidential.
As transcribed by Mike DiGiovanna in the Los Angeles Times:
“I always had the Yankees in my sights, and one thing my agent and I had asked every single team is, we’re not going to negotiate through the media, and we ask you not to. The Yankees were really the only team that did that. The other teams went out and told everybody their offers, told everybody that they talked to me, that they made this call, made that trip. The Yankees kept quiet. We talked all winter. When they were ready to make their final offer, it was a great offer, and my wife and I were excited about going to New York.”
Teixiera was asked about the recruiting visit made to his Texas home by the Red Sox in December, and he responded: “I think in the end, it probably worked against them a little bit, because everyone thought the Red Sox were my No. 1 choice,” Teixeira said. “… The Yankees had a leg up all along.”
Regardless of how it went down, I will be glad to see Tex standing at first base for Opening Day at the new Yankee Stadium on April 16th.
The Yankees will dedicate a new memorial for the victims of 9/11 today at Steinbrenner Field. A piece of steel from the World Trade Center ruins was used to create the memorial which depicts the Twin Towers sitting on a Pentagon-shaped foundation. The memorial sits on grass in tribute to United Flight 93 which crashed in Somerset County, PA. It is a tremendous memorial that pays a great tribute to all those who lost their lives on that fateful day, and broke the heart of a nation.
Courtesy New York Yankees
According to many articles, it sounds as though the Yankees may opt to go with Jonathan Albaladejo in the bullpen, leaving long reliever candidates Brett Tomko, Alfredo Aceves, and Dan Giese on the outside looking in. It’s unfortunate for Tomko, who has had a terrific spring, but the odds were stacked against him from the start since he is not on the 40-man roster.
I had expected the Minnesota Twins to return Rule 5 draftee Jason Jones to the Yankees, but the teams opted to swap righthanders as the Yankees received 23-year-old Charles Nolte. I don’t know anything about Nolte, but he’s three years younger than Jones. He posted a 2.05 ERA in 44 Single A relief appearances last year, and had 75 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings.
With the attention that Ramiro Pena has drawn for his fielding prowess, is this the year that the Yankees start to experiment with Derek Jeter in an occasional start in other positions, like centerfield? Given that there are other long-term solutions for centerfield to go with Brett Gardner (like potentially Jeter and the much anticipated arrival of Austin Jackson later this year or in 2010), I wonder if Melky Cabrera will become a trading chip at some point. I am still not comfortable with the thought of Cody Ransom at third.
Where’s Mike Pagliarulo when you need him?
Speaking of Pena, it sounds as though he’s beaten out Angel Berroa for the infield utility spot. I definitely feel for Joe Girardi. He has some very difficult decisions in the coming days, and they are decisions that will dramatically shape the 2009 Yankees. No pressure…
Meanwhile, I am trying to decide whether I want an apple or an orange. Man, what a tough decision!
My apologies to anyone that I might have offended with yesterday’s blog! I think I was so stunned that A-Rod would actually participate in that type of pictorial that I wasn’t thinking. He is so incredibly self-absorbed. I am shocked that he actually ever looked away from the mirror to find time to get married. I bet his daughters are jealous of the mirrors in the house.
I also thought that A-Rod left his wife because of Madonna, but I now see that it was strictly because of his love and affection for Alex.
Meanwhile, Derek Jeter continues to use words that are foreign to A-Rod…like “we” and “team”…
JULIA’S GARBAGE CAN
Not that I’d want to be caught rummaging through Julia’s (of Julia’s Rants) trash, but if I were GM Brian Cashman, I’d be all over catcher Josh Bard. Bard was released by the Red Sox today, which apparently gives George Kottaras the backup catching job behind Jason Varitek. From what I understand, Kottaras was out of options plus he is more adept at catching knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.
Bard, 30, had a productive spring in Sox camp, going 6-for-14, with one home run and 5 RBI.
Oakland also released their back up catcher and Bard’s former San Diego teammate, Rob Bowen, to give the job to a younger player, Landon Powell, so there’s certainly a few catching options to consider.
MY PRAYERS TO AARON BOONE
I was stunned to hear Aaron Boone’s announcement that he was leaving the Houston Astros to have open heart surgery and will obviously miss the season.
From what I understand, it is a congenital heart defect that Aaron has known about since college, but doctors determined after a routine physical that non-emergency surgery was necessary. This most likely means the end of Aaron’s 12-year major league career.
He wasn’t a Yankee for very long, but it was a memorable stay…
Good luck, Aaron…we wish you a successful and speedy recovery!
After the talk of whether Joba Chamberlain should start or relieve had started to die down, The New York Post ran a story this morning that the Yankees’ back up plan at closer if something were to happen to Mariano Rivera would be to move Joba to the role. Man, the debate will never end…
Speaking of Mo, three up and three down with two strikeouts on Tuesday night. All is good, i.e., keep Joba in the starting rotation!
Chien-Ming Wang got the win in today’s exhibition game against the Houston Astros. He pitched five innings, giving up three hits and one run. He had two strikeouts.
A.J. Burnett will face his old team, the Toronto Blue Jays, on Thursday.
It was a great come-from-behind win over Puerto Rico by Team USA last night, but the euphoria was tempered with news that Kevin Youklis will miss the remainder of the WBC due to a sore ankle. He’s going to have a MRI, but hopefully it isn’t too serious. Good luck to Team USA as they move on!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all MLB.com Bloggers and Readers!
Simply reading The New York Post can assist any Yankees blogger with the hot topics of the day. A scan of today’s paper yields the following observations:
· A-Rod is truly in love with himself
· Robinson Cano knows he was an idiot for hiding his injury
· Joba Chamberlain is struggling to get his fastball back to its normal speed
· Hideki Matsui would be a very expensive bench ornament
Yikes! It was more fun researching Boston Red Sox players! Not really, but the drama never ends in the Yankees Universe…
JANE HELLER WILL BE BUYING DETAILS MAGAZINE
This is just an assumption on my part, but after seeing some of the seductive, brooding photos on Details.com, the She-Fan is probably making a mad dash for Barnes & Noble as we speak!
Photo by Steven Klein
The She-Fan may have had greater influence on A-Rod than meets the eye, given that the name of the Details article is ‘Confessions of a Damned Yankee’.
I don’t know for sure, but I’m just saying…
JOBA’S DRIVING IN THE SLOW LANE
During yesterday’s win over the Philadelphia Phillies, Joba Chamberlain’s fastball was clocked about 5 mph slower than his normal speeds of 97-98 mph.
The article in the New York Post was quick to note that it’s still early in spring training and that Joba’s fastball was “flat” yesterday. My only concern is the shoulder tendonitis that benched Joba toward the end of last season. He did not have surgery, but instead opted to go the rehab route.
My belief is that the ‘early in spring training’ is the most likely cause, but this does bear watching in the coming months.
“POTENTIAL VIKINGS QB”
I know that I am probably the only one who is interested in Jay Cutler as the next QB of the Minnesota Vikings. Erin of Plunking Gomez has already said that she wouldn’t get excited about it until they actually called the press conference to announce the acquisition. Still, I can’t help but notice that the Twin Cities’ Pioneer Press is referring to the Denver quarterback as ‘Potential Vikings QB’ Jay Cutler. So, at least I am not alone in my thinking as a Vikings fan. Of course, Trent Dilfer later burst my bubble on ESPN by saying that while Cutler would be a great PR move, he wasn’t so sure it would help football-wise.
I am sure this topic’s getting much airplay on the Minneapolis-St. Paul sports radio stations.
* * *
Have a safe and enjoyable St. Patrick’s Night! J
A-Rod Surgery – The Day After…
By all accounts, the surgery performed on Alex Rodriguez’s hip for the torn labrum by Dr. Marc J. Philippon was successful. Alex should be able to resume playing in 6-9 weeks.
Many people have questioned whether the Yanks really need to seek a replacement since A-Rod can conceivably be back in action after 23 games. I say yes, because I feel an upgrade is necessary for the long haul…not just the first 23 games of the season. Cody Ransom is labeled as a good defender, but he can’t hit for average although he does have some power.
I think the Yankees need someone who can fill in, provide good defense, and hit well enough to keep pitchers honest. Alex will need more rest than in years past, and more rest for Derek Jeter is probably not a bad idea as he begins the downside of his career physically-speaking.
Someone did ask A’s manager Bob Geren if Bobby Crosby was being showcased at third base for the Yankees and he chuckled and replied “no”. Bobby wants to play, and he probably sees third as his best option given the health of 3B Eric Chavez in recent years.
So, maybe the best deal is no deal, but I sure wish I had more faith and confidence in either Cody Ransom or Angel Berroa…
Starting in Centerfield…
Granted, Brett Gardner hasn’t won the job yet, but he continues to impress in camp. On Monday, he hit this third homer of the season (which leads the team).
He continues to make things happen, and I’d be surprised to see Melky Cabrera to take the job from Gardner. It’s definitely exciting to have his presence in the lineup.
Michael Kay mentioned on a recent telecast that the Yankees haven’t had a weapon like this on the base paths since Homer Bush. I agree…
Italy ousts Canada
Italy defeated Canada 6-2 on Monday to eliminate the Canadians from WBC play. Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli was 0-for-3 with a walk for the Italians.
I caught Mike Piazza’s comments about Cervelli this morning (no pun intended). “He’s so talented back there, you can’t say enough,” Piazza said. “He worked hard back there. His enthusiasm, you could tell.”
“His enthusiasm from the start of the game was just sky-high. He hustled. He’s got an amazing arm.” Piazza went on to say. “I’m jealous – in a good way – because I see player with a great future ahead of him. He’s going to get better with the bat. He’s going to get a little quicker.”
He’s not the prospect that Jesus Montero is, but he’s a few years older (23) and closer to major league action. I am anxious to see competition between Cervelli and Kevin Cash (and even Jose Molina) when he returns to Yankees camp after the conclusion of the WBC.
Just as I am concerned about back up support at third, I have the same concerns at catcher given Jorge Posada’s age and his return from injury last season. At this point of his career, Jorge is not going to improve and will only continue to deteriorate. It remains to be seen if he can continue to perform at the level he’s been accustomed to, but the odds are against it. Jorge needs a solid backup who can spell him on occasion. Perhaps it is Jose Molina, but I do feel that when you look at the players with greatest odds for getting hurt, Jorge is at or near the top. Therefore, if Cervelli can continue to take his play to a higher level, he’ll have a say in the Yanks’ backup catching plans.
Odds and Ends
Mike Mussina was a visitor to Yankees camp today, and true to form, doesn’t regret the decision to retire. He also turned down Manager Joe Girardi’s offer to wear a uniform for the day.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Moose was a class act, and he’ll be missed. He was, at times, misunderstood, but I always thought he was honest and straightforward.
I saw Jake Peavy’s quote earlier in the week, and I am definitely glad that the Red Sox never became his destination. “Boston was a place that I told the Padres I would certainly be interested in playing,” Peavy said Monday at the Team USA workout. “I don’t know if there were any talks. I gave the Padres a list and Boston was on that list. Boston was a place I told the Padres I would be interested in playing at. Set that straight for sure.” Yikes! To borrow the old adage, sometimes the best deal is the deal never made! J
With the plethora of evidence building up against him, when is Roger Clemens going to come clean and admit steroids use? For a guy I used to consider a hero, I am so disappointed…
I liked Randy Johnson’s description of Tim Lincecum as the fourth Jonas brother…
Okay, I find the headline of “U.S. teammate Dustin Pedroia thinks World of Derek Jeter” to be very disturbing! There’s way too much love going around. “They go at it constantly,” Chipper Jones said of Jeter and Pedroia. “It’s fun when Yankees and Red Sox go at each other, because you know they’re going to hate each other in a month.” Whew! I needed that perspective. Thanks Chipper! I was starting to get this visual image of Yankees and Red Sox players hugging each other and trading high 5′s before games…
Victory is at hand…
“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.”
–General George Patton, Jr.
I have figured it out! I have found Julia’s (of Julia’s Rants) weakness!
It’s her Achilles Heel!
It’s her Kryptonite!
It’s Samson with a haircut!
Peter Paul Rubens, Samson and Delilah 1609 – 10 National Gallery, London
I can trash talk all I want, and then play the Toby card…
That’s all it takes…a simple photo of Toby Keith and she forgets she’s a Red Sox fan and has trouble remembering her own name! The “battle” begins on April 24th (three game series between the Red Sox and Yankees), but it is never too soon to start building one’s arsenal.
A preview of the Great Showdown is coming this Friday (Friday the 13th no less!). The game will be played at Ft. Myers. I have not made any bets with Julia about the game, but if the Red Sox win, I will include a positive write-up about a Red Sox player in subsequent blogs. The margin of victory will determine how many blogs I have to swallow my pride. If the Red Sox win by 3, then I’d have to include the positive player reference in each of the next three blogs. If the Yankees win, I propose that Julia has to write one blog about her favorite Yankees player (with no negative comments or references to the Red Sox).
Speaking of Julia, she’s planning a get-together in Boston for a pre-Opening Day celebration on Sunday, April 5th. I am seriously considering making the trip. A little reconnaissance before the Great Showdown is probably not a bad idea! It’s a little scary traveling so deep into enemy territory, but it should be a lot of fun.
Why can’t we all just get along?…
Well, I guess if Joba can do it, so can I…
Surgery Day for A-Rod
Shortly, Dr. Marc Philippon will be performing the surgery to repair A-Rod’s torn labrum in Vail, CO.
Since A-Rod is not scheduled to return until the second month of the regular season, does that make him the new Mr. May? Just wondering…
It would be tough for me to be in Vail and not be able to ski. But then again, I don’t have a torn labrum, nor do I have a $275 million contract…
As for potential replacements, there seems to be more talk among us fans than the Yankees organization itself.
According to Dick Kaegel of MLB.com, the Royals and Yankees deny any talks involving Mark Teahen. “They’re saying it on ESPN, but there’s nothing on our end,” said a Royals official.
I remain steadfastly in Blake DeWitt’s corner. I think he would be a great addition to platoon with Cody Ransom at third, and would provide great depth upon A-Rod’s return.
Dr. Marc Philippon indicated that the odds of A-Rod playing through the entire regular season upon his return are in the “85-90 percent” range.
It is the margin of doubt that leads me to believe that the Yankees have to do something to reinforce their options for third base.
While Johnny Damon may feel that Cody Ransom is “probably the best athlete on this team”, the career journeyman, 33, with 183 major league at-bat’s in 6 MLB seasons, is not exactly who I would want to entrust the keys to the kingdom to. You don’t go out and buy a stable of Ferrari’s to be protected by a Yugo…
I realize that the Yankees cannot be hasty in any decisions. Teams are probably lining up, hoping to capitalize on the Yankees’ potential desperation.
I am sure that Brian Cashman will do the right thing for the organization before the team takes the field on Opening Day.
Perhaps the best deal is no deal at all (if the price is simply too high), but with questions in other areas, I am hopeful that something surfaces which makes sense for the Yanks to pursue.
I know, I know…spring games mean nothing. Still, it was nice to see the Yankees pick up a 12-3 win against the Tigers.
A.J. Burnett tossed two scoreless innings, but more impressively, Phil Hughes followed with three hitless innings and four strikeouts.
Audrey C. Tiernan/Newsday
The Yankees are now 4-5-1.
On a side note, Team USA advanced to the second round of the World Baseball Classic with a 15-6 win over Venezuela.
It seems so strange to see Jeter as a teammate of Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youklis. I guess that just goes to show I need to make the trip to Boston next month…
The A-Rod Decision
You CAN have your cake and eat it too!
Regarding A-Rod’s torn labrum, his options are:
1. Attempt to play with rest and rehabilitation, and have surgery after the season.
2. Have the full surgery now, and miss the next 4 months.
3. Quit baseball (oops, where did that one come from?).
4. Less invasive surgery now, with shorter recovery period, followed by full surgery at the end of the season.
According to Pete Abraham of the LoHud Blog, A-Rod has decided upon the fourth option. Dr. Philippon met with the press this morning, and according to Pete Abe, A-Rod has an impingement (which means bone is striking bone).
Dr. Marc Philippon, M.D.
Steadman Hawkins Clinic, Vail, CO
The initial surgery to be performed on Monday will fix the labrum. Following the season, Alex will undergo full surgery to repair the bone deformity. Recovery time for the initial surgery is expected to be 6-9 weeks.
According to Pete Abe, this should put A-Rod back on the field by the end of April.
Great scoop, as usual, Mr. Abraham!
I still think the Yankees would be smart to secure a solid replacement at third for A-Rod. I am not fully confident in Cody Ransom’s ability to adequately fill in at third. Some have suggested a platoon, and I could buy into that with the right platoon partner.
There are countless names being bantered about. The latest I’ve seen is the Royals’ Mark Teahen. Teahen, 27, hit .255 with 15 home runs and 59 RBI’s last season.
Another possibility is Oakland A’s shortstop Bobby Crosby. With the A’s signing of Orlando Cabrera, Crosby is the odd man out. He doesn’t want to fill a utility role, and would like the opportunity to start. Of course, the downside is that he has never played third, and of course, when A-Rods returns, he would be pushed into a utility role.
I still like the Dodgers’ Blake DeWitt. He, too, was pushed out of a starting position when the Dodgers signed Orlando Hudson to play second. I lived in Los Angeles last season, and had the opportunity to watch a number of Dodgers games, and I liked the attitude and determination I saw with the player. Of course, whether the Dodgers would part with him is another story.
Regardless of what happens, the Yankees need to make sure that they have a solid plan in place in the event that A-Rod’s recovery is slower than expected or if he suffers any setbacks.
Terrell Owens is a Bill
I was very surprised to see that the Buffalo Bills had signed Terrell Owens to a one year, $6.5 million contract. I did not think that would be a move they’d make, but I know that they’ve struggled with receivers opposite Lee Evans.
It will be interesting to see how Owens interacts with QB Trent Edwards, but this marriage seems to be like one of those poorly thought out Britny Spears type of wedding decisions.
I was reading Kevin Cusick’s “The Loop: 3/08/09″ in the Pioneer Press (www.twincities.com), and he put it best:
“The Buffalo Bills signed T.O. to a one year deal Saturday. Living in Buffalo should extinguish what’s left of Owens’ “25 million reasons to live”.”
Too funny! I am not trying to knock Buffalo (I used to live there myself about 25 years ago), but I just can’t see this working out.
My brother is a die-hard Bills fan, so I’ll be interested in seeing what his reaction is. Of course, he’s the obnoxious ‘my team is best’ kind of fan, so he’ll probably just say that Super Bowl dreams have returned to Buffalo.
But I think team chemistry is one of the most important attributes of a successful team, and the Bills have assured themselves chemistry will not be a component of the 2009 team.
On the bright side, I was pleased that my team, the Minnesota Vikings, went on record prior to the Owens signing to say that they had no interest in T.O. Of course, Brad Childress saw the cancerous effect T.O. had on a team during his days on Andy Reid’s staff in Philadelphia. But still, I am appreciative that I’ll never be forced to root for T.O.
I guess we’ll be seeing a lot of scenes like this during the upcoming season:
Hopefully, the Yankees will keep me pre-occupied through at least October and spare me from having to endure TV shots like this…