Results tagged ‘ Andruw Jones ’

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!…


Understandably, the signing was met with mixed reaction by Yankees fans, but personally, I liked the move to sign Andruw Jones as the team’s fourth outfielder.



98486113, Sports Illustrated/Getty Images /Sports Illustrated
Brad Mangin/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Marcus Thames came up with a few clutch hits last season but it was fearful to watch him play the outfield.  With Jones, the Yankees have someone that can spell all three outfield positions and can be counted on to provide adequate defense.  With the bat, when hitting in his spots, he can still perform as evidenced by his 19 home runs with the Chicago White Sox last season.  

I realize that Andruw is a shell of the superstar that he used to be despite being only 33, however, he is still young enough to turn it around for a few seasons if he can make a commitment to conditioning and the other factors that make older players like Alex Rodriguez or Derek Jeter successful.  I know, he’ll never hit 51 home runs again or even 30 or 40, but so long as he can hit a few clutch shots, I’ll be satisfied.  The Yankees are only paying him $2 million for one year…a far cry from the $18 million per season the Los Angeles Dodgers were paying him only a couple of seasons ago.  

The sad part of the season is that it meant the Yankees would not be pursuing Johnny Damon.  Jones had the advantage of being the better defensive player (at this stage of their respective careers) and that ensured him of the Yankees primary focus.  Damon, meanwhile, has signed with the Tampa Bay Rays where he’ll see greater playing time than he would have with the Yankees.  Aside from all the love and positive statements that Johnny will be professing about Tampa and the Rays, I wish him all the best.  


Johnny Damon Tigers Alex Rodriguez Derek Jeter Yankees
John Dunn/Newsday/MCT

Speaking of the Rays, they also signed Manny Ramirez as their DH.  I was a bit surprised by that move considering that the Rays have been so selective about bringing on quality, team-first guys.  Perhaps they feel that Damon will be able to keep Manny in check.  Or perhaps it really was just a move to help drive up attendance.  Either way, it is going to be hard to take the Rays as seriously as I have in the past.  It could be a long season in Florida or maybe the joke’s on us.  Time will tell…

Chicago White Sox DH Manny Ramirez talks with former Boston Red Sox teammate David Ortiz Saturday at Fenway Park.
Townson/AP

Back to the Yankees, they’ve made all the necessary moves…except the final one or two pieces…namely the #4 and #5 spots in the starting rotation.  When I heard that the Detroit Tigers had designated pitcher Armando Galarraga for assignment after signing free agent pitcher Brad Penny, I was a bit skeptical and leery of Armando.  However, after additional thought, he might be someone the Yankees should pursue.  So long as they don’t have to relinquish any top shelf talent, the gamble would be worth the risk.  He might blossom under the tutelage of pitching coach Larry Rothschild.  He is the type of pitcher that I’ve wanted the Yankees to acquire.  Someone who hasn’t quite fulfilled his promise or potential but who is still young enough to have that breakout season.  Maybe Armando is that guy…


Umpire Jim Joyce, pitcher Armando Galarraga, wire
Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press/MCT

If the Rafael Soriano signing was Hal Steinbrenner’s idea, hats off to him.  It was a bold move and I have been concerned that Hal, as an educated bean counter, would not make those seemingly crazy moves to improve the team.  I should qualify that by saying that I do not want to see another Ed Whitson or Steve Kemp signing, but you want an owner who sometimes sets aside rationale and conservative thought to go with a gut instinct.  When I first heard that the Yankees had signed Soriano, my immediate thought was that Hank Steinbrenner was behind the move.  Perhaps it was and he sold his brother on the idea, but if it was Hal’s idea, that’s even better.  As a fan, I do not view GM Brian Cashman any less than I did before.  Ownership always has the right to have the final say and of course it’s their money.  Brian does what is right for the organization.  The Steinbrenner family is responsible for ensuring a marketable and performing asset for the YES Network and their Yankee Stadium season ticket holders.  




–Scott

Another Yankee Killer on the verge of Pinstripes…

The morning started with word that the Yankees were nearing a deal with outfielder Andruw Jones, but there have been no further updates.  I am sure the Yankees are actively working on their arbitration eligible players like Phil Hughes so that’s probably a bit of a distraction.  Nevertheless, I like the idea of signing Jones as the Yankees fourth outfielder.  He is not the player he once was, but the last two years he has averaged 280 at-bats and 18 home runs.  Not bad for a bench/role player…
AP/Jeff Chiu
With Marcus Thames apparently on the verge of signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, I think Jones is a better version of Thames…well, at least one that can play the field.  I’ve wanted the Yankees to sign Jones the last two years but he signed with Texas in 2009 and the White Sox in 2010.  Perhaps the time is now for Jones to finally land in the Bronx.  
Andruw Jones watches his three-run home run in the third inning of Game 1 of the World Series against the New York Yankees in New York, in this Oct. 20, 1996 file photo. At right is Yankees catcher Jim Leyritz. The Atlanta Braves are cutting ties with  Jones, saying they can't afford to keep the perennial Gold Glove center fielder who's spent his entire career with the organization.
AP
I liked the Washington Nationals move to acquire Chicago Cubs starter Tom Gorzelanny today.  They paid a potentially hefty price, but Gorzelanny is a solid addition to the Washington rotation.  Only 28, he is the type of pitcher that I’d like to see the Yankees pursue for the hole(s) in their rotation.  I am not saying the Yankees should have pursue Gorzelanny, but I like the idea of pursuing a late 20’s pitcher that has not reached his potential.  I know, it’s chasing lightning in a bottle, but it would be great to accurately catch a pitcher on the verge on his breakout season.  
I was disappointed to see Jeff Francis sign with the Kansas City Royals but I can certainly understand his logic of pursuing an opportunity that should guarantee a spot in the rotation while playing with less pressure than say New York or Boston.   He has a chance to restore the promise he showed a few years ago with Colorado.  
When I think about who the Yankees should acquire, all roads keep leading back to Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona.  With CC Sabathia as Carmona’s mentor once again, I like the possibility and the promise that Carmona could bring to the rotation.  It’s certainly a better prospect than Sergio Mitre.  Ivan Nova is going to be a question mark going into the season.  The Yankees don’t need two question marks…
Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer
I am prepared to see reliever Joba Chamberlain go in a trade for a starting pitcher.  The Yankees have a few pitching hopefuls that could potentially fill Joba’s role in the bullpen now that the Yankees have signed closing/setup specialist Rafael Soriano.  I know that he still has the chance to experience great success in the big leagues but I am starting to realize that he probably won’t be able to realize that potential in the Bronx.  More than likely, the Yankees would have to part with one of their catching prospects in any trade.  At this point, I am most fearful about losing Gary Sanchez even though he is not as advanced as Jesus Montero or Austin Romine.  Sanchez has the chance to be the best of the group.  There’s no doubt that Montero will be a great hitter, but questions remain about his defense.  Sanchez may not be the hitter that Montero is, but he appears to be a more complete player.  
Somehow, I think manager Joe Girardi is going to have a very fun time trying to decide what pitcher to bring in from the bullpen.  He’s going to have some options for almost any situation.  It sure beats the days of Jose Veras or Kyle Farnsworth.
To go a bit off topic, I was glad/relieved to see the retirement of QB Brett Favre today.  Hopefully, and finally, he’ll stay retired.  He should start looking into life-after-football opportunities.  If he decides to come back to play again, I definitely hope that his days in purple are over.  I don’t know who will be the 2011 Quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings, but at this point, I’d take Joe Webb over Favre any day.  I don’t want to see someone like Donovan McNabb come to Minnesota but hopefully the Vikings can find a solid QB option to allow Webb (and perhaps another young QB like Cam Newton) to grow and develop.
TSN.ca
Note to the St. Louis Cardinals:  Please do whatever takes to make Albert Pujols a lifetime Cardinal!
AP
Note to the Chicago Cubs:  I know you’re quietly building a play-off contending club, but I see what you’re doing!  Let the Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers get all the pre-season championship accolades.  The Cubs are shaping up as a clear surprise player for 2011.  GM Jim Hendry has to be congratulated for the moves that he’s made this off-season.
AP/David Kohl
–Scott
  

If they’re saying it, it must be true!…

Rumors…


spreading rumors cartoons, spreading rumors cartoon, spreading rumors picture, spreading rumors pictures, spreading rumors image, spreading rumors images, spreading rumors illustration, spreading rumors illustrations

With nothing to talk about, the speculation continues
about what free agents the Yankees are looking at.  The latest has pitcher Justin Duchscherer and
outfielder Andruw Jones within the team’s sights…


Tony Gutierrez/AP


Andruw Jones Of White Sox Smiles After Infield Single

UPI/David Richard via Newscom

I like Duchscherer, although he has been beset with
injuries and depression in recent years. 
I recognize that he is considered an “average” pitcher, but he does know
how to win.  He’ll never be the second
coming of Chris Carpenter, but when the alternative at the 5th spot
in the rotation is Sergio Mitre, he’d be worth the shot.  I have quietly been hoping the Yankees would
sign former Rockies pitcher Jeff Francis but there has been no activity on that
front.  It wasn’t that long ago
(pre-Ubaldo Jimenez) that Francis was considered the ace of the Rockies
staff.  If the signing of Francis is not
meant to be, then I like Duchscherer over other options like Jeremy
Bonderman.  I like the addition of either
Francis or Duchscherer even if somehow and magically Andy Pettitte decides to
return for one last season. 

The other rumor has the Yankees considering outfielder
Andruw Jones.  I actually wanted the
Yankees to sign Jones last off-season. 
He ended up with the Chicago White Sox and hit 19 home runs.  I realize that he will never be the Atlanta
Braves’ version of Jones, but in the right role, he can excel.  I lived in the Los Angeles during his final
year with the Dodgers and it was pathetic to see Jones as a shell of what he
used to be.  Still, I think he’d be a
good fit as a role player for the Yankees. 
Jones could also step into left if either Brett Gardner or Curtis
Granderson missed any time due to injury. 

What can Larry Rothschild do to restore Joba Chamberlain’s
confidence?  With A.J. Burnett and Joba
at the top of his to-do list, I wonder if Larry fully understood what he was
getting himself into.  If he can somehow
turn both of these guys around, he will be a legend in Yankees history. 


Larry Rothschild, shown here with the Chicago Cubs, has been named the New York Yankees newest pitching coach.

David Zalubowski/AP


Speaking of Rothschild, the Yankees announced their 2011
coaching staff and the only change was Larry in for former pitching coach Dave
Eiland.  All things considered (and
nothing against Eiland), but I feel very good about the pitching being in the
hands of the long-time Cubs pitching coach. 
It’s also good to know that Tony Pena will return to his role as bench
coach for manager Joe Girardi.  I think
that’s a good pairing, even if Pena will have to coach against his son, Tony
Pena Jr., who is currently a member of the dreaded Boston Red Sox. 



There has been so much talk lately about the impending
free agency of St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols.  Personally, I do not want to see Albert in
anything other than a Cardinals uniform. 
Hopefully, the first ballot to be Hall of Famer and the Cardinals can
find a way to ensure that Albert stays in St. Louis for the duration of his
career.


Albert Pujols - 2004

Scott Rovak/Getty Images


There are going to be some really great pitching
performances in the National League this season.  Granted, the class of the rotations is the
Philadelphia Phillies, but so many teams have improved (like the Brewers, Cubs,
and Marlins to name a few).  Plus, let’s
not forget the solid starting five of the World Champion San Francisco
Giants.   Give me the #5 starter, Madison
Bumgarner, for the Yankees rotation…please!   

I have to admit that I was pleased to see future Hall of
Fame closer Trevor Hoffman retire today. 
It fixes his save total at 601, and certainly makes it within reach for
also future Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera. 
With a two year contract and standing at 559 saves, there’s no reason in
the foreseeable future that Mo can’t erase the difference.   I think both Trevor and Mo should be first
ballot elections, although I’d admit that Lee Smith should go in before either
one.  With Mo, I have definitely been
grateful in recent years that I’ve been able to watch one of the all-time great
New York Yankees.  It’s a lengthy list
but Mo will exit at the head of the class for his position.  I am envious of anyone who actually saw my
idol, Lou Gehrig, play, but I’d also say that I’ve been very fortunate to see
Mo pitch.  It’s nice to know that when
#42 is retired at Yankee Stadium for Jackie Robinson, it will be shared by
Mo.  Nevertheless, I wish the very best
for Trevor Hoffman, who I hear is headed back to the San Diego Padres for their
front office.


Trevor Hoffman

AP


Finally, I wanted to say how much I miss former Yankees
beat writer/blogger, Peter Abraham.  I
keep up with him with Boston.com, and his latest post shows why he is simply
one of the best…if not the best.


 


Okay, one more thing. 
The loss of Dallas Green’s 9-year-old granddaughter, Christina Taylor
green, to the shooting in Arizona is devastating.  I can’t help but think of the great things
that she could have and most likely would have accomplished in her
lifetime.  It was a senseless tragedy and
we are clearly the worse for it. 
Somehow, the world is a lesser place today because of her loss.  I am also saddened for the others that lost
their lives, and I wish for a full and speedy recovery by Rep. Gabrielle
Giffords.  The restoration of her life
and career is so important to the balance of life…



-Scott


In A-Rod We Trust…or Not…

MORE A-ROD THOUGHTS

A day later, I am still stunned by the developments revealed on Saturday regarding Alex Rodriguez and his apparent steroid use in 2003.

The last thing I wanted to see was vindication for Jose Canseco but here it is for him with A-Rod’s name smeared across every sports page in America.

I am troubled that A-Rod knew he had tested positive and he had to have known there was always the possibility the information would be leaked one day (particularly considering the ongoing government investigation and the case against Barry Bonds).  He had over five years to think about this day, yet none of A-Rod’s subsequent statements has given any hints of possible drug use. 

When the “A-Fraud” comments came out through Joe Torre’s book, The Yankee Years, Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter came to A-Rod’s defense…even Larry Bowa.  It will be interesting to see if they are so quick to come to A-Rod’s defense this time.

Alex needs to be honest about his past drug use, giving us some insight into why.  An apology for all concerned is expected, and it is up to him to convince us that the drug use did not continue.

The next few days will be very critical for A-Rod, and they will shape the future perception of him.  He has a chance to right the “wrong”.  Alex, it is up to you…

YANKEES CAMP OPENS ON FRIDAY THE 13TH

On the bright side, Yankees camp open on Friday for pitchers and catchers.  It will be great to see CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett arrive in Tampa.  The first photo of Sabathia and Burnett together with Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, and Joba Chamberlain will be a classic.

It’s unfortunate that Joe Girardi will be beseiged by A-Rod questions, but hopefully, he’ll have the time to enjoy the presence of the greatest Yankee pitching staff in years.

NO PRESSURE ENVIRONMENT

Andruw Jones is clearly seeking a pressure-free environment.  By signing a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers, he’ll avoid the media glare that would have accompanied a signing with Boston or New York.  But his chances of actually making the team are no less secure.

Andruw is a mystery to me.  In 1996, he looked like he was poised for a Hall of Fame career.  But by 2008, he looked tired and worn out.  He was offered an invitation to go to camp with the Yankees, which he declined.  When asked about Boston, he said “it’s too cold”.  That sounds like someone who clearly wasn’t up to the task of ‘trying to be the best, with the best’.  Good luck in Texas, Andruw…well, at least until you get the pink slip in late March…

ANOTHER QUALITY MOVE BY THE PHILLIES

Good for the Phillies in re-signing arbitration eligible first baseman Ryan Howard to a three-year, $54 million contract.  Ryan succeeded in achieving his desired annual salary of $18 million and the Phillies locked up one of their young stars through 2011.  It is going to be fun watching the Mets and Phillies slug it out this year…

JANE HELLER, YANKEE FAN EXTRAORDINAIRE

Jane Heller wrote a great article for The New York Times today.  When all else fails, visit a psychic!  A very funny approach about predicting the Yankees’ 2009 season… 

I have started reading my copy of ‘Confessions of a She-Fan’.  So far, so good, except for the natural physique reference about A-Rod in the prologue in comparison to “those ‘roid guys with their cartoon muscles…”.  Oh well, he fooled all of us.  Jane’s book has that great, refreshing ‘we’re right there with you’ feel to it.  I am definitely re-living my emotions and feelings about the 2007 Yankees as I read the book…

And for the prediction?  I’ll go with Jane’s “Nope, I’m good”…

 

 

Freddy Garcia is not the answer…

The news is becoming more and more pessimistic of the Yankees’ chances to re-sign Andy Pettitte.  Either way, I wish something would happen sooner rather than later.  I saw speculation that the Yanks might have interest in Freddy Garcia.  It’s hard to get excited about that one.  Peter Abraham wrote a good blog today about how the Yankees starting rotation stacks up against Boston.  Sabathia, Burnett, Wang and Chamberlain match up well against Beckett, Dice-K, Lester, and Wakefield.  But there is clearly separation in Boston’s favor when you get to the 5th spot, and the potential starters in the pen. 

I am watching the 1996 World Series between the Yankees and Atlanta Braves.  It is amazing how much different Andrew Jones looked as a 19 year old phenom, with two home runs in his first two WS at-bats.  Physically, you can see how much he has deteriorated over the years.  It really makes you wonder what kind of career he could have had or sustained if he had taken better care of himself.  Jon Heyman is reporting that the Dodgers will release Andruw tomorrow…

Andruw Jones watches his three-run home run in the third inning of Game 1 of the World Series against the New York Yankees in New York, in this Oct. 20, 1996 file photo. At right is Yankees catcher Jim Leyritz. The Atlanta Braves are cutting ties with  Jones, saying they can't afford to keep the perennial Gold Glove center fielder who's spent his entire career with the organization. From AP Photo by MARK LENNIHAN.

 

If the Yankees were willing to offer Ben Sheets a two year deal in December for $12-$13 million per year, why don’t they revisit that possibility given the drop in prices for available free agents?

I read a good blog the other day on River Ave. Blues about the Yankees difficulty in making any additional moves due to the current 40 man roster and the players that would have to be DFA to open any spots (unless the team can free up some space by moving players such as Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher).  I still think that an addition of someone like P Juan Cruz makes so much sense when it would only cost you a fourth round draft pick (the upside potential far offsets the cost). 

Watching the Arizona Cardinals toward the end of the season, I never would have dreamed that they’d be hosting their first NFC Championship Game in January.  Still, I expect the dream to end with the Philadelphia Eagles advancing to the Super Bowl to face Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens.  I’d like the Steelers if Big Ben were healthier…

That’s it for now.  Have a good night! 

 

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