Results tagged ‘ Denard Span ’

If you wear #51 for the Mariners, you are a future Yankee!…

 

I thought I was supposed to wear the white uniform!…

In recent years, it has seemed as though no Yankee trade sneaks up on you.  Even with Curtis Granderson, there were rumors swirling around before the deal was finally consummated.  It has seemed like the press has been tapped into GM Brian Cashman’s inner thoughts.  But admittedly, the Ichiro Suzuki trade surprised me.

Years ago, this would have been a headline deal but it’s now obviously the acquisition of a former great player in the twilight of his career.

In recent weeks, I had seen other owners in fantasy leagues start to drop Ichiro from their rosters.  I had not been keeping up with his stats but I knew he was no longer the player he once was.  But if anything, Derek Jeter has shown what goes down does not necessarily have to stay down.  Some are suggested that Ichiro will be revitalized in the midst of a pennant race and the spotlight of New York.  Maybe so, maybe not.  But if you asked me if I prefer Ichiro in the outfield over DeWayne Wise or exposing Andruw Jones or Raul Ibanez to too much play, the answer would be, without hesitation, yes.  I was a bit disappointed when I first heard the news of the trade as visions of Shane Victorino or Denard Span were dancing in my head.  Yet, the realist in me knows that the cost to acquire either of those players would have exceeded the reward.  On the other hand, Ichiro is simply a rental for the remainder of the season.  He’ll be a free agent in the off-season so he’ll hand left field back to Brett Gardner when he departs the Stadium in October.

I remember the thrill of seeing my first game at Safeco Field.  The player I was most interested in seeing was Ichiro and he did not disappoint.  He came through with a few clutch hits and showed why he has been one of the better players over the past decade.  The Yankees have missed a clutch bat so hopefully a revitalized Ichiro means that they’ll have the “pest” they need at the plate and on the base paths.

I know that the pitchers the Yankees gave up were not top shelf talent (D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquahar) but they have the chance to be good major league pitchers.  I always hate to see good talent leave, especially if Ichiro’s days in pinstripes do not go beyond the next couple of months.  I always remember how much I hated watching Jay Buhner punish the Yankees while wearing a Mariners uniform and wondering what could have been if the Yanks had held on to him.  Now, with former top prospect Jesus Montero in Seattle, there are multiple players in the Great Northwest who could haunt their former team.  The Mariners go for 20-something former Yankees while the Yankees go for almost 40-something ex-Mariners.  I think the M’s have the better business formula even if it isn’t showing up in wins quite yet.

Now that I’ve gotten over the shock of the trade, I will admit that it is nice to see Ichiro in a Yankees uniform.  It will be even better if he can get on base with consistency and make crossing home plate a common occurrence.

If there’s one thing about the trade that struck me as unusual, it is the consummation of the deal prior to the start of the Yankees-Mariners series in Seattle.  The trade guaranteed the Mariners fans would be subjected to watching the first three games of Ichiro’s post-Seattle career in an opposing uniform.  Not any uniform but the most hated and despised uniform in most parts of the country outside of NYC.  The Yankees apparently had conditions Ichiro had to agree to (batting in the bottom of the order, moving to left, and accepting an outfield rotation to get the bats of Jones and Ibanez into the lineup).  So, perhaps the Yankees had the upper hand in this deal and argued that it had to happen sooner rather the later.  For the Mariners, the motivation is clearly to move on and to further develop their further stars.

After the Cliff Lee debacle when he went to the Texas Rangers for Justin Smoak after the Yankees thought they had acquired him, I really didn’t think the Yankees would forgive the Mariners and their general manager.  But after the Michael Pineda and Ichiro deals, there is no evidence of hard feelings.  Cliff Lee just wasn’t meant to be a Yankee.  He proved that with his own decision to rebuke the team to re-sign with the Philadelphia Phillies.  Lee is a good pitcher but some guys weren’t meant for Broadway.

The question now is if the Yankees are done dealing before the trading deadline.  With the returns of Joba Chamberlain and Andy Pettitte looming on the horizon, perhaps they are the moves that can catapult the Yankees to the World Series.  I can’t really think of another move the Yankees need to make other than further enhancing an already good bullpen.  Sure, if the Philadelphia Phillies called to say that they’d trade Roy Halladay for Ivan Nova, you’d pull the trigger, but seriously, that’s not going to happen.

For the lack of better words, Ouch!…

After moving back to the Bay Area and living in what is described as A’s territory, it was really tough to see the Yankees swept in four games against the upstart A’s.  While the Yankees hold a 7 game lead, the race is far from over.  I still expect the Tampa Bay Rays to make a run, and of course, I am always fearful the Boston Red Sox make some major moves that propel them back into contention.  I’d be foolish to underestimate Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles.  So, every day, Brian Cashman needs to be trying to find ways to improve the team.  The nice thing is that I know he is.

Open the Cooperstown doors now…

I think I read recently that Mariano Rivera would like to make his return in September rather than next spring.  While I doubt he’ll be able to do it, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.  He is clearly one of the most gifted athletes of our time.  He is my favorite current Yankee and he’ll be on the fast track to Cooperstown when he retires.  I am sure that his spot in Memorial Park has already been reserved, along with Derek Jeter’s.  It would have been great to watch guys like Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle play, but I am glad that I lived in the Rivera/Jeter era.  I look forward to telling my grandchildren that I saw the game’s greatest closer play.  As a kid, I thought Rich “Goose” Gossage was the greatest closer. I never realizvbbbbb

But are they Yankees fans?…

I am the proud owner of two rescue kittens named Nathalia and Sophie.  They are sisters and at times, they are the synchronized twins.  Two American Shorthairs, both black and one with with a white undercoat, they have proven their love of baseball.  During the recent Yankees-Red Sox series in Boston, the sisters were engrossed in watching the game, just like their roommate (me).  I love this pic…

 

 

And the winner is…

The next week should be fun as teams race against the trading deadline.  Maybe it will be quiet, maybe not.  I fully expect the Red Sox and in particular, GM Ben Cherington, to make a bold move.  I respect Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster for preferring to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Atlanta Braves (I should qualify that by saying my favorite NL team is the Dodgers).  The Tigers have been active as evidenced by their recent acquisitions of Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante.  I saw tonight that the Pittsburgh Pirates were close to acquiring Wandy Rodriguez, who has long been on the radar for both the Yanks and Red Sox.  I almost missed the trade of Astros closer Brett Myers to the Chicago White Sox.  I think the Sox have the market cornered on goatees.

I am still missing Minneapolis but I am enjoying this baseball season.  Life is good.

–Scott

P.S.  Looking for some great photos?  Check out Erik van den Ham’s website, http://www.panoramio.com/user/62613.  Excellent!

 

 

 

 

Yankees Trying To Get Centered…

The Yankees starting center fielder is…

 

 

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TBA on Thursday.  Seriously?  The word is that manager Joe Girardi will announce his starting center fielder on Thursday.   He had been toying with playing Granderson in left and Brett Gardner in center, but c’mon, there is really no choice but to start Granderson in center.  The higher risk player is Gardner, and if he fails in center, it would be tougher to move Granderson from left to center than it would be to just find  a replacement left fielder assuming that Gardner is named to start in left as expected.  I suspect that Randy Winn will see a fair amount of playing time, as will Marcus Thames if he makes the roster…and starts to hit (something that he has been unable to do this spring). 

 

 

Marcus Thames, Yankees spring training (wire)

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

 

Everyone was amazed with the switch-pitching of prospect Pat Venditte this week.  The 24-year-old has no hope of making the final roster, and I’ve always heard that he is not a legitimate major league prospect, but it was still an interesting story.  I enjoyed reading the rules about ambidextrous pitchers.  I am sure that they had to blow off the dust to find these:

 

MLB Rule 8.01 (f), regarding ambidextrous pitchers

A pitcher must indicate visually to the umpire-in-chief, the batter and any runners the hand with which he intends to pitch, which may be done by wearing his glove on the other hand while touching the pitcher’s plate. The pitcher is not permitted to pitch with the other hand until the batter is retired, the batter becomes a runner, the inning ends, the batter is substituted for by a pinch-hitter or the pitcher incurs an injury. In the event a pitcher switches pitching hands during an at-bat because he has suffered an injury, the pitcher may not, for the remainder of the game, pitch with the hand from which he has switched. The pitcher shall not be given the opportunity to throw any preparatory pitches after switching pitching hands. Any change of pitching hands must be indicated clearly to the umpire-in-chief.

Source:  mlb.com

 

I am still very skeptical if Venditte will ever make the major leagues, but I wish him much luck and success in his journey.  It would be tremendous to have a weapon that could turn around hitters without a pitching change.

 

 

Yankees' prospect Pat Venditte and his special glove

Noah Addis/The Star Ledger

 

Phil Hughes found out that he’ll be staying in Tampa for an extended spring training, with a first start not scheduled until April 15th.  The Yankees do not need a fifth starter during the first couple of weeks of the season, and there had been talk that Hughes would be sent down to AAA until he was needed.  This is probably a better and palatable solution for Hughes.  Once you’ve made it to the Show, it’s kind of hard to step back a level regardless of the circumstances. 

 

 

 

What are the odds of hitting your mother in the stands with a foul ball?  That’s exactly what happened to the Minnesota Twins’ Denard Span today in the Twins’ 4-2 victory over the Yankees.  He hit a foul ball that struck his mother in the collarbone.  The hardest part for Span was watching his mother cry, but fortunately, she’s okay.  That was definitely a very scary and ironic story…

 

 

Steve Nesius/Reuters

 

The Toronto Blue Jays pinned the first loss as a Phillie on former ace Roy Halladay today in the Jays’ 5-2 win over Philadelphia.  Okay, it wasn’t an official loss, but still, there was a bit of irony that the first “loss” would come against the Jays. 

 

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay walks to the dugout after giving up four runs in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays, his former team, on Wednesday, March 31, in Clearwater, Fla.

Gene J. Puskar/AP

 

The Phillies decision to go with Doc over Cliff Lee looks much stronger given the recent health challenges Lee has experienced.  I still think they should have tried to find a way to keep both, but admittedly, I do not know enough about the team’s finances or infrastructure to know if that was even a possibility.  Speaking of the Phils, nothing against Jamie Moyer, but I am a bit surprised that the team would go for a 47-year-old as their fifth starter over a solid 25-year-old Kyle Kendrick.  Maybe Kendrick is not quite ready, but I would think his upside is much stronger.  I guess there’s a reason they call the NL the “senior circuit”….

 

 

92 YEAR OLD BASEBALL PLAYER: Ballard Returns After 7 Decades

 

 

It sounds like trade talks between the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers are heating up again involving Mike Lowell.  Lowell is a favorite of my good friend Julia, but he is a man without a position thanks to the Sox free agent acquisition of third baseman Adrian Beltre.  If Boston is going to pay a significant portion of his salary anyway, you’d think they would just keep him to strengthen their bench.  Nevertheless, it would seem this is a trade rumor that will happen.  So, Julia, I dedicate this song to you…

 

In the eyes of a ranger,

The unsuspected stranger

Had better know the truth of right from wrong,

Cuz the eyes of a ranger are upon you,

Any wrong you do he’s gonna see,

When you’re in Texas look behind you,

Cuz that’s where the rangers are gonna be

 

Good luck to Mike wherever he lands.  He is the consummate team professional and he’ll be a valuable cog on any roster.  Admittedly, I’d prefer to see him on anyone’s roster other than Boston’s…

 

 

Mike Lowell is known around the league as the ultimate teammate, while A-Rod's effect on the clubhouses he enters could best be described as 'disruptive.' There doesn't appear to be any 'me' in Mike Lowell, while Rodriguez always seems to put someone off on his own team.

Jim Davis/Boston Globe

 

It’s hard to believe that the 2010 season is almost upon us.  This is a great time.  Every team is equal, and every fan is hopeful that this will be the year.  Best of luck to everyone for what I hope will be a truly fantastic baseball season regardless of the outcome.  Well, for me, a 28th Yankees World Championship would be good!  J

 

 

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