Results tagged ‘ Joe Girardi ’
Take this job and shove it…
Hopefully, negotiations between Derek Jeter and the New
York Yankees don’t take that turn. I am
a little amazed that the difficulties of the negotiation have become so
public. Hal Steinbrenner, unlike his
brother or his late father, is a quiet, private individual and it is tough to
get a read on his thoughts, generally speaking.
However, he set the stage with the Jeter negotiations stating upfront
that they could get messy.
I do feel that the Yankees have made a very fair offer to
Jeter (3 years at $45 million). $15
million per year for an aging shortstop coming off his worst season is very
generous. I realize what DJ means to the
Yankees organization. He is perhaps the
first true homegrown legend since Mickey Mantle. No disrespect to Don Mattingly, my personal
all-time favorite living Yankee, but Jeter has come to represent everything
that is good about the Yankees and baseball.
He’s won five World Series and he has basically been the “face” of the
franchise for over a decade. He has
never been associated with steroids and any scandals and he has produced year
in and year out. There was a time when
the top three shortstops in the game were DJ, Alex Rodriguez and Nomar
Garciaparra. Alex is no longer a
shortstop and Nomar is out of baseball, yet DJ is still producing. Granted, DJ is the reason that Alex is no
longer at short but his image has certainly be tarnished in recent years. It is my belief that the Yankees offer is
above market and recognizes DJ’s contributions and marketability to the
The latest comment by GM Brian Cashman that DJ should
test the market was outraged some but personally I have no problem with
it. I do not feel that any team is going
to be willing to pay DJ $15 million per year at this stage of his career. There is speculation that some team (the
Giants?) could sweep in with a one year, $18 million deal, but I really don’t
see that happening.
The sooner that the Yankees and DJ can come to the
inevitable agreement, the better both parties will be. My first reaction to hearing the negative
public comments was what impact would they have on the Cliff Lee
negotiations. But then again, if Cliff
gets 6 years from the Yankees, he’s probably done at the end so he likely won’t
face a re-negotiation with the team if he signs with them. Still, the Yankees need to accelerate the
speed of the negotiations and get this resolved.
Of course, they need to pay equal attention (if not more)
to closer Mariano Rivera. When I heard
that he wanted 2 years at $18 million per year, my reaction was ‘take it and pay him!’. Mo IS the reason the Yankees have enjoyed so
much post-season success over the past 15 years.
The latest rumors have Andy Pettitte leaning toward
returning in 2011. Seriously, that’s
what I have expected. I think he’ll
return for one more year and then hang up the glove for good. Players want to go out on their terms and I
feel that Andy needs stronger closure than the injury shortened 2010
season. His three years in Houston
robbed him of the legacy of being the greatest lefthander in Yankee history,
but he is still in the same room. A
rotation headed by CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee and ended with Andy Pettitte would
definitely make the Yanks one of the early favorites heading into 2011.
I saw that the Yankees had signed reliever Neal Cotts. I was pleasantly surprised to see the
acquisition. Although he was most
recently with the Chicago Cubs, it wasn’t that long ago that he was a key part
of the Chicago White Sox championship bullpen.
He underwent Tommy John surgery in July 2009 and should be ready for
spring training. He will only be 31 when
the season starts and he is certainly a great left-handed option with Boone
Logan. I really hope that he is able to
make a successful return from surgery and breaks camp with the Yanks. He is one of the players I admired as an
opposing player so it is certainly great to see him in pinstripes.
It was strange to see Willie Randolph named as the new
bench coach for the Baltimore Orioles.
Granted, we saw him leave the Yankees to join the Mets as their
manager. But now he is with an AL East
rival and that seems weirder than being with the cross-town Mets. I am not a Buck Showalter fan so I don’t have
the same feeling about Buck managing in the division but Willie has always been
one of the good guys. I also saw that
former Yankees pitching coach Mark Connor, who frequently drew the ire of
George Steinbrenner, is the new Orioles pitching coach. I wish Willie the best of luck and hope that
it propels him to another managing opportunity.
Simmons/NY Daily News
Finally, I am glad that Joe Girardi is the Yankees
manager. However, last season, I had
openly pulled for Don Mattingly if Girardi left to take the Chicago Cubs
job. It never came close to becoming a
reality since the Cubs decided to stay with interim manager Mike Quade and the
Los Angeles Dodgers named Donnie Baseball as their manager replacing Joe
Torre. I think it was the Cubs snub of
Ryne Sandberg that made me realize it was probably best for Mattingly to manage
elsewhere. If he is unsuccessful and
ultimately fired, it would have adversely impacted his relationship with the
Yankees. I think about Lou Piniella, who
enjoyed his greatest managing success elsewhere, and Yogi Berra, who went years
not speaking to the Yankees before he finally reconciled with George
Steinbrenner. Donnie will always be a
Yankee but it is best for him to manage in Los Angeles. As for Girardi, there really is nobody that I’d
rather see in the position. As for
Sandberg, it is very sad that his relationship with the Cubs has been hurt but
long-term he is better off managing elsewhere.
He’ll be able to return to Chicago with no hard feelings at some future
point in time.
Simmons/NY Daily News
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! J
I am glad that the Yankees moved quickly to re-sign
Manager Joe Girardi. It’s not like
Girardi was going anywhere, but the team has much greater things to be
concerned about than negotiating with Girardi.
Once the Chicago Cubs named Mike Quade as their permanent manager, there
was really no question that Girardi would be back in New York. Of course, to listen to Girardi, Chicago was
never an option, but I have to believe at some level it was.
From everything I’ve read, Girardi was more like
the 2008 version in September than the 2009 version that was more relaxed and a
better players manager. Was it
uncertainty about his own future or the sluggish play of his team? Who knows, but whatever the cause, Girardi
has the comfort of knowing he should be able to call Yankee Stadium home for
the next 3 years.
For me, I had held a glimmer of hope that somehow
Don Mattingly could get the job but of course that was nixed the moment the Los
Angeles Dodgers made Donnie Baseball their manager following the departure of
Joe Torre. Outside of Mattingly, there
really was no other manager that I would have preferred to see hold the Yankees
job than Girardi. Well, maybe Terry
Francona, but rumor has it that he already has a job.
2011 will be a very challenging year for the
Yankees. They have an albatross or two
to deal with. It’s tough to sink over
$80 million into a pitcher that was a nightmare for most of the season (A.J.
Burnett). I saw a recent fan poll that
actually showed Yankee fans would prefer Javier Vazquez over Burnett. That’s bad.
The first order of business for the new pitching coach, whenever he is
named, will be to restore Burnett to the pitcher he is capable of being. Also, decisions have to be made regarding the
Core, primarily Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada.
Assuming DJ re-signs with the Yanks, he’ll continue to play at short but
will he lead off? Based on comments at
Girardi’s press conference, it would appear that this is being heavily
reconsidered (and rightfully so). As
Posada, the time is clearly now to move on to the next great Yankees catcher,
Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger
There are many hard decisions to be made between
now and spring training so hopefully Girardi and GM Brian Cashman are prepared
to make the right decisions for the best interests of the 2011 New York
So far, the World Series has been all San Francisco
Giants. It was clear they had superior
pitching in the NLCS but I’ve been pleasantly surprised at their play in the
first two games. I’ve always been a fan
of Matt Cain and he certainly has raised his game to a higher level during this
post-season. With a 2 games to none
lead, the series now shifts to Arlington, Texas. I am sure that we’ll see a much different
Rangers team in their home park, but if the Giants can win a game or two on the
road, I really like their chances to win the World Series.
I spent 14 years in Dallas and used to go to
Arlington to watch the Rangers play quite often. You’d think that I would pull for the Rangers
but as an American League fan, it is hard to pull for anyone other than the
Yankees. Plus, many of the times that I’d
go to Arlington, it was to see the Yankees so I was consistently cheering
against the Rangers. Meanwhile, I’ve
always been a fan of the Giants in the National League even though I didn’t
move to the Bay Area until about 5 years ago.
So, given my current geographic location, it wasn’t hard to pull for the
Finally, I just don’t think there is any way that
Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress pulls the plug on Brett Favre’s
consecutive games playing streak this Sunday against the New England
Patriots. While the best decision is to
probably start Tavaris Jackson, it’s a no-win situation for Childress if he
pulls Favre. So, win or lose, expect to
see #4 on the field when the Vikings take the ball.
As for the Vikings-Patriots game, I have made yet
another wager with Julia of Julia’s Rants.
The loser of the game must write a blog about the highlights of the opposing
team’s history. I know, the Patriots
have a more illustrious history than the Vikings, but I personally will like
reading about Joe Kapp, Fran Tarkenton and the others who made the Vikes such a
great success in the late 60′s and 70′s.
I know, I still owe Julia for another lost wager at
the end of the baseball season. I will
try to make good this weekend.
Caffalo/NY Daily News
Finally, here is a great video of an awesome Giants fan who just can’t stop believin’…
So far, September has not been kind…
The month started with so much promise when the
Yankees won from September 1st through 4th, but since
then, wins have been hard to come by.
They won only one game during the second week of the month, and so far,
have only two wins this week pending the outcome of Saturday night’s game. A few weeks ago, the question was whether the
Yankees would win the AL East with the Tampa Bay Rays taking the Wild
Card. At a time they should have been
able to put away the Boston Red Sox, the Sox still have hope, only 7 games
behind the Yankees (6 ½ behind the Rays).
Sure, the Yankees are in first place, with a very
thin lead. However, the schedule the
rest of the way is brutal. After the
Yankees leave Baltimore (the Orioles have certainly not been a slouch by any
stretch of the imagination, particularly since former Yankees manager Buck
Showalter took over), they face a Murderer’s Row-like lineup of Tampa Bay,
Boston, and Toronto. The Rays and Red
Sox are the obvious rivals, but the Blue Jays have played the Yanks very tough
this year. It is a schedule that will
prove what the 2010 Yankees are made of.
Last night’s game was very exciting. Hopefully, it will be one that the team can
build upon. In the 9th inning
with two outs and two runs down, it looked like it would be another loss. Fortunately, Alex Rodriguez saved the day
with his second home run of the day, a three-run shot that gave the Yankees the
margin of victory, 4-3.
In looking ahead, the Yankees play a three-game
series against the Boston Red Sox next weekend in the Bronx. For the series, Julia (of Julia’s Rants) and
I will hold another wager. For this
series, the loser must wear the opposing team’s hat for a photo on his/her
blog. Also, through previous wagers,
Julia has acquired a Yankees t-shirt and I have a Red Sox t-shirt so we’d have
to include those shirts. I know this is
a tame wager, but the Yankees and Red Sox close out the regular season with a
three-game series in Boston so we’ll be looking to close out the year with a
bang. As long as the Yankees win both
series, I am cool with it! J
I have to admit that I had very mixed feelings when
I first heard that Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre had decided to step
down at the end of the season, and was handing the reins to one of my all-time
favorite Yankees, Don Mattingly. I had
quietly harbored hopes that Donnie Baseball could find his way back to the
Bronx, perhaps as a potential replacement for manager Joe Girardi if Joe
decides to go to Chicago. Realistically,
it would probably never happen because Don does not have any major or minor
league managerial experience and that’s a pre-requisite in New York.
Gene J. Puskar/AP
None of this means that I want Joe Girardi to
leave. I am just bracing for the possibility. There is no telling how strong his Chicago
roots might be pulling him to return home.
It would be very intriguing to be the guy who brought the World Series
to Wrigley Field. Winning World
Championship #28 for the Yankees wouldn’t forever etch Girardi’s name into
baseball legend like winning one for the Cubs would. Hopefully, the Steinbrenner Family will do
what it takes to lock up Joe long-term so that there is no possibility for a
managerial search after the season.
As for Joe Torre, I am not convinced he is
finished. None of his words have implied
that he is ready to hang it up. I am not
sure that he’d be a good fit for the Cubs, but perhaps the Mets if they fire
Jerry Manuel. I’ve wondered if the
Yankees would try to bring him back if Girardi leaves, but outside of George
Steinbrenner’s departure, the senior executives who were against Torre in his
latter years with the team are still in place.
Plus, there’s always the issue with the book Torre wrote. Whatever happens, I don’t want to see Bobby
Valentine in the Bronx…
Since I started writing this post, the Yankees have
defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 11-3, for their second consecutive
victory. It is a much-needed win and
hopefully they’ll begin gaining momentum for the challenging late month series
coming up. Congratulations to CC
Sabathia (20-6) for his first 20-win season!
I am very happy to see CC finally nab the elusive victory (it was his
third attempt at 20).
A late Rays rally
against the Los Angeles Angels prevented the Yankees from gaining any ground,
but the Boston Red Sox did lose to fall 8 games back.
On Sunday, Andy Pettitte will make his
much-anticipated return from the DL. Clearly,
he is a key for the post-season so hopefully he can pick up where he left off
as he was pitching brilliantly prior to the injury. A Pettitte win on Sunday would make it a
I’ll take a split…
Fortunately for the Yankees, they emerged victorious today against the Los Angeles Angels to split the two game series. The mediocre pitching line continued, albeit with no injuries, but the Yankee bats were active enough to ensure sufficient runs by the time the Angels recorded their last out in the top of the 9th inning.
William Perlman/The Star Ledger
Javier Vazquez gave up 9 hits and 5 runs in 5 innings, but it was enough to earn his 8th victory (against 7 losses). The key hit was a pinch hit three-run homer in the 7th by Colin Curtis. Robinson Cano and Juan Miranda also homered in the game, but Alex Rodriguez did not so he remains at 598 home runs. Curtis was an interesting story as he entered the game after Brett Gardner was thrown out of the game while batting. So, the strike count stood at two before Curtis even got warmed up.
Vazquez, with the victory, has defeated all 30 major league teams.
Playing against the Yankees definitely helped Hideki Matsui break out of his slump. He had only hit only one home run since June 7th before playing the Yankees. In the two game series, he homered in each game. I am okay with Godzilla getting his hits so long as they aren’t the game winners. Fortunately, they weren’t either day.
Paul Rodriguez/The Orange County Register
The Yankees split the season series with the Angels, 4-4, and won’t see them again unless they meet in the play-offs. The Yankees now await the arrival of the Kansas City Royals.
Happy Birthday to CC Sabathia, who celebrated his 30th birthday today!
Joel Sherman ran a piece in his New York Post column this morning where he speculated that Yankees manager Joe Girardi could be a potential target for managerial vacancy created with the Chicago Cubs when Lou Piniella announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season. I completely agree with his analysis. I’ve always considered Girardi to be a “Chicago” guy. He was born and raised in the area, as was his wife, and he started professional baseball with the Cubs and played there again after he left the Yankees.
It started me to think who the Yankees would turn to if the worst case scenario played out (Girardi leaving at the end of the season, which is, by the way, the expiration of his current contract). The first guy I thought about for the position was Don Mattingly. Mattingly is the assumed replacement for current Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre. However, Torre still hasn’t decided if he’ll manage next year, and of course, the whole situation with the Dodgers ownership (the McCourt divorce situation) could create the right circumstances to woo Mattingly back to New York.
But when I turned on ESPN this morning, they were showing the highlights of last night’s Dodgers-Giants game where Mattingly had assumed management of the team after both Joe Torre and bench coach Bob Schaefer had been ejected. In the 9th inning, with closer Jonathan Broxton on the mound, Mattingly went out to pay a visit. As he started to walk away, he decided that he wanted to say something else to Broxton and turned back around. He realized that he had made a mistake when the umpires were saying “no” but by then, it was too late. When he made the about face, it counted as a second trip to the mound so he had no choice but to pull Broxton. George Sherrill was brought in and the Dodgers let a 5-4 lead slip away as they ultimately lost the game 7-5. Now, I agree, the faux paux would not be reason to avoid hiring Mattingly but the timing couldn’t have been worse (at least for me).
It’s tough. As much as I like Mattingly, I am not sure that I am a proponent for a rookie manager. I think the year in Florida as the Marlins manager was invaluable for Joe Girardi. He is a better manager today for the experience. Same with Terry Francona in Boston. He is one of the best managers in baseball, and I think it can be directly attributed to his learning opportunity with the Phillies. For the Cubs, I still think Ryne Sandberg is the best fit for the organization. But if you were the owner of the Cubs, would you want a Triple A manager who has never managed in the bigs or a highly prepared and accomplished major league manager with a World Series resume? There are just not that many attractive managerial candidates in my opinion. I am sure that Bobby Valentine will re-surface at some point, as well Buck Showalter, but neither of those guys excite me. If the Steinbrenner Family is smart, they’ll take care of Girardi and never let him have the chance to consider the Cubs.
The deaths in the Yankees family have, unfortunately, continued into this week. The latest is the Yankees manager from the great 1961 season of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris (the year that Roger hit 61 home runs and the Yankees won the World Series), Ralph Houk. His World Series championships (he also won in 1962) were the last before the demise of the team under the ownership of CBS and before George Steinbrenner purchased the team. He had taken over as the Yankees manager replacing Casey Stengel in 1960 after the Yankees had lost the World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Houk would manage until 1963, when he stepped into the front office. He returned to managing the Yankees in 1966 and stayed through 1973, Steinbrenner’s first year. I primarily remember Houk as the manager for the Detroit Tigers, although he did manage the Boston Red Sox at the end of his managerial career. Houk apparently died today at his home in Winter Haven, FL of natural causes. He was 90.
Joe Torre and slow starts are a thing of the past…
Well, except for Mark Teixeira. Nevertheless, the Yankees have taken the first two games of a three game set with the Texas Rangers (by scores of 5-1 and 7-3).
Tim Farrell/The Star Ledger
Apparently, according to the Associated Press, the Yankees haven’t won their first four series of the season since Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were in the middle of the order. I know, interesting but irrelevant, however, it is good to see the Yankees playing well from the start. In the past few years, they would dig a hole and then have to spend the season digging their way out. More often than not, they were successful. However, that’s not the best formula for World Series success.
Friday night’s game against the Rangers was all-CC Sabathia. Despite a rain-shortened six inning game, CC was masterful. In facing 22 batters, he threw 20 first pitch strikes. He definitely picked right up where he left off in his previous start against the Tampa Bay Rays, a near no-hitter that was broken up by a Kelly Shoppach single. Catcher Francisco Cervelli, who caught both games for CC, put it best: “I think he was better today. He was throwing nasty pitches today, man.”
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
The Yankees continued their winning ways on Saturday behind great pitching by A.J. Burnett. In 7 innings, despite giving up 6 hits, A.J. did not allow any runs and struck out 7 Ranger batters. Alfredo Aceves lost the shutout by giving up a three-run homer to Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz, but the subsequent relievers, Damaso Marte and Joba Chamberlain, did their jobs and the Yankees had their 8th win in 11 games.
There were a few major milestones achieved today. Jorge Posada put his name with legendary Yankees catchers like Yogi Berra, Bill Dickey and Thurman Munson with his 1,500 hit as a Yankee. Hip-hip-Jorge!
Michael Strobe/US Presswire
Alex Rodriguez hit his 584th career home run, moving past Mark McGwire into 8th place on the all-time list. It was his first home run of the season. Next up is Frank Robinson’s 586 home runs.
Al Bello/Getty Images
It doesn’t seem like he has been manager of the Yankees for very long, but Joe Girardi notched his 200th career win as a Yankees manager. Time flies when you’re having fun! Wouldn’t it be cool if he makes it to 300 games THIS season? Works for me!
Brian J. Myers/US Presswire
Is Mark Teixeira really 4-for-40? Yikes! May cannot get here soon enough. Maybe Mark should see a hypnotist to make him think today is June 1st!
And note to Javier Vazquez: Please feel free to join the Yankees’ pitching party! I know that you haven’t accepted the invitation yet, but fashionably late is perfectly acceptable!
The Yankees lost their first player to the disabled list when Chan Ho Park was moved to the 15-day DL due to a hamstring strain. The move allowed the Yankees to recall Boone Logan from AAA. Welcome back, Boone! Enjoy Yankee Stadium!
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
I will finally get my first opportunity this year to see the Yankees in person when they travel to Oakland next week. Let’s hope the fun continues! Go Yankees!
P.S. Hey Julia, how is the book assignment coming along?
The oldest Yankee legend has passed away…
Tommy Henrich, 96, a Yankees outfielder in the 30′s and 40′s, died yesterday in Dayton, Ohio. Henrich was part of a tremendous outfield trio in the late 40′s that included Charlie Keller and Joe DiMaggio.
In Game 1 of the 1949 World Series, Henrich hit the first game-winning home run in Series history in a 1-0 victory over Don Newcombe and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Henrich, like many of the players from his era, missed three years due to military service during World War II.
Henrich, a five time All-Star, played 11 seasons and hit 183 home runs. His career batting average was .282. He retired following the 1950 season. During his career, Henrich was part of seven World Series Championships.
He was nicknamed “Old Reliable” by the great Yankee broadcaster Mel Allen due to his knack for coming up with clutch hits in big games. On a sad note, Henrich was the final surviving teammate of the legendary Lou Gehrig and the last member of the 1938 World Champions.
An autographed picture of Henrich has long been one of my prized possessions. In Yankees history, he ranks as one of my personal favorites. I never got to meet Henrich, but he will be missed.
The Yankees did not offer arbitration to any of their free agents. So, Andy Pettitte, Johnny Damon, and Hideki Matsui are free to sign with any team without compensation to the Yanks. I understand the reasons (they couldn’t take the chance that any of the players accept arbitration), but it does feel that the bonds to the players have lessened considerably. I still think that Andy Pettitte will come back on a one year deal, but I am getting pessimistic that Damon will return. It was a given that Matsui most likely will not be back.
With the talk of Boston’s interest in Matt Holliday, it will be interesting to see if that sparks any Yankee interest in Jason Bay. If both Damon and Matsui leave, the Yankees will lose a tremendous amount of production that needs to be replaced.
Antonelli/New York Daily News
Derek Jeter was named Sport Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year. Surprisingly, he is the first Yankee to win the award in its 56 year history. It was a great year for the Yankee captain, and of course, just another noted achievement, in what is becoming a long list of achievements, for the future plaque that will be placed in Monument Park when DJ retires. Congratulations to Derek for the well-deserved honor and recognition!
The New York Jets brought in Yankees manager Joe Girardi to teach QB Mark Sanchez how to slide? Seriously?…
New York Post
Doc or Josh…
Joel Auerbach/US Presswire
To repeat as World Champions, the Yankees clearly have to upgrade the middle of their pitching staff. No offense to Andy Pettitte, but going into the play-offs with a three man rotation is not the recipe for continued success…especially if Bud Selig is successful in shortening the off-days during play-off series. At this point in his career, Andy is better served by bringing up the rear of the rotation. So, if the Yankees decide to pursue a frontline starter to go with CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, should they go after Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays or Josh Johnson of the Florida Marlins?
Pitcher to pitcher, it’s easy to say that the choice should be Roy Halladay. He is arguably the best pitcher in the American League, and he knows how to win in Boston, New York, Baltimore, Tampa and Toronto. He is not intimidated by the Los Angeles Angels, and at 32, he is primed for a few more years of dominance.
But if it were my decision, I’d have to go with Josh Johnson. I know that he doesn’t have Doc’s resume, and there is the age old argument that National League pitchers struggle in the American League. However, it goes beyond just Johnson’s age (he will be 26 next season). After undergoing Tommy John surgery in mid-2008, he is 22-6 since his return and according to FanGraphs, he ranked third in average fastball velocity this past season with 95.1 mph (behind Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Verlander). He enjoyed a very fine 2009 season, going 15-5, with 3.23 ERA. He struck out 191 batters in 2009 innings. He will continue to get better, and will soon be an elite ace if he’s not already there.
Probably the bigger reason I’d pursue Johnson is that either pitcher is going to require a hefty bounty in return. There is no doubt that the Yankees will lose the likes of Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, and other high level talent to make a trade. Realistically, if we are going to lose those guys, I’d rather see them pitching in the National League instead of right here in the AL East. The counter-argument is that some team is going to pay the Blue Jays a very high price, so they’ll walk away with a much stronger team either way. But still, I am not prepared to see Joba Chamberlain pitching for the Jays. The AL East should be very competitive next year. Aside from the Yankees and Red Sox, you know that the Tampa Bay Rays will be a force to be reckoned with. The fine young talent in Baltimore is finally starting to gel and should result in a much improved Orioles squad. So, if the Jays are smart about the pieces they receive in a Halladay trade, there will be no pushovers in the division.
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
The Yankees have A.J. Burnett locked up for four more years so I am not concerned about him. However, CC Sabathia still has the right to opt out of his contract after two more years so I think it would be wise for the Yankees to go with the younger option so that they can build a cornerstone for future years. I don’t think CC will opt out, however, as long as it exists as a possibility, it has to be considered. Much can happen in two years.
So, I say go with Josh Johnson and send the premium Yankee talent to the National League…even if that means Doc Halladay calling Fenway Park “home”. Yankees manager Joe Girardi is familiar with Johnson from his year as the Marlins manager in 2007, so it would aid Johnson’s transition to the Bronx.
There is a question of whether the Marlins organization will be willing to part with Johnson, but it should be interesting to see what develops in the coming weeks…
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
But tonight, I choose to see Kelly Clarkson…
Yankees fans are everywhere…
Even the Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre admittedly that he was pulling for the Yankees during the World Series. Okay, maybe he has good reason, but you can find us Yankee fans in the most unlikely places. Don’t look now, but the person standing next to you could be a Yankees fan!
Of course, in a championship year, that’s the problem. Suddenly, everyone is a fan. In the down years, not many people admitted they were Yankees fans. I have stood by the team through thick and thin, but I recognize that the good times have outweighed the bad times. As a lifelong fan of the Minnesota Vikings, I knew the heartbreak of championship losses (four Super Bowl losses in the Joe Kapp/Fran Tarkenton eras). The Vikings have never won a championship and they haven’t been in the Super Bowl since that dreadful 32-14 loss to the Oakland Raiders on January 9, 1977. I am still haunted by the visions of Brent McClanahan’s fumble, Willie Brown’s 75-yard interception return for a touchdown, and Chuck Foreman sitting on his helmet with a blank expression at the end of the game.
Anyway, I digress. “Yankees fan” Joe Torre was in New York for his annual Safe at Home foundation benefit dinner, and he indicated he was pleased the Yankees won the World Series. That was good to hear, particularly considering that he would have every reason to hold bitterness against the Steinbrenners and Yankee top brass for how the end of his managerial reign was handled. Don’t worry Joe, we would have pulled for you had the situation been reversed.
It does sound like Joe wants to continue to manage beyond 2010. He is still having fun, but I still think his wife will eventually help him realize that it’s time to step aside and turn over the team to Donnie Baseball. So, I guess the question is how many World Series championships can Joe Girardi win before Joe Torre retires?
John Munson/The Star Ledger
I was sad to hear the situation in Texas with former Yankees closer John Wetteland. The initial reports came out that he was hospitalized for depression and attempted suicide. His employer, the Seattle Mariners (where he is bullpen coach), stated that the hospitalization was due an elevated heart rate. Wettleland has since been released from the hospital but regardless of what happened, I hope that he gets the care and treatment that he needs.
Watching Mariano Rivera set up Wettleland in 1996 was a thrill, and I remember being a bit unsure when the team made Rivera the closer following Wetteland’s free agent departure that winter. Wetteland was a great Yankee, even if his stay was short. He deserves much happiness and success, so I hope all goes well in his world.
Did you see that Derek Jeter has a cameo appearance on Will Ferrell’s next film, “The Other Guys” which also stars Mark Wahlberg? I guess he’s starting to contemplate a career post-Yankees. But of course, the Yankees have a few more championships to win before that happens!
Hey Derek, stick with the day job!
The 2009 World Champions!…
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I knew that Andy, at his best would give up about 3 or 4 runs, and I had a feeling that this would come down to the bullpen.
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On my FaceBook page, I started the day by posting this Bob Lemon quote:
It was sad that George Steinbrenner could not be in attendance, but perhaps this championship was for Hal Steinbrenner. In 1923, the original Yankee Stadium opened with a World Championship. In 2009, it’s a new stadium but the same result. What a way to christen the new home of Aura and Mystique!
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Manager Joe Girardi earned the number on his back, and he can always wear it with pride. He personally delivered it to the fans of New York, and it will be great to see the parade return to the Big Apple.
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Is there anyone who doesn’t believe that Mariano Rivera will be a first ballot Hall of Famer? It has been tough for closers to gain entry to Cooperstown, but the legend of Mo Rivera will be long remembered. He is the greatest closer in Yankee history, and certainly one of the best ever in Major League baseball.
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Going away from the Series, I have to say that I am glad the Yankees didn’t have to face Chase Utley more than they did. The guy is a stud, and certainly one of the premier players in the game. Cliff Lee also proved that he is truly an ace. It’s not like he had anything to prove before the Series, but on the grandest stage of all, he showed that he is a champion. There is no doubt that the Phillies will be back…
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A World Championship celebration in the Bronx…the way it was meant to be. Life is good.
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Hey Julia, I am ready for Opening Day 2010! Bring on the Red Sox! My friend, it is Game On!