Friday, December 28, 2012

Yankees Sign Matt Diaz To Minor League Deal

From Mark Feinsand:
The Yankees’ search for a righthanded-hitting outfielder may not be over, but they took a step in the right direction Wednesday night with the signing of veteran Matt Diaz.
Diaz, who has spent his 10-year career battering lefthanded pitching, inked a minor-league deal with the Bombers that includes an invitation to spring training.

If Diaz makes the club, he'll earn $1.2 million. He can earn up to $800,000 more in incentives based on at-bats.

“I’m healthy and I feel like I can go to camp and show what I can do,” said Diaz, who played only 51 games in 2012 after undergoing midseason thumb surgery. “If I can go and do what I do, which is hit lefties and take tough at-bats against them, that’s what the Yankees need and want. It will be a good fit.”

Diaz grew up in Lakeland, Fla., where his father used to lead team chapel services for the Tigers during spring training. Diaz became a big fan of Matt Nokes, so when the catcher was traded to the Yankees in 1990, Diaz switched allegiances and became a Yankees fan.

“My dream in life as a kid was to play for the Yankees,” Diaz said.
In 2012, Diaz hit .222/.280/.333 in 51 games for Atlanta.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Yankees Eying Vernon Wells?

From Anthony McCarron:
Next up on the Yankees’ winter shopping list is a righthanded-hitting outfielder, and the Angels’ Vernon Wells reportedly is a potential trade target.

The Yankees and the Angels discussed a possible deal for Wells at the baseball winter meetings in Nashville, according to a report Saturday on FoxSports.com.

The Yanks are also prowling the free-agent market in search of a righty bat to complement their all-lefty outfield of Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro has agreed to a two-year, $13 million contract that will become official once he takes a physical and some contract language is completed.

The Yankees have interest in Scott Hairston, who hit 20 homers for the Mets last year. They might be a match with the Angels for a trade because the Halos just signed Josh Hamilton and now have a glut of outfielders, meaning the 34-year-old Wells could be available.

Wells is due to make $21 million in both 2013 and 2014, which does not fit into the Yankees’ plan to drop their payroll under the luxury tax threshold of $189 million by 2014. So it’s likely that the Yanks would want the Angels to eat much of the contract. Wells’ contract has a no-trade clause, but he waived it for the trade that sent him from Toronto to Anaheim before the 2011 season.
I supposed a right-handed outfielder would help, but I can't see the Angels picking up that much of his salary. Well hit .230/.279/.403 with 11 HR in 77 games for the Angels last year, and hit .218/.248/.412 with 25 homers in 131 games in 2011.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Some Think Youkilis is Waiting For A Non-Yankee Offer

From CSNNE.com:

"You think he just doesn't want to play for the Yankees?" ex-Sox infielder Lou Merloni asked Monday night on 'Uno's Sports Tonight'. "The history, and playing for the Red Sox? . . .

"I think like he's waiting for other offers because he just doesn't want to play for the Yankees."

Here's the video from the article:

It does seem kind of odd that he has not yet accepted the offer from the Yankees, especially when you consider that as of now nobody else is in the mix. Oh well, I assume we'll have our answer in the next day or two.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Youkilis 'Seriously Considering' Yankees as Cleveland Signs Reynolds

From the NY Daily News:
The Yankees could have an answer to their third-base problem shortly and the possibility it’ll be Kevin Youkilis may have gained steam Sunday night when Mark Reynolds reportedly agreed to a deal with the Indians.

Cleveland was viewed as the Yankees’ biggest competition for Youkilis. But CBSsports.com, which first reported Reynolds’ agreement and said he was going to play first base for the Indians, said the move meant Cleveland would use Lonnie Chisenhall at third.

So with one serious suitor down, the Yankees’ chances may have improved, though the Mariners and Dodgers are among the teams that also have reportedly shown interest in Youkilis. Youkilis’ agent, Joe Bick, said Sunday his client is “giving serious consideration to the Yankees” but wouldn’t offer more detail on what other teams were involved.

“Kevin’s in the process of considering options and we’ll obviously make a decision at some point not too far in the future here,” Bick said.
It would appear that the Youkilis signing is inevitable. Stay tuned...

Rosenthal: Yankees Likely To Resign Ichiro

From Ken Rosenthal:
Ichiro Suzuki enjoyed playing for the Yankees so much, he likely will be back with them again.

The Yankees are showing strong interest in re-signing the free-agent outfielder, according to major league sources.

“They are all over him,” one source says. “That (a deal with Ichiro) will happen.”
That's good to hear..... Rosenthal also mentioned that the Yankees are still exploring the idea of trading Curtis Granderson.

With Greinke Signing Dodgers Will Outspend Yankees

From Joel Sherman:
If it needed any further punctuation, the Dodgers established that they — not the Yankees — are the financial heavyweights of baseball yesterday by reaching agreement with Zack Greinke on a six-year, $147 million contract.

Unless the Yankees come out of their economic cocoon, they will not have the largest payroll in the game for the first time since 1998. With Greinke’s signing, the Dodgers are up to about a $220 million outlay — and they do not appear finished yet.

The Dodgers have a 3 p.m. deadline today to finalize a deal with Hyn-Jim Ryu after winning a posting bid for the star Korean lefty 30 days ago. And there have been indications they also may go after a free-agent starter such as Anibal Sanchez.
This will be the first time since 1998 that the Yankees won't have the highest payroll in the sport. Of course, that would change if the Yankees decide to make a splash or two.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

They Haven't Forgotten About Ichiro

https://twitter.com/JonHeymanCBS/status/277123884422148096
As I've said all winter, I think it's very important that they bring Ichiro back.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Yankees Check in on Josh Hamilton

https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/277015565128847360
https://twitter.com/AndrewMarchand/status/277047376504569857
https://twitter.com/AndrewMarchand/status/277047674501476352
Not Cashman? Are the Yankees brass pulling another Rafael Soriano type move here?

There was also an article by Joel Sherman in today's New York Post where he says that George Steinbrenner and the old Yankees brass would never pass up on the chance of getting Josh Hamilton in Pinstripes, which is very true. At the end of the day, this could just be another baseless Winter Meeting rumor, but it will still be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Yankees in Talks With A.J. Pierzynski

https://twitter.com/ChiTribRogers/status/276077188049170432
This would be a solid signing for the Yankees, who as you know are in desperate need of a catcher.

Sox Sign Shane Victorino

https://twitter.com/alexspeier/status/276090480373145600
The contract is reportedly a 3-year deal worth $39 million.

Replacing A-Rod Update: Youkilis, Keppinger, Scutaro

https://twitter.com/JackCurryYES/status/276026709655040000
https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/276035587436339201
Also, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi, the Yankees and Cadinals have both shown interesting is Marco Scutaro.

Kepner: Ian Stewart Makes Sense For Yanks

https://twitter.com/TylerKepner/status/275991883405217792
Stewart has been struggling with injuries over the past two seasons, but if he could regain his 2010 form of .256/.338/.443 with 18 HR and 61 RBI he would be a decent and cheap fill-in while A-Rod recovers.

Now most of this is just pure speculation, but other possible replacements I've seen mentioned are Kevin Youkilis, Asdrubal Cabrera, Stephen Drew, Eric Chavez, Hiroyuki Nakajima, Jeff Keppinger, Chase Headley, Mark Reynolds, Scott Rolen, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Marco Scutaro. For more on these possible 3rd base replacements, check out this article by Joel Sherman.

Yankees Open To Trading Granderson & Hughes

https://twitter.com/Joelsherman1/status/275970165789843456
https://twitter.com/Joelsherman1/status/275970309570576384
Well, there's always this option to replace Granderson:
ESPN's and XM's Jim Bowden really feels like the Yankees may still sign Josh Hamilton. Brian Cashman is once again doing his laying in the weeds thing, before he possibly strikes, Bowden believes.

During Day 1 on Monday, I went on Bowden and Casey Stern's XM MLB Network radio show and, in the midst of our conversation, we came up with something that made some sense. At least, to me.

If the Yankees were to trade Curtis Granderson for a package of young players, they could turn around and use the money they might have spent on free-agent-to-be Granderson on ... Hamilton. Essentially, they would be making a deal of Granderson for Hamilton and the package of young players. Seems to make some sense.

The Yankees do have some doubts about how Hamilton could handle New York. So perhaps Hamilton isn't the guy in the ultimate scenario, but it seems obvious that this is one day the Yankees could make a big splash.

Cashman later appeared on Bowden and Stern's XM show, Bowden asked Cashman, "Is it financially possible to stay within $189M and sign Josh Hamilton?" Bowden even added, "Without trading Curtis Granderson?"

"We have a dynamic, creative front office and ownership," Cashman said. "We are always try to do everything that makes sense in our world."
Obviously there are many legitimate concerns tied to Hamilton, and that's before you consider the huge contract he wants. But when he's hitting the guy is an absolute beast so it's at least something interesting to consider.

Monday, December 3, 2012

So It Turns Out Jeter Isn't Fat

Well, I guess it was a bad camera angle or some Photoshop work because Jeter clearly isn't fat.

A-Rod To Have Hip Surgery (Updated)

From Joel Sherman:
Alex Rodriguez was playing late in the regular season and playoffs with a re-tear in his surgically repaired right hip, The Post has learned.

Rodriguez is expected to need a second surgery in the coming days and will miss, at minimum, a piece of the 2013 season. Still, the hope is that the procedure will allow A-Rod to return as a full, successful player as early as the ’13 season and for the rest of a contract that takes him through the 2017 campaign.

The expectation is that Rodriguez wants to play on, not retire. The surgery is expected to be performed in Colorado by Dr. Marc Philippon, who performed the initial surgery in 2009. Rodriguez came back from that operation to play well, driving in 100 runs in just 124 games and starring in a postseason that culminated with the Yankees’ only title during his tenure.

...

The recurrence of the hip tear potentially helps explain why Rodriguez suffered through such a miserable postseason, which ultimately led to his benching. He was 3-for-25 with no extra-base hits and 12 strikeouts during the playoffs. However, Rodriguez also is 37 and so age could be a factor in the decline and also his ability to recuperate well from another surgery.
https://twitter.com/FeinsandNYDN/status/275631571309056000
Just when you thought that contract couldn't look worse, it does. By the way, in case you were wondering, he's still owed $113 million over the next five seasons.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ichiro is Becoming Impatient

From George King:
Ichiro Suzuki’s willingness to wait on the Yankees has declined to the point where the veteran outfielder is talking to other teams.

“At the beginning we talked a lot but since that time, zero,’’ agent Tony Attanasio said of discussions with the Yankees. “As far as we are concerned we don’t care what the Yankees do. We have had conversations with multiple clubs. If we see something we like he will go through with it.’

In a week’s time, Ichiro has completely reversed field.

“There has been a lot of interest [from other teams] but he enjoyed playing for the Yankees so much it’s hard for him to say no to the Yankees,’’ Attanasio said a week ago yesterday. “His preference is to stay there instead of going someplace else, but we’ll wait and see.’’

Of course, Ichiro’s reversal doesn’t mean he can’t return to The Bronx, where he was a fan favorite. Thanks to a torrid 14-for-20 stretch over five games in mid-September, he batted .322 in 67 games as a Yankee.

Nor did general manager Brian Cashman eliminate Ichiro from the list of outfield candidates he will talk to about replacing Nick Swisher in right field.

“I’m really not in position to comment, but our focus was first on pitching and see the amount of dollars we needed to secure pitching,’’ Cashman said. “Now we’ll focus on players who want to talk to us.’’
Letting Ichiro sign somewhere else would be a major mistake. That being said, I understand why the Yankees were focused on pitching in the last few weeks. Hopefully, now that they can turn their attention to right field they'll get the Ichiro situation settled quickly.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Heyman: Yankees & Rivera Agree on One-Year Deal

https://twitter.com/JonHeymanCBS/statuses/274316273633087488?tw_i=274316273633087488&tw_e=details&tw_p=tweetembed
Not a surprise here as recent reports indicated this was close, but glad it's sorted out. Also, $10 million for Mo is pretty much a steal, even coming off of an injury.

Russell Martin Heading To The Pirates

From Erik Boland:
Add catcher to the list of offseason needs for the Yankees.

In a move that came as a surprise to many, a club source said Russell Martin agreed to a two-year deal with the Pirates early Thursday night. The deal is reportedly worth $17 million.

While there were reports the Yankees had made their own two-year offer, the source said the club never made an offer of any kind.

...

Currently, the Yankees have Francisco Cervelli, who spent the majority of last season at Triple-A, light-hitting Chris Stewart and Austin Romine as their options. Romine, once one of the organization's blue-ribbon prospects, missed most of 2012 with a back injury. His defense is considered major league-caliber, but his bat is suspect

The free-agent market is thin, led by Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski. But both are likely to command dollars similar to what Martin did, dollars the Yankees have made clear to this point -- at least at catcher -- they're not willing to commit.
I can't say I'm surprised the Yankees let him walk with that kind of money being offered. Honestly, he's just not worth it. That being said, the catching market is pretty non-existent so it's going to be interesting to see who they can replace him with.


However, Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees did offer Martin 2 years for somewhere around $12 to $14 million. Also, the Dodgers have emerged as a potential suitor for A.J. Pierzynski so his name may come off the board pretty soon as well.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pettitte Coming Back For One More

From Bryan Hoch:
Andy Pettitte has said that he feels like his left arm still has plenty of important innings to offer. The Yankees are counting on it.

Pettitte and the Yankees officially agreed to a one-year contract on Wednesday, representing the second major move of New York's offseason following last week's re-signing of right-handed starter Hiroki Kuroda.

The 40-year-old Pettitte will earn a base salary of $12 million for his services, plus potential awards bonuses. In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated catcher Eli Whiteside for assignment.
It's also being reported that the Yankees are close to agreeing on a one-year deal with Mariano Rivera. With the signings of Kuroda, Pettitte and hopefully Rivera, the Yankees pitching staff is looking pretty strong.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Yankees Resign Kuroda

From Anthony DiComo:
Hiroki Kuroda will be back with the Yankees next season on a one-year contract. The Yankees did not release details, but ESPN's Buster Olney reported the deal to be worth $15 million, plus incentives of less than $1 million.

...

Though Kuroda recently rejected the Yankees' one-year, $13 million qualifying offer, it was widely assumed that he was still interested in a one-year deal. He was also reportedly considering a return to Los Angeles, where he played from 2008 to 2011 with the Dodgers, or Japan, where he broke into professional baseball with the Hiroshima Carp in 1997.

"I am very happy and excited to re-sign with the Yankees," said Kuroda. "I am very grateful for all of the interest and all of the offers that I received from the various teams that courted me. It was a tough decision for me to make, but at the end of the day, I wanted to try to win a championship with the teammates that I went to battle with last season."
Nice!

Stark: It's Yankees or Japan For Kuroda

From Jayson Stark:
If free-agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda pitches in the United States next season, it apparently will be for the New York Yankees.

The Yankees are now "very confident" they're going to sign the 37-year-old Kuroda, and believe he will either pitch for them or return to Japan, say agents and clubs that have spoken with them. Meanwhile, other teams that have been reported as having interest in Kuroda -- particularly the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels -- appear to have shifted their focus elsewhere.

...

It's still possible, however, that Kuroda could return to Japan. He has said several times he wants to finish his career there, but hasn't said when.
Hopefully this is not just an empty rumor because it's is great news. They need Kuroda if they're going to compete with the rapidly improving AL East.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nolasco Drawing Interest From Yankees

https://twitter.com/eboland11/status/268785808851484672
Back in July of 2011 the Yankees tried to trade for him so this isn't the first time the Yankees have shown interest in Nolasco.

If this is their plan to replace Kuroda than I really can't figure out what the hell they're thinking. Last season, the right-hander went 12-13 with a 4.48 ERA in 31 starts for the Marlins. In 191 innings he allowed 95 earned runs on 214 hits, walked 47 and struck out 125. I would have to expect those numbers to get even worse with a move to the AL East.

Yankees Have Talked To Ibanez About Returning For 2013

From Dan Martin:
The Yankees have had preliminary discussions with Raul Ibanez about coming back next season in a platoon role. Ibanez was used more than the Yankees would have liked because of injuries last year, but he showed he was still a dangerous hitter. The lefty-swinging Ibanez was brought in to be a DH against right-handed pitching, but he was forced into the outfield when Brett Gardner was lost for most of the year and Mark Teixeira battled a strained calf.

Ibanez, 40, provided some of the only offensive highlights in the postseason for his new team and often delivered in big spots.
There aren't many affordable (Remember, the Yankees are cheap now) options out there so bringing back Raul may be the Yankees best option.

Torii Hunter, who the Yankees had interest in, is now with the Tigers after signing pretty ridiculous two-year, $26-million contract earlier today.

Yankees Interested in Mike Napoli

https://twitter.com/BNightengale/statuses/268089878837854209?tw_i=268089878837854209&tw_e=details&tw_p=tweetembed
If they do lose Martin, Napoli would be a pretty good replacement. After a great 2011 campaign, Napoli fell off a bit last season hitting .227/.343/.469 with 24 HR and 56 RBI in 108 games for the Rangers. Not great, but better than the numbers Martin put up the last two years.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Kuroda On Red Sox Radar

https://twitter.com/jonmorosi/statuses/266644813695299584?tw_i=266644813695299584&tw_e=details&tw_p=tweetembed
Regardless of this rumor, I think the Yankees should do everything they can to make sure Kuroda is back next year.

Sherman: Yanks not in on Justin Upton

From Joel Sherman:
The Yankees are so serious about dropping under that $189 million luxury tax threshold for 2014 that, according to a source briefed on their plans, they would not even do a two-year contract in the $20 million range with Torii Hunter, The Post has learned.

Though Arizona’s Justin Upton has become available at the GM Meetings, a person involved in discussions said, “The Yankees are not on him.”

...

Upton, a talented, but enigmatic player, has three years at $38.5 million left on his contract and would count as just $8.54 million (the average annual value of his deal) toward the luxury tax payroll. Nevertheless, even committing those kind of dollars plus the cost-effective prospects necessary to land a player of Upton’s ilk currently is against the Yankees strategy. The Rangers and Rays (who are losing Upton’s brother, B.J., to free agency) were considered the early favorites to get Justin Upton, according to a person involved in talks.

The Yankees want to solve right field by committing as few (maybe zero) dollars to 2014 as possible. In fact, if they need to go to two years to keep Kuroda (which they might not agree to do either), it would all but assure not one cent of 2014 money is put toward right field.

Because the Yankees have become a place veterans like to play because of the promise of championship contention and a large bloc of like-minded, similar-aged players, Hunter could follow the lead of vets such as Eric Chavez and Raul Ibanez and spurn better offers to play in The Bronx on a one-year deal.
I still can't figure out how the Yankees expect to compete and get the salary under that $189M mark. Either way, I don't mind the Yanks passing on Upton or Hunter if he actually demands two years. I still think the best move would be to bring back Ichiro on a one-year deal if that's possible.

Red Sox Looking At Tino For Hitting Coach Job

https://twitter.com/ESPNJoeyMac/statuses/266582775828738049?tw_i=266582775828738049&tw_e=details&tw_p=tweetembed
I think I speak for every Yankee fan out there when I say don't do it, Tino.

Cashman Believes Pettitte Wants to Play

From Jon Lane:
Pettitte, who ended his one-year retirement during Spring Training, continues to mull his immediate future and stated he’ll make a decision sooner rather than later. Speaking with reporters at this week’s general manager meetings, Yankees GM Brian Cashman shared details of a conversation that didn’t reveal answers, but he’s holding on to hope that the veteran left-hander will help anchor the rotation for at least one more season.

“I talked to Andy a few days after we got eliminated,” Cashman said. “In that conversation, he was going to take his family away, his son was playing in a tournament. He just said he’s going to take some time, talk to his family.

“It wasn’t going to take long. I didn’t ask how long ‘long’ was, but he’ll call me. I’m not going to push him. He’ll let me know when he’s made a final decision about whatever he’s choosing to do. I hope he plays. I believe that it’s in his blood that he wants to play. I believe that, but it doesn’t guarantee anything. But I think he wants to play, and I’m hoping he’ll call and tell me that.”
I'm not really sure why Cashman feels this way, but I'm sure he knows how Andy's thinks. Let's hope he's right.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Post Sandy Post: Mo & Soriano

Like almost everyone else in the region, I had been without power for five days, and just finally got my internet back today. Hope you're all doing well out there..... Anyway, here's the two most important stories I missed.

First, here's the good news via ESPN New York:
New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has informed the team he intends to pitch next season, general manager Brian Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand on Saturday.

"He wants to play again," said Cashman, who was informed by the reliever of his decision Friday. "I'll work with his agent, Fernando Cuza, on the details of a contract."
And now the bad, or at least what I would consider bad news. Rafael Soriano has opted out of his contract and is looking for a four-year deal, and wants to close.
"I don't think Soriano would sign here if he's not going to be the closer," Cashman said. "And I don't think we would do again what we did before. He's going to want closer money and I doubt he would want to come back here as a set-up man."

...

According to Yankees president Randy Levine, who negotiated the Soriano deal, Boras believes Soriano can command a contract in the neighborhood of four years and $60 million based on his 2012 season, in which he converted 42 of 46 save opportunities after assuming the closing duties from Rivera, who suffered a season-ending knee injury May 3.

"Based on that, I understand why he would opt out," Levine said. "I hope he's right. We love him here at the Yankees but we wouldn't pay him $60 million for four years."
With Mo coming back for one final year, the Yankees are still going to need to find a replacement and Soriano proved this year that he could be that guy. In my opinion they should do what they have to do to resign him and promise him the closers role once Mo retires. That said, it doesn't seem like that will be the case.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Yankees Exercise Options on Cano, Granderson, and Aardsma

From Erik Boland:
Free agency officially kicked off in the hours after the Giants completed their four-game sweep of the Tigers in the World Series on Sunday night and, as expected, the Yankees on Monday exercised the club options they held on second baseman Robinson Cano, centerfielder Curtis Granderson and reliever David Aardsma.

Twelve of their players became free agents, headlined by Hiroki Kuroda, Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Ichiro Suzuki, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. The others are Eric Chavez, Pedro Feliciano, Freddy Garcia, Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones and Derek Lowe.

Players can start signing with other clubs after midnight ET on Saturday.
OK, just wanted to post that before the Sandy knocked out my power and internet. Stay safe people.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Uh oh.... Mariano Rivera May Be Leaning Towards Retiring

From Andrew Marchand:
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Mariano Rivera, considered the greatest closer in baseball history, informed him earlier this week that he is unsure if he will play again or retire.

Cashman told ESPN New York that on Tuesday he and Rivera had a conversation in which Rivera said he was unsure if he will return for a 19th season.

"He wasn't certain on what he is going to do," Cashman said.

...

Now, with his 43rd birthday next month and as he's worked very hard during his rehab to return, Rivera has the familiar tug that he has carried for many years of possibly wanting to stay home with his family and call it a career.

In the past, Rivera also has emphasized that he expects to leave the game as an elite player. If he has doubts that he will retain his skill level, that also could tilt him to call it a career with the most saves (608) in MLB history and five World Series rings.

The negotiations for a new contract also could be a bit complicated. Rivera made $15 million last season, but even with the front office's utmost respect for him, it is unclear what it will offer him considering he would be returning after a season in which he pitched in only nine games.

...

During his end-of-season news conference on Wednesday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi hinted that Rivera may not return.

"From watching how he rehabbed and everything that he was going through, picked up a baseball sooner than he was supposed to and got his hand smacked a little bit, that would tell me that Mo probably wants to play," Girardi said. "But in saying that, it's a decision that I think he'll sit down with his family, evaluate where he is maybe a little bit later in this process and how he feels and how his arm feels, to feel like you think you can compete at the same level he's always competed at. But I don't think that you push a rehab like he pushed it unless you think that you possibly have some interest in coming back."
If Mo decides he wants to hang it up and spend more time with his family that's certainly something he's earned.

Now, if the Yankees make money an issue and pull the same crap they did with Jeter a few years back than I think we all should be pretty pissed off. This is Mariano Rivera for crying out loud, if he wants to return you give him basically whatever he wants, especially if it's on a one or two year deal.

CC Has Bone Spur Removed

From Andrew Marchand:
New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia had arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur in his left elbow on Thursday. The team announced he is expected to be ready for spring training.

Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery and the club said that no other problems were detected.

"They found a small bone spur," said Yankees GM Brian Cashman. "It was a quick and minor cleanup. We'll take him along slowly through spring training and he'll be ready for Opening Day.''
"Quick and minor" are always good things to hear about any kind of surgery.

Ichiro Interested In Returning To Yanks

From Joel Sherman:
The Giants were working hard to obtain Ichiro Suzuki before the Yankees did in late July and probably would have interest in the free agent this winter. But a person close to Ichiro told me he strongly wants to stay with the Yankees because he so enjoyed playing in a professional, winning atmosphere with so many contemporaries near his age range.

The friend said he can’t imagine money being a factor, noting that to make matters work when he wanted to be in Seattle, Ichiro deferred $5 million a year on his last long-term contract. The implication was that a one-year deal, perhaps with an option, in the $5 million-to-$8 million range might get it done.
In 67 games for the Yankees, the veteran hit .322/.340/.454, stole 14 bases so to me bringing him back is a very easy decision.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Heyman: Yankees Have No Interest In Giving Swisher Multi-Year Deal

From Jon Heyman:
The Yankees are still planning to make a qualifying offer of about $13.5 million to free agent Nick Swisher, but only to protect the draft choice, not with any hope or expectation he'd accept the offer and return to the Bronx.

While Swisher generally had a nice four-year run in the Bronx, the Yankees are ready to move on after a fourth straight postseason of struggle for Swisher.

The Yankees were certain all year they'd extend the qualifying offer, and it appears they still are extremely likely to do so since the chances for him to accept would still appear to be remote.The one-year qualifying offer amount is expected to be for about $13.5 million in the new set-up, so the great likelihood would seem to be that Swisher could beat that total on a multiyear deal elsewhere.

The Yankees haven't made a final determination about what to do. General manager Brian Cashman declined comment.

...

The Yankees have no interest in making Swisher a multi-year deal at the going rate, but that's mostly about their desrire to get their payroll below the lucury tax threshhold of $189 million in 2014 -- though of course Swisher's .167 batting average with only two RBI in 30 postseason at-bats doesn't help, either.
Also according to Heyman, other MLB execs expect Swisher to get a 3-year-deal.

Pineda Likely Out Until June or July

From Dayn Perry:
Pineda was initially expected back in spring training, however irrationally optimistic such a timetable was. Now, Yankees GM Brian Cashman says Pineda is not expected back until well into the 2013 season.

"We have to keep him off our radar for now," Cashman, appearing on Ian O'Connor's ESPN New York radio show, said of Pineda. "We're talking June of next year ... the second half of next year."
Some pitchers have been out for two seasons with this injury, so this is hardly unexpected.

Sherman: Cano Wants 10-Year Deal

From Joel Sherman:
Whenever I have asked about his financial goals, Cano always has said he is not concentrating on that subject. Yet a few members of the team told me Cano has said he is expecting a 10-year contract at top-of-the-market dollars. In a conversation with me yesterday, Boras also did not give numbers, but it was clear he expects his client to be treated financially like one of the great players in the game.

Boras said he anticipates the no-brainer move of the Yankees picking up Cano’s $15 million 2013 option, but he does not foresee an extension this offseason because “their normal course of action with players under contracts is to let them play it out, so I don’t think there will be urgency on their part.”

The Yankees’ urgency is in knowing that if an extension is not done by the start of spring training, Boras almost certainly would take their best player into the free-agent market for 30 teams to bid on a year from now.
You obviously pick up his option for next season, $15 million for Cano is very reasonable, even with his annual October disappearing act. But if those are going to be his demands, I think the Yankees should call his bluff and see if any other team is stupid enough to give Cano that type of deal. If there is one, then they should strongly consider letting him walk.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lupica: Yanks Now Concerned More About Money Than Wins

From Mike Lupica:
Yankee fans really need to take a deep breath here, be a little more realistic about who their team is, has been for a long time. We hear constantly about the Yankee “brand.” Well, here is what the Yankee brand has become: Winning a lot of regular games, drawing a lot of people, making a lot of money. They are big winners, unprecedented winners, April through September. Just rarely in October. October was the old brand.

And they’re still working off an old script at the new Yankee Stadium. The comments from members of the Yankees’ high command after the team doesn’t make it to the World Series have become as predictable as their baseball team not making it to the World Series.

Once the bottom line for Steinbrenner the Elder was winning it all, or else. For his heirs, it seems the bottom line is more about profit and loss, and that sure doesn’t mean the kind of loss the Yankees just suffered at the hands of the Tigers.

...

The modern Yankees are a rollicking good show, good home-run show, now that they’ve moved across 161st St. Beasts of the AL East. Brian Cashman, the general manager, says he is going looking for more home-run hitting monsters, even though we all saw what just happened in the postseason when good pitching kept the monsters the Yankees already have in the ballpark.

...

Understand: The Yankees clearly have a tremendous business plan. It’s just not exactly the one they’re selling about how every season is World Series or bust. They are a long-running TV series for YES (even though ratings were down this season), the money absolutely keeps rolling in. They are hairy monsters in the regular season. But what happens in the postseason keeps happening, no matter how surprised they act every time it does.

We keep hearing that they’re going to get the payroll down to $189 million by 2014 to avoid serious luxury-tax penalties, but that is a bit of a hustle, too. The next year they can go right back to outspending everybody (well, maybe not the Dodgers going forward) if they choose to.

Understand: They have made a lot of smart decisions in that time to keep the pump primed, don’t worry. Cashman had one of his best years in 2012 with Ibanez, Ichiro and Hiroki Kuroda, and maybe it’s fitting that his best work turned out to be with guys whose ages are 40, 38, 37. The Yankees, year after year, are always a win-now team.

But when it comes to the World Series, they have become a win-then team.

Under Joe Torre they won four times in five seasons, made it to the World Series five times in six seasons, finally six times in eight. But starting in 2002, they have become the New York Braves.

Obviously there is no shame in that, the people in charge can point to other teams spending big money and not having nearly the regular-season success the Yankees have had. You think Mets fans wouldn’t trade places with Yankee fans? But the idea that the sky is falling because they just did what they usually do — fell hard before they got to the Series ­— is just plain dumb.

They consistently fall short of what they say their mission statement is, but nothing really changes in the organization. You know the only person who effectively got fired from the World-Series-or-bust Yankees lately? A.J. Burnett. They paid the Pirates to take Burnett off their hands. They might pay somebody else to take A.E. Rodriguez off their hands. That is the modern Yankee idea of holding somebody accountable.

...

Everybody talks about the Yankees making more big changes. Maybe getting another big player or two. But in the end, and with as much money as they spend, they are mostly about big coin that keeps coming in. That’s the real difference between the way they are run now and the way they were run when the old man was still in charge. That’s the real bottom line with the modern Yankees.

The people in charge say what they think George M. Steinbrenner would have wanted them to say. But with the old man, it was more than just talk.
The New York Braves.... Boy do I hate the sound of that.

I do have some concerns about the way the team is being run--I'm sure we all do. Hal is certainly not his father, and winning doesn't seem to be as important to him. That said, this team did still have a huge payroll and did win 95 games. And a few big hits or defensive plays earlier on in the ALCS and we may still be playing now.

What do you guys think? Is part of the Yankees problem the change in philosophy from father to son, or, as many has suggested, they were good enough but just choked?

Sabathia Wants Martin Back in 2013

Here's a little more CC Sabathia related news, though this time it's not related to anyu injuries. Here's the story from Mark Hale:
Two Yankees pitchers voiced their support yesterday for free-agent catcher Russell Martin.

“I think it’s important. He’s been a great addition to our team, on and off the field,” CC Sabathia said of re-signing Martin. “That’s not in my department, though. But we’ll have to just wait and see what happens. But he’s been great for us.”

Derek Lowe, who also is set to be a free agent, is unlikely to return to The Bronx. But the veteran righty raved about Martin, whom he has known since the two were teammates with the Dodgers. Lowe pointed out the value of Martin’s power, the defensive improvement he has made and the significance of Martin having proven he can handle playing in New York.

“I had him in L.A.,” Lowe said. “He’s actually probably gotten a little bit better as far as catching because of experience, and with [bench coach] Tony Pena here being a catching guy. There’s not many catchers that are going to hit you 20 home runs and drive in I don’t know how many he had, call a great game, throw guys out. From that standpoint, he’s a guy that’s only getting better. Again, I can say that because I’ve played with him back in L.A., and I’ve seen the progression in a positive way.

“I know this, and you guys know this, it’s hard to bring guys in here that maybe you don’t know how they’re going to perform. And once you have people here that you know can perform here, in my opinion, you’ve got to keep them. Because you know what you’re going to get.”
It's always good to get an endorsement from the ace of the staff, but remember, we're talking about a guy who sat at or under the Mendoza line all season so if they do bring him back I hope it's on a relatively inexpensive deal.

If you were wondering, here is a list of catchers who may be available next season via MLB Trade Rumors:

Rod Barajas (37) - $3.5MM club option, no buyout
Henry Blanco (41) - $1.24MM mutual option
Gerald Laird (33)
Russell Martin (30)
Brian McCann (29) - $12MM club option with a $500K buyout
Jose Molina (37) - $1.5MM club option with a $300K buyout
Mike Napoli (31)
Miguel Olivo (34) - $3MM club option with a $750K buyout
Ronny Paulino (32)
A.J. Pierzynski (36)
Humberto Quintero (33)
David Ross (36)
Carlos Ruiz (34) - $5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Brian Schneider (36)
Kelly Shoppach (33)
Chris Snyder (32) - $4MM mutual option for 2013 with a $500K buyout
Yorvit Torrealba (34)
Matt Treanor (37)

Not a lot of great names on there, so Martin may actually end up being their best option.

CC Headed To See Dr. James Andrews

From George A. King III:
Previous MRI exams on CC Sabathia’s valuable left elbow have not discovered ligament damage that would necessitate Tommy John surgery.

However, the Yankees’ ace will visit noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews this week to get an explanation why his hinge has been inflamed between starts since August.

Because Sabathia has had a bone spur in the elbow since he pitched for the Indians (his last season in Cleveland was 2008), the 32-year-old might require an arthroscopic procedure to shave or remove the spur. Or he could be told to rest.

Since the ligament was clean on tests done in August, the Yankees don’t believe the inflammation is being caused by something that would require reconstructive surgery.

Of course, there always is the chance the spur grew and caused damage to the ligament. Whatever the case, pitchers don’t visit Andrews unless there is something wrong.

Sabathia spent two weeks on the disabled list in August with an inflamed elbow. Yesterday, talking outside of Yankee Stadium, Sabathia said the swelling surfaced following every start he made since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 24.

“A little bit because it’s something I have never felt before, never had a problem with the elbow,’’ Sabathia said of being concerned. “I felt it off and on in between starts. But I didn’t feel it on the field.’’

General manager Brian Cashman decided to send Sabathia to Andrews because he knew Sabathia never would complain about an injury following a poor postseason outing.
Luckily, it seems that this is just precautionary, and at worst he'll just have the bone spur removed. Still, any time Dr. Andrews is brought into the situation it gets a little scary.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Pettitte to decide on 2013 in "a month or so"

From Peter Botte:
Another offseason, another retirement decision for Andy Pettitte. The 40-year-old lefty hopes to tell the Yankees whether he’ll be back in 2013 “one way or another, within a month or so.”

....

“I came back because I felt like I had some competition left in me and I wanted to help this organization win another championship,” Pettitte said. “There’s no doubt I still have the desire to compete. For me, it’s the family situation. That’s the biggest thing. I’ll just try to figure that out. It’s a long season. What better job to have than play baseball? But at certain times, it gets tough whenever the family can’t be together.”
With CC, Nova, Hughes, and Pineda all in the mix for next year's rotation, bringing back either Kuroda or Pettitte, or both, would really solidify the staff.

Some Yankees Blame Fans For Awful ALCS

From John Harper:
...while A-Rod blamed two weeks of postseason futility at the plate, saying it “sucked the energy out of us," another player privately made a far more indicting observation: that the ballclub was affected by the hostility from the fans at Yankee Stadium last weekend.

“I really think the booing spooked a lot of guys," the player said. “A lot of guys hadn’t been booed before, and they couldn’t believe how nasty it got in the stands."

Obviously Nick Swisher admitted to being sensitive to such treatment after Game 2, but the player said Swisher was far from alone in his reaction.

“A lot of guys were talking about it in the clubhouse," he said. “I was surprised by how much it bothered them. I really don’t think they ever recovered."

If that’s true, well, so much for the big, bad Yankees.
Sounds like that unnamed Yankee is someone who has been here for a while. Maybe Andy?

Anyway, the idea that this team struggled because of the fans says a lot more about the team than the fans. On one hand I do agree that the booing of A-Rod this postseason was ridiculous and could not have been good for team morale, but at the same time these guys are paid a lot of money to perform so grow a sack and deal with it. Hopefully, any player that was spooked won't be here once the 2013 season rolls around.

A-Rod: I'll Be Back in 2013


From Peter Botte:
One day after GM Brian Cashman denied reports about trade talks regarding Rodriguez, the benched former All-Star said he has no plans to waive his no-trade rights during what figures to be an eventful winter in the Bronx.

“That’s correct. I will be back. I have a lot to prove and I will be back, on a mission,” Rodriguez said after going hitless in two at-bats off the bench in the Yanks’ 8-1 Game 4 loss. “I love New York City, and I love everything about being a Yankee. The highs are very high, and the lows are extremely low.

“But I’ve never thought about going to another team. My focus is on staying here. Let’s make that very, very clear. No. 2, I don’t expect to be mediocre. I expect to do what I’ve done for a long time.”

...

“Look, I know it was difficult for Joe. I know Joe didn’t want to sit me,” Rodriguez said. “If I do what I do, Joe doesn’t have a choice, neither does (GM Brain) Cashman, neither does anybody.

“I have to look in the mirror. I sat in this room in 2006, some of you guys were here, there were a lot of doubters. I said I was going to get back to the drawing board and I did. And I came back with a vengeance in ’07. I’m looking forward to hopefully doing the same.”
Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi also commented on A-Rod's future with the team:
“I expect Alex to be here. I expect Alex to come back and be our third baseman,” Cashman said. “Obviously what just happened here, I just don’t think it’s reflective of Alex’s abilities — and I think that’s true of a lot of the guys, not just Alex.”

Girardi doesn’t believe his relationship with Rodriguez needs mending.

“As far as I know, we’re OK,” Girardi said. “I don’t have any signals that he’s mad at me. I know he wanted to be in there. … But if there are things I have to do, I’m going to do them.”
At this point, getting rid of that contract would do a lot for the team's future financial flexibility. That said, nobody is going to take him unless the Yankees eat most of the contract--I've heard reports of something in the ballpark of $90 million--so in that case it probably makes more sense to keep him.

What do you think, should the Yankees do everything to trade A-Rod or keep him around?

CC: I Didn't Give Them A Chance

From Marc Carig:
The moment he released the pitch, a look of disgust swept over the face of CC Sabathia.

The desperate Yankees needed something close to perfection from their ace. But he had just made another mistake, one that Miguel Cabrera turned into a two-run homer and a 4-0 lead. Sabathia winced. It was all he could do as the Tigers pounded him in an 8-1 victory that clinched a sweep of the American League Championship Series.

"It's embarrassing to come out and not give my team a chance to win," Sabathia said. "I pride myself on trying to give us a chance and I didn't do that tonight."

...

Sabathia insisted that his left elbow, which landed him on the disabled list this season, gave him no problems.

"It felt good," he said. "It felt good enough to pitch tonight."

Still, general manager Brian Cashman said the Yankees intend to take no chances.

"Let's put it this way, we're going to look at that elbow, no doubt about it," Cashman said. "That will be on the list of things we have to look at now that the offseason's here. Whether he wants to or not, we're going to go look into this thing and make sure everything's OK."

...

I was terrible today," Sabathia said. "Didn't make pitches. Changeup was a non-factor, fastball command at the end wasn't good."
Out of everyone on the team, CC is the last that deserves any blame. This series was over after game 3, maybe even game 2, and the blame should sit squarely on the hitters.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

ALCS Game 4 Lineups: A-Rod Rides The Pine Again

YANKEES (0-3)
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibañez DH
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner CF
Eduardo Nuñez SS

LHP CC Sabathia

TIGERS (3-0)
Austin Jackson CF
Omar Infante 2B
Miguel Cabrera 3B
Prince Fielder 1B
Delmon Young DH
Jhonny Peralta SS
Andy Dirks LF
Avisail Garcia RF
Gerald Laird C

RHP Max Scherzer

Alex Rodriguez Might Accept A Trade

(UPDATE) Alex Rodriguez is once again not in the lineup for today's rescheduled game 4.

I was busy at work all day yesterday so I was unable to post, but if you missed it, there was a ton of talk about Miami being a possible destination for Alex Rodriguez if the Yankees do try an unload his contract this offseason. Well, today we have this report from Bob Nightengale that says if the situation was right, Alex, who has a full no-trade clause, may accept the deal:
Take a good, long hard look at him.

This will be the last time you'll ever see Alex Rodriguez in a New York Yankees uniform.

We might have already seen him play his last game for the Bronx Bombers.

The Yankees, desperate for offense, and set to play in an elimination game Wednesday night, benched their greatest and most expensive star for the second consecutive game.

Though Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers was postponed by rain, the Yankees already tipped their hand and had him on the bench, leaving A-Rod humiliated.

The Yankees are making it loud and clear they want Rodriguez out as quickly as possible.

Rodriguez, his pride and ego damaged beyond repair, is now telling close friends that he won't stand in the way.

Rodriguez, who has a full no-trade clause, won't ask to be traded, a person familiar with Rodriguez's thinking told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation.

...

He will welcome a trade, the person says, but it must to be to another big-market club. Hint: He won't be going to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The most likely choices would be the Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Angels, Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
First, let me say that A-Rod has been awful this October. However, so has 90% of the starting lineup so really, why are we still blaming everyone's favorite scapegoat?

To me, this whole situation was made much worse by Joe Girardi, and his benching of A-Rod for the last two games -- though he can still make up for the game 4 benching today if he has any clue. There are reports of a fractured clubhouse, and that he's completely lost the team, which only makes this 0-3 feel that much more insurmountable.

The decision to bench A-Rod is only made worse by his replacement, Eric Chavez. Chavez has been virtually invisible in his plate appearances this postseason and also made that costly error in game 3 that might have cost the Yankees the game and a chance to get back in this series.

Does this mean I think A-Rod would have gone 4-for-4 with a homer off Verlander? No, but I do think A-Rod could get his swing going if given the chance, especially away from all the boos in the Bronx. There's no reason to further embarrass the guy and disrupt the clubhouse for a replacement that has also done nothing this series.

No matter what the outcome, the thing that sticks out to me the most is how poorly the Yankees and Girardi have handled this mess. If you think about how good we all felt about this team after that four run 9th on Saturday it's amazing how quickly things have changed.

Sure, there is still more baseball to be played and mistakes could be corrected. Maybe A-Rod is in the lineup today, gets a couple hits, and the Yankees actually win a game in this series. Or maybe, and much more likely if you ask me, things just get worse, the Yankees get swept, and this really is the end of A-Rod in New York.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ALCS Game 3 Lineups

YANKEES (0-2)
Brett Gardner LF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Raul Ibanez DH
Russell Martin C
Eric Chavez 3B
Granderson CF
Eduardo Nunez SS

Phil Hughes RHP

TIGERS (2-0)

Austin Jackson CF
Quintin Berry LF
Miguel Cabrera 3B
Prince Fielder 1B
Delmon Young DH
Andy Dirks RF
Jhonny Peralta SS
Alex Avila C
Omar Infante 2B

Justin Verlander RHP

9 Years Ago Today, This Happened

Hughes Talks About His Huge Game 3 Star

From Chad Jennings:
“There’s always pressure that comes with every start,” Hughes said. “I don’t really feel like I can, you know, sort of feel any added pressure just because of the circumstances. I just have to go out there and pitch, that’s all it boils down to. Not really worry about being down 0 2, that Verlander is on the mound, that we don’t have our captain. Those sort of things are going to be wasted energy, and all I really want to focus on is the Detroit Tigers lineup and doing the absolute best job I can do.”

Hughes’ two starts at Comerica Park this season were a pretty good snapshot of the highs and lows of his yaer. In August, he couldn’t get out of the fifth inning. In June, he threw the first complete game of his career.

“You can’t really look at those two starts and take a whole lot away from them coming into this start,” Hughes said. “I just have to hope that I have good stuff and good command and attack the strike zone like I normally do, and I think we’ll have some good success.”

...

“I remember I actually started off a little bit slow in that (complete game) start,” he said. “It was kind of a struggle for me to get going — almost similar to my last start against Baltimore (in the division series) — and then I remember I got stronger as the game went on and I was able to command the ball a little bit better. So hopefully (tonight) there’s a little bit of a similarity in the fact that I can command the ball and hopefully command it early and often. It’s a tough lineup, and I’m going to have to be on top of my game, but I have confidence that I will be, and I look forward to it.”



“As a pitcher sitting on the bench, I am not used to seeing [the offense struggle like this] either,” Hughes said. “We are a team that is a high-powered offense. We get a lot of home runs and things like that. But anytime you are going through these struggles, as pitchers, we take it as we have to step up and do a better job and put up a bunch of zeros because we know we can scratch and claw and put together a couple of runs. As long as our pitchers do a stand up job, we know we will have a chance to win the game.

“I think it is a challenge for our pitchers and we’ll have to do a really good job and have the confidence that we will score at least a few runs, and hopefully a bunch, and turn this thing around.”
I don't have to explain how important this game is for the Yankees and Hughes himself. A win tonight with CC going in game 4 could turn the series around. Sure, it's a very tall order, but this is sports and stranger things have happened.

Let's go Hughes, make this a series.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Brett Gardner Could Start Game 3

From Andrew Marchand:
With the idea of shaking up the lineup going into Game 3 against the Detroit Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that Brett Gardner could be a starting outfielder.

"He still might play a role in this thing," Cashman said on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s "The Michael Kay Show." "You could very well see Gardner in this big outfield that Detroit has. The way our offense is, it is a possibility. He deserves consideration considering what is going on right now."

Gardner could start in the outfield with Nick Swisher or Curtis Granderson or, in some arrangements, both sitting. Previously, Yankees manager Joe Girardi has said he is hesitant to play Gardner because he has only had three major league at-bats since April. Gardner missed most of the season with an elbow problem.
Gardner is 5-for-11 in his career against Verlander and at this point I'd have to imagine he'd put up better at-bats than Swisher, after all Swish got his feelings hurt. Also, and more importantly, Swisher is just a .180 in 61 at-bats against Verlander.

Yankees Fans Should Be Embarrassed

The title speaks for itself. Since the beginning of the postseason, I have heard some pretty ridiculous things from Yankees fans. One of my favorites was one female fan’s claim that because the Yankee players are clean cut, that makes them “classy.” Please, so now facial hair dictates what kind of a human being you are? For the most part, these were the type of humorously naïve comments I would be subjected to on a somewhat consistent basis. You laugh at them, poke a little fun, but ultimately, you just roll your eyes at the stupidity and carry on with your life.

Now we are learning that not only has the fans turned on Nick Swisher, but some of them are actually blaming him for Derek Jeter breaking his ankle. Are you kidding me? That brings ignorance to a whole new level. I get that in the postseason, especially in close games, emotions run high but the suggestion that Swisher had anything to do with Jeter’s broken ankle proves how dumb people can be. Everyone is frustrated with how this team is playing but there is no excuse for saying something like that to someone that has been a great player since he came to the Bronx. Not only has he been a great player, he has been one of the most likeable guys in the game, and one of the few celebrities out there that seems to genuinely care about his fans. If you want to be frustrated with his postseason performance, that is fair but leave the ignorance to the two fools that are campaigning for President.

Swish has also said these “fans” have made it personal with attacks on his family. Way to go whoever you are. There is a good reason why fans of the New York Yankees have a really bad reputation. Just like fans of Philadelphia sports teams, the popular opinion is not a positive one. It is absolutely vile to go after a person’s family. This is a game, people. Remember that. So if the New York Yankees and their $200Million payroll don’t bring home a World Series this year, is it that horrible of a thought? Is the idea so offensive that these fans feel it is their obligation to spew such hatred? I am not even 30 years old and I have already seen five World Series championships. Most people will not even get to see one in their lifetime. If they don’t win it all this year or the next, I will be fine. You all will be fine as well (unless you placed big money on the ALCS). Everybody should just relax with the theatrics already. The guy isn’t playing well but it is certainly not due to a lack of effort.

I am not defending his postseason performance this year or any other year, it’s been pretty bad. I just cannot wrap my head around why there are people at a baseball game that would resort to such classless tactics. Just for kicks, I have even heard fans complain that he is smiling too much. This isn’t news. When doesn’t Swish smile? He is a happy guy that is living his dream & being paid handsomely to do so. I would be smiling from ear to ear all the time if I had his life. For some reason though, these fans seem to expect Nick Swisher to not be himself. What do you want him to do? If he frowns when they lose, does he get his Yankee-Cred back? Do you guys want him to sulk in a dark corner?

Nick Swisher has the right attitude in life and he has his priorities straight. The Yankees fans that feel the need to try and destroy his spirit could learn from him because they do not. Remember, it is just baseball. After the final out is recorded, life goes on.

Nick Swisher is a Crybaby

Apparently, Nick Swisher was upset at the treatment he's been receiving from some bleacher creatures over the last couple games. Here's more on the story via Bryan Hoch:
Nick Swisher and Yankee Stadium's right-field Bleacher Creatures have enjoyed a warm relationship over four seasons in the Bronx, one that includes Swisher enthusiastically acknowledging cheers with a left-handed salute during "Roll Call" each day.

But on Sunday, as the Yankees took the field for Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, Swisher's heart wasn't quite in it. Stung by jeers he heard from the home crowd during the Yankees' Game 1 loss to the Tigers, Swisher acknowledged that he offered just a lackluster wave when he heard his name chanted.

"That's the last thing that I ever thought would be in this ballpark, that people would get on you that bad," Swisher said after the Yankees lost, 3-0, to fall into a 2-0 deficit in the ALCS. "Especially your home, where your heart is, where you've been battling and grinding all year long. It's just frustrating, man. You never want to be in that spot. It's not like you're trying to go out there and do bad on purpose. It's just tough, man."

... what troubled Swisher were personal jabs and critiques that seem unfair.

"Last night was pretty big," Swisher said. "A lot of people saying a lot of things that I've never heard before. Prime example: I missed that [12th-inning Delmon Young] ball in the lights, and the next thing you know, I'm the reason that [Derek] Jeter got hurt. It's kind of frustrating. They were saying it was my fault."

...

"I'm one of those guys that if you give me a hug, I'll run through a brick wall for you, man," Swisher said. "It just seems right now like there's just a lot of ... it's tough. It's really tough. You want to go out and play for your city, play for your team. Right now, it's just really tough.

"It hurts. Sometimes I'm a sensitive guy and some of the things people say, they get under your skin a little bit. I've been lucky to be here for the past four years, bro. We're not going to go out like this. We're going to go to Detroit and give everything we've got."
And one more from the Daily News:
“As the game progresses, you’re trying to go up there and get a hit. If you don’t, people let you know about it,” said Swisher, who is batting .154 with one RBI through seven postseason games this October. “It’s a tough spot. Hey man, I guess that’s playing in New York... That’s New York for you.
Also, according to a this Newsday article fans serenaded him with: "Na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye." after his final plate appearance.

Swisher also went on to suggest that the atmosphere in the Bronx might be hurting the team, calling it "a negative setting."

I'm sure there will be some who side with Swisher here, but it's not going to be me. Grow a sack and I don't know, maybe get a damn hit. Then those boos that hurt you so much might just go away.

A-Rod said it best in his postgame:

“Our fans haven’t had much to cheer about, so you can’t blame them. You have to blame us. If was sitting there I would be perplexed too. We didn’t score any runs. What the hell are we going to cheer about?”

Sunday, October 14, 2012

ALCS Game 2 Lineups


YANKEES (0-1)
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibanez DH
Russell Martin C
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Curtis Granderson CF
Nick Swisher RF
Jayson Nix SS

Pitching: Hiroki Kuroda RHP

TIGERS (1-0)
Austin Jackson CF
Quintin Berry LF
Miguel Cabrera 3B
Prince Fielder 1B
Delmon Young DH
Andy Dirks RF
Jhonny Peralta SS
Alex Avila C
Omar Infante 2B

Pitching: RHP Anibal Sanchez

Jeter Fractures Ankle, Done for Postseason

https://twitter.com/Yankees/status/257349870464167936

Girardi on the injury:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

ALDS Game 4 Lineups: A-Rod Batting 5th


YANKEES (2-1)
Derek Jeter DH
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Nick Swisher RF
Russell Martin C
Curtis Granderson CF
Jayson Nix SS

Pitching: RHP Phil Hughes

ORIOLES (1-2)
Nate McLouth LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Davis RF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Jim Thome DH
Mark Reynolds 1B
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Manny Machado 3B

Pitching: LHP Joe Saunders