The Yankees 2011 Rotation

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 7:04 PM [General]

    What’s going on everyone? Some of you might know my work from Watch the Gap Sports( and if you do thank you for reading my stuff here. I haven’t wrote on this blog in awhile but as of today there will be a lot more posts on here. Your comments are much appreciated on anything I may be talking about. If you don’t know me I’m Matt but most of my blogging is credited as MattPel. I write about sports usually football, baseball, UFC. I leave the basketball and hockey to the experts although I have a few things to say about the new look Knicks, but well get there eventually. I don’t know much but I know a few things about the Yankees and have devoted a lot of my time to learning about the history of that team. You’ll see that most of my blogging will revolve around them so if your a Yankee fan and like talking about the team you came to the right place. Lets get right into it.

     I’ll be the the first to admit when I make a mistake and I made one a few months ago that a lot of people did. I wrote a blog about how I thought the Yankees would look in 2011. My prediction on the rotation was Sabathia, Lee, Hughes, Burnett, Pettitte. Shows how much I know because Andy Pettitte retired(at least for now) and Cliff Lee went back to the Phillies. With those guys not in the mix The Yankees have to figure out who there 4th and 5th starters will be. Of course there is one other issue and that’s if there 3rd starter AJ Burnett, (and yes I put Phil Hughes ahead of him) will be able to rebound after a year where he went 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA.

    AJ Burnett is a very strange pitcher. I’ve said it before he’s that guy that on any night can go out and pitch a no hitter, or get shelled for 8 runs in two innings. His stuff is nasty but sometimes he just can’t control it. Last year he had all kinds of control issues and although he’s never openly admitted it, he appeared to have personal issues as well even showing up to a game at one point with a black eye. The fact of the matter is this people who are saying I don’t understand this guy just won 18 games in 2008 really haven’t done there homework. Aside from a great year on a contract year this is AJ Burnett, he’s always been a .500 pitcher with a disgusting curveball who just can’t always get himself right. He will always be the guy that threw a no hitter but walked 9 and struck out 7. He can be erratic and that isn’t going to change. With that in mind something is going to have to change because Burnett now becomes a very important part of this rotation with some question marks with the 4th and 5th starters. New pitching coach Larry Rothschild has been very committed to helping Burnett improve for 2011, and even Burnett realizes how crucial it is for him to bounce back this year. It seems like he has his mind right and has changed a few small things with his delivery, so in a perfect world you would love to see that ERA drop down and that 10-15 record look more like 15-10 or better.

    As important as it is for Burnett to do well it’s also important to fill those 4 and 5 spots with guys who are able to get the job done and keep the Yankees in the game. If you can do that this team is going to hit and undoubtably win a bunch of games. As of right now Yankees GM Brian Cashman is not making any big moves for a starting pitcher. If the two guys the Yankees coaching staff decides on can carry the team to the All Star Break there’s always going to be teams shopping some big pitchers at the break if need be. The three front runners for the two spots are Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia, and Bartolo Colon(who somehow has pitched in the majors since 1997 and still can’t speak English). Right now it looks like Nova is the favorite in that 4th spot. Nova had some nice starts down the stretch but the knock on him was he couldn’t get through 5 innings last year. If he proves this year he can do well enough to get through say six innings, the Yankees bullpen will be able to do the rest. What stands out in my mind about him last season was he wasn’t afraid to brush back Toronto’s big slugger Jose Bautista and then stand up to him when Bautista approached the mound. You like to see that kind of toughness from a young kid.

    With Nova likely winning that fourth sport that leaves veterans Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon. I’ve always liked Garcia but he’s had a lot of injuries over the passed few years. He showed in 2010 that if he doesn’t just rely on his fastball and mixes up his pitches he can improve. The real question is can he really improve on that 12-6 record he put up last year because he’s moving into a division where guys hit a lot of home runs, being a guy who has given up a bunch of home runs in his career.  As for Bartolo Colon, whenever I hear his name the first thing that comes to mind is A-Rod hitting three home runs off him in one game in 2005. Colon who despite looking like he might have eaten the bat boy is listed on as 185 pounds. I’m really hoping that’s a typo, but regardless has a slim chance of making this team considering since winning a Cy young he’s made 47 starts in the passed six years and pitched to a 5.18 ERA. I don’t care how good he looked in winter ball, I don’t see those numbers dramatically improving.

    As of right now although all three have pitched well so far, it looks like it will be Nova and Garcia in those last two rotation spots, pending Brian Cashman having some kind of Ace up his sleeve. There are some great young pitchers in the Yankees system like Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances, and Manny Banuelos. Although these guys may not start the season in the majors remember there names because sometime in 2011 you’ll likely see at least one of them in pinstripes at some point. Either way get excited it’s baseball season, lot’s of good stuff to come.

    3.7 (2 Ratings)

    Getting the Name right in Tampa

    Thursday, April 22, 2010, 3:29 PM [General]

    Taking a quick break from all your current Yankees and sports news, I recently received a email from a loyal reader who for now well call Bobby J(or Bobby Dimes to some).
    Bobby J writes:

    “I’ve been a Yankee fan for almost 50 years, growing up in the 60’s I suffered with 15 years of futility while the “Bombers” were real bombs. I welcomed with open arms that brash new owner, the man, who even then, was bigger than life Mr. George M. Steinbrenner.

    Love him or hate him, you knew right away that he had one goal in mind, and it was the same goal every diehard Yankee fan was waiting for, TO WIN! So even through my disagreements with the way he handled Billy Martin & Yogi Berra, and how he admired Reggie over Thurman, I knew in the end he was the right man for the job, and history has proven that. There is no owner in all of professional sports that has done more for his team, or the city it plays in, than Mr. Steinbrenner. So it is with the utmost respect that I plead to the Steinbrenner family to bring back the name Legends Field to your Tampa facility. 

    It is so rare, in any genre, music, sports or entertainment, where a name stands alone and depicts all the history and all the emotion, that the name Legends Field employs. Revert back please to the name that says it all! Alternatives can be Steinbrenner’s Legends Field, or Legends Field at Steinbrenner Park, but the phrase Legends Field should remain.”

    I’m glad this came my way because I also feel very strongly about The Yankees Tampa facility. I think that Legends Field is one of the best names I’ve heard for a stadium. If anyone should have a field named Legends field it’s The Yankees. The Yankees have had so many extraordinary players, all star caliber players, it was fitting to have a field with that name.

    I don’t want to take anything away from “The Boss” either. He truly is the greatest owner in sports. He does whatever he can to help this team win, and you have to respect and appreciate that. He is a huge part of all the championships the Yankees have won in the passed 20 plus years. He has also gone above and beyond to help both communities in the Bronx as well as Tampa, reaching out to help people who were a lot less fortunate than himself. He’s had the attitude of Lead, Follow, or get the hell out of the way, and that mindset has helped him become one of the most successful owner in sports. With that in mind I think it’s great to show appreciation for him by naming the Yankees Tampa complex after him, but I agree with Bobby J here why not incorporate the two names together. I think Steinbrenner’s Legends Field would fit very nicely. Talk to me, what do you guys think?

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Hughes and Joba Where They Belong

    Thursday, April 22, 2010, 3:27 PM [General]

    The Yankees beat Oakland last night/early this morning 3-1 and Phil Hughes was in a word, dominant. I’ve had the privilege of seeing him pitch in several games, and this is the best I can ever remember him being. He was incredible tonight, leaving the Oakland offense baffled. Hughes was so good that he carried a no hitter into the eighth.

    Phil was outstanding and really exciting to watch last night. You can’t ask for more from your 5th starter. 7.1 IP, 1 H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 10 SO, 101 pitches. That puts Hughes at 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA. I think I’ll take that from my 5th starter any day. Tonight showed just how great he can be. Ace type stuff if you ask me.  On the other end Joba Chamberlain has emerged as the setup man as most Yankee fans knew he would, despite Girardi saying the spot was open for competition. Joba has been electric out of the pen. He came in two nights ago with bases loaded and got out of a jam, and although he gave up a hit for an unearned run tonight, he looked outstanding once again. Chamberlain currently has a 2.16 ERA and continues to be dominant like his friend Hughes, being the major part of the bridge to Mariano.

    Personally this is what I’ve hoped for all along. I think this is exactly where both of these guys are at they’re best. I know there’s some fans who still believe Joba will eventually be a starter along with Hughes but personally I just don’t see it. I think Hughes showed tonight exactly how great of a starter he can be, and I’m by no means comparing Joba to Mariano, but I think Joba has the stuff as well as the mindset to be a great closer once Mariano decides to hang it up. Only time will tell but I think both of these guys will emerge into there respected roles this year. If you ask me this is exactly where they both belong.

    On a side note Joe Girardi only touched on it briefly but can you imagine if Hughes took that no hitter into the 9th inning and had a high pitch count. It would have been the CC Sabathia situation all over again. If Hughes pitch count was too high would Girardi really have taken him out of the game? I understand Girardi’s mentality, but just like with CC, it would have been a hard decision to make.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Give Vazquez Some Time

    Friday, April 16, 2010, 5:03 PM [General]

    I was sitting in right field yesterday for the Yankees 5-3 loss to the Angels, and no I was not one of the people booing. I’m  not going to sit here and defend or criticize those people. You pay for a ticket then you have the right to cheer or boo if you want to. Personally I’ve never been one to boo people from my own team, ever. I’ve watched guys like Mike Mussina, Jason Giambi, A-Rod even Derek Jeter struggle and have never once thought to boo them. When your a fan of a team your supposed to support those players no matter what, as difficult as that may be sometimes. As I’ve explained to my colleagues here at WTGS these are the same fans that booed Mickey Mantle, believe me they’ll boo Javier Vazquez if they want to.

    The problem right now is this isn’t a new player coming in fresh. All Yankee fans have Vazquez awful second half in 2004, as well as a terrible ALCS Game 7 on their minds. With his early struggles it’s easy to understand why the boo’s have all ready begun. Yankee fans are looking for Javi to prove a point, and he hasn’t done that yet. Is Vasquez struggling right now, absolutely but I think we need to give him some time to work through this. Was he great yesterday, of course not but he was defiantly improved from his first start. Javi needs to be sharper his next start, and make sure his pitches are not up in the zone like they were yesterday.  He did a good job keeping former Yankee and now Angels cleanup hitter Hideki Matsui in check which impressed me, and giving up three runs in 5.1 isn’t terrible. On a normal day the Yankees are going to score more runs then that, it just so happened that Joel Pineiro was outstanding yesterday.

    All you Yankee fans booing yesterday I understand where you’re coming from, but the season is young and there’s still a lot of games to be played. Let’s give Vazquez a few more starts before we send him packing. I watched him pitch last year and I think he has the potential to do very well on this team. If you ask me with the help of pitching coach Dave Eiland, well see the same Vazquez we saw last year.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Some Things Never Get Old

    Friday, April 16, 2010, 5:01 PM [General]

    The Yankees opened up The Stadium today with a 7-5 win over the Angels. More exciting was that before the game they received their 2009 World Series Championship rings. You would think that for guys like Jeter, Posada, Rivera and Pettitte this kind of thing would be old news by now, this being their 5th ring, but those four along with the  rest of the Yankees were all thrilled to receive their championship rings today. The Yanks, who always do things with such class and  in a professional manner had Yankee legends Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford on hand to help pass out the team’s World Series rings.  

    A few quick thoughts from the ceremony. There was a great energy in the stadium and you could see how thrilled all the players were to be getting their rings. These guys work so hard, and it’s not easy winning a World Series, you have to have a lot of things go your way,  along with some great play, and  that helped the Yankees bring home their 27th title. It was definitely a real rewarding experience for everyone on the Yankees today to receive their rings, and it was clear just how excited everyone was.

    It’s been said a few times but I was glad A-Rod had the success he did in the World Series and get that “gorilla” as he called it off his back, with clutch hits throughout the playoffs. Today was the icing on the cake for A-Rod if you will, receiving his first World Series ring. I know I shouldn’t feel happy for a guy who makes as much money as he does, but he will eventually go down as one of the greatest players in the game, so it was great to see him win a championship.

    Two other things stood out in my mind today. Gene Monahan has not been with the team this year as he continues his battle with cancer. Monahan has been with the Yankees since 1962 and has been the Yankees trainer for the past 38 years. Monahan made it to Yankee Stadium today to receive his ring, receiving an outstanding ovation from the Yankee Stadium crowd. It was great to hear him get such a nice hand, and he showed his appreciation with tears in his eyes. It was also perfect timing with the Angels in town for Hideki Matsui to receive his championship ring. Yankee fans gave the World Series MVP a great hand, showing there appreciation for their former designated hitter. On top of that the Yankee players themselves charged Matsui before he could walk off the field to hug and joke around with him. Speaking of jokes, a small joke was played on Matsui and Swisher as their rings were switched with the cheap plastic rings that were being given out at the gates at the stadium today. Swisher noticed while comparing his ring to the others and then received his ring from Mariano Rivera, and Matsui had no idea until Girardi gave him his real ring during opening lineups. A little joke on Swisher and their former teammate.

    All around a great day for The Yankee team, as well as a great start by Pettitte, and a save by Mariano Rivera (After a Grand Slam given up by Robertson that we won’t get into).  Just another day in Yankee Universe. Some things really do never get old.


    0 (0 Ratings)

    The only thing that’s embarrassing and a disgrace is you.

    Friday, April 16, 2010, 4:58 PM [General]

    Sorry for the lack of posts on here lately. I've been spending most of my time writing blogs for If you get a chance please check us out. It's your one stop for everything NY sports. I'll be adding a few blogs on here that were featured on that site.


    The only thing that’s embarrassing and a disgrace is you.


    Umpire Joe West, one of many fans least favorite umpires in the league, has come out and taken a serious shot at The Yankees and The Red Sox. It’s hard for me to take the comments seriously of a guy who has made so many bad calls behind the plate that I’ve contemplated putting my foot through my TV, never the less this is what he had to say.

    “They’re the two clubs that don’t try to pick up the pace. They’re two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest? It’s pathetic and embarrassing. They take too long to play. The commissioner of baseball says he wants the pace picked up. We try. And [Tuesday night's game] still almost went four hours . . . This is embarrassing, a disgrace to baseball.”


    First of all Joe the only thing embarrassing was your strike zone on Sunday night. You’ve been in this league as well as this planet long enough that you should know if your going to come out and make a point about something you should do it intelligently and respectively. Otherwise know one is going to take you seriously and your going to sound like an ass.

    When these two teams play each other they go to war everyone knows that. It’s been said that every time The Yankees and The Red Sox take the field these games have the feeling of a Game 7. The reason Yankee-Red Sox games always run so long is because these teams are always so competitive when it comes to one and another that neither team legitimately wants to lose. I understand teams want to win every game they play, but with the heated rivalry that exists between these two teams neither team ever gives in.  Hitters are often taking and fouling off so many pitches, each teams manager is constantly making pitching changes, it’s like a chess game out there causing games to run a lot longer then normal. It has become an ongoing joke in New York with announcers like Micheal Kay and John Sterling as well as other’s who call Yankees games for their respected networks about the length of these games. Yet to say it’s a disgrace to baseball is taking it a bit to far. If seeing exciting baseball games is a disgrace to baseball then what’s the point of watching? Yes players on both the Yankees and The Red Sox are going to work counts, take a lot of pitches, and even step out of the box in big spots in games. Is this bad for baseball, absolutely not, it just makes for an exciting matchup between two of the best teams in baseball.

    If MLB want’s to do something about the length of these games as well as others then insert a set of concrete rules to try and speed these games up. Do the players on both teams step out of the box a bit too often? Possibly, and rules can be put into play to prevent that. At the same time if a lot of these officials weren’t squeezing the strike zone lengthier games could be avoided that way as well. With an inconsistent strike zone pitchers are throwing more pitches, stepping off the mount more often, creating frequent visits to the mound by managers and pitching coaches. So these lengthy games can be pinned on umpires as well. Should rules be put into baseball to speed these games up, I think so but at the same time you can’t take away the things that players in this game do to make the game great. When baseball does decide to do this I hope they do it in a fair and sensible way. In the meantime Joe West, put a sock in it.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    B Mac and Matt Pel’s 2010 Baseball Predictions

    Sunday, April 4, 2010, 2:50 PM [General]

    This is a post from another blog I work on with some ineresting people, who always have interesting sports perspectives. Check us out at

    Happy Opening Night to all. It’s been several long months but baseball is finally back. It’s  your World Series Champion New York Yankees going into the belly of the beast  out at Fenway Park to face the Red Sox tonight. No need to explain the intensity and excitement revolving around this game. The best rivalry in sports opening up a new baseball season. It doesn’t  really get any better then that. I could sit and talk hours about the Yankees and The Red Sox, but well get into that when the rivalry really heats up mid season. In the meantime B Mac will show you how smart he is, and I’ll show you how much smarter I am then him with our 2010 Predictions for this season.

    B- Mac’s 2010 Predictions

    AL East- Yankees
    AL Central- White Sox
    AL- West- Angels
    Wild Card- Red Sox

    NL East- Phillies
    NL Central- Cardinals
    NL West- Rockies
    Wild Card- Mets

    World Series- Phillies over Boston

    Matt Pel’s 2010 Predictions

    AL East- Yankees
    AL Central- Tigers
    AL West- Seattle
    Wild Card- Red Sox

    NL East- Phillies
    NL Central- Cubs
    NL West- Dodgers
    Wild Card- Cardinals

    World Series- Yankees over Cardinals

    Those are our predictions for the new season now let’s hear yours. Either way get excited for a brand new season of baseball where anything can happen. Enjoy!

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Time for Cano to become one of The Elite

    Friday, April 2, 2010, 5:12 AM [General]


    My original plan after the Yankees Monday Spring Training Game against the Orioles was to write a blog about how I’m quite comfortable with pitchers throwing at the opposing team, especially if it’s in defense of his teammates. It was nerve racking to watch the Yanks Gold Glove first baseman, Teixeira and backup catcher Francisco Cervelli both get hit in dangerous spots by O’s pitchers Jeremy Guthrie Monday Night. It was clear that Guthrie didn’t have his normal control yet he continued to pitch inside, upsetting Yankee manager Joe Girardi. Spring Training Game or not, maybe someone should have sent the Orioles a message. Never the less I took something else much more important away from that game. Robinson Cano hit a big two out three run home run in the first inning, which got me starting to think that it’s finally time for Cano to move ahead of the pack.

    Ever since Cano was called up in 2005 for an injured Tony Womack, he showed serious potential of being a special player. Respectfully finishing second in rookie of the year voting that year, he followed up 2006 with the third highest batting average in the league behind Derek Jeter and The Twins Joe Mauer. Cano may have had one of his best years in 2009, hitting .320 with 25 home runs, showing strong sighs of maturity as a player. With all this in mind it’s also important to note that aside from being a great hitter, Cano is one of the best second baseman in the league. Yankee fans who are lucky enough to see him on a daily basis understand just how great of a defensive player he is. I’ve seen Robinson make so many difficult plays to his left as well as his right,  making them look effortless. He can also along with Jeter, turn a double play better then anyone in the game. Now I’m sure some will knock that statement because in passed years Cano has looked great in the field, and then at times he hasn’t looked as sharp, even botching some routine plays. Believe me I’ve often watched Cano commit errors and contimplated putting my foot through my TV, but he has has improved significantly from years passed, and it’s only a matter of time before he wins a Gold Glove.

    Going into the new season Girardi is showing how much trust he has in Cano batting him in the 5 spot, an important place to be in the lineup behind A-Rod. Most Yankee fans including myself figured that it would only be a matter of time before Cano’s impressive hitting got him moved up in the lineup. Girardi is giving Cano a big shot here and it’s important he takes it very seriously. Cano is not a kid anymore, and although we saw after last year this is a team that likes to have fun, and I think that’s great for the team, it’s time for him to define himself as one of the best in baseball. I hate to say this because I really like him, but Melky Cabrera getting traded to Atlanta may have been a good thing for Cano, the same as Billy Martin being traded away back in the day, separating him from close friends Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford(No I’m not comparing Melky as a player to Martin). The move may keep both players out of trouble, and help them focus on improving their game. Robinson Cano has the potential and work ethic to be one of the top players in the game, now he just needs to produce. I think 2010 will be Cano’s best season yet, let’s see if I know what I’m talking about.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Do us all a favor and take that Jersey off

    Thursday, March 25, 2010, 3:01 PM [General]



    Now believe me I’m more about supporting your team than the next guy. I walk around with the Yankees interlocking NY tattooed on my leg. I think if your a fan you should support your team in anyway you can, at games or just on an ordinary day. It’s nice because there’s so many ways to do so. Hat’s, T-shirts, Jerseys, Jackets, logos on your car, even body paint. Yet there is one thing to this day, that bothers me more than anything, and will continue to bother me until the day I die, or until this problem is corrected. The issue at hand is names on the back of Yankee Jerseys.

    Now I’m not talking about the T- shirts with the names on the back or even practice jerseys. But Yankee fans please, if you purchase an authentic Yankee pinstriped jersey, I’m begging you don’t get it with the players name on the back. I don’t understand which ridiculous company started this, New Era, Sports Authority or Modell’s? Whoever it was clearly there morons. Sorry for being so blunt about it, but it’s just something that shouldn’t be going on.

    The Yankees are unique in that there one of the few teams around that don't have names on there jerseys. I believe the Red Sox home jerseys are the only other team in baseball who don’t have names on the back. I know of two reasons the Yankees do this. One, there mentality is no one man is “bigger” than the team. The second is that Yankee fans are so knowledgeable when it comes to there favorite team, that they don’t need names on the jerseys to know who’s who. They know everyone from Derek Jeter to the second lefty in the bullpen(possibly Boone Logan this year). With that in mind I can’t understand why any Yankee fan would commit such a baseball sin. There is no need to put any of these players names on the back of they’re jerseys. I’m not sure who to blame really, the fans who are buying them, or the companies manufacturing them that way. Either way it really needs to stop.

    The other thing, and forgive me if this blog is becoming more of a rant than anything(but hey that’s what these blogs are for right?) but this year while I’m at The Stadium if I see anyone aside from children, wearing a Yankee Jersey and it has the names Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, or Berra on the back, I’m going to punch you directly in the face.(Not that I think children should be wearing them, I just don’t have the heart to punch a child in the face, I’m not a monster) I’m serious about this you’ve all been warned. These men are Yankee legends, there is no need to put there names on the back of these Jerseys, believe me we all know who they are just by the numbers. Also I understand parents think it’s cute when they do it for there kids, but if I see another number 7 jersey with the name Rubestein or Walsh or whatever on the back I’m going to have a nervous break down. I don’t care that 7 is little Johnny’s favorite number, Mom, Dad take charge and please don’t do this disservice to the Mick.

    Now I ask the rest of the Yankee world to help me out and spread the word, no names on the back of Fan’s Yankee Jerseys, let’s make this happen. 

    4.1 (4 Ratings)

    The Wang Situation

    Saturday, March 20, 2010, 4:20 PM [General]


    A lot of teams wouldn’t be so quick to part with a guy who won 19 games two years in a row (2006, 2007), but the Yankees had seen enough of Chien Ming Wang. Wang’s situation is an unfortunate one.  Once regarded as one of the top pitchers in the game with a dangerous sinker, we saw with Wang how quickly things can fall apart. Unfortunately that’s how life goes sometimes, but it was tough to see it happen to such a hard working, soft spoken guy. Especially one who did such a great job for the Yankees. For those of you who don’t know, Wang tore a tendon in his foot in 2008 while running the bases playing the Houston Astros. That put him on the DL for the rest of the year, a year in which he already had won eight games. It would have been interesting to see what he would have done if he stayed healthy for the rest of the year. Another 19 or even 20 win season? I guess well never know. I’m sure of one thing though, a healthy Wang for the rest of that year in 2008 could have made a difference of the Yankees not making the playoffs for the first time since 1993.  

    Wang was never really the same after that injury in 2009. Experts have weighed in on why Wang struggled so much after coming back from his foot injury. The most popular thought has to do with the injury to his foot effecting his delivery, eventually leading to shoulder problems, and him having to get shoulder surgery. His starts were difficult to watch in 2009, and for the people like myself who enjoyed watching him pitch over the passed few years, it was frustrating to watch him get beat up the way he did, never really able to “get right”. He never really had control like he used to, and he was leaving too many pitches up in the zone, making it impossible to be effective. Even with all that was it really enough for the Yanks to say goodbye?

    The Yankees saved 4 million dollars by not resigning Wang, a price that by no means is above the Bombers budget. It seems like the Yankees felt he never really would have recovered from his injuries, and weren't willing to give him a chance. I personally would have taken a shot on Wang. I know it’s been said time and time again but he did win 19 games in back to back seasons, more than any other pitcher in that time. If he can get back to where he used to be, at only 30 years old he still could have been a big part of the Yankees rotation. Pettite may only have another year or so, and once he’s gone I wouldn’t have minded seeing a rotation that included Sabathia, Burnett, Wang, Hughes.  The Nationals were willing to take a chance with Wang(although I suppose the Nationals are willing to try just about anything at this point), as he spends his time recovering from his shoulder surgery with them. He’s been throwing bullpens and is slowing working his way to a comeback in May. I have a feeling he’ll wind up coming back and having a really nice season. If he does, it will be good to see him do well. I’m sure the Washington coaching staff will keep a watchful eye anytime Wang reaches base.

    With all this in mind my question to the rest of the baseball world is this. Should the Yankees have given Wang another chance? Do you think he can get back to the Wang of old and be successful with the Nationals?

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    The Battle to be Number Five

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 12:51 AM [General]



    The Yankees went into camp with only a few questions to be dealt with. Who bats in the two and five hole, who would play centerfield Gardner or Granderson, and of course the most talked about question of who would the fifth starter would be. A quiet spring for the most part after having to deal with all the A-Rod drama last year.  Most of these questions even on March 15th have already begun to be answered. It looks like it will be Nick Johnson, who is having a great spring so far, bating in the number two spot, and it will be Cano finally moving up into the five hole, as most Yankee fans who have been watching him knew he would. As for the centerfield situation for now it looks like Granderson will play Center and Gardener will be in a platoon in left, and although there’s a slim chance of that changing I think come opening day it will be Granderson in center. The question that’s still most up in the air would be the battle for the 5th starter, and thats a question that’s only started to be answered.

    Having a rotation that includes Sabathia, Burnett, Petitte, and Vazquez is great, but having a quality fifth starter during the year and in a pennant race is also very important. Going on performances in spring training so far the edge would have to go to Alfredo Aceves. He’s had the most productive spring so far throwing the most innings and not walking a batter. Personally I never really think of Aceves as a fifth starter although I think he has all the tools to do it, he’s just been so great out of the bullpen as a long man or spot starter its hard to think about taking him out of that roll. Now with a bullpen that includes Chan Ho Park, that may make the bullpen situation a bit complicated. That aside although Mitre and Gaudin are in the mix for the fifth starter spot, I think it’s really always been about Hughes and Joba.

    It was great to watch Joba come up in 2007 and jump right into that eighth inning role. He brought an exciting and dominant energy into the game every time he pitched, and it was a lot of fun to watch. Even with that in mind when it was announced that he would be a starter last year, I was quick to defend the situation to everyone that thought he should be the setup man. He throws four different pitches very well, and had been a starter most of his baseball career. That’s all well and good but with the innings limit that had been setup for him, it was difficult to watch him come in only to throw three or four innings under the infamous “Joba Rules”. Weather he’ll ever admit to it or not I think the whole innings limit messed with his head, and we all know how much of baseball can be mental. The “rules” weren’t allowing him to be the real Joba. Then this year in the playoffs I saw the same Joba that the city of New York fell in love with in 2007. He came into games charged up and “breathing fire”. Watching him pitch like that again, I couldn’t help but think that that was the role he belonged in. It takes a different type of person to be a setup man or a closer and I think he has the mindset to do either. There will NEVER be another Mariano Rivera, but it would be great to see Joba take that closer role once Mariano is ready to leave the game.

    Then of course there’s Phil Hughes. I really enjoy watching Hughes pitch, and I think he did a great job last year pitching in the eighth inning role. That aside I think his style of pitching and his mindset is much better designed to be a starter. I understand that he has an innings limit coming into this season but if he earns that spot I’d like to see the people who make those decisions give him a little room to play with, so he doesn’t have to go through the same process that Joba did. When it’s all said and done I think the Yanks will go into the season with Hughes as the fifth starter and a bullpen that included Aceves, Park, Robertson, Marte, Logan, Joba and Mariano. It will be interesting to see what would happen if Aceves, or even Mitre or Gaudin won the fifth spot what Girardi and Co. would decide to do with Hughes and Joba. Would they both get a spot in the bullpen? I think were passed the point of one of them starting the season in Triple A. They’ve proven themselves too valuable. My guess is the job will eventually go to Hughes, but the rest of these guys are giving him some good competition. It will be an interesting few weeks coming up. That’s my take, what does the rest of the Baseball World think?

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Johnny Damon

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010, 12:37 PM [General]


    Obviously there’s been a lot of buzz about Damon signing with the Tigers this week. I know a lot of Yankee fans are upset that he didn’t take the contract the Yanks offered him(believed to be 2 years 14 million). I think it’s a shame because he fits nicely into the Yankees lineup, and Yankee Stadium is a great place for him to hit. His personality fit well in NYC, and I think he did himself a disservice by not resigning with the Yankees. I’m sure some of the blame can go to his agent Scott Boras, but at the end of the day when your a player you essentially run the show, so if Johnny wanted to stay here he could have. Instead he goes to Detriot a team that will likely not be in the race, with a contract that is a year less and only for a million dollars more then the Yankees offered. Not a great move on Johnny’s part if you ask me. That aside I like Damon as a player, and I think he did a great job for the Yankees. He’s the kind of guy you can’t really ever accuse of not playing hard, and it was a pleasure to watch him play the passed five years. Say what you will about his defense, but he still at 36 years old is a great hitter. Two moments always standout in my mind when I think about  Damon, some good, and some for Yankee fans, ugly.

    The ugly is something I’m sure that haunts a lot of Yankee fans still to this day. No team had ever blown a 3-0 lead in an ALCS before, and Damon was a big part of a Game 7 in 2004 that capped off that comeback. I can still see Damon drilling that Grand Slam off of Javier Vazquez over the short porch in right, and I can remembering thinking to myself at that moment, I can’t believe this, the Yanks are actually going to loose this series. It’s that lefty swing that I grew to love once he became a Yankee, but on that day it was the big moment in a game that staged the biggest upset possibly in baseball history. I hated Damon for that, I really did, but once a player is wearing your teams jersey you start to forgive and forget, but that one was a very tough moment to forget.

    The good was the only good moment in a series filled with bad moments. I will always remember Damon’s Game 3 in the 2007 ALDS against the Indians. The series was a difficult one to watch. Wang got lit up in Game 1 and the Yanks got killed, Pettitte lost a pitchers dual in Game 2 on account of Joba in the infamous “bug game”, and Game 4 Wang couldn’t get it done again, as the Yankees tried to play catch up the entire game. Yet I’ll always remember Damon and the three run home run he hit in that Game 3, saving the game, and preventing the Yankees from getting swept in that series. I can remember sitting and watching that game and feeling uncomfortable, like someone was sitting on my chest for four innings. The Yanks trailed 3-1 and while that lead isn’t by any means insurmountable, the game just didn’t have a good energy to it. Damon’s home run changed that for good, and made me happy, because I had tickets to Game 4. Unfortunately things didn’t workout, but for a night Damon kept things alive.

    Those are the two things that always stick out in my mind about Damon. Of course there’s more moments I’ll remember especially his great play in the World Series this year, including him stealing second and third base in one play, which was one of the most incredible play’s I’ve ever seen, as well as many other memorable moments over the years.  I’m sorry to see him go but as we all know that’s baseball. Now I’ll be anxious to watch new comer Curtis Granderson make up for the production that Damon delivered. I think he’ll be a significant upgrade, but that well find out soon enough. 

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

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