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Mark DeRosa to the Bronx?

December 19, 2009 2 comments

I just plain don’t get this one.

DeRosa, 35 when the season starts, played with the Cardinals and Indians this past season. He hit .250/.319/.433 with 23 HR and 78 RBI.

DeRosa is asking for a three-year deal worth about $18 Million.

The Yankees won’t sign Johnny Damon to a two year deal worth $20 Million and are looking at DeRosa to be a possible replacement. Wait….didn’t the Yankees just sign Nick Johnson as their DH? Would they trade Melky Cabrera? Trade Gardner? Both? Bench one trade the other?

I just don’t understand why the Yankees would waste $6 Million a year on a 35 year old corner outfielder. By the time his contract is up Colin Curtis, Brett Gardner, and maybe even Jamie Hoffmann will be knocking on the starting OF door.

The Yankees will have Granderson locked in center and MAYBE an opening in right. Do they move DeRosa to the infield? No, the infield is booked.

Why even consider DeRosa? The Yankees need pitching and until they get that, why even look at other free agents?

Right now here is the Yankees lineup and rotation:

1. Jeter SS
2. Johnson DH
3. Teixeira 1B
4. Rodriguez 3B
5. Granderson CF
6. Posada C
7. Cano 2B
8. Swisher RF
9. Cabrera CF

SP-Sabathia
SP-Burnett
SP-Pettite
SP-Hughes
SP-Chamberlain

Does anyone else see a problem with the rotation and no problem with the line-up or am I going crazy?

Yankees to sign Nick Johnson

December 18, 2009 Leave a comment

The Yankees are nearing an agreement on a 1-year deal worth approximately $5 Million with free agent 1B/DH Nick Johnson.

Johnson was coveted by the Yankees, Giants, and Mariners.

Johnson was a former Yankee that was traded away along with Randy Choate and Juan Rivera for Javier Vazquez back in 2003. The Yankees drafted Johnson in 1996.

Johnson, whose .426 OBP this year leads all free agents, was wanted by the Yankees mainly for the great On Base Percentage, the fact that he hits well against lefties, and the fact that he is a lefty-hitter himself. With Matsui gone and Damon probably leaving, this was the Yankees big chance to sign a lefty-hitter.

INSTANT ANALYSIS: Since it is a one-year deal, I like it. Even if Johnson is injury-prone, he still puts up good numbers when he plays. This move allows the Yankees to stick the Melky/Gardner combo in left.

Free Agent Spotlight: Mike Cameron

December 10, 2009 5 comments

We move from the topic of pitchers on to outfielders, which believe it or not, is still a team need. Mike Cameron, 36, is one of the best available outfielders not named Bay or Holliday.
You might be wondering why the Yanks need another outfielder even though they just got Curtis Granderson. Well, with Granderson, we now have four outfielders; Brett Gardner, Melky Cabrera, Nick Swisher and Granderson. Many people are anticipating the resigning of Johnny Damon. And with this, many people anticipate the trading of Nick Swisher. Which leaves us with a very good centerfielder, a decent corner outfielder in Cabrera, a fast outfielder who needs to improve his hitting, and an aging corner outfielder with no arm. Our minor league outfielders could be drafted away from us, as Shelley Duncan and John Rodriguez are expected to be drafted in the Rule 5. So we’re left with Colin Curtis, and newly signed Jon Weber and Eladio Moronta as our backups in case of injury/other needs.

photo from Sports Illustrated

Cameron has always hit for a low average and many strikeouts, but he is a perfect middle-bottom of the order hitter because of his power and speed. He hit just .250 last year but hit 25 home runs and 70 RBIs (and his home was Miller Park, typically a pitchers park). Though his speed has been decreasing over the years, he can still cover the outfield and still has a great arm, which would make his transition to a corner spot (most likely left because of said speed, and Melkys cannon for RF) much easier. He has 3 gold gloves under his belt, most recently in 2006.
Cameron would be a great fit in New York for several reasons. We know he can handle the New York media, as he spent 2004-05 with the Mets without any controversy (many remember him for his nasty collision with Carlos Beltran, breaking several bones in his face and causing him to miss the rest of the season). Second, he hits well against AL East teams for the most part in his career; 10 HR 26 RBI vs Boston, 3 HR 23 RBI vs Baltimore, 6 HR 27 RBI vs Toronto, and 5 HR 22 RBI vs Tampa Bay. Remember, his six full seasons in the AL were with Seattle and Chicago, who would face these teams a max of 10 times a year.

Scenarios with Cameron:
– Damon signed, Swisher traded for starter/reliever/minor leaguer. Cameron takes 6 or 7 spot in order and takes over RF/LF
– Damon not signed, Swisher stays- Cameron bats in front of Swisher because of speed and better clutch hitting; Swisher becomes everyday DH with ability to start in the OF when needed.
– Damon signed, Swisher kept- Cameron becomes everyday outfielder, Swisher and Damon must fight for DH job, one of the two rot on the bench, until Swisher/Cabrera traded before deadline

If the Yankees sign him, look for a 2-year, $17 MM deal.
Cameron has said that he wants to play for a team with a chance at the postseason, let’s see if the Yankees make a run at him.

New York Yankees Defeat Philadelphia Phillies in Six Games, Win World Series

November 5, 2009 Leave a comment

The Yankees defeated the Phillies tonight 7-3, and won the World Series in six games. With tonights victory the Yankees have 27 World Series victories and 40 pennants.

Random Notes:

-Clutchest Pitcher in baseball history=Mariano Rivera

-Only the Yankees fans would go crazy over not winning a World Series in 10 years. In a place like Kansas City, making the playoffs twice in 10 years is an amazing feat.

-I was in Philadelphia earlier today and I was booed heavily (I wore a Yankees jersey)

-I was cursed at by two 80-year-old ladies and challenged to a fight by a teenage girl

-Philadelphia has great food, so they at least have that going for them

-Damaso Marte just skyrocketed his status with the Yankees fans. What a postseason for him.

-This could have been Andy Pettite’s last career game.

-What a postseason for Hideki Matsui. It will be very tough not to bring him back next year….don’t be surprised if the White Sox sign Damon and the Yankees sign Matsui/Bay/Holliday.

-Cano needs to step it up in the clutch.

-The Yankees won the World Series.

-Spike Lee is one impressive fan.

-Alex Rodriguez finally won a World Series.

-The Yankees won the World Series

-Tough loss for the Phillies, even tougher for dirt-bag Jimmy Rollins. (I don’t mind any other player on the team)

-THE YANKEES WON THE WORLD SERIES

GAME RECAP: WORLD SERIES GAME 5

November 3, 2009 Leave a comment

AJ Burnett gets rocked early, Yankees unable to complete the comeback late

FINAL SCORE: YANKEES 6 PHILLIES 8 (F9th)

SCORING PLAYS

  • Top of the 1st: Johnny Damon singles to center field. Alex Rodriguez doubles to right field, Damon scores (NYY 1, PHI 0)
  • Bottom of the 1st: Jimmy Rollins singles to center field. Shane Victorino hit by pitch. Chase Utley homers to right field. Rollins, Victorino, & Utley scores (NYY 1, PHI 3)
  • Bottom of the 3rd: Chase Utley walks. Ryan Howard walks. Jayson Werth singles to center field. Utley scores, Howard to 2nd base (NYY 1, PHI 4)
  • Bottom of the 3rd: Raul Ibanez singles to right field. Howard scores, Werth to 3rd (NYY 1, PHI 5)
  • Bottom of the 3rd: Carlos Ruiz grounds into a force out, Werth scores (NYY 1, PHI 6)
  • Top of the 5th: Eric Hinske draws a 1-out walk. Derek Jeter singles to right field, Hinske to 3rd. Johnny Damon gounds out softly to first base, Hinske scores (NYY 2, PHI 6)
  • Bottom of the 7th: Chase Utley homers to right field (NYY 2, PHI 7)
  • Bottom of the 7th: Raul Ibanez homers to right field (NYY 2, PHI 8)
  • Top of the 8th: Johnny Damon gets an infield hit. Mark Teixeira doubles to left field, Damon to 3rd. Alex Rodriguez doubles to left field, Damon & Teixeira scores (NYY 4, PHI 8)
  • Top of the 8th: Nick Swisher moves the runner (ARod) to 3rd on a ground out to 1st. Robinson Cano out on a sacrifice out, Rodriguez scores (NYY 5, PHI 8)
  • Top of the 9th: Jorge Posada doubles. Hideki Matsui singles to left field, Posada to 3rd. Derek Jeter hits into a double play, Posada scores (NYY 6, PHI 8)

STARTING PITCHING (from Yahoo Sports)

  • AJ Burnett: 2 innings, 4 hits allowed, 6 earned runs, 4 BB, 1 HR, 2 SO, 7.00 ERA
  • Cliff Lee: 7 innings, 7 hits allowed, 5 earned runs, 3 BB, 3 SO, 2.81 ERA

KEY PERFORMERS: Chase Utley 2-for 3 with 2 HRs and 4 RBI

OBSERVATIONS: 10 down, 1 to go.

The Comforts of Home Heal Game 5 Wounds

November 3, 2009 Leave a comment

The Yankees were unable to close out the series last night and there really are not very many positives that came out of that game. The only things I can say are that they were able to hit Cliff Lee and that Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Damon are really picking it up during the World Series. Other than that there is not much to be pleased about.

Last night I tried to find some more positives but couldn’t. I tried to convince myself that if Mark Teixeira had found a way to get on base, Rodriguez could have tied the game for us. This seemed perfectly reasonable at the time given how well he had been playing but today it just seems unreasonable because they had no business winning the game last night. How often are you going to win when the starting pitcher goes less than 3 innings, gives up 6 earned runs, and the bullpen gives up two more insurance homeruns? The answer is pretty much never. Barring an historic collapse from Lee, the Yankees were going to go back to New York up 3-2 in the series and that is exactly what happened despite a decent effort in the 8th and 9th innings.

Placing aside my negativity concerning the game last night, however, I actually am not unduly worried or upset. Where normally I would be incredibly nervous about the Yankee’s chances to close it out, today I feel confident. Andy Pettitte, our wily veteran with more postseason wins than any other pitcher in history, is on the mound in Yankee stadium. Cliff Lee won’t be pitching for the Phillies tomorrow night. They are playing in a ballpark that has baffled opposing teams so far this postseason. And, there is nothing like the comfort of your own bed. Experience on the mound, not facing a dominant pitcher, and the comforts of home all lead me to believe that game 6 will be the final game in the World Series. The Yankees have too many things swaying in their favor. And, if all else fails and for some reason the Yankees cannot pull it out tomorrow, there is always the comforting fact that CC is waiting in the wings.

GAME RECAP: WORLD SERIES GAME 4

November 2, 2009 2 comments

Johnny Damon steals Philadelphia’s momentum and ARod delivers in the 9th

FINAL SCORE: YANKEES 7 PHILLIES 4 (F9th)

SCORING PLAYS

  • Top of the 1st: Derek Jeter singles, Johnny Damon doubles to right field, Jeter to 3rd. Mark Teixeira grounds out to first base. Jeter scores, Damon to 3rd (NYY 1, PHI 0)
  • Top of the 1st: Jorge Posada sacrifice to left field, Johnny Damon scores (NYY 2, PHI 0)
  • Bottom of the 1st: Shane Victorino doubles to enter field. Chase Utley doubles to right field, Victorino scores (NYY 2, PHI 1)
  • Bottom of the 4th: Ryan Howard singles to center field. Howard steals 2nd base. Pedro Feliz singles to left field, Howard scores (NYY 2, PHI 2)
  • Top of the 5th: Nick Swisher walks on 4 balls. Melky Cabrera singles on a ground ball to 2nd base. Derek Jeter singles, Swisher scores and Cabrera to 2nd (NYY 3, PHI 2)
  • Top of the 5th: Johnny Damon singles to right field, Cabrera scores (NYY 4, PHI 2)
  • Bottom of the 7th: Chase Utley homers to right field of Sabathia (NYY 4, PHI 3)
  • Bottom of the 8th: Pedro Feliz homers to left field of Chamberlain (NYY 4, PHI 4)
  • Top of the 9th: Johnny Damon works a 2 out single. Damon steals 2nd and 3rd base. Mark Teixeira is hit by pitch. Alex Rodriguez doubles to left field, Damon scores and Teixeira to 3rd (NYY 5, PHI 4)
  • Top of the 9th: Jorge Posada singles to left field. Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira scores (NYY 7, PHI 4)

STARTING PITCHING (from Yahoo Sports)

  • CC Sabathia: 6 2/3 innings, 7 hits allowed, 3 earned runs, 3 BB, 1 HR, 6 SO, 3.29 ERA
  • Joe Blanton: 6 innings, 5 hits allowed, 4 earned runs, 2 BB, 7 SO, 6.00 ERA

KEY PERFORMERS: Johnny Damon went 3-for-5 with 1 RBI. He had the best at-bat of the night in the top of the 8th with 2-outs and behind 1-and-2 on the count, and topped it off with 2 stolen bases. Alex Rodriguez working on an 0-fer came through in the 9th with a 2-out double that scored Damon and the Yankees regained their lead.

OBSERVATIONS:

  • For the second time in this World Series Sabathia did not look as dominant as he was in the ALCS. The Yankees gave CC a 2 run cushion to start the game, and he gave 1 right back to the Phillies on two consecutive doubles in the bottom of the 1st where he threw 24 pitches. Sabathia was getting behind on the count and had to work for every precious out. Having said that CC’s ability to grind it out, limiting the Phillies’ opportunities with men in scoring position, may make this outing more impressive than his dominance against the Angels. The bottom of the 5th was as impressive a performance by a pitcher as you will see in the World Series stage. Sabathia put men on 1st and 2nd without recording an out and he’d yet to face Utley, Howard and Werth. CC, and let’s give credit to Posada in this situation, gets Utley and Howard to pop-up before striking out Jayson Werth. Inning over.
  • Alex Rodriguez got hit by a pitch at the top of the 1st. It is his 3rd HBP in this series. A-Rod could not hide his displeasure at being hit again, and one can make the argument that it affected his at-bats throughout the night. He went 0-for-3 with 1 strikeout before a huge clutch hit in the bottom of the 9th propelled the Yankees to victory.
  • Damaso Marte was solid once again. Joba Chamberlain was dealing, but he made a mistake to Feliz (who was hot last night) and he made him pay for it. This may be a great learning experience for Joba and may only make him better next time around.
  • Come on chant with me: Jooohnny Daaamon tap tap, tap tap tap, Jooohnny Daaamon tap tap, tap tap tap. There is nothing more gratifying to a baseball purist, a fan of the fundamentals of the game, than a heads up play that shows a player’s awareness on the field and his keen instinct. Damon’s base running exploits in the bottom of the 9th has to be in your highlight reel for years to come.
  • The “Comeback Kids” did it again. 3 down…1 to go.