The Undefeated New York Yankees!
Okay, it’s just the first exhibition game of the season. It is also a time when pitchers are still way ahead of the hitters. But it is great to see the Yankees start the year on the right foot. In the grand scheme of things, it means absolutely nothing but given the adversity of the past month, anything positive is a good thing.
The Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 6-1 in Dunedin, FL. The highlight of the game was a tie-breaking two-run homer by Alex Rodriguez in the fourth inning. Although the game started with the much anticipated chorus of boos, A-Rod had begun to receive applause by his third plate appearance. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come. Well, maybe anywhere except Fenway Park…
Brett Tomko started and pitched two innings of scoreless, one-hit ball. Jose Veras, the winner, pitched the third inning, giving up one run, with two strikeouts. Brett Gardner, locked in a center field battle with Melky Cabrera, also homered.
The Pitching Rotation
It appears that Joe Girardi has set his pitching rotation as CC Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte, and Joba Chamberlain, respectively. That order makes the most sense. The change of pace with Wang between Sabathia and Burnett is a good idea, and I like Burnett followed by Pettitte. Girardi expects about 30 starts from Joba Chamberlain (barring injury, of course).
I sure am glad that Melky Cabrera changed his number from 28 to 53. I kept wondering what the heck was Bob Watson doing in the outfield. Isn’t he too old to play ball? 😉 Meanwhile, Brett Tomko, who was wearing Bobby Abreu’s old number, switched to 28.
Former Yankee first baseman…and Number 28…
Manny and the Dodgers
It sounds like activity is starting to pick up between the Dodgers and agent Scott Boras. Hopefully, this means that Manny will be back in blue by the end of the week. This has been a long, drawn out story that needs to end…
Say what you will about Manny, and while I agree that his behavior in Boston toward the end was about as bad as it gets, he remains one of the most feared hitters in baseball. As an opponent, I always hated it when Manny came up in a clutch situation because he, unlike A-Rod, consistently delivered.
Salary Cap Implications
I am not a proponent of a salary cap. The Yankees have an advantage of being in a major market, but they contribute more to Major League Baseball than any other team through luxury taxes and revenue sharing. The team with the highest payroll is not guaranteed a spot in the World Series, and the Yankees haven’t won since 2000. Watching the NFL, it is painful to see the careers of Derrick Brooks and Marvin Harrison abruptly come to an end with their original teams because of salary. Both have factored very heavily in the recent successes of their respective teams, and have made their mark in their teams’ record books. Earlier, the Jaguars cut loose Fred Taylor, and the Jets will soon release Laveranues Coles. Granted, there comes a point where performance doesn’t justify pay, and teams are smart to sever ties. But the NFL’s Salary Cap adds pressure to make these decisions sooner rather than later. As a Vikings fan, I am glad that Randall McDaniel made the Hall of Fame. But I will forever have the painful memory of watching him play his final years in a Buccaneers uniform. I realize that football and baseball are businesses, but we, as fans, deserve to cheer our heroes to the end so long as they are still performing at a top level. At times, football can feel like fantasy sports in a non-keeper league. You have to re-select your team every year…