The Year of the Disabled List…
Just as we start to get some of the regulars back to reinforce the over-achieving bargain bin replacements, Curtis Granderson is headed back to the bench for a month due to a broken pinkie suffered in Friday night’s Tampa Bay Rays game. This season seems to prove the old adage that if it can go wrong, it will. In Granderson’s case, each return to the DL almost solidifies that he is playing his final year in pinstripes.
Yesterday morning, I was reading an article about how the Yankees were trying to figure out how to rotate four outfielders into three spots. The article seemed to imply that among Vernon Wells, Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki and Granderson, Ichiro would be the odd man out given how strong Wells has played so far this year. I guess Granderson’s pinkie came to the defense of Ichiro as it will keep him on the field for the foreseeable future.
I hope that Granderson’s return to the DL results in the return of Brennan Boesch who has been spending a few weeks at Scranton/Wilkes Barre.
I saw the Yankees have activated Ivan Nova. I suppose that Nova now knows what it must have felt like to be Wally Pipp. Granted, David Phelps is no Lou Gehrig but Phelps is clearly the better starting pitcher than Nova. The battle for a spot in the starting rotation is no doubt between Nova and Phil Hughes. I have watched enough of The Phil Hughes Show. I am ready to change the channel even if that means putting Nova in his spot. Of course, Hughes will probably go to another city and win a Cy Young but some guys just aren’t cut out for New York and I think Hughes is one of those guys. Or it could be that he’s just not a good or consistent pitcher…
David Adams has been a pleasant surprise at third since his call-up from the minors. When the Yankees placed him on waivers earlier in the season in order to remove him from the 40 man roster and return him to the minor leagues, I was surprised that he wasn’t claimed by another team. He has always had potential and it is good to see him finally enjoy a cup of coffee in the big leagues. I wonder how this bodes for Kevin Youkilis when he returns. As well as Adams is playing, he does not deserve to be sent back down. I like the idea of Adams and Youk at third so I am sure that Joe Girardi will find time for both. My only disappointment will be when Alex Rodriguez returns. I have truly enjoyed the time away and frankly I’d love it if A-Rod never returned.
Can Sox Blood Succeed in the Bronx?…
I would really like to see Austin Romine start to hit. All of the reports indicate that his defense will ensure a career as a backup catcher and the difference in the ability to start is his offensive game which has been feeble thus far. Everyone knows that Chris Stewart, Francisco Cervelli and Romine are just keeping the plate warm for the next couple of years until highly touted prospect Gary Sanchez arrives. Still, I’d like to see ex-Red Sock Kevin Romine’s son succeed in the Bronx.
#23 deserves so much better than this…
I feel really bad for Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. Going into the season with ridiculously high expectations, it was clear that this would be a very challenging season for Donnie Baseball. His recent comments about the ill-construction of the team were on mark and were said in a very professional Donnie-like manner. I see that the Dodgers executive team is giving Mattingly a vote of confidence, however, that’s never a good sign. I still hope to see the day where Mattingly takes the field as Yankees manager, but I do not want to see him unceremoniously dumped in LA. He is playing with the hand he was dealt. I do not blame Mattingly for the Dodgers’ early season struggles as I feel that he is doing the best he can. The blame should be placed on the GM and the ownership group.
Put a great manager in a good organization and see what happens…
It’s fun to see Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona having fun again. He is another one of my favorite managers, even during his time in Boston. He is 1-1 in the first two games of a four game set in Boston, but winning the first game had to be a thrill. Here’s to hoping for more success for Tito on Saturday and Sunday.
I guess Larry Platt (aka “Pants on the Ground”) is unavailable…
I didn’t watch American Idol this past season (apparently I wasn’t alone), but I find the show’s choice of Jennifer Hudson to be a curious one. I heard that they are also looking at Kelly Clark and Adam Lambert or Clay Aiken for the other two judge seats. Interesting that they are only looking at their own homegrown talent. I am not sure if it will be enough to bring the viewers back. I am watching The Voice (and have from the start). I like the chemistry among the show’s judges and their format is much more positive with a better focus on quality talent. The show didn’t lose anything in judge chemistry with the substitutions of Shakira and Usher for Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green. I think it is time to sunset American Idol and let the younger shows take the main stage. Well, on the latter point, they already have…
Let the trading and signings begin!…
The Yankees embarked on their 2010 off-season journey by dealing reliever Brian Bruney to the Washington Nationals for a player to be named (most likely the Nats’ first round pick in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft). Bruney has been a vital cog in the Yankees bullpen for the past few years, although there have been a few interruptions caused by injury. I am not sure what I think about this one. I have to believe that Brian Cashman has a motive for making the move. It’s been said that Cash feels that Bruney’s role can be replaced by lower cost options, however, I liked the thought of having Bruney as a safety net for the bridge to Mariano Rivera should Phil Hughes make a successful transition to the starting rotation next season. Or perhaps Cash has more grandiose plans that would keep Hughes as the Yanks’ primary setup man. Regardless, Bruney will be missed, and I wish him the best of luck in the Nation’s Capitol.
Michael Strobel/US Presswire
Okay, you could say that Bruney is not the first player to depart given the number of players who are free agents. However, none have signed with other clubs yet so Bruney is the first major departure from the 2009 Champions.
It was also announced that pitcher Andy Pettitte has decided to return in 2010. Unlike last season, Andy was very quick to make the decision to return. Of course, the team and Pettitte now have to agree on compensation so this could still be dragged out over the course of the next few weeks. I am glad to see Andy’s return as that would be preferable over a gamble that someone like Randy Wolf could have a successful transition to the Bronx. When he’s done, Andy will stand tall among the franchise’s best left-handed pitchers. He may not reach the club’s win record for a southpaw, but he’ll be in the neighborhood. If only he hadn’t left for the Houston Astros for three years…
So, the Los Angeles Angels are kicking the tires of Boston Red Sox outfielder Jason Bay. If they allow Vladimir Guerrero to depart, it would make sense that the Angels pursue someone of Bay’s caliber. If that happens, I’d have to believe that the Red Sox will become the odds-on favorite to land Matt Holliday as Bay’s replacement.
I just completed a very busy week, and it’s great to be home. Last Sunday, I attended a Kelly Clarkson concert in San Jose.
I departed the next day for business meetings in New Jersey. After the meetings, a number of my co-workers and I traveled to New York to see Rock of Ages on Broadway. It was a terrific show, and the star, former American Idol finalist Constanine Maroulis, was phenomenal.
From New York, I headed to Phoenix where I spent the weekend. I went to Sunday night’s game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The game was a disaster, as the Vikings fell to the Cardinals, 30-17. However, the stadium was impressive. Hopefully, Favre and Company will rebound for a strong finish to the season. Everyone’s allowed a clunker or two, right?
Rob Schumacher/Arizona Republic
Arriving back in San Jose, all the nearby mountains were snow-capped, which is a very rare sight in Silicon Valley. It was a beautiful sight, and it was so good to be home!
Doc or Josh…
Joel Auerbach/US Presswire
To repeat as World Champions, the Yankees clearly have to upgrade the middle of their pitching staff. No offense to Andy Pettitte, but going into the play-offs with a three man rotation is not the recipe for continued success…especially if Bud Selig is successful in shortening the off-days during play-off series. At this point in his career, Andy is better served by bringing up the rear of the rotation. So, if the Yankees decide to pursue a frontline starter to go with CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, should they go after Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays or Josh Johnson of the Florida Marlins?
Pitcher to pitcher, it’s easy to say that the choice should be Roy Halladay. He is arguably the best pitcher in the American League, and he knows how to win in Boston, New York, Baltimore, Tampa and Toronto. He is not intimidated by the Los Angeles Angels, and at 32, he is primed for a few more years of dominance.
But if it were my decision, I’d have to go with Josh Johnson. I know that he doesn’t have Doc’s resume, and there is the age old argument that National League pitchers struggle in the American League. However, it goes beyond just Johnson’s age (he will be 26 next season). After undergoing Tommy John surgery in mid-2008, he is 22-6 since his return and according to FanGraphs, he ranked third in average fastball velocity this past season with 95.1 mph (behind Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Verlander). He enjoyed a very fine 2009 season, going 15-5, with 3.23 ERA. He struck out 191 batters in 2009 innings. He will continue to get better, and will soon be an elite ace if he’s not already there.
Probably the bigger reason I’d pursue Johnson is that either pitcher is going to require a hefty bounty in return. There is no doubt that the Yankees will lose the likes of Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, and other high level talent to make a trade. Realistically, if we are going to lose those guys, I’d rather see them pitching in the National League instead of right here in the AL East. The counter-argument is that some team is going to pay the Blue Jays a very high price, so they’ll walk away with a much stronger team either way. But still, I am not prepared to see Joba Chamberlain pitching for the Jays. The AL East should be very competitive next year. Aside from the Yankees and Red Sox, you know that the Tampa Bay Rays will be a force to be reckoned with. The fine young talent in Baltimore is finally starting to gel and should result in a much improved Orioles squad. So, if the Jays are smart about the pieces they receive in a Halladay trade, there will be no pushovers in the division.
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
The Yankees have A.J. Burnett locked up for four more years so I am not concerned about him. However, CC Sabathia still has the right to opt out of his contract after two more years so I think it would be wise for the Yankees to go with the younger option so that they can build a cornerstone for future years. I don’t think CC will opt out, however, as long as it exists as a possibility, it has to be considered. Much can happen in two years.
So, I say go with Josh Johnson and send the premium Yankee talent to the National League…even if that means Doc Halladay calling Fenway Park “home”. Yankees manager Joe Girardi is familiar with Johnson from his year as the Marlins manager in 2007, so it would aid Johnson’s transition to the Bronx.
There is a question of whether the Marlins organization will be willing to part with Johnson, but it should be interesting to see what develops in the coming weeks…
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
But tonight, I choose to see Kelly Clarkson… 🙂
A week ago, the Yankees faced the Boston Red Sox and lost 8-4. Thanks to the loss, I was fortunate enough to spend the weekend immersed in the Red Sox Nation as I wrote three blogs about Red Sox players (the penalty for losing to Julia of Julia’s Rants). The Yankees have not lost since that game. What’s up with that? Guys, where were you when I needed you?
Next time I need you, please be ready! Hint: It involves Fenway Park!
So, when you see the Bat Signal, be ready to play!
You know the phrase ‘It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game’? It DOES NOT apply here!
“Sure, winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”
— UCLA Football Coach Red Sanders, 1955
April 24th through April 26th. I expect three victories..nothing more, but absolutely nothing less! Do you want me to lose to this woman again? C’mon, please help out a desperate Yankee fan!
Hey, Elizabeth and Bob, your votes don’t count! 😉
Today, the Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins, 4-2. I will start by offering my apologies to Erin of Plunking Gomez. The outcome may have been different had Joe Mauer played or if Jose Mijares didn’t, as Erin suggested.
But it was great to see Mark Teixeria’s first spring homer and a solid pitching performance by Phil Hughes. Also, it was great to see Robinson Cano back in pinstripes.
For Erin’s benefit, I offer a photo of who she thinks would have been the star only if…
POTENTIAL VIKINGS QUARTERBACKS
There is actually a subject that Erin and I agree upon…the Vikings are the greatest (well, NFL-speaking of course)!
I am listening to Kelly Clarkson as I type this so forgive me if I am momentarily distracted. Uh-oh, Julia may have figured out my Achilles heel…
Now, about the Vikings and their QB quandary…
Naturally, I remain hopeful that the team will be frontrunners for the services of Jay Cutler should the Broncos decide to trade him. Listening to the continued comments regarding the rift between Cutler and Head Coach Josh McDaniels, I don’t see how this is going to end happily for Denver. Even owner Pat Bowlen said that unhappy players shouldn’t stay despite his stated preference to retain Cutler.
My Life Would Suck Without You is such a great song…
Sorry, I was distracted again…
I saw an article that indicated the Vikings should pursue Tennessee Titans QB Vince Young or Cardinals QB Matt Leinart. I absolutely do not want Vince Young. There is no scenario that I’d prefer him over Sage Rosenfels (or even Tavaris Jackson, for that matter). Matt Leinart, who thus far, has failed to fulfill expectations, might be a different story. I do think that one of these years, Matt is going to “get it”. I could see him having a Rich Gannon-like career. But don’t we already have one over-hyped USC quarterback on the roster (John David Booty)? My preference remains Cutler since I can’t have Matt Cassel…
Kelly Clarkson has 7 dogs? Wow.
Well, I would be willing to take Georgia QB Matthew Stafford, but of course, the Vikings do not have the Number 1 pick in the upcoming draft or anything remotely close. So, I guess the Vikings will be shopping at Nordy’s Rack for their QB hopes…
Have a great weekend, everyone! J