It’s a simple formula…
It is nice that Dellin Betances was nominated for AL Rookie of the Year, but it is a foregone conclusion that the award belongs to Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox. I hope all of the accolades bestowed upon Betances (well deserved) do not go to the heads of the Yankee brass. I am a bit concerned that they are ready to turn the closer’s role over to Betances, and I believe that’s a mistake. The Yankees need to do what it takes to bring back David Robertson. The thought of him potentially being the closer for Joe Maddon in Chicago is troubling, to say the least.
- Sign Robertson…
- Sign Brandon McCarthy…
- Sign Chase Headley…
It’s that simple. This isn’t rocket science.
If the Yankees are truly serious about not pursuing a frontline starter like Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, or James Shields, they need to bring back McCarthy…and then some.
New York Daily News
In my mind, Headley is THE Yankees third baseman. I have no love for the other guy and there’s no way that he will be able to physically perform at the position through the duration of a long season, given that he’s about to turn 40 and has been away for a year. Headley may not be a monster bat, but his defense was electrifying. With new guys potentially slated for second and short, the Yankees need consistency and stability at third. Headley, not A-Rod, is the man to bring it.
Even if the Yankees bring back Robertson and continue with the 1-2 punch of Betances-Robertson in the late innings, they need lights out relief in front of them. I suspect that CC Sabathia will not go deep into his games, and with so many questions in the rotation (Masahiro Tanaka’s health, ability of Michael Pineda to stay healthy, etc.), the bullpen will be heavily relied upon.
Baseball is a game of lemmings, and the Kansas City Royals proved that a great bullpen can compensate for weaknesses in the starting rotation.
Truth or dare…
Regarding the reports that the Yankees will not pursue the Big Three (Scherzer, Lester or Shields), put me in the ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ category. Those reports always strike me as a way for the Yankees to hopefully keep prices down or to give them leverage with the free agent. The Yankees would be foolish not to pursue Scherzer or Lester.
I remain heavily behind putting Rob Refsnyder at second. I know that Jose Pirela is tearing up winter ball, but I still prefer Refsnyder.
As for short, I’d be okay with the Yankees bringing back Stephen Drew. I really do think that Drew will have a much better season in 2015, with the benefit of spring training. But if they go the free agent market, then Asdrubal Cabrera probably makes the most sense. The cost to obtain Troy Tulowitzski or even Alexei Ramirez would be too high. If there’s anything I want to accomplish this winter besides signing the above free agents, it’s to protect top prospects like Luis Severino or Aaron Judge.
With so many teams needing quality catching, and Russell Martin the lone option on the free agent market, it would seem the Yankees should put Francisco Cervelli on the table. By himself, he wouldn’t bring top return, but he could be packaged with other prospects to bring a quality return. Obviously, not game changers but quality talent that a winning club needs.
Wanted: GM, no experience required…
The GM landscape is certainly taking a different look. It seems like the veteran GM’s are showing up on radio talk shows (like Jim Duquette, Steve Phillips, and others), while newcomers are breaking into the GM inner circle. I was very surprised to see the Dodgers name Farhan Zaidi as their GM as I felt Josh Byrnes would get the job, but the Dodgers got Byrnes anyway to lead its scouting and player development areas. After listening to an interview with the 37 year old MIT-grad Zaidi, I am tremendously impressed and there’s no doubt that he’ll mesh very well with President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, Byrnes, and Manager Don Mattingly. He gets it.
Another GM that surprised me was Dave Stewart of the Arizona Diamondbacks. But as a quality guy who can do the job, it’s Stewart.
Still, I wonder what guys like Duquette and Phillips think. Perhaps they have no interest in returning to the GM role. It would seem that the stress of a radio gig would be a little less stressful than trying to put together a championship caliber team and keeping it together.
At some point in the future, the Yankees would be wise to promote Brian Cashman to President of Baseball Operations and to move Billy Eppler to GM.
Whatever happened to Kim Ng?…
I know, she works for MLB but I always thought that she’d be the first female GM.
These first few weeks in November are always so quiet. Awards will be announced next week and the GM meetings are coming up so there’ll be a little activity. However, it always takes the Baseball Winter Meetings in December to really get things cooking. I am anxious to see what the 2015 Yankees will look like. Hopefully, the roster will include Robertson, McCarthy, and Headley. I shouldn’t say it, but I would not be disappointed if it didn’t include Rodriguez…
Good luck, well, not so much…
The Los Angeles Angels’ search for a new GM has me nervous as they’ve interviewed both Damon Oppenheimer and Billy Eppler. Eppler, but not Oppenheimer, has been called back for a second interview which probably means that the chances are great the Yankees could lose a valued member of the front office. I don’t dispute that either Eppler or Oppenheimer would make great general managers, but I truly believe that Kim Ng deserves an opportunity. She’s held Assistant GM positions with both the Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers, and she’s currently working for MLB. She has a tremendous background, and if I was starting a franchise, she’d be my pick for GM.
Ouch, that photo hurt…
I wasn’t very pleased to wake up to the morning photo of CC Sabathia in Boston Red Sox gear. Courtesy of the New York Daily News…
I recognize that the Red Sox will be a very active player in the search for quality rotation arms, and they’d be aggressive with Sabathia if he hits the open market for no other reason than to drive up the price for the Yanks. Just like I think the Yankees need to lock up GM Brian Cashman before the end of the month, they need to re-negotiate CC’s deal before he can opt out…not after.
The Yankees are the reason for all of the World’s problems…
At the gym this morning, I was listening to guys talk about how the Yankees make it impossible for other teams to compete. I always find this talk so narrow minded given how much the Yankees contribute to other teams through luxury and payroll taxes. Baseball is about good decisions at the end of the day. The size of your contract does not ensure greatness. As for this morning’s conversation, I just don’t think the Minnesota Twins have made the same quality decisions under their current GM that they did in years past when they won the World Series. I know that a mistake by a small market team is going to be more severe than if the Yankees make the same mistake, but if memory serves correctly, there’s a team in the World Series…with the advantage…that was in bankruptcy court not too long ago. They made the right decisions and persevered. Their decisions were subsidized by Yankees money, so I am not going to feel sorry for other teams simply because the Yankees happen to reside in the largest market.
I am not a Chicago Cubs fan, but I am excited about the front office re-build with Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod. Mike Quade might be a great guy and a good manager, but I just don’t see how he survives the regime change. I remain hopeful that Terry Francona will get the job, but I agree with those who say that he might be best served by staying out of managing for a half season or so before re-entering the grind. I would like to see a Chicago Cubs World Championship in my lifetime. Maybe not with Alfonso Soriano on the roster, but I think if anyone can end the drought, it is Theo. I will be watching the Cubs with interest next year. My favorite NL team is probably still the Los Angeles Dodgers as long as Donnie Baseball is the manager, but the Cubs will be fun to watch. As for the Dodgers, they would be easier to take if Frank McCourt is forced to sell the team. Owner to owner, I’d take Tom Ricketts any day.
Time to Ponder a great future…
Breaking away from baseball, it was fun to see the debut of Minnesota Vikings rookie QB Christian Ponder. He made his fair share of mistakes, but the energy he infused into the team was tremendous. I think he’ll continue to grow with each start, and I am glad that he finally gained the starting opportunity after the lethargic performance of past-his-prime QB Donovan McNabb. It sucks that we had to find out what Philly and Washington already knew, but at least that saga has reached its conclusion. I am looking forward to seeing what Ponder can do in the coming weeks. He is incredibly bright, and I think that his football smarts will offset some of the physical limitations. They always talk about the “it” factor, and I think that Ponder, like Aaron Rodgers, has it.
The Cops must love the Vikings…
CB Chris Cook beat his girlfriend? I agree with the felony charge and the suspension. His loss to the defense is huge, but his behavior is not acceptable and cannot be tolerated. There may be another side to the story, but there is no denying that this involved physical abuse. Very disappointing. As a former first-round pick, there’s no way that the Vikings can simply cut bait. But they have to send a message to Cook that character and personal code of ethics are greater attributes than football ability.
As for Aaron Rodgers, I hate to say anything pro-Green Bay, but he has clearly surpassed Bart Starr and Brett Favre as the greatest QB in franchise history. Tom Brady was the best QB in the NFL for a few years, along with Peyton Manning, but there’s no doubt that Rodgers is now setting the bar. I continue to ask myself, why did the San Francisco 49ers select Alex Smith over Northern CA local Aaron Rodgers. That has to be one of worst draft decisions in recent memory. Where’s Carmen Policy when you need him?…
Is it time for Spring Training yet?…
Can I say that I am quietly rooting against Bartolo
Colon? Sorry, but I just don’t want to
see the 5th spot in the starting rotation go to such a high
risk. I would never fool myself into
believing that a few good spring starts will lead to a replication of Colon’s
2005 Cy Young year with the Los Angeles Angels.
My personal preference is for the 4th and 5th
spots to go to Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia, respectively. It’s not outside of the realm of possibility
that both Colon and Garcia head north with the Yankees when camp breaks, but I
hope that it means Garcia is in the rotation and Colon is bumping shoulders
with Sergio Mitre in long relief.
Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger
I am not looking for Garcia to be a full season option. I’d really like to see one of the Killer B’s
(Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances and Manuel Banuelos) step up at some point in
the season and prove they belong in the majors now. My favorite among the group is Brackman if
for no other reason that his age (25) and the fact that he’d have the maturity
to handle New York. My absolute favorite
among the group is Banuelos but I don’t want to see the Yankees rush him too
NY Daily News
Although the Yankees rotation looks questionable at this
point, there is definitely the potential that the staff will be among the
league’s best as the season progresses.
Either the Yankees will reach out at the trading deadline or one of the
Killer B’s takes it to the next level, but the end result will be a much closer
gap between the Red Sox rotation and the Yankees.
I am very pleased that Eric Chavez has done well so far in
camp. I am very hopeful that he, along
with Eduardo Nunez, nail down the infield bench roles for the team. I like what Jorge Vazquez has done, but
unfortunately, there just doesn’t appear to the room on the roster (barring
injury). It will be interesting to see
what Brian Cashman does with the excess talent (notably Vazquez and catcher
Francisco Cervelli…once the latter recovers from the foot fracture). Both have proven they are major league ready,
but if Chavez and Jesus Montero make the team, there won’t be any room for
Cervelli or Vazquez.
Congratulations to former Dodgers assistant GM Kim Ng for
her new role with Major League Baseball (Senior Vice President for Baseball
Operations). She’ll report to former
Yankees and Dodgers manager Joe Torre. I’ve
read the news reports that Kim took the job with the hopes it will help propel
her to an eventual GM job. I have had
great respect for Kim since her days with the Yankees, and I am hopeful that
she does become the first woman GM in baseball.
Northwest Asian Weekly
I can’t help it but I am definitely pulling for the Los
Angeles Dodgers this year as my favorite NL team. Go Donnie Baseball!
Wow, what an exciting game!…
The Yankees took a 2-game lead in the American League Championship Series with a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night. It was a marathon 5-hour affair that extended into the early hours of the morning (thanks to the 7:57 pm Eastern starting time).
Theodorakis/NY Daily News
It was the fifth longest game in LCS history. The only surprise is that it didn’t involve the Boston Red Sox, who have played three of those long running games. Hey Julia, it couldn’t have involved the Red Sox “with the Red Sox season over”!
Sorry my friend! Okay, maybe not… 😉
It was definitely a long day for me. I started my morning in San Jose, and I drove to San Francisco to catch a flight to New York. Arriving at JFK Airport around 6 pm Eastern, I got a rental car and drove down to my former home city of Wilmington, DE. I listened to the Yankees game on WCBS (John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman) until I was out of range and had to switch over to ESPN Radio (Jon Miller and Joe Morgan). I was surprised that the rain didn’t appear at Yankee Stadium until the late innings, because I drove through rain throughout my drive down the New Jersey Turnpike, and it continued to rain as I made my way through Pennsylvania to Delaware. I stopped at a sports bar to watch game, but I finally decided to check into the hotel in the 10th inning. So, I finished watching the game in the cozy confines of my hotel room. In all my life, I don’t think I’ve ever watched/listened to a single baseball game through so many different sources! Oh well, as the saying goes, all’s well that ends well!
Simmons/NY Daily News
I thought that A.J. Burnett pitched a great game. I was disappointed that a potential victory was aborted by his wild pitch in the 5th inning that allowed the Angels to tie the score. Had they not scored, it’s possible that the Yankees could have won, 2-1, in regulation with the way their bullpen performed. Nevertheless, baseball is a game of ‘ifs and buts’ so it didn’t happen so this one was earmarked for extra innings.
Before I proceed to the latter innings, I do want to congratulate Joba Chamberlain for the job he did in the 7th inning. He inherited two runners when he relieved Phil Coke. After allowing an infield single to Torii Hunter to load the bases, he struck out Vladimir Guerrero to end the inning. That was a huge moment in the game. Clearly, had they scored any runs, they most likely would have won the game.
Mariano Rivera also did a tremendous job for 2 1/3 innings. Anything beyond an inning was almost unheard of during the Joe Torre days as they sought to protect Mo. I understand that, but these are the days of ‘no tomorrow’. Every game is critical. I know that it has been difficult for closers to get into the Hall of Fame, but I think that both Rivera and Trevor Hoffman deserve first ballot consideration when their playing days are over.
Antonelli/NY Daily News
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the stellar defensive play of first baseman Mark Teixeira. He continues to save runs game in and game out. I am always amazed at how far he can reach to save errant throws, and there is no doubt that the Yankees stayed in last night’s game because of Tex. There is no way that Jason Giambi could have gotten to many of these throws (sorry G!).
Antonelli/NY Daily News
I was bit frustrated in the 11th inning when Alfredo Aceves opened the inning by walking Gary Matthews, Jr. He scored on a single by the previously ice-cold Chone Figgins after a sacrifice had moved him to second. Nevertheless, I really didn’t feel like the Yankees would lose the game at that point, despite the Angels’ 3-2 lead.
Antonelli/NY Daily News
My faith was vindicated in the bottom of the 11th when Alex Rodriguez hit a game-tying home run just out of the reach of a leaping Bobby Abreu. The ball bounced back onto the field, so for a moment, there was a thought about whether or not was a home run. Even A-Rod had to slow around second to look at the umpire for the home run signal. But replays clearly showed the ball hit the stands and ricochet back onto the playing field. A-Rod, finally, is playing to expectations in the post-season and it has been great. If the Yanks win it all, the MVP, at this moment, has to be A-Rod.
Antonelli/NY Daily News
I understand why the Yankees placed Freddy Guzman on the play-off roster (at the expense of Eric Hinske), however, it was frustrating to see Guzman (who had earlier pinch run for DH Hideki Matsui) bat following A-Rod’s homer. You could almost feel the air deflate out of the Yanks’ momentum when Guzman struck out. The Angels retired the next two batters to get out of the inning. Guzman is here because of his Brett Gardner-like speed. However, I would have felt so much better with Eric Hinske coming off the bench to bat in that situation.
The Angels had their chances. With two outs in the top of the 12th, the Angels defensive catcher Jeff Mathis (not known for his bat) ripped a double off David Robertson who had just entered the game. After the next batter was intentionally walked, Robertson struck out Matthews to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 12th, I thought the Yankees missed a golden opportunity when A-Rod flied out to end the inning with the bases loaded. At that point, I started to turn a bit pessimistic. David Robertson was still on the mound and Chad Gaudin was the last man standing in the bullpen so I knew time was running out.
The Angels got the 13th inning going when an error by Robinson Cano allowed Erick Aybar to safely reach base. He advanced to second on a sacrifice. After Bobby Abreu was intentionally walked, an infield groundout by Torii Hunter moved the runners to second and third. That brought Vlad the Great to the plate. Of course, memories of his game winning hit in Boston swirled in my head. But, in keeping in sync with the Angels penchant for leaving men on base…at least in this game, Vlad hit into a groundout to end the inning.
To the bottom of the 13th it was! Instead of allowing Freddy Guzman to hit, manager Joe Girardi brought Jerry Hairston, Jr. off the bench to bat in the DH slot. Hard to believe that it was the first play-off appearance for Hairston, but he didn’t disappoint as he reached base on a single to center. After Brett Gardner sacrificed Hairston to second, Robinson Cano was intentionally walked. That brought Melky Cabrera to the plate. In a play that made absolutely no sense to me, Angels second baseman Macer Izturis fielded a ball hit by Cabrera and threw wildly to second base rather than going for the sure out at first.
Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger
At this point in the game, the only runner that mattered was the lead runner (Hairston). He was already advancing to third, so Cano was an irrelevant runner. The ball sailed past Angels shortstop Erick Aybar and it allowed Hairston to race home with the winning run.
John Munson/The Star Ledger
The first two games of the ALCS have been very un-Angel like, given the multiple errors and men left on base. I suspect that we’ll see a very different Angels squad at Angels Stadium as the series shifts to Anaheim for three games. This makes me glad that the Yankees will be taking a 2-0 series lead to the West Coast rather than heading out West tied. I still fully expect this series to go seven games as it is far from over. However, I am hopeful for a few more endings like this…
Antonelli/NY Daily News
On a final note, it was great to see Tino Martinez throw out the first pitch, but he definitely looked better hitting game-winning home runs at the old stadium!
Antonelli/NY Daily News
I am planning to watch tonight’s game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers in a Philly sports bar. I guess I’ll just remain a closet supporter of the Dodgers and smile whenever the Phillies do something good even though inside I will be cheering wildly for Joe Torre, Don Mattingly and company. Hey, I need to survive the night so that I can head back to New York on Monday morning! 🙂
One (more) final note…good luck to Dodgers Assistant GM Kim Ng. She interviewed for the GM job with the San Diego Padres. It’s strange to think that Kevin Towers will no longer be there, but Kim deserves the opportunity to be the first woman GM in major league history. She did a great job with the Yankees, and for the past 8 years, she’s been magnificent as Ned Colletti’s top adviser. I hated to see her leave New York, but I knew that there were bigger and better things in her future. Kim Ng, General Manager of the San Diego Padres. It has a great ring to it. Good luck, Kim!