It was a great win by Freddy
Garcia on Saturday (six innings, two hits and no runs) in the Yankees’ 5-2
victory over the Texas Rangers. The
superlatives about Garcia poured in after the game including one comment that
compared Garcia to David Cone in terms of the latter pitcher’s ability to find
ways to win when he didn’t have his best stuff.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
I do not doubt Garcia’s
ability. I can recall many times over
the years when Garcia completely shut down the Yankees. It didn’t matter if he had been struggling at
the time or was fighting some ailment.
He always seemed to shine in the most difficult moments. My concern with Garcia is his ability to
sustain the effectiveness he showed yesterday.
There’s no doubt, in my mind, that we’ll see Kevin Millwood and/or
Carlos Silva in the rotation at some point.
I am not trying to be
pessimistic, but rather just a realist.
With Phil Hughes on the DL, it is not an automatic that he’ll regain his
velocity by simply receiving rest and treatment. A.J. Burnett showed that he is still
vulnerable after giving up two home runs in one inning against the Baltimore
Orioles last week after pitching so well in the prior six innings. We’ll have the opportunity to see what
Bartolo Colon can do, but my concern about him is not with his arm. His weight and ability to stay healthy are
the key issues.
It was disappointing to hear
that reliever Pedro Feliciano will need season-ending surgery. Given that lefty Damaso Marte is also on the
shelf, the Yankees will need to find another lefty to complement Boone
Logan. Unfortunately, the rest of the
league knows that and they’ll be looking for a King’s ransom in any potential
At this point in the season,
it’s nice to see the Yankees in first place with an 8-5 mark, while the Boston
Red Sox sit in last place at 3-10.
However, with just under 150 games still remaining, I would be very
foolish to think that the current standings will stay unchanged. The Red Sox will figure it out and they’ll be
an offensive force through the summer. I
am concerned that the key reason the Yankees have been winning is their home
run production (24 homers in 13 games).
Hopefully, they’ll begin to find other ways to win as the season
It bothers me that the
Boston Red Sox will avoid a luxury tax penalty by delaying the announcement of
Adrian Gonzalez‘s extension until this week.
Perhaps they did the same thing with Clay Buchholz, but the Gonzalez
signing was a foregone conclusion. It
was obvious that the Sox had reached an agreement with Gonzalez before the
start of the season. It was clear they
simply circumvented the system to avoid paying the additional tax.
To go a bit off topic, I am
excited about the upcoming NFL Draft despite the current lockout. I remain hopeful that the owners and players
will reach an agreement before the loss of any games. With the draft, I really hope the Minnesota
Vikings can find a quarterback. However,
their draft position at #12 is not ideal for their search for a franchise QB. The top tier QB’s, like Blaine Gabbert and
Cam Newton, will be gone and it will be too early to take somebody like Jake
Locker. It will be interesting to see
what the Vikings can do. The Vikings
chief rival, the Green Bay Packers, seem to have a knack for finding QB’s. They coaxed one great season out of Don
Majkowski. They traded for Brett Favre after
they missed out on the opportunity to draft Troy Aikman. They drafted Aaron Rodgers despite having
Favre and a few other highly touted former college QB’s on the roster. Hopefully, the Vikings can replicate the
Packers blue print to find their next great QB…
It was a sad day with news of the passing of two legends…
I was saddened to hear that Hall of Famer Bob Feller had
passed away. While not unexpected, it
was still the loss for baseball’s legacy.
I was too young to have ever watched Feller pitch, but I could identify
with him having grown up in a small Iowa farming community.
His three no-hitters included one in Yankee Stadium in
Feller had the personality traits of my grandmother…cantankerous,
honest to a fault, and a complete disregard about what others may have thought
about him/her. Of the stories I heard
today, I liked the one about when he bought a new furnace at the age of
90. Apparently, he was arguing over the length
of the warranty (wanted a 15 year warranty rather than 10 years). His wife tried to reason with him by saying
that either way, the furnace was going to outlive him. Yet, Feller simply reiterated that he wanted
15 years. You gotta love his fight and
determination! It is a sad day for the
Cleveland Indians organization and an ever sadder day for the baseball
world. He’ll be missed…
Today also saw the loss of movie director/producer Blake
Edwards. He made many great movies but
for me, the most notable was the Pink Panther series with Peter Sellers. He was married to legendary actress Julie
Andrews for over 40 years. Thanks Blake
for bringing us a lifetime of great memories!
Now, back to baseball and the Yankees. Of course, not much has happened since I last
wrote. The Yankees officially announced
the signing of catcher Russell Martin to a one year deal for $4 million with
incentives. It was also disclosed that
he needs knee surgery but it is considered minor and he’ll be ready to go after
three weeks following the surgery on Monday.
Of the two up and coming Yankee prospects at catcher, I can see the
argument for Austin Romine given the greater defensive potential than super
prospect Jesus Montero. I don’t want to
see Montero traded given the power of his bat, but I am warming up to the idea
if it means bringing a #2 starter to the Yankees rotation. Romine is the son of a former Red Sox (Kevin
Romine) but he does appear that he’ll be a better catcher than Montero but
obviously won’t have similar offensive production. The wild card is catching prospect Gary
Sanchez who is not as advanced as either Romine or Montero, but is certainly as
The Yankees have two very strong pitching prospects in
Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos. I’d really
hate to see the Cliff Lee snub result in the loss of either prospect. I like Betances but I am very intrigued by
Banuelos, a lefty. I’d also like to see
Andrew Brackman succeed in pinstripes.
But, all things considered, the Yankees do have the prospects to make a
notable trade. For whom, that’s anyone’s
guess. Personally, I would prefer to
target a 25 year old who is on the verge of a breakout season rather than trade
for a 32 or 33 year old starter who has probably seen his better days. This is why Justin Masterson of the Cleveland
Indians stands out to me. As a former
Red Sox pitcher, it would be so great to see him realize major league success
in the Bronx.
Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer
Admittedly, I am not very optimistic about the Yankees
signing of onetime super prospect Mark Prior.
Now, just a body for the bullpen, he has potential but I am trying to
keep expectations low.
The Yankees are apparently working on a deal with former
Mets reliever Pedro Feliciano. I like
the move. I think that Feliciano would
be a great alternative for Boone Logan as the second lefty in the pen. I saw that the Yankees were mentioned as a
possibility for Brian Fuentes, but I just wasn’t that impressed with Fuentes
during his stays in Anaheim and Minneapolis.
I know the Yankees have long lusted after him dating back to his days in
Denver, but I’d rather go for a specialist like Feliciano.
Chris Faytok/The Star Ledger
Now that Kerry Wood is close to re-signing with the
Chicago Cubs, the Yankees do need to find a reliable setup option to Joba
Chamberlain and David Robertson. Wood
showed how great a solid and consistent setup option for closer Mariano Rivera
can be. Given the weaknesses of the
starting rotation, the Yankees need to re-create the shutdown capability that
the Tampa Bay Rays had last year with Joaquin Benoit and Rafael Soriano.
The team is still in on former Red Sock Bill Hall, but I
fully expect him to go to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Of the remaining free agents, there is not much that
excites me. It would be great to see the
addition of someone like Rafael Soriano but all indications are the Yankees won’t
pay closer dollars for a setup specialist.
As each year passes, I do think that the Yankees need a
closer-in-waiting for Mariano Rivera as he will begin to falter at some
point. This is why I think the Yankees
need to focus on one of those great Roberto Kelly-for-Paul O’Neill type of
trades. Get the guy who is on the verge
of greatness and one who we will cheer when he takes the field for the final
time. Easier said than done, but it can
If I were to believe the press clippings, the 2011 World
Series has already been determined (Boston Red Sox versus Philadelphia
Phillies). But, sorry, I am not going to
concede. Give Brian Cashman the time he
needs to assemble the 2011 Yankees. I am
sure that we won’t be disappointed. The
YES Network and Yankee Stadium are, of course, two very big beasts to
feed. Fielding a middle division team
just won’t cut it…