It’s good to be home again…
The Yankees started the latest home stand on the right foot with an 8-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Phil Hughes was the winner in a game that was relatively tight until Robinson Cano broke it open in the bottom of the 7th inning with a grand slam.
For Hughes, it was great to see him return to top form after a few subpar performances. He allowed 5 hits, 2 runs, and just 1 walk in seven innings of work, striking out 8. Hopefully, the improved pitching will spill over to CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, both of whom have struggled in recent starts.
Tim Farrell/The Star Ledger
The game also marked the return of center fielder Curtis Granderson, who went 1-for-3 with a run scored. The activation of Grandy had an effect on the roster as the Yankees designated outfielder Randy Winn for assignment. It is a sad end for Winn’s brief Yankee career, but he was ill-suited for the backup role on the team. I think he can still be a productive player, but he needs to play every day to be the player he was with the San Francisco Giants. He was not going to get that opportunity with the Yankees, so this move is for the best. It also allowed young, versatile Kevin Russo to remain on the roster. Russo has already been instrumental in several Yankee wins this season, and he is a much better fit for the roster than Winn. I do wish Randy the very best and thank him for his contributions to the team this season.
Nick Swisher hit his 9th home run in the game. I am pleasantly surprised with Swisher’s play this year. I had been fearful that 2009 was an aberration and that Nick would revert to the player he was with the Chicago White Sox. So far, he has proven me wrong. After two months of the season, Nick has a .301 batting average and 27 RBI’s to go with his 9 home runs. His numbers are definitely superior to former starter and current Chicago Cub Xavier Nady.
Keivom/NY Daily News
I saw the question posed if the Yankees should pursue a trade for Andy Pettitte’s pal, Houston Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt. While it would seem that if the Astros do decide to trade Oswalt, the Texas Rangers would be the obvious choice. Personally, I do think the Yankees should consider pursuit of him. Clearly, Javier Vazquez has proven that he can’t handle the pressure of New York and the American League. But he can still excel in the National League. Houston’s low-pressure environment would be the right setting. If the Yankees were to package Vazquez, plus cash to pay a large part of his salary, and the right combination of prospects, it would seem that the team could be successful in acquiring Oswalt. It would slot very nicely into the rotation, and he’d be a great replacement for Andy Pettitte if/when Pettitte retires after the season.
Tonight was the perfect night in the AL East. A win by the Yankees, combined with losses by both the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays. The perfect combination!
Boston Globe Staff
Speaking of winners, congratulations to American Idol winner Lee DeWyze. Lee had become my choice in recent months, and it was great to see his victory on Wednesday over Crystal Bowersox. Mama Sox would have been a terrific champion too, and I am sure that both will be very successful as they embark on their professional careers.
Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend!
After a month of no news or action, the Randy Winn signing was a bit underwhelming…
All off-season, Yankees fans everywhere have yearned for the return of fan favorite Johnny Damon. Perfectly suited for left field in the new Yankee Stadium, it seemed, at least initially, as though the two sides would eventually come together.
Yet, as we approach February, the link between Damon and the Yankees is irreparably damaged. I don’t blame the player and I clearly find fault with the agent, Scott Boras. If, at one point, the Yankees were willing to pay 2 years at $14 million when Damon wanted at least 2 years at $22 million, it would seem that there was room for compromise. However, neither side actively pursued resolution and now the team has clearly moved on.
It’s a sad situation and the Yankees will regret the move at some point this season. Perhaps a couple of years down the road when Carl Crawford is patrolling left, it won’t get a passing thought. But for now, we say goodbye to Damon…prematurely in my opinion. I wish him the very best wherever he lands (even if it is in Toronto). Thanks, Johnny, for the great memories in the Bronx!
William Perlman/The Star Ledger
Meanwhile, the Yankees have signed former San Francisco Giants outfielder Randy Winn. Winn is coming off a disappointing season but he’s been a reliable player in years past. I am very disappointed with the move and I truly hope that Brett Gardner wins the job outright in spring training. Perhaps another signing is imminent (Reed Johnson or Rocco Baldelli?) but most likely, the Yankees have made their final player move before heading to Tampa.
It was difficult to watch Xavier Nady sign with the Chicago Cubs. I had really hoped that if the Yankees didn’t sign Damon, they’d pursue Nady. Maybe he regresses in his attempt to come back from an injury-filled 2009 season, but I really think he’ll have a solid season and will be one of the free agent success stories. It was an excellent move for Lou Piniella and the Cubs.
Chris Faytok/The Star Ledger
Sports-wise, this has been a tough week for me. On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings lost a heartbreaker to the New Orleans Saints. The Vikings had their chances but it was not meant to be. As Buster Olney put it, you expect to win as a Vikings fan but you are conditioned to lose. I am not optimistic about next season if the starting QB is either Tavaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels so this was definitely the lost opportunity of a lifetime. It was more painful than the loss in the 1998 NFC Championship to the Atlanta Falcons.
So far, 2010 has not been a great year for my sports teams but there is still much time for a major turnaround. Sorry Julia! I do not intend to lose to you this year…in any sport!