Meaningful Yankee talk has definitely been a rarity in recent weeks…
We are rapidly approaching the start of training camp, so hopefully, we’ll have more to talk about than we’ve experienced in the past month and a half. Of course, I don’t really want a repeat of last spring’s A-Rod saga with the steroids admission and hip surgery.
As we head to camp, many positions are locked up. However, there are questions about left and center fields. I know that Curtis Granderson is a centerfielder, but there’s obviously been talk about his possible move to left so we’ll put center in the ? mark column. Otherwise, all positions are set. If the season started today, the lineup would look like this:
Brett Gardner/Randy Winn-lf
With this configuration, I am with the majority that still want the Yanks to find a way to bring Rocco Baldelli to camp.
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
I read the article about how excited Hank Steinbrenner was about the Yankees’ off-season additions. However, I have to admit that I remain a bit skeptical. The off-season losses were huge. The Yankees will definitely miss Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon. I think the team will regret not bringing back at least one of those players. Also, in Buster Olney’s blog post yesterday, he stated that as the dust has settled on the AZ-Det-NY trade, all of the players were flawed. From a character-standpoint, Curtis Granderson is a first class addition…no argument from me. However, he has trouble with lefties and he strikes out too much. He’ll need to improve in these areas for long-term success in the Bronx. Javier Vazquez is a quality pitcher and he strengthens the rotation, however, the fact remains that he struggled in the Bronx during his last go-around so he still has to prove himself regardless of his subsequent success in Chicago and Atlanta. Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox have clearly improved themselves so the gap between these two teams has probably faded… but don’t tell Julia that I said that!
Antonelli/New York Daily News
If you missed Harold Reynolds interview with Derek Jeter on MLB.com, I encourage you to listen to it. Hat tip to Jane Heller, Confessions of a She-Fan for the heads-up about the interview. DJ shows why he is a legend in our midst. He has a quality that clearly sets him apart from others. Sure, there are other players like him (Chase Utley immediately comes to mind), but I am glad to have witnessed the entire career of a great player. I hope the Yankees find a way to ensure that DJ ends his career in pinstripes. During the interview with Harold Reynolds, DJ mentioned how strange it was to see Don Mattingly in a Dodgers uniform. I don’t really want to experience seeing DJ, as a player, in another uniform. After he retires, if he decides to stay in baseball, he’ll most likely wear different colors but I can deal with that. Don Mattingly remains my favorite living Yankee, and his presence in Dodger gear doesn’t diminish that respect. I hope that Donnie Baseball is the next Dodgers manager.
Speaking of the Dodgers, the Yankees travel to Chavez Ravine this year to face Joe Torre and company. I definitely want to make the trip to see at least one game of the series. It should be very exciting times.
What else is there to talk about? Despite my beloved Minnesota Vikings losing to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship, I am pulling for the Saints in the Super Bowl. I think the Vikings could have and should have beat the Saints, but that’s water under the bridge at this point. While I want the Saints to win, do I think they’ll beat the Colts? Not really. Peyton and Crew are simply too superior to allow for an upset. So, while I want the Saints, I am prepared for a Colts victory. This is one time that I hope I am wrong…
I have tickets to see Daughtry and Lifehouse in concert in early May. I am very excited to see Daughtry perform. I still can’t understand how Taylor Hicks beat Chris Daughtry on American Idol, but Chris has his revenge. He has clearly had the best career of any of his AI opponents, and stands among the other AI greats like Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson.
Pardon me for saying this, but if I were New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, I would have thrown the finger too!…
Silence is Golden…
Courtesy: Erik van den Ham
Okay, it has been incredibly quiet around the Yankees Universe since they acquired pitcher Javier Vazquez late last year. But all things considered, I think that GM Brian Cashman has the team exactly where he wants them. There is much discussion about left field, but really, a platoon of Brett Gardner and Jamie Hoffmann is not necessarily a bad thing. Or perhaps Colin Curtis makes major strides in training camp. Regardless, the Yankees are in good shape regardless of what happens in left. In fact, it was just last April when the Yankees broke camp with Gardner as their starting center fielder. They now have a centerfielder who can match Johnny Damon’s lost production, so why not take a chance on Gardner in left? If he could improve his on-base percentage, he would be a terror on the base paths.
Antonelli/NY Daily News
Growing up, it always seemed as though owner George Steinbrenner would purposely leak stories about the Yankees to the tabloids just to keep the team in the news. It has been a new world order since Hal Steinbrenner took over the team, but that doesn’t mean the younger Steinbrenner is any less motivated to win than his father. He just wants to avoid those foolish long-term contracts that can haunt a team for years. If greater efficiency ensures the sustainability of the team’s success in recent years, I am all for it. The late 80’s were not a fun time to be a Yankees fan.
I am not saying that I wouldn’t be excited if the Yankees and Johnny Damon somehow came to an agreement for 2010, but at this point, I am not counting on it. I am prepared for the team to move forward with its current cast of players. I know that if a need develops, they’ll pursue a solution that makes sense for the team.
But I respect Hal Steinbrenner, and I am pleased that he is in charge of the Yankees. He has shown support for his manager and general manager, and he is willing to open the purse strings when it makes sense for the team. I remember sitting in the stands at Yankee Stadium during the 1980’s when fans used to yell negative comments about George Steinbrenner. Somehow, I don’t think that will happen with Hal. He is not going to run a frivolous organization, but it will be efficient, streamlined, and a winner. Works for me…
On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings advanced to the NFC Championship with a 34-3 win over the Dallas Cowboys. The Vikings will face the Saints in New Orleans next weekend.
Favre finally prevailed against the Cowboys after compiling a 0-3 record against them in the play-offs while a member of the Green Bay Packers.
For me, it was vindication, in part, for the disappointing loss in the Hail Mary game of December 1975.
The Vikings have a tough match-up against the Saints, particularly considering that it is an away game. The Vikings have been invincible at home, but on the road, they’ve met mixed results. In facing the Saints, they’ll see a familiar player in former Viking safety Darren Sharper. Sharper and Favre were teammates in Green Bay, but now Sharper stands in Favre’s way for a trip to the Super Bowl.
After the game against the Cowboys, a friend sent me the following “prayer”. I don’t know who wrote it but it is excellent:
Our Favre-ther who art in Mississippi, hallowed be thy name. Thy bowl will come, it will win, in Miami as it is in the Dome. Give us this Sunday, our weekly win. Give us touchdown passes, but do not let others pass against us. Lead us not into frustration but deliver us to the Super Bowl. For thyne is the MVP, the best of the NFC, and the glory of the Purple People Eaters now and forever…
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Good luck to the guys in purple, but seriously, I am ready for some baseball…
P.S. Contrary to what Julia may think, ‘Yankees Suck’ did not win Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat through a write-in campaign! 😉