Thank You

I would like to thank all the readers that I’ve had over the life of this blog in addition to the great handful of loyal commentators. I really enjoyed writing this blog and interacting with all of you.

Unfortunately, I have not had the time to keep this blog updated with quality material so I have not been blogging and do not expect to; however, I will keep the door open in the future.

Once again, thank you so much! Let’s go Yankees!

2011 Season Underway

The 2011 MLB season has begun, and the Yankees have started it off with two consecutive wins. Their first game of the year went seemed to go exactly according to plan, and although yesterday’s game was a little bit messy, it too was a success. Today at 1:00 pm the Yankees will send Phil Hughes to the mound in search for a sweep of the Tigers.

"Many are predicting a great season for Curtis Granderson after a 2010 that was below expectations." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports

Checking in on other blogs: Spring Training, Top 30…

"Despite nonstop blabbering about Joba's weight gain, reports * are that he is throwing the ball better than he did last year." (Reuters)

With Spring Training starting up along with the 2011 baseball season, it is time to check up on some other Yankee blogs.

  • William J. of the newly formed The Yankee Analysts (a merge of the great TYU and Yankeeist) penned a great piece about the history of Yankees Spring Training, dating back 110 years. It’s definitely an interesting read, as it is quite informative. I for one never would have guessed that at some point the Yankees trained in Alabama. Check the post out for more.
  • In case you missed it, Mike Axisa of RAB came out with his annual top 30 prospects list, always worth the read.
  • Earlier this month, Tom of Friday Nite Yanks posted a poll about who most people expected to play in the Bronx in 2011. It doesn’t surprise me that Freddy Garcia won the poll out of the other candidates.
  • Frankie Piliere came out with his list of baseball’s top 100 prospects about a week ago. Five Yankees made the list, check it out to see who and where on the list they fell.

* Joba story.

2011 Season Dawns

"The Yankees journey begins here every year."

Earlier today pitchers and catchers began reporting to their respective training camps throughout Florida and Arizona. Although the weather here in New York hasn’t quite warmed up yet and the piles of snow remind of us the brutal winter and the not so great off-season the Yankees had, before we know it Spring will be upon us. The winter will soon be a distant memory and we will be focussed on a fresh baseball season accompanied by budding plants and and transforming trees.

We have missed baseball dearly, and although it’s probable that nothing too important will happen over the next few weeks, they will still be welcomed with open arms. The 2011 Baseball Season is dawning, and with it a new chance for the Yankees to capture their 28th World Series Championship, and I for one cannot wait. Although the new year officially began on January 1st for many, or maybe on February 3rd for others, for myself it almost feels like it begins today. Baseball is upon us.

Andy Pettitte to Retire

"Andy will be saying farewell to Yankees fans tomorrow." (Reuters)

Closing the book on a storied 16-year career, Andy Pettitte will announce his retirement tomorrow at Yankee Stadium. In his 13 years while wearing pinstripes, the southpaw became known for his intimidating stare, tricky pick-off move, unshakable mound presence, likable personality, and his huge big-game performances. Andy was a member of five World Champion Yankee teams over the course of his career. His number 46 will hopefully go down in legacy as that of the great lefty.

Although this is disappointing news for the Yankees, the more I think about it, my sadness is not because of the team’s loss, but because of our loss, as fans, of the ability to watch Andy Pettitte control the mound every fifth day. However, Andy has more than earned his retirement as he provided us with a great and memorable career. We will miss you, but you will not be forgotten. So Andy, enjoy your retirement and your family, and good luck with any future endeavors!

The Aftermath of the Soriano Signing

In the case that you have yet to hear the news, the Yankees have agreed to a deal with free agent reliever Rafael Soriano worth $35M over the course of three years. The deal includes opt out options for Soriano after each year of the deal, but that doesn’t really benefit the Yankees in any way. Obviously Soriano will improve the 2011 team, however, his deal could significantly hamper the Yankees in 2012 and 2013. I’m not a fan of this deal because of the inflexibility it brings to the roster and the payroll, but there is something that I feel would make it better deal.

"Joba's talent is wasted in the bullpen." (Getty Images via Daylife)

 

The signing of Soriano obviously affects Joba Chamberlain. With Mariano Rivera and Rafael Soriano manning the ninth and eight inning, Joba is left as either a seventh or sixth inning pitcher, depending on David Robertson. The only thing more wasteful for Joba than putting him in the bullpen is to have in such an unimportant role. It is time for the Yankees to do something with Chamberlain. I advocate that the Yankees either trade Joba or give him a shot at the rotation which sorely needs help, preferably the latter. Let’s all remember, Joba is only 25 years old, with plenty of room to develop into a great starter. But even if you believe Joba has reached his ceiling, there is no denying that he is better than Sergio Mitre. The Yankees have been looking for starters all offseason because they aren’t comfortable with both Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre being in the prospective rotation, but they have had a viable starter right in their hands their whole time in Joba, and now with the Soriano signing, it is time to move Joba to the rotation.

Cashman against Soriano signing?

Just a few days prior to the signing of Rafael Soriano, Brian Cashman specifically said he would not give up the Yankees 31st pick in the 2011 draft to sign anyone. However, in signing Soriano, the Yankees did just that. So did Cashman have a change of heart? Well, according to Buster Olney the signing was “ownership-driven.” Peter Gammons takes this further and says that team president Randy Levine was directly responsible for the Soriano deal. What does this all mean? Well, if ownership did really go over Cashman’s head, then it is an ominous sign. Remember, Brian Cashman did not take full control of the team until 2005, and it is clear that prior to that, when the ownership was running the team, many unwise moves were made and the farm system was ignored. Then again in 2007, ownership led by Hank Steinbrenner went over Cashman’s head and signed Alex Rodriguez the monstrous ten-year deal he is currently serving. Hopefully, this doesn’t start becoming a patter, because if it does I fear what could happen to the Yankees.

Pettitte Won’t Pitch in 2011

We have recently learned that Andy Pettitte will not pitch in 2011. Although this news is not surprising to many, it is worth recognizing. Here’s what Brian Cashman had to say.

via The Daily News:

“I don’t think he’s determined if he’s officially finished or not, but he’s chosen at this stage at least not to start in 2011. If that ever changes he’ll call us. We’re not going to hound him or bother him.”

Clarification via Tyler Kepner:

Cashman said he just used a poor choice of words when he told DN that Pettitte has “chosen not to start.” He meant “chosen not to pitch”.

While it’s nice to envision a scenario in which Pettitte changes his mind and returns the Yankees in 2011, I think it is safe to say that will not happen. We will just have to face the fact that Andy Pettitte will not be pitching for the Yankees this season and they will have to turn to other options. Allow me to quote Brian Cashman again via The Daily News, this time regarding to the pitching market.

“I’m actively out there. It’s a very thin market to be flying in right now. That’s why we may have to rely on our strong farm system a little bit sooner than we expected.”

With no free agent or trade options out there, it looks like the Yankees will start the season with in-house options filling the number four and five spots in the rotation. However, this is no reason to panic. Compare this year’s rotation to last year’s rotation. CC Sabathia is CC Sabathia. How much worse can A.J. Burnett be? A better year from him isn’t that unlikely. Phil Hughes could post similar numbers to those of last year. Ivan Nova (most likely) will theoritically take over Pettitte’s spot in the rotation, and the difference between the two may not be as great as it seems. And finally, an unknown fifth starter will take over the spot which Javier Vazquez has vacated, and we all know what most Yankee fans think of Vazquez.

Right now, 2011 looks to be a promising year for the Yankees. And even if they do not make a significant move during the rest of the off season, you can rest assured that there will be transactions made during the season.

2010 in review

Now that 2010 is over, I’d like to say thank you to all my readers and fellow bloggers. I couldn’t keep this blog up if you guys didn’t continue reading it so I really appreciate your loyalty. While I’m at it, I post this neat statistics summary that WordPress devised:

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 3 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 94 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 294 posts. There were 251 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 20mb. That’s about 5 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was July 9th with 178 views. The most popular post that day was Lee to the Yankees almost done…never mind .

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were fridayniteyanks.wordpress.com, yankees.lhblogs.com, demolitionofyankeestadium.com, zellspinstripeblog.com, and mlb.fanhouse.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for question mark, mark teixeira, yankees logo, whitey ford, and curtis granderson.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Lee to the Yankees almost done…never mind July 2010
8 comments

2

What’s Wrong With The Yankees? June 2009
9 comments

3

Happy Teixeira Day! December 2009
4 comments

4

Minor League Affiliates June 2009
14 comments

5

Game 61: Mets at Yankees June 2009
2 comments

Andy Pettitte, a Nation Turns its Lonely Eyes to You

"A Yankee Nation, or Universe, that is." (Getty Images via Daylife)

Andy Pettitte has not given any clear signs on whether he wants to return to the Yankees next season, so it would be best to assume he will retire. However, with all the attractive free agents off the board and no visible trade candidates, Yankee fans have little to do but wait to see if Pettitte will return.

Where To Go From Here?

"As much as I love Matt Cain, I'm pretty sure I can promise you he is not available." (Getty Images via Yahoo Sports)

Even before the 2010-2011 offseason began, the general thought seemed to be that Cliff Lee would sign with the New York. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Lee shocked the baseball world and signed with his former team, the Philadelphia Phillies. While he did sacrifice money and years to return to Philadelphia rather than to move to New York or re-up with Texas, it’s not like he took a huge discount. Anyway, I respect Lee for signing where he truly wishes to be and I cannot be more satisfied with the way the Yankees handled the situation. Brian Cashman did everything in his power to acquire Lee, it just didn’t work out.

With Lee off the board, people wondered where the Yankees would turn. Many assumed that the Yankees might go after Zack Greinke, a move I would have supported. However, this morning we learned that the Royals have traded Greinke to the Brewers. Before I put the Greinke discussion to rest, I would like to address those who believe he would not be able to handle New York. We know Greinke has a social anxiety disorder, but that’s pretty much all we know about him. To assume that he would not be able to handle the pressure of New York is ridiculous, for all we know he could strive in New York. Considering that we know nothing about him, the odds that he would perform better under pressure are the same that he would cave under pressure. For more on this issue, I highly encourage you to read Joe Posnanski’s piece of Greinke. It is a must read.

Anyway, with both Lee and Greinke off the board, where should the Yankees turn next? After studying the market, it seems that there are really very little viable external options left. Of course things could change and someone like Felix Hernandez or Matt Cain could become available, but what are the odds of that happening? Right now, I would want the Yankees to stay patient, they have specific needs and there is no reason to waste resources on players who don’t quite fit their needs. Of course, that may be hard to digest considering that the rotation now consists of CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova, and Sergio Mitre. But remember, if Andy Pettitte re-signs with the team, the only difference between the opening day rotation of 2010 will being the subtraction of Javier Vazquez. There is no reason to panic, spring training is months away, things will change. As fans we need to remain patient and have trust in the team’s management, as hard as that can be for some.