Blog Maintenance

I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t wait for the 2010 season to start. I also can’t wait to start blogging the season again. In order to make 161st Street as enjoyable as possible for the upcoming season, I would like your suggestions to improve both aesthetically and content wise. I would love to customize the look of the blog more, but I can’t do much more than change the header (which I will do when Spring Training rolls around). However I’d appreciate any suggestions regarding the “look” of 161st Street, and I’ll let you know if I can do anything about it. As far as content goes do you want to see more

  • Live blogs
  • Game wrap ups
  • Player insights
  • Prospect profiles
  • link dumps
  • or anything else you would like to see…

I would really appreciate it if you gave me some suggestions, you can just write them in the comments section or feel free to e-mail me if you wish. Let’s work on making 161st Street more enjoyable, and bringing in new readers!

Only 18 more days until pitchers and catchers report!

Enter Randy Winn

Finally proving that the “budget” does exist for the Yankees, New York have come to terms with outfielder Randy Winn on a 1 year deal thought to be worth around 2 million dollars according to Joel Sherman. My initial reaction was, “ugh.” But it only took  a few minutes to settle down and think about the deal before I began to change my mind. So if you oppose the deal right now, I suggest you stay open and really think about it.

In signing Winn the Yankees have filled their desire for another outfield bat that would come fairly cheap. There were other options on the market for the Yankees to explore, and a couple names that come to mind are Johnny Damon and Reed Johnson. Damon as we know is still looking for a 7 million dollar deal, which I don’t think he’s going to find. Wow, Boras really screwed him up. Well, goodbye Johnny, we knew you well and I wish you good luck no matter where you end up (even if you have to sign with the Newark Bears). As far as Reed Johnson goes, the Yankees consider Randy Winn a better overall player than Reed Johnson, according to Sherman.

Now, time to analyze Randy Winn. Winn will be turning 36 years old this season so he’s not a youngster, but he has been pretty durable. Winn is a switch hitter with a career .286 average, and he plays pretty good defense. His career average UZR/150 for the outfield is 4.0, and last year he put up a 17.4 UZR/150 in right field (his primary position). He also played 54 games in left field last year and he posted an insane 40.6 UZR/150 out there, but keep in mind that is a small sample size. As far as wins above replacement, Winn’s average WAR is slightly above 3 which is pretty good. Last year Winn had a 1.9 WAR. So even in 2009 which was considered Winn’s bad year he was worth about 2 wins above replacement level. If he can provide that for the Yankees he will be providing more than enough. Overall, I like the move very much to get Winn, and I also hear he’s a great clubhouse guy which can’t hurt. So thumbs up for Brian Cashman.

Plus, if he wears those cool glasses in pinstripes, what isn't there to like?

Plus, if he wears those cool glasses in pinstripes how can you not like him?

Watch out Jerry, you won’t like Brian when he’s angry!

In case you haven’t heard, Jerry Hairston Jr. recently signed a 1 year 2.13 million dollar deal to play with the San Diego Padres (and his brother). Reportedly the Yankees had never even made an offer to Hairston, and today we hear what Jerry had to say about the situation. According to Jim Bowden Hairston Jr. said the following on XM radio, “Brian Cashman’s going to get mad at me, but Yanks didn’t make me offer because he’s waiting on Damon price to come down.” Woah, be careful what you say there Jerry. I do hope this is true, but c’mon Jerry did you have to give Cashman’s plan away like that? Jerry should be careful what he says, maybe he didn’t know Cashman is a deadly ninja. On a serious note, although this is just coming from a player who’s not really in the know with the Yankees front office, I would imagine this gives Damon and Boras some leverage. Oh well, what do we know about the Yankees front office anyway? In the end it seems highly unlikely Cashman actually told Hairston that the Yankees are waiting for Damon’s price to drop, but it makes for a good story.

The wrong man to anger.


Cashninja shot down the report, which is not surprising, but to me the cat is out of the bag. And I don’t think it’s really Hairston who broke the secret, it has made sense all off season that the Yankees should be interested in Damon.

Link Stampede: Nady, Marlins, Gardner, Damon…

It’s been quite a while since I last posted, and it would be tough to write a full post on each story that emerged since the last time I posted, so I’ll just throw a bunch of links at you guys to sum everything up.

Xavier Nady the Yankees top target?

According to Joel Sherman, Nady is the Yankees top target for left field. “The player that most entices the Yankees is Xavier Nady, who, like Damon, is represented by Scott Boras. As long as they are comfortable Nady is playable in left field after a second Tommy John surgery then the Yanks would love how his right-center power projects to their park.” Sherman does mention that other teams are likely interested in Nady as well, and that he may end up being too expensive for the Yankees, but I his price would be too big of an issue. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing the Yankees signing Nady, but I’m still dreaming that Johnny Damon and the Yankees will come to an agreement.

Only 2 million left to spend?

Joel Sherman also said the Yankees are telling agents that they only have 2 million dollars left to spend this off season. While it is unlikely the ceiling is at 2 million for the Yankees, they could very well only have around 4 million (just a number I picked) left to spend. Let this be a reminder that the Yankees, like all other teams, do have a budget and can’t just go out there and sign anyone us as fans want them to sign.

Dreaming of Damon…

I know many Yankee fans, myself included, would love to see Damon resign with the Yankees. While this seems unlikely with the way things are going, I still can’t see how it doesn’t make sense for Damon and the Yankees to re-up with each other. To me it makes sense for both sides. It looks like the only other team that Damon has a shot at signing with is the Braves, and they might want to save the money for the future, leaving the Yankees as Damon’s only option. According to Mike Silva, Damon could return to the Yankees at 5-7 million, I don’t know where he got those numbers from, but they seem plausible. The only question is do the Yankees have 5-7 million left to spend?

Nick Carfado of the Boston Globe has two worthwhile quotes from Damon. Talking about the free agent market Damon said, “Well, I knew I’d have to wait until some of the bigger hitters like Jason Bay and Matt Holliday went places , and now I’m just waiting to see what’s in store for me. I knew I’d probably have to take a pay cut, just based on the way the economy is in this country and baseball, but I thought I had a productive season and I think I showed people I can play and still do something at a high level.’’ When asked about returning to the Yankees Damon said, “I don’t know. I haven’t had any conversations with them recently. Nothing would surprise me, but there’s nothing there right now.”

Is Gardner really that disciplined?

Throughout Gardner’s short career, he has been criticized for his offense, and rightfully so. However, one thing he has been praised for is his discipline. People tend to think that Brett has a very good eye, and without really analyzing him, it appears that he does. However, Joseph Pawlikowski asked an excellent question today, “Is Brett Gardner disciplined, or does he just not swing at pitches?” This is something I’ve always though about myself, to me it seems like Gardner takes way too many pitches, and many of them for strikes. If a batter takes a very large amount of pitches, he’s bound to take a lot of balls early in his career until he is figured out by the league. Is this the case with Brett Gardner? I believe it is, how about you? Make sure you head on over to River Ave Blues to read the full story.

Marlins told to spend more money

It’s about time! However, there could be some negatives to this involving the Yankees and every other team. If the Marlins have to spend X amount of money, and they just decide to overpay one player to meet X, then they are raising the price tag for all players, making all free agents, etcetera more costly which would hurt all 30 teams.

Stop knocking the strikeout!

Many people critize players who strike out a lot, but I’ve never really understood this. Joseph Pawlikowski wrote a great post about this basically saying that strike outs are just like any other out. Sure you can argue that strikeouts never can advance a runner, but then you can counter-argue that strikeouts do not cause double plays. Make sure you check out the full post.

McGwire admits to using steroids

What? This can’t be true! Next you’re going to tell me Barry Bonds or Sammy Sosa took steroids! On a serious note, sure it’s sad to see another player fall but in my mind he didn’t fall he was already down, there was no way you could believe this guy was innocent. Whatever, I don’t like to dwell on this topic.

Only 36 more days until pitchers and catchers report!