It is almost here

Later today, millions of people will be watching Super Bowl XLIV. For many baseball fans, this game will take their minds off baseball for a few hours. But after that, our minds will shift back to waiting for spring training which is only 11 days away. So many of us are anxiously awaiting for pitchers and catchers to report, but the funny thing is that once they do report nothing really changes for us fans. We will just get stories of how the pitchers did some fielding practice, or how Posada is working with Javier Vazquez to get him adjusted, or how player X is in the “best shape of his life.” All of these stories are pretty generic for spring training, and they won’t really fulfill our need for baseball. It won’t be until the first spring training game shown on YES that we will begin filling that need. Anyway here’s some links to look at on this fine Sunday morning.

“Hughes Should Start in Scranton” via TYU I agree, if Hughes does not start 2010 in the starting rotation I feel he would be better off starting in Scranton than relieving in the Bronx. Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain are starters.

“Rival GMs praising Cashman” via RAB He deserves the praise, he has been running the organization wisely lately.

“Nick Johnson vs Johnny Damon: Who’s the better two-spot hitter? via Pending Pinstripes

Petcoa picks the Yankees to win the East now

Only 11 more days until pitchers and catchers report!

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!