A Biased Look at the New York Yankees, the Greatest Franchise in the History of Sports
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Did you ever see the movie, “Catch Me if You Can”? It stars Leo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks and is directed by Steven Spielberg. For all intents and purposes it’s a highly enjoyable flick. There’s a line in it, however, that I feel compelled to write about. In the movie, Leo asks, “You know why the Yankees win so many games? Because the other team can’t take their eyes off the pinstripes.” What a load of crap. Here’s your 2011 New…York…Yankees…
Left field: Brett Gardner. 2010 splits: .277 average, five home runs, 47 RBI, .762 OPS. Brief: Gardner is considered sneaky-quick, swiping 47 stolen bases in ’10. His production slipped mightily in the second half, as Gardner batted only .233 after the all-star break. There are concerns within the organization that he will be the same player he was in the second half last season. The good thing for Yankees fans are those concerns are coupled with a fat check book that can go out and make the necessary tweaking if need be.
Center field: Curtis Granderson. 2010 splits: .247 average, 24 home runs, 67 RBI, .792 OPS. Brief: Granderson isn’t a hitter who will consistently hit for average. It’s a common misconception because he’s a speedy centerfield that can rob a sure double in the gap with the efficiency of a common criminal. However, Granderson has an elongated swing that can put him in extended slumps from time-to-time. Still, when he’s on, it’s hard to find a guy more capable of a standup triple this side of Jose Reyes.
Right field: Nick Swisher. 2010 splits: .288 average, 29 home runs, 89 RBI, .870 OPS. Brief: What a pleasant surprise Swisher was in ’10 for the Yanks. Makes me a little sick to my stomach to be perfectly honest. Swisher put up career numbers last year and was also a fan favorite for his “zany antics”. I hate that schtick: “I’m the crazy guy who’s out here to loosen up these up-tight millionaires.” Anyway, there’s also rumors that Charlie Sheen wants Swisher to conduct his first interview since he last ran into some…shall we say…trouble. This guy should buy a lottery ticket.
Third base: Alex Rodriguez. 2010 splits: .270 average, 30 home runs, 125 RBI, .847 OPS. Brief: A-Rod is now 35 years old? Daign, that must make Ken Griffey Junior eligible for an AARP card. Rodriguez produces, despite all the flak he receives. At this point, it’s a simple matter of health for A-Rod. He had a number of different ailments in 2010 including a nagging hip injury. One day he’ll be remembered for what he is, one of the best players of all time. And also for sun tanning in Central Park…The four dudes playing volleyball in Top Gun thought that decision was a little questionable.
Shortstop: Derek Jeter. 2010 splits: .270 average, 10 home runs, 67 RBI, .710 OPS. Brief: There’s certain athletes you don’t mess with. You hear me Hank Steinbrenner!? That’d be like my hometown Detroit Red Wings giving our fearless leader Steve Yzerman grief. And I don’t play that. So, Hank, keep Jeter’s name out of your mouth because he’ll probably make a remarkable play in a big moment and win you another World Series that you don’t need.
Second base: Robinson Cano. 2010 splits: .319 average, 29 home runs, 109 RBI, .914 OPS. Brief: Cano was arguably the best player in baseball last season. He seems to have climbed into that top-tier reserved for future hall of famers and perennial all-stars. Not to mention, the guy makes some ridiculous plays at second base and has tremendous range. It’s good to be good.
First base: Mark Teixeira. 2010 splits .256 average, 33 home runs, 108 RBI, .846 OPS. Brief: Big Tex suffered a nasty hamstring injury last year in Game 4 of the ALCS. He should be back and ready to produce as steadily as always. Teixeira has had at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI every year for the last seven seasons.
Designated Hitter: Jorge Posada. 2010 splits: .248 average, 18 home runs, 57 RBI, .811 OPS. Brief: Now 39 years-old, Posada finally relinquishes his spot behind the plate to Russell Martin. I think this is a great move that should help increase Posada’s production at the plate.
Catcher: Russell Martin. 2010 splits: .248, 5 home runs, 46 RBI, .679 OPS. Brief: A former all-star, Martin’s production at the plate has steadily decreased since 2007. Nonetheless, he will provide a breather for Posada, who should benefit from not having his knee cartilage disintegrate at such an alarming rate.
That’s all for now…come back next week and we’ll take a look at all things pitching for the Yanks. Goodnight now.
This has to be a major coup for the Yankees. It looked like things were falling apart after the whole Joe Torre thing but the Yankees now are putting the finishing touches on signing the fourth of their big four potential free agents. Andy Pettitte, through his agent, has said he’ll return for one more year for the $16 million option he had in his contract.
This is pretty huge because with the question marks surrounding Mike Mussina, the Yankees needed a veteran prescence in the rotation and Pettitte fits that bill admirably. He was also one of the guys who helped the Yanks win four World Series in five years and I think he saw the Yankees definitely have a chance of winning it all in 2008.
Now, they just have to get on or off the Johan Santana band wagon. That would be huge pickup considering the Red Sox are one of the other front runners for his services but with the Yankees solid core of talent, you could be looking at a Yankees team that is good for some years to come. Still, nabbing Santana would put the Yankees as the front runners heading into the 2008 season.
No big surprise here. Alex Rodriguez was by far the most potent offensive weapon in either league and he walked away with his third MVP. Two idiots from Detroit voted Ordonez first place and they cost A-Rod all of the first place votes but let those losers feel good about themselves because it really doesn’t matter. Now A-Rod is back and he’ll make a run at Barry Bonds record number of MVP awards.
Mariano Rivera is the lone holdout but he appears to be close to signing the three year, $45 million deal the Yankees offered him last week. When Rivera signs, that’ll leave just Andy Pettitte as the lone hold out from last year’s team. The Yankees still need to figure out who will play first base and it’s looking like Mike Lowell won’t be an option. Still, I think the Yankees could find a better bargain out there.
Things were definitely looking grim this time last month. Now, a lot of the key players are back. The rotation still has its holes but you have to hope the Yankees have that under control as well.
Only time will tell if this is the Steinbrenner’s greatest victory. Still you have to be impressed that the Yankees got Alex Rodriguez to come down $75 million from $350 to $275 million so the super star could get back into pin stripes. While the amount hasn’t been specified, there’s some bonuses in there if A-Rod becomes the home run king at some point in the future.
So now our third base problem is sold. Hideki Matsui went under the knife but he’s supposed to be ready for spring training. That just leaves Mariano Rivera to sign on the dotted line and then the Yankees need to solve their first base problem. I know cost isn’t an issue, but the Yankees should look at Sean Casey. He’s solid with the mitt while he doesn’t draw a lot of walks, he’s good for a hollow .280 batting average. He also seems like a heck of a guy and he could be a solid influence in the locker room. And even without the walks and power, he could score 75 runs as the nine hitter just based on how good this lineup is. Of course we won’t go into the pitching (please Andy, come back) but I can see the Yankees figuring out a solution there as well.
Talk about a development. Forget about the fact that the A-Rod wants to come back and play for the Yankees. This is the Steinbrenners versus Scott Boras and it’s looking like the Steinbrenners might pull this off. A-Rod has said he’d like to come back to the Yankees and it looks like A-Rod will have to put the $21 million that the Rangers would have had to pay had he stuck with his current contract. At first they made it sound like they wanted Boras out of the negotiations but they’re now saying they don’t care because he has to understand how far the Yankees are willing to go.
I guess I have mixed feelings about A-Rod. I had pretty much wrote him off and had moved on. Now he’s back and while I should be happy, I’m cautiously optimistic about getting my hopes up.
It looks like A-Rod is close to signing and the price tag is going to be $290 million. The story didn’t say how long that’d be, just that’s it a multi-year contract.
The Yankees signed Jorge Posada yesterday and while the price tag was up there (four year, $52 million), you’re talking about a special catcher. Posada rakes for one and he has a .381 OBP with a career .860 OPS. While those numbers look just good, keep in mind most catchers don’t come anywhere near these numbers in a season while Posada has done it over his career. Age is an issue, but Posada is coming off of a career year in 2007 and you’d hope his production wouldn’t take a nose dive too quick.
The Yankees are also close to signing Mariano Rivera and again, while the money is out of hand, this is one of those impact signings the Yankees almost have to make. The purported deal is rumored to be at three years, $45 million and that would be simply unheard of a closer. You’d think Rivera would be all over it so I expect him to sign on the dotted line as well.
Third base is still a big hole so it’ll be interesting to see what Cashman and the Boss end up doing. It’d be nice if the Marlins would come down a tad on their demands for Miguel Cabrera but you also get what you pay for.
With A-Rod all but gone, the Yankees locked up one of their hitting stars by exercising their $16 mllion option on Bobby Abreu. Abreu had a .918 OPS in the second half and he’s just kind of table setter I like to see at the top of the lineup. While he drew 84 walks, that broke a streak of eight straight season of 100 or more. Even his .369 OBP last year, which was well below his .408 liftetime mark, makes for a solid top of the lineup option.
Also, Jorge Posada, despite not having a contract with the Yankees, threw some support Joe Girardi’s way. Posada and Girardi were teammates for four years and they shared catching duties during the Yankees golden era in the late 1990s. Getting Posada back in the fold is a huge step towards getting the Yankees back on track and this was a classy step by the All Star catcher.
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