A Biased Look at the New York Yankees, the Greatest Franchise in the History of Sports
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Freddy Garcia improved 12-8 on the season with a really nice start in the Yankees 9-1 blowout win over the Red Sox. The Yankees are in the playoffs, but they could still influence how the playoff picture ends up because they finish up against the Red Sox and Rays. This game was the perfect example as the Red Sox continue their historic collapse.
Garcia gave up six hits and a walk with three strikeouts in six shutout innings. Rookie George Kontos threw a shutout ninth inning and he struck out two in the frame.
Rookie Jesus Montero had a huge day at the plate. He went three for four with a home run, four RBIs and two runs. Derek Jeter had just one hit but it was a three run home run in the second inning.
Now it’s time to think about Yankees playoff tickets. That gave the Yankees win number 96. In order to win 100, they’d have to go 4-1 the rest of the way. With the Yankees getting ready for the playoffs and their opponents fighting for a playoff spot I don’t see that happening but it would be cool if he forced the Red Sox and Ray’s hands.
Last year, the Yankees and the Rays fought a lackluster division race because both teams had effectively locked up a playoff spot early. This year it’s more of the same. The Yankees sit a win back of the Red Sox, but they have an impressive 8 1/2 game lead for the Wild Card. I don’t see the Angels or the Rays catching that much fire or the Yankees tanking that bad so it’s safe to lock them in.
Basically, the Yankees are playing for the chance to play the Tigers (or Indians or White Sox) rather then then the Rangers (or Angels). Honestly, I also think that’s six of one, half dozen of another. The Rangers have a better team, but going up against Justin Verlander, potentially twice, doesn’t leave the Yankees much margin for error in their other games. Still, the Rangers have that potent lineup and pitching so the Yankees will have to bring their A game no matter who they face. I wonder how much baseball playoff tickets will be going for this time around.
Yesterday was a 9-2 pasting over Tampa Bay. Jorge Posada made a statement with three hits and six RBIs while Curtis Granderson hit his 33rd home run of the season. Phil Hughes threw six strong innings and he improved to 3-4.
Next up are the Royals. I like our chances in taking back first place after this series. The Red Sox have the Rays.
Those pesky Red Sox. They did make some nice moves this off season and you knew they were going to bounce back. Still, the Yankees despite all of their troubles this year, have stuck with the Red Sox and they’re just two games back and they have a nice lead in the Wild Card. So it’s looking a lot like 2010, just with a different team. You should get your Yankees tickets now because I can see them being hard to come by these last couple of months.
Yesterday, the Yankees destroyed the Orioles. They scored twelve in the first and by the third they were up 16-1. By the end of the second inning, Robinson Cano was already three for three. He finished five for five with five RBIs. Curtis Granderson had four hits and three runs and Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones both went yard in the game.
Lost in all of the offense was a nice start by Ivan Nova. He gave up two runs on six hits and one walk with six strikeouts in seven innings.
The Yankees finish up their series with the Orioles today then they head to Chicago for four against the White Sox. Freddy Garcia gets the ball for the Yankees this afternoon.
The Yankees dispatched the Rockies for the second straight day and they needed it just to keep up with the Red Sox as the two of them sit atop the standings. The Yanks went down early 3-0 but they bounced back and got some solid relief pitching in this one. Ivan Nova struggled and he gave up four runs in six innings but then three relievers threw a shutout inning each to finish up the game. David Robertson was lights out and then Mariano Rivera threw a shutout ninth for his 20th save of the season. That’s 15 straight seasons with 20 or more saves.
Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada all went yard in this one. Swisher’s was a two run shot. Brett Gardner stole his 16th base of the season. No Yankees had more then one hit so it was good that three of their seven hits went over the fence.
The Yankees get a day off before they head to Milwaukee for three against the Brewers. It’s been a while but the Brewers used to play in the same division as the Yankees so this will be a nice return to that old rivalry. Get your Yankees tickets now while you still can because my guess is the Yankees will be the best team in baseball in the second half and all of the fans will be coming out to see them.
The good news is, the Yankees are in first place. The bad news is, they’re tied for first and they’re only 3 1/2 games ahead of the last place Blue Jays. This is going to be a tough run and while you’ll probably see some of these teams drop off, the Red Sox are back and our cushion is gone.
The Jorge Posada stuff has to stop. Look, I’m as big of a fan of his as anyone but c’mon. You’re hitting like shit, take a break and let the guys who are getting it done hit further up in the lineup. Yeah it’s going to cost you a few at bats through out the season but let’s not throw a hissy fit.
Curtis Granderson continues to rake. Only Jose Bautista has more home runs and while you’d like to see his batting average a little higher, it’s way better then the sub-.250 averages he’s put up the past couple of years. A-Rod is getting it done as well although his power numbers are way down. If Teixeira could get his average above .280, he’d be an MVP candidate with what he’s doing with the power numbers.
On the pitching side, the Yankees have gotten some solid production from both Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. A.J. Burnett has five wins but his ERA is north of 4.00. CC Sabathia has once again been the man. His shortest outing was 5 2/3 innings and the Yankees are 7-4 when he’s on the mound. And in two of those losses he gave up a run or less.
It’s the Mariners this weekend as the Yankees head out west for nine game, three team west coast swing. I always hate heading out west and when the Yankees get home, it’s a three game series against the Red Sox so hopefully they can keep it together while on the road.
Alright, we’re in the closing days of the first month of the season and the Yankees are the only team in the division with a winning record. 12-6 isn’t that shabby and even better, the Yankees are getting it done within the division with a 6-3 record in the AL East.
Chicks dig the longball and that’s what is helping the Yankees get it done. They’ve hit more home runs (36) then any other team in baseball and they’re also the only team with a .503 slugging. Curtis Granderson looks like he’s poised for a bounce back season and he has 7 home runs to go along with his .290+ batting average. Right behind him are Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada with six home runs a piece.
The pitching hasn’t been all bad either. CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett have made for a nice one-two punch and even Bartolo Colon has looked solid. Rafael Soriano needs to turn things around but Mariano Rivera has done his job. In fact Trevor Hoffman’s 601 saves isn’t out of the question.
Next up are the White Sox with a four game series. Then the Blue Jays come to town. Yankees tickets don’t appear that hard to come by right now but my guess is, once this team heats up, it’ll be a sellers market.
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.
The Yankees shored up their pen and found a nice number two guy to complement Mariano Rivera when they signed Rafael Soriano to a three, $35 million deal. That’s a lot of money to pay a setup guy but the Yankees also need some insurance with Rivera’s age becoming more and more of a factor. Rivera is in the fold through 2012 and Soriano has an out in his contract and can move on after this first year if he doesn’t like setting up.
I like the deal although there is some risk money wise. Then again. we’re talking about the Yankees so money isn’t always an object. I like the idea of shortening games down to seven innings and guys like CC Sabathia don’t have to pitch as deep as in years past. Of course the Yankees don’t have an out like Soriano does but if he pitches like he should then it’ll all work out. Adding Soriano is just one more reason you’ll want to get your Yankees tickets as early as possible because this is another World Series team.
Well, this was a kick in the you know what. Cliff Lee signed at a discount with the Phillies. You wonder if this is some kind of curse of George or something. I have full faith and confidence in the current ownership, but you wonder if George would have let this one slide like this. Oh well.
The next best option out there is to trade for Zach Greinke although we’re one of the teams on his no-trade list. His past anxiety issues worry me as well. What really worries me is that the other loser in the Lee sweepstakes, the Rangers, end up with Greinke and now the Yankees are looking at some issues.
I was a little surprised the Yankees scooped up a couple of players in the Rule 5 draft. Of course there’s not a lot of risk here because if they don’t catch, we just give them back.
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