A Biased Look at the New York Yankees, the Greatest Franchise in the History of Sports
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The Oakland Athletics have started the second half of this season, following the All Star break on fire, winning their last 5 of 6, beating the New York Yankees, 4-3, Thursday night in Oakland in front of 23, 382. Nick Swisher did his part to rally the team late in the game, hitting one deep to bring the tying run to the plate with 1 out in the 9th inning. But it was to no avail, as Ibanez and Martin struck out and grounded out to end the inning and the game.
Freddy Garcia went only 5.2 innings and was roughed up a bit, giving up 9 Hits, 4 Earned Runs (with one homer to Cespedes in the 1st), Walking 2, and Striking Out 6. David Phelps was a bright spot, coming in from the bullpen and pitched brilliantly in the remaining 2.1 innings, Striking Out 4, and not giving up even a hit, or baserunner for that matter. Phelps did his job, but the bats could not answer loud enough to take the lead from these scorching hot Athletics.
The Yankees lead in the East is still 9 games, and there is nothing to worry about. They are still hitting on all cylinders, and will undoubtely put in a good bid to take the series from the Athletics anyways, when it is all said and done. Ivan Nova (10-4) takes the mound tonight against Tommy Milone (9-6). Game time is 10:05 EST.
The Yankees have started off the second half of the season the same way they ended the first…winning! They took 2 of 3 from the AL West contender Angels, and by sweeping the Blue Jays today have improved their record to 57-34. The biggest story from this series was the stellar performance of C.C. Sabathia coming off the DL and pitching a gem for 6 innings (facing one batter in the 7th inning). He only gave up 4 hits, with 6 strike outs, 1 walk, and 0 earned runs. His command did not seem to be dusty either as he threw only 87 pitches, 66 of them for strikes. This was great to see as it looks like the Yankees are making a strong case, early in this second half, to be running away with the division. C.C. will be a huge part of their success as they head to the post season and make a bid for the World Series (which will undoubtedly go through Texas). Good pitching beats good hitting, and as it stands right now the Yankees look to have both.
They head to the west coast after today’s game for a 7 game road trip. 4 with the Athletics, followed by 3 with Seattle. Then they come home to host their ultimate rivals, divisional rivals, and hated rivals, the Boston Red Sox.
Things couldn’t be going any better right now for the team, and their win total seems to be evidence of that.
The Yankees traded away their top prospect for pitching but they still have a top twenty guy in pitcher Manny Benuelos, who was picked thirteen by MLB.com. This lefty pitched at Triple-A as a 20 year old and while he struggled at times, he also held his own.
His season was derailed because of an appendectomy but he bounced back and was still productive. He also had a nice showing at the AFL and he could be pitching in the Yankees rotation as early as this year.
Jorge Posada has calls it quits and one of the cornerstones of the most recent machination of the Yankees dynasty went out in style. He finishes his career with 275 home runs and a career .848 OPS. That’s very solid for a catcher in a given season, much less a career.
Posada has struggled the past couple of seasons and he’s never been a great fielder so it was nice not to see the Yankees have to force their hand. There was also the controversy last year when Posada complained about being dropped in the batting order. Still, I wish Mr. Posada the best and I’m sure we’ll see him around the ballpark from time to time. He joins a great cast of awesome Yankees’ catchers and my guess is, he gets into the Hall of Fame.
The Yankees have made their starting rotation a priority and it looks like they’re willing to part ways with blue chip prospect Jesus Montero. Montero made a splash in his short time with the Yankees and he’s been their top prospect the past two years. Of course it probably made it a little easier that the Yankees have two more catchers in their top ten prospects with Gary Sanchez listed as fourth by Baseball America. Sanchez is only 19 though but they already have Russell Martin locked up and my best is he gets the start.
Pineda had a nice year as a 22 year old rookie for the Mariners last season. He only went 9-10 but he had a very solid 3.74 ERA and a 1.099 WHIP. He also struck out 173 and walked 55 in 171 innings. The Yankees also get a very young Jose Campos who will be 19 this year but already has three seasons of minor league ball under his belt. The Yankees are giving up Hector Noesi as well.
I like the move. We have enough hitters and Russell Martin is good enough. Since we lost out on Yu Darvish, the Yankees went shopping and this is who they got.
The Yankees got some house cleaning done and tendered contracts to all of their unsigned players including the six that are arbitration eligible. That means Joba Chamberlain (remember him), Phil Hughes, David Robertson, Brett Garnder, Boone Logan and Russel Martin are all back in the fold.
None of this was surprise because all of these guys, sans Chamberlain, played a big role last year. Of all the news, probably the most annoying is that Garnder is going to be the started in left but he’ll be batting ninth. That guy needs to lead off. I know Derek Jeter is the man but Gardner would be so much better up at the top.
Freddy Garcia will be back in the Yankees rotation in 2012 after a solid enough season in 2011. The Yanks will pay him $4 million with a chance at some incentives to work the back end of the Yankees rotation. His incentives are based on the number of starts he makes and if gets to 32, he’ll make an addition $1.5 million.
He had a solid season with a 12-8 record and a 3.62 ERA. He only threw in 146 2/3 innings though and he might have pitched above his head. He had a nice enough 3.62 ERA but his 1.343 WHIP wasn’t much to write home about.
Well, he worked in 2011. The Yankees shored up their rotation by bringing back Freddy Garcia. Any time you can sign someone to a one year deal, it’s worth taking a shot on and the Yankees are looking to pay Garcia between $4 and $5 million in 2012. Garcia was solid in 25 starts and he finished with a 12-8 record and a 3.62 ERA. Now it’s time to get another piece or two.
I like Mark Buehrle. He’s less popular then C.J. Wilson but not many pitchers have been as reliable as Mark Buehrle the past ten or so seasons. Roy Oswalt is also out there and he could be an interesting pickup since the Yankees seem to like bringing guys back for one last hurrah.
They also have some home grown talent who might compete for a rotation spot. Hector Noesi is out there as is Dellin Betances. I’d still like to pick up a veteran but Ivan Nova worked so could one of these other guys.
Winter meetings are coming up and the pieces will start together. I better pick up some Yankees tickets now before they sell out.
Now that the exciting 2011 season has come to an end with the St. Louis Cardinals named the World Series champions and arguably the underdog of the year, it’s time to get planning for the 2012 MLB season. It’s never too soon to lock down seats to a baseball game with 2012 MLB tickets, especially when big teams are looking even better, like the New York Yankees schedule. Spring training kicks off in just three short months and the regular season begins shortly after that. Big Yankees games on the schedule this year include Yankees at Red Sox on April 21, Los Angeles Angels at Yankees on April 14, and Red Sox at Yankees on July 27. Keep an eye out for those precious baseball stadium seats and start counting down the days til the first pitch of the 2012 season is thrown!
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