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.
Rather then talk about the loss to the Red Sox on Monday and the subsequent rain out (which we would have won, giving us a split), I want to talk about a New York Yankees icon. 70 years ago today, Joe DiMaggio made his major league debut, and what a debut it was. In a 14-5 blowout over the St. Louis Browns, DiMaggio had three hits, including a triple, and three runs. If I had to rate DiMaggio as far as Yankees go, I’d say he has to be a close third behind Lou Gehrig then Babe Ruth, although a lot of people give him the nod over Gehrig because he missed three seasons because of World War II.
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the DiMaggio’s debut, I’m going to take a break from my World Series Retrospective series and take a look at DiMaggio, season by season. It should be a fun ride back to some great times when the Yankees were winning World Series after World Series.
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