Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mets Interested in Posada

According to the NY Post, the Mets have, as expected, targeted Jorge Posada as one of their offseason priorities. This should make for an interesting battle between the New York teams for the All-Star backstop's services. To me, the Yankees have to give Jorge whatever he wants, even if it entails giving him a fourth year. My feelings in this regard have nothing to do with sentiment towards Jorge or animosity concerning the Mets. It is a matter of practicality. The Yankees top catching prospects, Cervelli, Romine, and Montero, are all at least two years away. Jorge has shown great durability, so I dont expect him to be a Giambi like albatross in the last years of a four year deal. Furthermore, if he starts to break down after two seasons, the Yankees can always plug in whichever one of their catching prospects that happens to be ready at that point, and move Jorge to first. After losing A-Rod, losing Jorge's ability to hit from both sides of the plate with consistency would be catastrophic. Obviously, I feel even more adamant in this position due to the interest of a certain club from Queens. 4 years, 52 million should get it done.

Andy Pettitte: A Class Act

Pettitte said today that he will honor the handshake agreement he has with the Yankees regarding his player option. When he signed his deal prior to last season, he told the Yankees that he would honor the second year of the contract if he did not retire. Today he reiterated that commitment. The contrast to A-Rod is stark and telling. Andy would instantly be the best pitcher on the free agent market if he selected to opt out. He could get more money and more years. Yet to him, it is not about the money. It is about keeping your word and showing some loyalty. Refreshing, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Give Me Some Mo

Mariano Rivera and his agent, Fern Cuza, are meeting now with the Yankees at Legends Field. Hopefully this leads to an agreement being reached. Resigning Mariano is vital on two fronts. Firstly, he is still an excellent closer. More importantly, keeping him allows the Yankees to stick Joba in the rotation, hopefully allowing him to reach his potential. An ace is significantly more important to a team than a star closer. On a related note, Joe Nathan's option was picked up by the Twins. It is quite possible that they did this to trade him. The Yankees should be involved in any discussions to that effect. Nathan can set up for Mo for a few years and then take the closer job. Anyways, hopefully Mo signs, and is the first domino to fall among the Yankees own free agents, specifically Posada and Pettitte.

Joe Torre to The Dodgers

The Journal News is reporting that Joe is in discussions with L.A. to replace Grady Little, and that he will be joined by Donnie Baseball in the dugout. Good move for the Dodgers, who have the right mix of veterans and youthful talent to contend, but have clubhouse issues to deal with . That is one problem that Joe Torre is well equipped to handle, having spent the last 12 years massaging egos in New York. Being that the Dodgers closer, Takashi Saito, is a free agent, I am curious to see whether this development makes them a factor in the Mariano Rivera sweepstakes. Regardless, L.A. has a strong bullpen, and it will be interesting to see whether the perception of Torre as a poor bullpen tactician stems from the lack of personnel with New York, or if it was actually a malady from which Joe suffers. Scott Proctor must be terrified. I wish Joe all the best, and hope the Dodgers have a good season. Knowing the Yankees luck the last few seasons, it would not be shocking if Joe, Don, and Mariano will face off against A-Rod and the Red Sox in the 2008 World Series.

Monday, October 29, 2007

From Joe to Joe: Girardi the Choice for Manager

The Yankees have selected Joe Girardi as the next manager of New York Yankees. In my humble opinion, this is an excellent choice. Girardi has a reputation for being an excellent tactician, something that was sorely lacking during the Torre era. Furthermore, he represents more of a break from the past than either Mattingly or Pena, both of whom served under Torre last year. I happened to have felt that the Yankees should have retained Torre. At the same time, I understood that it may have been time for a change. Once it was decided that a change was in fact neccessary, Girardi represents the cleanest break from the previous regime. Entering the managerial search, I suggested that the Yankees could not go wrong with any of the choices. However, the fact that the Yankees made the best BASEBALL selection is encouraging, specifically because it illustrates that Cashman remains in charge, being that Big Stein was said to have favored Mattingly. There are some that believe that this selection will negatively impact the Yankees chances with Posada, Rivera, and Pettitte. With the possible exception of Pettitte, I believe that this will not in fact make a difference. Money usually talks, and these players are lifelong Yankees. If the money is there, they will return regardless of who is filling out the lineup card. All in all, I feel this decision helps salve the wounds of losing Alex earlier on this wild day in Yankeeland.

A-Rod Opts Out- The Greatest Fraud of All Time

Allow me to preface this blogs' inaugural entry by stating that I was one of Alex Rodriguez' most avid supporters. In 2006, when he was being unfairly attacked by the fans and the media, I spent many a night defending Alex to my unsympathetic friends and blogging counterparts. At the various games that I attended, I stood and cheered Alex while he was mercilessly booed. To me, his only failing seemed to be the ridiculous notion that he was not "a real Yankee." I rejected that oft-repeated assertion, and respected Alex for being a great player who was willing to swallow his pride and move to third base in order to join a winning club. So when A-Rod began to curry favor among Yankee fans with his exceptional season, I looked on with a mixture of pride and haughtiness, giving myself credit for sticking with A-Rod until he became a 'true Yankee'. However, as I sit here today, I cannot help but feel as if I personally, as a fan, was duped. Alex spent the entire season reassuring Yankee fans that he loved New York, and would love to stay a Yankee. He even had the gall, the audacity, to state that he could not imagine himself playing for any other team. Yet, when Opening Day 2008 rolls around, he will be in some other city, in some other uniform, hitting cleanup in some other lineup. Had Alex listened to the Yankees offer and found it unsatisfactory, that would have been upsetting, but at least understandable. Rather, he refused to even come to the bargaining table prior to opting out, which is indicative of one thing: his incredible desire to leave New York. He claims that the state of flux the club is in was the reason for his decision, as he was unsure of the direction that the team was going. There has never been a more disingenuous statement made in the history of free agency. Query any player in baseball as to which team they had the most confidence in to be a contender on a yearly basis, all would pick the Yankees. Claiming that he feared the Yankees were going to ALLOW themselves to fall from contention is so patently ridiculous that it is fairly insulting for Alex to believe that the Yankee faithful will accept it as a reasonable impetus for opting out. The Yankees were about to offer him a spot on the richest and most consistently competitive team in the sport for the remainder of his playing days, with a contract worth 10 million dollars more annually than the next greatest non-AROD contract in history. He turned down that chance because he cannot handle this city, cannot handle the media, and cannot handle the spotlight. I have rejected the notion of "the True Yankee" for many a year now. However, the disastrous A-Rod chapter of Yankee lore, which included a historic collapse to Boston, 3 first round exits, and two Boston World Championships, has opened my eyes. I do not know if there are, in actuality ,specific qualities that make one fit to play for the Yankees. I do know, however, that if there are such qualities, Arod clearly does not have them. To him I say, good riddance. The Yankees went to 6 World Series in 8 years before you appeared, and will return once you are gone. You leave a team that is loaded with young pitching, a team that may not be able to replace your statistics, but can easily replace your heart, easily remedy the very tiny hole you leave in the clubhouse. The Yankees will be fine. They will have to replace Alex by getting stronger in various positions, such as at first base and in the bullpen, as well as signing a capable third baseman to man the hot corner. They will continue to win, because they are the Yankees and that is what they do. Of course, Alex will continue to do what he does- hit long homeruns and infuriate fan bases around the country. Whoever signs the regular season warrior may win some more games, but will never win the big ones. Wherever he does go, the fans of that city will eventually come to know the feeling that I am suddenly experiencing now- an intense dislike and disrespect for one Alex Rodriguez.
The purpose of this blog, just to set the stage for its (hopefully) continued existence, is twofold. Firstly, I hope to provide my feelings and opinions about the New York Yankees on a daily basis, and I look forward to some stimulating and intelligent discussion regarding the club as well as baseball in general. Furthermore, I hope to indulge my petty side from time to time, following and mocking the trials and tribulations of the 252 million dollar man and his incredibly ridiculous life. I hope that the blog can achieve some level of success with your support.