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Archive for the ‘Blog Update’ Category

Yesterday, I posted about what a Yankees season without Phil Hughes might look like. At the time I wrote it, we all were unaware of what a serious condition Hughes faces. In case you missed it: after last night’s excellent win (featuring Bartolo Colon returning to his 2002-2005 form), Joe Girardi announced that Hughes may have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a rare circulation problem. Commonly referred to as TOS, if left untreated can lead to some really nasty complications – including stroke. Hughes is scheduled to see specialist Robert Thompson in St. Louis on Monday for a final diagnosis and treatment options, if this is what he has.

Other major leaguers have suffered from TOS. Some have made it back, some had their careers ended and some returned but were only a shadow of their former selves. Regardless, all of that is secondary right now. I’m sure column inches will be dedicated to that discussion in the future, but for now I’m sure all Yankee fans join me in saying…

Get Well, Phil!

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This has been a fun week for the LeBron James detractors as “LeBrick” and “LeFraud” tweets filled my timeline with the Heat losing 3 close games all ending on missed 3 point attempts by the “King” in the final seconds. This recent string of poor end game play has further fueled the perception that LeBron James is un-clutch, a choker, isn’t a “closer” (a popular, yet maddening term used by many basketball talking heads) and above all comes up small in the biggest situations. Couple the undeserved clutch reputation, with the ill-conceived off court “Decision” where he infamously took his talents to South Beach, and throw in the blame of playoff failures heaped solely on him and you have…Pre-2009 Alex Rodriguez.

While the impact an NBA superstar can have on a game is much greater then that of any position player in baseball, many of the terms used to describe LeBron were also previously used by people who disliked ARod, including many Yankee haters and even Yankee fans (i.e. the Jeter “zealots” and members of the Cody Ransom fan club). There is no question both James and ARod’s off-field actions (e.g. 2007 World series opt out, PED usage, aforementioned Decision, the silly “What should I do?” commercials) have turned fans to root against them and if you feel that way, that’s fine. I get it…most of us need a heel to root against, especially if our team isn’t playing, that’s part of what makes sports enjoyable. What I do have an issue with is when the dislike of a player completely warps the view of their performance. Think back to ARod:

  • He was given the goat horns for the epic 2004 collapse, but if Mo closes Game 4 or Gordon doesn’t implode in Game 5, ARod probably wins the ALCS MVP
  • As he struggled in the ’05 and ‘06 ALDS (a grand total of 9 games), ARod detractors and many Yankees fans began to dismiss his previous playoff statistics as a Mariner and even his great series versus the Twins in ’04 because he “wasn’t a Yankee” and because the “ALDS doesn’t matter because the Yankees are only about winning the World Series…blah blah blah”
  • In 2007 despite having a historic MVP regular season and carrying the Yankees to the playoffs, his 4 for 17 postseason was the lead story for Yankees failures (instead of the two game C-M Wang meltdown)
  • Even his manager fell prey to the madness dropping him to 8th in the lineup in a playoff game (Could you imagine Spoelstra or even Pat Riley making LeBron come off the bench in a deciding playoff game?)

All the walk-off homeruns, game-winning hits and MVP awards he had during those years were minimized, because “A-Fraud couldn’t get it done when it mattered most.” Never mind that the Yankees starting pitching was the main culprit in those playoff series losses, it was ALL AROD’s FAULT. Heck even players from other teams would chime in and take shots at ARod as did Torre in his book. Thankfully 2009 happened, silencing most of the critics.

LeBron finds himself today, were ARod was 2 years ago. A HOF player, who is hated and disliked by most fans/media, resulting in a skewed analysis of his play. Under this pretense, Regular season MVP awards are trivialized. Stellar post-season performance is conveniently forgotten (Regular season: 27.7ppg-7.1rpg-7.0apg, Postseason: 29.3ppg-8.4rpg-7.3apg). “Clutch” shots and “closing out” games (LeBron has made four game-winning shots in the playoffs and rates well statistically in clutch situations as of 2009) are swept under the rug. The fact that until this season, his supporting cast has been mediocre to poor (see the Cavs this season without him), will also be nothing more then a mere footnote for the LeBrick backers.

The perception won’t change until LeBron wins a ring. Until then he’ll have to hear about how he doesn’t have the clutch gene (Ian O’Connor’d: Yes Jeter was born with this gene and ARod wasn’t) and how he’s afraid to take and make big shots. ARod finally broke through and LeBron will one day as well. On that night I hope LeBron hooks up with ARod once again this time to get wasted on championship champagne. That is one scene I want the A-Fraud/LeFraud supporters to all be witnesses too.

Follow me on Twitter: @eddieperez23

(This blog post was also used as a guest post on http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/)

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Steelers head coach Chuck Noll once said his biggest mistake as a coach was sticking too long with the great players who were pivotal in winning him four Super Bowls. It was loyalty. It was comfort. They were proven winners and great guys. It made sense at the time. But they all got old at once, and the dynasty ended. Fast forward to after the 2007 season:

  • The Yankees off the negative public outcry from Joe Torre’s exit, felt pressure to placate the fans. Cashman despite taking a hard line against ARod, had Hank Steinbrenner foolishly handed him a 10 year albatross of a contract. ARod should have been resigned, but not double the money another team was willing to offer.
  • That same offseason, Jorge Posada already 35 years old used Omar Minaya and the Mets to extract a 4 year contract from the Yankees. It was another illogical signing given his age and likelihood of breaking down, but feeling the “heat” from the NY baseball media and fans that were mostly in Torre’s corner, Hank/Hal as neophyte owners caved to public pressure….Fast Forward to the present:

Hal is now the clear lead owner of the Brothers Steinbrenner and has empowered Cashman to fully run the baseball operations (without having Hank around to botch things up). Jeter has been a great player, but no longer is. Given his captaincy and status on the current team, the Yankees offered Jeter double his true market value. Yet, this offer was deemed “baffling” by his agent Casey Close. What’s truly baffling about this negotiation is Jeter’s/Close’s thinking that they’re deserving of 4-5 years and $85-100M. If that’s the case, the Yankees should avoid repeating their sins of the past by caving to fan and media pressure. Similar to what the great Steelers players meant to Chuck Noll, Jeter represents winning, loyalty and comfort to Yankee fans. However, giving him a “blank check” or paying him an exorbitant amount of money for his past achievements and/or future milestones is bad business. I applaud Cashman and Hal for their stance in these negotiations. Sorry Derek as Michael Corleone said, it’s not personal, it’s strictly business. Hopefully offering to make him the highest paid middle infielder in the game isn’t too much of an insult to Jeter/Close.

What do you think of the current Jeter negotiations? Do you side with Jeter or Yankees ownership?

Follow me on Twitter @eddieperez23

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Excuse me for any typos. I’m currently mobile and typing this on my phone, but I just saw the following tweet from Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger:

“He should be nothing but a New York Yankee. He chooses not to be.” — Brian Cashman, on Derek Jeter and the negotiating process.

I vented earlier today about Cashman, but this is absolute lunacy. Cashman is essentially telling all of us that Jeter has no desire to play for the Yankees. Unless he takes whatever offer Cashman decides to put on the table, that is.

Brian, that’s not a negotiation. It’s an ultimatum. If you’re out to prove to your boss that you have the cajones to stand up to the team captain, you’ve made your point. Otherwise, you’re only proving yourself to be a bigger idiot in player decisions than the original Boss.

Update from Zell: Marc Carig corrected the quote:

“Let me correct this Cashman quote on Jeter. “He should be nothing but a New York Yankee, if he chooses to be.” My apologies everyone.”

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A few days I posted a link for all of you to go and vote for Zells as Yankees Blog of the Decade over at It Is High…It Is Far…It Is Caught. You went out and voted your little heart out and bumped Zell’s up to Fifth Place as we tied with NoMass. The LoHud Yankees Blog came in first place, and it’s well deserved. To see the complete standings go here. Thanks to everyone that voted and we hope you continue to come to Zell’s for all your Yankees news year-round. It’s just an honor to be in the top 5 Yankees blogs of the decade.

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Alex Rodriguez (l.) and Robinson Cano take World Series celebration to fund-raiser in Dominican Republic.Fresh off partying with Alex Rodriguez and Jay Z, Robbie Cano thought it would be a good idea to let us know who the Yankees should pick up this offseason. Robbie believes that Pedro Martinez would be a good pick up for the Yankees. He says:

“I say he’s got some more in him. He’d be good (with the Yankees), especially with the kind of team we got,” said Cano. “We score, most games, four or five runs. Guy like him, we only need him like five, six innings.”

Maybe it’s good that Cashman goes to Jeter for advice on some player moves and not Cano. Maybe about 8 years ago I would have been all for this, but now? Ehhh, I don’t think so.

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According to Tracy Ringolsby, Kevin Towers, Padres ex-General Manager from 1995-2009, is reportedly close to accepting a job in an unknown capacity with close friend Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees.

Kevin Towers was once a first round draft pick in 1982 for the San Diego Padres and pitched seven seasons in the minors, reaching Triple A, before his playing career ended due to injuries. He has also served as a scouting director and scout in the past.

Billy Beane, A’s GM, who counts Towers as a one of his favorite colleagues personal and professional had this to say previously:

“Kevin has always been open-minded and used every resource available to him,” Beane said. “There is no question Kevin likes to get his fingernails dirty and get out and see players himself, but he also has progressed with the times. He’s a nice combination of both sides.”

Towers had this to say recently about his new situation:

“I have that desire and that passion,” he said. “As much as I’ve enjoyed the time off, once spring training starts, I’m going to be itching to be out there evaluating players and reading box scores every day. It’s still in my blood.”

If this report is true, this would be great news for the Yankees and bad news for whomever Brian Cashman generally listens to. Given, Cash has done a better job in the past few years with drafting, free agents, but one can never have enough help, especially when the help is Kevin Towers, right? Just imagine, Cashman could also set Towers up to be his successor when and if the time comes…

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With Yankees organizational meetings now over, the plans for the Yankees have become a little bit clearer than they were a mere few days ago. As expected, the Yankees plan on shedding some payroll this year, how much, is unknown at this time. While Buster Olney tweets that it should be between $190-$200 million, but it isn’t a hard number, obviously. Considering that Buster Olney’s blog always keeps us in the know, it has to be true. ESPN reports that the payroll could go as low as $185 million, though I doubt it will go that low. Time will tell…

Moving on to other news Olney has reported, it appears as if the Yankees don’t have Jason Bay or Matt Holliday at the top of their list, especially if they can resign Johnny Damon for about $7-8 million. I am glad that they are not going to spend a ton of money on either one of them, especially Matt Holliday, as I don’t think he’d be a great AL player, regardless of what Scott Boras tells you. In a minor note, Arn Tellem and Brian Cashman are to get together to talk about Hideki Matsui during winter meetings.

(more…)

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Many years ago (2005ish) I moved away from the New York – New Jersey area due to a new job and it took me away from hearing the Yankees on the radio. I know there are some outstanding critics of John Sterling and some of the criticism may be on the mark. However, I love his calls and how he calls the game, I just typically can’t stand for his partners.

After searching over at MLB.com’s video archive, I found a 12 minute clip where they have recorded John’s big calls during the 2009 postseason and applied it to the applicable play. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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In a shocking piece of news as the Yankees Organizational meetings come to an end, the Yankees will bid on Roy Halladay. Jon Heyman surmises that it will take some combination of Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Jesus Montero, and Austin Jackson, which is another bit of shocking news, right?

Personally, I would start off with an offering of Phil Hughes (Sorry Zell!), Austin Jackson and maybe someone like Ian Kennedy. Personally, I believe Joba has a higher upside and I’d rather not potentially give up a bat like Montero’s. Ian Kennedy? That was more of a throw in, I still believe he has something to contribute to a major league team.

In reality, I know that won’t be the package that would win Roy Halladay’s services. I can see either Joba or Montero leaving, but both of them? Unlikely. The winter meetings in Indy begin on Monday and Halladay is likely to dominate meetings there, so let the fun begin!

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Yesterday the Yankees brass started their annual organizational meetings, while Joe Girardi would be in attendance today. Most likely the topics to dominate the meeting would be the budget for 2010, whether or not to re-sign either Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui (What, no Jose Molina love?) whether to go after free agents John Lackey or Matt Holliday and whether to go after Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay.

According to ESPN.com, The Boss has taken part in some of the meetings so far. I don’t know if it’s me, but in years past you would have figured that Big Stein would have been hot on Doc Halladay’s trail by now. Now, we have the Yankees trying to appear to be ‘fiscally responsible’ which is all good, but when the best pitcher in baseball becomes available, acting like you don’t care won’t win. However, the Yankees may come out of their meetings and go after him, which makes my above statement null and void.

The Winter Meetings in Indianapolis begin on Monday, so the outcome of organizational meetings might be obvious then. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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After a few games of watching rookie Quarterback Mark Sanchez struggle while sliding to avoid pressure in recent games, the New York Jets needed to call in some ‘help‘.

So what does Jets coach Rex Ryan do? He calls Yankees Team President, Randy Levine and asks if he could supply a special instructor to help Sanchez.

Guess who showed up at the Jets facility? Good ole Joe Girardi. While Girardi wouldn’t have been my first, second or maybe third choice to help a rookie quarterback in regards to sliding, it still isn’t a bad choice. Girardi in his career stole 44 bases — and was caught 31 times.

I guess we’ll see this weekend to see if Sanchez was able to grasp the fine art of sliding.

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