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Posts Tagged ‘Hideki Matsui’

Here are a few tidbits on Yogi, Hideki and A-Jack. 

A few weeks ago, Yogi Berra did a media teleconference for the Bob Hope Classic. He spoke about how often he’s still recognized in public:

“A lot of people look at me, they say, `Boy, you look just like Yogi Berra.’ I say, `Yeah, a lot of people tell me that,’” Berra said.

Berra was asked Tuesday if all the strange quotes attributed to him really came out of his mouth.

“They’re mostly mine, they really are true, all of them,” he said.

Yogi Berra talks to the media during a pre-tournament press conference for the 51st Bob Hope Classic golf tournament in La Quinta, California last week. Berra is the ambassador of the tournament.

Hideki Matsui took a visit to a factory of Japanese construction and mining equipment manufacturer Komatsu in Hiratsuka, Japan last week. During his promotional visit, he stated that he likes the idea of games between the World Series and Japan Series champions even though he may be retired by the time something like that takes place. He even did a demonstration with a hybrid backhoe PC200-8 during his visit.

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How can anyone question whether the Yankees or better or not? Some are debating the topic, and I’m looking to settle the argument.

Gone: Hideki Matsui, Chien-Ming Wang, Jerry Hairston Jr., Brian Bruney, Austin Jackson, Melky Cabrera, Phil Coke, Shelley Duncan, Eric Hinske, Mike Dunn, Arodys Vizcaino

Newcomers: Curtis Granderson, Javier Vazquez, Nick Johnson, Boone Logan, Jamie Hoffman, Reid Gorecki, Royce Ring, and David Winfree

Still up in the air: Johnny Damon

Let’s do a quick overview:

The Goners

  • If Matsui didn’t have the postseason he had, nobody would be crying if he left us. You have to judge him based on his regular season. He was nothing spectacular during the regular season, and he locks up the DH spot since he can’t play the field at all with his knee problems. This is coming from a fan of his. He is one of those players you respect in the game, but you need to know when to cut your ties.
  • Chien-Ming Wang fell off the charts dramatically. The guy has thrown only 137 innings over the past two years. He went (W-L) 1-6 with a 9.64ERA last season. What makes you think he can pitch right now? He was a 19-game winner. Not anymore.
  • Hairston, Bruney, Cabrera, Coke, Duncan and Dunn will not be missed. As for Hinske..we could use him, but he’s not a major loss.

The Newcomers

  • Curtis Granderson is taking over centerfield. He brings another power bat to the lineup, more speed, and serves as a defensive upgrade in the outfield.
  • Javier Vazquez will take the 4th slot in the rotation. He didn’t fair so well with the Yanks his first time around, but can you give him another chance? This guy could be an ace on many major league ball clubs. Power pitchers are key in the playoffs…just remember that.
  • Nick Johnson walked 17.8% of the time in ’09, which was the highest percentage in the major leagues. His .426 on base percentage was second-best in the league to Albert Pujols. Enough said? Don’t give me that..”Oh..he’s going to get injured.” You never know how the season will go. You can’t predict injuries. How did A.J. Burnett do last season?
  • The club also brought in a young bunch of players: Boone Logan, Jamie Hoffman, Reid Gorecki, Royce Ring, and David Winfree. Hoffman will compete for an outfield spot come Spring Training.

and those still up in the air

  • Johnny Damon is still undecided where he is going to play next season. His options are running out, and there is still a chance he can return to the Yankees. Let’s wait and see what happens.

This off-season, the Yankees basically got rid of players that were over the hill, had injury problems, weren’t anything special at the major league level, and some prospects that haven’t proven a damn thing. Instead, they brought in an all-star center fielder, a pitcher that could be an ace on many ball clubs and a DH that finished behind Pujols in OBP last year. This team should be stronger than last year’s. I am well aware that things don’t always work out, but this team is clearly better on paper. Now, let’s see if they can do it on the field.

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Stop, think back 5 years, where were you, what were you doing? I’m pretty sure if you’re over the age of 25, you’ll probably remember. Now think about your favorite baseball team, can you tell me how many people that will be in the starting lineup this year that was in 2005? I bet you can’t! It just a testament on how much this is a business and we root for a uniform more than a group of people. Yes, we have personal favorites (Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, etc al), but when it comes down to it, it’s the uniform that matters. Below, I have listed the 2005 Opening Day batting order, our projected 2010 batting order and we take a stab at the 2015 batting order. Those bolded are holdovers from previous years.

2005 Opening Day Batting Order

  1. Derek Jeter, SS
  2. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
  3. Gary Sheffield, RF
  4. Ruben Sierra, DH
  5. Hideki Matsui, LF
  6. Jorge Posada, C
  7. Jason Giambi, 1B
  8. Bernie Williams, CF
  9. Tony Womack, 2B

2010 Opening Day Batting Order (likely)

  1. Derek Jeter, SS
  2. Nick Johnson, DH
  3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
  4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
  5. Curtis Granderson, CF
  6. Jorge Posada, C
  7. Nick Swisher, RF
  8. Robinson Cano, 2B
  9. Brett Gardner, LF

2015 Opening Day Batting Order (Projected)

  1. Carl Crawford, OF
  2. Curtis Granderson, OF
  3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
  4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
  5. Jesus Montero, DH
  6. Robinson Cano, 2B
  7. Slade Heathcott, OF
  8. Austin Romine, C
  9. ???, SS

Amazing how things change or will change…

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Now that 2009 and the decade is over (unless you’re counting challenged) we can look back and point out the years and figure out which really was the great year for certain positions. We have whipped together what we believe is the best year for each position and oddly enough Jason Giambi is the only one to appear on the list twice. If you think that someone else’s year should’ve been on here, let us know!

C – Jorge Posada (2007) .338 BA, 20 HR, 90 RBI, 171 hits, .970 OPS

1B – Jason Giambi (2002) .314 BA, 41 HR, 122 RBI, 176 hits, 109 walks, 1.034 OPS

2B – Alfonso Soriano (2002) .300 BA, 39 HR, 102 RBI, 209 hits, 51 doubles

SS – Derek Jeter (2006) .343 BA, 14 HR, 97 RBI, 214 hits, 34 SB, .900 OPS

3B – Alex Rodriguez (2007) .314 BA, 54 HR, 156 RBI, 95 walks, 24 SB, 1.067 OPS

OF – Bernie Williams (2000) .307 BA, 30 HR, 121 RBI, .957 OPS

OF – Gary Sheffield (2004) .290 BA, 36 HR, 121 RBI, 92 walks, .927 OPS

OF – Hideki Matsui (2004) .298 BA, 31 HR, 108 RBI, 88 walks, .912 OPS

DH – Jason Giambi (2006) .281 BA, 37 HR, 117 RBI, 110 walks, .971 OPS

P – Roger Clemens (2001) 20-3, 3.51 ERA, 213 K’s

P – CC Sabathia (2009) 19-8, 3.37 ERA, 197 K’s

P – Mike Mussina (2008) 20-9, 3.37 ERA, 150 K’s

CP –  Mariano Rivera (2004) 1.94 ERA, 53 Saves

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Recently, Mark Feinsand had a chance to talk to Jorge Posada about a variety of subjects while Jorge promoted two new DVDs — and The New York Yankees 2009 World Series Collector’s Edition and New York Yankees 2009: Season of Pride, Tradition & Glory — and had this to say…

Jorge was asked between Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes who was better suited to be a starter.

“It’s tough; both of them are very good with what they’re able to do in the bullpen,” Posada said. “Chamberlain did a hell of a job last year in the starting role early, and we know Hughes is capable of doing, too. Right now they’re in the rotation, but we’ll see if we can add someone.

“I would like to have one more starter and keep one of those guys in the bullpen. You can never have enough pitching, so I think we need one more arm in the starting rotation.”

“I’m going to miss Matsui,” Posada said. “I love the guy; everybody loves him. He’s a great player and a greater guy off the field. He stands out when you think about what it took for us to win that championship this year.”

On whether or not he can be a full-time catcher the next two years

“You have to understand where you are in your career; there are 162 games, and while I don’t think I can catch 135 or 140 games anymore, I can definitely still catch 115 or 120,” Posada said. As for Montero’s future, Posada sees himself playing a mentor role for the youngster, assuming he’s ready to play in the big-leagues while Posada is still here.

“I would love to have him there with me and teach him like I was taught,” Posada said. “I have to be a teacher now. I would like that. We’ll see if we have to do that.”

On Roy Halladay’s departure from the AL East

“Roy is awesome,” Posada said. “You can’t say enough about him. He’s a workhorse. We’ll probably see him later on.”

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According to Jon Heyman’s tweet and Mark Feinsand’s confirmation over the last few hours, Hideki Matsui is now an Los Angeles Angel of Anaheim. He signed a 1 year contract for $6.5 million. While I knew this was going to happen — Matsui leaving — it still is a sad event.

You know, this is the second year in a row that the Angels signed a Yankees free agent. Last year Bobby Abreu was signed by the Angels right before Spring Training and had a decent year. I wonder how Godzilla will fare out West?

Oddly enough, Hideki Matsui will be at Yankees Stadium when they raise the banner and hand out the World Series rings as they Yankees host the Angels for their first homestand April 13-15th. Expect a standing ovation.

The real question is, now that Matsui is out of the picture, who’s left to DH? Johnny Damon, Carlos Delgado, Mike Jacobs, Juan Miranda? Who knows…Now that Cashman blew the pooch, it’s his to fix.

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ESPN’s Jayson Stark has reported that the Los Angeles Angels are in serious discussions with Hideki Matsui to play DH. Buster Olney tweeted that he’s heard Matsui’s one-year deal with the Angels is for about $6.5MM.  Olney seems to believe that they are “on the verge” of an agreement. If the Angels sign Matsui, many believe that it will mark the end of Vladamir Guerrero’s career with them.

From Joel Sherman:

Heard #Yankees told Matsui couldn’t do anything til exhausted SP/Damon issues, but Matsui wanted quicker resolution 6 minutes ago from web   

Heard #Yankees were told by Matsui’s people that #Angels would give chance to play some LF.

and an update from Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors:

Chien-Ming Wang might not sign for months, his agent Alan Nero told ESPN’s Buster Olney. Speaking to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cards pitching coach Dave Duncan said Wang would interest him.

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Here are some of the latest news, notes, rumors and opinions involving the Yankees:

Roy Halladay

Yankees 3rd in chase for Doc: “Nevertheless, when it comes to the Roy Halladay Sweepstakes, the Yankees appear to be running third. The Angels, who reportedly made an offer to the Blue Jays yesterday, and Phillies are the favorites.”

Juan Miranda

Can Miranda fill the DH spot?: “Juan Miranda can be a DH,” said Cashman, who cut off a question about not having a DH. “We have Jorge Posada, we have Mark Teixeira and A-Rod and a number of guys who can swing over on their days of rest. We have people we can play in that position internally right now.”

Brett Gardner

Gardner attracting interest: “According to a scout familiar with the situation, the Sox were one of two teams in the American League Central letting the New York Yankees know during the winter meetings this week that they covet outfielder Brett Gardner. The Kansas City Royals also were wondering what it would take to acquire the promising 26-year-old leadoff hitter.”

Chien-Ming Wang

Would the Yankees possibly bring Wang back?: “Many believe the Yankees will simply bring Wang back on a lesser deal filled with incentives. Think again. A source close to Wang told me recently that the pitcher is still bothered that the Yankees took him to an arbitration hearing over $600,000 in 2008 – then gloated publicly after winning the case.”

Ryota Igarashi

Yankees interested in Ryota Igarashi: “The Yanks appear to be interested in Ryota Igarashi after trading Brian Bruney away to the Nationals on 12/7.  The Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, and Baltimore Orioles are also rumored to be interested in Igarashi.  And it seems his agent is looking for a 2-year deal wroth about US$2M-3M.” (more…)

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Before Brian Cashman left the Winter Meetings in Indy yesterday, he had these things to say (Hat tip to Mark Feinsand):

On Hoffmann: “We feel he’s got great makeup, he’s got ability and we project him in the future as an everyday type player. We have all those lefthanded bats, so it will be interesting to see how he mixes in.”

On what he’s looking to do next: “I’m open to an array of choices right now. Depending on what the market values are, I could gravitate to bullpen if I feel like the starting stuff is so expensive. I could gravitate to position players that come into a territory that makes sense, or I could hold.”

On the Yankees’ DH spot: “Juan Miranda could be our DH if we wanted him to. We have Jorge Posada, Mark Teixeira, A-Rod; guys who can swing over on their days of rest. We have people we can play in that position internally right now. I’m not trying to oversell anyboduy, but Juan Miranda will do a nice job against righthanded pitching as a DH if that’s what we have to do. Is that the right way to go? I think the market will dictate that.”

On whether he would move any more prospects in trades: “I’m hesitant to move certain young players because of what they can do for us in the here and now or in the future and the salary off-set they provide. At the same time, for the right player, I’ll move anybody.”

On whether he would wait out the market for a Bobby Abreu-like bargain before spring training: “Patience could benefit you, or it might not. You can wait something out and see if it falls in your lap, but by doing that, you risk not getting something maybe you want or feel you have to have. It’s risky for us to play that game if we really want something.”

On Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain: “They’re starters right now, without a doubt. They’re going to prepare as starters. The relief stuff? That’s a layup. That’s not something that’s hard to do; the starting stuff is hard, so we’ll gear them up as starters. If we decide to change that at some point, no big deal.”

On the trade market: “I’ve had my trade discussions with various teams, and the price tags are what they are. I’m not in position right now to execute any free-agent signings or trades that I would recommend.”

On his feelings leaving the meetings with Andy Pettitte and Curtis Granderson done: “I never feel good about anything, to be honest. You make those decisions and hope they work out, but until you play through it, you don’t know how it’s going to play. We hope this stuff makes us better.

Also, I’m not so sure the Yankees are going to find a Bobby Abreu like bargain close to spring training…

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Wrapping up the first day of ther Winter Meetings:

-Pete Caldera reports that Andy Pettitte can expect an offer of over $10 million when the Yanks make their formal pitch to the 37-year-old lefty, according to a source familiar with the club’s thinking.

-John Heyman reports that Johnny Damon is another Yankees priority and they are expected to offer about $20 million over two years to keep him. Yankees’ backup plans are: for pitcher, Pineiro and Wolf; and for outfielder, Mike Cameron, Jermaine Dye, Curtis Granderson and possibly Byrd.

-According to Marc Carig, the team “told entire coaching staff that they’d be offered jobs again.”

-Joel Sherman reports, both the Yankees and Mets have interest in Kelvim Escobar. He might pitch in Venezuela in December to show his health.

-According to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, the Mariners, Giants, Mets, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, Orioles, and Yankees are interested in Nick Johnson.

-Tyler Kepner reports that the Yanks interested in Chapman, but at less than $15 mill

Chad Jennings has a ton of updates for us:

-Just talked to a source who seems to agree with most of the conventional thinking that’s floating around. He sees the Yankees going after Johnny Damon but letting Hideki Matsui slide, he sees Andy Pettitte as an early key to the Yankees offseason, and he’d rather keep Phil Hughes and give up Joba Chamberlain in a trade for Roy Halladay. He also has some Red Sox notes for us: (more…)

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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.

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I am not sure how many of you have heard of Batting Stance Guy, but he is hilarious and literally on the mark. The first video was described as ‘An Ode to the 2009 Yankees’ and the second video is Yankees past and present. Enjoy!

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