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Posts Tagged ‘Johnny Damon’

There can be no doubt that the American League East is easily the best division in baseball. In fact, this year could wind up being historic in terms of division play, as my projections show 4 of the 5 teams capable of winning 90+ games this season – a feat that’s never been accomplished before. Is the talent level in the East really that much better than the rest of the AL? In a word, YES.

Both the Boston Red Sox and Yankees look to be the class of baseball this year. I project both teams to win 105 games this year and finish tied for the division crown. How evenly matched are the two juggernauts? The projections also have them splitting the season series, 9-9. Many prognosticators are giving the edge to the Red Sox this year, based on their starting rotation of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Clay Buchholz. While the Yankees rotation is known to be unsettled, relying on a return to form by AJ Burnett, Phil Hughes avoiding regression from his 18-8 2010 season, and a collection of rookies and reclamation projects to fill the 4 & 5 spots, the Sox rotation also has question marks. Can Lackey reclaim his form? Can Beckett come back from an injury plagued season? Will Buchholz ever deliver on his promise? Can Matsuzaka come back from injuries and inconsistency? In short, both teams could have excellent rotations – or horrible ones, once you get past the aces. But offensively, both squads are loaded 1 – 9. The Yankees projected line-up of Derek Jeter, Nick SwisherMark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada, Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin and Brett Gardner may actually be better than the team that led the league in runs scored last season. Boston counters with Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, JD Drew, Marco Scutaro, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jacoby Ellsbury. Both line-ups are capable of scoring 1,000 runs. The real differentiators between the teams are in the bullpens and on the bench. The Yanks have a slight edge in the bullpen, with the 1 – 1a tandem of Mariano Rivera and Rafael Soriano. The Sox have a slight edge on the bench.

As for the rest of the division, Tampa Bay suffered some tremendous free-agent losses. Despite that, they come into the season with their only real question being the strength of the bullpen, where the oft-traveled Kyle Farnsworth heads a makeshift relief corps. The additions of Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon, along with new shortstop Reid Brignac and rookie Desmond Jennings, should actually make the offense better. And Tampa’s rotation remains one of the game’s best, led by David Price. But while good enough to win pretty much any other division in the game, this year’s Rays aren’t in the same class as either New York or Boston.

The same goes for the Orioles, although Baltimore may have the most improved team in the league. The infield was completely remade, as Mark Reynolds, Derek Lee and JJ Hardy join Brian Roberts. The O’s also brought in veteran slugger Vladimir Guerrero and closer Kevin Gregg. Add in what looks to be the league’s best young rotation and proven winner (and old friend) Buck Showalter as manager, and Baltimore is poised to shock people the same way Toronto did last year.

As for the Blue Jays, this team lost too much – and replaced those parts with questionable signings – from last year’s overachieving squad to compete this year. They’ve brought in pitching guru John Farrell to lead the team, but this team will suffer from losing Cito Gastons “let-’em-fly” attitude on offense. Include a rookie catcher, changes at 1st, 3rd and all three OF spots and it will prove to be too much turnover to overcome. One bright spot for the Jays this year could be rookie starter Kyle Drabek, one of the game’s more hyped young pitchers.

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The Yankees have been busy since Cliff Lee stunned the baseball world and retreated to the quiet confines of Citizen’s Bank Park, home of those welcoming Philadelphia types. (Unless you happen to be Santa Clause, that is). After devoting the entire offseason plan to signing Lee, you couldn’t really blame Brian Cashman and company if they didn’t have a plan B. But, much to my amazement and joy, they did! And they didn’t waste any time whatsoever in implementing it!

It seems plan B consists of signing every retread and injury-prone player still available. First, they landed their big-name pitcher in Mark Prior. Who cares if Prior hasn’t thrown a ML pitch in 4 years and has a history of shoulder ailments dating back 7 seasons? He was once one of the best right-handed starters in the majors. Then, virtually in tandem with signing Prior, the Yankees swooped in and grabbed C Russell Martin. Who cares if Jesus Montero is waiting in the wings to prove why he’s one of the 5 best prospects in MLB? The Yankees just signed a catcher who lost 1/2 of 2010 to hip surgery; a guy who once was an All-Star for the Dodgers but had played so well over the past three seasons that they flat out released him. To address a leaky bullpen, today the Yanks signed Pedro Feliciano, formerly of the Mets. Ok, so, he’s thrown in a ML leading 408 games over the past 5 years, but he’s only 34. Oh…right.

In defense of the signings, each does bring something positive – Martin does have a history of throwing out runners (2nd best percentage in baseball since he broke in). Prior is one of those low-risk, high-reward types; if he can throw effectively and recapture some of his early magic, he beats anything the Yankees currently have lined up for the end of the rotation. And Feliciano is a lefty-specialist who was put into bad situations over the past two years by Jerry Manuel. Nobody has been better at keeping LH hitters off base over the past three seasons.

But each also brings questions, and not just about durability. Can Martin still move behind the plate to be an effective defensive catcher? And potentially relegating Montero to the bench certainly won’t endear him to many who bleed Pinstripes – after all, we’ve been salivating at the thought of watching him launch moonshots for 3 years now. Will Feliciano be nearly as effective in the AL East, particularly against the likes of Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz, Nick Markakis and Carl Crawford?

In the meantime, the biggest questions surrounding the 2011 Yankees have yet to be addressed: starting pitching, a quality set-up reliever, outfield and infield depth.

Plenty of rumours continue to swirl around the team, especially when it comes to starters. Zach GreinkeFausto CarmonaCarlos Zambrano and Felix Hernandez have all been mentioned as potential trade targets. Greinke and Carmona are probably far-fetched possibilities; both have team friendly contracts with teams that are looking to bring in an entire farm system in return. While Jack Zduriencek is known for trading, you can reasonably expect that he’ll want a kings ransom in return for King Felix (after all, he did just win a Cy Young for a last place team). Zambrano may be easier to get, but his temper amy be more destructive than his ability to win 20 games. And of course, we all wait on Andy Pettitte’s decision on whether or not to come back for a 17th season.

Infield rumors were centered on Bill Hall and Jeff Keppinger. There are reports that Hall just signed with Houston, which would seemingly make Keppinger an easier get. But really, is Keppinger that much of an upgrade over Ramiro Pena? Certainly not defensively – and his bat doesn’t make up the difference. As far as RH relievers and OF go, there hasn’t been any action to speak of. On the relief front, time is getting short. With Bobby Jenks, Matt  Guerrier, Jesse Crain, J.J. Putz, Matt Albers, Kerry Wood and Joaquin Benoit already signing elsewhere, there aren’t many proven relievers left on the market. Thus far, nobody has even whispered what the Yankees plan to give their OF some depth. MLBTR has a listing of the available free agents here: there are some intriguing names on the list (including old friends Eric Hinske, Austin Kearns and Johnny Damon).

It’s only December, so Cashman gets an incomplete on this years offseason. But March is coming quickly and the most glaring problems – the ones that sent the Yankees home to watch this year’s World Series – remain, while players who could fill those voids are signing elsewhere. Heck, it was even reported that the Yankees no longer have the game’s highest payroll, a testament not only to Boston’s spending but to Cashman’s not spending.

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Apparently, somebody forgot to tell Brian Cashman that the holiday season is one of good tidings and cheer. In particular, Cashman seems to have amped up his inner Scrooge when it comes to a pair of Yankee stalwarts, men who’ve symbolized everything the Yankees are now and hope to be in the future. Quite frankly, the posturing is baffling: he runs a billion-dollar franchise in large part because of these players, not in spite of them. As much as any executive hates to admit, the Yankees truly do have two franchise players – men who mean much more to the Yankees brand than the new Stadium or even the Steinbrenner family. Men who are as iconic to the Yankees as the pinstriped uniforms with the interlocking NY they wear.

I’m talking, of course, about Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.

While the Yankees reportedly offered Cliff Lee megabucks (6 years, $140 million), they’ve offered Jeter and Mo peanuts. Lee is undoubtedly a wise investment for a team with a hole as wide as the Lincoln Tunnel in the starting rotation. But would Lee even consider the Yankees without the 14 post-season appearances since 1995? That is what Jeter and Mo mean to this franchise. Before their arrival in the Bronx, the Yankees had once again returned to the sort of losing remembered form the late 1960’s: a team that couldn’t hit, couldn’t field and couldn’t pitch. Rather than playing to a packed house every game, the echoes were often louder than the cheers at Yankee Stadium. How bad was it? Imagine being able to walk up to a ticket window on game day and getting tickets, 3rd base dugout, field level. Against the Red Sox. Yes, you could do it in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

The handling of Jeter’s contract couldn’t get much more bizarre. They’ve reportedly refused to offer arbitration, for fear the captain would accept and the Yankees would be on the hook for roughly $25 million in 2011.Their opening offer, reportedly 3 years for $45 million, is supposedly based on evaluating him the same way a team would evaluate Jimmy Rollins or Hanley Ramirez. This isn’t to knock either of those guys, but they are not in the same class as Jeter. Ramirez is the best player on his team. Rollins is an all-star and former World Champion. But neither is the face of their respective franchise, neither has legions of fans who care little about baseball but live and die with their play and neither is the biggest draw in the biggest sports market in the country. Cashman’s concern is that at 37, Jeter’s play is deteriorating and the .270 performance of last year may be more realistic than his career .314 average. Whatever, Brian – get over it. There aren’t too many middle infielders who hit .270 and score 100 runs, either. Even at his reduced level of play, Jeter’s performance alone makes him an all-star caliber player. Add in the fact that the guy is a leader, both on and off the field – that the Yankees are just another good club without him; that the guy is proven winner and the kind of player New Yorkers love and other fans love to hate. But those pesky intangibles you apparently want to ignore mean more to your bottom line than your ego wants to admit, and you had better pay him for them.

Then there’s the matter of Mariano Rivera, the Greatest Post-Season Closer Ever. Mo would reportedly be perfectly happy to sign a two-year deal for around $36 million. In all, that seems a perfectly reasonable expectation for the man who owns nearly every record for relievers. Mariano is like a fine wine – he just keeps getting better with age. He has been and continues to remain baseball’s ultimate weapon; bring him in and the game is over. And unlike so many other 9th inning specialists, the greater the pressure, the better he performs. It’s been that way for the past 15 seasons in the Bronx and Mo shows no sign of slowing down. So why hasn’t Cashman done what should have been his easiest contract negotiation of this offseason and signed him already? Is he hoping to talk Mo down to $15 million for one year? Are the peanuts really that expensive in your supermarket, Brian?

When Cashman let Johnny Damon walk last year, I wasn’t happy about it but I could understand and even appreciate the motives. (Although I did rip him for even thinking Nick Johnson was a suitable replacement.) But giving Jeter and Rivera the Damon Treatment is unimaginable. The idea that you only pay any free agent based on future performance is laughable, especially for the Yankees and Brian Cashman. Otherwise, Carl Pavano would have been paid in Topps cards and hot dogs. In the case of Jeter and Rivera, you have to pay them for what they’ve meant to the franchise, the city and (in Cashmans’ case) your own career. If you really think the Yankees would be a billion-dollar franchise without them, then send them on their way. But stop quibbling over a few million dollars as if you’re trying to rebuild the Royals or A’s – if you honestly understand what those two mean to the team. And if you honestly don’t, then maybe it’s time for you to pack your bags and head elsewhere.

UPDATED 4:22pm: Of course, right after I posted this, Wallace Matthews at ESPN reported that Cashman thinks Jeter isn’t all that valuable, either as a player or as a commodity:

“We understand his contributions to the franchise and our offer has taken them into account,” Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com. “We’ve encouraged him to test the market and see if there’s something he would prefer other than this. If he can, fine. That’s the way it works.”

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Are the Yankees posturing for what may turn into a nasty contract fight with Derek Jeter?

After the Yankees finished their off-season meetings Tuesday, Hal Steinbrenner made a few comments. Undoubtedly, his comments regarding the organization’s initial stance regarding the upcoming negotiation with the team captain are what has most of baseball abuzz. As quoted in the NY Daily News, Hal said:

“He’s [Jeter] one of the greatest Yankees in history; no doubt about it,” Steinbrenner said on WFAN. “But at the same time, I’m running a business. I have responsibilities.

“Hank and I are responsible to our partners, so we have to remain somewhat objective. I want to get a deal done that he’s happy with, but also that I’m happy with.”

Bill Madden reported that the plan is to move Jeter, perhaps to 3rd base, in 2012 and install Eduardo Nunez as the everyday shortstop:

“Though no one in the Yankee high command is ever going to even speculate about the future after 2011 – especially with the very sensitive contract negotiations with Jeter about to get underway – but it’s becoming increasingly clear the plan is to phase out Jorge Posada next season when his contract expires, opening up the DH slot for Alex Rodriguez,thereby allowing Jeter to move to third, making room for a more athletic shortstop, which would be the 24-year-old Venezuelan, Nunez, who hit .289 with 50 RBI and 23 stolen bases in 118 games at Triple-A Scranton this season.”

And then earlier today, John Heyman wrote this:

“There are early indications the talks with Jeter may take awhile. Some industry sources still say they wouldn’t be surprised if he initially sought to obtain a six-year deal to match the expiration age of Alex Rodriguez’s contract, which would put Jeter at 42. The Yankees haven’t opened talks yet with his agent, Casey Close, and while it’s unconfirmed, there are a few early hints that the team may be thinking about a deal of about half that length, perhaps three guaranteed years.”

Add it all up, and what you get is the feeling that the Yankees are at least posturing for a potential Johnny Damon-ish repeat of last offseason. We all know Jeter’s pride in his performance, and hopefully this is simply a way to try and motivate the 11 time all-star to regain his form after posting career worsts in virtually every offensive category last season. If not, then the messge the Yankees front office is sending is, “You’re not the player you were 10 years ago; we have no place for over-the-hill shortstops in the long run and we refuse to reward for your years of loyalty to this organization. Besides, you need us more than we need you.” Personally, I would be devastated if this is anything more than a negotiating ploy pulled from the George M. Steinbrenner playbook for negotiating with aging stars. The mere prospect of seeing Jeter get #3000 in another uniform is unfathomable to me, and I suspect to many other Yankee fans, too. I was forced to witness Reggie Jackson clubbing his 500th homer for the Angels, and that memory still hurts.

Here’s hoping Hal and Hank remember what their dad said about basically forcing Reggie to walk 30 years ago – “It was the dumbest mistake I ever made.”

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NEW YORK- AUGUST 16: Johnny Damon

From ESPN.com:

Could the Boston Red Sox be looking to recapture the magic of 2004 that brought an end of their 86-year World Series drought?

Detroit Tigers outfielder Johnny Damon confirmed to reporters Monday that he has been claimed on waivers by the Red Sox and that he has until Wednesday to decide whether he would waive his no-trade clause to return to Fenway Park.

“My teammates are making this decision easier by saying they want me to stay,” Damon said after Monday’s 12-3 win over Kansas City. “My gut and everything else tells me that Detroit’s the place for me

During tonight’s post-game, Damon said:

“I like to believe that we can still get back into this thing. Our schedule looks okay. We can definitely make a run.”

I don’t think any Yankees fan wants to see Johnny Damon in a Red Sox uniform ever again. Let’s hope he stays with the Tigers.

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The trade deadline has come and gone and Brian Cashman was certainly busy over the final 48 hours, landing three new players. With Lance Berkman, Austin Kearns and Kerry Wood now wearing Pinstripes, let’s look back at what were generally considered the Yankees biggest needs heading into this year’s trade season and see how well Cashman did in addressing them.

  1. Bullpen: The struggles of Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Chan Ho Park this year, along with injuries to Alfredo Aceves, Sergio Mitre and Damaso Marte turned what looked like a major strength at the beginning of the season into a major question mark. Cashman picked up Wood hours after the Indians activated him from the DL. And that’s been Kerry Wood’s big problem throughout his career – the guy just can’t stay healthy. At one time, he was supposed to be the Next Big Thing; now, his career has devolved into that of middle innings guy. Still, Wood has a plus fastball and curve and hitters don’t like to face him. Additionally, acquiring him gave the Yankees the perfect excuse to send Park and his thrill-a-minute pitching style packing, so that’s a plus right there. Also, Cashman gave up virtually nothing to get him, other than money and a future low-grade prospect, so there isn’t much risk involved here. Of course, this doesn’t really address the eighth inning role, but adding a power arm is never a bad idea. Grade: B-
  2. Outfield bench: Replacing Melky Cabrera, Johnny Damon and Eric Hinske with Randy Winn and Marcus Thames didn’t exactly pan out. Thames has demonstrated that his all-hit, no-glove reputation is well deserved and Winn played so well he was asked to run away from Yankee Stadium. Enter Austin Kearns. Kearns represents a serious upgrade to this unit. Unlike Thames, he is a better than league-average defender at both corner spots and league-average in center, if needed. He has better than average speed, although it’s never translated to stolen bases. He has decent power from the right side, although not enough to ever be considered a power hitter. In other words, he is the epitome of a fourth outfielder even though his past teams were so awful he found himself thrust into starting roles. Once again, Cashman brought a solid player in from Cleveland for cash or the infamous PTBNL (btw, I want to meet that guy one day – he gets traded A LOT), so there isn’t much risk involved, either. The only thing keeping this from being an “A” is that Kearns doesn’t project as a guy you want starting 3-4 weeks in a row, should a serious injury occur. Grade: B+
  3. Infield Bench: This is the one area that still needs some work. Neither Ramiro Pena nor Kevin Russo are guys you really want to see with a bat in their hands, but the Yankees were unable to find any help. A waiver trade is always a possibility, but Tampa, Boston and Texas will know what the Yankees are up to and probably try to block any such move. Grade: F
  4. Designated Hitter: A full-time DH wasn’t a serious need, even if Nick Johnson is likely done. Using the DH role to rotate some of the Yankee vets would have been fine, if a strong utility guy could be found. None were, so Cashman did the next best thing: bring in some big-time thunder for the DH role. Although undeniably on the downside of very good career, Lance Berkman’s arrival means the Yankee line-up gets lengthened, with legitimate power threats from 2-8. The undeniable shocker of the trade deadline. Grade: A

Overall, I give Cashman a B- for this year’s deadline dealing, although that stands to improve if the Yanks can swing a deal for utility infielder.

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Lady Gaga actually gave the finger to Mets fans at Citifield, and then she showed up at the Yankees clubhouse half-naked and was talking with some of the players. BUT…this whole story about Lady Gaga being banned from the Yankees clubhouse is not true at all. 

From ESPN NY:

NEW YORK — Lady Gaga is still welcome at Yankee Stadium, but just not in the clubhouse. Especially not after a loss.

“She’s not banned,” New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman said on Sunday afternoon. “Celebrities aren’t banned. If Michael Jordan showed up here he would have access [to the clubhouse], but not after a loss.”

Following the Yankees’ loss to the New York Mets on Friday night, Lady Gaga talked her way past security and into the Yankees’ clubhouse. She reportedly met with some players, including Robinson Cano. The media, which is supposed to be allowed into the clubhouse 10 minutes after the final pitch, was held out.

“That was the wrong time and the wrong place,” Cashman said. “It’s been taken care of.”

The New York Post reported on Sunday that Yankees co-chairman Hal Steinbrenner was furious at the display Lady Gaga put on in the clubhouse — dressed in a half-buttoned Yankees jersey and a bikini bottom, she swilled whiskey and fondled her chest, the Post said, citing sources — and that Steinbrenner had permanently banned Gaga from the team’s clubhouse. Cashman downplayed that, but added that the Yankees have other places in the Stadium where players can interact with celebrities.

“There is just a time and place,” said Cashman. “It is not her fault.”

Cashman said that no one was fired over the security breach. When George Steinbrenner was in charge, employees would have likely been let go over such an incident.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi says he doesn’t think celebrities cause a distraction for his team.

“Our guys know that when it’s time to play, it’s time to play, and they’re used to it,” Girardi said. 

There were reports that Alex Rodriguez met with Gaga on Friday, but Cano says he was the only player to see her.

“She can sing, I’ll tell you that,” Cano said

———————————

Apparently, Joba also met Lady Gaga and had her sign a baseball:

“Great game by everyone. Big Hits and great pitching! Side note, met Lady GaGa yesterday, she was very cool and signed a baseball for me!!”

——————————————————————————————

This is some of the commentary from Jerry Seinfeld, while he was talking New York Mets baseball with Keith Hernandez and Gary Cohen on SNY:

Courtesy of Neil Best:

Seinfeld on Gaga: I think it’s fair to say we’re all big fans of Lady Gaga. Lame out-of-it white guys in their mid-50s is her core audience.

Seinfeld on Ladyy Gaga: “I heard she was wearing some sort of studded bikini thing, and that’s always great at a baseball game.”

Seinfeld on his suite after Lady Gaga used it: “We brought the bedbug dog in. Rusty? What’s his name? The beagle? It’s all clean.”

Seinfeld on whether George could have worked for Mets: “No. George had to work for the Yankees, because it was a better mismatch.”

Seinfeld: “Is that Johnny Damon in center? What is he doing out there? Get him in! He can’t cover that much ground!”

Courtesy of David Lennon:

Just before the end of the inning, Seinfeld begs the question, “When are we going to talk about Lady Gaga.” Looks like we have some fun to look forward to in the top of the fourth …

At last! Seinfeld addresses the largely-publicized Lady Gaga spat. Seinfeld first admits, “I didn’t really get upset first of all.” He continued, “I’m very protective of my Mets fans. I love my Mets fans. And I did not like the finger.” Case closed?

“There’s nothing wrong” with falling asleep at work, Seinfeld said. “When a guy’s head hits the desk, you know you are getting every last nickel out of that guy.” Classic Seinfeld humor. (By the way, that was Seinfeld on Hernandez nodding off during a game.)

Seinfeld on WFAN with Steve Somers & Craig Carton Goes all Gaga

Here are some bits from the New York Post:

“This woman is a jerk. I hate her,” Seinfeld joked during an interview on WFAN radio Monday night. “I can’t believe they put her in my box, which I paid for.”

“You give people the finger and you get upgraded? Is that the world we’re living in now? he said.

In his trademark stand-up schtick, Seinfeld added, “Why is she giving the finger? How old is the finger? How’d it even get to be the finger?”

By the time fans and photographers spotted her, she had shed her coat to reveal bedazzled undies that looked like the get-up she wore in the video for her single “Telephone.”

When host Steve Somers brought up the episode, Seinfeld at first said, “I wish her the best,” but then added, “you take one ‘A’ off of that and you’ve got gag.”

“I don’t know what these young people think or how they promote their careers,” he said. “I’m older, I’m 56. I look at Lady Gaga the way Keith Hernandez watches these kids when they pull the pocket out, they wear the inside-out pocket. … Do you think he understands that? He can’t understand that. That’s a new game, that’s kids.”

He added, “I’m not one of these all-publicity-is-good people. People talk about you need exposure — you could die of exposure.”

“She is talented,” admitted Seinfeld. “I don’t know why she’s doing this stuff.”

Seinfeld said he didn’t know she’d been taken to his box until he arrived for the night game of the doubleheader.

Then when Somers pointed out that Gaga was at the Yankee game Friday, Seinfeld said, “Oh please, wake me when it’s over.”

“You’ve had enough of her?” Somers asked.

“Yeah,” Seinfeld said.

If you listen to the audio clips, a lot of the things he said were tongue-in-cheek. He also meant some of the things he said, and good for him for speaking out about it. She skanked up his box. Haha.

Seinfeld Calls For Lady Gaga Apology on SNY

“She should make a nice apology to the Met fans,” Seinfeld said. “Come on. We had her as a guest and then I’m willing to forget the whole thing.”

If George M. Steinbrenner III was still in power, you could bet your ass that he would’ve had fired some people after this fiasco.

(more…)

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Throughout the season, “This Week In Baseball” will allow viewers to look into the lives of three New York Yankees players in C.C. Sabathia, Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson. They will take the fans into Sabathia’s home, give you a look at a fishing trip with Swisher and D-Rob, and explore the charitable events that Mr. Granderson is involved in.

This week’s show will look back at Johnny Damon’s Game 4 at-bat in last year’s Fall Classic, and it will also feature Posada’s home run off Pesky’s pole on Opening Night. Be sure to tune into Fox at 2:30PM ET. (more…)

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Just picked this up from Bryan Hoch’s Twitter feed. I guess Johnny Damon will have to wait a little longer to face his former teammates.

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Yankees (8-10) vs. Tigers (10-8)

Pitching Matchup:

RHP A.J. Burnett (0-1, 6.75) vs RHP Justin Verlander (1-2, 6.10)

Lineup

Jeter SS
Johnson 1B
Posada C
Rodriguez 3B
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Granderson CF
Winn LF
Cervelli DH (more…)

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At the end of the 2005 season Brian Cashman almost left the Yankees as he was fed up of fractured chain of command on the baseball operations side of the Yankees. Cashman took nearly two weeks to decide whether or not to come back. In the end, Cashman wanted more authority and received it as well as a 3 year/$5.5 million contract. Since late 2005, the Yankees have finished in first (2006), in second with a Wild Card berth (2007), in third place (2008) and in first place with a 27th World Series championship (2009).

Obviously, a lot has happened in Yankeesland since Cashman was given full autonomy from good draft picks to good free agent signings (or re-signings) to good trades and obviously, there is the converse of that. Over the next 4 posts (this one included) we will try to breakdown a portion of those transactions that either mattered or made some sort of an impact and give Cashmoney a grade for each year and overall.

When we say year, we generally mean from late October to late October (For example October 2005-October 2006 would be a year) unless otherwise specified.

Without further milking the cow, here’s October 2005 to October 2006 and our analysis of the first year of Cashman’s autonomy.

(more…)

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Johnny Damon was nothing but a positive force for the Yankees. He was great with the media, fans, and he played  at a high level while fighting through many injuries. He may like to be called an “idiot” or whatever, but the guy was nothing but class for the organization.

Do you actually believe everything he just said at his Detroit Tigers press conference? I don’t, but that doesn’t mean I will turn my back on him and start hating. He was basically talking a bunch of bullshit to warm up to the Detroit fans. The guy was clutch, and was just recently praised for his double steal in the Fall Classic. Now, you’re going to forget everything he has done over the past few years over some silly statements he made?

In this case, it was more about his agent Scott Boras and how he’s always looking for the biggest contract. He made Damon out to be something he is not, and he brought him down the wrong path. It wound up biting him in the ass, as he didn’t get what he wanted. I have nothing but good things to say about the guy. Don’t forget that when he was on the air with Mike Francesa not too long ago, and he left the door wide open to returning to the Yankees some day. He also said that he had no hard feelings towards the organization. (more…)

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