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Posts Tagged ‘Willie Mays’

31 days until pitchers and catchers report, and Andy Pettitte has yet to decide whether he wants to pitch in 2011. He announced he may sort of, maybe, pitch for half of 2011. In my humble effort to help the Yankees’3rd winningest pitcher of all-time make up his mind, I offer 5 reasons he should schedule a presser and announce he’s retiring.
  1. We’re all expecting it, anyway. By now, most of the drama is out of the situation. If were trying to let all of Yankees fans down easy, you’ve pretty much accomplished that. All winter, we’ve been deluged with reports that you’re leaning towards retirement, that you’ve told Brian Cashman to proceed as if you won’t be back, that you told Mark Teixeira you doubt you’re coming back for 2011. By now, this is beginning to feel more like we’re being teased than primed for a triumphant return.
  2. If last year showed us anything, it’s that injuries are catching up to you. Yes, you had a great first half. An All-Star caliber first half. Then, your 38 year old quad blew out and when we saw you again in late September, you weren’t the same pitcher anymore. Why should anyone think a 39 year old quad will hold up any better?
  3. You’ve had a great career – go out on top! We all have memories of our sports heroes playing when they should have been home, feet up, enjoying a cold beer. Willie Mays stumbling around in center field for the Mets. Mickey Mantle reduced to playing first base. Most recently, Brett Favre not even being healthy enough to put on his uniform for his last two games. Better to go out on a high note, a la Mike Mussina and Ted Williams.
  4. It’s time to let the Yankees move on. Even thought the front office keeps telling us they’re going on as if you’ve already retired, it sure doesn’t look like it to those of us shivering through the winter. The team came into the offseason needing another starter, a set-up man, and bench depth. So far, they’ve only added an injury plagued catcher and a pitcher who hasn’t fired a ML fastball in anger in four years. Until you tell them you’re not coming back, they’ll probably continue to walk around as if trying for a part in Zombieland.
  5. 2011 is going to be stressful enough. Let’s face it: 2011 is going to be a year for seclusion, when possible. Besides all of the retirement talk you’re starting the year off with, you have that pesky Roger Clemens trial coming up in July. Do you really want to deal with the whole steroids issue in what would be your final season? Nah, of course you don’t. Better to have our final image of you being one of gutting it out on the mound in another classic playoff performance.

So, there you have it. Just let me know when to call the press and have them assemble on your front lawn. Heck, you can even wear your pj’s for the event.

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NEW YORK- AUGUST 04: Alex Rodriguez

On a 2-0 pitch, Alex Rodriguez launched a 2-run home run (off a 85mph fastball from Shuan Marcum) in the bottom of the 1st inning to put the team up 2-0 over the Blue Jays. It was the highly anticipated home run that everyone has been waiting for. It took him 46 at-bats, but he’s finally in the 600HR club, joining Bonds, Aaron, Ruth, Mays, Griffey and Sosa. Alex is now the youngest player to ever hit 600HR’s, just 8 days past his 35th birthday. He actually hit in on the same day (August 4, 2007) that he hit HR #500.

Funny enough, the ball landed in Monument Park and a Yankee Stadium security guard picked up the ball.  I guess that belongs to the Yankees now, and it will go directly to Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees organization was prepared to give the fan a autographed baseball, jersey, hat and bat from Rodriguez. If that wasn’t enough, they were going to offer the person lunch with A-Rod and Cameron Diaz. (Via Jack Curry: Michael Kay passed this along during the YES Network broadcast).

(more…)

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  Adam Dunn #44 Of The Washington Nationals HitsWith the non-waiver trade deadline now only two weeks away, this seems an opportune time to look at some of the current rumors surrounding the Yankees. Below are the players most recently linked to the Yankees by various sources, including MLB Trade Rumors, River Avenue Blues, ESPN and FOX Sports. I’ve included some personal thoughts on whether I think the player would help or hurt the drive for 28. By the way, I suspect that with AJ Burnett‘s tantrum yesterday and Andy Pettite‘s injury meaning he’s likely lost for at least a month, this list will be changing rapidly.

Adam Dunn (1B/OF, Washington Nationals): Easily the most controversial player on the board, but it may be a moot point. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is pretty much asking for the moon for a guy that would essentially be a rental, since his contract ends this season. What Dunn brings is home runs and a lefty bat, but that’s about it. The guy runs as well as a fire hydrant and strikes out at a seemingly impossible pace (he owns three of the top five strikeout totals in ML history). And forget about that “1B/OF” designation; the only position he can field adequately is Hot Dog Stand. The reality is, Dunn is this generation’s version of Dave Kingman. Still, the Yankees can pencil him in as DH, hit him 7th or 8th in the order and learn to live with his all-or-nothing approach. Only thing is, Dunn has made it abundantly clear he doesn’t want to DH. That stance would pose a real headache for Joe Girardi. Opinion: Skip him. A one-dimensional player with the ability to turn into a clubhouse cancer isn’t what the team needs and besides, the asking price is likely outrageous.

Joakim Soria (RHP, Kansas City Royals): If you can pry him loose, this one may be a no-brainer. Soria is currently the closer for yet another woeful Royals team and possesses a 93mph cutter and devastating change. (Remind you of anyone currently on the roster?) Unusual for a closer, he also features two other secondary pitches – a sharp breaking slider and a curve. He’s only 26 and under team control for another two seasons after this one. He not only fits as a terrific 8th inning guy, but projects as Mariano Rivera‘s heir apparent. (Hey, he is 25 for 27 in save opportunities for a horrible team). The problem is with prying him away from KC – they are likely to ask for half the roster from Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Still, it might be doable. KC is well stocked at catcher, 3B and 1B and would likely want outfield and/or pitching help. Opinion: If he can be had for anything less than Jesus Montero or Austin Romine, Brian Cashman needs his head examined if doesn’t trade for him.

Wes Helms (3B/1B, Florida Marlins): I have to admit this one has me scratching my head. Yes, he can play third and the Yankees have spent all season looking for a suitable backup for Alex Rodriguez. But the guy is hitting .243 this year with a .690 OPS. While those numbers do represent an upgrade from Ramiro Pena and Kevin Russo, it isn’t by an overwhelming amount. Helms is 36, has been declining for the past few years and would represent a rental – his contract expires at the end of the season. Bringing Helms aboard would also mean wasting a roster spot for a guy to back up third base – the Yankees can play either Nick Swisher or (gulp) Marcus Thames at first, if needed. Opinion: skip him. He doesn’t offer enough versatility to be a bench player on this team.

Leo Nunez (RHP, Florida Marlins): Nunez is an interesting player. Over the past 1 ½ seasons, he’s racked up 47 saves for the Marlins. Prior to that, he pitched to a 1.4 WHIP and 4.92 ERA in 106 appearances for the Royals. He features a plus fastball but can be a bit wild at times. In other words, he represents more upside than most of the relievers on the trade market, but is still somewhat typical of why trading for relievers can be a roll of the dice. If he winds up in the Yankee pen, does he replicate his Marlins numbers? Or does he revert to his KC form? If the former, he would easily be the 8th inning guy for Joe Girardi. If not, then the Yankees have an older version of Joba Chamberlain on their hands. Since at this point the Marlins aren’t conceding the NL East, you have to wonder why they would put their closer on the market. Opinion: Nunez could be a good play for the Yankees, provided the asking price isn’t too high. If he can be had for, say, Jonathon Albaladejo, I say make the trade.

Cody Ross (CF/RF/LF, Florida Marlins): So, how much would you pay for a 29 year old outfielder who is not exactly known for plate discipline, but has shown some power in the past and is having down season? Ross would essentially replace Thames on the Yankees roster and despite his down year, represents a significant upgrade over the incumbent. While he will never be mistaken for Willie Mays, Ross isn’t a defensive liability, having played a slightly better than major league average OF, regardless of which position he’s slotted. I would imagine of particular interest to the Yankees is Ross’ career .950 OPS against left-handed pitching, since he most likely would slot into a semi-platoon with Curtis Granderson. I can also understand the Marlins wanting to move Ross; they’ve had a logjam in the outfield ever since they recalled Mike Stanton. Opinion: Getting Ross would be a good move for Brain Cashman, but getting the Marlins to agree on a price could prove difficult. They still view him as a starter while the Yankees would use him as part-timer. Could a Nunez/Ross deal be swung for Albaledejo, Reegie Corona, Zach McAllister and another low-minors prospect? That would be worthwhile, I think.

Well, there’s my take on the rumors as of Sunday afternoon. As always, your feedback is welcome – let me know if you agree or disagree!

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Barring the end of the world in 2012, Derek Jeter is assured of going into the Hall of Fame especially if he fills all the record books as we think he will. What most people don’t know is that Derek Jeter will set another Yankee first when he goes into the Hall of Fame.

When Derek gets elected on the first ballot, he will be the first Yankees player to win the Rookie of the Year award and to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Out of 150+ players to be Rookie of the Year, only 13 of those players have been enshrined in Cooperstown. They are: Jackie Robinson, Luis Aparicio, Rod Carew, Carlton Fisk, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken Jr, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCovey, Billy Williams, Tom Seaver, Johnny Bench.

And it’s likely Mike Piazza and possibly Jeff Bagwell will be on this list in the next few years one would think. Pretty exclusive company, eh?

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