- A-Rod's rehab is going well he is planning on a workout return in mid April.
- Yankees released info on the New Yankee Stadium tours.
- New Stadium Insider has the scoop on NYY Steak
- C.C. will be gracing the cover of tomorrows issue of SI (right). They are predicting Mets over Angles (Mets!?!).
- The Yankees star CF Brett Gardner snagged the Dawson award.
- As reported earlier Bob Shepherd will be missing the start of the season, officially.
- Sliding Into Home has yet another New Yankee Stadium photo update.
- Joba pitched very well in his final spring start.
- The virus Conficker is supposedly going live tomorrow so if the internet explodes here are my last web words: "I Love Adam Dunn".
- The pitching staff has been set; Albalaledajo got the last spot.
- The Chuck Knoblog Fantasy League of Champions is still looking for a few more people to play email me: email@example.com.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
10/10 Highly Recommended
This is an independent review, though they sent my the book (free!) that did not factor into my review process. Believe me if something sucks, I will tell you
“Both of them played great. Melky had a tough year last year but he came into camp, was ready to go and played very well. Gardy finished up strong (last season) and had a great camp and we’re just going to go with Gardy.”Gardner had a great spring (not that it means too much) and he also possess blazing speed. It will be interesting to see how he can do. He has a slight edge over Melky and I want to see what he can do. Here is another Girardi nugget of wisdom:
“What happens April 6 doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what’s going to be June 1. As players, you have to perform. But right now we think Gardy has a little bit of an edge, It’s not going to be day by day. Gardy is our center fielder.”
Images from Yankees Rule
The new stadium is looking very nice. After looking at all these photos it feels like I have already been there.
Yankees- 7-5-3- 24 points- For once the Yankees are coming off a year in which they didn't make the playoffs and, hopefully, they`ll be a better, hungrier team for it. They seem to have been waiting for this great free agent class for a while and they definitely capitalised on it. They went from a team that clearly had the worst rotation in the division to probably having the best. They didn't sell the farm either. Hughes, Aceves, and Kennedy are still all with the team and ready to fill in when someone (coughcoughBurnettcoughcough) gets hurt. They also shored up an aging offense with Mark Texiera. Nick Swisher gives them some solid depth as well. The defense is looking much better this year. Still below average but better. The bullpen looks to be strong as well with some promising young arms. Right now this team looks like a juggernaut. The key player will, of course, be Alex Rodriguez. The sooner he recovers from surgery, the better. They also have the added bonus of a great manager. Joe Girardi's bullpen management was a welcome change from the Torre years. The only worry I have is injuries. In particular, Posada. Right now, they look like they can get back into the playoffs though.
Red Sox- 4-5-6- 18 points- Boston is the closest thing baseball has to a dynasty. I hate to admit it but they're probably the best run team in baseball. They have a group of committed owners who are actually willing to spend money without micro managing (coughSteinbrennercoughcough). They also have a smart front office led by Epstein. They have a strong core of young players like Youkillis, Beckett, and Papelbon so they didn't need to make major changes this offseason. Instead, they bought low on a few risky players for depth. The Manny trade also looks pretty good right now. Jason Bay is a younger, cheaper, comparable player. However, as new players step in, the old guard is leaving. Manny, as I mentioned before, is long gone, Schilling is finally gone for good, Varitek almost left in the offseason, and Ortiz's best years are behind him. Their pitching is very deep and if John Smoltz can regain his form of a year or two ago then it gives them a very scary rotation. On offense, their aren't many stars but everybody is a good solid hitter. All in all, this is a really good team and a serious contender for another World Series victory.
Rays- 4-5-6- 18 points- For years the Rays have seemed like a team almost ready to break through. Last year they finally got the pitching they desperately needed and they had an incredible run. They ran away with the division, won the pennant, and forced me to add a third team to this comparison series. Now they're a year older and, as a young team, a year better. Their farm is still stacked though. Guys like David Price will spend their first full year in the ML's and make major contributions. The veteran bat of Pat Burrell was also a nice free agent acquistion that went largely unnoticed. They have very few guys that are household names. However, they have a strong young core who are going to be major threats to both the Yanks and Sox for the next few years, until they become to expensive. The front of that rotation is killer and they have some stud hitters. However, their are some causes for concern. I believe they overachieved last year and will come back down to earth. The bullpen is also a problem they should have adressed this winter. Like the other two teams they could easily win the World Series or not even make the playoffs.
Final Conclusion- Yankees- Red Sox- Rays- I started these posts way back in the middle of January. Back then I had the Rays first, Yanks second, and Red Sox last. However, after looking at things carefully I've changed my mind. The three of them were ridiculously close before they signed Texiera. However, after that the Yankees pulled ahead a bit in my mind. It seems like most projection systems agree with me to. They have the best pitching, the best offense, and nearly the best bullpen. Even with A-Rod out, I`m pretty confident right now as a Yankee fan (please don't let that be a jinx). Who takes second in the division is a tougher call. I went with Boston because of their better bullpen and incredible pitching depth. If a few key players break out on the Rays though it could swing things the other way. It'll also be interesting to see if the Wild Card will come out of the East. The division is incredibly competitive so the three teams will beat up on each other a bit. The Athletics seem to be gearing up for a run this year and I never like to count out Billy Beane. Pretty much any of the Central teams could make a run as well, other than the Royals. This series was a lot of fun/work and I hope you guys enjoyed, thanks for reading.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Yankees- Mariano Rivera is one of a very exclusive group of relievers who manage to stay incredibly dominant for more than just a couple years. He seems to be recovering on schedule from his shoulder injury and will be ready by Opening Day baring any setbacks. He is getting older though and you have to wonder how many years he has left. The guy expected to fill the 8th inning role is Damaso Marte. He, like most relievers, has been very inconsistent over the years. All in all he's been a good setup man and the fact that he's left-handed doesn't hurt. His contract was probably a bad idea but they could've done worse. Behind these two is a long list of potential middle relievers/setup men. To list them all would be pointless but you have to think that a handful of them will stick in the major leagues. The wild card here is Mark Melancon. If he keeps dominating AAA then he'll be up in no time. The Yanks bullpen won't be a concern unless Rivera falls off a cliff.
Red Sox- Boston also seems to have found a top knotch closer in Jonathan Papelbon (who is a prime contender to replace Curt Schilling as the biggest A-hole in baseball). He made the switch from the rotation back in 2005 and he hasn't looked back since. His numbers the past three years have been very close to Rivera's and he's much younger. So, this may be the year he claims the title of best closer in the AL East. Hideki Okajima was also a great find by Theo Epstein. It gives them a formidable combination at the end of games that rivals the Yankees. . Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen are also promising. However, after that things thin out. Justin Masterson and Javy Lopez don't really inspire much confidence and Takashi Saito could be a stroke of brilliance or a disaster. If he can recover from his injury well then they have a devestating combination at the end of the game. However, the odds are against that. All in all, another great bullpen.
Rays- I hate to admit it but before this post, I knew absolutely nothing about the Rays bullpen. Thats kind of because they flat out suck. Troy Percivical, their closer, has very rarely been great and last year he was awful. On the Yankees or Red Sox he might not make the cut. At first glance, Dan Wheeler provides a glimmer of hope. However, his DIPS stats have been in decline for the past few years and are largely uninspiring. Not terrible, but not great either. After that, things get better. J. P. Howell and Grant Balfour seem promising. However, the bullpen just isn't on the same level as the Yanks and Sox.
Conclusion- Red Sox- Yankees- Rays- The Yanks and Sox are really close on this one. However, I went with Boston mainly because I have more faith in Papelbon than Rivera at this stage in their careers. On the other hand, if anything ever happed to Rivera, Joba might join the bullpen and fill the hole. Boston also has the tremendous potential of Takashi Saito. I won't argue with anyone who put the Yankees first here though. The Rays are clearly trailing the pack here. Of course, bullpens are extremely volatile and I questioned whether I wanted to make a post like this at all.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
- C.C. has been labeled, not only, as the Opening Day starter but also will pitch the first day in the stadium (April 16th).
- The beloved old stadium has been slated for an April demolition.
- Sliding into Home has a wonderful New Yankee Stadium photo update.
- Bob Sheppard (The Voice of God) will not be reporting to Opening Day.
- Pete Abe has tons of juicy details in today's game thread. (Jeter led off today)
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Charlie's Team- Reining Champ
Suck of the Irish
C- Geovany Soto
1B- Albert Pujols
2B- Dan Uggla
3B- Garrett Atkins
SS- Hanley Ramirez
OF- Adam Dunn
OF- Vernon Wells
OF- Shane Victorino
UTIL- Alex Gordon
Bench- Edwin Encarnacion
P- Cole Hamels
P- Brandon Webb
P- Jon Lester
SP- Carlos Zambrano
SP- Scott Kazmir
RP- Jose Valverde
RP- Carlos Marmol
Bench- Fausto Carmona
Bench- Brandon Morrow
Bench- Brandon Lyon
Bench- Jair Jurrjens
Nate's Team- Last Year's Runner Up
Honey Nut Ichiro's
C- Ryan Doumit
1B- Adrian Gonzalez
2B- Ian Kinsler
3B- Chipper Jones
SS- Jimmy Rollins
OF- Vladimir Guerrero
OF- Ichiro Suzuki
OF- Corey Hart
UTIL- Jayson Werth
Bench- Mark DeRosa
Bench- Nelson Cruz
P- CC Sabathia
P- Tim Lincecum
P- Kevin Slowey
SP- Roy Halladay
SP- Matt Cain
RP- Francisco Rodriguez
RP- Matt Capps
Bench- Heath Bell
Bench- Joel Hanrahan
Bench- Andy Sonnanstine
Here are last years lineups.
Tell us in the comments whose team is better.
Yankees- Xavier Nady/Nick Swisher- To me its obvious that Nick Swisher deserves the starting job here. He's simply better in all facets of the game. However, it looks like the Yanks will go with Nady in order to justify giving up Jose Tabata. Not that you won't see a lot of Swisher, of course. Both of them are solid players though. Swisher is a borderline star player who is a well above average corner outfielder and a great hitter (usually an EQA around .300). Nady is also a solid player though. His defense isn't bad, he's generally been around average in rightifield. He's also a decent hitter. Other than last year he's consistently hit around a .270 EQA.
Red Sox- J. D. Drew- Boston got a lot of criticism when they signed Drew to a big contract a few years ago. So far, its been a mixed bag with Drew. On one hand, he's flashed incredible potential. His glove is definitely a plus and nobody doubt his ability to crush the ball. However, his weakness has always been his injuries. He's been plagued with them and it really kills his value. He already has had back and hand problems this spring and they're definitely going to need a good fill-in. When they traded away Coco Crisp they lost that.
Rays- Gabe Gross- Gross is one of the weaker players on the Rays. Nothing about him seems to really stand out. He was decent with the bat after being acquired by the Rays. However, not much more than that. He's never really been a full-time starter until last year and its obvious why. Luckily for him, he seems like a very good fielder. From what I've read he seems good and his numbers are also great. He's not a terrible player but his bat is weak for a rightfielder.
Conclusion- Yankees- Red Sox- Rays- I went with the Yankees first here on the guess that they'll end up with Swisher starting by the end of the year. Drew's injury risk hurts his value a lot and Gross really isn't in the same league as the other two. If Nady's career year turs out to be the start of a new trend then that'd be fantastic and gives the Yankees and even bigger edge.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Now that everyone's favorite Red Sox is done with baseball (for now). I can only wonder at what Curt is going to do with all of his free time. All that talent will be used, but for what? Here is a short list of things he should attempt in his future:
10.) Mall Cop- Everyone knows that the position of mall cop is on the rise. Not only is this position a good way for Curt to let off some steam; there is nothing that Curt loves more than a stern verbal (possibly physical) warning to the hoodlums who roam his consumer kingdom.
9.) Heinz Spokesperson- Now we all know that Curt is a strong supporter of Heinz. I am thinking of a full ad campaign, naked, or as close to naked as National TV can go. I am thinking the Dove Women ad but with Curt, horizontal. Will it be sell ketchup? Hell Yes.
8.) Karl Rove Apprentice- We all know that Curt is an unabashed right winger and supporter of the Republican Party, so who better to learn from than Karl Rove? And if Curt and Karl don't get along, I'm sure the Fox News team has a spot waiting for him.
7.) Border Patrol Vigilante- Anything with Vigilante in the title appeals to Curt's selective skill set, but Border Patrol jumps out because of the perks. No rules, so abuse is no problem. Curt can harass minorities with virtually no regulation, and you get a sweet badge. Also the thrill for working for your country and giving jobs back to blue collar Americans!
6.) Disgruntled Postal Service Employee- One of the requirements for working at the Post Office is to have something long shoved up your ass, Curt has this and more. This will also give Curt control over everyone's mail, the Newman complex.
5.) NY Post Headline Writer- This is a dream job, but takes true skill, not just anyone can come up with gems such as A-HOLE. Just think of the headlines, if this is his choice I will be signing up for a lifetime subscription.
4.) Commissioner of Baseball- Curt has a lot of opinions, and should know a little something about baseball after twenty years in the bigs. As Bud Selig approaches his mid-hundreds, who better to succeed him? Curt will lead the crusade against steroids (which he surely never used as a member of the Phillies in the early 1990's), and govern MLB with an iron fist.
3.) Professional Eater - Curt has never been a svelte man, so why not take it a step further? Given his ever-increasing weight over the last few years and the competitive spirit that comes with being a World Champion, Curt could be a real threat to Joey Chestnut's crown.
2.) Satan - The Prince of Darkness, what characteristic doesn't Schilling possess?
1.) Sports Broadcaster- Few people love to hear themselves talk more than Curtis Montague Schilling, and who wouldn't love to hear Curt explain why Josh Becket is the epitome of athleticism and A-Rod will never win a championship? I can only imagine the possibilities of a World Series booth containing Joe Buck, Tim McCarver, and Curt himself.
Coincedence? I think not.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
The Yanks want Jorge behind the plate for around 100 games this season. As opposed to last year when runners ran wild Posada says he has returned: "You can't compare what I was feeling last year, I couldn't do that. I couldn't make three throws like that. It's good to be back."
While this all sounds good that doesn't mean that Girardi is letting his guard down: "I'm going to look at his arm strength, and I'm going to watch him throw in between innings to see," Girardi said. "If I'm [an opposing] manager, I'm not going to send some of my slower players just to see. But in a sense, he's probably going to be tested." image
Yankees- Brett Gardner- It looks like Brett has won the job with his superior defense and speed. He's also hit much better than Melky this spring. I`m not expecting great things out of Gardner though. I very much doubt he'll ever be much more than a borderline starter. With his speed and defense though, if he can get on base at a decent clip he'll be a solid player for them. If he doesn't hit watch for Swisher or Damon to take his place.
Red Sox- Jacoby Ellsbury- I'm not a prospect expert but the consensus seems to be that Ellsbury is a much better prospect than Gardner. Boston was confident enough in his abilities to trade away Coco Crisp for a reliever. Last year was his first full year in the majors and he hit fairly well. An EQA of .264 is fine for a guy who's defense is outstanding and can steal at the rate he can. He also is a candidate to get better at only 24 years old.
Rays- B. J. Upton- Upton is one of the best young players in the game. However, he's often overshadowed by the other young guys on the Rays. He's far and away the best hitting centerfielder in the AL East. He put up an EQA of .312 two years ago and last year it was .291. Not only that but he's a solidly above average fielder. He's not quite as good as Ellsbury or Gardner but he's still good. Another scary guy who could still get better on the Rays.
Conclusion- Rays- Red Sox- Yankees- This one was pretty easy for me. Upton is already a star and hasn't even hit his peak years yet. He's the total package. I pretty much went with Ellsbury over Gardner based on their reputations. Gardner is an interesting player though. His style of play is exciting and if he can get on base he's going to be an exciting player.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
That's some undeniable narcissism right there. Just Alex being Alex I guess but its gotten pretty old.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Here is a panormaic photo I made with some old pictures of yankee stadium.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Red Sox- Jason Bay- Its almost a relief to not have to type Manny Ramirez's name here. Almost but not quite. Unfortunately, they replaced him with a younger, cheaper and, at this point, close to equivalent player. Bay is clearly not a good fielder. Over the past two years, he's cost his team over 30 runs according to UZR. However, like his predecessor, he can hit. Aside from his awful 2007 he has consistently put up great numbers. He's also shown he can handle the pressure of Boston. They have an excellent player in Bay.
Tampa Bay- Carl Crawford- Crawford was one of the rare bright spots on the pre 2008 team. His speed made him an exciting player. However, don't mistake him for Juan Pierre as he can actually hit the ball. 2008 was not a good year for him though statistically. His stats declined across the board from the previous year. He posted an EQA in the .270's for the first time since 2004 when he was just 22. He made up by upping his fielding and it looks like an outlier to me. Established stars rarely hit their decline at 26.
Conclusion- Red Sox- Yankees- Rays- This one was especially tough. All three of these guys are good players but fall short of being superstars. In one draft of this post I had the exact reverse of what I have now. Bay is a fantastic hitter but his fielding has slipped a little. Now that he's with an actually competitive team, he may be motivated to improve his fielding which has slipped in recent years. Its hard to bet against a Boras guy heading into a contract year coming off the best year of his career at the plate though. So, Damon gets second. I went with Crawford at the back end on the off-chance that his 2008 wasn't just a fluke. In 2007 his BABIP was ridiculously high which helped to hide another down year in 2007. Honestly, this one was extremely close.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
- Gardner CF
- Damon LF
- Nady RF
- Matsui DH
- Ransom 3B
- Molina C
- Miranda 1B
- Berroa SS
- Pena 2B
- Dickerson CF
- Gonzalez SS
- Bruce RF
- Phillips 2B
- Barker 1B
- Encarnacion 3B
- Nix LF
- Hanigan C
- Bankston DH
Monday, March 9, 2009
- Best lineup: 5.72 runs per game
- Probable lineup: 5.64 runs per game
- Worst lineup: 5.42 runs per game
- Regressed lineup: 5.05 runs per game
Sunday, March 8, 2009
At first glance at Teahen's total value's the past three years, its been pretty good. In 2006 and 2007 he was worth about three wins before having a career low in 2008. However, 2007 was not nearly as good as it seems. His bat was barely above replacement level and his defense carried his value. Which is fine, however, that defense came mostly in RF.
He hasn't had a decent offensive year since 2006 and is an awful third baseman. No way he can replace A-Rod.
- Cabrera CF
- Damon LF
- Swisher 1B
- Matsui DH
- Nady RF
- Ransom 3B
- Molina C
- Berroa SS
- Bernier 2B
- Everett SS
- Polanco 2B
- Sheffield DH
- Thames LF
- Larish 1B
- Clevlen CF
- Laird C
- Inge 3B
- Gomez RF
EDIT: Pete Abe actually broke this story so I guess its legit.
- When he comes back in July he'll be at full strength. The rest/rehab option won't solve the problem, it'll just lessen it. He'll still have it as a nagging injury and won't hit the way we need him to.
- He's a long term investment. A-Rod has to be good for a very long time to justify his crazy contract. He spent some time on the DL last year as well and they can't take many risks with him. They should just take of the problem right away and put it behind them.
- They have other options. They were already considering trading Nady or Swisher. Now, they actually have a need at third base to be filled.
- Rest/rehab might fail. Like with Posada, do you really want to see him play through the pain for a while, only to have him get the surgery anyway?
Thursday, March 5, 2009
The only free agent out there is Mark Grudzielanek. He's decent and I couldn't complain if they signed him but I`d aim a little higher. Personally, I`d still like to see them trade for Martin Prado. A while back I suggested trading Nady for a package involving him and it still makes sense. The Braves still would like another outfield bat and Nady, coming off a career year, can supply it. Prado is young, a solid hitter, and a good defender. When Alex comes back, Prado can play a few different positions and can act as the super-utility man.
Or we could get really crazy and stick Teixeira at third and Swisher at first but I doubt that happens.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I refuse to comment on the media created controversy about Reyes/Jeter.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Melky's been in the big leagues for three years now. Intially, he displayed a ton of promise and earned himself some comparisons to perennial all-stars like Carlos Beltran from crazy people like myself. However, his offensive stats have declined across the board every year. Why? I don't know, but for some reason he lost all semblance of strike-zone judgement. After displaying some impressive plate discipline in 2006, that virtually vanished the next year and slipped even further in 2008. The dirty little secret that nobody realizes about Melky, though, is that he's not really such a great fielder after all. He's not really any better than average. His arm is great but his range, not so much. Melky is still young and he could still end up as a serviceable center fielder but probably not for the Yankees.
Gardner made his relatively unimpressive debut last year. A sub .300 SLG% won't cut it for the Yankees. However, 42 games is way to small a sample size to draw any conclusions from and he traditionally has started slow at new levels. In the minors Gardner profiled as the perfect leadoff hitter. He hit for a fairly high average and managed to walk a ton. The combination gave him an excellent OBP and when you combine that with the fact that he's the fastest white guy Nick Swisher has ever seen you`re going to get a really annoying and really good player. The problem is he has zero power. The theory that some fans, like nomaas.org, have been preaching is that with no home run threat, ML pitchers won't have to pitch around him. Then all those walks, and a huge chunk of his value, disappear. I can't really argue to much with that logic. Still, I`d give the job to Gardner. Simply because of his vastly superior fielding. Any of the stats we saw were of to small a sample size to use but just by watching the games we could tell that this guy is genuinely one of the best center fielders in baseball. I doubt either of them will hang onto the position past this year but for a one year fix, Gardner seems like the better option.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Yankees- Hideki Matsui- Matsui's biggest problem the past few years has been his injuries. After a super long consecutive game streak (including him somehow playing 163 games in 2003), he's average only 93 games the past three years. The move to full-time DH might help him stave off the DL though. With Swisher on the bench he should get plenty of rest as well. Matsui can still hit and he`s headed into a big contract year but he`s certainly no lock to be a big producer.
Rays- Pat Burrell- Burrell was the Ray's only major offseason purchase and he was a pretty good one at eight million dollars a year. Like Adam Dunn, he compensates for a relatively low batting average by walking a ton and hitting home runs. Taking him out of the field also adds to his value. His EQA is consistently over .300 and he`ll be a welcome addition to the middle of the Ray's lineup. Nobody will mistake him for Mark Teixeira or Manny Ramirez but he's a solid, under the radar acquistion.
Red Sox- David Ortiz- With Manny gone, Ortiz has inherited the proud title of the biggest pain in the Yankees @ss in baseball. The proud soldier against steroid use in baseball has emerged as one of the best sluggers in baseball in recent years. However, last year was not a good one for him. His EQA dropped over 50 points from the year before and he was plagued with injury. I have a hunch that he may be headed for a steep decline the next few years and the injuries could become more commonplace. He just seems like the type of player who would have that type of problem. Of course, I`m a Yankees fan and I have nothing more than that hunch to base it on.
Conclusion- Red Sox- Rays- Yankees- I was really tempted to put the Rays first here but in the end I couldn't do it. Ortiz had a down year last year but even so, he matched Burrell's EQA and most projection systems have him bouncing back well. Still, I wouldn't be surprised to see Ortiz miss a big chunk of the season again this year and further slipping. Matsui is pretty clearly at the back of the pack here. Even if he can stay healthy and bounce back, he's not the hitter that Ortiz is and Burrell is a much safer pick for similar production.