Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lots of Links

  • 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: charlie@thechuckknoblog.com.

Let the Beer Flow

The prohibition has ended. Nine long years of pre-gaming. No more smuggling beer. Starting this season fans will be able to purchase 12 once beer from the Bleacher Cafe. No vendors will sell beer the fans need to be able to make their way over. Beer and Baseball go hand in hand. This means more fights, more profanity, more fun.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Chuck Knoblog Fantasy League

Alright we are setting up a Fantasy League, I assume all of the writers will be in it (if they want). For you, the general public, to join you need to commit to following your team for the whole year, If you do not your team will be given away. Email me at charlie@thechuckknoblog.com if you want in. I will adjust the number of players based on the amount of responses I get. We will be doing a live draft and you can check out the league rules before you join. Let's try this out.

The Chuck Knoblog Webcomic

I have been playing around with the computer too much lately and I have decided to try doing a webcomic. I used to love Bronx Comixs (before he stopped posting) and I hope we can match a third of Matt's greatness. So click on images for a larger view if you want to check it out and tell me what you think.














































Sunday, March 29, 2009

NYY and the Meaning of Life

The wonderful people from MVP books sent me over a copy of New York Yankees and the Meaning of Life. This is small book chock full of quotes and beautiful pictures. I sat down and starting flipping through and 40 minutes later I set it down. I read everything, from the quote to the little descriptions. This book has beautiful photos that match the memorable quotes. I found a lot of things I have never seen/heard of, which is always great. Forever will it have a place on my coffee table. For only $16.00 on Amazon this is a great book to have (also it makes a great mouse-pad)

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

Brett Gardner Named Starting CF

The skipper announced today, according to Pete Abe, that Gardner will be the starting centerfielder. Melky will still be on the team but it just comes down to the speed. Here is what Girardi had to say:
“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.”

New Stadium Photo Update

Here are a ton sweet shots of the New Stadium







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.

Full Post

2009 Yanks- Rays- Sox Comparison

This is it, I actually finished this series of posts and I`m a little shocked at myself. After the teams name I posted how many times they finished in each category. For example, if a team was first at a position 3 times, second 5 times, and third 10 times it would read 3-5-10. Then I made up an extremely unscientific point system in which each 1st place is worth two points, 2nd place is worth 1 point, and 3rd place is worth no points. That isn't the end all-be all though. Get ready for a long post guys.

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

Mike's AL East Comparision

Over the past three month Mike NYY has worked hard to compare the Yankee, Rays and Red Sox at all of the positions. He finished up yesterday; so I though I would get them all together in one place for easy access:



Good work Mike.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bullpens

I went back and it turns out that I did the the third starters after all so I just need to make this post and one last post to sum it all up

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

Spring Update

  • 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)




















(photo)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

News and Notes

  • Cashman says that A-Rod is "doing well".
  • The Yankees also brought A-Hole, A-Fraud Rodriguez in for some serious "big boy" talk. Sounds like he got a stern talking to (AKA "ENOUGH WITH THE STRIPPERS!).
  • Ken Rosenthal says that Melky is on the market.
  • Former Yankee Johnny Blanchard passed away this morning, he was 76.
  • A long time writer, Arther Richman, who worked with both the Yankees and the Mets has died.
  • Andy Pettitte had a sucessful minor leauge outing today.
  • As another slap in the face to the royal fans who were reloacted (me), the Yankees are only allowing field level ticket holders to roam the field level concessions. No more will you be able to watch batting practice from field level either.
  • The trusty screen that caught that drunk kid in the old Yankee Stadium, has not been moved into the new one.




















  • (photo)

    Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    Fantasy Baseball 2009

    Nate and I are in a competitive keeper league with a few of our buddies. The draft just finished up a little while ago and this is how we made out:

    Charlie's Team- Reining Champ

    Suck of the Irish

    Batting
    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

    Pitchers

    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
    Batting
    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

    Pitching
    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.

    Rightfield

    I have to double check but I think this is the last position for this series. Then I have to go back and do the 3rd starters, a post for the bullpen, and an overview of the teams in general.

    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

    What's Next for Schilling?

    Looking
    to
    the
    Future





















    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.

    Begone Satan!

    Finally, he's gone. And the DOW is up almost 500 points today.

    Coincedence? I think not.

    News and Notes

  • A-Rod is caught up in yet another stripper themed scandal.
  • Girardi says that "If we were to break today, Nady would be my right fielder,"
  • A-Rod wants the other 103 names should remain anonymous.
  • Yankees fall behind the Phills 5-2 after playing 6.
  • Hughes is chilling in triple A, for now.
  • Curt Schilling has officially retired; Thank God all mighty! He said overweight in his goodbye post, he was not referring to himself however. (I would do a witty photoshop but my macbook is in repair)
  • The Yankees have released the concessions changes for the new stadium. Likes: Johnny Rockets, Garlic Fries and Boars Head meats; Dislikes: Pepsi is now served over Coke, Blasphemy!
  • Check out Adeladie 35's photo-stream for some cool outer shots of the stadium. (pictured right)
  • Sunday, March 22, 2009

    Jorge Says "It's Good to be Back"










    Jorge is spending his spring training trying to get his arm ready for opening day. Yankee fans are wondering weather Jorge will come back strong after his shoulder surgery. Gunning down 3 of 4 base-runners sunday, Posada's throws were strong. He came out of the game saying: "Now you know you can trust your arm again,".

    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 Acquire Chris Stewart

    You may remember Chris Stewart because he was with the Yankees organization last year, but don't feel bad if you don't. He spent most of the year in AAA and was 1 for 3 with the Yankees. Anyway, the Yankees re-acquired him today, for a PTBNL. Hopefully this is more due to his relationship with Hughes and Kennedy and not to add depth because of Posada's injury. I would expect the former.

    The Best of Hank the Tank

    Throughout Hank's time with the Yankees, The Chuck Knoblog has celebrated the many memorable quotes. It has taken $400,000 and 3 years of my life but I have finally gotten the best of all these quotes in one place.

    10.) Bluntly Hank says: “The American League East is by far the best division in baseball”

    9.) "I don't want [small-market teams] in general to forget who subsidizes a lot of them, and it's the Yankees, the Red Sox, Dodgers, Mets. I would prefer if teams want to target the Yankees that they at least start giving some of that revenue sharing and luxury tax money back. From an owner's point of view, that's my point baseball."

    8.) “Does he [Alex Rodriguez] want to go into the Hall of Fame as a Yankee or a Toledo Mud Hen"

    7.) Hank's message to A-Rod: "Tell him to hit the damn ball and hit it when it counts"

    6.) Hank on A-Rod opting out: "It's clear [Alex Rodriguez] didn't want to be a Yankee, He doesn't understand the privilege of being a Yankee on a team where the owners are willing to pay $200 million to put a winning product on the field. We're not going to back down ... It's goodbye."

    5.) Hank on last year's slide: "This is going to get turned around. If it's not turned around this year, then it will be turned around next year, by force if we have to."

    4.) "Being insulted by [Red Sox closer Jonathan] Papelbon is like being attacked by a mouse."

    3) Hank expressing his feelings for the construction worker who buried the Ortiz Jersey: "I hope his co-workers kicked the s--- out of him."

    2.) Hank talking about CMW's injury in inter-league play last year: "I just think it's time the NL joined the 21st century, the AL, the minors, colleges, high schools, they all have DHs."

    1)"Red Sox Nation? What a bunch of [expletive] that is, That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans. Go anywhere in America and you won't see Red Sox hats and jackets, you'll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We're going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order."

    Centerfield

    All three teams have young guys here and the Yankees could very well go with somebody different from who I put here. However, I think that Brett is the best option and will get the Opening Day start.

    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

    Do or Die Time for Hughes?

    A lot of Yankees fans have already given up on the player who was once the number one pitching prospect in baseball. Personally, I think that's a little ridiculous and I didn't think he was ready last year. Now he won't even crack the starting five. However, he's bound to get a chance later in the year. The list of players who failed in their first two years in the major leagues and went on to success is considerably shorter. If Hughes has another bad year will he ever become an anchor for the Yankees in the rotation?

    Wednesday, March 18, 2009

    Is this from Nomaas?

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/03172009/news/regionalnews/im_such_a_pretty_boy__159958.htm

    That's some undeniable narcissism right there. Just Alex being Alex I guess but its gotten pretty old.

    Boone Finished?

    Aaron Boone was never a great player and after leaving the Yankees he got much worse. However, he has a special place in the hearts of Yankees fans for obvious reasons. Now his career is probably done with him missing all of next year to repair a heart valve. I have no idea how significant this is to more than baseball and I'm sure he'll be fine but I still wish him the best of luck.

    Monday, March 16, 2009

    Nate Silver

    The genius that is Nate Silver apparently has some bad projections for A-Rod over the next few years. Its very hard to project more than year to year but Silver is much better than most. Hopefully it won't come true but its food for thought.

    Cano and Marte Okay

    They`re going to miss a few days but that's it. Cano should be back Friday and Marte is day to day. My intial reaction was an overreaction I guess.

    Sunday, March 15, 2009

    Cano and Marte

    The two them will get MRI's today and we should find out the seerity of the injury. So far they cound minor but I really don't trust anything the Yanks say about injuries anymore.

    Old Yankees


    Old Yankees, originally uploaded by thechuckknoblog.

    Here is a panormaic photo I made with some old pictures of yankee stadium.

    Saturday, March 14, 2009

    Leftfield

    Yankees- Johnny Damon- Damon was originally signed to be a centerfielder and its dissapointing he can't handle that position anymore. However, he's become one of the best defensive left-fielders in baseball. He does have a pitifully awful arm. However, his range is very good for a leftfielder. His bat has also showed little signs of decline. His EQA last year was the best in his career and its really surprising to see a guy who almost quit a couple years ago to still be playing as well as he does. Next year is his contract year and he's a Boras client. With a good year, you need to seriously consider re-signing the (then) 35 year old Damon.

    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.

    Alan Horne on the way Back

    Theirs a nice article on the former top prospect over at New Stadium Insider. Give it a read.

    Cano and Marte Hurting

    The Yankees are notorious for disliking the World Baseball Classic and now they have more fuel to add to that fire with Cano and Marte returning with injuries. They sound minor but so did A-Rod's. More on this later.

    Sorry Guys

    for the complete lack of posts whatsoever lately. I just haven't had the time for things like this lately. Things will hopefully clear up soon and I`ll try to compensate.

    Wednesday, March 11, 2009

    Never Trust Brian Cashman

    Cash has a bit of a reputation for dishonesty and I`m not buying it when he says the Yankees aren't looking to replace A-Rod. Hours after Cash made those comments we're hearing about possible interest in Mark Lorretta

    Kei Igawa

    What is up with Kei Igawa? He just dominates inferior hitters but when he touches the ML level he gets hammered. He's doing very well in Spring Training though. Is it time to give him another chance? In the bullpen at least.

    Tuesday, March 10, 2009

    Reds at Yankees (Spring Game 14)

    YANKEES
    1. Gardner CF
    2. Damon LF
    3. Nady RF
    4. Matsui DH
    5. Ransom 3B
    6. Molina C
    7. Miranda 1B
    8. Berroa SS
    9. Pena 2B
    Pitching: Joba Chamberlain followed by Kei Igawa, Christian Garcia, Phil Coke, Mike Dunn and Anthony Claggett.

    REDS
    1. Dickerson CF
    2. Gonzalez SS
    3. Bruce RF
    4. Phillips 2B
    5. Barker 1B
    6. Encarnacion 3B
    7. Nix LF
    8. Hanigan C
    9. Bankston DH
    Pitching: Nick Masset.

    Joba looked good today!

    Monday, March 9, 2009

    News and Notes

  • Cory Lidle's family is suing the plane manufactures for a cool 45 million
  • No Surprises in A-Rod's surgery.
  • Pettitte looked good in his spring debut; though the Yankees lost to the Jays 6-2
  • Brett Gardner is ripping it up.
  • The Yankees offensive projections are looking very good:
    1. Best lineup: 5.72 runs per game
    2. Probable lineup: 5.64 runs per game
    3. Worst lineup: 5.42 runs per game
    4. Regressed lineup: 5.05 runs per game

    Sunday, March 8, 2009

    No Mark Teahen Please

    Since news of A-Rod's injury hit I`ve gotten a few e-mails suggesting the Yankees trade for Mark Teahen. Now Bob Dutton is reporting that they have interest in him. Please, just say no.

    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.

    Yankees at Tigers (Spring Training Game 12)

    YANKEES
    1. Cabrera CF
    2. Damon LF
    3. Swisher 1B
    4. Matsui DH
    5. Nady RF
    6. Ransom 3B
    7. Molina C
    8. Berroa SS
    9. Bernier 2B
    Pitching today: A.J. Burnett followed by Phil Hughes, Brian Bruney, Andrew Brackman and Mark Melancon.

    TIGERS
    1. Everett SS
    2. Polanco 2B
    3. Sheffield DH
    4. Thames LF
    5. Larish 1B
    6. Clevlen CF
    7. Laird C
    8. Inge 3B
    9. Gomez RF
    Pitching today: Nate Robertson, Dontrelle Willis, Fernando Rodney.

    A-Rod to get surgery

    Seconds after I made my last post I saw this at RAB. What's interesting is that it says he'd only be out for 6-9 weeks. Which probably means something closer to 10. Take it with a grain of salt but if its true then that's very good.

    EDIT: Pete Abe actually broke this story so I guess its legit.

    Surgery or Rest?

    The question dominating Yankeeland right now is whether Alex Rodriguez should opt for surgery or just try rest and recovery. This reminds me of a similar question last year with regards to Jorge Posada. I`m leaning towards the surgery option. Missing A-Rod for four months is going to hurt, no doubt about it. However, theirs a few reasons why I'd go for that
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. They have other options. They were already considering trading Nady or Swisher. Now, they actually have a need at third base to be filled.
    4. 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

    A-Rod Really Injured

    Now it looks like A-Rod will not only miss the WBC, he will also miss April and possibly more. Obviously, having Cody Ransom or Angel Berroa replacing Alex Rodriguez is not a viable option. Berroa has been very consistently awful in recent years and I have very little faith in Ransom. An long-shot for the job could be Eric Duncan and right now I bet the Yanks wish they invited him to Spring Training. Still, I`d be shocked if he won the job.

    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

    A-Rod Injured

    Finally a baseball headline for A-Rod. I`m almost happy to write this post. Its not a big deal though. His hip injury might make him miss the the WBC but he'll be ready by Opening Day, I would think.

    I refuse to comment on the media created controversy about Reyes/Jeter.

    Monday, March 2, 2009

    Odds and Ends

  • A-Rod met with the MLB on monday; they described A-Rod as "co-operative".
  • The Yankees tied today 5-5. The Greek wonder, George Kontos gave up 3 runs.
  • Wang pitched today for two innings; Molina described his sinker as: "Just like last year before he got hurt”.
  • Gardner Versus Melky

    Its bizarre to look at how much money the Yankees are spending at each position, only to come to center field where nothing is set. The Yanks have struggled to replace Bernie Williams at this position ever since he hit his sharp decline. We thought we had something with Johnny Damon but then we discovered his arm was worse than Williams'. We thought we had something with Melky as well but he's declined steadily every year. Hopefully, these two will just be keeping the seat warm for Austin Jackson but in the super-competitive AL East, they can't have a black hole in center field for even one year. So, we`re relying on either Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner.

    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

    Designated Hitter

    Yet again, I am falling behind on these. I`ve been busy lately which is my lame excuse for not posting that much. Anyway, I still have the three outfield spots, the bullpen, and apparently I missed the third rotation spot so I have to hurry up if I`m getting this done before opening day.

    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.