Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oh That National Media

Let me begin by saying I hold no great bias against the "national media" like some Yankee fans. Yes, I think the ESPN's of the World tilt toward Boston or anyone but the Yankees. I also think ESPN is not the ESPN I started watching 30 years ago. But I digress. I was reading a blurb from Jon Heyman about what team had the best off season. Now I like Jon Heyman and I think he is a good and fair writer but that doesn't mean I like everything he puts on paper, or website.
He listed Seattle as the big winner this off season and I certainly can't disagree with that. The Mariners had a great off season picking up Cliff Lee to go along side "King Felix", Casey Kotchman, Chone Figgins and just completed a 5 year deal with Hernandez. They did well but they still are not the Yankees. Number 2 was the dreaded Red Sox. This is where I have a problem. An off season just isn't about bringing in players but also dealing with the players you lose and filling in the holes in your roster. So the "beaners" bring in Beltre. Poor year in 2009, injured, never played on a winner. Replaces Mike Lowell who absolutely kills the Yankees. Marco Scuturo is a good pickup but whatever happened to the awesome Jed Lowrey, the next Nomaaaar! They over paid for John Lackey who has had injury problems but pitched well in the playoffs. He reminds me of Curt Schilling, not because of skill, but because of his "mouth", as in always running. A friend of mine calls Lackey the "mouth breather". You figure it out. Last addition was Mike Cameron. MIKE CAMERON! MIKE CAMERON! Big deal. This is where that old media bias toward the Red Sox shows it's ugly face. Heyman stresses the positive in all the pick ups but never mentions what they had to replace. How about Jason Bay's RBI? How about the fact Lowell is out a job? Starting pitching was not the concern for the Sox, I feel Lackey was insurance so the Yankees didn't grab him.
Heyman had the Yankees sixth. Now I don't think they were first but hardly sixth? NY lost Damon as of this post, Johnny had a great season but, in my opinion, is starting to break down and the Yankees are looking to get younger. They also lost Matsui who was a great clutch hitter when healthy, the word health being the most important. Another chance to get younger and more versatile. Those knees won't allow him in the OF. The last time Hideki was in the OF was in Yankee Stadium in November taking a victory lap for the fans. Javy Lopez cost us Melky. I loved and hated Melky. He would come up with the occasional big hit, played well in the OF, but swung at too many bad pitches and was not a base stealer. Ok, those are the losses. We added Curtis Granderson, a good player in Detroit who, I think, is on the verge of being a great player. He is 29. He helps make up some of the power difference and adds to our speed. Lopez is an innings eater, has nasty stuff and is older and more mature than the last time through the Bronx. I think this is a steal. 15 wins and 210 innings with a lot of K's. Finally we signed Nick Johnson. This is not the same Nick Johnson from the past. He is more mature and wanted to come back to New York. He can still hit and play first when needed. A couple of broken bones. Yeah, I know those are injuries but not like a torn ribcage or a "hammie". He is a professional hitter. Heyman, of course mentioned he is injury prone. Heyman did not mention how Lackey, a flyball pitcher, has pitched in Boston. Ugly. He didn't mention Cameron's prone to the strikeout, the rally killer of rally killers. And, finally, the "great Ellsbury, the second coming of DiMaggio, Mantle and Mays in CF, being moved to LF. Wow, that means Cameron is better that Mays! Whew!
Good to get that off my chest. Shows how a writer can twist a story the way he wants it. Kinda like I did. Boston still has many question marks, Papelbon, the "holier than thou" David Ortiz and catching. As a Yankee fan one can only hope to see Victor Martinez behind the plate in the Bronx in August. get the track shoes ready.