Category Archives: New York Yankees

Alex Rodriguez

What will the Yankees do with Alex Rodriguez?

At some point they will just have to eat the contract and trade him right? I mean what alternative is there when you have Eric Chavez pinch hit for him? He is owed at least $116 million for the next five years.

I don’t understand the people saying Ibanez should have hit for him in the 8th inning tonight? How does that make any sense? The Orioles would’ve intentionally walked Raul Ibanez to face Nick Swisher. So the question really becomes would you rather have A-Rod hit or Swisher? Cano, Granderson and Swisher should be thankful that A-Rod as usual will get all the blame when they have done absolutely nothing.

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The case AGAINST Derek Jeter

Would Derek Jeter seriously get so overrated if he didn’t play in New York?

I highly doubt it. Don’t get me wrong, he has had a good career but to call him an all time great is a joke. The guy hasn’t even been the best player on his own team throughout the career. A year by year breakdown shows one maybe two years where he was the best player on his own team. I have felt for a long time that there are three primary reasons why Jeter gets so overrated. 1) New York City 2) Rich Garcia making a horrible call in RF 3) Jeremy Giambi not knowing how to slide (he should have still been called safe because the play was a tie at worse).

In casual conversation yesterday I was coming up with a list of position players in the American League alone who I would take ahead ahead of Jeter from the past 15 years. I came up with the following list that included the likes of Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez. Going a bit down to the next level and guys like Jim Thome, Ivan Rodriguez, David Ortiz make real strong cases. I’m sure if I put more thought to I’d come up with a longer list. All this is even before we start to get into pitchers like Roy Halladay and Pedro Martinez. Again, this is before going into a list of guys in the National League.

Please don’t give me any b.s about “playing the game the right way”. Jeter’s not the only guy who goes into stands to make catches or back up throws from the outfield. Don’t give me the garbage about him being a loyal guy either. Just because he’s played his entire career with the Yankees doesn’t make him a loyal guy. If he had this loyalty to the Yankees and New York he wouldn’t have held them hostage for every last penny last off season after the Yankees had overpaid him the last time around. Don’t give me any crap about him being a leader or making others better. Just where has he shown any of those characteristics? The guy made A-Rod’s life miserable when he first arrived in New York. Heck, if Jeter was this big team guy wouldn’t the best shortstop on the team (A-Rod) be playing shortstop?

I went year by year from 1996 to 2010 to look at guys on the New York Yankees who outplayed Jeter in that particular year. Here is what I came up with.

Derek Jeter

1996 – O’Neil, Tino, Bernie, Pettitte, Wetteland and Rivera
1997 – O’Neil, Tino, Bernie, Pettite, Cone and Rivera
1998 – Bernie and Rivera
1999 – Rivera
2000 – See Below
2001 – Mussina, Clemens, Rivera
2002 – Giambi, Soriano, Bernie,
2003 – Rivera, Giambi, Posada, Soriano
2004 – A-Rod, Matsui, Sheffield,Rivera
2005 – A-Rod, Sheffield, Rivera
2006 – See Below
2007 – A-Rod, Posada
2008 – A-Rod, Abreu, Mussina and Rivera
2009 – Sabathia, Rivera and Teixeira
2010 – A-Rod, Teixeira, Cano, Swisher, Sabathia,

In 1997 I left David Wells off the list despite him winning 16 games because his ERA was high. Heck, Chad Curtis in 334 less ABs hit for the same average, more HRs, just 20 less RBIs and significantly higher OPS. No, I’m not saying I’d take Chad Curtis over Jeter but just put #s into perspective.

In 1998 I left off Tino off the list despite him driving in 123 runs and O’Neil despite him driving in 116. I’ll leave Cone off despite him winning 20 games. I left Wells off despite him going 18-4 with a 3.49 ERA. I left off Orlando Hernandez and his 3.13 ERA because he only started 21 games. I’m being pretty generous with 1998.

In 1999 I say he’s a push with Bernie and you could make a strong case that Jeter’s .349 with 24 HRs and 102 RBIs deserves top spot but Rivera had 45 saves with a 1.83 ERA and a WHIP of .883 I probably won’t complain if someone wants to give Jeter 1999 but Rivera was definitely better.

In 2000 yes Jeter his .339 and you could make a case for him but a case for Bernie can easily be made. He hit 30 HRs with 121 RBIs despite only playing in 141 games.

In 2001 I left Tino off the list despite him getting 34 HRs and driving in 113.

In 2002 I left Pettitte and his 3.27 ERA off because he only pitched in 22 games.

In 2003 I left off I left Mussina and his 17-8 record with a 3.40 ERA off the list.

In 2004 I left Posada off the list despite him having a significantly higher OPS and more RBIs in 200 less ABs just because he hit only .272. I also left off Orlando Hernandez who went 8-2 3.30 ERA because he only started 15 games.

In 2005 I left off Giambi and his 32 HRs because he drove in just 87 and hit for a low average. I even left off Matsui’s 116 RBIs because he “only” hit .305 and had only 23 HRs. Matsui still had a better OPS and more extra base hits. Again, I’m being fairly generous here.

In 2006 there is a strong case for Jeter again. He hit .343 and drove in 97. Arguments against Jeter? Cano hit .342 and drove in 78 despite having 140 fewer ABs. A-Rod also hit 35 HRs and drove in 121. Giambi ht 37 HRs and drove in 113. Rivera, Mussina and Wang also had great years. I’d give Jeter a push with Cano but people can make a case for A-Rod being right there too.

In 2007 you could make a case for Cano as well. I’m leaving 100+ RBIs from Matsui and Abreu off the list.

In 2008 I am leaving off a 32 HR season from Giambi.

In 2009 Jeter hit .334 and you can make a case for him but 5 other guys in the starting lineup alone matched his OPS. How can argue against Teixeira hitting 39 HRs and driving in 122? I’ll leave A-Rod off the list because he only hit .286 to go along with 30 HRs and 100 RBIs. Every other player in the starting lineup drove in more runs then Jeter despite having fewer Plate Appearances (Cano was only one with more ABs and he had just 3 more ABs). Everyone but Melky Cabrera had more HRs. Everyone but Cabrera had more extra base hits as well. How can you hit .334 in over 600 ABs and only drive in 66?

In 2010 I am leaving off Pettitte’s 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA because he only started 21 games. Heck, someone could make a case that Gardner and/or Posada (edit: also editing in Granderson here) had years that were just as good if not better.

Biggest reason I couldn’t care less about Jeter is because how ridiculously over the top Yankees fan get with him. Jeter was almost never the best player on the team. He spent few years being at best the 3rd or even 4th best SS in the American League alone (no matter how much Yankees fans want to claim that he was better then Nomar those years). Yesterday Yankees beat writers were posting quotes placing Jeter in the top tier of Yankees historically. Have these people heard of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle? At best he is on the 3rd tier of Yankees.

Being a good player is not a knock on a guy. Yesterday YES Network guys were already taking about him getting to 4,000. Can we settle down please?

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Posada and the Yankees

Day 2 of the Jorge Posada saga.

As the Jorge Posada drama continues to play out in the aftermath of last night there are a lot stories being written about the terrible contracts the Yankees have handed out the last few years and how this Posada situation is likely only the start of trouble. Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York wrote this great column last night about similar situations likely coming with Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. Speaking of Derek Jeter, ESPN New York asks where was the captain last night?

The drama last night was an example of the power struggle that has already begun between the Yankees management and their aging veterans. The absence of Derek Jeter from the locker room spoke volumes.  Jeter who himself is coming off a surprisingly bitter contract negotiations with the Yankees will likely be in a similar situation very soon. Shouldn’t Jeter as a friend (and more importantly as the captain) have talked Posada out of his stupid move? Shouldn’t Jeter as the captain have called out Posada for pretty much quitting on the team last night? The battle lines were drawn last year when the Yankees weren’t afraid to call out Derek Jeter in public and the divide is even more evident now. The public war of words between Posada and Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman hurt Posada a lot more then they hurt Cashman. Why was Posada expecting this to be kept quiet when it is common practice for organizations to address late scratches? Posada looks even worse since Cashman has stated publicly that Posada and his agent knew that he was going to address the media. Like I said lat night I don’t think Cashman makes the comments publicly that he did last night if they weren’t true.

vs LHP as RHB 30 24 0 0 6 10 .000 .200 .000 .200 2 0 0 0 1 0 .000 -26 -41

When will Posada return to the lineup? As I mentioned last night he is hitless in 24 at bats versus left handed pitching this year and the Yankees face Jon Lester tonight and David Price tomorrow.

By the way, Posada’s wife went back and deleted the tweets she made yesterday in defense of Jorge Posada.

This situation isn’t going to get better anytime soon. Instead of apologizing and moving on Jorge Posada put forward a ridiculous display in front of the media. Did he really convince anyone with his story about the injured back? Of course he further boxed himself into a corner when during the same appearance in front of the media he talked about needing time to “clear his head.” He should have apologized and moved on but instead he gave everyone a story. A story that will only get tougher on him as the day progresses since the Yankees and the Red Sox don’t play until 8 PM.

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Jorge Posada is a joke

Jorge Posada is an idiot.

There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. When you are making $13.1 million to play baseball and you ask out of the lineup because you got demoted in the lineup you need to get in touch with reality in a hurry. Reports out of New York are saying that an hour before the start of the game Jorge Posada asked out of the lineup for tonights game against nemesis Boston Red Sox because he got dropped down to 9th in the batting order. Just what was going through his head? In 109 at bats this season Posada is hitting only .165 (he is 0-24 against left handed pitching) and being in the last year of his contract likely would not play next year. According to Buster Olney of ESPN the Yankees are keeping all options open and that includes a possible suspension. Jack Curry of the YES Network quoted Posada’s father saying that Posada should have played today.

Posada’s 2011 stats

2011 32 125 109 12 18 2 0 6 15 15 30 .165 .272 .349 .621 70 38 4 0 0

Late in tonights game word came out that he asked out of “back stiffness” but several baseball reporters are quoting sources who are denying that. The Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman himself went on the record earlier tonight and said that it was not an injury issue.

“There is no injury, obviously I’ve talked to Jorgie. I’m not going to comment on my conversations with Jorgie on it. That’s the only thing I’ve got to tell you.”

Posada’s wife got into the mix too commenting on the story via twitter.

Jorge loves being a Yankee > anything. He’s trying his best to help his team win. Today, due to back stiffness he wasn’t able to do that.

Yes, the Yankees are being hypocritical in demoting him when guys like Jeter and Teixiera are also struggling but being a major star does earn you that pass. Everyone has heard stories about him and Joe Girardi not getting along but again that doesn’t excuse this at all. It is only fitting that this game was against the Red Sox and Jason Varitek was on the other side. There is a veteran catcher who has handled things the right way the past few years. Keith Olbermann posted a picture from the press box showing Posada’s name penciled into the lineup in the lineup card that reporters got in the press box at 6:30 PM.

I am not discounting the great charitable work he has done on behalf of the “Jorge Posada Foundation” but him asking out of the lineup tonight is inexcusable.

Edit: Just watched the post game stuff. Posada is looking worse by the minute. His story is all over the place. He says his back was stiff but he didn’t mention it to Girardi. Um…why? Seems like revisionist history to me.
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Yankees Put Rivalry Aside When Tragedy Struck the Red Sox –

Yankees Put Rivalry Aside When Tragedy Struck the Red Sox –

Hours before a game last September, word went around the Yankee clubhouse that hitting coach Kevin Long wanted to gather the entire team for a rare meeting. Soon, the players were huddled up, and Long told them about Bridget, an 11-year-old girl they had never met, the daughter of Ron Johnson, the first base coach for the Red Sox. Bridget, Long said, had been in an accident. She was riding a horse alongside the road in August, near the Johnsons’ Tennessee home. A driver came around the corner a little too fast and plowed into Bridget’s horse, severing the young girl’s leg above the knee.

A great article from the Wall Street Journal about the New York Yankees and their generous donations to help with medical bills for the daughter of Boston Red Sox first base coach.

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Cliff Lee to the Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies have done it again. Cliff Lee has signed with the Philadelphia Phillies according to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.

Earlier tonight on twitter I said that my respect for Lee would grow if he signed with Philadelphia (a team that I hate) and that is definitely true. According to Heyman the Yankees offer was $150 million over 7 years. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post the Yankees offered $138 Million over 6 years with a $16 million option for the 7th year. ESPN is reporting that the Texas offer was in the $120 million range. The Phillies offer is reportedly $115 million over 5 years.

Aside from Ken Griffey Jr. and Roy Halladay I can’t think of many stars who have left that much money on the table.

Just how much did some idiots at Yankee Stadium hurt the Yankees in this process? It must have had some effect. He reportedly called the Rangers personally to inform them of his decision while leaving the Yankees call to his agent.

I agree with Craig Calcaterra of HardballTalk taking this anonymous Yankee source to task.

Philadelphia will presumably trade Blanton now and go with a rotation of Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, Hamels and Kendrick. How much will the Yankees end up paying Pettitte now? Their rotation currently is Sabathia, Hughes, Burnett, Nova and Mitre. If Sabathia has a good year surely he is going to opt out and force the Yankees to overpay right?
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George Steinbrenner III dead at the age of 80

A 2nd death has rocked the New York Yankees in a matter of days. Longtime owner George Steinbrenner passed away this morning after a “massive heart attack” just days after longtime public address announcer Bob Sheppard passed away.

He lived a rather remarkarkable life. Everyone knows that he was part of a group that bought the team for $8.7 million (his initial investment was under $200K) but most baseball and even Yankee fans aren’t aware of his ties to other sports. He was a graduate assistant under legendary Ohio State Buckeyes Football coach Woody Hayes in 1954 on a team that was an undefeated National Champion winning the Rose Bowl. He also served as an assistant coach at Northwestern and Purdue University. He entered six horses in the Kentucky Derby, failing to win with Steve’s Friend (1977), Eternal Prince (1985), Diligence (1996), Concerto (1997), Blue Burner (2002) and the 2005 favorite, Bellamy Road. In in 1988 he poured his own money to improve training facilities for US Olympians.

The New York Daily News brought back from their archives the article they published when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees.

The Yankees are currently the 3rd most valuable team in the world of sports (behind Manchester United and the Dallas Cowboys). 

Stenibrenner’s tenure as owner was always filled with controversy. He served a 15 month ban in 1974 after pleading guilty to making illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon. He was pardoned by Ronald Reagan 15 years later just before he left office. In July of 1990 he was banned for life by the commissioner at the time Fay Vincent for having paid a gambler to dig into the life of Dave Winfield. He was reinstated in 1993 though and over time rebuilt his relationship with Dave Winfield. That seems to be a common trend. He hired and fired Billy Martin 5 times as manager of the Yankees but mutual respect kept bringing the two back together. Yankee Hall of Famer Yogi Berra stayed away from the team for a long time after he was fired as the manager until yet again George Steinbrenner apologized. When he was banished in 1990 the announcement was greeted with a 90 second standing ovation at Yankee Stadium because that is how much he was hated in New York at the time.

Say what you will about him, his attitude or the way he did business but he took care of his Yankee family. Many like me truly believe that if he was still running things there is no way that Joe Girardi would have become manager instead of Don Mattingly. He looked after the likes of Dwight Gooden and Darrell Strawberry long after the rest of the baseball world had stopped caring about them. Over the years we’ve heard stories of him providing scholarships to young store clerks he would encounter both in the New York area as well as near his home in Florida. USA Today has a great piece on his “Dueling Legacies.” He started a foundation called “Gold Shield” which provides scholarships children of police officers killed in the line of duty. The same article goes on to provide this nugget:

And then there were the things that would go unnoticed.
One day, he walked into his favorite breakfast restaurant and announced that he was going to pay to take all the employees to New York for a weekend to see a Broadway play and Yankees game.

When Red Sox ace Jon Lester was battling cancer he received flowers from two teams. His Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, supposedly at the request of George Steinbrenner. There is also this bit from Forbes today

Steinbrenner also had a soft side. He sometimes read about high school athletes who had been injured and sent them money to go to college. He paid for the medical school expenses of Ron Karnaugh after the swimmer’s father died during the opening ceremony at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Steinbrenner kept older friends from his football days on the payroll, had a way of rehiring those he had once fired and liked to give second chances to those who had fallen from favor, such as Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden.

“I’m really 95 percent Mr. Rogers,” Steinbrenner said as he approached his 75th birthday, “and only 5 percent Oscar the Grouch.”

As you’ve probably heard, he did in fact fire a lot of people. What you may not have heard is that many times he hired them right back a day or two later. He could be an amazingly cruel man, but deep inside him, there was a big, soft heart.

Many of his employees will dispute this fact, but there are many, many people around America who received college scholarships and random checks from Steinbrenner.

He once fired a summer intern, and to this day, no one is quite sure why. When a Yankee staffer saw the kid packing his things and on the verge of tears, he asked what was up.

“Mr. Steinbrenner fired me,’’ the kid said.

“Just go home for the day and come back tomorrow,’’ the staffer told him. “It’ll be fine.’’

While watching the news one night he discovered that schools in Florida’s Hillsborough County “were riddled with broken fire alarms, faulty fire equipment, escape windows that were screwed shut and other fire-code violations.”  The very next day he pledged an undisclosed amount towards the upgrades. The same article from Tom Verducci adds,

People in Tampa are accustomed to this sort of charity from Steinbrenner. He’s a pushover when it comes to kids, the military and education. He once met an unusually quiet boy while signing autographs after a Yankees exhibition game and said, “What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?” The boy’s brother explained that the boy was deaf and could not speak. Steinbrenner flew the boy to New York to be examined by doctors, and he paid for follow-up sessions with a Tampa speech therapist. The boy learned to speak.

A waitress at Malio’s was found to have a thyroid problem. She had no insurance. Steinbrenner sent her to the finest doctors in Tampa and paid for the treatments. She has recovered fully. “I thanked him for what he did for her,” said Malio Iavarone, the restaurant owner, “and he said, ‘I didn’t do anything.’ He didn’t even admit it.”

When Malio’s fell on lean times in recent years, Steinbrenner, unbeknownst to Iavarone, picked up the $1.1 million mortgage on the restaurant. He then reduced Iavarone’s monthly payment from $9,200 to $3,200.

The stories just continue.

Several years ago, at the Florida State Fair, he had bent over to pick up some trash when a man stopped him.

“Hey, aren’t you George Steinbrenner?”

“If I were George Steinbrenner, would I be picking up trash?”

“Oh. Right. Sorry.”

Of course, that’s exactly what George Steinbrenner would do. 

You can read the entire article filled when more stories like that on Sports Illustrated’s website. 

One of the running “jokes” on twitter today has been that Sheppard died a couple of days earlier so he can introduce “The Boss” in heaven but it really is fitting that Steinbrenner is over shadowing Sheppard’s death and the MLB All-Star game even in death like he did with the Yankees for most of his tenure as owner. He gets credited for the recent Yankees run but is worth a note that the Yankees of 90s were constructed when Steinbrenner was suspended from baseball and the 2009 Championship team ended a long drought only after Steinbrenner had faded from the spotlight and once again let the baseball people handle the team. In 2003 he ignored his baseball people who advised him to sign Vladimir Guerrero instead he went out and personally recruited Gary Sheffield and signed him to a 3 year deal. Vlad went on to outperform Sheffield over those next 3 years and even won the 2004 American League MVP award. 

Will the Steinbrenner family sell the team now? Take a look at this article from Sports Illustrated in 2006.

He will be honored before the All-Star game tonight. Both him and Bob Sheppard will be remembers by the Yankees this weekend as part of their annual Old Timers Day celebrations. How will the Yankees honor him? Will the stadium be renamed in his memory? If not the stadium will they at least name the field in his honor? How soon does MLB induct him into the Hall of Fame?

The world of sports has lost its biggest villain of all time.
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MLB has already put the Yankees in the World Series

Has MLB never seen the “Dewey beats Truman” picture? Clearly they haven’t because there is just no justification for this ridiculous act. I was reading the Los Angeles Times and look what I found. Here I was thinking the only major sports uproar today would be about baseball going head to head against the NFL tonight.

 How does MLB justify already selling merchandise on their website saying “New York Yankees American League Champions”. Are you serious?

I know and fully understand that a lot of this stuff is printed ahead of time but how can you be advertising it on your website already? Everyone knows MLB would prefer the Yankees in the World Series for ratings purpose but you’re setting yourselves up for major criticism if calls go against the Angels tonight since you know, MLB has already put the Yankees in the World Series.

Did MLB not learn anything from that guy who had a book up on Amazon available for pre-order about the undefeated Patriots?

At last check MLB had not fixed this on its site.

Do you remember other incidents like this one? Please share.

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Hey Yankee fans….shut the hell up.

Watch the video first.

Can Jorge Posada be any dumber? What the hell is he whining and crying about? Two Blue Jays got hit yesterday. Edwin Encarnacion (who homered earlier in the game) and Aaron Hill. Carlson threw a pitch behind Posada which was no where near him….you couldn’t even call it head hunting because the pitch was no where high enough.

Posada then goes bumps Carlson….when he had no reason to. Credit to home plate umpire Jim Joyce who tossed Posada immediately. What I want to know what the hell was Posada thinking? This is nothing new for him. Don’t get me wrong….I’m sure he’s a good guy. He does a lot of charity work in the NYC area. But he’s a hot head…there’s no where around it. He’s done this in the part in Red Sox series as well. The Yankees haven’t clinched the division yet. They are 5 up in the loss column and heading out on a west coast swing….and still play the Red Sox again this season. Now Posada faces a suspension. He could’ve ended up with other teammates suspended or worse….hurt. What a selfish move from a supposed leader on the team.

This brings me to Yankee fans. Can’t help but laugh at some of these clowns. Of course most of these clowns are young fans. Same bandwagon fans who would’ve been Mets fans if the Mets had 4 World Series in 5 years in the 90s. It has been hilarious listening to WFAN today. Yankee fans calling in and saying this “fires up the team”….are you serious?

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