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Yankees Chick



News and Opinions on the Bronx Bombers From a Brunette Babe



Updated: 2016-05-30T22:54:22.328-07:00

 



2 More Weeks Till Opening Day!

2010-03-19T17:18:56.726-07:00

Howdy chickadees!

Sorry for my blogging absence. As mentioned approximately 912891230324 times previously, I have a hectic schedule between work and school.

The good news is that school is ALMOST OVER! Not just for the year - for good! (What's that, Steinbrenner? You want to give me season tickets as a graduation gift? Why thank you! Send them on over!)

You know what that means... more time for blogging!

I will return when the season starts in just over 2 weeks for more consistent blogging, I assure thee. I have no time right now, and let's be honest: it's pointless to waste everyone's time with thoughts on Spring Training anyway (stop trying to convince yourself that what you see in Spring Training will translate to the regular season - it never does).

In the meantime, don't forget that you can follow me on the TWITTERVERSE: Hit me up, I'm @yankeeschickmo. 50% of my tweets are baseball-related, 48% expose my WWE obsession, and the other 2% tend to be complaints about restaurants not having Dr Pepper. You know you want in on that!



Top Ten Tuesdays (srsly!): Play it Again, Boys!

2010-03-02T22:29:25.410-08:00

It's been a minute or two since I did a Top Ten Tuesday post, but back when I was blogging constantly (AKA when I had even less of a life than I do now), they were one of my fave posts to craft up - so let's bring 'em back!As each member of the Yanks rolled into camp for Spring Training and were pounced upon by the media, every single one of them reiterated the same cliched sentiment: "we just want to repeat what we did last year." A lovely goal, but as history has shown us, a tough one to realize. There are so many variables involved in winning even one World Series - not just your own team's injuries, slumps, and luck (good and bad), but that of 29 other teams, too! - that winning two in a row is no small feat, even with a spectacular team.The Yanks do have a spectacular team, of course - arguably even better than last year's championship roster. They've got about as good a chance of repeating as any team in recent history, but there's a few things that need to fall into place just right if they want any chance of back to back titles.Top Ten Things the Yanks Need to Get Ring #28 in 2010:10) A big year from Cano. Robby Cano Dont'cha Know had a dandy year last year in most regards - solid defense, stellar average, and a nice burst of power (25 home runs compared to his previous career high of 19). However... he couldn't always hack it in big situations and hit into 22 double plays. If he can get his act together just a tiny bit more, it'd be huge for the team. Let's just hope he's not too distracted by the loss of his BFF to play well - we don't want a repeat of 2008's performance.9) A decent performance from the Gardner/Winn/Thames contingent. I've said several times that because of the depth of the rest of the lineup, having a mediocre player in that outfield spot isn't really that big of a deal. That may be true, but there's still no room for a wretched performance. Whoever ends up in that spot needs to at least be consistent and able to contribute to the team in some way - we can't have a .200 hitter going out there every day.8) Minimal injuries. It's a "duh" one to even put on here, but really: some of these dudes ain't spring chickens, and we've got at least one guy that is particularly injury-prone (I'm looking at you, Nick Johnson. Try not to trip over a sunflower seed on your way to the dugout.) A rash of ill-timed minor injuries or a totally debilitating injury to a key player like A-Rod or Sabathia could be fatal. To their dreams. And anyone sitting near me when it happens.7) We need the 2008 Granderson, not the 2009 one. Last year was a relatively rough year for Curtis, at least in comparison to his previous seasons - he only hit .249 with a .327 OBP (although he did hit 30 homers, which he can hopefully duplicate with the Yanks' homer-friendly right field). Worst of all, his splits last year were heinous - he only hit .183 against lefties last year. We need better.6) No burnout for Sabathia. Sabathia has earned a reputation for being a workhorse, never turning down an opportunity to pitch one more inning or on one fewer day of rest. This was key last year, but can he keep it up?5) Jobamania AND Hughsie need to be ON all year. Wherever they end up, they both need to finally live up to their hype - and stay healthy. Whichever one ends up starting is going to make a huge impact on the team every five days, and whoever ends up in the 'pen has the ability to be a stabilizing force on the team. Both are important roles, obviously, but it would also be a big morale booster for the team to see both of their young "future stars" finally become stars.4) A drama-free A-Rod. I think after last year, we can pretty much confirm that A-Rod's attitude makes a WORLD of difference in his performance - and it also makes it easier for the rest of the team to relax and play their best, too. If A-Rod gets entangled in a baby-mama drama with a Real Housewife of New Jersey or continues to be thrust into the spotlight for past transgressions, all bets are off.3) Jorgie MUST be able to catch (and prefera[...]



Release 'The Steroid List" Already, for A-Rod's (and Gossip's) Sake!

2010-03-01T18:48:08.061-08:00

When I saw on Yankees.com today that A-Rod has been contacted by the FBI to discuss Anthony Galea, a sketchy Toronto-based sports medicine doctor suspected of supplying 'roids to a variety of athletes (his assistant was caught smuggling HGH across the border... but I'm sure that was just a coincidence), I initially was uninterested. We already know A-Rod juiced and have made our decisions about whether we give a shit or not. Do we need to hear every time his name comes up in a discussion about steroids? He got the steroids somewhere and presumably used them in the presence of others - it's not like he made them himself in a converted meth lab and did them in isolation - of course his name is going to come up in connection with a steroid supplier. That's not news, it's exactly what you'd expect.

I'm so uninterested, I'm interested again. About being uninterested about A-Rod.

A-Rod cheated. SO DID A WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER DUDES. I'm so ill of A-Rod being the poster boy for early 2000's steroid use, just because someone leaked his name and not the other hundred-plus goons on that 2003 "anonymous" list of players who tested positive. Of course, that list is by no means the end-all be-all of who did or didn't do steroids - there are surely even more - but I really feel that it needs to come out in its entirety to give the entire era some context. It's simply unfair for A-Rod to be the one taking the heat when so many of his teammates were doing the exact same thing (or worse). The fact that a whole bunch of players were doing steroids doesn't make A-Rod's cheating "less bad", but it does make it more understandable, and having to acknowledge how many good players were using illegal substances would perhaps quiet (even marginally) not just the A-Rod haters but the entire community of "oh my god using steroids is as cheat-y as incapacitating your opponents with a Tonya Harding whack; I could never vote a steroid user into the Hall of Fame!" idiots (get it through your heads: steroids don't magically make a bad player good. A-Rod still would have been good without them. Matt Lawton didn't turn into Barry Bonds with them. It doesn't work like that, so stop discounting everything a steroid user did the minute a positive test comes back.)

A-Rod participated in the test under the impression that the results where to remain anonymous. Why was that revoked for him and not others? I don't know all the legalities involved, but I sure do wish someone could step in and insist that the list be revealed in full, just to even things out a bit.

And if that's not legally possible for someone to demand, then Sports Illustrated should bust out the checkbook and find themselves a former lab assistant willing to spill the beans for a nice payout... because I'm sick of reading the words "steroids" and "Alex Rodriguez" in the same sentence. Let's start spreading the blame!

(image) "Both my muscles and rage are natural, I swear!"



Chan Ho Park Ready to Provide Pitching and Ninja Protection to the Yanks

2010-02-23T19:37:17.313-08:00

As the Yanks report for duty in Florida to gear up for a repeat of last year's championship performance (no pressure though, dudes), there will be a few new teammates with whom to get acquainted. Since their big win in November, the Yanks added Curtis Granderson, Nick Johnson, Javier Vasquez, and Randy Winn (as well as an assortment of random non-roster invitee types), and yesterday it was announced that there will soon be another new face at camp: Chan Ho Park.

Huh? Eh, why not.

The Yanks have struck a one-year, $1.2 million deal with the 36-year-old veteran former starter, with plans to stick him in the bullpen and shore that sucker up as much as possible. Park has primarily been a starter throughout his 16-year career, but pitched decently out of the bullpen for the Phillies last year (including shutting down the Yanks in four appearances in the World Series). With the unheard of surplus of starters the Yanks are lucky enough to be in possession of there's certainly no need (or room) for him in the rotation, but when it comes to the bullpen, as the Cash Man so eloquently put it: "The more, the merrier. You can never have enough."

With Park rounding out a bullpen that already includes the likes of Edwar Ramirez, David Robertson, Sergio Mitre, Mariano, and of course whichever members of the Hughes-Jobamania-Guadin-Aceves contingent don't wind up with the starting gig, the Yanks roster seems to be improving by the day. And if anyone thinks otherwise....

(image) why could I not find the video of this gorgeous display of ass-kickery (the absolute ONLY thing I ever think of when I hear Chan Ho Park's name)?!




Farewell to the Wangster (And to What Might Have Been)

2010-02-17T18:47:23.890-08:00

If you had asked any baseball expert on June 14, 2008 to predict what Chien Ming Wang would be doing in 2010, I doubt a single one would have answered "pitching for the Nationals after putting up a 9+ ERA in 42 innings in 2009".

Alas, thanks to a freak foot injury incurred whilst running the bases during an interleague game on June 15, 2008, that is precisely the state of affairs in Wang-ville. Despite all the promise he showed in New York from 2005 through early 2008, the Wangster's days as a Yankee are over: it was announced yesterday that he signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Nationals.

(image) 90 seconds after the last time Wang was effective

There's no question that since that fateful day in Houston, the Wangster has made limited contributions to the team - he didn't pitch again in 2008, and when he returned in 2009 he went 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA before having season-ending shoulder surgery in July. Before the completely preventable injury (*cough* ADOPT THE DH RULE, NL JACKASSES *cough*), he was a vital part of the Yanks' rotation and on his way to becoming a bona fide ace. Before we bid him adieu and wish him luck in DC (where, ironically, he'll be forced to run the bases on a regular basis - let's hope he's more careful this time), let's take a gander at the highlights of his Yankee tenure:

2005: After being called up from AAA mid-season, the Wangster made 17 starts, putting up an 8-5 record with a 4.02 ERA. During the game against the Orioles on September 19, he tied a record for assists in a game by a pitcher with 9!

2006: A breakout year! 19-6 in 33 starts with a 3.63 ERA, a performance impressive enough to finish 2nd place in the Cy Young voting.

2007: Almost as good as the previous year, with a 19-7 record in 30 games started and a 3.70 ERA. He came 5 outs away from a perfect game against the Mariners in May and took a no-hitter against the BoSox into the 7th inning in August.

2008: In the brief time before the injury threw his career (and the Yanks' rotation) off track, the Wangster was putting together another nice year, with an 8-2 record and 4.07 ERA. When he won his 85th career start in April, he became the fastest starting pitcher to reach 50 wins since Dwight Gooden in 1986.

Had he not gotten injured, who knows how things might have turned out?

The moral of the story? Your choice: interleague play sucks, or the NL needs to get hip and join the DH train. Or both!



A Quickie Post: Ready to Fire Boras Yet, Damon?

2010-02-16T17:13:58.637-08:00

It's finals time for me, so I apologize for the lack of updates lately - this situation shall be rectified in short order and I'll be back to posting multiple times a week soon, I promise!

To tide us over until my schoolwork is complete tomorrow, here's an interesting little nugget courtesy of the New Haven Register, who had a chat with the Cash Man recently. Cashman confirmed to the Register that the Yankees made not one but two generous offers to Damon, both of which $cott Bora$ turned down. The first offer was a 2-year, $14 million deal, which was promptly turned down despite the fact that that was pretty much exactly what Damon had requested (and about four times what he's worth). The Yanks tried one more time before signing Nick Johnson, this time offering one year for $6 million - far less than they had originally asked for, but by that point the demand for him had dried up considerably and the Yanks needed Damon less thanks to Granderson, so still a decent offer all things considered. Needless to say, that was rejected as well.

Per the Cash Man, Bora$ cited Abreu as the reason for the rejections, saying: "Bobby Abreu’s (new) contract is $9 million a year right now on the table so why would we do that? So I expect to see a Bobby Abreu contract."

As Damon approaches the last few weeks before Spring Training without a contract, I can't help but wonder if he's as pissed at Boras as he should be. Sure, "Abreu money" would be great, but times have changed - teams aren't doling out millions of dollars for dudes with sub-par fielding skills (even ones who can hit 25+ home runs in the new stadium). The offers the Yanks made were perfectly reasonable, and methinks Boras and Damon made a huge mistake in assuming that other teams would be looser with their wallets than the Yankees. It's not 2006 anymore (thank god) - the days of absurd contracts are largely over.

The Cash Man got a little jab in, saying "I hope he does not sign for something less than our offer. That means he should have been a Yankee and that’s not our fault.



And the Starting Left Fielder Is... Who Knows.

2010-02-09T17:12:24.101-08:00

After the announcement of the decision to sign veteran Randy Winn last week that put the official kibosh on any hopes of a Damon return in 2010, one might have come to the conclusion that the Yankees were pretty much set with their left field plans. They've got Gardner, they've got Winn, they've got no more money allotted to improving that position - that just about settles that, right?Apparently not!The Yanks have now invited 32-year-old righty Marcus Thames to Spring Training with the intent of having him compete for the left field gig with Garder and Winn. Or they may platoon two of them. Or all three of them! There doesn't appear to be any plan in place at this point - these three potentially-capable candidates will have to battle it out in March to see who sucks the least; the one or two still standing come April will be our starting left fielder.Ya know what would have been easier? Scraping together a few million bucks from the spare change in Big Stein's couch and signing Damon for the everyday job.But i digress.As I said a couple of weeks ago when I was advocating that the Yanks should just settle on Gardner and be done with it, with the other 8 dudes in the lineup there's really nothing to be concerned about even if our left fielder does suck. That is not to say that whichever of these three guys (or combination thereof) ends up starting will suck - just that they might, and that's actually OK. Let's take a gander at these three dudes and discuss what they may be capable of adding to the team:Brett Gardner: A youngster - just 26 years old with two seasons of experience, both with the Yanks. Lifetime .256 average and .325 OBP; his slugging percentage is just .352, but he's 39-for-45 on his stolen base attempts (in just one and a half seasons). While he is a lefty, unfortunately not much potential for taking over for Damon in the cheap right-field homers category.Randy Winn: The most seasoned of the bunch at 35 years old and 12 years of experience, and the only switch-hitter. Lifetime .286 average, .344 OBP, and .418 slugging percentage, and he's averaged 21 stolen bases per season during his career. Not a ton of power, but could hit a few to right field (who couldn't?).Marcus Thames: 32 years old, 8-ish seasons of MLB experience (not many games played in some of those seasons), including 7 games for the Yanks in 2002 (you don't remember because it was not memorable). Lifetime .243 batting average, .306 OBP, .491 slugging, has stolen a whopping THREE bases in 8 years... and been caught 9 times (for the non-mathletes among us, that is a very, very poor ratio). Potential for hitting a bunch of cheapo right-field home runs is not remarkable. On the bright side, he's been hit by pitches 11 times in his career!At least you got on base, we'll take it.You'll notice I didn't bother to compare the fielding skills of these lads - I've determined that aspect is a moot point after last year; as long as the 2010 left fielder runs himself into walls 10% less often and his relay throws make it an extra 4 feet, we can consider it an upgrade over Damon's fielding.While Winn arguably has the best stats of the three, my money is still on Gardner for the starting gig. He plays hard and has been steadily improving since his time in the minors, and he's got youth on his side. Gardner's speed and hustle (perhaps he's a John Cena fan?) are unique on a team packed with older guys with ample power, and quite valuable. What he lacks in power will be picked up by the other guys, and when he gets on base we know he'll be jetting down to second base.Winn won't be out of a job, though - I anticipate that he'll be playing a few times a week, or coming in to bat in certain situations (remember, he's a switch-hitter while Gardner's a lefty).As for Thames... I don't even understand why they invited him. Hope he likes Scranton![...]



A Double Shot of BQE: An Footballin Cashman-Hater and a Pitcher on a Mission

2010-02-05T20:44:47.337-08:00

After a long week of work and school, I finally had a spare moment to review the happenings in Yankeeville from the past couple days, and was quite jazzed to find not just one but two quotable quotes to dissect!The first comes to us courtesy of our dear Jobamania and relates to the surprising issue I wrote about a couple weeks ago: the surplus of starting pitching that the Yanks have to work with for 2010. Unlike most of his teammates, whose roles on the team are set, Joba will be heading into Spring Training without the promise of a starting gig. The Yanks have made it clear that they have not made a decision on who will be the fifth starter and will make a decision during or after Spring Training. Joba will need to compete for a spot in the rotation (which is where he wants to be - he is intent on being a starter despite the fact that he's arguably been more successful in the bullpen... but that's a whole other discussion I shan't delve into tonight) against Phil Hughes, Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, and possibly even Alfredo Aceves.This picture is too awesome to NOT include. It reminds me of this. Enjoy. Despite a disappointingly mediocre 2009, Joba is still fired up and confident in his skills as a starter. He's ready to get down to Florida and prove himself, and understands that having four of five guys competing for one spot will benefit everyone: "It's something that's going to be a battle. The greatest part about it is it's not only going to make guys fight for that No. 5 spot, but it's going to make our team better. We're going to push each other and continue to try to outwork each other. That's the greatest part about this game; not only do you push one another to do better, but the team is going to be better for it."Joba is likely the frontrunner for the gig - barring a disastrous Spring, of course - but forcing him to work for it will make him even better. Of course, the bonus effect of this Spring competition will be an improved bullpen, too!(Until everyone gets burned out in August because they worked so hard in the off-season.)Alas, not everyone in the world is as gung-ho about the Yanks as Joba... which brings us to our second BQE!The Yanks are, as we are well aware, a polarizing force. They certainly have their share of detractors, and their wealth is a main bone of contention amongst many of the haters. We've all heard the "the Yankees buy their championships!" scoff (9 times out of 10 in a Boston accent) enough times to want to beat a Bostonian over the head with a bag of chewed-up sunflower seeds, but Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti took the "Yankees and their money" complaint to an interesting new level this week. Bisciotti's beef is apparently not just the disparity between the Yanks' payroll and that of the other teams, but also that the Yankees don't win enough (seriously):"It certainly doesn’t show up in the standings. If I’m a Yankees fan, I’m upset we’re not winning 130 games with the roster that they have and the money that they pay out. I think it’s a disgrace they only beat the average team by 10 games in the standings with three times the money. I’d fire that GM. You don’t need a GM. All you have to do is buy the last Cy Young Award winner every year.""It's PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE that the team I run blew it (again) this year!!!"I... don't know where to start here. This is so absurd I don't even know how to mock it properly. Are you angry that they have money? Or are you OK with the money but think that the number of wins should be directly proportional to the number of dollars spent (it doesn't work that way - talk to the Mets)? If it's a disgrace that they "only" won 10 more games than the average team, then I suppose it is also a disgrace that it took them 6 games to win the World Series. And if all a team has to do to be successful is be in possession of the previous year's Cy Young [...]



Swish Gets YC to Watch a Sitcom...

2010-02-02T20:56:00.968-08:00

When baseball is out of season, most of my ample allowance of TV time is dedicated to a healthy balance of traumatizing true-crime shows, reality competitions (often equally traumatizing), and watching oiled-up muscly men with no acting skills roll around (I'm referring to the WWE, not porn - just for the record), but last night I had to make an exception and allot some precious DVR space to a much different type of show. The Yanks' ever-cheerful faux-hawked right-fielder, the one and only Nick Swisher, made his acting debut last night on "How I Met Your Mother", a show I'd previously only heard of from commercials and thought was called "We've Got Doogie... and He's Always Cheerful!"

Calling it Swish's "acting" debut is a bit of a stretch, as he played himself, but the dear boy was charming and represented himself quite well (which is, sadly, more than I can say for Johnny Damon's cringe-worthily awkward guest host gig on WWE Raw earlier this year*). Swish's participation in the episode consisted primarily of him looking cute (a job well done) and wooing the ladies, dishing out sage observations like "aren't we all trying to find that special someone to share a toothbrush with?" I can't say Swish's skills convinced me to give Doogie and his cheese-fest a permanent spot on my DVR, but he really did do a nice job. Maybe next he and Cano can go on Dancing With the Stars.

Check out Swish's Emmy-worthy performance below:


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*I wasn't kidding about the WWE obsession



The King of Dumpster Diving (AKA Kevin Towers) to Join Yanks as Consulant?

2010-02-02T21:26:11.454-08:00

According to a tweet (the most official and scientific of all resources!) today by Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Yankees plan to announce a deal with former Padres GM Kevin Towers sometime before Spring Training, most likely as some sort of "special consultant" (the Cash Man ain't going anywhere, simmer down). Buster Olney predicted it back in October, and Towers himself said during the Winter Meetings (during which he met with several teams, including the Yanks) that he'd like to work with an American League team, so while Nightengale's tweet is not "official" news, Towers almost certainly will be joining the Yankees in 2010.

Whatever it is he'll be doing for the Yanks, I'm willing to bet it will result in all sorts of goodness. Even with the Padres' budget, which is approximately equal to my salary at my after-school job in high school (Jane's Cakes and Chocolates, represent!), the Padres won four division championships made it all the way to the World Series in 1998 during his reign. Before becoming GM, Towers was a scout, and used his skills to put together some surprisingly impressive teams made up primarily of random under-the-radar dudes - particularly pitchers - who had been cast off by other teams (deemed "dumpster diving" by the San Diego Union Tribune). He was also responsible for one of the most ridiculous trades of the past couple years, when he arranged a deal that sent a minor league catcher (Billy Killian), Akinori Otsuka (whose performances in the local "Corkys Pest Control" commercials remain the highlight of his career) and Adam Eaton to Texas in exchange for Adrian Gonzalez, Chris Young and OF Terrmel Sledge.

He won't be in sole charge of trades in New York, but I look forward to seeing what he comes up with for the Yanks - with his keen sixth sense for under-valued talent and the Yanks' money to behind him, I anticipate big things.



Damon Watch 2010! ...is over.

2010-01-27T19:31:07.837-08:00

(image) This bobble head almost makes everything better. He's literally on his knees begging us to like him.

Well, my fellow Damon fans, the sad fate we knew we were likely facing has come to fruition. The Yanks signed fellow - but much cheaper - veteran Randy Winn today for $2 million to be their fourth outfielder, shutting the door on any hopes of a Damon return. Joe Girardi confirmed the news on Mike Francesa's radio show tonight, saying he called Damon to wish him well and that he "is going to be missed".

As I explained last week, with an already incredible lineup and Brett Gardner available to play left field, investing in a pricey free agent like Damon really didn't make much sense. For just $2 million, Randy Winn actually fits the bill for the Yanks pretty well. He's a switch-hitter with a career .286 batting average (although he had a wretched 2009 - let's hope that was a fluke),, can run okay, and will almost certainly mis-play 90% fewer balls than Damon.

And if he sucks, Gardner will still be there.

In short, signing Winn was a generally wise move: why pay big bucks for a star when others are available to do 70% as good a job for 20% of the price?



B.Q.E. o' the Week: A-Rod Can Laugh at Himself as Much as We Laugh at Him

2010-01-26T09:56:10.696-08:00

A-Rod's New York state of mind circa 2004-2008 (left) and 2009 (right)When I posted the BQE with McGwire's non-apology apology for juicing a couple weeks ago, I noted that it was unlikely that any other quote would ever top that one in terms of idiocy and amusement factor. That statement stands and likely will for some time (because really, how are we going to top "I did this for health purposes"???), but A-Rod's reaction to winning an award for post-season excellence this weekend earned him a spot on the BQE list for a different reason entirely: it was sincere, endearing, and humble. In other words, totally different from any other BQE I've ever posted.A variety of awards were handed out at the 87th annual New York baseball writers’ dinner in NYC on Saturday, from the traditional AL and NL MVP to more personal honors like the Joan Payson Award for community service (given to Carlos Beltran... that'll make his team feel better about him concealing his surgery from them, right?) and the Arthur and Milton Richman You Gotta Have Heart Award (which was given to Aaron Boone, obv). Our dear A-Rod was honored as the winner of the Babe Ruth Award (the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s postseason MVP), an award no one who had ever uttered the words "choke artist" or "A-Fraud" during the 2004, 2005, 2006, or 2007 playoffs would have fathomed him earning.But earn it he did! His 2009 post-season numbers were indeed award-worthy: he batted .365 with six home runs (most of them undeniably clutch) and 18 RBI in 15 games, a performance worthy not just of an award but of a pardon for his prior playoff shortcomings. His amazing post-season capped off an equally impressive regular season, something no one would have expected after everything he'd endured in the previous couple of years (events which include, but are not limited to: a bitchy wife that wore clothes adorned with "Fuck You" to his games, a nasty divorce from said bitch, a romance with a near senior citizen with freakishly muscular arms [I'm looking at you, Madonna], getting dumped by said old lady for a 20 year old male model, opting out of a mega-huge contract in order to get an even bigger one [although I hold Boras primarily responsible for that one], being mocked by his former manager in a high-profile book, and a steroid scandal).While accepting his award, A-Rod acknowledged both his record of crappy playoff performances and the personal problems:“Postseason MVP. Wow. What’s next, the good guy award?”Seeing A-Rod cap off an impressive 2009 with a well-deserved award and a humble, self-aware acceptance speech is a delightful symbol of his shift in attitude. Yankees fans have been hoping for a change like this since he joined the team nearly 6 years ago, and it fills me with hope for what we'll be seeing from him for the next 8 years. A relaxed A-Rod that performs like a champ in the playoffs? It seemed unlikely just one year ago, but he proved me wrong. Perhaps that good guy award is up next after all![...]



A Pitching... SURPLUS?!?!

2010-01-20T20:41:46.445-08:00

Less video gamin', more fighting-for-your-rotation-spot, please.After a few shaky years of relying on one or two solid starters backed up by a series of interchangeable question marks (Rasner, Ponson, Chacon) and downright WTF's (Igawa, Wright, Pavano), the 2009 Yanks finally managed to put together a roster of starters that came close to being as impressive as their lineup. The Wangster was a bust, but they still had four starting pitchers pitch the entire season without injury or major disaster (CC, AJ, Pettitte, Joba), and the collection of dudes that filled in at the 5th spot was refreshingly reliable - as far as 5th starters go, that is - as well (Hughes, Gaudin, Mitre). As we look forward to 2010, the Yanks' list of starters is even more impressive. In fact, the Yanks appear to be in possession of - I'm frightened to even say this for fear of it causing a wave of Pavano-esque injuries and sending us right back to where we were in years past - a surplus of starting pitching.Could this really be true? Is this real life? In addition to their three best performing starters from last year (CC, AJ, and Pettitte), the Yankees will also have Javier Vazquez in 2010, giving them a rotation any team would be thrilled to have regardless of who was rounding out the last spot. Unlike previous years where the 5th (and sometimes 4th) spot was at best a gamble and at worst a throwaway, the Yanks have four viable starters to fill in after CC, AJ, Pettitte, and Javy. Hughes and Joba are the obvious candidates for the spot - Girardi and Stein still consider both of them as potential starting pitchers, not relievers - but the Yanks also still have Sergio Mitre and Chad Gaudin, who started 9 and 6 games last year, respectively.Who will actually get that spot remains a mystery for now; arguments can be made in several directions (and we shall discuss them in a later post). The fact that they have all these options is the important thing. Not only does it give the Yankees some breathing room in the event that someone gets injured or proves to have an off year, but it also forces all of them to step up their game to earn the spot - having to beat out their teammates to get the chance to pitch will surely inspire some serious hard work and determination. I don't necessarily anticipate Chad Gaudin to bust out an epic season and knock Joba and Hughes out of the rotation, but for those two to know that if they don't pitch well they could easily be bumped can only be good.It's been quite a while since I've felt such confidence in the Yankees' pitching staff. Not having to rely solely on Mariano and offense was a nice treat last year, and I'm really looking forward to enjoying that same luxury this year. With a lineup that actually could carry a team with poor pitching and a rotation like this to take the pressure off, this team is looking downright absurd*.*Superstition disclaimer: Not I would count my chickens before they hatch. Knock on wood, etc etc.[...]



Poll: Settle on Gardner, or Keep Looking Elsewhere?

2010-01-18T19:03:29.127-08:00

Let him go, Brett. You can hang on your own.As I mentioned last week, my love for Damon (post-Boston/beard Damon, that is) had me rooting for him to return to the Bronx for another season - if the price was right (even as a fan, I can't justify the Yanks spending more than a couple million on him, nor would I want them to sign him for anything more than one season). Unfortunately for Damon fans like myself, since the Yanks (wisely) don't want to shell out big bucks for their left field spot and Damon is still holding on to hope of scoring big elsewhere, it's time to accept the fact that Damon will likely NOT be manning left field in 2010. Thus the time has come to suss out other possibilities...The Yanks have not yet formally announced who they plan to have in left field this year, but with Damon out of the picture, they essentially have three options: make a trade, sign a free agent, or put Brett Gardner out there. Making a trade seems unlikely - who would they be trading for? And who is left to give up? - and the list of free agents that fit the criteria the Steins have in place for their 2010 left fielder ("will work cheap" and "doesn't suck too horribly") is dwindling by the day (although Gary Sheffield is still available! I'm surprised - who wouldn't want that little ray of sunshine brightening up their team's morale?). That leaves our dear friend Brett Gardner, a guy once thought to be a better bet than Melky Cabrera before his lackluster performance relegated him back to the bench. Gardy may not be the most impressive player, but his low price (under half a mil) and potential for improvement have him just weeks away from getting the left-field gig by a process of elimination. As a Yankees fan during the Steinbrother area, I'm not used to the team "settling" at any position - they've got the money, go after the big players! - but I actually think giving the job to Gardner instead of expending more money or players is the best move the Yanks could make with their left field opening.Why give the gig to Brett? As noted, Brett ain't the best left fielder in the league, and when compared to the rest of the Yanks lineup he looks like he belongs in the minors. That said... who cares? Have you seen the rest of that lineup? While a 1-9 can't-get-em-out lineup like we had last year is fantastic, it's also rare and simply not necessary. A-Rod, Teixeira, Jeter, Granderson, Cano, Posada, Swisher and Nick Johnson are more than capable of taking care of business whether their 9th teammate is Brett Gardner or Wily Mo Pena or even Matt Holliday. Would having another 25-home run guy on the team be nice? Sure. But it's not necessary for the Yanks to be successful in 2010.What's more, Gardner shouldn't be written off as a "waste" of a lineup spot anyway - he has the potential to contribute much more than we saw last year. Remember, last year at Spring Training he impressed Girardi so much he was actually given the starting job in centerfield over Melky. Once the season got rolling, his performance unfortunately dropped off significantly, but he's obviously got some natural ability in there somewhere. He's only 26, and doesn't have a ton of experience - perhaps what he needs is the chance to get in a lot of at-bats without a ton of pressure (look at that lineup above). His first partial year in the Bronx, when he appeared in 42 games in 2008, was not impressive (.228/.283/.299), but he improved substantially in 2009 when he had more opportunities: .270/.345/.379 in 108 games. Why not give him the chance to prove what he can do? If he does poorly, it won't have a huge impact on the team, and if he does well the Yanks find themselves enjoying the services of a quality left fielder without[...]



A Sarcasm-Free YC Post (the first and likely only ever!): Follow the Yanks' Lead and HELP

2010-01-15T17:08:25.962-08:00

If you're a long-time YC reader (all three of you), you are likely familiar with the fact that I am a tender-hearted soul, prone to empathizing to the nth degree with anyone hurting. The earthquake and subsequent disastrous state of affairs in Haiti has affected me deeply, as it has so many others (Pat Robertson excepted). I donated as much as I could afford, and I was thrilled to see yesterday that both the MLB and the Yankees stepped up to the plate themselves, to the tune of $1 million and $500,000 respectively. Makes you feel a little better about dropping $80 at a baseball game, no?

Whether you're an overly-sympathetic person accustomed to getting choked up at the thought of so much as one injured child, or a cynical ethnocentric conservative with no interest in anyone outside your immediate community, I urge you to donate something to the relief effort. This is not a political issue or a religious cause: these are human beings suffering from something completely out of anyone's control. If the Yankees can donate more than they pay Brett Gardner in a year, you can afford five bucks.

(image) click the image to donate



$2 Million + YC's Love Should Be Plenty for Damon

2010-01-14T18:10:32.131-08:00

(image) If Damon goes, who will represent the Yankees in the world of sports entertainment??*

If you had told me five years ago that I'd be mourning the departure of Johnny Damon from the Bronx, I would have laughed in your face. I'm not ashamed to admit that I harbored an intense hatred for "Johnny Demon" when he and his nasty beard were residing in Beantown - the very sight of him was enough to illicit a vomitous reaction out of me - but something unexpected occurred at some point over the last four years: I became a Damon fan.

I actually tried hard NOT to like him once he joined the Yanks, but my efforts were in vain. He lost the beard, stole a few bases, showed some good team spirit, and I was converted. I liked his contributions to the team, from the solid OBP and speed (and the fact that he capitalized on the new stadium's freakish right-field with a buncha cheap-o home runs in 2009) to the relaxed and fun-loving attitude he brought to a team in dire need of a little loosening up. When the Yanks opted not to re-sign him right away after his contract expired, I sincerely hoped that they would reach a deal to bring him back (just for one year; let's not get too crazy here) - not because he's the best player available, but because he's been such a great fit for the team.

Unfortunately, it's not looking like Damon will be back in the Bronx in 2010, thanks to his salary demands and the Steinbrenners' out-of-character adoption of an actual budget. According to the New York Post, the Yanks are dead against spending a dime more than $2 million for their 2010 left fielder, a number far lower than what Damon thinks he's worth. To be fair, while I would like Damon to re-sign, the Steins are wise to stick to their guns on this matter: there are a plethora of similar left-field options to be had for $2 million (Brett Gardner is an obvious choice, but free agents like Nady or Jerry Hairston Jr are also available and could form a platoon of sorts) and the rest of the lineup is so absurd that paying big bucks for an offensive star is simply not necessary.

At this point, it appears that the only way Damon will wind up back on the Yankees this year will be if he can't find a deal elsewhere and is forced to lower his asking price and ditch his demand for a multi-year deal. Both the Giants and more recently the Braves have reportedly shown an interest in him, so the odds of that situation coming to fruition are slim.

It'll be sad to see Damon go; I'll miss his BS right-field home runs and his sheepish smiles after he makes mistakes in the outfield. He's got good mojo. I can only hope he goes to the National League so that I can continue to like him (cuz we all know the minute he hits a home run against the Yankees, he'll be stricken from my fickle heart).


*I vote Cano



B.Q.E. o' the Year: McGwire Shocks The World Absolutely No One

2010-01-11T17:34:54.652-08:00

(image) He was lying?! But I thought glasses denoted truthfulness?

B.Q.E's (best quotes ever) are some of my fave posts to do: they essentially write themselves thanks to the sheer idiocy of the quotee. Today's addition to the B.Q.E. files is no exception, as Mark McGwire decided at last to come clean about his past steroid use after 10+ years of unyielding (and unconvincing) denials to everyone from fans to congress. In a lengthy statement that covered everything from his dedication to his new job as Cardinals' hitting coach to a list of injuries he felt justified his juicing (at the time), Big Mac admitted to using steroids throughout the '90s, including during the 1998 season when he broke the home run record (good thing Bonds broke it again a couple years later and brought dignity back to baseball!).

The statement itself is somewhat dry, likely written by an adviser of some sort, and hence not the ideal source for humorous quotes. Once he got on the horn with reporters, the fun began! He was very emotional and had some interesting things to say about his previous denials and the reasons he used steroids. Let's look at the highlights:

On how coming clean feels:

"It's very emotional, it's telling family members, friends and coaches, you know, it's former teammates to try to get a hold of, you know, that I'm coming clean and being honest. It's the first time they've ever heard me, you know, talk about this. I hid it from everybody."

No, you didn't - everyone knew you were juicing. Denying something doesn't mean you hid it, it just means you're a liar.

On whether the steroid use contributed to his many injuries that prompted his retirement:

"That's a good question."
And that's a bad answer.

On his 2005 lie-fest at the congressional hearings (for which he now blames his lawyers' advice):

"That was the worst 48 hours of my life."
Lying to congress wasn't pleasant? Aw, we feel so bad for you.

And the quote that may never be topped by another B.Q.E.:

"I did this for health purposes. There's no way I did this for any type of strength use."

See, everyone? Injecting steroids over and over and over and over again was strictly a health regimen; those beefy American Gladiator arms that jacked a gazillion home runs were a side effect. The motive was health.

Many thanks to Big Mac for the comic relief on this Monday!



Off-Season Upgrades & Updates Part Uno

2010-01-10T20:38:38.690-08:00

I'm not a huge fan of change when it comes to my Yanks, particularly when the status quo is working just fine and dandy, but it came as no surprise that after winning the World Series in November the Yanks basked in the glory of their 27th championship for about 36 seconds before beginning their quest to improve the team for a bid for #28. While I personally would have been content to watch the exact same team trot back out there in 2010 and try to repeat their successes, I understand the need to capitalize on free agency (by both letting some dead weight go and snapping up some available players from other teams) and lucrative trade offers, and I must say the Yanks have done a bang-up job tweaking the team thus far this off-season. They've steered clear of all the blockbuster-type players many assumed they'd be in the market for (Lackey, Halladay, Holliday, etc), instead focusing their energies on making minor changes that cost relatively little in terms of both money and prospects. Is it possible that the Yankees might make it through an entire off-season without blowing $3028023091283 or shipping off their entire farm for one player? The winter's not over yet, so there may be a big move still up their sleeves, but the 2010 team is shaping up quite nicely without the need for major moves. Let's review what the Yanks have done so far to prepare for 2010:No hard feelings, Hideki: Despite having a very productive 2009, capped off by an MVP-worthy World Series performance, the Yanks let Matsui walk away rather than re-signing him. I like Matsui and appreciate everything he's done for the Yanks (and I'm sure the Steins appreciated the Japanese advertising yen he brought in), but there was really no need to keep him around at this point. He is not able to play defense anymore and his knee is hanging on by a thread - keeping him around strictly as DH is silly when there are other candidates available who can offer more for a lower price....But we'd rather have Nick Johnson: I loved NJ when he was first with the Yanks, and I'm thrilled to have him back. His services won't be needed at first base very often (Teixeira took a grand total of about half an inning off last season), so he's likely to spend just about all of his time in the DH spot, but that is precisely where he should be with his .400+ OBP and potential for a bunch of right-field cheapie homers in the new stadium. I'm not always keen on teams signing someone strictly to be a DH, but the Yanks' infield is set in stone and they've already got a plethora of outfielders, so NJ it is!You better learn how to dance, Curtis: The Yanks already had about 678 outfielders, but when they agreed to a 7-player three-way trade with the D-Backs and Tigers that landed them centerfielder Curtis Granderson I was excited all the same. He's got speed and power and is a good all-around dude to boot - which, as we saw from Nick Swisher last year, can add a lot to a team. For Cano's sake, though, let's hope he can dance a la Melky...No mas Melky, bring back Javi: The writing was on the wall for Melky once CG was signed - as mentioned above, how the hell many outfielders does this team really need? Still, seeing him traded to the Braves for Javier Vazquez was bittersweet all the same. Javi is obviously much more valuable to the Yanks than Melky, however, and will hopefully fill out the rotation quite nicely. Whether he can repeat the incredible performance he put together in '09 seems unlikely when you factor in the league change and the park he'll be pitching in, but he's just what the doctor ordered to back up CC, AJ, and......Dand[...]



I'm Back to Attack Thanks to Big Mac (Rhymalicious!)

2010-01-09T12:57:34.935-08:00

Why hello there, Yankees fans and folks who accidentally clicked my link from a Google search for "Kate Hudson A-Rod Breakup"! 'Tis I, the Yankees Chick - a gal you've likely forgotten thanks to my abysmal failure to update this sucker even once in the past 5+ months.Yes, it's been a minute or two since I last blogged (and longer still since I kept this site updated on a truly regular basis), and I apologize for my absence. No, I haven't stopped obsessing over the Yankees (come on now), nor have I given up on the blog - 2009 was simply a wildly busy year in the land of the YC. Even whilst I was forced to push the bloggity to the back burner last year, I always intended to fire it back up as soon as one of three things happened:1) I finished school, thus freeing up my evenings for bloggin'2) Vince McMahon hired me as a high-paid special consultant for the WWE, with my sole responsibility being to watch every episode of Raw and Smackdown and offer suggestions on how the storylines and characters could be improved (for the love of christ, can John Cena and Randy Orton not be in a title match at just one PPV?), thus freeing up my days for bloggin'3) Something ridiculous in the baseball world fired me up so much that I decided I simply MUST get back on the blogging saddle pronto, regardless of my lack of time to do so.I'm still in school, and Mr. McMahon has yet to seek out my valuable services, so you can all thank Mark McGwire for inspiring me to dredge up my blogger.com password and get back to work!If you're a die-hard MLB Network viewer like myself, perhaps you saw this little nugget yourself last night:The fuck? What year is it? The most shocking thing about this seemingly out-of-nowhere Big Mac news is that Harold and the gang at the MLB Network failed to mention what seems in my opinion to be the obvious motivation for such a move: a better chance at Hall of Fame election. Since becoming eligible for the HOF in 2007, it's become abundantly clear that the voters have no interest in allowing McGwire into Cooperstown (I know, I know - it's shocking that they don't believe his steroid denials, isn't it?), and making a brief comeback may give him a fighting chance. By rejoining the field of active players, Big Mac would no longer be eligible for the HOF for the time being, but once he re-retires and waits out another 5 years for renewed eligibility, attitudes may have changed enough to give him a chance at election.Cuz seriously, there's no other reason for the man to even consider re-joining the MLB. I don't think he's that hard up for cash, and I certainly don't think elderly pinch hitters are such a rare commodity that the Cardinals are banging down his door begging him to return.That's it for today - again, I apologize for my long absence, and I look forward to writing much more in 2010. Stay tuned this weekend for my thoughts on the Yanks' off-season moves thus far (fare thee well, sweet Melk-Man...)[...]



Thank You, Kate Hudson

2009-07-19T15:42:05.898-07:00

With the humiliation of Joe Torre's "let's all mock A-Rod" book, the steroid scandal, a divorce, getting ditched by Madonna for a teenage model, a hip cyst, and surgery that put him out of commission for a couple of months, A-Rod had a one hell of an off-season. Such turmoil could easily send even the most balanced person into a tailspin, but for a sensitive (fragile) dude like A-Rod, I must confess I would not have been surprised if all the trauma induced an emotion-fueled baseball breakdown. To be honest, I was steeling myself for an unproductive year from him.

Well, he's been back from his injury for a couple months now, and I am thrilled to have been totally wrong about his mental state and productivity! He's happy. He's smiling. High-fives with teammates abound. He looks calm, collected, relaxed. Best of all? He's doing exactly what the Yanks need him to do: hitting for power and getting on base. His average may be on the low side (.255 as of today), but that one little number is very misleading this case. Take a look at the rest of his line:

OBP: .402
SLG: .557
HR: 19 (and remember, he missed the first month of the season)
RBI: 52

So what gives? How is a man known for falling apart in the face of 3 booing fans doing so well this year when by all accounts there is far MORE stress and pressure on him now than ever (one would think that the steroids scandal in particular would be weighing heavily on his mind as he tries to prove that his success isn't solely juice-based)?

My money is on his new lady friend, Kate Hudson. Crappy chick-flicks aside, she seems like a lovely gal, and best of all has a reputation for being laid back and fun-loving, precisely the influence A-Rod so desperately needs. Let's all join together in thanking her for calming our man down - don't fuck this relationship up, A-Rod!



B.Q.E. o' the Week: Some Hatred from the YCD

2009-07-13T19:18:33.276-07:00

As all you dedicated YC-readers are well aware, my daddy-o (AKA the "YCD") is a life-long and uber-dedicated fan of the Bronx Bombers. Like his dear daughter (me), the YCD is very emotionally invested in the team and has a tendency to get fired up when things aren't going well.

Like this weekend, when the Yankees stammered their way through a pathetic 3-game series of fuckupery in Anaheim. Very similar to what we saw earlier in the year when they were fucking up against the Red Sox, the Yankees appeared to be a totally different team all weekend: bad pitching, lazy defense, stupid baserunning, and a total lack of clutchtasticness (and not just A-Rod, so zip it). After such a great run throughout June and the part of July, why couldn't the Yanks get it together in Anaheim? Do they psych themselves out against their major rivals? Were they intimidated (I hope not, because the Angels are not as good as the Yankees made them look)? The whole weekend was truly maddening and honestly embarrassing for the team (and those of us who defend them).

I was discussing the series with the YCD and trying to surmise what could be the cause of the tragic display the Yanks bestowed upon us, and he had no problem identifying what he sees as the source of the team's problems:
"I hate three people right now: Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlain, and Joe Girardi. I'm over Pettitte, Joba's a pussy, and I hate Joe Girardi."
I've already mentioned my concern about Joba and his troubling insistence that he was pitching his "best" lately, and no one can deny that Pettitte has been extremely disappointing this year, but I'm not sure I'm ready to be out on Girardi. Is it really his fault? What could/should he be doing differently? Convince me one way or the other in the comments section, kiddos. Are you on team YCD or still wearing your Girardi jersey?



Jobamania Delusionmania

2009-07-11T16:42:32.057-07:00

Remember that annoying kid you knew growing up who always insisted they were great at something despite ever-increasing evidence to the contrary? The type of kid that could fail 10 math tests in a row and still brag about it being his best subject, or the horribly klutzy girl that kept trying out for the cheerleading squad year after year, thinking they really had a chance at making it? Their confidence was so ridiculously off-base that you couldn't help but feel bad for them while wondering what the hell their parents were telling them to convince them of their awesome-ness.

Joba is totally that guy right now.

Our dear Jobamania, whose pitching this year has continued to be ineffective at best and downright pathetic at worst, stated last night that his "stuff" and "mechanics" in his last two starts were the best he has had all season.

Read that again, and then take a gander at his line over those aforementioned last two starts:

8 IP, 18 hits, 13 runs, 7 earned runs, 2 BB, 5 K, 3 home runs.

Now, I certainly understand that it is possible to pitch well but get unlucky (bad backing defense, particularly lucky opposing hitters, etc etc), but I simply cannot agree that Joba has shown his "best" stuff recently. You know how I know this? BECAUSE I HAVE EYES AND CAN SEE THAT HE'S BEEN PITCHING HORRIBLY. Giving up 18 hits in 8 innings is not a fluke, it's an indication that your pitches are not good.

To be fair, Joba also expressed frustration and disappointment in the results of his recent outings, but to say that he feels his "stuff" was at his "best" is worrisome indeed. Confidence is important and I certainly don't want the poor kid to get too down on himself (putting immense pressure on oneself is a recipe for disaster; just ask the growing number of players on the DL for anxiety problems), but how is he going to improve (which we desperately need him to do) if he thinks that what he's been doing is his "best"?

For those counting, the Yanks are already down to 4 starters thanks to the Wangster's inability to recover from suck-itis, and 4 innings of Joba's current "best efforts" every fifth day is not helping matters. It's lovely that Joba has such faith in himself, but he's going to need to step it up to re-gain mine.




The Yanks are in First, I'm Back, What More Could You Fools Want?

2010-01-08T20:46:51.194-08:00

Well hellooooooo there!

Greetings from the Yankees Chick! It's been a long, long time since last I updated my precious little baby (and by "precious" I mean "the first thing to get neglected whenever I am busy"), and for this I truly apologize. Contrary to popular belief, I did not "give up on the Yankees because they suck" (an accusation I've received via several delightfully borderline-unintelligible emails several times since my last post; spelling and general idiocy aside, doesn't it stand to reason that that argument would really only make sense if the Yankees did indeed suck? Whatevs) or die, I am simply suffering from too-much-to-do-itis as I am in the unfortunate position of having to work full time AND go to school full time. YOU try finding time to bitch about Chien-Ming Wang and Cheaty Ramirez after putting in a 40+ hour workweek and seemingly endless hours thereafter crying/screaming/wringing my hands trying to figure out complicated techie crap for school.

That said, I've decided to kick the blog back into gear again. I can't promise the luxury of fancy regular features like Top Ten Tuesdays and Rest o' the League Round-up (all of which were prets lame anyway, let's be honest with ourselves here), but I assure you I WILL be updating far more regularly than I have been in the first part of 2009. Seriously.

After all, there's much to catch up on, from Manny being Cheaty (and why I kind of like that he's doing well now) to Joba being boring to the glory of the Yanks and Sox battling it out for first place yet again. Meet me back here later and we'll discuss all these fabulous topics in more depth!



Text update: MELK!

2009-04-25T13:37:20.297-07:00

Suh-weeeet!!! Way to go, Melk-Man! Not only did he hit 2 homers (including the walk-off jack!), but he hit them from opposite sides of the plate --- an all-too-rare talent these days.



Text update: Homerific

2009-04-25T13:37:34.590-07:00

Testing, testing, 1-2-3!! Just realized I can blog via text message (apparently I've been sleeping since 2005). Had to comment on the home run derby going on in the stadium - fluke or a sign of what we'll be seeing for the next 50 years? And is it necessarily a BAD thing? At least we've got the bats for now - ask me again in 10 years when the roster is totally different...