Are Yankees Team Of The Decade?

From Rich Lederer:

Here is a summary of the qualifications of the leading candidates to become the Team of the Decade.

If Los Angeles wins it all this year, the case for the Angels will be as follows:
2 World Series championships
2 pennants
3 LCS appearances
5 Division titles (including 2009)

If St. Louis wins it all this year, the case for the Cardinals will be:
2 World Series championships
3 pennants
6 LCS appearances
7 Division titles (including 2009)

If New York wins, the case for the Yankees will be:
2 World Series championships
4 pennants
5 LCS appearances
7 Division titles (including 2009)

If Boston wins, the case for the Red Sox will be:
3 World Series championships
3 pennants
5 LCS appearances
2 Division titles
4 Wild Cards (including 2009)

At this point, the team of the decade is the Boston Red Sox, and nothing short of a title from the Yankees or Cardinals will change that.… Click here to read the rest

Game 130: Chicago 3, Yankees 8

Bronx Cheers:
Matsui: The DH went 0-4 on the day and struck out once.

Coke: In the ninth inning the reliever gave up a homerun to Jermaine Dye. He got the other three batters he faced out with no problem, but lately it seems like he can’t make it through an outing without giving up at least one run.

A-Rod on the basepaths
: Seriously, what was he doing out there? In the first inning he started to steal, hesitated and got picked off at first. He got lucky later on when he was on first and thought that Nix was going to catch Matsui’s hit in the air, so instead of running to second he ran back to first, where Nix would have had an easy double play if he had been thinking.

Curtain Calls:
Jeter: The Yankee shortstop is unstoppable right now. He consistently gets on base and is making a good statement to MVP voters.… Click here to read the rest

Lunch with Kyle Blanks and the Padres game

Friday, Kyle and I exchanged a few text messages to confirm our time and location. We met at the Tin Fish restaurant, around the block from Petco. Kyle was promptly there and my older son, Jake, and I met him out front. The dude is BIG. And young. In addition to Jake and I was my wife, my younger son Zach, and my Dad. We peppered him with questions about being in the majors and going thru the minors and he graciously answered everything. I did not want it to seem like it was an “interview”, so I didn’t take notes. We wanted to ask him for a tour of the lockerroom but he had to meet someone to get his car back so we decided not to ask. Kyle was pretty subdued the whole time, though he really perked up talking about the home run and the inside-the-park HR. Kyle signed two baseballs (that we brought) for my boys, along with their hats, before taking off.… Click here to read the rest

Betances to get TJ

Dellin Betances, the Yankees’ towering righty pitching prospect, will undergo Tommy John surgery, Mike Ashmore reports.  Betances, who has been sidelined with a number of elbow injuries in the past few seasons, will finally get things repaired.  This is another blow to the Yankees’ system, though I think surgery was inevitable for Betances given how frequently he has been injured, and mostly with elbow problems.  Hopefully he can get everything fixed and with rest and rehab, be ready to pick up where he left off in 2011.  We have seen what he can do when he is healthy and mechanically sound.

Betances is the 3rd Yankee pitching prospect to get TJ this season, along with George Kontos and Brett Marshall.  In the last few years, Yankee pitching prospects must lead the world in TJ surgeries, with 3 this year, plus Andrew Brackman, JB Cox, and Chris Garcia in the last few years.

h/t to RAB… Click here to read the rest

Hairston A Great Addition

From the NY Times:

Jerry Hairston Jr. started in center field for the Yankees, switched to right field in the eighth inning and finished the game at shortstop. Hairston doubled in the first two runs of the game, and continued to be as versatile as any Yankee.

When Nick Swisher was asked where Hairston’s versatility ranked among other players, he said: “On a scale from 1 to 100, I’m thinking 100. It seems like the guy can do everything.”

Since the Yankees acquired Hairston from the Cincinnati Reds on July 31, he has batted .382 with two homers, nine runs batted in and six walks in the 11 games that he has started. Manager Joe Girardi said he would not hesitate to use Hairston at any infield or outfield position, and also called him an emergency catcher.

“It’s a real luxury,” Girardi said. “You feel that you can almost put him in seven different spots. There’s not a lot of guys that can do that.”

The addition of Hairston was a masterstroke by Brian Cashman, bringing in a veteran hitter who can field every position on the diamond other than catcher.… Click here to read the rest

Discussion: Would An Early Playoff Exit Make For A Failed Season?

During the last Yankees-Red Sox tilt, the ESPN broadcast crew had an interesting discussion regarding expectations in NY and what makes a season a success. Steve Phillips contended that the expectations in NY are too high, and lamented the fact that anything other than a World Series championship for the Yankees would be branded a failure. While I do agree that the Yankees have had some fun seasons over the last 9 seasons, I do have to disagree with Phillips. The crux of my argument can be found in Joe Posnanski’s epic post on the Royals:

So, man-for-man the 2005 team was worse than this team. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. This is why I took you through that bizarre early bit about movies. Maybe the 2009 team would take a seven game series from the 2005 team (though I would fully expect it to go seven games). But my expectations are a lot different in 2009. This team is spending a lot more money.

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Ranking All-Time Yankee Hitters

Jonah Keri recently providing his ranking of the top-10 all-time Yankee hitters. The list (with OPS+ added by me):

1 Babe Ruth (210 OPS+)
2 Mickey Mantle (172 OPS+)
3 Lou Gehrig (179 OPS+)
4 Joe DiMaggio (155 OPS+)
5 Yogi Berra (125 OPS+)
6 Derek Jeter (121 OPS+)
7 Bill Dickey (127 OPS+)
8 Jorge Posada (124 OPS+)
9 Bernie Williams (125 OPS+)
10 Earle Combs (126 OPS+)

Babe Ruth is the no-doubt #1 pick. Beyond that, there seems to be two clusters of potential candidates. Tier 2 contains Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, and Lou Gehrig. They have a 30 point gap in OPS+ versus the rest of the crew. Of the three, only Mantle played the majority of his career in the post-Robinson age, and faced a much tougher level of competition. He has significantly more playing time than either, and played a premium defensive position. I think that he is a sensible #2. Deference then goes to Gehrig’s Pujols-like hitting performance, even though DiMaggio was no slacker himself.… Click here to read the rest

Swisher learning

Here’s Bryan Hoch (MLB) on Nick Swisher’s defense:

Swisher has had a mixed bag of results in the outfield this season with the Yankees, turning in some splendid defensive plays along with a few bloopers — missed diving catches and air-mailed throws to the screen behind home plate among them.

Swisher said the sharp toss home to catcher Jose Molina, picked clean and applied to the sliding Castro, was no fluke.

“I’ve really been trying to concentrate on the defensive end of things,” Swisher said. “I don’t like coming out of games, and early in the season, it happened late in games that I would get a defensive replacement. I’ve really been trying to take a lot of pride in the defensive end so I can stay out there for all nine.”

Swisher said that he has been scoring a little guidance on the topic from a pair of sources that might be less-than-expected — the Yankees’ pitching coach and one of the team’s two left-handed relievers.

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Cano clobbers one for the win

Despite the endless supply of rain, last night’s game was a definite treat. CC Sabathia threw 7 strong innings, striking out 10 ChiSox, in what was a remarkable ballgame. CC was dominant for most of the affair and only gave up 2 ER in the 7th inning (a product of the rain, perhaps). Conversely, the Yankee offense didn’t muster much against Mark Buehrle, plating only 2 runs against the crafty lefty. In the end, in a battle of two very superb lefties, neither was the victor as both team’s had to resort to their respective bullpens for the final innings in what turned out to be a 10-inning game.

However, with a man on first and second in the 10th—surprise, surprise—Robinson Cano hit a walk-off HR to end the game, 5-2. Cano now has 21 HR on the season (19 was his previous season high). Although the Red Sox ended up beating the Blue Jays after another poor outing from Josh Beckett, this win maintains the 6-game lead the Yankees have over Boston.… Click here to read the rest