And the bullpen, non-Mariano edition?

Offseason discussion this year has focused on hitting and starting pitching, which is as it should be. What’s new, however, is that until the Yankees signed Chan-Ho Park virtually no attention had been paid to the bullpen. As recently as 2007 the team was so desperate for a reliable reliever that Joba Chamberlain was called up to the Majors early to stop the bleeding. This season the fanbase seems to take a solid bullpen as a given. It’s difficult not to credit Joe Girardi for the change. While Joe Torre was notorious for picking one or two relievers and then Continue reading And the bullpen, non-Mariano edition?

I hope he was wearing a cup! (classic photo)

This picture was taken by my father during Girardi’s playing days on the Yanks, from the 1996 season when he wore #45 for a period of time (switching with Cecil Fielder). My father was seated in friends’ seats, right up close, and managed to time this one perfectly. In the pre-digital camera age, no less! This is a scan of the picture, so the quality isn’t perfect, but it’s a classic. I’m sending a copy to Girardi, hoping he’ll remember this and sign it for my boys.

Continue reading I hope he was wearing a cup! (classic photo)

Links:Yankees Universe, Weak Up The Middle, Gardner

I had a number of stories open on my browser that I felt deserved some attention, but could not work into larger posts. Here they are: Yankees Universe Begins 2010 Campaign As most of you are aware, this blog was formerly known as The Yankee Universe, until we received a cease and desist from the Yankees requiring us to stop using the name. The Yankees Universe fan club will launch its 2010 program today. While it may seem strange that I am linking to the program that caused us plenty of angst, the fact of the matter is that the Continue reading Links:Yankees Universe, Weak Up The Middle, Gardner

BA’s Top 100 Prospects List

Here’s a notable item that we missed yesterday. Baseball America released its Top 100 Prospects List and the Yankees were represented by their two young backstops, Jesus Montero (4) and Austin Romine (86). Atlanta’s Jason Heyward topped the list (no surprise there), while a few former Yankees in Arodys Vizcaino (69) and Austin Jackson (76) were also featured. According to BA’s J.J. Cooper, the group is based on what a player’s “ultimate major league ceiling is, weighed against the likelihood that he will reach that ceiling.” The Yankees weren’t as well-represented as the Red Sox, who had four players on Continue reading BA’s Top 100 Prospects List

Jeter not worried about his contract situation (and he shouldn’t be)

Today in Tampa, Derek Jeter met with the media to discuss the new year and, of course, his looming free agency was the dominant topic of conversation. As was expected, Jeter brushed the issue off as a possible distraction and affirmed his desire to be a Yankee for the duration of his already impressive career. “This is the only organization I’ve ever wanted to play for,” Jeter said. “That’s still true today. I was a Yankees fan growing up, and this is where I want to be. I’ve never envisioned myself playing anywhere else, and hopefully I don’t have to.” Continue reading Jeter not worried about his contract situation (and he shouldn’t be)

Time for science class, HGH testing-style

Class, please turn your books to page #236 as we discuss the two different types of testing for HGH:

Believe it or not, there are actually two distinct methods for testing, developed by two independent teams. The first test is called the “isoform approach”, which in the words of the researchers, “directly analyzes the spectrum of molecular isoforms in circulation: the pituitary gland secretes a spectrum of homo- and heterodimers and – multimers of a variable spectrum of hGH isoforms, whereas rhGH consists of the monomeric 22,000 Da isoform only.” In Layman’s, this means that synthetic hGH can differ slightly from the hGH made by your pituitary. An isoform just means a different type of the same protein, kind of like how you can have a red chair and a blue chair, but they are both chairs. This test was developed in Berlin, Germany led by Professor Christian Strasburger and appears to be the test used to catch out Terry Newton. Unfortunately this test only works for a few days after hGH use.

The second test is known as the “marker approach” which was developed at Southampton University in England led by Professor Peter Sonksen. It involves looking at GH-dependant biomarkers IGF-I and type 3 procollagen (P-III-P) which appear to vary differently from endogenous and exogenous GH. This test claims to be able to test up to 14 days after use, which is quite incredible for a drug once thought to be impossible to detect. The World Anti-Doping-Agency (WADA) is looking to combine these testing methods into one robust testing procedure.

Got that? It took me 3x to grasp most of it.

Let’s wait and see what WADA is able to concoct and what courses of action MLB take. Continue reading Time for science class, HGH testing-style

Cashman Resolves Center Field And Batting Order Debates

[image title=”” size=”full” id=”15344″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ] Jim Bowden and Jody MacDonald interviewed Brian Cashman on Sirius XM yesterday, and he had the following to say about the Granderson v. Gardner for center field debate (h/t Ben at RAB): I think that what’s taken place is when you’re asked questions like ‘Is there a possibility of Gardner playing center?’ I’m like, well, if we feel Gardner makes us our best team with Gardner at center because we’re blessed to have two above average center fielders patrolling Yankee Stadium’s outfield out of the three man alignment. So we have [Nick] Swisher Continue reading Cashman Resolves Center Field And Batting Order Debates

Reviewing this Offseason, Part Two

On Monday, I talked about the Yankees offseason on the mound and today, I’ll talk about the hitters. To keep this more brief than the previous post, I’ll limit this to additions and subtractions that will affect the Major League team most. Let’s start with Johnny Damon’s departure. Obviously, losing a player of Damon’s caliber is going to mean the team’s offense takes a bit of a hit. However, I’m of the opinion that Johnny Damon needed the Yankees more than the Yankees needed Johnny Damon. The Yankees also got a more-than-adequate-replacement for Mr. Damon: Curtis Granderson. Curtis represents an Continue reading Reviewing this Offseason, Part Two

What kind of contract can Carl Crawford realistically expect to get?

During the last few days we’ve heard some rumblings about the Yankees’ apparent lust for free-agent-to-be Carl Crawford, hence why the team might not be that keen on a hypothetical Curtis Granderson/Brett Gardner flip-flop in the outfield, despite the fact that both offensively and defensively Curtis in left and Grit in center probably represents the most effective deployment of resources. This got me thinking what kind of contract Carl Crawford might realistically expect on the open market next year. Is he a $10-$15 million/year player? A few years ago the answer might have been a resounding yes, but given teams’ Continue reading What kind of contract can Carl Crawford realistically expect to get?