NoMaas Interviews Brian Cashman: Gardner/Granderson, Jesus Montero, Joba/Phil again brings us a great Yankee interview. Brian Cashman sat down to talk all things Yankees. Its really a great read. I recommend reading the whole thing. I’d like to comment on a few things.

SJK: On to the 5th starter competition — Joba Chamberlain lost significant juice on his fastball last year, in some estimates over 2 mph. How concerned are you about that and is that something which will weigh into your decision about who becomes the 5th starter?
CASH: Performance will dictate. He was inconsistent last year. He has completed his development program. May the best man win.

SJK: But, speaking of what you just said about sample sizes, how can you make a decision based on Spring Training?
CASH: You are forced to make those types of decisions. You take into account their prior history, but really no one is coming in with an edge. We’ll see what we see. Maybe someone shows up out of shape or pulls a hamstring, that helps make a decision.

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Let the (spring training) games begin

As far as I’m concerned this is the actual first day of 2010. My new year doesn’t begin until the baseball season begins. In the past I’ve ignored spring training, but I’m more excited for this season to begin than I’ve ever been before, so any real baseball is good baseball as far as I’m concerned. Defending the World Championship obviously contributes to that feeling, as well as the Yankees’ slew of excellent offseason moves adding to the anticipation.

2010 also promises to be what 2009 wasn’t. Along with 1996 and 1998, 2009 will go down as one of the three best Yankee seasons of my lifetime to date (Ed. note: Me too) but the season took the road less traveled to get to its goal. After the Bombers missed the postseason in 2008, 2009 began shaping up as a season of immediate promise. When the Yankees signed Mark Teixeira, stunning the baseball universe, 2009 became my most anticipated baseball season.… Click here to read the rest

Reliving a moment in Damon’s past

“I just found out the importance of going to play baseball again,” Damon said. “What it came down to was coming back wasn’t for me. It was for the Yankees. The Yankees were the reason I wanted to go play again.  They showed faith in me and gave me a real nice contract.

“And there’s a lot of fans out there who like what I do and a lot of charities out there that I can help by being a ballplayer. I’m thinking about baseball now but I’m also thinking about life after baseball. There are so many people I can impact, and baseball gives me that avenue to do it.”

Unfortunately for the Yanks, Damon, the fans… Damon –it seems– didn’t remember these thoughts. Had he, he might have put his ego aside and re-signed with New York.  Alas, the ego was greater than his other beliefs and comments (that he only wanted to stay and play in New York; that he could be most impactful in NY, on the Yankees).… Click here to read the rest

Discussion: Can We Really Judge A Player's Effort?

[image title=”large_Phillies-Yankees” size=”full” id=”15113″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]
Last week, I wrote a post about aversive racism in sports analysis. In the post, I provided an example in the perceived effort levels of Dustin Pedroia and Robinson Cano, and suggested that it is almost impossible for us to judge whether a player cares and is giving his all. Mets pitcher John Maine, in an interview with Matt Cerrone, touched on this same issue:

John Maine: I think, especially here in New York, you see a lot of negative things in the papers and you see a lot of negative things from the fans. I personally don’t mind it, I know they want to win… But, they’ve got to realize that we want to win too. We are not going out there to try and lose. We are not going out there to try to give up a home run. We are not trying to boot balls. We’re not trying to lose 100 games.

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Chien-Ming Wang a National

It’s for real this time. According to Chico Harlan, the Nationals have agreed to a $2 million, one-year deal with Chien-Ming Wang. He can earn an additional $3 million in incentives. Washington is set to unveil Wang on Friday, in Florida, at Space Coast Stadium. Wang’s pinstriped career ends with a 55-26 record, a 4.16 ERA, 3.99 FIP, two 19-win seasons, and a second place finish in the 2006 Cy Young voting. Good luck in Washington, Wanger.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks went after Curtis Granderson at the right time

Recently, many have wondered why the Detroit Tigers would spend money on Johnny Damon after they traded Curtis Granderson due to supposed salary concerns. It makes you question whether or not Granderson was, in fact, sent to New York for that reason (maybe there was another issue that forced Detroit’s hand). However, from Lynn Henning of the Detroit News we learn that Detroit likely did trade Granderson mainly for payroll reasons, as the organization had hoped to alter its spending this winter. Henning writes that owner Mike Ilitch, going into 2010, had planned to employ greater budgetary discipline so as to “prune” payroll. The Granderson trade, as well as the decision to not offer arbitration to Placido Polanco, who later signed with Philly, were indications of this strategy. But, as Henning notes, Ilitch has since grown “nervous” regarding the offensive capabilities of his team, and this has led to a “revised” line of thinking. As seen by their interest in Johnny Damon, the club’s stance from December to February has “softened.”

Now that Detroit is seemingly prepared to spend more than they had originally hoped to spend this season, it makes you wonder whether or not the Yankees “got away with one” with the Curtis Granderson acquisition.… Click here to read the rest

Cameron: It Makes Little Difference Who Plays Center

The Yankee blogosphere has been buzzing lately with the news that Curtis Granderson has agreed to move to left field if the club asks him to. This is a move that we have discussed extensively here at TYU, with most of the writers advocating the club putting the better defender, Gardner, in center field. I have been a bit more hesitant, agreeing with Rob Neyer that practical concerns and the chance of a Gardner flop make the switch a bad idea. Dave Cameron, however, has a different perspective that may be the definitive view on the subject:

Whether you have Brett Gardner in left and Granderson in center or vice versa, the overall impact on the Yankees will be so minor as to not be worth the discussion.

Gardner may actually be the better defender at this point, and we have been conditioned to believe that the best defensive outfielder should play center, as he will have more opportunities to flag down balls than either of the corner outfielders.

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What Makes Him Valuable?

We authors here at TYU all seem to bring something different to the proverbial table. Moshe grinds out meaningful posts that are well developed and thought provoking. E.J. does the prospect thing. Steve likes to touch on the “hot button” issues of Yankee-land. Chris and I delve into a more analytical realm. Of course, we all reach across “genres” and touch on all of these things. Like we who write about them, each of the Yankee hitters brings his own special skills to the plate and the field.

Jorge Posada

Let’s kick it off with the man behind the plate: Jorge Posada. It’s my contention that Jorge is one of the most underrated players of the last twenty years. His offense out of the catcher’s spot has been both consistent and at a high level for 15 years and aside from Mike Piazza, he has been the finest offensive catcher in the game (Joe Mauer will take this title shortly, but Posada’s done it for a long time).… Click here to read the rest