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 Continue reading NoMaas Interviews Brian Cashman: Gardner/Granderson, Jesus Montero, Joba/Phil

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 Continue reading Let the (spring training) games begin

Reliving a moment in Damon’s past

Was finally finishing the Dead Torre Scrolls, or as others refer to it, The Yankee Years (by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci), while on vacation and I was breezing through Chapter 13 “We Have A Problem”. This chapter relives the point in time, right about this time of the year, as players are reporting to Spring Training (in 2007) as Johnny Damon is out of shape and strongly considering retirement. Whatever the reason (injury, burnout, re-marriage, new family, etc.), Damon was set to hang up the spikes on the eve of the season. There are many, many good stories from this book that were never told and this is another example.

The reason for bringing this up, three years later, after Damon chose to let the Yanks’ offers pass and is, as of right now, languishing in free agency. The following passage was so revealing and I wish he re-heard it or remembered it. The set-up is how Damon, on February 24th, told Cashman he was seriously considering quitting baseball and how he wanted to be with his father on his birthday:

Damon jumped in his car and drove home to Orlando. He played with his kids and took his father out to dinner to celebrate his birthday. Who knew how long he would stay away from baseball? A day? A week? Forever? His dinner with Jimmy [Damon’s father] actually convinced him he needed to get back to baseball, at least for he time being, anyway. Jimmy told him life after baseball would always be there for him, but for now, baseball afforded him a national platform to affect people’s lives. Damon, for instance, helps raise awareness and funds for the Wounded Warriors project, a charity that assists soldiers injured in battle to transitio into civilian life. Being a baseball player, especially a Yankee, Jimmy told him, made his contribution to that kind of work much more impactful. On the third day of his sabbatical, Johnny Damon drove back to Tampa and became a baseball player again.

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

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.

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 Continue reading Yanks went after Curtis Granderson at the right time

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 Continue reading Cameron: It Makes Little Difference Who Plays Center

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: Continue reading What Makes Him Valuable?