What he said: Heyman on the 2011 free agent class

Carl Crawford:

  • For the last year or three, Crawford has seemingly always been mentioned as “destined” to be on the Yankees.  Except that was before the development and emergence of Brett Gardner. 
  • I have all the respect in the world for Crawford for all he brings to the game, but if Heyman’s estimates are right, there’s no way the Yanks throw a nine digit offer at another outfielder… even if they dumped Granderson.
  • Recently there have been some grumblings and whispers about Crawford’s thin skin, particularly after he got caught by Greg Golson to end the game last week. If he’s feeling it in Tampa, he would have to do a lot to tune out the NY fans.  Because we’re so kind and subtle and warm and reasonable, just ask Austin Kearns and the Big Puma (though, cheers could be heard yesterday, finally!).
  • Like many, I can see him fitting in quite nicely in Anaheim playing for Scioscia. 
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A-Rod's Excellent Baseball Instincts

[image title=”APTOPIX Rays Yankees Baseball” size=”full” id=”21544″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]
Alex Rodriguez is an amazing baseball player who has put together a fantastic career. He will likely finish his career as one of the top 10 or 15 players in baseball history, and has a chance to take down the all-time home run record. While a lot of his success can be explained by his natural talent, Alex also has a reputation for being a hard worker with an good eye for minor details. His preparation and knowledge of the game are highly regarded, and he frequently does the “little things” that often go unnoticed. A few weeks ago, I cited the following Chad Jennings piece to illustrate this point:

Several weeks ago, Andy Pettitte was talking about Alex Rodriguez and said this:

“He can tell me almost every pitch I’ve thrown throughout the course of a game… He’s always in the game. His head’s up. He’s always prepared. That’s why he’s such a great player.”

Last night, Rodriguez said this: “I chased in the first inning, a slider down, but Westbrook had good stuff.

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It’s nice to see you again, Joba!

As we’re all aware, the “Chronicles of Joba” saga has turned out to be quite onerous during the last two seasons. Fortunately it appears that the Joba we all wistfully glorify returned last night.

Girardi decided to summon Joba Chamberlain to the mound with one out to replace the-totally-effective-and-by-effective-I-mean-not-effective, Javier Vazquez. With Dan Johnson (certified Yankee Destroyer™) on second, and Matt Joyce occupying first, Chamberlain delivered a fastball down the heart of the plate allowing B.J. Upton to get wood on the ball. Chamberlain managed to deflect the hit resulting in a one-out bases loaded opportunity for Brad Hawpe. I was really impressed with how Joba responded to the circumstance.

The very first pitch was low and away. That’s a hard pitch to hold back on for most hitters (although Hawpe did) in high-leverage situations, but it was still good for a called strike. The second pitch was a high fastball up and away. Although it was called a ball, that’s exactly the kind of pitch Joba should be testing the waters with.… Click here to read the rest

Positive about Phil and other Game Thoughts

Phil Hughes wasn’t exactly sharp last night, as he did walk five batters in 6.1 innings. He struck out six, though, so that helped his cause. The other thing that I was happy about–and RAB commenter ZZ pointed this out–was that Hughes stuck with his changeup last night.

We’ve all been harping on Phil to use it this season and last night, a game in which he didn’t have a ton of command, he worked on his most undeveloped secondary offering. He threw it 15 times, getting it called for a strike nine of those times. He also got a swing and miss on one. I guess now, when the season is basically over, is a great time for him to work on the pitch. That he was able to do it relatively effectively against the Rays is just a bonus. Hopefully, we see this moving forward in his next start and in the playoffs. I’m still unsure as to who should start a game three–Hughes or Burnett.… Click here to read the rest

Examining Tex’s 2010 through the lens of WAR

TeixeiraAs I watched last night’s bout between two American League heavyweight favorites, I began pondering how this year’s cast of Yankees compared with the rest of league as individuals in terms of overall value. Obviously, as a team, the Yanks are pretty solid (despite recent frustrations).

I figured it would be interesting to check out each position beginning with those “around the horn,” and then eventually migrate to the outfield players. So for the first post, I’ll start with a quick look at Mark Teixeira. Specifically, in terms of assessing value, I’m going to mostly consider such stats as WAR, oWAR, and dWAR. There is some inherent risk in not contemplating a whole slew of statistics when analyzing a player, but for the sake of discussion, it’ll do.

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As the table indicates, I’ve surveyed 11 different first basemen (most of whom are considered “elite”). Highlighted in yellow is Tex’s 2010 campaign. Highlighted in blue are his 2009 stats as a point of comparison.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees finally topple Shields on strength of rare five-run first inning as Hughes authors first quality start in a month

The Yankees jumped on James Shields early, knocking the enigmatic righty around for five runs in the first inning on their way to an 8-3 win over Tampa Bay. Believe it or not the Yankees actually do have one other five-run first inning under their belts this season, coming against Daisuke Matsuzaka in the wild 11-9 walk-off win against the Red Sox on May 17.

Any time you’re able to hang a five spot on anyone — let alone a pitcher like Shields that has really stymied the Yankees all season long despite being pretty mediocre against everyone else — you have to feel pretty good about the likelihood of your team taking the game, and indeed the Yankees had a ridiculous 88.8% chance of winning after Curtis Granderson knocked in the fifth run of the first inning.

Phil Hughes labored a bit through the first four innings before finishing strongly, going 6 1/3 and ultimately giving up three earned runs, though the third was an inherited runner Javier Vazquez allowed to score.… Click here to read the rest

Does Joe’s return open door for ‘Yankee Years Part 2’?

Wake up Joe, you're the Yankee manager again

Here’s the scenario. Girardi gets a knock-out offer from the Cubs. One that the Yanks could match, but choose to pass on. Girardi, despite his loyalty to the Yanks, feels the tug of going home and is enticed by the opportunity to bring the Windy City it’s first World Series championship in over 100 years, perhaps the most elusive Holy Grail in all of Baseball. This opens the door for Torre to return as Yankee manager, and he emerges as the best candidate. Bobby Valentine is well thought of by the Yankee brass, but has always had difficulty dealing with people in front offices and the media. Pinella is both too old and too ‘old school’  to work well with Cashman. Tony Pena is a terrific coach, but lacks the skill set for the top job in a city like New York. Donnie Baseball and Buck Showalter just took other jobs. Don’t forget that Hal Stienbrenner was the one who wanted Joe to be there yesterday.… Click here to read the rest

Does Joe's return open door for 'Yankee Years Part 2'?

Wake up Joe, you're the Yankee manager again

Here’s the scenario. Girardi gets a knock-out offer from the Cubs. One that the Yanks could match, but choose to pass on. Girardi, despite his loyalty to the Yanks, feels the tug of going home and is enticed by the opportunity to bring the Windy City it’s first World Series championship in over 100 years, perhaps the most elusive Holy Grail in all of Baseball. This opens the door for Torre to return as Yankee manager, and he emerges as the best candidate. Bobby Valentine is well thought of by the Yankee brass, but has always had difficulty dealing with people in front offices and the media. Pinella is both too old and too ‘old school’  to work well with Cashman. Tony Pena is a terrific coach, but lacks the skill set for the top job in a city like New York. Donnie Baseball and Buck Showalter just took other jobs. Don’t forget that Hal Stienbrenner was the one who wanted Joe to be there yesterday.… Click here to read the rest