F’dJM: Joe Morgan out from Sunday Night Baseball

Well, the guys at FJM can now officially retire:

Jon Miller and Joe Morgan’s 21-year run on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” is over. Morgan’s contract is expiring and he will not be renewed.

I happen to be among the few who actually likes Jon Miller (just not that too-often worn yellow shirt/white collar combo) but it seems he’ll still do radio. Adios, pelota! Continue reading F’dJM: Joe Morgan out from Sunday Night Baseball

How Lee's Deal Will Impact CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia has been fairly excellent in his first two years as a Yankee. He has given the Yankees 467 innings of 3.27 ERA ball, and carried their rotation in the 2009 postseason. It is hard to be disappointed with his performance thus far. As such, most Yankees fans are hoping that he does not opt out of his contract after the 2011 season, as is his right. He has said on a number of occasions that he loves it in New York and will refrain from using his option, but we have heard that before from players such as Continue reading How Lee's Deal Will Impact CC Sabathia

Season in Review: Robinson Cano

What a hell of a year for Robinson Cano, huh? “You thought 2009 was good?” Robbie said. “You haven’t seen anything yet.” While we could hardly say he came out of nowhere to play as well as he did in 2010. His .389 wOBA bested his previous career high by 12 points. His 145 wRC+ beat his career best by 15 points. He set new career highs in home runs, runs batted in, walk rate, and isolated power. He had his second straight season of 200 hits (204 in ’09) and just dazzled us at the plate. Like I did Continue reading Season in Review: Robinson Cano

Mapping Montero

With the Yankees seemingly ready to use Jesus Montero as the number one catcher in 2011, let’s think about how he will be deployed, both in a catching platoon and in the lineup. Ideally, Montero will catch 100 games”, so let’s go on that assumption. Like I did in the comments of that article from River Ave. Blues, let’s assume that we have a normal week with one off day (Monday) and two day games after night games (assuming Thursday and Saturday). The catching rotation, in a typical week, will probably look something like this: Monday: OFF Tuesday: Montero C, Continue reading Mapping Montero

Will the TB Rays become this generation’s Brooklyn Dodgers?

Leave it to uber-author Peter Golenbock to weave the deep and visceral history of the Brooklyn Dodgers (and their departure from Brooklyn) to the plight of the Tampa Bay Rays.

For fans of the Tampa Bay Rays, especially those who live in St. Petersburg, history is threatening to repeat itself. After a season in which the Rays won 98 games, team owner Stuart Sternberg — a Brooklyn boy himself — announced during the heart of the pennant race that he was dismantling the team to cut the payroll. […]

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster insists the Rays live up to the signed contract that keeps the Rays at the Trop until 2027. He says he’ll sue to keep the Rays in St. Pete. Shades of Robert Moses. Sternberg, who doesn’t appear to be bluffing, says he can wait a few years for a resolution, and after that there’s no telling what he will do.

Golenbock’s story is “must click reading” for all fans.

Related sidebar, our multiple dives into the trials and tribulations of the Rays:

Continue reading Will the TB Rays become this generation’s Brooklyn Dodgers?

What about Vlad, and other Yankee DH possibilities

With yet another long-coveted (by me) hitter hitting the free agent market, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least broach the idea of the Yankees signing Vladimir Guerrero — who recently had his $9M 2011 option rightly declined by the Rangers — to be their DH, assuming the Yankees pass on my boy Adam Dunn. I know Mike Axisa threw cold water all over this idea the other day, but I think it merits further exploration. Vlad may have gone ice cold in the second half and postseason after a lightning-hot start, but there may still be some life Continue reading What about Vlad, and other Yankee DH possibilities

Jorge the DH?

Yankee fans have been abuzz with the news that super-prospect Jesus Montero will get an opportunity to win the starting Catchers position out of Spring Training. Jorge himself was asked about this at a charity function over the weekend, the Daily News has the story: But when blue-chip Yankee catching prospect Jesus Montero’s name was broached Sunday, and that there have been reports the Bombers’ front office wants Montero to assume the starting role behind the plate in 2011, Jorge Posada didn’t cede the baton yet and accept a new role as full-time designated hitter. “I’m going to prepare for Continue reading Jorge the DH?

Why It’s Important to Not Overpay for Jeter

Derek Jeter is going to be a Yankee in 2011. Let’s establish that at the outset. For all the reasons dozens and dozens of writers have noted, the odds that Derek Jeter ever dons any uniform other than a Yankee one are essentially zero. The question burning everyone’s mind, the question that’s been burning the back of everyone’s mind for a year or more now, is simply how long Jeter’s next contract will be, and how much money the Yankees will commit to it.

Jason is fond of tagging conversations about Jeter with the pithy observation that, “it’s about the money, but the money doesn’t matter.” The more I think about it, the more I’m pretty sure that’s not true. Posturing or not, the Yankee organization is sending pretty clear signals that they intend to stick to a budget, that the budget is roughly the same as it was last year, and that means there’s not a whole lot of wiggle room to add any new pieces besides Cliff Lee. And with the amount of long term contracts the Yankees will have on opening day next year, there’s not going to be a lot of payroll flexibility in the near term. To me then, the real question is how much of that flexibility Jeter’s contract will eat up.

The main complications here are pretty straight forward. The first is the 2007-08 offseason. That was the year Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera were free agents, and of course A-Rod opted out of his contract. It was also one of the Steinbrenner brothers’ first offseason in charge of the organization, and they didn’t really distinguish themselves. Mo signed a 3 year deal worth $45 million, and even though that was probably overpaying him a touch, ultimately it probably wasn’t by too much, and that deal still seems fine in retrospect. Jorgie, coming off of the best year of his career, got $60 million over 4 years. It was understandable considering that Jorge wasn’t slowing down much offensively and was still a valuable catcher, but I thought at the time that it was a bit too long, and am even more convinced of that now that Jorge has dealt with injuries and a decline in production since. Had the Yankees refused to guarantee any more than 3 years, Posada would be a free agent now, and a lot of the team’s payroll issues would be less stark. And, of course, ownership gave A-Rod the biggest contract in the history of the sport, overruling Brian Cashman who wanted to drive a hard bargain with Alex, knowing no other team was going to get close to that sort of money, even with the great year A-Rod had in 2007.

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Minor League Profile: Austin Romine

With the offseason underway and not much exciting to report in the news, it is understandable that the media and Yankees blogosphere have been focusing quite a bit of time on New York’s number one prospect, Jesus Montero.  We’ve heard about his potential as tradebait (and the Yankees’ willingness to part with their big prospect for the right person was demonstrated during their negotiations for Cliff Lee with Seattle this season).  The latest news, however, has been the rather good chance that Montero will be making a trip to the Bronx after Spring Training next season.  After watching Jorge Posada and Francisco Cervelli behind the plate this season, I think it is fair to say we all want to see a change at catcher quickly, but the question that seems to follow every story about Montero is whether he is actually the Yankees’ catcher of the future.

The Yankees have two exciting catching prospects beyond the well-hyped Montero, both of whom are said to have strong defensive abilities.  Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez are the reasons why the Yankees could trade their prized prospect and perhaps not even miss him.  Sanchez has just started his Minor League career, but promises to play strong defense while bringing a solid bat.  Romine, however, has been just a step behind Montero most of the way, and is following a strong season in Trenton with a decent showing in the Arizona Fall League, where he is hitting .288/.315/.362.  It has been noted that his defense is looking particularly strong.  So, just who is Austin Romine, you ask?  Here is a brief rundown of one of the Yankees’ big prospects.

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