“The fans pay the bills, we owe it to ourselves and to them to put the best product out there. If we couldn’t get Cliff Lee, I’m really happy about getting Soriano. I just wish Lee would have given Brian the chance to meet with him, but [Lee] was on a hunting trip. He’s got his own reasons.”
Yeah, his reasons placed the Yanks third, a distance behind the Phillies and Texas. I think Cashman is very good and persuasive but all the charm in the world wasn’t going to put Cliff Lee in pinstripes. It just wasn’t meant to be.
“Hopefully our starters will get the job done. Hopefully Andy [Pettitte] will come back. He knows we want him back. It’s strictly up to him now. Even though he’s already got five rings, he’s the type, like Mo, like [Derek] Jeter, like [Jorge] Posada, he wants another one.”
I agree with all of this. The team is hoping for a lot to go right. An injury or two could utterly submarine this team. But if the headline guys play to the backs of their baseball cards, the team will be a lock for 90+ wins. A.J. Burnett needs to re-establish himself and that’s a huge hope for all. The extra 5 wins need to come from the kids, likely those like Nova or one of Banuelos or Bettances.
“I think A.J. [Burnett] is going to come back and have at least the kind of year like he had two years ago. CC Sabathia is going to be great as usual. Phil Hughes, we’re expecting more big things. I say we have one of the top four teams in baseball, whether we end up being the best or not, we’ll see.”
One of the top four teams? Who are the top four teams? Off the cuff: Phillies and Boston are, on paper, atop the list. Texas and SF are certainly on the list. I’m still a big Rays fan, not that kinda fan, but I think they will be as competitive as ever. Are the Yanks better than Texas or SF? Perhaps. Their offense is better than SF but the pitching is worse. The WhiteSox and Twins are a half step behind.
“It’s the best division in baseball. With division play certain things are fair, some things are unfair. You wear each other out. The argument I made three years ago that I got attacked for — the absurdity of divisional play in any sport — was proven this year with the Seahawks. I don’t care that they won their first playoff game. They were 7-9 in a bad division. What are they doing in the playoffs?”
Just make sure you keep complaining about your place in life, Hank. Surely you will find a sympathetic ear one of these years. Oh, and Seattle: Suck it.
“Of course it’s great having Derek back. I had no doubts that we were going to be fair to him and offer him more than anybody else, which we should and we did. There’s no question he’s happy. He doesn’t want to go anywhere else. We weren’t trying to take advantage of that. We do have a budget and we’ve got to be somewhat careful. We’ve made all our players rich. Our guys do deserve it.”
Yes, you paid Jeter more than anyone else and it was “fair.” But were the aggressive tactics and public declarations by the entire leadership team of the Yankees necessary? The bull-in-the-china-shop isn’t always the best plan of attack. Perhaps a radio-silent approach with the face of the franchise would have been more helpful for all, dontchya think?
Lastly, how does Hank feel about his greenlighting of the ARod extension (from Hell):
“I’m still happy about it. We absolutely need his bat. Last year it became apparent, especially after the postseason performance when we won, that the pitchers just don’t want to pitch to him. So we must have done something right if this is the guy everybody wants to pitch around. They don’t want to give him anything to hit, despite our lineup. They still fear him. Obviously we picked the right guy.”
It remains one of the dumbest examples of negotiation and screwing up your position of leverage as I have ever seen. Period.