Jeter’s running, pitchers are pitching and Spring Training is almost here

Via Bryan Hoch and every other beat writer in Tampa:

Derek Jeter started running today. “I’m progressing, like I told you. I’m right where I need to be. I’ve gotten the ok to do everything.”

So Jeter is running, he’s moving slightly from side to side while taking grounders and according to the man himself, he’s progressing like he’s supposed to.

That’s good news the day before Yankee pitchers and catchers report to camp. Of course, that’s not stopping other guys from showing up. Also from Bryan Hoch, the other players at camp are: Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes, David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, Michael Pineda, Hiroki Kuroda, Clay Rapada, David Aardsma, and Melky Mesa

Do you know what this means? There’s only one more day until the official start of Spring Training. And whether you’re the kind of person who gets excited about Spring Training or you’re someone who prefers to get excited when Opening Day rolls around, one thing is for certain, baseball is just around the corner.… Click here to read the rest

Improvement In 2013: Curtis Granderson

Only a year ago, Yankee ownership and fans were talking about how the team could extend Curtis Granderson into the budget years of 2014 and beyond. This year, I don’t think I’ve heard a single fan mention the idea of extending him, and most of the talk is about trading him. One season can vastly change the perspective surrounding a player, and even with 43 home runs in 2012, it’s hard to call the outfielder a fan favorite.

In 2011, Granderson finished the season with 41 home runs, 25 stolen bases, and .262/.364/.552 slash line. His 7.0 fWAR was 8th best in baseball, 1.3 wins above Robinson Cano, and his home run total was only 2 behind Jose Bautista for the MLB most. In 2012, he hit those 2 additional home runs, but it took him 195 strike outs to get there, along with 15 less stolen bases, and 10 less walks. Even with the home runs, the left handed hitter hit less overall extra base hits, and Granderson’s ISO fell from .290 to .260.… Click here to read the rest

It’s P.E.D. mania!

Ever since Alex Rodriguez and many other high-profile baseball players were linked to a clinic in Miami that supposedly distributed performance enhancing drugs, certain sectors of the sports media have once again fallen into P.E.D. mania. This cycle has become all too familiar by now, especially in baseball. Evidence emerges, circumstantial or otherwise, that a famous player is using drugs to enhance his performance, and a combination witch hunt and inflated outrage festival ensues. ESPN writers post articles like this one, and so on.

Normally I ignore the mania, to the best of my ability. These witch hunts distract me from what I actually enjoy: watching and talking about sports. The games will be played regardless of what talking heads on ESPN say about those playing them, and the talking heads are easy to ignore. I turn off the TV. However, Bill Simmons recently published his own opinions on P.E.D.’s just before the Super Bowl, and for the first time I felt a need to highlight something that a member of the sports media had written.… Click here to read the rest

Countdown To Spring Training: 4

We’re now in the homestretch and you can count the number of days until the official start of Spring Training on one hand. Hooray! And we’ve reached a pretty special number in Yankee history and it was worn by one of the most talked about baseball players in the history of the game, who unfortunately was taken far too soon.

Today’s subject, Henry Louis Gehrig was a tremendous ballplayer and athlete. His career line was .340/.447/.632/1.080 in 17 seasons – a tremendous career tragically cut short by a terminal illness that stole his life at the age of 37.

While researching for this post – truthfully I wasn’t what I was going to write about –  I took a look at his Baseball Reference page. As I was marveling at his individual season numbers, I noticed he finished 5th in MVP voting in 1934. Something didn’t compute because his numbers were so good that year.

So I looked at the voting results and still didn’t understand what I was seeing:

Voting Results Batting Stats
Rank Tm Vote Pts Share WAR G HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Mickey Cochrane DET 67.0 84% 3.7 129 2 76 .320 .428 .412 .840
2 Charlie Gehringer DET 65.0 81% 8.1 154 11 127 .356 .450 .517 .967
3 Lefty Gomez NYY 60.0 75% 7.4 38 0 4 .131 .189 .141 .330
4 Schoolboy Rowe DET 59.0 74% 6.6 51 2 22 .303 .339 .450 .789
5 Lou Gehrig NYY 54.0 68% 10.1 154 49 165 .363 .465 .706 1.172
6 Hank Greenberg DET 29.0 36% 5.8 153 26 139 .339 .404 .600 1.005
7 Hal Trosky CLE 18.0 22% 5.2 154 35 142 .330 .388 .598 .987
8 Wes Ferrell BOS 16.0 20% 4.7 34 4 17 .282 .341 .487 .828
9 Marv Owen DET 13.0 16% 3.0 154 8 96 .317 .385 .451 .837
10 Jimmie Foxx PHA 11.0 14% 8.6 150 44 130 .334 .449 .653 1.102
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/8/2013.
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Hal speaks on A-Rod, Cano

Yankees’ owner Hal Steinbrenner just spent some time talking to reporters in Tampa, and with plenty to talk about with less than five days until camp officially opened, he dropped a handful of interesting tidbits. Here’s a rundown:

  • The Yankees are concerned about the latest allegations of PED usage by Alex Rodriguez, but the situation is ot of their hands. MLB is investigating the matter and the league, not the Yankees, will be responsible fo handing out any punishment Alex might be in line for.
  • The Yankees have talked about an extension with Robinson Cano “recently,” and Hal would like to see Robbie as a career Yankee.
  • The Yankees are still looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder, and Hal thinks there’s still time to find one. Ya know, no one has ever stipulated that the Yankees are looking for a good one…
  • And finally, Hal still doesn’t understand why people call him cheap, referencing the one year pacts the Yankees gave Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte as his counter-examples.
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