Gardner and Ellsbury Living Up To New Contracts

When the Yankees signed Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury to contracts this winter it represented a pretty big change for them and it has paid huge dividends so far.

The Yankees invested big money in two outfielders who are known for their speed, defense and contact hitting. Brian Cashman has never been one to hide his love for “big hairy monsters” who hit home runs, so the fact that he signed two non-power outfielders in one offseason was pretty surprising.

Also, when the Yankees gave Gardner a new four-year, $52 million contract it represented another change in philosophy. The Yankees never gave out contract extensions to players before their current deals expired, and it might have cost them Robinson Cano. Most other MLB teams have been locking up their young players early for years now, while the Yankees were lagging behind, so it was big of them to see what they were doing wrong and adjust.

The Gardner signing was an easy call, and the Yankees got a great value.…

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Centerfielder Factor

Exactly one year ago today, the Boston Red Sox sat atop the mighty AL East with the best record in the American League. New York was not doing too shabby in their own right, sitting just 2.5 games back from the Red Sox, and 19 games over .500. One of the main catalysts for both teams was the tremendous play of their centerfielders. This of course led to a major debate over not only which team was better, but which team had the better centerfielder. In a way, the discussions were a bit reminiscent of the 1950s in New York where there were three great centerfielders. I am of course referring to the days of Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Duke Snider. Now I am well-aware that the Yankees and Red Sox do not reside in the same city, but the proximity is close and the rivalry has reached a boiling point over the past decade.

Curtis Granderson was batting .277 to go with 21 home runs and 56 RBIs on this date last season.…

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TYA Mailbag: What is up with Jacoby Ellsbury’s power?

I really didn't need another Boston power hitter in my life.

TYA reader Shai recently sent us this question via Twitter: “Can I make a request for an article on Jacoby Ellsbury‘s power and if it’s sustainable?” This...

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The Steal of Home And ESPN

Dan Turkenkopf posted an article on stealing home at The Hardball Times today, and his findings were too juicy to ignore. He found 25 instances of an attempted straight steal of home since 2000, with 15 successful and 10 failing. There was one particular team that was victimized four times, and one pitcher that...

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