Posnanski on A-Rod: A must read

This morning NBC Sports published a piece by Joe Posnanski in which he chronicles the rise and fall of Alex Rodriguez.

I know what you’re probably thinking, you’re assuming it’s another piece that goes out of its way to trash Rodriguez and I understand why you would feel that way. Bashing Alex Rodriguez is a rite of passage these days but you’d be wrong about this piece. Posnanski does bring up all of the bad stuff but you have to in order to write a complete piece about Alex Rodriguez. For better or for worse, it’s all part of his story.

Posnanski goes back to the days when Rodriguez was a 17-year-old phenom being scouted. He talks to the scouts and GM’s who watched him all those years ago. He compares Rodriguez’s beginning to Rodriguez’s present as an injured, older player looking to work his way back after yet another hip surgery. I won’t reveal too much about the piece because I think you should read it for yourselves, draw your own conclusions and come up with your own opinions on it but I thought it was really good.…

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Friday morning news and notes: 2/22/12

Good morning, Yankee fans. Today is the last Friday without Yankees baseball until (hopefully) November. Can you believe it? For as much as some of us, okay, mainly me, complained about how long winter seemed, baseball is just around the corner.

I thought I’d start everyone’s Friday morning off with some links from around the Yankees blogosphere.

First up, Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger, writes about Curtis Granderson‘s defense. He takes a look at UZR and shows that it might not be all that reliable as a defensive metric. He cites the UZR ratings of other star center fielders and how they vary from year-to-year.

Over at the New York Daily News, Bill Madden writes that Yogi Berra believes “that kid” Eduardo Nunez should get 500 at-bats.

According to one of the group, who talks to him all the time, Yogi has had a recurring theme all winter: “They better find a way to get that kid 500 at-bats.”

I can’t believe I’m saying this but I actually agree that Nunez should probably get more at bats but I don’t want to see him in the field.…

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Regression In 2013: David Phelps

(Jared Wickerham/Getty)

One of the biggest surprises in the 2012 season was David Phelps.  In 57.1 innings started and 42.1 innings of relief, the right-hander pitched to a 3.34 ERA with a 23.2 K% and 9.2 BB%. Phelps fared...

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Notes from Yankees camp: outfield changes, lack of depth and Ichiro’s helmet tip

By far the biggest story of the day had to do with the Yankees’ outfield. After much speculation and discussion, the team is going to try out a new defensive configuration with Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson switching spots. Granderson has been the primary center fielder since coming over from Detroit in 2010. Gardner has played both positions while in pinstripes but thinks of himself as a center fielder. Funny, so does Granderson.

Granderson has only played 22 games in left field in his major league career and the last time it happened was in 2007 so if this change does happen, it will all fall on his shoulders.

To their credit, both players took all of the questions they fielded from the media in stride. Granderson went the “I’ll do whatever is best for the team” route.

“I’d love to play center,” Granderson said. “That’s what I’ve been playing. But at the same time, I just want to play in general.

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On the Yankees’ facial hair policy

Over the past two days, we’ve heard a lot about the Yankees’ facial hair policy. From David Price saying he wouldn’t come to New York because of it, to Derek Jeter wondering why facial hair is even a deal breaker when a ton of money is on the line and back to Price recanting his previous statement and even going so far as to say that he may not even have a beard when he hits free agency after the 2015 season. And let us not forget Joba Chamberlain‘s new mustache that he debuted this Spring.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m a female and I don’t have any facial hair to deal with everyday like my male counterparts. Well, okay, I don’t have enough for it to be noticeable even though I am 75% Italian and Greek and luckily, I don’t have to shave or wax my face frequently like some of my unlucky female friends.

But I have to ask, what is the big deal about facial hair?…

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Still talking past each other when it comes to WAR

Insert sweeping statement about the analytics “movement” in baseball here. Similar ones have been made countless times and from countless angles. Some talk about the progress the movement has made with regards to its acceptance by the mainstream baseball community. Others say almost the exact opposite. That seeming dissonance is a near perfect metaphor for...

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UPDATED: A switch in the outfield

According to reports from Tampa, Curtis Granderson is going to start taking flyballs in left field which means Brett Gardner will be shifted into centerfield.

This move is a no brainer for the Yankees. Gardner is one of the better defensive outfielders in baseball and with his speed, he can cover a lot of ground. And talk of this move has been happening since before training camp even started. Truthfully, it probably would have been made if Gardner hadn’t had been injured so early in the season last year.

Gardner, who only played in 16 games during the 2012 regular season – nine before the injury and seven during his late season return from surgery – would be the primary centerfielder for the first time in his Yankee career if this actually comes to fruition. Gardner shared centerfield duties with Melky Cabrera in 2009.

UPDATE: Girardi was quoted on the possible Granderson/Gardner switch. He said, “We’re going to toy with it and see if we like it.” He added, “If we do, we’ll stay with it.”

Hopefully, they like it.…

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Dreaming of Baseball

I’m a frequent dreamer and I am able to recall my dreams in great detail. They’re usually in color and they’re usually pretty realistic. Occasionally, I’ll have an odd dream or two and they tend to be about space colonization. A few weeks ago I had a dream where shuttles to Venus were the norm – I know, I probably shouldn’t eat or drink too close to bedtime. But other than that, I dream of being with friends and family and I dream of familiar places.

I sometimes overhear (or notice on social media) people talking about dreams involving baseball trades and signings. Sometimes, they dream of games that never happened or they dream of games that did happen but are altered in their dreamscape. Every once in a while, these dreams are hilariously unrealistic. For example: The person’s team will be made up of every available All-Star caliber player or they’ll sign someone for a zillion dollars. Or in some cases, people’s dreams revolve around actual rumors floating around baseball.…

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To Budget, Or Not To Budget?

After a year of planning a team around a $189 million budget, after thousands of blog posts, millions of water cooler chats, billions of comments about how to spend and who to trade, and one unhappy general manager, Steinbrenner might have a change of heart. But before you get too excited, I’ll warn...

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