Countdown to Spring Training: 21

The Yankees are the most successful team in Major League Baseball history; they’ve been to the World Series 40 times and won 27 titles. And because that history exists, we almost take it for granted. We know where it is;we know–to an extent–where it comes from; and we have hopes for where it will be...

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Teixeira still not interested in changing his swing, and he doesn’t need to

Apparently, Mark Teixeira learning how to bunt is going to be one of those things that pops up sooner or later every offseason. Much like last offseason, however, I think this is much ado about nothing, because Teixeira isn’t being significantly hurt by the shift. More specifically, given that Tex tried to make adjustments and is now quite clear that he isn’t comfortable with the approach, whatever Tex may have to gain by beating the shift isn’t worth the potential cost of putting him off of his game at the plate. It’s obviously better for a hitter to use as much of the field as possible, but by the same token, if everyone could spray the ball all around the outfield it wouldn’t be such a valuable skill, would it?

If Teixeira does have a problem, it might well be outsized expectations. There seems to be an expectation that Teixeira should be a consistently elite hitter and MVP candidate, even though he’s only finished above 18th in MVP balloting twice (including a second place finish in his first year with the Yankees), and his offensive production over the past three seasons isn’t actually that far out of line with his overall career numbers.…

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The Difference Between The 1965 And 2013 Yankees

Over the last few months, I’ve heard a new narrative about the 2013 Yankees regressing like the team did between 1964 to 1965. Though there are some fair comparisons when it comes to age and injuries, the two teams are built in much different ways.

By the end of 1964, the team put up 99...

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Yankees lineup could be downright offensive

I’m going to be honest: until Brian Cashman raised the possibility that the Yankees may be prepared to head to Spring Training with the roster as it stands now, I hadn’t really appreciated how precarious their offensive situation is. I mean, I knew they’d lost a lot of production, of course, but I don’t think it had ever really hit me how much of a liability the offense could be in the (none too far-fetched) worse case scenario. I won’t go so far as to call them “bad,” if only because that’s just setting myself up to fall on my face when Ichiro Suzuki hits 20 home runs, Robinson Cano wins the triple crown, and the team scores 900 runs. But for a team whose front office has taken to reassuring fans that they still spend $200 million on the roster, there’s barely a position at which the Yankees don’t have serious questions and/or limitations with their projected starter.

Consider this lineup:

C- Chris Stewart (career wRC+ of 59!)
1B- Mark Teixeira (116 wRC+ in 2012, the fourth straight year in which that number declined)
2B- Robinson Cano (Arguably the only non-problem, though his sudden problem hitting lefties is worrisome)
SS- Derek Jeter (Had his second best offensive season since 2007 last year, also had ankle surgery)
3B- Kevin Youkilis (102 wRC+ in 2012 was the worst of his career, only 89 against RHP)
LF- Brett Gardner (career ISO of .103.

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Countdown to Spring Training: 22

Bucky "Bleeping" Dent

As we continue the theme of counting down the days until spring training, for number 22 I’ll focus on the 22nd Yankee Championsihp, and by extension the entire 1978 season. The Yankees entered the 1978 season the defending World...

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Cashman: Yankees roster could be set

Though he emphasizes that the Yankees are “still looking,” general manager Brian Cashman told ESPN New York that the Yankees’ roster may indeed be finalized at the moment, and could well head to Tampa without any additions. “We’re open for business, but we’re not going to do something just to do something,” Cashman said. “If we have to, we’ll go to Tampa with what we’ve got.”

Though it’s likely about positioning himself in negotiations as much as a serious willingness to round out the active roster with currently available options, let’s consider the possibility that this actually happens for a second. Looking at guys likely to make the active roster already here, the Yankees have 22 spots committed (21 if you don’t count Eduardo Nunez) and spots left for a fourth outfielder, backup corner infielder, and a designated hitter. The first two spots could be filled by Matt Diaz/Russ Canzler and, I guess, David Adams, but the lack of a DH could be a real problem for a lineup that’s already lost production from last year’s roster.…

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Best friends go to a ballgame

Friendship is an odd thing when you think about it. Sometimes you develop a best friend because of proximity. That happened with my first one, Jimmy Conrad, because he lived around the corner. That one ended when his parents split up and I have never been able to figure out why. My second one was Tom Cairoli. Unlike Jimmy who was two years younger, Tom was a year or so older. And whereas Jimmy was a dominant personality, Tom was a meek one. He lived in the next town over (New Milford). And I probably would have never met him other than that he was in my bowling league. Bowling was way bigger back then. And who knows how we became best friends, but we did. The poor guy probably still has emotional issues and scarring from the association. This is one of our stories.

As stated, Tom was meek. He was the son of a CPA and was well off.…

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Yankees Add More Outfield Depth, Sign Thomas Neal

When the Indians signed Nick Swisher, the Yankees were officially given their second first-round pick in this year’s Rule-4 draft. To make room for the ex-Yankee, Cleveland cleared the right-handed outfielder Thomas Neal from their 40-man roster. Though nothing is official yet, Neal has updated his Twitter bio,...

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Countdown to Spring Training: 23

Donnie Baseball

When I volunteered to write the Countdown to Spring Training number 23 post I entertained the idea of writing about a different number 23. The fact that Lou Gehrig and Alex Rodriguez share the all time...

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