Ichiro sounds really happy to be a Yankee

The Yankees made an exception to their apparent policy of only signing one year contracts this winter when they agreed to give Ichiro Suzuki a two year deal, and the single season hit king told Japanese media that he feels a “fresh determination” as a result. “It is an absolutely unique team,” said Ichiro. “Being able to take my place alongside such players has been something I have thinking about.”

The Yankees and their fans are now left hoping that that determination leads to continued production, on the level they saw out of him after being traded to New York, as opposed to the level at which he played in his final year and a half with Seattle. At least for now, Ichiro is being asked to bridge the gap between Nick Swisher and their talented trio of outfield prospects, and with age, injury, and diminishing productivity affecting much of the lineup, there’s precious little room for mishaps for this team.…

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Upton and the 2014 Budget

Over the last few days, there’s been a lot of talk about the Yankees trading for Justin Upton and how they don’t mind paying the prospect price, but are wary of picking up the three years and $38MM remaining on Upton’s contract. I’ve long said that a trade for Upton...

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Long already working on Youk’s swing

The Yankees are clearly hoping that Kevin Youkilis can hold down the third base fort while Alex Rodriguez is on the shelf, but more than that they’ve also got to be hoping that Youkilis’ 2012 season was something of an aberration, and that Youkilis can return to being a very productive hitter who can help lengthen a lineup that’s taken a hit due to age, injury, and the departure of Nick Swisher. In the same article in which he discussed A-Rod’s injured hip, hitting coach Kevin Long revealed that he’s already working on Youkilis’ hitting mechanics, and that he hopes he can make major strides with the former Boston star.

“We looked at old film and compared it to 2012,” Long told Dan Martin of the Post. “We saw some considerable differences, mainly in his stance and it looked like the adjustments had an impact. … I think we can get him back to being an all-star caliber player.”

Youkilis had his worst year as a professional last season, and particularly struggled against right-handed pitchers, against whom he posted a wRC+ of just 89.…

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Fixing Youkilis’ Hitting Mechanics

It’s still hard to believe that he’s a Yankee, but Kevin Youkilis is now our problem. Not that he’s a bad player, but before 2012, Youkilis was one of the best third baseman in the game. His regression in 2012, his age 33 year, isn’t something to take lightly. Teams recognized that,...

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On the Money 1/14/2013

For tonight’s show we were joined by Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, who talked about Justin Upton, the messaging coming out of the team’s front office, and whether Yankee fans would rather see Carl Pavano, Javier Vazquez, or an IRS agent in a Yankee uniform in 2013. In the later part of the show our own William Tasker joins us to check in ahead of a crushing defeat for his Patriots on Sunday from the Northern reaches of New England. He sounds off on the Yankees’ offseason, brings a bit of historical perspective to the discussion, and joins Stacey and I for a rousing round of making fun of Javier Vazquez. We also mention the just passed anniversary of the Michael Pineda trade, and my laughably terrible ability to guess the proper pronunciation of names. You weren’t totally spared the effects of my football (and cough syrup) induced delirium either, though I contented myself with a brief musing on the emotional difference between watching football and baseball, and only for a minute or two, I promise.…

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Interpreters on the mound among proposed rule changes

Via Jayson Stark, the owners have approved a trio of proposed rule changes that will now be sent to the union for ratification. The biggest of those changes is likely a proposal to allow interpreters to join pitchers and coaches for mound visits with non-English speaking pitchers. The owners would also like to expand the number of coaches allowed in uniform to seven, in order to accommodate the growing number of teams who are hiring an assistant hitting coach, and to eliminate the fake to third throw to first “pickoff” play. The owners can actually implement that one immediately on their own, but they want the union to ratify it. There’s really no good reason to allow the move, especially since it would be illegal for a left-handed pitcher to do the opposite, and it’s a huge waste of time, so I hope they get that done promptly.

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Long: A-Rod was hurting in August

Last week Alex Rodriguez‘s doctor said in no uncertain terms that the hip injury he’s about to have surgery to repair was responsible for his horrific postseason performance, and now his hitting coach is saying that signs something was wrong were present well before that:

“I knew it in August,” the Yankees hitting coach [Kevin Long] said by phone Saturday. “I didn’t know exactly what it was, but his lower half was not letting him do the things he’s normally able to do.”

Long also knew there were no easy fixes.

“At that point of the season, there’s not much you can do other than keep grinding,” Long said. “So I wasn’t surprised when I heard about the hip injury. His explosion was gone.”

This sort of raises the question of why A-Rod wasn’t checked out for an injury sooner, however. Perhaps Alex didn’t complain of any pain, but if the hitting coach was noticing a physical problem in a 37 year old slugger who’s already had a hip surgery, you’d think that would be a “better safe than sorry” sort of scenario, right?…

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Pinstripe Bible's New Project: Ranking the Top-100 Yankees of All Time

This one is pretty ambitious. The Pinstripe Bible is going to try and rank the top-100 Yankees of all time, and they want input from Yankee fans:

We will be commencing the project with #100 sometime soon. If you want to submit your list of the top 100 Yankees and help make your imprint...

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Yankees officially release Dickerson

Chris Dickerson cleared waivers, and has officially been released by the Yankees, the team announced over the weekend. Dickerson, who was designated for assignment last week in order to clear a roster spot for Russ Canzler, could have been traded to another team, but it’s generally hard to find someone who wants to trade for a player about to be released unless they really want to beat the rest of the league to the punch, and Dickerson isn’t really the sort of player who gets people that excited. Dickerson produced pretty well for the Yankees after a September call-up last year, but he’s a left-handed hitting fourth outfielder on a team looking for a right-handed hitter to balance out their lefty heavy starting lineup, so there was no room for Dickerson on the active roster.

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