Daily Archives: February 3, 2012

Open Thread

Good Evening all.  This is your open thread feel free to talk about whatever you like.  As always I will provide some links and notes to get you started.

* Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Friday that he’d like to add another bat to the designated hitter mix.

* Nick Camino of WTAM 1100 in Cleveland reports that the Indians have a multi-year contract offer on the table to Asdrubal Cabrera.

* According to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com, Manny Ramirez is deciding whether to pursue a contract with the Blue Jays, Orioles or Athletics.

Enjoy the weekend.

My Opinions on Yankee Stadium III

ehhhhh

My thoughts on Yankee Stadium IIII are plain and simple. I hate it!!! How as a Yankee fan can I say that, you may ask? It’s simple it’s just a horrible place to enjoy the game. Yankee Stadium II was perfect for me with the crowded walkways and no views of the game when you get up to walk around. With the new stadium to me it’s more like a mall. It’s set up for you to browse. I don’t get to a game to browse – I go to watch baseball. Personally I get to the stadium three hours before first pitch, well before the stadium opens. I walk around and head to Stan’s for a couple of beers then when the stadium opens I head to my seat and watch batting practice. I stay in that seat basically until the game starts and remain there for the rest of the game. The only time I get up is to use the restroom and that’s about all.

For the life of me I don’t understand why we need sushi and all the other non-related baseball foods sold at Yankee Stadium III. What happened to hot dogs, peanuts and pretzels? There are so many choices now plus other amenities- that the fans aren’t doing what should be done during the game, which is sitting in their seats. With the open-air views from the concession stands and shops people now don’t mind to walk around – and to me that’s horrible. You can do that any day of the week at the mall or on the street. Why don’t people sit in the seats to just enjoy the game? Maybe I was just brought up differently – when at games you just sit and enjoy and keep score on the scorecard if you want.

Nothing is worse than the “moat seats”. When you have these seats all your food is paid for and you just go below to one of the lounges and it’s served cafeteria style. The “grab and go” complimentary food consists of pizza, hot dogs, sausage, cheeseburger, chicken fingers, cookies, salads and ice cream. The majority of the people are so impressed by the lounges and the endless amount of food that they don’t sit in the seats to enjoy the game. Of course the other reason is that they are so expensive and that keeps people away from purchasing the tickets. With this and the open-air feel, the stadium to me is not as loud as it was at YSII. You can feel this at the stadium or even simply watching it on TV.

This is just how I personally feel about the new stadium. I would love to hear what you have to think about it as well. Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section.

Top 5 Spring Training Storylines

It is creeping up on us very quickly. In a little over two weeks Yankees pitchers and catchers will report to Tampa, Florida. The Giants deep run in the playoffs has probably made the time go by quicker for everybody (not me of course as I am a Packers fan). The offseason storylines have picked up of late and they should lead to an intriguing spring training.  I will breakdown my top five storylines going into camp. Feel free to add more that you guys think are important in the comments.

1)  The 5th starter competition

This spot would seem to be the only one up for competition this spring, other then the usual few bullpen spots, unless an injury crops up.  It will probably come down to how Freddy Garcia. A.J. Burnett, and Phil Hughes pitch in the spring. The Yankees have a lot more invested in Hughes and Burnett, which is why I do not give Garcia much of a shot, despite his solid year last year.  I do think Garcia would be a successful long man and can fill in the rotation at a moments notice, like Bartolo Colon did last year. I do not see Burnett or Hughes being traded. Nobody want’s Burnett’s contract, even if the Yankees would pick-up a large portion of it. As with Hughes, I don’t think the Yankees should trade him until they get his value back up. Why trade somebody when their value is way down, like it is now? So I do see it coming down to how Hughes and Burnett perform in their spring starts. Hughes needs to come into camp in much better shape than last year. There was no excuse for him coming in the shape that he did and it probably was not a coincidence that he got hurt. We all know Burnett’s issues, but maybe having to pitch for his job will light a fire under him.

2) Who will DH?

I am not in favor of rotating the DH spot. Obviously you have to give Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter DH AB’s, but when they are in the field the Yankees should sign or trade for somebody to DH. Andruw Jones will get most of the DH AB’s against lefties, but the Yankees need to find somebody to face righties. Also, if Brett Gardner hits lefties like he did last year it would not be a bad idea for Jones to play left and have a DH. Gardner only hit .233, with 0 homers, 6 RBI, a .272 slugging percentage, and a .616 OPS against lefties last year. Those are not acceptable numbers. Obviously Gardner is not a power guy, but if you are only going to have a .272 slugging percentage against lefties your average must be higher than .233.

I thought Carlos Pena was an ideal option to DH vs. righties, but he is no longer available. Johnny Damon, Raul Ibanez, Vladimir Guerrero, and Hideki Matsui are all options. I do not see Jorge Vazquez as a legit option because of his high Triple-A strikeout numbers. If they do not sign anybody I would let Jones or even Nunez DH against righties before the 29 year old journeyman.

3) Mark Teixeira Bunting

This is a new story that has crept up and I find it very interesting. Wally Matthews wrote about it on ESPN New York.com. Texeira has said he will work on bunting in spring training and may try to get bunt hits against the shift. I will believe that when I see it. I am not opposed to him dropping a few bunts down against the shift in certain spots, but the Yankees do not pay Teixeira to lay down bunts.  The Yankees pay him to hit home runs, knock runners in, play gold glove defense, and perform in the playoffs. He did 3 out of 4 of those things last year. The Yankee Analysts wrote a great article on Teixeira that everybody should take time to read. I was surprised to learn that Teixeira batted .337 and slugged .837 when pulling the ball against righties. When going the other way against righties Teixeira batted .086 and slugged .103. Those numbers suggest that if Texeira can’t fix his swing going the other way against righties that he should just continue to pull everything. He did do well going the other way hitting right handed so hopefully it can translate to the left side.

4) The Health of Alex Rodriguez

Everybody will be watching Alex Rodriguez this spring to see what his health is. Of course, just because he is healthy in the spring does not mean he will stay healthy the whole year. Last spring A-Rod was hitting the cover off the ball and a lot of people thought he could compete for the MVP again. Unfortunately, that was not the case and he had an injury plagued season. I am optimistic about the results of the knee therapy that A-Rod had in Germany, that Kobe Bryant suggested to him. It is called platelet-rich plasma therapy and is becoming more popular among athletes. Anybody that has watched Kobe in the NBA this year knows he got a lot of explosion back and looks a lot more spry after this surgery. The Yankees need A-Rod back healthy and producing.

5) Which Young Guy Will Shine?

Every spring training a young player will make a splash. That splash usually does not put them on the major league roster, but they do catch the eyes of the Yankees brass and the fans.  Last year Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos had great springs and gave Yankee fans a glimpse of the future. It will be interesting to see them again, but it also will be interesting who else steps up.

Morning Bits: Cashman, Teixeira, Granderson

T.G.I.F.   let’s get right to the links…..

* Cbs news reports that a woman is being charged with extorting Yankees GM Brian Cashman.

* The Huffington Post reports that Mark Teixeira is becoming a player in the health drink business.

* The Wall Street Journal mentions how Graderson was almost the enemy.

* The Daily News has a story about how the parking at Yankee Stadium is rarely used.