Daily Archives: February 29, 2012

Spring Training Notes: 2/29/12

Andy pettite throwing batting practice

It’s the final day of Spring Training practice before the Yankees gear up for their first game on Friday (which unfortunately will not be televised). The Yankees will have an abbreviated workout since tomorrow they will go on a “field trip” that only Joe Girardi knows the location of. So let’s get to the links for today!

— Bobby Valentine had a lot to say about the Yankees commenting about A-Rod’s fight with Jason Varitek to Derek Jeter’s play in the 2001 ALDS. Derek Jeter responded the way he knows how; he practiced the flip play and then told reporters, “See, we do practice it.”

— I’m not sure if he was lost or something, but Terry Francona found his way to the Yankees clubhouse. He hugged Mariano Rivera and told Derek Jeter, “Great to see you…and I mean it this time.” We’ll were glad that your one of the announcers of ESPN…and we mean it this time.

— Mark Feinsand took some more videos of Yankees Batting practice and even caught a sight that no one thought would happen…Andy Pettite throwing pitches to Russell Martin during batting practice! Here are some of the videos:

Alex Rodriguez taking batting practice

Mark Teixeira takes batting practice

Yankees taking batting practice

Andy Pettite throwing batting practice to Russell Martin

— One Yankee that was missing from the team workouts was Robinson Cano. Cano is still in DR for his grandmother’s funeral. She passed away earlier this week.

— Russell Branyan (who was a long shot to make the team) experienced back spasms today.

— If you all watch YES Network, then the Yankees show that everyone loves ‘Yankees On Deck’ will return with new episodes on May 6, 2012. Some players such as David Robertson, Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira, Joba Chamberlain & Russell Martin filmed segments for the show. Mark your calendars.

— Brett Gardner has been getting scrutiny from people on Twitter & Facebook for his comments last night on ‘Yankees Baseball Daily’ saying how the Yankees will win 100+ games and will get a parade in November. They compared Gardner to New York Jets coach Rex Ryan. Let me explain this: Gardner was asked if he thinks his team will go all the way. Rex Ryan just predicts it and fails at his predictions. Huge difference.

Use the comment section below to talk about whatever you’d like. Have a good night everyone! Hopefully we find out where the Yankees are going tomorrow for their field trip…tomorrow.

Was Bobby Valentine out of line for criticizing Yankees?

As we all know by now, Bobby Valentine just can’t seem to keep his thoughts to himself once he puts on the Boston Red Sox hat. News broke out last week that Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek was retiring, but while talking about Jason Varitek (as if he had managed him before) he took jabs at Alex Rodriguez & Derek Jeter. Here is an excerpt from the article from ESPN New York:

So Valentine dug in today, and, in praising the retiring Jason Varitek, he lauded him for beating up Alex, as in Al B. AlAlex Rodriguez:

“From afar, he was everything you want a guy who wears a ‘C’ to be,” Valentine said of Varitek, according to our teammateGordon Edes. “He was a man’s man, he was a big hitter when needed, he was the leader of the pitching staff. (Pause). He was able to beat up Alex, all that stuff. He was exactly what he was supposed to be.”

Now I may not be an expert at baseball, but I do know for a fact that beating up Alex Rodriguez is unsportsmanlike conduct, something that doesn’t exactly makes a player a “man’s man.”  Valentine also took a cheap shot at Derek Jeter about the tremendous play he made in the 2001 ALDS (An American League Division series that the Red Sox were not apart of.)  Here’s another excerpt from the article:

Earlier today, Valentine took a shot at Derek Jeter’s legendary cutoff in the 2001 ALDS against the A’s:

“We’ll never practice that,”’ Valentine said, again according to Gordon. “I think [Jeter] was out of position and the ball gets [Giambi] out if [Jeter] doesn’t touch it, personally.”

For one thing, none of the Red Sox players can even make the same play that Derek Jeter made, so I don’t understand the reason Bobby Valentine felt it was necessary to comment on Derek Jeter. Derek Jeter is baseball. Derek Jeter’s a legend. Don’t criticize a move that you could never make yourself.

Here’s some advice Bobby V: manage your team. You’re the manager of the Boston Red Sox, not the New York Yankees so why take shots at a team you don’t even manage? Yankees fans are already sick of the pre-season taunting which sounds as if it has all bark and no bite action. Also another thing Bobby; chicks dig the rings. Call us when you get 27 rings (or if you actually win a World Series) and then we’ll take your comments seriously.

To read the ESPN article Click Here

Cashman talking extension with wrong Yankee

It’s been written recently that Brian Cashman has been attempting to get Russell Martin signed to a 2-year extension on top of the $7.5M owed him this year.  The total deal would run though the 2014 season and was said to be for 3 years and $20 Million.  That contract looks very reasonable after seeing the monster 5 yr – $70-75M deal Yadier Molina is looking at.

However, with Francisco Cervelli & Austin Romine on the team, I think the Yanks can afford to “wait and see” how Martin produces this year and worse case scenario offer him the roughly$12.5M arbitration offer required for 1st round compensation under the new CBA.

The guy they need to be talking extension with NOW is Robinson Cano.  Cano is without a doubt the team’s best player.   In this period of decreasing offense around MLB, he is a valuable commodity – a perennial .300+ hitter with 25+ HR & 40+ Doubles power who plays Gold Glove caliber defense at a premium up-the-middle position. He’ll finally assume the #3-spot in the lineup he should have been at 2 years ago and I expect his production will only increase hitting 3rd all yr between Granderson & ARod. 

Cano is 29 years old and due to some foresight by Cashman is still signed for this yr and next under the extension he signed in February 2008.  Without that extension Cano would have been a Free Agent after 2011 but is instead locked up under team options at the affordable prices of $14M this yr and $15M next. 

You may be saying, why look to extend Cano now when he has 2 affordable yrs left?  The answer is length of contract.  With 2 more years of premium production, Robinson will be entering Free Agency in 2014 heading into his 31-yr old season.  Based on similar deals given out in recent years, a hitter like Cano who has the advantage of being extremely durable and playing 2B will be looking at a minimum of $20M per year over 7-8 years.

As indispensable as Cano is, do the Yanks really want to lock up another player to a huge contract into his late 30’s?   The way team’s are spending money these days, and with Boras as his agent, the Yanks won’t be getting any hometown discounts so we’ll be looking at paying another player $20m+ when he’s 37 & 38 yrs old.  As we have seen with Giambi & Posada and now with Jeter & ARod, these albatross contracts can be very inhibiting.   So to avoid paying Cano $20M+ til he’s 38, Cashman should strike now.  Rip up his remaining deal and offer the same 7-8 year deal now for around $20M and you essentially shave the last 2 years off the deal and have Cano only up to his 35 or 36-yr old season. 

With Cano’s durability (5 straight years of 159+ games) and consistency, the risk of signing him now as opposed to 2 yrs from now is small.  The only added cost would be paying him $20M this yr and next, so a net cost of $11M more.  That is a small price to pay to lock Cano up now through his age 35 season and not have to pay him to 37 or 38.   By waiting til 2014, they would also risk having to pay him much more than $20M per season if he raises his production the next 2 year like I think he will hitting in the 3-hole for the first time.

Cano is clearly the class of the Yankees now and with Montero being traded, he is the team’s only pure hitter in his prime capable of hitting .300 with power over the next few years.  Cashman made a great move in 2008 by signing Cano to an extension that has saved the team millions.  He needs to do the same now or risk being held hostage by Boras in 2014 and repeating the cycle of paying $20M+ to players into their late 30s.  What does everyone think?

Morning Bits: Valentine, Hughes, Spring training, Cervelli

It’s the mid-week and I’m very excited today as I’m going with a couple friends to check out the Knicks and Linsanity tonight.  Yankees baseball is why you come to this site though so here are the links I bring to you every morning.  Enjoy!

* Valentine is already tweaking the Yankees and Boston.com has it all for you.

* The New York Post has Hughes as the chosen one in the rotation battle.

* Adam Warren is going to start the Yankees first spring training game.

* The New York Times has the latest with Cervelli and his concussions.

* MLB.com reports that new faces change the face of the Sox-Yanks rivalry.

* Lohud mentions that Joba is glad to be back at work after elbow surgery.

* Ivan Nova is dealing with pressure of expectations after superb rookie season says The Daily News.

* From The Star Ledger – Despite power numbers Curtis Granderson expects to stay at number two in the lineup.