Daily Archives: October 22, 2012

Yankees Offseason Notes: Cashman on Nunez, Pineda, Long, CC & A-Rod

Good evening everyone. Hope everyone is enjoying the offseason (and if not, hope you’re counting down to Spring Training). Tonight is Game 7 of the 2012 NLCS with the Cardinals and Giants so if you are still watching baseball, watch that game. A reminder that tomorrow night at 7pm, I will be hosting a live chat so make sure to come with questions or comments about the Yankees, free agent market, possible trades, etc. Here are some notes that have been floating around today that have to do with the Yankees.

Brian Cashman had a radio interview yesterday and covered some topics on certain players. Players like Eduardo Nunez, Michael Pineda (I know, you probably forgot all about him), Kevin Long, CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez. Here is what Brian Cashman had to say about each player.

On Eduardo Nunez: “I don’t look at Nunez being valuable in an everyday role other than a shortstop, and we have a shortstop. In terms of everyday status for Nuney, I don’t see one as long as Derek Jeter is standing there.” When asked about why Nunez can’t/won’t be in the outfield, Cashman said “All the calls of putting him in LF. I don’t understand.”

On Michael Pineda: “We have to keep [Pineda] off our radar for now. We’re talking June of next year.” – on Pineda’s shoulder injury.

On Kevin Long: “Kevin Long without question is one of the best hitting coaches in the game. And what took place here is a collective failure  not an individual one, and no one is going to be pointed at as a scapegoat.”

On CC Sabathia: “If he has anything, it’s not considered major, but it’s obviously the time of year to really focus on it.” – on CC’s elbow.

On Alex Rodriguez: “Is he a superstar at that position (third base)? No. But I think when anyone signed that contract, expecting him to be at that level at that age would be unrealistic also.”

The WWGD Narrative

There are plenty of things to love about New York. Wether it’s real pizza, salt bagels (or biali’s if that’s your style), The Met, Broadway or Bronx baseball, the city that never sleeps can fulfill every vice. Another area that there’s certainly no shortage of is media coverage, for better or for worse. This brings us to the sportswriters of NY and all of their lovely narratives. From the idea that the Yankees can’t hit good pitching or guys-they’ve-never-seen, to too many home runs and various wild observations about the third baseman that everyone loves to hate, our not so freindly neighborhood press box covers it all. Their conconctions aren’t pulled entirely out of thin air; in fact they have their toes dipped in the shallow end of the reality pool which draws just enough blood to attract the sharks. Enter my favorite NY media hustle which almost gaurantees a stir with the fanbase: WWGD or better known as “what would George do?”

This one is by far my favorite. Let’s be clear first; George Steinbrenner is one of my favorite Yankees. His penchant for winning and putting his own money up to do it was what brought our beloved franchise back from the CBS graveyard. He was a major proponent of free agency and did whatever he thought necessary to bring the title back to the Bronx. He was outspoken and ostentacious. He loved his team more than anyone, but let’s be fair; he didn’t always make rational and informed decisions. Alas, over the last couple of years the idea that “George would have fixed this” comes up every time something goes wrong. This my friends, is revisionist history at it’s finest. George’s knee-jerk reactions are hardly a way to build long term and the risidual effect of that might be shadowed onto outbidding yourself on a contract for a guy who just tried to walk away from your club. A move of desperation that was not all that unfamiliar. That’s exactly what George would have done, yet it gets swept under the rug so the narrative can be continued and articles written.

I’ll always be grateful to GWS for saving the team and bringing them back to glory, but it came at a price. The “World Series or bust” attitude is fine for the players…in fact I wouldn’t want it any other way, but as for us fans it’s created a half baked reality that leads to a lot of disappointment, vitriol and all out hatred torwards players and management when the season doesn’t end in a parade. The dynasty of the 90’s does nothing but add more fuel to the fire; any time an argument is made that the playoff structure makes it incredibly difficult to repeat over and over the dynasty is brought in to the fold. Let’s be real folks, what happened back then was incredible and while it’s a great goal to have to expect that to happen every decade is a recipe for a let down. Fans that have reached that level of expectation for each and every season are due for a reality check, and if you are under the impression that if George were here and how a new dynasty would be taking hold of New York, think about where he was when the last one was being molded.

The 2012 Yankees were one of the biggest offensive forces in baseball over the course of 162 games, yet they went cold at the worst possible time. New narratives are being born as I type this aricle and will certainly be the focus of the hot stove season. I really can’t tell you why they sputtered or how (and better yet, if it’s even possible) to go about finding players that are sure fire performers in October. One thing I will bet on is that there will be plenty thrown about this winter, and my money says the ideas that get tossed around the shallow end of the pool will be based more on feeding off the emotions of the fanbase more than ideas born of rational thinkers.

Travel Day

C.C. 

To the surprise of very few, C.C. Sabathia will have his left elbow examined by Dr. James Andrew this week after an MRI revealed a bone spur that the Yankees believe has existed since he pitched for the Indians.

Sabathia spent time on the DL this past August due to inflammation and also appeared to struggle with his command and velocity at times during the season.

An examination by Andrews confirming a simple bone spur would be very good news for the Yankees and Sabathia, as prognosis for simple bone spur removal is usually very good.

Sabathia is most likely the last pitcher that will have a chance to win 300 games due to the different ways that pitchers are now handled. Young pitchers are rarely given the opportunity to start by teams these days and those who are allowed to start at an early age are put on innings restrictions for their first few years that limit starts.

Sabathia, who will turn thirty-three in June, currently has 191 wins and would have to average sixteen wins per season for the next seven seasons to pass 300 wins.  Sabathia’s durability and consistency give him a realistic chance of reaching the 300 win milestone.

Jeter

Yankee captain Derek Jeter underwent surgery on Saturday to repair his broken left ankle and is expected to make a complete recovery in 4-5 months, in time for him to report to spring training in Florida.

The Yankees will be holding their breath until Jeter hits the field and displays that he is ready to go.  Jeter, who will turn 39 in June, is currently tenth on the all-time  hits list and should pass Eddie Collins, Paul Molitor, Honus Wagner, and Carl Yastremski next season to get to sixth on the all-time hits list.

Red Sox Trade For A Manager

The Red Sox finally have their man in John Farrell, who they unsuccessfully pursued at the end of last season. Farrell, the former Red Sox pitching coach, returns to the Red Sox after the Red Sox traded infielder Mike Aviles to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Farrell.

The relentless pursuit of Farrell by the Red Sox is somewhat puzzling. Farrell compiled a 154-170 record the last two seasons in Toronto while guiding the Blue Jays to two fourth place finishes.  The Red Sox have traded away Kevin Youkilis, Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, and Carl Crawford in attempt to focus on rebuilding with younger players.

Let The Offseason Trades Begin

The Miami Marlins continued to dump high salaried players on Saturday by sending reliever Heath Bell to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for minor league infielder Yordy Cabrera, who the Diamondbacks acquired from the Oakland A’s earlier in the day along with infielder Cliff Pennington in an exchange where the A’s got outfielder Chris Young.

The Diamondbacks will assume thirteen million dollars of the twenty-one million dollars that Bell is owed on his contract.

Game Seven

The Cardinals and Giants will meet tonight in San Francisco in game seven of the NLCS.  Matt Cain will take the mound for the Giants while Kyle Lohse will take the mound for the Cardinals.

Two strong outings from pitchers Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong in games five and six helped the Giants force a deciding game seven.  The Giants live to fight another day despite three of their leading hitters going ice-cold in the postseason.  Angel Pagan, Hunter Pence, and Buster Posey are a combined 23-132(.174) in the postseason for the Giants.

Game one of the World Series will take place on Wednesday night in either St. Louis or San Francisco.

The Giants would appear to represent a bigger threat to the Tigers than the Cardinals would be.  Should the Giants win game seven tonight, the Tigers would have to fly across the country to play the first two games of the World series in a park that is the most pitcher-friendly park in MLB.

The Tigers would be better served with a shorter trip to St. Louis to a park where their power laden offense would have an easier time of getting the ball over the fence.

Only 160 Days Until Opening Day

For the fans of all but the Giants, Cardinals, and Tigers the start of a new season can’t come soon enough and the countdown to opening day is already on.

I’ll try to provide a ray of hope and perspective for fans each week here in the offseason by counting down the days until the start of the 2013 MLB season.  160 days ago was May 15th and on May 15th the Yankees lost a 5-2 game to the Orioles in which Chen outpitched Sabathia only two days after Andy Pettitte made his return in Yankee Stadium in a loss to the Mariners.

That doesn’t seem that long ago does it?

Morning Bits: Cashman, A-Rod, Roster, Ticket Prices

Good Morning all.  Over the weekend Jeter had his surgery and the San Fran Giants forced a game 7.   Always cool to see a series go to game 7.    Let’s get right to the links…

— Cashman was on ESPN NY Radio this weekend talking about A-Rod, Kevin Long and more.  If you want to listen click the link and enjoy.

Pete Caldera writes that the Yankees roster is in need of a fix.

Joel Sherman mentions that over-indulged fans, high prices sucked the life out of Yankee Stadium.