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Game 1 Lineup: Red Sox vs. Yankees

Lineup vs. Red Sox:

Brett Gardner CF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Vernon Wells LF
Ben Francisco DH
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Jayson Nix 3B
Francisco Cervelli C

CC Sabathia LHP

Start Time: 1:05 p.m
T.V: YES Network
Radio: WCBS 880

Calm Down Yankee Fans

Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.

Take these lyrics by Bob Marley to heart Yankees fans. Everything will be okay.

I admit, these first two games have been extremely painful to watch. I’ve have had my share of swearing at the TV screen and hiding my face in my hands, be it for Joe Girardi’s horrible managing or the umpires that seemingly were bribed by the Rays. Either way, the opening to this season has been difficult to witness and of course leaves many fans in doubt and despair.

But when I hear debates of “is Mariano Rivera done?”, “are the Yankees in trouble”, and especially, “can the Mets go all the way?” I laugh them off. It’s 2 games people. 2 GAMES! It’s incredible how much people can judge on such a small sample size. And ironically, I want to be a sports writer, whose job is to stir up stories and worries like this early on.

And when I think back, there are a ton of teams – World Series champion teams – that went through rough starts, be it two games, or two months. For example, the 1998 Yankees. Ya know, the one that’s considered arguably the best team in baseball history? They started off 1-4 in ’98, and looked like one of the worst teams through the first week. Yet we all know what followed – 125 wins, Chad Curtis, sweeps, etc.

Another example is the more recent champs – the 2009 Yanks. They lost 2 of 3 (I was at game 2) to the Orioles in their opening series, then went on to lose the first game at the new Yankee Stadium, and get crushed 22-4 by the Indians. 103 wins and 19 walk off wins later, the Yankees were World Champions. Who here even remembers their slow start? I kinda didn’t until thinking about it.

In general, the Yankees aren’t falling off the face of the earth. Hiroki Kuroda is not already a bust. And the Mets aren’t going to make the playoffs. It’s been two games people. Come on. Give it a little time, and maybe as soon as tonight – the Yankees will right the ship. Trust me, it’s been rocked plenty times before.

Yankees Unveil Opening Day Lineup

Yankees Unveil Opening Day Lineup

By Delia E.

According to Wallace Matthews of ESPN from what Joe Girardi said from his news conference this morning, this would be your 2012 Opening Day lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF

Now this lineup would be if David Price was pitching. If James Shields pitches on Opening Day then this wold be your 2012 Opening Day lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Raul Ibanez DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF

The lineups will stay this way  unless one of these players outshines during Spring Training. Let’s look forward to a competitive and fun Spring Training!

What Should Be The Yankees Opening Day Lineup?

There is always one phrase that every baseball fan looks forward to that marks the beginning of a long competitive year; Opening Day.  It’s the day where winning games start to matter, the day where fans trek to the stadium to watch their teams in action, the day where young female fans adoringly gaze at baseball players from far hoping that they could walk away with an autograph or picture. But Opening Day isn’t just a day for preparation for the fans; it is also a day for preparation for the teams.

After a long offseason the New York Yankees are scheduled to go back to the “Chase for 28,” but the Yankees can’t do that without a stellar performance from CC Sabathia & a potent Opening Day lineup. Here is how I could imagine the Yankees’ lineup on Opening Day and if played just right they could win the first game of the season:

1. Brett Gardner, LF: For the dynamic of a potent Opening Day lineup, you always want your fastest runner batting at the top of the order. In this case, that is where Brett Gardner comes in. Coming off of a sluggish 2011 season offensive wise, Gardner didn’t struggle when it came to stolen bases, putting up a career high 49 SB in 60 attempts. With Gardner’s speed and his ability to work walks, the Yankees might not have to look far for a leadoff man when the time comes to replace Derek Jeter.

2. Derek Jeter, SS: Coming off a stellar 2011 campaign, Jeter would bat second in the Opening Day lineup. In the second half of the 2011 season, Jeter was able to find his groove and finished the season with a .297/.355/.388 line. And now that Jeter has the 3,000 hits under his belt, there should be nothing keeping Jeter from hitting to his full potential.

3. Robinson Cano, 2B: Let’s face it; Robinson Cano practically owns the Yankees. He was easily their best hitter in 2011 with a .302/.349/.533 line which is why he should bat 3rd. Not only is Cano the best hitter on the Yankees, but Cano has the power to change games around. In 2011, he hit 28 HR’s & 118 RBI’s. Read the rest of this entry

The Roster: Who Makes it?

Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in a solid 51 days, but I’m looking ahead to when baseball really matters: Opening Day. Spring Training to me is like a season of “Survivor”. There are about 70+ players that show up for Spring Training but only 25 can make the cut. We know some of the regulars are in already so they don’t count (like Jeter, A-Rod, Teixeira, etc.) but it is nice to see which young ones could make the roster for Opening Day. As Spring Training goes by, players find out that they will start in either Double-A or Triple-A. Some players even find out that they might get traded. But when Opening Day comes, only 25 of the best will compete in the Major Leagues vs. the other teams that are out there. Considering what the Yankees have done this off-season so far, I decided to make a roster on how I think it would look on Opening Day plus the lineups that the Yankees could work with.

Lineup 1:

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Jesus Montero DH
Russell Martin C

Lineup 2:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Jesus Montero DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF

As I mentioned before, the regulars were a shoe in to make the 25 man roster

With

(unless someone got traded). But this is the ideal way that the lineup could appear on Opening Day. The reason that Mark Teixeira would bat 5th & Robinson Cano would bat 3rd or 4th in the order is because Cano is easily the Yankees best hitter. He has proved it since coming up with the Yankees in 2005, and time and time again is becoming a better name for him. With Brett Gardner & Derek Jeter’s case, I think that Gardner could bat lead-off with Jeter batting 2nd and then have Jeter bat 1st & Gardner batting 9th in what Joe Girardi would call the “Double Lead-Off Effect” (which when Gardner and Jeter are both healthy, works very well).  Jesus Montero would make the 25 man roster easily due to his impressive work in the 2011 season in September. Also Jesus Montero was named the #1 Yankee Prospect for the third year in a row.

Starting Rotation:

CC Sabathia LHP
Ivan Nova RHP
Freddy Garcia RHP
A.J. Burnett RHP
Phil Hughes RHP

This is how I would predict that the Yankees would have the starting rotation. Of course we have been hearing that A.J Burnett could be shopped around during this off-season, but in reality I don’t see Burnett going anywhere. I know this isn’t the best rotation but Cashman hasn’t done much during the off-season so far. There are a lot of ifs in this rotation after Sabathia. We wonder if Ivan Nova can have a repeat performance of his 2011 campaign. We wonder if Freddy Garcia can be consistent like he was in 2011. We wonder if A.J Burnett can pitch well, plain and simple. And we also wonder if Phil Hughes can bounce back from his horrendous 2011 season that was plagued with injuries. This rotation could use some work but Cashman hasn’t made the moves that were necessary to make this one of the best rotations in baseball.

Bullpen

Mariano Rivera RHP
David Robertson RHP
Rafael Soriano RHP
Joba Chamberlain RHP
Boone Logan LHP
Cory Wade RHP
Hideki Okajima LHP

Last year the Yankees had one of the best bullpens in the league and they could easily have that in 2012. I don’t see the Yankees re-signing Luis Ayala but they do have Cory Wade coming back. The Yankees also just recently signed Hideki Okajima who could have a chance to make the bullpen and become the second lefty behind Boone Logan. (Logan wasn’t going to be the “Lone Lefty” forever). We don’t expect for Joba Chamberlain to be able to be on the Opening Day roster, but he is working hard to come back from Tommy John Surgery. After a stellar year, David Robertson should return and reprise the 8th inning role while veteran closer Mariano Rivera will continue his role in what might be the final season of his career. I would say that if all of the Yankees can keep up the pace like last year then they could be a dominate force in 2012.

Bench Players

Eduardo Nunez SS/3B/2B
Francisco Cervelli C
Eric Chavez 3B/1B
Andruw Jones OF

After last year, the Yankees could use Eduardo Nunez up to bat and on the field (but please keep the errors to a minimum Nunie). Cervelli has proven himself that he could be a reliable asset to the team. He’s a good backup catcher and can be pretty handy offensively. (Cervelli has a knack of hitting with RISP which is something the team should learn how to do). Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez have both revealed that they would like to resign with the Yankees, and I think that they could fit well with the team. The Yankees may also sign Hiroyuki Nakajima, who could fill the same role as Nunez, making either to be a trade chip.

The Yankees didn’t look like much in 2011, but surprised the baseball world when they ran away with the AL East Championship with the rotation they had. Although the Yankees have lost some key players (Jorge Posada), they can still be the team to beat in 2012 because as we all know, the team in pinstripes doesn’t go down so easily.