• Wild Thought: Pavano In 2009 ALDS Game 5

    Posted by on September 28th, 2009 · Comments (5)

    Suppose the Twins manage to take the A.L. Central this season – and go on to face the Yankees in the ALDS. And, suppose that the ALDS goes down to a fifth and final game…with Carl Pavano pitching for the Twins, against New York, at Yankee Stadium.

    And, this leads to today’s wild thought: What if Carl Pavano ends up throwing a five-hitter and beats the Yankees in that fifth game, to advance the Twins to the ALCS?

    What would you do if this happened?

    Me? Well, I potentially have tickets to that game. So, if it goes down like that, my first reaction would be to throw myself off the Macombs Dam Bridge immediately following the game. But, I know that would then deprive those who like to bellyache about my blogging. So, I would probably count to ten and come up with another plan to relieve my pain. But, oh, boy, what a pain that would be…how about for you?

    Wild Thought: If Rocks Make Classic, Could Yanks Match-Up?

    Posted by on September 23rd, 2009 · Comments (1)

    Playing around with this query, leads to today’s wild thought. Which of these starting rotations would you rather have on your team, this season:

    Ryan Dempster / Carlos Zambrano / Rich Harden / Ted Lilly
    C.C. Sabathia / Andy Pettitte / A.J. Burnett / Joba Chamberlain
    Barry Zito / Matt Cain / Tim Lincecum / Jonathan Sanchez

    Is the Cubs front four better than the Yankees current front four? How about the Giants…are their starting pitchers, listed here, a better bunch this season than what the Yankees have?

    What about the 2009 Rockies?

    Would you rather have four of their starters from the group of:

    Jorge de la Rosa / Ubaldo Jimenez / Jason Hammel / Jason Marquis / Aaron Cook

    over the Yankees big four this season?

    It will be an interesting match-up if both the Yankees and the Rockies make the World Series this year, no?

    Wild Thought: Luck

    Posted by on September 22nd, 2009 · Comments (5)

    Do you think the Yankees were lucky to win 5 or 6 games this season that they should not have won? Their Pythagorean Won-Loss record brings cause for this wild thought – since it suggests the notion that New York has won 5 or 6 games more than they should have this year.

    Just for the fun of it, which games, in your mind, were the Yankees lucky to win, this season, so far? The Luis Castillo game has to be one of them…in your opinion, what are the others?

    Wild Thought: CC On Three

    Posted by on September 21st, 2009 · Comments (2)

    Today’s wild thought is a quick and simple one: If the Yankees make the World Series this year, do you ask CC Sabathia to make his starts on three day’s rest? Hey, it’s not like it’s never been done before

    Any thoughts on this?

    Wild Thought: Is Jeter’s Agent Paying Attention?

    Posted by on September 13th, 2009 · Comments (4)

    Back in December of 2007, when A-Rod signed his new deal with the Yankees, he got a clause in his contract that pays him $6 million (each time) for making appearances, signing memorabilia, etc., when he matches the career homerun totals of Willie Mays (660), Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Bonds (762). And, he gets another six-mill when he sets the new career homer mark. Should Derek Jeter’s agent be looking for a clause like this in the next deal for his client?

    After all, Jeter has these marks to shoot for after his current contract is up:

    Career hit #3,000 – first Yankee to ever reach this level
    Career hit #3,320 – most ever for a right-handed batter in the American League
    Career hit #3,772 – most ever for a right-handed batter, period
    Career hit #4,000 – becoming only the 3rd batter, ever, to reach this level
    Career hit #4,190 – most ever in the American League
    Career hit #4,257 – most ever in baseball history

    Hey, it wouldn’t hurt to ask, right?

    Wild Thought: What’s Needed Next Year?

    Posted by on September 1st, 2009 · Comments (8)

    Today’s wild thought is meant to be a fun one. Let’s look ahead – way ahead, past the post-season- and towards the 2010 season. In your opinion, what are the THREE critical moves (for lack of a better handle) that the Yankees must make during the 2009-2010 off-season? Is it resigning Johnny Damon? Is it moving Phil Hughes to the rotation? Is it keeping Hughes in the bullpen? Is it finding a center fielder other than Melky Caberea or Brett Gardner? Is it upgrading on Nick Swisher? Upgrading on Andy Pettitte? Is it trading Robinson Cano? Is it locking up Derek Jeter to a long-term deal? Is it trading Joba Chamberlain? Is it moving Chamberlain to the bullpen? These are just some spitball examples…and not necessarily “must moves” for me…

    …what do you think? In your opinion, what are the THREE critical moves that the Yankees must make during the off-season? It could be fun to make a list…and then look back at during November, December and January…at least that’s this wild thought.

    Wild Thought: Damon & Swisher 1st Yanks Dynamic OF Duo In A While?

    Posted by on August 20th, 2009 · Comments (5)

    Here’s today’s wild thought: Are Johnny Damon and Nick Swisher, this season, the best pair of offensive outfielders that the Yankees have featured since Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matusi played the outfield for the team in 2004-2005?

    You could make a case that this is true.

    Has it really been four years since the Yankees have had a pair of outfielders who batted really well? How’d that happen?

    Wild Thought: Go West & Yanks Better Win

    Posted by on August 13th, 2009 · Comments (5)

    First, an inventory of where we are in Yankeeland, and what’s coming up…

    The Yankees are currently in first place in the A.L. East and have a 5.5 game lead over the second place Boston Red Sox.

    The Yankees are on a West Coast trip where they will play 4 games against the Mariners and 3 against the A’s – and then will head to Fenway Park to play the Red Sox for 3 games (following an off-day for travel).

    The Red Sox have a game at home this afternoon against the Tigers – and then hit the road for 3 games in Texas and 3 games in Toronto before that three-game set where Boston will host New York. (And, for the record, the Red Sox have another 7 games at home after that Yankees series.)

    Next, today’s wild thought: How important is it for the Yankees to have at least a 3.5 lead over the Red Sox, at the end of their West Coast trip, before they head into Boston for those 3 games at Fenway?

    Think about it: Yes, the Yankees took all four games against the Sox recently at Yankee Stadium. But, two of the games were very close. And, Boston plays extremely well at home. Those 3 games at Fenway are going to be tough for the Yankees. What happens if the Red Sox go 6-1 in their next 7 games and the Yankees go 3-4 in their next 7 games…and then the Yankees lead is only 2.5 games over the Red Sox before they play those 3 games in Fenway? If Boston then sweeps those 3 games…New York will come out of that series a half-game behind the Sox. And, that’s not good…

    Bottom line, it seems like the Yankees really need to come out of this West Coast swing with at least 4 wins – just to ensure, no matter what Boston does now, and during that Fenway series, that New York will be in first place when they leave Fenway Park. Or, is that too wild a thought?

    Wild Thought: Pavano

    Posted by on August 7th, 2009 · Comments (14)

    The Twins have picked up Carl Pavano from the Indians.

    So, here’s a wild thought: Given the Yankees need for a fifth starting pitcher, should New York had made a play to get Pavano? Or, if they had, would you have wanted Brian Cashman run out of town on a rail?

    After all, we saw enough of Pavano in Yankeeland, didn’t we? Then again, those in support of the Yankees recent acquistion of Chad Gaudin are quick to say things like it’s better than nothing and why not try it and then ditch it if it doesn’t work…so, shouldn’t the same apply to Pavano? If not, then it seems silly to offer that logic toward any scrub pitcher the Yankees acquire between now and September 1st, no?

    Wild Thought: Yanks HOF Lobbyist Trio Forming?

    Posted by on July 29th, 2009 · Comments (19)

    Today’s wild thought is a two-for-one special – meaning you get two wild thoughts for the price of one. And, boy, are they wild!

    It’s pretty much a given that Joe Torre, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera will be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, someday. And, it’s a pretty safe bet that Mo Rivera will retire before Derek Jeter – so Rivera gets in before Jeter. Unless…

    And, here’s wild thought #1: Should the Yankees, and Rivera, set it up so that Mo Rivera comes back to throw one meaningless pitch in a September game during Jeter’s last season – in order to set up a situation where Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are on the H.O.F. ballot, for the first time, together – and therefore have a chance to go into the Hall together? Yeah, I know – that’s crazy. But, I thought of it today – and, this is supposed to be about wild thoughts…

    O.K., moving on to wild thought #2 – which is not as wild as the first one. Assume that Torre, Jeter and Rivera are in the Hall – and, as such, then have a chance to vote on players who are not elected by the baseball writers. Does this help the future chances of guys like Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada – should these three not get elected to the Hall by the writers? Think about it. When Torre, Jeter and Rivera talk, the other Hall of Fame members will listen. And, you would have to think that Torre, Jeter and Rivera would be talking up Bernie, ‘Sado and Andy as much as possible – when the time comes, no?

    What do you think?

    Wild Thought: The Tampa Series, What If?

    Posted by on July 27th, 2009 · Comments (10)

    So, the Yankees head into Tampa today for a three game set with the Rays – and New York has their three hard-throwers in the rotation set up to pitch this one (meaning Burnett, Sabathia and Chamberlain).

    This leads to today’s wild thought: What if the Rays take it to A.J., CC and Joba and sweep the Yankees in this one – putting themselves just 4 games back, in the loss column, behind the Yankees.

    Will New York just shrug it off, and move on to their next series, or, would a sweep by Tampa (against the Yankees stud starters) set off all kinds of crazy things in Yankeeland that will mean bad news for the team? What do you think?

    Wild Thought: The Book On Cashman

    Posted by on July 24th, 2009 · Comments (1)

    I just noticed that Jonah Keri writing a book about the Tampa Bay Rays, and their climb from worst to first last year, and how they use a Wall Street approach to baseball.

    And, we know there have been books written about Theo Epstein and Billy Beane detailing their approach as baseball General Managers.

    So, I wonder why…and it’s today’s wild thought, by the way…why no one has ever written a book about Brian Cashman and his great work as G.M. for the Yankees? What do you think?

    Wild Thought: Are These Yankees Tough To Like?

    Posted by on July 15th, 2009 · Comments (40)

    Someone who’s been a Yankees fan for the last 25 years recently said to me “I just wish this Yankees team wasn’t so hard to like.” And, that leads to today’s wild thought.

    In comments left by readers of this blog, this season, I have seen laments, at times, about Alex Rodriguez, Joba Chamberlain, Robinson Cano, Brian Bruney, Jorge Posada, Chien-Ming Wang, Nick Swisher, Andy Pettitte and Melky Cabrera. And, there may have been other Yankees players mentioned along these lines as well – and I just don’t remember them now…

    And, in comments left by readers of this blog, this year and in the recent past, I’ve seen complaints about Hank and Hal Steinbrenner, Randy Levine, Lonn Trost and Brian Cashman.

    So, here’s the wild thought…actually, it’s more a series of questions…

    Are these current Yankees a tough bunch to “like” – even for a dyed-in-the-wool Yankees fan? It is because of one player in particular, or a collection of players? Or, is it because of the Yankees front office? Is it because of one person, in particular, in the front office, or a collection of them? Or, are these current Yankees a tough bunch to “like” because of the players and the front office, combined?

    Or, is this all hogwash and do you find this Yankees team and/or organization easy to “like”?

    Wild Thought: Second Half Rotation Make-Over

    Posted by on July 13th, 2009 · Comments (17)

    With Chien-Ming Wang on the disabled list (for an unknown period) and Joba Chamberlain having issues performing under the requirements of taking a regular turn in the Yankees rotation, today’s wild thought suggests it’s time for Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi to make some changes to their pitching staff. And, here’s what we suggest changing:

    1. Add Sergio Mitre to the 40-man roster by cutting Kevin Cash. And, once Mitre is on, promote him to the 25-man roster by optioning Mark Melancon to Triple-A.

    2. Move Joba Chamberlain to the bullpen and replace him in the starting rotation with Sergio Mitre.

    3. Drop Anthony Claggett from the 40-man roster and replace him with George Kontos. And, once Kontos is on, promote him to the 25-man roster by optioning David Robertson to Triple-A (or, if you can, by disabling Brian Bruney). Sure, some may be thinking here “What about Brett Tomko?” However, as crazy as it sounds, I would keep Tomko – for now – just to pitch in games where the score is out of hand.

    4. Have George Kontos take Chien-Ming Wang’s place in the rotation until the latter is back from the disabled list. If Kontos has issues, then flip him with Alfredo Aceves (making Kontos a long-man in the pen) and allow “Ace” to fill in for Wang until he comes back.

    5. If possible, try and acquire Cliff Lee via a trade with the Indians – and then give him Mitre’s or Kontos’ spot in the rotation – whichever one is pitching worse. (And, then you can cut Tomko to make room for Lee.)

    If you had a chance to give the Yankees rotation a make-over for the second half of 2009, what would you do?

    Update, 7/13/09 9:49 am ET: I just became aware that George Kontos is done for the season. (Thanks to WasWatching.com reader “yagottagotomo1” for the heads-up on this news.)

    O.K., simple enough – insert Ivan Nova for George Kontos on the plan above and go from there…six of one, half dozen of the other, as far as I am concerned. I only took Kontos over Nova since he was a little older and had some more Triple-A time under his belt…

    Wild Thought: Cliff Lee?

    Posted by on July 11th, 2009 · Comments (10)

    Given the health issues around Chien-Ming Wang and the inconsistency of Joba Chamberlain, does it make sense for the Yankees to go out and get a proven starting pitcher for the second half of 2009? Well, that’s today’s wild thought…

    And, while everyone is focused on the chase for the Blue Jays’ Doc Halladay, perhaps the Yankees should try a sneak attack at another solid starter…like the Indians Cliff Lee? He’s also available…see this, recently, from Bob Nightengale:

    The Blue Jays would require a package greater than the three prospects the Cleveland Indians received last year for ace CC Sabathia, Ricciardi said, considering Halladay won’t be a free agent until after the 2010 season. Halladay, 10-2 with a 2.79 ERA, said he is open to a trade but has told Ricciardi the teams for which he would exercise his no-trade rights.

    Cleveland is in a similar situation with Cliff Lee, the defending Cy Young winner who is a free agent after next season. Indians GM Mark Shapiro has not publicly made the left-hander available. But since Cleveland has the American League’s worst record, teams are bound to call.

    “We’re in a position where we are open to all thoughts and ideas,” Shapiro said.

    Few teams might have the resources and prospects to acquire players the caliber of Halladay and Lee, who are making $14.25 million and $6 million this year.

    Well, we know that the Yankees have kicked the tires on Halladay. Maybe they should do the same with Cliff Lee and the Indians?

    Wild Thought: What If Jays Try The Fish Routine With Halladay?

    Posted by on July 8th, 2009 · Comments (8)

    Here’s today’s wild thought – and it’s tied to all the talk about Doc Halladay being available via trade.

    What if the Blue Jays decide to handle this like the Marlins did when they made Josh Beckett available? By this, I mean, what if Toronto decides to use this as an opportunity to dump Vernon Wells contract – insisting that the team who trades for Halladay also takes Wells – like when Florida insisted that the team who acquired Beckett also took Mike Lowell.

    After all, if the Jays can’t afford to pay Halladay, wouldn’t they want to also shed all that money due Vernon Wells – especially given the way Wells has performed since signing that deal?

    This would narrow the field for trading Halladay – since few teams could afford to take on Wells’ contract. In fact, it could make it a two team race between the Red Sox and the Yankees. Further, maybe the Blue Jays would then want Brett Gardner (from New York) or Jacoby Ellsbury (from Boston) as part of the return for Halladay and Wells? For certain, with Johnny Damon, Xavier Nady and Hideki Matsui being free agents in New York, the Yankees could consider taking on Vernon Wells for this season and those remaining on his deal – even if the cost, around $20 million a year, is crazy. And, perhaps the Red Sox might see Wells as a replacement for Jason Bay if he leaves as a free agent?

    So, that’s today’s wild thought. Should the Jays try this package play? If they did, if you were the Yankees and/or Red Sox, would it scare you away?

    Me? I’d have to think about it . And, if I were the Yankees, I would really have to get some good intell on Vernon Wells to see if he could rebound in New York the way that Mike Lowell did when he went to Boston – before I pulled the trigger on that one.

    Wild Thought: Is Robinson Cano The Next Juan Samuel?

    Posted by on July 7th, 2009 · Comments (4)

    Here are the career stats for Robinson Cano, through yesterday, compared to the stats for Juan Samuel when he was the same age as Cano – via Baseball-Reference.com:

    Batter	        OPS+	PA	From	To	Ages	G	AB
    Juan Samuel	107	2876	1983	1987	22-26	644	2675
    Robinson Cano	110	2714	2005	2009	22-26	654	2551
    Batter	        OPS+	PA	From	To	Ages	 BA	 OBP	 SLG
    Juan Samuel	107	2876	1983	1987	22-26	.269	.312	.457
    Robinson Cano	110	2714	2005	2009	22-26	.303	.335	.471
    Batter		OPS+	PA	From	To	Ages	H    HR  RBI	 
    Juan Samuel	107	2876	1983	1987	22-26	719  80  326	 
    Robinson Cano	110	2714	2005	2009	22-26	772  75  352	 
    Batter		OPS+	PA	From	To	Ages	BB   SO  GDP	SB
    Juan Samuel	107	2876	1983	1987	22-26	151  629  35	205
    Robinson Cano	110	2714	2005	2009	22-26	115  299  84	 16

    It terms of games played, plate appearances, OPS+, hits, homeruns, RBI and walks, these two are very close. Samuel struck out a more – and that’s probably a key difference here. It suggests that he had more holes in his swing than Cano – as the walk totals for both these players offer that they were hackers. (Samuel was also a lot faster than Cano – see the stolen base totals.)

    In any event, it’s an interesting comp-find here. And, it’s today’s wild thought: Is Robinson Cano the next Juan Samuel? What do you think?

    Wild Thought: Release Godzilla?

    Posted by on June 30th, 2009 · Comments (5)

    We’ve heard so much in Yankeeland this season about how Hideki Matsui is clogging up the Yankees roster this year because he can only D.H., etc. Just this morning, I heard Kim Jones talking about it on WFAN. So, here’s today’s wild thought. As much as I am a fan of Godzilla – and have been since 2003 – if he’s really a burden to the Yankees roster, why not release Matsui (and then replace him on the roster with a more versatile player)?

    Is it about the money? Heck, at this point, the Yankees owe Matsui another $6.5 million for this season. And, we know the Yankees have tinkled away more money on lesser players. It can’t be about not wanting to eat that cheddar.

    Is it about the fear of paying Matsui to play for another team, if he’s released, where he can come back to haunt you? Well, where is Matsui going if the Yankees let him loose?

    Godzilla cannot play the outfield – so, he’s not going to the National League. And, thanks to players such as Jason Kubel, Adam Lind, Luke Scott, Jim Thome, Hank Blalock, Ken Griffey Jr., Jack Cust, Mike Jacobs and David Ortiz, there’s a limited number of teams in the American League who can use him: The Tigers, Rays, Angels and Indians.

    Since Cleveland is going nowhere, that leaves the Tigers, Rays and Angels. Perhaps that’s why the Yankees, if they truly feel that Matsui is roster blockage, won’t cut him? New York fears Detroit, Tampa Bay or Los Angeles picking him up, with the Yankees paying the tab, and Godzilla then wrecking New York’s season somewhere down the line?

    Or, maybe, it’s the whole “keep good relations with the Japanese market” thing? But, for sure, Matsui is gone from the Yankees at the end of this season. So, is having him for three more months really that important there? In any event, that’s today’s wild thought. If it’s for the good of the team, in terms of having a better roster, should the Yankees release Hideki Matsui. What do you think?

    Wild Thought: To Take The Pass, Or Not, When The Heat Is On?

    Posted by on June 18th, 2009 · Comments (17)

    There seems to be much talk in Yankeeland today about Alex Rodriguez taking a walk in the bottom of the 9th inning last night – with one out and the tying run on third base. Some feel that A-Rod should have made contact, somewhere in his At Bat, and driven home the tying run. And, others feel that A-Rod did the correct thing by not expanding his strike zone, etc., and taking the free pass.

    It’s funny, it spots like this, I always think back to a Yankees game from the 1980’s. It’s when Don Mattingly was in his prime and Bill White and the Scooter were doing the Yankees broadcasts. In this game, the Yankees were losing, and it was late, and Donnie Baseball came through with a huge hit – on a pitch that was up around his eyes. When it happened, Bill White went nuts. In praise of Mattingly, White went on and on about how Mattingly was a winning player, a team player, and a leader, etc., – because he knew that he was never going to get a good pitch to hit in that At Bat (as the other team didn’t want ‘the big man’ to beat them) and he took it upon himself to make something happen despite of those plans by the opposing team (and pitcher).

    I’m not 100% sure – but, I want to say it was the Yankees game of May 13, 1985. I do recall that it was a home game, at night, and it was when Mattingly was among the best in the game. And, I know that White stopped doing Yankees games after 1988. Looking at Mattingly’s homerun log, it appears that May 13, 1985 could have been that game.

    In any event, that’s today’s wild thought. In a big spot, should ‘the man’ on your team be happy to take a walk, if the other team is not willing to let him beat them? Or, are you like Bill White and feel that a winning and team player, a leader, should make it happen based on what he has to work with?

    Me? I see both sides of the debate. I understand, as a batter, how you shouldn’t chase pitches. But, then again, if something is close enough to make it happen…as a fan, I love it when our ‘man’ comes through with a hit in a spot like that, taking it on his own shoulders, rather than leaving it up to the next guy.

    It’s a tough call. But, a fun wild thought.

    Wild Thought: Phil Of The Future Best Served From The Pen?

    Posted by on June 9th, 2009 · Comments (13)

    Today’s wild thought is on Phil Hughes – who looked impressive pitching the seventh inning out of the Yankees bullpen last night.

    Part of the lament about Hughes as a starting pitcher has been around the fact that he’s basically a two-pitch pitcher (fastball and a curve) and that his fastball is in the lower-90’s. And, while this is enough to fool minor league batters, this requires him to have pinpoint control/command, or face an impatient and aggressive swinging team, to excel as a starter in the majors. If Hughes had a quality third pitch – that he could throw for strikes – then that would make up for his shorter fastball and enable him to have more success in the majors as a starter. However, his cutter/slider and change-up are works in progress at this moment.

    This all said, it’s been proven that someone can pitch out of the bullpen, at the major league level, with just two-pitches – providing that one is exceptional and the other is enough to keep batters honest. And, as a relief pitcher, because you’re only facing a line-up once, at the max, in a game, you can get away with just having those two pitches.

    And, last night, being able to gas it out – as he was only going one inning, Phil Hughes’ fastball, which is usually in the 89-93 MPH range, was in the 94-96 MPH neighborhood – which is a near exceptional fastball. If Hughes is able to throw a heater in the mid-90’s and mix in his curve, he can be a very effective relief pitcher – like a John Wetteland type (who was also a fastball/curve failed starter who was converted to closer).

    In closing – that’s today’s wild thought: Should the Yankees, and Phil Hughes, now start thinking about his future in the majors…as a relief pitcher?

    Granted, starters get paid a lot more than relief pitchers. Hughes knows this, I’m sure. And, it’s somewhat easier on the mind, for some, to throw as a starter and then have four days off to play around with your Wii, etc., as opposed to having to deal with the stress of being in the game, in a big spot, two or three times a week (or more). But, then again, if you’re a closer, and you’re great, in a town like New York, you can be a legend. Just go ask Sparky Lyle, Goose Gossage or Mo Rivera.

    What do you think? Based on what we saw last night – albeit just one game – should Phil of the Future be a member of the Yankees bullpen?

    Wild Thought: Taking A Holliday

    Posted by on June 4th, 2009 · Comments (14)

    Today’s wild thought is an off-the-wall trade proposal…

    …if the Oakland A’s offered the Yankees Matt Holliday, right now, for Nick Swisher, Alfredo Aceves, Dellin Betances and cash…would you make that deal, if you were Brian Cashman?

    Tough one – huh? It would be fun to see Teixeira, A-Rod and Holliday batting back-to-back-to-back in the new Yankee Stadium this summer. And, Swisher and money are no issue to give up…but, do you include the somewhat useful Aceves and the promise of Betances?

    Me? If I’m the Yankees, I make that deal and don’t look back – even with Holliday being a free agent at the end of the season and the loss of Swisher’s “chemistry” factor. How about you?

    Then again, would the A’s make such a deal? Probably not…but, hey, I did say it was a wild thought, right?

    Wild Thought: Boiled Down, Are Yanks Medicore This Season?

    Posted by on May 27th, 2009 · Comments (61)

    The Yankees 2009 season is 28.4% in the books as of last night. This means, in about another week, this season will be one-third done.

    As of this morning, the Yankees are in second place in the A.L. East – one game back of the Boston Red Sox. That’s the good news.

    Overall, the Yankees record is now 26-20. They are 6 games over the .500 mark.

    However, to date, the Yankees are 6-3 against the lowly Baltimore Orioles this year. And, the Yankees recently took a four-game series from the Twins – where the Yankees were very lucky, out-scoring the Twins by five runs, overall, in those four contests.

    When you take these layup games against the O’s out of the picture, and subtract those four lucky wins against the Twinkies, the Yankees are 16-17. This is one game below the .500 mark.

    This leads to today’s wild thought: Is the Yankees current place in the A.L. East standings misleading in terms of capturing their performance this season, so far? Has New York, sans some favorable match-ups and a few lucky games, been more of a mediocre performer this season? What do you think?

    Wild Thought: Whither Hank?

    Posted by on May 26th, 2009 · Comments (4)

    This may be more of a fact than a wild thought…but…have we heard a peep out of Hank Steinbrenner in the last three months? What ever happened to that guy? Looks like someone put a gag order on him…and then some. Either that, or, he’s having buyer’s remorse on the A-Rod deal and is now hiding out in a bunker somewhere.

    Wild Thought: What Do To When Torre Visits The Bronx

    Posted by on May 19th, 2009 · Comments (13)

    The Post is reporting that Joe Torre and his Los Angeles Dodgers will be coming to the new Stadium next season to play the Yanks – as part of the inter-league schedule in 2010.

    This leads to today’s wild thought: When L.A. comes to town next year, during the first game of the series with the Dodgers, before the managers/coaches come to the plate to present line-up cards, should the Yankees have some sort of video tribute for Torre and then have the P.A. announcer call him out of the dugout (to come to the plate) – so that the fans can salute him? Or, should the Yankees do nothing and just allow the fans to react on their own, without being primed by a video, to Torre when he appears on the field to hand in his line-up card?

    If you had to make the call, what would you do? And, if you do something for Joe, do you also do something for Don Mattingly?

    Me? I think it would be a nice touch to do this for Torre – meaning have the video, etc. And, then, maybe sometime during the game, have a little Mattingly highlight video run between innings – so that the fans could start a “Don-e, Base-ball” chant or something…

    Wild Thought: Was Roberts Book On A-Rod Baseball’s Version Of Geraldo Rivera Breaking Into Al Capone’s Vault?

    Posted by on May 14th, 2009 · Comments (12)

    Today’s wild thought is a quick one: Is it just me, or, has the buzz around the Selena Roberts book on Alex Rodriguez come and gone, in a flash, making about as much noise as an A-Rod post-season At Bat?

    Wild Thought: Missing The Upper-Tank Tater In Right

    Posted by on May 7th, 2009 · Comments (12)

    In an e-mail exchange today with a friend, we were discussing how the new Yankee Stadium isn’t “home” yet – the way that the old Stadium was…because of all the time we spent at the old Stadium and the need to see more games at the new Stadium in order for it to have that “familiar” feeling when you’re there. (For the record, I do feel the new Stadium growing on me. I’ve been there for three games now and have felt better about being there each time.)

    However, one “familiar” thing from the old Stadium that I will miss at the new Stadium is the homerun into the upper-tank in right field. That was such a Yankee Stadium signature snapshot in my mind. Whether it was Oscar Gamble, Reggie Jackson, Mel Hall, Don Mattingly, Tino Martinez, David Justice or even Johnny Damon, there was just something cool about watching a lefty Yankees batter launch one into the upper-deck in right.

    With the new Stadium, to get one into the upper-deck in right field, you’re going to need to book a seat for the ball on the Space Shuttle. Sure, maybe, once in a blue moon, someone might get one up there – but, it’s not going to happen, say, 15 times a year.

    Anywho, that’s today’s wild thought: Missing the upper-tank tater in right at Yankee Stadium. How about you, will you miss it too?

    Wild Thought: When Will The Stein Sons Sell?

    Posted by on April 23rd, 2009 · Comments (28)

    Today’s wild thought: How long will it be until the Brothers Steinbrenner (Hank and Hal) realize that it’s not going to work in Yankeeland…meaning having two parties leading the organization who are somewhat not fully -engaged and who lack the über-controlling nature of the predecessor owner, their father, who was on top of the team, twenty-four-seven, like a fly on a road apple…and then elect to sell the team?

    Will it be two years from now? Five? Seven? Ten? Or…never? What do you think?

    Wild Thought: Are Yanks The Eastern Rangers?

    Posted by on April 20th, 2009 · Comments (10)

    Today’s wild thought: Are the New York Yankees becoming the Texas Rangers? Here’s where the two teams do have some connections:

    1. The Yankees have A-Rod, and all the trappings (good and bad) that come with him, whereas the Rangers used to have A-Rod (before he came to New York).

    2. The recent post-season history for both teams consists of early exits during the ALDS.

    3. Lately, in the last five years or so, the Yankees have experienced some major individual starting pitcher disappointments. And, we know that the Rangers have been trying to find decent starters for years.

    4. When the Rangers got their new ballpark, it turned out to be a launching pad for homers. And, it’s starting to appear that the Yankees new stadium is a homer haven.

    Are these connections just a coincidence? Or, have the Yankees become the Rangers of the east? What do you think?

    Wild Thought: Will They Love Swisher For Long?

    Posted by on April 14th, 2009 · Comments (13)

    Presently, everyone in Yankeeland is in love with Nick Swisher – and this includes the Yankees, their fans, the Yankees beat writers and just about every Yankees blogger to be found. And, why not? Swisher is batting extremely well now, he’s playing multiple positions – including pitching! – and is providing lots of good quotes and sound bites, etc.

    However, it should be noted that last season, while playing for the Chicago White Sox, Swisher got off to a great start as well. In his team’s first 12 games in 2008, Nick started in 11 of them. During that time, he collected 50 Plate Appearances and fashioned the following BA/OBA/SLG line: .289/.460/.474 – yes, that’s an On Base Average of four-sixty!

    But, then, Swisher hit the skids in Chicago. After those first dozen games, it was all downhill for Nick. In his team’s next 20 games in 2008, Swisher started in 20 of them. During that time, he collected 89 Plate Appearances and fashioned the following BA/OBA/SLG line: .147/.270./213 – which is down-right ugly.

    So, what happens if Nick Swisher, in a week or so, goes just as cold for the Yankees this season as he did for the White Sox in 2008? Will everyone in Yankeeland love as much then and they do now? Well, that’s today’s wild thought…what do you think?

    Wild Thought: Buck & Tim For Brian & Jean?

    Posted by on April 12th, 2009 · Comments (4)

    This evenings wild thought is a question. If you owned the New Yankees, and you had a chance to replace Brian Cashman (as G.M.) with Buck Showalter and, at the same time, you could replace Jean Afterman (as Assistant G.M.) with Tim Purpura, would you make that trade?

    Me? I think someone like Purpura would be a huge improvement over Afterman – with Tim being able to do all the things that Jean can do, as well as him being able to excel at all the things she cannot do well.

    And…Showalter for Cashman? Hey, that’s an interesting one. As I have said in the past:

    Brian Cashman has value. He understands New York. He can navigate through the Yankees organization. He’s polished. He can take a punch. There’s nothing wrong with having Brian Cashman as the face of the front office – and being the person on point between the owners, the team, the media and the fans.

    However, Showalter has an outstanding track record in terms of being a builder of baseball teams – albeit as a manager and not a G.M.

    Put it this way…if you told me, today, that Cashman/Afterman were out for the Yankees and that Showalter/Purpura were in…well…I think I would be more excited over that news than I would be upset. How about you?

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