• Yanks Fans Weigh In On Dodgers-Cubs LDS

    Posted by on September 30th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    Bryan Hoch, at mlb.com, reports that “Yanks fans divided on Cubs-Dodgers.” My position is mentioned in Hoch’s feature.

    How about you? Pulling for Joe? Lou? Both? Neither? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

    Three More Years Of Brian Cashman

    Posted by on September 30th, 2008 · Comments (20)

    Brian Cashman and the Yankees have agreed on a three-year deal that will keep him with the team through the 2011 season as their General Manager.

    For this Yankees fan, this news is like a punch right to the gut.

    The Hank-Half of the Brothers Stein is always quick to point out that there have been “mistakes” made in Yankeeland in the last five to seven years that need to be “fixed.”

    Well, the Yankees just had a chance to “fix” one of those biggest “mistakes” – but, they really screwed the pooch with this call…giving Cashman three more years to prove that he’s one of the worst talent evaluators in the big leagues.

    On the bright side, I suspect that Cashman will never make it to that third year of this deal. So, in the end, this will probably only be two more years of having to endure “Cecil Turtle In Charge.”

    SNY New York Baseball Today Video

    Posted by on September 30th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    To watch SNY.tv’s New York Baseball Today, which features a rotating panel of experts and previews the offseason, click play below:

    Hal Stein: Cash Call This Week, One Way Or Another

    Posted by on September 30th, 2008 · Comments (5)

    Via Kat O’Brien

    The Yankees continue to wait for an answer from Brian Cashman as to whether he will return as general manager. Yankees co-chairman Hal Steinbrenner said Tuesday afternoon that it will be resolved this week.

    “We’re going to get it done this week, one way or another,” Steinbrenner told Newsday by phone.

    Steinbrenner spent Monday at Yankee Stadium, where he met with Cashman, and Steinbrenner is back at the stadium Tuesday.

    “We talked yesterday, and we’re going to talk today,” Steinbrenner said. “There’s some family decisions to be made, as we talked about last week. I know Brian talked to his wife [Mary] some more last week. It’s a family decision.”

    Looks like Brian’s waiting on Mary as much as the Yankees are waiting on him…

    Joba’s Wing Still Hurting?

    Posted by on September 30th, 2008 · Comments (5)

    Via George King

    For the second time inside of two months, Joba Chamberlain experienced discomfort in his valuable right shoulder Sunday at Fenway Park.

    According to several people, Chamberlain said the shoulder was tight after exiting the first game of the doubleheader against the Red Sox when he walked Jason Bay and gave up a ground-rule double to Mark Kotsay in the eighth inning.

    The same people said Chamberlain didn’t appear too concerned about it. However, Chamberlain is the face of the Yankees’ pitching future and the slightest physical problem with him is cause for concern.

    According to a scout who recently tracked Chamberlain, tightness could be why his velocity was down during the final two weeks of the season.

    “He was throwing 91 mph and a lot of sliders,” the scout said of Chamberlain, whose fastball was clocked at 97-98 mph before he spent almost a month on the DL with rotator-cuff tendinitis.

    Hey, maybe Jorge Posada was right?

    The Jeter Meter

    Posted by on September 30th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Here’s a random yet fun slice of the big baseball pie via Baseball-Reference.com’s Play Index Batting Game Finder…

    Since 1956, players with the most games where they reached base 2+ times within the first 1,985 games of their career:

                       Games Link to Individual Games
     Wade Boggs         1180 Ind. Games
     Frank Thomas       1179 Ind. Games
     Rickey Henderson   1169 Ind. Games
     Edgar Martinez     1136 Ind. Games
     Jeff Bagwell       1134 Ind. Games
     Derek Jeter        1120 Ind. Games
     Manny Ramirez      1116 Ind. Games
     Joe Morgan         1108 Ind. Games
     Barry Bonds        1107 Ind. Games
     Chipper Jones      1102 Ind. Games
     Gary Sheffield     1087 Ind. Games
     Jim Thome          1079 Ind. Games
     Alex Rodriguez     1077 Ind. Games
     Carl Yastrzemski   1072 Ind. Games
     Pete Rose          1072 Ind. Games
     Tim Raines         1071 Ind. Games
     Bernie Williams    1062 Ind. Games
     John Olerud        1062 Ind. Games
     Frank Robinson     1061 Ind. Games
     Paul Molitor       1053 Ind. Games
     Tony Gwynn         1052 Ind. Games
     Craig Biggio       1052 Ind. Games
     Mark Grace         1048 Ind. Games
     Rod Carew          1039 Ind. Games
     Roberto Alomar     1028 Ind. Games

    Say what you want about Derek Jeter…but, you can’t say that he doesn’t reach base…and often.  (And, yes, I used 1,985 games since that’s the number of games that Jeter has played in his career, so far.)

    Wright For A-Rod?

    Posted by on September 30th, 2008 · Comments (11)

    “They need to help him work through his apparent anxiety in high-pressure situations … He cares so deeply that he puts enormous pressure on himself, and this trait seems to wreck him in big spots. He seems to leap at the ball when he’s trying to hit with the game on the line. They need to address this.”

    No…that’s not being said about Alex Rodriguez…although it sure does fit A-Rod. Actually, it’s Buster Olney writing about the Mets’ David Wright (via MetsBlog).

    This leads to an interesting question…

    ..all things considered…meaning age, salary, off-the-field behavior…if you’re the Yankees and the Mets offered you David Wright, one-up, for Alex Rodriguez, do you make that trade?

    Me? I think the Yankees make that trade in a heartbeat. How about you?

    Brackman Watch Begins

    Posted by on September 30th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    Via the Honolulu Advertiser

    [Andrew Brackman] finally made his pro debut Saturday night for the Waikiki BeachBoys. Didn’t go so great, as he allowed seven runs (six earned) in 2 1/3 innings with three strikeouts. But it’s a start to his comeback from the injury.

    “It’s been a year since I’ve been able to go out there, show my stuff against other people’s stuff,” Brackman said several days before his start. “It was really hard. I had to be patient. I feel like I did everything that I had to do and everything I could do to get my elbow back.”

    Brackman, who turns 23 in December, is hoping HWB can do for him what it did for his future teammates: Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy. Both are 2006 alumni. Like Brackman, Chamberlain made his pro debut here after signing late with the Yankees. Both made their Yankees’ debut the next season. Similarly, Chamberlain had injury concerns when he was drafted.

    “I know they both played out here and had success and they’re having success now and I hope to follow in their foot steps,” Brackman said. “He (Joba) said he enjoyed his time out here and that it helped him well, helped him knock some of the rust off and everything. That’s what I hope to do, to use this experience to work on some things and hopefully get back to where I left off.”

    What being signed to a big-league contract means is Brackman is already on the Yankees’ 40-man roster. When he is out of options after 2009, he will have to be put on the 25-man roster in 2010.

    Raise your hand if you think that a (then) 24-year old Andrew Brackman will be ready to help the Yankees at the big league level come the 2010 season…

    Com’on…let’s see them…raise them high…real high so that we can see them…

    Hey, Cashman, just raise one hand. Put your other arm down…

    Will Jeter & A-Rod Be Hurting The Yanks In 4 Years?

    Posted by on September 30th, 2008 · Comments (5)

    Jim Baumbach, today, considers what’s going to happen when Derek Jeter’s contract expires after 2010. Here’s a snip:

    But in this city, Jeter is not any other player. That’s why the Yankees will have so little negotiating power. They must re-sign him because of who he is and what he represents. But can the Yankees seriously ask Jeter to take a pay cut after they rewarded A-Rod with the richest contract ever in the wake of his infuriating opt-out?

    Whether the negotiating process of Jeter’s extension will be the responsibility of the GM or the team president, the chief operating officer and the two Steinbrenner sons remains to be seen. But the bottom line is that the GM will be the one who will feel the pinch of working around this contract in addition to A-Rod’s.

    And that’s not even taking into account what position management might want Jeter to be playing come 2011, which will be the first year of his extension. Second base? First base? Leftfield?

    A year from now, Jeter will be about to enter the final year of his deal. It’s been team policy in recent years to let their own players play out their contracts, then negotiate when they become free agents. The Yankees did it with Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada, and both turned huge walk years into more lucrative deals – in terms of money and years – than they would have received before those walk years.

    Figuring out how to deal with this is not a top priority this offseason. But it’s something the Yankees and their GM will have to plan for, and soon.

    Me? I’m thinking – if the Yankees are smart – you offer Jeter a lifetime contract. On the front end, it’s $125 million over the first five years as a player, with a $20 million signing bonus. And, then, starting in 2016, it’s one million a year for the next 25 years for “personal services” representing the team at an agreed upon number of functions, etc. That’s a fair offer – and one that would not insult Jeter.

    Would that combination of having an older Jeter and an aging A-Rod making so much money, together, be an issue for the Yankees payroll during the seasons of…say…2012 through 2015?

    Sure, it might. But, there’s no way that the Yankees can let Jeter play for another team after the 2010 season…unless he hits something like .190 over the next two years. So, the Yankees – mostly Hank, actually – should have thought about that before they gave the house to A-Rod.

    Hazel Mae Vs. Kim Jones

    Posted by on September 29th, 2008 · Comments (9)

    Hazel Mae left the New England Sports Network this year and will become the on-air face of the MLB Network (which is set to launch on January 1, 2009).

    I wonder if Kim Jones was up for that MLB job too? For the record, Mae is exactly seven months younger than Jones. So, maybe MLB just wanted a younger person… [wink]

    Araton On Cashman

    Posted by on September 29th, 2008 · Comments (11)

    Harvey Araton, via his feature in the Times on Omar Minaya, talks about the Yankees Brian Cashman:

    Nor will we see any more of the team Cashman built for more than $200 million, its payroll ever rising during an eight-year fade from World Series champion to wild-card contender. Like Minaya, Cashman is an earnest, likeable man. Unlike Minaya, he seldom seems to be called out or held publicly accountable for mistakes — and there have been enough in recent years that would have devastated franchises with lesser payrolls, including the Mets.

    Cashman, of course, gets credit for presiding over three championship teams — probably more credit than he deserves given that he inherited the players central to the Yankees’ 1998-2000 success. He gets sympathy points for having to deal with the impetuousness of the Steinbrenners, George to Hank. But granted autonomy on the Johan Santana call last winter, he decided to pass, and that probably doomed Yankee Stadium to a silent final October.

    Through it all, the Yankees appear to want Cashman back and he may be sitting pretty, with options elsewhere.

    First of all, kudos to Araton for being dead-on here about Cashman. More and more, you see references among the media and bloggers that truly reflect Cashman’s performance as Yankees G.M. – and, perhaps, someday, everyone will “get it.”

    The part, here, about Cashman having options got me thinking this evening. Yes, sure, there have been suggestions that Cashman, if he leaves the Yankees, could end up working for the Mariners, Phillies or Nationals…or maybe even the Dodgers. But, it would not shock me, if he left New York, to see Brian Cashman end up working for ESPN – much like Steve Phillips did after he left the Mets. And, should Cashman make such a career move, he just might be pretty good at it. But, I’m not sure if ESPN would want two “former G.M.’s” working at the same time…so, maybe it’s something that won’t happen?

    Prison Break, Season 4, Episode 6 “Blow Out”

    Posted by on September 29th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    At the start of this season, for Prison Break, I had my concerns about the direction in which the series was heading. But, I hung in there with the third, fourth and fifth episodes that aired after Labor Day (when the first two episodes of this season were run back-to-back).

    Those subsequent episodes, that aired before this evening, sorta/kinda gave me what I was looking for…yet there was also enough there to keep me on guard…and keep my aforementioned concerns warmed.

    In fact, coming into today’s airing of episode six, I was somewhat mentally prepared to find Michael Scofield wearing swim trunks, on water-skis, getting ready to jump over a shark in a tank full of water.

    Guess what? It never happened.

    In fact, this evening’s episode was right on point in terms of bringing the twists, turns, and suspense that you would expect from an episode of Prison Break. The scenes with Wyatt and Mahone were great. (The casting of Cress Williams as Wyatt may be the best thing that they’ve done this season. He’s great.) And, now we have Gretchen and T-Bag together. Lastly, you just know something is coming down the pipe with Roland Glenn…

    Good stuff.

    Prison Break, Season 4, may not be up there with the first three seasons of the series (yet) – but, it’s starting to look pretty good after what I saw today.

    Girardi: Yanks To Add Experienced Starter(s)

    Posted by on September 29th, 2008 · Comments (14)

    You know, if the 2009 season were to start the minute after the final out of the 2008 World Series, the Yankees starting rotation would be:

    Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Darrell Rasner, and Alfredo Aceves – with Ian Kennedy and Kei Igawa in reserve.

    So, when Joe Girardi says the Yankees plan to upgrade their rotation with experienced pitchers, you better believe it.

    In a perfect world, you want Wang and Chamberlain to have two slots in the rotation, with Hughes, Aceves, and friends fighting for another spot. That leaves two spots to be filled from somewhere else.

    It’s starting to look like Mike Mussina will retire – so, he’s probably not going to be an option. Andy Pettitte? He might come back on a one-year deal. And, he would be fine as a “fourth guy” in front of whoever wins that last spot between Hughes and others.

    Yet, even if you get Pettitte, you still need one more solid and above-average guy for the rotation. This is where guys like CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Ben Sheets, Derek Lowe, Jon Garland, Kyle Lohse, Ryan Dempster, Oliver Perez and Brad Penny come into play. Or, maybe you have to end up trading for a guy like Gil Meche or Justin Duchscherer.

    There’s little room for error here. Everyone wants starting pitching. So, the Yankees are going to have to pick the right guy and make a hard play to get it done. You can’t pull a “Pavano” this time. So, let’s hope that the team really does their homework, correctly, when bringing in that experienced pitcher.

    First & Right To Be Dee-Tight Next Year?

    Posted by on September 29th, 2008 · Comments (11)

    Via Baseball Prospectus, here’s how the Yankees ranked, this season in the A.L., in terms of their Defensive Efficiency (meaning the rate at which balls put into play are converted into outs by their defense):

    1	TBA	6,145	1,349	1,143	166	53	0.717
    2	TOR	6,067	1,330	1,184	134	52	0.711
    3	OAK	6,112	1,364	1,061	135	58	0.707
    4	BOS	6,180	1,369	1,185	147	52	0.706
    5	ANA	6,161	1,455	1,106	160	53	0.699
    6	KCA	6,214	1,473	1,085	159	56	0.696
    7	CHA	6,152	1,463	1,129	156	65	0.696
    8	BAL	6,414	1,538	922	184	61	0.695
    9	MIN	6,190	1,563	992	182	58	0.694
    10	CLE	6,164	1,530	986	170	58	0.694
    11	DET	6,374	1,535	983	171	59	0.692
    12	NYA	6,175	1,478	1,141	143	50	0.687
    13	SEA	6,368	1,544	1,016	161	54	0.686
    14	TEX	6,506	1,647	963	176	68	0.679

    That’s pretty close to being the worst in the league. Based on feel, I would have to say that A-Rod, Cano, Giambi and Abreu were all a big part of that poor showing here. (Jeter too…but, that’s a dead horse.)

    A-Rod and Cano are capable of doing better. But, if the Yankees do let Giambi and Abreu go, hoepfully the Yankees will improve their defense at first base and right field next season.

    Who Cost The Yankees A Post-Season Berth?

    Posted by on September 29th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    In the end, the Yankees finished 6 games behind the Boston Red Sox this season – and six games back from being the A.L. Wildcard team.

    On the season, the Yankees went 51-46 when playing “winning teams” (meaning they had a winning percentage >=.500) and 38-27 when playing “losing teams” (meaning they had a winning percentage <.500). It was New York's play against "losing teams" that hurt them in the standings this year - as Boston went 46-18 against "losing teams" and Tampa Bay went 42-19 against "losing teams." The difference here between New York, Tampa and Boston is why the Yankees finished where they did in the standings.

    In total, when the Yankees played the Reds, Pirates, Indians, Tigers, Royals, and Rangers this year, they went 15-21. And, those are ‘bad’ teams. If you want to say that those 7 games under .500 against these ‘bad’ teams is the difference between the Rays, Bosox and Yanks this season, I would not fight you on it.

    In particular, from June 6, 2008 through July 10, 2008, the Yankees lost six games to the Royals, Reds, Rangers and Pirates that they should have never lost. Here are the games – and the player on the Yankees who probably had the biggest hand in that loss:

    June 6th vs. The Royals – Goat: Johnny Damon

    June 9th vs. The Royals – Goat: Melky Cabrera

    June 20th vs. The Reds – Goat: Jason Giambi

    June 30th vs. The Rangers – Goat: Jorge Posada

    July 1st vs. The Rangers – Goat: Melky Cabrera

    July 10th at The Pirates – Goat: Alex Rodriguez

    Damon…Melky…Giambi…Posada…and A-Rod. Hey, what can you say? It was a team effort, right?

    Yankee Paint Job

    Posted by on September 29th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Ever wonder who was behind painting pinstripes on the (now long gone) Yankees bullpen car? How about who set the pattern for the 20-foot white “NY” painted on the grass behind home plate at the current (and now retired) Yankee Stadium?

    It was the Kunath Sign Co. out of Teaneck, New Jersey. Click here to read their story.

    2008: Yankees Vs. Mets

    Posted by on September 29th, 2008 · Comments (10)

    Both the Yankees and the Mets went 89-73 this season.

    The Yankees had a shot at the post-season through 157 games this year.
    The Mets had a shot at the post-season through 162 games this year.

    The Yankees spent 2 days in first place this season: Opening Day and April 16th (when they were tied for first).

    The Mets spent 39 days in first place this season – with their biggest lead being 3.5 games on September 10th. Their last day in first place was on September 19th when they were up by a half-game.

    So, basically, the difference between the Mets and the Yankees this season was that the Mets spent 37 more days in first place than the Yankees and the Mets were “alive” for 5 more games (longer) during the season.

    I offer this up in case you find yourself in a Yanks-Mets debate today and need some stats…

    September 2008 Survey Question #5

    Posted by on September 29th, 2008 · Comments (7)

    Please consider taking the following poll:


    Thanks in advance. And, please feel free to add comments on your opinion in the comments section below.

    Now, That’s Johnny Rotten

    Posted by on September 29th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    I’ve had this ear worm stuck in my head since last night. And, now, I pass it to you…

    September 28th @ The Red Sox – Game 2

    Posted by on September 28th, 2008 · Comments (8)

    And…that’s a wrap.

    Hey, it would have been nice to, in the end, win 90 games this season – all things considered. But, in reality, there’s really no difference between winning 89 or 90…when you’re still outside the dance, looking in, when the music starts.

    Yet, I give the Yankees some credit. They came out of the All-Star in a rush…winning 11 of 16 games. And, then, on August 4th, Joba Chamberlain got hurt in a game that the Yankees lost. And, that was iceberg that sank the ship. After that game, the Yankees went 15-17 in their next 32 games…and, in the process, they took themselves out of the Wildcard case.

    Need evidence? On August 4th, the Yankees were 2 games back, in the loss column, behind the Red Sox in the ‘card standings. And, 32 games later, after going that aforementioned 15-17, the Yankees were 10 games back, in the loss column, behind the Red Sox in the chase for the ‘card. That’s ten games back with 18 games left to play. It hit rock bottom on September 8th when the Yankees mailed in a game against the Angels.

    Yet, the Yankees didn’t tuck tail at that point. In those 18 games left to play, the Yankees, including this loss, went 13-5. That’s pretty impressive. It shows some pride. And, it shows that the team didn’t totally quit on Joe Girardi when they truly had a chance to check out.

    Yesterday, Ed Price, on Girardi, wrote:

    (The following analysis is based on conversations with people inside the Yankees clubhouse, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they didn’t want to criticize the manager publicly.)

    Girardi’s shortcomings this season have been a lack of communication with players and some of his coaches, an inability, at times, to create a productive atmosphere, a lack of a deft touch with the media (no small issue in New York) and an occasional disregard for players’ egos.

    Now, maybe it’s true that General Joe has some warts…at least this season. But, again, when your team is dead in the water and then goes out and wins 13 of their last 18, it says something…and part of that is that Girardi didn’t let this team limp across the finish line. That’s a positive…and more important than winning 90 instead of winning 89 games.

    2008 Regular Season Game 161 (Make Up) : In-Game Comments

    Posted by on September 28th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    Please use this entry to share your opinions, observations, complaints, rooting, and other sundry comments with fellow fans during the playing of the Yankees game on Sunday evening, September 28, 2008.

    [Note: Since the Red Sox told fans who had tickets to the game on Saturday, that was called for rain, that they should use those tickets for this game on Sunday evening, that’s why I’m calling this game, the Yankees last for the season, “Game 161” – even though the Yankees have now already played 161 games this year…with the game this afternoon where Moose got #20.]

    Sidney Ponson is pitching for the Yankees…what a way to close this season.

    September 28th @ The Red Sox – Game 1

    Posted by on September 28th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Congrats Moose!

    Mike Mussina finally gets that “20 Win” season.

    Way back when, I was a big Mike Mussina fan. I had him on my rotisserie teams in the 1990’s when he was with the Orioles. And, as such, I was pumped when the Yankees picked him up in 2001. And, I remained a fan of his…during his first three seasons in New York.

    But, then in 2004, I began to sour on Moose. In my mind, I saw him as a priss, a carpetbagger, and, worse, someone who was coasting until his free agent walk season in 2006. And, at the end of 2007, I thought that he was toast – and that the Yankees shouldn’t expect much from him this season.

    However, Mussina proved me wrong this year – in terms of his ability to still pitch. And, in reading “Living on the Black,” I gained some further insight towards Mike as a player. And, through all this, he won me over – back to where I was when he first joined the Yankees – and I was back in his corner. So, I’m thrilled that Moose was able to get this win today.

    Man, it looked close for a while – and kudos to Girardi for lifting Joba and then later bringing in Mo, early, to lock it down. And, of course, thanks to Jonathan Papelbon for taking all those tension out of this one with his performance as well.

    And, if this does turn out to be Mike Mussina’s final game, hey, there’s no better high-note to go out on. Attaboy Moose. Great job this season.

    Ya Gotta Feel Sorry…

    Posted by on September 28th, 2008 · Comments (7)

    …for Mets fans.

    Last season, the Mets had a 7 game lead with 17 games to play…and they went 5-12 down the stretch, losing on the last day of the season…just missing the post-season by a game.

    This season, the Mets had a 3 1/2 game lead with 17 games to play…and they went 7-10 the rest of the way, losing on the last day of the season…just missing the post-season by a game.

    On today’s YES broadcast of the Yankees game, Ken Singleton talked about losing out on a chance to reach the post-season by losing the final game of the season. It happened to his Orioles in 1982. According to Singleton, as a player, that loss in 1982 hurt more than losing Game 7 of the 1979 World Series.

    And, for the Mets, now they get that “last day loss” feeling for two years in a row. Wow.

    That’s gonna leave a mark. My condolences to the Mets fans out there.

    As a Yankees fan, I have felt “losing pain” more than a few times – but that was all in October. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to see your team do this – for two years in a row.


    2008 Regular Season Game 162: In-Game Comments

    Posted by on September 28th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Please use this entry to share your opinions, observations, complaints, rooting, and other sundry comments with fellow fans during the playing of the Yankees game on Sunday afternoon, September 28, 2008.

    [Just for the record, I’m calling this one Game #162 – and the one this evening, if they manage to play it, will be the make-up for Game #161.]


    Posted by on September 28th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    With the rain today…and the long day ahead of them in Boston…I dunno…this just seems like a good one to feature as the soundtrack for the Yankees last game of this season…

    What About Nady In 2009?

    Posted by on September 28th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Coming into today’s action, here’s Xavier Nady’s BA/OBA/SLG line as a member of the New York Yankees: .268/.319/.468 (in 238 PA). These numbers are very close to Nady’s career marks for BA/OBA/SLG (as of today): .280/.335/.457 (in 2,425 PA).

    Most in Yankeeland assume that Nady will be a full-time player for the Yankees next season – albeit in rightfield, leftfield, or even at first base. However, can the Yankees afford to play the X-man, everyday, if his BA/OBA/SLG line is in the ballpark of .275/.330/.460?

    Well, that’s pretty much what Paul O’Neill did in 2001. However, at the time, Paul was 38-years old and in the last year of his career.

    Basically, if Nady is going to bat in that range, he’s going to be an Eric Karros, Ty Wigginton, Bubba Trammell, or Kevin Mench type player. And, that’s nice…I suppose…if he’s going to be a role player on the team or someone who’s going to bat in the bottom third of the line-up.

    It seems like the Yankees like Nady – and I expect him to be on the team next season. But, if the Yankees plan is to use Xavier as someone to hit in the heart of the order, and be someone that they’re counting on to be a main cog of their offense, then that may be a mistake.

    King: Buzz Says Cashman To Return

    Posted by on September 28th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    Via George King

    While Brian Cashman remained mum about his future, the buzz smothering the Yankees’ universe yesterday focused on the GM telling the Steinbrenner family he wants to return.

    An announcement could come as soon as tomorrow.

    “Sooner than later,” Cashman said with a smile when asked about reaching a decision.

    Hal Steinbrenner, who wants Cashman back, hasn’t made an offer. However, there are indications Cashman could tell Steinbrenner he wants to return and negotiate later.

    With Hank Steinbrenner fading from the picture, Hal has been in touch with Cashman more than his older brother. Cashman and Hal work very well together and Hank hasn’t been involved in meetings with Hal and Cashman and his involvement has decreased.

    Oh, goodie.

    Moose’s Next Start His Last?

    Posted by on September 27th, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Via Ed Price

    It has been 105 years since a pitcher won 19 or more games and voluntarily retired healthy.

    Mike Mussina seems to be considering it.

    Mussina on Sunday will attempt to become a 20-game winner for the first time in his career, starting for the Yankees in the first game of a season-ending, day-night doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox.

    “It’s a significant number,” he said, “but after playing this long and winning all these games, if I don’t win (today), then has it been bad, has it been lousy, has it been unsuccessful? No.

    “It’d be a lot of fun to win it.”

    Mussina, who turns 40 on Dec. 8, must then decide if he wants to keep playing, and he sounds torn. Earlier this year, he told at least one confidante that this would be his final season.

    He said yesterday the Yankees are his first choice, but his decision will rest on his family’s concerns and whether he feels he can play three more seasons.

    “If I’m in for one, I’m in for three,” Mussina said.

    His reasoning: He could retire with 269 or 270 career wins. But if he gets significantly closer to the 300-win milestone, it would be difficult to stop without pursuing that.

    But Mussina also likes his quiet life in Montoursville, Pa., with his wife and three children.

    “They’re probably leaning toward me going home,” he said. “My wife would have liked me to retire about five years ago. But ultimately, it’s still up to me.”

    If Moose wins tomorrow, that would leave him 30 wins short of 300 career victories. Can he get those 30 wins? Maybe…but, Mussina is right – it would probably take three more years to get it.

    Can Mike pitch until he’s 42-years old? Hey, Greg Maddux, Don Sutton and Danny Darwin did it. So, why can’t Mussina?

    However, I see Moose’s point…from the family angle…and, really, what’s better for him in terms of getting into Cooperstown: Going out with 270 wins and having his last season be a 20-win season; or, having 300 wins and maybe having two seasons at the end of his career where it looked like he was just hanging on to get to 300? The former just may be more impressive, and a better exit, than the latter…

    Yanks Haze Rooks

    Posted by on September 27th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Bryan Hoch and Tyler Kepner have the story. Chad Jennings has some good photos.

    Hey, if Phil Coke feels bad for being left out of this…and he probably does…someone can remind him that, technically, Joba Chamberlain was still considered (by MLB’s rules) as being a “rookie” this season – and Joba wasn’t asked to join this party either…

    Mets Have Cashman To Thank?

    Posted by on September 27th, 2008 · Comments (9)

    Did you see the Brewers game today? How about the Mets game?

    If the Mets end up making the post-season this year, today’s Cubs-Brewers and Marlins-Mets games will be a big reason behind that happening. The Mets can thank Johan Santana for an ace’s effort. He was a true warrior for the Metsies this afternoon. And, the Mets can thank the Cubs’ Ted Lilly for doing a number on the Brewers as well.

    But, if Brian Cashman doesn’t ignore Ted Lilly as a free agent and later elect not to trade for Johan Santana, then those two pitchers would not have been in the position that they were today…

    …so, if anything, if the Mets now make it to the post-season in 2008, they can thank Brian Cashman too.

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