Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm Back! It's sure been an exciting off-season

Brief recap of the 2009 off season acquisitions

Yankees Acquired:
  • Javier Vazquez
  • Boone Logan
  • Nick Johnson
  • Curtis Granderson
  • Jamie Hoffmann
  • Matt Holliday... ok, just kidding, though I did have a dream that he was acquired.
Yankees Resigned
  • Andy Pettitte
Payroll: Is (currently) slightly lower than the previous year, though the team still needs to sign a left fielder.

Positive: Solid 1-4 starters. Vazquez will give the Yankees that strong #4 starter that they did not have last year. Though I believe injuries could play a part in the 2010 season. Pettitte has an iffy elbow and I wonder about Burnett at times. Curtis Granderson should be an excellent addition to the team; with his contribution on the field and also off the field with his charitable work. Only think I wonder is how good of a #2 hitter he will be. That's the plan right? Unless Damon somehow signs back with the team.

Negative: Replacing Nick Johnson with Matsui? I think it's a decent move if Johnson stays healthy. Then again, Matsui also wasn't the healthiest individual either. At least Johnson provides you with the flexibility of playing first base when the Yankees want to give Teixiera a day off.

The Yankees appear to be in good shape. Especially when you compare them to the other team that plays in New York.

Also, I finished the Marty Appell book on Thurman Munson, and it was amazing.. I am going to write a review up on it and post it hopefully later tonight or tomorrow.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

The blog will be back in action after Christmas! Finally done with graduate school and my Christmas shopping is near complete. It has been an insane month or two. I hope everyone is doing well!

Have a great holiday everyone and try to stay warm :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Winter Meetings

Well, the Winter Meetings have now come to a close and the Yankees have come home with a new player to add to their team. As part of a 3-way trade, the Yankees acquired Curtis Granderson from the Tigers in which the Yankees sent Austin Jackson and Phil Coke to Detroit and Ian Kennedy to Arizona. In addition, Detroit sent Edwin Jackson to Arizona and Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlerth were traded from Arizona to Detroit. It is an interesting trade, one which appears to have benefit the Yankees the most, though the true test will come during the season if we can see how well Granderson can hit lefties.

When it comes to Austin Jackson, I personally don't think hes ready, but a team like Detroit can take the chance in allowing him to grow in the majors. As a Yankee, I couldn't see Jackson being their everyday starting centerfielder just yet. He still needs to work on his plate discipline and start hitting more for power. The man does have speed though, something that Curtis Granderson also does have.

As for Arizona? Not sure how well they made out on this trade. Guess we will see how the young guys develop before a determination can really be accurately made.

Regardless, here are some cool pictures I stole (I am crediting!) from Vic Christopher's blog. Though I don't agree with how they run the club, he has put together a fun blog, so I highly suggest you check it out. There are some behind the scene shots at the lovely winter meetings, where the writers appeared to have stayed inside a convention centre/hotel for the entire week. Seems exciting.

Patriots Superbowl wins that were on display. Yuck.

I guess this is where all the action took place

Here are some new products that were on display

This item is called the Swing Rite. It is a type of training aid that was designed to increase bat swing speed and improve hand-eye coordination

This is a glove that can be used while batting or for catchers and was designed to protect the wrists
Some sort of underwater apparatus. Couldn't find anything about it online though.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Farewell, Zach Kroenke

Today was the day of the Rule 5 draft. This is a rule that has been intact for many years and was implemented as a way to prevent teams from stock-piling too many free agents. Here is a blurb about the draft (from wikipedia) for those of you who are not familiar with it:

As in the amateur draft, the selection order of the teams is based on each team's win-loss record from the prior regular season, each round starting with the team with the worst record and proceeding in order to the team with the best record. Any player selected under Rule 5 is immediately added to his new team's 40-man roster; thus, teams who do not have an available roster spot may not participate in the Rule 5 draft. Players who are not currently on their team's 40-man roster are eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft, but only after a standard exemption period has elapsed. See Selection eligibility below.

If chosen in the Rule 5 draft, a player must be kept on the selecting team's 25-man major league roster for the entire season after the draft—he may not be optioned or designated to the minors. The selecting team may, at any time, waive the Rule 5 draftee. If a Rule 5 draftee clears waivers by not signing with a new MLB team, he must be offered back to the original team, effectively canceling the Rule 5 draft choice. Once a Rule 5 draftee spends an entire season on his new team's 25-man roster, his status reverts to normal and he may be optioned or designated for assignment.

Players that can be selected from the Rule 5 draft are those that are not included on the 40 man roster and have been with the same organization for four years (signed after age 18) or for five years (signed at age 18 or younger)

The reason I am rambling is because the Yankees decided to not place Zach Kroenke on their 40 man roster, which would have protected him from being selected as part of this draft. He was picked up by the D'Backs today; a selection that I should be surprised about as Kroenke has shown he has talent that is worthy of that selection. Hes a solid lefty with a decent fastball and a slider. As I embarked on my travels to AAA games this year, I found myself drawn to this play. I am disappointed he is no longer a Yankee and wish him well on his new journey. It was obvious the Yankees didn't have much interest in him and he will hopefully get more playing time now that hes on a different team.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I hope Al Leiter doesn't threaten to take down my blog....

It looks as if the Yankees are trying to take down their own fans. Over at The Yankee Universe blog, they posted an entry that stated they were contacted by someone to change the URL of their blog. The letter on their website states:

"Your unauthorized uses of the MLB Marks on the Website and in the Domain Name are likely to cause confusion, mistake and deception as to the existence of an affiliation, connection or association between your business on the one hand, and MLBAM, and/or other applicable MLB Entities on the other, and constitute trademark infringement, dilution and unfair competition in violation of federal and state law.

Accordingly, demand is hereby made that you immediately cease and desist from using the YANKEE UNIVERSE name and the Logo, any other Yankees Mark and any other MLB Mark in and as the name of your Website, to promote the Website, to seek advertising any other commercial opportunities, in and as the Domain Name, and in any other manner that would cause consumer confusion, dilution of the MLB Marks, or imply any sponsorship or endorsement of your Website or its contents by any MLB Entity"

I guess this isn't surprising, though I think it is lame they are going after a group of guys who clearly are not profiting form their website. They write about the team they love. Why do the Yankees and MLB have to bull everyone?

Al Leiter you cant take away my blog. You or your bullpen catcher. Sorry. Ill trademark it myself if I have to!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oh where oh where will Roy Halladay go?

The great Roy Halladay (HAL-a day not HOL-i-day.. I hate how people mispronounce his name) has announced to the world that he will not engage in trade talks during the regular season.

With that, Toronto has to make a decision to trade him before Spring Training or keep him on the team for the entire season. This was the best -and most obvious- move for Hallday, given the distractions he faced last year around the trade deadline when he was uncertain as to which team he was going to be on.

If I am the Blue Jays, I would look for a team that's willing to give me some decent young players in exchange for Halladay before camp meets in February. I doubt the Jays are going to get as much in return now (as he would have gotten during the trade deadline) but they know they don't have a shot at having him past 2010 and they need to start developing the team for the future. In trading a huge star like Halladay, they should be able to acquire some decent prospect that will be able to help them now and/or eventually down the road.

At this stage in the game this has to be Toronto's approach. They have to realize that there is no way to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox payroll. It must now be able developing young players and putting a lot into the draft. They have done well with that over the years in getting some decent pitchers, but the key now is keeping these guys healthy and continuing to make smart decisions during the draft. In addition, they need to start spending their money wisely when it comes to free agents. While the Vernon Wells deal looked good in the beginning, it has ended up being a huge mistake; one that is taking up a huge part of their payroll and hindering them from signing other key free agents.

If I am the Jays, player development is key along with trading away the great Roy Halladay. I will be very bummed with this happens (and inconsolable if he goes to the Red Sox) but for the better of the organization, it needs to happen. I personally hope he goes to the Phillies.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Poor Blog

Due to a horrible grad school professor, my blog has been neglected. Come December 15th when this hell is over, I will return. Please stick around for those who are even left! I have some news to share that's quite exciting!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quick Survey

Out of curiosity, how much money do you think Miguel Cabrera paid Keizo Konishi for that first place vote?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Roy Halladay

According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, The Jays are apparently talking to the Cubs about the GREAT Roy Halladay. While the article claims the Jays GM is currently isn't shopping any of their players, it seems as if its only a matter of time before Harry departs the Jays to head elsewhere. Please pray with me that it is somewhere in the AL or the Mets, where I at least would be able to watch him pitch. I bet he'd do great in Philly actually, with a 1-2 punch of Lee and Halladay.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mascot love

I was doing some YouTube surfing this morning and came across these two videos. In the first one with the Mascot's fighting, all I have to say is where is the Phanatic? I think he is the only Mascot that could take on the great Ace from the Blue Jays.

The second one is good too. Lets hope the Yankees dont ever get a mascot.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Welcome to Corporate America

Greg Clary of The Journal-News wrote an article in today's paper about an autograph session that took place at the Greentree Country Club in New Rochelle, New York. Those in attendance included the likes of Joe Girardi, Joba Chamberlain, David Cone, Don Larsen, and Alex Rodriguez.

The cost of receiving an autograph at this event ranged from $250 to $475 a PIECE. The best part of the article was how the money collected was not raised to go to a charity. In Albany, they have an annual event in January that brings together a player on the Yankees and also a few players on the Giants as a way to raise money for The Center for Disability Services. This is a great organization that helps out and covers the costs of services that are needed for children and adults who are suffering from disabilities and chronic medical conditions. Not only do they do great work for the Capital Region, but they also serve people across the US. Right now the governor is trying to cut 2.5 million dollars in state aid that they were supposed to receive, which really is going to hurt this organization.

The point I am trying to make is that it's unbelievable to read that these players making millions of dollars (along with the man from Steiner Sports) are collecting nearly $500 from fans just for the signing of one autograph. It's one thing if the money is going towards a good cause, but for them to pocket this money is just amazing to me. An organization such as the Center for Disability could really benefit from a thing like this. Of course, there is always that possibility that some of the guys actually gave their earnings to a charity- I almost want to hope that is the case. But to be honest, you really never know with these players. I guess when you look at it, it's more amazing that someone would shell out so much money to have a 4 second meeting with A-Rod and have him autograph a ball.

Here's a hint: go to a baseball game and try your luck at getting something signed for free. I have autographs from A-Rod, Jeter, Damon, Teixiera, etc..., which were all attained from meeting the players and were at no cost. The only autograph I ever paid for was the Brian Bruney autograph I got last year for a kid I tutor, and it was for a cost of 20 dollars; all of which went to support the Center for Disability Services in Albany.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What was he thinking?

I know I am about 10 days late on this one, but this is my last semester in my Master's program and the work has been overwhelming. Here's a photo I found enjoyable, courtesy of I think Bryan Hoch of MLB.comJust a note to A-Rod: This hat does not make you look the least bit attractive. In fact, it makes you look silly.
Also, here's some news about former closer John Wetteland. When the reports were first published, they stated that Wetteland was depressed and on some sort of suicide watch. Now, according the the AP, it was claimed that Wettleland had an elevated heart rate due to stress and was treated and now currently is at home with his wife. Regardless, hopefully hes doing better and it isn't anything too serious.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A season of baseball starting from spring training to the world series parade

The 2009 baseball season has now come to an end, so I decided to go through all of the pictures I have taken throughout the course of the year, and put them into a large montage. This thing took me forever to do, so if you have the time, check it out. It is a little long, but between the spring training games, games in NY and Toronto, all the minor league games, and my trip to Ohio and Kentucky, the pictures accumulated. I did limit it down which was very hard to do!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

World Series Parade- What was with Arod's hat? Yikes!

Here are some photos from the parade on Friday, thanks to my friend Kyle! I wish I could have gone but I had a Comp. exam to take for my Master's program. Oh well. Hopefully all those who went had a good time!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

World Series over, Yanks win their 27th

First off, congrats to the Yankees on securing their 27th World Series Championship. It seemed like the playoffs lasted for about 2 months, which I can't fully complain about as I love the game of baseball. I was at a school today and the number of kids wearing Yankee shirts was quite large. Can you take a guess what player a majority of the kids had on their back?

Anyhow, it seems you either love the Yankees or you hate them. For me, the World Series seemed to have the most competition. The Twins played like crap and their defense let them down immensely. Same thing happened with the Angels, though they did make a comeback. I felt like the Phillies put up quite a fight and a better bullpen/closer might have helped put them over the top (Howard showing up to play might have helped also).

I keep reading the money aspect, which as a Yankee fan, I have to be realistic and agree with a lot of people. I am going to spend a few days when I have time analyzing some figures to see how much money really does play a factor. You would be an ignorant fan to say that money plays no effect. It just isn't the case; everything always comes down to money.

Regardless, if you are a baseball fan in general today is a somewhat sad day as the season is now officially over. Here is a poem i read that I thought you might like and describes me to a T.

When someone asks you your favorite sport
And you answer Baseball in a blink
There are certain qualities you must possess
And you're more attached than you think.
In the frozen grip of winter
I'm sure you'll agree with me
Not a day goes by without someone
Talking baseball to some degree.
The calendar flips on New Year's Day
The Super Bowl comes and it goes
Get the other sports out of the way
The green grass and the fever grows.
It's time to pack a bag and take a trip
To Arizona or the Sunshine State
Perhaps you can't go, but there's the radio
So you listen-you root-you wait.
They start the campaign, pomp and pageantry reign
You claim the pennant on Opening Day

From April till fall
You follow the bouncing white ball
Your team is set to go all the way.
They fall short of the series
You have a case of the "wearies"
And need as break from the game
But when Christmas bells jingle
You feel that old tingle
And you're ready for more of the same.
It will be hot dogs for dinner
Six months of heaven, a winner
Yes, Baseball has always been it.
You would amaze all your friends
If they knew to what ends
You'd go for a little old hit.
The best times you're had
Have been with your Mom and your Dad
And a bat and a ball and a glove.

From the first time you played
Till the last time you prayed
It's been a simple matter of love.

365 by Jack Buck

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Game 1 of the World Series: Yankees vs Phillies

There were metal detectors in place for all over the lower level sections. They also were frisking people to make sure they didnt have any weapons or whatever else one might hide in their coat.

Guess whooo!

Wade Boggs was at the game!

Look, it's Bernie!!!! At least he showed up this time. They showed a montage of him at game 6 of the ALCS, and when they zoomed in on his luxury suite, it was empty and Bernie was nowhere in sight.

Everyone started to leave. I dont understand how you c spend so much money and leave the game early