One of the big stories that will loom over the baseball offseason is where Mark Teixeira will sign. He’s arguably the biggest free agent position player on the market, so his departure from the Angels to another team will certainly swing a balance of power — literally and figuratively. While there’s no denying that Tex is one of the premier first baseman in the majors, he’s not as good over the course of a season as he was in the half-seasons once he was traded to the Angels and Braves in the last two years. For that matter, only Albert Pujols is capable of producing at that rate over the course of 162 games — Teixeira is one of the few players capable of producing that well over a 50-game span. Numbers aside, the Angels figure to make a big push to retain Teixeira, and the Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles all figure to get into the bidding (the Yankees being the most prominent suitor). Though Teixeira appears to be an ideal replacement for Jason Giambi in the Bronx, his signing would be met with mixed reviews according to some. Apparently Teixeira really resembles Alex Rodriguez in many undesirable ways:
When you’re running out a pitching staff that includes the likes of Darrell Rasner and Sidney Ponson, you can’t be very good. To be fair, with all the injuries the Yankees have had, they’ve become a shadow of what they have been every other year they’ve made the playoffs. Wang, Hughes, Joba, A-Rod, Posada, Damon, and Matsui have all spent time on the D.L. this year — that’s one heck of an All-Star team right there. Anyway, I’m assuming the 12-1 loss to the Angels on Monday sparked some negativity that emanated from the Yankees TV booth — the YES Network booth — a network owned by the team.
“At some point, somebody has to be held accountable,” [broadcaster Michael] Kay said during a lopsided loss to the Angels, blasting the team for its “glass jaw.”
Ken Singleton and John Flaherty jumped in, leading to a substantive analysis of the Yankees abandoning their trademark patience at the plate.
Kay’s boss, president of production John Filippelli, declined to discuss how YES will handle this lost cause [of a season]. But Kay said Filippelli told him after Monday’s rant, “I agreed with what you said, and you have every right to say it.”
I’m not sure how the Yankees fans are taking things with their team on the outside this year, but guessing by standard New York procedure, they’re probably dishing out a lot of criticism. What’s wrong with it coming from the broadcast booth? I think it’s more important to be credible than to be a blind homer. It’s also nice to hear that the Yankees aren’t power tripping over this, either. After all, we know they have their sight’s set on next year anyway.
Nobody ever accused Yankees GM Brian Cashman of deflecting blame; he’s always been a stand up guy. There was the time in Buster Olney’s book where it’s said Cashman wanted to sign Vlad but Steinbrenner insisted upon Sheffield, but aside from that, Cashman takes responsibility for everything. So much so, that he straight up took all the blame for the Yankees’ failures this season and protected manager Joe Girardi.
Asked how much of this is on his shoulders, Cashman said: “All of it. I’m the general manager. So if you want, we can clear this out of the way. This is not a Joe Girardi issue.”
“I think Girardi’s done a tremendous job given what has occurred,” Cashman said. “And he continues to try to remain upbeat with this coaching staff to try to keep these players up and to try to perform up to their abilities.
“That’s frustrating for all of us, but the buck stops right here with me. My job is to put it together. My job is to fix what’s broken. … I just believe we’re better than this.”
After seeing what losing weight has done for A.J. Pierzynski’s turnaround season, Yankees manager Joe Girardi has decided to clamp down on his players’ eating habits. OK, maybe it wasn’t the AJ Pierzynski effect, but Girardi has nonetheless decided to eliminate sweets from the visiting clubhouses when the Yanks are on the road.
The Yankees contacted the visiting clubhouse manager of every stadium where they play and asked that the candy and ice cream be removed before the team comes to town.
The clubhouse in Tampa Bay replaced all the candy with nuts, dried fruit and granola. It was hilarious to watch as guys smuggled in candy bars and ate them furtively at their lockers.
I wondered myself why all this junk food was provided to these world-class athletes with finely tuned bodies. But then I realized we were talking about baseball players. Besides, some of them like to get sugar-rushes before the game — nothing wrong with that. Funny what losing or mediocrity does to someone’s mindset; I doubt sugary foods would have been a problem had the Yanks been 14-5 like Arizona.
First it was Yankees’ catcher Francisco Cervelli getting his wrist broken when Elliot Johnson of the Rays slammed into him at home plate. As a response, Joe Girardi said the Rays were playing too hard and that running over a catcher isn’t something you should be doing in Spring Training. By nature, that’s horrible logic; how can you tell guys trying to impress someone by playing hard not to hustle? Would Girardi prefer to have wusses on his team that are afraid of playing hard and trying to win, even if it is Spring Training? I don’t think so; I think he’s just speaking out of bitterness because his player was on the injured side of things.
Next, the Yanks dosed Evan Longoria of the Rays when they played again, and then an inning later Shelley Duncan slid into second base with his cleats up. He clearly spiked Akinori Iwamura intentionally, which was completely uncalled for. I’d call it nothing more than a bush-league response to what Johnson did. The benches emptied, though it wasn’t clear exactly what ensued. Then the Yankees couldn’t possibly top off the embarrassment they’d already created for themselves by complaining about another team playing hard. Or wait, could they?
If you’re an MLB freak and have taken a look at the schedule for the opening month, you may have noticed that the Yankees are getting shafted. They’re essentially on the road from April 8th-28th, a span of nearly three weeks. That’s pretty bad, though not too shocking given typical MLB road trips. But one oddity you’ll notice is that the Yanks have a two-game homestand against the Red Sox on the 16th and 17th, before the Yanks venture to Baltimore to play the O’s and get right back on the road. Why is that the case? Pat Lackey has the answer at FanHouse:
Turns out Pope Benedict XVI is coming to Yankee Stadium to say a mass on April 20th, which required that weekend’s series with the Orioles to be flipped from New York to Baltimore. Since schedules are apparently incredibly delicate things, MLB didn’t flip any other series to accommodate the Yanks. The result is a schedule that requires them to be in Tampa on the 15th, New York in the 16th, and Baltimore on the 18th. That’s a bad week.
If anything, you’d figure the Pope were in town to catch the Yanks/Sox, no? Maybe he’s flying in a few days early to catch the clash. Oh well, not like it’s the end of the world for the Yanks — they’ll have another 130 games to make up for it, with many of them in the Bronx.
Yes, a headline that will literally make you do a double take. In case there was ever a question, Troy Percival most certainly is not in it to win it. The man already has a ring from his days with the ’02 Angels and apparently he’s not looking to get his other fingers fitted. The recently retired closer who made a comeback mid-season last year, has reportedly spurned the Yankees for perennial AL East cellar-dweller, the Rays (doesn’t feel the same not being able to say Devil anymore). Much more than winning and making the playoffs, it seems like ego is the biggest factor at hand for Percy.
Troy Percival is signing a two-year deal worth $8 million, and possibly up to $10 million with escalators, according to Ken Rosenthal. The decision by Percy “reunites” him with former Angels bench coach, and current Rays manager, Joe Maddon. No doubt that was a key factor for the man. Most importantly, Rosenthal says Percival chose the Rays because they are going to let him close, while the Yanks were asking him to setup for Rivera. Alright Troy, as the first known man to spurn the Yanks in favor of the Rays, I have to guess two factors are at play: ego, and, well, I guess ego. We’ll see how Troy does, considering Al Reyes was pretty damn effective last year. Think he’ll be regretting his decision when he’s trying to get out Jeter, A-Rod, and Matsui next year?Â Yeah, that’s what I thought.