It's been a minute since I wrote last. Now that there is progress in spring training we can look at what the Yankees have...as far as you can with deceiving Spring Training numbers.
Basically, I am happy A-Rod had surgery. It is good for him, good for baseball, and good for Jeter's peace of mind, because he has been obviously angry with the press over this.
Any idiot can hear it in his replies; they are quick, biting jabs, not mad at A Rod, mad at the press for being gossip column writers instead of sports writers.
Personally, I do not care what people do with their private lives. I watch sports to watch sports. In this case Steroids affects the game but give him a roasting and leave it.
After the questions are all asked once they don't change the second time around. I hate opening a newspaper and seeing five articles about A-Rod, where they all quote the same sources, line for line.
I can't belive the editor lets all the exact same story though five times without saying something.
If someone does something really stupid kick em out of the league and speak no more of it. If you cant write about the game, write for page six in the Post is all I have to say...nuff said? On to the Yankees. A-Rod and Madonna!
First the big questions
Melky or Brett?
I am of the opinion that Center Field belongs to Gardner. Gardner is faster and has hit well enough to give him the opener. If he cant hit when the pitchers are sharper switch em.
This is most likely the first time Brett Gardner has had this much time in Spring Training, it might do him the trick because he stumbles at the beginning of each level.If he keeps hitting as the pitchers get better and tighter...He will have made the adjustment.
I think he is going to do this. What is equally important to me is that I don't think Melky is going to another level. I think we have seen the best from him, and the worst was waving to the Bleacher Creatures in Yankee stadium trying to be a hot dog and blowing a catch.
Has an awful batting average in spring training this year...a lowly .233....but has 8 walks, giving him an OBP of .385...the man has a good eye, he led the league in walks last year. Let's see how he is in the clutch in NYC. It is a big stage and he might be one of those type A dudes who shows up, but no one can know this until the real pressure is applied.
The man is an athlete. Check his YouTube 60" box jump.
He is a journeyman but is no slouch and hit well for the Yanks last year. He knows that at his age this is THAT MOMENTin his life where he gets the chance to play Third Base on opening day in a new Yankee Stadium. He wont have many more like that . I hope he enjoys it.
Don't go to sleep on Ransom; he is not a bad player and plays all three infield spots.
Life without A-Rod?
My basic theory is thus:
When you have Damon, Jeter, Teixeira, Matsui, Posada, Nady, and Cano in one lineup, it looks way better than the Rays, who hit for a .270 average as a team last year (I am averaging an average in my head...) and look what they did.
The Yanks' pitching is drastically improved, it may not matter that he is gone for long. If Gardner and Ransom play well they could be like O'Neil and Brosius....hard nosed clutch guys.
I am glad A-Rod has a break. He needed it. The Yankees needed it. I needed it. I didn't read the sports section for weeks.
As far as pitching is concerned this Year the Yanks have an arsenal that is waking up and rearing it's ugly hibernating head. Pitching wins games. What really matters in the World Series is the Starting Pitcher. Why? Because pitching wins games.
All five are throwing well and seem to be in relative good health, all shutting down teams as of this week.
Their relief corps is doing well. Coke is awesome and Bruney is becoming a voice in the 'pen, which has been needed. Veras has to show up this year more consistent, he was Jekyll and Hyde last year, like he was going to the Kyle Farnsworth mental program of sometimes it matters sometimes it doesn't.
The good thing about the relief this year is that with good pitching up front the pen will be more rested and will be handed a lead more often than last year.
In short, I see a lot of good things. Could be a perfect storm brewing.