[As we approach the All Star break, I will do a few posts looking at baseball and the Yankees at the break. This one takes the form of Facebook's 25-random-things-about-me meme, as we look at 25 surprising and perhaps not-so-surprising observations of the Yankees' season so far. They're presented only in the order they enter my mind]
25. Ricky Romero and Rick Porcello will run away with it, but Brett Gardner deserves some serious Rookie of the Year consideration.
24. When the Yankees play at home, you can kind of skip the first six innings. All the action seems to happen in 7-8-9.
23. How cool is it that AJ Burnett told us he'd get on a roll...and then lived up to his own hype?
22. Robinson Canó should never see the fifth spot in the line up. Ever. Again.
21. The kids, ie 'Cisco and El Niño, are all right. They'll be up again, September or, it wouldn't shock me given Ransom's on-field butchery, sooner.
20. RUN BRETT RUN!
19. I'd be okay with Melky McClutch Cabrera sitting innings 1-6 and then coming to bat innings 7-9 in a close/tie game.
18. The transformation of the bullpen from one of the worst in the league to one that has been, well, awesome, is astounding, and shows you what happens when your starting pitchers, you know, pitch.
17. Andy Pettitte is alternating one good start with one bad. Yankees should come up with a game plan to deal with the bad starts now that they're so predictable.
16. The outfield has taken Roll Call to another level.
15. I should say something nice about Cody Ransom. He can jump really high.
14. I wonder if Jeter's great season at the plate might also be helped by his great defensive season?
13. Yes, New Yankee Stadium plays like a bandbox. As long as we're winning I don't really care.
12. Teixeira's contract may be worth it just for the defense alone.
11. It's kind of an embarrassment that a team with all sorts of riches can't have a playable AAA field.
10. Phil Hughes' bullpen dominance shouldn't be a complete surprise--Game 3 2007 ALDS anyone?
09. We tend to think Girardi's overmanaging the bullpen, but by limiting relievers' workload, he keeps them fresh.
08. Whatever scout the Yankees have in Mexico--the one responsible for Aceves, Manuel Banuelos (an 18 year old pitcher that's going to start the futures game) and Jorge Vazquez (who is tearing up AA)--should sign people more often. Or something like that.
07. Walk off pies and kangaroo courts--could you imagine this happening in the days of Kevin Brown and Randy Johnson?
06. While one must feel for Xavier Nady and Chien Ming Wang (and possibly Dámaso Marte), the fact that the Yankees are now mostly healthy is a wonderful, wonderful thing to behold.
05. Rob Thompson is a better 3B coach than Bobby Meacham.
04. ...but Tony Peña might be the best coach on the bench.
03. When it stops raining, this team wins ballgames.
02. All Nick Swisher cost was Wilson Betemit. I thought highway robbery was illegal.
01. Mo is not human. And Yankee fans know that.