Major League Catchers-Jorge Posada is penciled in as the starting catcher at this point. He is progressing well with his rehab and is expected to be just fine, we will see when spring training starts how realistic that is. The Yankees have a great backup in Jose Molina. He did an outstanding job filling in last yr but they just cant replace Jorge Posada's offense.
AAA Catchers-The Yankees just signed former Boston backup Kevin Cash to a minor league deal for insurance. He will be the AAA starting catcher. The Yankees also have highly touted Francisco Cervelli slated as the backup here. He is the catcher who got run over last yr in spring training and broke his wrist. He is a very good defensive catcher but no one is sure yet how he will do offensively. He did show some promise when he got back last yr in the last month.
AA Catchers-PJ Piliterre should be the starter again this year. The pitchers have talked him up as a very good reciever. He isn't really much of a hitter at all though and I dont know how much of a prospect he is with guys in the lower levels projected ahead of him as well as Cervelli. Kyle Anson should be the backup here. He is an intriguing bat, he had a 367 on base percentage last yr in Single A Tampa.
Others To Watch-Austin Romine and Jesus Montero are the two most highly touted catchers in the system. They are both going to start the yr in single A but dont be suprised if at least one if not both end up in AA at some point. Montero has a big bat and most expect him to switch positions at some point due to his size. With Mark Teixera the 1st baseman for the next 8 yrs it takes that position away so maybe he will just stay as a catcher. He has improved alot his defensive skills and it will be interesting to see how he does this yr especially if he gets bumped up to AA. He hit 326 with 17 hrs and 87 rbi last yr. He also had a 376 on base percentage. Romine is considered a good offensive catcher himself, he hit 300 with 10HR and 49Rbi this past yr. He also had a 344 on base percentage.
I will start with the local teams in this last weekend of the NFL regular season. The New York Jets play at home against the Miami Dolphins and their jilted ex QB Chad Pennington. The Jets have to win and then hope either the Patriots or Ravens lose and they will get in. If Miami wins they win the AFC East and the Jets go home, the Patriots then can get in with a win and a Ravens loss. I dont know what to think of this game, i expect the Jets to play hard and think they can win this game at home, but with them who knows. I expect a tight game maybe 20-17 or somewhere in that range.
New York Giants VS Minnesota Vikings-This is a game where Minnesota wins and their in and the Giants have nothing to play for. We do know already Aaron Ross is out with a concussion and expect Jacobs to also sit, I think Boss may also sit and expect Eli Manning to come out early and see the first extended action of the season for backup David Carr. I dont know what Justin Tuck will do but I expect if he plays he will see limited action. If Minnesota loses and Chicago wins then the Bears are in, if Minnesota wins then they are in.
New England Patriots VS Buffalo Bills-I dont think the Patriots will have a blowout like they did last week, but I expect them to win by 7-10 points. I am sure they will be ready for this game and hope to have a chance to get into the playoffs with a Jets loss and Ravens loss. I am sure the Bills will play hard but our looking forward to the offseason at this point.
Dallas Cowboys VS Philadelphia Eagles-This should be a heavyweight fight, even though the Eagles have basically no chance of making it they would like nothing more then to knock the Cowboys out of the playoffs. I think the Eagles may prevail in a very tight contest. The Cowboys win and they are in the playoffs otherwise they lose and they will be out.
Denver Broncos VS San Diego Chargers-This game is simple whoever wins is in and whoever loses is out, these are 2 7-8 teams. The San Diego Chargers are heavy favorites and I think they will probably win by 10-14 points. They are much better then their record shows and could be tough if they do make the playoffs. This should be a great game on Sunday night to finish what im sure will be a wild day.
The other games matter for seeding if Carolina wins they will be the 2 seed if not they can slip all the way to 5. If minnesota wins they have a chance for the 2 seed. Atlanta is still fighting for the 2 seed also if they win and carolina loses and Minnesota. I will be breaking down all the games and the Playoff matchups tomorrow night or more likely monday when all is said and done.
Baseball is pretty much shutdown now until after New Years but the San Francisco Giants did come to terms with Randy Johnson. The Big left hander will get 8 million for one year and a chance to get 5 million in bonuses by reaching certain incentives. He has 295 wins for his career. This gives the Giants an intriguing rotation with Lincecum,Johnson and Zito all cy young award winners and Matt Cain a promising young arm. He will be back home in the area he grew up in and should get his 5 wins and then call it a career after the year is over.
The story has been going around, first reported by the New York Post and Newsday. It is also now on Peter Abrahams lohud yankees blog. It looks like the yankees are prepared to move on without Petitte even though they haven't pulled the 1 yr 10million offer yet. My question is whats up with Andy, why was he waiting so long to accept or reject the offer? I mean 10million for a 4th starter is a lot of money, and why not jump on it to be in the new stadium like he said he wanted, no matter how you look at it, if he goes anywhere else he will not be viewed the same anymore, the Yanks stuck by him last year through the HGH fiasco and he really owes it to them. The Yankees can just use Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy or Alfredo Aceves for that spot in the rotation or maybe make a trade for another guy.
The Yankees with the signing of Tex do look like they may move one or two out of the group of Swisher,Nady,Melky,Matsui. I dont think they will trade Damon because he is a good leadoff guy and in the last yr of his contract anyway and also was a big factor in CC and AJ signing, did a great job recruiting. I think Matsui could have suitors in Anaheim or San Francisco. Lots of teams would take Nady, he is a solid player and is only 29. Melky I think would have to be packaged with maybe Kennedy if you want to trade him. I know Atlanta was interested in Swisher before the Yankees aquired him. It will be interesting to see what the Yanks do, or they can just keep them all and have better depth this year.
Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays to all. I dont think i will be blogging much more today or tomorrow if at all. Everyone have a very happy and safe holiday. Check out a good yankee poem on yankees.lhblogs.com. It is very funny.
The Yankees did make another move yesterday that didn't really get any press. They acquired backup catcher Kevin Cash. They signed him to a 700,000 minor league deal, he will take the role of Chad Moeller last year as insurance in case Jorge gets hurt or Molina. It is interesting that they took him from Boston as Boston right now has no catcher with Varitek a free agent and no one else there.
Here he is Big Tex our new first baseman. You got to love the 23, my number and his old number. It is also his idol Don Mattinglys number, He wont wear that number with the Yanks, i wonder what number he will wear? I cant wait to see him hitting it all over the new stadium.
Everyone check out the article by Lee Jenkins on Si.com. It is a good article about how Tex should fit right in with the yankees. I hope to know when the physical and press conference will be but im sure we wont find out to after the holidays. The question now is do the yankees make any trades do they say bye to Petitte, what next?
As a Yankees fan this is the guy i wanted. Since the beginning of last year I had said just get Tex and CC next year and everything will be fine. I was against getting Santana for this very reason, now they got the guys and oh yeah AJ also and kept the farm system intact. The Yankees are back to being the Yankees and everything seems alright in the world even though it isn't. Joe Girardi will have enourmous pressure on him this year but im sure he wont mind. The Yankees now have arguably the best rotation, the best bullpen and the best infield in baseball. The Yankees have said enough is enough and you know what good for them. They have a lot of money off of the books and a new stadium and they put the money back into the team to try and win that elusive 27th title and more. As a yankees fan you have to love this, I personally love everyone ripping us for spending the money then what happened last year where they rip us for not making it and not spending money. I say bring on all the criticism, bring it on, if we win titles I dont care what anyone says. The New York Yankees deserve to do this,they are the model franchise in all of sports and maybe all businesses because they seem to be the only ones making any money these days. Welcome back yankees welcome back and have fun Yankee Haters it should be a fun year.
The New York Yankees have agreed in principle to a 8yr 180 million dollar deal with first baseman Mark Teixera or as I will be calling him Big Tex. The deal is pending a physical and wont be official until then. I will be back later with reaction.
The New York Yankees have announced today that they have agreed to a 1 yr 5 million dollar deal with Ching Ming Wang. This deals avoids arbitration for Wang and the Yankees, which is never a fun thing to go through. According to Peter Abraham of the Journal News and yankees.lhblogs.com Wang is pleased with this deal. It was a deal that was indicative of what Wang has done according to his agent and he is pleased. Wang will return to the US in 3 weeks, he will be in Arizona working with a trainer. His foot is completely healed but to play it safe he is doing his conditioning on a bike instead of running. The only arbitration eligible players left for the Yanks are Brian Bruney, Xavier Nady and Melky Cabrera.
The AAA Scranton Wilkes Barre Yankees and the AA Trenton Thunder have announced the coaching staffs for the 2009 season. Dave Miley will return as the Manager and Butch Wynegar as the Hitting coach. Scott Aldred is moving up from Trenton to take over as Pitching coach. Aaron Ledesma is the new infield coach replacing Alvaro Espinosa. Dave Miley has led Scranton to the best record in the international league the last 2 seasons and a title last year. Tony Franklin will be back in his 3rd season as Trenton Manager, he will have some new coaches Tommy Phelps as pitching coach and Frank Menechino as hitting coach, most of us im sure remember him from Oakland and Toronto. Vic Valencia will be a coach, Trenton is coming off back to back championships their first ever titles.
Other News: Chris Britton has signed with the San Diego Padres and Andy Phillips with the Pittsburgh Pirates. I wish them both well,poor Britton never really had a shot with the Yankees, I think Girardi has a thing against fat people and Andy Philips, I never thought they should have gotten rid of.
The New York Jets once again came up very small in a game they should of won. The Jets have made a habit of losing and being outplayed this year by inferior opponents. The Jets have lost to San Francisco,Oakland,Denver,Seattle all this year. You have to begin to question the coach and if you are going to keep the head coach you have to change his staff for sure. Eric Mangini just has the same expression and has looked lost all year. There is no excuse for what has gone on with the Jets this year, they can still make the playoffs but it will take a virtual miracle for them to win and Baltimore and New England to lose.
The World Champion New York Giants are a different story. They were locked in a amazing battle for the number 1 seed in the NFC last night and came away with a hard fought OT victory. The Giants went back to playing Giants football which is run it down their throats and see if anyone can stop them, they did struggle defensively in the first half but made the adjustments and held them to 7 points in the second half completely taking away Steve Smith. I think the Giants will play better defensively but Justin Tuck was clearly very sick, even caught barfing on the sidelines and without him being affective they can't get a pass rush. The bottom line is they won the only game they had to win all year and now the road to the Super Bowl will come through the swamp in New Jersey.
The Dallas Cowboys interestingly enough are still alive and if they win will be in the playoffs but im not so sure they will beat Philly on the road. I think that it will be very difficult to beat a rested Giants team in the meadowlands and I think once again they are the favorites to win it all. I dont know if anyone has noticed but the Colts are hot and have won 8 in a row and Peyton Manning is clearly the MVP of the league again. Wouldn't it be great to get a Manning Bowl?
The Anaheim Angels announced today that they have dropped out of the Texiera Sweepstakes. Now that Boston and Anaheim are out, the Yankees could make their move and land him this week before Xmas. This is going to get interesting because it looks like teams aren't fooling around with Agent Scott Boras anymore. I dont know if the Sox are really out but this could be very good for the Yankees if they make a quick strike and steal him. I really hope they get him as you all know, they would have really won the Hot Stove if they do land him and would seem to have a very superior team on paper to get back to the World Series finally but of course you dont play the games on paper.
It all comes down to tonight for the Giants and Panthers. This is for the 1 seed in the NFC, I expect a hard fought battle but expect to see a different Giants team then we have seen the last 2 weeks. It will be interesting to see how the weather is tonight, although right now the sun is out and it looks good. The Jets have to beat Seattle to keep their hopes alive. They got lucky last week and haven't been playing well at all but they need to come out and just beat them like they should. The Patriots are routing the Cardinals in snowy foxboro. If the Giants win tonight they can rest up next week and then enjoy watching the first round of the playoffs in the comfort of their own family rooms.
I am a diehard New York Yankees fan,season ticket holder and a sportsnut. I also like the New York Giants and Rangers. I am married with a beautiful babygirl. I am a caremanager for passaic county and graduated from William Paterson University in Wayne,NJ. I have always wanted to be a sportswriter and thought this blog would help me live my dream. I cover the Yankees/Mets Giants and Jets for www.worldnewsvine.com and also will be writing for numberonebaseball.com so check me out there, thanks.