Wildcard weekend starts in a little less then an hour and spring training tickets went on sale for most teams today. I thought with this in mind that it would be a good time to take a look at the Yankees roster since it is pretty much complete. I am going to start by going through the positions and then I will do the rotation, bullpen and lineup as I think it will be.
Dave Robertson-setup man
Damaso Marte-lefty setup man
Boone Logan-specialty lefty
Alfredo Aceves-middle relief
Chad Guadin-long relief
There may be some difference with Joba as the 5th starter and Phil Hughes as a setup man and maybe in the bullpen there may be some other guys who make it like Sergio Mitre or Albaladejo etc but this is how I think it will shake out. It is also possible the Yankees do sign a right handed hitter to play leftfield against lefties and come off the bench like a Reed Johnson. What do you guys think about this team, lineup, rotation etc??? I think this is a very strong team still even without Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. I think they will be better defensively and pitching wise.
The NFL Wildcard weekend will begin tomorrow at 4:30PM with the New York Jets at the Cincinatti Bengals. I think this is going to be a great playoffs with the NFC being wide open and the AFC being top heavy with the Chargers and Colts but lurking are the Patriots. Here are my picks for this weekends games.
New York Jets At Cincinatti Bengals- Cincinatti 17 New York 14
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots- New England 24 Baltimore 14
Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals- Green Bay 31 Arizona 24
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys- Dallas 20 Philly 17
There you have it, my totally uneducated picks for this weekends games. Lets see how well i do in the playoffs, anyone want to chime in and pick against me please let me know what you think or if you are with me that is good also.
The annual Thurman Munson awards ceremony will be held February 2 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York. Joba Chamberlain will be one of the recipients of the award for philanthropic work in the community and excellence in competition. It will be the 30th anniversary of the event. This is good to see with Joba after the rough offseason he had last year with the DUI and all the stuff going on with his mother. The other recipients will be Cubs manager Lou Piniella, former Yankee and Met Daryl Strawberry, Knicks point guard Chris Duhon and Yonkers raceway two-time champion harness driver Jason Bartlett.
Diana Munson who is Thurmans widow has been involved in the benefit since it's inception and has raised nearly 10 million dollars to assist children and adults who have developmental and intellectual disabilities. Len Berman the longtime NY sportscaster, formerly of NBC will serve as master of ceremonies for the 16th consecutive year.
Lou Piniella will receive the "Legend Award" for his long and meritous service to baseball. Lou played 18 seasons in the big leagues, 11 of them with the Yankees and will be going into his 22nd season as a manager.
The New York Giants continued the purge of the defensive side of the ball yesterday. They fired defensive line coach Mike Waufle. He had been with the Giants for all of head coach Tom Coughlins tenure but was another casuality after this brutal season the defense had. I am sure others will follow like the defensive back coach but we shall see. I am sure there will be changes with the players as well. I don't know what will happen next year but these players better come back strong and motivated after this disaster. Here is the story about the firing.
I missed this a couple of days ago but David Cone has been let go by the Yes Network. I am really going to miss him, I thought he grew into his role and the best is when he said crazy things and didn't even realize what he was saying. There was talk when this first started being rumored of Tino Martinez going to the booth but right now that doesn't look to be the case.
Sergi Mitre signed a 1 yr deal with the Yankees for $850,000.
According to Chad Jennings of the Lohud Yankees Blogwho spoke with Brian Cashman, Cash said the Yankees are basically done. They are just looking at a right handed bat for left field to play against lefties and some bench help and non roster invitees to spring training. I think the more and more you interpret this it means Gardner is going to be the left fielder with Reed Johnson signing as a role player.
The Yankees did announce as expected that all the coaches are returning in their roles from last season.
Cash said as of right now Cervelli is the backup catcher- I hope they don't sign someone else because the pitchers really liked working with him and he even hit a little which a backup isn't expected to do.
Cashman said he is not looking for bullpen help, that he is always looking for pitching but with what they have right now that is not his focus.
Phil Hughes, Boone Logan, Francisco Cervelli and Romulo Sanchez each have one option left. Joba Chamberlain has three.
He also said the team has agreed to several minor league contracts but he isn't ready to disclose those yet.
Here is how the Hall Of Fame voting broke down. Andre Dawson suprisingly was the only one to make it, he will join former manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey who were selected last month by the veterans committee.
Andre Dawson- 420 votes 77.9%
Bert Blyleven- 400 votes 74.2%
Roberto Alomar- 397 votes 73.7%
Jack Morris- 282 votes 52.3%
Barry Larkin-278 votes 51.6%
Lee Smith- 245 votes 47.3%
Edgar Martinez- 195 votes 36.2%
Tim Raines- 164 votes 30.4%
Mark McGwire- 128 votes 23.7%
Alan Trammell- 121 votes 22.4%
Fred McGriff- 116 votes 21.5%
Don Mattingly-87 votes 16.1%
Dave Parker- 82 votes 15.2%
Dale Murphy-63 votes 11.7%
Harold Baines-33 votes 6.1%
Andres Galarraga- 22 votes 4.1%
Robin Ventura- 7 votes 1.3%
Ellis Burks- 2 votes .4%
Eric Karros- 2 votes .4%
Kevin Appier- 1 vote .2%
Pat Hentgen- 1 vote .2%
David Segui- 1 vote .2%
I just can't believe someone would vote for Ellis Burks or Robin Ventura or even worse is Eric Karros, Pat Hentgen, Kevin Appier and David Segui. I mean ok nice players and all but Hall Of Famers, not even close. I just can't belive people would waste their votes like that, it is insane to me.
The Hall Of Fame Class of 2010 will be announced in about 15 minutes. I haven't thought about it too much but I think Roberto Alomar will get in and Andre Dawson. I think Jack Morris may but he hasn't so far so what will change now? I want to discuss the selections and who didn't get selected later on. I would like to hear what you guys think. I will be back later with the official announcement.
UPDATE: 5:34PM- I know I am a few hours late on this but Andre Dawson was the only player to be elected into the Hall Of Fame. If you look closely at the numbers he is pretty much a compiler that you question if he should really get in. The bigger story to me though is how did Robbie Alomar not get in?? He was the best second baseman of his generation who had great numbers all around including the postseason. I know he had that spitting incident with the umpire but all was forgiven and they have even become good friends. That is not a reason to keep him out of the hall. I think too many people with votes have an agenda and it just isn't right. I would take this so seriously if I had a vote and really look at all the numbers and go with what is really right in your heart.
I also think the whole Mark McGwire thing is showing that these steroid guys are going to get punished big time and maybe never make the Hall. I do think guys like A-rod and Bonds will get in but it may even take them a while to get elected. It will be fun to debate this now in the cold winter months. I want to take a look at some of the numbers later again and maybe post some of them on here and we can debate it.
Yesterday was a very busy baseball day which is always fun. I wrote a post about Randy Johnson retiring and Jason Bay coming to the Mets which would of been busy enough but there was more. The Boston Red Sox were very busy signing Adrian Beltre to be their new third baseman. They will now look to trade Mike Lowell again, I wonder who would take him coming off of thumb surgery? I am guessing he will have to play in spring training and play well and then maybe they will revisit the trade with the Texas Rangers. The Red Sox also announced they are moving Jacoby Ellsbury to leftfield and Mike Cameron will be the centerfielder. I think this was a good move by them but Ellsbury will have to learn the very tricky left field, they should be better defensively though with these moves but my question is how good will they be compared to how many runs they will score. I don't think the Red Sox will have a very good offense right now, I think they are losing a lot at third base and the outfield won't be great hitting. Their offense will come from Pedroia, Youkilis and Victor Martinez primarily but is that enough??
The St. Louis Cardinals as expected resigned Matt Holliday to a 7 year 120 million dollar contract. I think this was a good move by them but didn't they outbid themselves?? I think they could of had him for much cheaper but they did what they had to do to keep him. Him and Albert Pujols make some tandem in that lineup and maybe they can persuade King Albert to stay when he is a free agent because of this. This move also impacts Johnny Damon as that is one more team that will not be looking at him for leftfield. I really wonder if he has a team, I have heard Atlanta rumored but I don't think that will happen, could he just come back to the Yankees on a cheap 1 yr deal and would he even be willing to do that at this point?? Does he really have any other options?? I guess we will see in the next couple of weeks.
Randy Johnson aka- The Big Unit announced his retirement this evening. He finished his career with 303 wins which is 22nd all time. Here are some more of his career accomplishments:
His first game was with the Expos in Sept 1988 against the Pirates.
1st strikeout victim was Orestes Destrade
He played 22 years for 6 teams
1999-2002 won 4 straight Cy Youngs-won 5 overall
2001 was a World Champion with Arizona and co MVP of the World Series along with Curt Shilling
He won 17 games in back to back seasons with the Yankees in 2005-06.
His 10.67 strikeouts per 9 innings were 1st all-time for starting pitchers
188 hitbatsmen is 3rd all-time
4.875 strikeouts are second all-time and 1st among left handed pitchers
7.24 hits allowed per 9 innings pitched is 10th all-time
37 shutouts is 57th all-time
20 strikeouts in a game on May 8, 2001
He pitched a perfect game on May 18, 2004
He is the 5th pitcher in MLB history to pitch a no-hitter in both leagues joining Cy Young, Jim Bunning, Nolan Ryan and Hideo Nomo.
These stats were courtesy of Wikipedia. I will have more on Randy Johnson tomorrow, some comments he made at the press conference and other thoughts on his career.
The New York Mets took center stage today as they introduced Jason Bay in a 11AM press conference. He will wear #44, he is a solid addition to the team and will be a better left fielder then what they had last season and in at least a couple of years. He will provide power to a lineup that is sorely needing it. The thing about the Mets is their lineup will be better just by getting guys back healthy. They really need pitching but I don't want to get on them for this signing because it was a good one and Bay played well in Boston so he is able to handle the pressure and he seems to be a clutch player. Here are some quotes courtesy of Matthew Cerrone of the wonderful Mets blog metsblog.com
It appears that Jason Bay settled on the Mets by Christmas it just took time with the holidays and all to get everyone together. I don't think he had any reservations about New York like a lot of people assumed. It is intersting though that he said he wanted to come to a winner, Boston was in the postseason last season and the Mets were terrible. I never believe what these players say, it is usually about the money but they will never admit that.
The baseball world got back to business after basically shutting down for the holidays. Adrian Beltre has signed with the Red Sox for one year and a 2nd option year. The deal is for 9 million and the option is 5 million, this is pending a physical. I would think by doing this that they must know the can trade Mike Lowell but the thing is he did just have surgery, unless Texas said we will do the deal but he has to go get the surgery and show that he is capable of playing and then we will make the deal before the season starts. There is also a rumor going around about the Mets and Red Sox talking about a Luis Castillo/Mike Lowell swap but that makes no sense since the Mets have a good third baseman in David Wright and the Red Sox had a good second baseman in Dustin Pedroia.
Former Yankee and fan favorite Shelly Duncan has signed a deal with the Cleveland Indians.
Matt Holliday and the Cardinals are getting close, I would expect this deal to be finalized sometime this week. This would also affect Johnny Damon, there was a rumor today about him possibly going to Atlanta but the Braves would have to trade Melky Cabrera first who they did just aquire. There is also talk of him maybe going to the San Francisco Giants. I just think he has made himself look bad and I don't even know if those teams are legitimate options, if not does he come back to the Yankees and take a 1 yr lesser deal??
The New York Giants ended their season in miserable fashion, losing to the Minnesota Vikings 44-7 yesterday. There really is nothing to say about the game, once again the team was embarrassing and the talk will now turn to how to fix this mess. The Giants already began their offseason with the dismissal of defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan today. Here is the story, this was totally expected and I really don't think there was any other choice. The Giants gave up the second most points in team history and gave up more then 40 points 5 times. I am sure there will be more changes coming also but this was the first necessary step. Giants co-owner John Mara was not happy as you can expect and had many things to say
The New York Jets are headed to a rematch with Cincinatti in Cincy on Saturday at 4:15. The Baltimore Ravens will play at New England. In the NFC the Eagles will travel back to Dallas for a rematch with them and Green Bay will travel back to Arizona for a rematch with the Cardinals. These teams played each other the last week in the season which is really strange. I will get into my predictions on friday.
The Jets will be playing with some extra emotion it appears as Casey Johnson the daughter of owner Woody Johnson was found dead today in LA. Here is the story on this terrible tragedy.
Happy New Year everyone, it's back to reality now after the holidays. I want to thank all of my loyal readers and followers and for those new ones that have been coming on board. I started this blog over a year ago now and I have some ideas for this second year of the blog, i strive to be better and better everyday and I hope you stick with me and suggest this blog to others. I would love to get more discussion going in this new year and maybe some more chats. I am always open to suggestions and would love to hear from you via email or by posting under the blog posts. If you aren't already a follower through facebook or twitter you can also follow me on there, you can do that by clicking on the widgets to the right of the blog posts. I have already enacted one change on this blog, you can see that I have scrapped the traditional template and replaced it with a what I think is much better looking baseball template. I would love to hear from you on what you think of this new look. I believe it is more appealing and easier to follow the blog.
Thanks for indulging me, now back to business. Jason Bay is officially a met as he passed his physical. There will be a press conference tomorrow at 11AM at Citi Field.
The New York Giants played their second straight uninspiring game to mercifully end the season. They lost in Minnesota to the Vikings 44-7 and now will begin the offseason. I am sure there will be plenty of changes and it should start with the firing of defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan. I don't know if Antonio Pierce will be back but they did miss his leadership at least somewhat even though his play isn't the same as it used to be. Defensive end Justin Tuck will undergo shoulder surgery this week but is expected to be ready for training camp. It will be interesting to see what happens with Osi Umenyora who has been outspoken lately about not being happy with his playing time. I am pretty sure they will keep him around and especially if they have a new defensive coordinator I am sure he will be happy with that. The Giants need some help in the secondary and linebacker. I think they are in good shape on the offensive side of the ball although they may tweak the offensive line and running backs. Eli Manning played well this year and so did the receiving corps, I think Bradshaw was banged up and that didn't help Brandon Jacobs.
The New York Jets on the other hand up 27-0 in the second half barring a collapse will head to the postseason. They will take on the same Bengals in Cincinatti next week. I wonder how the Bengals feel about playing the Jets now after getting spanked so bad, the thing is it is hard to beat a team twice and they will be home. The Jets do have a great defense and a good running game behind a strong offensive line. I wonder if they can get on a run because they are the type of team that is built for the playoffs, the problem for them is I don't think they could beat the Patriots, Indianapolis or San Diego on the road.
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.