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Monday, January 31, 2011

UPDATE: FREDDY GARCIA SIGNS WITH YANKEES

UPDATE: Garcia will get $1.5 million if he makes the Yanks major league team. He can also make more dough, $3.6 million in possible incentives. This is according to ESPN.com.

Garcia has a career 133-87 record with a 4.13 ERA in 12 seasons.

Garcia was 12-6 with the White Sox in 2010.

UPDATE: From MLB Trade Rumors: "Garcia joins the likes of Bartolo Colon, Andrew Brackman, Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre and Mark Prior in the battle for the final two starting spots in the Yankee rotation. This competition could be limited to just the number five spot, of course, should Pettitte announce his return."

Damn I should be a GM. - - The Mighty Casey

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Several reports on this minor league deal between the Yankees and Freddy Garcia. I'm happy about this ladies and gentlemen. More to follow, stay tuned to BYB

If you remember about 1 month ago, the Bleeding Yankee Blue readers voted and we ended up posting the results in the post called WHY FREDDY IS OUR MAN. The question and results are here:
The winner was Freddy Garcia. Good job. Hopefully, this turns out to be a great thing for the Yankees back half.

Please comment and let me know what you think and follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook, just type it in.

WHY I DETERMINE WHAT'S NEWS

  • I've decided that Freddy Garcia preferring going to the Yankees over the White Sox is not news.
  • Freddy Garcia signing with the New York Yankees IS news.
  • Andy Pettitte signing with the New York Yankees is considered Breaking News.
  • Jesus Montero being named the top catcher for the Yankees would be news if that actually was reported. So I guess started a rumor. Apologies to Russell Martin who just panicked.
  • Justin Duchscherer not afraid to pitch on the Yankees was not news, just a nugget. But he signing with the Orioles and that IS news for Baltimore, no one else...because the Orioles stink.
  • The Yankees signing Bartolo Colon last week to a minor league deal was news just because we are waiting for ANY news out of Yankeeland.
  • Rodrigo Lopez signing a minor league deal with the Braves today is news for Lopez because I'm not sure he or anybody thought he'd get signed.
  • Carl Crawford having a no trade clause in his contract from the Red Sox is not news. Having the clause specifically state that he couldn't be traded to the Yankees by another team is not only NOT news, it's friggin' hilarious and ridiculous. God, I hate them.
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WHY IT'S ABOUT THE STRUGGLE


Bernie Williams. You know, he's not retired, just temporarily sidetracked with a terrific music career. There is a chance he could show up at spring training this year and try out. You know that right? OK, so the chances are enormously slim, but never say never.

Bryan Hoch writes in Bombers Beat a thoughtful piece on Bernie that's a must read...HERE. An obsessed Bernie fan I know, my friend Jared, insisted I read the article and stop what I was doing. So I left my baby unattended and started reading.
The most amazing part of the piece are 2 nuggets.
  • #1: Bernie's last at-bat was in 2006. Jeez, time flies.

  • #2: Bernie will be on the Hall of Fame Ballot this year. I love that. In another debate at another time we'll talk about how much more qualified someone like Bernie is than Don Mattingly. (There are many still upset Donnie isn't in yet).

Bernie talked about how difficult it is to say it's over after a long career in baseball. It's obviously almost mirroring how Andy Pettitte is dealing with everything right now. And who could forget how Jorge is being handled with a new role of DH. It's a tough pill to swallow. A diminished role with a ball club or just waking up one morning realizing home is where you belong OR wondering if your legs can get you through a whole season, one more time. Like Andy, the struggle is ridiculously hard. Ultimately you side with family, but you don't want to let the fans down either. It's tough.

Bernie talked about how it was tough being part-time at the end of his career because he didn't know when the next opportunities were going to come if he did not succeed. Hoch quotes Bernie: "At the same time, you're a professional player and it is your responsibility to be at the best of your game whenever the team needs you. That's what you sign your contract for, so that's the way you've got to approach it. And at the end of the day, if the team wins, it's great. You're part of a winning team. You have a part of a situation in which you can contribute to that success, that's all that matters." I love Hoch and reading him only made me think of Andy nonstop. I know that was Hoch's intention even though he was checking with Bernie. It had to be. In this boring holding pattern waiting on Andy to decide, there's no news, just recycled articles. At least Hoch is clever in writing this subliminal piece.

I love the way Bernie speaks about the Yankees by the way, what a stand up guy. I hated the way the Yankees handled Bernie at the end of his career, but I know it was just business. They wanted younger and faster and at the time, it was hard to see a class act go, but the Yankees were just trying to better their team. That was the intent anyway.

Andy, Ol' Reliable on the other hand, is being chased by the Yanks, but all of this connects. Andy's struggling wondering what to do. The Yanks will struggle if Andy doesn't come back. It's a whole web of retirement, need, want and confusion. At the end of the day, Yankees fans are thankful to check in with Bernie but still feel empty waiting for Andy. Hopefully Andy's not OK with sitting this one out, unless he has a musical instrument we all don't know about.
Day 92 Andy. Where are you?

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

YANKEE STADIUM IN WINTER





How many days until Spring Training again? These photos were taken today by a good friend of mine. He sent them for me to post. Thank you "Red Five".

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WHY IT'S FUN TO LAUGH

My pal William found this joke while surfing the net and I thought I'd share it with you. Alittle weekend humor. Enjoy.
-- The Mighty Casey


A man walks into a bar with a dog. The bartender says, "You can't bring that dog in here."

"You don't understand," says the man. "This is no regular dog, he can talk."

"Listen, pal," says the bartender. "If that dog can talk, I'll give you a hundred bucks."

The man puts the dog on a stool, and asks him, "What's on top of a house?"

"Roof!"

"Right. And what's on the outside of a tree?"

"Bark!"

"And who's the greatest baseball player of all time?"

"Ruth!"

"I guess you've heard enough," says the man. "I'll take the hundred in twenties."

The bartender is furious. "Listen, pal," he says, "get out of here before I belt you."

As soon as they're on the street, the dog turns to the man and says, "Do you think I should have said 'DiMaggio'?"

Please comment and let me know what you think and follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook, just type it in.

Friday, January 28, 2011

WHY ROBBIE IS A LEADER

What will Robinson Cano do this year? Damage, That's what. The 2010 season and the playoffs that followed last year was just a glimpse at a guy who's about to embark on a career only a handful of players can even think about having.

We learned a lot from Robbie while he came through the system early on. He was young and was easily distracted with his pal Melky Cabrera. Dare I say, he didn't take pride in the pinstripes early on. After all, Cano knew he was talented, but showed a lack of urgency in the field and at the plate and seemed too laid back at times. Then something happened... Focus.

When Melky was traded to the Atlanta Braves for Vasquez after our championship season, we noticed a more mature Robinson Cano. Something started to click. Then, I remember reading an article (HERE is a brief mention) about Alex Rodriguez in the early summer of 2010. I read that Alex had talked with Cano about leadership. He spoke to Cano about how if he wanted to be great, a leader, he needed to lead by example. Say what you will about Robbie and his talent, but I believe a combination of his playing ability, lack of distraction and alittle nudge by A-Rod turned Cano into a certified leader and star athlete. You can laugh at me and call me crazy, I'm telling you, I believe in things happening for a reason and it happened for Robbie. In 2010 his numbers were great: A .319 Average, 29 home runs, 109 RBI's and an OPS of .914.

Now we look ahead. I truly believe that Robbie's going to keep his talent flowing in 2011. His average will be above .300 again, his power will increase slightly. Why? Because he's found his groove and confidence is at an all time high. Robinson's career average is .309. That's since 2005. He's batted over .300 four out of six years in the majors. That's progress. And look, I know Robbie isn't a home run hitter, but it is clear to me that he was demonstrating a power hot streak in the playoffs last year with 4 home runs and 5 RBI's in 23 at bats. That's a .348 Average too by the way. He was 8 for 23. I believe that streak will continue this year as well. He put on a clinic in those playoffs... he's not done yet.

There have been great second baseman in our time, but if last year was any indication of what's about to happen for Cano and the Yankees, not only do I believe Robbie will be a New York Yankee for life, he'll also be one of the greatest second baseman to ever play the game. He's that good. That's not B.S., that's a fact.

You can read about all the Yankees we've analyzed so far here:

WHY WE LOVE TEX
WHY WE LOVE GRANDY
WHY WE LOVE SWISH
WHY WE WANT TO LOVE AJ...AGAIN
WHY WE LOVE CC MONSTER
WHY BRETT MATTERS
WHY WE LOVE (OR HATE) ALEX


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THE MORE THE MERRIER

"My preference is to be with the New York Yankees, and it's not unreasonable to have that in mind, because I've demonstrated that I can be useful. A team like New York would be ideal for my age, [as would] playing in a successful, media-heavy, demanding division. Without doubt it would be an inspiration."
-- Freddy Garcia


I've always liked Freddy Garcia and he's saying all the right things. The question is, does he still got it. If I had to line up Colon and Garcia up and had to choose 1, it would in fact be Freddy. At this point though, there is a lot going on and I am not sure he's in the cards. Then again, who really thought they would sign Colon? Here's what's going down:


  • The Yankees have made a formal offer to Andy Pettitte for 1 year, 12 million. Andy's working out. Things may be coming to an end in the Andy Saga very soon. Reports are the Yankees are "optimistic" about a return.

  • The Yankees are confident and pleased enough with their gang of minor league arms that having them all compete for a rotation spot may in fact be in the cards. Andrew Brackman,Hector Noesi, David Phelps and others all have what it takes, the question is, can they impress enough to get the call.

  • Bartolo Colon, Sergio Mitre and Ivan Nova will most likely also compete for a rotation spot, or at least, that's what was discussed yesterday.

  • Justin Duchscherer and Jeremy Bonderman are both still on the Yankees radar. If I had to pick, I'd pick "The Duke", this decision would be based on age and his wanting and willing to start for the New York Yankees. He recently said this: “For me it’s black and white. I want to start, that’s the whole mindset I have... I find it funny that people say I can’t pitch in that environment, but I’ve pitched in New York before..." Like Garcia, Justin's actively whoring himself out for a job opportunity and to tell you the truth, I have no problem with it. The squeaky wheel gets the oil and if you can put your money where your mouth is and prove to everyone you truly are back, I say confidence is half the battle. As far as Bonderman is concerned, I don't care for him strictly because this guy talked about retiring last summer. If I'm the Yankees, I don't want a guy whose head's not in the game. You know?

  • Bronx Baseball Daily also had this nugget from Buster Olney about the Yanks continually going back to look at Fausto Carmona. Interesting to check out. Read it HERE.

A lot of names, good problems though. Wow, this is the first time all winter I've felt decent about the Yankees pitching options. Are things turning around in the Bronx? Let's hope so. Day 89 Andy... Where are you?

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

WHY WE LOVE (OR HATE) ALEX

Expect a monster year from Alex Rodriguez this year, why? Because he's overdue.

Alex Rodriguez is one of the best baseball players of this generation. And ever since he came to New York, he had this persona of being someone else. His foot was constantly in his mouth when he speaks to reporters, he comes off as arrogant, and he has never looked comfortable in his own skin. For example, his worst moment? The paparazzi taking a picture of him with his shirt off in Central Park a few years back. Just embarrassing bro, don't do that to yourself. You're in New York now, not Texas. Anyway, let me get back on track. All of Alex's arrogance and odd behavior changed in 2009 when he finally got a ring. At that point, I noticed Alex was at peace.

People either love or hate Alex Rodriguez. Many still think he's a waste of money. Some say his salary is way to high. Me? I don't care if he's arrogant, or self centered, a dick or a nice guy. I care about one thing... Winning. If you are THAT talented that you can command a salary of $31 million per year, do your job and hit home runs, knock in runs and lead the New York Yankees. That is what you do for a living. Do it.

A-Rod's salary is high because he's good. Now, there have been some down years for Alex recently, but for an average player, those numbers are terrific. 2010 he hit .270 with 30 home runs and 125 RBI's for example. Because it's Alex, and they're not "Alex" numbers, it's considered a bad year. It's really not. Geez, if it was Austin Kearns we'd love it. See what I mean?

Alex Rodriguez found something in 2009, a home. He's comfortable now and by the way, he's also human. I think A-Rod will be back bigger than ever in 2011. Expect the hip to be fully healed, the swing to be solid and the confidence and comfort to reign. After all, Alex is offically a Yankee now, ring and all.

Please comment and let me know what you think and follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook, just type it in.

WHY HONESTY IS KEY

I really didn't want to write about this because the reality is, it's complicated, boring and I personally feel that it has no impact on what Andy Pettitte does with the Yankees. That being said, I need to get this off my chest.

Whatever Roger Clemens says or does should not affect how Andy Pettitte decides. That's based on 1 reason. Honesty.

One thing you have to admire about a lot of these ballplayers who have been tied to performance enhancing drugs. The ones who KNOW they're caught, come clean and admit they're wrong. Maybe it's God, maybe it's their conscience telling them it's wrong, maybe it's their wife. Whatever it is, I like it.

What I don't like is arrogance. Roger Clemens, while he was an incredible pitcher, is arrogant. Barry Bonds, is arrogant. Andy Pettitte is modest, unassuming and believable, bottom line.

It's difficult to examine all these guys, guys you grew up loving as a kid, worshipping as they struck out 20 or hit 40 home runs a season. When the whole HGH scandal broke out, some admitted it, some denied it, some acted like it was an accident, but all we're guilty. But the ones who had been eaten up inside because they knew they were not invincible came clean. You have to admire that, in fact, that's why you have to admire Andy Pettitte. Because whatever he did or didn't do, he told us and we were able to turn the page.

With Roger Clemens trial right around the corner, everyone is connecting it to Andy Pettitte's return. I just don't see it. Quite simply because Andy paid his dues. Andy sat in front of his teammates and the world and admitting what he did. The difference is Roger Clemens did not. And now there is alot of talk about Rusty Hardin, Roger's lawyer, being connected to Andy in some capacity and that is why Andy and people are suggesting that's why Andy can't decide.

My feeling? If Andy had anything to hide, he would have hung it up and walked away. I don't connect the 2, and I'm fine waiting for Andy's return to baseball and only that. The rest is too complicated to me. We have a connection between Rusty Hardin, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. While in court, Clemens could be asked about Hardin and a potential conflict of interest regarding the representation of him because Hardin was once the attorney of Andy Pettitte.

I may sound ignorant when I say this, but if you're honest, how can it hurt you? Andy was honest. It seems like a bigger problem for Clemens than Andy, am I wrong? Why is Andy being dragged into this, after all, honesty is King. Andy's still an active free agent, he won a Championship with the Yankees in 2009. He admitted he was wrong, so what does it have to do with Clemens now? Why can't Andy just move on?

Clemens was indicted in August 2010. He was charged with six felony perjury and obstruction counts that could result in a prison term. Hardin said Roger turned down a plea agreement offer from the government, adding that his client will never admit to using steroids of HGH.

After Clemens pleaded not guilty, Hardin brought in a criminal defense specialist to help out with the case. The defense wants the specialist to deal with aspects related to Andy Pettitte. Which is where we're at right now because the prosecutors have suggested this be asked by the federal judge Rusty Hardin next week. They will ask, what was the arrangement?

You following this? I barely do. It's totally confusing which brings me to my original point. Isn't this Clemens problem? Yes, Andy has a connection by name and former dealing, but that's the past. I feel like all this is a thirst for a nugget, ANY nugget to try and crack what's keeping Andy out of baseball. But I have to say, I just don't buy it.

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WHY I LIKE BENCH VETERANS

As of this afternoon, the Orioles have made an offer to Vladimir Guerrero. This according to MLB Trade Rumors.

Now, this sounds ridiculous but hear me out.

Scenerio: Yanks vs. Evil Red Sox, 15th inning as it normally goes. Sox go up by 1 on a solo home run from Dustin Pedroia. Bottom of the 15th, Teixeira singles. Eduardo Nunez comes in to pinch run. And now they announce: "Pinch hitting... Number 99, Vladimir Guerrero, Number 99."

Vlad walks out, no batting gloves, just pure strength. He steps up to the plate and cranks one out off Bard to win the game, walk off style.

Word on the street is Vlad, who wanted a 2 year contract worth in the $15 million range has softened his demands to 1 year and $8 million. Sadly, I would never pay $8 million for Vladimir. I would however pay $3 or $4 million for him. Why you ask, right? Why would I want him on the bench and waste him? Listen, Vlad is still a great hitter, but, down the stretch last year he slumped. It happens. Anyway, we already have a 4th outfielder in Andruw Jones right? Plus, Jorge's our DH. But this is the piece of the puzzle that needs a slight "muscle" upgrade: The bench. The bench is made up of who... Nunez, Ramiero Pena, maybe Colin Curtis, maybe Greg Golson, maybe Francisco Cervelli? Following me? Youth is great, but I like the idea of a Tony Clark type player in there. A Chili Davis type, you know? Someone to keep it real, to be a teacher. Plus, Vlad's stock has gone down in the Free Agent market and if no one goes after him, he's going to have to lower his expectations.
Besides, we would always use someone like Vlad who can come through in the clutch. That's Vlad. It's silly perhaps, but I'm thinking out of the box. Look, we are the Yankees, not the Royals, we can do this.

I know, I know, Pitching. I know, I've been preaching pitching for months. But my point is Vlad would be cheap enough so we can still add pitching. Plus, if he totally sucked ass, we could always attempt to unload him and Sergio Mitre at the trade deadline. How'd you like the way I snuck that in ;)

Any thoughts? Let me know, comment.

Please comment and let me know what you think and follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook, just type it in.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

TEX & A-ROD EXCHANGE TEXTS

Teixeira: A, where u been all winter lol

Alex: Cameron's making me take her all over. Vacay spots bro. Exhausting


Teixeira: U talk to Andy
?

Alex: I don't really know him well

Teixeira: lol. You should work on that. :). He's still not sure

Alex: man, should I call him, try and convince???


Teixeira: he'd retire if u called. Haha chill

Alex: I hate u sometimes. How's your leg
, the thumb, all that?

Teixeira: healed. Ready for a monster year. How's the hip gimpy lol


Alex: I'm back. Need another mvp award. You know its all about me ;)


Teixeira: NO, really ? Haha


Alex: see you in 2 weeks?


Teixeira: wouldn't miss it brosef.


Alex: you think andy will be there ?

Teixeira: If I know Andy, he'd never let down his fans.

Alex: i hope ur right

Teixeira: me too

Alex: later

Teixeira: K

(NOTE: THESE ARE FAKE TEXT EXCHANGES. THIS IS ME USING HUMOR AND MAKING A GUESS OF HOW THE PEOPLE INVOLVED WOULD SPEAK TO EACH OTHER VIA TEXT. THERE IS NOTHING REAL ABOUT THIS. IT IS DONE STRICTLY FOR LAUGHS. ENJOY)

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UPDATE: YANKEES SIGN COLON

Big Boned Bartolo Colon has a job. Colon is a warm body to tryout for a rotation spot for the New York Yankees. And Yes, it's being reported that the Yankees just signed him.

OK, I'm good with this signing. Do I love it? No. Would I love it if it was 2005? I would. But this is what I've been talking about. We needed a veteran to sign, just to have a rotation spot filled. Now we have it. Would you rather Colon or Mitre? You see what I mean? Now, if Andy comes back, well then, it'll be even better for the Yankees. For the moment, I'm happy. Colon makes a thin rotation alittle meatier.

According to several reports, the Yankees have signed Colon to a minor league deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Colon will earn $900K in the majors.

Colon will be 38 in May. He was last in the majors when he pitched for the Chicago White Sox in 2009. He posted a 4.19 ERA. Colon's last great season was with the Angels in 2005. That year he was lights out. 21-8, a 3.48 ERA and 157 strikeouts.

Ok BYB freaks, Colon's in... is Pettitte next?

Please comment and let me know what you think and follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook, just type it in.

UPDATE: WHY TODAY IS D-DAY

UPDATE 10:01PM EST: According to Craig Calcaterra from Hardball Talk: "A source close to Andy Pettitte tells me that there is a “very strong possibility” that Pettitte is going to pitch in 2011. He is doing his usual preseason workouts and has had no physical issues thus far. Moreover, the source tells me that Pettitte’s hesitation to confirm that he is coming back for the upcoming season is in no way connected to the Roger Clemens trial, which was something that many had speculated about." - - GREAT WORK CRAIG

UPDATE
: The Yankees have made a formal offer to Andy Pettitte. 1 Year, $12 million.
The balls in your court Andy.
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Back in the winter of 2009, January 26th in fact, Andy Pettitte decided to pitch for the Yankees again. That decision ended up giving the Yankees a 27th Championship that October with Andy Pettitte starting the final game to clinch the title. Today, in the winter of 2011, it's January 26th, 2 years later and up to this point I was pretty sure, even though I had brief panic attacks, that Andy Pettitte was coming back. I was always aware of this date and I know that Andy is too.
That being said, if no decision was to come from Andy today, well, we'll be in uncharted waters and I don't know what to say.

Girardi says he speaks to Andy once a week. There are many reports that Andy's working out. There are some reports that suggest that Girardi isn't 100 percent sure if Andy's working out. There are reports that Mariano Rivera was going to give Andy a call. There are even reports that Cashman says he's talked with Andy. But no one, NO ONE knows what's going on in Andy's head, but Andy.

For a long time, in numerous posts, I've left my emotions on my sleeve on this whole ordeal. My heads scattered as I try to piece this rotation together in my head. If Pettitte comes back, obviously, it fixes the problem. If we try and fix this with a free agent, and believe me, it's a Motley Crew, it's a temporary fix until a bigger move happens, a trade or otherwise. Then you have the Yankee farm. You have quality down there but my only concern is their virginity.

Tomorrow is Janaury 27th, Ladies and Gentlemen. We've never seen Andy Pettitte not commited to the Yankees at this point in history. It's a cause for concern, for sure. Every New York Yankee fan that loves this team should be concerned because it's a tough situation. What we have is Cashman and his not willing to commit to anyone else until he has a clear indication of what Andy wants to do, and at the same time, we don't know anything. The longer we wait, whatever scraps are left, will be snatched up. If Andy hangs it up February 3rd, we may be stuck with Sergio Mitre. Damn, it's a tough spot.

Well, you know what I'd do. I'd get a Vet signed and if Andy comes back, pile it on. I know it's not quality with that veteran, but it's a body with hopefully a record to show for him. And if Andy says "I'm back", move that newley signed vet to 4 or 5. But what do I know, I'm not the GM, I'm just a blogger with a love for my team, the greatest franchise in baseball history, the New York Yankees.

Please comment and let me know what you think and follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook, just type it in.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

WHY BRETT MATTERS


I've always loved speed. Growing up, Rickey Henderson was my idol. I made sure I ran like him throughout my little league and high school career. I led off, bunted, stole second, stole third and scored a crap load of runs. I also scared the crap out of the pitchers. Little me. Why? Because I could. Because I learned from the best. That's it. That's my career.

Why am I telling you this? Because I love Brett Gardner, that's why. He's the spark plug that gets the team moving. So, in my opinion, there's no reason why he shouldn't be the Yankees leadoff hitter in 2011 and beyond. He gets on, we hit him home. It just makes sense.

Gardner is a guy that many Yankee fans can't get on board with. We're known as the Bronx Bombers. Brett doesn't hit bombs. People want that immediate gratifcation of a home run and all he has is speed. Well, to put it simply, that speed's a good problem.

Even in the field he's solid. That speed has gotten him some pretty tough flies. What's my favorite catch? The World Series. Philadelpiha. 2009. I still remeber that terd Joe Buck's voice shouting "What a catch by Gardner!" To me? That was something outfielders dream about but their body won't let them do. But for Gardy, it's all about the wheels, and I love it.
My opinion, if Brett can stay healthy, hit leadoff, and show a hunger to get that extra base, I see no reason why he won't be a Yankee a long long time.

So what can we expect from Gardy in 2011. Well, last year his average went up a bit. .277 Average. The stolen bases happened more... he went from26 in 2009 to 47 in 2010. The runs did as well, up to 97 in 2010. I would suggest something similar in average in 2011 but expect more walks and definitely more running. Look, small ball may not exactly be the "Yankee Way" anymore, but it's a solid way to get ahead in ball games and it can be lethal weapon especially late in the season where we have must win games.

So this post is my salute to you Gardy. We're expecting a lot from you this year, and I know you'll do great. Just get on base, stay alert and lean right... That's your right, not mine.

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WHY YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE CAPTAIN


So, I’m not sure what’s been going on with Brian Cashman lately, he seems alittle off. Ever since the Rafael Soriano signing and he publicly coming out and stating that he disagreed with his bosses, he's been weird. And to tell you the truth, he's had diarrhea of the mouth a lot, maybe even before that with the Jeter signing. These bold statements and blabber from him aren’t exactly Cashman-esk. Are you following me? Not sure what’s up, but here’s the latest.

"I'd be surprised if he plays shortstop for all four years (of his deal). I see him moving to the outfield." Cashman said this during a fan breakfast sponsored by WFAN today.

He later clarified saying: “This is not an issue and not something we’re considering. It’s certainly not something that should be blown-up viral discussion. Responding to speculation about him moving to 3B and Alex going to DH, in my mind his athletic abilities translate better to OF. But that’s not something we’re considering and not something we have talked to Derek about. He’s our shortstop, end of story.”

Is this conversation over? NO. It's all over the Internet. My opinion? Don't mess with the Captain...period.

Now I know the end is coming for Derek Jeter, but show some respect. First off, I feel like Cash felt the shaft from Casey Close and Jeter during the negotiations over his contract a while back. I think he didn’t expect it to go as rocky as it did. Quite frankly, I don’t think anyone did. Anyway, I understand Jeter’s getting older and we all see him not being a shortstop forever, but for God sake, don’t rush it. Jeter is still solid, just slowed. Let’s just see how things play out before you flap your gums about aging stars. After all, he’s still our shortstop and he's still our Captain. Let Jeet have a bounce back year in 2011 and then we'll talk after. You're statement today was just bizarre and caused a firestorm.

Now let’s address the outfield part of this. Cash, Are you really going to sit there and tell me that you want an aging player in the outfield?
  • You didn’t resign Johnny Damon because of money and AGE issues.
  • Back in the day, the Yanks took Matsui out of the outfield after he broke his wrist and ya'll we're concerned about his outfield abilities because of his AGE.
Hmm weird. So let me get this straight, now you think a 40 year old SHOULD transition well to the outfield, and not just the outfield, to center field? Cash, come on...you're talking out of both sides of your mouth.

Are you OK? Do you need a few days off? Sorry, not going to happen, you're the Yankees GM. Get back to work! Now, if you signed a starter for us like we've been asking for, we'd be OK with a few days of rest, but not now Cash, no way. Just be a GM, stop impersonating Hank Steinbrenner with stupid comments. It's getting creepy.

Bottom Line, Derek Jeter is the Yankees shortstop, and as far as I'm concerned, he can play shortstop as long as he's able to play it. Because looking out on the field 4 years from now, I want to see #2 in that position on the last game of the last day of the season, with his hat in the air, waving to a packed house, standing ovation at Yankee Stadium... It's fitting... It's fitting because it's Derek.

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WHY WE NEED TO RECAP

Starters like Doug Davis, Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Bonderman, Freddy Garcia, Rodrigo Lopez, and Brian Moehler are all out there for the Yanks to snag off the free agent market if they want a quick fix at the back half of the rotation.

Bartolo Colon is pitching in a Dominican Winter League and there are mixed reviews about how he's doing. Colon clearly wants to make it back, the question is, will the Yankees take a chance on him or will it be a team like the Royals.

Then you look at pitchers like Pedro Martinez or Jarrod Washburn and these guys haven't pitched in the majors in a while. Over a year.

You then have guys like, John Maine, like Justin Duchscherer and 90 year old Jamie Moyer (who just keeps on ticking). The problem with these guys are they're all coming off injury. The only name the Yankees have been connected to is Justin Duchscherer, but who knows if he's still on the radar.

Andy Pettitte is by far the Yankees top choice. Reliable, durable and comfortable, but there's one issue of concern... It's January 25th. Ladies and Gentleman, Don't panic. I have a good feeling about this guy, I feel like he's coming back. I've said it before in IF YOU BUILD IT, HE WILL COME (BACK), Andy waited until January 26th before and this may seem like a long time, but it's actually not. Tomorrow's the 26th. After that, well, then you have to start to worry. My gut says Andy's coming back, that being said, it is very possible he's "getting pitcher ready" to see how his body responds to the daily workouts. It's possible that he's seeing how he feels day in and day out to see if he can handle a full season. It's reality. So, while I feel good about Andy, keep that in the back of your mind. Be patient... We'll know soon.


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Monday, January 24, 2011

WHY CONFIDENCE OVERRULES FAILURE


"We signed A.J. not to pitch toward the back of the rotation, [but] to be a front-of-the-rotation starter. That's what his abilities are; that's what he's capable of doing. That's what we expect. I believe you'll see that again, but that means a lot of hard work." --Brian Cashman

AJ Burnett, never lights out, never consistently dominant, but very good and very talented...yes. If Mr. Andy Pettitte does not come back, it will be difficult for the Yanks, but if AJ isn't right, well, that's worse. And don't think AJ doesn't realize that. Without AJ, the workload leans on CC and young Hughes extra hard and that will then lead to a franchise collapse.

I like Burnett. I liked him Toronto and I like him now. He knows how important 2011 is for him and the Yankees. According to MLB's Bryan Hoch, Burnett converted his barn into a pitching facility. He and Larry Rothschild have met and are talking mechanics. That's a start. As a Yankee fan, that's all you can ask for. That's progress. If AJ dedicates himself to fixing the mental and mechanical problems, the 1, 2 punch the Yanks wanted in 2009 becomes a reality. If he doesn't, he becomes a 4th starter in the Yankee rotation... filler, until they figure out what to do with him.

Ironically, all the concern about Burnett and his injury prone history isn't an issue while in the Bronx. Instead, mechanical and mental are the causes. One would call that a good problem, in the hopes that you can get to the root of it and reverse it. I hope we can.

My prediction? A slow start from AJ in 2011, but pitching well by June and never looking back. It's what we need, it's what we expect and it's what we have to have if we want to compete in October.

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WHY GRANDY’S A CLASS ACT

I'm warning you now, this post is a feel good piece. Is it necessary? Yes, because the story I'm about to tell is special and it involves one of your New York Yankees. So read it and pass it on.

Not every athlete tries to better others while on their break from their full-time job. One athlete does though, it's the Gentleman, Curtis Granderson. And it’s not like he’s traveling to the Bronx to help run a soup kitchen or provide toys to poor children… granted, he probably does that too, but he also goes the extra mile and around the world... to New Zealand.

As part of the MLB International Ambassador program, Curtis Granderson traveled to there, in fact, he’s there right now, to help children learn the game of baseball, get fit and teach them one of the most important things in life. Quite simply, it doesn’t matter what you look like, what your size is, your weight or your strength… You can do anything you want to do. You have to believe in yourself. And if that means baseball... well, that's even better.

Why baseball in New Zealand you ask? Because it seems have become more and more popular as of late. While there Grandy will conduct clinics and tournaments. Granderson will continue getting ready for spring training as well, so don’t get worried Yankee fans. The Yankees have their first workout on February 20th.

Granderson was quoted in the Daily News saying: "I like to show, hey, it's another sport that you can learn. It's not as complicated as it seems. Me not being the tallest or biggest or strongest guy in baseball - physically, kids can relate and say, 'Hey, I can do this. I don't have to be seven feet tall or 300 pounds like a strong rugby player.' I'm excited to get a chance to get to see another part of the world and spread the word about baseball."

Curtis has been all over the place promoting the game of baseball. In 2006, he was in England, the Netherlands and Italy. In 2007, he was in South Africa. In 2008, He was in China.

But not only is Curtis a teacher with MLB, he also runs and founded Grand Kids Foundation. This foundation focuses on “improving the educational experience for youth nationwide as well as helping to re-establish baseball opportunities for inner city youths.”

So take a second and smile. I found this very special. I understand that many athletes do this sort of thing, but this one caught my eye, partly because of the mission, partly of the man, mostly because of the message. I’m impressed with Granderson. He’s a class act, he gives back to his community as well as internationally and I’m proud to say he’s a New York Yankee. There aren’t too many people that take time out to do things like this. Grandy’s Dandy, and that’s all you need to know.



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WHY IT'S NOT O KEI

We can talk about which pitcher can be the best fit for the Yankees rotation all day long. Kevin Millwood, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, but it’s getting aggravating and frustrating. Now, it seems there’s another name being floated as a “sleeper” for the rotation.

I stumbled across a piece by NY Baseball Digest. Sleeper Candidate for the Yankees Starting Rotation caught my eye and when I read it I nearly laughed my ass off. I like this website but was horrified by the name they presented. I know it will never happen, but what makes me even more annoyed is he’ll be allowed a shot like everyone else.

Oh yeah, that “sleeper” I’m talking about is Kei Igawa. Now, before you yell as me, understand that I in no way want Kei Igawa on the Yankees rotation or in pinstripes. I honestly feel like Kei Igawa was a waste and a mistake and the Yankees need to just keep him hidden until his contract is up and dump him on the side of the road when it’s over. 5 years $20 million for a guy that made just 12 starts in the major leagues. That being said, it is my theory that the New York Yankees would in fact allow Kei Igawa a rotation shot just to triple confirm their investment sucks, and then bury him down in the minors again, or ship him off to Pittsburgh for a bag of balls. Yankee Brass hates being wrong, but for this one, they may need to swallow their pride, this Japanese sensation has gone the way of Hideki Irabu.

NY Baseball Digest said this: “When the other options are the oft injured Mark Prior or journeyman Sergio Mitre, what do they have to lose?” Good point. But dare I say I like Mitre better. WHOA. What has happened to me?

So what’s my point to all this? Pitching. There is a whole lot of nothing going on and names have been dropped all over the place. All of us are racking our brain for someone, anyone, that could fit in the Yankee rotation. It’s an exercise done daily by all the blogs while we wait for Andy Pettitte to decide what he wants to do with the rest of his life. It’s painful, it’s nerve racking. It sucks.

Who would you pick assuming Andy Pettitte decides to no longer play baseball? Vote in our poll. Tell us what you think?

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WHY THERE ARE 21 DAYS LEFT

If you're a true baseball fan, a true New York Yankees fan, being stuck in the winter and snow means 2 things:
  1. You're sick of it.
  2. Countdown to Pitchers and Catchers.

In years past, it's about getting down to Tampa and seeing all your Yankee favorites but also seeing the new guys. This year oddly, there's not a ton of hype, just a lot of wait and wonder. People are freaking out, me included and there's tons of questions... Is Cashman going to pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade for a starter? If so, when? How about Pettitte... is he coming back or what? Is the bench really just Andruw Jones, Eduardo Nunez, and Ramiro Pena, Greg Golson and Colin Curtis? We could use a cheap veteran to mentor these kids too, right? Andruw Jones is great, but put another vet in there. Someone with the Tony Clark gene.

Sure, once we get to Tampa, we'll calm down alittle bit, after all, the boys are playing baseball, what's better than that? But the problem still remains... Pitching. CC, AJ, Phil and what? Yes, the Yankees have Ivan Nova, but I'd give him the 5th starter role no problem. Many think I'm anti-youngster. I'm not, I just don't think you should just force it on someone. Spring Training's where we'll see those kids, maybe we'll see some magic. But in the meantime, we still need a 4th starter. Will it be Pettitte? Millwood? My friend Jared? Who? I've been bitching about this hole since Pettitte filed for free agency. Yes, I gave Cashman a hard time, but the reality is, quality pitching will come in a trade this winter, not in the free agent market. We can patch the hole with a Garcia or a Millwood, but we can't feel really good about it unless Millwood suddenly gets back to his prime. It's a tough market. That's why in the back of my mind, it may not be the January Surprise we're waiting for, it's the February Surprise that Cashman's about to drop on us.

I remember the Winter of 2004, I was driving home from a signing featuring Bucky Dent and Mike Torrez. It was cold that day. As I put on the radio, sports came on 1010 wins and said the Yankees just traded Alfonso Soriano to the Rangers for Alex Rodriguez. It was February 16, 2004. Remember that date for 1 reason and 1 reason only, Cashman's not done, and he's never done. Something's up his sleeve. I truly believe that. Listen, you can rank on Cashman all day long saying he's dragging his feet. I do from time to time as well. But look at what he's dealing with? I even killed him saying he screwed us in the Lee deal... we're all pissed. But answer me this question... When Cashman leaves the Yankees when his contracts up and he signs a deal with another Eastern Division team, are you still going to be saying that? Cashman is one of the best GM's in baseball and while he may not have the Yankee Empire behind him if he moves on, he'll have that savvy GM mentality, the contacts, the friendships and that Golden Boy reputation. You don't want to compete with that, trust me. At the end of the day, time isn't standing still you BYB freaks, I swear it's not. With pitchers and catchers just 21 days away, it's about to get warm. We're about to see our heroes, the green grass, the sunshine and Mr. Brian Cashman... And he might... might... might have alittle surprise for all of us... in February. We just need to trust him.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

WHY DOESN'T CASH LIKE SPENDING CASH?

It seems like the only off season move that Cashman disagreed with this year is the one that has the most impact on the Yankees upcoming season. It's Rafael Soriano. He insisted on not giving up a first round pick, and of course Hal, with the George genes in full effect, decides to make the team better by picking up Soriano. Great player, great move as far as I'm concerned. Cashman is trying to preach patience, but at the end of the day, he forgets one thing...We are the New York Yankees, the team with the highest payroll for 10+ years running. We aren't the Pirates and we damn sure aren't the Royals. We go after the best talent and we don't wait for the after thoughts to approach us.

Look, New York has the smartest and most active fans of any city in the world. We expect a winner on the field every single year. It seems to me that since the beginning of 2009 when King George really started to lose it, there haven't been any major deals. Think about this for a moment; After the 2008 off season spending extravaganza of CC, AJ and Tex, the Yankees have traded for or signed Jerry Hairston Jr., Javy Vazquez, Boone Logan, Curtis Granderson, Austin Kearns, Kerry Wood, Lance Berkman, Rafael Soriano, Pedro Feliciano, and Russell Martin. 5 of these players are no longer with the team as a result of struggling teams getting rid of expiring contracts, and 3 of the 5 left on the Yankees are relief pitchers. Don't forget, a relief pitcher position is the position with the poorest contracts. That leaves us with Curtis Granderson, who we traded our top prospect Austin Jackson for, and Russell Martin. The Yankees have made no Free Agent or trading splashes since George left us mentally. And that is not meant to be disrespectful, that is fact. It doesn't look like the Yankees will be making any "splashes" this off season after losing out on Cliff Lee. Cashman is preaching patience, but with patience here are some potential moves that can be made mid-season, and in my opinion, should be made:
  • Mark Buehrle: Chicago White Sox- He's getting up there in age and nearing the end of his prime, but is still one of the best in the game when his command is right and his pitches break.
  • Chris Carpenter: St. Louis Cardinals- Former Cy Young award winner. Carpenter could bring some veteran leadership to the Yankees. 39 years old, but has not shown much of a decline since his Cy Young Season.
  • Oliver Perez: New York Mets- Once one of the best prospects in the game. Looked great as a young Pirate, but the Mets ended up destroying another up-and-coming pitcher. Could seek a revival by hopping on the subway over to the Bronx. (I know The Mighty Casey disagrees.)
  • Jose Valverde: Detroit Tigers- His windup and pitching style pisses me off as an opposing fan, but boy would I love to see those evil Red Sox look like little leaguers against his nasty change up. If we need some more help in the bullpen, he is the man to turn to.
  • Juan Pierre: Chicago White Sox- "I used to run base like Juan Pierre, now I run the base high hat in the snare". Good line by our very own Jay-Z. Looks like other than Brett Gardner, the Yankees have been running the base high hat in the snare. We need speed.
  • Jose Bautista: Toronto Blue Jays- Wow, would this be a splash! Last years MLB Home Run leader in the huge Rogers Center. Would he hit 60 in a year in the new Yankee Stadium? Perhaps.
These are some of the acquisitions I would recommend to the Steinbrenner's if I were the GM. This is based on the upcoming expiring contracts in the 2011-2012 off season. I like them, but of course I do, I picked them. What do you think?


Will Cohen BYB Freelance Writer




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WHY IT ISN'T OVER FOR TEIXEIRA

Why can't the Yankees just play baseball? Why can't Yankee fans just enjoy their players? I'll tell you why, because columnists and baseball know-it-alls like Peter Gammons and Tom Verducci need to rain on our parade, always. The latest? "Oh No, Mark Teixeira's on the decline"... brought to you by our friend Tom Verducci.

Look, As a fan from the outside looking in, when you think about Mark Teixeira, you think he starts slow and finishes hot. That's a fact. For years, this guy always had horrendous Aprils and slowly but surely was red hot by July. So what's the problem? That's the way his body and mind work. Does it stink? Alittle. Sure all Yankee fans want Tex to kick some ass early and stay that way... after all, we're paying him an awful lot of money. But let's face it, that's the reality we're in, and no one is terribly upset it. We just keep it in the back of our minds and when Tex's hot streak comes, we forget about it again until the next year's spring training. The solution? Kevin Long. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Let's take a look at 2009. Mark started off slow, but ended with great numbers, so great, you didn't even notice the slow start. He batted .292, had 39 home runs and 122 RBI's. To me, that looks terrific.

In 2010, Mark struggled. OK, fair enough, players struggle sometimes. It's baseball. It's life. Even sports writer's struggle sometimes, like this article from Tom Verducci, it's terrible. My point? You get back up and do it again, and better yourself next time.

But back to my point, In 2010, Mark batted .256 AVG, 32 home runs, and 108 RBI's. For an average player, the batting average isn't great, but those home run and RBI's are nice.

Now, one thing IS important. Strikeout total. Mark's striking out a lot more. Early in his career, he struck out over 100 times the first 5 seasons of his career, that dropped by to under 100 in 2008 and then it rose again when he joined the Yankees, 114 in 2009, 122 in 2010. That tells me he's either not seeing the ball great, and/or mechanics are an issue, but that's where Kevin Long comes in, like I said earlier. That's why Kevin's there Tom. You don't just tell a veteran he needs to change his swing one day and make a drastic change. You need to watch him consistently, take notes on the bad, and approach and fix the problem. Guess what, that's what Kevin Long is about to do.

Look, every player has a bad season, Jeter, A-Rod... it happens, but Mark Teixeira is not on the decline. The dude is 31 years old. Is this what we're doing now? A bad season equals a decline? Verducci's a smart guy, but I don't buy it.

Verducci recently spoke with Kevin Long about Teixeira. Kevin Long said he'll be working with Tex on his mechanics and slow starts. OK, Tom, again, that's obvious, a hitting coach will usually work with a player who sucks the year before, even Jeter's doing that. The fear, according to Mr. Verducci, is that if Teixeira fails to make these adjustments there is a real danger that his age will catch up with him and he’ll become the next Jason Giambi. OMG. Mark Teixeira is not going to end up another Jason Giambi. We are comparing to totally different players.

  • Jason Giambi was a terrible first baseman and was signed strictly to hit home runs. Mark Teixeira is a Gold Glove winner and athletic. He not only hits home runs, he hits singles and doubles and knocks in runs regularly.
  • Jason Giambi was an Oakland Athletics big shot who dabbled in performance enhancing drugs and probably damaged his body doing it, and broke down like a Pinto on I-95... fast. Mark Teixeira is a clean cut ball player who prides himself on never touching the stuff. The dude is all man and no bullshit.
Tom Verducci writes an article with a provocative headline and never mentions those 2 important pieces of information, Yet, he's connecting Tex and Giambi on going down the same path of decline? That's ridiculous.

My point to all this? It's not to slam Verducci believe it or not, it's to tell the Yankees fans, don't worry. Buy your tickets, buy your number 25 pinstripe jersey and keep rooting for Mark Teixeira. Nothings wrong with him. Nothing. It's only a bump in the road.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

O CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN

This is an aerial shto of Derek Sanderson Jeter's Tampa Mansion. It's worth $7.7 Million.
It's kind of small, not sure how he can manage to live in such a tiny place during the winter. No wonder he was holding out for a hefty contract, maybe he wanted to find a bigger place.

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WHY IF YOU BUILD IT, HE WILL COME (BACK)

"He's not open to persuasion. He's made a decision and it's more about if he changes his mind. I don't want to change someones heart. He knows at the same time how dedicated, how committed, how much effort it takes. His heart has got to be in it, he's got to be all in. And if it's not, then it's in everybody's best interest for him not to play, including himself. Only he can make that decision." - - Brian Cashman

Is that Brian Cashman hinting that Andy Pettitte's not coming back? Or is that Brian Cashman being honest with Yankee fans and slowly letting us down easy. It's tough to say but the word on the street is, Pettitte is "working out."

We know what thing, being around family for long can do 2 things; It can eventually drive you bonkers where you just HAVE to leave, or it makes you realize what you've been missing. Yes, the Yankees are Andy's second family, but his real family is what matters most. I know, I know, I'm stating the obvious. But what's my point?

Point is, at the end of the day, Andy Pettitte will be back in pinstripes. It won't be because his family ultimately drove him nuts and he had to get out of Texas, it will be because he loves the game of baseball. Andy sees what's been going on lately, the Yanks are slowly building. It took a while, but they're doing it. Cliff Lee, in my opinion, would have made Andy's decision to come back much easier. Remember when Andy said "I hope the Yankees get Lee?" Not signing anyone would have made it worse, Andy would have retired. Making an effort signing decent ballplayers like Soriano and Jones freshens the pot, and I think Andy comes back.

Besides, if he really really didn't want to play, there would have been some sort of press conference, some type of agreement with the Yankees that he's signing, but then retiring as a Yankee (Jeff Nelson did that a few years back.) Something. I believe that Andy Pettitte would never ever just say goodbye through the press and never say a TRUE goodbye to the New York Yankee Fans. EVER. No Way. The guy has too much class and too much pride to ever do something so foolish. So get it out of your head.

The latest information from Yankeeland is we are hearing that Joe Girardi said that Pettitte "was throwing". He said Andy was beginning to work to get into "baseball shape". Why? They say he's doing that so if he decides he wants to come back, he's not out of shape. Sound ridiculous? You're not buying it? I am. Because I know the last thing I want to do is work out if my hearts not in it. Andy's heart is in it. Trust me. Andy's getting his groove back. Andy's coming back.

So why is Mr. Pettitte jerking us around? Actually, he's not. Look, a few years ago, no one remembers, but he didn't agree to a contract with the Yankees until January 26th. Right now it's January 21st. While it seems like forever, like he's stringing us along, he's not. Prediction? January 27th, 28th, maybe the 29th, but I have a feeling a decision's coming. And I have a feeling it's a good decision.

So as we wind down from the terrific week of East coast snow, the signings of Rafael Soriano and Andruw Jones, let's all rest our heads on our pillows tonight and dream. Let's dream a happy dream of a solid rotation and focused Yankee players, warming up in Tampa. Dream of them confident, prepared and ready to win number 28 for their hungry fans. And then, out of the corn husks in center field... Andy Pettitte shows up... and he's ready to play one more time.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

JEET & ANDY EXCHANGE TEXTS

Jeter: bro, make the announcement already

Andy: working on it. the kids r up my butt about retiring

Jeter: Yeah well, everybody's asking. Jorge's even gonna crutch his way back for 1 more year. you should 2 old man :)

Andy: that guy? Tell him to go f himself. jk

Jeter: :) nice

Andy: ok. Ill call cash next week. I'm trying to hold out for a new record. I want to wait past Jan 27. That'll be an 88 day holdout.

Jeter: O-k dick. Fine

Andy: I'm asking for $$$14 mil

Jeter: sure bro, whatever. cash is walking around with a little sack of money with your name on it for weeks now.

Andy: really?

Jeter: no dog, no. lmfao

Andy: got me

Jeter: got you. later -DJ


(NOTE: THESE ARE FAKE TEXT EXCHANGES. THIS IS ME USING HUMOR AND MAKING A GUESS OF HOW THE PEOPLE INVOLVED WOULD SPEAK TO EACH OTHER VIA TEXT. THERE IS NOTHING REAL ABOUT THIS. IT IS DONE STRICTLY FOR LAUGHS. ENJOY)


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