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Twins Add Ex-Yankee Ruben Sierra to Their Bench
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
He looks angry...hopefully there will be happy times inside the Dome

Ruben Sierra, who became a free agent this year after two and a half seasons in New York, will be seeing the Yankees from the other side of the field in 2006. The Minnesota Twins signed Ruben to a minor league contract in hopes that his switch hitting skills will be just what the doctor ordered to fill out their 2006 bench. Ruben was held back last season by both hamstring and bicep injuries and hit just .229 in 170 at bats, but has a lot of power to offer from both sides of the plate. With Rueben healed and healthy the Twins can expect to see solid pinch hitting numbers and likely at least 10 home runs.

"I wanted to stay in the American League and I always liked this organization. From what I've heard from all the players, manager Ron Gardenhire is super and the fans are great there too. This team has a good nucleus and a good chance to win and make the playoffs. Once you make the playoffs, you never know what can happen." - - - Ruben Sierra

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, January 31, 2006   1 comments
Padres Sign Mike Piazza, Completing a “I Hit Homers in Horrid Hitters Parks” Trifecta
Monday, January 30, 2006

Superman catcher Mike Piazza will be returning to SoCal for the 2006 season, just two hours south from where he started his career at Dodger Stadium fourteen years ago. Piazza and the Padres came to agreement on a one year, $2 million contract that will split Mike’s time behind the plate, at first base, and as designated hitter in interleague games. Piazza has dealt with various injuries and the expected strain that comes with 14 seasons of catching duty, but has maintained his incredible batting average and slugging numbers despite his struggles. In the past two seasons with the Mets Mike’s performance has declined both at the plate and behind it – he doesn’t exactly strike fear into baserunners’ hearts – but this was likely due to the aforementioned strain of serving as everyday catcher for scores of years. Piazza reportedly told the Padres that he would feel comfortable catching 70-90 games next season, so Padres fans can expect former BoSox catcher Doug Mirabelli, who the Pads acquired in December, to start the remaining games.

Mike is just three homers shy of hitting the coveted 400 mark, and while Petco is certainly not an easy park to hit long balls in, he should have no trouble slugging his way into the record books. Piazza has hit 397 career home runs thus far, all of them in decidedly “pitcher friendly” parks (both Shea and Dodger Stadium rank among the bottom half of major league hitters parks), so Petco’s 367-foot left field line should prove daunting to the lifetime .311 hitter.
posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, January 30, 2006   3 comments
2006 Baseball in New York: Mets Rivaling the Yankees
Thursday, January 26, 2006
On a recent trip to New York, I performed an informal (but still highly scientific) study to see who the most popular team in NY was. Each day, I counted (roughly) the number of people wearing Yankees hats versus people wearing Mets hats versus people wearing yarmulkes. Surprise: the Mets came in third...


With the exception of a few lucky/ magical/ miraculous Mets seasons, the Yankees have had the luxury of being the undisputed kings of New York. The Yanks have enjoyed record attendance, worldwide fandom and countless records and honors, all of which have continuously sealed their fate as the most popular and powerful team in New York. The Mets, on the other hand, have historically been an underdog, the Yankees’ nerdy-but-lovable little brother, and even with their exciting brushes with success in ’69, ’86 and ’00 they’ve never quite been able to reach the Yankees’ level of popularity.

These days, though, it looks like the Yankees’ charming little brother may be growing up – and he could be reaching the Yankees level soon.

Top Five Signs the Mets Are Blowing Up….In a Good Way

5. The Mets have the first Latino GM in baseball history, the first black manager in NY baseball history. With Pedro, Delgado and Beltran on the team they have cornered the market for Latino fans.

4. They’re getting their own broadcast station…and they’ve got Keith Hernandez, Gary Cohen and Ron Darling on board.

3. Adios Shea: a new, $600 million stadium is coming just in time to rival the Yanks forthcoming new stadium.

2. The Mets organization is finally appreciating their history, after all but ignoring their drug-saturated past since the ’86 World Series. Strawberry has been doing some spring training coaching, Hernandez is a commentator, Gary Carter is managing in the minors, and there are rumors that the Mets will finally retire some numbers this year.

1. Payroll, baby. People love to rail on the teams with the highest payrolls (*cough*), but the fact is that the best players are going to cost you - - a lot. The Mets have made huge strides in the past few years in acquiring big name players like Pedro, Beltran, and Wagner, and the money has proved well spent.


posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, January 26, 2006   6 comments
Yankees to Piazza: Roster Full; Perhaps Try a “Work Wanted” Ad on Craigslist
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
ouch...

Watching the Mets/Yankees series at Shea last May, I jokingly predicted that the Yankees would go after Piazza once his contract was up at the end of the 2005 season. A thirty-seven year old catcher who can’t throw out a baserunner to save his life (past…his…prime) sounds right up Steinbrenner’s alley, right?

Fast forward to January 2006, and sure enough, there’s Piazza–to-the-Yankees rumors all over the internet. But lest you pat me on the back for predicting that this would occur, the Yankees were not the ones starting up the Piazza buzz!

According to the New York Daily News, it was Piazza’s camp that contacted the Yankees in an attempt to pawn Piazza off as a DH/backup catcher, and, what’s more, the offer was rebuffed! The Yankees apparently told old Mike’s agents that there was simply no room on the roster and no need for his services.

Mike need not despair just yet - - the Phillies have expressed some minor interest in the future Hall of Famer, and there’s always the local senior softball league…
posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, January 24, 2006   0 comments
Yankees Give Aaron Small $1.2 Million/One Year Contract; Chacon up Next
Cashman is a sensitive soul

The Yanks successfully avoided arbitration with Small by agreeing to a one year deal worth $1.2 million. Although his asking price was higher, Smally, as Torre affectionately calls him, can also earn up to $80,000 more in bonuses next season.

Now that Smally is squared away, Chacon is the next name on Cashman’s arbitration list. Chacon’s $4.15 million asking price is miles away from the Yankees offer of $3.1 million offer, so it will be interesting to see what sort of salary + bonuses Cash and the gang come up with for Shawn. Yankees Chick Prediction: $3.3 million plus the chance to earn one million more in bonuses. Caveat: bonus requirements include 300 mph fastballs and record-breaking sunflower seed spitting distances.
posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, January 24, 2006   1 comments
Bettors Laying Odds on 2006 Yankees
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Personally, I am a law-abiding citizen, I’m very wholesome, and I would never place wagers on a sport I hold dear.

That said, SportsBook.com is offering some interesting odds on several MLB. For journalistic purposes only, here are some that I find interesting:
World Series
TeamOddsComments
Yankees 4-1Obvious, even pre-season
Red Sox 10-1I'd say that is generous. Gaping holes at centerfield and shortstop, management controversy...good luck.
Home Runs
PlayerOddsComments
A-Rod 6-1Barring any injuries, this one seems like a very safe bet
David Ortiz 7-1I'm actually surprised that his odds are so close to A-Rods, even with his great numbers last year. There's no doubt in my mind that he'll hit many home runs, but I don't see him topping A-Rod
Barry Bonds 15-1What?! I give him 26 homers.
World Baseball Cup
CountryOddsComments
Dominican Republic 6-5Manny, Ortiz, Pujols...good luck, Netherlands
USA 6-5Probably the only team that has a chance of standing up to the Dominican ambush
China 500-1Well...at least they'll get a medal for participation



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posted by Yankees Chick @ Sunday, January 22, 2006   5 comments
Yankees Not Interested in Molina; Posada’s Post Protected
Friday, January 20, 2006
Jorge Beats Molina at the Plate...in More Ways Than One

As with every other big name free agent this year, rumors suggesting that the Yankees were among the teams bidding for former Los Angeles-Anaheim-California Angel’s catcher Bengie Molina have been swirling since the end of the 2005 season. Bengie had one of the best years of his career in 2005, hitting a career high .295 and driving in 69 RBIs in 121 hits; during the ALDS series against the Yanks he went 8 for 18 and hit three homers. Newspapers and web forums have been “reporting” various levels of alleged expressed interest on the Yankees’ part, from being “interested” to unofficially bidding for the righty catcher, but there have been no confirmed reports or acknowledgement on the Yankees’ behalf to suggest that there is any truth to these rumors.

The Yanks have said that they “remain committed” to Jorge Posada and that he will indeed be their everyday catcher again in 2006. Say what you will about Jorge’s “advancing age”; he’ll likely still be one of the top 10 catchers in the MLB for the next couple years. File the Molina buzz under “no need, no thanks” – where I come from, we don’t replace catchers that have proven themselves consistent inning after inning, season after season, both behind the plate and up to bat.
posted by Yankees Chick @ Friday, January 20, 2006   2 comments
Arbitration Time for Small and Chacon
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
After their season-saving pitching triumphs last year, arbitration eligibility comes at a perfect time for Aaron Small and Shawn Chacon. Both begun salary talks with the Yankees this week and it looks like they will both be getting sizable raises for 2006.

Small earned just $350,000 for his time in the major leagues last year (and $13,000 per month in the minors), and has requested a salary of $1.45 million; the Yanks have reportedly offered $1.025 million. Chacon, who earned $2.55 million during his 7-3 season last year, has been offered $3.1 million. Though no contracts have been agreed upon yet, the Yankees have made it clear that they intend to come to terms with Small and Chacon without necessitating hearings or outside mediation.
posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, January 18, 2006   3 comments
A-Rod To Play For USA in WBC: For Reals! I Promise...
After being branded a "flip-flopper" by certain leaders of the Free World (in other news, the Yankees Chick is now considered a leader of the Free World), Mr. Rodriguez has decided to stick with the USA and represent them this spring in the World Baseball Classic.

"I reached the conclusion that if I played in the Classic, I would play for the United States and honor my American citizenship. The World Baseball Classic offers baseball and its fans an exciting new forum and I look forward, if selected, to representing the United States in what will be baseball's greatest international competition." - - A-Rod

He was, of course, selected and will be posted at third base in the tournament this March.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, January 18, 2006   0 comments
2006 Leaves Sammy Sosa Without a Place to Hang his Hat
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Flying is Sammy's lesser known talent

Back when Sammy and Big Mac were duking it out in their epic “whose ridiculously bloated body can absorb the most steroids” battle, Sosa’s value was rising so fast he may as well have been a dot com stock circa 1998. He was a hero to little leaguers, he had a sweet Pepsi commercial (say it with me, you know you want to: “Sammy Sooosa!”), and had a knack for thanking the Jesus as often as possible. Sammy was on his way to an incredible career full of broken records.

Then came the corked bat revelation the steroid rumors, the lost endorsement deals, and the sharp decline in his performance (see “corked bat revelation” and “steroid rumors”). After his last three mediocre seasons in Chicago he headed to Baltimore, where he hit a miserable .221 with a disappointing 14 home runs. His OBP has never been incredible, but it hit a low last year at .295. By all accounts, Sammy seemed tired, washed up and ready to be put out for pasture, so it comes as no surprise that he has thus far not had any takers in his bid for 2006. Baltimore passed on another go around with Sosa, and he hasn’t had any offers from other teams around the league as of yet.

Retirement seems like the best option if Sosa has any desire to go out with a shred of his dignity in tact. Unlike Mike Piazza, who is also still unsigned, Sosa doesn’t seem to have much to offer in the MLB. Sosa, however, has not made any moves towards retirement just yet.

So what will become of Sosa, a guy who was once considered a future Hall of Famer? Part of me doesn’t really care what becomes of him; it seems obvious to me that most of his power came from steroids, thus making his achievements moot - in my mind anyway. The bottom line, though, is that steroids or not, he was a fun guy to watch and it’s always sad to see a former star relegated to groveling for a contract. Here’s to hoping for a dignified retirement for Mr. Sosa.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Sunday, January 15, 2006   2 comments
Jeff Nelson, New York Yankee Version 3.0? No Thanks.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Come on, Yanks. Let it go.

Righty pitcher Jeff Nelson has put in quite a bit of time on the Yankees pitching mound in his 14-year career, pitching in the Bronx for five seasons in the late nineties and half of the 2003 season. In true Yankees fashion, Yanks execs are considering offering Nelson another tenure in New York. Granted, it would not be a blockbuster deal – it would be a nonroster spring training invite like the deal offered to Al Leiter – but the very fact that the Yankees are considering offering Nelson any contract at all is so frustratingly familiar I can hardly stand to read about it. Nelson has had a successful 14-year career, but what can he offer to the Yankees at this stage that our other relievers cannot?
posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, January 12, 2006   6 comments
SethSpeaks Interviews the Yankees Chick
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Seth Stohs over at SethSpeaks.net honored your Yankees Chick by featuring me in an interview on his blog this week. Check it out at www.sethspeaks.net!

Here's a preview for you:

SethSpeaks: To me, the question regarding the Yankees is their starting pitchers. Let me just ask a few questions on them. Randy Johnson led the AL in HR allowed. Mike Mussina is not getting younger either and has fought injuries.

Yankees Chick: Randy Johnson has so much talent we forget that he is just like everyone else - he's getting older. He had a hard time adjusting last year, and I think the switch to the American League accounts for some of that. He still had 4 complete games and his ERA was not bad. Did the yanks expect too much from him? Yes. I don't think we'll be lucky enough to see any perfect games from him next year, but he'll be fine. As for moose, his shaky decline worries me a bit. Last season it seemed like he had a bad attitude, which I really don't like. Maybe he and Kevin Brown were having a frown-off in the dugout...winner gets the last sunflower seed!

Read more here...
posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, January 10, 2006   2 comments
Darryl Strawberry Has Some Words of Wisdom for Young Mets
"With my history of things I've experienced in life, I have a great gift to elaborate to the kids about the mistakes I made." - - - Darryl Strawberry








Ex-Met/Yank Darryl Strawberry may be more remembered for his off the field antics than for his playing – and he’s okay with that. Strawberry, who served as an advisor for the entire Mets club last year, had the opportunity to act as an unofficial coach during this month’s Mets minicamp. Strawberry has always cherished the opportunity to help kids stay on the right path, and he has a special authority on the subject that (luckily) not many other role models can claim.

"I'm at a very good place in my life. I don't want people to remember me as a baseball player. I hope they remember how I overcame the trials and tribulations of life, and was able to save young kids. That's what's really important.” - - Darryl

It definitely does seem that Darryl is in a much better place than he was in just a few years ago, when he served eleven months in prison for cocaine possession. It’s tough not to root for Darryl; no matter how many scrapes (arrests) or pickles (rehab) he got himself into, everyone always hoped for the best. It’s heartwarming to see Darryl making an effort to educate people, and even more uplifting to see the response he gets from the younger players.

"He was definitely one of my childhood heroes growing up. Now, being able to hold a conversation with him and talk to him about what it was like playing for the Mets in the '80s, it's a special thing. He’s not a doctor, he's not a psychiatrist. He's experienced what we're going through and he knows all about it. Hearing it come from his mouth means a lot more." - - David Wright

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, January 10, 2006   0 comments
Hall of Fame Ballots Counted: Sutter In; Gossage, Mattingly Will Have to Wait
Scary good talent, scary scary beard

Legendary closer Bruce Sutter became the newest face in Cooperstown today, and the only one on this year’s ballot to earn the 390 votes necessary for a ticket to HOF-land. Sutter made history by being the only “pure reliever” to be elected to the Hall; Sutter never started a single game in his career. Other savers such as Rollie Fingers and Dennis Eckersley have been elected to the Hall as well, but also had successful periods as starting pitchers as well. Sutter’s save-only election will likely set a precedent for other possible future HOF-ers like Trevor Hoffman and, of course, our boy Mo. It will be interesting to see how relievers, especially closers, are looked at in comparison with starters in the next few years.

Jim Rice and Rich Gossage both came within 55 votes of the 390-vote benchmark, so mark them on down in your PDA as likely elections next year. Mr. Mattingly earned 64 votes, enough to guarantee him a spot on the ballot next year, as did Orel Hershiser and Dale Murphy. Not surprisingly, Doc Gooden did not earn enough votes to remain on the ballot for next year.
posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, January 10, 2006   1 comments
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Orange County South of L.A. but North of San Diego and West of Riverside in a Stadium That Has a Cool Fountain
Monday, January 09, 2006

For everyone that found it ridiculous when Angel’s owner Arte Moreno decided to change his club’s identity to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last year, rest assured: the City of Anaheim feels the same way. The City of Anaheim has filed suit against the Angels, citing breach of contract. Back when Disney owned the team (damn, Angels in the Outfield was a good movie) they signed a deal with the city to renovate the stadium (fountain!), for which both Disney and the city contributed millions of dollars. The agreement also contained a clause stating that if the team name were to be changed, “Anaheim” would still have to be “included”. Moreno and company feel that they stuck to the agreement, and they are correct, technically. The question lies in whether giving Anaheim second billing to Los Angeles still satisfies the contract.

Prosecutors
: The City of Anaheim
Complaint: "In Major League Baseball, there has never been a team with two geographic identities as part of one name. There has only been one name and one mascot. We compete with Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco for tourism dollars. We feel that having a name that was agreed upon in the contract is part of the deal. When everyone sees the team, we want Anaheim to come to mind." - - Anaheim spokesman John Nicoletti Defendant: Angels
Rebuttal: "In this trial, we feel we have not breached the contract; we have conducted ourselves in good faith. There are a lot of things that our organization has put forth that have not only been beneficial to the fans, but to the community." - - Angel’s spokesman Tim Mead

It will be interesting to see how this case pans out. Given the fact that the City of Anaheim has already lost two motions against the team last January and mediation between the two sides has not been successful, I have a feeling that the team will win out on this one. It’s going to be hard for the city to convince a jury that the contract was breached when technically their name is still featured in the team’s name. Personally, I think it is a slap in the face on the part of the Angel’s to disrespect their home city; I’m on the city’s side. If the Angel’s do win out on this, be prepared to cheer for the Florida Devil Rays of Tampa Bay or the San Francisco Athletics of Oakland…
posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, January 09, 2006   2 comments
Yankees Old Timers Day: June 24, 2006
Sunday, January 08, 2006
I have never had the pleasure of attending an Old Timers celebration at Yankees’ stadium, but I’m doing my best to change that for 2006. This season the Old Timers ceremony will take place on June 24th before the game versus the Florida Marlins and legends like Whitey Ford, Phil Rizzuto and Joe Pepitone are expected to turn out.

If anyone has any Old Timers Day tales to share, I’d love to hear them!
posted by Yankees Chick @ Sunday, January 08, 2006   1 comments
A-Rod WBC Rumors Prove to be Just That
Saturday, January 07, 2006
First he was considering playing for the Dominican Republic. Then came the announcement that since he couldn't choose between the DR and the US, he would sit out the tournament. Then, just this week, came word that he would play in the WBC after all - for the U.S....and finally, in one last (at least we hope it's the last) twist A-Rod lambasts the Players' Association for apparently falsely reporting this week's story.

ESPN is reporting that A-Rod has come out to say that he is standing behind his decision to stay out of the WBC, and that since his decision he has not made any statements regarding playing for any team.

Were we duped by the Players' Association? Were they duped by A-Rod or his cronies? Nothing is clear yet, except for the fact that A-Rod is not playing in the WBC - - as of today, anyway...

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Saturday, January 07, 2006   3 comments
Leiter Wants Season #20
Friday, January 06, 2006
"You know he is not afraid. He is a veteran guy, a stand-up guy, a quality guy. He likes to compete." - - Cashman

No one would call Al Leiter’s return to the Yankees in 2005 particularly stellar, but he’s not ready to throw in the towel just yet. Despite his poor numbers as a starter– he went 4-5 with a 5.49 ERA – he did well out of the bullpen and Cashman and Torre believe he’s still got something to offer to the Yanks. According to the New York Post, the Yankees are expected to sign Leiter to a minor league deal that would allow him to come to spring training and battle for a spot on the Yankees roster.

“He'd be an insurance policy," Cashman explained. "He would come in to compete for the bullpen to get lefties out like he was doing in the playoffs. That is what we are talking to him about."

After last season Leiter had discussed retirement, which is still an option if he doesn’t do well in spring training. Leiter has a great reputation as a broadcaster and could join the YES crew in the booth if things don’t work out on the field.
posted by Yankees Chick @ Friday, January 06, 2006   0 comments
News from Enemy Lines: Manny Will Stay with the Red Sox
Thursday, January 05, 2006

"There will be no trade, I'm staying in Boston, where I'm familiar with the system and where I have a lot of friends, especially David Ortiz." - - Manny Ramirez

You heard that right, kids: Manny has rescinded his trade aspirations and rededicated himself to the Sox – for 2006, anyway. As he has done in past seasons, Manny made it known at the beginning of the off season that he was eager to be dealt, and the Sox reacted appropriately. They had discussed a deal with the Mets and were in talks with the Orioles right up until last week, but were having trouble dealing Manny due to his excessive salary and his demands for twenty million dollar contract options.

Even though Manny announced that “there will be no trade”, the Sox could still decide to deal him, though he does have the right to veto any trade he does not like. Manny has ruled out any NL team and any team he doesn’t feel is a “contender”, so odds are that Manny will be staying with the Sox – whether they want him or not.

"I know the American League system. That's one reason I don't want to go to the National League. I also want to play for a contender, and I think with Boston I'm assured of that." - - Manny Ramirez

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, January 05, 2006   1 comments
Eighty-Seven Days till Opening Day – What’s Left on the Yankees’ To-Do List?
The time since the sad end of game five of the ALDS has gone by faster than I expected. The World Series was exciting, the rounds of awards were briefly interesting though unsurprising, and the desiccated free agent market made for some interesting trades. Despite going slow out of the gates, the Yankees have made some very wise moves for 2006. They dropped Wommack, signed Cairo for the second time, bolstered their bullpen with Farnsworth and Dotel, and swooped in on Damon. With all these improvements, my mind wonders what the Yankees could have left to do in the last eighty-seven days of the off season…

Upon looking at the current roster, the Yankees seem to have no holes to fill in the offense or defense. The batting lineup alone looks intimidating enough to put a snag in even B.J. Ryan’s stride and the bullpen, which needed the most work of all, has seen quite a turnaround. The only thing that the Yankees could possibly have left to do before the start of the season is to hammer down their starting pitching. They currently have approximately 196.4 starting pitchers (just an estimate), and while I suppose there is strength in numbers it is important to remember that 167.8 of those pitchers have proven to be shaky and somewhat less than reliable. Pavano, for one, is still thought to be somewhat tradable, although it’s not clear to whom or for whom, and while Small and Wang did well last season we haven’t seen enough of them to know that they’ll sustain the momentum they showed last year. I anticipate the Yankees to make at least one pitching-related move to create the ideal starting pitching rotation before spring training begins, whether it’s trading Pavano or, hey, how about signing Clemens?
posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, January 05, 2006   1 comments
Latest WBC Rumor: A-Rod to Play for USA After All?!
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
ESPN is reporting that A-Rod has decided to participate in the WBC this spring, despite his heartwarming (vomit) and uber-PC statement last month declaring that he loved the Dominican Republic and USA too much to choose between the two. Apparently, A-Rod has decided that he will play favorites after all, and is “expected to announce this week that he will play for the U.S. in the 16-team event in March”.

This is still technically a rumor, but assuming it is true – and yeah yeah, I know, what they say about assuming – I’d love to hear what A-Rod’s many public relations advisors had to say about this situation. From his eagerness to play to bursting with duel national pride only to reneg and settle on the USA, the entire ordeal is borderline nauseating.

As my favorite Mets fan put it: “Well played, Slappy McBluelips. Could not have handled that worse”.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, January 04, 2006   5 comments
Still No Word from Clemens’ Camp, Could End Up Anywhere – Or Nowhere
Since Houston declined to offer arbitration to the Rocket in December, Clemens fans the league over have been abuzz with speculation as to what he will decide to do in 2006. As he has done for the past few seasons, Clemens has kept retirement open as an option, but hasn’t given any official decisions yet.

Assuming he decides to play another year – which I believe he will – Clemens will have the luxury of many interested teams to consider. The Astros will not be eligible to deal with him until May first, and although it would mean missing the first month of the season there is still a good chance Clemens could opt to wait and resign with the Astros then. Aside from Houston, both Boston and Texas have expressed interest in Clemens, as have the Yankees. The Yankees spoke briefly with Clemens’ representatives during the Winter Meetings but were told that the Rocket’s camp would not be ready to discuss anything until January or February. According to the New York Post, the Yankees are still very interested in Clemens but are wisely not counting on him in their 2006 roster plans. Both Cashman and Torre have said that they are happy with the roster as it is right now, but would still talk to Clemens if he were to express an interest.

Being a huge Rocket fan myself, I must say that I’m holding out hope that he’ll decide to make a return to the Bronx. However, if forced to be honest, I’ll admit that it probably isn’t very likely. The Yankees haven’t backed up their alleged interest with any action or aggression thus far, and since they do currently have six starting pitchers – albeit a few shaky ones – they won’t be motivated by an overwhelming need for Clemens. Furthermore, if it were to come down to a choice between the Yanks and the Astros, it seems likely that he would opt to stick with Houston. Houston offers the advantage of allowing Clemens to live in his hometown and have the freedom to come and go when he’s not the starting pitcher. Pal Andy Pettitte is also in Houston for at least another year, and Clemens has shown before how important that is to him. Short of uprooting Pettitte as bait (hmm…), I don’t see Rocket Part Duex in 2006.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, January 04, 2006   2 comments
Doc Gooden on Hall of Fame Ballot; In Other News, Drugs Ruin Careers
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
In an age when the word “drugs” in the context of sports makes us all jump to “steroids”, it’s easy to forget about so-called street drugs like alcohol and cocaine. Dwight Gooden’s place on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot reminds us that non-performance-enhancing drugs can ruin a career as fast as a syringe filled with anabolic steroids can.


When Gooden made his amazing big league debut in 1984, Mets fans had to pinch themselves to make sure that this was real, that they finally had a superstar athlete to rival any other in the league. In 1985, Doctor K. put up truly amazing numbers, winning 24 games with an ERA of 1.53 (better than even Clemens’ best year) – and he was just twenty years old! In his third season with the Mets, he performed well again and helped his team win the World Series.

There’s always a downside when a story starts out that sweetly. With talent comes popularity, and as anyone who’s lived through junior high can tell you, with popularity comes peer pressure and trouble. Alcohol became a problem, then cocaine. He first tested positive for cocaine in 1987, which resulted in a rehab stay rather than a suspension, then was suspended when he tested positive in 1994, and when he tested positive during that suspension he was suspended for the entire 1995 season. In an even creepier incident, Gooden and two of his teammates were charged with rape in 1991 – behavior I choose (hope) to believe to have been drug-fueled. The rape charges were later dropped, but the damage to his reputation was done. Gooden's talent was not only overshadowed by his drug problems, but stunted by them, too. Dr. K struggled through the rest of his career, never surpassing his excellent first three seasons at his best and very nearly embarrassing himself at his worst. In his final season in 2000, which he split between the Astros, Devil Rays and Yankees, he looked nothing like the young kid who wowed Mets fans fifteen years earlier.

Playing a “what-if” game doesn’t serve anyone, of course…but….what if?
posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, January 03, 2006   5 comments
AL East in 2006: Can Toronto Top the Red Sox?
Monday, January 02, 2006


For the past few years, the Yankees and the Sox have had the luxury of being co-kings of the AL East hill, planning out their post-season game plans before spring training is even done. But 2006 may be ushering in a new competitor for the Bombers and the Beasts from a foreign land: Toronto!

Strange as it may sound, the Blue Jays may be the Yankees’ biggest threat next season. Boston has had a tumultuous off-season; they’ve lost their general manager, their star center fielder/leadoff hitter and several other key team members. They currently have gaping holes in centerfield and in the infield at shortstop and first base, and the status of one of their super-slugger’s is still up in the air. At this point they do still have Manny, but all signs are pointing to a Manny-less ’06 for the Sox, leaving Ortiz with the task of homering for the whole team. The Sox do, of course, still have a lot of talent on their team in Ortiz, Loretta, Beckett and the like, but neither their defense nor their offense stands up to what it was in the past three years.

Toronto, on the other hand, has bolstered their team to a level they haven’t seen since the early nineties. The Jays have spent this off season making lucrative trades and signing big name free agents faster than Boston fans can drink a green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. Jay’s manager J.P. Ricciardi snapped up both B.J. Ryan and A.J. Burnett, two of the hottest pitchers on the free agent market, and traded for Lyle Overbay and Troy Glaus to tighten up their infield.

Last year, even as an 80-win, 82-loss team, Toronto managed to get the better of the Sox. Boston lost 11 of the 18 games they played against the Jays, while the Yankees went 12-6. The Sox still have a few months to fill out their 2006 roster, but with the rosters as they are right now I’d be putting my money on the Jays to be the Yankees’ biggest competitor next season.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, January 02, 2006   4 comments
Looking Ahead to 2006: New York Yankees New Years Resolutions
Sunday, January 01, 2006
Happy New Year, baseball fans and fanatics! Shake off that hangover and kick the Red Sox chick you picked up last night out of your bed, it’s time to look to the year ahead and what it will bring for the Yankees and its loyal fans.

With the start of a new year comes the exciting opportunity to make resolutions. Paying off debts, getting in shape and kicking that nasty meth-smoking habit are all good choices, but I thought the Yankees might need a touch of help thinking of some team resolutions. At the risk of opening a can of worms and/or lawsuits, here are my resolution suggestions for the 2006 Yankees.

Trade Carl Pavano for pitching prospects...or Fritos. Whatever you can get.



Start the season with Wright in the bullpen; make him prove he’s back in shape before letting him start a single game


Send Bubba back to Columbus.


Give Andy Phillips time at first base.


Be careful with Bernie, but don’t let him rot on the bench too much. He still has talent to offer as a DH.


Stop caring about A-Rod’s poker playing. No one else cares. He’s not hurting anyone.


Use David Justice in that broadcast booth. He’s good.


Keep an eye on Damon. Make sure he isn’t mowed down by Bostonians. I don’t know if I like him just yet, but I still want him on the team.


Get aggressive with Clemens. If he’s not going back to Houston, he should be in the Bronx. He’s still incredible and could be our number one starter.


Don’t forget about Toronto. They haven’t been in contention for years, but they’ve made some good moves this off season and will be tougher to beat this year.


Forget about Boston. They simply won’t be the threat to us that they have been in the past. Don’t be intimidated as we have been in the last few years.


Don’t forget about the playoffs. It seems that the Yanks waste too much brain space on winning the World Series and forget that they’ll have to win the playoffs first. Don’t celebrate too hard after winning the division - - get into hardcore work mode and kick ass in the playoffs.


Good luck in 2006!
posted by Yankees Chick @ Sunday, January 01, 2006   8 comments
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