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Pardon Me, Are You Interested in My Unit?
Thursday, December 28, 2006
The agreement between Barry Baked Ziti and the Giants is unequivocally the biggest news of the day (see this story for more details on the ridiculous $126 million contract), but there are other pricey pitchers making news to whom attention needs to be paid, and one of them is the Yankees' own Big Unit.

meddersRandy Johnson has apparently expressed a desire to work closer to his Phoenix home, and the Yanks have taken the opportunity to shop him around a bit. The Giants, Dodgers, Angels, and Padres have all expressed preliminary interest in the Mullet Man, but it is the Diamondbacks who are generating the most Unit trade buzz. The Yanks are working on a trade that would send the Unit and his unjustifiably large contract (he is due a whopping $16 million this year) to Arizona in exchange for 2 highly regarded pitching prospects (whose names I do not believe have been released) and a young but majors-ready reliever like Brandon Medders (above right; don't be fooled by the beard, he is in fact 9 years old) or Luis Vizcaino. The Yanks are after 23-year-old Medders, who has a 3.09 ERA in 102 innings over the past 2 years, but the D-Backs are hesitant to give him up and would rather send Vizcaino, who is 32 and has a 4.24 ERA over 8 seasons.

back surgeryRelocating the Unit could do wonders for the Yanks' 2007 situation. Due to his recent back surgery, Randy's status for opening day (and the whole season, really) is questionable at this point; his performance could be extremely impaired by the serious surgery (see left; carved up back + old age = please leave). With him gone, the Yanks would be forced to either bring up Phillip Hughes or do some serious wooing of the Rocket. Additionally, the trade would almost certainly bring a solid reliever to the Bronx in Medders or even Vizcaino, making the Melky-for-Gonzalez trade mentioned last week unnecessary. As for his salary - he is due an exorbitant $16 million for the 2007 season - the D-backs are indicating that they will not only pick up his salary but are also willing to give him an extension for 2008. That $16 million could be spent in any numbers of ways beneficial to the Bombers, from a Loretta signing to extra scouting.unit dbacks

The Unit does have a no-trade clause in his contract, but since the trade talk originated from his desire to work closer to home, a waiver on his part doesn't seem likely. If the Yankees can get Arizona to agree to send Medders instead of Vizcaino, I think the Unit could be back in teal and purple (see right, vomit) in just a few short weeks...

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, December 28, 2006   10 comments
Yanks Pitching Report (Now With 25% Less Bitching!)
Friday, December 22, 2006
mike gonzalezesAll of these gentlemen are named "Mike Gonzalez", but only one of them is a potential Yankee pitcher.

The Yankees Chick has done quite a bit of complaing about the Yanks' pitching over the last couple years - I've disparaged the departed soul of Kevin Brown (oh, he's not dead?) and have created some deliciously sophisticated and original nicknames for everyone from Sturtze the Hurtze to Carl Painvano - but in light of the recent choices the Yanks have made this winter I am feeling decidedly more optimistic about the state of the pitching affairs in the Bronx.

Andy Pettitte's decision to reunite with the Yankees certainly brought a smile to my face, and the accompanying speculation that his move could motivate the Rocket to follow suit are most intruiging. By most accounts, he will pitch in 2007, but he may wait until June or July to make his decision again - a decision which will no doubt be based on which of his chosen teams (the Astros, Bosox and Yanks) is doing the best at that point in the season. That brazen cockiness and mercenary attitude actually sickens me in theory, but if he decides to join the Yankees I will not complain.

igawa in nyLast week's signing of 27-year-old Kei Igawa (which is nearly official, save for the mandatory physical that for some reason seems to foil not steroid users but overpaid outfielders) dropped the average age of the pitching staff down to about 40, which is a move in the right direction. Igawa is no Matsuzaka, but I sincerely appreciate the fact that the Yankees will be paying a total of $46 million for 5 years of his service, and that includes the $26 million Big Stein had to pony up just for the chatting rights.

Interestingly enough, even the Pavano situation is looking up. Take a moment to re-read that sentance, I can wait. Back? Ok. Sir Carl of Injuredville has reportedly been doing some hardcore training in Arizona all winter in an effort to show the Yanks that he is serious about getting healthy and ready for some hot pitching mound action come April. To be honest, it is pretty pathetic that training is out of the norm for Pav, but if he does stay healthyish it will obviously be great for the Yankees. His health-kick also makes him more attractive as trade bait - - the Cardinals have already expressed an interest, albeit slight, and have requested his 309834289032490 page medical file to review.

In reliever news, the Pirates are looking to trade lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez (see top photo) for a lefty power hitter, and the Yankees are allegedly willing to give up Melky in exchange for the bullpen help. Gonzalez, who is a nice spry 28-years-old, has had an impressive major league career thus far, saving 24 games in 54.0 innings last season. There were rumors last week indicating that the Pirates, Yankees, Braves were working on a 3-team trade that would send Gonzalez to New York, Adam LaRoche to Pittsburgh and Melky to Atlanta, but those plans have either stalled or were never true in the first place. Much as I love Melky, bringing Gonzalez to New York would offer some much needed support to the bullpen - - and the move would open the 4th outfielder spot up for a certain beloved guitar playing switch-hitting 38-year-old...

sanchezFinally, the Yanks are in possession of some great kids that could make quite a splash in '07. There's Humberto Sanchez (left), who came over from the Tigers in the Sheffield deal, and of course the much-anticipated Phillip Hughes, who may be called up in April. Jeff Karstens and Brian Bruney, who both pitched towards the end of last season, will also be waiting in the wings for a chance to back up the offense.

I am, of course, still concerned about The Unit, and I'm not convinced that Pavano will even be walking in April, much less pitching. But right now, I'm feeling optimistic. Now let's just hope this feeling can last through next October.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Friday, December 22, 2006   6 comments
Happy Non-Denominational Winter Holiday!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
2005 Guide
2007 Guide

xmas tree fireThis is what happens when you ignore the Yankees Chick's gift advice.


‘Tis the season to be jolly, and nothing makes a person jollier than a thoughtful (and preferably expensive) holiday gift. Unfortunately, searching for the perfect gifts to bestow upon your loved ones can be a dicey endeavor, what with the crowded parking lots, long lines, sold-out merchandise and Salvation Army bell-ringing swindlers impeding your shopping voyage at every turn. Luckily for you, The Yankees Chick is a very caring individual, and she has made it her personal mission to help holiday shoppers by seeking out some of the most unfortunate Yankees gifts available this holiday season so that you won’t make the mistake of purchasing them. A similar guide was compiled for 2005 shoppers, but Taiwan’s sweatshop laborers have clearly been working overtime to provide the world with an even greater crop of Yankees-related commodities for 2006.

bucket
Exhibit A: The All-Purpose Pail.
The very fact that this exists gives me no choice but to believe that somewhere, someone spent the whole year knowing that his life would be complete if he could just spend $30.99 on a $4.99 Home Depot bucket. Perhaps next year he will be able to purchase a dirty fork for the low low price of $109.99.


undies
Exhibit B: The Camo Thong.
I’m actually not even sure if this product is intended for use by females or males, but I may have to purchase it. I can’t even tell you how many times I have found myself stranded in a brown and green jungle with NY logos abound, wearing nothing but panties, and wishing I could blend in better.


cardigan
Exhibit C: The Mr. Rogers Cardigan.
Nothing says “I love you, Dad” like a sweater Mr. Rogers found to be too nerdy and tossed out of his slow-moving Buick in 1986.





ugly hat
Exhibit D: The Louis-Vuitton Hat.
I don’t own any Louis-Vuitton goodies, but if I recall correctly from my rummage through the “authentic” purses in the back room of a souvenir shop in Chinatown, their logo is pretty much identical to pattern on this cap.



yankees sauce

Exhibit E: Yankees Hot Sauce.
I believe this was created for a person too morbidly obese to fit into any Yankees apparel and too hungry to be satisfied by any non-food gifts.





shiny jacket
Exhibit F: The Shiny Jacket.
100% of these jackets are purchased by girlfriends of male Yankees fans in attempts to prove that they are “totally into baseball". It serves a dual purpose by acting as a reflective guide for rescue choppers when the boyfriend inevitably gets sick of the “Jeter is sooooo cute!” comments and kicks her out of the car in the middle of a deserted highway.





I certainly hope this list has been an eye-opener. There are doubtless even more frightening Yankees gifts in addition to these that one could stumble upon, and I caution you to be on the lookout for traps during your shopping trip. I must go bundle up in my Yankees cardigan now and begin my own holiday mission... Good luck to all!

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, December 14, 2006   14 comments
What Rhymes WIth Mientkiewicz?
Saturday, December 09, 2006
giambi catchNow that the Yankees have secured a solid starter in Andy Pettitte, they have the luxury of essentially being able to cool their heals until Spring Training. Their roster has rounded out fairly nicely, with the Sheffield trade bringing a young starter and 2 young relievers into the mix, and the only major change the Yanks would still like to make would come in the form of a defensive first baseman, which would allow dear Giambi to focus 100% of his energies on hitting homers (I like how if you look at the picture on the left you might think he is making a great play, leaping into the air to snag the ball...until you look down and realize he is literally 3 inches above ground). Free agent and sensitive soul Shea Hillenbrand has been considered for the gig, but the Yanks are apparently only looking to sign him to a 1 year contract and he is hoping for a longer deal; there have also been a few whispered rumors about making a trade for Richie Sexson, but that appears to be solely speculation at this point. The latest unsubstantiated rumor to make its way to the web involves 32-year-old free agent first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, who has played for the Twins, Boston, Mets and Royals. Dougie M (right, clearly capable of catching A-Rod's throws) mientkyis not known for his offensive prowess – he has a decent lifetime batting average at .270 and an average OPS at .764 – but he is regarded as a skilled defender. In 848 career games at first, Mientki has made just 28 errors (that’s a .996 fielding percentage for those counting); Hillenbrand has made 27 first base errors in 365 games and Giambi has erred 73 times in his 1040 games at first. The Yanks were originally looking for a right hitting first baseman like Shea or Sexson to round out the batting order (Cano, Damon, Abreu, Matsui, and Giambi are all lefties), but Mientki will likely be very affordable and would certainly be a defensive upgrade.

No need to start practicing the spelling of his name for your “Mientkiewicz is a Bitch” (the only rhyming word I could come up with; I challenge you to find a better one) poster just yet: I don’t believe the Yankees have made any official contact with Doug, and the A’s are reportedly after the Mientkster as well, so I would not be too shocked if this rumor went off to rumor heaven along with the A-Rod trade rumors and Matsuzaka signing speculation before too long.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Saturday, December 09, 2006   7 comments
Pinstriped Pettitte Part Deux
Friday, December 08, 2006
pettitte yanks
After spending 3 seasons in his hometown of Houston, fan favorite Andy Pettitte will be back in the Bronx in 2007 in hopes of winning a 5th World Series ring with the Yanks. Andy and the Yanks apparently came to terms today on a deal that will bring Andy $16 million for the 2007 season with a player option (also for $16 mil) for the 2008 season should he decide to continue playing.

The addition of A.P. to the Yanks' rotation will bring a sigh of relief to many of us fans who have been wondering how the team would get by with just Wang and Mussina marked down as sure things for 2007. The Unit and Pavano are both on the docket, but their respective injuries (RJ underwent back surgery after the ALDS and may not be ready in time for opening day and Pavano is...Pavano) leave the Yankees Chick somewhat skeptical of either one's reliability. The Yanks are expected to sign Kei Igawa - they have until December 28th to do so - and may even have Scott Proctor prepare for starting pitching duties just in case. They also have several youngsters - Humberto Sanchez of the Sheffield trade; Darrell Rasner and Jeff Karstens; whom we saw a bit of last year, and of course prospect extraordinaire Phillip Hughes, who could be called up at some point - who will compete for a starting job during spring training.

pettitte and clemensThe ink isn't even dry on Andy's contract yet, but there are already rumblings of rumors involving a Roger Clemens return to New York. The Rocket has not even confirmed that he will be pitching next year, but at 44 he continues to prove himself as an indisputable future hall of famer every year and I see no reason for him to hang it up while he is clearly still so dominating. Rog and A.P. have been known to make joint decisions in the past, so it is entirely feasible that Andy's return to the Bronx could have an influence on the Rocket's decision. I will keep my fingers - and perhaps a toe or two - crossed...

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Friday, December 08, 2006   2 comments
Hello, my name is Delusional, and I Deserve $18 Million
Thursday, December 07, 2006
big bondsPardon me Barry, it appears that someone replaced your arms with tree trunks. Oh, those are your arms?

21 seasons and 734 homers after busting onto the scene in Pittsburgh, Barry Bonds (barely recognizable in the photo below) is out of a job.

young barryHe is reportedly looking for a contract worth around $18 million, and there doesn’t seem to be a team willing to shell out that kind of cash for a bloated, oft-injured post-juice shell of the Barry Bonds we once saw. Balco Barry showed up in Florida in hopes of chatting with some managers during the winter meetings, but not much has come of his hopeful journey to Orlando. The Giants and Cardinals have both been rumored to be interested, but Giants GM Brian Sabean has said that he and Balco Barry are far apart in regards to contract expectations, and the Cardinals have essentially withdrawn from the “race”, telling San Francisco that they were no longer interested in further negotiations.

happy bondsWhat does this mean for Barry’s future? His asking price and his agent's constant insistence that he "could snap his fingers and get a deal done" clearly indicate a troubling disconnect from reality, something that should probably be addressed by a licensed therapist (Jim Fannon, stay away), but that is not to say that Barry can’t still be productive in his 22nd season. He did hit .270 with 26 home runs and 77 RBI in 367 at-bats – not to mention a very impressive .454 OBP - last year despite the knee injuries that kept him sidelined for almost the entire 2005 season, and in a DH-only position Balco B could almost certainly hit the last 22 homers he needs to take over the #1 spot on the all-time home runs hit list (I’m assuming that is his main inspiration for wanting to play another year). His ridiculous asking price alone seems to be keeping potential suitors at bay, but I believe that the controversy that surrounds Big Bar and the reputation he has so keenly cultivated throughout the years could also be causing some clubs to shy away (although he looks rather jolly, hysterical even, in the above right picture). If Barry were to come down on his price – I’m guessing he'd have to slice that $18 mil in half to get some serious contract talk going– I think he could make a perfectly suitable and productive DH for an American League team.

Just don’t tell that to Big Stein.


***************EDIT*****************
Mere hours after the Yankees Chick posted this gem (humor me), the Giants and Balco B came to terms on a 1-year contract worth a reported $16. That is about twice what I thought Barry deserved - even in this market - so bravo to Barry and his wrangler agent Jeff Boris!!

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, December 07, 2006   2 comments
Yankees Rumors - Lots of Good Ideas, Very Little Realism
Monday, December 04, 2006
countdown chain!Construction paper coundown chains: good for the anticipation of baseball season, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or your Human Sacrifice.

According to my construction paper countdown chain (see above), the Yankees are set to open the 2007 season against the Rays in just 119 days, and there are still holes in the roster. The Yanks are actually in relatively good shape compared to years past, but they are still in dire need of a starting pitcher and are hunting for a right-handed hitting first baseman so that we shan’t be tortured by Giambi’s awkward half-splits when he stretches to scoop up a wayward A-Rod throw. As we speak, Cashman and the rest of the MLB head honchos are gallivanting about Orlando, discussing trades whilst standing in line for Space Mountain and making calls to Boras in between bites of churro, providing fodder for us news-hungry fans in the form of unverified rumors and likely unfeasible trades. Here are a few of the most interesting Yankees-related rumors:

pettittePettitte, Please: Andy’s agent, Randy Hendricks, has assured various curious reporters that Pettitte (right - he's already got the uniform, he should just make it easy on himself and join the team immediately) will make his decision on the retirement question by Christmas. If he decides to play next season, the Astros and the Yanks are expected to be his two main suitors. Cashman has refused to say whether he has already contacted Andy, but there has been significant speculation/wishful thinking that Andy would like to return to the Yankees in 2007 - - and if Pettitte were to sign with the Yanks, we can expect a barrage of Clemens-to-Yanks rumors to follow.

A-Rod a (White) Sox? I really don’t think A-Rod is going anywhere, but White Sox GM Ken Williams seems pretty keen on shipping Joe Crede and a starting pitcher like Mark Buehrle or Freddy Garcia over to the Yanks to bring A-Rod to Chi-town. I think it’s pretty safe to file this in the “not going to happen, please leave it alone” category, but I suppose stranger trades have happened (Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano?!).

D-Train to the Bronx?
I think anyone would be thrilled to have Dontrelle Willis on their pitching staff, but unfortunately that includes the Marlins – and they already have him. The Marlins have not expressed any interest in trading him, but that hasn’t stopped sports journalists and bloggers from writing a myriad of stories featuring D-Train trade rumors to several teams, including the Yankees.

shearichie sexsonGiambi’s 1st base glove needs a new hand: Cashman is dedicated to keeping Giambi far, far away from defensive duties, meaning that either Andy Phillips will play 1st on a daily basis or Cashman will have to go outside to bring in a defensive first baseman (a righty hitter, to round out the batting lineup). Notoriously volatile ex- Toronto Blue Jay and SF Giant Shea Hillenbrand (left, coming after me for thinking anything bad about him) is a free agent and has been rumored to be on Cashman’s short list all winter despite his penchant for tantrums; he hit .277 with 21 homers last year and would probably be a good fit for the Yanks if they could put a muzzle on him. A more exciting – though less likely – option would be to arrange a trade with the Mariners for Richie Sexson (above right, playing DEFENSE), whom the Mariners are reportedly looking to deal. Richie hit .264 with 34 homers and a .338 OBP and wrote 0 inappropriate messages team locker room blackboards last year.

The winter meetings have been in session for 2 days now and just 1 major signing has taken place (The Red Sox signed JD Drew to a 5-year deal worth $70 million), so I think we can expect a flurry of activity over the next few days. Stay tuned…

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, December 04, 2006   7 comments
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In 2009 Curtis Granderson published a book: All You Can Be: Dream It, Draw It, Become It! Granderson "shares the lessons that he learned growing up--the importance of family and choosing the right friends, the power of listening and staying positive, and most important, the value of being yourself."
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Home: San Diego, CA, United States
About Me: Just your average 26 year old Yankees lovin' gal from the SD.
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