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Wake Me Up When The Season Starts
Thursday, March 29, 2007
It's been nearly 6 months since the end of the 2006 season for the Yanks, and they have not been sitting idly on their laurels waiting for another chance in 2007. The Yankees have been working hard all winter, dropping some dead weight and making sure to give the youngsters and their new acquisitions plenty of playing time during Spring Training. Monday afternoon's game against Tampa Bay is looming ever nearer, so let's take a look at what the Yankees have been up to since October and what we can expect for the next 9 months. (I have touched on just the moves I consider to have had the most impact on the team; please do not email me hundreds of "you forgot to mention Sal Fasano!!!" notes)

Randy Johnson
Jaret Wright
Gary Sheffield
Bernie Williams
Octavio Dotel
Tanyon Sturtze
Aaron Guile

Fresh Blood:
Andy Pettitte
Kei Igawa
Doug Mientkiewizc
Todd Pratt
Josh Phelps
Chris Britton
Humberto Sanchez
Luis Vizcaino

Bobby Abreu sustained a strained oblique and missed the first few weeks of the spring, but since coming back he's had 2 homers, 1 double, 1 triple, and 5 RBI's and has walked his OBP up to .476, so it doesn't look like we have anything to worry about in the long run. Wang strained his hamstring just last week and likely won't be able to return until the end of April, which has caused a bit of trouble in the rotation, but he should be able to bounce right back from the strain and have another great season. Andy Pettitte gave us a bit of a scare when he missed a start due to back spasms, and most recently, 5th starter candidate Jeff Karstens felt some "tightness" in his elbow and left a game early, but luckily both Pettitte and Karstens have sprung back from their ailments. Of course, one cannot leave out our dear friend Carl Pavano when discussing injuries: he had a relatively smooth spring, suffering only a bruised foot and a close encounter with a swarm of bees (no, that is not a joke.).

Batter Me Up:
Much of the roster will look the same as last year: A-Rod, Jeter, Cano, Damon, Matsui, Abreu, Melky, Posada, and Giambi are staples, of course, and Cairo is back to serve as utility man once more. Torre wisely determined that the Yankees would be better off putting Giambi in the DH spot and letting others take over the defensive duties at 1st, so it looks like Mientky will be sharing that role with Josh Phelps (Andy Phillips was considered the obvious co-firstbaseman when Torre first announced the plan to "platoon" the position, but Phelps has been on fire all spring so Phillips is out of luck).

That Brenda Walsch is Such a Pitch:
2007's pitching staff is not exactly the stuff of legends, but with the Yanks' offense, who cares? As long as the starting 5 can keep a collective ERA of 5.00 or below, we'll let the offense take care of the rest. Wang, Pettitte, Moose, Pavano (assuming those bees don't follow him to the Bronx) and Igawa will be the starting rotation (until inevitable injuries set in on one or all of them); Mariano, Farnsworth, Proctor, and Myers are lined up for relief, but there are still many other spots for the likes of Karstens, Henn, Britton, Vizcaino, Rasner, Bruney....

Lords of the 27th Ring:
If the Yankees are really going to win this in '07 (which would require actually getting past the ALDS...), there are a few folks that could really make it or break it for them:
A-Rod - If he goes on a hot streak, he has the power to amp up the entire team. If he falls apart mentally (again), he can bring the morale down right with him.
Clemens - I will continue to cross my fingers that Steinbrenner will dupe the Rocket into returning. I don't care how old he is or how ridiculous his demands are, I will take the Rocket over 99.9% of all MLB pitchers in a second.
Hughes - Hopefully he won't be needed this year, but if there are enough implosions and/or injuries, he could end up being the difference for the team.

And, finally:

5 Predictions for the 2007 Yankees:
5. Clemens returns in June
4. Pavano remains healthy....through half the season.
3. Cano wins the batting title
2. Mientkiewizc saves the Yankees 89324 errors, and racks up 5 hits all year.
1. A-Rod has a great season, an amazing post-season, and achieves record-setting numbers, but is still booed and leaves New York as soon as physically possible.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, March 29, 2007   3 comments
Direct Me to DirecTV (and to better puns, please)
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Being that I live many, many miles from the Bronx (2830.02 according to Mapquest), it should come as no surprise that the ongoing DirecTV soap opera has peaked my interest, as the Yankees Chick requires the Extra Innings package to enjoy all the glorious Yankees action. I have been holding off on signing up with DirecTV for as long as possible in hopes that one of the cable carriers (INDEMAND and EchoStar are the 2 that have been offering the package) will match DirecTV's $700 million offer, but the season opens in 5 days and it's looking like I'm going to have to wrangle one of those heinous dishes onto my roof ASAP.

Since I know that DirecTV is available in my area (approximately 85% of the homes in my neighborhood are equipped with the aforementioned dishes; I am pretty sure the local cable company's thrilling 300 stations of bad music that you must scroll through to get to the HD channels must have irritated them all enough to take a jackhammer to their cable boxes), and the cost is comparable to what I pay for my current cable, the move to satellite would not actually pose any significant inconveniences for me. Making the jump to DirecTV would no doubt be an issue for many baseball afficianados; in particular people for whom the DirecTV subscription will cost more than their current cable costs and many folks who are not "eligible" to use DirecTV (AKA anyone whose landlord will not let them install a dish, or who does not have a landline telephone to connect to, or whose residence that doesn't have a "clear view of the souther sky"....not to mention all the baseball fans living in caves, submarines, and panic rooms!!). Assuming the contract gets finalized and Extra Innings does indeed become exclusive to DirecTV, there are going to be many people who are either shelling out extra money to make the switch or forced to watch or listen to all the games on their computer screen - - - which, of course, equates to a boatload of complaint letters for MLB.

The contract has stirred up a delicious pot of controversy, not just with consumers but with some members of congress. Former-Future-President John Kerry* led a hearing today to make the point that MLB is not serving their fans - - as he pointed out, tax-payers have spent over $3.7 billion to build new ballparks in the past 10 years (thank you, San Diegans... anyone that has gone to a baseball game at Qualcomm and attest to the value of Petco Park) and MLB should be responsive to the uproar it has caused among the fans. MLB's president Bob Dupuy, who attended the meeting, said that MLB would be more than happy to offer the rights to a cable provider had they offered the same contract terms, but that no one had done so. While I don't think the deal and its accompanying complications is necessarily "fair" or "right", I highly doubt pressure from congress could convince MLB to accept a lower bid to keep the fans happy.

As for me, I suppose I'll be giving DirecTV a call in the morning to order my beautiful dish. Perhaps they can paint it to look like a baseball?

*As a side-note, while I appreciate the fact that Kerry is doing his best to respond to the complaints of his constituents, I have to admit that I find it more than just a tad amusing/perturbing that this hearing took only a matter of days to occur while GWB and Cheney's pet project/AKA war has been going on for 4 years now with no justification and no clear sign of an end in sight...ahem.


posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, March 27, 2007   8 comments
Listen to the Yankees Chick on the Radio Tonight! Please.
Monday, March 26, 2007
3/27/07 UPDATE: Thank you to all of the folks that listened last night!! I appreciate the support, and I especially appreciate the feedback via comments here and email that I have received from many of you.

If you missed the excitement live, you can listen to the archive here: http://www.nybaseballonline.com/260307NYBOHour.mp3. The first 2 guests are Matt Cerrone from Metsblog and Mets beat reporter Adam Rubin, and the Yankees Chick comes in at about minute 44.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

That's right kiddos, your beloved (let me believe that) Yankees Chick will be discussing all the latest and greatest Yanks news (the "greatest" being that Pavano will likely be starting on opening day, the news of which brought great joy and anticipation of hilarity - and perhaps a smidgen of wistful hope - to my heart) on New York's AM 1240 radio this evening. I'll be joining the broadcast at about 11:40pm EST/8:40 PDT.

You can listen live through 1240 AM's website: http://www.am1240wgbb.com/ Too late for liveness, sorry....listen to the archive!

The broadcast will be archived after the show is over, so do not fear if you cannot listen live. Assuming I don't completely humiliate myself in some manner, I will post the archive shortly after it is done.

I hope you'll all tune and support the Yankees Chick - and I'd love to hear your feedback (even bad things, I suppose...)!

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, March 26, 2007   14 comments
Congratulations to Mr Wang For Being The First Starting Pitcher on the 2007 DL!
Saturday, March 24, 2007
wangsterCarefulllll....caaaaaaaarefulll....don't stretch anything......DAMMIT!

In yet another clear-cut case of "why haven't these people heard of stretching", Mr. Chien-Ming Wang has strained his hamstring and will be sidelined for the first 3 weeks of the season. The Wangster summed up the injury and its timing as "very sad" and that he "hope[s] it gets better"; I suppose if you are a non-english speaking pitcher, those are a couple good phrases to memorize once you get injured.

andy pandyWang and Pettitte were the two being considered for the excitement/pressure of opening-day starting duties, and while it would seem a safe bet that Pettitte would be defaulted into that role, his own bodily dysfunctions (back spasms, to be exact) mean that he won't be chosen as the opener either....which means....wait for it.....
It's looking like the Yankees Chick's personal saviour Carl Pavano will be sauntering (carefully, please!) up to the mound on opening day. I joke that there is nothing CP could do to redeem himself in my eyes, but I suppose if he whips out a good opening day performance I might trust him 0.009% more than I do at these moment.

j. karstensWang's ill-timed injury/Bahamavention also means that the Yanks will get to give one of their Spring Training pitchers a try-out as the 5th man in the rotation for the first couple weeks of the season. Jeff Karstens is the obvious top choice for the job, since he has pitched for the Yankees a bit in the past and has had a successful spring - 2.70 ERA, 11 strikeouts and 0 walks given up in 13.1 innings pitched.

The good news is that Wang's injury shouldn't pose long-term problems; he should be back in the rotation in late April/early May. The bad news, of course, is that I don't really enjoy writing about injuries unless they are occurring to non-Yankees or Carl Pavano, so I think I'm done for the day...

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Saturday, March 24, 2007   5 comments
Long Division Lesson
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
With opening day just 12 short days away (but who's counting?), the Yankees Chick will follow the baseball blogging trend and preview each division. Not being the type to simply provide you with cold stats, I'll break this down in my usual fashion: 3 parts entertainment, 2 parts information, and 6 parts jabs at Carl Pavano and the Red Sox. Let's do it!

ah man!NL West: This perennially weak division could show a marked improvement in performance this year! Only 2 of the 5 teams (LA and SD) has a .500+ record in 2006, but Arizona, San Francisco, LA and Colorado have all had relatively successful springs (let's not discuss the Padres' spring, which has brought nothing but pain to me thus far). Of the 5, San Francisco made the boldest moves this off-season, paying big bucks for Zito, resigning Balco Barry, and bringing a San Diego contingent of Ryan Klesko (have fun, Giants!), Dave Roberts, and skipper Bruce Bochy up north. With San Diego's pitching (Maddux, Peavy, Young, Hensley, and Gout-meister Boomer) and the Dodgers' added offense, I anticipate another SD-LA close call at the end of the season.

piniella on fireNL Central: Despite their World Series win, I don't see the Cardinals as a sure-thing for this division. They were wise to lock up Chris Carpenter, and of course they still have Pujols, but is that enough to ensure that Cinncy, Houston, Milwaukee, or the remodeled Cubs can't sneak up on them (Sorry, I'm leaving Pittsburgh off the list for obvious reasons)? I don't think so. The Cubs in particular will be exciting to watch this year - the additions of Soriano and the crazy man himself Lou Piniella have changed their dynamic drastically. A few bucks on the Cubs to win the NLC could be a very good bet.

NL East: Once again, this is going to be all Mets all the time. Phillies are looking good, but they don't have a chance against Reyes, Wright, Beltran, et al.

barry baked zitiAL West: I call this division the "who? Oh yeah, those teams" division. Not a one of these 4 teams did anything thrilling this winter, but since the A's lost Zito I'm looking to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of California of USA of Earth of Milky Way to win it.

AL Central: With the exception of the Royals, this division is really shaping up to be a hot competition. The White Sox got edged out by the Twins and Tigers last season, but any one of those 3 could feasibly win. The Twins and Tigers have amazing pitchers, but the White Sox have the offense in Dye, Konerko and Thome. The dark horse here is Cleveland, who, while not particularly impressive last year, has cultivated a very capable team for 2007. Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore have the potential to be dominating, and if Cliff Lee makes it back from his injury soon, their pitching is solid. It's entirely possible that the wild card team will come from the central again, but even picking 2 teams to advance from this division is tough right now.

huuuuh??AL East: Obviously I have a Yankees bias here (I know, you're shocked), but bias or not the Yankees are the team to beat. Their offense is unrivaled, and as long as the pitching doesn't completely implode (I accept that there will be the usual 82389274 injuries this year, I'm just hoping it doesn't go beyond that) they should have no trouble getting to the post season again (we'll worry about winning those games when they get there...). Boston has the edge on the pitching right now, but they have a big hole in closer-ville and if Clemens comes to NY that edge will shift mighty quickly. If the wildcard doesn't come from the AL Central and the Yanks do take the East as I assume/hope they will, Toronto could give Boston a run for their money for that spot. Orioles and Devil Rays...Please accept my condolences.

Now that I've humored non-Yankees fans by offering some non-Yankees content, let me give you a quick reminder of where the Yanks are at at this point in the Spring: After beating the Phillies today their record improved to 12-7 (there is a tie as well, but I refuse to report it as I am not a soccer fan), and Abreu played for the first time since straining his oblique. Igawa is looking stable, and while we all prefer domination, stability is a dandy alternative to Shawn Chacon, so we'll take what we can get. They will be resting tomorrow but play Cinncy on Thursday!

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, March 20, 2007   12 comments
Look What We Have Here!
Sunday, March 18, 2007
the who award?!Congratulations to Phil for winning the "Kevin Lawn Minor League Player of the Year Award"!! Yeah, I've never heard of it either.

Philip Hughes, prospect numero uno for the Yanks, has been assigned to AAA for the 2007 season, but the baseball world will have a keen eye trained on him all year. He's only 20 years old, but he's already made quite the name for himself and his major league debut is highly anticipated. Are you excited? You should be. Here are a few reasons why:

awHe is ranked higher than almost any other prospect. Baseball Digest put him 2nd on their list of the top 50 prospects for 2007, right behind Kansas City's potential future 3rd baseman Alex Gordon, and MiLB.com ranked him 4th (behind OF Delmon Young, the aforementioned Gordon, and RHP Homer Bailey). In 2006 Baseball America called him the Yankees # 1 prospect, even saying that he had the best control in the Yankee system - - and projected him as the Yankees # 1 starter in 2010 (3 more years?! Blast.). It should also be noted that the Red Sox have just one player on MiLB's top 50 list (outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury at #36) and 2 on Baseball Digest's list (Jacoby at #38 and RHP Clay Buchholz at #47)...not that it really matters, but pointing out Boston's weaknesses makes me happy so I thought I'd mention it.

His performance last year was pure golden magic (that's a technical term). In 26 games between A Tampa and AA Trenton he had a 2.13 ERA and struck out 168, and in the 146 innings he pitched he gave up just 5 home runs. For comparison, MiLB's #3 prospect, RHP Homer Baily (whose name is quite unfortunate for a pitcher) pitched 138 innings, struck out 156, and gave up 7 homers.

will you sign this for me?The big kids are impressed. Jorge Posada called him the "best arm in camp" during last year's Spring Training, and Giambino went so far as to compare him to a young Roger Clemens (they said those nice things and then made PH sit down and practice his autographs for 24 straight hours with no Gatorade breaks; see right). That is high praise for a kid who was just in high school 3 years ago... I think the best compliment I received at age 20 was something like "good job on that statistics test".

He hasn't been traded. The Yanks have historically used their farm as little more than trade bait factories, but despite many offers the Yankees have deemed PH essentially off-limits. If Steinbrenner can be convinced to hang on to a youngster rather than trade him for immediate gratification, one can assume that the kid has proven talent worth waiting for.

We most likely won't be seeing Mr. Hughes this season - barring a bad Pavano injury and a Kei Igawa implosion - but we'll be keeping close tabs on him down in Scranton/Wilkes. Excited yet?


posted by Yankees Chick @ Sunday, March 18, 2007   5 comments
I Want You To Want Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Remember back in 2005 when A-Rod led the league in slugging % and homers, had the best batting average of his career (.321!), was voted an All-Star and a Silver Slugger, and won his second AL MVP award? Do you recall the cheers of "MVP! MVP!" that rang throughout the world (or the stadium, either way) every time he stepped up to the plate?

So do I.

But ever since his dismal performance in the regrettable (yet sadly unforgettable) 2004 ALCS against some horrible and likely terrorist (or at the very least criminal) team from New England, the love and admiration folks were showering upon the poor boy has virtually dried up - and the support is not showing any signs of returning. Now, I'll readily admit that he has certainly not been one to count on during dire straits, and that there have been times that his failure to come up with a big hit or a great catch has warranted some serious booing and perhaps even a profanity-laced slur or two, but I have a hard time accepting that anyone could discount his talent even amidst his unclutchiest of unclutchy moments. Sadly, there appears to be fewer and fewer A-Rod supporters as each day goes by, and the hole he's dug himself into just keeps getting deeper - - it seems there is nothing he can do that could possibly turn the fans back around to his side at this point. Even with a sweet .321 batting average thus far in Spring Training and a very nice catch at 3rd yesterday, every bad swing and called strike ignites a rash of wrath (say that 10 times fast) one would normally reserve for truly horrid specimens like G.W.

As we've previously discussed, A-Rod's Boras-crafted dandy of a contract includes an opt-out clause that allows the Rodster to declare free agency if he so desires after this season. There has been much speculation that he will indeed take advantage of that option and bust out of New York faster than McGwire out of a steroids hearing, but he has maintained his "I'm sticking with the Yankees!" claim throughout the media madness...until a very strange and unexpected interview with WFAN this week during which he sang a slightly different tune. Surprisingly, A-Rod proclaimed that it would be the fans that would determine whether he stays or goes after this season. As he put it, he wants to make sure he is wanted by "fans and management" if he's going to stick around, and he concedes that they very well may have "had enough" of him if he doesn't whip things into high gear ASAP. While not exactly a threat, he is essentially making us (and the team) aware that if we don't shape up and start being nice, he'll be gone. He's clearly a sensitive soul and all the booing really does affect him; he has been tormented pretty much to his breaking point by now. No one likes to feel unwanted, whether you're a dorky 7th grader (me, obv) or the highest-paid man in sports, and if I were A-Rod I'd be taking my .305 lifetime average and 464 homers the heck outta dodge in search of more appreciative pastures.

In other words, let's consider A-Rod as good as gone, and I don't blame him. There's only so much torture a person will take - even Tina eventually left Ike.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, March 15, 2007   7 comments
As Long As It Aint The Yanks
Monday, March 12, 2007
owwwwwHead on! Apply directly to the controversy! Head on! Apply directly to the controversy! Head on! Apply directly to the controversy!

Like any hardcore sports fan, the Yankees Chick loves hearing anything remotely resembling bad news for a rival team - - and, happily, there has been a bounty of trouble to keep me satisfied of late. I hereby cordially invite you to join me on a glorious tour through the world of MLB debacles...get pumped!

Exhibit A: Duaner Sanchez (Mets): The Mets' 2006 (before he busted his shoulder in a runaway cab crash in July) set-upper was stirring up a big pot of controversy down at camp last week by showing up late and essentially being a fatass. After angering his teammates and coaches for a bit too long, good ol' Willy kicked him out on Thursday and told him not to bother showing up again till Sunday. Willy and GM Omar Minaya had a little sit-down with Duaner on Saturday and apparently ironed things out, which is good for them, I suppose, but very boring for me.

Exhibit B: Cliff Lee (Indians): I really do not understand why so many baseball players suffer from abdominal strains....do sit-ups not exist in the world of baseball? Cliff has been placed on the DL, and though it will only take him a week or so to recover he'll have to miss the first few weeks of the season since he won't be in tip-top shape. He was scheduled to be the Indians' #3 starter, so they'll have to keep one of their minor league spring training invitees around for the start of the season to round out the rotation.

dream on...Exhibit C: Damian Jackson (no one): Did you know that teams are morally (and perhaps legally!) required to offer major-league contracts to 33-year-old infielders that have only hit over .260 twice in an 11-year career? I sure didn't! This fine specimen (left, dreaming of a .275 season) threw a bit of a tantrum upon getting cut by the Dodgers...despite the fact that they had only signed him to a minor-league deal in the first place. Rageaholics anonymous could be in his future (perhaps Kevin Brown could be his sponsor?).

Exhibit D: Matsuzaka (BoSox): Boston's (103) million dollar man got a bit torn up by the Orioles on Sunday, giving up 6 hits and 4 runs in 4 innings and making 2 fielding blunders to boot. His performance officially assuaged my jealousy by approximately 1.62%.

st3r01dsExhibit E: Gary Matthews Jr (Angels): By far the most exciting controversy of 2007! If his .313 batting average last year (over 55 points better than he hit last season and almost 40 points better than he has ever hit) didn't make the Angels suspicious he may have been juicing (see right; st3r01ds?), last week's allegations that he had been purchasing illegal steroids off the internet (I guess some people DO read those "v1cod1n v1@gr@ v@11ium no prescription needed!!" emails) probably tipped them off at last. He has thus far refused to comment on the obvious trouble other than apologizing to the Angels for the "distraction" the hoopla caused, but the Angels are understandably more than just a tad upset about the recent developments. They are even looking in to taking legal action against him - despite the fact that the steroid use came before he was an Angel (as in a member of the Angels baseball club, not an angel in the moral/religious sense. Ha! I'm clever!). I'm not sure if that will be possible considering the timing of the juicing, but I like that the Angels are at least trying to take a stand. Too bad the Giants won't do the same.

And because I'm an equal-opportunity employer....
Exhibit F: Carl Pavano (do I really need to remind you what team he plays for?): The latest in the "how many games can a pitcher under contract actually miss?" soap opera is a missed game last Friday, apparently to attend to his ailing girlfriend. As long as "sick girlfriend" isn't secret code for "my belly hurts" or "I got a paper cut", I'll continue to hold out hope that he will indeed pitch at least 10 games in 2007.

Remember... only 19 days days till baseball officially begins!

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, March 12, 2007   7 comments
If I were Big Stein (And I thank my godless lucky stars every day that I'm not)
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
...and 2 horses for my men! Saddle up kids, cuz we're going on a wild ride to Stein-ville!

Big Stein has historically had a penchant for bringing whomever he fancies into the Bronx and onto his team, always seeming a bit like the bad fantasy team managers that forgo the stats and draft all the players whose numerology matches up or only players that have endorsement deals with Nike (Boot Barn deals are clearly not as cool...I'm sorry, Mr. Klesko). We fans have felt both the benefits and the detriments of his childlike "bring me 2 of every animal - - - I mean all-star!" attitude; Roger Clemens certainly didn't hurt the Yanks, but our lives would have been a whole lot better with about 99% less Mondesi action. Now that Cashman has taken the reigns away from the Big Man (thank you, baseball gods [Babe, Mick, and Joe, obviously]) the team has become significantly more stable and the accounts-payable department has had a few less zeroes to write on the payroll - both priceless qualities in the eye of the Yankees Chick - but the old thrill/fear of knowing that the Yanks could and would snap up whoever was on the Stein's radar is a thing of the past. In honor of the the tradition that once was, I've put together a little list of a few players I'd certainly have on my "throw this cash at them and bring them to me" list if a horrible Freaky-Friday-esque mixup warped me from Yankees Chick to George Steinbrenner:

dont be so mad rogerThe first name on my dream list would, not surprisingly, be Roger Clemens. This dream is actually not so much a fantasy, since the Rocket could very well be joining the team in just a few short breaths if the Red Sox and Astros fail to entice him with enough shiny objects and family time. If this were the "olden days" (aka a few short years ago), though, Big Stein would have already thrown about $36 million Roger's way even though the Rocket still has not officially announced that he'll even be playing next year.

puuujolsAlbert Pujols would certainly be on my list, as anyone who hits that many home runs and has such a sweet lifetime batting average (.332 in 6 seasons....!) should clearly be a Yankee - to be a good player on any other time is obviously equatable to a mortal sin. I imagine Big Stein dreams nightly of trading Phillip Hughes, A-Rod, and "cash considerations" (think sketchy briefcases full of hundreds) for a 1 year deal with Pujols (bonus points if Pujols gets injured and Stein still insists on making the deal).

strike!In addition to Clemens and Pujols - and I would be shocked if Sweet Stein hasn't at least mentioned the idea of selling the farm in order to acquire either of them - Johan Santana cannot be forgotten. I don't think anyone would object to spending Matsuzaka- or Zito- caliber cash on this champ when he becomes a free agent in 2008 (assuming the Twins don't pony up the bucks themselves for an extension before that becomes an issue), but the true Stein way would be to strike now on Johan rather than wait patiently for him to become available via free agency, shipping prospects and a few proven position players off to Minnesota to bring Johan into his Bronx lair pronto.

aw he looks niceMets' third baseman David Wright would surely be on my "if I were Stein" list, too. The reasoning for this would have little to do with Wright's impressive stats; no, Big Stein would simply covet him because people like the kid. A megalomaniac like Steinbrenner has a near desperate need to assure himself that no fan in all of baseball could possibly like a non-Yankee player, particularly a player from a bitter rival team. Now that Wright has emerged as a talented, charming, all-together lovable (except for those nasty Republican tendancies, which have turned me off to him entirely) New York athlete, Big Stein must be keeling over in an ulcer-related pain that cannot be assuaged without moving the delightful young man across town.

The good news, my friends, is that I am not Steinbrenner (although I must admit that it would make me absolutely love that man if he had spent over a year creating an alternate identity as the Yankees Chick). The better news, though, is that Cashman is also not Steinbrenner, in any way, sense, or form. Cash's values have proven themselves to be so far from those of Stein that the fear of a Julio Franco or Sammy Sosa signing can virtually be considered impossible. Had Cash not asserted himself over the past few years, I would not be so sure...

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, March 07, 2007   7 comments
I Bet You Will Love This
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Now that Spring Training has begun and we have all had ample time (aka one week) to check out how our veterans held up over the long winter (well-played, Carl) and make sure our go-to kids are still everything we wish them to be (gold stars for Jeter, A-Rod, Damon, Matsui), I think the time has come to buckle down and get serious about the season. By "get serious", I am of course referring to studying up on the odds and laying down some cold hard cash on these ponies!*

Bookies the world around have been grinding out the odds for the 2007 season, and anyone with any level of mature intelligence knows that if a bookie says it, it must be true. Not surprisingly, the Yankees are toppin' the ol' odds charts in multiple categories, and for some reason the Washington Nationals do not make many appearances anywhere near the top of anything odds-realted.

The top picks for the potential World Series champ are relatively obvious:


I don't find any of these odds to be particularly enticing, as the top few teams in the league are generally pretty easy to predict (except for Los Tigres last year...). The Cubs line was a bit of a surprise, but those master bookies must see a glorious glimmer of hope in Lou Piniella's bald spot and Soriano's special bat.

Sportsbook.com also offers predictions on win-totals for each team.

TeamProjected Wins

These projections really provide little as far as insight or even entertainment, as I am pretty sure the bookies didn't even need to put their bookie-knowledge to full use to "calculate" these predictions.

Another favorite MLB bet to make (or take, if you are the bookie) is the home-run wager. Who do you think will hit the most regular-season home runs in '07? (this wager takes players from both leagues into account)

Ryan Howard4-1
Albert Pujols5-1
David Ortiz8-1
Alfonso Soriano15-1
Jim Thome20-1
Manny Ramirez20-1
Andruw Jones40-1
Vladimir Guerrero50-1
Barry Bonds100-1

This one I actually do find quite interesting. Andruw Jones, who just won the title in his league in 2005 and hit 41 last season, was given worse odds that Thome or Manny, who are both significatly older than he and have certainly shown signs of aging. As a Yankees fan, it would fill my little Yankee heart with joy to see A-Rod win it again, and so long as none of his immediately family members or poker buddies takes ill, I think A-Rod will do quite well this year. I, of course, would never place bets....but for all you heathens, 12-1 on A-Rod is looking like it could pan out very well come October.

*No bets were placed in the writing of this article. I will admit to nothing if questioned.
posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, March 06, 2007   1 comments
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Name: Yankees Chick
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About Me: Just your average 26 year old Yankees lovin' gal from the SD.
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