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Gimme a D! Gimme an E! Gimme a Fense Who the Hell Needs Drills?!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Time sure does fly when there's not a Yankees game to sit down and watch every night, doesn't it?

It's been a couple weeks since I last had a moment to stop by here and chit-chat, but not because there hasn't been anything about which I could blather. Quite the contrary! I had a fabulous time watching the WBC and even went to see the USA humiliate themselves against our superior Japanese brethren on Sunday evening, allowing myself to holler such foreign phrases as "GO D-WRIGHT!", "USA! USA!", and "YOU BLEW IT JETER!" After watching the games on TV and seeing the semi-final up close and personal (and by "up close and personal" I mean "far, far away in the upper deck"), I think it's fair to say that the WBC has highlighted a fundamental truth that has been overlooked in the MLB lately:


The Domincan Republic, Venezuela, China, and the USA all lost huge games thanks to lazy and sloppy defense, while teams like Japan and Korea cruised past their competition with seamless, textbook play in the field. When Team Japan was in the field, you could just about guarantee that any ground ball hit to the infield was going to result in an out - no need to fear the bobble or wayward throw. The half-assed fielding efforts displayed by the likes of Dunn (not entirely his fault; what was he doing in right field anyway?!) and even our dear Jeet offered no such assurances.

I'm sure that defensive drills are boring as hell, and there's nothing overtly sexy about watching a game packed with tight defense (we don't cheer for defensive feats with quite the same gusto as we cheer a home run... unless a player dives into the stands, I suppose). Everyone loves a stolen base or a stand-up triple, but the results of the WBC make it clear that defense is important too.

Let's hope Jeter brings that message back to Tampa.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, March 24, 2009  
  • At 11:05 AM, Blogger YankeeFiend23 said…

    I remember reading some where that while most squads would half ass at best the pregame drills the Asian teams would do full speed drills prior to every game. Given the fact the 3/4ths of the finals were made up of said Asian teams, I think they may be onto something.

    With Abreu gone I hope we see less of the half ass defense out there. Now if we could some how jettison Damon.....

  • At 11:39 AM, Anonymous AceUofMer said…

    I have mixed feeling on the WBC style.
    1. Most guys aren't in top shape yet. Power Bats would play a bigger role later in the year.

    2. When Japan got up 2 runs, it really was over. Had their closer/converted starter just threw across the plate, No way would they have tied it up. They were not designed to make up more then a run at a time. Thats the frustrating thing with simple play. Yeah its gritty and looked at positivly, but, Its not perfect, or "the way"

    3.Defense is a big reason Im excited about this year as a Yankee. We lost a lot of runs over the years. Now we have a gold glove at first. 3 outfielders that aren't just batting lineup standing spots and I think a focused Cano.

  • At 7:17 AM, Blogger Sailing Yankees fan said…

    DEFENSE DEFENSE!!! Wait is this the giants game?? On this subject I do take baseball defense to be a huge part of the game that we do over look. Yankees have done a good job filling in this drought this year our outfield and second base I believe were the black hole of defense now if Cano can "keep his eye on the ball" and we fill our out field with Damon, Gardner and Nady less runs will accumulate do to balls in the gap. Keep Melky on the bench and Matsui as a DH we should be GRRREAT.

  • At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    lol - defense..

    johnny damon throws like a girl, he always has.

    jeter is one of the worst defensive short stops and is getting older.

    arod 'hates pop-ups'

    posada questionable sholder

    cano 'focused' on the latest episode of barney and a glass of apple juice

  • At 2:58 PM, Anonymous AceUofMer said…

    Damons arm is why he's in left. I don't think our left fielders arm is going to be the item that brought down the yanks.

    Jeter is one of the best readers at short. For how must he's lost due to age, he's that many steps closer to begin with. He's not a weakness. He's not the best, but, he's good.

    A-Rod is a gold glove one second and drops a pop-up the next. Cano fumbles a grounder, then snags a hot shot. Whats this tell me? They are good enough, something stops them from being good enough everytime. ignor arod and he'll probably win a gold glove. get on cano and he'll be fine.

    Jorge will be average and with the rest he's supposed to get, he should stay that way all year. His problem defensivly don't bother me till future seasons. He's just fine for 2009

  • At 1:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Check out ESPN the magazine Baseball preview issue,article on why defense matters

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