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B.Q.E. o' the Week: Svengali
Saturday, February 28, 2009
What is it about Scott Boras that seemingly hypnotizes otherwise sane people into behaving as if he and his clients are eligible for some sort of special treatment the rest of the world shall never receive?

He's pulled a number of stunts over the years that made me cringe, but what really makes my blood boil is the ludicrous responses he manages to illicit out of club owners and management as a result of these antics! After his and Manny's latest refusal of yet another unnecessarily generous contract offer from the Dodgers, while the rest of us were rolling our eyes and mocking Manny, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt had this to say:
We love Manny Ramirez. And we want Manny back, but we feel we are negotiating against ourselves. When his agent finds those ‘serious offers’ from other clubs, we’ll be happy to re-start the negotiations.
Um... really? I do appreciate the little sarcastic jab he tossed in there directed right at Boras ("suuuuuuure buddy, you just let us know when you find those other offers, *cough* LIAR *cough"), but why is he still drooling over Manny? If he doesn't really believe that Boras has any other offers out there - and I am with him on that one - then why are you falling all over yourself to proclaim your love for that jackass?!

Idiots, all around.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Saturday, February 28, 2009   5 comments
Better to Hit Them Before They Hit Your Pitch
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The Yanks won their second ST game this afternoon, thanks in large part to Jorgie Porgie's homer and RBI dub. My sympathetic shoulder pain is subsiding with each successful Jorgie at-bat and I'm feeling very optimistic about his role on the team this year. He wasn't catching yet, of course, but he'll get there. At least his swing is working.

My main concern for today's game, though, was Hughsie. In his short time on the major league roster he admittedly hasn't given us much reason to expect greatness out of him, but I'm not giving up yet. He's only 22 and wowed everyone who saw him in the minors, and I think there's plenty of time left for him to get it together and contribute to the team. Now that the Yanks have added CC and AJ to the roster, Hughes's success is not quite as crucial as it was last year (it was both unwise and unfair [and cheap] for the Yankees to expect Hughsie and IPK to fit right into the rotation last year - did we really think that was going to work out perfectly?! Man we're stupid) but he could certainly be a vital part of the rotation at some point.

So how'd he do today? Well... the good news is that he pitched two hitless/scoreless innings! He threw 33 pitches and 22 of them were strikes. Unfortunately, he somehow managed to hit two of the first three Rays he faced. Never mind, though - still a positive outing overall and Girardi thought he did well for his first time out.

IPK tomorrow! Yeah, I'm still holding out hope for him too.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, February 26, 2009   1 comments
A Good Omen from A-Rod and a Strong Message for the Melk Man
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Ladies and gentledudes, baseball is finally here!!!

The Yanks kicked off the 2009 pre-season with a game against the Jays today, and they started things off with style with a 6-1 win. 18 guys combined for 11 hits, and both Brett Gardner and A-Rod hit homers in their respective first at-bats. The Ro(i)dster really soothed my worried soul today by proving he can set aside all the dramz and focus in on the game despite the awkward cloud of tsk-tsking that follows him everywhere he goes (although I must offer a pro-tip to my dear A-Rod: once you point your finger at someone as your drug-smuggling juice provider, you might want to avoid being seen in public with him for at least a couple weeks). Let's hope that emotional strength stays with him once he has to face the real world in New York.

As for Gardner, his home run made it perfectly clear that he has every intention of earning himself that centerfield gig. Pack your bags, Melky...

Up next? Hughsie is starting tomorrow. I'm giddy with nerves. Can you believe I'm still holding out a smidgen of hope for the kid?

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, February 25, 2009   5 comments
Holy HELL I Hate it When...
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
...people get all up in arms about players participating in the WBC.

Don't get me wrong - I didn't just fall off the ol' turnip truck, I understand that there is a real risk of injury that comes with playing in the tournament. But the WBC is a unique experience that any player should be thrilled to be a part of and it's no wonder so many of them do anything they can to get on their country's roster. This is an opportunity to play on a world stage, against the best of the best from all corners of the Earth (believe it or not, the USA is not the only country in the world and MLB players are not the only guys that can play baseball). While it may sound cheese-tastic there's no denying the fact that there's something special about seeing all these different countries uniting to show off their skills. Plus, the players play with passion and heart, having fun in a way we don't see often enough - particularly as Yankees fans!

The rosters were announced this evening, and several Yanks (and Bernie!) are playing for a wide variety of teams:

Cano, Robinson DOM
Cervelli, Francisco ITA
Jeter, Derek USA
Liu, Kai CHN
Marte, Damaso DOM
Ramirez, Edwar DOM
Rodriguez, Alex DOM
Vazquez, Jorge MEX
Veras, Jose DOM
Zhang, Zhenwang CHN

Of course it would crush me to see my dear A-Roid or the Jeet get injured, and I certainly understand why guys like AJ Burnett would choose to opt out of the Classic in favor of the tried-and-true ST regimine. For those that want to play, though, they deserve our support! I'm looking at you, Girardi - quit your bitching, buy a WBC hat, and get in the spirit.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, February 24, 2009   3 comments
After One Whole Week of Workouts, Who DOESN'T Need a Break?
Monday, February 23, 2009
The weather in Tampa was perfect for baseball, but Joe Girardi decided his team needed to do something more important than practice their athletic skills today. Instead of suiting up for some drills, Girardi packed the boys onto a bus and shuttled them over to a local billiards hall. The guys spent the day playing two 8-ball tournaments (Mo and Phil Coke won the first one, and then Mo went on to win the second with Dandy Andy!), playing cards, and shooting darts.

It sounded a tad on the silly side at first (workouts just started - there's no way you're burned out yet!), but after hearing what the players had to say about the experience, I think Girardi was really onto something. For the past few years, the Yankees have really been lacking any semblence of the "fun" factor. Regardless of how good their lineup was, they never looked like they were enjoying themselves, much less each other. With the exception of Cano and Melky dancing around and the occassional Shelley Duncan arm-breaker of a high-five, the usual vibe on the bench stayed well within the "stoic" range. Having the best talent is obviously important, but if none of the guys cares about anyone but themselves it's hard to put the pieces together.

Much as I hate to admit it, why the hell else did the Red Sox win in 2004? They were no better than the Yankees when you compare each position, but those idiots loved each other and were having the time of their lives. The Yankees were just going through the motions and that only got them so far.

So my vote is for more days like today. It gave everyone a chance to relax, but also the opportunity to get to know each other as human beings rather than just "that guy I work out with", particularly since there are so many new faces this year. Mark TexMex said it was the most fun he's ever had in Spring Training, and Damon said it made him want to work even harder for Girardi tomorrow. There's zero doubt that the Yankees are going to have one of the most talented lineups in the league this year - we can count on that. If they can play like they truly want to be out there with each other and not just to earn their salary or pad their personal stats, then we'll really have something.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, February 23, 2009   3 comments
Bern, Bernie, Bern! Your Dreams of a Comeback, That is.
Friday, February 20, 2009
From the "give it up already, dude" file:

Bernie hasn't been on a major league roster since the final game of the 2006 season (AKA "The Year the Yankees Coughed it up to the Tigers and Ruined My Weekend in Vegas"), but he is not content to bask in our adoration and enjoy his twilight years. Despite there being no signs of any interest in him as a player from any team (much less the Yanks), Bernie has yet to retire and has even said he may never do so.

After almost two years of living the recluse life (and by that I mean he was harboring a grudge against the Cash Man for choosing sensibility over sentimentality), Bernie made his triumphant return to New York last September when the Yanks bid adieu to the old stadium, looking the whole time like he was half a second away from trapping Damon in a closet, stealing his jersey and taking the field in his place. Apparently jogging around the infield that night only served to further convince him that he is still capable of playing. Since then he's signed on to play for Puerto Rico in this Spring's WBC, and this week he's down in Tampa working out with his old crew and even hit some pitches off the Wangster.

It's pretty obvious to me that there is virtually zero chance of Bernie ever playing in the MLB again, but I hope someone has (gently, perhaps with a Torre-supplied pat on the back) relayed that information to the man himself. His refusal to retire is a tad on the pathetic side and leaves everyone in limbo - how can your number be retired if you're pretending to be a viable active player? I'm crossing my fingers that his WBC experience will serve as a lovely and fulfilling last hurrah and he can finally bow out with some dignity.

Watching Rickey Henderson play on the Surf Dawgs was a little bit sad. Let's not repeat that.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Friday, February 20, 2009   6 comments
Actual Baseball Discussion!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
After the initial SI article, sit-down with Gammons, tear-filled press conference, and the media's apparent need to solicit the opinion of every human who has ever touched a baseball or seen a game, I've reached my limit on the A-Rod Juicing Spectacular. Enough is enough. Everyone can make their own decision whether they love and support him or want to put a little syringe next to his name in the record books or think every statistic compiled since approximately 1972 should be ignored. All I want is to see the dude in a freakin World Series.

Luckily for me (and A-Rod), there ARE other things to discuss! The whole crew has arrived in Tampa and they've been working out together for a couple days now, and the first Spring Training game is just 5 days away. The lineups can fluctuate like crazy during ST games as Girardi tries to give all the guys play time - remember, the ST rosters are much larger than they'll be in the regular season - so we'll be seeing a lot of different combinations of lineups over the next few weeks. For the "everyday dudes" who have their spots secured (Jeter, Matsui, Posada, A-Rod, et al) ST is for working out and getting back into the groove, but there are a lot of guys who will be using these games as an audition of sorts.

One dude that's got a lot to prove over the coming weeks is our dear Melk Man. As I noted a couple weeks ago, the Yanks have a surplus of outfielders on the roster. With the addition of Nick Swisher this winter we're up to 6 (and I'm not counting dudes like Austin Jackson who are on the ST roster but realistically have zero chance of being on the list on opening day), and four of them are centerfielders:
  • Johnny Damon
  • Brett Gardner
  • Nick Swisher
  • Melky Cabrera
Damon will obviously be on the roster no matter how his spring goes, but he won't be in centerfield every day (we hope). Instead, the Yanks will be using either Gardner, Swisher, or Melky to play while Damon is DHing. Swisher is considered an option for centerfield - he's played 131 games there over five seasons - but it seems more likely that it will come down to Gardner vs Melky.

Melky has earned himself a lot of supporters over the past few years thanks to some flashy catches and admittedly fabulous dance moves, but after last year's underwhelming performance he's far from a lock for an everyday job. He has more major league experience and a better arm than Gardner, but the Cash Man and Girardi have taken a shine to the "gritty" Gardner and made it clear that he is being considered for the job. They will both be given plenty of opportunities to prove themselves worthy before opening day, but it's Melky who really has something to prove. He set himself up for great expectations after fitting in so well in 2006, but has really let his performance slide since then. If he doesn't impress during Spring Training, he may be out of chances (and Cano would have to find someone else to carpool with).

Who would you put out there?

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, February 19, 2009   2 comments
The Yanks are all BFF, Seriously. Wait, Where's Jorgie?
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
A-Rod continued his Groveling Tour 2009 today by holding a press conference down in Tampa, and this time he had a posse with him. Just about every Yank on the roster showed up, as did much of the staff, including Girardi, the Cash Man, and many of A-Rod's coaches. While A-Rod "explained" his actions (give the guy a break, who among us wouldn't allow our cousin to inject us with a mysterious substance? Come on, it's available over the counter in the Dominican! That means it's safe) and shed a tear or two, his teammates sat stoicly by his side, kindly reserving judgement for their dear, dear friend.

Oh, except for Posada, who got up and left in the middle of the soul-bearing session (in case you missed it: A-Rod is embarrassed and disappointed; repeat that sentiment 10,000 times if you'd like to recreate the press conference for yourself in your own brain) and didn't manage to make a return appearance. Without knowing the full story/his excuse, let's just pretend he ate some bad cheese at the pre-event luncheon and couldn't leave the bathroom. Certainly he wasn't just being a dick, right?

Actually... I don't even care where Jorgie ran off to or what the player's have to say about this latest apology. What's done is done, A-Rod clearly feels bad and he certainly won't be doing anything (that) stupid again. Please let this be the last leg of the Sorry-a-thon.

Can we get some baseball going now?

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, February 17, 2009   12 comments
B.Q.E. o' the Week: Bring it, Bruney
Monday, February 16, 2009
If you watch the MLB channel as incessantly as I do, you've likely realized that they apparently only have approximately three bumpers that they recycle during promos over and over and over and over (and over!) again all the live long day. Every hour for the past week or so we've been treated to Harold Reynolds telling us that the Yankees have bullpen issues and it's difficult for them to get to Mariano in the 9th.

Brian Bruney, who will likely do the set-up work for Mo fairly often in the coming season, took umbrage with that dig and had this to say in response:
I take that personally. I'll show him. See what he's saying mid-year when you're rolling. I want the 8th inning.
Granted, the Brunester said it jokingly and was on Hot Stove later to chat, but I hope he's fundamentally serious. Bruney is 26 and did really well for the brief time that he was healthy last year (he was out from late April all the way until August thanks to a bum foot), going 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA and one save in 31 relief appearances, and could be a big part of the 'pen if he stays healthy. I want to see him prove it to Reynolds and everyone else. With the exception of Mariano, the Yankee bullpen really has been all shades of pathetic over the past few seasons, and I would love to see Bruney "show him"!

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, February 16, 2009   2 comments
Wilkin De La Who?
Friday, February 13, 2009
Ready to cross out the number on your Mike Mussina jersey to Sharpie in the number of a current Yank? Never fear, Peter Abraham has provided us with the official Yankees Spring Training roster complete with each player's jersey number:

2 Derek Jeter INF
11 Brett Gardner OF
12 Cody Ransom INF
13 Alex Rodriguez INF
14 Angel Berroa INF
17 Shelley Duncan INF/OF
18 Johnny Damon OF
19 Kevin Cash C
20 Jorge Posada C
22 Xavier Nady OF
24 Robinson Cano INF
25 Mark Teixeira INF
26 Jose Molina C
27 Joe Girardi MGR
28 Melky Cabrera OF
29 Kei Igawa LHP
30 David Robertson RHP
31 Ian Kennedy RHP
33 Nick Swisher OF/INF
34 A.J. Burnett RHP
36 Edwar Ramirez RHP
38 Brian Bruney RHP
39 Dan Giese RHP
40 Chien-Ming Wang RHP
41 Jose Veras RHP
42 Mariano Rivera RHP
43 Damaso Marte LHP
45 Jason Johnson RHP
46 Andy Pettitte LHP
47 John Rodriguez OF
48 Phil Coke LHP
50 Mick Kelleher COACH
52 CC Sabathia LHP
54 Kevin Long COACH
55 Hideki Matsui OF
56 Tony Pena COACH
57 Mike Harkey COACH
58 Dave Eiland COACH
59 Rob Thomson COACH
60 Todd Linden OF
61 Sergio Mitre RHP
62 Joba Chamberlain RHP
63 Jonathan Albaladejo RHP
64 Andrew Brackman RHP
65 Phil Hughes RHP
66 J.B. Cox RHP
67 Anthony Claggett RHP
68 Wilkin De La Rosa LHP
70 Christian Garcia RHP
71 Eric Hacker RHP
72 Juan Miranda INF
73 Doug Bernier INF
74 Justin Leone INF
75 Francisco Cervelli C
76 Kevin Russo INF
77 Humberto Sanchez RHP
78 Mark Melancon RHP
79 Colin Curtis OF
80 Steven Jackson RHP
81 Kyle Anson C
82 Austin Jackson OF
83 Jesus Montero C
84 Austin Romine C
85 Michael Dunn LHP
86 P.J. Pilittere C
90 Ramiro Pena INF
91 Alfredo Aceves RHP
92 Eduardo Nunez INF
93 George Kontos RHP
94 Kanekoa Texeira RHP

Award yourself 10 points if you were able to read through the whole list without stopping to say "who?"

Obviously most of these no-names won't be making the team and actually wearing these numbers, but it's still a little funny to see all those high digits! Sub-40 numbers are a hot commodity at this point in Yankee history - some of these people should be demoted. Give Igawa #493B.

Notice that despite the Yanks' rude decision not to celebrate Torre during the farewell to the old stadium last year and his recent (painfully) brutally honest book, no one was given jersey #6, and Bernie's #51 is also apparently unofficially off-limits. Whether either number will ever be retired is up for argument, but I certainly wouldn't want to wear #6 or #51 if I were joining the team.

That reminds me... I've gotta say that despite all my hatred towards Manny, I liked his choice to wear #99 in LA last year. At this point that's actually way cooler and more memorable than being another 7, 25, 3, etc. Plus, no one can point at you and say "you aren't good enough to wear [insert legendary player name here]'s number!"

Wise move, Manny.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Friday, February 13, 2009   4 comments
Remember That Catcher Dude We Have?
Thursday, February 12, 2009
A couple weeks ago, when I read that the Red Sox had agreed to give Varitek $5 million with a $5 million club option for 2010*, I actually cackled aloud. "Bobby Abreu can't find a job and this chump gets $5 mil?!"

Then I remembered that the Yankees have a similarly well-loved but aging catcher on their books, and they're paying him a hell of a lot more than that**, and I shut my trap.

In case you've forgotten, Jorge Posada scored himself quite the lucrative deal after his out-of-nowhere 2007 successes (.338/.426/.543), but we didn't see much of him last year. In 2008, the first of his 4-year deal, he played just 51 games thanks to a nagging shoulder injury that eventually resulted in surgery at the end of July. Jorgie performed decently in the few chances he had last year, hitting .268 with 3 homers, but he never had enough time to really warm up before or after the surgery. While he was gone, the catching position was a little bit of a disaster (fit right in with the rest of the team!), with Molina, Pudge, and Chad Moeller (remember?) trying to contribute what they could to the cause while we all wished that Posada would not only make a triumphant return but somehow duplicate what he did in 2007.

So what's going to happen this year? With each year that goes by since the 2000 win over the Mets, the desperation to win another World Series seems to expand exponentially. The mega signings of CC, Burnett, and Tex are really piling the pressure on for the team to succeed this year, and everyone knows that a World Series win (or at least appearance) would do wonders to improve A-Rod's legacy. A healthy, productive, reliable Jorge Posada is key to a successful 2009.

The good news is that Jorge has already arrived in Tampa to start preparing for Spring Training, and everyone - including Jorgie - is optimistic about his health. While only time will tell if he is fully healed from his surgery, there don't appear to be any lingering ill effects. He won't catch a ST game until the middle of March, and the plan for the season is to have him catch about 100-110 games and he'll spend the rest of his time sharing the DH spot with Matsui and Damon. It wouldn't be wise to expect him to hit .300 again, but if we could count on .270 with 20 homers, he'd be worth every penny of the $13 million the Yanks will be paying him this year.

*BTW: Varitek DECLINED arbitration that would have gotten him about $10 million in favor of filing for free agency, and this is what they were able to come up with. Has Boras lost his touch or his mind?

**BTW again:
Jorge Posada is far better than Varitek.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, February 12, 2009   3 comments
Poll Time: Over it or Out on A-Ro(i)d?
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
On Monday evening, fresh from watching A-Rod bare his soul (and alarmingly red eyes... he's either legitimately distraught about the scandal or been spending a little too much time with Michael Phelps), I mentioned that I was unsure as to the level to which I was going to be able to forgive and forget. On one hand, I've been defending and supporting the man for five years now, and I've forgiven players for worse transgressions that this - for some reason I still haven't soured on Clemens (sidenote: give it up already, Rocket); on the other, I held A-Rod to an incredibly high standard due to his sheer talent and was feeling a bit tricked. I've certainly withheld forgiveness for lesser transgressions (damn you, Bubba Crosby!).

A couple of days and a few insightful comments from you folks later, and I've come to terms with the past and I'm ready to move forward. A-Rod would have been a legendary player whether he took steroids or tattooed "straight edge" on his stomach; it's not as if I was fooled into thinking Bubba Crosby was Mickey Mantle. Steroids do not work magic (just ask Guillerma Mota), and A-Rod's successes, while perhaps a tad inflated, can largely be attributed to his natural talent and constant training. Of equal impact on my forgiving mood is the unfortunate but undeniable truth that PED's were being used by everyone from top sluggers (Bonds, Sosa, et al) to idiots who were never going to be stars no matter how many chemical variants they injected into their bums (I'm looking at you, Felix Heredia). Jim Kaat was on the MLB channel the other night discussing the news with Matty and the gang and summed it up perfectly when he said that the bottom line is that every player wants an edge, and that's what people were using to get an edge at that time. That doesn't make it right, but it also wouldn't be right to hold A-Rod at a higher standard than we held spitball throwers or gamblers or greenie-users or cokeheads (the MLB has celebrated some real winners over the years) - especially after he apologized.

Plus... at least he's not doing it anymore.

So I've made my decision. I'm on Team A-Rod and you shan't hear another disparaging remark from me about him on this issue (barring a new report showing he cannibalized babies as part of his steroid regimine). Are you with me?

What's the Verdict: Are You Burning Your A-Rod Jersey or Sending Him a Valentine?
I've forgiven him and will show my support by defending him to my Red Sox fan friends (idiots)
I've forgiven him but my opinion of him has lowered
I've forgiven him because its the cool thing to do but secretly I'm prets pissed
I never had a problem with it in the first place. Get over it.
I never had a problem with it in the first place and in fact would prefer if more people used PEDs
I haven't forgiven him yet but I may in the future if he performs well. We'll see.
I haven't forgiven him and I probably never will.
Anyone use cheats in any fashion should be beaten to death with the wiffle bat.
Free polls from Pollhost.com

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, February 11, 2009   6 comments
A-Rod is Guilty... of a Lot of Things
Monday, February 09, 2009
After 48 hours of hiding/panicking/praying to his Jeter shrine, A-Rod took to the airwaves today to publicly address the steroid allegations that surfaced over the weekend. Some sort of comment on the issue was imminent - "talk to the Players Union" can't fly for long, especially with Spring Training just days away - but I actually wasn't expecting the mea culpa to come so soon (perhaps he saw me apologize to Jose Canseco earlier today and was inspired?). I suppose he decided to rev up the Damage Control Train sooner rather than later, and sat down with ESPN nice guy Peter Gammons this afternoon.

Gammons may have the well-deserved reputation of being a genuinely friendly guy, but he didn't go easy on A-Rod. There was no friendly small talk in this sit-down: Gammons went straight for the obvious questions and got A-Rod to not only admit to using steroids but to divulge some of the details behind his actions. A-Rod first confirmed that he had indeed used performance enhancing drugs throughout his tenure in Texas (2001-2003), a much longer time than I would have guessed. Since hearing the news on Saturday, I had somehow assuaged my disappointment by convincing myself while the allegations were probably true, perhaps it was a one-time or short-lived experimentation with the juice; it honestly hadn't really occured to me that this may have been an ongoing indescretion. Unfortunately, I was wrong (again!), as A-Rod told Gammons that he first began using the drugs when he got to Texas in 2001 thanks the immense amount of pressure he felt he was under:
"When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me, and I needed to perform -- and perform at a high level -- every day."
He apologized repeatedly, of course, and proclaimed that he's been drug-free ever since (it is true that a pre-WBC drug test in 2006 came up clean). He said he's since proved to himself that he doesn't need any drugs to be a great player, and even said he felt "proud" of himself for coming clean (6 years later) and wants to show kids that honesty is the best policy (6 years later).

He went on to explain that he fell into the "everybody is doing it" trap and attempted to play up his naivety at the time:
"It was such a loosey-goosey era; I'm guilty for a lot of things. I'm guilty of being negligent, naïve, not asking all the right questions. To be quite honest, I don't know exactly what substance I was guilty of using."
Normally I would scoff here and roll my eyes at the thought that a person could be dumb enough to not know what drugs he was cheating with, but I'd say there's a decent chance A-Rod was oblivious to the specifics at the time. He's not a very smart guy, folks.

By the time the interview was over, A-Rod had apologized and made it clear that it hadn't happened since 2003 and wouldn't happen again. He seemed sincere and remorseful, actually coming across more pitiful than cheater. I almost felt bad for him.

But then I realized that he'd cheated for three years, then lied about it for six. I honestly have not yet been able to determine whether I can forgive and forget. There's no doubt that A-Rod, like Bonds, would be amazing with or without the steroids, so my opinion of him as a talented athlete has not actually changed. In fact, if it had been a matter of ONE season of usage, I think I could chalk it up to the era and the pressure and I'd be over it. It's the fact that it went on for three seasons that has me hesitant to say what I planned on writing once he apologized, which was something along the lines of "let's give A-Rod the same courtesy we gave Pettitte and forgive him, focus on what he's accomplished without the steroids, blah blah blah."

Not yet.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, February 09, 2009   6 comments
Yankeeschickography: NEVER Doubt Canseco
Remember that Yankeeschicography I posted last year where I called Jose Canseco a liar for claiming to have proof that A-Rod took steroids?

I guess I owe him an apology, don't I.

Today's vid will take care of that. Now if only A-Rod would apologize to US...

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, February 09, 2009   7 comments
Let's Take it to the Airwaves...
Sunday, February 08, 2009
NY Baseball Digest is being kind enough to have me on their show this evening to berate me for my years of support of A-Rod discuss my feelings on that little A-Rod issue.

Show starts at 7pm EST, I'll be on around 7:30. Click the link below to enjoy!

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Sunday, February 08, 2009   0 comments
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Everybody, remain calm. In the face of disaster, it's best to try not to panic.

I am speaking, of course, of the latest chapter in the tale of A-Rod's "Long and Awkward Journey to Complete Mental Breakdown." This morning Sports Illustrated reported that four sources who had been a part of the (supposedly) anonymous MLB drug testing in 2003 had independently confirmed that A-Rod was among the 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during the survey. And we ain't talking about a little HGH to heal from an injury (not that I condone that either, Pettitte): he tested positive for testosterone and an anabolic steroid called Primobolan.

The 2003 survey was done under conditions of anonymity with no threat of punishment; the goal was to determine whether the MLB needed to put a strict testing-and-penalty program into effect. After finding that 104 players - about 5% of the MLB - were using banned substances, such a policy went into effect in 2004. The identities of the 104 Cheatie McCheatersons were supposed to remain classified with the lab that performed the tests, but the results were seized by federal agents in April 2004 during the BALCO investigation* (don't get confused, though: A-Rod has never been linked to BALCO. Yet.). One of the drugs allegedly found in A-Rod's peepee was Primobolan, which was very popular in 2003 largely because players didn't have to take it for as long as others and it was detectable in the system for less time.

In case you don't recall, the 2003 season was a good one for A-Rod. He won his 3rd straight AL home run title (with 47) and his first (of 3) MVP awards, and convinced the Yanks they must have him. It was a truly impressive year, but I have a feeling A-Rod might not be looking back on it as fondly now that he knows that WE know what HE KNEW.

Get that?

Since the MLB implemented the new testing and punishment system in 2004, A-Rod has never tested positive and has never really been thought of as one of the many juicers in his era. In fact, quite the opposite: he was often looked at as the au natural super-player who was going to rescue baseball's records and dignity from the clutches of Bonds et al. I know I certainly felt a little better about Bonds breaking the all-time home run record last year because I "knew" that A-Rod would be setting the "real" record in a few years. The Yankees were also pretty jazzed on the idea of ensuring that all those records were enshrined in pinstripes when they created A-Rod's new contract in 2007; it contains clauses that allow him to earn a $6 million bonus each time he ties one of the four players at the top of the list and an additional $6 million for eventually passing Bonds. Whether people loved him or hated him, regardless of what he did or didn't do in the playoffs, or how much he stalked the Jeet, it was pretty much agreed upon in the sports world that A-Rod was the hardest working talent in the game and was destined to prove that all those feats the juicers accomplished COULD be done with raw talent and batting practice.

In response to the allegations, A-Rod advised reporters to talk to the Players Union. I'd advise A-Rod to get on the horn with his manager and start working on two things: a) a public apology, and b) a lawsuit against whoever leaked the now non-anonymous (ymous? nonymous?) test results. Both are of vital importance at this juncture: an honest apology complete with some tears and well-rehearsed remorseful facial expressions could salvage an ounce or two of dignity and maybe a few forgiving fans (I know I for one am a forgiving gal), and the lawsuit because the offending test results were promised to be confidential - such was the agreement between the MLB and the Players Union when A-Rod consented to the test. He might as well profit off this gossip as "well, he has a lot of money" might wind up being the only thing he'll have going for him in a few years.

* It's all Barry Bonds' fault

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Saturday, February 07, 2009   6 comments
B.Q.E. o' the Week: Cuz He Didn't Feel Bad Enough Already
Friday, February 06, 2009
From the "10 Easy Ways to Emasculate and Humiliate a Man" file:
"Alex tried just so desperately to be that guy, all the time... I don't care how talented you are or how much money you make, this is Jeter's ballclub. I think what he tried to do was be close to Derek and to try to -- I don't want to say imitate him -- but just try to get a feel of what the personality is supposed to be on this ballclub."
Yes, that's Joe Torre, talking more smack about A-Rod. JT was on the MLB network today chatting up his new book The Yankee Years with Bob Costas and took the opportunity to dispel all the controversy surrounding his brutal honesty exposed in therein. Just kidding, he reiterated the fact that A-Rod is a pathetic chump with no personality (or dignity) of his own.


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posted by Yankees Chick @ Friday, February 06, 2009   5 comments
Thursday, February 05, 2009
As a baseball-loving gal lucky enough to work from home and hence have access to the TV whilst I work, the advent of the MLB channel has been particularly beneficial to me. I no longer have to make sure I stock up on DVR'd crime shows to watch in the afternoons when there is NOTHING on - channel 330 always has me covered. There's something about Matty Vasgergian's voice that is apparently conducive to coherent writing and solid productivity, as I swear to you I have gotten more work accomplished since the channel launched than I was able to complete in the previous six months combined.

Or perhaps it's the Adderall.


Anyway, my point is that I love the new channel (although if they had shown the fucking 2004 ALCS just ONE more time back in late December when they were promoting the channel, my opinion might be different) and often keep it on in the background while I'm working. Such was the case today when, during the middle of a conference call, I see the words "Andruw Jones", "New York Yankees", "offer", "non-roster invitation", and "declined" scroll across the faithful news ticker.

The fuck?! I thought to myself as my coworkers fought about whether we should advertise a promotion as "through the end of February" or "while supplies last". Why the hell are the Yankees looking at more outfielders? And of all people, Andruw Jones? And really, Andruw? A minor league deal with a Spring Training invite is the best you can get these days? Wait, and if so, you turned it down? What, you think you're better than that? Seriously?

This guy?!

Unfortunately, as I mentioned, I was working and could not ponder the many things wrong with the scenario until now. I reminded myself to revisit it later and directed my focus back to work (I went with "As a special promotion from now through February 28..." for the article, in case you were wondering).

I'm finally done with work and able to sit down and contemplate this ridiculous story, and I am no closer to figuring out why any part of this happened than I was 5 hours ago. Let's review:
  • The Yankees are really still looking for outfielders? There are currently SIX outfielders on the roster and last time I checked there are only three outfielding positions. You're telling me that between Matsui, Damon, Melky, Gardener, Swisher, and Nady, WE ARE STILL LOOKING?
  • The Yankees are really still looking for outfielders and thought ANDRUW JONES might be superior to any one of those six?! Yes, Matsui will be mainly in the DH spot, and none of the other 5 are particularly stellar, but does anyone genuinely think that ANDRUW JONES is going to outperform Nady or Swisher? What's the plan here, are the Yankees just going to sign every able-bodied outfielder they can and then draw names on Opening Day?
  • Did the Cash Man forget what year it was? Let me remind you: it's 2009, and Andruw not only STILL hasn't figured out how to spell his name but he is really, truly awful. I cannot think of one thing he would bring to the table that any one of the other idiots we have could not.
  • A non-roster invitation is the best Boras could drum up for Jones? Holy smokes the economy is hitting MLB hard. Sure, he sucks, but players like him get signed all the time.
  • ...and then he turned it down?! Seriously? Allow me to speak directly to Boras: what sort of deal do you think you're going to drum up for this client of yours if not a minor-league contract? You do realize that we're talking about a man who batted .158 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in 75 games last season, right?
  • Remember when the Yankees valued Melky so much they were hesitant to include him in a trade package for Johan Santana? And now we think Andruw Jones might do a better job? The poor Melkster has fallen quite a ways in the eyes of the Cash Man over the past 18 months or so.
  • Yikes, what if he had said YES to the invitation and then made the roster!?
There is nothing about this story that makes sense, and I'm disgusted by the whole thing. There was no point in the Yankees making the offer in the first place and Boras had no business turning it down. I'm alternately insulted by the Yankees for wasting my time and then by Boras and Jones for thinking they're worth more. And the worst part is, simply by offering this deal to Andruw Jones the Yanks are effectively telling the world that they're still on the hunt for more interchangable, horrible outfielders!

No offense to you personally, Damon/Melky/Gardener/Nady/Swisher/Jones.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, February 05, 2009   2 comments
Because The Yankees Needed ANOTHER Outfielder...
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
The Yanks got an outfielder from the Brewers today, and sorry, it's not Mike Cameron. The Yanks picked up catcher/outfielder Eric Fryer from the Brewers' minor league system in exchange for Chase Wright, better known as "that poor sap the Yankees made start at Fenway in 2007 when some perfect storm of FAIL made every other viable option unavailable and then became only the second pitcher in MLB HISTORY to give up 4 homers in a row".

And.... cry.

The real value of the trade is arguably never having to see that expression of shattered dreams again, but let's take a closer look at our latest acquisition anyway. Fryer gets bonus points for being both a viable catcher and outfielder - he played 55 games in left field and 39 games behind the plate last year - and in his 104 total games for the Class A West Virginia Power he hit .335 (129-for-385). He actually led his team in several key batting categories, including average and OPS (and was second in OBP) and stole 15 bases along the way - not bad for a half-catcher!

Unfortunately, he also made 14 errors in the field. Perhaps his questionable defensive value helped the Brewers overlook one of those 4 consecutive homers Chase gave up when they were considering the parity of the deal.

Fryer will be starting the season in Class A Tampa for the Yanks, but with the way the Yanks have been burning through outfielders these last couple years I won't be surprised if he makes an appearance sooner rather than later.


posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, February 04, 2009   1 comments
AJ Hits the Jackpot!
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
As I assured you on Sunday, despite my excessive reprieve from blogging over the past few months I most certainly was not asleep on the job - nay, I've been silently obsessing over all the haps in the baseball world all along. Now I simply must catch up.

Obviously the biggest maneuver the Yanks pulled off whilst I was AWOL was the signing of CC "Pinstripes are Slimming" Sabathia, a move that singularly improved the 2009 rotation from "seriously, this is the best you could do?" to "oh yeah, you guys are the Yankees!". At a bare minimum Double C should provide the team with more innings than Pavano managed to scrape himself together for in 4 seasons combined (145.6, or approximately 5 innings per injury sustained, or 145.6 innings per teammate that liked him*) and will likely do much better than that. He hasn't had an ERA over 3.22 since 2005 or a WHIP over 1.3 since 2004, and he hasn't been slacking off: he pitched over 240 innings in each of the last two years and has never appeared in fewer than 28 games in a season (his 8-season average is 34 games per season). Better yet, he's still a relative youngster at 28. Eight years of primarily healthy, 3.66 ERA pitching and you're not even 30? Here you go sir, this is a bag full of money, please come wear our jersey and stand on our mound.

Minutes after receiving sack of money: king of the world

Of course, with that sack o' millions comes another sack full of expectations and pressure (now available in sack form!). Baseball fans do not forget about those dollar signs, and while not as bad as those fools in Beantown (Nancy Drew? Seriously?), Yanks fans are not the most patient folk. Just ask Pavano.** Double C is going to be expected to do as well as - if not better than, thanks to the sheer size of the contract - he performed over the past few years, and there isn't going to be much room for adjustment. He's been known to start a little slow in April, and the fans have been known to have a little trouble being patient with slow starts. Add to that the fact that Slim pitched nearly as many innings in the second half of last year (130+) than C-Pav did in four motherfreakin years and we're looking at a pleasantly plump*** man whose stamina has been taxed beyond precedent with millions of fans just waiting to proclaim his contract a waste of money.

3 seconds after someone boos him for giving up two hits in a game

Have fun with that, Slim!

Then we have AJ Burnett. By lucking into getting signed at the same time as Sabathia, this fellow has essentially locked in a 58% discount on pressure. In normal people world, his 5-year $82+ million deal with the Yanks would be looked upon as a monumental investment (and potential risk) and henceforth subject him to perhaps more than his fair share of scrutiny. In the world of the 2009 New York Yankees, the deal is just a little insurance. His contract isn't even close to being the biggest on the team (A-Rod, Sabathia, Jeter and Teixeira will all be making more than him in 2009). Money aside, with Sabathia on the roster, AJ is certainly not the best starter on the team and will not be expected to be the anchor of the pitching staff. Unless he performs significantly worse than about a 4.00 ERA, fans will likely focus whatever frustration they have on the people they feel aren't doing "enough" - and money factors in hugely when calculating whether a player is doing "enough" (just ask A-Rod)****.

He knows exactly what he's getting away with

AJ is doubly fortunate in that he managed to score that contract in a year when very few players are getting 5-year deals OR $16 million/year, much less BOTH. There better be a bouqet of flowers (or tacos) in front of CC's locker signed "love, AJ" on opening day.

*Carl counts himself as a "teammate"

** I do not recommend this or any activity that places you in close proximity to this injury machine - you may be hit after he trips over a cookie crumb and smashes through a plate glass window.
***He's a fat man.
****Don't torture him.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, February 03, 2009   4 comments
Yankeeschickography: Let's Exploit A-Rod's Emotional Shortcomings!
Monday, February 02, 2009
I told you I was back!

I mentioned yesterday that Joe Torre has a new book coming out, and it sounds like a doozy. I love Torre and admire his back-patting talent, but I'm not sure he made the right call in writing about some of this stuff...

And what dost thou think? Exploitation? Just the facts? Extra Xanax for A-Rod this season?

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, February 02, 2009   7 comments
It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's.... the Yankees Chick?!
Sunday, February 01, 2009
It's been many moons since last I performed any of my Yankees Chick duties, and for this I offer you my most Phelps-worthy apologies. I haven't been out on the Yankees and certainly haven't ceased following them, I simply ran out of hours in the day between work and school (and TV), and when I did have a brief moment during which I could have updated the bloggity there were so many things I'd missed to discuss that "catching up" started sounding like a chore.

Well, my love for the team and the enjoyment I get out of posting ugly pictures of players I hate won out over my love for sitting on my ass and watching crime shows, so I'm back! And not a moment too soon... the Yankees have been far from boring this off-season and there is no shortage of news both good and bad to chat about:
  • Yanks get CC, he gets a more slimming uniform.
  • AJ Burnett wins the jackpot... thanks to CC and Tex he gets to reap the benefits of a mega-deal and only be subjected to a fraction of the accompanying pressure.
  • Someone signed Pavano!!! On purpose!
  • We have a real first baseman! No offense to you personally, Giambi.
  • There are officially 107 outfielders on the roster.
  • No one wants to pick up any contracts this year. Owners should be thanking Bush for making the economy so shitty that it is no longer reasonable to sign a third-rate outfielder to a $10 million deal.
  • Torre is breaking my heart with this book. Granted, I haven't read it yet (someone wanna send me one? Torre? Autographed copy?), but I'm concerned that my amount of love for him may be diminished if what I have heard about it is accurate. A-Fraud?! Say it ain't so.
  • A-Rod, WHY are you playing for the Dominican in the WBC?! Do you not remember how irritated people were three years ago when you went back and forth about playing for them and the USA? You can't please everyone. You're not going to please everyone. Stop trying so hard.
  • We found out that it was MATT HARDY who'd been fucking with Jeff Hardy all along! The hotel attack! The hit and run! The PYRO EXPLOSION! IT WAS HIS OWN BROTHER!
  • Woops, wrong topic.
  • MLB Network! Good god I love it. It has improved my quality of life by a solid 1 percent.
Whew! Are you prepared for Yankees Chick to once again become an oft-updated blog? Will you put up with me?

Let's hope so. See you in the morning with...a VIDEO!

**ps: I even updated the poll and Fact o' the Day! DEDICATION.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Sunday, February 01, 2009   9 comments
Yankees Chick Tweets!
Fun Fact O' The Week

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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Name: Yankees Chick
Home: San Diego, CA, United States
About Me: Just your average 26 year old Yankees lovin' gal from the SD.
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