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No More Melk Deliveries (Clever!)
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I guess after a year of seeing more of THIS from Melky:

than THIS:
Girardi has determined that enough is enough.

After a solid 2006 and serviceable 2007 season, Melky really fell apart in 2008. In 129 games he amassed an average of just .249, his OBP was a frightening .301, and he only managed to knock in 37 runs (although the rest of the idiots hitting ahead of him didn't help much, to be fair) and was weaker in the field too - just 7 assists last year compared to 16 in 2007. This spring Girardi made it clear that the centerfield job was not guaranteed to Melky, and despite a decent showing during the ST games (.340 [18-for-53], with one home run, nine RBI and two stolen bases) it was announced on Sunday that the starting gig is going to Brett Gardner instead.

For his part, Gardner certainly did his best to earn the spot: in 22 games he hit .385 (20-for-52) with three home runs, six RBI and five stolen bases. Girardi explained the decision thusly:
"Both of them played great [in Spring Training]. Melky had a tough year last year, but he came into camp and was ready to go and played very well. Gardy finished up strong and had a great camp. We're just going to go with Gardy."
Melky won't be totally usurped, however, as he'll be on the bench ready to pinch hit or give Gardner a day off. And not all hope is lost for the kid - we tend to forget how young he is since he's been around for so long already, but he is just 24 and could certainly improve his game.

Unless "Gardy" (that's the best you could do in the nickname department, Joe?) fails to impress in the first month or so, I have a feeling Melky won't be wearing pinstripes for long. He's out of options on his contract, meaning the Yanks can't send him to the minors to hone his skills and free up a roster spot, and the Yanks have plenty of competent outfielders to serve as reserves. Thanks to his strong spring performance, I am sure that at least one team would be happy to have him on their roster (Padres?), and if the Yanks can get a decent reliever in return I guarantee Melky will be on the first plane outta the Bronx.

Let's hope Gardner likes dancing with Cano...

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, March 31, 2009   3 comments
All CC, All the Time
Friday, March 27, 2009
Between A-Rod's steroid-palooza and the WBC excitement (and my admitted lack of timely updates) this winter, I've barely mentioned just how happy I am that the Yankees pulled out all the stops to bring CC Sabathia to the team. It was announced this week that CC will be the starter for both Opening Day in Baltimore and for the first game at the new Stadium on April 16th, and for good reason. AJ will be solid and I expect huge things from Teixeira for years to come, but CC is going to have a bigger impact on the 2009 team than all the other signings the Yanks made this year combined - mark my words.

What I love about this man (besides his slim, sexy physique, of course) is that he is a true workhorse. He's obviously a talented dude, but what makes him a gem is his Energizer Bunny-esque endurance. After pitching 240 innings in 2007 he upped the ante last year, going 250 innings, bunches of which came on short rest or during complete games (or both). He pitched seven complete games last year - for comparison, the entire Yankees staff combined for ONE complete game in 2008 (courtesy of the pre-injury Wangster against the BoSox on April 11, 2008) - and showed no measurable drop-off even at the end of what was surely an exhausting season. No injuries, either! While he looks far from athletic, he's clearly doing something right.

The Yanks threw more cash at CC than any other pitcher has ever received (and Boras isn't even his agent!), but despite the cost it is arguably one of the least risky expenses the team has. After 8 seasons of perfect health (do a CTRL-F for "injury", "disabled list", or "hurt" on any CC article - you'll see) and extremely steady performances - the difference between his best years and his worst years is incredibly small - continued success is as close to a sure thing as you can get in baseball. Baseball Prospectus is predicting the following for CC in his debut year in pinstripes:

Games: 33
W-L: 16-9
ERA: 3.43
IP: 231
Strikeouts: 201
Home Runs: 22
BB: 53

The Yankees have not had a pitcher like that in YEARS. The last time the Yanks had a starting pitcher power through 230+ innings was way back in 1997 when Dandy Andy pitched 240. Being able to count on a solid start from CC week in and week out is going to do wonders for the Yanks in terms of the actual wins he can provide, of course, but the stability he'll offer is going to be big, too. For the past several years the Yankees' rotation has been riddled with old dudes and injury-prone idiots (often one and the same, actually), with different people cycling in and out constantly. Being able to count on the ace is going to be a welcome luxury not just for us fans to watch but for the whole team's morale!

Am I overexcited? Expecting too much? Glorifying a fatass? Methinks not. I cannot fathom this NOT working out.

(Just stay the fuck away from my man, C-Pav).

On a completely unrelated "BTW" note directed to my fellow wrestling fans, I implore y'all to take a brief moment off from creating CC Sabathia fansites (oh, that's just me?) and check out Paul Heyman's site www.heymanhustle.com - even though WWE's been marginally less cheesey lately (Randy Orton is pure evil and I'm 100% in on HHH's justifiable rage), nothing beats the genius of Paul E. Plus, he's a Yankees fan. BOOYAKA!

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Friday, March 27, 2009   4 comments
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   6 comments
What Do YOU Do After Waking up From Surgery?
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Say what you want about A-Rod's cheating, sensitivity, obsession with the Jeet, choice of company, or taste in women, but I'll be damned if anyone derides his dedication to the game.

Just hours after undergoing an 80-minute procedure to fix his torn labrum and repair his hip cyst (delicious!), A-Rod was out of bed and back on the stationary bike. Most folks would be laying in bed groggily eating McFlurry's for at least a day or two after surgery, but not A-Rod: he was eager to shave a few minutes off the estimated 6-9 week-long rehab process he has in front of him. Luckily for the team, almost four of those weeks are essentially freebies we're still in Spring Training!

While it's unfortunate that he'll miss April with the team, I am very happy he opted to get the surgery now rather than "hope" he could make it through the season with a bum hip. If he had decided to put it off, we would have had to worry about losing him at a much more crucial juncture and really being screwed. I'll take my chances with A-Rod in the playoffs.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, March 10, 2009   2 comments
YC is ALWAYS Wrong
Thursday, March 05, 2009
When discussing A-Rod's hip cyst yesterday evening, I made a bold assertion that the dear man was surely not injured too seriously and that the Yanks were likely just looking for an excuse to keep him from playing in the WBC:
There's clearly nothing for us to worry about - he'll be fine - but the Yanks could probably make a case for asking him to sit out.
Unfortunately, unless the Big Stein hates the WBC so much that he'd prefer to have A-Rod undergo painful medical procedures and extensive rehabilitation than participate in the tourney, A-Rod is not fine. It turns out that in addition to that cyst on his hip, he's also got a tear in his labrum (which, in case you're not a hip doctor, is the fibrous ring of cartilage attached to the rim of the joint). The cyst was drained (delicious!), but there's only one way a torn labrum can be repared: surgery. The worst part? The recovery takes about 4 months.

While the only way to fix the tear is to go under the knife, it's apparently not a completely debilitating injury and he may try to hold off on surgery. The Cash Man is hoping that A-Rod can wait until after this season, but admits that if he isn't able to perform at full capacity then they might have to reconsider that timeline. In the meantime, A-Rod is definitely NOT going to play with the Dominican in the WBC. He'll spend the rest of the spring working out (carefully) and preparing for the season as planned, keeping a close eye on that hip and hoping for the best.

Since he's been playing and producing just fine thus far this spring, it's certainly possible that A-Rod could wait a while to get the surgery... but six months of playing actual games against the lies of the Red Sox, Angels, Rays, et al is a far cry from shagging a few balls at Spring Training, and I have a bad feeling we'll be seeing Cody Ransom at third sooner rather than later.

By the way, just to recap: thus far the highlights of A-Rod's year have included getting dumped by Madonna for a model, Joe Torre announcing to the world that he's a wimpy loser obsessed with the Jeet, a steroid scandal, and a serious injury.

And it's only March.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, March 05, 2009   7 comments
A Hip Cyst? Who Do You Think You Are - Pavano?
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
The latest chapter of the tortuous saga that has become A-Rod's life involves a possible removal from the Dominican Republic's WBC roster, thanks to an injury right out of the Carl Pavano annals. It was revealed earlier this week that A-Rod has been playing with a cyst on his right hip, that, while not causing any pain, has necessitated a trip to a specialist (say "cyst specialist" five times fast.... go!). The results from the doctor visit have yet to be divulged, but all signs are pointing to the Yanks asking A-Rod to withdraw from the WBC so that he can preserve his hip strength for the Yankees.

I'm no Cyst Specialist, but it seems pretty clear to me that he's likely just fine and the Yankees are looking for an excuse to keep him out of the tourney. Girardi and the Cash Man have no love for the WBC and would obviously prefer to keep their players in Tampa to avoid getting hurt or just plain tired before the season even starts, so I'm sure they'd be more than happy to blow a minor issue out of proportion to take advantage of it. And it's obviously NOT a major issue - he's been playing with no pain (just slight "stiffness") and the team physician specifically told the Yanks that A-Rod COULD play through it. There's clearly nothing for us to worry about - he'll be fine - but the Yanks could probably make a case for asking him to sit out.

Perhaps 'twould be all for the best. The further away he gets from the watchful eye of the Yankees, the more trouble he gets himself into.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Wednesday, March 04, 2009   2 comments
THIS is Why I love the WBC
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Honestly dudes, how can anyone not like the sideshow that is the WBC?! The rosters include everyone from Bernie to Sidney Freakin' Ponson (seriously), Rollins and Wright are kissing each other's asses, and the Jeet got the opportunity to score against the Yanks - would you really rather be watching Spring Training?

The USA team beat the Yanks today, thanks in part to Jeter's 9 innings in the field, 2 hits, and 2 RBI. It was hilarious and slightly creepy to see him go up against Hughsie (who looked good again, BTW) and seeing him smiling and chatting with Dustin Pedroia filled me with an oddly reassuring cumbaya-esque sensation. We Are The World, Peace on Earth, etc etc.

The Yanks have actually had quite a few of those tender moments this spring, what with all the A-Rod hugging and billiards tourneys. Perhaps the days of the robotic, going-through-the-motions style of play is finally coming to a close for the Bombers?

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, March 03, 2009   2 comments
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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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