I was out for dinner tonight when I happened to check my phone at the restaurant and saw the headline about the signing. I was, in a word, gobsmacked. Not that we went after Ellsbury. Why not acquire a speedy outfielder who isn’t ancient. Why not bring over another Red Sock. Why not add a lefty lead-off type hitter. All fine with me. But seven years? At that price? Are the Yankees saving anything for Cano? Kelly Johnson, Omar Infante, Brendan Ryan and Eduardo Nunez put together won’t give us the production of Cano. But maybe there’s enough in the Steinbrenner vault for everybody, and all the stuff about the payroll and the luxury tax and the fiscal belt tightening was a load of hooey.
Or maybe there’s a level of certainty that A-Rod’s salary won’t be clogging things up next year, so there’s more for others, who knows. What I do know is that I understood the McCann signing. But seven years for Ellsbury? Isn’t he hurt a lot? Doesn’t he have a bit of a reputation for not being a team player? Isn’t seven years a long time in baseball years? Or do I just miss Granderson? And don’t we need – I mean seriously need – starting pitching? And not just one arm but three?
I wasn’t sorry the Tigers got Joe Nathan, not us, except that they’re going to be tougher than ever over there. And A. J. Pierzynski a Red Sock? Ugh, I’m not wild about having to put up with him 100 times a season.
This was my friend Rhonda’s gorgeous Thanksgiving table last night….before the feast. There weren’t any food fights this year, just one tiny spat with the evil Mary Ann, who roots for the Dodgers and disparages the Yankees. Since I rooted for the Dodgers in the postseason (for as long as they lasted, which was about ten seconds) and since I didn’t have a lot of ammunition to counter her insults about the Yanks (yes, I trotted out the “But they were all injured” excuse), our annual argument ended after just a few zingers. Mostly we gorged on Rhonda’s turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and green bean casserole, not to mention the apple pie, pumpkin pie and sinfully cake-y pumpkin chocolate chip cookies she made this year, and I was so stuffed by the time we left her house that I could hardly breathe.
I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday celebration and that we can now look forward to more Yankees news besides the re-signing of shortstop Brendan Ryan, which, while nice insurance, didn’t exactly thrill me. I guess Carlos Beltran is next, although I’m not sure how I feel about that one either. He was a bust in NY with the Mets and he’s not only “old” but often injured. Still, he can hit and play the outfield among the best so we shall see……
I’m emerging from my off-season hiatus to celebrate the news today that the Yanks signed the power-hitting catcher, pending a physical. While he wasn’t exactly a bargain (5 years/$85 million) and we lost a first-round draft pick, he’s only 29 and is projected to hit 35-40 homers in Yankee Stadium. (“His swing is made for New York,” said one scout.)
Sounds like a big upgrade over Stewart, Cervelli and Romine – a guy with the potential to DH or play first base as he ages into his contract. Not a bad way to kick off the holiday season.
Now that the Red Sox have spanked the Cardinals, won the World Series and demonstrated that the right mix of superstars, pickups and farm system kids can bring home a championship after a dismal season, it’s time to look at the Yankees and wonder how our team will turn things around.
Was anyone else surprised that no one in charge of scouting or the farm system was canned during the organizational meetings? Only the strength and conditioning coach? Like he was responsible for Jeter’s ankles and Teixeira’s wrist and Youkilis’ back and Granderson getting hit by a pitch? Seriously? Can you spell scapegoat?
If the Red Sox proved anything, it’s that it doesn’t have to take forever to “rebuild” around a nucleus of solid players. Do the Yankees have that nucleus? Does Cashman have the latitude from the Steinbrenners to go after free agents that make sense (i.e. aren’t old)? As the Cardinals showed us, a young pitching staff is a beautiful thing. If only Hughes/Kennedy/Chamberlain had been our Wacha. As the Red Sox showed us, a clutch power hitter like Ortiz does damage. If only we had a DH who put fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers (i.e. as opposed to A-Rod, who’s made a mockery of the sport and will continue to do so as we head deeper into all these trials and hearings).
The Yankees did pretty well this year under the circumstances, but realistically they didn’t have a chance. Not when CC wasn’t having a CC type of year and Kuroda petered out at the end, and our best hitters were Cano and…..Nunez?
Maybe we’ll go after the Japanese pitcher everybody’s talking about and maybe we’ll resign Cano and maybe we’ll get a catcher that can hit. But there are so many question marks heading into 2014. The one thing that isn’t unclear is that I miss baseball already. How long until spring training?????????
HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” debuts its new season tomorrow night at 10 pm ET/PT with an interview with Reggie Jackson to coincide with the release of Reggie’s new memoir, Becoming Mr. October.
According to HBO’s press release, “Gumbel heads to Yankee Stadium and sits down with the Hall of Famer and outspoken 67-year-old special adviser to the club. The 14-time All-Star opens up about his personal life and storied career, offering insights into race relations during his playing days and the magical ‘77 and ‘78 seasons that cemented his legacy as one of the greatest clutch sluggers.”
I like Bryant Gumbel’s interviews and he was terrific to me years ago when I was on the “CBS Early Show” promoting my novel, The Secret Ingredient. We even talked about the Yankees in the interview. Take a look. (I’m sucking on a throat lozenge during the entire interview!)
Anyhow, it’ll be quite a doubleheader tomorrow night since I’ll be watching the re-broadcast of “Being: Mariano” on FOX Sports 1 earlier in the evening.
Joe and his binders will be back. The Yankees rewarded his especially good job this season with a reported $16 million, four-year contract. I can understand why he asked for four years instead of the three they initially offered; he and his family like it in Westchester and want the stability of not having to jump to a new city. Still, his upcoming seasons in New York are unlikely to be stable. So many question marks – from A-Rod’s zillion lawsuits to Cano’s free agency to Jeter’s aging body. But I’m happy he’ll be back. I wasn’t thrilled with any of the other candidates mentioned (Pena, Baker, etc.) except Mattingly and he’s staying with the Dodgers unless they suddenly crash and burn in the NLCS. So here’s to another four years of the binders. May they hold at least one championship.
It wasn’t the greatest season for the Yankees – Jeter called it “a nightmare” and I don’t disagree – and today’s finale in Houston was a case in point. It was nice to win, but extra innings against the Astros in a meaningless game? Seriously? It was so obvious after Reynolds hit that homer in the 14th how badly the players just wanted to go home already. I know the beat writers weren’t thrilled that their flights home had to be delayed.
Now comes the business of rebuilding or re-jiggering or whatever it is that the organization will do this winter. I assume the decision to bring back Girardi will be at the top of the list, provided he wants to come back. Then there’s the Cano thing, which I hope won’t drag on forever. At least the A-Rod appeal hearing is only supposed to last a week and they’ll know whether they’ll need a new third baseman and for how long. Will they get a new shortstop in case Jeter isn’t able to be a full-timer or keep Ryan? Will they hand the catching job to Romine, give it to Cervelli,, bring back Stewart or get a new catcher? Will Nunez play a role? Nix? What about Granderson? And who knows about the pitching staff.
So many questions. And too many goodbyes to iconic players for my taste. (Mo, don’t go…..)
I’ll give this blog a rest for the off-season except when there’s news and I expect quite a bit. Meanwhile, thanks to all for reading and commenting. I’ll leave us with the laughing lady as a cheerful farewell.
He pitched well in Houston tonight. I only watched part of the game, but maybe he’s a guy who deserves a closer look next year.
Otherwise, there wasn’t much to say about the game except the Yankees won (better late than never) and the Astros honored Pettitte during the game. Oh, and Robertson closed. I tried to get used to him in the role instead of you-know-who but it’ll take awhile. Sigh.
I’ve dried the tears for now, but tonight was one hell of a sobfest. It was bad enough that Mo took the Stadium mound for the last time, but when he broke down on Andy’s shoulder I thought I’d die. It was such an emotional moment. I can only imagine that for Mo himself it was a giant release after the long farewell tour. It must have finally hit him that this was it. The End. I loved that Andy and Derek came to take him out – nicely staged – but wow. What a night. Who cared about the game. I certainly didn’t. It was the Mo Show and what a show it was.
I keep wondering how it’ll feel when spring training comes around and he’s not there and won’t be. No arriving late “on Mo time.” No appearances. No special smiles. Ugh.
I’m glad Andy got his curtain call and his post-game press conference. He deserved the love too. But Mo’s been my favorite Yankee for a very long time, and I’m beyond sad to see him go.
As my mother always says, “Nothing lasts forever.” We were very lucky to have Mo for all those years, so I’ll try to focus on that.