Like Birds Flying South For The Winter…

February 7th, 2011 by Jane Heller

…the Yankees beat writers are heading down to Tampa this week. I guess this means we’re really, truly going to have baseball. Seems kind of incredible, doesn’t it? I was starting to think the off-season would last forever, but by the end of the week it’ll officially be over. We’ll get reports about which players have arrived, who’s working out, who’s looking good, who’s saying what. Very excited.

So before we bring the Winter of Our Discontent to a close, I’m asking everyone for the highlights and low lights of this off-season. What stands out for you?

  • Cliff Lee not becoming a Yankee?
  • Jeter and the Yankees getting into a spat?
  • Colon and Garcia joining the team?
  • Andy Pettitte bidding us farewell?
  • Robinson Cano hiring Scott Boras?

I guess these would all qualify as low lights. Were there any highlights? If there were, I’m drawing a complete blank.


Well, except for Mo signing a new two-year contract. That’s a big-time highlight.


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19 Responses to “Like Birds Flying South For The Winter…”

  1. mike fierman says:

    first of all, I love your mother, as you already know, and she is the patron saint of the Yankees as far as i’m concerned. Now as depressing as this veryoff-season was concerned there are a few flickers of light. I really love the Russ Martin acquisition and will boldly predict that he will prove to be a “True Yankee™” and stay with the team for quite a while. Based on nothing mind you. I like the bull-pen guys. Andruw Jones, good 4th outfielder. If we HAD gotten Lee things would seem so much better ( yes, Mrs. Lincoln, aside from that how did you like the play)

    I would have preferred Greinke myself…

  2. Dan says:

    Lows definetly the Jeter thing…and him looking pissed (well pissed for Jeter) at the news conference. Cano signing Boras was a close second. If even Arod drops him, shouldn’t Cano know Boras isn’t good news? I really hope nothing goes to his head. I can’t feel too sad about Pettitte, its his choice…plus I think he’ll be back in a few months >:D

    The Highs have to be the Mets. From the Madoff thing to having to sell part of the team, to even David Wright saying “something is messed up here” in so many words, at least it makes me think maybe the Yankee’s troubles aren’t so bad? XD

  3. Jane Heller says:

    My mother would love you too if she met you, Mike. Count on it! I forgot all about Russell Martin (I really did blank on the highlights). I hope your prediction about him is right on the money. Andruw Jones? Sorry. I can’t get excited about that one. As for Greinke, I wonder how long he’ll stay in Milwaukee…..

    It’s a funny thing about the Mets, Dan. I know a lot of Yankee fans rejoice in their misery, but I’m not one of them. I just don’t feel much about them one way or the other. That said, I do feel for the victims of Bernie Madoff, and if the Wilpons knowingly profited from his scheme, they deserve everything that’s thrown at them.

  4. Barbara says:

    not getting cliff lee was the lowest for me combined with the red sox getting better. so we got worse (losing pettitte) and they got better. opps i’m a broken record. i’ll try to have something new to say some day. i feel so split–half excited that spring training is here and half anxious that this will be a very troubling year.

  5. John says:

    Highlight of off season is your new site! Lowlight is my not being able to go to spring training this year. My 12 year run is over.

  6. Melissa says:

    John, I’m so sorry you won’t make spring training. This year, a trip to Florida to get away from all the snow would have been especially sweet.

    The Jeter signing was a highlight and a lowlight. hey, he is still a Yankee, so that is good, but the organization showed little class in their dealings.

    Pettitte’s retirement was also both. There was something very sweet about seeing him so relaxed and happy. He deserves it. But the thought that he won’t be on the mound this year is sad.

    As for Cliffie, lowlight that he is not a Yankee. Highlight that he is not in the American League.

    I am not going to get upset about the team just yet. You never know what can happen. And the Yankees have been very good to me (baseball been berry good to me) over all these years.

  7. Paul says:

    Think positively. At least there aren’t appraisers surveying how much they can get for a bat rack like we’re expecting in Port St. Lucie with the Mets.

  8. Jeff says:

    They’re loading up the trucks now! Hot dog! It’s happening!

  9. Jane Heller says:

    I can feel your conflict, Barbara – excited that spring training is almost here, yet wary of what sort of a season it will be. But let me interject a note of positivity. Despite the lackluster off-season, this is the Yankees we’re talking about. They will be a force to be reckoned with, you’ll see. Yes, the pitching is suspect, but what team doesn’t have its weaknesses? I just hope everybody stays healthy.

    I’m so sorry you’re not going to spring training, John. It was quite a run you had. But you need to take care of your health first and foremost. The Yankees will be there next year and the year after that.

    Miss Sunshine, you really did make lemonade out of those lemons. (Yes, I’m talking to you, Melissa!). Very good way to look at the events you mentioned. I would also add the Soriano signing as a low light in the sense that Cashman and Hank/Hal were split on it but as a highlight because we now have a fantastic bullpen!

    Exactly, Paul. Things could be worse for the Yankees. As far as I know, nobody in the Steinbrenner family had close ties with Madoff.

    Very exciting that we’re almost there, Jeff. Another season is about to roll in.

  10. Bob Cerv says:

    Once again, I’m reminded of a scene from “Major League” (maybe cuz I loveitso)…Tom Berenger is rolling outa bed somewhere in Mez’co, answering the phone from Cleveland, and cussing out the GM, saying something like; “G**d***-it, man…if you were gonna call me, you could at LEAST say you were calling from the YANKEES!” I always loved that line…
    It could always be worse. Agree with Barbara that No Lee/Bosox Jackpot was the worst combination gut-punch. But now that 2011 has officially been proclaimed the Boston-Philadelphia Invitational Marathon, (what’d that be: the B-PIM?), featuring the Prohibitive Favorites, well, it’s nice to have the pressure directed somewhere else. Maybe some “Wild Thing” out there will surprise and delight us…maybe two…?
    Ah, the Mets. Like you, Jane, I have no animosity…rooted for ’em in WS’s of long ago, and my only time of angst was the 2000 Series (scared to death of how bad a loss to them would be). But that’s all over and done. If the Wilpons really truly profited via Madoff, well, the sports gods have their ways of evening the score. To make one last football analogy: two of the hottest NFL players last season were Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger. But they carried a LOT of very bad baggage. And they didn’t win the big prize, did they? So it goes…

  11. Jane Heller says:

    The Boston-Philadelphia Invitational Marathon. LOL, Dave! You have a point that it’ll be nice to be a bit under the radar this year, although the Yankees are never considered underdogs by anyone in any sport. A “wild thing” would be just the ticket. You never know when an Aaron Small will wander into our midst. I, too, rooted for the Mets against the Red Sox in the WS. No real animosity toward them unless, of course, we play them. Castillo dropping that pop-up is still one of my fave moments.

  12. Catherine says:

    Gee, this post is quite optimistic! LOL. Well, at least we’re almost at the point where we can start to determine just how “low” these lowlights will actually be. Who knows, Colon could end up with 15 wins and Cliff Lee could tear his ACL on Opening Day.

  13. Leo says:

    Andy retiring was the lowest point of this offseason in my opinion. We really could’ve used his services just for one last year as he made it clear he would be retiring after this year regardless. But one year would’ve given us enough time to transition without him going forward either in the form of calling up one of our good pitching prospects or trading for a good established starter such as Felix (pipe dream I know). But it can’t be helped. I tip my hat and thank him for all the memories and being such a classy person along with being a great and consistent pitcher. Lee couldn’t be helped as he wanted to go to Philly all along. I may be alone on this but I never wanted to give a 33 year old pitcher a long term contract. Near the end of it, it could’ve been disastrous. Yeah guess the only highlight was resiging Mo as you already said, Jane. Nothing else stands out.

  14. Barbara says:

    aceves has gone to the evil side. our ace is gone. ok not big but i did like him.

  15. Jane Heller says:

    Now that would be an interesting turn of events, Catherine. I don’t wish Cliff Lee any harm, but can you imagine if he ended up on the DL after all the off-season drama? Yikes. Hope not for his sake.

    It would have been great to have Andy for this season, Leo. He would have provided a solid transition, as you say. I was wary of giving Lee that contract too, but I would have been thrilled to have him on the staff for as long as he stayed healthy.

    I heard, Barbara. Ugh. I always liked Aceves too, but his back problems made him a liability. I just wish he’d gone somewhere else. Anywhere else, actually.

  16. Jane says:

    Let’s look at all these things with a different spin: Kristin Lee can’t say bad things about us this year, Jeter vs front office did not turn out to be a side show like Labron James, and the Colon/Garcia duo could deliver a knockout punch for the pen. However, I like Scott Boras about as much as Manny Ramirez–neither belongs in the Yankee clubhouse. I hope they can handle their business in one phone call yearly and Robbie stays on his game.

    My coworkers are already rolling their eyes in disgust how I enjoyed seeing A-Rod on Sunday, just to give me my brief baseball fix. The best thing about the Super Bowl is that it signals the impending arrival of spring training–kind of like my own ground hog for baseball! We play the Cubs in June for some interleague ball and we’re on the lookout for tickets. Can’t wait for the opening pitch, but still with the pit in my stomach and hole left in my heart with Andy’s departure. What a rock for the team and a very classy man–he played the game as the very epitome of what the Yankees stand for. May he enjoy every day of his well-earned retirement.

  17. Jane Heller says:

    Good call, Jane, about Kristin Lee and Jeter. Colon/Garcia won’t be in the pen though; they’ll either make the starting rotation or get cut. I enjoyed seeing A-Rod on Sunday for the very same reason! It was an actual Yankee. Of course we were excited! And what a good analogy about the Super Bowl being a kind of groundhog day for us baseball fans. Hope you get tix for the Cubs game. I’d love to go to that. Seriously.

  18. Antonella says:

    Well Andy takes the cake for me. I probably still have some running mascara on my face from all the tears. As for Cano & Boras, I don’t mind it. He’s a handful, of course, but most if not all his clients seem happy with what they get with these deals that he finds [I still can’t believe Jayson Werth got that much money]. That Colon/Garcia thing, let’s just say my feelings won’t be hurt if their cleats never touch Yankee Stadium but I guess it’s worth a shot. I did say yesterday on tumblr that the worst move the Yankees made this offseason was pissing Jeter off. I still stand by that BUT I think that extra fire will allow him to have a “SHUT THE HELL UP & WATCH ME WORK” type of season. I think he’s numbers will be great [at least I hope].

    As for Cliff Lee.. PSHT! Who the hell is Cliff Lee? *flips hair & clicks submit*

  19. Jane Heller says:

    Aw, are you still thinking about Andy, Antonella? Dry your tears, because we have to move on! I love your point about Jeter. He must have quite a fire in his belly after what went on. He can say his “It’s just another season” thing all he wants, but he has a lot to prove to quiet the doubters. I’d be thrilled to see him have a fabulous year and shut everybody up!