Friday, May 21, 2010

Are the yankees in trouble?

Ok. I know Yankees don’t have a bad record so far. However, there are two things very obvious right now.

First of all, Yankees certainly don’t have the same luck this year as they received last year in the injury department.

And then Cashman’s offseason moves don’t work out too well, do it? Most of predictions I made on the post of What Cashman has done this off-season become reality.

I know Hideki Matsui doesn’t perform so well in LA land. However, at least, he is playing. Who knows how he will perform in the Yankees lineup. But, Nick Johnson is hurt again and sits on the 60 days disable list.

The plan of replacing Johnny Damon with Curtis Graderson doesn’t work, either. Not to mention that Austin Jackson plays quite well in Detroit. On top of that, Javier Vazquez seems can’t handle the pressure of playing in New York while many old players show their ages, including Posada, Andy and Mo. These problems only prove my concerns about the catcher and bullpen are legitimate.

We only can hope Yankees can weather this storm.

Let’s Go Yankees!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

To readers

I know I haven’t updated my blog for a long long time. There is nothing to do with the fact of Wang’s leaving. As a matter of fact, it results from having a pretty busy job.

The good news is it is still in the spring training. Because of my busy job, I am not planning to follow team that much before season begins.

Once the season starts, I will watch the game as much as I can. Of course, I won’t be afraid of expressing my opinion.

Please keep your eyes on my blog for further updates.

Let’s Go Yankees!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Goodbye, Damon

I know I haven’t updated my blog for a long time. However, as you guys know, January and February are slow months in terms of baseball news.

Ok, Yankees sign Randy Winn for 2 million and close the door for Johnny Damon’s return officially. I don’t know whose fault for this because I don’t involve in negotiation.

Based on my negotiation experience, it is really hard to figure out why because there are too many parties with too many moving parts during the negotiation. Not to mention, we all try to test opponent’s bottom line.

I am fine with Yankees upgrading their defense by bring in Randy Winn. However, the result is lose-lose situation for both parties. I stick to my point: Yankees will regret not to bring back one of Damon or Matsui back this season.

I hope I am wrong about that. Let’s Go Yankees!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What Cashman has done this off-season

Let me get straight to the point. I don’t like the moves Cashman has made this off-season even though I have been in Cashman’s supporters’ camp. It seems everyone likes his moves. Not for me. Those moves make Yankees better on paper. However, I have a hunch that those moves may come back to bite us. As a diehard Yankees fan, I hope I am wrong about my prediction.

I also start wondering whether Cashman has the ability to make good signings or trades in order to improve his team when he can’t throw money at the problems.

I believe Cashman makes those decisions based on the numbers. I am pretty sure you guys get tons of analyses like that. You are not going to get one from me. My opinion is more based on my observation.

I believe chemistry can affect the team performance. I believe some players can perform better under the pressure or at the clutch time than others. I also believe the team overall performance can be better when some players play with certain players.

From this point on, barring some surprises, two things are more likely happening in Yankeesland. First of all, Cashman may add a second-tier left outfielder. Secondly, he may add one bat off the bench. So, it will be a great time to review what Cashman has done this off-season?

Well, he basically replaces Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Melky Cabrera and numbers of no.4 starter(Joba chamberlain, Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, etc) with Curtis Granderson, Nick Johnson, Jamie Hoffmann and Javier Vazquez while he almost empties the depth of minor league system except catching department.(P.S. You can’t count Joba and Hughes because they are already major leaguers.)

Of course, I don’t count players don’t contribute that much this season, such as Bruney, Nady, Wang,etc. I also don’t include the possible impact of losing Molina, Phil Coke, etc.

Because I already commented on what I think regard of Curtis Granderson trade, I am not going to repeat one more time. But, in short, you can say it is a push when it comes down to Johnny Damon vs Curtis Granderson because Johnny Damon is a contact hitter with more speed who can put together more good at-bats and Curtis Granderson is younger with more power.

As for Nick Johnson deal, let me make one point clear. I understand Yankees don’t bring Matsui back due to age and injury concerns. The days he plays on the field are gone, it makes Yankees very difficult to rotate DH spot for Jeter, A-Rod, Teixeira and Posada. But, why bring into a younger version of Matsui? I know there is slight difference when Nick has high base percentage and Matsui has more power. But, he also can’t stay healthy and will be our full time DH with occasional first baseman.

These analyses above are rational. Irrationally, I rather have Damon and Matsui than Nick and Granderson because I trust them more to delivery at the clutch time. If I were Cashman, I would trade for Granderson and sign Damon back.

Of course, I don’t have problems with Nick instead of Matsui if Yankees spend over their budget they claim they have again and end up with getting Damon back in the end.

If Cashman ends up with a second-tier left fielder(not Damon) along with Nick and Gradnerson after trading Melky, I am afraid of this experiment may not end too well.

There are just too many players in the lineup we are not sure what we can get. Don’t forget A-Rod has a hip surgery that requires second surgery originally. Don’t forget Swisher actually perform better than most people expect. Let alone Posada stays healthy while Jeter plays well. On top of that, we actually have Melky and Gardner platoon for center fielder. I am not sure what we can get from Gardner when he plays everyday.

As for Javier Vazquez trade, it is a good deal if the only thing we ask him to do is pitching behind CC, AJ and Pettitte. If one of top 3 gets hurt that is high possibility after the workload they endure for 2009 season and we ask the other guys pitch at the spot they are not supposed to be along with a uncertain no.5 starter, I can see the disaster waiting to happen.

I just don’t feel too comfortable with the combination of three-year workload of CC, injury history of AJ, age of Pettitte and uncertainty of Joba and Hughes. That is why I don’t like the trade for Javier Vazquez.

I know Javier Vazquez has a nice track record of durability. But, it doesn’t guarantee it will happen again in 2010. Let alone what happened in 2004. If I were Brian Cashman, I will push for a front line starter who proves he can handle American league, such as Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, John Lackey,etc. Even if we can’t get one of them, I will use the same amount of money given to Javier Vazquez to sign both Chien-Ming Wang and Ben Sheets that will bring us two potential two frontline starters.

The other two things what Cashman has done this off-season I don’t like are bullpen and catchers. He basically hand the job to Cervelli. Don’t get me wrong. Cervelli has done a great job. But, can he handle the job as a full time backup to Posada? Let alone the possibility to be a starting catcher if Posada gets hurt again. I think Yankees underestimate the value of Molina.

Of course, I know Yankees have depth in catching department down the farm system. But, are they ready?

The other thing is no move at all made by Cashman for the bullpen. I know relief pitchers except closers perform differently every year. I know Girardi shows the ability to manage the bullpen well. However, I am not too sure Girardi has enough options after Cashman almost empties high level of Yankees minor league system this offseason.

Don’t forget Mo is 40 year old, especially when you consider the workload he endures during playoff run. On top of that, it seems to me Mo loses his stuff a little bit after the injury he suffered at previous year. Not to mention, he told to reporters after playoff he pitched with some sort of injuries.

Even if Mo is Mo and someone from somewhere can do the good job in the bullpen, Yankees certainly need a more certain setup man. I believe that guy will be Joba who Yankees finally stretch him out enough as a starter. Keep in mind two things. There are more frontline starters available while Pettitte is more likely retired next year.

That is why I would sign or trade someone to be Mo’s setup man if I were Cashman this off-season. Just in case, Mo may get hurt or pitch not so well. If the guy perform well, he may be the potential heir to Mo next season or use as leverage to get Mo back at reasonable price. By getting a new setup man, we can put both Joba and Hughes into the rotation where they are supposed to be. Because there are some uncertainty surrounding with Joba and Hughes as starters, The signings of Ben Sheets and Chien-Ming Wang as safety net will work out perfectly.

Among CC, AJ, Pettitte, Joba, Hughes and Sheets, someone will get injured or pitch not so well. Of course, the other 5 guys can form a great rotation. Because the depth we have in the rotation, we can ease Wang back to his old form right around All-Star break for potential injury. Even if Sheets and Wang don’t work out well for Yankees, they are one-year deal and we can see what we can get from Joba and Hughes.

That being saying, I bet one of Sheets and Wang will perform well in 2010. By the way, we can save some depth in the minor league system by not making a trade for Javier Vazquez.

Hopefully, I am wrong and Yankees have the same luck as 2009 season in terms of injury.

Let’s Go Yankees!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Notable Rehabilitation Pitchers

There are few notable rehabilitation projects this off-season. It’s is interesting to see what kind of deals they can get and where they land. The most interesting part for me is how they perform in 2010 and which team ends up with getting the highest reward for their relatively cheap signings.

The list includes Rich Harden, Justin Duchscherer, Kelvim Escobar, Ben Sheets and Chien-Ming Wang. Anyone else?

Three pitchers on the list already got their deals that are all major league deals. According to reports, Ben Sheets is seeking for 12MM deal while there are 15 teams are interested in signing Wang.

As the list below shows, I guess Ben sheets will get a deal close to what Rich Harden gets while Wang will get a similar deal as Kelvim Escobar or Justin Duchscherer. Agree? Disagree?

Who will perform the best in 2010 is everyone’s guess. As a Taiwanese, I hope is Wang. However, I think Ben Sheets will pitch the best among them because it seems Rich Harden and Justin Duchscherer get injured a lot while Wang and Escobar come off shoulder injuries. Agree? Disagree?

Rangers Rich Harden (born 1981, 11, 30)

Injury & Achievement
1) Has a checkered health history (he's never pitched 190 innings in a season)
2) He's got No. 1 stuff and averaging 9.4 per nine innings throughout his career.

Base Deal

1) 3.5MM based on innings pitched
2) 11MM mutual option for 2011
3) 1MM buyout for 2011 mutual option

A's Justin Duchscherer (born 1977, 11, 19)

Injury & Achievement
1) Proved dominant as both a starter and reliever, posting a 2.82 ERA in 214 appearances for the A's.
2) Spent most of the season on the disabled list with an injured right hip in 2007
3) Missed the 2009 season due to shoulder and back injuries and a bout with clinical depression

Base Deal

1) 3.5MM based on games started and innings pitched

Mets Kelvim Escobar (born 1976, 4, 11)

Injury & Achievement
1) Between 2004 and 2007, Escobar posted a 3.60 ERA and a 2.63 K-BB ratio with Angels
2) He missed the entire 2008 season with shoulder problems
3) Labrum surgery in July 2008 limited him to just five innings of major league work in 2009

Base Deal

1) 125K for making the Mets' Opening Day roster
2) 2MM based on games pitched
3) 1MM based on games finished

Ben Sheets (born 1978, 7, 18)

Injury & Achievement
1) Missing all of 2009 with a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow
2) Posted a 3.09 ERA in 2008 ?

Chien-Ming Wang (born 1980, 3, 31)

Injury & Achievement
1) 2 times 19 games winner with 55-26 record in five years with the Yankees
2) Start 2008 season with 8-2 record before injuring his right foot when running the base
3) Coming off right shoulder surgery and might not be able to pitch until midseason

Wang: I will be ready for rehabilitation games at April

I know Wang’s days in Pinstripes are over. Just for someone may still have interests in knowing what is going on with Wang.

During the latest public appearance last Friday for his charity fund which will be the last one in Taiwan as Wang is going to go back to the United States at the end of December, Wang said he has no hard feeling toward to Yankees for the decision of letting him go because he understands the team has their own considerations.

He will go to Alabama to see Doctor James Andrews on January 4th in order to get the updated information on his injured right shoulder. After that, he will go to Fisher center for the rehabilitation continuously.

As for his future, he is interested in playing for any team no matter where the team is located. It all depends on how the negotiation goes. He focuses on his rehabilitation and the rest of stuffs he will leave to his agent.

As for his progress, he begins his long-toss program on the flat ground on Dec 1st. Right now, He has thrown 3 days a week with 55 throws per days, including 15 throws at 45 feet, 25 throws at 60 feet and 15 throws at 90 feet. So far, there is no issue and he feels great. He expects to be ready for rehabilitation games on April and then major league games on May.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays!

First of all, Happy Holidays! I know I haven’t updated my blog regularly lately. Thanks the patience from all of my readers if there is anyone left right now.

As you guys know, I have been back to Taiwan from Australia for few months. I just got my new job almost 2 months ago. Before settling down, I really can’t spend too much time on my blog. There is nothing to do with Wang’s leave.

I know I promise to set up my new website. That plan is still out there. Hopefully, it can become reality pretty soon.

Of course, Yankees always have ways to keep fans busy during off-season. There is no exception this time around. There are many moves happening and I haven’t missed any one of them. I will post my comments shortly. However, this post belongs to holidays.

After more than 10 years moving around Tainan, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Los Angeles and Sydney by myself, I decide to go back to Taiwan and stays with my family.

It turns out to be a great decision. I have been pretty enjoyed the time with my family. We have watched movies and worked out together. We all know it is good to do whatever you want when you live outside by yourself. However, you will feel pretty lonely during holidays and the days you are sick. Trust me on that if you haven’t lived by yourself.

My family is planning to celebrate New Year somewhere in Taiwan. How about you guys? Any plan?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Welcome Back, Andy

Andy Pettitte re-signs with Yankees for one year deal which is worthy 11.75M. Our rotation certainly looks much better with Andy in fold.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Curtis Granderson and Brian Bruney trades

It seems Yankees never stay still during any point of season, including off-season and playoffs. This certainly gives Yankees fans many things to talk about and have chances to love Yankees more which is a good thing.

There is no exception this off-season as well.

As for Brian Bruney trade, I really can't say I will miss him because it seems to me he always walks tons of guys that is a big no-no for me to a pitcher. I rather pitchers to give up hits than walking guys.

As for Curtis Granderson trade, my first reaction is Yankees giving up a little bit too much for him. Personally, I won't give up Austin Jackson for him. That being saying, I will rather Yankees have him than giving another big long term contract to relative older players, such as Jason Bay and Matt Holliday. Of course, I know they are much better overall players than Curtis Granderson. But, at some point, you have to ask how many long term contracts Yankees want to tie to for at least next 5 years.

I don't know prospects good enough to say which team gets the best deal out of this three-way trade. However, no one knows for sure how all the prospects will turn out to be.

If what Brian Cashman says is true which Yankees’ priority this off-season is pitching and a left fielder with no-so-firm fewer pay roll on hand, I think this deal means few things. First of all, I think this deal pretty much closes door on Jason Bay and Matt Holliday. Brian Cashman always likes to have flexibility. I don’t think he will go out to give another long term deal.

As for Johnny Damon, Yankees probably gain some leverages during negotiation. If Damon asks more than 2 year deal which I won’t give to him, I can see Yankees go to lesser players in order to add some depth. As we see this season, Melky and Gardner can handle the platoon situation. That being saying, Damon is a good fit to no.2 spot as DH and plays some games at the left field in order to give DH spot for Posada, Jeter, A-Rod and Teixeira once a while.

Brian Cashman probably focuses on starting pitchers and bench players from this point on. However, I think this deal may have an impact on Roy Halladay deal for couple of reasons. Of course, I assume Yankees will get Pettitte’s deal done at some point of this off-season.

Firstly, I don’t think Cashman is willing to give up prospects and giving another big long term contract to a pitcher after signing AJ and CC the past off-season. As history shows, there is a big risk to give any pitcher a long term contract. One will think two long term contracts to pitchers will be enough. I know Roy Halladay is an ACE, but he will be 33 year old in 2010. Do you really want to sign him through 37,38?

Secondly, I don’t think Cashman want to give up all good prospects he has at the same off-season after dealing Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy and Phil Coke. You don’t give up prospects and let him walk at the end of 2010 season. Draft picks mean much less for Yankees than other small market teams. As Girardi shows he can handle the bullpen well, Yankees will need all the pitching depth they have on the higher minor league system to fill up their bullpen and(or) rotation. You can’t deal all of them away.

If I have to guess now, I think Yankees will bet and sign one or two veteran starting pitchers for a short term deal this off-season in order to fill up the end of rotation. Let us wait and see.

Let’s Go Yankees!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Two tidbits from Taiwan related to Yankees

# According to Taiwanese news, NY Yankees Scout Donny Rowland is going to come to Taiwan to hold the press conference in order announce the signing of a 18-year-old Taiwanese player, 郭阜林(his Chinese name, I can't find his English name), for about three hundred thousand dollars.

If you guys are able to read Mandarin, please use this link to read the full profile of this player.

He is an infield who plays great defense at third base. Basically, he is right-handed power hitter who hits the middle of lineup to drive in runs. His batting average is 0.485 and he drives in 16 runs during the most recent tournament he plays.

# Wang starts light tosses in Taiwan based on Taiwanese news.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No-tender Wang?

I have read comments from quite a few experts believe Wang will be willing to accept any kind of deal to stay with Yankees in order to get his big endorsement deals. As a Taiwanese who loves Yankees for a long time, I can tell you this belief is totally wrong. This belief definitely comes from an American’ point of view. I can’t blame many experts from U.S have that thought when you consider how big franchise Yankees is in the United States. I realize this when I was in the United States few years ago.

In Taiwan, we have quite a few successful people in all kinds of fields who are very famous around the world, such as Ang Lee, etc. Among them, we also have few other very successful athletes as well. But, I believe Wang means so much to Taiwanese than anyone else because his personality, his work ethics, his charity works, etc.

As long as he keeps fighting and pitching at least at average level in the major league. No matter which team he goes, most Taiwanese will follow him around and support him as usual. In fact, Wang just get a new big sponsorship deal from one of his biggest sponsors, Acer, few days ago. Acer not only pays Wang the same amount of dollars as previous years but also promise to let him leave earlier for rehab without making ads for them. In the past two seasons, Wang still gets quite few endorsement deals even though he was injured most of time.

Furthermore, more and more Taiwanese hopes Wang chooses to leave Yankees. Most of Taiwanese understand baseball and the business side of baseball. Believe me, most Taiwanese expect much more out of Wang than any Yankee fan. Many Taiwanese just feel Yankees front office don’t show enough respect to Wang. many of them hopes Wang not to keep saying how much he wants to stay with Yankees because that may decrease his leverage.

For me, I have mixed feeling regard of Wang’s situation. I know many pitchers can not come back from shoulder surgery. However, I hope he stays because you never have enough pitching. Any pitching staff can be looked terrible when they suffer one or two injuries. Even if Wang comes back at 50% of his 2006-2007 form, he can be a good enough no.4 or no.5 starter.

But, I don’t think Wang will be back. First of all, at this moment, Wang needs playing time to reestablish his value. Small market teams can fill that bill. Secondly, I think one of 30 clubs will give Wang a major league deal and is willing to gamble on him. Thirdly, Wang may have some hard feeling toward to Yankees front office because the way they treat him even though most Asian don’t express their feeling much. Fourthly, Wang once says he like the life style of Seattle, LA, etc. Fifthly, Brian Cashman and his front office staff express more than once how much they like to have power and strikeout pitchers on Yankees staff. Lastly, I believe Wang can accumulate service time if he gets a major league deal somewhere. At the end of 2009 season, it sounds Wang knows Yankees don’t want to have him back when he was interviewed by Taiwanese reporters.

It’s interesting to see how the things turn out. Hopefully, Yankees can work out a deal with Wang because Wang wants to stays. Wang once says Yankees is a great team and the only team he has played for.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

From parade

Great pictures from The Journal News on parade.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Let the Hot Stove begins!

This is just the life of our Yankee fans. This is just the reaction and love we have toward to our beloved New York Yankees.

Let us talk about this after parade.

Yes, Every Yankee fan, Here is 27th Title

Let me describe the scene I saw yesterday at my office. As I told you on previous post, I can't take a day off because I just report to the new job.

Once the o'clock turned to lunch time yesterday, a lot of my colleagues ran toward to cafeteria for television. At that time, the game was on top of 8th inning. Marte just got the lefty out he need to . Here we go. Girardi called on Mo to close the game.

Since that moment, everyone in the cafeteria wants to have a strike call for every pitch. With every minute and every pitch passing by, our lunch break closes to the end. Everyone in the cafeteria start screaming on "come on".

When Mo gets the ground ball to Cano, everyone stands up and ready go back to work with a smile on the face.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Let go Andy!

Before game 6 of ALCS, I said I have a hunch that Bombers would win game 6. However, I don't know what will happen for game 6 of World Series. I really don't want to see game 7.

I won't be able to watch live game tomorrow because of job.

Let go Andy. Let us celebrate.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yankees will win Game 6 of ALCS

I know you guys hate to see game 6 of ALCS getting rained out and move to today. I really think MLB should get rid of all off days except travel days. Those off days really cool off fans.

By the way, I just get my new job in Taiwan and start working tomorrow when Yankees play against Angels for game 6 at Yankees stadium. So, I can't be there for Yankees tomorrow. But, I have a hunch that our bombers will come through. Why? I have two reasons.

First of all, I truly believe I bring bad luck to my team. There is always some bad things happening when I watch. Every time I go to ball parks to watch games, it seems my team loses most of time. Do you guys remember game 5 when Hughes give up those 2 runs to Angels that eventually let Yankees lose that game? I just wake up and turn on TV. So, If I can't be there for Yankees tomorrow for Yankees, they will win that game.

Second reason comes from a playoff game I watched yesterday. I went to watch game 6 of Taiwan Series which is world Series of Taiwanese professional baseball league with my sister yesterday. My sister's favorite team is in that series. That game ends up playing 17 innings for 6 hours 14 minutes which is the longest playoff game in the world.(P.S. The longest playoff game in MLB is 5 hours 50 minutes. I think.) The point is my sister's favorite team wins that game. So, Yankees will be tomorrow as well.

Let's Go Yankees!