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Yankees Vs. Royals: How Are Things In Kansas City?

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The New York Yankees are back home to host the Kansas City Royals for three games.

Let’s take a look at what Kansas City has been up in 2011 before the series starts:

2011 Kansas City Royals:

The Royals have won six of their last 10 games and are currently in second place in the AL Central with an 18-16 record.

This is not the same Royals team as the past few seasons, that is as long as they are in Kansas City where their 15 home-wins leads the majors. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that they have won just three road games in 2011 and are coming into New York determined to improve on baseball’s worst road record.

The Royals could be two different teams with a 3.51 ERA at home compared to a 5.91 ERA on the road. Skipper Ned Yoast said his Royals had a bad road trip, but when the stats are so severely divided there has to be major concern unless the Royals can turn it around on the road quick.

‘It’s still so early in the season’ excuse has almost run its course for 2011; and for the Royals not winning outside of Kansas City just ain’t going to cut it much longer.

Two Thing Yankee Fans Should Look For:

1) What do the Royals have that Yankee fans miss….Got Melk? The Yankees old pal Melky Cabrera who is off to a hot start posting a .283 batting average, with 21 RBIs, 10 doubles, three home-runs, two triples and five walks so far this season.

The Melk-man would love nothing more to remind the Yankees front office just what they missed out on by not re-signing him this past off-season. Especially since Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez pleaded and begged the Yankee brass but they said no thanks.

My guess is the Melk-man is looking to have a big series against his old team; my fear is that Melk-man might deliver his ninth career walk-off hit this week in the Bronx. Expect loud cheers for Melky from the New York crowd when he steps to the plate, as he was a big part of the 2009 Championship team.

2) Royals have the best farm system in baseball (watch SUGAR on HBO on-demand) and Yankee fans should get a glimpse at two future stars. The first is 1B Eric Hosmer, who just got to the bigs on May 5th and ranks in the top 10 prospects in baseball. The other is middle reliever Aaron Crow, who has a slider that almost touches 90 mph and the Yankees will try to avoid having to face him at all costs.

Overall, the Royals are just out matched in this series, but they should put up a good fight and it will be a fun series to watch.

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New York Yankees: 8 Recent Good Moves Made By GM Brian’s Cashman

Brian Cashman

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When you are an employee of the New York Yankees the word pressure takes on a whole new meaning.

New York is a city that doesn’t just like to win, they expect to win. Hence the passionate Yankee fans, who are living and breathe this very sentiment.

So, when things go astray for the Yankees or any other MLB team who takes the blame?

A teams general manager and in the Bronx, that would be Mr. Brian Cashman.

So, what do GM’s really do other than play fantasy baseball for real???

To start a general manager is a team’s decision maker over who controls player transactions; hires and fires the coaching staff; develops the plan for the minor league system that entails keeping tabs on all the players from Single-A to Triple-A ball; stays in close touch with every scout in the field to keep tabs on amateur eligibility and who to draft each season and this is just the beginning of the list.

Cashman also has the daunting responsibility of being the Yankees spokesman for everything and the media in New York expects answers all the time.

Cashman has been the fans and media’s scapegoat for all failures; and sees little gratitude for putting together a contending team season after season for New York to be proud of.

Here, in no particular order, are my Top 8 Best Brain Cashman Moves as GM of the New York Yankees:

(Please note that Cashman did not have full authority until 2008, as The Boss had the last word on everything and a lot of bad contracts were unfairly blamed, so many on the list are recent. Hey success is success.)

  1. Yankee fans are familiar with Kerry Wood, after he joined the pinstripes post All-Star break last season and dominated as the team’s eighth inning pitcher. For Cubs fans, it was déjà vu because Wood not only dominated, but also stayed healthy through the end of the 2010 season. Yankee fans’ relationship with Wood was an immediate love affair and I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t want Wood back in 2011. Presumably I expect to hear that Wood got a new contract, but instead he want back to where it all started at a bargain price because he said it wasn’t about the money anymore. He would be closer to his family and would be helping Cubs ownership out as well. Wood is the real hero of this past off-season of putting baseball and life before anything else, not even money could buy it away from his loyalty to his Chicago Cubs.
  2. Try and Imagine if Cashman didn’t go after catcher Russell Martin? It would be a different team, who essentially would probably not be in first place now. The 28-year-old former All-Star is till uber-talented and seems to be healthy again. Martin had major knee issues when with the Los Angeles Dodgers so he was let go at the end of 2010. Martin was a popular guy this past off-season with the Red Sox and Yankees hot on his tail. Thank goodness Cashman pursued Martin so much considering Cervelli’s broken foot and rookie Jesus Montero’s bad Spring Training, the Yankees would have been in a jam at such an important place. Martin has blended with the pitching staff like he has been a Yankee for years; even Burnett is thriving with Martin guiding him along and keeping his head in check. Martin has also been a hitting machine with 24 hits, five doubles, six homers, 20 RBIs and drawn eight walks so far in the month of April….WOW!
  3. Curtis Granderson arrived in New York under the watchful eyes of Yankees fans, who were not very happy that he cost the team one of their rising stars that was weeks away from coming to the Bronx to début. Granderson initial start in New York was not great, as he struggled hitting lefties (career issue) and then wound up on the DL for 4-6 weeks suffering from a Grade II groin strain. It left the team sans a center-fielder and did not help Granderson earn the Yankee fans trust yet. Wow how quickly things can change, as Granderson came back and since last August has been sensational and hasn’t looked back. Granderson is dynamic in the field and has always been against righties, but know you can officially warn left-handed pitchers that Granderson is no longer an easy out or out of the line-up all together. While his counterpart, Austin Jackson is manning his old stomping ground in Detroit, he seems to have picked up Granderson’s striking-out numbers but did almost win the Rookie-of-the-Year in 2010. Overall looking back at this trade today…..Cashman made another trade that worked in the Yankees favor.
  4. On January 14, 2003 the Yankees made it official, to the biggest showing of media to a Yankees press conference in the team’s 100 year history, that three-time MVP for Tokyo Yomiuri Giants Hideki Matsui was now a Yankee. Matsui is considered a living icon in his home country of Japan and New York quickly learned why. He is the ultimate professional and when his team needed him to get a big hit that is just what Matsui did. Named the MVP of the 2009 World Series is not given to a team’s DH unless each at-bat was spectacular. Matsui came off-the-bench and guaranteed the Yankees a championship with every at-bat. I hope Matsui knows how much he is missed in the Bronx; and that he forever in Yankee fans minds be one of the best to ever don the pinstripes. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: 8 Recent Good Moves Made By GM Brian’s Cashman’ »

Baseball Movie You Must See

When we watch professional baseball players on TV or at the ballpark, none of us really understand what most had to go through to get to the top.

Getting there is even harder for the non-American players, who are in a totally unfamiliar place, without family and don’t have the words to communicate more than through actions on the field.

The movie SUGAR portrays a pitcher; Miguel Santos from the Dominican Republic drafted at age 16 by the Kansas City Royals and follows his steps through the minor leagues.  Santos’ nickname is ‘Sugar’ for his knuckle curveball was that sweet.

This movie will engross any baseball fan, as you fathom from the vast pressure put on someone so young to go all the way. From family you never knew to the realization that if this doesn’t work out that you are unequivocally uneducated to get anymore than a remedial job, if that.

SUGAR shows the little details of the everyday emotions and struggles faced in the minor leagues everyday. Not only is the baseball aspect fascinating, but also as an American you get to see how the country looks threw a young man’s raw viewpoint, which makes this movie all the powerful.

Trust me go and watch SUGAR. I can promise that you will walk away feeling like you really learned something about the sport of baseball that we tend to overlook or just never really understood in the first place.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Mets Not Trading Any Player To Yankees Ever

The popular trade-debate regarding the New York Mets and who was for sale out in Queens has been a hot topic around baseball.

Some media have suggested the New York Yankees as possible suitors, this speculation seemed a bit far fetched but let’s take a look at the ‘Other New York‘ team.

Who’s Been Mentioned?

  • 3B David Wright which is highly unlikely. The Mets fanbase has been through enough that losing the face of their franchise could be the straw that breaks the camels back, translation it would be a bad move.
  • SS Jose Reyes should start packing because he was going to San Francisco according to Mychael Urban at CSNBayArea.com, the Giants have had major discussions about Reyes but that doesn’t mean the Mets are on board. This trade makes more sense than Wright but I still doubt that Reyes will be going anywhere.
  • K-rod, the Mets closer has been mentioned to be open for discussion, but that would leave a huge whole for the Mets in their most constant and secure area. K-rod has seven saves so far in 2011 and his monster contract will be a hard sell anyway.
  • SportsNite is one of the better local and national sports shows speculated that Carlos Beltran would be a nice addition to an AL team who might be in need of a DH. The problem is Beltran would be a costly DH as the new owners would have to pay the remainder of Beltran’s $18.5 million left of his 2011 paycheck.

Who Could Go?

 

Out of all four of the above the only player that makes sense for the Mets is Beltran, but rumor has it that Reyes might actually be the front runner.

Does it make sense for another team to pay $10-12 million, plus give the Mets some rookie arms for a DH?

Beltran would be a perfect fit for the Tampa Bay Rays but that would be adding a fourth more to their $41 million dollar payroll, so that is NOT going to happen.

One of the hosts of SportsNite suggested the New York Yankees as a potential Beltran suitor, which I find absolutely preposterous and was shocked by the dumb idea.

First, just because the Yankees have money doesn’t mean that any free agent or trade that comes with a hefty salary would be a good fit in the Bronx.

The point by SportsNite host was that Jorge Posada was not producing in his new role as the Yankees DH and the Yankees could use Beltran.

That is true, but the Yankees will promote rookie Jesus Montero for free way before any $10+ million DH is going to be signed. The Bombers, minus a recent cold streak, are hitting harder than ever so this would seem like an extravagant and just plain stupid move that I can promise you will NEVER happen.

Regarding Reyes, who will play shortstop for the Amazins? And isn’t that kind of throwing in the towel early?

No doubt things are not going awesome in Queens but to give up Reyes who is finally healthy is a bit discouraging. Maybe if the Mets had a stacked farm system with talented prospects, but just disheartening for Mets fans.

Yahoo reported that the team’s ace Johan Santana said to be way ahead in his rehab. Mets General manager Sandy Alderson said this after hearing talking to the doctors:

“If you do the math, that gets you into the end of June, the first part or middle part of July.”

Bottom line is there is absolutely no way the Mets are going to help the Yankees in any way, ever that could lead to World Series #28.

Talk about riots, Mets fans would go ballistic until they grabbed their new Yankee jerseys and never looked back.

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New York Yankees: When It Rains It Pours

As the famous saying goes, When It Rains It Pours and right now the New York Yankees have slipped into a ruff patch.

So, what exactly has sent the Yankees into a hurricane?

  • The team lost it’s first series of the season to the Detroit Tigers, who took the last three games of the four game set.
  • It seems that the Yankees extremely hot bats have disappeared. The line-up got shutout on Wednesday night.
  • The Yankees have held the top spot in the AL East so far this season and the gap they were making less then a week ago has shrunk to just a game, as the surging Tampa Bay Rays won another game to close in on their division rivals.
  • Derek Jeter’s value defensively gets knocked constantly, but after watching the Yankees lose the last game in Detroit on Thursday opinions might have swayed. Jeter left Wednesday’s game in the eighth inning with some hip discomfort, so skipper Joe Girardi gave Jeter Thursday off. Subbing in was rookie Eduardo Nunez’s committed two throwing errors that allowed the Tigers to score three runs that cost the Yankees the game. Losing on defensive errors is intolerable and Nunez cannot afford to make these kinds of textbook mistakes.

The Biggest Blow of the week is definitely Eric Chavez fracturing his pinky toe on his left foot.

In the fourth inning of the Yankees 6-3 loss to the Tigers on Thursday afternoon, Chavez was running the bases after hitting a triple and when he arrived at third-base he said something felt wrong.

Chavez has been one of GM Brian Cashman topmost surprises he picked-up this off-season. Chavez is posting a .303 batting average with six RBIs in 17 appearances, as well as playing a solid third base to allow for A-rod to get a day off.

How long will Chavez be on the DL?

Chavez’s specific injury is medically referred to as a fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. It is the long bone of the midfoot that connects the little toe to the bone just in front of the heel.

This type of injury is not un-common for athletes, but has different treatments pending on the specific type of fracture but surgery is a possibility. Either way Chavez most likely will miss anywhere from 4-8 weeks, is my guess.

New York Giants running back Amhad Bradshaw and Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings both had this injury and the best method of repair for both stars was with surgery, which had them missing about 6 weeks each.

This is a blow as Chavez was fitting in beautifully on the team and not to mention the depth it gave New York off the bench.

After watching Nunez’s costly throwing errors, Girardi better have enjoyed the brief period of having a player as talented as Chavez at his beck and call.

It has been confirmed the Ramiro Pena has gotten the nod to take Chavez’s spot.

Pena defensively is solid, but his bat is almost useless but all-around not even close to making up for Chavez’s production.

All 30 MLB teams go through ups and downs during the grueling 162 games season. It is like a slap of reality for players and fans alike.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Braves To Yankees Trade Reaches All New Lowe

THE SITUATION:

It is no secret that the New York Yankees have been on a pitching crusade after losing both Cliff Lee and Andy Pettitte this past off-season.  GM Brian Cashman made a lot of heavily criticized moves that seemed desperate at the time, but have actually been the savior and reason behind the Yankees hot start.

Regardless, the Yankees are not going to pass on trading for a possible ace if one is available and again we have Cashman to thank for that.

Cashman has built the Yankees farm system from the ground-up. It also happens to be loaded in all the right places with multiple young catchers who coveted right behind lefty-arms in ranking order of value.

So the watch is on for teams, who by beginning of July, can afford to trade a top arm to fulfill either immediate needs to contend or looking to build towards the future.

The 28 (Red Sox not included) other teams are well aware of the talent the Yankees possess in the minors but it will take an ace to get Cashman to budge.

The recent speculation is that Brett Gardner could be a possibility but I wouldn’t bet on it. Gardner has had a rough first month, but his struggles seem to be going away now anyway and once he starts stealing bases again this idea will get squashed.

WHY THE BRAVES CAN GET RID OF LOWE:

This brings me to the Atlanta Braves, who currently sit at 15-15 and this team cannot afford to watch the Phillies and Marlins surge while they sit dead and stale playing .500 baseball.

Pitching is not the issue, as the Braves retain one of the prime rotations in baseball, with Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson, Derek Lowe, Jair Jurrjens and Brandon Beachy.

Problem is the lack of bats has been costing the team wins.

Luckily Atlanta has viable back-up arms down in the minors that are major league ready and serviceable at the back end of their rotation. This gives Atlanta some wiggle room to get a much-needed big bat to get their line-up, which consists of Dan Uggla and Chipper Jones hitting.

Newsday’s Ken Davidoff ‘s recent article reminded me of the fact that Lowe had been on Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s radar for sometime; as Cashman almost inked Lowe before the 2009 season but instead went with AJ Burnett.

Lowe was recently busted on April 29th for a DUI; as Georgia State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright stated that, last Thursday night Lowe was racing his Porsche down a residential street in the tony Atlanta neighborhood of Buckhead and refused to take a breathalyzer at the scene.

So, the 37-year-old Lowe now has legal woes to deal with, but he still made his scheduled start 48 hours after his arrest on May 1st.

Davidoff seems convinced a Yankees and Braves Lowe-trade could be likely down the road. While I entirely agree with Davidoff about Atlanta getting rid of Lowe for a sustainable bat; I don’t believe the Yankees will be the team on the other end of the deal. Continue reading ‘MLB Trade Rumors: Braves To Yankees Trade Reaches All New Lowe’ »