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MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees Want To Bring Twins Francisco Liriano To New York

The rumor that New York Yankees have been interested in Minnesota Twins Francisco Liriano has reappeared again over the last week, according to ESPN’s Andrew Marchand Trade Watch.

It is no secret that the Yankees are in the market for another starting pitcher, which I am not opposed too but not right now.

My understanding was GM Brian Cashman motto is ‘to be patient’ and at this point there are reasons I jumped on Cashman’s slow bandwagon. Let’s apply the power of patience to this specific situation:

  1. Liriano came to Spring Training complaining of a sore shoulder; no one heard a word from him during the off-season where he usually plays winter-ball; and gets an MRI from some doctor in Miami that nobody in the Twins organization knew about. When asked if he did his shoulder exercises in the off-season, Liriano said no, and so that is the reason for the tendentious. He is almost 28-years-old, with a not so great attitude and the Twins haven’t hidden the fact they were not happy. He has potential to be an ace as in 2010 posted a 14-10 record, with a 3.62 ERA, 201 strikeouts and throwing just shy of 192 innings. Still, this just doesn’t feel right.
  2. The Yankees will have to over pay BIG for Liriano’s hurt arm. Rumor has it not Joba Chamberlain, but touted prospect Jesus Montero or Phil Hughes plus god knows how many other prospects. It is not worth it, at least not now. If fans get robbed of seeing Montero there might be a riot, especially after Austin Jackson got traded last season to the Tigers.
  3. Even though it is not happening now or maybe at all in 2011, the Yankees should hold on to their young arms. Specifically, 22-year-old Dellin Betances, 23-year-old Andrew Brackman, and 19-year-old Manny Banuelos, this is presuming that Ivan Nova is not going to be made available, as he shouldn’t be. These kids have shown tons of potential and impressed in Spring Training. Remember the current World Champion San Francisco Giants won with their dynamo young pitchers, maybe the Yankees should take note. Continue reading ‘MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees Want To Bring Twins Francisco Liriano To New York’ »

Hank Aaron Takes A Cheap Shot At Yankees Alex Rodriguez

New York Yankees all-star Alex Rodriguez has been a media target since the first day he put on his pinstripes.

Mind you, A-rod didn’t help the cause along the way.  Still, no matter what, when you are the highest paid player in New York and add that to a presence that made Jeter fans feel threatened, getting attention was inevitable.

Trying to describe A-rod’s time as a Yankee is almost impossible, but it continues to be filled with heavy expectations that he is paid to play.

This season seemed no different, until I watched A-rod’s press conference at the start of 2011 Spring Training. He really looked happy, which was refreshing and well deserved. He has dropped 10+ pounds, got the green light regarding his hip injury, which finally made A-rod just normal.

First thought in my head was, good for him. I have always had A-rod’s back until recently, but I blame it on being brainwashed temporarily.

Of course non-drama A-rod didn’t last long, specifically this past Sunday NY Post, yes two days ago, it ended when I started reading Serby’s Sunday Q & A With Hank Aaron.

Let me say I was pissed off.

Mr. Aaron is a living legend, and one that I thought had more class than to compare teammates who still play right next to each other (Jeter & A-rod).

Mr. Aaron’s comments about A-rod were hurtful, unnecessary and if it was supposed to be constructive criticism there are other ways to go about it.  Sadly, his other answers were pretty un-interesting but since the article started with the A-rod questions it was hard to even want to read anymore, like how  Joe Torre was lady killer.

Here is why I think Mr. Aaron owes an apology to A-rod:

The Post’s Steve Serby chatted with 77-year-old Hammerin’ Hank, now a spokesman for Topps, whose 755 career homers have been topped by only tainted Barry Bonds.

Q: Do you think Alex Rodriguez is a threat to break the all-time home run record?
A: I think he is. If he puts things where it’s supposed to be at. I think Rodriguez has got too many irons in the fire right now. I think his head’s not level enough to the point where he can have the kind of year that it takes in order to go past all of the records in the book.
Q: In what way? Continue reading ‘Hank Aaron Takes A Cheap Shot At Yankees Alex Rodriguez’ »

Lady Loves Pinstripes Exclusive Interview: Getting To Know ThroughTheFenceBaseball.com

The first time I went clicked onto Through The Fence Baseball, I spent at least an hour reading all the different content it had to offer.

For a new baseball website, Through The Fence Baseball covers it all, is easy to navigate, features some unique sections and enough fantasy baseball that will make a reader come back again and again

Here at Lady Loves Pinstripes, I had the pleasure of interviewing Through The Fence Baseball founder Jamie Shoemaker, who answered all my questions about his wonderful site. Shoemaker also discusses the upcoming season and of course I got his opinion on the New York Yankees.

With the 2011 season just four weeks away, it is the perfect time to check out some baseball websites, and Through The Fence Baseball is one you will want to be familiar with…here is my Q & A:

1) How did you come up with the concept for Through The Fences?

I came up with Through The Fence Baseball out of the blue. I was trying to think of a title I could run with that relates to a baseball saying. Playing baseball all my life, I had a coach that would always say “Hit the ball through the fence, not over. It forces you to stay within yourself and in the end, you ultimately achieve the later”. That same coach would tell outfielders the same thing when tracking down a ball “Run through the fence, not to the fence”. I’m really not sure how often that worked out in our favor. So, we’re attempting to go through the fence, not over.

2) Through The Fences just launched this month, how did you get so much attention from the get-go? Like mentions on ESPN personalities and MLB Trade Rumors?

Connections and being able to show what you believe in with confidence. We have some great interviews and partnerships coming up that we are really excited about.

3) Through The Fences has a cool blog by Toronto Blue Jay Ryan Shopshire, who is writing about his trip through the minors; do you think we will see him in the majors during this season?

You know, anything can happen! At Through The Fence Baseball, we would love for him to see action in the Majors this year. Unfortunately, I don’t think they are projecting him to hit the majors this summer. He finished at A+ last year. Not sure yet on where he will start this year. I guess a September call up is a best-case scenario right now. I’ll be honest; I’m not too familiar with the Blue Jays minor league system. Not sure on how many pitching prospects have the inside track.

4) Is Through The Fences just mainly a place for baseball fans or are you hoping it leads to something else long-term?

It’s always going to be a place for baseball fans. We’re hoping it leads to big things long-term! Like I said before, we have some great things coming up and some interesting content waiting to be published. We’re excited and our writers are too. Don’t want to give away too much, too early. We have some work with Charities and MLB sponsored companies coming up on the horizon.

5) What teams look to be the favorites heading into 2011? Or any other predictions? Continue reading ‘Lady Loves Pinstripes Exclusive Interview: Getting To Know ThroughTheFenceBaseball.com’ »

2011 Spring Training: Yankees First Weekend News And Notes

2011 Spring TrainingThe New York Yankees spilt games with the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend, but these exhibition game outcomes don’t forecast anything in terms of regular season success.

What it does allow is for managers and coaches to hold auditions for unfilled positions and players to fight for a spot on the 25-roasters.

As everyone knows, the Yankees are looking for a fourth and fifth starter to fill out the back end of the rotation, while watching the progress of catcher Russell Martin’s health and figuring out who will be his back up between star prospect Jesus Montero and Francisco Cervelli.

The success of the Yankees is also looming on the continued maturity of Phil Hughes and Robinson Cano, much better pitching by AJ Burnett and the rebirth of shortstop Derek Jeter.

Here are some things to note from the first weekend out of Yankees camp:

PITCHING:

  • Pitcher Bartolo Colon pitched a solid two innings in Saturday’s opener. He displayed a mid-90’s fastball, changeup and a cutter. Colon threw 23 of 36 for strikes, giving up one walk, two hits and a run, which sets the bar for the Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre and Freddie Garcia to match. Colon pitched this winter in the Dominican Republic, where he went 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA over seven starts. He did come to camp 25 pounds overweight, but past elbow problems didn’t bother the 38-year-old at all.
  • All the fuss about how much bigger Joba Chamberlain looked when he arrived to Tampa was put to rest on Saturday. Chamberlain came out attacking in the third inning, clocking a 94 mph fastball and posting one strikeout. Chamberlain tweaked his starting motion in the off-season, dropping his hands from chest to belt level, and it seems to have paid off.
  • Ivan Nova started the second game and was dynamite. Throwing 14 strikes out of 21 pitches, Nova baffled the heart of the Phillies order with a three-pitch strikeout of Ryan Howard. Nova looked good.
  • Sergio Mitre followed Nova by pitching a scoreless inning, as he has a chance to be a starter but is almost more useful as used as a Longman out of the bullpen. Mitre will make one more emergence out of the bullpen before he makes his first start.
  • Touted pitching prospect Dellin Betances made his Spring Training debut on Sunday and struck-out the side, allowing one walk in a scoreless fifth inning. Betances will start the season in Double A, but if the 22-year-old keeps developing at this rate he has future ace written all over him.

OTHER NOTES:

Yankees Dilemma: If You Were CC Sabathia What Would You Do?

The New York Yankees are never short of drama, and at the start of spring training, ace CC Sabathia became the latest headline.

After finishing the 2008 season without making the playoffs, the Yankees went on an offseason spending spree. The team’s biggest purchase was ace Sabathia, who inked a monster contract worth $152 million to keep him in pinstripes for seven seasons.

Sabathia, being from the West Coast, was reluctant to call the Bronx home. So, along with the cash came an opt-out clause that allowed for Sabathia to say adios at his discretion after three seasons.

The added reassurance might have been the reason Sabathia finally signed but now could cost the Yankees their ace or dollars, and Yankee fans are concerned.

From the moment Sabathia stepped on the mound at Yankee Stadium, he has been worth every penny.

To say he is the Yankees’ ace is an understatement, as Sabathia has been a CY Young-caliber pitcher, posting a 40-15 record, a 3.27 ERA, with 394 strikeouts. He is an absolute workhorse and innings-eater, throwing for 468 total.

The Yankees won the 2009 World Series and made it to the 2010 ALCS on Sabathia’s shoulders. He was named the 2009 ALCS MVP, made the 2010 All-Star team and came in fourth and second in the CY Young voting respectively.

Not only is this 6’7″ athlete a giant player but an absolutely delightful teammate, who was embraced by Yankee fans like he had been here his whole career.

So, when Sabathia answered the question of why he wouldn’t opt out during a TV interview at a Knicks game on December 8, 2010, fans thought the ace said he was here to stay.

Sabathia’s exact words were:

“I signed up for seven years, and this is a good organization. You get a chance to win a championship every year, so it was an easy decision.”

Well, now this tune has changed, as Sabathia didn’t reiterate the same sentiments the first day of spring training. It is what he didn’t say that is making Yankee fans anxious, as Sabathia didn’t utter the same words and left the door open that anything can happen regarding his contract. Continue reading ‘Yankees Dilemma: If You Were CC Sabathia What Would You Do?’ »

MLB Breaking News: Cardinals Singing St. Louis Blues With Loss Of Ace Adam Wainwright

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The Cardinals GM John Mozeliak confirmed that St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright would need Tommy John Surgery and is out for the 2011 season.

Another tough break before Spring Training games even start. The team failed to lock in Albert Puljos who will hit the free agent market at the end of 2011; and just yesterday utility infielder Nick Punto will have surgery for a sports hernia with an expected two to three months.

Cardinal’s fans appear to be in for a ruff ride in 2011.

Pitching is one half of what makes St. Louis successful, specifically the pitching dominance of Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, who 2-3 respectively in 2009 National League CY Young voting. In 2010, Wainwright again missed the CY Young again coming in second to winner Roy Halladay.

Last season, Wainwright posted a 20-11 record, with a 2.42 ERA, striking out 213, with five complete games and two shutouts in just over 230 innings pitched.

This leaves the Cardinals with two options, either go get another pitcher or trade the healthier half of the duo Chris Carpenter.

Here is the problem, even with Carpenter posting a 16-9 record, a 3.22 ERA over 235 innings in 2010, his will be 36-years-old come April and that is not ideal trade for another team in the long-term. Plus it also leaves the Cardinals without a true ace, and Carpenter is also an experienced leader.

The other and more likely outcome will be to depend on pitching coach Dave Duncan to do what he does best and transform some older promising prospects, like Lance Lynn and Ian Snell into formidable starters. If anyone can accomplish this feat it is Duncan, as he is deemed as a connoisseur in terms of pitching coaches.

Wainwright is 29 years old, and clearly has been effective and dominant as the team’s ace.

It is bad news, no doubt about it the Cardinals and their fans are singing the St. Louis Blues.