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MLB Hot Stove: New York Yankees Looking At Wrong Royals Pitcher

Donald Zackary "Zack" Greinke, an am...

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Rumor has it that the Kansas City Royals have been dangling 2009 CY Young winner Zack Greinke as trade bait to the New York Yankees.

This seems sketchy when you consider that Greinke has a no-trade clause in his contract, with the Yankees being first on the list.

Greinke has also suffered major depression and anxiety issues that have interfered with his playing time.

Even as a Yankee fan, it is completely understandable why playing in the Bronx would not be ideal for a player tormented with Greinke’s problems.

New York’s big lights cause major pressure, and good pitchers have collapsed under them too many times—just look at Javier Vazquez or Carl Pavano.

Looking at that the meek 2010 free agent pitchers market, Cliff Lee is the only certifiable superstar on it.

It is no secret that the Yankees are rolling out the red carpet for Lee. The Royals are well aware that if Lee is not in pinstripes next season, the Yankees could go all out in desperation for an arm like Greinke. Continue reading ‘MLB Hot Stove: New York Yankees Looking At Wrong Royals Pitcher’ »

MLB Hot Stove: New York Yankees Re-Sign One Player

No it’s not Jeter, Rivera or Pettitte and as far as I know Cliff Lee has never been a Yankee so who could it be?

As I type with complete and utter nausea, the player is Sergio Mitre.

No, this is not a joke, as the Yankees have signed Mitre for another year at $900,000 to bring his talents back to the Bronx.

What talents convinced the Yankees to make this decision?

Please, someone let me know ASAP.

This has skipper Joe Girardi’s name written all over it because we know he loves players from his Florida Marlins days in 2004.

Do you remember whose brilliant idea it was to pay Nick Johnson over bringing back the World Series MVP Hideki Matsui? Continue reading ‘MLB Hot Stove: New York Yankees Re-Sign One Player’ »

MLB Hot Stove: Is Terry Collins the Other New York Team’s Answer To The Mess?

After the long overdue firing of skipper Jerry Manuel, the New York Mets owners announced the two-year signing of Terry Collins to be the franchises 20th skipper.

COLLINS BACKGROUND:

Collins started his pro career as a shortstop drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1971.

Over the next 10 years, Collins played for the Pirates and Los Angeles Angels, but only in the minors.

In 1981, Collins started managing in the minors, but this time he did break in to the majors. From 1993-99, he managed the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels.

COLLINS AND HIS MESS:

No doubt this new venture will be Collins hardest because the Mets are in dire straits.

See, unlike the other New York team, winning is not a word in the Mets vocabulary. Of course, neither is leadership, sportsmanship, respect, healthy or any other positive aspect used to describe a quality baseball team.

So, the question remains: Is Terry Collins the man who can right the Mets back from mediocrity? Continue reading ‘MLB Hot Stove: Is Terry Collins the Other New York Team’s Answer To The Mess?’ »

Headline To Headache: The Most Annoying Sports Story Of 2010

The life of sports fan can be mind-boggling at times.

Days are filled with fantasy teams, power rankings and ESPN as your emotions hang on a team or an individual athlete’s performance.

It fuels a passion beyond any restraint, which explains why we fans can’t get enough, most of the time.

As a New Year approaches, I started to reflect on 2010, and three stories stood out.

They were not the greatest sports stories but the headlines that started to make ESPN seem more like TMZ.

So, which headline gave me the biggest headache in 2010?

Without question it was “The Decision” starring NBA star Lebron James.

I will never forget that day, when I almost fainted when my mother asked me “Are you going to watch ‘the decision’ at home? Your father and I have a cocktail party but will be back in time.”

My mother, who is a wonderful woman, could care less about sports. This woman reads a book at Yankees games, has been to three Super Bowl‘s in the 70s, sat on the 50-yard line but can’t remember who was playing and all she recalls is how it was too loud.

So the fact that she even knew about “the decision” gave proof that I was not just a crazy sports fan who watched too much ESPN.

The idea that Lebron James could take his talents anywhere made 2010 the most-anticipated NBA season ever.

The entire nation was obsessed, as cities everywhere groveled in attempts to land James, even going as far as using huge poster boards begging James to come play.

It was a pathetic display that I never imagined would get so out of control.

For the poor state of Ohio, it meant heartbreak, as James was their homegrown hero as a Cleveland Cavalier.

These were no longer the days when athletes based decisions on loyalty.

Now a decision became our reality, as an athlete became bigger than his sport.

The media counted the seconds until the moment James sat down. “The Decision’ drew more national viewership than the President’s State Of The Union Address just days earlier. All to hear one athlete declare that his talents where Miami Heat bound.

It was a sad day for me as a sports fan, but I was glued to my TV like everyone else.

MLB Hot Stove: Yankee Fans Happily Say Adios To Javier Vazquez

The second time was not a charm for Javier Vazquez as a New York Yankee.

After almost winning the NL Cy Young in 2009, Vazquez bravely returned to the Bronx in 2010. He had high hopes to end the Yankee fans smear campaign, which dated back to the 2004 season.

Just in case you were subconsciously blocking out 2004 (trust me I do), it was the year the Boston Red Sox finally beat the Yankees in the ALCS. The Yankees blew the series after being up 3-0 in games, with three outs to sweeping the series.

Obviously, Vazquez is by no means to blame, as the Yankees imploded pretty well as a team.

Vazquez started a tremendous emotionally charged Game 7, by giving up two homeruns, one of which was a grand-slam, to than Red Sox Johnny Damon.  It was the breaking point for Yankees fans and no need to reminisce anymore.

Still, I have to give credit to the Red Sox, as Boston deserved to win the 2004 World Series. That ALCS is hands down one of the greatest comeback stories in sports history.

If you are really interested in Vazquez’s round one in pinstripes ESPN did a 30 for 30 called Four Days In October – Don’t Let The Red Sox Win! Yankees Self Destruct. You might have caught it on October 5, 2010, when ESPN debuted the short film the night before Game One of the 2010 ALDS.

So, Javy’s second chance did not go over well with the Yankee fans making it quite an unhappy reunion to say the least. This was evident when Vazquez got booed before throwing his first pitch at the Stadium.

Call it ill-fated timing with Alex Rodriguez finally being clutch in the post-season set the precursor for Yankee fans to open a can of whoop ass on Vazquez. It was pretty ruthless and pointless, as the only place that should want to remember 2004 is the city of Boston.

Vazquez couldn’t hide his sadness and the damage clearly affected his production in 2010. The proof that it was New York and not Vazquez was that he had been first-rate everywhere else he has pitched.

Vazquez as an Atlanta Brave finished 2009 with a 2.87 ERA, throwing for 219 innings, giving up 20 home runs, 44 walks and striking out 238 batters.

As a Yankee in 2010 he only pitched 157 innings, with an ERA of 5.32, giving up 32 bombs, 65 walks and striking out over 100 less batters with a total of 121.

Skipper Joe Girardi had no choice but to cut Vazquez from the 2010 playoff roaster. Translation is that AJ Burnett was more reliable than Vazquez had been.

The Yankees and Vazquez were done. Vazquez couldn’t be happier to get the hell out of the Bronx, and I don’t blame him.

So when the Florida Marlins came knocking Vazquez ran and took a significant pay cut from the Marlins due to the Yankees offering him aberration. Textbook call by GM Brian Cashman as there was no way Vazquez would accept it, and the Yankees came away with the Marlins best draft pick. Presumably, this is the reason for the discount given by team Vazquez to get the deal done.

It’s about darn time the Yankees have no reminders of the 2004 season on there roster, and let’s hope we never do again.

All I have to say to Javy Vazquez is “Adiós para siempre!” (“Goodbye Forever”)

Mr. 3000: Jeter Could Be 1st Bomber To Hit the Mark

The New York Yankees are one of the most decorated and historic franchises in sports.

Names like Mickey Mantel, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra and the Babe are just a handful of the historic names to don pinstripes.

“Winning Championships” is the Yankees motto. Baseball is a team sport, which makes individual accomplishments merely an added bonus. Awards for anything other than a World Series will not absolve a season’s failure.

The Yankees have housed 22 MVPs, five CY Young winners, eight Rookies of the Year, 12 World Series MVPs, eight ALCS MVPs and two Triple Crown Winners (Home Runs, RBI, Batting Average).

The franchise itself has won 27 World Series Championships and has been witness to every kind of individual player accomplishment except one.

That one is a hitter’s most elite club. Membership is only given to a player who reaches 3000 hits over his career.

There are a mere 26 members in this section of the Hall Of Fame, but not one of them has worn New York pinstripes.

Well, the chance for a Yankee to be represented on this list has come again, and this time the player could not be more fitting: It’s Derek Jeter.

Jeter is a homegrown Yankee who has been the Captain of the pinstripes since 2003.

In 1996, his first year in the pros, Jeter won the Rookie of the Year Award.

In 2000 Jeter was both the World Series MVP and the All-Star Game MVP.

Jeter has played in 11 All-Star Games, won five Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers, two Hank Aaron awards, a Roberto Clemente award—and that is just the top of the list of awards.

Decorated to say the least, Jeter also has five World Series rings as a Yankee, which is well beyond any expectations.

So, how perfect if the name Derek Jeter were to be the first New York Yankee to grace the 3000 hit list?

Well, what seemed like destiny for Jeter, who has just 74 hits till 3000, is no longer.

Jeter is no longer tied contractually to the pinstripes, a slight predicament which no one imagined would ever be the thing standing in his way.

If the Yankees and Jeter could find a happy medium, then a New York player could be represented on yet another exclusive list.

It would make the Yankee fans ecstatic if it were our Captain Derek Jeter.

Vince Lombardi once said, “It is time for us to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever, the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it.”

The Yankees should give this chance to Derek Jeter, who has done so much for the team. He deserves to have all his triumphs cemented in his pinstripes.