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New York Yankees: Why Derek Jeter As the Captain Is Priceless

The sports media has been talking about this for about three seasons, and that time has finally arrived.

New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter has come to the end of a 10-year contract, making him a free agent the moment the World Series ended.

The Jeter from 2009 seemed to be a ghost in the 2010 season. Glimpses would come and go on occasion, but no one is denying that Jeter had a paltry season. Whatever the reason Jeter can still play very well, and the reason behind the Captain‘s never-ending slump are pointless to get back into.

Jeter has always been hyper-criticized by the media and non-Yankee fans for being just average, so his latest numbers just give more ammo to this idiotic banter.

If anything the recent Jeter headlines have at least relieved me from my Brett Favre migraine. Still, this continuous speculation that Derek Jeter will be in anything but Yankee pinstripes forever is becoming quite desperate.

First, New York City would be an unsafe place if the Yankees let Jeter walk. The Yankee fans’ uproar would be deemed a national emergency. This is something NYC Major Mike Bloomberg might want to consider the risk of a New York sans its captain, and throw some of his billions into the contract.

Second, the players would be lost without their Captain, and it would show on the field. Playing next to a man named Derek Jeter is the purest form of adrenaline and motivation a player can feel without using PEDs.

Jeter is baseball’s captain, as his peers have unanimously elected him Captain of Team USA both times he has played on it. Jeter was by far not the most talented player representing the country, but respect is the hardest thing to earn and not just in baseball.

Bottom line is, Jeter should be an exception in regards to his contract. Not many athletes get paid for what they have done, but in this case “show me the money” is the only appropriate motto.

Jeter makes baseball better, represents New York City with such pride and he is a humble leader that also happens to generate entire teams to win.

Derek Jeter is being unfairly judged because of one mediocre season, but I surely am not ready to give up on him yet. Let me say that anyone who states that Jeter is worth anything less is not a real and true baseball fan.

2011 MLB: A Cliff Lee Story And A Walk That’s Going To Cost

Texas Rangers ace Cliff Lee had been as close to superhuman as the baseball world had ever seen heading into the 2010 World Series with a 7-0 record.

MLB players and fans all around the world were in awe of Lee, and the fact that he was fair game after the conclusion of the World Series just added to the dynamic fascination.

With every postseason start, Lee’s worth was climbing at rapid speeds. GM’s were drooling for the second post season in a row watching Lee’s domination batter after batter. From Yankees to Phillies to Rays, no one was safe.

Hence, this World Series was the last stage before the battle for Lee could start. On the path Lee had been on, nothing seemed too grand except the zeros on his contract that were becoming endless.

As Game 1 began, fans watched in utter disbelief, and what nobody thought could ever happen…did. The great Cliff Lee lost. It was so ugly he was pulled in the fourth inning, after giving up six earned runs and only striking out seven.

Lee did not just lose once, but again in Game 5 on the biggest stage in baseball.

Lee’s first loss in Game 1 of the World Series could have easily been forgotten, brushed off as a bad day that is beyond acceptable.

Many are claiming Lee’s Game 5 loss cost the Texas Rangers the World Series.

Why?

Due to an avoidable and selfish choice made by Lee to stick to his motto of “I don’t walk any batters,” that lead to the only hit, a three-run bomb, needed by the Giants to win the World Series.

Should the Yankees be more concerned about Lee’s stubborn attitude than his choking under pressure?

The Rangers needed Lee more than ever to be perfect, and he blew it on one bad pitch. It happens all the time during the season, but this was the World Series and all the Rangers dreams were what were at stake.

It is a fact that Rangers catcher Bengie Molina wanted Lee to walk the hitter and was confused when Lee did the contrary. Considering it was the eighth inning of the World Series and Texas were down 3-1 in games. The Rangers were playing with backs shoved against the wall—with no breathing room in site.

Why would you risk this game with no score on the board for either team?

Did Lee need to prove he could strike out anyone in baseball? Lee had been flawless, but that became untrue five days prior. so why test the waters in Game 5?

Who knows.

Lee did make a grave mistake that will inevitably cost him, either less years or less money. No doubt, Lee exposed a risk that played a major factor in the Rangers World Series loss and the Giants win.

That is two postseasons in a row that Lee wins but the uniform he is wearing doesn’t. Now that has even taken a turn for the worst as both Lee and the team lost in the end this time, which makes you wonder if things are just going to get worse from here.

Questions about Cliff Lee’s worth have arisen—whether he’s too much of a risk or if he can ultimately be a teammate that can help win a title.

Truth remains that Cliff Lee is not just a show pony, the man is as talented as I have yet witnessed as a fan. Lee’s last two starts surely didn’t help his cause, but it did bring him down to earth and nothing wrong with a little humbling.

For now, fans will wait because only time will tell where Cliff Lee will bring his talents next season.

With the Lee bidding about to begin…fans should get ready for some good old baseball offseason drama.

One that I’m hoping ends with Lee’s left arm in pinstripes.

Thank you to Gillette For This Hysterical Video Of A New York Mets Fan

Thank you to Gillette For This Hysterical Video Of A New York Mets Fan….Who Forgot To Use His Gillette Before Coming To Citi-Field.

San Francisco Giants May Have Title, but 2011 Yankees Want It Back

Congratulations to the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, who beat the Texas Rangers four games to one to win the title.

Any World Series Championship team has to consist of talent players who like to play the game of baseball together, and this Giants team was exactly that. The Giants played with a lot of heart.

The Giants won on pitching, just as they did all season long, but they would not be where they are without the veteran hitters.

Aage and experience should not be brushed aside as too many fans and media do in baseball. Appreciate infielders like Audrey Huff (34), World Series MVP Edgar Renteria (35), Freddy Sanchez (33), Pat Burrell (34) and relief pitchers like Javier Lopez (33).

My hope for 2011 is that the Yankees can get back to being World Champions again, with all the great veterans in pinstripes. Maybe watching the Giants take what was still theirs up until a few hours ago will get the Yankees to start to believe in themselves again.

The Giants never stopped believing, just like the 2009 Yankees wouldn’t give up until they were on top.

New York’s championship crown has been passed to the new kings on the West Coast. The Yankees reign feels like forever ago again, But hopefully the fans and players will get back again in 2011.

But for tonight, it’s all about the city of San Francisco, and their mighty Giants. You have earned the right to be proud, because you are the best in the World.

The most sincere congratulations, from me, a Yankees fan.

New York Yankees Resign Joe Girardi For A Job Well Done

It’s official.

Joe Girardi will remain the New York Yankees’ skipper for three more seasons.

Many Yankees fans have been quick to blame Girardi for the team’s failure to repeat as World Series Champions. Fans were frustrated all season with Girardi, blaming any loss on unnecessary pitching changes or playing it by the book/binder.

I personally didn’t agree with the hyper-criticism most of the time. It isn’t going to accomplish anything. In 2009, Girardi was praised for moving Derek Jeter from the two-hole to the leadoff spot. This season, fans constantly complained about getting Jeter out of the spot, blaming Girardi and not Jeter’s problems at the plate.

Winning a World Series, followed by a trip to the ALCS is an excellent track record by my standards. Does that mean I agree with every move Joe Girardi made? No, it doesn’t. There are always going to be questionable moves, particularly when it comes to being the skipper of the New York Yankees.

It would be one thing if Girardi was lazy and his decisions were effortless, but that is not the case. Girardi wants to win as much as any fan or player. Girardi treats all the players fairly, not asking them to do anything he has not done or would not do himself. I trust him as a skipper, but more importantly as a person.

Being used to Joe Torre’s laid-back mannerism for so many years, it was hard to let go and move on. Torre’s shoes were the hardest to fill in baseball in 2007, no matter who replaced him.

Joe Girardi has brought the Yankees back to the forefront of baseball again. The team hasn’t been this fun to watch since 1998, because Girardi believes in every single player and truly wants him to succeed. This is a sentiment Torre did not share as Yankee fans learned from his book, which is not a quality characteristic in a manager, or any leader, for that matter.

Girardi isn’t perfect, but find me a better man more suitable for the Yankees. As of today, Joe Girardi is the right man for this job and I am happy he is around for three more seasons. I am looking forward to seeing  numbers 28, 29 and, god-willing, 30 on the back of his jersey.

Congratulations on a job well done!!!

2011 New York Yankees: Almost Time To Go on Offseason Shopping Spree

Not repeating and no longer reigning as champions was not the game plan the New York Yankees had at the start of the 2010 season.

Losing the ALCS to the Texas Rangers was heartbreaking. The Bombers elimination seemed almost unreal, as the Yankees were the stronger ball-club all season long.

The blame-game is in full swing in New York, pointing fingers at Skipper Joe Girardi for his managerial calls and GM Brian Cashman not facing a team of over-the-hill players in time.

Yankees Universe is spoiled and winning it all is the only mark of achievement. Any outcome otherwise is considered a failed season, but this rigid motto is what players sign up for the moment they put on the pinstripes. Call it whatever you want, but it has led the franchise to the most elite status in sports.

What needs to happen in the offseason to get the Yankees back on top in 2011?

Here are the five I want to see happen:

1) Go get Texas Rangers ace Cliff Lee is sure be on the top of Cashman’s list.

Lee just bombed his first World Series start and if he repeats a piss poor, performance maybe he could come cheaper. Not by that much, but Lee is 33 and has had back problems in the past. Regardless, Lee went from a want to a necessity today after hearing some startling news from the Yankees.

First, ace CC Sabathia has to have knee surgery later this week for a small meniscus tear in his right knee; while not serious, it is not comforting news at all. CC is physically enormous standing at 6’7″, weighing 309 lbs and at 30-years-old, which is implementing some serious stress on his body. CC threw 3,903 pitches in 2010, not including spring training. This was a concern when the Yankees signed Sabathia, as the odds were all stacked against him being able to avoid injuries like this one down the road. Finally, Yankees fans got a concrete clarification behind Sabathia’s why postseason struggles just came out of left field. Sabathia waved his option to remain for the rest of his five years in pinstripes.

Secondly, Girardi came clean as to the reason he switched Hughes and Pettitte in the rotation for the ALCS. Everyone was quick to blame the Yankees skipper for another horrible stat-based decision. Then today, the news broke that Pettitte felt off during his final start against the Twins in the ALDS. Smartly, Girardi played it extra cautious by switching him and Hughes to give Pettitte and extra two days off.

Add the above to AJ Burnett’s mental state and Phil Hughes inexperience making the rotation too risky. Get Cliff Lee and all will be ideal again.

2) Renegotiate reliever Kerry Wood’s contract and sign him on for two more years. Wood was a huge reason the Yankees won games in the second half of the season. Wood still throws heat form the mound, has a dominating presence and his experience eludes his confidence. I believe Wood is an inspiration and mentor for Joba Chamberlain, who significantly improved once Wood arrives. Also, god forbid Mariano Rivera becomes mortal, but at 41-years-old, it is going to happen. Wood can help the transition go smoothly from the baseball side during this unthinkable time.

3) Grab a position player that has proven his merit already, but do not spend the money on Tampa Bay Rays Carl Crawford. Crawford will be a fortune to acquire and with all the money going out to resign Jeter, Rivera, Girardi and hopefully Lee the Yankees can go cheaper. Crawford’s personality is something of concern because he can be quite immature at times and not always a team player. Crawford’s hard work after the 2009 season was not for the Rays, but for his pending free agency contract. Obviously any player wants to do his best to get the most money, but you can still be a team player at the same time. New York City will swallow Crawford with the instant celebrity status, which Rays players do not receive in Tampa Bay.

Philadelphia Phillies Jayson Werth would be perfect in pinstripes, but beware of his recent hiring of agent Scott Boras who might shop Werth with too big a price tag. Werth is older, so he will come cheaper than Crawford without a doubt, plus Phillies players are icons at home so he is used to all the craziness. Boras will go right to Cashman and Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, as he knows how to drive up the price. Still, even if money wasn’t an object, I truly believe that Werth is a better fit for the Yankees. Continue reading ‘2011 New York Yankees: Almost Time To Go on Offseason Shopping Spree’ »