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Yankees: How to say goodbye to Derek Jeter

New York Yankees Captain Derek Jeter broke his own news yesterday via Facebook that he would be hanging up his Nike

English: Derek Jeter

English: Derek Jeter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

cleats at the end of the upcoming 2014 season.

Knowing Jeter’s end was close doesn’t make its reality any easier to grasp without a feeling a bag of mixed emotions.

Understandable, melancholy, humbled, and proud all at once is the best way I can describe my response once I confirmed this was true.

Many people might not understand that Derek Jeter is more than just a famous athlete playing for the most storied franchise.

Jeter bestowed limitless pride to an entire city like no one, or nothing else ever has.

So fittingly, winning a World Series Championship seems to be the only proper way to for the Yankees to bid the Captain’s greatness adieu.

It was unfortunate that Mariano Rivera last pitch was thrown in September and not October, but last season’s Yankees did not have the pieces needed to compete.

This time the Yankees head into season with added talent but not without questions. The odds of an implosion might be far less but is still possible. Continue reading ‘Yankees: How to say goodbye to Derek Jeter’ »

Yankees: Derek Jeter announces retirement via Facebook

If you haven’t heard, the Yankees captain Derek Jeter announced that 2014 will be his last season.

Thought this news is not a shock, considering Jeter is about to turn 40-years old, is still sad for Yankees fans as he is not only the team Captain but the last of the infamous “Core Four.”

Jeter’s departure brings a slew of mixed emotions as he has become not only a Yankees icon, but a sports one. And athletes like Jeter are rarefied air these days.

Here is the official note from Jeter’s Facebook page: Continue reading ‘Yankees: Derek Jeter announces retirement via Facebook’ »

Yankees: 3 situations to watch in Spring Training

Can you believe 2014 Spring Training is finally here?

George M. Steinbrenner Field – Tampa, Florida

Well, technically this coming Friday is the official date when New York Yankees pitchers and catchers are required to report to Tampa, Florida…. the home Spring-time home of the Bronx Bombers. Position players will report on February 19th with the team’s first full workout the day after that.

Yesterday, the Yankees officially introduced their new toy, Japanese pitching phenom Masahiro Tanaka at a press conference in the Bronx.

Actually seeing Tanaka don the pinstripes heightened my excitement and reservations at the same time that a new season is here.

After missing the playoffs last season, I learned nothing is fail-safe anymore for the Yankees.

The fact that this past off-season was full of mega signings makes me more apprehensive about being overly confident and presumptuous that it won’t happen again.

Bottom line is this Yankees team is heading into Spring Training with a lot unknowns and not enough back-up plans… just in case.

Let me just say that Spring Training is not a good deterrent for projecting what a team’s regular season success will be. That is because veterans consider this their warm up, while youngsters are duking it out hoping to earn a spot on the 25-roster. For example this is not a time to judge Tanaka as starter, or David Robertson as a closer. Continue reading ‘Yankees: 3 situations to watch in Spring Training’ »

Yankees: Manny Banuelos, Michael Pineda, and me

Good things come to those who wait. 

Pitchers Dellin Betances (l.) and Manuel Banuelos will head for Double-A Trenton after spring training, no matter how well they perform during the Yankee camp. (Image courtesy of NY Daily News)

Pitchers Dellin Betances (l.) and Manuel Banuelos will head for Double-A Trenton after spring training, no matter how well they perform during the Yankee camp. (Image courtesy of NY Daily News)

The question is does this praise of the art of patience pertain in baseball?

I promise that Yankees Universe hopes so, as everyone from the front office to the New York fans has awaited the arrival of pitchers Michael Pineda and Manny Banuelos for what feels like an eternity.

But times up, as the 2014 Yankees do not want to be remembered for redefining what is considered old for a veteran roster.

Directly, the arrivals of Pineda and Banuelos hit home for me big time.

Individually, I could not get enough of either one before both succumbed to arm injuries. Pineda ending up having serious shoulder surgery, and Banuelos requiring Tommy John.

The crazy thing is that was two years ago, something my trainer, who happens to be a big Yankees fan, reminded me of just this past week. Continue reading ‘Yankees: Manny Banuelos, Michael Pineda, and me’ »

Yankees: What song do you want David Robertson to enter too?

David Robertson

David Robertson (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

With Spring Training right around the corner, baseball fanatics, like myself, tend to over-analyze possibilities for the forthcoming season.

Last night, instead of going forward I got a tad nostalgic. I found myself glued to YouTube watching videos of the newly retired New York Yankees closer Marino Rivera.

From last season’s All-Star Game, the 2004 ALCS Game 7, the 2009 World Series Game 6 to Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte’s retrieval of Mo from the mound for the last time at Yankee Stadium…. I felt blessed to have seen this man’s substantial career. Well, most of it anyway.

Admittedly, I got emotional as the realization that I will never see this man run out to Metallica’s Enter Sandman in the ninth inning again finally hit me.

Talk about being in denial, as I felt like the poster child for the term taking something for granted. Continue reading ‘Yankees: What song do you want David Robertson to enter too?’ »

Yankees Hot Stove: A Fernando feeling

On Super Bowl Sunday, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that, “There’s a feeling that a team like the Yankees may pluck Rodney, or someone of his ilk, to ensure they have another closer in case Dave Robertson breaks down or isn’t up to the task.”

Fernando Rodney pitching for the Detroit Tigers.

Fernando Rodney pitching for the Detroit Tigers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the seemingly questionable state of the Yankees bullpen, Carfardo’s sentiment makes total sense.

Adding a veteran who has dominated in the AL East, like Fernando Rodney could prove to be a difference maker just like Rafael Soriano was back in 2009.

As of today, the bullpen consists of D-Rob, Shawn Kelley, Preston Claiborne and Matt Thornton with the remaining spots will got to prospects like Dellin Betances or Chase Whitley. This group, while not a horrific bunch, is an indecisive one that poses risk.

Shoring up a proven closer like Rodney would bring experience and added depth to the Yankees bullpen. Especially since the Yankees will not have Mariano Rivera running out to Enter Sandman in the ninth inning for the first time in almost two decades. Continue reading ‘Yankees Hot Stove: A Fernando feeling’ »