12/23/09

Merry Texmas


It was a year ago today that the Yankees stunned the baseball world by signing Mark Teixeira to an eight year deal worth approximately double the GDP of Chile. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Mark and his wife, Leigh, for choosing New York and stepping on John Henry's penny-pinching dick.

12/22/09

I must say, this surprises me



After I bitched yesterday that the Yankees were boring me to death, I wake up to a flurry of (potential) activity this morning. MLB Trade Rumors lit up like a Christmas tree last night with rumors that the Yankees were on the verge of trading for a starting pitcher, though nobody could pinpoint who it was. This morning, however, Joel Sherman is reporting that the Yankees are working to re-acquire Javier Vazquez. That's right, Javier Vazquez.

This may be a little premature, but I will give an opinion anyway. A lot of Yankee fans will kill this (potential) move because of how Javy's season as a Yankee ended. He had a trainwreck of a second half in 2004, but we seem to forget the first half that he put up that year. The first half of '04 ended in his only career All Star appearance as he was solid through July. Granted, the wheels then came off and he ended the season as an afterthought in the bullpen, and ultimately contributed to the prison rape that was game 7 of the ALCS that year, but he wasn't entirely ineffective as a Yankee.

Plugging Vazquez into the 2010 staff doesn't worry me. He was dominant in 2009, albeit in the National League, but the Yankees aren't asking him to be there number one (or even number 2) starter. The current rumor, courtesy of John Heyman, is that the deal would be Vazquez and Boone Logan for Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn, and another prospect. As long as that prospect isn't named Jesus Montero or Austin Romine, this looks like a win for the Yankees. The Braves have been known to like Nick Swisher, and the fact that Cashman can (potentially) turn their eye to MELKY FUCKING CABRERA as the centerpiece of this trade is evidence that he is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though, because God knows this could change 5,690,876,543,456 times before getting done (if it even does).

12/21/09

Do Something Already

I would love to be posting more often, but there is absofuckinglutely nothing going on right now. Seriously, its just ma dn Sancho here at The Fowl Balls World Headquarters fucking staring at eachother. Yup. Just sitting here waiting for the news that the Yankees have signed Matt Holliday.

12/18/09

Welcome Back, Nick the Stick!

It looks as though the Yankees took my advice and are about to sign Nick Johnson, effectively ending Johnny Damon's time with the team.

There is a ton to like about this move. Johnson fits the Yankees lineup like a glove. A left handed, elite OBP guy to hit behind Jeter and in front of Teixeira is exactly what this team needed to make it go. Though Damon had a great year, he was not your typical 2 hitter. He got homer happy in the new Stadium, and his contact rates didn't benefit. Add to that the fact that he didnt hit a regular season home run over the last 5 or so weeks of the season, and you can really get an idea of why having a contact-oriented two hitter can benefit the machine that is the Yankee offense.

I have also heard the argument that Johnson has value tied to his glove. WILDLY inaccurate at the point in his career. His UZR/150 last year was -6.6. Terrible. He also made 12 errors at a position where Kevin Youkilis didn't make any two years ago.

In the end, this is just a savvy baseball move. A year of Nick Johnson at $5.5mm beats the shit out of 3 years at $30mm+ for a guy that was forced to leave the clinching game of the World Series with a fucking leg cramp. I know Johnson isn't historically durable wither, but being slotted in as the DH will help that, just as getting 30-40 games off to utilize the DH position as a "weigh station" for Jeter, A-Rod, Posada and the like will.

In short: Great move. Helps the team while saving that few extra dollars to make another sizable move **coughMattHollidaycough**.

12/17/09

500.

This is officially our 500th post here at The Fowl Balls. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the 5 to 6 people that read us on a regular basis, inspiring us to proceed with our futil;e efforts to educate the masses on Yankee baseball.

Welcome to New York, Curtis

(Now get off to a quick start or we'll boo you out of the fucking Stadium by May. Just kidding. Not really.)

Looking to 2010, Part 3: The Bullpen

Mariano Rivera
Damaso Marte
Joba Chamberlain
David Robertson
Alfredo Aceves
Mike Dunn

Now, keep in mind, that the Yankees have yet to make a move for another starter, but this bullpen is based off of my prediction for the 2010 rotation. Joba Chamberlain, as I said, is a long term starter - but solidifying the 2010 roster and moving him to the back of the rotation after Andy Pettitte retires is just fine by me. There have been a lot of named thrown around in connection to the Yankees, but I flat out do not see a reason to go outside of the organization for a bullpen arm at this point. Even if the Yankees fail to acquire Derek Lowe (or anyone else for the rotation, for that matter) I feel that Mark Melancon would deserve a shot the final bullpen spot.

There are a lot of blogs, writers, etc. that have pushed for the signing of Matt Capps, but I vehemently disagree. His splits against lefties are just terrible, and some other asshole is going to make him an offer to be there closer. In my mind, a righty specialist just isnt worth what Capps is going to make on the open market (plus, lets be serious, he just got non-tendered by the fucking Pirates for Christ's sake - there's a reason).

Yankees interested in Nick Johnson

In what looks to be another nail in the coffin for Johnny Damon, the Yankees have shown interest in Nick Johnson to be their DH. I have to say, it was only a matter of time before this happened. As I predicted in my proposed lineup for 2010, the Yankees need a true two hitter to hit behind Jeter - and Nick Johnson's career .402 OBP would do just nicely. Now, all that is left is for the Yankees to swoop in and steal Matt Holliday, and my master plan will be complete. Maybe Brian Cashman saw 6.29 runs per game and realized that I know what the fuck I am talking about.

12/15/09

Bargain Basement Pitchers

So yesterday was a pretty wild day. The Red Sox got an absolute steal with John Lackey, who is only getting A.J Burnett money. Plus there was the crazy ass 3 team trade that saw Roy Halladay go to the Phillies, Cliff Lee go to Seattle and a bunch of prospects go the Blue Jays. Personally, I'm glad that Roy Boy is out of the AL Beast, but with all this pitcher movement there is no dominant names left on the starter market. But there are still a number of of enticing pitchers who can be had for a low, low price.

Ben Sheets- The buzz around Ben right now is that he wants a contract in the $12 million range, which is absolutely insane. Once him and his agent stop huffing glue, they should try to land a contract around $3 million with incentives. Sheets would be a good pitcher to target.

Erik Bedard- Similar to Sheets, in that he is constantly injured but highly effective when healthy. The pros for Bedard are that he's a lefty with a track record of pitching good in the AL East, and is a high strikeout pitcher. The cons are He's an injury waiting to happen, and he is surly with the media. But still worth the risk.

Aroldis Chapman- The 21(?) year old Cuban phenom is expected to throw a pitching session today with teams such as the Yankees and Red Sox expected to attend. If all goes well, why not throw him a nice contract? He is young, throws gas and has a high upside. Seems like a worthwhile investment.

Justin Duchscherscherererscher- Justin D has experience as both a starter and reliever, making him a good fit for the Yankees. His versatility could net him a decent contract if he is injury free. He missed all of last season with an injury and depression. Well, a good cure for the blues is being paid to play for the Yankees.

Tim Redding- Just kidding. He's fucking terrible.

Check back later on as I take a look at some bargain hitters.

Bustabust is awkwardly smirking while shitting on my dreams


"sources say the Yankees have no intention of joining the bidding (on Matt Holliday) and cannot foresee a situation in which they do." - Buster Olney, 12/15/09


...but then again...


"(the Yankees) are pushing to cut their payroll in 2009, and they cannot sign Teixeira..." - Buster Olney, 12/22/08


Get yours today


The Holiday season is upon us, and it is a time for giving. So what better time to purchase a piece of TFB merchandise for the ones you love? Come to think of it, maybe even a hated foe to try and move past a petty argument. To be quite honest, I don't give a holy hell who you are giving it to, just buy some shit so christmas isn't miserable in Casa de Dugan.

12/14/09

Gee, you know who hasn't gotten much buzz?



The Yankees need a left fielder. The Red Sox just spent a metric fuck ton on John Lackey, and look to be signing Mike Cameron to play left field. I don't know what it is, but I have a feeling that the Yankees will make a big push for Matt Holliday - mark my words, the Opening Day outfield will be Holliday, Granderson, and Swisher.

Please back away from the ledge

I have to say, I really thought that the era of the insecure Yankee fan were numbered after the team mowed through the league and won championship #27. Apparently, I was wrong.

I can't even tell you how many panicky, whiny emails that I got from readers scared shitless because a couple of teams made a couple of moves. Let's be clear, here: the only reason the Red Sox, Phillies, or whoeverthefuckelse are making moves is because they are playing catchup to the champs. Also, if you'd be so kind to read The Fowl Balls roster construction (here and here), John Lackey and Roy Halladay are nowhere to be found. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly Yankee fans shit themselves over this kind of crap. Didn't the team just go out and get Curtis Granderson in a three-way blockbuster of their own? I mean, I know Lackey is a good pitcher, but the Red Sox just replaced Jason Bay's bat with Mike Cameron.

So all I ask, as I have on other occasions, is take your head out of your collective ass Yankee fans. Everybody else is still playing Robin to the Yankees' Batman.

John Lackey Should Punch His Agent in the Face

According to multiple sources, free agent starter John Lackey has taken a physical for the Red Sox, indicating that the team is close to signing him. I don't usually give credit to the Red Sox, but unless they are overpaying Lackey by mythical proportions, Theo Epstein did some real fucking work here.
 
The market for Lackey is completely underdeveloped at this point. The Mariners, Red Sox, and Mets are all very interested in the ugly bastard, and a biding war would almost inevitably ensue between whomever of the three doesn't sign Jason Bay. How do you let Theo tell you that your best option is to sign with the Red Sox when you have absolutely no clue how shit is going to play out? This motherfucker must be like Nick Saban on a recruiting visit. Kissing mommies and giving that hacky politician smile-and-wink combo.

12/11/09

Looking to 2010, Part 2 - The Rotation

1 - CC Sabathia
2 - A.J. Burnett
3 - Derek Lowe
4 - Andy Pettitte
5 - Phil Hughes

As I mentioned Wednesday, the Braves seem to be caving on their demands for an impact, ML bat for Lowe; plus they are willing to eat some of his 2010 salary. If the Yankees are able to acquire a horse like Lowe without coughing up a player the caliber of Nick Swisher, that would be a no brainer. The fact that the Braves would add cash is gravy at that point. He's quality, durable pitcher that will be more cost-effective than John Lackey (and not nearly as physically hideous).

As for the five spot, the general thinking is that this would be a three man race between Hughes, Creamy Goodness Aceves, and Joba Chamberlain, and I agree. Basically, I am anticipating Hughes coming out on top. It will be at that point that the Yankees will have to evaluate the Joba Chamberlain situation. As Brian Cashman would agree, Joba is a long term starter. That being said, in this scenario there just isn't room for him in the rotation. His trade value is not optimal, so I have no problem plugging him in to the back of the 'pen on the way to another championship. Unfortunately for some of the younger players, this isn't the fucking Pirates. Winning is a requirement, so trotting Hughes and Chamberlain out in the 4 and 5 slot is not a risk I am willing to take.

12/10/09

Red Sox Acquire Boof

A meaningless move, sure, but who passes up the opportunity to post a picture of Scott Howard's girlfriend?

Looking to 2010, Part 1 - The Lineup

1 - Derek Jeter - SS
2 - Nick Johnson - DH
3 - Mark Teixeira - 1B
4 - Alex Rodriguez - 3B
5 - Matt Holliday - LF
6 - Jorge Posada - C
7 - Robinson Cano - 2B
8 - Nick Swisher - RF
9 - Curtis Granderson - CF

I will be constructing the entire roster, as I see it, over the next few days, but this is what I think the 2010 lineup should look like. Thoughts?

Update: I took this lineup and plugged it into the Lineup Analysis that Baseball Musings provides. This fucking moster lineup that I put together projects to score 6.269 runs per game, which would come in at just under 1,016 runs over 162 games. I realize that Bill James' predictions are far from perfect, and there is no way that this lineup would play all 162 together, but that's just insane. Fuck Johnny Damon, go get Matt Holliday. (h/t to BDD for the idea)

Winter Meetings, Day 3

In a deal that became official on day 3, the Yankees went out and acquired CF Curtis Granderson from the Tigers in a 3 team deal that also included the Diamondbacks.

So pretty much, the Yankees got an All-Star CF in the middle of his prime. The Tigers got a bundle of cheap talent and payroll flexibility. And as Chip Carey would say, the D-Backs got 'Fisted" in this deal. I would like to know what the fuck their GM was thinking. Not that Edwin Jackson is terrible or anything, but he is 2 years away from free agency and due for a big raise. Max Scherzer is a very good young pitcher locked up for 5 more years. They could have held on to Scherzer and spent the money on the back end of the rotation. Maybe someone with high upside like Rich Harden (more on him in a bit).

But if you're a Yankee fan like me, you have to be happy with this move. Granderson is gonna be a stud in Yankee Stadium. I wouldn't be shocked if he hit 40 bombs this season. He is also locked up through 2013, making an average of a little under 10 mil a year. Very solid move by Cashman. He's really made all the right moves the past 2 offseasons.

And in less surprising news, the Yankees and Andy Pettitte reached an agreement on a 1yr/$11.75 mil deal. Even though everyone knew that he would be coming back, its still nice to see the deal get done this early. Andy should be good for about 15 wins and an ERA around 4.

Breaking News: As reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Red Sox are prepared to trade 2007 World Series MVP, clubhouse leader and all around good guy Mike Lowell to the Texas Rangers for 25 year old catcher Max Ramirez. The Red Sox will also be paying nearly all of Lowell's contract. Good job, Theo. That's a nice way to repay a guy who constantly guts it out through various injuries and gives it his all every game. But I'm happy for Lowell. He gets to abandon the sinking ship that is the Boston Red Sox and go to a nice hitters park in Arlington.

And the funniest thing about all of this is that Boston supposedly wanted to get rid of Lowell so they could enter the bidding for the uber stud himself, the one and only Adrian Beltre. Yeah, that's really gonna strike fear into the hearts of your enemies. Beltre has only had one good season, a highly suspicious 2004 contract year for the Dodgers. The rest of his career has been very mediocre. Hopefully this is J.D. Drew part 2.

And kudos to Texas for being active. It seems they are about to finalize a couple of moves in addition to the potential Lowell trade. The first is trading Kevin Millwood to the craptastic Orioles for Chris Ray and a player to be named later. While Ray isn't anything special, the Rangers would save about 8 mil by doing this trade. And in doing that, they are prepared to use that money to sign Rich Harden to a 1 year deal. Solid moves all around. If the Angels don't improve in a hurry, I could see Texas making a run at the AL West next season.

12/9/09

Selling at Lowe Costs?


ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that the Braves are no longer asking for veteran bats for (Derek) Lowe, and are telling teams they'll eat money. (h/t MLBTR)

Though he is owed $45 million over the next three years, I think Lowe could be a great fit in the rotation: a durable, veteran starter that keeps the ball in the park. Plus, he's done it in the AL East before and he's a shitload cheaper than John Lackey. I give it another 20 minutes before the Yankees are mentioned as suitors.

Offseason Plan - Sancho

(**Editor's note - this post was written before the acquisition of Granderson)

So with Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Andy Pettitte as the only major unsigned players from the 2009 squad, here is a list of moves I would like the Yankees to make.

Sign Matt Holliday to a 6 year/110 mil deal
Sign John Lackey to a 5 year/90 mil deal
Sign Mark DeRosa to a 2 year/15 mil deal
Sign Aroldis Chapman to a 6 year/30 mil deal
Sign Mike Gonzalez to a 3 year/15 mil deal
Re-Sign Andy Pettitte to a 1 year/10mil deal
Trade Austin Jackson, Melky Cabrera and 2 B-Level Prospects for Curtis Granderson

Now obviously the Yankees will probably go easy this offseason after going bat shit crazy in free agency last year. But honestly, I would go for the kill and unleash Armageddon if it was my call. We could go from a great team to a legendary one if we made those moves.
Lineup:
SS Jeter
CF Granderson
1B Teixeira
3B A-Rod
LF Holliday
C Posada
2B Cano
RF Swisher
DH DeRosa

Bench: Molina
Hinske
Pena
Gardner
Rotation: Sabathia
Lackey
Burnett
Pettitte
Chapman

Bullpen:
Rivera
Joba
Hughes
Robertson
Marte
Gonzalez
Aceves

All hat I ask is that they don't trade Jesus Montero. That kid is a stud and will be dropping bombs for the Bombers come 2011. Also, props to Joe Girardi for silencing all the haters out there and leading us to the promised land. He will hopefully pass Joe Torre on the ring count one day. So that about wraps it up. Hope you enjoyed this Review/Preview. Agree? Disagree? I'd love to hear some feedback in the comments section.

12/8/09

Winter Meetings, Day 2

  • The Yankees are interested in Kelvim Escobar. No big deal. 33 years old, coming off surgery, worth a flier
  • Oh, and this happened.
  • MLBTR officially gets me aroused during the Winter Meetings. Not really a Yankee update, but I felt it should be said.

Reviewing the Move: Trading for Curtis Granderson



The Move: In a three way deal, the Yankees recieve Curtis Granderson, the Diamondbacks recieve Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, and the Tigers receive Austin Jackson, Phil Coke, Max Scherzer, and Daniel Schlereth.

My Take: The only debate will be whether the Yankees or Tigers got the best of the trade, as the DBacks got their colons poked on this one. They gave up two potential studs for Edwin Jackson, who put it together for half of a season last year, and Ian Kennedy, professional douchebag.

AJax is and has been overrated. Sure, he hit .300 in Scranton last ear, but he did so while striking out a ton and hitting for zero power. Granderson is a known commodity who hit 30 home runs while playing his home games in Yellowstone Park. I know, I know - he doesn't hit lefties. I'll take 35 bombs from a plus defender in the bottom third of the order all day every day. Cashman does it again.

That's a big one



Done Deal: the Yankees get Curtis Granderson, the D'Backs get Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, and the Tigers get Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Austin Jackson, and Phil Coke.
I need some time to digest... expect an in-depth opinion later on. Needless to say, we are happy.

Breaking News: The Royals Do Not Have Scouts

Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star tweets that the Royals will "look at" Jose Molina as a possible starting option. (via MLBTR)
 
Really? Are you sure they didn't mean one of the 57 other Molina's that play catcher?

Winter Meetings, Day 1

There is one developing story that will take up most of the bandwidth in Yankees Universe today, and it has to do with a potential blockbuster trade involving the Yankees, DBacks, and Tigers. Heres how Ken Rosenthal, via MLBTR lays it out:

The deal would send Curtis Granderson to the Yanks, along with a prospect or two from the D'Backs. Arizona would obtain Edwin Jackson from the Tigers and Ian Kennedy from the Yankees. The Tigers would obtain Max Scherzer from the D'Backs and Austin Jackson, Phil Coke and Michael Dunn from the Yanks.

Seems fair to me, but Buster Olney is saying that "one team" is not satisfied...who do you think would hang up the phone on that trade?

In other news:

  • The Yankees traded Brian Bruney to the Nats for the first pick in the Rule 5 draft. Who the Yanks will target with the pick is anyones guess, but at least it got Brian Fucking Bruney out of the bulpen
  • Negotiations have started between the Yankees and Andy Pettitte. I will ruin the suspense for you: Andy is going to sign, and it will be for around $11 million.
  • As expected, the Yankees are mentioned in rumors for just about everybody, so I am not listing them all here. 99% of the time it's just another douchebag agent trying to drive up the price of their client.

There should be a lot of activity on day 2, so stay tuned to MLBTR for all your offseason needs.

12/7/09

The Season Starts Now



The Winter Meetings begin today, so I implore all of our loyal followers to check out MLB Trade Rumors to follow all of the action. There should be a lot on the docket for the Yankees, as they have now been given the tall task of rebutting the ground-breaking Marco Scutaro signing in Boston. Keep an eye on The Fowl Balls as well, as Sancho and myself will be unveiling our respective offseason suggestions for the Bombers (like will they FINALLY fucking sign Mike Cameron???)

12/6/09

2009 Positional Review, Pt. 3: Pitching Staff

Starting Rotation- Instead of trading multiple prospects for Johan Santana before the 2009 season, the Yankees wisely waited until the following year and signed CC Sabathia to anchor the staff. CC was everything the Yanks could have hoped for, becoming the ace of the staff in his first year on the team. He will be the #1 starter on this squad for years to come.


A.J. Burnett was his usual up and down self throughout 2009, looking great some days and sucking more dick than Brett Pedroia on others. Taken as a whole, his 2009 season was still a success, as he stayed healthy all year and posted quality numbers. He was pretty good in the playoffs up until Game 5 of the World Series, when he decided to shit the bed. My only concern with him is how he will handle things if Jose Molina isn't brought back in 2010. If Molina is gone, A.J. might have a Captain Willard like nervous breakdown.


Andy Pettitte had a rock solid season as the #3 starter, erasing the bad memories of his brutal second half of 2008. He stepped up his game in the playoffs, winning the clinching game during each of the 3 rounds of the postseason. There will be a spot for Andy in this rotation for 2010, assuming he does not retire. And I don't think he will.


As for the rest of the starters, they all had their moments. Phil Hughes was so-so as a starter early in the season, but really turned the corner when he was thrown into the setup role in the bullpen. He seemed to lose confidence in the postseason, but it's a good bet he will turn things around come 2010, whether he is a starter or a reliever. Joba Chamberlain was doing good as a starter for the first 4 months, but then the Joba Rules kicked in and the coaching staff started fucking with his head. The Joba Rules are some of the most retarded around, and he really regressed over the final 2 months. But Joba looked good out of the bullpen for the postseason, with an increased velocity on his pitches. Honestly, he looks more comfortable out of the pen. If the Yanks go out and sign some starting pitching, then that's where he will be. And as for Chad Gaudin, he was a very effective spot starter for the Yanks down the stretch. He would be good as a long man/spot starter out of the pen for the future. But there might not be room for him.

Bullpen- What can you say about Mariano Rivera at this point? He is by far the greatest relief pitcher to have ever played the game, and is still at the top of his game. Shit, he could pitch at an All-Star level well into his 40's and it wouldn't surprise anyone at this point. As automatic as automatic gets. The rest of the bullpen was solid as well, with Dave Robertson and Damaso Marte really stepping up big time in the playoffs. My only wish is that we never have to see Phil Coke on a Yankee roster ever again. I would have more confidence in a coke head named Phil than I would in Phil Coke at this point.

12/5/09

2009 Positional Review, Pt. 2: Outfield/DH

Left Field- Talk to any Boston fan about their 2004 playoff run, and they will tell you that the turning point was Dave Roberts' steal of second base against the Yankees in Game 4 of the ALCS. So what could the Yankees do to trump this? How about two steals on one play by the same person! Johnny Damon did this during Game 4 of the World Series. He will be forever remembered for this heads up play that turned the tide of the series back to the Yankees. With all that said, I would let him walk during free agency. He is 36 years old, and has gone from an above average defensive CF to a mediocre one in LF. Plus, I think it is time the Yanks got a little bit younger. I wouldn't be upset if he came back on a 2 year deal, but it looks like his agent, Scott Boras, is looking for a 4 year pact. That is way too long, so I would see what offers he got on the market before going any further. But we'll always have the double steal.


Center Field- It was a very productive bounce back season for Melky Cabrera, as he won the CF job out of spring training over Brett Gardner, and never looked back. He had a solid season, leading the team in shaving cream pies to the face. I would not hesitate to bring him back as the starter in 2010, but there are rumblings that the Bronx Bombers are looking into Curtis Granderson. Getting Granderson would be awesome, but it would certainly cost the Yanks stud prospect Austin Jackson. If the right deal was available I would pull the trigger. But you could do worse than have Melky keep the seat warm for Jackson for at least one more season.

Right Field- Going into the season, it seemed as though Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady were going to battle for playing time all season long. But thanks to Nady's shoulder injury, Swisher took over the everyday job, and had a good season, with lots of HR's and walks. While he will strike out a ton and never hit for a high average, Swishalicious will continue to show good power and have a solid on base percentage. He is signed at a reasonable rate through the next two seasons, so he should be a fixture in the lineup till at least 2011.


Designated Hitter- If 2009 was indeed the final season in Pinstripes for Hideki Matsui, he went out with a bang, winning the World Series MVP despite only starting 3 of the six games in the series. He was unstoppable at the plate, hitting .615 with 3 homers and 8 RBI's during the 6 game series. Unfortunately, his knees seem to be betraying him as Matsui is no longer able to play the field. It wouldn't be a terrible decision to keep him around, but we could use a little versatility on this team. Mark DeRosa would be the perfect fit here. He could play pretty much every position but catcher. Signing him would allow multiple players to rotate at DH, keeping everybody fresh. Plus it wouldn't break the bank to sign him.

12/4/09

2009 Positional Review, Pt. 1: Infield/Catcher

This past season was a return to glory, as the Bronx Bombers reclaimed their rightful place atop the baseball universe. But there's no time to waste, as the hot stove season is upon us once again. I will be reviewing the roster, position by position, over the next few days leading up to the Winter Meetings. Feel free to drop some feedback in the comments section, as it's always appreciated.

Catcher- Jorge Posada had a great bounce back season, as his shoulder was able to hold up for the entire season. It was great to see him mash again at the plate, showing no ill effects from his injuries of a season ago. While Jorge might forget certain little things, like the pitch count or the number of outs in an inning, he is still a highly effective player at age 38. Yankees fans shouldn't take him for granted, as we probably won't see a catcher in Pinstripes as good as him for a long time (at least until we sign Joe Mauer).

First Base- Early last offseason, it looked like the Yankees were going to hand off first base to Nick Swisher, acquired in a trade from the White Sox for the immortal Wilson Betemit. But the front office was merely waiting for the right time to deliver a knockout punch to the rest of the league, swooping in at the last moment to sign All-Star slugger Mark Teixeira. Although he has made some questionable moves the last few years, you have to give a lot of credit to Brian Cashman for this one. He slow played the negotiations at the start, then swooped in to kick Boston in the balls and steal Tex away at the last second. I loved every minute of it. Of course, Teixeira went on to lead the A.L. in HR's and RBI's. On top of that, he plays some of the finest defense this side of Donnie Baseball. No worries here for the next seven seasons. Think Boston could have used him last year?

Second Base- I'm gonna give you two sets of numbers: Player A: .320 25 HR's 85 RBI'sPlayer B: .326 17 HR's 83 RBI's Looks pretty similar, right? Well, what if I were to tell you that player A wasn't even an All-Star in 2009, while player B WON the MVP in 2008? Could never happen in a million years, right? Wrong! Dustin Pedroia, the little weasel that could, took home the MVP in 2008 while Robinson Cano was snubbed out of an All-Star berth in 2009. So for any Boston fans that want to cry about a Yankee bias, please shut the fuck up. The media is on Pedroia's nuts so hardcore it's sickening. And, unlike Little Dusty, Cano is actually tall enough to ride on roller coasters. So he has that going for him. Plus, as far as I know, Cano doesn't have any older brothers who trick little boys into giving them a blow job for a bag of Skittles. Can't say the same for Dustin's brother Brett.

Third Base- After one of the most bizarre seasons of all time, Alex Rodriguez came out of it looking better than ever. It started when hack journalist Selena Roberts reported that A-Rod's name was on the list of 103 players that failed a drug test prior to the 2003 season. It got even worse when it was revealed that Rodriguez had a torn labrum in his hip, and would miss the first 6 weeks of the regular season. So suffice to say, A-Rod was pretty down in the dumps. When he came back, he started slowly. But once the weather warmed up, Alex got going. He finished the year with 30 HR's and 100 RBI's despite playing in only 124 games. And once the playoffs started, you knew he was going to be the "Centaur" of attention, whether he produced or not. Fortunately for the Yanks, he was superb. He finished the 2009 playoffs hitting .365 with 6 HR's and 18 RBI's. Without a doubt, he was the best player during the entire playoff run, and was able to shed the choker label once and for all.

Shortstop- Before the season started, there was much speculation about the supposed decline of Derek Jeter. All the assholes in the media were claiming that he was slowing down, that he was nearing the end. So what does the Captain go and do? He shuts them the fuck up by putting together an MVP caliber season and winning his fourth gold glove. Jeter is only signed through 2010, but it would be shocking if he were to ever leave the Yankees. He could play short at a high level for at least another 4-5 seasons.

It's coming...

After a completely lackluster performance over the last couple of months, The Fowl Balls will be back in full force for the Winter Meetings. Look out for a season review, thoughts on the Yankees' needs in the free agent/trade market, and a brand new writer. Thanks for the patience...actually screw you all - I have been getting ball-busting emails for WEEKS about not having updated enough on here. I have a bit of advice for you people.... ESPN.com is a relatively reputable news source. I write the shit I feel like writing, the big boys will give you the up to date info. kthnxbye

11/4/09

Who's Your Daddy?

Dear Pedro,



Not even this guy liked you in his final days. Now give up 10 runs in 3 innings and get the fuck outta New York. Thank you!



Love,



The Black Cat

10/28/09

WORLD SERIES PREVIEW






Alright, so today starts the World Series between the Yanks and the Philthies. That little turd Rollins already said the Phills would take it in 5, but would be nice and win it in 6. We are not the Mets you dirty little piece of shit.



Remember that one dick head?



So here's a little breakdown from the MENSA-like mind of the Black Cat....



Should be a great World Series, with the Yanks coming away with #27. People say, "Phillies offense", blah blah blah. Well sorry Phans, but you haven't faced pitching this postseason like the Yanks. After we take the first two games, we go to the city of brotherly love for a couple more games to wrap this thing up. I'll be in Philly today til Saturday, unfortunately not going to the game Saturday. I'm sure some Philly fans will have their words with me while I'm down there, because I plan on wearing my Yanks cap and getting drunk.



Go Yanks!






10/23/09

Going Back to the Bx. I hate you Nick Swisher.



How people like Swisher, I still don't know.


3-29, .103, 1 RBI, 3 BB, and 10 K's. Those are some great numbers. Keep up the good work asshole.

10/20/09

5.

The Yankees take Game 4 with CC and Arod tearing it up in a 10-1 rout of the Angels of Anaheim. An A-Bomb from Arod broke things open in the 5th, then a 2-run shot by Damon in the 8th, and a 3-run 9th inning sealed the deal as CC dominated Angels' hitters all night. Scotty Kazmir threw a lot of pitches (90 in 4 innings), and got the loss, giving up 4 runs to the Bronx Bombers. Great night to be a Yankees fan.


CC Sabathia: 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K


Arod: 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, SB, BB, K


Yanks got a day off and play game 5 in LA on Thursday. See ya then folks...




Holy Makeup Call, Batman



Foot on base. Ball in glove. Nice job by Tim McClelland evening the score after Swisher was picked off at second. Luckily, the Best Player We Have Ever Seen hit another home run and it doesn't fucking matter.

10/19/09

Cmon Girardi

Words cannot describe how I feel about Girardi and certain shitheads tonight. Yes, that means you Nick Swisher.


10/18/09

6.

ALMOST, but not yet...

What's more to say about Game 2 then "WOW!". Arod. Holy Shit! 0-2 count from Fuentes....POW! PING! SEE YA! An A-BOMB, from AROD!! Way to come up big Jerry Jr.

I was watchin the game on TV (sigh, nothing like being there like Friday night), and what a fuckin' great game it was. To be honest with you, I was drinking Ketel and beers all throughout the game, which last about 5 1/2 hours almost. To say the least, the bottle of Ketel was done and most of the beers as well by the time Arod hit that shot off that bum.


Runners on first and second, 1 out, and that jabroni Macier Izturis tried to turn a double play. A reeeeeeeeeeeaaaal Munson. That's how it ended.


But during the game, El Capitan himself blasted a homer, letting everyone know that he owns the fucking postseason.

I do need to address something though to the skip. WHY DID YOU USE SO MANY PITCHERS?!?!?!? Burnett, Coke, Joba, Hughes, Rivera, Aceves, Marte, and Robertson. Shit Joe, I thought Swisher would be coming in after Robertson. End result, the Skip wins. But it was a real nail-biter.

All in all, we head out to Cali to take the rest of this series.

Go Yanks. SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.

10/17/09

7 More to Go


CC was simply FUCKING AWESOME last night. I was there. I saw it. It was one of the greatest games I've been to. It was pretty cold, but the $9 Millers kept me a little warmer. Oh, and don't get the beef sliders, they aren't that good and look like shriveled, fattened turds. But definitely get cheese on the fries. I enjoyed them.

The stadium was rockin' last night and the crowd was amazing. Everyone was into it, out of their seats for every 2 strike count CC dealt. The Angels looked a little cold out there last night, making shitty plays in the field. The first inning was hilarious. My Mets fan friend (rough few years man, sorry) sent me a text saying, "Angels are looking like the Mets out there".

Once it got to the 9th, the stadium was going nuts as "Enter Sandman" cued in the greatest closer EVER!!! They flashed Mo highlights on the big screen and the always there, long-haired fat fella in the bleachers did his best air guitar impression, as he does every time Mo comes into the ballgame (see picture above). Smiles all around and high fuckin' fives everywhere. "CC! CC!" chants walking down the ramps, and "Twenty-Seven" chants as well. Then of course they had the "Fuck The Angels" one going. I only saw 2 Angels fans the whole game, and they were walking the wrong way on the sidewalk after the game. Losers.

10/14/09

CC to Pitch Games 1 & 4 of ALCS



First, I would like to introduce myself to The Fowl Balls' followers. I am the Black Cat. Jimmy D has asked me to contribute to the site and deliver some quality Yankee Baseball reading material. So listen up bitches; pay attention, and enjoy.


PS- Nice job by SI picking the Mets to win the WS this season as you can see by the SI cover at the top. Talk about a sinking ship...


Friday in the Bronx, Game 1 of the ALCS starts with CC Sabathia on the bump against John Lackey. I'm not going to lie and be a d-bag Yankees fan; the Angels have good starting pitchers. A rotation of Lackey, Saunders, Weaver, and Kazmir is not a walk[off] in the park. However, it's looking like Girardi will lean toward a 3 man rotation, with the beast himself pitching game 4, and Burnett and Pettitte being the meat in the CC sandwich. People may overanalyze statistics and say, "Oh, CC isn't a good postseason pitcher" based on his work the Indians and the Brewers. Well guess what folks, those teams sucked, and now CC is surrounded by a gaggle of All-Stars and some future Hall of Famers. Back to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim... Lackey is 3-3 with a 3.02 ERA in 12 career postseason games (10 starts). We all know he is a good pitcher and that the Yanks struggle with the Angels. But you know what? The batting order is absolutely terrifying to any pitcher in baseball. Jeter, Damon, Teixeira, Arod, Matsui, Posada, Cano, Swisher, and (even) Melky. I find no reason not to win a ballgame with that lineup. The Halos have some good players too, including former Yankee Bobby Abreu, who no doubt will be looking to hit the crap out of the ball every at bat. Not too many holes in the Angels lineup, so it should be a well-played series.


But enough of the fair is fair BS. I want a sweep. I want a sweep in the worst way. I know it's not very likely, but this is what every Yankee fan wants. Seven straight postseason wins going into the World Series. Alex Rodriguez is on fire in October; this is scary now. After that shot off Nathan on Friday night (a shot which Jimmy D and I both knew was coming), I knew for sure that ARod was a different player. He seems relaxed and unphased at the plate, locking in and coming up with big, clutch hits. Jeter is the usual postseason Jeter, and Andy Pettitte looked like a kid again, pitching 6 1/3 innings of 1 run, 3 hit, 7 K ball. I like the team's chances playing the Angels, but I have to admit it would have been sweet to kick the shit out of the Red Sox.



So long folks, and goodluck to the Yanks in Game 1 of the ALCS. 8 more W's in the quest for 27....

9/28/09

Memo

Dearest Readers,
 
I apologize for the lack of posting of late. There's a lot that's been going on, so I thought it was time for you all to catch up. First of all, I have been doing some writing for Barstool Sports NYC, a newly hatched branch of the wildly successful Barstool Sports. Definitely check it out - it's worth your time. I have been adding my bullshit opinion on the Yankees, but the content over there is gold.
 
Also, the First Lady and I are now engaged, so my time has been precious.
 
But fear not, The Balls is going to be back and as stroong as ever. I have a great interview coming up for dat ass, as well as the inevitable World Series run that the Yankees are going to put together. Keep checking out The Fowl Balls.

Regards,
Jimmy Dugan
President, CEO, and Dictator
The Fowl Balls
http://www.thefowlballs.com

9/12/09

Congratulations

My personal feelings about the coverage of the event aside, The Fowl Balls would like to extend our congratulations to Derek Jeter on passing Lou Gehrig on the Yankees all time hits list.

9/11/09

STFU


From SiriusXM:
Today (September 11, 2009) on SIRIUS XM’s Mad Dog Radio channel, host Gary Williams spoke with actor Matt Damon, who was on to promote his new movie, “The Informant,” and the charitable foundation he supports, “One X One.”

Williams: “Meanwhile, your Red Sox, they’re only about 19 games
back of the Yankees. Do they have anything for them in
October?”

Damon: “Yeah, of course, man. October comes and everybody is
0-0. All we need to do is back into the wild card and we’re fine.
We’re fine. Listen, New York, they’re going to collapse. They’re
still, I mean, nobody on that team has won a World Series in... I mean,
Jeter has but the rest of them…”

Williams: “Posada has, Pettitte has…”

Damon: “Nine years ago these guys won the World Series. They
got so smoked by the Red Sox in ’04, I mean, I’m telling you, man. They’ve
got the yips. They’re going to fold like a cheap suit. You watch,
man. You watch. If we make it into the playoffs, man, we’re taking
them down.”


These Hollywood morons continue to think that the world values their opinion. Also, I had no idea that Matt Damon was on the Red Sox. I love when people say "we" like they are on the fucking payroll. Hey, Matt, here's an idea; leave the witty sports analysis to me, and you can go back to adding to the pile of shitty movies that you have accumulated. If it weren't for Clooney and Pitt doing you a favor and putting you in the Ocean's trilogy, your career would be, well, Ben Affleck's (read: shit).

Life imitates art in a really bad way

I don't usually deviate from Yankee content, but this picture is from the Yankee game Wednesday night, and I just had to comment after seeing it.

In the wonderful world of make believe that is television, things can happen that are beyond the realm of comprehension. Nuns can fly, horses can talk, and a fat ass like Peter Griffin can score a piece like Lois. But in what I like to call the "real world" I like things to happen the way they are supposed to. When you see a nun, she is walking like everyone else; a dog's only means of communication is diving nose-deep into another dogs ass; and fat, ugly pricks like Jerry Ferrara DO NOT date Meadow fucking Soprano.

As a disclaimer, I date a smokeshow, but it is only fair given the boyish good looks and insatiable rear end that God himself reached down and bestowed upon me. This is the natural order of things. This is why I have the luxury, nay, the RIGHT to be irritated by this. Beautiful people should be with other beautiful people. Jerry Ferrara is slapping Charles Darwin in the mouth.

I liked Entourage for the first two or three seasons when it was a little more palatable - Vince hooked up with the 10's and guys like Turtle here were left with the table scraps. Aaahhh, reality. Then things went haywire and everybody started plowing through supermodels left and right. It was at this point that I deemed their reality too unrealistic, and stopped watching the show.

To that point, I am not really sure that I want to live in a world where Turtle dates Meadow. Please continue to check the blog, because if there isn't an update for a day or two I may have thrown myself in front of a train.

9/10/09

Apparently Derek Jeter did something


Last night Derek Jeter got his 2,721st hit, tying Lou Gehrig for the most in Yankees franchise history. Now, before I write this and get 234,567 emails about how I am a moron, I will preface by saying that I am, and always have been a huge Jeter fan.


But are we kidding here? The hit that Jeter got last night is no more important than any other in his career. When he breaks the record in the next few days, that won't mean anything either. By becoming the all-time hits leader for his franchise, Jeter is joining such all time greats as Tim Wallach, Ed Kranepool, and Tony Fernandez. I am sick and tired of the Four Ring fans ruining New York's good name. These are the same assholes that cheered every time Tino Martinez fielded a ground ball cleanly in 2005.

Derek Jeter is a first ballot Hall of Famer, and a proven world class cocksman. He has been the picture of class since he burst onto the scene fourteen years ago. This motherfucker is the Ashley Schaeffer of the baseball world. But I ask you all, please take a deep breathe and remove your heads from each other's asses. There will be plenty to cheer as Jeter passes real milestones at 3000, 3500, maybe even 4,000 hits. The fact that people are making his passing of Gehrig (a man whose career was cut short by disease and had 600 less at bats than Jeter thus far) is almost a slight to what Jeter has actually accomplished during his career.
The argument for Derek Jeter's greatness has always been that it "cannot be quantified by numbers". His intangibles have put him in a class all his own. Now that radio hosts and other assorted dickhead windbags are tying him to a (mildly impressive) number makes me want to punch a kitten in the face. It's time that New York sports fans start living up to their perceived high sports IQ.

And your magic number is now...


9/9/09

The Yankees continue to stick it up everyone's ass

From the New York Times -
 
FREE CANCER SCREENINGS The Yankees will open their gates an hour earlier Wednesday, at 3 p.m., when they will offer free prostate cancer screenings for any adult man attending the game. The screenings will take place all through the game at the first aid station behind Section 128 on the third-base side of the field level.
The effort is a partnership between the Yankees and Bat for the Cure, a charity sponsored by the longtime local radio host Ed Randall.

Thanks, but no thanks. I love the Yankees, but I'll be damned if I am getting my insides massaged in the parking lot outside the stadium.


And your magic number is now...


This is fun

Last night the Yankees won their 90th game in grand fashion, thanks to a walk-off home run from The Fowl Balls' man crush Nick Swisher.

This was a significant victory for a number of reasons. First and foremost, with this win, the Yankees eclipsed their win total of a year ago in just 140 games and put the Yankees forty games over .500 for the first time since 2006. It also improved the Yankees to a perfect 16-0 in games that are tied in the seventh inning or later.

The point is that this team knows how to win. Last night Chad Gaudin got the call to start, and was solid. In a tight game, the team was able to overcome a rare Phil Hughes slip-up to scratch out a victory. It's fun to watch a 15-14 slugfest, but the fact that the Yankees can win this type of game is what makes them dangerous. They hit. They pitch. They have improved their defense. They are the best team in baseball. For the first time since The Balls' inception, it feels like there is something special to write about. It's not about who Derek Jeter is banging, or what A-Rod will do next to prove that he is retarded. It's about baseball, winning, and enjoying what has been one hell of a summer.

9/3/09

The natural order of things

The sun rises in the east, The sky is blue, Lindsey Lohan will blow you for a handful of nickels, and the Orioles are terrible.

There are some things that just are, and we don't question them. Take last night for example. The O's hold steady in a tight 3-1 ballgame into the eight, and rookie Nolan Reimold hits a solo home run off of Brian Bruney (at least it wasn't Phil Coke this time). 3-2. Then, in the blink of an eye, God woke up and realized "oh, wait! The Orioles are fucking awful!" and the Yankees proceeded to put up 7 runs in the top of the ninth without the aid of a single home run. Now, thats more like it.

Even with the 10 run explosion, the story of the night is CC Sabathia. Another stellar, late-season outing by Fat Albert that we as baseball fans have become so accustomed to. Carsten gave the Yanks seven innings yielding seven hits and only one run. From the third inning on he was basically untouchable.

After the last few years, being a Yankee fan was starting to feel like being a Jet fan. Sure the Yankees always win, but the inevitablility of the team failing in the playoffs (and last season before hand) was a black cloud over the season, and this season had that kind of feel to it. The team was aging with the likes of Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and Johnny Damon all expected to be contributors. Derek Jeter had been increasingly embarassing on defense, and both A-Rod and Mo were coming off major surgeries. Though, oddly enough, this potential recipe for disaster has been the fuel behind what has become the undisputed best team in baseball right now.

We all know that this team is playing loose, fast, and on the edge of out of control; one injury could watch the entire season go down faster than Andy Dick on the set of High School Musical. But for right now, this is fun to watch.

9/2/09

They should just contract this team already


The Mets' season of embarrassment reached new heights last night. In what should have been a triumphant return to the diamond for David Wright following a horrific head injury, the team saw fit to put him in a Great Gazoo helmet.
This is just awful. I agree that the brain is important: it is the governing body which rules our entire human existence. But if they told me I could either wear this helmet on national television or die, some serious fucking pondering would be in order.
(photo jacked from Barstool Sports NYC - but since I put this in italics it looks official and they won't do shit)

9/1/09

Missed it by that much

...and Andy Pettitte continues to drop a Cleveland steamer on the chest of The Fowl Balls - and we are loving it.


8/28/09

A second chance

I am not going to list a myriad of stats here, but since Brett Gardner went down, Melky Cabrera has been fucking terrible. Granted the Yankees are rolling, and you don't want to screw too much with a good thing, but the fact is they have been doing so with Cabrera floating around the Mendoza line for over a month.
 
The reason I bring this up is Mike Cameron has cleared waivers (hat tip to MLBTR). I have been campaigning - read:begging - the team to make a move for Cameron since last year (see: here). Of course I ended up disappointed when the trade did not go through, but it has never made more sense than it does right now.
 
Let me recap in bullett form:
  • Mike Cameron offers an above average glove, and above average power 
  • Melky Cabrera is a below average baseball player
  • Cabrera's above average arm does not warrant a spot in the lineup
  • Cameron is a free agent after the season - if the Yankees pick up the tab, I don't see the trade being a back-breaker
  • Brett Gardner was never that good to begin with 
Make this deal, Cash.

8/27/09

Say it ain't so

According to the NY Post, Derek Jeter is secretly engaged to Minka Kelly.

After what could very well be a record-breaking run, Jeter looks like he is finally hanging up his Valtrex and settling down. There is no doubt that Jeter will be a first-ballot inductee into the cocksman Hall of Fame, but there is a part of me that will miss reading the stories about Jeet plowing his way from New York to, Tampa penis first.

My bold prediction is that Jeter hands the torch to newly annointed Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchez. Handsome. Talented. Rich. Ethnic. He has everything it takes to continue Jeter's legacy of poon greatness.

Sorry Andy

Last night, Andy Pettitte won. Again. And made us look stupid. Again.

On July 24th, I referred to Andy Pettitte as "dead weight" at the back of the end of the Yankees rotation. At that time, Pettitte was 8-5; not bad, but with an ERA sitting at 4.62, his record was obviously not indicative of his performance. After one more bad start for the road on the 25th, the season turned around for Pettitte.

Since that date, all "the Schnoz" has done is go 3-0 and lower his ERA by half a run. In the month of August he has been dominant aside from one start in Boston where he admitted that he was distracted by the 20 runs the Yankees piled on.

Andy's Numbers since July 25th: 3-0, 1.64 ERA, 1.06 WHIP

This turnaround can obviously be attiributed to the motivation Andy derived from us calling him out. When Jimmy Dugan talks, goddamnit people listen. Oh, and Andy, since you are undoubtedly reading this, plug The Balls next time Suzy Know-It-All sticks a mic in your face.

So, in short, thank you to Andy Pettitte to making me look like I don't know what the fuck I am talking about.

8/26/09

Definition:

ex⋅e⋅cute [ek-si-kyoot]verb, -cuted, -cuting.
1. to carry out; accomplish: to execute a plan or order.
2. to perform or do: the Yankees lost last night because Nick Swisher could not execute a fucking bunt down a run with two on and none out in the ninth.

8/25/09

In the biz, we call this a teaser....

Look out later in the week for a new feature that I have been working on here at The Balls - the suspense must be killing you, I know.

In the meantime, follow JD on twitter, and join our Facebook group.

Who knew?


I was under the impression that all of the characters in the dinner scene in The Nutty Professor were played by Eddie Murphy. Apparently I was wrong, because this black Montgomery Burns look-alike was definitely sitting at that table.
If you can raise your hand and say that you knew Ron Washington was bald, I will call you a fucking liar.

8/24/09

I'm back in the New York groove

After living an amazing week like Kenny Chesney and tenderizing my liver in the sun with the First Lady, I have returned.
 
The Yankees were 4-1 during my absence, including a series win against the Red Sox **ahemnailincoffinahem**.  This may prompt some of you to say "you should go away all the time, Jimmy LOL OMG", but I have this to say: This team needs no help from me at this point. But rest assured, if me spending the rest of my life on an exotic beach in Mexico helps this team to win four out of every five games, I would be glad to help out. Somebody call Cashman and get that shit done.

8/18/09

Looks like you will have to waste time elsewhere


Starting today, the First Lady and I will be taking a well-deserved vacation: toes-in-the-water-ass-in-the-sand style.


While you are slaving away at work, we will be sipping* cocktails (heh- cock) poolside. Be jealous.


*She will be sipping - I will be chugging and taking full advantage of the morons who sold us the "all inclusive" package before checking my background.

8/14/09

The Fowl Balls PSA

My Dear Readers,

I don't usually get all preachy, but this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. When doing anything that is physical in nature, please be sure to wear a protective cup.

The blogosphere (gayest word ever, by the way) is abuzz with articles poking fun at the severe injury that Adrian Beltre suffered the other night. When attepting to field a ground ball at third base, the ball took a funny hop on Beltre that struck him in a very uncomfortable place (like in the back of a Volkswagen?). The result is what has been referred to medically as a torn testicle. Let's say that again. Torn. Testicle.

I will not be lampooning Adrian Beltre, though. I mean for God's sake the guy's nut just ripped in half, let's give him a break. What I would like to do is use this forum to stress the importance of wearing an athletic supporter while playing baseball. Or softball. Or flag football. Or grocery shopping. Or watching People's Court. The fact is that, as men, we must be protective of our greatest asset at all times(although I have been told it is my ass, or sometimes my boyish good looks, but I digress) .

Now you have Adrian Beltre, millionaire baseball player, unable to father children in every Major League city. Wait - what? I take it all back. Nobody wear a cup. In fact, somebody would have gotten Shawn Kemp and Travis Henry to kick eachother in the nuts a few dozen times fifteen years ago maybe they wouldn't have been spreading their Superman-like sperm in ever major US city.

So in conclusion: to each his own. If you plan on Johnny Appleseeding it all over the free world, maybe it's best that you leave your cup at home.

He's ready for his closeup

After watching Hideki Matsui hit two bombs and drive in five last night (that's right, I stayed up for the whole game for some reason), it got me thinking about his future.

It has been seen as a foregone conclusion that the Yankees and Godzilla will part ways at season's end, and the theory that he could go back to Japan seems a little bit of a reach. Though it has been speculated upon, I can't see him ending up anywhere other than Seattle. Last night's audition did nothing to discourage my notion.

Looking at the Mariners' roster last night, two things jump out: first, management's affinity for Asian players (no shit, considering they are owned by Nintendo). Second, the team is hard pressed to put asses in seats; so much so that they bring in washed up players like Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Sweeney to take hacks in the twilight of their career. The fact is that Hideki Matsui meets BOTH of these needs for the Mariners franchise. He's half washed up and he's Asian. In Seattle that's like working at a Starbucks and listening to shitty grunge music. Now all he has to do is grow a soul patch, and he will be a God of Chris Cornell proportions in the Northwest.

8/11/09

Despite the pleadings of Admiral Ackbar, Yankees lose to Blue Jays

In an interview conducted yesterday morning in which he was asked about last night's match up between the Yankees and Blue Jays, Admiral Ackbar warned emphatically that it was, indeed, a trap. Alas no one listened, and the Yankees lost for the first time in six games.
The loss also marked what should be the last time we ever see Sergio Mitre pitch in the first inning of any Major League game, so at least some history was made.

8/10/09

OMG LOL 143!!!!1!!!!1!111!!!!!!!


It's official. Mark Teixeira is my Jake Ryan.

8/7/09

Wow.

The tides have turned. 15 innings of uneventful bullshit culminates in Mr. Non-Clutch hitting a walk-off.

The Yankees now sit at 2-8 against the hated Red Sox. The more important number, however, is the 4.5 game lead that the team holds in the AL East.

On a side note, I haven't seen that many Asians in a game since Tom Selleck was anchoring a solid Dragons lineup in Chiunichi.

Have vagina, till travel

Apparently Minnesota is the latest port for the USS Douchenozzle, as the Twins have acquired Carl Pavano.

Pavano has already topped the win total for his CAREER as a Yankee THIS SEASON. Yet he still gets work. Excuse my while I go slam my head in a car door.

It's about God damned time

8/6/09

How does it feel?

After years of playing the "Scrappy Underdog", the Red Sox have finally lost their shine.
 
Steroids allegations, old, broken down players, and a bullpen that leaks like Edward Scissorhands' waterbed - sound familiar? The Red Sox are finding out that America is the land of taking shots at those that are more fortunate, and the main stream media is no different.
 
So, I implore you Red Sox fans: shut up. You are no better than the Yankees, nor have you been for any stretch in the history of baseball since the magical run that ended in 1918. A-Rod did steroids?? So did Big Sloppy and Manny. Tainted World Series Titles?? Now you have two of your own. Spending like sailors in the Red Light District?? Check your balance sheet, boys. After years of claiming superiority for numerous reasons, your arguments have gone to shit. It's time to own up and admit without shame what I have known for years:
 
EVERYBODY wants to be the Yankees.
 
...and the Red Sox have been better at attaining that goal than anyone else. Welcome to the club.

This. Is. Big.

Although Mark Teixeira would like you to believe otherwise (hat tip to Pete Abe), this weekend's series with the Red Sox could well define the Yankees season. After losing their eighth consecutive game to the Sox, I wrote a post to try and talk Yankee fans everywhere off of the ledge. Now that time has elapsed and the Yankees have righted the ship to the tune of a 2 1/2 game lead, the pending four game set becomes vital.
 
Anything less than a series split would be unacceptable. Tonight, with Joba on the mound against some guy who bears a striking resemblance to John Smoltz, the Curse of the Moose HAS to be reversed. After a 5-4 road trip that allowed the team to maintain its division lead, a 2-2 record over the long weekend would suffice.
 
 

8/4/09

8 (or so) Questions: author Marty Appel



In a VERY special 8 (or so) Questions, I was afforded the opportunity to speak with long-time Yankees PR Director and author Marty Appel. You may recognize Marty's name from his work as an expert on Yankeeography, or his appearance yesterday on the MLB Network. As I referenced yesterday, this weekend marked the 30 year anniversary of the death of Thurman Munson. A close friend of Munson (and co-author of his autobiography), Appel's newest book, "Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain" paints a rarely seen portrait of a mythical figure in Yankees lore. Marty was kind enough to give The Fowl Balls a few minutes of his time (and to send us an advanced copy - I am kind of a big deal). Enjoy the interview and go buy the book - it really is amazing.


Jimmy Dugan - As someone who was around the team during Munson's tenure, what did you learn during the research for this book that you hadn't known before?


Marty Appel - I learned the details of his difficult childhood, some of which was suspected. Finding his brother and sister who were willing to talk and fill in the pieces was important. It also helped to explain some of his darker, grouchier side......and his discomfort and being in the middle of the controversial Bronx Zoo years. He just didn't want to be there.

JD - Was this a difficult process for the Munson family? Did you tread lightly, hoping not to trudge up negative memories of Thurman?


MA - For the family, the pain of Thurman's passing remains hard, even 30 years later. With all the detail in the book, it was understandable that they chose to take a more passive role with the book. We didn't tread lightly; he's a historic figure and people want details. But some concession was certainly made to the feelings of the family.

JD - As a long-time PR Director for the Yankees, explain what your responsibilites were pretaining to the players. Who was difficult to deal with?

MA - Thurman! You sort of want your captain to be good with the press, and he just wasn't. Otherwise, the players were pretty good. This was the era before Internet, sports talk radio, ESPN and cable. We didn't know that was coming, but what we had was demanding enough. Lots of media, each looking for its own exclusives. My job was to manage the process. I was also involved with publications, promotions, broadcasting, community relations, marketing, team historian, etc. Each is a separate department today.

JD - What type of qualities that Thurman Munson possessed as a human have been evident in subsequent Yankee Captains like Guidry, Randolph, and Jeter?

MA - The way they relate to teammates and earn their respect. They all played the game honest and true, hard and tough. No compromising, no lying. You knew where you stood with them if you were a teammate.

JD - Thurman Munson seemed, in reading the book, to be the type of player that has become a rarity in Major League Baseball: a selfless, hard-working, hard-had-and-lunchpail type of guy that my father has always harped upon. Who would you say resembles Thurman most closely in today's game?

MA - Posada. Jorge has matured to a leader behind the plate, and you can see his take charge qualities at work. Munson is a role model for him - he has a photo in his locker. I really like the way his game has come along, and so do the fans.

JD - As someone who lived through the heart of the Steinbrenner reign, how has the tone of the team changed since King George has taken a step away from day-to-day operations?

MA - I think everyone tries to carry on as they think Mr. Steinbrenner would like it done. Sometimes there are variations on what that means, and I think that can create uncertainty. It's a better running machine with the top guy in action. But they are still a model front office, something he built.

JD - As someone that had grown close to Thurman, was it hard for you to work through this project? I had read that you listened to tapes of Thurman from the time you co-wrote his autobiography, was it difficult to re-live those memories?

MA - Yes, it was difficult to hear the tapes because i remembered being right there with him in his study at his Norwood NJ home, sitting side by side, chatting like old friends talking baseball. But I wanted his voice in my head as I began the writing process.

JD - Give the people an update - what are you working on now?

MA - These days are filled with media requests for MUNSON, and we're also in discussion on film rights, so no attention yet on the "next" project.

Once again, we thank Marty for his time. Be sure to buy the book , as it is an amazing read.

8/3/09

August 2nd, 1979


Thirty years and a move across the street after his tragic passing, Thurman Munson's legacy still hovers over the Yankee clubhouse.

I will be conducting a special interview this week pretaining to Munson, so keep an eye out.



7/31/09

Deadline Day Thread

Not a lot to report (as of yet), but I wanted to give my readers a space to discuss todays happenings (and potential happenings). I will be popping in and out to make sure everyone is playing nice.

Let me know what you think. Washburn? Halladay? Pavano? Who will be in pinstripes by 4pm?

*UPDATE (11:36am) - MLBTR reporting that Tigers have acquired Jarrod Washburn for Luke French and another prospect. There goes that idea...

*UPDATE (1:48pm) - MLBTR says Orlando Cabrera to Twins for minor leaguer. Why weren't the Sox interested in him again? Wasn't he a stud for them after the Nomar deal?

*UPDATE (1:54pm) - Red Sox to acquire V-Mart according to Bob Nightengale's twitter. Nick Hagadone, Justin Masterson, lower level prospect back to the Tribe.

*UPDATE (3:16pm) - Red Sox spin Adam LaRoche to Braves.

*UPDATE (3:21pm) - FINALLY! Yankees acquire Jerry Hairston, Jr from the Reds according to Joel Sherman. At least it's SOMETHING. I hope Shelley Duncan enjoys his one night stay in Chi-town.

7/30/09

Just pull the friggin' trigger already

Deja vu all over again as the Yankees are t-minus 24 hours to the trade deadline.

Hey, Boston fans: STFU

It looks like Christmas came early for Jimmy Dugan. After enduring endless amounts of shit from my Red Sox fan friends about the Yankees' links to steroids, I have been vindicated.

The New York Times is reporting that both David Ortiz AND Manny Ramirez were on the list of 104 steroid users in 2003 (you know, the list that A-Rod was on?). This further proves that the "report" conducted by George Mitchell isn't worth the paper that it was printed on. Despite Mitchell's best efforts to avoid the public indictment of any Boston player, his efforts will now be futile.

So, in short, screw you all. This does nothing but prove that EVERYONE was guilty, and no holier-than-thou fanbase has the right to thumb their noses at the rest of the offenders any longer*.

*Though this is the same group that had the balls to act like Rodney Harrison thing never happened, so I guess only time will tell if this does anything to pare back their douchebaggery.