This is a picture of Nick Swisher following through on his 6th home run of the year last night against the Tigers (he later followed with his 7th). We all know that Swish is a career .245 hitter, and that this can't last forever. That being said, Nick Swisher has done a great job of distracting Yankee fans from a start that may have had people running for the exits in past years. Oh, and by the way, I told you.


Phil Hughes is not Todd Van Poppel

The Fowl Balls' favorite prospect looked as though he turned the corner last night.

After dominating AAA for three starts (3-0, 1.86), Phil Hughes dominated the FIRST PLACE!!1!!!11!! Detroit Tigers last night. Through six innings Hughes surrendered only two hits and no runs, holding out long enough for the Yankees to explode for ten runs in the seventh inning.

This window of oppportunity for Hughes looks to be three-to-five starts at a minumum, which should provide ample time to prove himself as big league ready. The uncertainty surrounding CMW gives Phil Hughes a chance to step up and take a spot in this rotation. Don't say we didn't warn you, but any success from Hughes will no doubt start the "Joba-to-the-bullpen" idiots back up in full force. That should be fun to read in every paper, every morning (again).


Big Start

Although he is still only 22 years old, now is the time for Phil Hughes to shed the "Perennial Prospect" label. He has the chance to step up and put a halt to a four game losing streak tonight (even though it's April) and show that there is no need to panic after the tragic death of Chien Ming Wang's ability to pitch.

The sky is falling

If you would like to fnid out why the Yankees will lose 100 games this season, please read the article here . In short, according to Peter Abraham, the Yankees are too old, too slow, and basically have no business being on a baseball field. This after a whopping 19 games of the 2009 season.

In PeteAbe's piece, he actually quotes one of the most respected baseball on the planet in Jim Leyland, and then proceeds to contradict him. Although Abraham paints a horrific picture of the decrepid Yanks, Leyland had more positive things to say. On to the blockquote...
“He’s a great pitcher,” Leyland said of Sabathia. “It’s just a matter of time
before he starts racking up wins. They’re a tough team to manage against.
They’re about to get a lot tougher in three weeks from what I understand.”

While Abe agrees that the referenced return of Alex Rodriguez will benefit the lineup, he continues by saying that "(b)ut bringing back a 33-year-old former steroids user with a bad hip isn’t going to solve the problem of the Yankees looking like a company softball team at times. When you see Jacoby Ellsbury steal home or Curtis Granderson lay down a perfect bunt to start a rally, it’s a reminder of how old and slow the Yankees can look." First of all, let's not all talk about Alex Rodriguez like he is Jose Canseco coming out of retirement. He is still one of the most well rounded players in all of baseball, and the article makes it seem as though he will be in a walker for the rest of the season. I agree on the Ellsbury stealing of home (as I referenced yesterday) being a clusterfuck, but Granderson's bunt? Correct me if I am wrong, but Curtis Granderson will be safe on that bunt against any team in the league, no matter how "young and athletic" they are.

Look, the newspaper industry is circling the drain; you know it, I know it, and Pete knows it. Taking strong positions is the way to create controversy and , in turn, generate traffic. That doesn't mean that this "doom and gloom" variety of sports writing is accurate. This article actually references the rate of success at which Robinson Cano has stolen bases. Stolen bases are not exactly a tell-all statistic in measuring the athleticism of a player, especially in the case of a 26 year old second baseman that has started the season off with a 1.052 OPS. Do you think that the Phillies are worried about Chase Utley swiping bags?

At the end of the day, I will take Leyland's word over Pete. Call me crazy.


**BREAKING NEWS**: Yankees Swept in Boston

I am not sure if anyone noticed, but the Yankees were embarrassed in three straight games this weekend against the Boston Red Sox.

I have received numerous emails reprimanding me for not having done a write up on the series, and maybe the readers have a point. Facts being facts, though, The Fowl Balls has never been a "news driven" site, and if you don't know how/why the Yankees got their rectums impacted this weekend, then maybe you have stumbled upon this site by accident. Without further adieu, here is the Official TFB review of this weekend's series.

Game 1 -
Mariano Rivera caught the "suck flu" from others in the locker room, and blows a two run lead with two outs in the ninth by giving up a home run to Jason Bay. In all fairness, it should have never come to that situation as the Yanks blew a bases-loaded, none out opportunity just two innings before.

Game 2 -
It was A.J Burnett's time to crap himself as he let up 8 earned runs, including a grand slam to Jason Varitek, who proceeded to sprint around the bases like like a Little Leaguer. Speaking of Little League mannerisms, Mike Lowell and his 10 year old bat wiggle helped pound the Yankees into submission as well, plating like 47 runs all by himself. Robinson Cano continued his early domination of the league, albeit in a losing effort.

Game 3 -
This marked the third consecutive game that the team blew a lead. Andy Pettitte battled, but looked like a rookie as Jacoby Ellsbury stole home on the aging lefty. Justin Masterson had the Yankees sputtering all night, followed by two pitchers that nobody has ever heard of shutting down what is supposed to be a dominant offense.

I hope that this makes you all happy. The Yankees look awful, and not only am I forced to watch the games, now I am expected to write about it? My readers suck.

Remember Me?

When he was drafted in the first round in 2003, Eric Duncan was a highly touted, local phenom. Since then his star has lost it's shine as he has languished in the minors due to injury and being rushed through the system.

With the injuries to Alex Rodriguez and , now, the offensive force that is Cody Ransom, the Yankees decided to bring Angel Berroa back into the fold to cover third. Last night, Berroa proved that his on-third-of-an-inning experience at the position just doesn't translate to the big league diamond, as he looked lost at Fenway making two errors. Plus, he actually looks like he could be Kenny Lofton's father.

Meanwhile, the 24 year old Duncan is off to a hot start at AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre while having the ability to play a serviceable hot corner. This is the shot that Eric Duncan has never been afforded by the Yankees after having pushed him through their minor league system way too quickly. He has shown the ability to hit the ball deep in his minor league career, and plays a decent third base. This, to me, is a no brainer. Maybe he fizzles, or maybe he plays well enough to become a trade chip as a left handed bat with power. After investing a much lauded first round pick on him, it is time for the Yankees to find out.

Fantasy Pick of the Week

It's ok if the name Josh Anderson doesn't ring a bell. There was a slight chance he'd start for Houston a few years ago, but that never happened. Last year, Josh missed out on an opportunity to start for Atlanta. When he lost this job this year to Jordan Schafer, he was traded to the Tigers.

The Tigers decided to hand him the starting LF job and he's taken it and run with it. The latter part can be backed up by six stolen bases in only 30 AB's.

So, is it time to pick up Josh Anderson in a 12-team mixed league? He's sporting a .364 AVG and has stolen six bases on the season. His CR is a solid 91%.

In the minor leagues, Anderson was a speed demon. Over his last three minor league seasons, Anderson has averaged 44 SB's. With six so far, he could certainly reach that amount given 500+ AB's.

In parts of his 2007 and 2008 campaigns with Houston and Atlanta, he kept his strikeouts down and contact high and batted .315 over those 200 AB's. His CR in the minor leagues has been around the 84% to 86% range so it is possible he keeps his AVG close to .300.

Josh Anderson will be 27 this summer and is in his prime. The one thing lacking has always been an opportunity. He now has that and is taking advantage of it in Detroit.

While he won't hit for power, he could provide Willy Taveras-like numbers at an extremely low cost.

If you have the roster space, consider adding him now and getting him in your lineup. You never know.

This article also appears on Fantasy Phenoms - be sure to take a look as they will help you pummel your opponent into submission week after week.


Hey, douche...

Heads up!

Let's get it on

Pitching matchups for the weekend series:
Friday: RHP Joba Chamberlain (0-0, 5.06) vs. LHP Jon Lester (1-2, 5.50)
Saturday: RHP A.J. Burnett (2-0, 3.20) vs. RHP Josh Beckett (2-1, 3.79)
Sunday: LHP Andy Pettitte (2-0, 2.53) vs. RHP Justin Masterson (1-0, 3.18)

The Legend of Nick Swisher continues to grow

After murdering the ball at the plate and shutting down the American League Champions on the mound in his first three weeks in New York, Nick Swisher took it to another level yesterday. Swish rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and his sheer enthusiasm forced the Dow Jones Industrial Average to raise by over 70 points in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. (Photo courtesy of LoHud)


Girardi: "Yo tengo el gatto en mi pantalones"

As I was on my ride in to work this morning, I flipped on Boomer and Carton on WFAN here in New York. Upon listening to audio of Joe Girardi's postgame interview after a rousing, 14-inning victory over the A's, he referred to a member of his bullpen as "Flaco".

By using my astute command of the Spanish language, I quickly realized that "Flaco" translates to "skinny", or "slim". Apparently, this is the nickname given to 96 pound relief pitcher Edwar Ramirez. It looks as though Joe Girardi went out and grew himself a personality this winter. No word on whether he calls CC Sabathia "Gordo".

From the no shit department

According to an article by Ken Davidoff of Newsday, A's outfielder Matt Holliday says that he would be open to playing in New York. Really? A potential big money free agent that is represented by Scott Boras didn't eliminate the possibility of playing for the two richest teams in the sport? Now THAT'S hard hitting reporting. (hat tip to MLBTR)


Fantasy Pick of the Week

Presented By Fantasy Phenoms

The Blue Jays’ second baseman broke out in 2007 at the age of 25, cracking 17 homers and 47 doubles while posting a .792 OPS, not bad for a middle infielder. A nasty concussion took a toll in 2008, but he looks to be back on track this season, banging out 23 hits in only 14 games. Four homers and a .365/.388/.603 line are very nice things to see out of your second baseman.

What do we know about Hill? Well, prior to 2007 he looked like a solid contact hitter but little else. Then he simply started swinging more, and started swinging with more authority. He struck out a good deal more in 2007, but that was more than countered by a big spike in power. That looks to be the approach he is sticking with, as he hasn’t really developed much in the way of patience at the plate, but he has been able to get on base just by hitting the ball well.
But while he can hit, Hill’s power is rather limited. He hasn’t hit one past the 380 mark this season, and only hit a handful over 400 feet in 2007. Not that you have to be able to hit a ball 400 feet, but the only way a right-handed pull hitter with limited power gets 20 homers is if he hits in Fenway, like a certain 2008 MVP winner.

Luckily for Hill owners, he should be quite productive without prodigious power. Jays skipper Cito Gaston likes hitting him in the two-hole, which will lead to a good amount of runs and RBIs. It’s not out of line to expect 90 or more runs scored, and 70-plus RBIs is within reason given the depth of the Toronto lineup.

All that considered, it looks like we will be seeing the Aaron Hill of 2007 again, and hopefully for years to come. Those who drafted him should give themselves a pat on the back. He’ll never be ranked alongside Chase Utley or Ian Kinsler but he is really not far off from Dustin Pedroia minus a few steals. Needless to say he will not keep his current pace up all season, but he is flashing the skills that made him fantasy gold a couple years ago.

This article also appears on Fantasy Phenoms - be sure to take a look as they will help you pummel your opponent into submission week after week.


Is it OK to panic yet?

With Chien Ming Wang's much ballyhooed struggles and Xavier Nady going down quicker than a polo horse, not to mention the fact that Cody Ransom is playing third base, there are plenty of question marks surrounding the Yankees as we head in to the third week of this young regular season. Third. Week.

The good news is that Alex Rodriguez appears to be ahead of schedule (though Joe Girardi refuses to admit it), and that Chien Ming Wang could not POSSIBLY be this bad all season. The Elias Sports Bureau says that he is the first pitcher in Major League history to allow 7 or more runs in three consecutive starts, so I am guess that a shaved ape would get decent odds to have some sort of rebound in their fourth start.

For now, the Yankees have the option to skip Wang's turn in the rotation and maintain regular rest for the rest of the staff, but that won't last forever. Since starting pitchers in modern baseball throw complete games about as often as Lindsay Lohan spends a day sober (ZING!) , the five man rotation is obviously a necessity. Luckily, the team has a capable stable of arms in Scranton-Wilkes Barre-Philadelphia-Pittsburgh-Intercourse tthat should be able to pick up slack. Perennial prospect Phil Hughes has been solid in AAA thus far, and Ian Kennedy is back to form as a dominant starter in the minor leagues. Throw in names like Alfredo Aceves, Jason Johnson, and Kei Igawa (God, it was painful to write that), and the Yankees have the ability to hold down the fort while Wang figures out what the hell is going on.

As for the offense, the return of Alex Rodriguez will obviously provide a large boost to the lineup, especially with the seeming inability of the New Yankee Stadium to keep the baseball within the confines of its walls. The level of suckitude provided by Cody Ransom is almost astonishing. Nick Swisher will not ride this high all season, and the thought of seeing lineups that include both Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera has actually forced me to contemplate suicide. This is now a very thin team, and Brian Cashman has his work cut out for him to find some depth (Oh, wait, it looks like this guy is available!).

All of that being said, it is the third week of the season, and despite the cloud of uncertainty, the team has managed to keep its record over .500 (7-6) and keep pace with a Boston team that will be around when the smoke clears and the Blue Jays start being the Blue Jays again. So, no, don't panic.


Sorry to ruin your weekend, but...

Jimmy Dugan is taking a short hiatus for the weekend. Duty calls, and this problem drinker is off to a bachelor party. Letting me and my friends loose on a respectable establishment always promises to look like caddy day at Bushwood. I encourage you all to comment, just know that I will not have the desire or ability to read them until Monday.

Thanks again for reading The Fowl Balls.

Yankee Stadium Firsts - A Pictorial

From Top:
First Pitch, CC Sabathia
First Hit - Johnny Damon
First Home Run - Jorge Posada
First HBP - Mark Teixeira
First Embarassing Bullpen Implosion - Jose Veras and Damaso Marte


Be careful what you wish for...

In a report on his blog, PeteAbe has said that there are rumblings that Xavier Nady needs surgery on his throwing elbow, and may miss the remainder of the season.

After the Yankees acquired Mark Teixeira, there was a contingent of fans, bloggers, and writers that endorsed trading Xavier Nady. It was the wrong move then, and the reasons why may now become clear. Now that Nady may be lost for the year, the depth of the Yankees outfield is taking a significant hit. With Damon, Gardner, and Swisher being the assumed starters, light hitting Melky Cabrera becomes the undisputed fourth outfielder, and the backup at all three outfield positions. Obviously this is not as favorable a scenario as having Nady/Swisher coming off of the bench.
With minor league options like Shelly Duncan and Todd Linden, and the vomit-inducing thought of Hideki Matsui with a glove on his hand, this could prove to be a sizeable detriment for a championship-caliber team.

Derek Jeter finally did something tangible

Derek Jeter watches a game-sealing 3-run home run leave the Trop last night.

With the offense devoid of Alex Rodriguez, and employing the artist formerly known as Hideki Matsui, Jeter is being counted on more than usual to make the offense 'go'.

Jeter and Johnny Damon will need to spark an offense that can not afford to wait around for the three-run homerun, at least for now. With the return of Rodriguez and a healthy Mark Teixeira returning to mid-season form this will be a very different offense. But for now, the fort will be held down by scoring runs every which way possible.


Following another crapping of the bed courtesy of CMW, AJ Burnett puts a stop to a two game losing streak for the second consecutive start.

Burnett dominated the defending AL Champion Ex-Rays over eight strong innings, showcasing no-hit stuff throughout.

Though he didn't give up a hit until the seventh inning, Burnett showed his value while pitching a three-up, three-down inning in the eighth. After struggling in the seventh and letting up two runs, AJ came back with a much-needed shutdown inning. That type of swing-and-miss stuff is special to witness, and I look forward to seeing it over the 20-25 healthy starts that Burnett will provide this year.


Barry Zito is a douchebag

As you all know, I am on twitter (follow me). One of the celebrity athletes that I am 'following' is Barry Zito. Yes, Barry Zito: the biggest thief since Carl Pavano. The similarities continue, as they seem to enjoy using their under-sized genitalia to bang the same women as well (although Zito actually has the testicles to pitch poorly, rather than fake multiple injuries to avoid doing so).

Anyways, I was reading some 'tweets' today, and came across one that made me want to leave the oven on in Barry Zito's apartment while he was sleeping:

BarryZito - Off day in LA, so many options!...Malibu lunching, Fred Segal, Dukes beakfast, Pooling in the hills, Drumming in my house, what a town

The fact that this ass helmet is so embarassingly bad at his job, yet has a $126 million contract and days like this to galavant around L.A. makes me so mad that I can barely sit here and type quietly while my boss isn't looking. FML.

The Answer?

As I was perusing Tim Dierkes' list of players who are still free agents, one name jumped out at me - Jim Edmonds.

With Brett Gardner proving day-in and day-out that he is not able to hit major league pitching, and Melky Cabrera having proved as such over the entire 2008 season, how long will it be before the Yankees kick the tires on Edmonds?

The Yankees centerfield tandem has combined to go 7-30 (.233) with one extra base hit so far this season. Edmonds, though advanced in age, still provides solid defense and above average pop, as he proved by hitting 19 home runs in just 298 at bats for the Cubs last year. Maybe he isn't the ideal move, but eventually Brett Gardner's act will get old.

Feeling nostalgic

As the rest of the blogosphere dittles Nick Swisher's taint (and here too) today, I am taking a different approach. Seeing Swish on the hill last night brought me back to a time when the Yankees actually were terrible, not like today when we bitch about 90-win seasons.

It was August 6, 1991, and the Yankees were losing yet another game, this time a 14-5 ass-raping at the hands of the Chicago White Sox. In a season that would yield just 71 wins and a 5th place finish in the American League East, Manager Stump Merrill ran out of pitchers (and patience). He turned to spectacle-sporting shortstop Alvaro Espinoza to nail the game down. With one out in the ninth, Espinoza recorded outs in the only two batters he faced, and the Yankees headed to the dugout.

Espinoza was a slick fielder whose spinning plays on balls hit up the middle served as the only non-Mattingly-related reason to watch the team that year. Though he didn't hit a lick, it is nice to reminisce about the days when the Yankees' shortstop could move to his left.

So, on this day that will emit doom and gloom over the Yankees after their 15-5 loss to the Ex-Rays last night, let us remember when times were really bad - a time Alvaro Espinoza roamed Yankee Stadium.


Here you go

Since Joe Girardi had a brain fart yesterday, I figured I would throw up an image of what Yankee fans should have seen yesterday: Mariano Rivera pitching at Kauffman Stadium. Apparently General Joe doesn't think Mo can get a four-out save. What is he, K-Rod?

Fantasy Pick of the Week

Presented by Fantasy Phenoms
The time is now to pick up Zach Duke. We wrote about him during the offseason, suggesting he could be this year's version of Joe Saunders. Since that January article, Duke has done what we had envisioned: He sported a 3.86 ERA over eight spring starts.

Zach has been quoted this spring having said things like "I feel right now" and "I have more control of my pitches." Manager John Russell said, "Duke has showed a renewed committment." Quotes of this nature are certainly positive ones and Duke is no stranger to success.

It was in 2005 where he took the league by storm. He went 8-2 with a 1.82 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP that year. But, that was then and this is now, right?

Two weeks away from turning 26, Duke could have easily made offseason adjustments. His first start of the season is exactly the type of start you can expect from him: 6-7 innings, four strikeouts, 2-3 earned runs and a possible walk here and there.

Our January comparison of Duke to Joe Saunders certainly limits his fantasy value. Duke isn't a strikeout pitcher, which is never a good thing. He also pitches for the Pirates, which isn't a good thing either. But, like we saw with Lincecum last year, if you can sport a solid ERA and go deep into ball games, you give your team a good chance to win, despite low run support.

The comparison to Saunders is limited, however. Saunders struck out 103 batters in nearly 200 innings. Duke could be more closely alligned to teammate Paul Maholm, who struck out 139 batters. For the first time in three seasons, Duke's K/9 ratio improved in 2008 by 23%. With all of the improving he's done thus far, a slight improvement in his K/9 ratio again isn't out of the question.

Both Saunders and Maholm provided WHIP's that were very helpful at 1.21 and 1.28 respectively. Both held ERA's below 4.00 as well. Saunders, though, won 17 games while Maholm won only 9.

More importantly, neither were drafted in any fantasy league. Zach Duke wasn't drafted in any fantasy league this year either.

Pitching for the Pirates and three awful seasons in a row have put Duke on many fantasy back-burners, but this post-hype sleeper could exceed expectations in 2009.

If you have roster room, you might want to consider adding him. He will make two starts next week at home against the Astros and Braves.
This week, as in every week, there will be a tracker in the left frame tracking the Fantasy Player of the Week.
This article also appears on Fantasy Phenoms - be sure to take a look as they will help you pummel your opponent into submission week after week.


Check This Out

A small piece of business to tend to. Our friends over at Hugging Harold Reynolds have put together the genius idea of getting a bunch of bloggers together for a weekend (because God knows we woulnd't have anything else to do) and call it Blogs with Balls.

What is it? Well, if you love sports blogs, and live in and around New York and want to learn more about it, it’s the place to be. BwB will include speakers/panelists like SI’s Jeff Pearlman & Jimmy Traina, along with Deadspin’s AJ Daulerio and many other blogging luminaries. If you care, I’m planning on attending, if that’s an actual draw.

According to their site, “Blogs With Balls is a series of regional social sports blogger and new media gatherings featuring speakers and panelists specifically focused on sports fans, writers, sites, teams, athletes and companies; and their ability to maximize new media outlets for promotion and advancement.”

You can get discounted pre registration tickets to the event - while they last - at blogswithballs.eventbrite.com. Jimmy Dugan will be holding an autograph session during the event - bring your Sharpie's!

This being Holy Week, let us thank the Lord for Brian Cashman

According to Kat O'Brien of Newsday, it was Brian Cashman that pushed hard for the Yankees to sign Mark Teixeira, my future best friend. Cashman spoke out about negotiations in an interview with Newsday:

"Teixeira never was really an option," Cashman said. "It was something I kept
pushing, but it was not really being accepted by above me . . . I guess
persistence paid off. I knocked on that door, I guess, just enough that someone
finally answered. Hal really gave me the OK to pursue it over a few-day period."

So, let me get this straight - an owner with the surname Steinbrenner actually let his baseball people make the baseball decisions? This must be a mistake.

Within the article, Cashman admits that the Yankees only met with Teixeira initially to create leverage in their negotiations with CC Sabathia. He also does some XXX knob slobbing of our new favorite player:

"I remember telling ownership this is a guy that is the all-around,
All-American- type boy that he is talented but he will never make a mistake with
the media with a soundbite. He'll always represent himself and the organization
in the right way. If you could take them all like that, that's the way you would
want them."

So, after banging his head against a wall for weeks with upper management, Cashman finally resorted to pitching Teixeira as the anti-Alex Rodriguez. I told you he was smarter than you. (hat tip to MLB Trade Rumors)

Everybody wants a piece of Jimmy Dugan's ass

The Fowl Balls is pleased to announce that we have recently established new partnerships with two sites that are sure to become must-read material for our loyal followers.

First, all of the content seen on The Fowl Balls will now be republished on the National Sports Review as part of their Yankees page. NSR is a site that utilizes a multitude of blog sources to deliver as many opinions as possible on happenings in the world of sports.

Second, The Balls will be teaming up weekly with Fantasy Phenoms to present a "Fantasy Player of the Week", starting on April 13th. Fantasy Phenoms, in their words, provides "objective insight into sabermetric analysis. They look at stats, we readbetween the lines". That's real impressive speak for "they know a hell of a lot more than you about fantasy". You will also be able to read a weekly column written by yours truly over at fantasyphenoms.com.

Be sure to check out both NSR and Fantasy Phenoms, and keep reading The Fowl Balls (obviously).


New Uniform, Same Douchebag

Everybody's favorite vagina Carl Pavano had his first start as an Indian today, and here is his final line:

1 IP, 6 H, 9ER, 3 BB, 1 K

Good luck, Cleveland!

Tragedy strikes

According to multiple sources, including TMZ, Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed in a car accident last night, following his fourth Major League start . He was only 22 years old.

We at The Fowl Balls send our most sincere condolences to the Adenhart Family, as well as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. (hat tip to With Leather for the pic that we stole)


Last night, in the ninth inning, newly annointed TFB man-crush Mark Teixeira recorded his first hit as a Yankee when he drove an RBI double into the gap in right-center field. It will now become my life's work to crack his inner-circle of friends. We are the same age, and he is obviously going to be looking to make new friends in the area. The First Lady and I are the perfect couple to go to dinner with Mark and Leigh. I even have a funny anecdote to start the conversation considering he hit a 400 foot home run off of me when we were 16 in a wooden bat tournament in Maryland. We will be living in his pool house in no time, but I digress. Congratulations, Mark. Call me. Soon.

I know that its early...

...and it goes against everything that I stand for to pass judgements after two games, but Brett Gardner simply looks overmatched. After all of the fanfare (read: bullsh*t) perpetuated by the Yankees Propoganda Network, it seems that the certified Spring Training All-Star has not progressed as much as the team would have us believe.

Unfortunately for all of you Brett Gardner fans out there, it looks like this is his game. While his minor league OBP checks in at over .400, it is weighted by the fact that he has walked once every 7.5 plate appearances. As the nine hitter in one of the most potent lineups in all of baseball, you can rest assured that the pitchers will be going right after Gardner at every chance. This means that until he proves that he can, in fact, hit major league pitching, the walks will be few and far between.

We all know that if the Yankees offense ends up relying on Gardner to be an offensive force that there is something seriously wrong. But in the 30-50 games that Jorge Posada is out of the lineup can the team afford two automatic outs? Up until this point, there has been no evidence that Brett Gardner can hit at this level. Given the small sample size, there is a chance that he makes me eat my words (and please believe that I am hoping that he does), but the "Gritty, Gutty" centerfielder looks a lot more like the overachieving prick that lapped teammates in high school practice than he does Brett Butler.

It is incredibly short-sighted to make these statements after just two games, and I could easily look very stupid in a month or so. But even knowing this, I still believe that the player who will be manning centerfield in June is not on the Yankees' roster. He is on the Brewers'.


Take Two

The Yankees turn to the maddeningly under-appreciated, two-time 19 game winner Chien Ming Wang to kick start the season after a poor effort on Opening Day.


Calm. Down.

The Yankees have now finished 0.006% of their season, and already we are seeing "Money For Nothing" headlines? Sure, CC Sabathia's 400 pound ass threw an embarassing 5 innings yesterday. It happens. Mark Teixeira went o for 5. Nobody's perfect. Now, let's all take a deep breath and take our heads out of each other's asses. We can't all be hacks like those over at the Daily News, can we?

Opening Day does not a season make. We can all agree that with CC and Tex making their big debut and all, it would have been nice to win the first one. But they didn't. And to me, that's not a story.

The Metropolatinos, on the other hand, Showed that the bullpen that cost them a playoff spot last year is not the same as it was a year ago. Sean Green, J.J. Putz, and K-Rod combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings to preserve a 2-1 Mets victory. There's your back cover, Daily News. K-Rod doing his ridiculous pointing-to-the-sky-and-showing-up-hitters pose. Now stop trying to create a mutiny with the fans of the Varsity team.

*This post can also be seen at Bronx Baseball Daily. Check out the site for constant Yankees updates by Jimmy Dugan and others.


Yankees to rest of the league: "F*ck off"

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Yankees succeeded in cutting $8million from last years payroll despite the additions of CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and A.J. Burnett. Suck on that John Henry. (hat tip to Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors)

Color Me Impressed

This Saturday, I was fortunate enough to attend the Yankees exhibition game against Lou Piniella's Cubs at the New Yankee Stadium. After walking the concourse for roughly an hour, there is only one way to describe it; perfect.
The ammenities within the new digs are second to none, with every type of food known to man located on the premesis, not to mention every imaginable piece of memorabilia known to man for sale. The great hall is lined with pictures of great Yankees of the past in a tip of the cap to the past, as well as the most technologically advanced video screens and ribbon boards. The best part is that it is nearly impossible to do a full 360 turn without having a television within eyeshot.
In replacing the original Stadium, the Yankees had a very impotrant mission to keep the fans happy. Aside from a terribly overblown PA system, this was a great place to watch a game. I was sitting in the upper deck (doing it BIG), and it was an infinitely more enjoyable experience as compared to the old lpace. The deck itself is no longer billy goat steep as the level was flattended out and divided into two distinct levels. The viewing angles were just as impressive, especially with the regoddamneddiculous video screen in center field.
Though the Old Stadium may have deserved a better fate, the New Stadium does a great job of mixing the time honored tradition that the Yankees have built with the swanky, over-the-top components that the rich pricks in the front row can appreciate.

It's About Time

After one of the most explosive off-seasons in Yankees history, the Yankees will begin their 2009 campaign in Baltimore. Buckle up.

Girardi Screws the Pooch

According to the Daily News, Joe Girardi named Ramiro Pena the utility infielder to begin the 2009 season. This move will leave the Yankees no choice but to DFA Angel Berroa after a Spring Training campaign that included an impressive .371 batting average.

As I noted April 3rd, this move really has little to no bearing on the team's success in 2009. Whomever was chosen to be the 25th man would only be on the roster for a short time, pending the return of Alex Rodriguez. The position will not see many at bats (if any), and it will be a cold day in hell before the slick fielding Pena serves as a late inning defensive replacement for Derek Jeter.

However, I have to say that I was hoping to see then Yankees send Pena to Scranton to get at bats rather than serve as dead weight on the end of the bench.


Just Insane

Right now the Yankees are up 5-1 in the 4th, and I can do nothing but stare at the most retardedly massive screen on earth. More pics to come later on, along with a full review of the new digs.


The Final Roster Spot

There has been much talk on various blogs about what the Yankees should do with the final spot on their roster. Angel Berroa, the wiley veteran who looks about ten years older than he should has had an excellent spring training, and Ramiro Pena, the slick fielding youngster, has opened a lot of eyes. Some authors will depict theirs as a heated battle for the final spot on the Opening Day roster and a chance to shine at the big league level. Unfortnately, this story means about as much to the success of the Yankees as my blog posting.

We are talking about a player who will be on the big league squad for roughly 3-5 weeks before Alex Rodriguez comes back. When that happens, Cody Ransom will become the utility infielder and Berroa or Pena would be gone. Berroa would have to be DFA'd as he is out of options while Pena could be sent to the minors.

My pick is Berroa, because I feel that Pena could get more use out of minor league at bats than rotting on the bench at the New Stadium. I reiterate, though, that this means absolutely nothing. Whether it is Pena or Berroa, they will see about as much burn as I will.

Editor's Note - By the way, the player pictured above is Ramiro Pena. Don't act like you knew.


Jimmy Dugan in the house Oh My God, Oh My God

This coming Saturday, April 4th, will be a momentus occasion in Yankees' history. Jimmy Dugan will take his first steps inside the New Yankee Stadium, as the Bombers will be taking on Lou Piniella's Chicago Cubs in a game that means less than nothing.

The good part is there will be a ton of pictures to be taken, and A.J. Burnett will be taking the mound for a final tune-up. Keep an eye out for a post on Saturday night with all of the info.