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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


It won’t be too long now

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Feb 10, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

It actually took me a few minutes to find my PowerBook this morning. My room is a blizzard of clothes waiting to be crammed into a suitcase. You try packing for 50 days sometime.

But the hot stove is cold and spring training will be upon us soon. Here’s the schedule for the Yankees:

Wednesday: Joe Girardi meets with the media in Tampa.

Thursday: Pitchers and catchers report.

Friday: First workout.

Feb. 19: Position players report.

Feb. 20: First full-squad workout.

Feb. 29: Yankees vs. South Florida at Legends Field

March 1: Yankees vs. Phillies at Clearwater

So what can we expect this spring? Lots and lots of steroids talk. As Girardi sits down with the press on Wednesday, Andy Pettitte will probably be in a hearing room in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, most players spent the winter ducking steroids questions. Now they’ll have to give their opinion, or in some cases say on the record whether they used PEDs.

But the focus will shift to baseball at some point as it always does. Here are the major topics for the Yankees:

1. Joe Girardi replacing Joe Torre.
2. The return of prodigal son Alex Rodriguez.
3. How best to use Joba Chamberlain.
4. Phil Hughes trying to validate the faith shown in him.
5. Ditto Melky Cabrera.
6. Is Mike Mussina finished as he enters the final year of his contract?
7. Ditto Jason Giambi.
8. Can Jorge Posada repeat his walk-year production?
9. Is Mariano still Mariano?
10. Who’s at first base?
11. Who’s pitching the eighth inning?
12. Who’s pitching the seventh inning for that matter?
13. Can Brian Cashman live in harmony with the Steinbrenner Brothers?
14. Is Hideki Matsui healthy?
15. Can Bobby Abreu hit lefties?
16. Beyond the Big Three, who do the Yankees have coming up?
17. Will Robbie Cano let his new deal go to his head?
18. Can Chien-Ming Wang recover from the ALDS disaster?
19. Can Kei Igawa pitch?
20. Is Derek Jeter still Derek Jeter?

There will be more, trust us on that. The answers, or at least some theories, will be produced in the days to come.

As for me, I’ll be on a flight tomorrow morning and the blog will gear up sometime in the afternoon. We’re planning on lots of content from Florida. If you have any suggestions, please drop me an e-mail.

No, I can’t get you tickets or Joba’s autograph. But if you’re down at spring training, please say hello. Or at least don’t throw anything at me.

Comments

comments

 

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183 Responses to “It won’t be too long now”

  1. Jaewon February 10th, 2008 at 11:11 am

    #20 and #8 scare me the most.

    Besides Wang, I think Jeter may have cost them that ALDS series. And Posada didn’t play great either. There were a bunch of balls that he should’ve blocked during the Midges episode. They’re both old, and if they seriously decline the Yankees have no chance. These are they guys that carried them (along with AROD) for the whole first half of the season. They need to show they can still do what they’ve been doing.

  2. Thurman February 10th, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Book it — when the story of the 2008 season is written, Kei Igawa and Kyle Farnsworth will be the heroes.

  3. Whatevered February 10th, 2008 at 11:17 am

    ‎#21 how are they going to play IPK. He has the least innings limit of the 3.

  4. Geo Diego February 10th, 2008 at 11:20 am

    I’m not booking that Thurman. The 3 joba,phil,ipk will be the heroes. Add to that robbie and melky and maybe shelley. All the young guys. Now book that Or not.

  5. Whatevered February 10th, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Pete, do you plan on doing those mailbags again? Enjoy your time in tampa.

  6. Ben February 10th, 2008 at 11:25 am

    – Is Hideki Matsui healthy?
    NO

    – Can Bobby Abreu hit lefties?
    NO

    – Will Robbie Cano let his new deal go to his head?
    YES

    Can Chien-Ming Wang recover from the ALDS disaster?
    NO

    – Can Kei Igawa pitch?
    NO

    –Is Derek Jeter still Derek Jeter?
    NO !!

  7. no.27 February 10th, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Sorry if this is the wrong place for this comment but…

    Anyone else read the Post article by George King this morning??

    The article is titled, Youth & Nail, Young Yanks Will Struggle to Make Playoffs. I honestly don’t believe that this guy actually believes the words he put down on this paper. Here are a few highlights:

    1, Yankees should have let A-Rod, Mariano, Posada, and Abreu all leave in order to take a shot at a big year in 2010.

    He later contradicts himself when mentioning that “instant gratification was invented in the Yankees’ universe” when discussing what Yankee fans will expect from Hughes.

    2, Because the Yankees refused to trade Kennedy for Santana, he should be starting.

    First of all, the package was much more in terms of players/prospects than just Kennedy, not to mention the huge contract Santana got.

    3, Joba Chamberlain should be in the bullpen.

    Joba Chamberlain has always been a starter and deserves a chance to become a guy that can pitch 200 innings a year for us before we make him a guy that can only pitch 70 innings a year.

    4, The Yankees should have kept Bowa and not extended Cano.

    Impossible and wrong. Bowa wasn’t going to stay on to work for a younger guy he was competing with for the head position. And you’d have to be out of your mind to think its a bad idea to have a player like Cano signed to a long term deal.

    5, Then he complains that the Yankees don’t have Phillips or Doug anymore at 1B and compained that Duncan, Betemit, etc aren’t good enough. He then goes on to ask when ARod will complain about not having a better fielding 1B.

    We’ll get a lot more production out of first base this year than last year. And do you really need to start crap with ARod already?

    The Mets on the other hand are the clear favorite to win teh NL East.

  8. Geo Diego February 10th, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Wang and the yanks headed to arbitration. Sounds like wang saw what Cano got and wants something like it and the yanks said no way that that is going to happen this year so he’s forcing them to give him his 4.6 mil.

  9. murphydog February 10th, 2008 at 11:28 am

    I know it takes hitters a while to get their swing timed, and pitchers need time to get the arm loose and ready. What’s the trick for beat writers…. what’s your routine to get yourself to Opening Day readiness after a winter out of the stands and the locker room?

  10. RonH February 10th, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Pete, safe flight and a good trip. Looking forward to the reports.

  11. Dougko February 10th, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Here are a few more unanswered questions:

    What is the over under on the number of products Sterling/Waldman will mention in a given at bat?

    Will John Flaherty or Paul O’Neil be forced to modulate their voice differently so I can tell them apart. (I like them both by the way)

    Will we trade Carl Pavano for Nick Johnson straight up? OK we’ll throw in the co-payments for the HMO but no drug plan.

    and

    Will MLB finally put a testing program in place for Goji Berries? Coming soon to a locker near you.

  12. Ben (I'm happy Hughes stayed) February 10th, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Guy’s just for the record the ben from before (the pestimist) Is not me. I’m awaiting a great season to come! Have a drop faith in your team if we survived in 07 we sure will in 08 with a step further.

  13. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--27/08 February 10th, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Pete: Safe flight!

    I can’t believe we’re so close…it’s almost like winter never happened!

  14. RonH February 10th, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Pete, in case you didn’t see. Phil Hughes latest blog entry refers specifically to your report and pictures from the new Stadium tour. Nice job!

  15. Eric February 10th, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Peter :

    Is it safe to say that pitchers & catchers take physicals Thursday and Friday is the actual 1st workout day ????

  16. Eternal Optimist February 10th, 2008 at 11:47 am

    George King of the Post is the eternal pessimist with the Yankees. Bob Lorenz should never have him as a guest on YES again. Doom & gloom is his specialty.

  17. x23 February 10th, 2008 at 11:49 am

    any word on which games will be televised by YES?

  18. Vrsce February 10th, 2008 at 11:52 am

    McNamee lied to Mitchell

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/02.....51330.html

    I am sure most of you have seen this, however it proves that McNamee lied to Mitchell.

    If he lied about this, then how can his other anecdotal uncorroborated evidence be accepted as fact?

    Therefore, while many may believe that Clemens is guilty, the sole source of evidence against him, has lied in giving his evidence to Mitchell.

    Time to call it a day and apologize to Clemens, unless hard evidence comes out.

  19. Nick February 10th, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Show me the team that goes to spring training with zero question marks and I’ll show you a team with an excellent chance of having a 162 – 0 season.

  20. Mike S. February 10th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Ben: mind elaborating?

    …and I rip King and his column. As regards the eternal pessimist, I think Mark Hale is even worse than King in that regard.

  21. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! February 10th, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    ha-ha I’d be in a lot of trouble if I had to pack for 50 days. I take too many clothes packing for a weekend. I think I’d pack my entire closet if I had to pack for that long!

    I can’t wait till we get to just to baseball talk. I’m so tired of hearing all this nonsense about roids, and hgh. And if Debbie Clemens used hgh or not.

    Hopefully once Andy gives a press conference to the media in Tampa (which I assume he will do) it will be behind them. Enough is enough already. Are we going to crucify the guy for something he did twice years ago?

    Lets move onto who will play first, who will fill out the rotation, who will pitch the 7th and 8th innings. I think the Yankees should do something creative and use a six man rotation keeping Wang, Pettitte, and Moose all on normal rest, and giving the kids extra time off between starts, or skipping starts.

  22. SJ44 February 10th, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    I also shook my head reading King’s story this morning.

    Yeah, what a great strategy. Let’s let Arod, Posada and Rivera walk. That’s certainly a smart strategy to fix what’s broken on the team.

    Who knew that Wilson Betemit, Jose Molina and Kyle Farnsworth (replacing Mo as the closer) were the “keys” to the season?

    I know the Post’s whole deal is to titilate or start straw man arguments.

    However, writing nonsense, as King did this morning, doesn’t inspire conversation. It just makes you wonder if he has lost his mind.

    Rebuilding, or arguing for it, is one thing. Desiring the Yankees to be the Marlins of the AL East is another.

    If the Yankees actually did what he suggested, guess who the first beat writer would be ripping that strategy? That’s right, it would be George King.

    Easily the dumbest story written about the Yankees in 2008. I’m sure it won’t be the last but, somebody is really going to have to work overtime to top King’s story this morning.

  23. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! February 10th, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Ahh just started to read the comments, I see we have some pessimists out in full force. WHAT A SHOCK!!!

    The Yankees haven’t even reported and the season is already over. :lol:

  24. Matt (In Toronto) February 10th, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    I envy your job Mr. Abraham.

  25. Buddy Biancalana February 10th, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Is Ben a troll?

    YES

  26. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! February 10th, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    no.27

    That is just like Klapish’s article. Amazing they have loads of problems. Is Delgado on the downside? Will Reyes ever recover? etc etc etc.

  27. mel February 10th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Lots of questions, but I’m still psyched!

    Looking forward to the Girardi era.

    Let’s hope the steroids scandal, will galvanize the Yankees in an “us against the world” kind of way.

    Thanks in advance, Pete, for everything!

  28. Fran February 10th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    The Yankees do have a lot of questions, but that is what spring training is for.

    Safe travels Pete – looking forward to your reports from Tampa.

  29. ThatWasMe February 10th, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Will Johnny Damon come into camp 12 pounds overweight and the same fitness level he joined camp last season?

  30. ThatWasMe February 10th, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    SJ44-
    Easily the dumbest story written about the Yankees in 2008. I’m sure it won’t be the last but, somebody is really going to have to work overtime to top King’s story this morning.

    I’m sure at some point Lupica will rise to the task.

  31. mel February 10th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Will Johnny Damon talk about his sexy calves to deflect attention away from the fact that he’s not in shape? Just kidding!

  32. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--27/08 February 10th, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Haven’t read the King article, but now i’ll stay away.

    Meanwhile, it’s a bonafide white out outside up here.

  33. mel February 10th, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    tinyurl.com/2ef5kj

    Short video on the Pettitte/Clemens relationship.

    Sounds like Andy’s been trying to shake Clemens for years. No wonder he came back to the Yankees in the winter. Couldn’t stand having Roger call all the time like Barkley calling “Pooky”.

  34. Ranting Guy February 10th, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    In order to avoid distraction about steroids this season, the team should make it a policy for all players, coaches & staff to answer “no comment” and ask to change the subject when fielding any & all PED-related questions, all season long. Otherwise, all the Red Sox have to do each time the Yanks play Boston is have some schmuck reporter spring some rumors from their Mitchell report and stir up whatever trouble they can in the press.

    Ask Paul Byrd if that helped him in the playoffs against Boston last year. I’m suuuure the Sox had nothing to do with timing of his being named in the report coming out just before he pitched against them, which was before the report was actually released/came out.

    Play ball.

  35. mel February 10th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    http://tinyurl.com/2ef5kj

  36. Don Vito February 10th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    1. Joe Girardi replacing Joe Torre………FANTASTIC !
    2. The return of prodigal son Alex Rodriguez…..DITTO !
    3. How best to use Joba Chamberlain……STARTER
    4. Phil Hughes trying to validate the faith shown in him….DONE DEAL
    5. Ditto Melky Cabrera…..DITTO
    6. Is Mike Mussina finished as he enters the final year of his contract?…ABSOLUTELY
    7. Ditto Jason Giambi…..MAYBE NOT
    8. Can Jorge Posada repeat his walk-year production?…YES
    9. Is Mariano still Mariano?…NOT QUITE
    10. Who’s at first base?…I DON’T KNOW…(2ND BASE)
    11. Who’s pitching the eighth inning?….UP FOR GRABS
    12. Who’s pitching the seventh inning for that matter?…DITTO
    13. Can Brian Cashman live in harmony with the Steinbrenner Brothers?….NOT SO MUCH
    14. Is Hideki Matsui healthy?….COULD BE
    15. Can Bobby Abreu hit lefties?…NOT ON HIS LIFE
    16. Beyond the Big Three, who do the Yankees have coming up?…HORNE
    17. Will Robbie Cano let his new deal go to his head?…NOPE
    18. Can Chien-Ming Wang recover from the ALDS disaster?..YES
    19. Can Kei Igawa pitch?…NOT A CHANCE
    20. Is Derek Jeter still Derek Jeter?….100%

    ANYTHING ELSE ???

  37. Ranting Guy February 10th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    ThatWasMe -

    I’m not sure who’s more excruciating to read (Lupica or King) because I haven’t been able to get halfway through an article written by either one of them. Really. Sometimes I start to read an article before noticing who wrote it and I find myself thinking ‘this really stinks’. Then I look at the author’s name and I’m not surprised to find it’s either one of them.

  38. Joe from Long Island February 10th, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    1. I think the questions about Giambi, Moose, and Cano will be very big this year, more so than Joba in the ‘pen, or Phil, ARod, Mo or any of the others (OK, so the 7th and 8th innings being up for grabs is important, also).

    2. You wonder if some of the columnits write somethings just to be controversial and get people to read/talk about what they say. King and Lupica can’t really be serious about some of the stuff they come up with, can they?

    3. Rebecca, you chose to go to Syracuse. Cold and snow are part of the package.

  39. Joe from Long Island February 10th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    What about Kei Igawa for the lefty specialist? This is the time of year to dream…

  40. george February 10th, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    as to question #20, in 2007 Jeter had a typical offensive year for him. see:

    http://www.baseball-reference......de01.shtml

    last year’s ALDS -see the breakout of his postseason series, it’s not the first poor one he’s had. this one doesn’t mean squat for projecting 2008.

    Defensively – he did look slower later in the season, but he was playing hurt, which was probably the problem. of course injuries occur more as age increases….i’ve always thought Jeter a good defensive SS – he is poor going to his left, but is good-to-excellent in so many other areas; i guess Jeter’s D historically is a matter of whether one believes the sabermetric defensive stats measure reality. (which I don’t)

  41. jennifer-Phil Hughes saved!! February 10th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    . Joe Girardi replacing Joe Torre.- Great, it was time for change
    2. The return of prodigal son Alex Rodriguez.-we really needed him back
    3. How best to use Joba Chamberlain.- starter, he is supposed to be filthy!
    4. Phil Hughes trying to validate the faith shown in him.-will have a 3.5 era
    5. Ditto Melky Cabrera.-will be avg
    6. Is Mike Mussina finished as he enters the final year of his contract?- will go out on high note
    7. Ditto Jason Giambi.- walk year, will do better
    8. Can Jorge Posada repeat his walk-year production?-no, but will put up good numbers
    9. Is Mariano still Mariano?- a tick down from mo.
    10. Who’s at first base?- one of the cast of characters
    11. Who’s pitching the eighth inning?- someone.
    12. Who’s pitching the seventh inning for that matter?-someone
    13. Can Brian Cashman live in harmony with the Steinbrenner Brothers?- yes, because the yankees will win, and phil will be better than Johan. :)
    14. Is Hideki Matsui healthy?- Yes, he won’t play the field anymore
    15. Can Bobby Abreu hit lefties?- yes
    16. Beyond the Big Three, who do the Yankees have coming up?- Marquez, or horne will be in the pen.
    17. Will Robbie Cano let his new deal go to his head?no, Alex won’t let it.
    18. Can Chien-Ming Wang recover from the ALDS disaster?- yes
    19. Can Kei Igawa pitch?-no will be the biggest bust!
    20. Is Derek Jeter still Derek Jeter?- yes

  42. Joe from Long Island February 10th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Jeter was badly hurt last season. Larry Bowa said seeing him in the hotels and airports, he should have been in a wheelchair. The problem was that the team was in a pennant race, and who was going to fill in for 2 weeks, Wilson Betemit?

    I think Jete will have a big comeback year, both at bat and in the field. He has something to prove.

  43. Ranting Guy February 10th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Igawa as a lefty specialist? How about also using Carl Pavano into the bullpen, filling Scott Proctor’s old role as an almost-daily work horse?

    The dude is the ultimate warrior … lots of stamina.

  44. mel February 10th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Ranting Guy,

    Someone found a draft of Jeter’s speech on the floor of some club. They pieced the napkins together and this is what they found.

    First of all we’d like to thank Mr. Selig and Senator Mitchell for doing a fine job in trying to clean up the sport of baseball. As you know, the Turn 2 Foundation encourages young people to turn to a healthy, clean lifestyle.

    The Mitchell report mentioned several Yankees, one of whom is still a Yankee. For that reason, I am making a statement on behalf of the players.

    First of all, we wholeheartedly support Andy. He’s doing what he feels is right, and we love and appreciate who Andy is.

    Secondly, we’re here to do our jobs, as you’re here to do yours. We are more than willing to answer your questions, but we also need to focus on baseball.

    For that reason, we ask you to limit your questions regarding the Mitchell Report and the Congressional hearings.

    In addition, when we break camp, the players will not be answering any Mitchell or Congressional hearings related questions. We’ve got jobs to do, goals to meet, games to play.

    We will help you in anyway we can, but we respectfully ask you to allow our players to prepare for the upcoming season.

    Thank you.

  45. Ranting Guy February 10th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Igawa should be with the team all year, but only as the batting practice workhorse. Really. Just have him toss BP to our guys so they can tune their swings on his stuff. Sure beats having him do that for the other team during the game, when all the hits & runs actually mean something.

  46. Old Ranger February 10th, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Don Vito…
    #6- Not so much
    #8- No
    #15-Sometimes(depends how good a lefty)
    #16- About 3/4 more
    #19- BP, maybe?
    #20- 80%/90%
    Anything else? For everyone…
    Ya, let’s not bring up HGH/Stods anymore. 27/08.

  47. Ranting Guy February 10th, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Mel – That would be a diplomatic way for him to put it. I’d become a little more abrasive if I were to get several those Q’s every day.

    I hope they can actually avoid distraction all year.

  48. Joe from Long Island February 10th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Ranter – I said it was dream…or nightmare, depending on one’s point of view.

  49. aroundthemajors February 10th, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    I’m going into Spring Training a pure optimist for the Yankees, can’t wait for it to start. Also, that George King article was really dumb.

    http://aroundthemajors.blogspot.com/

  50. Ranting Guy February 10th, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    joe –
    yes I caught that … just adding to it.

  51. Professor Outreach February 10th, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    In efforts to cure the steroid problem once and for all, Commissioner Selig has put forth a bold, modern, innovative, high tech approach in reaching players for their help.

    http://havenworks.com/language/morse-code/

  52. randy l. February 10th, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    “10. Who’s at first base?”

    it’s not a problem because cashman has sent a directive to mlb league headquarters that it is his opinion that the importance of first base is overrated and that the yankees are not going to have an actual first base at yankee stadium.

  53. Ranting Guy February 10th, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    I think the guy who’s going to play 1B for the ’08 Yanks down the stretch isn’t on the roster right now.

    Well at least not as a 1B.

    That doesn’t mean I think I know who it’ll be.

  54. Catherine February 10th, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    I heard the New Yankee Stadium actually won’t have a first base. They are putting a martini bar in its place. That solves one problem.

  55. joe February 10th, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    i have a funny feeling that kei igawa is going to have a break out season. i dont know why but i really think he will.

  56. george February 10th, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    i would like to see Matsui take some grounders at 1B in the spring. just see how he does and take it from there.

    if not, then who DH’s – Matsui or Giambi?

    I’m assuming here the OF is going to be Damon, Melky, Abreu – with Matsui going to LF & Damon DH for maybe half the road games, to rest Damon – and that they do not have plans to put Giambi in the field, because that’s proven to be an automatic trip to the DL.

  57. OldYanksFan February 10th, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    1. Joe Girardi replacing Joe Torre.
    — Yes, he will
    2. The return of prodigal son Alex Rodriguez.
    — History in the making. It will be a good year for ARod
    3. How best to use Joba Chamberlain.
    — BP in the first half ONLY because of his immings limit and the BP will be worse in the first half then second. STOP WHINING! He will be a starter forever after.
    4. Phil Hughes trying to validate the faith shown in him.
    — Phil’s cool. He will just do his thing. 4.2 ERA this year
    5. Ditto Melky Cabrera.
    — It’s his last year in Pinstripes if he doesn’t put up a .780 OPs or better
    6. Is Mike Mussina finished as he enters the final year of his contract?
    — He will be about league average and eat innings
    7. Ditto Jason Giambi.
    — An .880 OPS in a relatively healthy year
    8. Can Jorge Posada repeat his walk-year production?
    — of course NOT. Are you nuts? I’ll settle for average Jorge
    9. Is Mariano still Mariano?
    — Not as many 2 inning stinks, but still an excellent closer
    10. Who’s at first base?
    — Round robin most of the year. Giambi against righties.
    11. Who’s pitching the eighth inning?
    — Joba to the ASB, Farns and kids later
    12. Who’s pitching the seventh inning for that matter?
    — Whoever doesn’t walk their first batter
    13. Can Brian Cashman live in harmony with the Steinbrenner Brothers?
    — Yeah, it’s better then pre-2005 George
    14. Is Hideki Matsui healthy?
    — He will mostly DH, maybe start 25-30% of games in the OF, so he should be OK
    15. Can Bobby Abreu hit lefties?
    — In line with his career numbers, so a relative yes
    16. Beyond the Big Three, who do the Yankees have coming up?
    — If they are in first, nobody, except for a cup of coffee. If behind the Sox, everyone past puberty.
    17. Will Robbie Cano let his new deal go to his head?
    — If he does, Girardi will knock it off. So, no.
    18. Can Chien-Ming Wang recover from the ALDS disaster?
    — Sure. The guy is cool. What disaster?
    19. Can Kei Igawa pitch?
    — We will see him in the BP, and at times he will be effective.
    20. Is Derek Jeter still Derek Jeter?
    — No worse then last year. He is motivated.

  58. Joe from Long Island February 10th, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    OldYanksFan – Not bad, I happen to agree with most of your predictions. But I think Phil will do much better, now that’s he’s healthy, and has had more time to work on his pitches. I think it will be a bit of a round robin for every starter except Wang and Pettitte, due to IPs, as well as assorted injuries. But most ML teams will face very similar issues.

  59. Jay February 10th, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    There must be a lot of ham and cheese in that bubble you live in, Pete. Many people pack for a few months. Long vacations, and more likely extended business trips — I had to spend three months in London, and I wasn’t able to wear shorts and T-shirts like you and your ilk all day.

  60. Pomp February 10th, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Hey, Peter, it’s called a washing machine! I guarantee there will be some available for you in Tampa.

  61. Jeff NJ February 10th, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    I agree with SJ44, it just looks like George King has lost his mind. He always misses key information (or gets it flat out wrong) and did you see him on Yankees Hot Stove? It was like they opened the old age home and let some rambling granpa onto the set.

    To refute his arguments, who exactly did the Yankees lose from the 2007 team that would lead you to believe this team can no longer compete? I mean for all Roger brought in terms of work ethic and leadership, he did not produce much good pitching. There is every reason in the world to believe that the 2008 Yankees will be better than the 2007 bunch. George King should be put out to pasture.

  62. SJ44 February 10th, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    So let’s get this straight.

    King proposes a team, which had the best record in BASEBALL the second half of last year, and had a playoff series turn because of a fluke outset of bugs, should have been blown up (Marlins style) in the best interests of their future.

    By “blowing it up”, he wanted the best catcher in the AL, a HOF closer, who is still tough, AND the best player in the game, in the prime of his career, not re-signed.

    He believes that would have been in the best interests of the Yankees.

    Ok, if you believe it George.

    Kindly turn in your BBWAA card because somebody that clueless about the game and the Yankees and shouldn’t be on the beat.

    Its one thing to have an opinion. Its another thing to be a moron.

    I now believe George King is the guy with the 20 different screen names who comes on here proposing the entire roster be blown up in long disertations for the Jeremy Affeldt’s, Ron Mahay’s and Jermaine Dye’s of the world.

    I don’t know if you guys remember that guy. He was the guy who wanted Cashman to trade everybody and give Abreu away to the White Sox for Jermaine Dye. When we questioned him, he changed his name a number of times and hurled insults at us.

    We now know who that guy was. It was George King! lol

    Pete, who would have thunk it….George King posting on your blog!

    George, give up the beat and go work for Chauncy Hayden at Steppin’ Out Magazine. You can impress him with your baseball IQ.

  63. Mark Alan February 10th, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    My main question, which will be answered as the season progresses, is: can A-Rod do it again? Sure, he had a spectacular season, but he’s had others and he can have more. Last season was not a fluke or a once-in-a-lifetime event.

    When will people stop talking about the “Mariano of old” and just let the man pitch, proving that there’s no reason to differentiate between stages in his career. And how will Girardi use his new commodity?

    Daryl Strawberry, btw, says that George has Alzheimers. It fits with what has happened, and it would be a terrible shame. If anyone deserved to leave baseball with a loud noise, it is George Steinbrenner.

  64. Yazman February 10th, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    “McNamee lied to Mitchell”

    Vrsce, it was irresponsible of Mitchell to base Clemens’ inclusion soley on McNamee testimony. He was desperate for something significant in his report, but went way too far to include Clemens based just on McNamee.

    I stick by this point even if Clemens IS guilty (which he may well be, I don’t know). You just can’t kill someone’s reputation based solely on the testimony of such a questionable character. Mitchell took a page from McCarthy on methodology.

    The fact that McNamee told the truth on some occasions means nothing. ALL halfway decent liers tell the truth most of the time. To evaluate the veracity of a proven lier’s statement, you have to verify it some other way. Mitchell never did that with Clemens.

    Sorry to harp on this. Again, Clemens may well prove guilty. But I hate “guilty until proven innocent.” It’s just wrong.

  65. Yazman February 10th, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    My 2008 Yankees crystal ball (bottom lining the answers to your 20 questions, Peter):

    -we’ll be much better than last year pre-All Star break

    -we’ll be about the same as last year post-ASB

    -we make the playoffs

    -our playoff starting pitching will be better, with at least three “hot” SPs going into the playoffs

    -playoff hitting is always a wildcard, largely based on the opponents’ pitching. I won’t even guess on this one.

    Bottom line results: better than last year (don’t know how much better)

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    No player has to give his opinion to a reporter. There’s nothing to discuss anyway. With the exception of Giambi, there’s no one on the team who’s ever been connected to steroids, so there’s no reason to question any of them. On the other hand, the Cleveland Indians just hired Brendan Donnelly and he was on Radomski’s list as having purchased steroids. Along with long-term HGH user Paul Byrd. The problem is with the Cleveland Indians, not the Yankees. Paul Byrd told the media his use was ‘a private matter’ and they let it go. The facts have been so mischaracterized that many players aren’t aware of the lies and distortions out there. Andy Pettitte has already spoken to the media, said what he said, mentioned the media keep saying he took steroids which he never did. After that, the media continued to say he took steroids and told other lies about him. There’s no point whatsoever in any Yankee speaking to the media.

  68. Peter Abraham February 10th, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Jay:

    I was not being literal. Perhaps there should be disclaimers for the dim-witted. And while I would happily wear shorts and a t-shirt, I really can’t. I’m essentially moving to Florida for seven weeks and that takes a little packing.

    Anchorman or Stripes? The Ryder Cup baseball cap or the UMass football baseball cap?

    Meanwhile, I’m still too horrified by the Super Bowl to consider bringing any Patriots gear. So that limits the sweatshirt options.

    Sneakers alone will take minutes to ponder. These are serious issues.

    Susan: No player has to speak to a reporter? Trying to put me out of work? The players, in fact, have to make themselves available to the media, it’s in their contracts. Trust me when I tell you, most of them want to talk if only to polish their images a little more.

    Hard to sell Gatorade if you’re portrayed as some disagreeable dope.

  69. OldYanksFan February 10th, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Pete – you said:
    “..in fact, have to make themselves available to the media, it’s in their contracts.”

    Can you explain this in detail. I have never heard of it. Further, players can play dumb (that much of a stretch?) if they like.

    Not they many guys are on the ‘Gadorade’ trail. ARod and Jetes maybe. Plus my guess is Madison Ave, knows about these guys even if they don’t ‘shine’ when talking to youz reporters.

    Honestly, for most players, the reporters seem like a distraction. I know you give these guys mostly softball questions, but I can’t help but noticing how much nicer the year went when ARod shut up.

    Anyway, you are a Blogger/Reporter, or a Blorter, which will be held in nuch higher regard, as certainly read more, in the near future… so don’t worry.

    But honestly, please tell us about the ‘contractural’ obligation to meet the press.

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  71. Peter Abraham February 10th, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Old Yanks Fan: Part of MLB’s policy is that player need to make themselves available to the media for the good of (promotion) of the game. There’s also a general “play by the rules” graph in every contract.

    I am first and foremost a reporter and a beat writer. Blogging comes a distant second.

    As for softball questions, don’t go by what you see on TV from the TV “reporters.” In New York, anyway, guys get tough questions.

    When did A-Rod shut up last season? He was actually pretty cooperative all last season.

    And while I’m sure some guys think we’re a distraction, many guys realize that the media creates images and images are what sell. Plus if you take away the media, it would hurt the fan interest. Modern athletes tend to lump it all together. It’s part of the deal.

    I have to say, I think media relations are pretty good with the Yankees. We (the BBWAA) were invited into a team meeting last season to explain our jobs and answer questions from them. There are issues that arise but most guys are generally cooperative.

    People have this mistaken impression that it’s open warfare. I’d say 90 percent of the players are good guys and probably around 80 percent of the reporters. You have jerks on both sides but that’s the case in all walks of life.

  72. Whitey Fraud February 10th, 2008 at 6:57 pm

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    packing for 50 days would be tough, but there’s a new invention called “laundry” that you may want to look into.

    Have a safe trip and stay out of trouble while you’re in T-Town. And say hey to Steve Swindal for me, willya.

  73. Mike D February 10th, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    #20 Is Derek Jeter still Derek Jeter?

    Huh? He’s been as constant as the northern star. There are a whole bunch of other things to wonder about that could of/should have been #20. Jeter is not one of them…yet. (Knocking on virtual wood.)

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