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


How history might have been changed

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Feb 14, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

I stopped Brian Cashman outside of Field 3 this afternoon to ask a few questions about Mariano Rivera. As we chatted, he told me an interesting story.

During spring training in 1996, the Yankees weren’t convinced that Derek Jeter was ready to play shortstop. Prodded by Clyde King, George Steinbrenner decided the Yankees had to trade for Felix Fermin, who was with the Mariners at the time.

Seattle didn’t need him because they they had a 20-year-old kid named Alex Rodriguez playing shortstop.

The Mariners wanted either Mariano Rivera or Bob Wickman.

“It was a big fight and we were very close to doing it. Thank God we didn’t,” Cashman said.

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108 Responses to “How history might have been changed”

  1. you gotta have faith (bronx zoo 2009) February 14th, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    wow. good thing indeed.

  2. DT February 14th, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    File that under some of the best trades are the ones you don’t make.

  3. Fran February 14th, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make.

  4. Statsney February 14th, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Thats a good story. But let me ask you who is prodding Brian Cashman for not having Joba Chamberlain in the bullpen? Joba is much more important as a set-up guy than a 5th starter. YOU GOT TO SHORTEN THE GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. S.A.-The 2009 MLB season is almost here February 14th, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    yikes

  6. TexasYanksfan February 14th, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Frightening.

  7. Statsney February 14th, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Another thing about Mariano if he was a Seattle Mariner he would not have the career he has had. The Yankee mystique and the power of the pinstripes are what gave Mariano the edge and made him the best closer ever.

  8. m-Poor Yankees, not poor Alex! February 14th, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Wow. Just wow.

  9. Sean Serritella February 14th, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Boy was Jeter ever ready to play.

  10. Phil Parcells February 14th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Who’s bob wickman?

  11. GreenBeret7 February 14th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Statsney
    February 14th, 2009 at 4:05 pm
    Thats a good story. But let me ask you who is prodding Brian Cashman for not having Joba Chamberlain in the bullpen? Joba is much more important as a set-up guy than a 5th starter. YOU GOT TO SHORTEN THE GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ————————————————————

    An even better idea would be to use Sabathia and Burnett in the 6th and 7th innings along with Chamberlain in the 8th inning. Make it a 5 inning game. Just bring up 3 minor leaguers to start, or use Johnson, Igawa and Tomko as the front end of the rotation. Makes sense to me. How about you?

  12. randy l February 14th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    from previous post:
    “‘I don’t care if he looks like Boris Karloff, as long as he wins. (Oh, OK, Randy…and eats innings, too. Damned)”

    gb7-

    funny how eating innings and winning go together. i’m psyched with having sabathia, but i’m hoping with burnett.
    his upside is great, but he makes me nervous.

  13. dave February 14th, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I know Dunn and De la rosa are considered good prospects but melancon and brackman are two of the best and melancon is the closest to the majors. I am a lot more excited to see melancon than ANYONE else this spring. I think melancon will be a crucial piece in the yankees machine this year. If anyone thinks he wont be on the team as a big contributor by the all star break, you havent been paying attention.

  14. GreenBeret7 February 14th, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    randy l
    February 14th, 2009 at 4:14 pm
    from previous post:
    ”’I don’t care if he looks like Boris Karloff, as long as he wins. (Oh, OK, Randy…and eats innings, too. Damned)”

    gb7-

    funny how eating innings and winning go together. i’m psyched with having sabathia, but i’m hoping with burnett.
    his upside is great, but he makes me nervous.

    ————————————————————

    I just didn’t want you to feel neglected.

  15. Steamer February 14th, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    When I read Joel Sherman’s book about the ’96 Yankees I was shocked at how little faith Showalter and the Yankee brass had in Rivera during the ’95 season. I remember pitching very well in a start around July of that year and being impressed. If they would have went to him at all in the Seattle series maybe they would have won that Series and Torre never shows up at all. Oh the “What Ifs” you can play with the Yankees.

  16. GreenBeret7 February 14th, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Andrew Brackman isn’t within 2 years of seeing the Yankee Stadium mound.

  17. Brandon February 14th, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    You know, I was a big proponent of Joba starting games last season. I thought he did very well after he became acclimated to it, but now I’m starting to reconsider. After the offseason, the Yankees have enough pitching depth to put Joba in the pen to eventually replace Mo, and give Hughes the full season chance he deserves (if he can stay healthy). On the other hand, if this is Pettite’s last season, then next year it’ll mean bringing up another young starter, and we saw how that worked in 08. But, I think it is becoming worth the risk. I don’t think it’ll happen, and its been debated to death, but it really is starting to make sense. Especially because the Yanks seem to have a little more depth in minor league starters than closers…

  18. Lloyd February 14th, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Living in the Northwest, hearing a lot about Seattle, and the way they run there ball club, Seattle probably would have traded him to another team, cause they could not pay him what he wanted.

  19. Phil February 14th, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    GB

    I think it can be less than two years. It’s just a matter of fastball control and the Yanks have been good at helping guys with that. Once he has that, they aren’t gonna be able to hit him, and won’t be getting the walks. He’ll blow through the minors at that point as Joba did after they fixed his fastball command. He’s a very good athlete for a big guy, and I don’t think it’s gonna take as long as it took Randy Johnson, for example.

  20. Phil February 14th, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Brandon, if you’re starting to reconsider Joba as a starter, it only means you’re under the influence of morons and should move.

  21. Bob(The Original) February 14th, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Wow. The same Felix Fermin who batted .195/.232/.225????

    The same guy who was released by the MAriners later that spring?

    Then signed by the Yanks and released 2 weeks later?

  22. Tseng February 14th, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Put the entire rotation in the bullpen + Mo makes it a 3 inning game at the most. How can we lose??

    If some of them can go 2 innings then it’s a 0 inning game. The opposing team doesn’t even have to show up.

  23. Tseng February 14th, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Brandon,

    Don’t worry about relief pitching. Pretty much any of the ML starters can be converted to the bullpen easily.

  24. Bob(The Original) February 14th, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    So the Braves are making a run at Griffey?

    Kind of hope they sign him so Cash doesn’t trade Nady or Swisher to them.

  25. jennifer February 14th, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    GreenBeret7

    Did you hear that noise? that is me smacking my head into my desk! When will people stop with the Joba to pen talk? :lol:

  26. dave February 14th, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Gb,

    I dont know if that was a response to my comment about brackman but i never said he was even close to the majors. I just said brackman and melancon seem like far better prospects than dunn and de la rosa. Melancon is definitely going to have an impact on the 2009 team however,

  27. GreenBeret7 February 14th, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Phil
    February 14th, 2009 at 4:28 pm
    GB

    I think it can be less than two years. It’s just a matter of fastball control and the Yanks have been good at helping guys with that. Once he has that, they aren’t gonna be able to hit him, and won’t be getting the walks. He’ll blow through the minors at that point as Joba did after they fixed his fastball command. He’s a very good athlete for a big guy, and I don’t think it’s gonna take as long as it took Randy Johnson, for example.

    ————————————————————

    It isn’t just his injury and control issues (which is considerable) but mainly the fact that he has less than 40 innings of professional ball, and less than 150 innings in college over 3 years. There is zero reason to rush him as fast as they did Chamberlain. They need to find a tall,successful former pitcher to explain how to overcome the issues and get his body under control. NYY has had a few that could help him.

  28. pat February 14th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    So was that Feinsand making the “juiced up” statement and Harper asking the Joba to the pen question?

    NY Daily News’ finest!

  29. jennifer February 14th, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    FYI yahoo sports has a ton of Yankee ST pictures up.

  30. 2009 Yankees February 14th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    If Mo had been traded, he would have been out of baseball by 1997 because Seattle would have destroyed his arm and then released him

  31. Rosa February 14th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Mariano would have been great wherever he went.

    Mussina said Joba has to learn to keep his pitch count down or he will not make it through 5 innings.

  32. GreenBeret7 February 14th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    jennifer
    February 14th, 2009 at 4:40 pm
    GreenBeret7

    Did you hear that noise? that is me smacking my head into my desk! When will people stop with the Joba to pen talk?

    ————————————————————

    Ohhh, Jennifer…you didn’t take me serious. I’m hurt. I can’t believe that anyone couldn’t accept my idea as intelligent and thinking outside of the box.

    Like you, I want to rip my hair out (both of them) everytime I see this or hear some idiot on TV or radio say this. That’s the one thing about Harold Reynolds that really annoys me….over and over. I completely ignor Magrane’s idiocy.

  33. GreenBeret7 February 14th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    No, Dave, not every response involves you. I have generally been disregarding your posts for my own sanity and to save my eyesight.

  34. jennifer February 14th, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    green- of course I didn’t take you serious. I was just responding to your response to that idiot! :)

  35. randy l February 14th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    “Did you hear that noise? that is me smacking my head into my desk! When will people stop with the Joba to pen talk? “”

    gb7-

    i don’t know about you , but i like to file away what drives people crazy. you never know when you want someone to smack their head or cut their throat with a dull butter knife .

    speaking of driving people crazy, how about that livan and the new million dollar contract he signed? :)

  36. jeterboy February 14th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    OMG.. don’t tell scary stories like that Pete.. save those for Halloween

  37. jennifer February 14th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    I would like to know which idiot at the NYDaily News picked the pictures for this story.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/spo.....tml?page=0

    Pudge in a Yankee uniform- played 3 months with the Yankees
    Sheff in a Yankee uniform played played 3 out of 21 years with the Yankees

  38. Phil February 14th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    GB,

    I don’t think they’ll rush him, I just think once he gets his fastball under control, minor leaguers aren’t gonna be able to hit him and then we’ll see him. He’ll be a stretching out project for sure. btw, I expect Betances to really break out this year. He was murder down the stretch and in instructs.

  39. jennifer February 14th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    randy l :P

    I am also waiting for the post of “How could we let the Mets sign Livan”!!! “Cashman deserves to be fired!”

  40. dave February 14th, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    gb,

    Didnt think so and yea, i figured because I havent heard a response from you in quite some time. I think its better for the both of us.

  41. GreenBeret7 February 14th, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    jennifer
    February 14th, 2009 at 4:54 pm
    green- of course I didn’t take you serious. I was just responding to your response to that idiot!

    ————————————————————

    Yeah, I know that you knew I was kidding, Jennifer. My computer doesn’t have a sarcasm program to detect or show it. I have a cheap computer. Even a sarcasm icon wouldn’t help me. I can barely type words, much less use icons.

  42. jennifer February 14th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Got this from Mark F’s blog

    Tuesday, Feb. 17 – Position players report (A-Rod meets the media under the big top)

    Wednesday, Feb. 18 – First full-squad workout

    Tuesday, Feb. 24 – Final World Baseball Classic rosters announced

    Wednesday, Feb. 25 – Yankees first spring game (at Blue Jays in Dunedin)

    Thursday, Feb. 26 – Yankees spring home opener (vs. Rays)

    Monday, March 2 – WBC players must report to their teams

    Tuesday, March 3 – Yankees host Team USA in exhibition game

    Thursday, March 5 – World Baseball Classic begins in Tokyo

    Monday, March 23 – World Baseball Classic final at Dodger Stadium

    Wednesday, April 1 – Yankees final Grapefruit League game (vs. Phillies)

    Friday, April 3 – First exhibition game at new Yankee Stadium vs. Cubs

    Saturday, April 4 – Final exhibition game at new Yankee Stadium vs. Cubs

    Monday, April 6 – Opening Day at Baltimore

  43. randy l February 14th, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    jennifer-

    i didn’t want cashman to sign livan. the yankees wouldn’t know how to bring out the best of him :)

    plus if you put livan and cc on the same side of the yankee plane it would just fly around in circles. it would take forever to get anywhere.

  44. CompassRosy February 14th, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    “Another thing about Mariano if he was a Seattle Mariner he would not have the career he has had. The Yankee mystique and the power of the pinstripes are what gave Mariano the edge and made him the best closer ever.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Maybe so. But Seattle sure would have been better for it … sure could have used a great closer (or ANY closer for that matter) back in the late 90′s…

    ~Rosy
    p.s. Hey Trisha – how’s my East Coast Sis? :-)

  45. GreenBeret7 February 14th, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    randy l
    February 14th, 2009 at 4:55 pm
    “Did you hear that noise? that is me smacking my head into my desk! When will people stop with the Joba to pen talk? “”

    gb7-

    i don’t know about you , but i like to file away what drives people crazy. you never know when you want someone to smack their head or cut their throat with a dull butter knife .

    speaking of driving people crazy, how about that livan and the new million dollar contract he signed?

    ————————————————————

    Yeah….I can see Hernandez and Santana going head to head for the NL Cy Young and MVP. Like you, I’m torn as to who wins the awards.

    You and Ray (sox…err…yankee fan) are fun to rag. It makes the time on this board enjoyable and worth my time. I enjoy seeing what you guys can type next. Well, not you so much, because somewhere in your posts, you’ll mention Livan’s innings eating skills.

  46. DT February 14th, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Cashman was distraught over the Mets signing of Livan.

    Seeing the great Livan whisked away to the cross-town rivals he was flushed with embarrassment and silently seethed.

    Cash did the only thing a sane GM would do to combat the tabloids and win the coveted back-page away from those hated Mets –

    he signed Brett Tomko.

  47. Brandon (CC/AJ/Marky Mark..4 DAYS& PEDS !) Now batting #6 Alex Rodriguez February 14th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    ‘Another thing about Mariano if he was a Seattle Mariner he would not have the career he has had. The Yankee mystique and the power of the pinstripes are what gave Mariano the edge and made him the best closer ever.’

    Dude if Mo would have been a Mariner Alex & Griffey Jr. would have 5-6 rings between the 2. The Mariners dynasty would have been created, there is a difference from Arthur Rhodes and Mariano Rivera.

    And with all this Joba still needs to be a SP. People get over it he’s a starter.

  48. Phil February 14th, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    I’m surprised, seeing our barren bench sitch, that we haven’t seen a few more veteran fa’s accept camp invites.

  49. randy l February 14th, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    “Cash did the only thing a sane GM would do to combat the tabloids and win the coveted back-page away from those hated Mets –
    he signed Brett Tomko.”

    brett is no livan.

    if you google “brett” you have to click “next page “337 times before you get to brett tomko’s espn stat page.

    type in livan and whammo, his espn stats page is right there in numero uno position on page one of search results.

    livan is like elvis.
    he only needs one name.

  50. GreenBeret7 February 14th, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    randy l
    February 14th, 2009 at 5:26 pm
    “Cash did the only thing a sane GM would do to combat the tabloids and win the coveted back-page away from those hated Mets –
    he signed Brett Tomko.”

    brett is no livan.

    if you google “brett” you have to click “next page “337 times before you get to brett tomko’s espn stat page.

    type in livan and whammo, his espn stats page is right there in numero uno position on page one of search results.

    livan is like elvis.
    ***he only needs one name***

    “Oh, My God, Not Him Again” is not only a lousy name, but, it’s more than one.
    .

  51. randy l February 14th, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    “I’m surprised, seeing our barren bench sitch, that we haven’t seen a few more veteran fa’s accept camp invites.”

    phil-

    you can’ t say” fat asses” on the blog.

  52. CompassRosy February 14th, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    “Dude if Mo would have been a Mariner Alex & Griffey Jr. would have 5-6 rings between the 2. The Mariners dynasty would have been created, there is a difference from Arthur Rhodes and Mariano Rivera.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Not to mention Bobby Ayala, Jose Mesa and Heathcliff Slocumb

    :-)

  53. Brandon (CC/AJ/Marky Mark..4 DAYS& PEDS !) Now batting #6 Alex Rodriguez February 14th, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    They all would have benefited from pitching low leverage innings, Mo would have been the closer and on this side it would have been John Wetteland w/ all the pressure on him.

  54. Pudge Rodriquez February 14th, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Hey !

    Anybody looking for a catcher ? Even just to catch batting practice ? Anything ?

  55. KO February 14th, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    holy crap so we almost didn’t have Mo OR Jeter???? AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. DT February 14th, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    randy l
    February 14th, 2009 at 5:26 pm
    livan is like elvis.
    he only needs one name.

    OK, he is famous. I’ll give you that.
    They wrote a song about him, didn’t they?

    He was born a pauper to a pawn
    on a Christmas day
    When the LoHud blog said G’s thong is dead
    And the war’s begun
    Bud Selig has a son today

    And he shall be Livan
    And he shall be a 5 inning man
    And he shall be Livan
    In tradition with the Minaya plan
    He shall be Livan

  57. JoeyA February 14th, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Great read by Jennings on Melancon.

    Makes me realize how special this team is this year. The SP + bullpen is going to make for one helluva challenge for the opposition.

    Not to mention we have a pretty decent lineup.

    But, truthfully, this team has more of the 96-98 makeup than any team since that time. Our bullpen is, if not the best, one of the top bullpens in the league. Add to that major depth in AAA, and you are limiting games to 6 innings.

    The true test for this team this year will be timely hitting. We know our offense will have the numbers when its said and done. It was the timely hitting that killed us last year and will play a major role in our success this year.

  58. EricNS February 14th, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Would George Costanza have made the trade?

  59. JoeyA February 14th, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Any word on clubhouse rules form Girardi Pete?

    Is he still going to be Adolf Girardi with the sweets?

  60. randy l February 14th, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    “And he shall be a 5 inning man”

    dt-

    you mean ,”And he shall be a 6 inning man”.

    lots of journeyman pitchers can stink for 4-5 innings; stinking for 6-7 innings is a real art. very few can do it :)

  61. Rosa February 14th, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    JoeyA

    If this bullpen can limit games to 6 innings, it will be by far the best bullpen in the majors.

  62. JoeyA February 14th, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    I was playing around with the batting order.

    How do people feel about:

    Damon
    Jeter
    Swisher
    ARod
    Teixeira
    Matsui
    Cano
    Posada
    Gardner

    I feel like that poses a much bigger problem for pitchers than having Swish at the bottom, cause your 7-8-9 would be somewhat suspect.

    He is a good OBP guy, and with Alex batting behind him, he will see a lot of pitches.

    I will say, this may not be a good idea with Nady in. Just don’t trust him as much.

  63. ANSKY February 14th, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    I think it could be looking pretty good like this:

    Damon
    Jeter
    Cano (if he’s hitting at a .320 clip or something like that)
    A-Rod
    Tex
    Matsui
    Posada
    Nady (probably over Swisher)
    Gardener/Melky CF winner

    OR

    Damon
    Jeter
    Tex
    A-Rod
    Matsui
    Nady (probably over Swisher)
    Posada
    Cano (if he’s hitting at a .270 clip or something worse)
    Gardener/Melky CF winner

    With Posada & probably Matsui being less than fleet afoot I’m not sure they should be consecutive. I could see flipping them in either lineup.

    BUT

    Pete had once mentioned the idea of rotating Matsui, Swisher, Damon & Nady. If that’s the case then leadoff and/or the whole bottom 5 could be different every day. I think the choices would depend on pitching match ups and who’s got the hot hand. Seems smart.

  64. Giuseppe Franco February 14th, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Teixeira and A-Rod are the best run producers on the team. You don’t move those guys out of their third and fourth slots in the order in favor of a guy like Cano with a career .305 OBP.

    Move Teixeira back two slots in the order and reduce his number of plate appearances?

    That hardly makes any sense.

  65. Brad February 14th, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Mariano Rivera in something other than a Yankee uniform is like being invited to a big 4th of July cookout and reaching in an iced down barrell for an O’Douls (beer?)

  66. ANSKY February 14th, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    IMO, if you put a .320+ hitter in front of Tex & A-Rod, they’ll produce even more runs.

    At the same time you’d be putting a .320+ hitter behind Damon & Jeter. Makes a ton of sense to me as long as his OBP isn’t also around .320.

    But of Cano bites again this year and never takes ball 4, then of course you don’t put him there. If that’s the case then Tex & A-Rod are definitely 3-4 (or 4-3) on any given day.

    It’s not like I’d have A-Rod batting 8th or anything like that.

  67. Statsney February 14th, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    DH- Damon
    SS- Jeter
    3B- Rodriguez
    1B- Teixeira
    LF- Nady
    C- Posada
    RF- Swisher
    2B- Cano
    CF- Gardner

    And have Matsui as a bat off the bench.

  68. S.A.-The 2009 MLB season is almost here February 14th, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    http://graphics8.nytimes.com/i.....ng.600.jpg

    Oh the memories. :|

  69. you gotta have faith (bronx zoo 2009) February 14th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    more like nightmares.

  70. Betsy February 14th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    I hope Phil is throwing tomorrow – I’m eager to see him and his additional 10 lbs of muscle, lol

  71. ANSKY February 14th, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    S.A.
    Thanks for the migraine … :)

  72. S.A.-The 2009 MLB season is almost here February 14th, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Heehee
    :lol:

  73. no.27 February 14th, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    “And have Matsui as a bat off the bench.”

    That doesn’t make any sense. Matsui is one of the best hitters on the Yankees. He was the best hitter on the team before he got hurt last year and is head and shoulders above Nady or Swisher. He’s got a career .850 OPS and is a lock for 100 RBIs a year. What does Nady, Swisher, or Damon bring to the lineup that you’d want Matsui on the bench?

  74. Giuseppe Franco February 14th, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Teixeira is going to hit third in this lineup and A-Rod will hit cleanup. Guaranteed.

    Teixeira’s career numbers tell the story:

    Position BA HR RBI R OBP SLG
    3rd .311 82 293 238 .394 .573
    4th .278 77 247 211 .378 .523

    Plus, Girardi loves to alternate righty-lefty bats and the right-handed and Teixeira will be inserted in that third slot to break up the right-handers (Jeter and A-Rod).

    It’s also worth noting that Teixeira wants to hit third and A-Rod wants to hit cleanup.

    This issue has already been decided whether Girardi now admits it or not.

  75. Tarheelyank February 14th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Keep Matsui fresh, but he’s to dangerous to ride the bench.

    We have just enough guys to rotate around the OF and DH.
    Giradi is going to have plenty of oppurtunities to utilize stats to get the best matchups. If Melky is our CF, Giradi could go all RH or all LH outfield if he wanted to.

    As is, Cashman has done a great job giving Giradi all kinds of flexibilty. With pitching and position players. But, I don’t think he’s done. Did I say how much I am looking forward to this year.

  76. Giuseppe Franco February 14th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Oops, my bad.

    Plus, Girardi loves to alternate righty-lefty bats and the switch-hitting Teixeira will be inserted in that third slot to break up the right-handers (Jeter and A-Rod).

  77. Quentin February 14th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    09 NYY (bold prediction)

    1. LF – Johnny Damon (L)
    2. SS – Derek Jeter (R)
    3. 1B – Mark Teixeira (S)
    4. 3B – Alex Rodriguez (R)
    5. C – Jorge Posada (S)
    6. RF – Xavier Nady (R)
    7. DH – Hideki Matsui (L)
    8. 2B – Robinson Cano (L)
    9. CF – Brett Gardner (L)

    Bench:
    10. R – Jose Molina (C)
    11. S – Nick Swisher (OF/1B)
    12. S – Melky Cabrera (OF)
    13. R – Cody Ransom (IF)
    14. R – Kevin Cash (C)

    Rotation:
    15. L – CC Sabathia
    16. R – A.J. Burnett
    17. R – Chien-Ming Wang
    18. L – Andy Pettitte
    19. R – Joba Chamberlain

    Bullpen:
    20. R – Mariano Rivera
    21. L – Damaso Marte
    22. R – Brian Bruney
    23. R – Jose Veras
    24. R – Edwar Ramirez
    25. R – J. Albaladejo

  78. Mike R February 14th, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Matsui, Cano, Gardner, Damon probably wouldn’t be the best way to split up the lefties

  79. RalphieD (http://www.centsports.com/?opcode=317843) February 14th, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    ” in favor of a guy like Cano with a career .305 OBP.”

    sorry i normally dont like pointing out mistakes but his career obp is .335…

  80. Giuseppe Franco February 14th, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    sorry i normally dont like pointing out mistakes but his career obp is .335…

    ————

    My mistake. His .305 OBP was during the 2008 season – not his career.

    The overall point still stands, though.

  81. JohnBlacksox February 14th, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    If you want to discuss “How history might have been changed”…

    How about if the Yankees hadn’t traded Soriano for ARod? Or how about if the Yankees had let ARod walk a year ago, after the infamous “opt out”?

    I wonder if we would have made the WS once or twice. Or if we would have beaten the RS in ’04 without The Albatross.

  82. Boston Dave February 14th, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Matsui will hit 5th. We need to stop discrediting how good of a hitter he is.

    Also, at least one of Coke/Aceves will make the team IMO.

  83. Boston Dave February 14th, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    For the same reason the Sox used to pitch Wakefield in between Beckett and Schilling…

    I hope they break up CC and AJ by making Wang the 2.

  84. Tint February 14th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    nuts

  85. 2009 Yankees February 14th, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Having Wang in between CC and AJ is the same as having Andy between AJ and Joba, just PERFECT. As long as everyone stays healthy, there isn’t a REAL weakness in the rotation. I’d take any 3 of those guys against any rotation in the AL.

  86. GreenBeret7 February 14th, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Sabathia, Wang and and Burnett are three completely different pitchers. The only thing they have in common is that they all throw hard. It doesn’t make any difference whether they 1, 2, or 3. It’s not like they get extra points and, the three spots will get the same amount of starts.

  87. 2009 Yankees February 14th, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    The important about having that rotation is that the lefties are split but can be aligned to both pitch in a 3 game series against a good lefty hitting team.

  88. BRYCE February 14th, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Now I understand why *other teams want more in trades from*
    *the YANKEES than other teams,their diamonds in the ruff.*

  89. GreenBeret7 February 14th, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    People that are expecting a bunch of .390-.400 OBP hitters are in for a shock. The only players that will be that close are Rodriguez and Teixeira. Jeter and Damon May get to .375 if they hit about .320. It’s hard to say what Swisher will do if he doesn’t play full time. NYY does not walk that much.

  90. Phil February 14th, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Yanks were 4th in walk rate in `07 and down to 21st in `08. A lot of that was missing Po and Matsui and having guys press after bad start, but getting back Po and Matsui and having Tex and Swish join the team should lead to healthier walk rates and numbers again.

  91. GreenBeret7 February 14th, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    It wasn’t mainly because Posada and Matsui missed games. Giambi led the team with 70 instead of his usual 100, Abreu had about 65 instead of 100 and Rodriguez and Damon were the only other ones with more than 60. That’s where the walks went.

  92. Phil February 14th, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Matsui walked 73 times and Po walked 74 in 2007. Now that not 100, but it’s better than what we were left with. And while Jasona and Abreu’s walks declined some, Molina killed us in Po’s place. Walks should go back up some. We’ll see.

  93. Clare February 14th, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    If you’re sick of the subject, just ignore.

    But this is absolutely brilliant, and funny as hell.

    http://theyankeesrepublic.blog.....lex-r.html

    (via ShysterBall)

  94. dave February 14th, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    They thought jeter wasnt ready to play and he put up a 314 370 line with 14 stolen bases and 10 homers. That was good enough to get him not only the rookie of the year award but ALL of 28 first place votes. But you guys should see some of jeters competition that year – he wasnt really facing huge names – james baldwin finished in second place but jeter likely would have beaten out good competition. hE was most certainly ready.

  95. gayle February 14th, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Quentin–

    Not bad I assume you added Cash believing that they will carry a 3rd catcher out of camp for Posada. I think/hope they learned from last year they they really do need a lon reliver on the 25 so I would like to see a Guise or Aceves or whomever make the team out of Spring.

  96. Brian February 14th, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Its been said many times the Yankees had no idea what they had in Rivera. Didn’t they also leave him unprotected at one point (in 1994 or 1995) but he had been recovering from surgery so no other team took him? I seem to recall this from a book. Perhaps it was The Last Night of the Dynasty.

  97. gayle February 14th, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Good to know that Bruney has added someone else to the list of people he wants to prove things to

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/s.....personally‘?CMP=OTC-K9B140813162&ATT=49

  98. Angel - A tale told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing February 14th, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Heh, Clare. That is pretty funny stuff. Thanks for sharing.

    The vested authority of the People’s Right To Know made me laugh.

    Everytime I hear that, I’m reminded of that line from Die Hard II, where Bonnie Bedelia says to that reporter when he tells her that the people have a right to know. “The only time you see the people, is when you look down to see what it is you’re treading on”. :)

  99. dave February 14th, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    I know this is random but how in the world did ichiro beat out giambi for the 2001 mvp award? Ichiro had already won the ROY award that year and Giambi’s numbers were clearly better overall with a ridiculous ops. That was probably the best year of giambis career and he had won the mvp award the prior year with numbers that were not as good.

    Also, did you guys realize that ichiro has never had a season of less than 208 hits or less than a 300 batting avg in the states? That is very impressive to me. He also never took less than 600 at bats. Pujols is just as ridiculous this decade never finishing out of the top 10 in mvp voting in his career – the lowest he ever ranked in the mvp vote was 9 in 8 seasons and outside of that season, he has never finished worse than 4.

    I saw that jeter was perhaps in one of the easiest roy votes because of his complete lack of competition and including the NL so I was looking for some of the best. 2001 saw a pretty good infusion of talent with ichiro, sabathia, soriano and eckstein finishing in the top four for the AL and Pujols, Oswalt, Rollins and Dunn finishing in the top four in the NL. Oswalt went 14 and 3 that year with an era of 2.73 and whip of 1.06 and 144 Ks in 141 innings. And how many ROY votes did he get? ZERO because pujols got 32 votes with his 157 ops+. Oswalt picked a bad year to try to enter the game. Any other year, he would have won hands down. Pujols only finished in four that year in mvp voting because bonds hit 73 homeruns, sosa hit 64 dingers and luis gonzalez walloped 57 out of the park. Outside of 2001, Gonzalez had NEVER hit more than 31 and bonds had never hit more than 49 – both came the previous season. Juice much? Gonzalez was clearly taking PEDs, it isnt even a question when looking at his career stats.

  100. dave February 14th, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Well, in 1995, mariano was nothing but a terrible starter. It would make sense that they didnt know what they had because he hadnt shown it at the major league level yet. Thats why these joba and rivera comparisons dont make a lick of sense – rivera tried to start and was bad at it so they moved him to the pen. Joba still has the potential to be an ace starter and pitch 200 plus quality innings per season for us. He also has multiple plus plus pitches. Rivera never gave the yankees an option because he could not be an ace – something joba may very well be. I bet if Mo started that first year and pitched to a 3 era for 100 innings, he would have been right back in the rotation the following season and NOT pitching the eighth. An scoreless inning is a scoreless inning no matter what inning it is. Its better to get 200 well pitched innings than 80.

  101. Betsy February 14th, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Gayle, thanks for posting that. I’m sure Bruney was kidding for the most part, but if he can play the disrespect card to his advantage, good for him……

  102. Torre's Terrors February 14th, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    kevin has some more cool pics of the new yankee stadium:

    http://zellspinstripeblog.com/.....-update-8/

  103. AROD fan February 14th, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    Clare that article just kept getting better and better! Thanks for posting it!

  104. GreenBeret7 February 15th, 2009 at 12:11 am

    For those that have never seen the highlites of the ’64 WS (Mantle’s last, watch the Game 3 9th inning bomb into the upper deck.

  105. dave February 15th, 2009 at 1:55 am

    Mo made the yanks great but the yanks helped Mo even more by giving him competitive teams every season to close for. You think if Mo was a mariner for his whole career, he would be considered to be one of the best closers in history? I seriously doubt that. I dont think Mo would have won them championships for sure. So Mo is just as lucky that the yanks didnt trade him as the yankees are and as the fans are.

  106. E-Man February 15th, 2009 at 2:49 am

    “You think if Mo was a mariner for his whole career, he would be considered to be one of the best closers in history?”

    Yes Dave I do. Just like Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx are considered to be some of the greatest hitters ever. You don’t always need a championship to be considered great.

    Mariano is great at what he does. If the M’s had him? 2001 would have been a whole lot different. That could have gone down has the greatest team ever.

    Keep in mind, we used Mo in 3 of the 5 games against the M’s in that series.

  107. Thurman February 15th, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Clare, that was hilarious. I especially like the punishments for Alex, such as

    PUNISHMENT # 7 — You will be consigned to Dante’s 10th Circle of Hell in which you will subjected to 24-hours, 7-days-a-week of Mad Dog Radio.

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