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


Today in The Journal News

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Mar 27, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

CC Sabathia will start Opening Day and the home opener. Was there ever another choice?

Derek Jeter is the new leadoff hitter with Johnny Damon hitting second. This notebook also has a look at Joba Chamberlain’s start against the Phillies.

————

OTHER LINKS OF NOTE

My boy Sam Borden is doing some writing for SNY.tv. Check out his piece on Jorge Posada

Sky Kalkman of Beyond The Boxscore e-mailed me about several Yankees articles they have done. The information is interesting, so check them out.

Here are links to the stories:

Mariano’s cutter, greatest pitch ever.

Why Swisher is a better choice than Nady.

Breaking down the lineup.

A look at the farm system.

Comparing Derek Jeter to Alan Trammell

One of our readers, Moe, has started a sports blog in Yiddish. Good luck, Moe.

Comments

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36 Responses to “Today in The Journal News”

  1. trisha - As long as you're in pinstripes, Kei, I've got your back. March 27th, 2009 at 8:45 am

    To Brandon and Jordan from last night, Michael Kay from forever, and any others who continue to show signs of not getting it concerning Jeter. Try to be at least a little creative. You can only double up players who are on base. The players at the bottom of the lineup are at the bottom for a reason. If you put someone like Gardner in the 9 hole and have Jeter batting leadoff you have a shot of not doubling Gardner up. It isn’t only leading off for one at bat. It’s batting behind hitters who have less of a chance of being on base as much as the top hitters. Trust me, Jeter will have fewer overall chances to GIDP leading off than batting anywhere else in the top.

    IN ADDITION – his ratio of ground outs to fly balls was the highest of all Yankee hitters last year, save Pudge Rodriguez who doesn’t count. Damon’s was amongst the lowest.

    You shouldn’t need any more information or diagrams beyond that. Leading Jeter off will win the Yankees more games than lose them, IMO.

    GREAT MOVE and thank you God (and Joe Girardi).

  2. Tom in NJ March 27th, 2009 at 9:05 am

    “George Steinbrenner is expected to be at the new Yankee Stadium for the season opener on April 16, a person with knowledge of the situation told Newsday Thursday. Steinbrenner, who is 78 and thought to be in frail health, has not been seen in New York since he attended last summer’s All-Star Game at the old Yankee Stadium. “I spoke with him and he said he is going to be there,” the person said. “I doubt he will be at the welcome-home dinner. But he said he is coming to the opener.” The person said he recently sat with Steinbrenner at two exhibition games in Tampa and found him “very enthusiastic, fully engaged in the game, his players, his manager. To me, he was really terrific.” Steinbrenner is essentially confined to a wheelchair. “He can’t walk; he has two football knees,” the person said. “He can barely stand.”…

    http://www.newsday.com/sports/.....3811.story

  3. Doreen March 27th, 2009 at 9:06 am

    I liked Sam’s piece on Jorge Posada. It’s so true that you never know what you have until you don’t have it. Last year really informed me as to exactly how important Posada was, as Sam said, in all aspects of the game. I’m hoping (as are all Yankees fans) that he stays healthy this season.

  4. jennifer March 27th, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Agreed great story by Sam. I’ve been saying that Jorge is the heart and soul of this team, and missing him last year proved it. I am sick of people complaing about his passed balls, he can’t be perfect. Every catcher has his flaws, and that is one of Jorge’s.

    But Jorge is the one, when needed, who will get in teamates faces and yell.

    With a healthy Jorge this season, I see the Yankees going far.

  5. number 2 for prez March 27th, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Who has the bettter arm, Nady or Swisher???

  6. Glenn March 27th, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Sam Borden writes a lot of sense with his Jorgie article. He’s been the assistant captain for several years and knows just how to right the ship when it strays off course.
    All that’s necessary is to watch how he goes about his business.

  7. ANSKY March 27th, 2009 at 9:23 am

    “Who has the better arm, Nady or Swisher?”
    Neither … Damon does!
    (yes, sarcasm)

    From last thread:

    ”… he did say 162 at bats that Jeter can’t GIDP” A good point, but in addition to that:

    Often enough, Gardner could be the guy on base when Jeter comes up. Not every time of course. But when Gardner IS on base, we’ll have Jeter working the count (which he still does well) and giving Gardner every opportunity to steal. And if Gardner’s on 2nd (or 3rd) instead of 1st, Jeter can sometimes move him up those times he would otherwise have a GIDP.

    I think I like the Jeter-Damon flip-flop. It’s a subtle change, probably slightly better, but right now that’s just speculation. I’m looking forward to seeing how it works out though.

  8. Rishi March 27th, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Buster has no complaints about the change :) :

    The Yankees are flip-flopping Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter in their lineup essentially for this reason: Jeter hits into a lot of doubleplays — 45 over the last two seasons — and Damon does not (nine doubleplay groundouts over the last two years). And given that the left-handed swinging Brett Gardner will hit ninth, the Yankees will go left-right-left in their 9-1-2 spots.

  9. Tex's New Best Friend March 27th, 2009 at 9:25 am

    I agree as well with the Jeter/Damon switch. Statistics would say this is a no brainer. I wonder how Johnny and Derek feel about it.

  10. Doreen March 27th, 2009 at 9:27 am

    The thing is – what is the difference between Gardner being on base for Jeter and Damon being on base for Jeter? Gardner may be faster than Damon, but there were many times last year that Damon never got a chance to steal because Jeter had already GIDP’d – which would seem to indicate he WASN’T working the count so much.

    I think this is strictly a R-L-R move by Girardi to protect the bottom of the lineup – as they did talk about on the MLB program last evening. I don’t think it has to do with Jeter’s GIDP rate as much as it’s being written about.

  11. Rishi March 27th, 2009 at 9:27 am

    And think about this: Jeter will get the first Yankee ab at the new stadium … you have to want that, don’t you ;)

  12. ANSKY March 27th, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Aaron Boone doing OK so far:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=4018974

  13. jennifer March 27th, 2009 at 9:33 am

    LOCKER ROOMY: Derek Jeter (whose locker is second from the left) and his teammates will have plenty of room to stretch out in their deluxe clubhouse. The 30,000-square-foot locker room is the largest in the major leagues and each locker has a computer to keep players abreast of batting-practice times and other news, but won’t let them surf the Web.
    http://www.nypost.com/photos/g.....hoto06.htm

  14. jennifer March 27th, 2009 at 9:33 am

    LOCKER ROOMY: Derek Jeter (whose locker is second from the left) and his teammates will have plenty of room to stretch out in their deluxe clubhouse. The 30,000-square-foot locker room is the largest in the major leagues and each locker has a computer to keep players abreast of batting-practice times and other news, but won’t let them surf the Web.
    http://www.nypost.com/photos/g.....hoto06.htm

  15. William Buckner March 27th, 2009 at 9:49 am

    “I agree as well with the Jeter/Damon switch. Statistics would say this is a no brainer. I wonder how Johnny and Derek feel about it.”

    Hopefully they see it helps them both, statistically. It should also help the team.

  16. Bill Porter March 27th, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Good luck Moe in deed.

    What this tired old world really needs however is a baseball blog written in Pig Latin. “ast-pay a iving-day eter-jay” Oye Vey!

  17. pat March 27th, 2009 at 9:54 am

    So the new Yankee Clubhouse is about 75% the size of a Best Buy. :smile:

  18. Clay Buchholz Loves Laptops - Latest Blog Entry: In Honor Of St. Patrick's Day March 27th, 2009 at 9:59 am

    It would seem to be a no-brainer except for one thing, baseball players are creatures of habit. Damon has been a leadoff hitter for pretty much his whole career, it seems silly, but I do wonder if the move will affect him negatively.

  19. 86w183 March 27th, 2009 at 10:02 am

    You’re right it seems silly because it is.

    Being a “leadoff hitter” might only occur once a game, so it’s not that big of a deal. It is more meaningful in the NL where the # 9 hitter is far more likely to make an inning ending out.

  20. Mark in Tampa March 27th, 2009 at 10:06 am

    He does have a point, though. For example, Cano has had trouble higher in the lineup, probably because he puts too much pressure on himself there. Other players have been known to pout when moved from their traditional spots. However, from what we have seen from Damon, I don’t think that it will be a problem with him.

  21. number 2 for prez March 27th, 2009 at 10:06 am

    loved that article on posada, he has been my favorite yankee for years. I argue those points year in and year out. and last year was proof of everything written in that article….I think catchers are like offensive linemen…they are arguably the most important player/players on a team!

  22. Betsy March 27th, 2009 at 10:09 am

    How do they assign lockers? Do the players get to choose who they locker next to? I guess CC and AJ already had their lockers picked out because I saw pictures from the day of the press conference, when they toured the new YS, and AJ’s locker had his name on it. CC was sitting in the locker next to him, but I couldn’t see the nameplate on it. It had a uniform in it, though, so it must have been his.

  23. Betsy March 27th, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Cano had problems last year on the 6th spot because he had problems overall – he would have been bad no matter where he was hitting as it was just mostly a lost year for him.

  24. JOJO March 27th, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Looking back 1 year ago….

    March 26, 2008 – The Lohud Yankees Blog…

    Jose Canseco was interviewed by ABC’s Nightline news show and refused to produce any evidence to back up his claim that he introduced Alex Rodriguez to a steroids dealer.

    “The timing’s not right,” he said.

    “Let’s see how Alex reacts to this,” Canseco said. “Let’s see how Alex reacts. Let’s see if they call me a liar again. How’s that for you? Let’s see if all of a sudden they’re gonna call me a liar again.”

    Rodriguez has yet to respond directly to Canseco’s charges. Team officials said during the day that they expected a statement to be released. But as of now, that has yet to happen.

    Canseco’s book is due to be released on April 1 – April Fool’s Day.

  25. jennifer March 27th, 2009 at 10:17 am

    I believe the ‘stars’ already chose their lockers. And I think the other day I read somewhere that they were going around with a schematic of the locker room and everyone else was choosing their lockers.

  26. Sky March 27th, 2009 at 10:22 am

    The Jeter/Damon switch is pretty insignificant, actually, as they’re very similar players. Jeter projects to have a slightly higher OBP and Damon a slightly higher SLG.

    The real change that should be made is getting one of them out of the top five. After a table-setter, you want to give your big guys a chance to do their thing. That means Tex, Arod, Matsui, Swisher/Nady, and Posada moving up in the order. Via the link above, the optimal lineup looks something like this:

    Jeter
    Teixeira
    Swisher
    ARod
    Matsui
    Posada
    Damon
    Cano
    Gardner

    Damon’s speed is actually quite valuable in front of Cano, a high-contact hitter.

  27. Rishi March 27th, 2009 at 10:22 am

    i think the CC/AJ lockers were staged for the pics – Jennifer – I read the same thing you did…that and that CC and Joba were going to be neighbors like in spring training

  28. Mark in Tampa March 27th, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Betsy,

    Cano had trouble a couple of years ago as well(2007?) when Torre tried him in the 5th spot for a while. He moved him back to 8 and started hitting again. It could have been coincidence, or I could be mis-remembering, but I am pretty sure that is what happened. I am hoping for it to be coincidence, because in a year or two, the Yanks will need Cano to hit in the 5th spot probably for them to be their most effective.

  29. Brad Pitt's better-looking brother March 27th, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Pete

    I think the article comparing Jeter and Trammel somehow got the wrong graph inserted.
    I definitely recognize that as my stock portfolio.

  30. Steve March 27th, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Jeter and Trammell – it’s not close. In all hitting categories, Jeter dominates (14 years v 20 for Tramell), including OPS, OBA, overaall hits, doubles etc. And that doesn’t include All-Star games (9 for jeter to 5 for Trammell) and post season.
    Even their fielding stats on equal (Bad if you are a Jeter critic)
    Trammell was an excellent player and is possibly a hall of famer. Jeter has been superior and is a sure hall of famer.

  31. Sky March 27th, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Jeter and Trammell don’t have similar fielding stats at all. Trammell was good, Jeter has been between average and really bad.

    Also, Trammell played in leagues with less scoring. If you compare their OPS+, Jeter leads, but not by a ton, 120 to 110. That’s also not including Jeter’s decline phase.

  32. trisha - As long as you're in pinstripes, Kei, I've got your back. March 27th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    “The thing is – what is the difference between Gardner being on base for Jeter and Damon being on base for Jeter?”

    A hell of a lot of speed.

    “I think this is strictly a R-L-R move by Girardi to protect the bottom of the lineup – as they did talk about on the MLB program last evening. I don’t think it has to do with Jeter’s GIDP rate as much as it’s being written about.”

    :D

    I think this is ALL about Jeter’s tendency to GIDP. Anyway, did someone from the organization already say that unequivocally Gardner has the 9 hole? I don’t think it has anything to do with LRL. I think it has to do with Jeter’s atrocious ground out to fly out ratio and his amazing propensity to kill rallies.

    He is still an amazing player – in the right spot in the rotation.

    The Yankees have finally stepped up to the plate and cured a problem.

  33. disco stu March 27th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Jose Canseco is sleeze not because he fabricated stuff up and unknowingly threw people under the bus for their steroid use – obviously, he was telling the truth.

    No, the man is a sleeze because he did so without any provocation other than for money and notiriety.

    What he did was cruel and it was done with such impunity that it sickens me when I think about it.

  34. lordbyron March 27th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Sam’s right on the money wit hhis comments about Posada!

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