Hey everyone, Sam Borden here. Long time no speak — the last time we spent a week together was when A-Rod’s steroid use became public. One can only imagine what silliness the next seven days will bring.
First, a few housekeeping notes: There will still be a game thread – hopefully posted early and with the lineups – every day, just as usual. So rest easy, those who (rightfully) love the in-game conversations. They’ll continue unabated.
There will also be significant blogging every day, though it won’t always be from me. The game coverage will feature myself as well as a few other excellent Journal News colleagues, and I’ll do my best to pop in on the blog at least a few times even on days I’m not at the park. We’ll all pitch in to keep you updated on everything that’s going on with the Yankees.
Lastly, since everyone blogs a little differently and I happen to like themes — remember my “food” theme from one day last time, in which the vaunted “pancakes for the table” concept became famous? — I decided to look at various holidays this week. Obviously Memorial Day is next weekend, but in case you didn’t know (and, if you did, I’m a little afraid of you) today is International Museum Day. Along those lines, let’s get the week started off with a few museum-related Yankees lists for the first seven weeks of the 2009 season:
Works of Art:
1. Johnny Damon: If A-Rod gets hurt again, he could legitimately hit clean-up.
2. Robinson Cano: Cooled some lately, but looking more 07 than 08, which is a good thing.
3. Melky Cabrera/Francisco Cervelli: One is a small sample size, the other is even smaller but give them both credit for rising to the occasion when called upon. Cabrera, in particular, could have sulked but showed mental toughness.
Monets (good from far, but far from good when you get up close):
1. Nick Swisher: The power numbers are still impressive this early in the season but he’s 5-for-42 with 19 strikeouts in May.
2. Brett Gardner: He’s done some great things and made some big plays, especially in the past week, but the production is still below what you need from a CF.
3. Edwar Ramirez: Actually, he doesn’t even look good from afar.
Abstract art (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?):
1. Joba Chamberlain: His starts have been erratic, to be sure, but this is what hard-throwing young pitchers have to go through. He’s a starter – and yes, that’s the best place for him – so he’s got to learn how to be the best at that job. This is part of that learning process.
2. Hideki Matsui: Remember when he was a consecutive-games-played ironman? It seems like forever ago. But even with his falling-apart knees, it seems like he’s still good for two or three big-time hits a month (if not more).
3. Mariano Rivera: Doubters say this is the year he starts to fade. Sure it is. Just like 2005. And 2004. And 2003 …