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


Pinch hitting: Lucas Vanderwarker

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 27, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

I say this every year, but one thing I like about the Pinch Hitters series is the opportunity to present perspectives I could never bring to the blog. This is one of those moments.

Lucas Vanderwarker is a youth pastor near Indiana, PA and his grandfather played some minor league ball with the Yankees back in the 1930s. For his post, Lucas wrote about a truly once-in-a-lifetime moment: Taking his first-born son to his first game at Yankee Stadium.

For most people, November 2, 2010 was just another day. Most conservatives (especially the Tea Party) remember it as a day of victory, as the Republicans regained control of the House and made up some ground in the Senate. For the people of San Francisco, it was a day of jubilation and raucous celebration of the Giants first World Series victory since they vacated New York. Many have long since forgotten the specifics of this day just 14 short months ago.

For me, it’s a day that was truly life-changing — it’s the day my son was born.
It was right about the time that pitchers and catchers were to report to spring training in Tampa when my wife and I learned she was expecting our first child. When I realized her due date was the beginning of November, I immediately thought to myself, “How amazing would it be for our baby to be born the same night the Yankees win the World Series?” She secretly was hoping the Yankees wouldn’t quite make it to avoid any conflict of interest, and ironically enough, it was while I was sitting on the couch watching the Giants put the finishing touches on their series with the Texas Rangers that my wife informed me it was time to go to the hospital.

Three hours later I was holding my little boy, flooded with the gravity of my new responsibility of teaching my son about the things that I love — Faith, Family, and the Yankees. I realized that watching baseball would never be the same.

Our first family vacation to New York City came in August. My wife didn’t insist on a Broadway show — though I know she wanted to — she instead insisted that we go to Yankee Stadium. Of course, there was no argument from me.

Thursday, August 11, was the highlight of the trip: An afternoon game against the Angels, front row of the upper deck, just past third base. We’d taken the subway to the stadium. We snapped some pictures, fed Brandt, and got settled into our seats. I soaked in every moment (and every sunray—it was very hot that day) of watching Brandt take in every detail from the huge, bright video screen to the yelling hot dog vendors to his daddy going nuts when Curtis Granderson tied the game at 2 with a mammoth home run, and even more nuts when Robbie Cano broke a tie game with a “no doubt about it” grand slam.

Brandt was so over-stimulated that it wore him out and he fell asleep for about an hour. When he woke up, he sat ever so contently on my lap and pointed to the outfield as “Enter Sandman” began to play and Mariano Rivera came sprinting in from the outfield.

Sitting there, with my son on my lap, telling him things I knew he didn’t understand and won’t remember, I didn’t want the day to end. We took our time leaving the stadium (when you only get there once every couple of years, you tend to treasure every second you get).

I don’t remember a whole lot about my first trip to Yankee Stadium other than they played the Royals and they got creamed. I remember being so excited to see Don Mattingly. But do you know what I remember? It was my dad who took me to that first game. I consider my dad to be one of my best friends. I have learned so much from him. I’m not naïve enough to think my 9-month-old son will remember this trip to Yankee Stadium, but I look forward to many more — all of which will always remind me of the day that changed my life forever.

I love you, Brandt! Go Yankees!

Photo of Lucas and Brandt

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137 Responses to “Pinch hitting: Lucas Vanderwarker”

  1. Erin January 27th, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Lucas-what a great story! :)

    Adorable picture BTW

  2. austinmac January 27th, 2012 at 9:11 am

    MTU,

    Please don’t mention Boone’s Farm. The apple wine and I got too acquainted in college, and I can’t stand the thought of it yet today.

  3. MTU January 27th, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Another great post.

    Your son is adorable.

    I hope he winds up feeling about you the way you do about your Father.

    And I hope you get to share many more such moments.

    :)

  4. MTU January 27th, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Mac-

    Wine conisseurs drive me nuts because most the time I don’t have a clue what they are talking about.

    If you are familiar with BF you must be well acquainted with “Ripple” ?

    Too funny.

    :)

  5. austinmac January 27th, 2012 at 9:17 am

    MTU,

    Ripple, another college acquaintance. Yes, I had budgetary issues. Plus, the drinking age for me was 21 and certain small retailers would sell nevertheless. They had my business. Thirty cent gas and $3 wine. Life was good–at least as far as I remember. :)

  6. tomingeorgia January 27th, 2012 at 9:18 am

    MTU,
    Well, theres Wild Irish Rose and Hombre, too.

  7. MTU January 27th, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Guys. Those were the days.

    Many a sudden curbside meeting on a Fri. Night and then off to “White Castle” to reload.

    :)

  8. MTU January 27th, 2012 at 9:30 am

    All just a part of the rites of passage.

    NYC’s Chinatown was always a favorite.

    Makin’ the rounds after a good bender.

    Those were good times.

  9. RhapsodyInBlue January 27th, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Fine looking boy, great story. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Tom in N.J. January 27th, 2012 at 9:33 am

    My college drinking consisted of Stalingrad Vodka (under 10 bucks for a gallon) and Genesee Cream Ale.

  11. upstate kate January 27th, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Nice post Lucas. I hope you and your family have the opportunity to return many times.

    Due to the distance, we only attend one game a year. Win or lose, they are always memorable. You can count on seeing something you haven’t seen before.

  12. MTU January 27th, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Tom-

    Now who said those Russians were all bad.

    ;)

  13. MTU January 27th, 2012 at 9:36 am

    My greatest moment at a stadium was being with my Father and Uncle to watch Jim Bunning pitch his perfect game.

    (My Father, poor guy, was a die-hard Mets fan).

  14. upstate kate January 27th, 2012 at 9:37 am

    mmmm…Genny Creams :)

  15. Tom in N.J. January 27th, 2012 at 9:39 am

    MTU:

    Stalingrad Vodka was a most putrid libation.

    We’d have to mix the stuff with sprite, orange juice, and enough sugar to clog the Mississippi. It was a tincture worthy of Beelzebub.

  16. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Sounds like the Yankees are looking at Ibanez pretty seriously. I guess it makes sense. If you don’t want to trade Hughes and you can’t trade Burnett, sign a low cost guy in Ibanez and then deal one of your relievers for some minor league depth to create a spot in the pen for whomever doesn’t make the rotation.

  17. RhapsodyInBlue January 27th, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Boone’s Farm and Ripple weren’t too bad the problem was what ever else we took along with it.

  18. MTU January 27th, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Tom-

    At least you could afford staying off “sterno”. Look on the brightside.

    :)

  19. MTU January 27th, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Chip-

    It does look like the market may not have given Cashman the answer he desired.

    We’ll see. I like surprises as long as they are pleasant ones.

    Rather they make no trade than a bad one.

  20. Tom in N.J. January 27th, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Speaking of which, I got carded for buying a can of spray paint last week.

  21. spidanyc January 27th, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Ibanez for $2 Million wouldn’t be a bad move.

  22. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 9:46 am

    MTU

    I agree.

    I wonder what happened that the Yankees have backed so far away from bringing Chavez back.

  23. austinmac January 27th, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Ibanez might be helpful, but what are they going to do with all their starters? How do they carry Hughes, Burnett and Garcia? I don’t see how more than two can be on the team.

    Maybe this leak is similar to the Yankees have an interest in Jackson leak.

  24. MTU January 27th, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Chip-

    Concerns about him staying healthy I guess ? Love the glove at 3rd.

    He may be a fallback option or last minute acquisition.

  25. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 9:49 am

    spidanyc January 27th, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Ibanez for $2 Million wouldn’t be a bad move.
    ————

    Not at all – he thinks the work he did this offseason with Jaramillo has helped, and I’m sure Kevin Long can’t hurt. Platoon him at DH with Jones – he’ll be productive enough in the lineup.

  26. Marc January 27th, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Lucas – I usually don’t comment, but for this post I felt the need to. Great story. Will always rememeber attending my first Yankee game with my parents and grandfather, who has since passed away.

    Thank you for sharing this experience.

  27. Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Pass on Ibanez.

  28. austinmac January 27th, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Chip,

    I also wonder what happened to Chavez. Is it a cost issue in that Pena/Laird is cheaper? That would seem penny wise and pound foolish. I prefer never to see Pena hit again. Laird, at least has a chance to drive the ball, but Chavez left handed bat is much more valuable if, of course, he can stay healthy.

  29. jacksquat January 27th, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Ibanez’ home/road splits last year are concerning:

    home: .278 .316 .516 .832

    road: .210 .261 .317 .578

  30. blake January 27th, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Great post and story….can’t wait until I can do the same with my little guys

  31. Mike Ri January 27th, 2012 at 9:52 am

    im going to Pass on Ibanez myself .

  32. blake January 27th, 2012 at 9:54 am

    They should have talked Jorge back if they are thinking about signing Ibanez…..Jorge was better vs RHP last year.

  33. blake January 27th, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I still think a trade if some sort is coming…….

  34. Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 9:55 am

    There is no good reason why they can’t spend money this year on a DH. They print it.

  35. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 9:56 am

    austinmac January 27th, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Ibanez might be helpful, but what are they going to do with all their starters? How do they carry Hughes, Burnett and Garcia? I don’t see how more than two can be on the team.

    Maybe this leak is similar to the Yankees have an interest in Jackson leak.
    —————

    They would have to trade a reliever and then 2 of the three (Garcia, Hughes, AJ) wind up in the pen.

    I said yesterday, given that you’re not getting good value for Phil at this point and that AJ is basically not tradeable I would try to deal Raf Soriano. His contract isn’t that bad that he can’t be moved (especially if the Yankees are willing to eat some of it) and he could bring back a useful player like an Aubrey Huff or Carlos Lee type.

    That opens up a spot in the pen and my guess is that Garcia becomes the long reliever and either AJ or Phil take Soriano’s spot in the 7th inning behind Robertson and Rivera. Phil’s obviously had more experience there than Burnett, but AJ could do well as a one inning pitcher if he just has to air it out for a few outs. Get the velocity back up on the fast ball, not worry about throwing his whole selection of pitches.

  36. MTU January 27th, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Blake-

    Aren’t the little Blake’s already under contract with the Yankees ?

    A trade is what Cashman preferred. He said as much the other day.

  37. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 9:58 am

    austinmac January 27th, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Chip,

    I also wonder what happened to Chavez. Is it a cost issue in that Pena/Laird is cheaper? That would seem penny wise and pound foolish. I prefer never to see Pena hit again. Laird, at least has a chance to drive the ball, but Chavez left handed bat is much more valuable if, of course, he can stay healthy.
    —————-

    My best guess would be that it’s a health concern – either that or Chavez hasn’t told the Yankees he wants to play anymore.

  38. 108 stitches January 27th, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Newly hired YES commentator Lou Piniella’s mother died at the age of 92 in Tampa. She is the reason why Lou left the Cubs last year to give her his full attention. R.I.P. Margaret Piniella.

  39. Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Seriously, would they opt for Ibanez over Damon for a million or two? Really?

  40. blake January 27th, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Paul asks: $189M or bust. With all the talk of getting to $189M for 2014, am I correct that in 2015 they can go back to, shall we say, less conservative spending habits? Or is this going to be a cyclic thing? Every few years dipping below a threshold and then going back up?

    I’m with you there, and Dave Pinto is as well. The Yankees will not only not have to pay $12M+ in luxury tax that year, they’ll also get a rebate on their revenue sharing payout, somewhere between 25-50%. They paid north of $100M in revenue sharing in 2010, so adjust up for inflation a then realize they’re getting a huge chunk of that back by going under the tax, and it’s easy to understand why they’re aiming to do so. They could end up saving themselves $50M+ in 2014 alone.

    That money could easily go right into the Steinbrenners’ pockets, that’s always possible, or they could pump it right back into the team in 2015. Given the team’s annual payroll, I’m guessing it’ll be the latter. Remember, they only need to get under the luxury tax threshold once for all the savings to kick in, they can go right back over in 2015. If you want to start looking way ahead, players like Ben Zobrist, Evan Longoria, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Felix Hernandez, Yovani Gallardo, and Clayton Kershaw are all scheduled to become free agents after the 2014 season. Isn’t that convenient?

    http://www.riveraveblues.com

    Thought this was interesting…..I thinknwe coukd all handle a little cut back in 2014 if it meant Felix ir Verlander or Kershaw in 2015 right :)

  41. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Seriously, would they opt for Ibanez over Damon for a million or two? Really?
    ————–

    Sure they would, but it wouldn’t be over dollars – it would be over lineup construction.

    Damon’s still a top of the order hitter – Yankees are set at 1&2 in the lineup so you don’t need Damon. You’re looking for someone to platoon in the 7 spot – Ibanez is a better fit there.

  42. blake January 27th, 2012 at 10:05 am

    MTU,

    We are in negotiations ;)

  43. Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Chip

    Good hitters are more important than less good hitters no matter where they bat.

  44. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Chip

    Good hitters are more important than less good hitters no matter where they bat.
    —————-

    That’s true – however I think the Yankees (if they’re interested in Ibanez) must believe that last year was a blip and that he can be a productive slugger for them.

  45. jacksquat January 27th, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Mo
    Soriano
    Robertson
    Wade
    Logan

    There are still two spots in the bullpen until Joba comes back, and that may not be until mid-season.

  46. Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Chip

    Then they should get one with a better recent track record, and btw, Damon may still be able to hook balls into the RF seats. Plus, he knows what it’s like to play here.

    To go from Montero to Ibanez at DH would be alarming.

  47. stuckey January 27th, 2012 at 10:13 am

    “There is no good reason why they can’t spend money this year on a DH. They print it.”

    Or more starters AND a new SS AND upgrade in the OF and 2 or 3 Cuban prospects/projects.

    They should/should have purchased them all. As Rich correctly asserts, they print money.

  48. austinmac January 27th, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Blake,

    I will be glad to use my shrewd negotiating skills in representing your young ones. We will stress high end potential and a keen baseball mind like their–mmm. Okay, their Dad.

  49. Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 10:16 am

    “They should/should have purchased them all. As Rich correctly asserts, they print money.”

    You’re boring.

  50. DONNYBROOK January 27th, 2012 at 10:17 am

    If the Yanks are lookin’ for a (L) power\run producing bat, I would go with Matsui over Ibanez. Both Matsui and Ibanez are on the downside of their careers, and both are wanting defensively, but we all know Matsui issa “clutch” stick. My general preference is Damon, but if he is being ruled out due to this roster spot being earmarked for driving in runs, Matsui gets the nod.

  51. blake January 27th, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Mac,

    Sounds good…..neither of them is left handed yet but Im working on it ;)

  52. Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 10:19 am

    I don’t get the “driving in runs” thing. If you hit with men on base, you drive in runs. The only question is whether or not Damon can still hit.

  53. stuckey January 27th, 2012 at 10:19 am

    “You’re boring.”

    I’m agreeing with you.

  54. Shame Spencer January 27th, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I think my first game at the stadium was in ’98.. they lost to the Cards and McGuire hit a shot that I think is still sailing in the sky somewhere… don’t remember much else about the game besides that. And, of course, that my dad took me :)

  55. MTU January 27th, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Blake-

    Avail yourself of Mac’s generous offer. His fees are reasonable. Especially if the right beverages are included.

    ;)

  56. DONNYBROOK January 27th, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Word is the “young blakes” are tempermental and hard headed. Girardi offered hitting advice to one of them atta clinic in Stubenville, and the kid just spit tobacco juice on Girardi’s white loafers.

  57. jacksquat January 27th, 2012 at 10:24 am

    On the other hand, Damon’s home/road splits:

    home: .241 .306 .371 .677

    road: .280 .345 .463 .807

    Seems Johnny did not like the Trop. 92 park factor.

    I’ll take Damon. He only made 5.25mil last year.

    Find a home for Garcia, get Damon. Hughes and AJ duke it out for 5th starter in spring training, loser goes to the bullpen.

  58. Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 10:28 am

    “Find a home for Garcia, get Damon. Hughes and AJ duke it out for 5th starter in spring training, loser goes to the bullpen.”

    I agree with everything you said against for Hughes in the pen. I’d put him at AAA if he somehow loses out. (unless they trade for a young bat)

  59. Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Although I might keep Garcia around for insurance.

  60. jacksquat January 27th, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Well moving Garcia was just one way to free up money for Damon (if that is really necessary), plus it helps with the SP logjam. I don’t dislike Garcia, but something has to give.

  61. blake January 27th, 2012 at 10:31 am

    They should never put Hughes in the pen…..unless someone gets hurt he’s a total waste out there and they don’t need him as a reliver. If he’s not in the rotation thy should either send him to AAA or trade him……

  62. upstate kate January 27th, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Blake
    teach your boys to be switch hitters

  63. Shame Spencer January 27th, 2012 at 10:35 am

    blake January 27th, 2012 at 10:31 am

    They should never put Hughes in the pen…..unless someone gets hurt he’s a total waste out there and they don’t need him as a reliever. If he’s not in the rotation thy should either send him to AAA or trade him……
    ———————-

    Yep, couldn’t agree more.

    I just hope this year they are open to a real competition for the #5 slot instead of that faux competition they had with Joba and Phil where Joba never really had a shot.

  64. blake January 27th, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Kate,

    Working on it :)

  65. Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 10:37 am

    “Well moving Garcia was just one way to free up money for Damon (if that is really necessary)”

    Oh, if that’s the only way, good thinking.

  66. Shame Spencer January 27th, 2012 at 10:38 am

    upstate kate January 27th, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Blake
    teach your boys to be switch hitters
    ———————

    I’ve been trying to teach my nephews (3 and 4 years old).. one seems more adaptable than the other, but he’s starting to come around lately. I’m sure it has nothing to do with me telling them they need to start competing to be my favorite nephew. It sounds cruel I know, but one is now constantly offering me back rubs so *shrug*…..

  67. blake January 27th, 2012 at 10:38 am

    The problem with trading Garcia is that its very possible he’d be the best 5th starter…..id definitely guess he will be better than AJ.

  68. jacksquat January 27th, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I might agree with Hughes to AAA, but I bet if you asked Hughes if he’d rather be a starter in the minors waiting for an opening, or a reliever in the majors, he’d say majors.

    Anyway, my plan was really a fake competition with AJ going to the bullpen. ;)

  69. Shame Spencer January 27th, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Wait why would we trade Garcia? You can never know what to expect in ST, but if it were just based on merit I’m pretty sure he’d secure the #4 slot over Hughes and AJ.

    I’d really like to see Hughes establish himself this year but I think Garcia is more of a sure thing. Do we all agree on:

    CC
    Pineda
    Nova

    ?

  70. MTU January 27th, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Blake-

    Just don’t let your babies grow up to be Cowboys.

    :)

  71. blake January 27th, 2012 at 10:42 am

    “I might agree with Hughes to AAA, but I bet if you asked Hughes if he’d rather be a starter in the minors waiting for an opening, or a reliever in the majors, he’d say majors.”

    Maybe in the short term……but considering he’s gong to be a FA soon he should want to remain a starter……6th inning guys don’t.make much money.

  72. upstate kate January 27th, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Shame
    LOL My son has 2 friends who for years have been competing for the coveted title of “my 2nd son”. Competition is a good thing :)

  73. Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I think Kuroda is probably in that top three mix, Shame.

  74. Shame Spencer January 27th, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Anyway, my plan was really a fake competition with AJ going to the bullpen. ;)
    —————–

    Its been done before! I sorta have the same hope but I’m pretty sure AJ’s getting as many starts this year as Javy got a couple years ago.

  75. blake January 27th, 2012 at 10:43 am

    MTU,

    So I should makes Uhm be doctors and lawyers and such?

  76. Shame Spencer January 27th, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Rich – DUH!!! Sorry, I didn’t have breakfast this morning and my whole life is a mess… how could I forget KURODA!

  77. MTU January 27th, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Blake-

    Yup.

    or Dentists.

    :)

  78. MTU January 27th, 2012 at 10:46 am

    The Mops is insist on dustin’ outside.

    BIAW.

  79. PacoDooley January 27th, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Shame Spencer January 27th, 2012 at 10:44 am
    Rich – DUH!!! Sorry, I didn’t have breakfast this morning and my whole life is a mess… how could I forget KURODA!

    ——————————

    Easy to forget given the timing of the news and the fact that it is just hard to keep track of 7 starting pitchers. Amazing what a difference a year makes, where a year ago the team had just signed Colon and were really hoping that Nova kid could compete for a job…

  80. 4 NYY January 27th, 2012 at 10:47 am

    A deal for Adam LaRoche would be a good thing for Lefty DH.

  81. Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Shame

    I forgot him too the other day when I was thinking about the rotation. I’m not sure why.

    (I hope everything works out for you.)

  82. Shame Spencer January 27th, 2012 at 10:48 am

    upstate kate January 27th, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Shame
    LOL My son has 2 friends who for years have been competing for the coveted title of “my 2nd son”. Competition is a good thing :)
    ————–

    That’s awesome! I tell them both I love them the same but it doesn’t mean I can’t like one more than the other so they should try to persuade me :)

    So its Nova vs Hughes vs Garcia vs AJ for 2 spots… I really hope they let the best man win, but I dunno that they will..

  83. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Chip

    Then they should get one with a better recent track record, and btw, Damon may still be able to hook balls into the RF seats. Plus, he knows what it’s like to play here.

    To go from Montero to Ibanez at DH would be alarming.
    —————–

    That’s just it – you’re not going from Montero to anyone at DH – you’re going from Posada to someone else at DH.

    And hey – I’m still of the opinion that barring a trade for a young controllable bat or someone like Carlos Lee the Yankees should let Vazquez go after the job.

  84. Shame Spencer January 27th, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Lol, thanks Rich.. when I don’t have food in my system that’s enough to throw off my entire day. Doesn’t help that everyone’s talking about chocolate and wine this morning lol. Perhaps categorizing my life as being a mess for this reason is extreme… but where my belly goes, so goes my day.

    (How funny is that word? belly belly belly..)

  85. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 10:50 am

    blake January 27th, 2012 at 10:38 am

    The problem with trading Garcia is that its very possible he’d be the best 5th starter…..id definitely guess he will be better than AJ.
    ————-

    The other problem with trading Garcia is that you can’t trade a guy you just signed until June (I think maybe June 30th)

  86. jacksquat January 27th, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Kuroda kind of snuck in behind the Montero/Pineda blockbuster.

    I think Nova with his impressive second half is practically guaranteed a spot. I can’t see them trading him with lots of control left unless he brings back an impressive young bat.

  87. Yanksgal07 January 27th, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Love this post !!!! It reminded me of the first time I took my daughter to Yankee Stadium. She was 2 and for some reason loved Ricky Henderson. His name took up the whole back of her tiny Yankee shirt. We were in the upper deck with a group of friends and when Ricky came to bat she started chanting “Wicky, Wicky”. Everyone around her started laughing and chanting “Wicky, Wicky” with her and guess what …he hit a homer !!! She is now 28 and huge Yankee fan. She is getting married to another Yankee fan in March. Naturally the theme to their wedding is the Yankees…lots of Navy Blue & White involved and sweet Yankee touches throughout (like entering to “Enter Sandman”, Swarovski Crystal NY at the top of the cake, etc.). She’s smarter than her Mom…I married a Met fan …we are divorced …mixed marriages just don’t work …haha.

    Lucas …the best to you and Brandt and may he grow happy, healthy with a true love for the pinstripes !!! Thanks for sharing …

    Go Yankees 2012 !!!

  88. dogface January 27th, 2012 at 10:52 am

    A deal for Adam LaRoche would be a good thing for Lefty DH.

    ============================

    Since Fielder didn’t sign with the Nats, Laroche is probably not all that available.

  89. jacksquat January 27th, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Chip, I think Garcia can be traded with his permission, not 100% sure about that though. I think he might accept a trade if he knew there was significant risk he might be in the bullpen if he declines.

  90. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I wonder if the Yankees would have any interest in Brandon Inge? He’s coming off a really bad year, but he can still play a solid 3b defensively, maybe some 1b too and can catch in a pinch. Detroit doesn’t have a spot for him now. Maybe get him on the cheap?

  91. upstate kate January 27th, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Yanksgal
    that is a great story!
    We attended a wedding that had a Yankees theme. The wedding party was introduced at the reception to the strains of “New York, New York” The bride and groom came in to “Enter Sandman”.

  92. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 10:58 am

    dogface January 27th, 2012 at 10:52 am

    A deal for Adam LaRoche would be a good thing for Lefty DH.

    ============================

    Since Fielder didn’t sign with the Nats, Laroche is probably not all that available.
    —————-

    Michael Morse will be (or should be) the Nats starting 1b.

  93. jacksquat January 27th, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Inge was so bad at the plate the Tigers are considering putting Cabrera there…

  94. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 10:59 am

    jacksquat January 27th, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Inge was so bad at the plate the Tigers are considering putting Cabrera there…
    ————-

    Not considering it, they’re doing it.

  95. Yazman January 27th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Fantastic job, Lucas. Had tears in my eyes, and emailed your post to my dad and to my sons. That’s what the Yanks are all about for me.

  96. J. Alfred Prufrock January 27th, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Yep, couldn’t agree more.

    I just hope this year they are open to a real competition for the #5 slot instead of that faux competition they had with Joba and Phil where Joba never really had a shot.
    ///

    The Yankees under Cashman and that City Hall sleaze are too Machiavellian for me. The fake Joba competition, deliberately poking at Posada’s pride by batting him ninth for a nationally broadcast game against the Red Sox so they could demonize him in the court of public opinion (how many little monkeys called him “selfish” and “not a team guy”, etc?), the “just a ballplayer” snark about Jeter (although a “Yankee legend” when it comes to selling merch).

    Cashman doesn’t care how he treats people. I don’t like his recent move and I don’t like him. He’s not good for the Yankees.

  97. Shame Spencer January 27th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    upstate kate January 27th, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Yanksgal
    that is a great story!
    We attended a wedding that had a Yankees theme. The wedding party was introduced at the reception to the strains of “New York, New York” The bride and groom came in to “Enter Sandman”.
    —————-

    I’m not sure I ever mentioned it on here which would be a travesty but after I graduated my parents threw me a surprise party…. at Yankee Stadium. They bused all of my family and friends there and we sat in a suite. It was incredible. Never been in a suite before and it was ridiculously awesome. It rained during the game but we didn’t feel a drop in the comforts of our suite.. things the Yankees taught me: rain is for poor people.

    I’m not so much of the marrying type (ask Chip!) but if I ever took the plunge I think I’d want to do it in a suite at Yankee Stadium lol.

  98. dogface January 27th, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Michael Morse will be (or should be) the Nats starting 1b.

    =======================

    But he won’t be. He’ll be in the OF at least until Harper comes up later this summer.

  99. J. Alfred Prufrock January 27th, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Shame,

    You did tell that story. Thought it was cool the first time I heard it ;).

  100. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 11:11 am

    J. Alfred Prufrock January 27th, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Cashman doesn’t care how he treats people. I don’t like his recent move and I don’t like him. He’s not good for the Yankees.

    ___________________________

    It’s not Cashman’s job to be a fan of the guys on the roster. It’s his job to put out the roster that he thinks gives the Yankees the best chance to win. There’s no room for sentimentality in his line of work.

    I completely understand what he’s done.

    The Jeter thing is what it is, both sides said things they probably regret – it happens in negotiations.

    The Posada thing was going to be a story whenever it happened. I think it made Jorge’s decision to retire a little easier, but the bottom line is that Posada wasn’t a productive player – hitting him in the middle of the order wasn’t helping the team.

  101. J. Alfred Prufrock January 27th, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Another great pearl by Cashman was his public admonition that Pineda learn a decent changeup or else reflect badly on the Yankees for pulling the trigger. Class act, that guy.

  102. J. Alfred Prufrock January 27th, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Keep slurping, Chip.

  103. Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 11:14 am

    “Cashman doesn’t care how he treats people. I don’t like his recent move and I don’t like him. He’s not good for the Yankees.”

    I used to like him, but I am coming to the point of view that his best skill is corporate politics, the primary goal being self-preservation. Sure, he talks about leaving as each successive contract nears the expiration date, aided by carefully executed leaks to friends in the media, like Olney, who offer a timely leak at the most propitious time that friends of Cashman say he won’t be back with the Yankees.

    But time after time, for 15 years as GM (longer in the organization), he returns. It hasn’t mattered whether George or Levine or Hank or Hal have usurped his promised autonomy. He complains to the media, but yet he remains.

    Not that he is incompetent; he isn’t. But he has had a lot of whiffs (Weaver, Brown, Vazquez twice, Pavano, AJ), but he has turned the farm system around, even if he hasn’t shown an ability to maximize its potential yet.

    I hope he wins big with Pineda. I hope at least one Killer B is doing well in the rotation by next April. I hope he can trade for a young impact bat.

    But I really don’t see a strategy, only tactics.

  104. ericns1 January 27th, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Great story and great picture of your son!

  105. Yanksgal07 January 27th, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Shame …

    Now that’s what I call a TERRIFIC surprise party !!! She inquired about having the wedding at the Stadium but the price for the catering room was ridiculous and that was JUST FOR THE ROOM. They are going on Sunday with a photographer to take shots around the Stadium to use during the reception. Her tables will be numbered with their favorite Yankee players and each table will have a double frame with a picture of that Yankee and the other side with the number in blue surrounded by pinstripes. It’s not going to be overboard ..just touches here and there with it still staying elegant. I can’t wait….AND…shortly after the wedding …it’s OPENING DAY !!! YAY !!!

    Go Yankees 2012 !!!

  106. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Take a look at some of the more productive teams in the AL and the way they handled (or handle) their players:

    Boston – traded away Nomar, let icons Damon, Millar, Pedro all walk. The negotiations they had when Varitek was a FA were very messy, they turned him into a part time player and now aren’t even talking to him.

    Rangers – kept moving the face of their franchise (Michael Young) around the field until finally pushing him to DH/1b last year. Let CJ Wilson walk without even a real effort to keep him and were trying to get Prince Fielder despite having Moreland at 1b and also won’t talk about a new deal with Hamilton.

    Angels – have basically turned Bobby Abreu into a pinch hitter with their moves

    Detroit – wasted no time in DFA’ing Brandon Inge last year despite the years of service he’s given the organization and now they’re moving him to the bench.

    Fans care about sentimentality – organizations don’t.

  107. lvand805 January 27th, 2012 at 11:21 am

    thanks for the kind words about the post! It was truly a privilege to share our story with you guys! Unfortunately, we won’t get back to the stadium this summer (summer tends to be my busiest time of year as a youth pastor) but i’m hoping we can catch them in Cleveland.

    By the way, LaRoache is a terrible option at DH. Ibanez is iffy at best. I’m of the mindset that we let Vasquez come up. Also, if Inge is available i say go for it.

    Lucas

  108. J. Alfred Prufrock January 27th, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Rich, I agree with the whole post.

    I defended him zealously regarding the farm for years, especially during the whole Santana/Hughes thing. That was an instant where he did the right thing, hanging onto Hughes plus and holding out for a better left-hander. At the time, I also agreed with his assessment that we were not in a position to win the World Series, making the decision to resist Santana easier (Santana at the time was already starting to show wear and tear).

    But if these prospects don’t get a real chance, as opposed to the token one they gave Chamberlain, the farm will be nothing but a place to develop trade chips. That’s depressing, as well as not very efficient.

    I really hope Hughes comes back strong and can revisit first-half of 2010.

  109. Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Chip

    I think the Yankees have been more sentimental than most, sometimes putting it at odds with cold, hard business decisions, but in Posada’s case, he was their best option at BUC. He was willing to assume any risk, but they shunted him aside, and it probably hurt the team because Martin is a far better hitter when he plays less, and Cervelli is like a box of chocolates in a lot of ways.

    Plus, what was Girardi’s lineup construction in the regular season and the playoffs, if not governed by loyalty, which is sentiment by another name.

  110. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    My biggest complaint with Cashman is his ego.

    I really think he is offended by the idea that the only reason his teams win is because of the payroll and I think that since George was out of the picture he has taken a greater interest in proving that he can win without blowing out the budget.

    He wants to develop players and win that way…I’m fine with that. But if that’s the tact you’re going to take then you need to make sure that the people in your development roles are the best and brightest around and I do not think that’s the case.

    Some of their draft work has been baffling (Cito Culver, JB Cox, Scott Biddle, Andrew Brackman, and though his name escapes me, the kid they drafted in the first round the same year they drafted Austin Jackson) though I don’t blame them for the Cole fiasco.

    Their development of high end pitchers has been spotty at best with top prospects Hughes, Joba and Kennedy falling flat while lesser knowns like Nova seem to succeed because the organization pays less attention to them.

    They should have the best pitching coordinators, the best roving hitting instructors the best minor league staff’s across the board – and they don’t. Nardi Contreras is my primary target here, but I also have to wonder about the international department that allowed guys like Chapman, Hechiverra and Inoa to go to other teams without the Yankees making a serious bid.

    I also think that Cashman, after Torre left, didn’t look for the best manager he could find, he went for the best manager he could control – someone who would execute things like Joba rules without complaining to the media about them. Which isn’t to say I don’t like Girardi – I do; but I don’t think he was hired for his skills so much as Cashman wanting a manager who would follow orders.

    I’m a firm believer that every manager and every GM has a shelf life – has Brian’s expired? Possibly. But he’s still better than a lot of the other people out there and I would much rather have him at the helm than someone like Ruben Amaro who has systematically destroyed his farm system and loaded his team with long term contracts on old players.

  111. Tackelberry January 27th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    How bout Bobby Abreu for LH DH? Would love to have him back. WOnder what Angels would want for him

  112. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Chip

    I think the Yankees have been more sentimental than most, sometimes putting it at odds with cold, hard business decisions, but in Posada’s case, he was their best option at BUC. He was willing to assume any risk, but they shunted him aside, and it probably hurt the team because Martin is a far better hitter when he plays less, and Cervelli is like a box of chocolates in a lot of ways.

    Plus, what was Girardi’s lineup construction in the regular season and the playoffs, if not governed by loyalty, which is sentiment by another name.
    ——————-

    Rich –

    The catcher spot was dictated by the kind of catcher Girardi was, nothing else. Girardi was a very good defensive catcher who didn’t hit much. He does (and likely always will) appreciate defense at that spot over offense – to be completely honest he is probably the only person in baseball who agrees with Scoscia dealing Napoli away. That’s part of the reason it was easy for the Yankees to part with Montero – because Girardi would rather have guys like Martin and Romine back there than Montero. And that’s why Posada was looked at as strictly a DH. Well that and the fact that after 15 years the beatings were taking a toll and he wasn’t physically able to meet the demands.

  113. stuckey January 27th, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Unless I’m mistaken, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova began last year in the Yankee rotation, the former coming off a pedestrian second half of 2010 and a poor spring training, the latter being relatively unproven.

    Brett Gardner was slotted in as the Yankee starting outfielder 2 years in a row when FA options were on the market, moves that seem to be advocated by a good percentage of fans.

    Eduardo Nunez seems to have been prioritized as a system keeper, and got 309 ABs last season and a super-utility player.

    I fail to see any evidence to suggest Brian Cashman doesn’t give prospects a real chance. Brett Gardner alone would disprove to any rational thinker.

  114. Wave Your Hat January 27th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    “Which isn’t to say I don’t like Girardi – I do; but I don’t think he was hired for his skills so much as Cashman wanting a manager who would follow orders.”

    Didn’t Girardi get fired in Miami because he wouldn’t stay on the reservation?

    There’s a number of things Girardi does which don’t thrill me, but at the time Cashman went out and got a young guy who had done a great job in Miami but upset management. That doesn’t square with the notion Cashman’s ego requires underlings which he can control.

  115. Rich in NJ January 27th, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Chip

    “The catcher spot was dictated by the kind of catcher Girardi was, nothing else. Girardi was a very good defensive catcher who didn’t hit much.”

    YES! That’s a huge problem, imo. And since Cashman ratified it by allowing it, he is equally guilty.

    It’s freakin’ crazy. The Yankees won 4 rings in large because of Posada’s offense, and a ton more because of Dickey, Berra, Howard, and Munson’s offense, and now we are allowing some marginal MLer turned manager to reinvent the Yankee way?

    People have said don’t make Pineda the scapegoat for the Montero trade; I agree.

    The object of my ire is Girardi. The sooner he goes, the better.

  116. Shame Spencer January 27th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Yanksgal07 January 27th, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Shame …

    Now that’s what I call a TERRIFIC surprise party !!! She inquired about having the wedding at the Stadium but the price for the catering room was ridiculous and that was JUST FOR THE ROOM. They are going on Sunday with a photographer to take shots around the Stadium to use during the reception. Her tables will be numbered with their favorite Yankee players and each table will have a double frame with a picture of that Yankee and the other side with the number in blue surrounded by pinstripes. It’s not going to be overboard ..just touches here and there with it still staying elegant. I can’t wait….AND…shortly after the wedding …it’s OPENING DAY !!! YAY !!!

    Go Yankees 2012 !!!
    ———————

    Now THAT is awesome!

    JAP – So glad I remembered to share more than once! I couldnt imagine I’d forget to tell you guys but just in case I figured I’d rub it in repeat the tale ;)

    And I don’t hate Cash… I think largely its his job to play the bad guy, actually, like with Jeter and Posada. Do I agree with all of it? Not particularly.. but some of it to me is just business being business. He’s not paid to have a heartbeat.

  117. DONNYBROOK January 27th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Cashman has pulled a lotta boners, but going Ibanez over Matsui would top ‘em all. Matsui was our “09″ World Series MVP, he’s the guy that apologized to the fans for breaking his wrist while attempting a diving catch in LF, and he has a penchant for coming up with that big hit when ya need it. This is an easy choice, and would help makeup for Cashman’s boner of 86ing Matsui for Nick Johnson 2 yrs ago.

  118. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Wave Your Hat January 27th, 2012 at 11:40 am

    “Which isn’t to say I don’t like Girardi – I do; but I don’t think he was hired for his skills so much as Cashman wanting a manager who would follow orders.”

    Didn’t Girardi get fired in Miami because he wouldn’t stay on the reservation?

    There’s a number of things Girardi does which don’t thrill me, but at the time Cashman went out and got a young guy who had done a great job in Miami but upset management. That doesn’t square with the notion Cashman’s ego requires underlings which he can control.
    ————–

    Wave,

    Just throwing this out there – but if you got fired for doing something at one job; wouldn’t you alter that behavior at your next job?

    It’s possible that getting fired by the Marlins for not following his boss’s marching orders make him easier to control by Cashman. Obviously I don’t know for sure, no one can know their dynamic – but it is something I would consider.

  119. Shame Spencer January 27th, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I think Girardi has a mind of his own to some extent.. He’s middle management, so taking orders is a part of the job. The one thing I do like about Girardi is that he’s systematic in the way he approaches the game. Although we might not agree with his decisions, we can usually predict them more than half of the time. He seems to value that kind of ‘following policy’ mentality. Sometimes it wins you games.. sometimes it doesn’t.. but I can at least appreciate the consistency.

  120. Wave Your Hat January 27th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    “Just throwing this out there – but if you got fired for doing something at one job; wouldn’t you alter that behavior at your next job?

    It’s possible that getting fired by the Marlins for not following his boss’s marching orders make him easier to control by Cashman. Obviously I don’t know for sure, no one can know their dynamic – but it is something I would consider.”

    Chip,

    That’s possible, but my way of thinking is that if a guy had done “x” at his previous job, I wouldn’t hire him on the belief that he wouldn’t do “x” for me. I don’t know Cashman of course but I tend to think he’d naturally think the same way. Just my two cents, but then I kind of like Cashman and think the Yanks are unlikely to find a better GM.

  121. Shame Spencer January 27th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Abreu costs us peanuts the first time lol, maybe he would be a good fit at DH, but I dont remember what his contract looks like..

  122. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Another issue with Cashman that I think can’t be overlooked is that he’s apparently never made a transaction that he liked.

    5 minutes after a signing or a trade he’s all over the place talking about how he paid too much or gave up too much. He had to know that this Montero/Pineda deal was going to be controversial but instead of talking up Pineda and how excited the team is to get him he was talking about how much it hurt to deal Montero. At least those were the comments that got reported. It fell to Rothschild to talk about how exciting it is for the organization to get Pineda here.

    Look, if Brian is at the end of his shelf life here that’s fine (I don’t think Hal sees it that way though) but if he were to leave I would be delighted to see the Yankees go outside the organization for his replacement. Bring fresh eyes in here, a group that doesn’t have any loyalty or ties to any of the prospects, players, coordinators, coaches and let them evaluate what’s really here.

  123. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Shame Spencer January 27th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Abreu costs us peanuts the first time lol, maybe he would be a good fit at DH, but I dont remember what his contract looks like..
    ————–

    Last year of his deal and he gets $9 mil

  124. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    If we’re looking at ex Yankees to bring back for the LH DH spot, I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Giambi.

  125. stuckey January 27th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    “to be completely honest he is probably the only person in baseball who agrees with Scoscia dealing Napoli away.”

    That may be, but as we try to determine what managers and what teams prioritize what in terms of catching, let’s all remember Yorvit Torrealba, he of the .705 OPS, was Texas’ primary catcher to start and during the 2011 regular season.

    Let’s also rember Mike Napoli hit OUT OF HIS MIND last season. In 2010 he OPS’d .784 (product of a 3 year downward trend), 27 pts above Russell Martin’s career avg.

  126. Chip January 27th, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Wave,

    I tend to agree – Cashman takes a lot of heat, some of it deserved, but his job isn’t to appease the fan base, it’s to do what he thinks is in the best interests of his team while sticking to whatever guidelines are set to him by ownership.

    We can’t know how much of his recent decision making is attributable directly to Hal maybe having a keener eye on the bottom line than his father and brother would.

  127. Shame Spencer January 27th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Chip – Maybe he takes that route for PR purposes.. a way of tempering expectations of an always unsatisfied fan base, maybe?

    Again, I think Cash is paid to be the guy no one (fans and players) likes.

  128. Shame Spencer January 27th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    New post: A Forgotten Priority :arrow:

  129. MaineYankee January 27th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Chip

    Where did you learn what type of C Girardi likes?

  130. Duh Innings January 27th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Raul Ibanez, another old man who can’t play the field anymore besides Damon and Matsui who’s older than both, is being tied to the Yankees DH.

    Hopefully the Yankees will pass on him, Damon, and Matsui.

    I don’t want the Yanks to sign a player who will leave the Yanks short a fielder on the bench in games an everyday player or Jones starts at DH.

    I call for a Chris Dickerson/Andruw Jones platoon at DH and the #9 slot.

    Dickerson bats lefthanded, turns only 30 on April 10, is .270/.355/.415 vs. RHP in 490 career PA, and would cost less than Ibanez, Damon, and Matsui. A small sample and his SLG isn’t DH-caliber, but he has posted BA and OBP I doubt Ibanez, Damon, and Matsui will post in 2012.

    Dickerson can play the field unlike Ibanez, Damon, or Matsui, and even if any or all of them could still play the field Dickerson is a younger, faster, overall better fielder with a stronger arm than any of them. He’s certainly faster than Ibanez, Damon, and Matsui. He has stolen base speed/ability Damon has and Ibanez and Matsui don’t have and can play all three outfield positions. The Yanks have Dickerson under control, too.

    I say start Dickerson vs. RHP, Jones vs. LHP. Give them April and May and if they need to be replaced, then so be it. The Yanks would have June and July to get someone. Maybe one of them holds up his end, ideally/preferably Dickerson since the Yanks would face more RHP than LHP. If Jones doesn’t hold up his end, simply start another righthanded hitter in his place at DH vs.LHP or just make A-Rod the DH vs.LHP and those games will be part of his break-from-the field games.

    I see this platoon DH as a total low-risk, high-reward move especially if it produces a slashline and HR-RBI around the same as or better than any two or all three among Ibanez, Damon, and Matsui.

    By going with Dickerson/Jones at DH and the #9 slot to start 2012, the Yanks could bide their time with who to get as the permanent primary DH if they don’t see this platoon as that while seeing if it could be. It’s a stopgap and an audition. They don’t have to trade anyone including a pitcher for a DH and they’re starting Jones at DH vs. LHP anyway, no? So it’s really just giving Dickerson a chance. The guy hasn’t displayed much pop so far but he did have a nice first two seasons as a backup player in terms of HR/PA and I love his .413 and .370 OBPs those seasons. And again, at least he could play the field. He could come in place of Swisher (or either of the other two starting outfielders if one of them was removed for a pinch-hitter) late in close games where Jones starts at DH, something Ibanez, Damon, and Matsui c/w/should not do.

    Another option would be to platoon Brandon Laird with Jones and start Laird at 3B twice a week so A-Rod gets a rest in the field. A-Rod could rest one of those games and DH the other some weeks, start at DH both days other weeks. Laird would cost only the rookie minimum.

  131. G. Love January 27th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I guess Cashman doesn’t give a chance to the prospects the more passionate “huggers” want to see.

    It enrages me how Gardner is treated like he was developed by the Pirates and took a spot away from some Yankee farmhand great. I saw guys like Justin Christian get more love than Gardner gets from some in here.

    The argument that the Yankees didn’t pay attention to Robertsen and Nova so they turned out better than Hughes and Joba is so ludicrous I don’t even know what to say.

    If you watch the major league games you’ve seen Robertsen and Nova develop before your eyes. They learned from past mistakes. They overcame the hurdles and patterns that were blocking their success.

    Hughes did not do that. Hughes is either injured or lost on the mound with 1/2 an arsenal and showing no signs of improving that.

    Nova couldn’t get past the 4th inning for awhile but then buckled down, did his work and got past that hurdle. He even started to miss more bats which was another criticism of him.

    Robertsen, who doesn’t have the natural stuff Joba does, passed him by in the pecking order by outworking him.

    You think the Yankee pitching coach says “Hughes and Joba are with me, Robertsen & Nova I don’t care what you do because Baseball America told me not to care?”

    So dumb to see people put that out there.

    The difference between Hughes and Joba & Nova and Robertsen is prospect hugger hype. All the “generation arms” nonsense and the expectations put on Hughes and Joba by fans who had to call them “Generation K” (ugh) is why their career path seems off to some.

    As far as I’m concerned they both helped the Yankees win a title. They are both major league pitchers and they both need to get healthy and dedicate themselves to conquering the patterns in their careers that have held them back.

    Nova and Robertsen didn’t do it pitching with Mo in the parking lot outside of Yankee stadium while Cashman wasn’t looking and to assert nonsense like that only makes one look like a petulant prospect list fanboy.

  132. J. Alfred Prufrock January 27th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    And I don’t hate Cash… I think largely its his job to play the bad guy, actually, like with Jeter and Posada. Do I agree with all of it? Not particularly.. but some of it to me is just business being business. He’s not paid to have a heartbeat.
    ///

    It’s not about taking a soft stance when things need to be changed up. It’s about handling things with class.

    Why couldn’t they just play out Posada’s last season without setting him up to be humiliated? They did that because they knew he would know he was being set up, and they knew he’d take that personally.

    The point is: none of that was necessary; it was the last year on his contract, noone expected hi to be re-signed, but they go out of their way to orchestrate something to make the guy look bad.

    It’s because THEY are so concerned with how they come off publically that they do this, and apparently, it works because only a few people see through them. But the point is, their Machiavellianism isn’t even NECESSARY. They just should STFU and do business without feeling the compulsion to drag players through the mud.

    Chamberlain? Make him think he has a chance as a starter, but it’s really a kangaroo competition. That’s disgusting. Tell him, you’re in the bullpen.

    Why did they do it? Because they’re insecure about how they bungled his development, so they want to make it “look” like he’s still in the starter mix, but they’ve already caved on his development. But instead of just saying so, they have to pretend they’re still on board and giving him his shot.

    They’re wimps. And they’re mean spirited wimps.

    They

  133. J. Alfred Prufrock January 27th, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Cut it off, but you get the point. It’s not about “sentimentality”. That’s either a strawman or some aren’t making a distinction between doing business and gratuitous BS to “sell” the business they’re doing.

  134. Nick in SF January 27th, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Great post, Lucas!

    I’ve been part of a nephew’s first baseball game, but not a son’s.

    It’s must be a very special feeling. Thanks for sharing it.

  135. randy l. January 27th, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    “Cashman takes a lot of heat, some of it deserved, but his job isn’t to appease the fan base,”

    whose job is it then?

    if there are no fans there is no pro game.

    baseball becomes pick up games by die hard amateurs which is not the worst thing in the world.

    some of the most intense sports action i have ever been involved in was two person beach volleyball where the only thing at stake was holding the court and bragging rights.

    when some of my pro baseball friends came and watched they were in disbelief how serious the game was. i asked the yankees triple a center fielder, a kid nickenamed “z” who was a roommate at the time if he wanted to learn to play.

    this was right after he saw a player get 6 packed by a spiked ball that flattened a nose with quite a bit of blood pouring out of it.

    he decided drinking beer while sitting in a beach chair watching the action and girls was way more fun.

    but i digress
    baseball without management paying attention to fans would be likely end up with fans not paying to watch baseball.

    so is cashman’s job to appease fans?
    ultimately it is.

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