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Random thoughts on the way home

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Oct 01, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Late last night, the Yankees actually clinched a playoff spot. The Angels lost the second game of a double header, and the Yankees were assured at least a wild-card berth. Not that it means much to the Yankees.

“I’m not even thinking about the wild card, man,” Nick Swisher said. “That’s not my thought process. My thought process is the division. Get ourselves another banner. Get ourselves another ring.”

Joe Girardi shook his head and quickly dismissed the idea when asked if he would start resting players if and when the Yankees clinched a wild card spot. Because of the new playoff format, the division is really the only guarantee. A one-game play-in game is a true roll of the dice — that’s the point — and so the Yankees have little choice but to keep chasing the American League East.

“This city, this team, expects to win,” Swisher said. “And that’s what I expect us to go out and do.”

A few thoughts as the Yankees prepare for this final three-game series that will determine the division…

• Robinson Cano has to keep hitting lefties. If there’s a way to strategically get past him, then the middle of the order is much easier to navigate. Cano has to be that all-around, can’t-get-past-him force that he’s been the past two years. “A lot of times clubs are gonna save that lefty for Robbie,” Girardi said. “And if Robbie does some damage on them, then they got to think about what they’re doing behind him.”

• Speaking of the middle of the order, does anyone know what to expect from Mark Teixeira? Anyone? The guy has four big league at-bats since August 27.

• Hard to believe that since July 24 the Yankees have played exactly one game with Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez in the lineup together. If in late March you knew that would be true, and that Michael Pineda wouldn’t throw a single inning, and Brett Gardner would go down in April, and Mariano Rivera would be lost in May, and Andy Pettitte’s comeback would be limited to 12 starts, and CC Sabathia would have two stints on the disabled list — would you have given up on the season right then and there?

• The Red Sox stink, but they’re dangerous in a three-game series like this. “Nothing would make their season more than to spoil our season,” Swisher said. Exactly.

• In the end, Phil Hughes’ numbers look a lot like his 2010 numbers. He had 16 wins (18 two years ago), a 4.23 ERA (4.19 in 2010) and a 1.26 WHIP (1.25 in 2010). Glass half full, the biggest difference might be that he struggled in the second half of 2010 but actually improved in the second half this year. Consistency might be the last thing to come with him, which doesn’t seem especially unusual. “I feel good, I feel healthy and I feel like my stuff’s good,” Hughes said. “It’s about consistency.”

• Assuming a seven-man bullpen in the postseason, can we agree that Rafael Soriano, Dave Robertson, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Clay Rapada and David Phelps are in? Given one more spot, has Derek Lowe done enough to earn the job over Ivan Nova or Cody Eppley? Lowe can get groundballs like Eppley, and he can pitch multiple innings like Nova. Plus he has a lot of playoff experience. “He’s kind of on a roll for us a little bit,” Girardi said. “He’s had some big innings for us.”

• Remember when Andy Pettitte was rained out in his return from the disabled list, how that cost him the ability to make four starts down the stretch? It also put him in line to pitch a potential tie-breaker against the Orioles. If not him, it would be Hughes.

• For the longest time I defended Girardi’s decision to keep playing Andruw Jones because the roster offered such limited alternatives. But now that Ichiro Suzuki is hitting lefties again and Teixeira is coming off the disabled list, Jones’ at-bats have to stop, right?

• What in the world are the Yankees going to do with Eduardo Nunez next year? Trade him? Move him to the outfield? Keep him as an emergency second stringer behind Jeter? The kid can hit and he can run, and he would be a nice piece if the Yankees could figure out a place to play him.

• I feel bad for Jayson Nix. The guy stepped in and did a really nice job for the Yankees this season. It will be a shame if he has to miss the postseason.

Associated Press photos

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111 Responses to “Random thoughts on the way home”

  1. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 9:00 am

    It’s the shift that will do the Yankees in this postseason. If you have the pitchers who can locate the ball to force pull hitters to hit into the shift it will shut down this offense geared for the 3 run homer.

    Tex, Granderson, Ibanez, at times Swisher and even Cano until yesterday, were not taking the easy infield single given to them against the shift.

    Now that they are going back to YS, they will not do what Cano did on his own yesterday. They will try and muscle it over the short RF porch.

    If the team can play a NL style of ball in these close games, maybe they’ll stand a chance of advancing.

  2. pat October 1st, 2012 at 9:04 am

    JackCurryYES

    After all the dissecting of schedules, both Yanks and O’s went 2-2 vs Jays in most recent matchup. Both blew chance 2 be in better spot 2day

    Also, interestingly, both Yankees and Orioles needed to win final games of series to avoid losing 3 of 4 to Jays. Missed opportunities…

  3. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Speaking of the middle of the order, does anyone know what to expect from Mark Teixeira? Anyone?
    ———————————-
    Expect good fielding and not much hitting when he’s batting lefty in these 3 games.

  4. blake October 1st, 2012 at 9:05 am

    •” For the longest time I defended Girardi’s decision to keep playing Andruw Jones because the roster offered such limited alternatives. But now that Ichiro Suzuki is hitting lefties again and Teixeira is coming off the disabled list, Jones’ at-bats have to stop, right?”

    Never! He had that great series against the Red Sox like months ago! Jonesy might hit a homer!

  5. PacoDooley October 1st, 2012 at 9:09 am

    But now that Ichiro Suzuki is hitting lefties again and Teixeira is coming off the disabled list, Jones’ at-bats have to stop, right?
    ———————————-

    Yes, please – they should have stopped a couple of weeks ago. Joe has far too much confidence in his veterans when all evidence suggests that they have absolutely nothing left to give. If Jones were to somehow magically make the postseason roster I think I will boycott the games!

  6. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 9:10 am

    For the longest time I defended Girardi’s decision to keep playing Andruw Jones because the roster offered such limited alternatives. But now that Ichiro Suzuki is hitting lefties again and Teixeira is coming off the disabled list, Jones’ at-bats have to stop, right?
    ————————————–

    I wonder if Girardi got a message from the FO to sit Jones. He kept Ibanez in the game to face a left yesterday and was rewarded with a double.

    Personally, I feel if the Yankees go in as the WC and especially if they lose, the FO will settle with Girardi on his last year and he’ll be fired.

  7. 86w183 October 1st, 2012 at 9:14 am

    I wouldn’t let Jones on the post-season roster. He’s no help defensively and keeping a RH bat serves no purpose if it is completely non-productive.

    We know the 8 starters with Tex back. I see a post-season bench of Stewart, Chavez, Ibanez, Dickerson, Gardner and Nunez.

    That means 11 pitchers and I’m sure the 11th will be Lowe — sucks for Eppley. though. Garcia has no shot and Nova is iffy unless he’s great tomorrow.

    Yanks need to get things settled in two days so Kuroda can be skipped. He’s gassed and could use extra rest.

  8. blake October 1st, 2012 at 9:15 am

    “Personally, I feel if the Yankees go in as the WC and especially if they lose, the FO will settle with Girardi on his last year and he’ll be fired.”

    I dont…..I think they like Joe because hes a company man…..he does as hes told…..I also dont think the issues with this team are nearly as much on him as they are the roster construction and thats on Cashman and Hal.

    Girardi has done a good job this year IMO aside from a few boneheaded moves lately and the insane loyality to Jonesy……they have holes in the roster ….it is what it is…..getting rid of Joe isnt going to change that.

  9. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Considering yesterday was close to “must win” and Girardi went to Lowe, I think he’s a lock for the post season. And I’m fine with that. At this point I’d rather him than Garcia or Nova.

    I’m not so sure Rapada is a lock though. I think it will depend on who the Yanks have to play. It’ll be a matchup thing.

  10. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Does Valentine outmanage Girardi in Bobby’s last 3 games as manager of the RS before getting the ax?

    Will he start these sub Mendoza line hitters against the Yankees like he did yesterday vs the O’s?
    Valencia
    Lavarnaway
    Iglesias

  11. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Where has Rapada been? Logan is reaching the Pedro Feliciano overuse target and Rapada is rusting away in the pen.

  12. 86w183 October 1st, 2012 at 9:22 am

    YT —

    I think most of Valentine’s roster is below the Mendoza line.

    Mario Mendoza, it should be notes was a career .215 hitter who always resented .200 being referred to as the “Mendoza Line”.

    He spent nine years in MLB as a part timer and hit below .200 in five of them.

  13. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 9:23 am

    I think the complaints over the roster are overblown. As Chad outlined in this post, the Yanks had a ton of bad luck. Plus, Jones completely fell off a cliff, but after last yr, I dont remember too many people wanting him replaced. Especially at the price they got him at. Ibanez played way more than he was supposed to because of the Gardner and Teix injuries.

    A lot of people laughed/complained when they brought in Lowe and Ichiro mid season. Both of those moves have worked out well.

    The bottom line is the Yanks are going to the playoffs. And they’re 1 gm from having the best record in the league. I’ll take it.

  14. Bo knows October 1st, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Valentine is a showman. He’ll be playing to the Boston fans, so it’ll be all hands on deck and leave on a bittersweet note.

    Confusion to the enemies.

  15. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Blake-

    Cashman has 2 years and 6M left on his contract, and yes I agree the roster construction is on him, but the inability of hitters to take the ball the other way is not his fault..

    I think Girardi is worried now about his job. Jones hasn’t contributed one iota since the July 6th weekend series at Fenway, and yet he’s inserted in the lineup every day, in key spots.

    Did Girardi’s internal light bulb just go on yesterday, or did the message come from upstairs to finally sit Jones?

  16. blake October 1st, 2012 at 9:30 am

    “I think the complaints over the roster are overblown.”

    Its relative…..if you are comparing the roster to the Padres then sure….but in the context of why they are fighting for the division now rather than having it already locked up….its the roster much moreso than Girardi IMO.

    They have age and injury risk and a bullpen thats thin…….thats not Girardi’s fault….the “bad luck” is in part bad luck…..but its also because they are carrying risk.

  17. blake October 1st, 2012 at 9:32 am

    “Cashman has 2 years and 6M left on his contract, and yes I agree the roster construction is on him, but the inability of hitters to take the ball the other way is not his fault..”

    Its not Girardi’s either….Cashman put together the offense…..

  18. 86w183 October 1st, 2012 at 9:33 am

    CountryClub —-

    The criticism of the roster for the most part has been on the Yanks decision not to replace Gardner for the longest time. As a result, Ibanez and Jones went from a DH platoon to much more time in the OF and thus, predictably wore down.

    In the off-season I lobbied often for them to sign Michael Cuddyer or Josh Willingham instead of the Ibanez/Jones tandem.

    Had they done so, the loss of Gardner would have been negligible.

  19. blake October 1st, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I think we all get annoyed by Girardi’s quotes to the media…..but in reality I think its just his way of talking without saying anything like Jeter does…..hes not going to make waves….hes not going to call out players publically and hes not going to give reporters a juicy quote to run with…..hes going to say positive things whether he believes it or not.

  20. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Carrying risk.

    Perfect description Blake.

  21. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Blake-

    Yes Cashman put together the offense. Tex himself said he worked in the offseason less with weights and more on his batting, especially trying to hit the other way. Now who discussed that with him-Long, Cashman?

    It’s not Cashman’s fault that Tex finally quit trying to go the other way and said I’m not doing that.

    I think you and I agree that this lineup, as constructed, has a difficult time in the 8th and 9th innings to come back when down by a run or two.

    The team needs some deconstructing in the offseason and a different philosophy going forward.

    I personally will be surprised if they get out of the first round if they play the Tigers as the #2 seed.

  22. Bo knows October 1st, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Looking at the roster last spring a rational forecast was 94/95 wins, considering the division. So the Yankees are on track. It doesn’t matter how they got there, it’s the results.

    I repeat – People do the Binder Joe thing ad nauseum and then kai yai if Joe varies and quote the binder.

  23. Ys Guy October 1st, 2012 at 9:48 am

    arod the last 2 weeks…0 HR 3 RBI .250. is there anyone less clutch in sports?

  24. blake October 1st, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Trader,

    Honestly I think the primary “problem” is that Arod and Tex are no longer middle of the order hitters and because they are paid like they are Hal wont let Cashman replace them.

  25. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 9:53 am

    You can participate in the RAB’s article just posted in a Fan Confidence Poll, given the Yankees current roster construction how confident are you in the Yankees future:

    http://riveraveblues.com/2012/.....012-76750/

  26. LGY October 1st, 2012 at 9:54 am

    It’s mind boggling Girardi continues to use Logan as their #1 LOOGY over Rapada.

    I’ll say it right now. If he does that in the postseason vs Fielder or Hamilton, the Yankees will pay for it.

  27. LGY October 1st, 2012 at 9:57 am

    arod the last 2 weeks…0 HR 3 RBI .250. is there anyone less clutch in sports?

    ———-

    How many players in MLB can you say have basically carried their team to a championship?

  28. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Girardi is a solid manager. He’s not going anywhere after this season. He’s made mistakes, no doubt. But so does every manger. We just don’t watch those teams every day. His strength since he’s been with the Yankees is his pen managament; but I think he struggled with that at times this yr. He’s made some obviously bad decisions.

    But Girardi and Cashman will both be back next yr.

  29. Ys Guy October 1st, 2012 at 9:59 am

    arod is a huge black hole for the yankees. he’s done. its bad enough that they are commited for another 5 years $145M, but set against the luxury tax threshold, he cripples the roster. and unlike beckett and agon’s, his contract is unmoveable. at least w/o eating $130 M or so, and that still doesn’t help vs. the luxury tax.

    the only hope is he realizes he’s done and retires.

    that wont happen.

  30. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Honestly I think the primary “problem” is that Arod and Tex are no longer middle of the order hitters and because they are paid like they are Hal wont let Cashman replace them.
    —————————-
    Replace them in where they bat in the order, because neither of them can be replaced by trading them with their full NT’s.

    A-Rod will get 27.5M next year plus 6M for passing Mays 660 homers.

    The only hope to get A-Rod’s contract off the books, will entice him to retire and make him a part owner of the team.

    Thoughts?

  31. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Arod had a great post season in 09. It was terrific. But so did Jeter. And so did Mo and Pettitte and CC. Arod didnt carry the Yanks to anything. he did what great player are supposed to do. He did what most fans were begging him to do for 6 years.

  32. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Thank you YS Guy-

    Like minds this morning. :)

  33. LGY October 1st, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Jeter in the last week has 1 RBI and a 591 OPS. Is he not clutch anymore?

    Cano, who was deemed not clutch a few weeks ago is hitting over .500 with a 1.2 OPS in the past week. Is he clutch now?

  34. Shame Spencer October 1st, 2012 at 10:07 am

    The bench construction makes no sense and hasn’t from day 1.

    You can’t hire a bunch of bench players with such limited skill sets, that don’t even compliment one another, and get a maximum return.

  35. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Arod will be more than useful for a couple more seasons if he can stay on the field. If he can play 140 games a yr he’ll provide a solid bat. That has great value. Not 30 mil value, but value none the less. You saw this yr how valuable a non platoon bat can be.

  36. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 10:10 am

    LGY-

    Good question. If you feel that the offense hasn’t been consistent in the last one to two weeks, has anyone been clutch?

    If you go by the definition of a clutch player as someone who is dependable in crucial situations, has anyone been clutch lately?

    Cano has a 1.2 OPS this past week. How many times did a hit result in a Yankees comeback win?

    What do you think?

  37. Ys Guy October 1st, 2012 at 10:11 am

    140 games a season?!? are you high? he hasnt done that since 2007.

    …this just in….he’s going to turn 38 next season…

  38. Bo knows October 1st, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I think Girardi, with his careful BP managing would be the first to tell you that he messed up with Logan. The problem with loogys, roogys is that it take two to tango.

  39. 86w183 October 1st, 2012 at 10:13 am

    The bench was constructed pretty well. the problem was it was based on Gardner, Alex and Tex all being full-time players. That’s why most of us were screaming for a RH hitting OF and/or RH hitting 1B/3B type at the trading deadline (actually before that).

    That they added nothing until Ichiro led to the predictable exposing of Ibanez, Jones and Chavez when they played too much.

    Since Tex and Alex are continuing to age and likely to decline they simply MUST make bold moves in the OF and on the bench to get younger and more athletic.

  40. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Suddenly the Yanks have a very deep/scary lineup again:

    Jeter
    Ichiro
    Alex
    Robbie
    Swisher
    Teixera
    Granderson
    Martin
    Ibanez (or Chavez as DH)

    Obviously a couple of spots above can be flip flopped. I wonder if he’ll go back to Ichiro batting 9th now that everyone is back. Hopefully Teix is truly healthy. Another setback and his season is over.

  41. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Arod will be more than useful for a couple more seasons if he can stay on the field. If he can play 140 games a yr he’ll provide a solid bat.
    —————————————

    CC-
    He hasn’t played in 140 games since 2007.
    2008-138
    2009-124
    2010-137
    2011-99
    2012-119 so far

  42. LGY October 1st, 2012 at 10:15 am

    CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 10:00 am
    Arod had a great post season in 09. It was terrific. But so did Jeter. And so did Mo and Pettitte and CC. Arod didnt carry the Yanks to anything. he did what great player are supposed to do. He did what most fans were begging him to do for 6 years.

    ———

    Alex hit .365 with a 1.3 OPS in the 2009 playoffs. 3 of his 6 HR came in the 7th inning or later to tie the score. He had the 5 most RBIs in a single season playoff run ever.

    He had an historic postseason and you can’t expect that type of performance from anyone.

  43. blake October 1st, 2012 at 10:17 am

    “Replace them in where they bat in the order, because neither of them can be replaced by trading them with their full NT’s.”

    Yes….not of the team….just in role.

  44. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 10:18 am

    140 games a season?!? are you high? he hasnt done that since 2007.

    …this just in….he’s going to turn 38 next season…
    ———————————

    Ys Guy-
    I just said that. Are you and I twins, separated at birth? :)

  45. Ys Guy October 1st, 2012 at 10:21 am

    i think i’m just one cup of coffee ahead of you today trader! :)

  46. DONNYBROOK October 1st, 2012 at 10:22 am

    - YESTERDAY’S A-ROD O-METER -

    2-4\1BB\2LOB

  47. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Alex hit .365 with a 1.3 OPS in the 2009 playoffs. 3 of his 6 HR came in the 7th inning or later to tie the score. He had the 5 most RBIs in a single season playoff run ever.

    He had an historic postseason and you can’t expect that type of performance from anyone.

    ——————

    I said he was terrific. I’m not arguing with you at all. But if the other guys that I mentioned (and a few I’m sure I forgot) also didnt play very well, they wouldnt have won. My point was that one player never carries anyone to a title.

  48. RayVT October 1st, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Just as soon as you dis ARod he comes thru. I am not a lover of Jones, but he did have a great series earlier in the year against the Beantown folks so I wouldn’t be surprised to see hiom play against LHP still.

    Where I think the Yanks went wrong was with Nunez. They should have sent him down to AAA & played him at both SS & LF. He could have made things interesting IMO as a RHB in LF.

    All this said, I think the Yanks sweep in Beantown & the O’s lose 2/3 to Tampa. I also think Oakland wins 2/3 against Texas. It could be interesting!

  49. Ys Guy October 1st, 2012 at 10:28 am

    actuarily things look bad for arod too. if you look at top 3bmen over time, not many have produced much of anything beyond age 37. schmidt’s and brett’s #s dropped precipitously at age 37, matthews and torre were done by then. chipper jones is something of an outlier, keeping his ops over .800 from age 36-now.

  50. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Here’s a worst case scenario for the Yanks:

    They tie with Balt for division. Then they play a gm on Thursday to see who wins the division and who plays in the WC game. Pettitte would pitch this game. If they lose (remember, I said worst case) they then play a do or die on Friday. The starter would be Hughes on full rest or CC on 3 days. I’m guessing most of you would want to see CC. But he hasnt been great on 3 days over the past couple of yrs (small sample, I know).

    So let’s just hope the Yanks win all three vs Boston and the O’s lose at least 1. I guess the best case would be for the Yanks to win the first 2 and the O’s to lose the first 2. Then wednesday would be meaningless (unless HF is still up for grabs).

  51. Shame Spencer October 1st, 2012 at 10:30 am

    86 – Respectfully disagree about the roster. We didn’t have any defensive replacements for the OF to start the season. We have an Arod that hasn’t played many games the past couple years backed up by a guy that is very injury prone. We have multiple bench guys that hit righties and few that mash lefties. We had, for most of the season, no speed off the bench.

    Bench players are supposed to be guys with varied skill sets. I felt from the start we weren’t carrying enough of the skill sets that could benefit us the most.

  52. raymagnetic October 1st, 2012 at 10:32 am

    “Its relative…..if you are comparing the roster to the Padres then sure….but in the context of why they are fighting for the division now rather than having it already locked up”

    They’re a game worse than the vaunted Rangers and their supposedly great roster construction and oh yeah, they have the best run differential in the league despite not having both Alex and Tex together in the lineup most of the second half.

  53. LGY October 1st, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I would never root for this to happen, but the best case scenario is probably the Yankees playing and winning against Baltimore on Thursday, because Andy would get one more start before the playoffs began.

  54. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 10:33 am

    It’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow with thunderstorms at night. Obviously, a lot can change in 30 hours. But it’s worth paying attn to.

  55. LGY October 1st, 2012 at 10:34 am

    The Rangers spent about $90M less on their roster this season than the Yankees.

  56. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 10:37 am

    The worst case scenario, as CC described would include the Yankees flying out from Baltimore to the west coast after Thursday’s game to play the A’s the next day, especially if they are assigned the afternoon game as the WC, with the NL WC’s televised that evening.

    Win that and at least they have a day to rest before the ALDS vs the #1 seed at home in YS

  57. raymagnetic October 1st, 2012 at 10:38 am

    The Rangers were able to trade for younger guys who haven’t hit free agency yet either.

    My point is, it’s always talked about how great the Rangers team is and the Yankees have the better run differential despite theoretically being the more poorly constructed team.

  58. Ys Guy October 1st, 2012 at 10:39 am

    the crazy thing about arod and his contracts is this…why did the rangers, who were basically bidding against themselves when they went over $200M, give him an opt-out? its very hard to believe that it was a deal-breaker.

    had they not, arod’s original contract would have ended after the 2010 season and it would have worked out to be a very good contract, he would have earned what he got and he would have then signed a 3 or 4 year contract at a more modest amount with someone and it would have been fine.

    instead, the opt out skewed the whole thing, in stepped hank and voila! the worst contract in baseball history! and the yankees are going to be severely handicapped by it for the next 5 seasons.

  59. blake October 1st, 2012 at 10:40 am

    “They’re a game worse than the vaunted Rangers and their supposedly great roster construction and oh yeah, they have the best run differential in the league despite not having both Alex and Tex together in the lineup most of the second half”

    There are no teams without holes this year…..the Yanks shouldnt be satisfied with being part of the pack.

  60. RayVT October 1st, 2012 at 10:46 am

    The Yanks are the best team in baseball with a full team of players on deck. They were cruising until Tex & ARod went down & Swish suddenly forgot how to hit LHP. Then every team the Yankees faced had multiple LHP going against the Yankees.

    Now, somewhat because of all the LHP the Yanks have faced, even the Yankee LH batters now seem poised to hit LHP.

    Adding Tex back gives a presence. Chavez kills RHP so it helps stabilize things. Having Tex back takes so pressure off ARod to be the guy against LHP & will deepen the bench. Just like getting Pettite back deepened the BP by getting Phelps back in the BP the same is true for Tex.

    It is all hands on deck now. Nova will have a very short lease IMO.

  61. RayVT October 1st, 2012 at 10:48 am

    blake October 1st, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I thought the Rangers/O’s & Yanks were all tied with the same record.

  62. RayVT October 1st, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I was wrong!

  63. Ys Guy October 1st, 2012 at 10:52 am

    tampa, anaheim and philly will all be sitting this PS out.

    is pitching still really the key to the kingdom?

  64. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 10:56 am

    RayVT-

    If the A’s sweep the Rangers in Oakland and the Yankees win the division by sweeping the RS, with the O’s losing one of their 3 vs the Rays,that would leave the Yankees as the #1 seed, awaiting a playoff WC of the Rangers vs the O’s and the A’s with one less win than the Yankees traveling to Detroit.

    Possibility?

  65. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Hopefully CC keeps the ball rolling tonight. I don’t want to see him take a step back.

    Jeter needs 7 hits to break his previous season high of 219.

  66. Tar October 1st, 2012 at 11:02 am

    For those proclaiming Alex “finished”, curious what your take was on Jeter? Was he “finished” too.

  67. 86w183 October 1st, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Since the Yanks and Orioles are both in the playoffs there will not be a game. Baltimore wins the division based on better record vs AL East teams (thanx Sawx).

  68. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Since the Yanks and Orioles are both in the playoffs there will not be a game. Baltimore wins the division based on better record vs AL East teams (thanx Sawx).

    —————-

    This is incorrect. This is how it used to be when there was no real disadvantage to being the WC. Now they play a game to decide the division winner. The game would be in Balt for the reason you mentioned.

  69. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 11:10 am

    For those proclaiming Alex “finished”, curious what your take was on Jeter? Was he “finished” too.

    ——————-

    Arod is only finished if you’re hoping for 35+ HRs and 130 RBI. He can still be a productive bat if he can stay healthy. As others mentioned above, that’s a big if.

  70. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Looks like everyone decided to do some work. Guess I’ll join them…

  71. Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I have to go.

    One last thought on the construction of the offense going forward.

    You’re probably getting tired of hearing the word “Shift.” The Rays and the O’s use the shift more than anyone. We just saw the Jays take away hits vs the Yankees with the shift. I suspect we’ll see it from the Red Sox, especially with Tex back in the lineup.

    The lefties in the lineup, except for Cano, ichiro, Jeter and Chavez are pretty unsuccessful going the other way.

    The Yankees will now play each AL East opponent 19 games per season.

    If you want a good chance of beating them, especially away from YS and the short RF porch, utilize the shift when you can and train the pitchers to force hitters to hit into it.

    IMO-the Yankees adapt to this changing philosophy or still have trouble manufacturing runs in the late innings of close games.

    That’s my 2 cents, for now!! :)

  72. DONNYBROOK October 1st, 2012 at 11:13 am

    - MONDAY MORNING MUSINGS -

    (1) Nunez’s play, continues to make Girardi and the Yankee Hierarchy look like idiots.

    (2) Hughes inna big game is MIA. He showed it yesterday, just as he did in Game 6 vs Texas. Phelps should get the 4 Slot in the Playoffs, Hughes in the bullpen, and Nova on the outside looking in

    (3) HUGE play overlooked in yesterday’s game was Martin’s Sac Bunt.

    (4) Yankee comeback yesterday was Greatly aided by the Wild Pitch, and that double that almost hit the B. Jay RF’er on his big toe.

    (5) With the possibility of playing 5 Crucial games inna row Mon-Fri, I woulda run Robertson back out for the 9th inning. Soriano resting 1 more day would Not have hurt a thing.

    (6) R\Sox absolutely Tanked that game yesterday. I did Not see the previous 2 vs Balt.

  73. Captain Clutch October 1st, 2012 at 11:14 am

    The Yanks need CC to be the real CC tonight. Not the one that usually pitches 3 good innings against the Sox and then gets hammered. Labtops usually pitches well against the Yanks and the matchup tomorrow is dreadful for the Yanks. Nova has to be on a really short leash tomorrow. Valentine is going to treat these games like they are play offs games.

  74. Ys Guy October 1st, 2012 at 11:16 am

    i never thought jeter was done. he’s taken great care of himself and his talent for hitting tends not to fade as fast as power hitting.

    on the other hand, arod’s body is breaking down. as pointed out above, he hasnt played 140 games in a season since 2007. this is the 5th consecutive year of steady decline in his OPS (which has dropped 290 points in that time.) his rbi production on a per game basis has fallen to half what it was. and that has happened steadily, year after year for 5 seasons.

  75. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Yankees PR Dept. ?@YankeesPR
    good nugget from #Elias today; Jeter reached 3300H on Sunday, only Ty Cobb (age 36 in 1923) got there at a younger age

  76. The Return of Stoneburner October 1st, 2012 at 11:20 am

    LGY October 1st, 2012 at 10:34 am
    The Rangers spent about $90M less on their roster this season than the Yankees.

    *****

    Try 75 – - —

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/sa.....as-rangers

    Factor in the Darvish posting fee of 50 million and well you know – - – -

  77. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Even if the A’s lose tonight, they’ll play hard tomorrow. They’ll want HF for the WC game. They own the tie breaker vs Balt (won season series). I’m not sure if they do vs the Yanks. They split the season series 5-5. I dont know what the next thing is that they look at.

  78. RayVT October 1st, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Yankee Trader October 1st, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Yanks own the tie breaker with Texas, so if they end up twith the same record the Yanks would get the nod as best record unless the O’s win it instead of the Yanks.

  79. Andymelillo October 1st, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Everyone said jeter was finish last year than he went on the disable.while he was in tampa his old hitting coach fix his swing that Kevin long screwed.kevin long has been working hard on Arod swing an Arod getting worst he not staying through the zone.Arod needs to find his old hitting coach.

  80. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 11:34 am

    And the A’s/Rangers play a day game on Wednesday (Yanks & O’s play at night). So again, they may play their A lineup just because they think they can still get HF for the WC.

  81. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 11:36 am

    RayVT,

    I know the Yanks own the tie breaker vs TX. But I dont know if they own it vs Oakland if they meet in the WC game.

  82. RayVT October 1st, 2012 at 11:40 am

    CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I don’t either. But somewhere I thought I read if the Yanks tied with Oakland for WC tie the game would be played in Oakland so I would guess they owned it.

  83. blake October 1st, 2012 at 11:40 am

    The difference between Jeter and Alex is health……Jeter was healthy enough to rebound back close to what he used to be…..Im not sure Alex ever will be able to do that because of age and health.

    If the Yankees could make it so that Alex is a suppllemental player going forward and not a focal point of the offense then he will be very productive and an asset….if they continue to believe hes supposed to be prime Arod just because hes paid like prime Arod then there is the issue.

  84. Warning Track Power October 1st, 2012 at 11:42 am

    OK everybody, let’s stay positive and cheer on the Yankees for all 3 games beginning tonight.
    The much hated Red Sox are in town and instead of wondering how the Sox can spoil our season, I’d like to think what would be better then to send the Rox home with 3 more losses to their record?

  85. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Clay Buchholz Stats to Watch
    Buchholz is 0-3 in his last six starts, but has decent numbers — a 3.38 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and a .224 opponents’ batting average.

    Alex Rodriguez (.409 BA, 2 HR in 22 AB) and Robinson Cano (.435 BA) both have very good numbers versus Buchholz.

    The binder-based decision for Joe Girardi will be where to hit Curtis Granderson, who is 1-for-14 in his career against Buchholz, albeit with five walks (and seven strikeouts). The lone hit came in their meeting earlier this season.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/yankees

  86. RayVT October 1st, 2012 at 11:45 am

    There is a very long line of folks this board over the years have designated as finished or washed up only to have it change suddenly. Jeter probably is the poster child for this, but others as well include:

    CC, Mo, Pettite, Posada, ARod (multiple times), Swish, Tex, Cano, Hughes, Joba, Soriano, Mussina, Grandy, Gardy …….

    Who among us would love to have Posada behind the plate still or his RH bat?

  87. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 11:46 am

    OK everybody, let’s stay positive and cheer on the Yankees for all 3 games beginning tonight

    ————–

    Agreed. If the Yanks sweep, I think everything else will fall into place. I’d be shocked if the O’s and Rangers didn’t lose at least 1 gm each. Yanks just need to win their games.

  88. Ys Guy October 1st, 2012 at 11:47 am

    if arod can keep his average up and play regularly i could see him batting 2nd next year. that would be advantageous for him batting in front of cano or tex. but if his average continues to drop below .270 then he can’t hit there and he ends up something like 6th or 7th in the order and has no protection.

    alex got a pass this year because the team was comfortably in first for most of the year and he was on the dl for most of the lead-blowing. but next year, if the yankees arent leading the division all year and arod’s hitting .260 and pacing at 22 hr/ 75 rbi (his current pace) its going to get brutal for him at NYS.

    in any case, ANY player in mlb can be a 3 day hero and i’m pulling for him to channel his glory days and have a great series vs. the bosox.

  89. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Here’s some more good stuff from that same ESPN article:

    CC Sabathia Stats To Watch
    Sabathia has historically handled Dustin Pedroia well. Pedroia is 9-for-37 against him with no home runs and 13 strikeouts. Pedroia whiffs with a much greater frequency against Sabathia than he does against other pitchers (about once every 10.6 at-bats).

    Sabathia has consecutive games with double –digits in strikeouts. He’s only had a longer streak in the regular season once in his career- for the Indians in 2008.

    The last Yankees pitcher with a streak of three double-digit strikeout games in a row was David Cone in September, 1998.

    The key pitch for him these last two games has been the slider, which has netted 19 hits and yielded only two baserunners. He’ll want to be careful with that pitch to Cody Ross, who has golfed three home runs against sliders from lefties this season.

    The return of Mark Teixeira
    Teixeira has had an RBI in six of the nine games against the Red Sox this season, with 18 in all (including six in the 15-9 comeback win on April 21).

    Over the last four seasons, Teixeira’s slashline splits against Red Sox lefties (.250/.348/.517) and righties (.249/.351/.529) are almost identical.

    Teixeira’s return should also boost the Yankees defensively. He enters the day with 16 Defensive Runs Saved, tied for the most among AL first basemen.

    The Yankees went 14-6 in Teixeira’s absence, averaging 5.5 runs per game.

    Cano rolling
    Cano enters with a six-game multi-hit streak, with 15 hits in his last 24 at-bats.

    Cano is mashing the pitches you would expect him to mash, something he had trouble with in the first three weeks of September. He finished the month with 10 hits in the last 13 at-bats that ended with a pitch in the strike zone. He’d started the month 9-for-his-first-49 against those pitches.

    When Cano was going bad, the biggest issue was that he couldn’t cover the inner half of the plate (or the area off the inside corner).

    On the first 118 inner-half pitches he saw in September, he made 27 outs and reached base seven times (once on a hit, three times on a walk, three times on an error).

    Of the 36 inner-half pitches he’s seen in the last six games, he’s reached base five times (with four hits) and made five outs.

    Jeter streaking
    The Yankees game notes are loaded with statistical goodies on Jeter, who has reached base in 31 straight games, the third-longest streak of his career. The two longer streaks were 53 games in 1999 and 41 in 2000. Jeter needs two runs scored for his 14th 100-run season, which would be second-most all-time behind Hank Aaron.

    A-Rod still searching for an RBI
    Alex Rodriguez does not have an RBI in his last 11 games. That’s his longest RBI-free streak as a Yankee and tied for the second-longest of his career, only topped by a 13-game streak with the Rangers in 2003.

    Rodriguez will tie Stan Musial for fifth place on the all-time RBI list with his next one, which would give him 1,950.

  90. Ys Guy October 1st, 2012 at 11:52 am

    some people ‘wrote off’ cc or mo because they had a bad couple of outings or a bad month or even a bad season. that was just stupid.

    but im talking about a 37 year old with a steady 5 season decline that shows no signs of abating. his production is down in every category except stolen bases and in a very straight line.

    thats different than the vultures declaring cc dead (in his prime) because he had a bad 6 weeks.

  91. LGY October 1st, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Stoneburner

    ESPN only calulates payroll based on the 40 man roster.

    The real calculations are on Cot’s. The Yankees opening day payroll obligations were about $210M. A tick higher now after the trade deadline.

  92. DONNYBROOK October 1st, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Let’s just drop all this SIS-BOOM-BAH stuff for A-Rod. The guy cheated, and is Now paying the price and dragging the Yankees down with him. I give him credit for winning that “09″ Championship for the Yanks, but when he Begs outta the lineup with a sore foot, he gets kicked to the curb. You go MIA, you merit NO quarter what-so-ever. The REAL question is, just who is gonna play 3B for the Yanks in 2013???

  93. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 11:55 am

    The REAL question is, just who is gonna play 3B for the Yanks in 2013???

    —————-

    Arod. At least for the majority of the games.

  94. G. Love October 1st, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Just because in the heat of the moment you call a guy finished doesn’t mean you really mean it. Most of us are posting when our gauges are running hot. After a loss. In the middle of a loss. After a string of losses.

    People in here weren’t the only one’s who thought Jeter was done. The media ran with that story like a dog with a stick. His numbers were atrocious and he was aging.

    What he’s done since hitting 3000 is nothing short of a miracle. If any of you were sure he was going to be a .300 hitter again when he had hundreds of at bats looking like a pale imitation of himself than you should be living in Las Vegas as millionaires.

    The Arod is done meme is similar. He’s getting older. He gets injured every season. Every spring we hear he’s in the best shape of his life and he’s moving quicker than he did 10 years ago and it doesn’t hold up. He also is an admitted PED user and his body could be breaking down from years on that stuff.

    If you want to believe he’s going to come back in the coming seasons and hit .300 with 35HR’s and 120RBI which would be the comps to what Jeter has basically done with his resurgance to his prior career numbers, I suggest you find an oddsmaker who will make you a very rich man or woman on that bet if you win.

  95. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    darren rovell ?@darrenrovell
    MLB Jersey Sales Rankings: Jeter at #1 for 3rd straight year, Hamilton #2, Ichiro #3.

  96. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    MLB Jersey Sales, Since All-Star Break
    1. Derek Jeter, Yankees
    2. Josh Hamilton, Rangers
    3. Ichiro Suzuki, Yankees
    4. Bryce Harper, Nationals
    5. Mike Trout, Angels
    6. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
    7. Yu Darvish, Rangers
    8. Chipper Jones, Braves
    9. Justin Verlander, Tigers
    10. Robinson Cano, Yankees

  97. DONNYBROOK October 1st, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Counting on A-Rod to start 80+ games at 3B in 2013 is a recipe for Disaster. The horror movie we are currently watching is a re-boot of the one that previously had Giambi playing the lead. Yanks need to acquire a legit full-time 3

  98. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I’m pretty sure I said this last yr, but for a guy like Jeter, who has been selling jerseys for 18 years, to be #1 is amazing. Chipper being in top 10 is impressive too.

    Ichiro makes sense because he switched teams.

  99. Shame Spencer October 1st, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    G. Love October 1st, 2012 at 11:59 am

    What he’s done since hitting 3000 is nothing short of a miracle. If any of you were sure he was going to be a .300 hitter again when he had hundreds of at bats looking like a pale imitation of himself than you should be living in Las Vegas as millionaires.

    —————

    Yeah this part gets ignored a lot..

  100. blake October 1st, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    “If any of you were sure he was going to be a .300 hitter again when he had hundreds of at bats looking like a pale imitation of himself than you should be living in Las Vegas as millionaires.”

    I thought he could…..but its different with Alex because he hasnt been healthy enough to do what Jeter did.

    I think Jeter’s struggle period was mainly mechanical mixed with part physical decline (and K Long screwing him up)…..I think Alex’s struggles have been primarily injury and physical decline related………

  101. DONNYBROOK October 1st, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    B. Anthing less, and your looking at a Disaster Flick.

  102. Ys Guy October 1st, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    actually if im reading this right, arod has played 79 games at 3b so far this season, so if he plays all 3 remaining games at 3b he will play the majority of games at 3b this year. by 1.

  103. RayVT October 1st, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    DONNYBROOK October 1st, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Why don’t you tell us how you really feel? LOL!

    Arod is cleaner than half the boys of Beantown but he was targetted to pay the price of being a Yankee. Arod must be clean now as well as in 2009/10/11. His injuries have been none steroidal use type injuries.

    I think ARod is clean now & he will hit. All players go thru slumps with power/RISP & otherwise. I look for him to breakout big over the next 3 days. Just my opinion!

  104. Jerkface October 1st, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    If you want to believe he’s going to come back in the coming seasons and hit .300 with 35HR’s and 120RBI which would be the comps to what Jeter has basically done with his resurgance to his prior career numbers,

    Jeter is still below his career numbers and not really up to the same par as when he was doing very well. If A-rod was going to have a ‘jeter like resurgance’ we’d be talking about like an .850-.875 OPS

  105. DONNYBROOK October 1st, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Jeet was NOT breaking down physically. A-Rod is physically falling apart in front of our very eyes. That so-called slide he made into home plate yesterday, looked like something outta a Beer League. Not to mention the fact it took him Forever to reach home plate.

  106. CountryClub October 1st, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Counting on A-Rod to start 80+ games at 3B in 2013 is a recipe for Disaster.

    —————-

    I didn’t say it’s what I wanted to see happen. But it is what I expect to see happen. I’d love for him to move to an almost FT DH. But I don’t think it happens next yr.

  107. tucker October 1st, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Sure, the Rangers negotiated a bad contract. Then Hank negotiated an even worse contract. No way they should have resigned A Rod, particularly after his opt out saved the Rangers tens of millions that they were obligated to pay the Yanks under the ARod-Soriano deal.

    It is probably the dumbest contract signed over the past decade. Though, now Hal is holding it over the current team like a Damacles sword. That money should come out of Hank’s trust fund, not the Yanks’ future.

  108. El Duque October 1st, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Yankees have to go after d.wright of the mets! Great 3b guy! Keep Ichiro, keep Ichiro and Martin for 1 year! swisher goes to Texas or Tampa for draft picks!
    My Lineup:

    Jeter SS
    Ichiro RF
    A-rod DH
    Cano 2B
    Wright 3B
    Tex 1B
    Granderson LF
    Martin C
    Gardner CF

    Bench: Nunez, Stewart, Dickerson, Chavez and or Melky
    Rotation:
    CC, Kuroda, ANdy, Pineda and Hughes (Phelps as Long man)

    Trade Nova!

  109. trisha - true pinstriped blue October 1st, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    &#10003

  110. trisha - true pinstriped blue October 1st, 2012 at 9:33 pm

  111. trisha - true pinstriped blue October 1st, 2012 at 9:33 pm

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