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Looking back: Month by month through 2012

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Dec 31, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Last day of the year, might as well look back.

There are plenty of ways to do year in review stuff, and I’ll probably approach it a few different ways today. For starters, let’s focus on one standout moment from each month. I tried to go with things that jumped to my mind rather than dig too deep and pinpoint the most important or most significant moments from each month. These are nothing more or less than the month-by-month events that stood out to me.

January
The trade
Early in the evening, I’d just sat down to dinner when the news began to break. The Yankees made two moves on the night of January 13, and if you were looking for immediate impact, it was the signing of Hiroki Kuroda that mattered most. If you were looking for a splash that we’ll talk about for years to come, it was the trade of Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda that made waves. There were other names involved, but Montero was the star prospect and Pineda was a few months from season-ending surgery. I was stunned then. I’m stunned today.

February
Moving on
Spring training was about to start, and everyone knew the Yankees wanted to trade A.J. Burnett. The deal came through right before camp opened. The Yankees had to pay a significant part of Burnett’s salary, they got two incredibly minor prospects in return, and everyone was finally able to move on after Burnett’s two brutal years in the Yankees rotation (he’d been pretty valuable his first year with the team). The Yankees had other rotation options already under contract. Burnett got to Pittsburgh and pitched to 16 wins and a 3.51 ERA.

March
Andy’s back
When I saw Jack Curry’s tweet, I thought it was either a joke or absolute proof that someone had hacked his account. Andy Pettitte was coming back? Just a few weeks after he’d been a special instructor? No chance. No way. But, of course, Jack was right, and within a few days Pettitte was back in camp as a starting pitcher. At the time, the Yankees seemed to have more starters than they needed (they still didn’t know about the Pineda injury) and absolutely no one seemed to know for certain whether Pettitte could still pitch effectively in the big leagues. Within a few months, Pettitte was reviving the Yankees rotation and proving himself all over again.

April
Boston massacre
The season’s first trip to Boston, second game at Fenway, and the Yankees were losing 9-0 after five innings. Freddy Garcia and David Phelps had been knocked around, and Felix Doubront was working on a shutout. Then Mark Teixeira homered in the sixth inning. Then Nick Swisher hit a grand slam and Teixeira went deep again in the seventh. The Red Sox lead was down to 9-8 heading into the eighth, and the Yankees scored another seven runs to create one of the most memorable wins of the year. It actually gave the Yankees sole possession of first place for the first time. And it was a sign of things to come for the Red Sox.

May
Mo goes down
Honestly, I was in the bathroom. What better time to go than during batting practice in Kansas City? Even if I were in my seat, I’m not sure I would have been focused on Jayson Nix taking his hacks. I must have walked back into the press box seconds after it happened, because everyone was confused. Someone was hurt. The Yankees were rushing to check on him. Oh my gosh, it was Mariano Rivera. He couldn’t walk on his own. Television actually had a replay. Looked like his knee went out. … That night, the silence in the clubhouse spoke volumes.

June
Ten in a row
On June 7, the Yankees lost to the Rays and fell into third place, only a half game out of first. On June 18, they won their 10th straight to increase their division lead to two-and-a-half games. During the streak, the Yankees never allowed more than four runs, and Robinson Cano hit .371 with four homers. All 10 wins came against National League teams, and Bryce Harper struck out five times in one of those games. The Yankees were playing well, and they carried that momentum through the All-Star break and into the season’s second half.

July
The West Coast trip
Even after the All-Star break, the Yankees five of their first six. Their lead was up to 10 games when they went on the road to play the lowly Athletics and Mariners for what should have been a forgettable trip out West. Instead, it might have been the most memorable trip of the year. Oakland swept four straight – all one-run games to completely turn the A’s season around — before the Yankees went to Seattle, traded for Ichiro Suzuki and lost Alex Rodriguez to a broken hand.

August
Joba. Finally.
Nothing really jumpted out to me about August, which means I probably overlooked something extremely obvious. But, when in doubt, go with Joba Chamberlain, who’s always good for a conversation starter. There was the Tommy John surgery in 2011. Then the trampoline injury in spring training. Finally Chamberlain made his season debut on the first day of August, having joined the team quite suddenly after the Chad Qualls trade opened a roster spot. Chamberlain  got off to a slow start, but he seemed to find his footing as the year went on and there are still hopes that he can be a late-inning force next season.

September
The division race
This is why baseball added a second wild card; to make the divisions mean something again. Not wanting to fall into a one-game play-in scenario, the Yankees, Orioles and Rays fell into a wild race for the American League East. When the Rays fell out of the mix, it was down to the high-powered Yankees and surprising Orioles in a race that had those teams tied nine days in the month of September. Down the stretch, they were never separated by more than a game and a half until the final game of the year, when the Yankees won the division by two games. Robinson Cano hit .615/.628/1.026 in the final nine games.

October
Jeter goes down
What mattered most in the month of October is that the Yankees offense disappeared. They could barely score in the division series, and they couldn’t score in the ALCS. And that’s why the season ended when it did. But the October memory that lingers is of Derek Jeter face down on the infield dirt, having played on a bad ankle long enough that it finally broke. A brutal end to his own terrific season. He’d been their spark, their consistency, all year. Without him, the Yankees were finished.

November
Martin to Pittsburgh
Re-signing Hiroki Kuroda might be the Yankees most important move of the winter, and deals with Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera helped solidify the pitching staff, but the move that spoke volumes about the Yankees offseason approach was Russell Martin’s decision to sign with Pittsburgh. Two years, $17 million wasn’t an overwhelming amount, but the Yankees have focused on one-year deals and vowed a willingness to save money by staying in-house behind the plate.

December
Kevin Youkilis
Two things rolled into one transaction. First the Yankees announced that Alex Rodriguez needs hip surgery and will miss the beginning of next season. Then they found his replacement in a long-time Boston nemesis. It’s an odd pairing for any number of reasons, but the Yankees are banking on Kevin Youkilis to have something left in the tank, and Youkilis is counting on the Yankees to give him regular at-bats until he proves he can still hit. It’s the most memorable move the Yankees have made this winter. And it’s for Kevin freakin’ Youkilis.

Associated Press photos

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41 Responses to “Looking back: Month by month through 2012”

  1. UnKnown December 31st, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Sums it up nicely.

  2. DONNYBROOK December 31st, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    - DONNYBROOK GENERAL PRINCIPLES – (continued)

    (12) LOOKING BACK RESULTS IN SORROW. ALWAYS PRESS FORWARD AND FEAR NOT
    TOMORROW.

  3. Mike Ri December 31st, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    YOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUK

  4. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    If the Nationals re-sign first baseman Adam LaRoche but miss out on free agent southpaw J.P. Howell, MASNsports.com’s Dan Kolko suggests that the Nats and Orioles could match up on a trade. In Kolko’s proposed deal, the O’s would send one of their several left-handed relief options to Washington as part of a package in exchange for Michael Morse, who would be expendable for the Nats if LaRoche was back in the fold.

    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#DEu5q9OBRRQJucIS.99

    *****

    A lefty reliever – really?

  5. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    It was on this day in 1974 that the first real “free agent” signing in modern baseball history was made by (who else?) the Yankees when they inked Catfish Hunter to a five-year, $3.75MM deal. Hunter was freed from his previous contract with the A’s after an arbitrator ruled that the club has breached the terms of the right-hander’s deal, thus paving the way for Hunter to sign with New York. The deal was a record for its time, as Hunter was earning three times as much money as any other Major League player.

    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#DEu5q9OBRRQJucIS.99

  6. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Nats seem to live the Yankees farm system (Clippard and Garcia have proved well for them to date) – I would think the Yanks could top what the O’s could offer – - – -

  7. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I mean does Brian Matusz get the O’s Michael Morse??

  8. blake December 31st, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    I kinda doubt the Nats and Os would trade nice together…..

  9. blake December 31st, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    We will give you Boonie in a deal for morse

  10. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I would think the Nats would want more than a lefty reliever – idk – but i wonder if they like one of Logan, Rapada, or Rondon (though only in the minors – the Nats have moved former Yankees aggressively)??

  11. Chad Jennings December 31st, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 12:45 pm e
    I mean does Brian Matusz get the O’s Michael Morse??

    I read that and thought the exact same thing. I’m not super high on Morse, but for Matusz or any lefty reliever?

  12. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Chad Jennings December 31st, 2012 at 1:11 pm
    The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 12:45 pm e
    I mean does Brian Matusz get the O’s Michael Morse??

    I read that and thought the exact same thing. I’m not super high on Morse, but for Matusz or any lefty reliever?

    *****

    What have you seen of Morse to make you lukewarm? I know some have said his defense is less than desirable – I have not seen him play that much – but his RHP/LHP split of about .290 both ways sure sounds nice – - – -

    Great job with the blog – - – -

  13. blake December 31st, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Morse would really help the lineup….power RH bat that gets on base and hits both rHP and LHP well enough to DH full time and can play a corner well enough to platoon with Ichiro

  14. Jerkface December 31st, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Morse plays awful defense & doesn’t walk, but seeing as the Yankees other options probably put up just as poor an OBP but without the good batting average, I’ll take Morse.

  15. blake December 31st, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I’d rather them get a long term option….but if they can’t then morse would be a great add for 2013.

    He’d basically allow everything to fall in place.

    He could be the primary DH and play RF vs LHP….allowing one of the outfielders to sit and either Nunez or Jeter or whoever to DH.

    When/If Alex comes back you could trade Youkallis if he’s no longer needed.

  16. blake December 31st, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Especially if you could get morse for like Logan and another prospect or something

  17. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    If the price for Morse is that low -I would think you would have to do it – - – -

  18. Jerkface December 31st, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Mike Morse is responsible for one of my favorite 2012 MLB things atleast: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play......8;c_id=mlb

  19. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    It is a nice lineup of: Jeter, Suzuki, Cano, Tex, Morse, Granderson, Youkilis, catcher, Gardner

    Then after the season – you can possibly QO Cano, Granderson, and Morse – I do not think you have to worry about Cano accepting if everything goes as planned – possibly the same for Granderson – could help stockpile supplemental picks and expand draft pool money for what might be a deeper draft in 2014 – - – -

  20. blake December 31st, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Morse would probably…. Not for sure… But probably be a guy you make the QO to and get a pick also for him

  21. blake December 31st, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    The Return of Stoneburner says:
    December 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm
    It is a nice lineup of: Jeter, Suzuki, Cano, Tex, Morse, Granderson, Youkilis, catcher, Gardner

    Doesn’t look great longterm….for for 2013 that’d give them a chance

  22. blake December 31st, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    As the video JF posted shows….morse has some opo pop that’d play nicely at YS

  23. randy l. December 31st, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    “… but Montero was the star prospect and Pineda was a few months from season-ending surgery. ”

    that was a turning point.

    from that moment on, my interest in the yankees dropped in half.

    until i see a management change that says the yankees are worth following more closely, the yankees have become something i’m not sure is worth much of my time.

    we all have bad habits in life. it really makes little sense for improving one’s life to be a yankee fan . rooting for a sports team is an irrational thing . you don’t make money. it doesn’t make you smarter. better looking. more fit. a better person.

    but we do it. the one thing a sports franchise never wants to do is to make it’s fans wonder if rooting for the respective team makes sense.

    when cashman traded montero he crossed a line with a lot of fans, some directly and some who will see it as time goes by that cashman really wasn’t developing a farm system as much as he was developing what looked like prospects to others. in other words cashman never believed in montero. it was a facade. he had no intention of ever letting montero see yankee stadium as a star.

    how many others does cashman feel like this about? does he believe in any player? does he commit resources to any player or are they all just smoke and mirrors?

    actually,i have no idea and i’d have to be an idiot to bother following a cashman prospect again.
    i’ll be a full yankee fan again someday, but until this management team leaves, the yankees aren’t really the yankees anyway.

  24. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Onley is bullish on Mike Minor – hmmmmm – - – -

  25. mick December 31st, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    so “one bad trade”, in which the jury is still out, and you are no longer a Yankee fan?

  26. blake December 31st, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    The Return of Stoneburner says:
    December 31, 2012 at 1:50 pm
    Onley is bullish on Mike Minor – hmmmmm – – – -

    He’s good

  27. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    http://www.fangraphs.com/fanta.....rovements/

    Fansgraph article on Minor – appears 2nd half was great – first half not so much – Hey Braves are still looking for a LF/lead off guy – - – -

  28. blake December 31st, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    “Fansgraph article on Minor – appears 2nd half was great – first half not so much – Hey Braves are still looking for a LF/lead off guy – – – -”

    They’d say no …..would take more than Garnder or Grandy for Minor

  29. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    blake December 31st, 2012 at 2:01 pm
    “Fansgraph article on Minor – appears 2nd half was great – first half not so much – Hey Braves are still looking for a LF/lead off guy – – – -”

    They’d say no …..would take more than Garnder or Grandy for Minor

    ******

    I am not sure – I would argue that you can look at the Ben Revere trade for Vance Worley and Trevor May for guidance – and the blog posters have said Gardner is more valuable than Revere – - – -

  30. blake December 31st, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    “I am not sure – I would argue that you can look at the Ben Revere trade for Vance Worley and Trevor May for guidance – and the blog posters have said Gardner is more valuable than Revere – – – -”

    Minor is better than Vance Worley

  31. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    blake December 31st, 2012 at 2:07 pm
    “I am not sure – I would argue that you can look at the Ben Revere trade for Vance Worley and Trevor May for guidance – and the blog posters have said Gardner is more valuable than Revere – – – -”

    Minor is better than Vance Worley

    *****

    Possibly – but Worley + Trevor May (no. 1 prospect for Phillies going into 2012) makes iit a tad closer – - -

  32. blake December 31st, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    If the Yanks could trade for Upton then deal Gardner for a minor Id be very cool with that so long as they kept either Heathcott or Williams in the Upton deal

  33. The Return of Stoneburner December 31st, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    blake December 31st, 2012 at 2:13 pm
    If the Yanks could trade for Upton then deal Gardner for a minor Id be very cool with that so long as they kept either Heathcott or Williams in the Upton deal

    *******

    Completely agree – I do believe it would take more than Gardner to get Minor – but i think Gardner could be a big piece along with other pieces coming from the Yanks. You could go Upton, Granderson, Suzuki in 2013 – and then in 2014 sub the leftover of Mason and Slade in Granderson’s spot – I also think there might be some sweet talking going on (just my guess) b/w Cashman and Towers that Austin can play 3b – remember – Austin was taken in 2010 – and Towers was here when that draft day steal was done – could it be something of Nova, Austin, Gumbs, and Williams for Upton (Gumbs, Austin, and Williams being three guys acquired when Towers was with the Yanks)??? That way – you march ahead with Heathcott, Flores, and Sanchez, your 4 picks in the first 65ish picks in 2013, Upton, and Minor – - – -

  34. BIG AL December 31st, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Being a Yankees fan for more years than most here have been alive, I find it silly to read that one stops being a fan because of FO deals they may have real problems with. Again, having lived through so many very lean years, when the team was horrible, and had management like CBS to deal with, these are really great years.

    Yes, I do have several reservations about the direction this FO is taking, but, that would never stop my following, and loving the Yankees as a team.

    Perhaps those that would stop being a Yankees fan due to a trade they hated, or the FO operations, were never truly a Yankees fan, but rather a casual follower, and an observer of the game, rather than a true fan.

    Fickle perhaps? :)

  35. BIG AL December 31st, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Happy New Year to all, stay safe!

  36. austinmac December 31st, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Nothing will cause me to stop being a Yankee fan. I could well be an irritated fan, but it has been too long and too deeply ingrained to change now.

  37. tomingeorgia December 31st, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    BIG AL,
    Been a fan for 60 years, and you nailed it.

  38. randy l. December 31st, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    “Nothing will cause me to stop being a Yankee fan. I could well be an irritated fan, but it has been too long and too deeply ingrained to change now.”

    austinmac-

    if you get close enough to the game you see a wizard of oz kind of thing. the real point i’m making is is it’s a leap of faith to become a fan . it’s kind of an irrational thing to do. the players in the game depend on fans because that’s where the money they get comes from, but i’ve never seen a player play for the fans . they play because they love to play. or at some point they did. players are not fans.
    the dirty little secret is players really aren’t that interested in fans. if you think they are, try to hang out with your favorite players sometime.

    i don’t need the yankees to validate my baseball experience. me being a yankee fan and me loving the game of baseball are two different things. i can easily confuse the two and have them blend together, but what i’m saying is that people are fans on all different kinds of levels and it is always an irrational thing to do.

    i’m really saying any business that makes a fan ,who for some irrational reason decides to support them and care about them, rethink that irrationality is just plain stupid.

    i’m saying hal and present management will be encouraging lots of fans to rethink their “fandom” over the next few years.

    this ship isn’t turning quickly.

    as far as some people saying i’m not a “real fan”, i’d have to agree :)

    just like i’m not patriotic in the “america, love it or leave it” sense either

  39. trisha - true pinstriped blue December 31st, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    If the Yankees trotted out nothing but players from their A system, I’d be a Yankee fan through and through! I LOVE ME MY YANKEES!!!! My doctor once worried when they were taking blood and the blood was pinstriped. I told him I wouldn’t have it any other way. Ever. :)

    ***************

    Thoughts to consider for the new year:

    1. When you are tempted to complain about anything, remember that there are 20 families in Sandy Hook that would gladly trade their problems for yours! (idea borrowed from Brian Lee Kennedy)

    2. Spread sunshine rather than gloom. People actually like you better when you do that. :)

    3. Count your blessings. You’re probably better off than most of the rest of the world. If you have a roof over your head and food to eat, then there’s no question that you are!

    4. Be a giver rather than a taker.

    If you can do most of these things most of the time, you will have helped to make the world a better place.

    ********************

    YANKEES IN 2013!!!

    :)

  40. Dannette Moskop August 22nd, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Got my first letter yesterday! Loved it. I feel like I am a portion of something terrific that is certainly just starting to come about. Feeling a strange sense of community around it all. Maybe you’re on to something here! Who would have ever considered that folks would essentially print out words on paper just to have it sent in the mail to another person’s mailbox. Next thing you know, peoe might be growing their own food and walking or riding bikes everywhere. It’ll in no way operate, damn progress.

  41. Etta Deerdoff September 1st, 2014 at 5:36 am

    A neighbor bought one of these, it immediately exploded into a pile of iron oxide. Poof !

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